Articles by Yvonne Ridley, Middle East Monitor

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Opposing Zionism is not racism, rules Scottish court

In yet another landmark legal victory, members of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign emerged from court victorious today after being accused of racism. Their “crime”? Standing up to Zionism. The trial ended three years of speculation and pressure for SPSC members whose robust defence of their actions won the day in Glasgow Sherriff’s Court when the verdict was announced on Friday. Four days of evidence and cross-examinations earlier this month focussed on the actions of two SPSC members who faced charges of racism and aggravated trespass for a protest against Israeli company Jericho cosmetics, which operates around the Dead Sea in the occupied West Bank. The protest was held in the wake of Israel’s 2014 military offensive against Palestinian civilians […]


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Opposing Zionism is not racism, rules Scottish court

In yet another landmark legal victory, members of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign emerged from court victorious today after being accused of racism. Their “crime”? Standing up to Zionism. The trial ended three years of speculation and pressure for SPSC members whose robust defence of their actions won the day in Glasgow Sherriff’s Court when the verdict was announced on Friday. Four days of evidence and cross-examinations earlier this month focussed on the actions of two SPSC members who faced charges of racism and aggravated trespass for a protest against Israeli company Jericho cosmetics, which operates around the Dead Sea in the occupied West Bank. The protest was held in the wake of Israel’s 2014 military offensive against Palestinian civilians […]


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The Palestinians can learn from the blockade of Qatar

There are many lessons that the Palestinians can take from the crisis in the Gulf which has seen four Arab states impose an air, land and sea blockade on the tiny state of Qatar. The first is to recognise how fickle friendships actually are among supposedly Arab brothers, and how they can lead so easily to treachery and betrayal. The Palestinians should not expect the same leaders to deliver a solution to 70 years of injustice any time soon. If the member states of the Arab League were genuinely interested in bringing peace and prosperity to Palestine, they would have done so decades ago. There has been a lot of hot air and meaningless resolutions, but concrete action? None whatsoever. […]


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Qatar is giving Saudi and the UAE a masterclass in international diplomacy

When it comes to international diplomacy, Saudi Arabia and its friends in the Gulf have the grace of a ballerina wearing hobnailed boots. Weighed down by their own sense of self-importance, these petulant male-dominated regimes are used to getting their own way and few will stand up to them. Even their friends in the West, fuelled by greed and super arms deals, are too afraid to rein in the corrupt overlords who rule their people with a rod of iron. Acting as a mediator, Kuwait has now presented Qatar with a list of demands from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt after all four cut ties with the tiny state on 5 June. One of the demands […]


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Pity the poor, and pity the poor Palestinians

Here in Britain, the horrific tower block blaze which proved to be the deadliest in London since World War Two is still making front page headlines one week after the flames were finally doused. There has been an overwhelming reaction to the blaze from across society, and rightly so; a “Day of Rage” has been called today in the capital in protest at the atrocity which exposed the reality of poverty and hardship in one of the world’s richest cities. Until the Grenfell Tower tragedy, few people outside London were really aware of the deep pockets of deprivation tucked between areas of vast wealth containing luxury apartments and run by well-heeled borough councils. The treatment of the survivors of the […]


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Invisible Qataris trapped in no man’s land

A family of eight are trapped in no man’s land between warring neighbours Qatar and Saudi Arabia, it emerged last night. Conditions for members of the Al-Marri family are reaching critical point as they remain stranded without food, shelter or basic provisions while the war of words escalates between their government and Riyadh. Attempts by relatives to take food and water to the group were thwarted by the Qatari authorities patrolling the country’s only land border with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Now there are fears for the health and security of the family members, including a pregnant woman and several children under the age of seven, plus a teenager who is prone to epilepsy when placed under stressful conditions. […]


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Sitting on the fence over Israeli Apartheid is no laughing matter

There is an old English idiom dating back to the 15th century which says that you can’t run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. To give it a 21st century spin, it’s a bit like telling a comedian that he can’t perform for laughs with the Israelis and then run with the Palestinians. That comedian, of course, is Eddie Izzard, who showed what some would say is a callous disregard for the plight of the Palestinians by performing at a comedy night in Tel Aviv on Thursday evening while boasting in tweets that he would be running in a marathon for Palestine the next day. Critics urged Izzard, who has ambitions to stand as a Labour MP, to […]


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The Arab League represents nothing but missed opportunities

More than 20 of the world’s most powerful men have come together in Amman for the annual Arab League summit. On paper, these kings, emirs and dictators have the authority to use their influence and petro-billions for the betterment of the Arab world; indeed, of the whole world. Expectations, though, are low that anything worthwhile will be accomplished in the Jordanian capital. The uneasy truth is that these largely self-appointed leaders are too busy preserving the future of their dynasties to care very much that the Middle East is on fire, having been set alight by their friends in the West. What’s more, their own neglect has fanned the flames. It is a damning indictment of all of these Arab […]


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The disgraceful scenes witnessed in Holland may yet lead to something positive

Referendums are in the news, greeted by equal measures of loathing, hysteria and support whenever they are announced. This fact notwithstanding, it looks as if the western media has gone into overdrive in condemning the referendum promoted by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Open racism has been on display, belying our democratic traditions. Before a kneejerk agreement in our usual righteous indignation with the rather predictable western response so far, let’s first try to imagine what would happen if British Prime Minister Theresa May or any of her ministers were forbidden from addressing British citizens at overseas rallies prior to important polls at home. Or what about the furore if Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon or her cabinet members were […]


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Multi-millionaire Tony Blair sells fool’s gold to despots around the world

The breathtaking financial rise of Tony Blair can only be matched by his equally spectacular downfall into the sordid gutter of sleazy politics at home and abroad. However, the former Middle East Peace Envoy could have achieved neither financial peak nor political trough without the help of his despotic Arab friends who rule in a region which is still in chaos largely due to the part played by the former British prime minister in the illegal invasion of Iraq back in 2003. Tragically, Iraq continues to burn as a turf war between its current dictator, the Iranian-backed Haider Al-Abadi, and the mad men of Daesh is being fought in Mosul, where hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis await their unknown […]