Connect with us

Current Events

JVP-HAC: Covid 19 Timeline November 28 – December 4, 2021




by Alice Rothchild, MD

We’re pleased to repost this weekly report by JWE board member Alice Rothchild, MD, which was earlier posted by the Jewish Voice for Peace Health Advisory Council (JVP-HAC)

This resource will be updated regularly to provide a full picture of the unfolding pandemic and the medical, political and economic ramifications in real time.

Please note that Coronavirus cases are an underestimate given the lack of testing, resources, and asymptomatic carriers and up-to-date numbers from the oPt are increasingly difficult to find.  We recognize that in resource poor areas just as Gaza and the West Bank, these numbers are a major underrepresentation and fail to reflect the impact of the pandemic and the recent assault on these populations.

If you would like to receive this weekly timeline, a monthly Media Watch, and the occasional article/action alert, please email us at

Cumulative Coronavirus cases in Israel, West Bank, East Jerusalem, and GazaCumulative cases of Coronavirus in Gaza

As of December 4, 2021
Israel 1,345,083
West Bank 232,148  
(excluding East Jerusalem) (Corona-Covid 19 surveillance system) 
East Jerusalem 30,356  
(Coronavirus – Covid 19 surveillance system) unchanged in 7 weeks, so probably not accurate
Jerusalem governorate 42,054 
(Coronavirus – Covid 19 surveillance system)
Gaza 187,622 
( MOH) 187,559 (Coronavirus – Covid 19 surveillance system)
Total oPt 461,396  
(Reuters Covid 19 tracker)  461,467 (12/3 WHO) 461,761 (Coronavirus – Covid 19 surveillance system) 

As of November 27, 2021
Israel 1,341,541
West Bank 230,870
 (excluding East Jerusalem) (Corona-Covid 19 surveillance system) 
East Jerusalem  30,356
(Coronavirus – Covid 19 surveillance system) unchanged in 6 weeks, so probably not accurate
Jerusalem governorate  42,040
(Coronavirus – Covid 19 surveillance system)
Gaza  186,849
(11/26 MOH)  186,906  (Coronavirus – Covid 19 surveillance system)
Total oPt 459,689
(Reuters Covid 19 tracker)  459,470 (11/26 WHO)  459,816 (Coronavirus – Covid 19 surveillance system) 

As of November 20, 2021
Israel 1,339,258
West Bank 229,959
(excluding East Jerusalem) (Corona-Covid 19 surveillance system) 
East Jerusalem 30,356
(Coronavirus – Covid 19 surveillance system) unchanged in 4 weeks, so probably not accurate
Jerusalem governorate 42,018
(Coronavirus – Covid 19 surveillance system)
Gaza 186,297
(MOH) 186,298  (Coronavirus – Covid 19 surveillance system)
Total oPt 458,273
(Reuters Covid 19 tracker & WHO)  458,275 (Coronavirus – Covid 19 surveillance system) 457,950 (11/19 WHO)

November 28 Israel
Israel will ban foreigners from entering the country for 14 days and use surveillance to halt the spread of the new Covid strain, following full cabinet approval, local media report. The ban is expected to come into effect at midnight. The Israeli government is also pushing for mandatory quarantine for all Israeli nationals returning from abroad. Israel has so far confirmed one case of the potentially more infectious Omicron strain first detected in South Africa. 

The Shin Bet security service told the coronavirus cabinet that Israel should establish a civilian body to track coronavirus patients through their cellphones, rather than asking the agency to do it. The cabinet was discussing reinstituting Shin Bet tracking for people infected with the new Omicron variant, and ultimately decided to do so despite the agency’s objections.

Israel confirmed a second case of the COVID Omicron variant, Health Ministry Director-General Nachman Ash announced. The country’s first case was detected in a woman who had returned to Israel from Malawi. Experts say it will be two weeks before there is credible data on the Omicron variant’s vaccine resistance, while the Health Minister says Israel has been preparing for the arrival of a new variant for some time.

