Elections Are Key to Darfur Crisis

by Khalid Mustafa Medani | published March 7, 2009

It has been quite a week. For the first time, the international community indicted a sitting president of a sovereign state. Omar al-Bashir of Sudan stands accused by the International Criminal Court in The Hague of “crimes against humanity and war crimes” committed in the course of the Khartoum regime’s brutal suppression of the revolt in the country’s far western province of Darfur. Having indicted two other figures associated with the regime in 2007, ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo began building a case against the man at the top, and on Wednesday, the court issued a warrant for Bashir’s arrest.

The Shi‘a of Saudi Arabia at a Crossroads

by Toby Matthiesen | published May 6, 2009

Deep in the morass of YouTube lies a disturbing video clip recorded in late February at the cemetery of al-Baqi‘ and on surrounding streets in Medina, Saudi Arabia. An initial caption promises images of “desecration of graves.” Al-Baqi‘, located next to the mosque of the prophet Muhammad in the second holiest city of Islam, is believed to be the final resting place of four men revered by Shi‘i Muslims as imams or successors to the prophet: Hasan ibn ‘Ali, ‘Ali ibn Husayn, Muhammad ibn ‘Ali and Ja‘afar ibn Muhammad. The prophet’s wives, as well as many of his relatives and close associates, are also said to be buried here, making the ground hallowed for Sunni Muslims as well.


Interventions is a feature in Middle East Report Online offering critical reviews of important Middle East-related books, films and other cultural production. Click here for past Interventions articles.

Rachel Corrie in Palestine…and in San Francisco

by Joel Beinin | published August 2009

The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, the oldest such festival in the United States, was founded in rebellion against received wisdom. Since 1980, the festival has promoted independent Jewish films that contest the conventional Hollywood depiction of Jewish life, particularly its lachrymose over-concentration on Jewish victimhood, and regularly presented “alternatives to the often uncritical view of life and politics in Israel available in the established American Jewish community.” The festival’s audience, mostly Jewish, has reacted positively to this policy, even in 2005, when the organizers decided to show Palestinian filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad’s Paradise Now, the theme of which is suicide bombing.

Disengagement and the Frontiers of Zionism

by Darryl Li | published February 16, 2008

In mid-January, when Israel further tightened its blockade of the Gaza Strip, it hurriedly assured the world that a “humanitarian crisis” would not be allowed to occur. Case in point: Days after the intensified siege prompted Hamas to breach the Gaza-Egypt border and Palestinians to pour into Egypt in search of supplies, Israel announced plans to send in thousands of animal vaccines to prevent possible outbreaks of avian flu and other epidemics due to livestock and birds entering Gaza from Egypt. [1] Medicines for human beings, on the other hand, are among the supplies that are barely trickling in to Gaza now that the border has been resealed.

Forty Years of Occupation

A Forum

by Lori Allen , Yoav Peled , Samera Esmeir , Robert Blecher , Mouin Rabbani | published June 6, 2007

An outpouring of retrospectives—good, bad and indifferent—has marked the fortieth anniversary of the June 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Predictably, and perhaps appropriately, most looks backward have also attempted to peer forward, and consequently most have focused on the impasse between Israel and the Palestinians. This question, though predating 1967 and not the only one left unresolved by the war, is nearly synonymous with “the Middle East” in the global media. Plentiful as the 1967 commentary has been, the relative silences have also spoken volumes. Middle East Report asked six critically minded scholars and analysts for their reflections on what has been missing from the conversation about Israel-Palestine occasioned by the passage of 40 years since that fateful June.

"Honor Crimes" and the International Spotlight on Jordan

by Janine A. Clark
published in MER229

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No Buying Off the Past

Moroccan Indemnities and the Opposition

by Susan Slyomovics
published in MER229

Since King Mohammed VI ascended the throne in 1999, Morocco has created various bodies to pay cash awards to Moroccans "disappeared," imprisoned or tortured for their political beliefs under the reign of his king father. But there have been no trials of the jailers and torturers. Former prisoners continue to resist regime efforts to "turn the page" on Morocco's repressive past without genuine truth and accountability.

Paying the Price of Injustice

Palestinian Child Prisoners and the UN Human Rights System

by Adam Hanieh , Adah Kay , Catherine Cook
published in MER229

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Egypt's Virtual Protection of Morality

by Hossam Bahgat
published in MER230

Action by states to impose excessive regulations on the use of...the Internet, on the grounds that control, regulation and denial of access are necessary to preserve the moral fabric and cultural identity of societies, is paternalistic. These regulations presume to protect people from themselves and, as such, they are inherently incompatible with the principles of the worth and dignity of each individual. These arguments deny the fundamental wisdom of individuals and societies and ignore the capacity and resilience of citizens, whether on a national, state, municipal, community or even neighborhood level, often to take self-correcting measures to re-establish equilibrium without excessive interference or regulation by the state.

Villages of No Return

by Joost Jongerden
published in MER235

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