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Egypt’s Power Game: Why Cairo is Boosting its Military Power

[Egyptian Tank in the streets of Cairo, February 2011 in the aftermath of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. Graffiti by protesters on Tank (near wheels) were masked or painted. Essam Sharaf]

Recent spending patterns in Egypt pose a dilemma. While experiencing the worst economic crisis in decades, which involves a dwindling of resources, a sharp currency devaluation and an acute shortage of foreign exchange, levels of military spending in Egypt have dramatically increased. How can the two trends be reconciled? Why would a cash-strapped government spend massively on guns when its population of 90 million needs more bread and jobs and services? This peculiar pattern began to take shape as soon as Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi became president in 2014. High-profile arms deals signed during his first two years in power include a 5.2 billion Euro agreement with France to ...

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تامر مصطفى: الصراع على السلطة الدستورية: دور المحكمة الدستورية العليا في السياسة المصرية

    جدلية: ما الذي دفعك إلى تأليف هذا الكتاب؟     تامر مصطفى: بدأ البحث من أجل تأليف هذا الكتاب سنة 1997 حين كنت طالب دكتوراه في القاهرة. ولقد سحرتني حقيقة أن المحاكم المصرية كانت منتدى مهماً للناشطين المعارضين كي يطعنوا في صحة نتائج انتخابات مجلس الشعب في 1995. وكانت الصحف تمتلئ يومياً بتغطية للقضايا التي فضحت الغش والتلاعب بالانتخابات. وكنت مشوشاً حيال فهم لماذا يسمح نظام استبدادي متأصّل للمحاكم حتى أن تستمع لقضايا كهذه. وفي الوقت نفسه هناك القليل من الأبحاث حول وظائف وديناميات وسياسة المحاكم في السياقات الاستبدادية. وأخيراً، تمحورت دراستي بشكل أكثر تحديداً على المحكمة الدستورية العليا، التي صارت السبيل الأكثر أهمية لناشطي المعارضة في ...

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New Texts Out Now: Tamir Moustafa, الصراع على السلطة الدستورية: دور المحكمة الدستورية العليا في السياسة المصرية

Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? TM: Research for this book began in 1997, when I was a Ph.D. student studying in Cairo.  I was fascinated by the fact that the Egyptian courts had become such an important forum for opposition activists to contest the results of the 1995 Maglis al-Shaab elections.  The newspapers were filled every day with coverage of cases that exposed election fraud and manipulation.  I was at a loss for understanding why an entrenched, authoritarian regime would allow the courts to even hear such cases.  And, at the time, there was very little research on the functions, dynamics, and politics of courts in ...

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Israel, Palestine, and the Poetics of Genocide

[Image by Ed Stein. Source: Global Research.]

“Genocide” evokes crematoria, mountains of skulls, and mass graves. It is what the Nazis did to the Jews of Europe, what the Khmer Rouge did to fellow Cambodians, what Hutu nationalists did to Tutsis in Rwanda. The term, like the practices of death and social destruction to which it refers, is odious. Charging genocide is like ringing an alarm because, when this crime is occurring or when it has occurred, consequences for perpetrators should follow. Our approach is to trace the political history of the term “genocide” in law and jurisprudence, and compare some of the contexts in which the practices to which the term refers have occurred, and where accountability has ...

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With Muslim Ban, Trump and Bannon Wanted Chaos, but Not Resistance

[Protesters outside the US Embassy in London, 4 February 2017. Photo by Alisdare Hickson, via Flickr]

The Trump executive order that puts into place a series of unconstitutional restrictions on migration of citizens of seven Middle Eastern and African countries is anything but an instance of harried incompetence by an inexperienced White House staff. Rather, it is, like so many other Trump executive orders and presidential memoranda, a malignant, strategic attack on democracy. A closer look at the pre-history and logic of the ban reveals that the Muslim Ban executive order is one among many drastic measures that Trump and his strategists and advisers are deliberately enacting in order to consolidate their power in the face of Trump's lack of electoral mandate. On 7 ...

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Making American Torture Great Again

 [Witness Against Torture protesters hold a demonstration outside the White House in January, 2016. Credit: Justin Norman at Shrieking Tree.]

