RSS Feeds
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil,    but because of the people who don't do anything about it    
Occupation magazine - Commentary

Home page  back Print  Send To friend

Mondoweiss--The War of Ideas in the Middle East
Mondoweis--January 2011--http://mondoweiss.net/2011/01
The War of Ideas in the Middle East

From the monthly archives:

January 2011
‘Our heroes in Egypt are not waiting for our children to dream…’
by annie on January 30, 2011 · 0 comments
Like 0 Retweet 0
Waseem Wagdi, Egyptian protester today, Egyptian Embassy London


(Inaudible chanting in background)

Wagdi: Today we are here I think for two reasons.

We`re here to show solidarity with the Heroes of the streets of Egypt. We`re here to show solidarity with the Prisoners of Egypt. We`re here to show solidarity with the Workers who declared an open strike and a sit-in until bringing down the regime of Mubarak.

And we are here to celebrate, celebrate a new dawn A new dawn for the Egyptian people A New dawn for freedom, a new dawn, a new society in the whole region not in Egypt. This is something that every single human being who cares for freedom who wants to live in a more human society and a more humane society, has to celebrate. We are here to do this.

Interviewer: (inaudible)

Wagdi: It`s something... I had hoped against all hope to happen in my lifetime...and I had hoped and I think with millions of people.... that our children will live in a more human society but this society we have lucky enough that the heroes in Egypt are making today.. they are not waiting for our children to dream they are bringing all of our dreams true today. In Suez, in the factories in the Tahrir (inaudible) the biggest square in the Arab world is being liberated today from this regime.

Interviewer: (inaudible)

Wagdi: I can`t hear you

Interviewer: (inaudible)

Wagdi: I am proud to be an Egyptian today. I can say this and I`m proud of all Egyptians today. I`m proud of the masses who are cleansing Egypt of that hurt of the criminals who have been oppressing us. I`m proud of all the Egyptians who are cleansing themselves of all remnants of fear, of... I`m proud of an Egyptian people and of the masses who collectively and singly have raised their heads up high and no one, no one will bring it down again, no one

Interviewer: (inaudible)

Wagdi: No one

Interviewer: (inaudible) something to the people of Egypt today what would that be?

Wagdi: I have to say in Arabic first (speaks in Arabic to the people in Egypt) I I call on you, I call upon you out there (inaudible/background voice in crowd: `I love you Egypt!`) the task under your feet...I say this to the masses of Egypt who are the Heroes today...

........

If anyone can offer the Arabic verse and english translation of Mr. Wagdi`s words to the people of Egypt this would be greatly appreciated. We will edit the text accordingly.

My hope is that Mr. Wagdi`s words reach not only the brave masses of Egyptians but everyone the world over, for this is truly a call for freedom and solidarity.

My dream is that freedom will come for all those who have suffered and waited so long in sumud.

I believe in freedom.

{ 0 comments }

‘Muslims, Christians we are all Egyptians’: Scenes from a revolution as told by one eyewitness
by Parvez Sharma on January 29, 2011 · 33 comments
Like 413 Retweet 14

A cross-section of Cairo residents formed a human chain on Saturday to help guard Egyptian antiquities at a national museum. (Photo: Khaled Desouki/Agence France-Presse via The Lede)
My friend Yousry is in his late twenties. He and his wife would be considered affluent because they live in Zamalek. But like so many others, because all barriers of class have fallen away—he has been on the streets for the last 48 hours. He just returned home in Zamalek after patrolling the streets of the neighborhood with his prized Syrian sword that used to just hang up as souvenir in their living room. He had never thought he would have to take it off the wall and actually try to use it to defend his neighbors and his family. He did like to show it off at our late night parties in his apartment.

I have spent the last half an hour with him talking from his landline at home. This is his powerful account un-edited by me of each and every moment of the last 48 hours as he experienced it. For a moment I wished that he was live on air on Al-Jazeera or CNN saying all of this—but then I realized that it is better for him to talk to a trusted friend and he perhaps would not say all of this to mainstream news media hungry for sound-bites. I am not going to provide his phone number or his real name to any journalists. He needs to get up in the morning, if he can sleep tonight and go back out.

