Patrick Mac Manus's Blog (319)

Israel: This sick glee in the face of a terrorist attack

Many Israelis find “educational” value in horrifying attacks, as long as they happen to others…

Following the terrorist attack in Norway, before the Israeli media had to reluctantly admit it was actually carried out by a Norwegian neo-Nazi, the media, aside from Haaretz, kept its readers in the dark about the killers’ pro-Israeli agenda, the comment section on the internet sites was filled not with expressions of horror and sadness, but with virulent attacks on Muslims…


Added by Patrick Mac Manus on July 25, 2011 at 7:25pm — No Comments

Islamophobia: Right-wing fundamentalists of Europe

A few years ago, the respected Cambridge scholar T J Winter, also known by his Muslim name of Abdal Hakim Murad, gave a fascinating lecture to Humanities staff and students at the University of Leicester. The title was "Islam and the threat of the West", turning on its head the more usual - then and now - "Islam and the threat to the West".

It was a novel approach, which, in a nutshell, illustrated that, historically, aggression has been directed more from Europe to the…


Added by Patrick Mac Manus on July 24, 2011 at 5:08pm — 1 Comment

Palestinian refugees in Syria: For democracy!

While stripped of their nationality in Jordan and living in Lebanon in the worst socio-economic conditions of any in their community, Palestinian refugees in Syria have long enjoyed comparably better circumstances, including equal rights with citizens.

But in a development that challenges a central pillar of the Syrian regime’s legitimacy, Palestinians in Syria are beginning to turn against a dictatorship that for decades used its claims of resisting Israel and fighting for…


Added by Patrick Mac Manus on July 23, 2011 at 2:50pm — No Comments

Iran: Against the Kurds

Units of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard have crossed the border into Iraq. Their mission - to attack, disable and destroy military bases belonging to PEJAK, a Kurdish militant group. Accusing PEJAK of being a terrorist organization, Tehran has taken it upon themselves to do what the US backed Iraqi regime refuses to do – crack down on armed militants on the Iraqi side of the Iranian border.

The Kurds have been fighting for their independence and sovereignty since their nation of…


Added by Patrick Mac Manus on July 21, 2011 at 4:19pm — No Comments

Boycott the state, not just the settlements!

Recent legislation passed in the Israeli Knesset, which many people call the "Anti-BDS" bill, has raised a number of questions about a rising tide of "fascism" in Israel. This language is not only used by Palestinian critics, who have long borne the brunt of Israel's undemocratic…


Added by Patrick Mac Manus on July 20, 2011 at 4:44pm — No Comments

Gilad Atzmon: Israel - The Prospect of ‘Civil Society Action’

It might be argued that the passing week was not very easy on the Palestinian solidarity movement:  firstly, an international peaceful flotilla aiming to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza did not manage to leave Greek ports. The Greek government had surrendered submissively to Israeli pressure and American Jewish organisations, and blocked the naval enterprise. 

Secondly, an international attempt to fly hundreds of activists from all over the world to the West Bank also partially…


Added by Patrick Mac Manus on July 12, 2011 at 11:13am — No Comments

Counting the cost of a Palestinian state

Since the Palestine Liberation Organisation led by Yasser Arafat recognised the state of Israel over 20 years ago, the general framework for a claims-ending solution accepted by the Israeli and Palestinian leadership has been a deal that would create a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. But now, two decades later, that framework has been completely exposed as a sham, and the number of people who believe such a solution is achievable, let alone worthwhile, is…


Added by Patrick Mac Manus on July 12, 2011 at 11:11am — No Comments

Advance global anti-imperialist women’s movement in the 21st century!

The International Women’s Alliance (IWA) is waging a fight against widespread hunger, poverty, deterioration of social welfare, unemployment, landlessness, human rights abuses, and militarization, on top of discrimination and different forms of violence against women.

In a historic gathering, more than a hundred women from seven continents representing more than 40 women’s organizations worldwide attended the first general assembly of International Women’s Alliance…


Added by Patrick Mac Manus on July 12, 2011 at 11:09am — No Comments

A Deep Rift Opens In Israel As The Coming Storm Approaches

It is big news that Meir Dagan, the former Director of the Mossad, has warned the people of Israel and the world that Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are not to be trusted and that they will probably attack Iran in September. One of the chief aims of such an attack is to forestall Palestinian efforts at the UN in September to achieve state independence, and radically change the global conversation away from Palestine towards the reality of a world…


Added by Patrick Mac Manus on July 9, 2011 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Major challenges facing the Arab Spring

Rarely have the leaders of the Arab world — its rulers, opposition activists, intellectuals, economic planners, bankers, major businessmen — faced so many challenges as in this summer of 2011. Everything is changing before their eyes, both in Arab societies and in the world outside.