Early on in Donald Trump’s bid to be the Republican Party nominee for president of the United States, he pledged to bring back the waterboard and “a whole lot worse.” (Waterboarding is a torture technique that involves strapping a person to a board and dousing his cloth-covered face with water to cause the sensation of drowning.) Like most of the other Republican contenders who vied for the 2016 nomination (and eleven of the twelve Republican contenders in the 2012 race), Trump ran on promises to resurrect the torture techniques authorized by the Bush administration after 9/11. Trump’s pro-torture premise is that these techniques “work,” that the kinds of people ...

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التحريض والإهمال والتواطؤ: كيف وصلنا إلى اغتيال حتّر

[صورة الكاتب الاردني ناهض حتر. المصدر موقع جوجل]

افتتاحية لم يكن أشدنا تشاؤمًا ليتوقع أن نستفيق اليوم على خبر جريمة اغتيال الكاتب ناهض حتّر بإطلاق النار عليه أمام قصر العدل؛ بيت القانون ومخزن «هيبة الدولة» الهشّة. هذه الجريمة جاءت بعد أسابيع من التحريض والتهديد على الكاتب منذ أن شارك على صفحته على الفيسبوك كاريكاتير بعنوان «رب الدواعش»، زُعمت «إساءته للذات الإلهية» بسبب تصويره رؤيةَ أنصار داعش لله، ليتم توقيفه بإيعاز من رئيس الحكومة هاني الملقي، ويبدأ التحقيق معه في الثالث عشر من آب الماضي، ثم يفرج عنه بكفالة بعد أكثر من شهر على اعتقاله. اليوم، إن كانت الدماء قد لطخت يدي القاتل الذي أطلق على ناهض حتّر أربع رصاصات، فأيدي الدولة والمحرضين ليست نظيفة منها. منذ اعتقال حتّر حاولت الدولة «إرضاء الجميع» مصدّرة خطابين ...

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The Nakba and Anti-Blackness

African asylum seekers on the Egypt/Israel border (credit: Hillel Assaf, Wikimedia commons)

The Nakba marks a momentous rupture in the history of Arab connection to the land of Palestine. The forcible, mass removal of native Palestinians in 1948 thus overwhelms the history, literature, activism, and memory regarding the Palestinian Question. To begin in 1948 is to narrate a story of collective loss, one that gives vivid expression to the collusion of state powers, the asymmetric capacities between industrialized and developing nations, the unyielding sway of nationalism, and to the remarkable expendability of certain human life.  While these expressive lessons are particular to Palestine and Palestinians, they are also plainly unexceptional. The question ...

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الأبعاد البنيوية والرمزية للعنف

[صورة لسجن تزمامارت. المصدر موقع فليكر]

حوار مع أحمد المرزوقي، سجين سابق في تزمامارت منذ خمس وعشرين سنة، بدا كما لو أن المغرب يقوم بمحاولة جدية لمواجهة انتهاكات حقوق الإنسان السابقة وتطبيق حكم القانون. فقد تعهّد الملك الحسن الثاني بطي صفحة “سنوات الرصاص”، كما تُدْعى فترة القمع السياسي في المغرب، وتطبيق معايير حقوق الإنسان الدولية في البلاد. وفي أوائل التسعينيات، أطْلقت السلطات سراح السجناء السياسيين، وأغلقت سجن تزمامارت السري سيء الصيت، وعقدت جلسات استماع علنية حول أربعين عاماً من انتهاكات حقوق الإنسان الفاضحة. لكن التغير المفاجئ عكس ضعف النظام الملكي أمام الضغط الغربي بعد سقوط جدار برلين أكثر مما عكس التزاماً مبدئياً بحكم القانون. وكانت النتيجة هي أن المغاربة يُعامَلون كرعايا للملك إلا إذا قرر الغرب القوي ...

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ماذا تفعل "جاد" بالمدمنين في الأمن العام الأردني؟

[المصدر فليكر]

الإدمان هو، بحسب تعريف "الجمعية الأميركية لطب الإدمان"، "مرض مزمن يصيب النشاطات الدماغية كالمكافأة والتحفيز والذاكرة.."، ويتطلّب علاجاً على أصعدة مختلفة، جسدية، نفسية واجتماعية. وتشير المراجع الطبية إلى إستحالة الإقلاع عن الإدمان، لاسيّما إدمان الموّاد المخدرة، من دون الخضوع لمنهجية علاجية كاملة. "السجن"، إذاً، لا يعد،ّ بأي شكلٍ من الأشكال، حلاً لمشكلة الإدمان. وبالرغم من أن بعض الدول لا زالت تعتمد السجن كعقاب لمدمني المخدّرات، إلا أن المستغرّب فعلاً هو لجوء إحدى منظمات المجتمع المدني إلى "السجن" كأسلوب علاجي. في ما يلي، شهادة لمدمن مخدّرات سابق، كان ضحية لإحدى أشهر جمعيات مكافحة المخدرات في لبنان. تجربة كميل بعد مرور سنوات ...

