Articles from Mondoweiss: The War of Ideas in the Middle East

What Killed Mohanned?

On Wednesday, August 29, Gaza woke up to news of the death of Mohanned Younis in the Tel Al-Hawa neighborhood in Gaza City. The 22-year-old short-fiction writer decided to escape this pain-filled place and leave not just his sorrows but also his dreams, ambitions and goals behind.

Video: One Palestinian family’s last stand against expulsion

The Shoshahla village was built in 1878, 70 years before Israel was founded. In 1967, Israel began forcing out the Palestinians living here. The last residents of Shoshahla left in 1985.

But in 1992, Muhannad Salah did the unthinkable . . . He returned.

On empathy, Yom Kippur, and the NFL

Last week it was Yom Kippur when religious Jews and their twice a year compatriots crowd the synagogues and some secular types like me get a strange yearning for challah and are nudged by an insistent internal voice that ponders the very insane state of affairs in which we find ourselves. This voice asks: What exactly are you doing about it anyway? I mean really doing; it is after all Yom Kippur, not a good moment to dance around the truth.

Video: Senator Chris Van Hollen announces opposition to Israel Anti-Boycott Act

On September 28, 2017 Maryland’s junior Senator Chris Van Hollen (D) held a discussion with Professor Shibley Telhami at University of Maryland’s Hoff Theater in College Park, MD.

After the discussion with Professor Telhami, questions were taken from the audience. One audience-member asked Senator Van Hollen if he supported Senator Ben Cardin’s Israel Anti-Boycott Act which could jail boycotters of Israel for up to 20 years.

Van Hollen stated very clearly that he did not:

Vietnam documentary leaves out context, America’s global war on communism

Too many people either thought the Vietnam documentary was the best thing ever and that critics were ideologues, which is Phil Weiss’s position, or else they were ideologues who came to the documentary expecting the worst and didn’t let the reality alter their opinions much.  How fortunate for both sides that I fall in the middle.  Seriously, it was definitely worth watching– I saw maybe 80 percent and will check out the book from the library to get the rest.  However, it was flawed in some important ways

Zohra Drif’s Algeria memoir shows how occupation leads to terrible violence

At first, Zohra Drif’s act of placing a bomb on September 30, 1956 in the Milk Bar in Algiers, a place frequented by French civilians, looks like a clear violation of the laws of war.

A closer look at the specific historical circumstances may qualify that judgment — and also expose the hypocrisy of some who condemned Zohra Drif, both then and now.

Malak Mattar dreamed of studying art abroad, now she is stuck in Gaza

Malak Mattar’s paintings hang on the walls in the homes of her many fans around the world, from India to England to the U.S.With vivid colors and haunting stares, they express, beautifully, as only the greatest art can do, the utter misery of life and death in the besieged Gaza Strip.

How Kurdish independence underpins Israel’s plan to reshape the Middle East

Palestinians and Israelis watched last week’s referendum of Iraq’s Kurds with special interest. Israeli officials and many ordinary Palestinians were delighted – for very different reasons – to see an overwhelming vote to split away from Iraq.

Given the backlash from Baghdad and anger from Iran and Turkey, which have restive Kurdish minorities, the creation of a Kurdistan in northern Iraq may not happen soon.

My congressman, Ted Lieu, supports human rights everywhere but Palestine

Shortly after the election of Donald Trump, my congressman Ted Lieu (CA-33) emerged on the national stage as a leading critic of the president’s policy on health care, the environment, and the budget, as well as his alleged Russia connection.  Unlike many other Democrats, he criticized Trump’s bombing of Syria on the grounds that the president acted without any congressional approval. He additionally opposed arms sales to Saudi Arabia due to that country’s war crimes in Yemen– something few other politicians have the courage to even mention.