To me what he describes is more powerful than anything I have heard on television with the endless parade of pundits or the unfortunate tendency of even Al-Jazeera (which is doing some great reportage, no doubt) to have their reporters climb up high in tall buildings to show us wide shots of the immensity of the Egyptian revolution. Yousry is one of those citizens in the middle of the chaos who reporters are not talking to as much as they need to.

Here he is in his own words, un-edited and certainly not talking in soundbites. (I have spent some time cleaning up my hurried note taking and as much grammar/punctuation corrections I could make to that). His voice sounds very hoarse-I feel guilty but press him on anyway. It sounds like he has inhaled way too much smoke and tear-gas.

Me: Yousry how are you and please if its not asking too much can you just start talking about everything you saw and are feeling. Pretend that you are on my couch or something and that I am some New York shrink.

Y: Ha Ha! That is funny. OK here goes. BTW I am having some Scotch now. I think I need it Yaani. I was in the protest all day yesterday and I started at 6th of October bridge—you remember? You were here so many times—it’s just a short walk from Zamalek?

Me: Of course I remember and btw yesterday all day the Al Jazeera reporter had his cameraperson focused on the bridge-so we basically saw it all live. He had a running commentary throughout.

Y: Ha Ha! He should have come down and talked to us Yaani. But I am glad that they showed it to the world. I have had no time to watch TV. It’s a luxury—you can either stay at home and get drunk and stare at the TV or you can join everybody out there!I was shocked at how diverse the turnout was. There were so many people from Zamalek and you know how people from Zamalek usually are.

Me: Ha! Like drinking and having all night parties?

Y: Yes yalla! No one from the Ikhwan was there or any of the organized political parties. It was about 1:30 pm or so I think. Even if any of us picked up a rock to throw at the police everyone yelled Selmya! Selmya (*Selmya is peaceful) and Parvez believe me that till before this bastard gave his speech yesterday that was the word I heard most often on the streets. We were peaceful till 4 or 4:30 I think. Then these police fuckers started shooting these pellets and it suddenly became very difficult to control the injured protesters or their friends. I think the violence must have started around 5 pm--I was not keeping track of time—was not wearing my watch and phone was in my pocket, not working anyway

Me: Were you hit?

Y: Almost but Inshaallah it just went by me. And then these guys pretty close to me and hurt started throwing molotovs. I didn’t even know till then that they had them. They started stopping cars…

M: And the police?

Y: You must understand this…its important because its been a mix of these thugs and cops since yesterday—most of the thug types who are doing most of the attacks are prisoners who have been released by that bastard Mubarak in return for their services to beat up civilians

Me: And the army?

Y: Till then there was no army—and then when finally they came and people cheered this one tank—it looked liked they were hesitant to use force. I actually came back home after the violence started—just walked back on 6th of October past these guys setting a police van on fire. I have a wife, family to think of.

[read the full article…]
{ 33 comments }

Close U.S. ally and new Egyptian VP Soliman ‘keeps the domestic beasts at bay’
by Alex Kane on January 29, 2011 · 10 comments
Like 15 Retweet 4
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has appointed Omar Soliman, the country`s head of intelligence, as vice president in Mubarak`s first big move following continuous days of protest that are threatening to end his regime. But Soliman`s appointment will not placate the Egyptian demonstrators--Democracy Now! producer Sharif Abdel Kouddos, who is on the ground in Egypt, reports that Egyptians have begun `chanting against Omar Suleiman.`

Cables written by U.S. diplomats released by WikiLeaks over the past two months point to why Soliman`s appointment is looked at with disdain by Egyptians: he is extremely close to President Mubarak and the United States. Furthermore, Soliman is closely linked with the U.S. `extraordinary rendition` program, in which the CIA abducted suspected terror suspects and sent them to U.S. allies to be tortured, as well as a key player in Egyptian policy towards the Palestinians, according to various WikiLeaks cables.

A dispatch written in 2006 from the U.S. embassy in Cairo reports that Soliman `wields enormous influence over national security policy and is known to have the full confidence of Mubarak.` A 2007 cable titled `Presidential Succession in Egypt` similarly notes that Soliman`s `loyalty to Mubarak seems rock solid,` and raises Soliman as a potential successor to Mubarak.

