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Israel bombing Gaza again

"Israel and its Palestinian adversaries in Gaza sharply escalated the latest deadly resurgence of hostilities on Tuesday, with the Israeli military conducting an intense aerial bombardment that targeted at least 50 Gazan sites, including homes, and militants in the enclave responding with a long-range missile volley aimed at Israeli population centers, including Tel Aviv." [more inside]
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles on Jul 8, 2014 - 811 comments

40 Maps of the Middle East

Forty maps that explain the Middle East. Includes sections on Middle East history, the region today, Israel-Palestine, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and oil, Iraq and Libya, and "points of light." [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack on May 6, 2014 - 8 comments

SodaStream, the Super Bowl and Scarlett Johansson

The argument against Scarlett Johansson doing Super Bowl ads for SodaStream [pdf] This report provides an extensive analysis of SodaStream (Soda Club), a manufacturer of home carbonating devices whose main factory is in the industrial park of Mishor Edomim in the West Bank, territory occupied by Israel. Using SodaStream as a case study for corporate activity in the illegal settlements, the report explores the concept of industrial production in settlements....Examining the performance of this company is important in order to understand how its success is based, at least in part, on the structural advantages that production in Israeli settlements enjoys. Settlement production benefits from low rent, special tax incentives, lax enforcement of environmental and labor protection laws, as well as additional governmental support. Summary: Scarlett Johansson’s Super Bowl Ad Becomes An International Controversy. More, from Baltimore Jewish Life: SodaStream Boss Admits West Bank Plant Is 'a Pain.' [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Feb 2, 2014 - 127 comments

Ariel Sharon dies at 85

Former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon died at a hospital near Tel Aviv last night, aged 85, after spending eight years in a coma. He was one of Israel's more popular leaders as a fierce defender of the Jewish nation, but was loathed by Palestinians and other regional powers who dubbed him the "the Butcher of Beirut". Israel is in mourning. Twitter is reacting. NPR reflects on his life as being one of a warrior's journey to peace.
posted by Mezentian on Jan 11, 2014 - 134 comments

Capturing America

In 1971, the newly-created US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hired a bunch of freelance photographers to collectively document environmental issues around the country. They were given free rein to shoot whatever they wanted, and the project, named Documerica, lasted through 1977. After 40 years, the EPA is now encouraging photographers to take current versions of the original Documerica photos and are showcasing them on flickr at State of the Environment. There are location challenges, and a set has been created with some of the submissions, making side-by-side comparisons. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 8, 2013 - 16 comments

WSJ's Middle East Real Time blog

Since the end of March, the Wall Street Journal's new Middle East Real Time blog has written about Turkey's "unstoppable" export boom in soap operas, Saudi Arabia's "life after jihad" rehab program, the persistence of obviously fraudulent bomb detectors across Iraq, YouTube branding discussions among Syrian rebel factions, a rising media star Sunni cleric in Lebanon, a post-revolutionary Cairo arts festival, and attempts to overcome conservative objections and change the Saudi Thursday-Friday weekend to match the rest of the business world. Previous non-paywalled WSJ Real Time blogs include Korea, China, Canada, India, Brussels, Emerging Europe, Japan.
posted by mediareport on May 9, 2013 - 16 comments

"If there is a third intifada, we want to be the ones who started it."

"Is This Where the Third Intifada Will Start?"
"One village in the West Bank tests the limits of unarmed resistance."
posted by andoatnp on Mar 18, 2013 - 74 comments

Academic freedom under attack in NYC

The Political Science Department at Brooklyn College is co-sponsoring a panel discussion about the BDS Movement (boycott, divestment, sanctions) against Israel this Thursday Feburary 7th. The event features Omar Barghouti, BDS co-founder and Judith Butler, prominent philosopher. The college has come under widespread attack for its hosting of the event, with a coalition of New York City councillors threatening to defund the school. [more inside]
posted by mek on Feb 3, 2013 - 142 comments

"An Uncovered Woman and Beatle-Haired Men Will Never Liberate Our Holy Places."

