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One Palestinian village's death by a thousand cuts - Dotemirates
17/04/2016

One Palestinian village's death by a thousand cuts

My first visit to the village of Al Walaja in 2009 was little more than an afterthought. Having spent most of the day in Bethlehem monitoring Israeli settlement encroachment around the hilltop city, a friend suggested we stop by Al Walaja on our way back to Jerusalem. A non-violent protest movement was taking shape in the village. Al Walaja sits above a neatly terraced hillside, close to Jerusalem's southern edge. From the verandas of village homes, you can see Malha Mall and Teddy football stadium, home to the ultranationalist Beitar Jerusalem team. Over the past decade, the Israeli military has...


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Who’d have thought it? Jeremy Corbyn could shape Britain’s destiny in Europe

It’s a fair bet that never, ever did the British establishment imagine that one day it would be resting its hopes on Jeremy Corbyn. For years, the likes of British Prime Minister David Cameron, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, governor of Bank of England Mark Carney, the heads of most FTSE (Financial Times Stock Exchange) companies and the masters of the City of London — to say nothing of Peter Mandelson and the entire New Labour aristocracy — would either have mocked Corbyn or struggled to place his name.But now they’re relying on him. Last Thursday, the campaign for...
16/04/2016

Why I Support Bernie Sanders

In 2003, while I was teaching at Davidson College in North Carolina, I saw an ad in the local newspaper announcing a “Going Out of Business” sale of Utica Linen products. The mill that had been making these linens was closing and relocating to Asia where they would be able to pay lower wages. When I saw that ad, I thought back 50 years ago to when that same company’s mills had first moved to North Carolina after shutting down operations in Utica, my hometown. They did so to take advantage of North Carolina’s cheaper non-union labor. What I remember...
14/04/2016

The long read: Turkey’s foreign policy takes shape in a time of terror

In the arid hills of south-eastern Turkey, an increasingly bloody war is destabilising one of the region’s most pivotal countries. For three decades, Turkey and its Kurdish minority population have fought over demands for sovereignty and national aspirations. A shaky ceasefire signed in 2013 prevented outright bloodletting and offered a period of relative calm; however, that sense of peace disappeared last summer. In a rapid succession of events, Turkey’s leadership diverted attention away from domestic and regional challenges to one issue: suppression of the Kurds.On the surface, the renewed fighting might seem like just another flare-up in the course of...

14/04/2016

Why is democracy under pressure in the West?

If you think about it, democracy has always been a strange concept. The majority – the poorer, less educated members of society with no experience of wielding power – get to control the elite who have the property, the wealth and the history of governing. This seems to go against nature and it is hardly surprising that in antiquity, some oligarchs saw democracy as enslavement to the mob.Despite this contradiction, democracy in various forms has thrived from its origins in ancient Greece. In the 1990s, the American political scientist Francis Fukuyama hailed liberal democracy as the “end of history", the...

How can Panama restore its image after the data leak?

Panama is no longer the proper noun it was. It no longer means just a tiny country in Central America or a light-coloured hat that’s worn as an accessory to a tropical suit and is accordingly associated with seaside holidays straight out of a Somerset Maugham story. Nor does it stand for the strategic 77-kilometre waterway connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, which is regarded as one of the most technically difficult engineering projects in history.Instead, “Panama" has become associated with unethical business practices because of the Panama Papers, as the stash of leaked documents has been dubbed. The 11.5...
13/04/2016

There is no sell-by date on ‘leftovers’ or love

In an era when more and more women have greater power over their own destiny, there are still some powerful battles being fought. These are often societal ones, in which social pressure dictates how one should live one’s life.A campaign launched in China by the skincare brand SK-II features videos of women who are courageously trying to #changedestiny by standing up against the pressure of being labelled as “leftover woman". When you aren’t married by your late twenties, that is the label you get and have to live with. You watch, as parents post their daughters’ and sons’ profiles at...