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United States Foreign Policy

Letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Regarding Intenet to Reject US Assylum Application of Radwan Ziadeh

[The following letter was issued by the Middle East Studies Association on 29 June 2017, in response to the Department of Homeland Security's intent to reject Dr. Radwan Ziadeh's application for U.S. asylum, despite being a well-known human rights activist.] The Honorable John F. Kelly Secretary of Homeland Security 245 Murray Lane SW Washington, D.C. 20528 mediainquiry@dhs.gov James McCament Acting Director U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services mediainquiry@dhs.gov Dear Secretary Kelly and Acting Director McCament: We write on behalf of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) and its Committee on Academic Freedom to express ...

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Critical Readings in Political Economy: 1967

Guy Laron, The Six-Day War (Yale University Press, 2017). Amidst the forest-felling libraries of literature on the question of Palestine, Israel’s 1967 war of aggression is perhaps responsible for the largest clear-cuts. So much is manufactured. Yet so little is useful or new. Part of the problem is the massive industry – literally – whose product is perpetual dispute over the most basic facts. Colonial expansion generates resistance. Both processes require intellectual support. For that reason, ideological and political battles occur on epistemological and methodological planes. At least one consequence of the revisionist denial of Palestinian dispossession is that ...

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The United Nations and Palestine: Biased?

United Nations Flag by sanjitbakshi via Creative Commons

It is common currency to accuse the United Nations (UN) of harboring an inveterate anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian bias. Israel, so the claim goes, is consistently held to a higher standard than other states that manage to escape the world body’s scrutiny despite their abysmal records, and is consistently condemned by the UN for engaging in a legitimate struggle for survival against the Palestinians and other Arabs. To an even greater extent than her predecessors, the current US permanent representative to the UN, Nikki Haley, has made combatting the world body’s purported anti-Israel obsession a personal crusade – in the process easily exceeding her Israeli ...

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أرض السفارة الأميركية في القدس: المُلكية العربية والمأزق الأميركي

عادت مسألة نقل السفارة الأميركية إلى القدس المحتلة إلى صدارة الحدث الفلسطيني، بعدما أعلن الرئيس الأميركي المنتخب دونالد ترامب، خلال الحملة الانتخابية، نيّته نقل السفارة الأميركية من تل أبيب إلى القدس، باعتبارها "العاصمة الموحدة لإسرائيل"، وهو أمر أكّده مستشاروه بعد إعلان فوزه في الانتخابات وتشكيل طاقم إدارته. وهذا التحول في السياسة الأميركية إزاء مسألة نقل السفارة إلى القدس ـ والتي إن كان الحديث قد جرى عنها في فترات سابقة وتداولها الكونغرس الأميركي غير مرة، إلاّ إن أي رئيس أميركي سابق لم يجرؤ على اتخاذ قرار بنقلها ـ دفع الرئيس الفلسطيني محمود عباس إلى إعلان نيّته إلغاء اعتراف منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية بإسرائيل، وبالتالي الإجهاز تماماً على اتفاق أوسلو والتسوية ...

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Co-Editor Mouin Rabbani Talks to Al Jazeera about US Missile Strike on Syria

In this interview conducted with Al Jazeera English on 7 April 2017, Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mouin Rabbani discusses the recent US missile strike against Syria. Rabbani concludes that it appears to be a single strike rather than the beginning of a broader campaign, and not undertaken as part of a particular political or military strategy. While military action by definition carries a risk of escalation, and this attack only increases the level of foreign military intervention in Syria that has been a primary factor in prolonging its conflict, it is unlikely to have an impact one way or the other. Nor will it positively or negatively influence the political process because ...

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Is Trump Going to Commit the Next Great US Catastrophe in Syria?

