Tag: Israel

Reviving the Concept of Trusteeship as a Stepping-Stone to Peace in the Middle East

SOVAIDA MAANI EWING – Like it or not, our world has become so interconnected and interdependent that events that have hitherto been regarded as regional in nature now threaten our well-being everywhere. The international community must step up and shoulder a responsibility it has, for too long, abdicated: to maintain and restore peace in the world.

Why conspiracy theories are corrosive to social movements — and what to do about it

SHANE BURLEY – Opposition to the current state of the world is not synonymous with fighting for a liberatory future. And the inability to parse out this reality has revealed instability across a radical left that often clamors after any ally in the struggle against systemic injustice. Without safeguards and clarity on the mission, nearly any voice against the status quo can be mistaken for a friend — including those who want to replace it with something even more deadly or whose analysis relies on conspiracy. The left needs to return to political arguments, reading groups, liberation schools, teach-ins and serious debate hashed out in late night meetings. This is what will move the justifiable instinct that something is wrong to an accurate diagnosis that begs workable action. Without a clear picture of how our world has failed, any demagogue can capture the energy of the disaffected by offering a solution that creates even more profound problems. Our mission is not to simply destroy the old world. It’s to build a new and more just one in its place.

The War in Israel: Costs and Consequences

MEL GURTOV – That Netanyahu is the only top Israeli national security official who has not accepted any blame for the Hamas attack is indicative. Will postwar Israel again be plunged into political chaos? Will the far right be empowered or discredited because of the war? Will Israel after the war continue expansion of settlements and deprivation of Palestinians’ rights in the West Bank? One outcome of the extraordinary violence seems certain: The hope for Israeli-Palestinian coexistence, not to mention a two-state arrangement, has been dashed for many years to come.

The Savagery of the War Against the Palestinian People

VIJAY PRASHAD – The many Israeli attacks on Gaza pulverize the minimal infrastructure that remains intact in Gaza and hits the Palestinian civilians very hard. Civilian deaths and casualties are recorded by the Health Ministry in Gaza but disregarded by the Israelis and their Western enablers. As the current bombing intensified, journalist Muhammad Smiry said, “We might not survive this time.” Smiry’s worry is not isolated. Each time Israel sends in its fighter jets and missiles, the death and destruction are of an unimaginable proportion. This time, with a full-scale invasion, the destruction will be at a scale not previously witnessed.

Arms Deals Are Bad Deals

TOM HASTINGS – Congress can fuss all day long over inane culture war issues that are less than a rounding error in the federal budget, but the real theft from all of us who work for a living is from the war profiteer corporations. Congress can pretend that Social Security and Medicare are making us impoverished but it is the contractor corporations who take more than anyone from our paychecks, quite literally. Only the American people can correct this. It will not be done by those we’ve elected so far, with some noteworthy exceptions. Change it up. Bring in those who are actually committed to fixing this. 

The Deafening Silence of Intellectuals in the Face of Growing Global Conflicts

BOAVENTURA DE SOUSA SANTOS – Intellectuals do not have a monopoly on culture, on values, or on truth, much less on the meanings attributed to any one of these “domains of the spirit,” as they used to be termed. But intellectuals should also not shrink from denouncing what they see as destructive of culture, values, and truth, notably when such destruction claims to be carried out in the name of these “domains of spirit.”

Europe Is Sleepwalking Into Another World War

BOAVENTURA DE SOUSA SANTOS – More than 100 years after World War I, Europe’s leaders are sleepwalking toward a new all-out war. In 1914, the European governments believed that the war would last three weeks; it lasted four years and resulted in more than 20 million deaths. The same nonchalance is visible with the war in Ukraine.

Can Iran and the U.S. Breathe Life Back Into Nuclear Deal?

PRABIR PURKAYASTHA – The possibility of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—or the Iran nuclear deal—being revived, though difficult, seems to have brightened in February 2022. The U.S. may now also believe that the potential loss of Russian natural gas and oil due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war needs to be offset by Iran returning to the global oil market.

Apathy or Genocide for Gaza? Citizens Say, ‘Enough!’

