Author Archives: Ramzy Baroud

Denying the inevitable: Why the West refuses to accept China’s superpower status

An article by Gideon Rachman in the Financial Times last July is a prime example of Western intelligentsia’s limited understanding of China’s unhindered rise as a superpower. “Becoming a superpower is a complicated business. It poses a series of connected questions about capabilities, intentions and will,” Rachman wrote. Continue reading

Why is Israel amending its open-fire policy: Three possible answers

At the outset, the Israeli military decision to revise its open-fire policies in the occupied West Bank seems puzzling. What would be the logic of giving Israeli soldiers the space to shoot more Palestinians when existing army manuals had already granted them near-total immunity and little legal accountability? Continue reading

The Combating Islamophobia Act: On hate crimes and ‘irrational fears’

The result of a vote, on December 14, in the US House of Representatives regarding the combating of Islamophobia, may, possibly, appear to be a positive sign of change, that Washington is finally confronting this socio-political evil. However, conclusions must not be too hasty. Continue reading

The Omicron shame: Why is the world punishing instead of helping Africa?

The decision by several governments across the globe to institute travel bans on seven African countries, starting on November 27, due to the discovery of a new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, was perceived to be hasty in the eyes of some and fully justifiable on medical grounds, in the view of others. However, the matter is hardly that of a difference of opinion. Continue reading

On ‘gassing the Arabs’ and other diseases: Is Israel a ‘sick society’?

For whatever reason, some mistakenly perceive the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, as liberal, progressive and even ‘pro-Palestinian’. Of course, none of this is true. This misconstrued depiction of an essentially Zionist and anti-Palestinian newspaper tells of a much bigger story of how confusing Israeli politics is, and how equally confused many of us are in understanding the Israeli political discourse. Continue reading

Belgium is on the right track, but Europe has failed Palestine

The Belgian government’s decision on November 25 to label products made in illegal Israeli Jewish settlements is welcome, although it will ultimately prove ineffectual. Continue reading

We do exist: Why the Palestinian voice should take center stage

At a recent New York event, the president of the Foreign Press Association, Ian Williams, declared, before an approving audience, that it is time “to reclaim the narrative on Palestine”. Continue reading

From Pegasus to Blue Wolf: How Israel’s ‘security’ experiment in Palestine became global

The revelation, a few years ago, that the US National Security Agency (NSA) has been conducting mass surveillance on millions of Americans has reignited the conversation on governments’ misconduct and their violation of human rights and privacy laws. Continue reading

The People vs. COP26: Time for politicians, billionaires to listen

Of all the speeches and political grandstanding at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26), the words of Mexican President, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, were the most profound and least hypocritical. Continue reading

Bill Gates should know better: How the Israeli occupation ravages the environment in Palestine

Those who are not familiar with how Israel, particularly the Israeli military occupation of Palestine, is actively and irreversibly damaging the environment might reach the erroneous conclusion that Tel Aviv is at the forefront of the global fight against climate change. The reality is the exact opposite. Continue reading

Words without action: The West’s role in Israel’s illegal settlement expansion

The international uproar in response to Israel’s approval of a massive expansion of its illegal settlement enterprise in the occupied Palestinian West Bank may give the impression that such a reaction could, in theory, force Israel to abandon its plans. Alas, it will not, because the statements of ‘concern,’ ‘regrets’, ‘disappointment’ and even outright condemnation are rarely followed by meaningful action. Continue reading

The West’s China complex: Beijing as the enemy and the savior

“Could China’s economy collapse?” was the title of an October 15 article published by QUARTZ magazine. The article makes an ominous case of a Chinese economic crash and its impact on China’s and global economies. Continue reading

Jerusalem’s ‘liveliest parties’: Has Biden proved different from Trump on Palestine?

When Joe Biden was declared the winner in the US elections last November, expectations in Ramallah were high. A Biden administration, compared to the brazenly pro-Israel Trump administration, would surely be much fairer to Palestinians, was the conventional wisdom at the time. Continue reading

The cultural genocide in Palestine: On Sally Rooney’s decision to boycott Israel

The pro-Israel crowd on social media was quick to pounce on award-winning Irish novelist, Sally Rooney, as soon as she declared that she had “chosen not to sell … translation rights of her best-selling novel, ‘Beautiful World, Where Are You’ to an Israeli-based publishing house”. Continue reading

Empty gestures or substantive change? On the Nobel Prize in Literature and its discontents

The fact that Tanzanian novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah has won the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature is welcome news, especially as the Swedish Academy is historically known for lacking in diversity, as if intellectual creativity is largely confined to Western intellectual circles. Continue reading

Heroes or parasites: Europe’s self-serving politics on refugees

Language is politics and politics is power. This is why the misuse of language is particularly disturbing, especially when the innocent and vulnerable pay the price. Continue reading

Racial justice vs. the Israel lobby: When being pro-Palestine becomes the new normal

There is an unmistakable shift in American politics regarding Palestine and Israel, a change that is inspired by the way in which many Americans, especially the youth, view the Palestinian struggle and the Israeli occupation. While this shift is yet to translate into tangibly diminishing Israel’s stronghold over the US Congress, it promises to be of great consequence in the coming years. Continue reading

On Afghanistan and legitimate resistance

Should Hamas & Hezbollah learn from the Taliban?