Israel’s chief of public health services, Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, warned that the potential for infection with the COVID variant Omicron is “very high,” but stressed that in cases where vaccinated people were infected they became only slightly ill. Speaking at a Knesset meeting, she gave the example of a flight from South Africa to the Netherlands, where 62 out of 600 passengers were found to be infected. “This is very, very fast,” Alroy-Preis said. According to the South Africa Medical Association, people infected with the Omicron variant have shown only mild symptoms.

Israel’s coronavirus cabinet has authorized a series of measures including banning entry by foreigners, red-listing travel to 50 African countries, and making quarantine mandatory for all Israelis arriving from abroad. The entry ban came into effect at midnight local time.
The Guardian

November 29 Israel
Just two weeks have elapsed since Prime Minister Naftali Bennett presided over a “war game” with a cast of participants who simulated the outbreak of a particularly virulent omega variant of the coronavirus. The conclusions generated from the simulation were consulted over the weekend – to apply them to the emergence of the enigmatic Omicron variant of the virus.

No suspected Omicron cases were found among 25,000 COVID tests taken at Israel’s international airport on 11/28. Health authorities are examining 15 coronavirus patients suspected of carrying the Omicron variant, including residents of Bedouin villages who had not traveled abroad and seem unlikely to have been exposed to the variant.

November 30 Gaza
The COVID-19 pandemic considers a threat to students’ well-being and mental health. This descriptive cross-sectional study study reveals that most students experienced moderate to severe levels of anxiety (89.1%) and depression (72.1%), whereas less than half of them (35.7%) experienced moderate to severe stress. Stress, anxiety and depression scores were significantly different across gender, age groups, family size, and family’s economic status. 
BMC Psychology

November 30 Israel
Israel moved quickly over the weekend to impose new travel and quarantine restrictions following the detection of the country’s first confirmed case of the newly discovered Omicron variant. However, while health officials have stated that it could take up to two weeks to assess the potential impact of the mutated COVID-19 strain, cases of the older Delta variant were already on the rise.

Israel shut its borders to foreigners from all countries for 14 days on 11/27  to try to contain the spread of Omicron and has reintroduced counter-terrorism phone-tracking technology to trace contacts of a handful of people who have likely been infected. Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said that restricting tourism to Israel is “temporary” for 14 days and that the government would not “extend it automatically,” at a press conference with Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman at Soroka Hospital.

The Israeli government voted to advance a bill allowing security service to track COVID patients for up to 2 weeks at a time, which must now pass a Knesset vote. The debate over using Israel’s Shin Bet security service to track coronavirus patients continued amid alarm over the Omicron variant, with the head of the country’s public health services backing the policy and the deputy attorney general saying it was “problematic and is being done for lack of choice.”

Two Israeli doctors, one of whom returned from a conference in London in the last week, have been diagnosed with the Omicron variant. Both had received three doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, and so far have shown mild symptoms. Two others have been identified in Israel as carrying the new COVID-19 variant, one of them a tourist from Malawi who had received the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Organizers of the Miss Universe pageant said 11/29 that a contestant tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving in Israel, which is pressing ahead with plans to host the pageant despite closing its borders in the face of a newly detected variant. The organizers said the contestant tested positive upon arrival in Israel and was taken to a government-run isolation hotel. She was fully vaccinated and had been tested prior to departure, they said.
The pageant was already in the spotlight for being held in Israel amid boycott calls against the country over its treatment of the Palestinians. Citing COVID, Malaysia announced it wouldn’t send a contestant. And South Africa’s government said it was withdrawing support for the country’s representative over her participation in the event. Both countries support the Palestinian cause.

December 1 Israel
Israel’s coronavirus czar Prof. Salman Zarka said in a radio interview that the country should consider a vaccine mandate in light of the threat from the Omicron variant. Zarka, who previously expressed opposition to imposing a vaccine requirement, said his changing opinion was due to the emergence of the new variant, but stressed that this was his own opinion, and does not reflect any activity carried out by the Health Ministry or the government.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s wife and children will fly abroad for a vacation, though a few days ago the premier implored Israelis to avoid travel due to concerns over the spread of the new COVID Omicron variant. According to the Prime Minister’s Office, the trip was “planned in advance.”