U.S. officials see Soliman as an indispensable ally in the region, and hold meetings with him regularly. Cables released by WikiLeaks show that Soliman met with Admiral Michael Mullen in April 2009; Congressional delegations in January 2008 and May 2008; and with General David Petraeus in July 2009.

Tellingly, a May 2009 cable classified by the U.S. ambassador to Egypt says that `EGIS Chief Omar Soliman and Interior Minister al-Adly keep the domestic beasts at bay, and Mubarak is not one to lose sleep over their tactics.` These tactics, as outlined in various reports written by human rights organizations, include arbitrary detention, torture a clampdown on political dissidence.

[read the full article…]
{ 10 comments }

The Egyptian revolution threatens an American-imposed order of Arabophobia and false choices
by Philip Weiss on January 29, 2011 · 173 comments
Like 624 Retweet 37
I`m thrilled by what I see in the Cairo streets, but when I turn on American television I see only grim faces. Robert Gibbs looked frightened during his long-delayed press briefing yesterday afternoon, he stumbled and didn`t know what to say. Obama`s comments last night were equivocal and opaque: I`m with Mubarak, for now. This feels like Obama`s 9/11-- the day Arabs blindsided a president.

I`d thought this is what he wanted for the Arab world: democracy! But the market dropped, and the cable shows teem with mistrust of the Arab street. The talking heads can`t stop going about the Islamists. Chris Matthews cried out against the Muslim Brotherhood and shouted, Who is our guy here?-- as if the U.S. has a role to play on the streets. While his guest Marc Ginsberg, a former ambassador to Morocco whose work seems to be dedicated to finding the few good Arabs out there, said that forces outside Egypt are funding the revolt-- an insulting statement, given the homegrown flavor of everything we`ve seen; and when Matthews pressed him, Ginsberg said, Hamas... Iran.

Matthews`s other interpreter was Howard Fineman. Why aren`t there more Arab-Americans on US television? I give PBS credit for gathering Mary-Jane Deeb and Samer Shehata (along with the inevitable Steven Cook of CFR) to speak of the real political demands of the protesters (and not galloping Islamism!)-- but when CNN aired Mona Eltahawy saying that the protesters are not violent, the moderator stomped on her and said, what about those burning vehicles?

As if eastern Europe changed without similar destruction.

So racism against Arabs is shutting down the American mind once again. And my friends turn to Al Jazeera English to get the soul of the story: these events are electrifying to Arabs everywhere, a heroic mobilization. And not only to Arabs. When ElBaradei says, I salute the youth for overturning a pharaonic power, lovers of human freedom everywhere must be thrilled. We are seeing a dictator dissolve before our eyes. These are the events we cherished in history books and Shakespeare; so let us embrace the Egyptian movement.

Why is America so afraid?

[read the full article…]
{ 173 comments }

Egyptians believe Mubarak instigated looting to show only he can protect them from chaos
by Parvez Sharma on January 29, 2011 · 37 comments
Like 130 Retweet 9
Editor: We are deeply grateful to Pulse for posting Parvez Sharma`s piece while our site was down all morning.

American television networks and an endless parade of mostly white men pundits (brought out and dusted off with their cobwebs) should take lessons from Al-Jazeera in live reportage, in not having pundits talk over the chants of a mass of humanity, in having Arab reporters covering what they know best, in remarkably evocative and courageous camerawork and in just being able to cover history like no other television network has ever been able to do before. And yes, I also mean that CNN during the first Gulf War was not as good as this.

It is so important to remember that the vast MAJORITY of those on the streets around the country do not have the time, the ability, the resources (including smartphones) and certainly no access to working mobile phone service. This revolution is JUST NOT BEING TWITTERED by the people who are actually protesting.

The only people tweeting are either reporters with huge bureaus and live cameras to back them or people like me reporting from the cyber-frontlines talking to the few friends in Cairo we can reach on their landlines.

To tweet this revolution and Egypt’s complex back-story in 140 characters or less is impossible.