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Can the Kurdish Question Be Settled by Killing People in Sur?

[Diyarbakır, January 2016. Image via Wikimedia Commons.]

23 February 2016, Diyarbakır I am in Suriçi district with Lale Mansur, Zeynep Tanbay, Ferhat Tunç, Ayşegül Devecioğlu, Bahri Belen, and Dilek Gökçin, who came from Istanbul today. We are meeting Sibel Yiğitalp, the HDP (People’s Democratic Party) Diyarbakır deputy who is on constant watch in Sur. Ms. Yiğitalp is able to talk with the families inside from time to time. A heavy bombardment is going on. Small particles are falling where we stand.   We listen to phone conversations with the people in the basements. Remziye talks: “Here, we are in Hell. We got out of our house and reached Savaş neighborhood, I assume it is Savaş neighborhood. There is no water. We ...

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Astro Noise: War on Terror as (Virtual) Reality

[Laura Poitras,

Laura Poitras: Astro Noise, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 5 February – 1 May 2016 [This review was first published on Warscapes.] On the eighth floor of the Whitney Museum of American Art, a large projection brings viewers back to the aftermath of the attacks of 11 September 2001. One side of the screen plays O’Say Can You See, a two-channel film by artist, filmmaker and journalist Laura Poitras containing slow-motion footage of stunned onlookers at Ground Zero in the days following 9/11. A performance of the National Anthem recorded at a 2001 World Series game at Yankee Stadium plays solemnly in the background, looped and deconstructed. Describing her ...

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وزارة الصمت الوطني: عن الارشيف المفترض لوزارة الداخلية في بلاد الواق واق

كان الصمت السبيل الأنجح في إدارة وتوجيه الرأي العام في العراق. وإن شئتم الدقة فإن فرض الصمت هو التعبير الأمثل، كان هذا شأن وزارة الداخلية دائما، وبالأخص في العهود الجمهورية "المجيدة" ولا شك. وفي التحديد إشارات سائبة يمكن أن تُفيد أني بصدد أن أكتب مدحا مجانيا لحكومات العهد الملكي؛ على الاقل إن كلامي لن يتعلق بتلك العهود، وما كانت عليه حال وزارة الداخلية فيها. مع ذلك، فإن ورقة مهملة محفوظة في وزارة التخطيط، كان لصديق عمل هناك، في عقدين متتاليين، أن يطلع عليها، وهي عبارة عن مطالعة كتبت لصالح موظف ...

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Visualizing Palestine: Justice Denied

For victims and survivors of the 2014 assault on Gaza, Israel’s own military courts are the only place to seek legal recourse. These courts do not offer a genuine avenue for justice to Palestinians.  Of the 500 Palestinian complaints which were filed with Israeli military courts in relation to the 2014 Gaza war, 196 were dismissed immediately, 133 were lost in the system, and only 31 were brought forward for criminal investigation. Three soldiers were eventually convicted for minor felonies such ...

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صدر حديثا: الصراع على السلطة الدستورية: دور المحكمة الدستورية العليا في السياسة المصرية

  نُشر هذا الكتاب للمرة الأولى في العام 2007 باللغة الإنجليزية بقلم الدكتور تامر مصطفى، أستاذ الدراسات الدولية في جامعة سايمون فريزر في كندا، وهو يقدم تحليلًا مفصلًا لتقاطع القانون والسياسة في مصر، مع تركيز خاص على المحكمة الدستورية العليا.   بالنسبة إلى العديد من القراء اليوم، قد تكون المحكمة الدستورية العليا معروفة أكثر للدور الذي لعبته في توجيه النتائج السياسية بعد سقوط الرئيس المصري السابق حسني مبارك في العام 2011، مع الأحكام المثيرة للجدل بإبطال مجلس الشعب ومجلس الشورى والجمعية ...

