Human Rights


Obama’s Half-Hearted Cuba Detente

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 28, 2015. (Photo credit: United Nations.)

President Obama’s “normalization” of relations with Cuba have been more tell than show, with much of the half-century U.S. embargo left in place and some “relaxations” designed to coerce Cuba into “privatizing” its economy, as Art Heitzer and Marjorie Cohn describe.

Fighting a Cultural Boycott of Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a security meeting with senior Israeli Defense Forces commanders near Gaza on July 21, 2014. (Israel government photo)

Cultural and economic boycotts helped isolate white-supremacist South Africa and encouraged a shift to multi-racial democracy — and a similar strategy has ratcheted up pressure on Israel to reach a peace deal with Palestinians — but there is a new pushback against that strategy, notes Lawrence Davidson.

Israel’s Endless Cycles of Violence

An Israeli soldier prepares for a night attack inside Gaza as part of Operation Protective Edge, which killed more than 2,000 Gazans in 2014. (Israel Defense Forces photo)

Israel’s near-half-century-old occupation of Palestinian territory has fueled such animosity that Israelis fear that ending it could unleash even worse violence, a self-perpetuating conundrum that – if left unresolved – will doom Israelis and Palestinians to chronic bouts of death and destruction, as Alon Ben-Meir describes.

A Glimmer of Hope for Syria

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Exclusive: With new negotiations starting in Vienna – and with Iran now allowed to participate – there is finally a glimmer of hope that the Syrian slaughter might end. But that will require concessions from all sides and President Obama standing up to the neocons who put “regime change” ahead of peace, writes Robert Parry.

Netanyahu’s Offensive Fake History

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu garbled up some inflammatory history to suggest that a Palestinian mufti was responsible for the Holocaust, but the underlying message was even more troubling, a suggestion that Palestinians as a group share the guilt, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

The Lost Cause of Israeli Justice

An Israeli who  joined a public campaign in 2012 to discourage an Israeli war against Iran.

When Israel was founded, there was hope among progressive Jews that the new country could rely on the best traditions of Judaism and teach the world how to navigate the shoals of bigotry and injustice, a vision that remains unfulfilled, as Lawrence Davidson describes.

Rebuffing Peace Chances in Syria

Secretary of State John Kerry arriving in Paris on Jan. 12, 2014, for diplomatic meetings on the Middle East. (State Department photo)

Exclusive: Official Washington’s neocon-dominated “group think” on Syria is that everything is the fault of President Assad and Russian President Putin, but the actual history shows many missed opportunities for peace because of the U.S. obsession with dictating “regime change” in country after country, as Jonathan Marshall explains.

The Mideast’s Humpty Dumpty Problem

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney receive an Oval Office briefing from CIA Director George Tenet. Also present is Chief of Staff Andy Card (on right). (White House photo)

Western powers – most recently the United States – have smashed up the Mideast so thoroughly that many of the options now under review in Official Washington go from bad to worse but almost certainly can never put the region back together again, writes ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller.

Hillary Clinton’s Failed Libya ‘Doctrine’

Ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi shortly before he was murdered on Oct. 20, 2011.

From the Archive: As the long-running Benghazi investigation returns to center stage with another round of Hillary Clinton’s testimony, the former Secretary of State’s larger failure remains obscured – how she once envisioned the bloody Libyan “regime change” as the start of a “Clinton Doctrine,” as Robert Parry reported last July.

Fallout from the Gaza Blockade

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak meeting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in 2007

Israel’s enforcement of its Gaza blockade has involved storming aid ships in international waters, including the 2010 assault on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara in which Israeli commandos killed nine people, a case that has now led to a lawsuit against former Israeli Defense Minister Barak, writes Ann Wright.