December 2 Israel
After launching the child vaccination campaign in a spirit of tolerance, without rush, allowing for deliberations, coronavirus chief Prof. Salman Zarka has now said “all alternatives must be examined, including the one mandating compulsory vaccination.” Israel, where routine vaccination rates are 95 or 98%, has never faced such a dilemma. Not when polio broke out in 2013 and not when German measles spread. The corona pandemic is completely different in every parameter, including considerations for and against getting vaccinated.

December 2 International
The 2021 theme for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities is “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world. A UNWRA Statement on this occasion included the following emphasis: “The Covid-19 global pandemic highlighted the deep inequalities that exist in our world. …Persons with disabilities have been among the most negatively impacted… Children with disabilities have struggled to keep up with remote learning due to inaccessible platforms that are not always customized to their specific needs.”

December 3 Israel
Israel reported Friday that the number of confirmed Omicron cases in the country has climbed to seven. Out of the confirmed cases, the Health Ministry said that four are unvaccinated. Of the remaining three, two had received a third shot of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine and one had received the AstraZeneca jab. Six had returned from a sub-Saharan country and one from a European country. An additional 27 suspected cases are believed to have been infected after exposure to the variant. Of those, 22 were labeled as “unprotected,” meaning they have not received a vaccine dose within the last six months or are simply unvaccinated. Moreover, 478 new coronavirus cases were reported on, while the number of serious cases stood at 112.

December 3 Occupied territories
Mondoweiss weekly COVID-19 roundup:

461,467 Palestinians tested positive for COVID-19; 453,392 recoveries; 4,810 deaths
Of those who tested positive 243,648 live in Gaza and 187,463 live in the West Bank
1,344,668 Israelis tested positive for COVID-19; 1,331,063 recoveries; 8,199 deaths
Gaza currently accounts for around 65% of all Palestinian cases. ICUs in the Gaza Strip are at 20% capacity and in the West Bank at 50% capacity.
According to a weekly epidemiological report from the WHO, of the current COVID-19 tests, only 15% are PCR tests; the rest are the less accurate rapid tests. In 2020 Palestinians almost exclusively used PCR tests, but after a limit in access to restocks in April, health officials began relying on the antigen test. 
Palestinians have reimposed a state of emergency that will bar some businesses from opening, as both Israel and Jordan limited travelers from entering over the weekend in an attempt to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant. While the Omicron variant has not yet been detected among Palestinians, two cases were reported in Israel last week.
The arrival of the variant comes as the Palestinian vaccination campaign has stalled. For weeks that vaccination rate has hovered around 50% for the target population, meaning persons 18 and older.


According to the Reuters COVID-19 Tracker, cases in the occupied Palestinian territories were 10% of the peak and rising with 39 infections per 100,000 people reported in the last seven days. On average, 261 new infections were reported each day. There have been 461,396 infections and 4,811 coronavirus-related deaths reported in the oPt since the pandemic began. The territories have administered at least 3,024,477 doses of COVID vaccines so far. Assuming every person needs two doses, that’s enough to have vaccinated about 32.3% of the country’s population.

Three people have died of coronavirus in Palestine in the last 24 hours and 190 new cases were confirmed, according to Minister of Health Mai Alkaila.
Two deaths, 126 new cases, and 158 recoveries were reported in the West Bank, while one death, 64 new cases, and 70 recoveries were confirmed in the Gaza Strip.
Alkaila said 85 coronavirus patients are currently being hospitalized and 51 are in intensive care, while five patients are on ventilators.
Palestine Information Center

Thanks to Trude Bennett.

Read More

Original Source:

Current Events

The Ukraine War: a Geopolitical Perspective




by Richard Falk

We are delighted to cross-post this piece by JWE Board Member Richard Falk.

Prefatory Note: This post is a somewhat modified version of a talk on March 9th, 2022 at a session of the Global Studies Colloquium, UCSB, convened by Professor Jan Nederveen Pieterse. I regret not having a transcript as a series of challenging questions followed my remarks, including several participants in Europe. COVID has made transnational dialogue much more of a common and enriching feature of intellectual activity on university campuses.

