“All good things are four” – On the fourth Israeli legislative elections within two years

Book Review of “Iran: A Modern History”

Brian Hook, the Iran Hawk in Chief

Mike Pompeo’s article in Foreign Affairs: An Exercise in Hypocrisy and Intellectual Poverty

The United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo published an article in the November/December issue of the influential journal Foreign Affairs. In his piece (which can be consulted here, in the website of the US Department of State), Pompeo deals with the US policy vis-a-vis Iran. The US top diplomat does not introduce any major argument in his limited Continue Reading

Is Iran Just Waiting For The Next US President?

Presidential cycles in Iran and the US do not perfectly overlap. Nonetheless, Iranian and US Presidents share a period of around three years in power. While the last Presidential elections in the US took place in 2016, 2012, 2008 and successively (always in November), in the Iranian case these were celebrated in 2017, 2013, 2009 Continue Reading

The Yemen War: No Longer A Forgotten Conflict?

The Yemen War has been receiving more attention than usual during October 2018. The assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents in the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul has much to do with this. Somehow, many of those who had been quiet for years are starting to realize how the Desert Kingdom infringes human rights Continue Reading

Book Review of “Tunisia: An Arab Anomaly”: The Limits of Tunisian Exceptionalism

How different is Tunisia when compared to other Arab countries? The answer, according to Safwan M. Masri in his 2017 book on this northern African country, is that Tunisia constitutes “An Arab Anomaly”. December 2018 will see the eighth anniversary of Mohamed Bouazizi’s immolation in Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia. Such an act of sheer desperation, whose Continue Reading

Netanyahu on the Podium: The Art of Rhetoric with Shaky Foundations

Late September is the time of the year in which world leaders converge in New York to address the United Nations General Assembly. It is customary that political leaders use their time on the podium to deal with a range of topics marking the international agenda. However, that is not the case of Benjamin Netanyahu, Continue Reading

Book Review of “Workers and Thieves”: A Bottom-Up approach to the Arab Spring Uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt

“Workers and Thieves” is the most recent book by Joel Beinin. At the same time, it is an attempt (mostly successful) to explain the specific experiences of Tunisia and Egypt within the context of the so-called “Arab Spring” in an innovative way. Beinin makes a twofold contribution to the vast literature dealing with this historical Continue Reading

Book Review of “Inside Iran”: A book Donald Trump should read

Medea Benjamin is the celebrated author of “Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control”. The book, published in 2013, included numerous proof that Barack Obama’s Middle East policy was not a clear break from the Bush years but a continuation of similar policies by other means. One of the new tools that gained importance during the Continue Reading

Palestinian history is the story of Palestinians, a Book Review of “The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story”, by Ramzy Baroud

Palestinian history is the story of Palestinians. This is the deep conviction that motivated Ramzy Baroud to write “The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story” (Pluto Press, 2018). Baroud’s work is without a doubt an extraordinary exercise in people’s history, as Professor Ilan Pappé  stresses in the foreword of the book. At the same time, however, Continue Reading

Death Penalty in Iran: What Role For Rouhani?

Iran’s former justice minister, Mostafa Pourmohammadi, was quoted in late October 2016 as saying; “These last years, the quantity of executions has not been effective. As a result, there must be a revision of the death penalty law”. It was not the first time an important member of the Iranian bureaucracy expressed this same opinion. However, a senior Continue Reading