From the BBC blog of documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis: "Save Your Kisses For Me: How the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and the Israeli Right became co-dependents in an abusive relationship." Includes images / film clips from the BBC news archive. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 3, 2012 - 37 comments

Palestinian Football

A soccer stadium in Palestine was destroyed recently and a number of European based footballers signed a letter condemning the act. Palestine has historically been a difficult place to be a footballer, up to and including being imprisoned, although Mahmous Sarsak has since been freed. Despite all of this, it looks like at least the Palestinian women’s game is on the up and up.
posted by josher71 on Dec 3, 2012 - 35 comments

The Palestinian Bid for Statehood 2012

On the 15th November 1988, the Palestine National Council under Yasser Arafat made a Declaration of Independence. The declaration was supported by more than 100 countries, and recognised a two state solution. It led to a UN vote, which was supported by 104 states and voted against by two. Twenty four years later, on the 29th November, and 65 years to the day after the UN adopted the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas is making a renewed bid for Palestinian statehood. [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan on Nov 28, 2012 - 138 comments

Niza Yanay - the ideology of hatred: the psychic power of discourse

"The Ideology of Hatred": An interview with Niza Yanay - "Once we understand how hatred operates as an apparatus of power relations, and particularly how the discourse of hatred is motivated and mobilised in national conflicts, serious questions about misrecognition, veiled desires and symptomatic expressions arise. These questions have, to a large extent, been left unaddressed in studies of hatred between groups in conflict." [more inside]
posted by flex on Nov 15, 2012 - 13 comments

A Wanker Whipping Up Fear

In May of 2010, Michael D. Higgins (now President of Ireland) had an exchange on an Irish radio station with Tea Party supporter Michael Graham, about the state of politics in the United States. [more inside]
posted by gman on Aug 26, 2012 - 40 comments

"He is no longer his own person."

The Checkpoint. An essay which looks inside the conflicted mind of an Israeli soldier, stationed at a West Bank checkpoint. By Oded Na'aman, currently a student in the Philosophy PhD program at Harvard University, who served in the Israeli Defense Forces from November 2000 to October 2003. Mr. Na'aman is also a member of Breaking the Silence, a website that gathers and publishes anonymous testimonials from IDF soldiers -- combat veterans -- about their experiences and the realities of life in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.
posted by zarq on Jul 24, 2012 - 6 comments

Larry Cohler-Esses interviews Abu Marzook

Larry Cohler-Esses from the Jewish Daily Forward interviews Abu Marzook, Hamas' deputy political director. The interview captures Hamas in a state of transition and includes a segment (with audio) of Cohler-Esses explaining to the confused Hamas leader that the 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion' is a Russian hoax.
posted by the mad poster! on Apr 21, 2012 - 18 comments

I get up in the morning and ask: What if?

"I get up every morning at 5, go for a half-hour walk in the desert, come home and have a cup of coffee, sit down at the desk and ask myself what I would say if I were him, and what I would do if I were her. I think curiosity is actually a moral virtue. I think a person who is curious is slightly more moral than one who is not curious, because sometimes he enters into the skin of another. I think a curious person is even a better lover than one who is not curious. Even my political approach to the Palestinian question, for example, sprang from curiosity. I am not a Middle East expert or a historian or a strategist. I simply asked myself, at a very young age, what it would be like if I were one of them. So, that’s what I do − get up in the morning and ask myself: What if?" - Israeli writer Amos Oz reflects on his life, on Israel, on writing, and discusses his newest work [more inside]
posted by beisny on Mar 29, 2012 - 4 comments

Borders. Security. Refugees. Jerusalem.

The Atlantic is in the middle of a four-part special report on the Israel / Palestinian peace process, called "Is Peace Possible?" which features multimedia presentations on and analyses of what they believe are the four core issues of the conflict: Borders, Security, Refugees, and Jerusalem. (The latter two will be released on Monday, November 7 and 14th, respectively) The report was put together in collaboration with the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 1, 2011 - 21 comments

Over Netanyahu’s Shoulder: A (Telephoto) Analysis of the Prime Minister’s U.N. Speech Edits

Photographer Mario Tama positioned himself over Netanyahu's shoulder at the UN General Assembly, and photographed hand-written edits he made to his speech. Here's what he saw. (via The Browser)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Sep 29, 2011 - 18 comments

Palestinians ask for a state of their own.