When we agreed on a theme for my presentation, we were in a pre-Ukraine world. In the interim developments in Ukraine, including the imprudent US-led provocations, Russian aggression against a sovereign state producing a severe humanitarian crisis in a country of over 44 million people, the confrontational Western response by way of sanctions and a surging Russophobia, producing a win/lose calculus rather than striving for partial win/win political outcomes, which I would identify as restoring respect for Ukrainian sovereign rights (ceasefire, Russian orderly withdrawal; reconstruction assistance; emergency humanitarian aid) coupled with a commitment by Ukraine to never join NATO or allow Western troops or weaponry to be deployed on its soil, as well as a commitment to allow self-government in Eastern Ukraine and the protection of human rights in Donbas region in accord with the reinvigoration of the Minsk Agreements of 2014-15. The West’s refusal to practice win/win diplomacy is suggestive of an absence of political and moral imagination at a time in world history when the resources and energies of the world need to be dedicated to global problem-solving as never before, and not be diverted by geopolitical dramas of the kind that has been tragically unfolding in Ukraine since February 24th.

Geopolitics is often invoked vaguely and abstractly, frequently given diverse meaning, and thus needs to be explained. Geopolitics is most usefully understood as referencing the behavior of dominant states, what used to be called Great Powers. There is a confusion embedded in IR, which generally refers to a state-centric world order based on juridical equality as exemplified by international law, and has been recently mystified in the political discourse of the U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken. This high official insists that U.S. foreign policy adheres to the restraints of a rule-governed international order, while that of its rivals, China and Russia, does not, and that for him makes all the difference. In actuality, the reality of geopolitics is most manifest in war/peace or international security contexts where all Great Powers throughout the world history of several centuries privilege their strategic priorities over adherence to rules or norms of general application.

At the end of World War II there were basically two geopolitical actors—US & USSR. Additionally, through the strength of Winston Churchill’s personality and the vitality of the trans-Atlantic alliance, UK was treated as a third geopolitical actor. France was later added as a courtesy urged by Churchill to avoid Britain enduring the loneliness of being the predominant colonial power. China as the most populous country and the sole representative of the Global South was the final state admitted to this exclusive club of geopolitical actors, who not only became the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, but were also the first five countries to develop and possess nuclear weapons.

Franklin Roosevelt exerted American influence, backed by Stalin, to ensure that the United Nations would be established in a manner that took account of the institutional failures of the League of Nations that had been brought into existence after World War I to keep the peace. FDR attributed the failure of the League as arising from its Westphalian state-centric framing of authority. Instead of juridical equality as the dominant organizing principle, Roosevelt favored the establishment of a hybrid institution: geopolitical primacy for the Security Council endowed with sole authority to reach and implement, if necessary by force, binding decisions; Westphalian statism was relied upon to legitimate claims of authority in the GA and rest of UN System, yet limited in its efforts to influence behavior to advisory and recommendatory authority that has turned out have had inconsequential impacts in relation to the most pressing items on the global policy agenda.

Additional support for hybridity came from the Soviet Union that sought not only Permanent Membership in the SC but structural assurances that it would not be victimized by a tyranny of the majority composed of anti-Communist Western-leaning countries. Soviet concerns were set forth as part of the justification for granting a right of veto to the permanent five. The central idea was to frame the peace and security priorities of the new UN in a manner that clearer ample space political space for the practice of geopolitics within the four walls of the Organization. It is not surprising that this accommodation of geopolitics produced an impasse at the UN, approaching political paralysis during the Cold War. It also perversely meant that the P-5 were constitutionally empowered to opt out of compliance with international law whenever their strategic interests so decreed by simply casting a veto blocking a SC decision.

It should be noted that a quite different approach was taken in the economic sphere of the Bretton Woods institutions of the World Bank and IMF where Western primacy for market economies was achieved by weighted voting and leadership traditions proportionally based on capital contributions. Such a capitalist consensus did indeed lead to a rule-based international liberal order, which contrasted with the contested ideological combat zone of post-1945 geopolitics. [Ikenberry; WTO added later]

Roosevelt’s vision of the UN was vindicated to some extent by achieving and maintaining universality of membership throughout the entirety of the Cold War. Providing a comfort zone for geopolitics did overcome one of the principal procedural weaknesses of the state-centric League. The League suffered from non-participation (US), withdrawal (USSR), and expulsion (Germany), arguably the most important international actors between the two world wars.

