Gaza Strip

Goldstone Recants
April 04, 2011

Two years ago, South African Jewish jurist Richard Goldstone authored an explosive report on behalf of the United Nations accusing Israel of committing war crimes in its counterattack against Hamas in the Gaza strip. Now Goldstone is renouncing his own report: The leader of a United Nations panel that investigated Israel’s invasion of Gaza two years ago has retracted the central and most explosive assertion of its report — that Israel intentionally killed Palestinian civilians there.

January 17, 2011

Consider three recent items from the awful universe of human rights violations. According to Reporters Without Borders human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, having been held in solitary confinement and denied visits in Tehran’s Evin prison for more than 100 days, began her third hunger strike in December. Then, as her health deteriorated, according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, she called it off.

Ovadia Curses; In the Meantime Hamas Shoots Four Israelis Dead, One Pregnant
September 01, 2010

Yes, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, one of those scholarly madmen in the Israeli orbit, did call forth a malediction against the Palestinians and their leaders. And, frankly, he deserves a similar anathema from all of us, he with his direct line to God from which he derives his marching orders to his followers. Fortunately, these followers may adore him.

David Cameron Has Been to Washington. He Got The Message...And Now He's Delivering It.
July 28, 2010

On Wednesday, The Independent announced that "Cameron uses Turkish visit to launch ferocious attack on Israel." The Guardian reports that he "likened the experience of Palestinians in the blockaded Gaza Strip to that of a 'prison camp'." Having just been to Washington, was Cameron doing a transmission job for Barack Obama? Probably not. This missive about Israel is surely not the one that Obama really wants to transmit now.

If You Can’t Guarantee That Missiles Will Not Rain In On Israel (From Gaza, The West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon or Syria) You Don’t Have a Peace Agreement
July 08, 2010

Jackson Diehl makes the argument ... once again. Does the president understand this? I’m not sure he does. But I expect that Bibi made the point very clear. Binyamin Netanyahu doesn’t have any illusions about Barack Obama’s regard for him, despite their friendly meeting at the White House on Tuesday. But Netanyahu does apparently believe that if he presents this most cerebral of U.S. presidents with a well-reasoned position, he’ll be listened to. Hence his behavior -- and the relative warming of U.S.-Israeli relations -- in recent weeks. Take Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Better A Bad Press Than A Good Epitaph
June 13, 2010

Actually, the hysteria about the Israeli encounter with the Turkish goons has abated. And it has probably come to the attention of some reasonable people that Recep Tayyip Erdogan is working the seas not exactly for the interests of the Turks but for the Islamic crusade being led by the Iranian clerisy and secret police. I know little about Erdogan but something more about Turkey. The last century of its history is being betrayed in an avalanche of thuggish holiness. Its economy is not doing as bad as that of Greece. But just wait. Tourism is going down, down, down ...

Sour Dour Baroness Ashton And The Deeds Of Bibi Netnayahu
March 21, 2010

The Baroness Ashton is a very unhappy woman. You can see it on her face, poor lady. And even the fact that she is now a “peer”--or should one still say “peeress”?--has not visibly altered her look. She is one of those ugly ducklings who has given her life to social causes, a type we all know. Alas, the outcome of such an existence is very rarely happiness. Take her work as treasurer of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), seen as a front by the Soviets, who secretly supplied as much as 38% of its budget.

Juan Cole's Mania
March 18, 2010

One of the odd things about people with very left-wing views on the Middle East is that they're obsessed with the political influence of American Jews yet almost completely unfamiliar with the actual beliefs of the subject of their obsession.

Derisionist History
November 28, 2009

Israel and Palestine: Reappraisals, Revisions, Refutations By Avi Shlaim (Verso, 392 pp., $34.95) Avi Shlaim burst upon the scene of Middle Eastern history in 1988, with the publication of Collusion Across the Jordan: King Abdullah, the Zionist Movement, and the Partition of Palestine. Before that, as a young lecturer at Reading University in England, he had produced two books, British Foreign Secretaries Since 1945 (1977) and The United States and the Berlin Blockade, 1948–1949 (1983), and several revealing essays on modern Middle Eastern historical issues in academic journals.