And Olmert is (nearly) gone

Akiva Eldar, Haaretz, July 31: But at the top of the indictment that history will submit against Olmert will stand his criminal neglect of the Arab Peace Initiative. To date the Israeli cabinet has not even discussed the framework which for the first time offers Israel “normal ties” with all 22 members of the Arab…

Kill the pets

Just another religiously fundamentalist decision by a reliable US ally: Saudi Arabia’s religious police have announced a ban on selling cats and dogs as pets, or walking them in public in the Saudi capital, because of men using them as a means of making passes at women, an official said on Wednesday.

To leave or not to leave?

Dr. Steven Kull, Director of the Program on International Policy Attitudes, gave testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight on July 30: How is it that on one hand Iraqis think the presence of US troops makes the security situation worse and they should leave…

Real freedom bites

Are you feeling that sweet Olympic spirit yet? The Chinese authorities confirmed today that the 20,000 foreign journalists covering the Olympic Games will not have unrestricted access to the Internet during their stay. Kevin Gosper, the head of the IOC’s press commission, admitted today: “I also now understand that some IOC officials negotiated with the…

The time to read quality

Chris Hedges, Democracy Now!, July 29: The average reader of the paper copy of the New York Times spends forty-five minutes reading the paper. The average viewer of the New York Times website spends about seven minutes. The internet is not designed for a literate society. We are moving into a post-literate society, a society…

Filming violations

Israeli crimes in the occupied territories are starting to receive mainstream, American TV coverage. A sign that Israel’s shocking behaviour is becoming worthy of international condemnation. Not before time:

Zionists (mainly) to blame

US Jewish blogger Phil Weiss hears leading Palestinian speaker Rami Khouri talk about the (welcome) shifts in the Middle East since 9/11: I wondered how long it would take him to get to the Arab-Israeli issue. It was about 30 minutes. From then on it was all that anyone could talk about. He did not…

Confusion through the Beijing smog

My following article appears in the Amnesty International Australia’s Uncensor campaign about human rights in China: Western critics of Beijing should be careful what they wish for during the Games, writes Antony Loewenstein Amnesty International’s latest report on China’s human rights record makes for depressing reading. “We’ve seen a deterioration in human rights because of…