Interestingly Al-Jazeera which is doing a stellar job is also more interested in covering the revolution (amazingly) in what is essentially wide-shots to show the extent of the chaos. Ayman’s camera is focused on the thousands in Tahrir. Not many correspondents are able to get to neighborhoods like Rihab, Mohandasin, Zamalek, Maadi—which cyber-reporters/tweeters like me are able to do by talking only on landlines (mobiles are not working) to our friends—ordinary citizens. Hopefully this below, is an example of that.

[read the full article…]
{ 37 comments }

Over 100 dead so far during the Egyptian revolution, is the world watching?
by Seham on January 29, 2011 · 19 comments
Like 83 Retweet 3



Here is a livestream of several twitter accounts from people who are sharing on the ground reports:

Real-Time Conversation140
Tag Your Tweet:Quick Tweet:@parvezsharma@ajelive@ajenglish@bencnn@sharifkouddous@justimage@mondoweiss insert
Viewing: Jan28EmbedShareAuto Update
1 new Tweet...
Oops! Sorry, but the tags you chose did not yield any tweets.
Try another search. sharifkouddous3 minutes agoPeople wave and hold up victory signs whenever the helicopter flies low overhead #Egyptbencnn6 minutes agoMy neighbourhood patrol has put out bars, concrete blocks across road. All cars stopped, IDs checked. Occasional gunfire. #Jan25 #Egyptbencnn9 minutes agoCairo airport departures a mess. Long delays and cancellations. Arrival hall, on the other hand, quiet. #Jan25 #Egyptsharifkouddous10 minutes agoTahrir is packed. Crowd has swelled. Jets keep passing overhead. Mood is celebratory. Chanting for Mubarak to get out. #Egyptsharifkouddous12 minutes agoPeople are chanting: `where are the journalists?` #Egyptbencnn20 minutes agoDeep resentment of regime police true for all countries of Middle East. when the people rise up, police pay the price. Beware. #Jan25 #Egyptsharifkouddous20 minutes agoFighter jets and helicopter flying low keep making passes over the square. Jets incredibly loud. #Egyptsharifkouddous28 minutes agoTwo jet fighters just flew overhead #EgyptAJEnglish28 minutes agoAlJazeera Audio Update: http://audioboo.fm/boos/265876-aljazeera-s-update-3
less more

FAQ | Login to Twitter
Logout of Twitter


And more news from Today in Palestine:

[read the full article…]
{ 19 comments }

Some brought their children out in the streets, others threw food down to the protesters
by Ali Gharib on January 29, 2011 · 1 comment
Like 7 Retweet 0
Ali Gharib posted the following notes from Cairo/June 28 at Lobelog.

The following is a set of edited notes from a conversation between myself and IPS’s correspondent in Egypt, Emad Mekay, who was filing dispatches for LobeLog until the Internet went down. He was on the streets of downtown Cairo today until just after the curfew, when he returned home and we chatted by phone.

Slow-building protests started out with diverse crowds, including children

From the morning on, the number of protesters was increasing by the hour. Immediately after Friday morning Prayers at Sixth of October City, a suburb of Cairo, 3,000 people were out in the streets. By afternoon prayers, the number doubled. In the crowd there were many women, some with kids in tow.

[read the full article…]
{ 1 comment }

As night falls in Egypt families begin looking for missing loved ones
by Parvez Sharma on January 28, 2011 · 17 comments
Like 30 Retweet 2
I have been blogging, texting, skyping, twittering, gmail-chatting, fb-chatting for 72 hours now. I have not slept. I do not intend to-- as long as my many friends-- are out there in the streets of Cairo not daring to sleep either.

Now I am getting messages from folks who have missing relatives in Cairo’s chaos.

FB friend: My sister-in-law has a sister in Egypt, her sisters husband went out to protest & has not been seen in almost 36 hours. There has been no word from him & police claim to not know where he is. She has asked me to pass this along to you, she does not want to post it on her page because she is afraid that they will retaliate against her sister & other relatives there. His name is Maram Eid he is 29 years old, he is 5 feet 8 inches tall, he was last wearing jeans, a black shirt, & a brown jacket with a patch sewn on it, the patch is of the Egyptian flag. He is married & has a 3 month old son. He is a graduate of the University of Alexandria.