Among the host of bewildering problems, two stand out. The way these problems are tackled and resolved will affect the Arab world for decades to come. They demand careful reflection and bold…


Added by Patrick Mac Manus on July 8, 2011 at 4:03pm — No Comments

Popular committees continue the revolution

As dark clouds of smoke billowed out to sea, a blazing red sun set to end a day of street battles with no telling what was to come. On 28 January in Alexandria almost every police station in the city was on fire, state security trucks were upside down and ablaze and every uniformed element of the Interior Ministry had disappeared. The atmosphere was rich with a sense of triumph and an equal, if not overpowering, feeling of dread.

But Alexandrians mobilized immediately. Come nightfall…


Added by Patrick Mac Manus on June 20, 2011 at 7:11pm — 1 Comment

Our Picasso will be changed by its journey to Ramallah…

A Palestinian art academy has put on display a $7 million Pablo Picasso masterpiece, the first of its kind in the West Bank.

Picasso's 1943 "Buste de Femme" is on loan from the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, Holland. Organizers said they had to overcome a lack of reliable transport and several Israeli checkpoints along the way.

The art director of the Palestinian academy, Khalid Horani, said it took two years to arrange the loan. He said the painting's journey was "a story full…


Added by Patrick Mac Manus on June 20, 2011 at 5:56pm — No Comments

Sherko Bekes: Three Poems from Kurdistan


The tide said to the fisherman:

There are many reasons

why my waves are in a rage.

The most important is

that I am for the freedom of the fish

and against

the net 


The day will come

When all the lamps in this world

will rebel

and refuse to light up anymore,

because ever since they have existed

their eyes have been shining

above the heads of thousands of…


Added by Patrick Mac Manus on June 19, 2011 at 5:21pm — No Comments

The collective punishment of Gaza

The Gaza Strip is both an occupied territory and a no man's land; its disenfranchised population has for years remained trapped under a blockade that prevents even the most rudimentary forms of development. A…


Added by Patrick Mac Manus on June 16, 2011 at 4:59pm — No Comments

The White Rose: A Lesson in Dissent

The date was February 22, 1943. Hans Scholl and his sister Sophie, along with their best friend, Christoph Probst, were scheduled to be executed by Nazi officials that afternoon. The prison guards were so impressed with the calm and bravery of the prisoners in the face of impending death that they violated regulations by permitting them to meet together one last time. Hans, a medical student at the University of Munich, was 24. Sophie, a student, was 21. Christoph, a medical student, was…


Added by Patrick Mac Manus on June 15, 2011 at 5:28pm — No Comments

Child Brides: Forced early marriages

“When I was 10 my parents arranged for me to marry in the forest. They pretended it was just a party. But it was a wedding and they sent me away. My mother never told me I was going to be married. They came and took me by force. I cried but it didn't make any difference.” - Child Bride aged 10.


Throughout the world, the problem of early, forced marriages of children is considered to be a violation of basic human rights. It has been estimated that 49 countries have a…


Added by Patrick Mac Manus on June 14, 2011 at 11:45am — No Comments

For long-suffering Kurds in Syria, the boot is on the other foot

With protests, government crackdowns and the current crisis for the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad deepening by the day, a confident mood is in the air that the once unthinkable may soon be a reality - the end of the Syrian Baathist dictatorship. Nowhere in Syria will this dawn be heralded more than in Syrian Kurdistan.

The ever-changing Middle Eastern political landscape and the current wave of revolutionary doctrine prompting a bold new democratic era may be predominantly…


Added by Patrick Mac Manus on June 12, 2011 at 4:13pm — No Comments

Beyond selective justice

The recent arrest of Ratko Mladic and his transfer to The Hague have brought the international mechanism to dispense justice into sharp focus once again. Mladic’s arrest has been hailed by the international community and declared a milestone in the path to ensure international criminal justice as after Mladic, only one major Serbian war criminal remains at large. But it is worth noting that selective international prosecutions cast the legitimacy of the system into doubt as justice must not…


Added by Patrick Mac Manus on June 11, 2011 at 3:32pm — No Comments

Iran and the issue of nuclear weapons

Lawrence Davidson considers the roles of Israel, the Israeli lobby in the USA and the conservative Arab Gulf rulers in creating and sustaining the fantasy of an Iranian nuclear threat, and highlights the failure – through cowardice, expediency and duplicity – of politicians who know better and the media to challenge this fantasy.


Is there an Iranian nuclear weapons programme?


On Friday 3 June 2011 the investigative reporter Seymour Hersh gave an…


Added by Patrick Mac Manus on June 10, 2011 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Kurds in Syria: Foreigners at home

For 24-year-old Azad, a poet and political activist from Amouda, in northeast Syria, it was a single word, cried from streets on the other side of the country that cut through the tangle of ethnic and political division that has defined Kurdish identity in Syria for generations.

“When people from Daraa [3] shouted for freedom, not for pan-Arab unity, not for…


Added by Patrick Mac Manus on June 9, 2011 at 5:58pm — No Comments

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