Grinding Palestine To Powder

by Lori Allen | published October 18, 2006

Secretary Rice’s recent Middle East tour concluded without any discussion of peace between Israel and Palestine. Unity talks between Fatah and Hamas have hit a standstill. In other words, the possibility of an Israeli-Palestinian political compromise appears bleaker than ever. Meanwhile, US and European governments reiterate their demands of the Palestinian Authority after Hamas’ electoral victory in March: recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept past peace accords. While Hamas has repeatedly offered Israel a long-term truce, they have not announced their recognition of the Jewish state.

Israeli Siege is Undermining Peace

by Lori Allen | published October 19, 2006

Since Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s recent Middle East tour concluded without concrete results, and unity talks between Fatah and Hamas remain at a standstill, the possibility of an Israeli-Palestinian political compromise appears bleaker than ever. But Palestinian lives and livelihoods should no longer be held hostage to the reigning diplomatic stagnation.

War Is Peace, Sanctions Are Diplomacy

by Carah Ong | published November 23, 2007

The White House is pressing ahead with its stated goal of persuading the UN Security Council to pass far-reaching sanctions to punish Iran for refusing to suspend its nuclear research program. Sanctions are what President George W. Bush is referring to when he pledges to nervous US allies that he intends to “continue to work together to solve this problem diplomatically.” The non-diplomatic solution in this framing of the “problem,” presumably, would be airstrikes on nuclear facilities in the Islamic Republic.

What About the Incubators?

by Kathy Kelly
published in MER215

It feels oddly like being at a wake in a funeral home. Our Fellowship of Reconciliation delegation members speak very quietly with one another as we wait for a hospital official to brief us about conditions at the al-Mansour Children's wing of the Saddam City Medical Center. Dr. Mekki, the director, is away, so a hospital official went in search of a senior doctor to speak with us. I open my diary and it dawns on me that at this time four years ago, in March 1996, our first Voices in the Wilderness delegation visited Iraq.

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Americans Against the Sanctions

by
published in MER215

As US policy supporting the continuation of sanctions on Iraq becomes ever more isolated abroad, domestic criticism of sanctions also mounts. Opponents of sanctions gained new visibility in February 1998 at Ohio State University, when pointed questions from the audience disrupted the Clinton administration's carefully staged "town meeting." (See Sam Husseini's "Short-Circuiting the Media/Policy Machine," Middle East Report 208, Fall 1998.) Activists now speak of an anti-sanctions movement drawn primarily from faith-based and peace groups.

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The Politics of Consensus in the Gulf

by Marc Lynch
published in MER215

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The Public Health Impact of Sanctions

Contrasting Responses of Iraq and Cuba

by Richard Garfield
published in MER215

Throughout the 1990s, social conditions in Iraq have deteriorated to levels last experienced three and four decades ago. This decline is associated with a dramatic reduction of the gross national product from around $3,500 to under $700 per capita, but changes in the GNP do not tell the entire story. [1] While Iraq's social indicators, including child mortality, today are certainly not the lowest in the world, the extent and rate of decline there is unprecedented in the modern world.

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Sanctioning Iraq

A Failed Policy

by Sarah Graham-Brown
published in MER215

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From the Editor

published in MER215

In the spring of 1995, a special issue of Middle East Report offered a damning assessment of US and Allied policy toward Iraq since the Gulf war: Economic sanctions imposed to topple the Iraqi government were punishing the Iraqi people instead. Over five years later, little and much has changed. UNICEF studies have established beyond any doubt that US-led economic sanctions are wrecking Iraq's public health, education system and infrastructure. Hospitals beg for blood bags and basic sanitation supplies. Schools starve for paper and pencils, let alone computers.