The nightmare returns

The nightmare returns

It cannot be happening again: children ripped into ribbons of seared flesh, old women looking lost and small in the dark corners of temporary shelters, mothers shrieking in maddened grief over their dead babies, and grown men covering their faces in shock and sorrow, powerless to protect their families. Tall apartment blocks are again pancaked into ruins, buildings riddled with holes, their edges missing, resembling large chunks of cheese that have been nibbled by monstrous rats.

A hard rain’s gonna fall

A hard rain’s gonna fall

If you are not rain, my love
Be tree
Sated with fertility, be tree
If you are not tree, my love
Be stone
Saturated with humidity, be stone
If you are not stone, my love
Be moon
In the dream of the beloved woman, be moon
(So spoke a woman to her son at his funeral)
From the poem, “Under Siege,” by Mahmoud Darwish

UN refugee report: Most protracted and largest of all refugee problems in the world remains unresolved

UN refugee report: Most protracted and largest of all refugee problems in the world remains unresolved

As people return to former war zones, global numbers of refugees are falling. The most protracted and largest of all refugee problems in the world, however, remains unresolved, says UNHCR in a major report on refugees published on Wednesday. UNHCR’s report, “The State of the World’s Refugees: Human Displacement in the New Millennium,” examines the changing dynamics of displacement over the past half decade.

Give law a chance

Give law a chance

After reading a number of tentative eulogies for now brain-damaged Ariel Sharon in the mainstream US press, one wishes that more sound-bites and column space could be devoted to those who bore the brunt of “the Bulldozer’s” morally troubling and legally insupportable policies and decisions.

The Hamas victory: democratization – but not what the US expected

The Hamas victory: democratization – but not what the US expected

Wednesday’s landslide victory for Hamas over Fatah in the Palestinian legislative elections should surprise no one. More than a dozen years after the Oslo accords, Palestinians have passed a public verdict on the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the old guard that it represents: They failed dismally at the task of pressing for Palestinians’ inalienable rights under international law and a bevy of UN resolutions.