The Palestinian Refugee

ROOFTOPS OF ASKAR REFUGEE CAMP. NABLUS, WEST BANK. PHOTO: MICHAEL LOADENTHAL. FLICKR– 63 YEARS OF CONTINUOUS STRUGGLE

By May 15, 1948, the Zionists’ militia forced approximately 700,000 Palestinians (1) to leave their homes in the historic land of Palestine. Currently there are over 4.7 million registered Palestinian refugees in the Middle East, and the passing of time has not weakened their struggle for getting the right of return. As an example, on May 15, 2011, many Palestinian refugees from Lebanon were killed, and another 120 were injured, by Israeli forces during demonstrations at the Lebanese border.The Israeli forces fired towards Palestinian demonstrators who were protesting by throwing stones from Lebanon and trying to raise the Palestinian flag on the border. Referring to Palestinian refugees, Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion said that “the old will die and the young will forget”. Recently, current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outright refused discussion of the right of return for Palestinian refugees. 

Failure of the Greek Asylum System

Asylum-seekers, being in that vulnerable position, could be seen as the subject par excellence of the human rights and most in need of a grid of protection. And to be sure, again and again their rights are violated. In Europe, a grim record of human rights violations, in the wake of the Dublin II regulation and the failure of the Greek asylum system, is being exposed. The human rights institutions have been harsh in their critique, but what has been achieved?

On 21 september 2010, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) declared the asylum situation in Greece a “humanitarian crisis”. The situation has been problematic for a long time. A large number of reports speak of a malfunctioning asylum system, unable to effectively determine the asylum claims being made, and a systematic practice of detaining asylum seekers for periods ranging from a few days to a few months without adequate information given as to the reasons for detention. Furthermore the detention facilities are reported as being overcrowded, unsanitary, and lacking in ventilation, mattresses and access to toilets.

The Mother of Europe

GERMAN CHANCELLOR, ANGELA MERKEL. PHOTO: ALEPH, WIKIMEDIA COMMONSMassive budget deficits cause increased unemployment rates and poverty in big parts of the Euro-zone. While Angela Merkel, Germany’s Chancellor, promotes increased financial aid to the affected economies, she is facing domestic critique for giving away German billions. Others criticize her for not being efficient and decisive enough. But Merkel is determined in her belief: without the Euro there cannot be a Europe.

Euro Orphans

“‘EURO-ORPHANS’. ‘EURO’ BECAUSE THE PROBLEM IS ESPECIALLY FREQUENT IN THE NEWLY EU-AFFILIATED COUNTRIES.” PHOTO: DSB NOLA. FLICKR

Over the past 20 years, Central Eastern Europe has been characterized by major historical events that have ultimately led up to great changes in the regions economical, political and social structures. The entry of numerous Eastern European states into the EU has facilitated for people to travel and move to other states. As there are still great inequalities between West and East, rich and poor, many Eastern Europeans decide to invest their life savings into building themselves and their children a better life at the opposite side of Europe. What is left unknown and rarely spoken of is that thousands of Eastern European children, the “Euro-orphans”, ultimately pay the highest price.

The UN vote on Palestinian Statehood

QAWASMI AND CHOMSKY. PHOTO: JEANINE DE ROY VAN ZUIJDEWIJN.A pivotal event in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict took place when Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian National Authority and the chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), requested full membership of the United Nations on the 23rd of September, 2011. Although the outcome of this process is still unknown, Israeli peace advocate Chassia Chomsky and her Palestinian counterpart Maysoun Qawasmi both hope that change is about to come.

Japan’s Political Discouse in the Wake of March 11

THE AFTERMATH OF THE MARCH 11 EARTHQUAKE. PHOTO: J808ARMADA. FLICKR.With its epicenter located 129km east of Sendai and 373km north-east of Tokyo, the 9.0 magnitude earthquake of March 11 was among the largest recorded in modern history. It caused not only great damage on its own, but also laid the groundwork for a tsunami that hurled itself towards the north-eastern coast of Japan’s main island Honshu, striking land with a maximum runup height of 29.6 m.The protective walls of the villages and cities along the coastline were not high enough and the waves surmounted them with ease. Houses and people were washed away and fortunate were those who made it to the mountains in time. With over 15 700 casualties, 4,647 missing, 5,314 injured and 130.927 displaced and with an estimated total economic loss of 309 billion us dollars, it was a natural disaster beyond imagining.

Quiet Diplomacy – An Adequate Method or a Shot in the Dark

MANIFESTATION IN STOCKHOLM. PHOTO: MARIA NYGREN.

There are currently three Swedish journalists being held captive abroad: Dawit Isaak in Eritra and Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye in Ethiopia. How effective is the present tactic of quiet diplomacy and what does the journalistic community think about this as a way of negotiating for the Swedish journalists’ freedom?

Two weeks in India

CHANDNI CHAWK, NEW DELHI. PHOTO: HARSH AGRAWALIn the last couple of years India has experienced an economic growth unlike many other countries. The country has become a centre of information technology, and its trade is expanding. Shortly, India will become a powerful player in the global economy as well as in world politics, with a middle class that is growing fast. In spite of all this, India still battles with problems such as corruption, and a large part of the population suffers from poverty and income inequalities. The UPF Travel Committee wanted to know more about the home country of Gandhi and Tata, so we decided that the longer trip of 2011 would go to India. Once the decision was made it soon became clear that it would be impossible to try to cover all of India in the relatively short time we had. Instead we decided upon exploring some of the largest cities; New Delhi, Jaipur and Mumbai, as well as some of the smaller cities Agra, Patna and Udaipur.

Interview with Tariq Ali

TARIQ ALI. PHOTO: SEASURFACE. FLICKR.

Last year Tariq Ali released “The Obama Syndrome – Surrender at home, War abroad”, where he looks into the changes made since Obama came into office. He argues that not much has happend since George W Bush left the White house. In September Tariq Ali came to visit the Association of Foreign Affairs in Lund to give a talk. Before the lecture Utrikesperspektiv.se’s writer, Ahmet Nuri Mutlu, met him for an interview.

Tariq Ali is one of the editors of New Left Review. He has been writing articles, essays, fiction, plays, films, and been politically active for over 40 years.

What do you claim about the policies of Obama in The Obama Syndrome?