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middle east conflict israel palestinian peace talks palestine papers al jazeera

The broadcast and publishing of the leaked ‘Palestine papers’ by Al Jazeera and the Guardian puts a spotlight on some issues which are actually much more interesting and far-reaching  than the papers themselves. After all, it is only those who hold completely unrealistic ideas about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict who could claim to be surprised by their content; the rest of us know that in the end, the 2008 Olmert offer is more or less how the future will look because it represents the most Israel can give and the least that the Palestinians can accept.

Nevertheless, we have witnessed waves of selective outrage from foreign journalists and commentators – their words conveying a deep sense of betrayal. Horrified by the Palestinian negotiators’ pragmatism, indignant at the very idea of compromise, they rushed to brand them as traitors and sellers-out of the Palestinian cause.

What is interesting is that these voices are for the most part not coming from the people who would actually be affected by...More >>

human rights protection united nations darfur rwanda simon tisdall western imperialismThis past week, the Guardian published two articles in support of two of the more notorious tyrants in Africa. On December 27, Simon Tisdall argued that human rights groups were unfairly demonizing Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir during the run-up to the South’s January 9th independence referendum, with little consideration of the effect this could have on the new country’s already-tenuous future.

Tisdall’s partly right: a country with minimal infrastructure, low literacy, few urban centers, an oil-based economy and a government comprised of former warlords could be a source of instability if major regional actors aren’t on the same page. That includes Bashir, who is currently under an International Criminal Court indictment for genocide, but has accepted a compromise over the oil-rich border region of Abyei and even laid out his vision of a smaller, more centralized North. For Sudan watchers, the fact that Bashir hasn’t taken things nuclear yet is encouraging, but it doesn’t erase a 20-year history of erratic and even genocidal behavior. For Tisdall it does. He opens:

Bashing Omar al-Bashir is a popular pastime in

...More >>

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