ISIS and the specter of Zionism

  I’m not saying that Zionism and ISIS are identical or anything as simplistic. But in trying to find generalizing labels for ISIS, such as being a fascist organization, or a totalitarian state and so on, and in the effort to draw parallels between different political experiences one can more subtly propose that ISIS and […]

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Thoughts from India

Gandhi’s non-violence philosophy did not mean much without in its backdrop a highly clever strategy of recapturing the means of production (silk, cotton, steel, salt, spices and so on) of the Indian economy from the hands of the British empire through large scale mobilization and ritual celebrations of all sorts. Once it was just logical […]

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Waltz with Bashir

I finally watched the Israeli film Waltz with Bashir, and I know that so many people found it really good, as it was “putting into questions things”, addressing longstanding issues from within Israel, and showing “the horrors of war”. Here, let me be very skeptical about what Israeli cinema can question, and knowing that this […]

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Gaza and the legitimation of killing: Lessons for History

Wars, conquests, collective violence, and all kinds of forms of domination and oppression are justified through specific rhetorical strategies, or ideologies. Take a very recent epoch, the one that was dubbed the ‘modern age’ that starts roughly with European ‘enlightenment’ and is still unfolding today. This is an epoch that sees the development and consolidation […]

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Unearthing civilizations

How did the “Lebanese” discover that they had a Phoenician tradition? Or for that matter how did the Arabs discover that they had some past glorious tradition that was decimated by the Ottomans? Don’t we read Arabic history as one that stops around the Abbasid era, and that then picks up around the end of […]

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Lebanonisms: a quick retrospective

This needs to be thought over more clearly, but it seems to me that “Lebanese” history could be read as divided into four phases: 1- Before and up to the national pact of 1943 that established Maronite predominance and Sunni ambivalent pragmatism. Bear in mind that up until this point, there is much opposition to […]

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