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Middle East

Egypt: Military massacres Copts, stokes religious divisions to defuse revolution


October 12, 2011 -- Real News Network -- Angry protesters call for overthrow of the Egyptian military regime as many are killed by army. More at The Real News.

Statement by Revolutionary Socialists (Egypt): Glory to the martyrs of Bloody Sunday. Shame on the military and the reactionaries

October 10, 2011 -- The Revolutionary Socialists send sincere condolences to the families of the peaceful demonstrators who were murdered by the bullets of the Central Security Forces and crushed by the military’s armoured cars after they came on the night of October 9 to defend the right of Coptic Christians to freedom and equality.

Democracy Now! debate: Does UN statehood bid advance or undermine Palestinian struggle?

September 23, 2011 -- Democracy Now! -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to officially submit a statehood request to the United Nations in defiance of U.S. and Israeli threats... While supporters have hailed the bid as a step forward in the struggle to end the Israeli occupation and bring peace to the Middle East, critics call it a ploy by the Palestinian Authority to cling to power while undermining the rights of Palestinian refugees. We host a debate with two leading Palestinian analysts: Ali Abunimah, co-founder of the website The Electronic Intifada and author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse, and Mouin Rabbani of the Institute for Palestine Studies and the webzine Jadaliyya. See also http://links.org.au/node/2453.

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JUAN GONZALEZ: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to officially submit a statehood request to the United Nations Security Council later today. The United States has vowed to veto the move.

US rulers turned 9/11 outrage into blank cheque for endless war

By Rupen Savoulian

September 17, 2011 -- Antipodean Athiest, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission -- Near where I live in Sydney, there is a war memorial commemorating all those people from the area who have died serving the Australian armed forces in wars overseas. There are columns for each war Australians have participated in, followed by the names of those who never returned. For instance, there are columns for World War I (1914-1918), World War II (1939-1945), the Korean War (1950-53), and also the "International Campaign against Terrorism (2001– )". Notice that last one? Unlike the others, the war on terror has no end date.

The horrific terrorist attacks of September 11 prompted justified outrage at the perpetrators and sympathy for their victims. Since then, there has been a continuous barrage of war crimes, an escalation of US wars in the Middle East, new offensives against Iraq and Afghanistan by US imperial power, and a steady erosion of democratic civil liberties in the name of a "war on terror". In fact, the first decade of the 2000s can rightly be called the savage decade.

Dateline Egypt: Everything up for grabs in ongoing revolt

On September 9, a huge protest took place outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo. The protest was driven by anger at Israel's killing of Egyptian police in August, the deep solidarity the Egyptian people feel towards Palestinians and frustrations at the slow pace of change.

By Raul Bassi, Cairo

September 11, 2011 -- Green Left Weekly -- After the overthrow of Egypt's dictator Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, a new chapter in Egyptian history is being written and its authors are the people themselves. Anything could happen and everything is up for grabs given the profound political, social and economic crisis in which Egypt's neoliberal system finds itself in.

These events are part of the broader process of revolutions sweeping the Arab world, but Egypt's future will in no small part be influenced by the characteristics and history that make the country what it is today.

The results of neoliberalism in Egypt are clear: poverty, misery and daily struggles to survive.

See also:
Cairo eyewitness: Fresh protests demand real change

New book: Adam Hanieh's 'Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab States'; Modern slaves in the GCC

Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab States
By Adam Hanieh
New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

Long-time friend of Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, Adam Hanieh, has just released a book that is essential reading for all those following developments in the Middle East. With Hanieh's permission, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal publishes an interview with the author, conducted by Jadaliyya, and a short excerpt from the book.

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What made you write this book?

Palestine: Ilan Pappe -- At the UN, the funeral of the two-state solution

By Ilan Pappe

September 12, 2011 -- Electronic Intifada -- We are all going to be invited to the funeral of the two-state solution if and when the UN General Assembly announces the acceptance of Palestine as a member state.

The support of the vast majority of the organisation’s members would complete a cycle that began in 1967 and which granted the ill-advised two-state solution the backing of every powerful and less powerful actor on the international and regional stages.

Even inside Israel, the support engulfed eventually the right as well as the left and centre of Zionist politics. And yet despite the previous and future support, everybody inside and outside Palestine seems to concede that the occupation will continue and that even in the best of all scenarios, there will be a greater and racist Israel next to a fragmented and useless bantustan.

Declaration by Palestinians and Israelis in support of social protest, anti-colonial struggle


Whether to demand to end the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza is being debated within Israeli's mass social protest movement, with the main organisers opposing its inclusion. Report by the Real News Network on August 31, 2011.

