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Middle East

Review: 'From Fatwa to Jihad: The Rushdie Affair and its Legacy'

By Rupen Savoulian

July 8, 2011 -- Antipodean Athiest, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- In the lead-up to the March 2003 US invasion of Iraq, the pop group the Dixie Chicks played a concert at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire theatre in London. One of the group’s members, Natalie Maines, a native of Texas, made a critical comment about a fellow Texan, George W. Bush who was then president of the United States. She said that “Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas.” A seemingly innocuous comment, you would think?

Egypt: Left debates the Arab Spring, democracy and imperialism

"For social equality" -- May Day 2011 in Cairo.

By Nicola Pratt

June 29, 2011 -- Jadaliyya -- Egyptian, Arab and international socialists and progressive forces met in Cairo June 3-5, to discuss the future of the Arab revolutions in light of imperialism, Zionism and global capitalism. The Forum in Solidarity with the Arab Revolutions was organised by a number of progressive groups in Egypt and represented the first attempt to revive the annual Cairo Conference against Imperialism and Zionism, which was shut down by the Egyptian authorities in 2009.

The Egyptian revolution: phase two

By Jesse McLaren

June 27, 2011 -- Rabble.ca -- My previous article looked at the first phase of the Egyptian revolution, and the struggles that led up to it, which has won significant political reforms -- from the removal of Mubarak, to the promise of free and fair elections, to the partial opening of the Rafah border, to partial freedom of speech and assembly. But basic political reforms are not complete, and the social and economic demands tied to them have not been met. This is phase two of the Egyptian revolution.

Left debates Libya: Imperialist nature of war is now clearer

Aftermath of a NATO airstrike on Tripoli.

[For more left views on Libya, click HERE for articles and associated comments.]

By Michael Karadjis

June 23, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Renfrey Clarke has written a very detailed and thoughtful piece of discussion, and despite my disagreement with it, I welcome the fact that people are willing to put forward unpopular positions (among the left) and have them thrashed out, especially when it is done in such a careful and thorough way.

Review: `The Muslim revolt: A journey through political Islam'

By Rupen Savoulian

June 25, 2011 -- http://rupensavoulian.wordpress.com, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Since the September 11, 2001, twin tower attacks, there has been renewed interest in the questions of Islam, political Islamism and jihadism. Books have been published by the truckload, seminars bringing together various political scientists and experts have been held, reams of paper analysing the origins and trajectory of political Islam have been published, and the airwaves resonate with talkback from pundits about the impact of Islam and Islamism in the world. How can one make sense of all this? Where does one begin?

Imperialismo, fundamentalismo y revolución árabe: Socialismo o terrorismo

Foto
Soldados de las tropas especiales de la marina estadounidense (Navy Seal). Esta fuerza fue la responsable del asesinato del líder de Al Qaeda.

[Published first in English at http://links.org.au/node/2297.]

Por: Farooq Tariq

Western economic attacks against Arab democracy

By Patrick Bond

June 1, 2011-- Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Palestine office, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- In their latest documents and meetings, the G8, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reacted to the democratic movements in the Arab world: The recipe calls – as it did before the popular ousting of the Tunisian and Egyptian presidents – for privatisation, austerity measures and “market liberation”. Patrick Bond, economic advisor to the new South African government from 1994-2002, analyses the ramifications of the economic campaign on Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Palestine.

Washington’s seeding of the Arab democratic revolution

Egypt's 'orderly transition'? International aid and the rush to structural adjustment

[Source Unknown]

By Adam Hanieh

May 29, 2011 -- Jadaliyya, posted at Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission -- Although press coverage of events in Egypt may have dropped off the front pages, discussion of the post-Mubarak period continues to dominate the financial news. Over the past few weeks, the economic direction of the interim Egyptian government has been the object of intense debate in the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). US President Obama’s 19 May speech on the Middle East and North Africa devoted much space to the question of Egypt’s economic future – indeed, the sole concrete policy advanced in his talk concerned US economic relationships with Egypt.

