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Not Mightier than Ali Farzat’s Pen

The physical attack on Syrian Cartoonist Ali Farzat last week was an important moment in the history of the Syrian uprising. Farzat is not any cartoonist: He is probably one of the most gifted contemporary cartoonists in the Arab world and beyond. Farzat has always reminded me of Michel Foucault: Both study power not in its centralization or as a formal structure but in its diffusion and emanations. Farzat studies and mocks power in all aspects of our lives. People who think that Farzat attacks only the state or government have not seen his work.

Israeli "Response" to Gaza: Blurring the Line

While I was in London last week, I discussed Israel's ongoing attacks on the Gaza Strip with Palestine solidarity activist Frank Barat and filmmaker Sophie Stern. During our lengthy conversation, I described how Israel's doctrine of "asymmetrical warfare" has deliberately blurred the line between civilians and soldiers, and how Israeli military and legal theorists have marketed the doctrine to the West in order to unravel international law:

Libya: The Ruined Revolution

This is no revolution. This is not even a popular uprising. This is a ruined revolution. Who but NATO can turn a popular uprising with revolutionary potential into a reactionary political puppet movement headed by former lieutenants of Gaddafi? Who but NATO can smash the concrete revolutionary actions of Arab youths? The dreams of those who expected a real revolutionary moment in which the entire bizarre model of government of Jamahiriyyah were trampled upon by the boots of French and British special forces.

Politico Op-Ed: Jews were Majority in West Bank "since the 1800's"

Yesterday Politico published an op-ed by former AIPAC spokesman Josh Block enumerating the reasons why the United States should sabotage the Palestinian Authority's statehood bid at the UN. The op-ed is larded with the usual canards and hasbara talking points (Palestine will be a "terrorist state," etc) that anyone would expect from a former AIPAC flak, but one line was particularly egregious.

Mubarak in a Cage

The sight of Mubarak in a cage was historical. Arabs saw Saddam behind bars, but they were not impressed. Contrary to the wishful thinking of American neo-conservatives and liberals, the entire Iraqi political process under occupation never impressed Arabs. It was all part of a US-orchestrated charade. The spectacle of humiliating Arab rulers is not new. Arab leaders have been mistreated, shot at, and executed.

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