Declaration by Palestinians and Israelis in support of social protest, anti-colonial struggle

September 2011 -- Translated by International Viewpoint -- Some 20 political parties and social movements from both sides of the Green Line issued an historic declaration in support of the social protests currently rocking Israel and their necessary linkage to the struggle against Israel’s occupation and colonial policies.

We are united for putting an end to occupation and racism, in support of the struggle of the Palestinian people to attain their national rights and against national and social oppression

Syria: Interview with the Local Coordination Committees of Syria (audio)

                                                                               (^)

Please note: Interview starts halfway through the program. Slide the tab to (^) under the player (after it is finished downloading).

August 26, 2011 -- Australia Asia Workers Links/Asia Pacific Currents, via 3CR community radio, Melbourne -- Interview with Hozan Ibrahim, spokesperson from the Local Coordination Committees of Syria. The Local Coordinating Committees of Syria is one of the main co-ordinating bodies behind the uprising in Syria. Asia Pacific Currents is produced by Australia Asia Worker Links.

Ibrahim explains the background to the uprising, how the Syrian people are organising themselves and expresses opposition to any Western military intervention.

Richard Seymour: Libya -- All they are saying is give war a chance

Celebrations in Tripoli following Gaddafi's retreat.

By Richard Seymour

August 31, 2011 -- ABC's The Drum -- Libya, the source of so many American nightmares, is fast becoming an American dream. 

Reagan was tortured by Tripoli, and its big boss man, sassing the US. He imposed sanctions, and bombed the country, but had no peace. Bush the Younger was reconciled with the prodigal Colonel Gaddafi, but somehow this alliance seemed, well, un-American

Obama, though, will have the privilege of being an ally of an ostensibly free Libya that he helped birth into existence. At minimal outlay (a mere $1 billion, which is peanuts in Pentagon terms), and with relatively few lives lost from bombing, a US-led operation has deposed a Middle East regime and empowered a transitional regime that is committed to human rights and free elections. 

After the carnage of Iraq, such a simple, swift and (apparently) morally uncomplicated victory seemed impossible. 

Lest we swoon too quickly, however, it is worth remembering that there are other ways to look at this.

The US-Saudi counter-revolution against the 'Arab spring'

Saudi Arabian troops enter Bahrain to crush the democratic uprising.

By

August 23, 2011 -- RightWeb -- At the end of February 2011, it looked as though the old order was crumbling across the Arab world. Inspired by the self-immolation of a Tunisian street vendor, massive popular demonstrations ousted Tunisia's president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Egypt's president Hosni Mubarak was not long to follow. Similar uprisings began to swell in Algeria, Jordan, Bahrain and Yemen, and the anciens regimes appeared helpless against the rising tide of popular anger and nonviolent resistance.

Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, actively worked to encourage the forces of counter-revolution throughout the region. From Morocco to Bahrain, Saudi finance, support and intelligence has sought to prevent political turmoil, reinforce existing dynasties and crush nascent democratic movements before they could reach critical mass. This reactionary tide has been supported by some ideologues in Washington, which worries that Arab democratisation would be detrimental to US policy objectives.

Did Wikileaks reveal a US blueprint for Libya?

By Ali Abunimah

August 26, 2011 -- Electronic Intifada -- The US administrations of presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama were set on developing deep “military to military” ties with the Libyan regime of Muammar Gaddafi, classified US diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks on August 24 reveal. The United States was keen to integrate Libya as much as possible into “AFRICOM”, the US military command for Africa which seeks to establish bases and station military forces permanently on the continent.

“We never would have guessed ten years ago that we would be sitting in Tripoli, being welcomed by a son of Muammar al-Qadhafi”, US Senator Joseph Lieberman said during an August 2009 meeting, which also included senators John McCain and Susan Collins.

Libya: NATO's 'conspiracy' against the revolution; Who are the Libyan rebels?

Gilbert Achcar interviewed on August 24, 2011 by Democracy Now!. Transcript below.

The following article, reposted from Jadiliyya, was written before the entry of rebels into Tripoli on August 20-21, signalling the looming collapse of the Gaddafi regime. It offers valuable analysis of the dynamics between imperialism and the rebel movement and the Libyan masses. It contends that the Western powers, in an attempt to control the uprising, rationed their military support to ensure that significant sections of the Gaddafi state would be retained in any post-Gaddafi regime.

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By Gilbert Achcar

Does Palestinian Authority’s UN 'statehood' bid endanger Palestinian rights?

Palestinian Authority envoy to the United Nations Riyad Mansour.

