Palestinian leaders distort the significance of the Nakba, with serious consequences

Speaking about the Nakba requires more than a methodical approach that is confined to history. In a statement released on the eve of the annual commemoration, Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) secretary general Saeb Erekat demanded both an apology from Israel, as well as access to the 1948 archives. “This,” he said, “would show their own nation the truth of what was done to our people, including its ethnic cleansing policies and the policy of shooting to kill Palestinians who attempted to return home.” According to Wafa news agency, Erekat also declared the Nakba as being “symbolised in our exile and the systematic denial of our rights.” While all of these premises are true, they also conceal the obvious. Palestinian leaders […]

Israel’s regional military hegemony has been reduced, say analysts

Israel’s military hegemony in the Middle East has been reduced as its regional rivals’ capabilities have risen up the ranking of the top military powers in the world, Global Firepower analysts have reported. Israel has dropped from 11 to 15 while every major country in the Middle East has gone up in the annual table compiled by the website. The military capabilities of 127 countries were compared, based on 50 factors, including manpower, the size of the country, the diversity and amount of weaponry, geographical position and natural resources. The ratings also took into account whether or not a country is an actual or a suspected nuclear power. With Israel dropping four places, Iran, Egypt and Turkey went up the […]

Israel’s regional military hegemony has been reduced, say analysts

Israel’s military hegemony in the Middle East has been reduced as its regional rivals’ capabilities have risen up the ranking of the top military powers in the world, Global Firepower analysts have reported. Israel has dropped from 11 to 15 while every major country in the Middle East has gone up in the annual table compiled by the website. The military capabilities of 127 countries were compared, based on 50 factors, including manpower, the size of the country, the diversity and amount of weaponry, geographical position and natural resources. The ratings also took into account whether or not a country is an actual or a suspected nuclear power. With Israel dropping four places, Iran, Egypt and Turkey went up the […]

Israeli minister reveals ‘secret talks’ with Arab countries

Israel’s Minister of Regional Cooperation and Acting Minister of Communications revealed on Tuesday that there are “secret talks and relations” with Arab countries apart from Jordan and Egypt, Safa news agency reported on Tuesday. Tzachi Hanegbi made his comments to Saudi news website Elaph.com and reminded the interviewer that his country has peace treaties with those two neighbouring states. “There are secret talks and relationships [with Arab countries],” he explained, “but these countries have not announced this.” Although the media speculates about this, he added, it is best to “leave things as they are” and not speak about the issue at the moment. When asked about the forthcoming visit of US President Donald Trump to Israel later this month, Hanegbi […]

Israeli minister reveals ‘secret talks’ with Arab countries

Israel’s Minister of Regional Cooperation and Acting Minister of Communications revealed on Tuesday that there are “secret talks and relations” with Arab countries apart from Jordan and Egypt, Safa news agency reported on Tuesday. Tzachi Hanegbi made his comments to Saudi news website Elaph.com and reminded the interviewer that his country has peace treaties with those two neighbouring states. “There are secret talks and relationships [with Arab countries],” he explained, “but these countries have not announced this.” Although the media speculates about this, he added, it is best to “leave things as they are” and not speak about the issue at the moment. When asked about the forthcoming visit of US President Donald Trump to Israel later this month, Hanegbi […]

Kidney of Iraqi soldier stolen while in government hospital in Baghdad

Iraqi Defence Minister Irfan Al-Hayali ordered yesterday for the opening of an investigation into an Iraqi soldier’s claim that he had his kidney stolen when he was admitted to government hospital in Baghdad in 2014, Turkish Anadolu reported. The Iraqi soldier, identified as Raed Asi Shakeer, was admitted to the Al-Kadhimiyah Education Hospital in the Iraqi capital after he received a shoulder wound during clashes with Daesh. Earlier this week, the soldier revealed during a television show that he had one of his kidneys stolen while he was being treated in this hospital in one of the capital’s main Shia districts in 2014. He said that he had been trying to reach the defence minister or other officials responsible for […]

Kidney of Iraqi soldier stolen while in government hospital in Baghdad

Iraqi Defence Minister Irfan Al-Hayali ordered yesterday for the opening of an investigation into an Iraqi soldier’s claim that he had his kidney stolen when he was admitted to government hospital in Baghdad in 2014, Turkish Anadolu reported. The Iraqi soldier, identified as Raed Asi Shakeer, was admitted to the Al-Kadhimiyah Education Hospital in the Iraqi capital after he received a shoulder wound during clashes with Daesh. Earlier this week, the soldier revealed during a television show that he had one of his kidneys stolen while he was being treated in this hospital in one of the capital’s main Shia districts in 2014. He said that he had been trying to reach the defence minister or other officials responsible for […]

Syrian force ‘tightens noose’ on Islamic State in Raqqa

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have seized 350 square km (135 square miles) in the past week, tightening “their noose” on Daesh in an advance to isolate its base of operations at Raqqa, a spokesman for the US-led coalition said on Wednesday. Some 3,000 to 4,000 Daesh fighters are thought to be holed up in Raqqa city where they continue to erect defences against the anticipated assault, drawing coalition air strikes to stop them, Colonel Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for the US-led coalition, told Reuters in a phone interview from Baghdad. The SDF, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters, has been encircling Raqqa since November in a multi-phased offensive backed by the US-led coalition that is also fighting […]

Is Myanmar becoming another Palestine?

I have just returned from Rakhine state in western Myanmar, but it feels as if it was a trip to somewhere far more familiar; to Palestine. I know, Rakhine is over five thousand miles away from Jerusalem and it has no particularly significant religious sites within it. The conflict there is not between Jews and the largely Muslim Palestinians, but between Buddhists and Myanmar’s Muslim minority. The imperial powers involved previously were the British and the Japanese, not the British and the Ottomans. Nevertheless, I found striking similarities and not just overlaps. The experienced international aid workers and UN officials I met during my visit were also making repeated comparisons with Palestine. Is Myanmar the next Palestine? Is it already […]

Is Myanmar becoming another Palestine?

I have just returned from Rakhine state in western Myanmar, but it feels as if it was a trip to somewhere far more familiar; to Palestine. I know, Rakhine is over five thousand miles away from Jerusalem and it has no particularly significant religious sites within it. The conflict there is not between Jews and the largely Muslim Palestinians, but between Buddhists and Myanmar’s Muslim minority. The imperial powers involved previously were the British and the Japanese, not the British and the Ottomans. Nevertheless, I found striking similarities and not just overlaps. The experienced international aid workers and UN officials I met during my visit were also making repeated comparisons with Palestine. Is Myanmar the next Palestine? Is it already […]