Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Middle East Category

The Wisdom of Ayan Hirsi Ali

  • August 05, 2014
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Whatever you think of Benjamin Netanyahu – and readers of this site will know very well what I think of him – even the most fervent supporters of the Israeli blitz of Gaza have not proposed that he should be rewarded for his efforts with the Nobel Peace Prize.

Such a suggestion might work as satire in a post from The Onion, say.   But even if Netanyahu’s admirers found such a thought floating round in their head they would probably be inclined to keep it private for reasons of good taste and human decency,...

Israel and Gaza: Sexy Cool Genocide

  • August 03, 2014
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In 1955 the dovish Israeli prime minister Moshe Sharett wrote in his diary that his countrymen had transformed revenge into a ‘sacred principle’ and worried that such tendencies ‘ must make the State appear in the eyes of the world as a savage state that does not recognize the principles of justice as they have...

The friends of Israel: united in blood

  • July 29, 2014
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Even by the standards we have come to expect from Israel’s powerful supporters, yesterday’s speech by the senior White House adviser Susan Rice was a sickening demonstration of intellectual dishonesty and mealy-mouthed hypocrisy.     At a public ‘solidarity’ meeting convened by Jewish groups in Washington,   Rice criticized the United Nations human rights council...

Special Agent Philip Hammond: Our Man in Jerusalem

  • July 25, 2014
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Years ago, as an undergraduate history student at SOAS, I wrote an essay on the Balfour declaration and the British role in the formation of the state of Israel for Professor Malcolm Yapp.   Professor Yapp kindly gave me an ‘A+’ for that essay, but I also remember a tutorial in which he queried my...

Gaza Unbowed

  • July 23, 2014
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After more than two weeks of relentless violence that has cost more than 600 Palestinian lives and thousands of wounded, it is becoming increasingly clear that Israel’s savage assault on the Gaza Strip has not been successful even on its own terms.     Day after day the rockets keep coming out of Gaza, and...

The Deaths of Others: 10 ways that Israel justifies the killing of Palestinians

  • July 13, 2014
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Modern war is rarely limited to the ‘battlefield’ or war zone.     Today’s wars are also waged in tv news studios, chat shows and op ed columns, in what the Pentagon calls ‘public diplomacy’ or ‘information warfare’ that attempts to shape the way that war is perceived, and enlist the active support or passive...

About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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