Tomorrow, Friday the 23rd of September 2011, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas will go before the UN and set out his request for formal recognition of the state of Palestine. There are many problems with this, and not just for the Palestinians... [more inside]
posted by dougrayrankin on Sep 22, 2011 - 99 comments

Violence and nonviolence are, after all, two different forms of theater. They both depend and thrive on the response of an audience.

"If we, as a global audience, focus solely on violence and militarism, we reinforce the notion that they are the most effective form of action. On the other hand, if we pay more attention to nonviolent or unarmed efforts, we strengthen the legitimacy and influence of those choosing to use these means." [more inside]
posted by notion on Sep 18, 2011 - 9 comments

"I am 100 percent Palestinian and 100 percent Jewish."

Israeli actor and political activist Juliano Mer-Khamis, born to a Jewish mother and an Arab Christian father, was killed on Monday outside the theater which he founded in a refugee camp in the West Bank city of Jenin.
posted by beisny on Apr 4, 2011 - 30 comments

If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document.

Richard Goldstone reconsiders his report on the Gaza war of 2008-2009. [more inside]
posted by beisny on Apr 2, 2011 - 246 comments

“I had reached the point of no return. You finally get fed up … I finally wanted to speak the truth.”

Last year, the unofficial Dean of the White House Press Corps, Helen Thomas, spoke about the State of Israel on camera. (Previously) Her replies: "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine," and that the Jews "can go home" to "Poland, Germany and America and everywhere else," sparked media outrage, prompted her to issue an apology and retire. After months of being out of the the public spotlight, she has now given her first long-form interview, which will appear in the April issue of Playboy Magazine. In it, she explains what she meant, tells us how she would like to be remembered and expands upon her positions regarding Israel, Jewish political influence, Presidents Bush and Obama, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
posted by zarq on Mar 22, 2011 - 224 comments

"Sooner or later, nearly everyone on Haaretz gets called a Nazi."

The Dissenters. New Yorker profile by editor David Remnick: "Ha'aretz prides itself on being the conscience of Israel. Does it have a future?" (Via)
posted by zarq on Mar 1, 2011 - 49 comments

The Palestine Papers

Al Jazeera has obtained a large volume of official documents concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The confidential files, to be released in the coming days, were shared with The Guardian.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jan 23, 2011 - 112 comments

Avatar Activism, The Harry Potter Alliance, and Pop Culture Fandom as the gateway to Social Activism

Back in February 2010, Palestinian activists dressed up as Na'vi and Avatars to bring more attention to the weekly protests against the West Bank barrier. Video of the costumed protest was edited to blend with Avatar footage, to emphasize the protesters' message. In another pop-culture world, The Harry Potter Alliance have run campaigns that tie themes from the stories to real-world issues, in an effort to translate the energy of fans into energy to get active in civil engagement, including a a fundraiser in January that raise raised $34,000 to support Haiti relief efforts. These efforts have been labeled "Avatar Activism," as discussed in a a recent Le Monde diplomatique article and a related piece on NPR. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 18, 2010 - 15 comments

"I cannot even contemplate this reality or love, hatred and pain."

WE ALL GOOD PEOPLE pt. 1 (ISRAEL/PALESTINE) (vimeo)
WE ALL GOOD PEOPLE pt. 2 (ISRAEL/PALESTINE) (vimeo)
More videos by Grant Slater.
posted by andoatnp on Oct 24, 2010 - 11 comments

"What's wrong with that? I don't understand."

"I did not humiliate those detainees. I didn't hit them, I didn't act toward them unpleasantly. It's completely different than the American soldier some are trying to compare me to," she told Israel Radio. The IDF has condemned her behavior. Meanwhile, this is not the first time Facebook has caused an issue for the IDF.
posted by griphus on Aug 17, 2010 - 49 comments

At the Death Camps, Muslim Leaders Grapple With Jews’ Pain

"We pray to God that this will not happen to the Jewish people or to any people anymore." -- a group of American imams visits Dauchau and Auschwitz.
posted by empath on Aug 15, 2010 - 38 comments

Another one under the bus...