Egypt: Solidarity needed as military judges summon journalists critical of martial law


Dozens of activists gather at the military prosecutor's headquarters in Cairo on May 31, 2011, after Hossam el Hamalawy and Reem Maged are summoned after criticising the army on live TV. Filmed and edited by Simon Hanna.

STOP PRESS: May 31, 2001 -- "Hamalawy and Maged not questioned but asked to provide evidence of military police violations".

May 31, 2011 -- menasolidaritynetwork -- Journalists Hossam el-Hamalawy, Reem Maged and Nabil Sharaf al-Din have been summoned to appear before military judges on May 31. Mostafa Sheshtawy has a useful post here, which provides a translation of Hossam’s comments which have upset the military so much (he called for an end to the practice of military trials for civilians and said he held the head of the military police, Hamdy Badeen, responsible for the torture and mistreatment of detainees).

World Bank’s neoliberal Africa strategy signals worsening uneven development

By Patrick Bond

May 30, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- A renewed wave of development babble began flowing soon after the February launch of the World Bank’s 10-year strategy document, Africa's Future and the World Bank‘s Support to it. Within three months, a mini-tsunami of Afro-optimism swept in: the International Monetary Fund’s Regional Economic Outlook for SubSaharan Africa, the Economic Commission on Africa’s upbeat study, the African World Economic Forum’s Competitiveness Report and the African Development Bank’s discovery of a vast new “middle class” (creatively defined to include the 20% of Africans whose expenditures are US$2-4 a day).

The killing of bin Laden and the ugly tribalism of US politics

Three o’clock in the morning on May 1, Washington DC erupts in celebration of the killing of Osama bin Laden.

By Rupen Savoulian

May 20, 2011 -- Early in May 2011, Osama bin Laden, a Saudi billionaire criminal and religious fanatic, was murdered by US Navy SEAL troops in Pakistan. Bin Laden was a reactionary political figure, who promoted obscurantist, fundamentalist prejudices in the service of criminal wars and terrorism. He was a long-term ally and asset of the United States, whose repugnant views and activities were cultivated throughout the 1980s during Washington’s Cold War campaign against the secular, socialist government of Afghanistan.

Egyptian Socialist Party: Political perspectives for Egyptian socialism

May 27, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Below is the political perspectives document of the newly formed Egyptian Socialist Party -- one of a number of new pro-democracy parties formed in Egypt since the January 25, 2011, revolution that overthrew the dictator Hosni Mubarak. The party will be officially inaugurated on June 18, in Cairo.

* * *

By the Egyptian Socialist Party

Middle East: Can democracy activists undo US and IMF/World Bank damage?

By Patrick Bond, Palestine

May 23, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Here in Palestine, disgust expressed by civil society reformers about US President Barack Obama’s May 19 policy speech on the Middle East and North Africa confirms that political reconciliation between Washington and fast-rising Arab democrats is impossible.

Amidst many examples, consider the longstanding US tradition of blind, self-destructive support for Israel, which Obama has just amplified. Recognisng a so-called “Jewish state” as a matter of US policy, he introduced a new twist that denies foundational democratic rights for 1.4 million Palestinians living within Israel. For a Harvard-trained constitutional lawyer to sink so low on behalf of Zionist discrimination is shocking.

For although Obama mentioned the “1967 lines” as the basis for two states and thereby appeared to annoy arch-Zionist leader Benjamin Netanyahu, this minimalist United Nations position was amended with a huge caveat: “with land swaps.”

The revolt in Syria: Its roots and prospects

This interview with Hassan Khaled Chatila was conducted and first published by the A World to Win News Service. Chatila was born in Damascus in 1944 and holds a doctorate in political philosophy from the University of Paris, a city where he has lived as a refugee for many years. He is a member of the Syrian Communist Action Party, founded in 1975. AWTWNS condensed and edited this material while trying to faithfully represent his views, which are his own.

