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This week's editor

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Gaza border controls: frustration, despair and death

This summer how many people will drive, walk, or take a train and barely realise that they have crossed a border?  How many people will know about the 2 million residents of Gaza that don’t have that right?

Humanitarian crisis worsens in Gaza

The over 10 year-long blockade of Gaza is having a devastating impact on the lives of people living in the strip, affecting healthcare, water systems, and the ability to live and work.

Gaza in transit: what after the GCC crisis?

No conflict in the Middle East spares the Palestinians, and the recent crisis in the GCC is no exception.

Gaza: walking ‘eyes wide open’ into another war

The ramping up of air strikes in Gaza combined with a humanitarian crisis compounded by a stalled reconstruction effort following last summer’s war, should compel us all into a heightened state of activism using BDS.

British Zionism, Jews and Gaza

The reaction of British Jews to the offensive in Gaza confirms that Zionism no longer serves as a glue holding most of the community together, whilst the right-wing ideology of the pro-Israel leadership is only intensifying divisions.

Money where your mouth is: Salaita, freedom of speech, and the new market of education

I'd like to unpack the widespread idea that one's freedom of speech is relinquished when it is used in the form of “hate speech” or to “spread hate.” Hate is a legitimate and reasonable response to certain morally reprehensible realities.

The BRICS and Gaza

Where do the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries stand in relation to the current conflict in Gaza? How do they compare to the dominant external power in the region, the US? What do their responses to the crisis reveal about their broader global aspirations?

Images of Gaza and the erasure of history

By failing to contextualise the Gaza assault the media helps embed a kind of official ignorance - much of the British public have no idea what is actually happening, or why.

Israel proves that British arms export safeguards are worthless

Britain continues to sell arms to a state that shows continual and flagrant disregard for international law.

Palestinian unity should not become a victim of Israel’s war on Gaza

If one of the motives of Israel's war on Gaza was to crush the nascent Palestinian unity government, it may have failed. For the sake of whatever peace process is still possible, Palestinians need to stay the course.

Media wars over Gaza: why British broadcasters are still failing in their scrutiny of Israeli officials

UK media may indeed suggest the bombardment of Gaza is disproportionate but the idea that Israel's offensive is a response to Hamas rocket attacks is all too rarely questioned.

Protests and prayers are more alike than they seem

What are we to do, having faced the dual anniversary of a sacred tradition of repentance and a peace agreement in our name that has now gone awry? Everything in our power to make it right.

Oslo twenty years later

As a young Palestinian, I can’t help but reflect on the ‘solutions’ that have passed in my lifetime. 

My friend has a story

This isn’t my story. But it could have been, and it can be the story of any young Palestinian living in this small besieged part of the world.

24 hours in Gaza

Our correspondent in the Gaza Strip invites you to spend the day with him

How Do We Cope?

As summit follows summit, the fate of the Gazan people once again hangs in the balance. A young student and entrepreneur chronicles the ingenuity of his fellow Gazans.

What is Hamas?

Although controversial and polemic, Sara Roy's July 2007 reflections on Hamas present a picture of a complex organisation that should invite a sophisticated policy response.(Originally published in the Midlle East Policy Council Journal)

Gaza: hope after attack

Israel's air assault on Gaza offers an intensification of rather than escape from its cycle of conflict with the Palestinians. 

The Veteran and the Youth

I was on my way to an exhibition and the sales yesterday - seeing the headlines on a poster about demonstrators at the Israeli Embassy, I changed my plans.  Only a small but furious crowd , no one I knew, no banner or posters identifying who anyone was, all united  by our righteous anger at the cruel and barbaric bombing of Gaza.

It is a strange and lonely place, to be of Jewish origin in such a situation, thinking of friends and family living in Israel, who also question the hubris and violence of their government. Difficult  also when one of the young men started shouting ‘Nazis!’, but he stopped when I quietly suggested that it was not a good slogan.
It is not difficult to understand his visceral rage and youthful urge to hurl the worst of all insults, and not difficult to understand why the boy wearing a combat jacket was clutching a home made catapult,  after the arrests and assaults the day before, it seemed best to just tell him to put  it away and warn him of possible trouble ahead from the police.

The media were out in force, they focussed on the young and angry , we the elderly and middle aged had gathered by now - alongside the miracle of London’s magical mixture ,veiled, unveiled old and young punky and respectable , Islamic men in long robes and an elderly Jewish man in a tweed hat who spoke with passion of the special responsibility that Jews carry - not to be merely spectators to barbarism and his urgent need to come and protest, he had a warm exchange with a young man by his side explaining why it was the Israeli State that must be condemned not the Israeli people.

It was bitterly cold but as I turned to leave I saw the amazing veteran Tony Benn, a retired British MP, who passionately opposed the dreadful war in Iraq, and has become a beacon of progressive thinking in the UK, at least 25 years older than me out at an edgy demonstration, in the freezing cold, an inspiring model for all of us -young and old.

John Berger: a life in Gaza

We are now spectators of the latest - and perhaps penultimate - chapter of the 60 year old conflict between Israel and the Palestinian people. About the complexities of this tragic conflict billions of words have been pronounced, defending one side or the other.

Today, in face of the Israeli attacks on Gaza, the essential calculation, which was always covertly there, behind this conflict, has been blatantly revealed. The death of one Israeli victim justifies the killing of a hundred Palestinians. One Israeli life is worth a hundred Palestinian lives.

This is what the Israeli State and the world media more or less - with marginal questioning - mindlessly repeat. And this claim, which has accompanied and justified the longest Occupation of foreign territories in 20th C. European history, is viscerally racist. That the Jewish people should accept this, that the world should concur, that the Palestinians should submit to it - is one of history's ironic jokes. There's no laughter anywhere. We can, however, refute it, more and more vocally.

Let's do so.

John Berger

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