A new issue of Middle East International is out, with Mustafa Barghouti writing in the leader:
International involvement over the course of an 18-year peace process has not slowed the colonisation of Palestinian land. The number of illegal settlers has risen from 200,000 to 500,000 during this time. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s proposed ‘freeze’ promises to continue this policy. Construction in East Jerusalem will accelerate over the 10-month period, driving record numbers of legitimate residents from their homes. Some 3,000 pre-approved units will be constructed elsewhere in the West Bank and settlement heads have the discretion to build more if they see fit. Public buildings such as schools and synagogues, are excluded from the freeze. After the 10 months are over, the government will revert to the policy of previous administrations which presided over a marked increase in settlements.
Time is running out. We Palestinians must combat these acts of aggression, firstly by creating our own ‘facts on the ground’. The illegal regulations that force us into ghettos and Bantustans in our own lands can no longer be tolerated. Mass non-violent resistance is the answer: through protests like the ‘stop the wall’ campaigns in Bil’in and Ni’lin, where every week unarmed villagers risk their lives to oppose the theft of their land; through building in ‘Area C’ lands that the occupation controls; and through farming the land rendered off-limits by settlements and the Israelis-only roads which connect them. Such actions require the support of an entire population, so differences must be put aside if we are to have any hope of breaking Israel’s stranglehold.
There's tons of great material on Iran's domestic and foreign problems, Iraq's and Sudan's upcoming elections, Turkey's aborted military coup, what the Ethiopian Airlines crash in Beirut says about migration patterns, Bibi Netanyahu's housekeeper, Canada's pro-Israel lobby, David Hirst on the region's two nuclear rogue states — Iran and Israel — and a whole lot more. I have a piece on the rising profile of Egypt's internal security services and another on Arab (and American) attempts at satellite media censorship and what it means in the context of the "regional cold war." Do subscribe to MEI to read all this great stuff, every two weeks!