Tag Archives: Israel

Hitchens Says Palestinians Need A Mandela Not A Gandhi

New Statesman

My column in last week’s magazine focused on the need for a Palestinian (and an Israel) Gandhi figure, to renounce terror on both sides and end the destructive “cycle of violence” and mutual fear and distrust:

“…neither side has ever come even close to producing viable leaders committed to non-violence and able to articulate an authentically Gandhian vision for ending the conflict. On the Palestinian side, Yasser Arafat’s approach can be summed up in his warning about having an olive branch in one hand but a gun in the other. On the Israeli side, Yitzhak Rabin, the joint architect of the Oslo Accords, will always be remembered by the Palestinians as the man who also ordered Israeli troops to “break the bones” of protesters during the first intifada.Those considered to be peacemakers fall hopelessly short of being a latter-day Gandhi or a Middle Eastern Martin Luther King. Waiting for such figures to emerge, even in the Holy Land, could be like waiting for Godot.”

Now Christopher Hitchens has emailed me to say that I may be focusing on the wrong role model – it is a Nelson Mandela that the Palestinians need, not a Mohandas Gandhi. He writes:

“Edward Said used to talk and write about the need for a Palestinian Mandela. I think that might lead you – and such Israelis and Jews as will listen – in a better direction than Gandhi. But the ANC wasn’t pacifist in name or in fact, despite the Mahatma’s early input.” Continue reading


Filed under Palestine-israel

Silence Is Easy

By Max Dunbar

The Case for God: What Religion Really Means, Karen Armstrong, The Bodley Head, 2009
Of all the recent pro-faith books to hit the review pages, Karen Armstrong’s is the most original and interesting. The dinner-party truism runs that spirituality is not the same thing as organised religion. Armstrong’s view is the opposite: ‘Religion, therefore, was not primarily something that people thought but something they did.’ She reminded me of the protagonist of Michel Houellebecq’s Atomised, who complains of the hippie movement that ‘they’re still convinced that religion is some sort of individual experience based on meditation, spiritual exploration and all that. They don’t understand that it’s a purely social thing about rites and rituals, ceremonies and rules.’

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Filed under Books, Religion

Einstein and Zionism

Albert Einstein was not only a scientist and universal eminence, but also a proud Jew who had a longtime association with the Zionist movement. In the 1920s, he toured America with Chaim Weizmann to gather support for the creation of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. When Weizmann died in office in 1952 as Israel’s first president, Einstein was proposed as his successor by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. Continue reading

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Filed under Books, Palestine-israel, Reviews

Free Ahmed Sa’adat


The Organization of Solifreesaadat-latuffdarity of the Peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America (OSPAAAL) addresses all friendly organizations and parties, solidarity committees with Palestine, social movements in Latin America and the Caribbean, regional governments and parliaments, progressive and peace-loving persons to express its most decided rejection of the Zionist regime in Israel because of the continued abuses and vexations it commits against the Palestinian prisoners in Zionist prisons. Continue reading


Filed under Left

Should Pakistan recognize Israel?

By Farrukh Khan Pitafi


Israeli citizens were among the victims of the ruthless butchery of the Mumbai attacks. Israel could have very conveniently succumbed to the Indian warmongering against Pakistan. Yet it did not. The Israeli government was really cautious and restrained in blaming any country for this open genocide. A few days after the attacks the Israeli Ambassador to New Delhi Mark Sofar made some very keen observations. Continue reading


Filed under Pakistan

“Vatican Teaching Hezbollah how to kill Jews”: Israeli Defence Forces Booklet

The Pope and the cardinals of the Vatican help organize tours of Auschwitz for Hezbollah members to teach them how to wipe out Jews, according to a booklet being distributed to Israel Defense Forces soldiers.

Officials encouraging the booklet’s distribution include senior officers, such as Lt. Col. Tamir Shalom, the commander of the Nahshon Battalion of the Kfir Brigade. Continue reading

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Obama echoed Benazir Bhutto in his Cairo Speech


President Barack Obama’s historic address of Thursday 04 June-09 from Cairo is certainly talk-of-the-town now.  A great speaker that he certainly is, he was surely able to leave some good impressions especially in the Muslim world and the results are showing already. The elections results of Lebanon, where a pro-West coalition has been able to trounce the Hezbollah-led coalition, and those in Iran, where street protests go on with full fervor, may be termed as the testimony to the same. His speech continues to resonate all over and is already winning praises from his foes and friends alike. The pundits say, in his 55-minute address he was able to connect to the Muslim world largely because of the fact that he was bold enough to speak the truth. Continue reading


Filed under History, human rights, Identity, Islam, Pakistan, Palestine-israel, Religion, USA