[The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Barry launches a Tomahawk cruise missile from the ships bow. Photo by DVIDSHUB via Flickr]

At the UN Security Council on 5 April 2017, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley held up pictures of children killed by a gas attack in Khan Shaykhun, south of the Syrian city of Idlib. Estimates suggest about fifty to sixty people died in this attack. The United States, the United Kingdom, and France placed a resolution before the Security Council condemning the attack and asking for an investigation of it. There is no call for armed action against anyone because the council is divided on who perpetuated the act. Strikingly, Ambassador Haley then said, "We don’t yet know about yesterday’s attack," meaning nobody had definitive intelligence about ...

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دورنا في صناعة الظلام

[المصدر موقع زنوبيا رسالة وطن]

[المقالة لربيع علم الدين ترجمها عن الإنجليزية إسامة إسبر] بعد الانتخابات الرئاسية مباشرة امتلأ حسابي على التويتر بالتعبيرات عن الصدمة والشكاوى. بدا كما لو أن العبارة المفضلة للجميع هي:"نحن أفضل من هذا”. لكنني اعتبرت هـذا الكلام خاطئاً، وفهمتُ منطقه الملتوي، والصدمة والأذى اللذين سيقودان أحداً ما كي يقول هذا، لكن هذا لم يكن صحيحاً. لسنا أفضل من هذا. نحن هذا. لقد انتُخبَ الرجل رئيساً. وبحكم طبيعة الحال إن أميركا هي هذا، نحن هذا. لا أقول كلامي هذا كي أوحي أننا يجب أن نُلام، أو أن أحداً ما لم يصوّت لدونالد ترامب هو مذنب كشخص صوّت. ما أحاول مواصلة الإشارة إليه، للأصدقاء، ولأي شخص يحب أن يصغي، هو أن قلة منا ترغب بالاعتراف بالمسؤولية، ليس بالضرورة قبول ...

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Jadaliyya Co-Editor Noura Erakat Interview on Trump’s Immigration Ban and U.S. Middle East Policy with Common Policy

Jadaliyya Co-Editor,  Noura Eraka joins Common Policy a podcast of the Hauenstein Center of Grand Valley State University, to discuss her work in international law and refugee law, as well as on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She also addresses President Trump’s demand for “extreme vetting” of refugees, as well whether his Middle East policy significantly differs from those of his recent predecessors.

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Critical Readings in Political Economy: Apartheid

Andy Clarno, Neoliberal Apartheid (University of Chicago Press, 2017). In some of the earliest editions of Al-Hadaf, the journal of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, there is explicit mention of the myriad similarities between the “racist, settler colonial regimes” occupying the antipodes of Africa and the crossroads of the Levant. The Popular Front in theory and practice understood their struggle as linked to that of the South African liberation movement. It is against that rich trove of reflection, penned by revolutionaries fighting for their lives, that Andy Clarno deliberately situates his important study of the post-Oslo/post-Apartheid systems ...

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Perspectives on the Immigration Ban: A Town Hall with GMU Faculty

On Thursday, February 9 The Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies at George Mason University, in conjunction with the Middle East and Islamic Studies Program, hosted a town hall titled “Perspectives on the Immigration Ban.” The Center organized the town hall as a response to the confusion and questions surrounding Executive Order 13769, titled “Protection of The Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” and more commonly referred to as the “Muslim Ban,” signed on 27 January. The town hall brought together six Mason faculty members to put the ban under scrutiny from multiple angles in conversation with the audience. The first ...

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Where’s My Vote? The US Edition

[Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Photo by Mohammad Kazempour uploaded from Wikimedia Commons]

In June 2009, protests erupted in Tehran and other major Iranian cities following Mir-Hossein Mousavi’s loss in the presidential elections against incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Mousavi and the other opposition candidates alleged voter fraud and questioned the legitimacy of the Ahmadinejad win. Of course, the term “opposition” here is used loosely as presidential candidates are thoroughly vetted via a process that keeps out anti-establishment candidates. Everyone who makes it to the general election phase has enough credentials to be considered part of Iran’s Islamic revolution, which reached power in 1979 and has ruled ever since. Parallels can be drawn with the US ...