By Ali Abunimah

August 8, 2011 -- Electronic Intifada -- The Palestinian Boycott National Committee (BNC), the steering group of the international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign, has issued further guidance in the run up to the Palestinian Authority’s effort to gain UN membership for a “State of Palestine” in September.

The BNC statement implicitly warns that recognition of any “state” that did not include full recognition of all Palestinian rights and the right of all Palestinians everywhere to be represented, could violate or negate those rights.

The statement further warns that governments around the world cannot use symbolic recognition of a Palestinian “state” to evade their responsibilities.

The Syrian 'common': an uprising of the working society

By  Yassin Al Haj Saleh

[This an excerpt from an article that first appeared in English at Jadiliyya. For the full article, click HERE.]

August 14, 2011 -- There is a Promethean dimension to the struggle of Syria's protesters to wrench politics away from the self-deifying cabal [who rule] and to attempt to extend politics to all Syrians. The young Marx, who loved grandiose expressions, described Prometheus as “the most noble martyr in the philosophical almanac”, because he stole the fire from the Olympian gods and gave it to humans. The gods punished him by sending the eagles of the Caucuses to tear at his liver forever. Like Prometheus, the uprising represents the most noble rebellion Syria has known since its independence 65 years ago. Like Prometheus, the wrath of the divine cabal is directed against the rebelling multitude. It is murdered, defamed, called names and insulted by the lowliest forces and motives in Syria.

Israel's J14 movement: Can it break out of the Zionist box? Palestinians fight for equality in J14


The Real News Network -- August 6, 2011, saw the largest demonstration in Israel's history, in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other cities. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis poured onto the streets to demonstrate against high housing prices and rising costs of commodities. Meanwhile, Israel's Palestinian citizens, who make up 20% of the population, are joining the movement that began on July 14 and is known as J14. The Real News' Lia Tarachansky spoke to Dror K. Levy, a professor of cultural studies at Haifa University, Mary Copti, a central community leader in one if Israel's mixed cities of Jaffa (Yafa), and Wafa Abu Shamis, who began the Jaffa tent city against home demolitions and gentrification.

See also "Israel: Mass protest movement offers hope".

By Jeff Halper

Israel: Mass protest movement offers hope

300,000 protesters in Tel Aviv, August 6, 2011.

By Guy Gillor

August 8, 2011 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The 2011 global uprisings remind us how infectious the revolutionary spirit can be. In the last three weeks, a social movement within Israel has sprung to life in an almost spontaneous manner. A small housing protest that started on July 14 has swept hundreds of thousands of people into protest across the country. As in many other countries, people in Israel face rapidly increasing living costs and privatisation of public assets.

Tunisia: Communist Workers Party holds first legal congress in 25 years


July 23, 2011 -- AFP -- For the first time in 25 years, the Tunisian Workers' Communist Party was able to hold a congress. Long banned, the party was legalised after the fall of President Ben Ali's authoritarian regime. (If video is blocked by AFP, go to YouTube.)

By Kal

The Oslo mass murder and the mainstreaming of racism in Europe; Solidarity from Palestine

The Sun, a flagship daily of the disgraced Murdoch empire, immediately prepared a front page that described the far-right attack as an "Al Qaeda Massacre".

By Miriyam Aouragh and Richard Seymour

July 27, 2011 -- Jadaliyya -- Media coverage of the Norwegian tragedy was led with dangerous and clichéd arguments about "Islamic extremism" and multiculturalism, even after the identity of the killer was confirmed – thus contributing to the mainstreaming of racism that helped make far-right mass murderer Anders Breivik what he is.

An hour before Breivik embarked on his massacre of the innocents in Oslo on July 23, he distributed his manifesto online. In 1500 pages, this urgent message identified “cultural Marxists”, “multiculturalists”, anti-Zionists and leftists as “traitors” who are allowing Christian Europe to be overtaken by Muslims. He subsequently murdered dozens of these "traitors", the majority of them children, at a Labour Party youth camp. His inspiration, according to this manifesto, were those pathfinders of the Islamophobic right who have profited immensely from the framing and prosecution of the “war on terror”, including Melanie Phillips, Bernard Lewis, Daniel Pipes, Martin Kramer and Bat Ye’or. 

Tariq Ali: The Arab intifada and US power (video)

Tariq Ali presents a talk to the British Socialist Workers Party's Marxism 2011, held in London, June 30-July 4.

BDS: The global struggle for Palestinian rights (video)

July 21, 2011 -- Wearemany.org -- Omar Barghouti is an independent Palestinian commentator and human rights activist. He is a founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. The talk (above) was presented on July 1, 2011, at the United States International Socialist Organization's Socialism 2011 conference, which was held in Chicago, July 1-4, 2011.

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