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Israel

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I was in my room in the Baghdad Hotel on al-Sadoun street last Sunday evening, writing about the chances for stability in Iraq taking hold, when the walls and floor began to shake. They jerked sideways and up and down several times as if my room was the cabin of boat in a rough sea.... Read More
The allegation that an espionage agent spying for Israel is in danger of losing his life because President Trump revealed classified information is deeply damaging to him. It is said that he told senior Russian officials that the spy had disclosed details of an Isis plot to blow up planes by placing explosives inside laptops... Read More
A deal on nuclear weapons has been on the cards since President Obama decided not to attack Syria
The decision by President Obama not to launch air strikes on Syrian government forces after the apparent use of chemical weapons by them on 21 August prepared the ground for a possible US-Iranian deal on Iran's nuclear programme. By its actions, the US showed it was not prepared to undertake military action to overthrow President... Read More
Ethnic cleansing continues as President Rouhani prepares to address the UN on Tuesday
Cracks suddenly appear in the ice of the deep-frozen relations between the US and Iran. President Hassan Rouhani emulates Vladimir Putin by writing an opinion piece in the American press oozing goodwill and willingness to co-operate with the US. He gives an interview on American television, repeating: "We have time and again said that in... Read More
The Real Threat to Israel is Not Iran, But It's Own Cozy Relationship With Arab Dictators and Monarchs
There has always been something stagey and contrived about Israel's blood-curdling declarations that it is going to bomb Iran, but as a strategy it has worked astonishingly well, at home and abroad. Benjamin Netanyahu has been expert at manipulating Israelis' perception of threat. His popularity with voters enabled him last week to dumbfound the country's... Read More
“Israel is at its more influential when threatening war than when it is actually fighting one.”
The air is full of dire warnings of an impending Israeli attack on Iran. Prophets of doom declare themselves full of forebodings and point fearfully to the meeting in the White House between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as crucial in making the decisions that will lead to peace or war.... Read More
Arab Upheavals Augur Tougher Times Ahead
The bomb attack on a bus in Jerusalem this week killed one woman and wounded 24 people. The casualties were not high compared with similar bombings in the city over the last 20 years. I lived off the Jaffa Road for four years in the mid-1990s when bus bombings were common. I used to walk... Read More
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"Failed State" Myths
Why has Lebanon ended up as the graveyard of so many invaders? Israelis used to say in the 1960s that one of their military bands would be enough to conquer the country. Sometimes, prior to Israel and Egypt agreeing a peace in 1979, they would add archly that “I don’t know which will be the... Read More
All Eyes on Turkey
President Obama was full of gushing goodwill towards Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during their summit in Washington this week. There was no mention of an extension to the moratorium on Israeli settlement building or the Israeli commandos' attack on the Turkish aid flotilla bound for Gaza. In private, the White House and even the... Read More
Israel and the Infinite Limits of US Patience
Meetings between US presidents and Israeli prime ministers are usually preceded by speculation that the US leader will finally demand that Israel stop expanding settlements in the West Bank, displacing Palestinians in East Jerusalem and embarrassing the US by misjudged military actions. Before yesterday's White House encounter there were particularly loud criticisms of Israel from... Read More
Mad-Dog of the Planet
An old Israeli saying describing various less-than-esteemed military leaders says: "He was so stupid that even the other generals noticed." The same derisive remark could be applied almost without exception to the present generation of Israeli politicians. Such healthy skepticism among Israelis about the abilities of their military and political leaders has unfortunately ebbed in... Read More
Resurgent Israeli Right Dashes Peace Hopes
Jerusalem. Barack Obama's new Middle East peace envoy, George Mitchell, arrives in Israel today charged with working towards an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. But the expected victory of the right in the Israeli election on February 10 may doom his efforts from the outset. Benjamin Netanyahu, who did much to bury the Oslo peace accords when... Read More
Has Anything Changed Since Sabra and Chatila?
I was watching the superb animated documentary Waltz with Bashir about the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. It culminates in the massacre of some 1,700 Palestinians in the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps in south Beirut by Christian militiamen introduced there by the Israeli army which observed the butchery from close range. In the... Read More
The Deepening Crisis in Gaza
Jerusalem. The Israeli military and economic siege of Gaza has led to a collapse in Palestinian living conditions and many people only survive by looking for scraps of food in rubbish dumps, say international aid agencies. "The pressure and tactics have not resulted in a desire for compromise," Karen Abuzayd, the head of the UN... Read More
"Gaza is a jail. Nobody is allowed to leave. We are all starving now."
Gaza. Gaza is dying. The Israeli siege of the Palestinian enclave is so tight that its people are on the edge of starvation. Here on the shores of the Mediterranean a great tragedy is taking place that is being ignored because the world's attention has been diverted by wars in Lebanon and Iraq. A whole... Read More
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Patrick Cockburn
About Patrick Cockburn

Patrick Cockburn is the Middle East correspondent for the British newspaper The Independent. He was awarded the 2005 Martha Gellhorn prize for war reporting. His book on his years covering the war in Iraq, The Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq (Verso) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for non-fiction.


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