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Sir Nigel Rodley versus Donald Trump on Torture

[Left to right: Sir Nigel Rodley and President Donald Trump]

Donald Trump is a man who defines himself by the number of norms he violates, according to Michael D’Antonio, the author of a biography, The Truth About Trump. “He's always refused to be like other people when it comes to manners and respect for others and loyalty to the truth…He's kind of a barbarian in that way—he gets a thrill out of disturbing other people and proving that he doesn't have to go along with what other people expect.”  One issue most people expect a US president to go along with—or at least pretend to go along with—is respect for a jus cogens norm. Jus cogens norms “constitute the pinnacle of the hierarchy of sources of international ...

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Statement of Opposition to the "Israel Anti-Boycott Act" by the Middle East Studies Association of North America

[The following statement was issued by the Middle East Studies Association of North America on 27 July 2017 in response to the Congressional move to enact a "Israel Anti-Boycott Act" law.] The Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) expresses its strong opposition to the “Israel Anti-Boycott Act” (S. 720 and H.R. 1697), currently under consideration by Congress. If enacted into law this bill would impose criminal and civil punishment on individuals and businesses – and ...

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Making Sense of Jerusalem, Gaza, and Anti-BDS Legislation in the United States

The past two weeks have been filled with a flurry of news and developments concerning Palestine that have appeared in piecemeal fashion. As per usual, mainstream international and US media have portrayed events in Jerusalem and Gaza, as well as legislation in the United States, as isolated incidents lacking context. The protagonists in these stories are Israelis with Palestinian shadows. The failure to document the structural violence afflicting Palestinian lives portrays these events as ruptures rather ...

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New Texts Out Now: Irene Gendzier, Dying to Forget: Oil, Power, Palestine, & the Foundations of US Policy in the Middle East

Irene Gendzier, Dying to Forget: Oil, Power, Palestine, & the Foundations of US Policy in the Middle East. New York: Columbia University Press, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Irene Gendzier (IG): The desire to make sense of US policy in the Middle East, and particularly, US policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a subject that is regularly on the mainstream agenda and just as regularly distorted. J: What topics, issues and literature does this book address? IG: This ...

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ما التنوير؟ غوغل، ويكيليكس، وإعادة تنظيم العالم

هاري هالبن Harry Halpin هل ساعد الإنترنت البشرية على الخروج من اللانضج كي يستعبدها مرة ثانية نظامُ مراقبةٍ شامل؟ سواءً كان الناس يعون هذه المسألة أم لا، يتردّد صدى هذا السؤال في تجربتنا الرقمية اليومية، وفي الطريقة التي تُفْرَز وتُرْصَد بها الملفات الصغيرة، وفي جَمْع وكالة الأمن القومي للبيانات الوصفية (الميتاداتا) الخاصة بالبريد الإلكتروني والمكالمات الهاتفية، وفي الطبيعة الغريبة للإعلانات التي تظهر في جداول بحث غوغل والفيسبوك. لكن لا حاجة كي يشير المرء إلى وكالة الأمن القومي من أجل إلقاء اللوم. ...

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Donald Trump’s “Unbelievably Small” Attack on Syria

Rarely did such a limited attack as the one launched by the United States by means of cruise missiles against the Syrian air base of Shayrat provoke so much ado. US President Donald Trump authorized the attack in the evening of Thursday 6 April, shortly before having dinner with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at his own Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. It is in all likelihood the minimal option that Barack Obama had envisaged when the Syrian regime crossed his “red line” in August 2013. In one of his ...

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New Texts Out Now: Karine Walther, Sacred Interests: The United States and the Islamic World, 1821-1921

Karine Walther, Sacred Interests: The United States and the Islamic World, 1821-1921. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2015.   Jadliyya (J): What made you write this book? Karine Walther (KW): As my parents were both French immigrants to the United States, I have always been interested in what constitutes “American identity” and the history of how religious, ethnic and “racial” differences have been dealt with in the United States. After I finished my BA at the University ...

