Category Archives: Blog

Blog and journal entries. Opinion and/or reportage not published elsewhere.

Hiatus

I’ve managed to lapse out of the habit of updating this site with my newest articles, but I’m going to get back into it now. You can also look back on the MEMO website for the last few months of my columns.

Over the summer I did two features for Al-Akhbar too, about the response to the war in the West.

And, as always, my stories for The Electronic Intifada are syndicated in the RSS feed you see on the right (or click here).

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Mostly blogging

Most of my writing these days is published on my blog for The Electronic Intifada. I will continue to be published at EI (and other places) in more long form articles from time to time, and when that happens I will still post about them here.

To see my latest articles you should check my blog: articles I publish there are automatically syndicated here via the RSS feed which you can see to the immediate right of this post.

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My interview with Russia Today on the Syrian Observatory

UPDATE: The problems I detail below have now been resolved. Fair play to RT, they corrected the page I complained about less than two hours after I posted the item below. To clarify: I have no problem with the edit of the interview itself, it’s well done. It’s also running on the live channel itself every hour on the half hour today, I’m told.

After my story for Al Akhbar English about the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Russia Today asked to do to the above interview with me about the case, released on their website today. The interview itself is fine, however, I take issue with the written summary of the interview RT published on their site. Specifically:

  • I did not say “the sources of such information [on the dead in Syria] are highly questionable”.
  • I did not blame “Syrian activists for speaking on the situation in Syria the way the West wants”.
  • I certainly did not say “human rights activists cannot necessarily be trusted”. I did cast doubt on some of the claims of a certain Mussab Azzawi.

In short, watch the interview rather than trusting the article.

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Angry Arab talk: “The Case Against Israel”

As`ad AbuKhalil speaks on “The Case Against Israel”. Audio recorded at Goldsmiths, 17 January 2011. The opening night of his UK tour, hosted by Goldsmiths Palestine Campaign. Mostly about Palestine, but some Syria and other interesting discussion in the Q&A.

Click play above to listen, download the MP3 here, or download in other formats here.

Creative Commons license: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0

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My appearance on Epilogue, Ken Livingstone’s book review show

Me on Press TV’s book review show “Epilogue”. Ken Livingstone leads a discussion between Dr Salman Sayyid & myself about Raja Shehadeh‘s book “Strangers in the House”.

Part 1: (parts 2 and 3 after the break)

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MythTV guide

Our TV and MythTV-based DVR computer system

I’ve built my own DVR using the excellent Linux-based MythTV software. I’ve written a detailed guide about how I did it here.

I mostly wrote it for my own benefit, but hopefully it will be of use to others too. If you’re into this kind of thing, please do take a look and let me know what you think in the comments secion.

This was a very fun project for me and in the end it turned out better than I expected, if anything. There is also plenty of potential for future expansion. My next step is probably getting a proper router so I can control the system via the remote web-based interface.

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Review: “Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide” by Ben White

This book is an excellent “guide for the perplexed”. It is perfect for those new to the subject. I personally will be buying copies and foisting it on friends and relatives. At the same time I was surprised how much a learned from it (particularly about the Palestinian citizens of Israel).

It is not a history book per say, but it is a highly readable journalistic summary of the main events in the history of the occupation, with a big emphasis on the Nakba (the ethnic cleansing of half the population of the Palestinians from their homeland in 1947-48 by Zionist militias and terrorist gangs). The second half of the book is about the reality on the ground right now. It combines interesting (and often shocking) facts and figures with anecdotes from individual Palestinians on the ground: many of whom were recorded in conversations with White himself.

It is all highly readable and only about 120 pages long. It includes an excellent “Frequently Asked Questions” section, a solid bibliography recommending further reading, and a huge list of action, news and information websites.

The book also avoids the infernal BBC curse of “balance”. It is not balanced: it is against occupation, against ethnic cleansing and against apartheid. But at the same time, it is not polemical, and never less than factual and humane.

The book fills a perfect gap. I’ve lost count of the times people have asked me “can you recommend one book to start learning about Palestine-Israel?” For the first time, I now have a definitive answer.

White defends his book from Hasbara attacks on his blog here.

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