ERIN NIEMELA – Israeli, Palestinian and American citizens, between Israelis and Palestinians, we don’t need a “humanitarian pause.” We need actual humanitarians – everyday citizens who work together, rise up and shout “Enough!” to the gunrunning, bloodshed, enmification and apathy. We can end the violence for good and build peace forever – but we have to work together to control those fat, grey leathery legs of war.

Opposition to Iraq War May Save Syria

DAVID SWANSON – Evidence of “weapons of mass destruction” is “no slam dunk,” U.S. officials are saying this time around, reversing the claim made about Iraq by then-CIA director George Tenet. Opposition to a U.S.-led attack on Syria is growing rapidly in Europe and the United States, drawing its strength from public awareness that the case made for attacking Iraq had holes in it.

It’s Us or the Nukes

DAVID SWANSON – Three years later a Soviet Lieutenant Colonel acted out the same scene, with the computer glitch on his side this time. Then in 1984 another U.S. computer glitch led to the quick decision to park an armored car on top of a missile silo to prevent the start of the apocalypse. And again in 1995, the Soviet Union almost responded to a U.S. nuclear attack that proved to be a real missile, but one with a weather satellite rather than a nuke. One Pentagon report documents 563 nuclear mistakes, malfunctions, and false alarms over the years — so far.

Thinking the Unthinkable on Iran

EDITOR’S NOTE – This article adds to the peace movement’s usual analysis, which views control of oil supplies as the driving force behind U.S. policy toward Iran, the notion that nuclear nonproliferation might actually be the prime objective. Whether or not you believe that nonproliferation is the most important aspect, it is reasonable to believe that it does play an important role, as author Jonathan Schell maintains.

Illusion of Separation Causes Global Disasters

WINSLOW MYERS – The biggest challenges we face all have their root cause in an artificial separation—between nations, races, religions, classes, between political parties, between humans and the living ecosystem upon which we depend for life—even between our heads and hearts. Such apparent separations represent a kind of global neurosis for which one antidote is what Buddhist philosopher Thich Nhat Hanh calls “interbeing”—the recognition of our deep interdependence.

Not Another Rabbit Hole!

IAN HRRIS – When Alice went down the rabbit hole in Lewis Carol’s novel, Alice and Wonderland, she experienced all kinds of unpleasant surprises. What kind of surprises will we Americans face if our government bombs Iran?

U.S. Troops Going to Israel

GLOBAL NETWORK – In one of the most blacked-out stories in America right now, the US military is preparing to send thousands of US troops, along with US Naval anti-missile ships and accompanying support personnel, to Israel. It took forever to find a second source for confirmation of this story and both relatively mainstream media outlets are in Israel.

Slip-Sliding to War with Iran

ROBERT PARRY – With the typical backdrop of alarmist propaganda in place, the stage is now set for a new war, this time with Iran. The slightest miscalculation (or provocation) by the United States, Israel or Iran could touch off a violent scenario that will have devastating consequences.

Sacred Mantras Need Examination

URI AVNERY – The Palestinians are planning something thoroughly obnoxious: they intend to apply to the UN for statehood. Why obnoxious? Any Israeli spokesman (not to mention spokeswoman) will tell you readily: because it is a “unilateral” move. How dare they proclaim a state unilaterally? How dare they do so without the consent of the other party to the conflict – us?

Revenge is Obsolete

WINSLOW MYERS – Our euphoric national mood in the wake of the assassination of Osama bin Laden may make for a reluctance to look once again, or perhaps for the first time, at his demands. There has been almost nothing in the mainstream press that examines his motivations for terrorism.

A Strong Wind Blows Mubarak Into History

URI AVNERY – We are in the middle of a geological event. An earthquake of epoch-making dimensions is changing the landscape of our region. Mountains turn into valleys, islands emerge from the sea, volcanoes cover the land with lava.

People are afraid of change. When it happens, they tend to deny, ignore, pretend that nothing really important is happening.