Me: Can i use the real names?

FB friend: From what I know yes you can. They have asked several other family members if Maram has been seen & no one has seen him. I know Maram & there is no way he would ever up & leave with no word. No one knows where he is, & the police told the wife`s father & Maram`s father that they have no information on him & told them to leave or they would be arrested. My sister-in-law & brother attempted to get into Egypt but were informed that no flights were entering or leaving. I am not sure if this is true or not. I myself am scared for Maram & my in-laws.

FB friend: The patch on his jacket is about the size of a 3x5 flashcard, & it is on his right upper shoulder of the jacket.

I have tweeted this out into the ether. Please do re-tweet so we can find him?

#Egypt #Jan25 Missing. 36 hours. Maram Eid. 29. 5 8 jeans, black shirt w/egyptian flag patch Has 3 mth old son Contact me @parvezsharma to reach his family

This below is a timeline of my tweets from the last five or six hours--it serves I hope as a very good indicator and timeline of how exactly things have unfolded. I have tried very hard to only tweet/write on current and accurate information. Forgive me if I have made any mistakes.

I have tried hard over the last few hours to not be emotional and just be clinical. I have not succeeded. (Maybe this is why I left TV news journalism, many years ago)

The top and most recent tweet is one of the main reasons why the ouster of Hosni Mubarak is so personal for me.

Text from survivor of #Cairo52 profiled in #ajihadforlove. He was raped and tortured by #Mubarak thugs I HOPE HE DIES TONIGHT #Egypt #Jan25

[read the full article…]
{ 17 comments }

Israel and its American friends want to stop the Egyptian ‘earthquake’
by Alex Kane on January 28, 2011 · 30 comments
Like 29 Retweet 5
The Israeli government and its many friends in the U.S. media are rushing to support the brutal Mubarak dictatorship as it copes with the most serious challenge to its rule.

As I noted yesterday, Israel is worried about a reliable ally being toppled next door. The Israeli government recently told journalists that there is “an earthquake in the Middle East … but we believe the Egyptian regime is strong enough and that Egypt is going to overcome the current wave of demonstrations.”

M.J. Rosenberg reports on “AIPAC’s Egypt miscalculation” at Media Matters.

Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic joins the lobby’s misgivings about the uprising in Egypt here:

Fifty years of peace has meant propping up dictators for fifty years.

3) Is that such a bad thing? Friends of mine like Reuel Gerecht believe that Arabs, given their druthers, might choose Islamist governments, and that would be okay, because it’s part of a long-term process of gradual modernization. I’m not so sure. I support democratization, but the democratization we saw in Gaza (courtesy of, among others, Condi Rice) doesn’t seem particularly worth it.

Lee Smith, a neoconservative at the Hudson Institute, laments in the Weekly Standard that Gamal Abdel Nasser “owns the affections of the Egyptian masses”:

That is to say, we don’t know exactly what the protestors want. There are those who hate the regime because it jails and tortures bloggers and those who hate it because it won’t make war on Israel. No doubt some of the young are just fed up they have never known another Egyptian ruler in their lifetimes. Some of the youth are democrats and others are decidedly not.

It is not always a good thing when people go to the streets; indeed the history of revolutionary action shows that people go to the streets to shed blood more often than they do to demand democratic reforms. Perhaps it is an appetite for activist politics that explains why so many Western observers are now captured by the moment. Otherwise, it would be hard to explain why it seems as if no one had learned from the failures of the Bush administration’s freedom agenda—namely the Palestinian Authority elections that empowered Hamas—or could remember its successes. The Iraqis and Lebanese went to the streets, too, and our allies there are under pressure and ignored not only by the Obama administration, but also by a press corps and intelligentsia that mostly seems just fascinated by the spectacle of Arabs throwing themselves against a wall, regardless of the outcome.

The posture of Goldberg and Smith is striking. They were certainly not airing such anti-democratic sentiments when the Iranian “Green Revolution” was going on. But now that a revolt is threatening a pillar of the U.S./Israeli order in the Middle East, an order that is suffocating the people of Palestine, their zest for democracy fizzles. This will be noted.