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Media on Media Roundup (April 4)

This week’s Jadaliyya “Media on Media” roundup discusses several important stories affecting the MENA mediascape. According to CNN and CBS, the recent “electronics ban” by the Trump administration was largely prompted by intel that al-Qaida and ISIS militants are developing ways to plant explosives in electronic devices. VICE Media are looking to expand their website and digital channel to the Middle East, aiming to open approximately fifty new staff positions in Dubai. Suppression of free speech ...

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Sir Nigel Rodley versus Donald Trump on Torture

Donald Trump is a man who defines himself by the number of norms he violates, according to Michael D’Antonio, the author of a biography, The Truth About Trump. “He's always refused to be like other people when it comes to manners and respect for others and loyalty to the truth…He's kind of a barbarian in that way—he gets a thrill out of disturbing other people and proving that he doesn't have to go along with what other people expect.”  One issue most people expect a US president to go along ...

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An Emergent Political Icon on the Landscape of Istanbul: The Palace of (In)Justice

[A protest outside the Palace of Justice. Photograph by Ayşe Öncü] All the anomalies of authoritarianism in contemporary Turkey seem telescoped, or short circuited in Istanbul’s “Palaces of Justice” (Adalet Sarayı). One of these “palaces” is on the Anatolian side in Kartal, and two in Europe, in Çağlayan and Bakırköy. These are all brand new buildings, inaugurated one after another by the incumbent AKP (Justice and Development Party) during its ten-year tenure in office. Monumental in scale, they have ...

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The Gulf Centre for Human Rights' 2015 Report: A STATUS/الوضع Conversation with Kristina Stockwood

In this Quick Thoughts interview for STATUS/الوضع, Nour Joudah speaks with Kristina Stockwood about the Gulf Center for Human Rights' 2015 report entitled "Human Rights Defenders in Prison and in Peril throughout the Gulf and Neighboring Countries." Kristina Stockwood is a human rights advocate who has been Chair of the Advisory Board of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) since 2011. Specialising in support to human rights defenders, women’s rights and freedom of expression, she also ...

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Today I Testified Before the CUNY Task Force on Anti-Semitism

Today I testified before the CUNY Task Force on Anti-Semitism. I was accompanied by my attorney, Jed Eisenstein, president of the board of Jewish Voice for Peace. I also had legal support from Palestine Legal and The Center for Constitutional Rights. One member of the Task Force, Paul Shechtman, was not present. He is an attorney who—in addition to being on this Task Force—represents the New York Police Department officer who killed Akai Gurley, and his firm has also represented Dominique Strauss-Kahn. ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (March 9)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Turkey and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Turkey Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to turkey@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.]   English Crackdown on Journalists

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Sevan Nisanyan icin izan talep ediyoruz! / The Sevan Nisanyan Question

Sevan Nişanyan için izan talep ediyoruz! / The Sevan Nişanyan Question [This petition was first published on 28 February 2016. For more information, or to sign the petition, click here. More information about Sevan Nişanyan’s court case can also be found here. The English text has been lightly edited for stylistic purposes.] Sevan Nişanyan iki yılı aşkın bir süredir cezaevinde. Kesinleşmiş toplam cezası 11,5 yılı aştı. Henüz sonuçlanmamış diğer davalarla birlikte bu sürenin yakın zamanda 25 yılı aşma ...

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Something Is Rotten in the State

[This is the introduction to a special supplement of Theory & Event, entitled Something Is Rotten in the State, devoted to the contemporary political context in Turkey. The table of contents and complete issue can be accessed here.] The political everyday never ceases to be eventful for those who live in Turkey or who follow it closely: the consolation of a smooth veneer disguising the wretched operations of structural violence is a luxury rarely exported to the global south. But what has been ...

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Letter by American Sociological Association Expressing Concern for Signatories of Academics for Peace Statement in Turkey

  [The following letter was issued by the American Sociological Association on 29 January 2016 regarding ongoing threats to academic freedom in Turkey.] Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu Office of the Prime Minister Başbakanlık 06573 Ankara, Turkey Via Email: cumhurbaskanligi@tccb.gov.tr We write on behalf of more than 12,000 members of the American Sociological Association to express our grave concern about the actions that the Turkish government has taken against signatories to the ...

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