Pompeo’s statement on the Israeli settlements marks the latest departure from previous anchors of US policy on the Israel-Palestine issue. By effectively endorsing the settlements, the Trump administration has signalled a green light for their continued expansion. As a result, further Palestinian displacement is virtually guaranteed.
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The latest protests may have been suppressed but they revealed that democracy in Iraq is nothing but a facade. What sort of democratic government kills its own people, taking away their hopes and dreams? And can it still be called legitimate? Reacting indifferently to the deadly crackdown of innocent people in Iraq, the world needs to at least recognise that the root causes of Iraq’s ills are in the post-2003 system itself.
Nevertheless, they remain just one example of the many artefacts that make urban spheres active spaces of remembrance. In my imagination and maybe to those of others, these slashed posters manifest my own chaotic memory, as if I were looking into an inverted mirror, where the past collapses into the present. They remind me of a desire to tear down, rip away, and over-poster the past.
On the flip side of the picture, ironically, the making of Erdoğanist authoritarianism has generated ample opportunities for a radical liberalization of the Turkish political system. Scrapping institutional discipline, liquidating the bureaucratic guardians, disposing of the ‘traditional’ cadre structure and confusing the ideological compass that defined the ‘old’ imperious state apparatus, without effectively replacing them with ‘new’ ones, presents a historic moment for a comprehensive and thorough transformation.
The first, still best, option – repatriation of foreign nationals – is arguably a quickly closing window. Even then, questions would remain about what should happen to Iraqi and Syrian nationals, and what role the West should play in resolving their situation. But European powers must avoid taking the third option they’d been exercising by default – doing nothing, and waiting for circumstances to change.
If the 2015 movement could be deemed as characteristic of a ‘new civil society’, the specificities of the Iraqi context structured by political and sectarian violence make the rejection of identity politics, especially sectarian identity and religion, central. For Iraqi protesters individual freedom, especially the freedom not to belong to a religious and sectarian group is considered as essential as economic equality.