The most hopeful part of FDR’s hopes to the UN proved irrelevant and naïve. Roosevelt was hopeful that the of countries with diverse ideologies that had cooperated so effectively in responding to the fascist challenge in the war would extend their alliance to peacetime. He believed, or maybe just hoped, that the victors in World War II would take on the less onerous challenges of peacetime. In retrospect, it seems clear that those who led the peace diplomacy after World War II underestimated the intensity of antagonistic geopolitical ambitions that had been temporarily subdued to address the common threat posed by fascism, and that the removal of that threat made possible the resumption of fierce geopolitical rivalry between the two military superpowers.

The Cold War, despite its periodic crises, proxy wars, and arms races managed to avoid a third world war by producing a relatively stable geopolitical balance of power based on two  principal elements: deterrence (mutual assured destruction) and respect for each other’s spheres of influence. The risks of war during this period arose over different perceptions of respective degrees of control over spheres of influence as in the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 and the interplay of nationalisms and ideological affinities in the three divided countries of Korea and Vietnam that led to horribly destructive proxy wars and Germany that produced recurrent crises that endangered peace in scary ways. War prevention was more successful in Europe where respective spheres of influence accepted hostile interventions by the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe and more subtly by the U.S. in Western Europe

What might be called ‘the geopolitics of peace’ during the Cold War reflected patterns of assertion and restraint that reflected the prevailing geopolitical structure: the presence of nuclear weapons, and the collapse of European colonialism. The structural reality of the Cold War period was captured by a militarist understanding of geopolitics in the nuclear age, and by the imaginary of ‘bipolarity.’ Such abstractions unless elaborated obscures the role of geopolitical leadership, internal cohesion and governance, and perceptions of the adversary. Yet ‘bipolarity’ gives a more instructive view of geopolitics than does an emphasis on the P-5 in the UN setting, and has prevailed in the academic IR literature.

The collapse of the Soviet Union led what the right-wing neoconservatives in the U.S. heralded as the onset of ‘a unipolar moment,’ which meant that the logic of balance and deterrence no longer applied, especially in conflicts within the spheres of influence bordering on China and Russia. Balance was replaced by the logic of dominance and asymmetry. A triumphalist atmosphere emerged in the US during the 1990s conveyed by such phrases as ‘the end of history,’ ‘the second American century,’ ‘the doctrine of enlargement,’ and ‘democracy promotion.’ No longer was geopolitics conceived largely in regional terms, but rather as a global undertaking of a single political actor, the United States, the first truly ‘global state’ whose security zone encompassed the planet.

But there were problems with operationalizing a Monroe Doctrine for the world: the potency of nationalist resistance neutralizing over time the impact of military superiority enjoyed by the intervening geopolitical actor, a revision of the balance of forces as between intervenors and national sites of struggle recently evident in Iraq and Afghanistan; the fact that China’s challenge was not primarily military, and thus could not be ‘deterred’ by force alone; the growing Russian resentment at being hemmed in and threatened by the geopolitical acrobatics of unipolarity.

One further observation of a conceptual nature: world order is constituted by two normative logics: a geopolitical logic based on inequality of states and a juridical logic based on their equality. For relations based on equality, international law provides a framework; for those based on inequality, strategic priorities including war avoidance underpin action. Bipolarity proved to be relatively resilient, unipolarity turned out to be dysfunctional, producing massive human suffering, widespread devastation and human displacement while frustrating the pursuit and attainment of geopolitical goals.

Before the Ukraine crisis, there seemed to be forming a new geopolitical configuration based on somewhat different patterns of alignment: ‘containment’ was being resurrected in relation to China and focusing on the defense of South Asia, including the islands, with a less Euro-centric alliance on both sides. Instead of NATO v Warsaw Pact there is the relations of US, India, UK, and Australia. Russia seemed to be replacing East Europe as the principal ally or partner of China suggesting a new phase of bipolarity and the onset of a second cold war.

