Israel’s “Demographic Demon” in Court

by Jonathan Cook | published June 1, 2006

A low-key but injudicious war of words briefly broke out between Israel’s two most senior judges in the wake of the May 2006 decision by the Supreme Court to uphold the constitutionality of the Nationality and Entry into Israel Law. A temporary measure passed by the Knesset in July 2003, the law effectively bans marriages between Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and Israeli citizens.

The Emergence of a “Coptic Question” in Egypt

by Issandr El Amrani | published April 28, 2006

In the early morning of April 14, 2006, Mahmoud Salah al-Din Abd al-Raziq, a Muslim, entered the church of Mar Girgis (Saint George) in Alexandria’s al-Hadra district and stabbed three parishioners who had gathered for a service. Abd al-Raziq then proceeded to attack worshippers at two other churches, according to police accounts, before being arrested en route to a fourth. Nushi Atta Girgis, 78, died from his stab wounds, while several others were injured, some severely.

Dual War: The Legacy of Ariel Sharon

by Yoav Peled | published March 22, 2006

The elections scheduled for March 28, 2006 will conclude what has got to be one of the more bizarre campaigns in Israel’s history. The series of totally unexpected events began with Amir Peretz’s surprise victory over Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres in the race for the Labor Party leadership. Peretz immediately withdrew Labor from the coalition government, forcing Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to call early elections.

Musharraf's Opening to Israel

by Graham Usher | published March 2, 2006

When George W. Bush arrives in Islamabad on March 4, 2006, his will be the first visit to Pakistan by a US president since Bill Clinton touched down there in March 2000. Aside from the coincidence of the month, the circumstances could hardly be more different. In 2000, Clinton stayed for barely five hours, refused to be photographed with the then recently installed military dictator, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, and proceeded to lecture the general on Pakistan’s continued sponsorship of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Islamist insurgency in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

Less a “Big Bang” Than an Earthquake

by Peretz Kidron | published January 18, 2006

The two successive strokes and the cerebral hemorrhage that struck down Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon came just a few weeks after the somber ceremonies marking the tenth anniversary of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. The causes of the two occurrences were very different, and so was the actual physical outcome, for Rabin died within minutes of sustaining his wounds, while doctors still hold out glimmers of hope for Sharon’s survival, albeit with grave handicaps.

Salih’s Road to Reelection

by Gregory Johnsen | published January 13, 2006

Following six months of rumor and speculation in Yemen, President Ali Abdallah Salih did the expected and announced that he would stand for reelection in the presidential contest scheduled for September 2006. Salih accepted the nomination of his ruling General People’s Congress party on December 17, 2005, during its three-day conference in the southern port city of Aden. The conference, which had been postponed twice to allow Salih to return from state visits abroad, was largely a scripted affair, with few surprises, save for when the president tried and failed to catch a pigeon that landed at his table.

Controlled Reform in Egypt

Neither Reformist nor Controlled

by Issandr El Amrani | published December 15, 2005

Torture and the Lawless “New Paradigm”

by Lisa Hajjar | published December 9, 2005

The president who campaigned on a pledge to “restore honor and dignity to the White House” has now been compelled to declaim: “We abide by the law of the United States, and we do not torture.” In the closing months of 2005, President George W. Bush has been forced to repeat this undignified denial several times, most recently with the head of the World Health Organization standing beside him, because a dwindling number of people believe him.

Impunity on Both Sides of the Green Line

by Jonathan Cook | published November 23, 2005

As Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon strode up to the podium at the UN General Assembly on September 15, 2005 to deliver a speech recognizing the Palestinians’ right to statehood, government officials back in Jerusalem were preparing to draw a firm line under unfinished business from the start of the Palestinian uprising, five years earlier.

The Mehlis Report and Lebanon’s Trouble Next Door

by Marlin Dick | published November 18, 2005

The UN-authorized investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri, now well into a second phase of heightened brinkmanship between Damascus and Washington, also has Lebanon holding its collective breath.

Iran’s Nuclear File

The Uncertain Endgame

by Farideh Farhi | published October 24, 2005