Readings

Israel's right to be racist - Joseph Massad deconstructs Zionist apologia for apartheid:

Israel's struggle for peace is a sincere one. In fact, Israel desires to live at peace not only with its neighbours, but also and especially with its own Palestinian population, and with Palestinians whose lands its military occupies by force. Israel's desire for peace is not only rhetorical but also substantive and deeply psychological. With few exceptions, prominent Zionist leaders since the inception of colonial Zionism have desired to establish peace with the Palestinians and other Arabs whose lands they slated for colonisation and settlement. The only thing Israel has asked for, and continues to ask for in order to end the state of war with the Palestinians and its Arab neighbours, is that all recognise its right to be a racist state that discriminates by law against Palestinians and other Arabs and grants differential legal rights and privileges to its own Jewish citizens and to all other Jews anywhere. The resistance that the Palestinian people and other Arabs have launched against Israel's right to be a racist state is what continues to stand between Israel and the peace for which it has struggled and to which it has been committed for decades. Indeed, this resistance is nothing less than the "New anti- Semitism".
Attacking Iran - UPI analysis of the impact of an attack on Iran on oil prices, and in part 2 on Russian involvement and the difficulty of assessing which facilities to hit.

A More Islamic Islam - Geneive Abdo on why the Western media wastes its time on "Muslim secularists" like Irshad Manji and Wafaa Sultan.
Four years on - Helena Cobban says "I told you so" about the war on Iraq.

Western Sahara between Autonomy and Intifada - a MERIP piece sympathetic to the Polisario sees a new generation of Sahwari activists emerging (encouraged by ongoing police repression) as long as Morocco can count on the support of the UN and major powers for its autonomy plan. It's interesting to read next to the rather pathetic attempts by Morocco to link the Polisario with Islamist terror groups.

Hizbullah's social services - an excerpt from Augustus Richard Norton's new book, Hizbullah.

Mission délicate pour Javier Solana à Damas - Le Figaro says EU foreign policy supremo Javier Solana is trying to negotiate a secret agreement in Damascus to spare the Asad family from the scrutiny of an international tribunal.