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New Texts Out Now: Alex Lubin and Marwan M. Kraidy, eds., American Studies Encounters the Middle East

Alex Lubin and Marwan M. Kraidy, eds. American Studies Encounters the Middle East. Durham: University of North Carolina Press, 2016. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Alex Lubin and Marwan Kraidy (AL and MK): In 2011, just as the so-called “Arab Spring” was underway, the Center for American Studies and Research at the American University of Beirut hosted an international conference to explore historical and contemporary connections between the United States and the Middle East. The ...

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Islam, Muslims, and the Trump World Order

As Muslim communities in the United States and around the world confront the terrifying prospects that a Donald Trump presidency holds for their lives and liberties, a long-simmering conflict within the American political establishment has reached its boiling point. Recent policy debates surrounding the ban on Muslim immigration and the proposed designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization mask a deeper struggle over the enduring practices of a political class in the throes of a ...

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دونالد ترامب والصراع في فلسطين

إزاء تصريحات الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترمب حول الحل المنشود للصراع، خاصة خلال زيارة رئيس الوزراء الإسرائيلي الأخيرة للولايات المتحدة، قامت جوقة كبيرة في معظم وسائل الإعلام الرئيسية في الولايات المتحدة وفي عدد من الدول في أوروبا أيضا، بانتقاد الرئيس ترمب وشجب تصريحاته نظرا لأنهم فهموا منها أنه تخلى عن حل الدولتين. وأشار الكثير من المعلقين والكتاب أن ما تخلى عنه هو موقف الولايات المتحدة ومعظم الدول الأوروبية والعربية أيضا خلال العقود الثلاث الأخيرة على الأقل، وأن هذه سابقة خطيرة وموقف غير مسؤول حول الحل ...

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The ‘Arab Spring’ Never Happened (in English)

To investigate the trials and tribulations of the phrase “Arab Spring” for English-language audiences since 2010, it may be useful to start with a Google search—or, rather, a quick history of Google search results. If one looks at the top results for English-language searches using the term “Arab Spring” from 2010-2012, here is what you get:   A few things jump out, foremost among them the celebratory tone, accompanied by the desire to locate and attribute the credit for this “year of ...

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الإمعان بالحرب في اليمن: مقابلة لمجلة الوضع مع فارع المسلمي

اجرت نهلة شهال لمجلة "الوضع" هذا الحوار مع فارع المسلمي، كاتب وباحث يمني ومؤسس مشارك لـ "مركز صنعاء للدراسات الاستراتيجية"، وهو مركز أبحاث بقيادات شابة ويهدف إلى تقديم مقاربات جديدة لقضايا اليمن والخليج.    في أبريل، 2013,، أدلى المسلمي بشهادة أمام مجلس الشيوخ الامريكي مناهضة لاستخدام وضربات الطائرات من دون طيار (الدرون) الامريكية في اليمن. يناقش فارع المسلمي في هذا الحوار معنى نقل البنك المركزي من صنعاء إلى عدن وعن الحرب المستمرة وإدارة العنف فيها واتهام من ...

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سياسات الرئيس الأميركي المنتخب دونالد ترامب في الشرق الأوسط: حوار مع الباحث روبرت بليتشر

هناك مؤشرات متنامية، لكن القليل من الحقائق، حول شكل السياسة الخارجية لإدارة الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب، وخاصة في الشرق الأوسط. وكي نفهم ما تخبئه الأعوام الأربعة القادمة للمنطقة - وكجزء من سلسلة لقاءات “أفكار سريعة” مع محللي الشرق الأوسط في “مجموعة الأزمات الدولية” - حاورت “جدلية” روبرت بليتشر، نائب مدير برنامج الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا في المنظمة المذكورة.   جدلية: يبدو أن المحللين والمراقبين لا يمتلكون رؤية واضحة حول سياسة الإدارة الأميركية القادمة في الشرق الأوسط، وحيال سياستها الخارجية ...

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