Turkey/Kurdistan | Israel/Palestine | Postcolonialism

Constanze Letsch, Ian Traynor: Turkey election: ruling party loses majority as pro-Kurdish HDP gains seats (Guardian)

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development party wins 41% of vote – meaning it will need a coalition partner to form a government.

HDP wins 13.1% of votes and 80 deputies (Kurdish Question)

The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has demolished the 10 percent election threshold in Turkey and North Kurdistan, getting 13.1 percent of the votes from 6 million 52 thousand voters and gaining 80 seats in the Turkish parliament. The party has increased its votes in Istanbul by 100 percent and has been the only party sending deputies to the parliament in many cities.
Besides exceeding the election threshold as a party for the first time and thus hindering the AKP from gaining power alone, the HDP also multiplied its votes in Turkey and North Kurdistan…
The HDP has outscored other parties in the provinces of Iğdır, Şırnak, Hakkari, Dersim and Ağrı. The party has granted 3 deputies from Hakkari with 87.7 %, 2 from Iğdır with 55.94 %, 4 from Şırnak with 83.93 %, 2 from Dersim with 60.06 %, and 4 from Ağrı with 76.94 %.
The AKP which persistently advocated “one flag, one land, one nation, one state” while taking no concrete steps for the resolution of the Kurdish question, has collapsed in the Kurdish region, …
The HDP also overthrew the threshold in İstanbul where it won 11 seats, winning 12.60 % with 1 million, 68 thousand, 808 votes, as well as in İzmir where it gained 2 seats, winning 10.54 % with 285,256 votes.

Mark Lowen: Turkey election: Kurds, women, gays put faith in upstart party (BBC)
Kate Lyons: Record number of women elected to Turkish parliament (Guardian)

The HDP campaigned on leftwing issues such as raising the minimum wage and improving access to university education, and on a platform of gender equality, promising to create a ministry of women and make International Women’s Day a national holiday.
The party has male and female co-chairs and a near-50% quota for female candidates and 10% quota for LGBT candidates. It charges women half as much as men to stand as candidates. Such policies are yielding results: 268 of the HDP’s 550 candidates were women, and 31 (39%) of its 80 elected MPs.

Gideon Levy: Israel washed itself clean of Gaza’s dead beach children (Haaretz)

The IDF should have been the first to press for a true investigation of the death of three boys shelled on Gaza’s coast – instead it blamed Hamas, as if it had sent the boys to play on the beach.

Peter Beaumont: Witness to a shelling: first-hand account of deadly strike on Gaza port (Guardian, 16 June 2014)
Amy Goodman, Yousef Munayyer, Gideon Levy: Israeli Report Finds 2014 Gaza War “Lawful” and “Legitimate” Ahead of Critical U.N. Investigation (Democracy Now)

The Israeli government has released a report that concludes its military actions in the 2014 war in Gaza were “lawful” and “legitimate.” The findings come ahead of what is expected to be a critical United Nations investigation into the 50-day conflict that Israel has dismissed as biased and refused to cooperate with. More than 2,200 Palestinians died in what was called “Operation Protective Edge,” the vast majority civilians. On Israel’s side, 73 people were killed, all but six of them soldiers.

Ali Abunimah: UN’s Ban Ki-moon caves in, takes Israel off list of serious child abusers (Electronic Intifada)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has caved in to pressure from Israel and the United States and taken the Israeli military off an official list of serious violators of children’s rights, in this year’s report on children in armed conflict.
In doing so, Ban rejected an official recommendation from his own Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Leila Zerrougui and numerous human rights organizations and child rights defenders.
Ban’s act is particularly egregious since the report found that the number of children killed in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip in 2014, at 557, was the third highest only after Iraq and Afghanistan and ahead of Syria.

Colum Lynch: Israel’s Shield (Foreign Policy)

The Obama administration is seen as no great friend of Bibi’s government. But behind the scenes at the U.N., the United States is working hard to protect it.

Gideon Levy, Alex Levac: Starved for freedom: Palestinian goes on hunger strike for 4th time (Haaretz)

It’s his fourth hunger strike and his 10th arrest without charges trial. Cumulatively, he has spent more than six years in Israeli prisons, almost always under the system of “administrative detention” – arrest without trial. His persecutors, the security authorities, have not presented any legal evidence in court to corroborate their suspicions. Only once was he convicted and sent to prison by a court. On all the other occasions, he was thrown into jail for months and even years. Each time without an indictment, without a trial, without being informed of the charges against him.

Ido Efrati, Jonathan Lis: Israeli government approves bill to force feed prisoners on hunger strike (Haaretz)

Israeli Medical Association says bill violates ethical standards and requires doctors to employ ‘means bordering on torture.’

Aeyal Gross: Pinkwashing debate / Gay rights in Israel are being appropriated for propaganda value (Haaretz)

Using gay rights as a yardstick for a country’s human rights record makes it seem as if the Israeli occupation does not undermine democracy and human rights.

Israel boasts about gay rights, but discrimination still prevalent (Haaretz)

Jonah Birch: How Does the Subaltern Speak?: An Interview with Vivek Chibber (Jacobin)

In recent decades, postcolonial theory has largely displaced Marxism as the dominant perspective among intellectuals engaged in the project of critically examining the relationship between the Western and non-Western worlds. Originating in the humanities, postcolonial theory has subse­quently become increasingly influential in history, anthropology, and the social sciences. Its rejection of the universalisms and meta-narratives associated with Enlightenment thought dovetailed with the broader turn of the intellectual left during the 1980s and 1990s.
Vivek Chibber’s new book, Postcolonial Theory and the Specter of Capital, represents a wide-ranging challenge to many of the core tenets of postcolonial theory. Focusing particularly on the strain of postcolonial theory known as subaltern studies, Chibber makes a strong case for why we can — and must — conceptualize the non-Western world through the same analytical lens that we use to understand developments in the West. He offers a sustained defense of theoretical approaches that emphasize universal categories like capitalism and class. His work constitutes an argument for the continued relevance of Marxism in the face of some of its most trenchant critics.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *