The end of 2018 witnessed potentially promising peace talks in Geneva between the Polisario Front liberation movement of Western Sahara and the Kingdom of Morocco in an effort to kickstart the stalled peace process for the nearly 45-year conflict over this North African territory. Nevertheless, the forces protecting the status quo, and thus Morocco’s ongoing colonization of Western Sahara, remain durable, and it is unclear whether this new round of talks will presage a broader resolution to one of the oft-forgotten conflicts of our times.
The attack on UNWRA is part of a full-spectrum assault on the Palestinian people’s rights and capacity to engage in politics undertaken by the Trump administration since entering office in 2016. While the President’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is reportedly developing a Middle East peace plan, dubbed the “deal of the century,” the administration has been preempting negotiations by imposing “resolutions” to final status issues such as Jerusalem and weaponizing financial aid to coerce the Palestinians into compliance with the US and Israel’s demands.
Although climate change is a major issue of global consequence, blaming climate change for the 2011 uprising in Egypt fails to account for the political and economic issues that were behind the uprisings across the region and distracts from the factors that produced bread shortages in Egypt.
Demonstrations about gentrification in Oran, Algeria are linked to a broader tension over collective versus individual rights to colonial-era properties abandoned by the French, occupied by citizens, nationalized by the state and now subject to varying strategies of individual appropriation in the wake of the broader gentrification of Algerian urban space since the 1990s.
In April 2018 Giuseppe Acconica spoke with Dilar Dirik, an activist with the Kurdish women’s movement in the Rojava region of Northern Syria.
Middle East Report
Since the failed July, 2016 coup attempt, Turkey’s President Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have consolidated their unfettered rule over Turkey. This counter-coup has been undertaken through massive purges in the military, judiciary, media and academia—with tens of thousands detained or forced into exile—the shuttering of independent civic institutions and enshrining virtually unchecked executive power in a new constitution. Contributors to Confronting the New Turkey disentangle the social, political and economic factors that led to the manifestation of this global trend in Turkey. How Erdoğan accomplished this opens a window on the autocrat’s handbook for the twenty-first century. Contributors also illuminate lines of resistance, vulnerabilities and contradictions within the New Turkey under construction.
One of MERIP’s signature issues over the years has been the question of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict—partly because of its intrinsic interest but largely because so much myth and cant clouds the mainstream media coverage of this subject that independent analysis is particularly necessary. This primer by Joel Beinin and Lisa Hajjar is a good place to start in understanding what is at stake as events unfold.