Tony Iltis

GLW author Tony Iltis

Israelis vote for one state, but no solution

Israelis voted for the status quo in elections on March 17. The ruling Likud party and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were re-elected, as voters endorsed ongoing apartheid and military rule for the Palestinian population.

Israeli Jewish society is itself wracked by economic and social crisis. It is also conflicted by class, gender, religious and ethnic divides. But like all Israeli elections, the campaign was fought over how Israel should relate to its subject Palestinian population.

After Cyclone Pam: Climate action is urgent

Once again the world's poorest people are suffering the effects of climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions which they played no role in producing.

On March 13, Cyclone Pam ripped through the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu, an archipelago of 82 islands, 65 of which are inhabited.

Cyclone Pam recorded wind speeds of 270 km/h, making it the strongest ever recorded in Vanuatu. Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), which devastated the Filipino islands of Samar and Leyte in 2013, holds the record for the strongest storm anywhere, with wind speeds of 315 km/h.

Pakistan: Socialists protest against terrorism and government complicity

The Awami Workers Party held a protest in Islamabad on March 17 against the Pakistani establishment's response to recent terrorist attacks.

The establishment's response has been a mixture of inaction, misdirected repression, collusion with terrorists and promotion of their communalist and religious fundamentalist ideology.

Western Sahara caught in human rights nightmare

Western Sahara is recognised by the United Nations as the last non-self-governing territory in Africa. Between 1973 and 1991 it was at war, as the pro-independence Polisario Front fought first against colonial rulers Spain, and after 1975, against Morocco, which invaded with Spanish encouragement.

In 1991, a United Nations-sponsored ceasefire was supposed to bring peace, based on a referendum on independence. However, the UN-promised referendum has never been held. Overt support from France, and more tacit support from the US, has enabled Morocco to have it indefinitely postponed.

Western Sahara: West's resource theft prolongs occupation

Offshore oil drilling operations off Western Sahara, carried out by the US firm Kosmos Energy, were denounced by Western Sahara Resources Watch (WSRW) on March 2.

“Kosmos Energy did nothing to obtain the consent of the people of Western Sahara,” said WSRW chair Erik Hagen.

The Dallas-based company said its exploration well had not yielded a commercial find and would be plugged, Associated Press said on March 2.

Tony Abbott hopes war can save his job

When Prime Minister Tony Abbott used a March 3 press conference at Parliament House to announce the deployment of 300 more soldiers to Iraq, it was impossible to ignore the political theatre to serve a partisan domestic agenda.

If you missed it in the content of his talk, you couldn't miss the no-less-than eight flags propped up behind him as he spoke.

A combination of relentless attacks on the living standards of ordinary people and Abbott's incompetence has made his government one of the most unpopular in Australian history.

Hypocrisy reigns in International Criminal Court debates

An “extraordinary summit” of the African Union in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on October 11 and 12 took place without a threatened mass withdrawal of AU member nations from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The mass withdrawal threat was in response to the ongoing prosecution by the ICC of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Vice-President William Ruto. They were elected in March this year while already facing charges for political violence after Kenya’s previous elections in 2007.

Bali duo fall victim to ‘war on drugs’

The impending execution in Indonesia of two Australian drug couriers — Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan – has focused Australian media attention on the horrors of capital punishment. Their lawyers, families and supporters, particularly artist Ben Quilty, have ensured that the two have been humanised.

Spinning terror to fuel racism

When 22-year-old Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein murdered two people in Copenhagen on February 15, and was killed in a shoot-out with police, the media and politicians across the world did not hesitate to declare that an act of terrorism had taken place.

US President Barack Obama immediately phoned Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt to offer condolences and invited Denmark to take part in a February 18 summit in Washington to counter violent extremism, Reuters reported on February 16.

Other Western leaders, including Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, responded similarly.

Who is defeating the ‘Islamic State’?

The self-styled Islamic State (IS) may be one of the few unifying forces in the Middle East.

A range of mutually antagonistic regional and global powers and non-state groups have joined the fight against them. While Western politicians’ pronouncements that the IS has declared war on the world are clichéd, they are echoed by the group’s own statements.

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