Author: David Hillstrom

History and its Victims: The Fate of Palestinians

At the end of the Second World War, the colonial age in modern history had come to a close.  The colonial period is a blemish on the nations of Europe, the US, and Japan, although none of them have practiced policies of sincere regret, let alone compensation.  Rather, many opinion leaders from the former colonial powers have pointed to the legacy of organization and infrastructure that they left in the colonized world.  Many also have remarked that the new, independent states that emerged were more often than not dictatorial and corrupt.  Of course, there have been countries that have...

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Goodbye Juliano Mer-Khamis

Juliano Mer-Khamis was a talented actor and a humanitarian whose work supported peace in Palestine through theatre and the arts.  His tragic death represents a great loss to cultural creativity and to the voices for reason and compassion within the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Perhaps more tragic still is the hatred and the bile emanating from the blogosphere written by thoughtless Zionists rushing to shout, “I told you so.” The actor participated in the film Miral, which I have not yet seen, unfortunately, but which hopefully will become an even greater success and still more influential through the martyrdom of Mer-Khamis.  The author of the book on which Miral is based and of the screenplay for the film is Rula Jebreal.  She gave a particularly poignant interview last night on CNN, despite the efforts of Fionnuala Sweeney to cut her off.  Ms Jebreal said she feels that Mer-Khamis is still alive.  I find this a touching statement that brings to memory the song about Joe Hill.  As it happens, Joe Hill has long been a symbol for my own work.  In fact I owe to him my pen name, ‘Hillstrom.’  Joe Hill and the poet Lorca, who also met a tragic death during the Spanish civil war, provided the inspiration behind my poetic drama, The Story of Our People. Perhaps the lovers of Peace within Palestine and aspiring young actors will...

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The Libyan No Fly Zone: Responsibility to Protect and International Law

Just as Secretary Gates had said, enforcing a no fly zone in Libya requires an attack on Libyan military assets, specifically air defense systems, in the initial phase.  These attacks are now underway.  There had been a good deal of debate over the wisdom of this action over the course of the uprising in Libya.  But once the Arab League came out in favor of a no fly zone and the Security Council approved the measure, it became a question of when rather than whether to launch attacks.  There is now of course a veneer of legality for the...

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Review of ‘Breeding Ground’ by Deepak Tripathi

The conflict in Afghanistan is now into its fourth decade, with no end in sight.  In spite of the fact that Afghanistan is a poor and landlocked country in Central Asia, the violence there has echoed across the world.  Camps in Afghanistan that trained Islamic fighters during the initial phase of the conflict later produced Islamist radicals who organized terrorist attacks on the US, Madrid and London.  These same groups have radicalized public opinion and brought increasing violence to Muslim countries in the Middle East, North Africa, and Indonesia.  And the wave of violence has most assuredly impacted Pakistan, one of the front line players in the initial conflict, and India, its neighbour and adversary. The broad outline of the conflict is familiar to anyone who keeps abreast of politics and world affairs.  The Soviet Union engineered a coup in Afghanistan to install a friendly government there and later invaded and occupied the country in order to prop up a failing regime. The Mujahidin then began a guerrilla war against the occupation with support from the US, Pakistan, and numerous Arab countries.  Subsequently, when the Cold War ended, the world lost interest in Afghanistan, and it was abandoned in a state of civil war until the Taliban took control. The Taliban offered safe haven to Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda, who planned terrorist attacks on the West.  While...

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