Alex Kane blogs on Israel/Palestine and Islamophobia in the U.S. here, where this post originally appeared. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

{ 30 comments }

Egypt is burning and most western pundits have no idea why
by Parvez Sharma on January 28, 2011 · 73 comments
Like 392 Retweet 16

Egyptian forces attack praying protesters.
Cairo is burning. So is Egypt. Twitter is exploding. Everyone seems to have an opinion—many who do have never even been to Egypt but feel a strong sense of solidarity with the most remarkable revolution in a generation, perhaps. A revolution which importantly is not really caused by Twitter or by Facebook—as much as the self congratulatory social networking types in the West would like to believe.

Full disclosure: Sleepless but still sitting in relative comfort in my Manhattan apartment I am one of those relentless tweeters. However my obsession stems from a long love and association with Egypt and the presence of way too many friends who have jumped into the chaos not really knowing what consequences their actions might have for themselves or their friends and families.

I must also be clear. At this point, on this the longest Egyptian night in a generation, perhaps longer—most Western self professed Islam/Middle East and other assorted pundits have no clue about the harsh reality of Egyptian life. Many have probably never taken a walk down Mashriet Nasser, the largest slum in Cairo. This is why the do not realize that this “revolution” is not about social networking and its success. The majority of the 80 million people of Egypt live in abject poverty. They do not even have cell-phones let alone smartphones like the iPhone or the Droid. They go to kiosks to make calls. A pretty substantial number of them have NEVER used the internet and do not have email accounts: the complicated mechanisms of self-promotion and information gathering and sharing on social networks is not a part of their lives—they have never had the money or the resources to get access to this other world which often lives in the relatively more affluent neighborhoods like Zamalek or Garden City or Mohandaseen—all within some walking distance of where the dissent started in Tahrir Square.

The majority of the protesters in Cairo, in Suez, in Alexandria, in Luxor, in Mahla, in Manoura and all over this ancient land which is the very heart of what it means to be Arab—are not “twittering” or “facebooking” or “emailing” or even watching the landmark live coverage that Al-Jazeera is providing. They are out on the streets—and yes, without phone access—risking their lives and giving vent to three decades and perhaps more, of anger.

They are fighting for very basic human rights. They are fighting for affordable food. They are fighting for dignity. They are fighting for accountability. They are fighting to somehow improve the non-existent financial opportunities in their lives.

They are not interested in Mohamed AlBaradei’s Nobel prize or his rather recent and opportunist political ambitions. Most of them have not really seen him and have no idea of what he has been up to for the last three decades as they have suffered. They are angry that he decided to show up just last night and started posturing immediately as the potential savior and the best person to lead them into their uncertain future. Many here in the West would be surprised to know that a lot of these simple folk would actually prefer the “Muslim Brotherhood” taking over. Atleast they recognize the “Islam Light” the Brotherhood has honed to perfection after a pretty radical and conservative beginning with an idealogue like Banna.

My friend Fouad Hani though has had access to all of the above including a very nice smartphone. That has not deterred him from stepping out every night and after about six hours of trying I get him on the phone.

As always here are his primary bullet points unfiltered in his voice from a brief phone conversation (and yes, he has been dodging very real bullets today)

My beloved city is on fire. My country is on fire. But each one of us on the streets is also on fire
I am exhausted. Mobinil is down. So is Vodaphone. I have no idea what is happening beyond what I have seen myself. Facebook and Twitter seem like a joke right now
I live in Mohandaseen and decided not to go the big Mostafa Mahmood mosque near my house, because I know that “they” would be there.I went to pray at a smaller mosque. It was beautiful to pray. I had tears
But as soon as we stepped out they pelted us with tear gas and with tear gas canisters. We threw them back. But my hand got burnt
They tried to separate all of us as we walked towards Tahrir square
Police were throwing rocks at us
There are bruises and bumps all over my body
I saw two bodies on the ground in Tahrir. Like an animal I just kept on walking past them
We threw Molotov cocktails at the police
Is there a curfew Parvez? Really? I had no idea—it certainly did not look like a curfew when I was just walking home
Has Obama said anything? I don’t expect much from him anyway, this Mubarak is his “puppy”
Mubarak should go and share a room with that asshole Ben Ali in his Jiddah hotel! We were chanting that in Tahrir.
This is a joke. Btw can Obama find a working fucking phone in this country? I guess Mubarak’s phone is working rt?
Pray for us. [read the full article…]
{ 73 comments }