Helen Thomas, going rogue. White House corespondent since the Eisenhower administration, Helen Thomas, has "retired" at the age of 89 after saying something unacceptable to a Rabbi at a White House Jewish heritage event on May 27th, 2010. Thomas "told a rabbi at a White House event last week that Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine" and go back to Germany and Poland." She has also been rebuked by the White House, calling her remarks "offensive and reprehensible..." [more inside]
posted by daq on Jun 7, 2010 - 283 comments

The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment

Among American Jews today, there are a great many Zionists, especially in the Orthodox world, people deeply devoted to the State of Israel. And there are a great many liberals, especially in the secular Jewish world, people deeply devoted to human rights for all people, Palestinians included. But the two groups are increasingly distinct. Particularly in the younger generations, fewer and fewer American Jewish liberals are Zionists; fewer and fewer American Jewish Zionists are liberal. One reason is that the leading institutions of American Jewry have refused to foster—indeed, have actively opposed—a Zionism that challenges Israel’s behavior in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and toward its own Arab citizens.
The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment
posted by y2karl on May 18, 2010 - 105 comments

Suicide Bombers: Religious fanatics, or simply resisting foregin military occupation?

Suicide bombers from Lebanon, the West Bank, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Chechnya have two things in common: they are Muslim and they live under occupation. University of Chicago Professor Dr. Robert A. Pape, who has assembled a comprehensive database of every (or nearly every) suicide bombing since 1980, has been the most prominent proponent of the view that it is occupation, not religion, that is the single most important motivating factor for suicide bombers... more than 95% of suicide bombers come from countries under occupation... Pape and his colleagues at the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, ask What Makes Chechen Women So Dangerous? -Via The Washington Note
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Apr 1, 2010 - 88 comments

BBC interview with Hassan Yousef's son prior to his book launch

'Son of Hamas' who spied for Israel
posted by Neekee on Mar 3, 2010 - 16 comments

Globalization is Weird

Avatar goes to the West Bank. What better way to express your peoples' long-standing grievances against military occupation than a little James Cameron inspired role playing? [more inside]
posted by cal71 on Feb 12, 2010 - 29 comments

Inside Gaza

"Every opportunity for peace in the Middle East has been led to slaughter" Lawrence Wright in The New Yorker writes about the Israeli incursion into the Gaza Strip nearly eleven months ago, talking to Palestinians, Israelis and aid workers. Political context combined with incredibly saddening everyday civilian life.
posted by smoke on Nov 4, 2009 - 45 comments

The Bride Who Crawled Through a Tunnel

"Gaza Love Story: The Bride Who Crawled Through a Tunnel" "He lived in the Gaza Strip, she in the West Bank. It seemed as though the Israeli blockade would prevent their marriage. Then May risked her life to crawl through a smugglers' tunnel into Gaza and join Mohammed. Now they face an uncertain future together."
posted by shetterly on Oct 7, 2009 - 14 comments

i think plastered skulls is a pretty cool guy. eh sits in the dirt and doesn't afraid of anything

Plastered Skulls! In the Middle East in the early Neolithic, one common burial practice involved digging up a previously-buried body, removing the skull, and using plaster over the skull itself to sculpt an image of the face of the deceased. Many seem to think these skulls were made as a form of ancestor-worship, but some disagree. Three such skulls were discovered a little over a year ago at Yiftah’el, in the lower Galilee. Here's a short article about the find. Here's a brief overview of prehistoric and early historic art, which features a really swell picture of a plastered skull.
posted by Greg Nog on Sep 29, 2009 - 11 comments

Are Peace Negotiations in the Cards?

Are Peace Negotiations hosted by Russia and France in the cards? Today, President Obama is meeting with Israeli PM Netanyahu and the Palestian Authority's Abbas and then hosting a three-way meeting with both leaders. Officially all parties claim they have "low expectations." [more inside]
posted by Ironmouth on Sep 22, 2009 - 38 comments

A Palestinian Hebrew of Jewish origins

The first Jewish member of the Revolutionary Council of Fatah talks about a unique political journey.
as the small number of white members of the ANC widened its legitimacy during the apartheid era in South Africa, other Jews can be attracted to participate in Fatah, transforming it into a broader-based movement that stands for equal rights for both Arabs and Jews in a federated state.
Uri Davis whose motto is Against Israeli Apartheid — for Freedom and Justice in Palestine.
posted by adamvasco on Aug 23, 2009 - 82 comments

