Rampages by ISIL targetting tourists badly damaged tourism in Arab North Africa. But as the only ‘white’ country/ democracy in the Middle East Israelis are upset that their country too is a violent destination because of its treatment of Palestinians. Asa Winstanley on Israel’s drop in tourism and reputation.
If hostility to Muslims is the main recruiting sergeant for ISIL then Trump’s victory has handed the jihadists a gift. Why should they stay in a country where they are clearly not wanted? While Arab people enjoy Trump’s apparent straight-talking, most Arab rulers are horrified by his anti-Muslim, anti-US aid remarks.
It might seem obvious why Arabs across the MidEast would be hostile to Clinton, Israel’s steadfast friend. In fact that is not mentioned in this survey of opinion. She has some supporters but many prefer Trump who will, they hope, be more belligerent towards ISIL and not speak soft words while doing nothing.
If the aim of ISIL is to get maximum publicity for barbaric acts, they succeeded when acolytes cut the throat of the gentle French priest Jacques Hamel. Could the Catholic church be the first body to challenge ISIL morally – and win back French people to Catholic Christianity?
The French-British secret 1916 pact, nominally the Sykes-Picot agreement, cut up the MidEast into domains of direct rule and ‘influence’ by the two powers. Thus was a disaster created which has destroyed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Arab people. John Hilary asks us to remember.
In an essay for the LRB Adam Shatz analyses why he thinks ISIL has made its gains – and how President Hollande has helped them and jeopardised the safety of French Muslims. The ISIL campaign has little attraction for Palestinians who want their own nation-state. ISIL wants to abolish nation-states.
Disappointment and political alienation help push young Muslims into Daesh. In this essay from American Prospect Gershom Gorenberg warns Netanyahu to note the danger signs on his own doorstep. If he thinks Israel has Arab friends he is deluding himself about the centrality of Palestine in Arab opinion.
Contrary to the emphasis of this report by Robert Swift , polls show that the vast majority of Palestinians (82% -91%) do not support ISIL or want it to operate in their territory. The notion that the reverse is true comes from Israel whose leaders wish to portray the country as a victim of ISIL, for obvious reasons.
Some are quick to declare that Islam is at fault for those who kill in the name of Islam. That IS perhaps their view of what Islam commands . But religions are a great medley of different ideas, stories, examples. And what of the mass killers produced by white, once-Christian cultures? What do they invoke? Usually a grievance for their loss of status in a world where their white maleness should have made them masters.
Yet again, PM Netanyahu is strongly criticised by insisting the world thinks about Israel’s security as media, politicians and people focus on the Paris atrocities in which so far 129 people have died. He also likens the innocent victims of the Paris atrocities to Israel. Bad taste, poor judgment, egocentricity… Ma’an and Mondoweiss report.
Soon the state of Israel (and the oPt) will be wholly sealed against the neighbours. It has speeded up the building of a barrier against Jordan. Israelis and acceptable visitors will be able to get in and out by air. For everyone else it will be a massive, well-armed road-block against free movement in the region.
Many Palestinians have been able to leave the notorious Yarmouk refugee camp on the outskirts of Damascus, Syria after fighting broke out in 2013 and again with ISIL in April this year. Those without contacts, money, health, passports are still there – with little food and water, but with an outbreak of typhoid.
IN its now familiar flamboyant style Isil has declared it will ‘uproot’ the unIslamic tyrants of Gaza, i.e. Hamas, and has bombed several of their cars. The result is likely to be increased political intolerance in the Strip
Peace between Israel and Palestine is in the national security interest of the US says President Obama in this exclusive and sympathetic interview with Asharq Al-Awsat. He speaks of the ‘daily indignities’ of Palestinian life under the occupation and the tragedy of lives lost in the Mediterranean sea. He is strong on empathy, vague on how this goodwill can be put into effect.
It’s controversial but W.European countries, including the UK, accept asylum seekers from the militaristic regimes of Eritrea and Sudan. Not so in Israel; as Richard Silverstein reports, the Jewish state returns them to likely death at the hands of psychotic ISIL.
In a detailed article, Hassan Hassan asks why ISIL has again entered Yarmouk camp and identifies the shifting alliances and rifts amongst the many factions which are defending or trying to gain territory in the region. Hamas has joined in to repel ISIL, Ynet interviews Palestinians trapped in the camp.
It would be hard to imagine how life for the Palestinian refugees in Yarmouk camp, Damascus could get worse. But ISIL, with its penchant for killing other Muslims, has defied imagination and created mayhem in the camp with beheadings and sniper fire. At least 2000 have fled (to where?) .
The ISIS effect, or my enemy’s enemy is my friend: the US has been guaranteeing Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge since the 1960s. Now the US has a special relationship of enmity with Islamic State. IS’s many enemies – primarily other Muslims and all their states – become the US’s friends and urgently need the sort of armaments that only the US can provide. All change.
At a recent State department gathering, John Kerry remarked that Arab leaders had told him that the Israel-Palestine conflict was ‘a cause of recruitment [to ISIL] and of street anger and agitation’. Israeli politicians are lining up to shoot this messenger. It was classic Jew-blaming said Jewish Home’s leader – though whether he meant it was John Kerry or Arab leaders doing the blaming is not clear.
Oliver Miles, retired British ambassador, adds his voice to the proposal that the UK government should recognise Palestine as a state, ‘cashing in’ the goodwill the UK has earned with the US, and bringing along ‘the few remaining EU refuseniks’.