Following the news from Egypt: ‘We are saying enough of this regime! It is a corrupt regime!’
Like 32 Retweet 4by Adam Horowitz28 January 2011

@import “http://embed.tweetizen.com/embed.css”;

93 comments Clinton statement celebrates ‘civil society’ in Middle East
Like 32 Retweet 7by Philip Weiss28 January 2011

Combined Tactical Systems headquarters in Jamestown, PA flies the American and Israeli flags. The tear gas they produce was used in Tunisia, Egypt and the occupied territories. I think we should welcome Hillary Clinton’s statement on Egypt. She spoke of the tremendous grievances of the demonstrators and said Egypt must become a democracy. Most of [...]

43 comments Jewish settlers in occupation shoot two Palestinian youths, leaving one brain dead
Like 56 Retweet 3by Philip Weiss28 January 2011

Friday, January 28th 2011, 9am (report from Ahmed Oudeh of Palestine Project): Around 100 settlers from Bat Ayn settlement descended upon the Palestinian villages of Saffa and nearby Beit Ommar in the southern West Bank, shooting 17-year-old Yousef Fakhri Ikhlayl (left) in his head, leaving him critically injured. Doctors have announced that Yousef is currently [...]

11 comments Israeli forces blast peaceful protesters with sewage water in Bil’in today
Like 98 Retweet 5by Hamde Abu Rahme28 January 2011

[Photos by Hamde Abu Rahma] A resident of Bil’in was wounded and dozens of residents, peace activists, and individuals wishing to show solidarity suffered severe teargas inhalation today. This was due to extensive tear gas use in clashes resulting from the Israeli occupation forces suppression of the weekly demonstration march against the wall and settlements [...]

4 comments We live in times where the power is coming to back the people
Like 16 Retweet 1by Lina Al-Sharif28 January 2011
Glued to my laptop, unable to unfix my eyes to anything but Twitter and Facebook, every bundle of tweets matters, the revolution in Egypt IS the history in the making nowadays. Being dehumanized and terrorized on daily basis is something both Egyptians and Palestinians can relate to. Palestinians in Gaza, in particular, have been directly [...]

18 comments The road to Jerusalem leads through Tunis and Cairo
Like 55 Retweet 2by Philip Weiss28 January 2011
The neoconservatives told us that the road to Jerusalem lay through Baghdad. They meant that invading Iraq and installing a democracy there would lead to peace in Israel and Palestine. The way they imagined that peace was a neocolonial landgrab: a greater Israel with portions of the West Bank amalgamated by Jordan. Still, that is [...]

52 comments Tunisia spirit hits Kentucky
Like 17 Retweet 1by Philip Weiss28 January 2011
Everyone knows about this already, sorry, it came out yesterday: the new senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul, son of Ron Paul, has done the unimaginable and said that the U.S. should cut aid to Israel because we have a financial crisis. Notice everyone piling on in this Haaretz piece, from J Street saying the idea [...]

28 comments #Jan28: This revolution will not be tweeted?
Like 29 Retweet 2by Parvez Sharma28 January 2011
Hosni Mubarak is 82 years old. He has been Egypt’s absolute ruler for three decades. He is America’s biggest ally in the Middle East. He has probably never really learnt how to use a computer. I cannot imagine that he tweets or even fully comprehends how this most omnipresent of social networks works. His restive [...]

6 comments Washington ‘ecosystem’ on Israel is shifting– Beinart signs on with Walt & Mearsheimer
Like 9 Retweet 3by Philip Weiss28 January 2011
An important signal of the shift inside the Jewish community (too little too late but still a shift): excellent reporting by Adam Kredo in Washington Jewish Week on the letter to Obama calling on him not to veto a UN Security Council resolution condemning settlements. Among the signatories are liberal Zionist Peter Beinart and Jim [...]