Palestinian musician expelled from West Bank

Wafa Younis is an Arab Israeli musician who organised a youth orchestra in the Jenin refugee camp. She recently brought her orchestra to play for Holocaust survivors at an Israeli old age home. The performance was strongly criticised by Palestinians as a hostile political act. Now the orchestra has been disbanded, its performance space sealed, and Ms Younis has been expelled from the West Bank. [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Apr 2, 2009 - 49 comments

A chance for a Middle East peace

Syria Calling: The Obama Administration’s chance to engage in a Middle East peace.
posted by homunculus on Mar 30, 2009 - 17 comments

"We Should Kill Everyone There"

IDF in Gaza: Killing civilians, vandalism, and lax rules of engagement. "During Operation Cast Lead, Israeli forces killed Palestinian civilians under permissive rules of engagement and intentionally destroyed their property, say soldiers who fought in the offensive." Can Israel dismiss its own troops' stories from Gaza? [Via]
posted by homunculus on Mar 19, 2009 - 106 comments

Digital Archaeological Atlas of the Holy Land

The Digital Archaeological Atlas of the Holy Land is a comprehensive spatially-referenced database of current archaeological knowledge of all periods of Levantine history and prehistory. Spatial search is a good entry point, as are the Palestine Exploration Fund historic maps. You can also search by time period or dig into the many ancient Empires of the area. Or just look at everything in the database. The site is a work in progress, but a cool one powered by a consortium of over 30 professional archaeologists. May require Google Maps. via
posted by Rumple on Mar 3, 2009 - 4 comments

Historical Maps of Jerusalem and the Middle East

Holy Land Maps and Ancient Maps of Jerusalem both showcase parts of Eran Laor Cartographic Collection. Both collectiona can be browsed by cartographer and date. Here are some of my favorite maps: 1497 perspective map of Jerusalem, Jacotin's 1818 map of Nazareth, Jordan and Acre, 1685 perspective map of Jerusalem, 1482 Ptolemy of the Middle East, 1751 map of Egypt, Arabia and the Middle East and 1928 perspective map of Jerusalem (complete with Hebrew guide). [Another part of The Eran Laor Cartographic Collection previously on MetaFilter]
posted by Kattullus on Mar 2, 2009 - 5 comments

For Thirty Euros, A Palestinian Artist Will Tag The West Bank Wall For You

For €30, a Palestinian artist will tag the West Bank wall for you.
posted by Fiasco da Gama on Feb 25, 2009 - 36 comments

Casualty of War

The Gaza Doctor. Dr. Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish is a Palestinian doctor, trained in Israel, educated at Harvard and King's College. He worked at Palestinian and Israeli hospitals, and gave commentary on Israeli TV about the medical crises facing Gazans. His life changed just days before withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza strip.

Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) concluded its investigations of the incident, admitted responsibility, and in part, ascribes blame to Hamas. The University of Toronto has offered Abu al-Aish a teaching position. He remains uncertain about his future .
posted by terranova on Feb 23, 2009 - 42 comments

Hampshire Divests from Israel?

Did Hampshire College Become the First to Divest from Israel? It is being reported that Hampshire has divested from 6 corporations that provide Israel with military equipment and services in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza. Students for Justice in Palestine claim success. But the University claims that the decision had "nothing to do with Israel." This move is being hailed as a landmark victory by the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign which calls on "people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era."
posted by lunit on Feb 17, 2009 - 45 comments

Is [Israel + Palestine=Isratine] > [Israel / Palestine]?

Israel + Palestine = Isratine? Or so it should be, Libyan leader Qaddafi argues, promoting the one-state solution. While he is not the first to raise the one-state solution, it is a bold proposal, particularly so soon after the widely-condemned Israeli atrocities in Gaza.
posted by Azaadistani on Jan 22, 2009 - 135 comments

How To Make A Rocket.

A Gaza journalist shows us how homemade rockets are made. More from Zouheir Alnajjar.
posted by gman on Jan 16, 2009 - 46 comments

a moment of great courage

Palestinian girl, Israeli soldier. It made me remember 1989 Tiananmen Square Protests.
posted by shetterly on Jan 6, 2009 - 451 comments

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