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Next to Israel, not in place of it

Uri Avnery: What is to be done?

8 March 2007
... under any circumstances, to fix final borders. After Arafat’s death, it became more difficult for Israel to continue to refuse to negotiate. Arafat was always described as a terrorist. But Mahmoud Abbas was universally accepted as someone who wanted to achieve peace. Nevertheless, Ariel Sharon succeeded in avoiding any negotiations with him. The Gaza disengagement plan, which had Washington’s full ...

Gaza’s Future

Henry Siegman: Breaching the Barrier

7 February 2008
... refusal to halt rocket assaults on Israel. As recent opinion polls have found, the suffering caused by the Gaza closures produced greater solidarity not greater divisiveness. It even moved Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad to public displays of anger (however disingenuous) against Ehud Olmert’s government. Olmert’s statement, made shortly before the breakout, that Gaza’s residents could not ...
30 July 2014
... reneged on its commitment to release a number of Palestinian prisoners incarcerated since before the 1993 Oslo Accords, and ended when Netanyahu announced he would no longer deal with Mahmoud Abbas because Abbas had just signed a further reconciliation agreement with Hamas. On this occasion, in a sharp departure from precedent, US Secretary of State John Kerry explicitly blamed Israel for the ...

Is Palestine Next?

Adam Shatz: The No-State Solution

14 July 2011
... government which, in concert with the US and Israel, was doing its best to prop up the PA and to weaken Hamas. A flurry of local petitions was drafted in support of reconciliation, but Mahmoud Abbas made sure they went nowhere. When advocates of reconciliation set up a stand in the centre of Nablus to gather signatures a few years ago, a member of PA security destroyed the table they were ...
20 March 1980
Puffball 
by Fay Weldon.
Hodder, 255 pp., £5.95, February 1980, 0 340 24565 4
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The Mirror of the Giant 
by Penelope Shuttle.
Marion Boyars, 165 pp., £5.95, January 1980, 0 7145 2679 7
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Another Part of the Wood 
by Beryl Bainbridge.
Duckworth, 176 pp., £4.95, November 1979, 0 7156 1458 4
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Wild Oats 
by Jacob Epstein.
Alison Press/Secker, 267 pp., £5.95, February 1980, 0 436 14826 9
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In the Secret State 
by Robert McCrum.
Hamish Hamilton, 250 pp., £5.95, February 1980, 0 241 10322 3
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... writing, I don’t know that the effect and the message in these two books will get a welcome in radical circles. Glastonbury Tor stands on the horizon in one of them, the giant man of Cerne Abbas in the other. The main characters learn to define themselves as women through manifestations of the instinctive, irrational world. They have little specific sense of identity or relationship; subdued ...
1 October 1987
Persian Nights 
by Diane Johnson.
Chatto, 352 pp., £10.95, July 1987, 0 7011 3234 5
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Smile, and Other Stories 
by Deborah Moggach.
Viking,​ 175 pp., £10.95, September 1987, 0 670 81658 2
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Fast Lanes 
by Jayne Anne Phillips.
Faber, 148 pp., £8.95, August 1987, 0 571 14924 3
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... woman against all hollow change and worldliness.’ Chloe is amused and sympathetic. She diagnoses Noosheen’s yearnings as romantic and imagines her in love with the handsome and tragically widowed Abbas Mowlavi: ‘She thought of the affectionate glances between Abbas and Noosheen and could imagine Noosheen’s beautiful body, blue like the body of a goddess in a miniature painting, entwined with ...

Hamas’s Chances

Nathan Thrall

20 August 2014
... long demanded by the US and its European allies: non-violence, adherence to past agreements and recognition of Israel. Though the agreement stipulated that the PA government refrain from politics, Abbas said it would pursue his political programme. Hamas barely protested. The agreement was signed on 23 April, after Kerry’s peace talks had broken down; had the talks been making progress, the US ...