* * *

By Hassan Khaled Chatila

Australia: Greens' BDS stance widens debate over boycott of Israel's apartheid

By Pip Hinman and Peter Boyle

May 18, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Samah Sabawi, from Australians for Palestine, addressed a May 13, 2011, community forum in Holy Trinity Church Hall, Dulwich Hill, a suburb in Sydney, which was called by local residents to discuss the controversy (incited by Rupert Murdoch's News Ltd media empire) around a December 2010 decision by Marrickville Council to support the global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel's apartheid. Samah is introduced by Father Dave Smith, the local Anglican parish priest.


Samah Sabawi, part 2

Former Greens parliamentarian Sylvia Hale dissected the NSW Greens' stand in support of BDS and the struggle around the Marrickville Council position.

Documentary: Al Nakba: The Palestinian Catastrophe 1948


Al Nakba: The Palestinian Catastrophe 1948 by Benny Brunner and Alexandra Jansse on Vimeo.

Al Nakba: The Palestinian Catastrophe 1948 (58 minutes, documentary, Israel-Germany-The Netherlands, 1997). Arguably the first film that seriously tackles the historic events that led to the creation of 750,000+ Palestinian refugees at the end of 1948. Based on historian Benny Morris' book, The birth of the Palestinian refugee problem, 1947-49.

Produced and directed for ARTE by Benny Brunner and Alexandra Jansse.

Israel: Histadrut unmoved by Arab winds of change

Members of the Workers Democratic Party march through Tahrir Square on May Day, 2011. Photo by Mohamed El Hebeishy/ahramonline.

By Assaf Adiv

May 11, 2011 -- Challenge -- Ofer Eini and the Histadrut  [Israel's Zionist, pro-capitalist peak trade union body] are deaf to the voices of change calling from Cairo and the Arab world. Trade unions around the world identify with the new forces, leaving the conservative Histadrut alone in its corner.

Hussein Mugawer was recently arrested in Cairo. Mugawer is the head of the official federation of Egyptian workers, which was affiliated with Mubarak’s regime for many long years. He is accused of being involved in the suppression of the revolutionaries in Tahrir Square and of corruption. This year the Egyptian workers, whose official union lined up against them and took the side of their employers for years, celebrated International Workers Day in Tahrir Square as they waved the flags of the new independent unions established during the uprising.

Άρθρα από το Links για τη Λιβύη. Αναδημοσιευμένα στη "Μαρξιστική Σκέψη", Μάιος-Αύγουστος 2011

Μαρξιστική Σκέψη, τόμος 2, Μάιος-Αύγουστος 2011

Ο δεύτερος τόμος της «Μαρξιστικής Σκέψης» κυκλοφορεί σε μια περίοδο όξυνσης της διεθνούς και εσωτερικής κατάστασης. Οι μεγάλες αραβικές εξεγέρσεις, το πυρηνικό ατύχημα στη Φουκουσίμα, η επιδείνωση της κρίσης στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση είναι γεγονότα-ορόσημα με παγκόσμιο αντίκτυπο, που θα μας απασχολούν σίγουρα για καιρό. Σε αυτά τα θέματα, αλλά και την παταγώδη αποτυχία του Μνημονίου στην Ελλάδα και τα 140 χρόνια από την Παρισινή Κομμούνα, αφιερώνεται το τεύχος του περιοδικού. Ταυτόχρονα, ο αναγνώστης θα βρει άρθρα και αναλύσεις για θέματα ιστορίας, φιλοσοφίας, επιστήμης και τέχνης.

The left debates Libya: The Libyan revolution, imperialism and the left

 

Libyan rebels.

[For more left views on Libya, click HERE.]

By Renfrey Clarke

May 3, 2011 -- The “default” response of the left to imperialist interventions of the kind now under way against the Gaddafi regime in Libya has always been militantly hostile, and rightly so. How often has imperialism, as it throws its armed weight around, acted to advance the cause of workers and the oppressed? Members of the left who apply their raw class experience in such cases will not often find themselves in error.

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