The contention that Israel is on its path of conflict against Gaza in its pursuit of self-defence is not acceptable. If armed force is to be justified as self-defence under the UN Charter, it is absolutely necessary that a precursor armed attack occurred. This is simply not the case with respect […]
Archive for category: Middle East
There are arguments that to prosecute is to interfere with the right of self-determination of the Syrian people. However, when there is evidence of mass atrocities, with clear ideas as to who is responsible, the prosecution cannot be considered to be “taking sides”.
Robi, an Israeli mother, ponders the possibility of meeting her son David’s killer, and can’t help wonder how honest she is with herself in her quest for reconciliation. Can a person who stole the life of a women’s child ever truly be forgiven? Is the dialogue between perpetrators and victims […]
Israel is a nineteenth century European project completed neither in the nineteenth century nor in Europe.
The trajectory of the Geneva II negotiations – either towards convergence (resolution) or divergence (non-resolution) – will affect the outcome of one of the most violent and protracted conflicts in the Middle East.
Research by women’s right organizations purports that the prevalence of child marriage is not due to lack of awareness about the concerns of the practice, but due to the social prejudice that girls face. While reports are inconclusive as to the rate of increase of child marriages among refugee populations, […]
In January 2012 Al-Qaeda seized control of Radaa, Yemen. Internationally the event was viewed as a territorial advance by Al-Qaeda, however the situation was much more complicated. Viewing the conflict from a different perspective has important consequences for what policy and action are appropriate.
The recent decision by Israel’s Ministerial Committee approving the annexation of the Jordan Valley goes against one of the very core tenets of public international law.
In the chaos of Syria’s civil war local peacebuilders are finding ways to bring respite for tired civilians from suffering and danger.
The world’s most politically volatile region, the Middle East, has been stabilised through the collective common sense of three Great Powers – the United States, Great Britain and Russia – applying regressive yet pragmatic foreign policy.
Below the radar of the forthcoming Geneva-2 peace talks, Bosnian and Syrian women are holding meetings to discuss the lessons that must be learnt from the failure of the Dayton Agreement. However, without the voices of those who have the greatest stake in preserving peace in their countries, peace agreements […]
Looking at Syria through the lenses of a few selected Principles of Conflict Transformation can offer new suggestions for peaceful actions as the fatigue of violence continues to grow.
When war between Israel and Iran seemed imminent, Israeli graphic designer Ronny Edry shared a poster on Facebook of himself and his daughter with a bold message: “Iranians … we [heart] you.” Other Israelis quickly created their own posters with the same message – and Iranians responded in kind. The […]
Regarding existential, zero-sum struggles it matters which side has more options.
That Syria has been on a downward spiral since 2011 is not news. Any solution for Syria must not be limited in scope. Tackling chemical weapons is only one part of the entire deal. If a middle path between the use of force and non-action can be carved, using just […]
The UN would likely play a key role in verifying and overseeing an effort to put Syria’s weapons under international control. But the UN Security Council can only work if the two remaining superpowers put their backs into it.
Aiming to “transform conflict” would inject new energy into the diplomatic process around Syria, by finding new common interests between adversaries.
For the US to act as part of the international community and through the UN, it must commit itself in this particular case – and in general – to a diplomatic strategy of building common perceptions and sharing understandings.
The United States has only to gain from the likely military intervention which will give it unrestricted access to Syria’s oil reserves, with a larger control over the neighbouring oil producers and trade routes. The intervention comes at an opportune time for the superpower when the global economy has forced […]
The responsibility to protect is an international responsibility and not the exclusive burden of any one country, not even the US. But the use of force now or at any time should be left to the Security Council to decide. President Obama should now earn his Noble Peace Prize by […]
In the two years since the conflict began, civilian deaths have unfolded in unimaginable numbers, yet the international community did not act. With respect to the Responsibility to Protect, therefore, are the lives that have been taken thus far worth less than the potential use of chemical weapons? Are we […]
To understand what a militarily-inspired democratic transplant might achieve in Syria, one might look at what happened when the Iraqi Ba’athist regime of Saddam Hussein was overthrown.
With the top of the leadership pyramid removed, the societies left behind were rife with internal divisions. Without any historical experience, or sufficient wealth to divide among all claimants, they were never going to assemble themselves into polities and societies peacefully resolving their differences through constitutional, liberal mechanisms. Nor were they going […]
Even though conservative Islam is not much appreciated among the liberal and secular Bosniak and Albanian communities in the Western Balkans, radical groups show an increasing online and real-life presence.
By staging a coup, Egypt’s generals have acted against the grain of an era in which militaries have become less involved in politics. That is their problem.