The Black Mediterranean and the Politics of the Imagination

by SA Smythe
published in MER286

The sea in Italy doesn’t even recede.

You need to cross it to get to the stronghold, you need to cross the sea in between, the Mediterranean Sea—the White Sea to the Arabs.

Many face the White Sea. But from my coasts, on the Horn of Africa, before reaching the White Sea some brave the Ocean on a dhow. They want to know if it’s really necessary to go that far.

Ubah Cristina Ali Farah, “A Dhow Crosses the Sea" [1]

The Travel Ban and Iranian-Americans

by Semira N. Nikou | published May 9, 2017

By the end of his first few weeks in office, President Donald Trump had managed to rile up most everyone in the country who was not agitated already. Of the many unsettling Trump initiatives, one of the most contentious has been his effort to make good on campaign promises of “extreme vetting” of immigrants and visitors from abroad, particularly those from Muslim-majority countries. When he first tried it, in late January, immigration lawyers and protesters turned US airports into hives of resistance, helping affected travelers navigate the new barriers to their entry.

Disaster Area

Human Rights in the Arab World

by Naseer Aruri
published in MER149

The recent history of the struggle for human rights in the Arab world is marked by some modest success, but the task remains enormous. The region is a disaster area in terms of human rights. Irrespective of the type of government, ideological coloration or foreign policy orientation, whether pro-West or pro-Soviet, conservative or “progressive,” theocratic or secular, nearly all regimes have displayed a thorough disregard for individual human rights. Most have been reluctant to cooperate with international human rights organizations; most have made it a criminal offense to disseminate information about human rights violations inside the country or abroad; most still have not ratified treaties such as the United Nations human rights charters.

The Myth of Israel's Liberal Supreme Court Exposed

by Jonathan Cook | published February 23, 2012

Little more than a decade ago, in a brief interlude of heady optimism about the prospects of regional peace, the Israeli Supreme Court issued two landmark rulings that, it was widely assumed, heralded the advent of a new, post-Zionist era for Israel. But with two more watershed judgments handed down over the winter of 2011-2012 the same court has decisively reversed the tide.

Editor's Bookshelf

by Joel Beinin
published in MER167

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The Negev's Hot Wind Blowing

by Jonathan Cook | published October 25, 2011

Over the past 15 months the dusty plains of the northern Negev desert in Israel have been witness to a ritual of destruction, part of a police operation known as Hot Wind. On 29 occasions since June 2010, hundreds of Israeli paramilitary officers have made the pilgrimage over a dirt track near the city of Beersheva to the zinc sheds and hemp tents of al-‘Araqib. Within hours of their arrival, the 45 ramshackle structures -- home to some 300 Bedouin villagers -- are pulled down and al-‘Araqib is wiped off the map once again. All that remains to mark the area’s inhabitation by generations of the al-Turi tribe are the stone graves in the cemetery.

The Rites and Rights of Citizenship

by Moustafa Bayoumi | published September 9, 2011

On Tuesday I became a citizen of the United States. Almost ten years ago, I was granted permanent residency. Between my Green Card and my naturalization certificate lies the seemingly endless decade of the “war on terror.”

Women and the Women's Equal Rights Law in Israel

by Nitza Berkovitch
published in MER198

Israeli society, even prior to the formation of the state, has been permeated by a strong myth of sexual equality. Shortly after the establishment of the Jewish nation-state, the Israeli Knesset began intensive debates on a body of legislation that would guide and define subsequent discourse on issues that concern the relationship between women and the state. One of those early laws, the Women’s Equal Rights Law of 1951, has had a lasting influence on the ways in which women have been incorporated into and mobilized by Israeli society. It has a direct impact on the construction of the Jewish Israeli female subject, first and foremost, as mother and wife, and not as individual or citizen.

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Gender and Citizenship in Middle Eastern States

by Suad Joseph
published in MER198

The debate on citizenship in the Middle East was preceded by and now parallels the debate on civil society. In the West, discussion on these subjects often assumes Middle Eastern countries are incapable of sustaining democratic relations between state and society. [1] The citizenship debate questions the capacities of Middle Eastern governments to allow or enable their members to participate actively in the political process. Despite the burgeoning of these debates, most theorists have neglected or glossed over the issue of gender. [2]