Israel Attacks Under Cover of Egypt

PAM RASMUSSEN BAILEY – I am living right now in northern Gaza. Israeli F-16s struck early this morning (1 a.m. Feb. 9). These were the closest I have ever been and the blasts were so loud and close I felt them in my bones. The child who was killed lived just a couple of streets over. The revolt in Egypt is crucial, but the world must not forget Gaza.

Syria Reasserts Its Centrality to Peace

ALON BEN-MEIR – Despite efforts to internationally isolate Syria, especially during the Bush era, Syria has reasserted itself as a central player in the Middle East. Following the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005, the United States withdrew its ambassador to Beirut, intensified sanctions against Damascus and sought to deepen Syria’s isolation from the international community. The recent array of high-level visitors to Damascus-including United States officials-demonstrates that President Bashar al-Assad has weathered the storm of isolation and has emerged as an essential actor in resolving regional disputes, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel should now respond favorably to Damascus’ call for renewed peace talks, and in so doing utilize Syria’s influence to advance peace, rather than thwart it.

U.S. Neutrality Essential in Mid-East Peace Talks

JACK KIRKWOOD — American leaders and commentators often refer to Israel as our ally. Yet despite six decades of relationship, this term gained wide usage only after President Bush declared alliance with Israel against the terrorists after 9/11/01. American forces have never joined Israel in any military campaign.

Nuclear Weapons and the Way We Think

WINSLOW MYERS — Two strategic goals of the U.S. are an apparent desire to control Middle East oil and the expressed commitment to help keep Israel safe. This requires the U.S. to refuse the laudable vision of the Middle East as a nuclear weapons-free zone, which would demand that Israel dismantle its nuclear arsenal. Instead, news reports indicate that Israel may be gearing up for a pre-emptive attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Palestinian, Israeli Physicians Call for Inquiry on Attack on Ships

IPPNW — The following is a joint statement from the Palestinian and Israeli affiliates of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) on the recent violence at sea. This statement is the product of unique and powerful collaboration, with physicians transcending political and ideological divisions to speak out with a common voice for peace and humanity.

Harman Gives Cover to Gaza Aid Piracy

NORMAN SOLOMON — When Israel attacked the Gaza aid flotilla, Congresswoman Jane Harman was engaged in a parallel assault. Israel’s government relied on the efficacy of violence; Harman’s campaign was counting on the power of paid media. In both cases, the targets were advocates of human rights for Palestinian people.

Active Nonviolence Persists in Palestine and Israel

DAVID HARTSOUGH: When people think of Palestine and Israel, they often picture Palestinians as suicide bombers and terrorists while the Israeli military are seen as bombing whole neighborhoods in Palestine. The violence and counter-violence and endless war has created a hopelessness about any peaceful future for the Holy Land.

J Street Comes to Eugene

COMING TO EUGENE OREGON: J Street, the political arm of the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement, is setting up shop in Eugene. Its official opening will be celebrated Thursday, February 4th at 7 p.m. at Temple Beth Israel, 1175 E. 29th Ave.

OPW, Allies Meet with Congressman Kurt Schrader

PETER BERGEL: On November 9, a delegation organized by Oregon PeaceWorks met with Oregon’s 5th District congressional representative Kurt Schrader. On the agenda were the wars in the Middle East, global warming and health care. The meeting included representatives from OPW, Veterans for Peace, 1000 Friends of Oregon, Fellowship of Reconciliation and Physicians for Social Responsibility.

How I Want to Discuss Israel/Palestine

PETER MILLER: I don’t subscribe to the notion that “Zionism doesn’t announce itself. It’s a stealth war, on our minds.” I don’t subscribe to conspiracy theory. The opponents of Palestinian rights are well established and out in the open. I don’t want to become like AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] and folks on the right who demonize “Islamo-fascists” and look for closet Muslims and anti-Semitism to explain people’s opposition to Israel’s policies. I also don’t want to take the “either you’re with us or you’re against us” approach of the last 8 years. I find that many people respond positively when presented with the human rights argument and information about Israel’s behavior. I want to expose as many people as possible to this discussion without introducing conspiratorial thinking that is a turn off for most people.