Putin’s attack on Ukraine drastically challenged that playbill, or so it now seems. He had previously pledged ‘the end of the unipolar world,’ and seemed to mean this primarily in relation to the Russian sphere of influence along its Western borders, starting with Ukraine. Such a geopolitical approach is running into some comparable obstacles to those encountered by the US with respect to unipolarity. China is placed in an awkward position of conflicting priorities, balancing U.S. encroachments and hegemonic geopolitics, yet uphold the sanctity of territorial sovereignty, the major premise of Westphalian world order.

One can conjecture that if a diplomatic solution is soon found for Ukraine, the Sino-Russian defensive geopolitics will revive. The Trump factor cannot be discounted in the near future, and with it a return to a geopolitical realignment scheme that was friendlier to Russia and more economistic in character, viewing China as the more troublesome rival of the U.S. from the perspective of trade, investment, and technological innovation.

What seems clear is that the 30-year aftermath of the Cold War is ending amid the ruins and humanitarian crisis unfolding in Ukraine. What comes next depends on many factors, including the impingement of unmet global challenges not previously prominent on geopolitical agendas, yet posing dire threats to the future stability of planetary political, economic, and ecological arrangements if not treated as matters of urgency.

Read More


Continue Reading

Current Events

Amb. Matlock on Ukraine: an Avoidable Crisis




Amb. Jack Matlock Jr. was Ambassador to Moscow for the two U.S. Presidents who, between them, brought the extremely perilous, decades-long Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union to a surprisingly peaceable conclusion: Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

Today, he has published a carefully documented essay in which he argues that the present crisis between Washington and Moscow over the issue of Ukraine is: “an avoidable crisis that was predictable, actually predicted, willfully precipitated, but easily resolved by the application of common sense.”

I’ll provide some key excerpts from Amb. Matlock’s piece below. Here, I’d just like to urge readers also to check out the recent, very deeply informed and sensible writings on Ukraine of Anatol Lieven (at Responsible Statecraft) and Melvin Goodman (at Counterpunch).

In Amb. Matlock’s essay, he writes:

the decision to expand NATO piecemeal was a reversal of American policies that produced the end of the Cold War and the liberation of Eastern Europe. President George H.W. Bush had proclaimed a goal of a “Europe whole and free.” Soviet President Gorbachev had spoken of “our common European home,” had welcomed representatives of East European governments who threw off their Communist rulers and had ordered radical reductions in Soviet military forces by explaining that for one country to be secure, there must be security for all.

He also recalls that,

The first President Bush also assured Gorbachev during their meeting on Malta in December, 1989, that if the countries of Eastern Europe were allowed to choose their future orientation by democratic processes, the United States would not “take advantage” of that process. (Obviously, bringing countries into NATO that were then in the Warsaw Pact would be “taking advantage.”) The following year, Gorbachev was assured, though not in a formal treaty, that if a unified Germany was allowed to remain in NATO, there would be no movement of NATO jurisdiction to the east, “not one inch.”

He notes that the process of adding East European countries to NATO began under Pres. Bill Clinton and then continued under Pres. George W. Bush. Additionally, under George W. Bush,

the United States began withdrawing from the arms control treaties that had tempered, for a time, an irrational and dangerous arms race and were the foundation agreements for ending the Cold War. The most significant was the decision to withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM Treaty) which had been the cornerstone treaty for the series of agreements that halted for a time the nuclear arms race.

As for Pres. Barack Obama, Matlock wrote that,

his government continued to ignore the most serious Russian concerns and redoubled earlier American efforts to detach former Soviet republics from Russian influence and, indeed, to encourage “regime change” in Russia itself. American actions in Syria and Ukraine were seen by the Russian president, and most Russians, as indirect attacks on them.

… So far as Ukraine is concerned, U.S. intrusion into its domestic politics was deep—to the point of seeming to select a prime minister. It also, in effect, supported an illegal coup d’etat that changed the Ukrainian government in 2014, a procedure not normally considered consistent with the rule of law or democratic governance. The violence that still simmers in Ukraine started in the “pro-Western” west, not in the Donbas where it was a reaction to what was viewed as the threat of violence against Ukrainians who are ethnic Russian.

