Thursday, 24 July 2008

I've moved

I've just set up a new website. Please come and take a look at

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Mindless violence or endless cycle?

In Israel Husam Dwayat is almost solely being referred to as “the terrorist”. The term has an intriguing linguistic pedigree. A terrorist has no name, no gender, no history. A terrorist is but a one-dimensional character, the one who terrorises. But what if we unmasked this terrorist, what if we recognised his acts for the crimes that they are? A criminal has the capacity for everything that is human. He can also be a victim or a father. Husam Dwayat was both of these things.

Online Opinion, Wednesday 9 July 2008.

Monday, 7 July 2008

Guilt by association

Only two months ago former US President Jimmy Carter called for the international community to normalise relations with Hamas. The declaration coincided with Carter meeting Hamas leaders in Syria, a move that helped precipitate the current ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. Even hardened enemies like Israel and Hamas have the capacity to negotiate and, in the process, legitimate each other's existence.

Here is my latest piece, it's on the problems inherent in preventing humanitarian agencies from working with proscribed terrorist organisations when such cooperation is often necessary to help those who require the most humanitarian assistance.

Monday, 30 June 2008

Israel's new wave of refugees

"I experienced a lot of torture, bad experiences in my country," recalls Gabriel, a young but weathered representative of Tel Aviv's Eritrean community. "After my education they put me in the prison and sent me to the army. They did it to humiliate and degrade me. There was a protest from the university students and because of that they take revenge and put us all in prison and then send us to the army to harm us."

Last Friday two refugees were shot dead by Egyptian border police while attempting to cross into Israel. The experiences of African refugees seeking asylum in Israel is an oft-neglected story in the Western media.

I recently interviewed African refugees in Tel Aviv, Israel, on their experiences and aspirations. You can read the story here.

Friday, 20 June 2008

A nation imprisoned

THIS month marks the 41st year of Israel’s continued occupation of the Palestinian territories. For ordinary Palestinians the occupation has turned Gaza and the West Bank into a giant prison. “[This] occupation put[s] you in a cage, a cage on your life and on your mind so you never feel safe,” says Mahmoud, an activist with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Mustafa Qadri, Dawn Newspaper (Pakistan), 20 June 2006.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

The Rural Frontline

In all the villages I visited the one common feature was the constant sense of insecurity, something Jamal constantly pointed out during our conversation. "Life is very difficult and I am always worried that one of my children will wander near the settlement and I will never seem them again."

Another of my pieces on settler violence in the Occupied Territories has just been published by

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Shooting back at the settlers

The Guardian has just posted one of my reports on Jewish Settler violence in the occupied West Bank:

As I saw with my own eyes three weeks ago, Susia is now a collection of tents and partially-built structures surrounded on three sides by Israeli settlements and a military outpost. Where once there were 800 families living in Susia, today there are only 26 left.