Middle East

Palestine in the Middle East: Opposing neoliberalism and US power

By Adam Hanieh

July 15, 2008 -- Over the last six months, the Palestinian economy has been radically transformed under a new plan drawn up by the Palestinian Authority (PA) called the Pal

Egypt: Workers impose a new agenda

By Asma Agbarieh-Zahalka

The road from the airport to the hotel shows the story: modern buildings partly conceal dilapidated, crowded structures that seem on the verge of collapse. Ancient jalopies chug along as if by inertia, while the latest luxury models zip past them. Huge billboards advertise multinational corporations. All this goes side by side with centuries-old mosques of breathtaking beauty, witnesses to a time when Egypt was the centre of Islamic culture — not just another third-world country offering the world cheap labour for exploitation. This was my first encounter with Cairo. Love at first sight.

I wasn't there as a tourist. What brought me to Egypt with my colleague, Samia Nassar, was the wave of strikes which, since December 2006, has been shaking the regime of Hosni Mubarak. In 2007 there were 580 strikes, demonstrations and protests, involving between 300,000 and 500,000 workers. The number for 2008 is likely to be more than twice that, reflecting enormous hikes in food prices.

ISRAEL: Washington backs Middle East's `nuclear outlaw'

Norm Dixon

March 24, 2004 -- “Every civilised nation has a stake in preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction... We’re determined to confront those threats at the source”, US President George Bush declared in a February 11 speech.

“We will stop these weapons from being acquired or built. We’ll block them from being transferred. We’ll prevent them from ever being used. One source of these weapons is dangerous and secretive regimes that build weapons of mass destruction to intimidate their neighbours and force their influence upon the world.”

Arguing for combative new “arms control” measures that would further entrench the West’s control over nuclear weapons, Bush casually repeated the now thoroughly exposed lie that the US-led war against Iraq was launched because Baghdad “refused to disarm or account for ... illegal weapons and programs”.

Bush used the speech to signal that Iran remains in Washington’s gun-sights, alleging that Tehran “is unwilling to abandon a uranium enrichment program capable of producing material for nuclear weapons”. Bush also demanded that North Korea “completely, verifiably and irreversibly dismantle its nuclear programs”.

Palestine and Israel after the elections

By Adam Hanieh

Introduction

To many the Israeli elections in May represented a battle between those who supported peace and those opposed to it. Election advertisements by incumbent Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu re-ran scenes of bombings in Jerusalem, to portray the message that Israelis are safe only under the leadership of the right-wing Likud party. The Labour Party, under Ehud Barak, responded with the image of Barak as ``Israel's most decorated soldier''.

In the West Bank, however, the situation continued as normal throughout the election period. The average Palestinian on the street paid little attention to what was going on just a few kilometres to the east. In contrast, the Palestinian leadership urged Palestinians inside Israel to ``vote for peace'', a thinly veiled call for a vote for Barak.

This gap between the street and the leadership is perhaps the most striking feature of life in Palestine today. The street cares little for what happens on an official level, while on a daily basis land is confiscated, houses are demolished, and Palestinians are imprisoned and tortured.

US empire after Iraq: analysis and perspectives

By Malik Miah, Barry Sheppard and Caroline Lund