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Middle East

Washington is Driving Iran into a Corner, but Not without Risks to Itself.

Tensions are mounting in the Middle East. It’s not just about Syria; there are risks of a major conflict brewing and the main characters involved on the stage are Iran, Israel and the United States. US President Donald Trump’s fresh sanctions against Tehran, the first of which were enforced on August 7, will escalate a…

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Israel, Palestine And The Impossible Deal.

What is the so-called ‘Middle East Peace Plan’ ? What this means, in practical terms ? What can the Palestinians Expect from the Deal ?  Seventy years have passed since the foundation of the State of Israel. Less remembered in the West is the flip side of that coin; the ‘Nakba’, meaning the ‘Catastrophe’, which…

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Has the Countdown to the End of the Syrian War Began?

The cards suggest that the final showdown in Syria is approaching. Daraa, the city where the anti-Asad revolt – or, better, the proxy war – broke out has been disputed between the Syrian army and the Islamist forces since March 2011. After the liberation of Damascus and surroundings, including Ghouta – that ended just after…

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Middle East Under Pressure.

The Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital, and its Political Context, Has Ended the Middle East Peace Process. One might be forgiven for thinking that far from shunning an interventionist foreign policy, as he promised during the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump has been conducting someone else’s ‘diplomacy’. Since his election, Trump has offered important…

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Protests, Not Like The Arab Spring.

Unlike the protests of the ‘Arab Spring’, moreover, the recent protests in Iran have a political connection. President Rohani publicly declared they had valid reason to protest and the right to do so. The revolts began in Mashhad, a spiritual centre noted for its sympathies with the conservatives – as well as the shrine of…

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Syria. All The Games.

Whatever tensions exist between Israel, the USA and Iran, they will play out in Syria first. The strategy will focus on preventing Iran from deploying of missiles in Syria and  Lebanon, aimed against Israel. In effect, Israel will consider any provocation, real or fabricated arising from Syria as being directed from Tehran. In turn, Tel…

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The Opposition, Internal and External.

Iran does have a domestic and clandestine opposition, the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK). The MEK combine Communist and Islamist ideas and they started challenging the Islamic Republic since its early days.  They set off a bomb in the Iranian Parliament in 1981, killing at least 70 people. Iraq exploited their services to target the Regime in…

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Iran And The Conflicts In The Middle East.

Nobody appears to have any clear plans for Syria. Indeed, the ignorance extends to the entirety of the Middle East. But, it’s clear that the reason why U.S. troops remain in Syria is Iran. The Americans have tried to justify their considerable effort to shape events in the Region since the end of World War…

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Syria. Sowing Seeds Of Hope.

The shooting has stopped in Aleppo. The city is totally destroyed.  The difficult process of reconstruction. The traumas of the children. The Church is involved helping people. “The children have felt the effects of this absurd war. Every day there is death and destruction before their eyes. They sleep very little at night. They still…

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Syria. Behind ‘Operation Olive Branch’.

Are Turkey and the United States on a collision course on operation Olive Branch? What consequences could we expect for the region? The Turkish raid in Afrin – Operation ‘Olive Branch’ – has put Turkey on a collision course with Washington. But, to a lesser extent, it has also put Turkey on a collision course…

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Middle East 2018 Perspectives.

The year 2018 could See Current Middle East Tensions Reach Their Inevitable Bloody Conclusion. The Middle East has been a center of tension and instability since the end of WW1. Even then, 2017 stands out as being an especially tense year for the region. There are many open conflicts and growing tensions between Iran and…

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The Kurds, Which Future?

The big winner in the Middle East is Russia. Thus, it will be Russia that will play the biggest role in its post-Islamic State organization. It was Russia that turned Turkey into an ally even after the latter’s air force shot down a Russian Sukhoi-24 jet in November 2015. Then in 2017, Russian backed Syrian…

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Advocacy

The land right, a first remedy to injustice.

Hunger and homelessness continued to rise in major North American cities. Unemployment, employment-related problems, and low-paying jobs are likely contributing to hunger. High housing costs…

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Baobab

Spider and the Lion.

0ne day Spider went to the river to fish. It must have been Spider's lucky day, for the fish swarmed around him until at last he…

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Youth & Mission

Letter to Pope Francis from African Youth.

A group of young people living in Nairobi who regularly meets at Shalom House has written a letter to Pope Francis on the occasion of the…

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