10 comments Brooklyn College’s claim that it fired Petersen-Overton for insufficient credentials doesn’t hold up
Like 1 Retweet 2by Philip Weiss28 January 2011
Great piece by Justin Elliott at Salon reporting the sequence of events in Kristofer J. Petersen-Overton’s firing by Brooklyn College this week. Petersen-Overton is now unemployed, the grad student says charitably, because of the school’s “fear of controversy.” Here’s a petition to sign on Petersen-Overton’s behalf, blasting the “ille­git­i­mate actions and bor­der­line incom­pe­tence” of Brooklyn [...]

6 comments ‘LA Times’ piece says Erekat, Abbas and Qurei are colonial pawns
Like 5 Retweet 1by Philip Weiss28 January 2011
Yesterday the LA Times ran this stunning op-ed by Saree Makdisi on the Palestine Papers; stunning because an American newspaper is platforming the right of return, and the view that the Palestinian Authority is a collaborationist authority. I have more sympathy for Qurei and Erekat than Makdisi does, I see their struggle in the papers [...]

2 comments Egypt shuts down the internet on eve of protest as the world community gathers
Like 731 Retweet 21by Philip Weiss27 January 2011
Raw video from the Associated Press Issandr El-Amrani reports that the internet has been shut down in Egypt as of 1 in the morning before the big demo. And not long after a horrifying AP video went up of a man being shot (above), and of shotgun shells in the streets. Where is Obama? Mohammed [...]

25 comments A prayer for Egypt
Like 121 Retweet 10by Seham27 January 2011
Pride, I’ve never been more proud to be Arab than I am now. Growing up in this country, I have always heard or been told to my face, “You Arabs are lazy, you Arabs are backwards, you can’t do anything for yourselves, you just want handouts from the U.S., you want to blame all of [...]

16 comments Biden: see no good, hear no good, speak no good
Like 55 Retweet 3by Philip Weiss27 January 2011
Joe Biden doesn’t know what to say, on the PBS News Hour, except that Mubarak is not a dictator. As somebody said on twitter, when you shut down twitter, that makes you a dictator. Biden can’t spit out the word democracy, let alone embrace it. He looks bought and clueless. JOE BIDEN: Look, Mubarak has [...]

16 comments Ahmed Moor reporting from Cairo: ‘I was tired, but not more tired than the people who have waited 30 years for the opportunity to breathe’
Like 5 Retweet 2by Ahmed Moor27 January 2011
Ahmed Moor has a stirring piece about his experience in the Egyptian protests on the Al Jazeera website. Here is an excerpt: There still were no people in the streets. And I bristled at the looks the security apparatus wore. They gloated and joked and I grew depressed and more frustrated. Where were the Egyptians? Where [...]

5 comments In ’09 Obama lectured Cairo about his commitment to democracy
Like 1 Retweet 2by Philip Weiss27 January 2011
Obama speaking at Cairo University on June 4, 2009, his famous speech to the Muslim world:

3 comments State Dep’t says democracy is OK for Tunisia but not Egypt because of Israel
Like 334 Retweet 12by Philip Weiss27 January 2011
Thanks to Pulse, here is a wonderful interview of State Dep’t spokesman P.J. Crowley by Shihab Rattansi of Al Jazeera that shows why Obama talked about Tunisian democracy in the State of the Union but said nothing about democracy in Egypt. At about 5:40 Rattansi asks Crowley why the U.S. with all its leverage over [...]

15 comments The Egyptian intifada and what it may mean for Israel/Palestine
Like 33 Retweet 4by Alex Kane27 January 2011
The Egyptian uprising against the Mubarak regime is historic and important in its own right. But it may also lead to significant changes in the region that could be positive for the Palestinian cause. Israel is worried about a reliable ally being toppled next door. The Mubarak dictatorship is a core pillar of the U.S./Israeli [...]

Links to the latest articles in this section

European leaders said to implore Netanyahu not to advance annexation
Israelis, drop your denial and recognize the Nakba (includes reactions to `Neither Intractable nor Unique`)
For a new political imagination, Israeli Jews must unlearn Zionism