One Screw Short

Owen Bennett-Jones: Pakistan’s Bomb

18 July 2019
Pakistan’s Nuclear Bomb: A Story of Defiance, Deterrence and Deviance 
by Hassan Abbas.
Hurst, 341 pp., £25, January 2018, 978 1 84904 715 9
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... Pakistan’s leading nuclear scientist, and if it hadn’t been for the Pakistani military, which gave the programme its full support. Drawing on the recollections of former decision-makers, Hassan Abbas offers the most complete account yet of how the programme worked, and what it meant: a source of national pride, and a source of cash. The story begins with Iran in the mid-1980s. In the face of ...
4 December 2014
... municipal boundaries, the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority is forbidden to enter them. But the Israeli police, in common with the providers of other basic municipal services, largely refuse to go to these places. Despite this, residents are still obliged to pay municipal taxes, in order to qualify for healthcare and benefits. These neighbourhoods have become a no man’s land where criminals ...

Battle for Baghdad

Patrick Cockburn

16 July 2014
... In early June​ , Abbas Saddam, a private soldier from a Shia district in Baghdad serving in the 11th Division of the Iraqi army, was transferred from Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province in western Iraq, to Mosul in the ...

The Ceasefire

Uri Avnery: Calm in Gaza

31 July 2008
... happen after the army entered Gaza and wiped it out. The ceasefire is ‘fragile’, Ehud Olmert says: it can come to an end any minute. And Ehud Barak, who pushed for it, has an excuse: we have to go through the motions before starting the Big Operation in Gaza. For the sake of public opinion. Nobody says: thank God, the killing has stopped. What is the reason for this almost unanimous feeling of ...

Quisling and Occupier

Virginia Tilley: The One State Solution

3 November 2005
... despite unilateral Israeli action and the galloping expansion of settlements, it has sustained the fragile impression of defending a genuine two-state solution. But as Halper also warned, if Mahmoud Abbas accepts the terms of Sharon’s plan – a cantonised West Bank, a sealed-off Gaza Strip, token access to East Jerusalem – the activist community would see him only as Israel’s long-sough...

Diary

Layla Al-Zubaidi: In Syria

24 May 2012
... of Top Goon the puppeteers show (part of) their faces. His eyes just visible behind a Syrian flag, one of them pops up from behind the stage to tell the Bashar puppet his time is up. Bashar won’t go down easily: ‘I’m president of this republic! I’ll annihilate you! Infiltrator! Scum! Al-Qaida!’ The puppeteer isn’t bothered. ‘Do you know,’ he says, ‘I can make you do whatever I ...

Our Second Biggest Mistake in the Middle East

Alastair Crooke: The Case for Hamas

5 July 2007
Hamas: Unwritten Chapters 
by Azzam Tamimi.
Hurst, 344 pp., £14.95, September 2006, 9781850658344
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Where Now for Palestine? The Demise of the Two-State Solution 
edited by Jamil Hilal.
Zed, 260 pp., £17.99, December 2006, 1 84277 840 4
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Failing Peace: Gaza and the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict 
by Sara Roy.
Pluto, 379 pp., £16.99, October 2006, 0 7453 2234 4
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... This was the reaction of Ephraim Sneh, Israel’s deputy defence minister, to Hamas’s seizure of a number of key security institutions in Gaza in the days leading up to 14 June, when Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority and leader of Fatah, dismissed the unity government. But, despite what much of the media says, this is not a ‘civil war’, and Hamas is not made up of ...

The Great Middle East Peace Process Scam

Henry Siegman: There Is No Peace Process

16 August 2007
... failed peace process enjoyed so many windows of opportunity.) Hamas’s isolation in Gaza, Olmert and Bush agreed, would allow them to grant generous concessions to the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, giving him the credibility he needed with the Palestinian people in order to prevail over Hamas. Both Bush and Olmert have spoken endlessly of their commitment to a two-state solution to the Israel ...

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