Palestine | Islamophobia | West Bengal | Occupy Wall Street | Media | Steve Jobs | Egypt | Syria | Britain | US elections | EU | China

This is what we’ve been discussing over the past several weeks:


Ilan Pappe: At the UN, the funeral of the two-state solution (Electronic Intifada)
James Ball: Palestinians: we are already recognised as a state by two-thirds of the globe (Guardian)

The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, is pressing forward with plans to formally request UN membership this Friday, despite attempts at a diplomatic compromise by many western states and a US pledge to veto the membership bid. Raising Palestine to full statehood would need to pass the UN security council – where it is subject to veto – and then a vote at the general assembly, comprising all 193 UN member states.

However, the general assembly can raise Palestine’s status from “permanent observer” to “non-member observer state”, a largely symbolic vote, without security council approval. …

The countries that recognise Palestine comprise around 5.5bn of the world’s population of 7bn – more than 75% – but based on World Bank GDP figures make up less than 10% of the world’s economy, highlighting the global rift on what remains a highly contentious topic.

Editorial: A Palestinian state is a moral right (Observer)
Noam Chayut: Israeli occupation is neither moral nor legitimate (Independent)
Zvi Bar’el: U.S. should recognize Palestinian state / ככה בונים מדינה (Ha’aretz)
Chris McGreal: Palestinian statehood: plan emerges to avoid UN showdown (Guardian)
Raoul Rigault, Mustafa Barghouti: »Bedeutung der nationalen Einheit nicht unterschätzen« (junge Welt)
Mikaela Levin: Expert UN Panel Declares Israeli Blockade of Gaza Illegal (Alternative Information Center)

Two weeks after a team of politicians especially chosen by the UN General Secretary declared legal the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip and legitimate the deadly attack on the first Freedom Flotilla, another team, this time of independent experts that work for the United Nations, came to the exact opposite conclusion.

Linah Alsaafin: Mahmoud Abbas: the Second Coming (Electronic Intifada)
Jonathan Cook: Israel’s Jewishness: Precondition for Palestinian Statehood (al-Akhbar)
Jonathan Cook: Mosque Torching: When Extremist Attacks Against Arabs Cross the Green Line (al-Akhbar)


Angelique Chrisafis: France’s burqa ban: women are ‘effectively under house arrest’ (Guardian)

Since France introduced its burqa ban in April there have been violent attacks on women wearing the niqab and, this week, the first fines could be handed down. But a legal challenge to this hard line may yet expose the French state as a laughing stock.

Thomas Hammarberg, the Council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights, blogged this summer: “The way the dress of a small number of women has been portrayed as a key problem requiring urgent discussion and legislation is a sad capitulation to the prejudices of the xenophobes.”

West Bengal

Kheya Bag: Red Bengal’s Rise and Fall (New Left Review)

Occupy Wall Street

支持美国人民伟大的”华尔街革命” (乌有之乡/Utopia)
Translation: Message from Chinese activists and academics in support of Occupy Wall Street (China Study Group)
Joanna Walters: Occupy America: protests against Wall Street and inequality hit 70 cities (Guardian)
Jesse Jackson: Don’t Sleep Through the Revolution – Winning the Class War (CounterPunch)
Steve Fake: An American Fall (ideas&action)
International Action Center
Workers World Party
Party for Socialism and Liberation

Occupy Wallstreet @ Salon, @ Guardian, @ Huffington Post


Maximilian C. Forte: Al Jazeera and U.S. Foreign Policy (MRzine)
As’ad AbuKhalil: Change at Al Jazeera (al-Akhbar)
Jonathan Cook: A Thought Police for the Internet Age – The Dangerous Cult of the Guardian (Counterpunch)

Steve Jobs

As’ad AbuKhalil: Beyond the Personality Cult (al-Akhbar)


Jack Shenker, Barry Neild: Cairo riots leave at least 24 dead (Guardian)
Sharif Abdel Kouddous: Bloodbath in Cairo: An Eyewitness Account (Nation)


Basheer al-Baker: Michel Kilo: Syria’s Prudent Dissident (al-Akhbar)
Martin Chulov: China urges Syria regime to deliver on promised reforms (Guardian)


Shiv Malik: Unicef criticises Britain for jailing children over riots (Guardian)

US elections

Richard Adams: GOP presidential debate: Herman Cain steps into the spotlight (Guardian)


Marshall Auerback: Why Greece Should Not Default – Is Merkel Right on Greece? (CounterPunch)
Vijay Prashad: A New Bretton Woods? Battling Capital (CounterPunch)


Heiko Khoo: Xinhai Revolution: the view of a Western Marxist (

One thought on “Palestine | Islamophobia | West Bengal | Occupy Wall Street | Media | Steve Jobs | Egypt | Syria | Britain | US elections | EU | China

  1. The Guardian article on China and Syria is absolute claptrap. Chulov (the reporter) is so far from the truth that he is either an idiot, drunk, or a liar.

    China’s position on Syria has not changed at all. Nor has Russia’s. Throughout September, in the run up to the vote, both China and Russia called for a peaceful resolution of the crisis in Syria through negotiation and reform. Both countries rejected violence by the Syrian state and by the Syrian opposition. And they categorically rejected outside interference. That is still their official position.

    When China and Russia vetoed the European resolution they made it very clear why they were doing so. Their statements were ignored by pretty much all of the western media. Russia was especially detailed, citing specifically NATO’s abuse of the resolution on Libya. The full statement (Google-translate works quite well on this text) is worth reading.

    China’s statement appears to have been much shorter. It urged all sides in the conflict to refrain from violence, it urged the Syrian government to implement reforms and it said that threats of sanctions would exacerbate the situation rather than leading to a peaceful solution. In other words, exactly what China is saying now.

    Chulov also claims that Russia had changed its position on Syria several days earlier and he wrote an article about it that was just as far from the truth as his claims about China. Chulov claimed that Medvedev had hardened Russia’s position on Syria and was calling for Assad to step down. In fact, Medvedev had said that the Syrian government should resign if it failed to implement reforms, but that was an issue that only Syrians, certainly not NATO, had a right to decide. He again rejected outside interference, including threats of sanctions. Most importantly, he explained that China and Russia had tried to ensure that the draft resolution on Syria would specifically rule out external military action. He said that the fact that Europeans had refused to include this paragraph demonstrated their real intentions—hence China and Russia’s veto.

    Guardian readers might be interested to know these things, but they’re not likely to read them in the Guardian for quite some time.

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