An urgent task is awaiting us: considering the progression of events, we must quickly liberate ourselves from the limits and confines placed on the Afghanistan discourse, which have been imposed by US-centered Western propaganda for over 20 years, and counting. A first step is that we must not allow the future political discourse pertaining to this very subject to remain hostage to American priorities—successes, failures and geostrategic interests. Continue reading

The untold story of why Palestinians are divided

The political division in Palestinian society is deep-rooted, and must not be reduced to convenient claims about the ‘Hamas-Fatah split’, elections, the Oslo accords and subsequent disagreements. The division is linked to events that preceded all of these, and not even the death or incapacitation of the octogenarian Mahmoud Abbas will advance Palestinian unity by an iota. Continue reading

Who represents Afghanistan: Genuine activists vs ‘native informants’?

Scenes of thousands of Afghans flooding the Kabul International Airport to flee the country as Taliban fighters were quickly consolidating their control over the capital, raised many questions, leading amongst them: who are these people and why are they running away? Continue reading

One man as a whole generation: The unfinished war of Zakaria Zubeidi

Zakaria Zubeidi is one of six Palestinian prisoners who, on September 6, tunneled their way out of Gilboa, a notorious, high-security Israeli prison. Zubeidi was recaptured a few days later. The large bruises on Zubeidi’s face told a harrowing story, that of a daring escape and of a violent arrest. However, the story does not begin, nor end, there. Continue reading

From the ‘Iron Wall’ to the ‘villa in the jungle’: Palestinians demolish Israel’s security myths

Twenty-five years before Israel was established on the ruins of historic Palestine, a Russian Jewish Zionist leader, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, argued that a Jewish state in Palestine could only survive if it exists “behind an iron wall” of defense. Continue reading

Following Afghanistan defeat: Can EU win its ‘independence’ from the US?

Suddenly, the idea put forth by French President, Emmanuel Macron, late last year does not seem so far-fetched or untenable after all. Following the US-NATO hurried withdrawal from Afghanistan, European countries are now forced to consider the once unthinkable: a gradual dismantling from US dominance. Continue reading

Hashtag ‘Untie_Our_Hands’: How many more Palestinians must die for Israel’s ‘security’?

A large Israeli army campaign is taking social media by storm. The unstated aim of what is known as the “#Untie_Our_Hands” initiative is the desire to kill, with no accountability, more Palestinian protesters at the Gaza fence. The campaign was motivated by the killing of an Israeli sniper, Barel Hadaria Shmueli, who was reportedly shot from the Palestinian side of the fence on August 21. Continue reading

On propaganda and failed narratives: New understanding of Afghanistan is a must

For twenty years, two dominant narratives have shaped our view of the illegal US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, and neither one of these narratives would readily accept the use of such terms as ‘illegal’, ‘invasion’ and ‘occupation.’ Continue reading

Stadio Olimpico: Can sports heal the world?

Amid chaotic politics and anti-immigrant and refugee sentiments, Stadio Olimpico in Rome seemed like an oasis of social and cultural harmony. AS Roma and Raja Casablanca fans gathered in their thousands on a hot Saturday evening to cheer for their teams in a friendly match, the first in the Olimpico for nearly a year and a half. Continue reading

‘Blood for blood’: On Jenin and Israel’s fear of an armed Palestinian rebellion

The killing of four young Palestinians by Israeli occupation soldiers in the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank, on August 16, is a consequential event, the repercussions of which are sure to be felt in the coming weeks and months. Continue reading

Palestine’s Africa dichotomy: Is Israel really ‘winning’ Africa?

The decision by the African Union Commission, on July 22, to grant Israel observer status membership in the AU was the culmination of years of relentless Israeli efforts aimed at co-opting Africa’s largest political institution. Why is Israel so keen on penetrating Africa? What made African countries finally succumb to Israeli pressure and lobbying? Continue reading

The quiet rebellion: Why US Jews turning against Israel is good for Palestinians

A unique but critical conversation on Israel and Palestine is taking place outside the traditional discourse of Israeli colonialism and the Palestinian quest for liberation. It is an awkward and difficult—but overdue—discussion concerning American Jews’ relation to Israel and their commitment to its Zionist ideology. Continue reading

The murder of the ‘menacing’ water technician: On the shadow wars in the West Bank

There is an ongoing, but hidden, Israeli war on the Palestinians which is rarely highlighted or even known. It is a water war, which has been in the making for decades. Continue reading

Greed and consumption: Why the world is burning

Rome is scorching hot. This beautiful city is becoming unbearable for other reasons, too. Though every corner of the beaming metropolis is a monument to historical grandeur, from the Colosseum in Rione Monti to the Basilica of Saint John Lateran in San Giovanni, it is now struggling under the weight of its own contradictions. Continue reading

US foreign policy adrift: Why Washington is no longer calling the shots

Jonah Goldberg and Michael Ledeen have much in common. They are both writers and also cheerleaders for military interventions and, often, for frivolous wars. Writing in the conservative rag, The National Review, months before the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, Goldberg paraphrased a statement which he attributed to Ledeen with reference to the interventionist US foreign policy. Continue reading