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Quick Thoughts: Zainab Saleh on Iraq

[The recent upsurge in fighting in Iraq has placed that country in the headlines once again. Jadaliyya asked Iraq specialist Zainab Saleh to clarify the background and implications of recent developments]: Jadaliyya (J): Recent events in Iraq have been rather dramatic. What led to these developments? Zainab Saleh ...  Read More »

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Quick Thoughts: Ali Ahmida on the Situation in Libya

[The recent upsurge in fighting in Libya has been the most intense since the overthrow of Mu‘ammar Qaddafi in 2011. In addition to pitting various militias against each other, General Khalifa Haftar has proclaimed his intention to seize the reins of power throughout the country. Jadaliyya asked Libya specialist Ali ...  Read More »

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Quick Thoughts: Khalil Shaheen on Palestinian Reconciliation and the New Palestinian Authority Government

[On 23 April 2014 representatives of the rival Palestinian movements Fatah and Hamas signed the Beach Camp Agreement, named after the Gaza Strip refugee camp where it was concluded. In order to assess the latest agreement meant to end the schism in the Palestinian political system, Jadaliyya turned to leading ...  Read More »

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Quick Thoughts: Salah Mohsen on 'Price-Tag' Attacks Against Palestinians

[In recent months there has been a noticeable spike in vandalism and violence by Jewish settlers in the occupied territories, extending to Palestinian communities within Israel as well. Jadaliyya asked Salah Mohsen of the human rights organization Adalah to help explain the phenomenon of “price-tag” ...  Read More »

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Quick Thoughts: Keane Bhatt on Human Rights Watch’s 'Revolving Door' for US Government Officials

  [On 12 May an open letter published on AlterNet to Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth urged the organization to close "what seems to be a revolving door" for US government officials, warning that the appointment and employment of such officials "call into question its ...  Read More »

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Quick Thoughts: Paul Sedra on the Pope’s Visit to the Middle East

  [On Saturday 24 May 2014, Pope Francis embarks on a three-day visit to Jordan, Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories in his first tour of the Middle East since his installation as head of the Catholic Church in 2013. Jadaliyya asked its Contributing Editor Paul Sedra to reflect on the ...  Read More »

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Quick Thoughts: Hesham Sallam on the Egyptian Presidential Election

  [On 26-27 May 2014, Egypt will hold its second presidential election since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak in January 2011. Contesting the poll are Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, the military strongman who engineered the coup that deposed the Muslim Brotherhood in July 2013, and Hamdeen Sabbahi, leader of the Popular ...  Read More »

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Quick Thoughts: Norman Finkelstein on 'The ADL Global 100: An Index of Anti-Semitism'

[On 13 May 2014, the Anti-Defamation League released The ADL Global 100: An Index of Anti-Semitism, a survey of 53,100 adults in 102 countries and territories. According to the ADL: "The survey found that anti-Semitic attitudes are persistent and pervasive around the world. More than one-in-four adults, 26 ...  Read More »

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Quick Thoughts: Vijay Prashad on India’s Parliamentary Elections

  [Between 7 April and 12 May 2014, more than half a billion Indians voted to elect 543 members of the sixteenth Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s parliament. The result, announced on 16 May, stunned many observers. For the first time since 1984, a single party–the rightist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led ...  Read More »

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Quick Thoughts: Omar Dahi on The Rebel Withdrawal from Homs and Brahimi Resignation

  [The agreement reached between opposition fighters and the Syrian regime with respect to Homs has solicited an array of speculation as to what it precisely represents. When combined with the recent resignation of UN Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, both events are interpreted as signals of a key shift in the ...  Read More »

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Quick Thoughts: Cihan Tugal on the Soma Mining Disaster

  [An explosion at a coal mine in the Turkish city of Soma on 13 May 2014 has resulted in the death of at least 284 miners. With another one hundred miners still unaccounted for, it is the worst such disaster in Turkish history. The subsequent demonstrations seen in numerous Turkish cities appear to ...  Read More »

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Quick Thoughts: Chas Freeman on Israeli Espionage against the United States

[Two successive reports by Jeff Stein in Newsweek this month (see here and here) sought to portray the full extent of Israeli espionage against the United States–including accounts of an Israeli agent hiding in the air duct of Al Gore’s hotel toilet and a level of snooping one congressional staffer characterized as ...  Read More »

Quick Thoughts

Quick Thoughts is designed to provide our readers with background and analysis on topics in the news. We take our cue from current events, and ask informed observers to provide short-form commentary and context. The focus of Quick Thoughts is on the Middle East, but the column is intended to be global in reach. Send your commentary to

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