During President Obama’s second term, his rhetoric became more personal, joining a rising chorus in the American and British media vilifying the Russian president.

At the end of his essay, Matlock asks rhetorically whether the present crisis can be easily resolved by the application of common sense. His answer?

The short answer is because it can be. What President Putin is demanding, an end to NATO expansion and creation of a security structure in Europe that insures Russia’s security along with that of others is eminently reasonable. He is not demanding the exit of any NATO member and he is threatening none. By any pragmatic, common sense standard it is in the interest of the United States to promote peace, not conflict. To try to detach Ukraine from Russian influence—the avowed aim of those who agitated for the “color revolutions”—was a fool’s errand, and a dangerous one. Have we so soon forgotten the lesson of the Cuban Missile Crisis?

The ambassador also posits, near the beginning of the essay, the suggestion that Pres. Biden’s actively escalatory policy on Ukraine may be part of a carefully staged “wag the dog” type scenario in which he seeks to divert attention from his many political failures at home.

I have also entertained that thought over recent weeks. Another possible explanation for Biden’s warmongering (and these are not mutually exclusive) may be, in my view, a kind of toxic masculinity that has persuaded him to beat his breast and strut menacingly on the world stage as a way to “restore American credibility” after what many domestic opponents describe as a serious American “humiliation” in Afghanistan.

Well, whatever the explanation, the urgent need now is to de-escalate these very serious tensions between very heavily nuclear-armed powers, and engage in the kind of real diplomacy that will remove the need for any party to go to war.

I just hope against hope that it is not too late for this and that Biden has not ended up talking himself and Pres. Putin into a situation where neither feels he can back down.

Read More


Continue Reading

Current Events

Our New Podcast Series: “The World From Palestine”




We’re pleased to announce that on January 21, Just World Educational will be releasing the first episode in our new podcast series “The World From Palestine.” In this series, JWE President Helena Cobban and Palestinian scholar Yousef AlJamal will be jointly exploring the intersections between Palestine’s liberation struggle and other anti-imperialist struggles throughout history, and until today.

Ms. Cobban is a veteran analyst of Palestinian and world affairs, and author of seven books on international issues who for 17 years contributed a regular column on global issues to The Christian Science Monitor. On her personal website Just World News she has spent the past 13 months exploring the deep history of settler colonialism over the past 600 years. Mr. Aljamal is a wellknown Palestinian author and speaker who grew up in Gaza and is currently completing his Ph.D. in international affairs at Turkey’s Sakarya University.

The new podcast series will be distributed globally by Just World Podcasts and will be available for streaming or download on all the major podcast-streaming platforms, including Apple and Spotify.

When announcing the new podcast series, Ms. Cobban said, “By having these public conversations on these issues we hope to cast new light both on the Palestinian struggle and– by viewing it through the in-real-time record of Zionism’s continuing depradations in Palestine– on the history of settler-colonialism itself… And of course, we also hope to strengthen the ties of solidarity between Palestinians and anti-imperialist strugglers all around the world.”

She also noted that she is particularly excited to be working on this project with Mr. Aljamal, who has wide experience of settler colonialisms in several different parts of the world including Hawai’i, Aotearoa/New Zealand, Ireland, Algeria, and elsewhere.

Mr. Aljamal has undertaken two speaking tours of the United States, in 2014 and 2019. In 2019, in addition to speaking to super audiences and connecting with Palestinian-rights leaders and activists nationwide, he also held good meetings with key members of Congress and numerous congressional staffers.

In 2019, he translated testimonies of Palestinian child prisoners for the book Dreaming of Freedom, and in 2021 he co-authored a collection of testimonies of Palestinian and Irish hunger strikers: A Shared Struggle, published by the Bobby Sands Foundation. For more than a year now, he has been contributing regular columns on Palestinian and world affairs to the online publication Politics Today.

Check back over the coming days for more information about “The World From Palestine”.

The post Our new podcast series: “The World From Palestine” appeared first on Just World Educational.

Read More

Original Post:

Continue Reading