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O.I.L. Media Roundup (18 January)

[A Soldier stands guard in a tower at Camp Delta at Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay. Image by Spc. Cody Black. From Wikimedia Commons.] [A Soldier stands guard in a tower at Camp Delta at Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay. Image by Spc. Cody Black. From Wikimedia Commons.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Occupation, Intervention, and Law and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the O.I.L. Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each biweekly roundup to by Monday night of every other week]


"Clearing Palestinian Protestors from West Bank Site, Netanyahu Pledges to Build Settlement," Joel Greenberg
The Washington Post reports both on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plans to construct further settlements in the West Bank and his government's forced eviction of Bab al-Shams, a Palestinian vlllage formed in protest of the new settlements.

"Palestinian Premier Urges Arabs to Pay Pledged Aid," Sarah El Deeb
The Associated Press surveys the efforts of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to respond to a "cash crunch" faced by his government. Fayyad has met with the Arab League, who pledged $100 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority last year, regarding raising funds to meet his government's obligations, while the Arab League has called on Israel to resume monthly transfers of $100 million in tax funds--transfers it stopped releasing late last year as part of a punitive response to Palestine's successful efforts seeking an upgraded status at the United Nations. 

"Secret No-Fly Evidence Rejected by Judge," Bob Egelko
U.S. District Judge William Alsup has blocked an Obama administration attempt to use "secret evidence" to halt Rahinah Ibrahim, a Stanford doctoral student from Malaysia, from challenging her inclusion on a "no-fly list". As part of her inclusion on the list, Ibrahim was barred from entering the United States.

"French Troops Target Terrorists in Mali as Newest Shadow War Begins," Spencer Ackerman
Wired's Danger Room blog reports on France's deployment of an undisclosed number of troops in Mali, an operation aimed at targeting Islamist militias in the northern part of the country. Also discussed is the United States' history of involvement in training counterterrorist efforts in the region, France's recent history of military interventions in North Africa, and the possibility of future US involvement in the operation.

"Obama to Speed Troop Exit," Carol E. Lee, Adam Entous
Following recent meetings with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, President Obama has indicated an intent to speed up the schedule of withdrawing US forces from Afghanistan, though providing few details as to how such a withdrawal might occur. 

"U.N. Expresses Dismay Over Saudi Execution of Sri Lankan Maid," Nick Cumming-Bruce
The New York Times reports on the United Nations' objections to Saudi Arabia's recent execution of Rizana Nafeek, a Sri Lankan woman accused of committing a murder in 2005. Among the objections to the conviction and sentence was that Nafeek was seventeen years old at the time of the murder, an age that international law stipulates the death sentence cannot apply to.


"Are Israel and Turkey's Settlements Comparable?," Kevin Jon Heller
Heller responds on Opinio Juris to Eugene Kontorovich's recent argument that Israel could evade an ICC prosecution for illegal transfer by "working up a Cypriot case against Turkey", agreeing with Kontorovich that the Court is unlikely to ever prosecute Israel but pointing out Israel's occupation is larger in number and that Israel has "much more actively" engaged in illegally transferring its citizens into its settlements in the West Bank. A case against Turkey's settlements in Cyprus, Heller argues, would highlight "how much stronger the case against Israel really is."

"The Screenshots Prove It: New York Times Altered Headline to Remove Words 'Israel-Occupied,'" Ali Abunimah
A set of screenshots obtained by Electronica Intifada reveals The New York Times editing a story on the Bab al-Shams encampment so as to no longer describe the West Bank as "Israeli-occupied". The elimination of such language, Abunimah writes, is a "key goal of Israeli propaganda," aimed at granting false legitimacy to Palestinian land claimed by Israel.

"Iraq: US 'Troop Surge' Magic Bullet Myth Lives On," Jim Lobe
Lobe responds to criticisms of Chuck Hagel's refusal to back the 2007 "troop surge" in Iraq, writing that such criticism is steeped in a wrongheaded "myth" that the surge alone, and not a partnership struck between Coalition forces and up to 100,000 Sunni Arab insurgents around the same time, changed the the fortunes of US forces in post-invasion Iraq.

"Fact-checking the Iranian DDoS Attacks Against US Banks," Jeffrey Carr
Carr examines claims made about recent DDoS attacks against JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and other US banks, attacks the group Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters claims responsibility for. Carr finds both CNN and Bloomberg overstate the extent of the planning required to initiate and damage inflicted by the attacks, and criticizes Senator Joe Lieberman's belief that Iran launched the attacks.

"Failures of Palestinian Reconciliation," Rajab Abu-Sariyyah 
Abu-Sarriyah criticizes a recent meeting between Palestinian Authority President Mahmood Abbas and Hamas Political Bureau Chief Khaled Meshaal on Al-Monitor, writing that such talks "provoke false hope," removed from the aspirations of the Palestinian people. Sariyyah wonders if political unity between the sides represented by each man is impossible.


"Don't Close Guantánamo," Jennifer Daskin
Daskin, a lawyer who has served as senior counsel for Human Rights Watch and in the Department of Justice's National Security Division under the Obama Administration, argues against closure of the detention facility at Guantámo Bay for the short term. Closing the prison, Daskin writes, would not amount to release or prosecution for most of the detainees, and could roll back a number of recent improvements in conditions. Daskin holds that defining a legal framework for ending the conflict against al-Qaeda would erode the legal justification for holding the detainees in the facility, and is the only "realistic hope for meaningful closure" for the facility. Benjamin Wittes of Lawfare and Kenneth Anderson of Opinio Juris respond to Daskin's argument.

"The Growth of International Law Scholarship," Roger Alford
Writing for Opinio Juris, Alford provides a case study of the use of the term "international law" in academic scholarship, using WestLaw's JLR library to chart instances of the term's use from 1987 to 2011. Alford argues the statistics show the field has shown "sustained growth across the decades" relative to a number of other fields of legal scholarship.

"The Most Hated Woman in Israel," Larry Derfner
Derfner sits down with Haneen Zoabi, an Arab member of the Israeli Knesset, discussing her history as an advocate for Arab citizens of Israel, her participation in the Mavi Marmara flotilla, the Israeli government's attempt to strip her privileges in the Knesset, and her successful appeal to Israel's Supreme Court to have said privileges reinstated.

"Everything We Know So Far About Drone Strikes," Cora Currier
ProPublica provides an overview of the United States' use of drone warfare in Pakistan and Yemen, detailing what is known about the process of choosing targets, who conducts the strikes, how many have been killed in strikes, and the debate regarding the legal rationale for such attacks.

"Death of a Prisoner," Laura Poitras
The New York Times' "Op-Docs" page features Poitras' short documentary on Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif, a Guantánamo detainee who recently died in solitary confinement, and the return of his remains to his native Yemen. Poitras questions the circumstances of Latif's detainment, in which he was held for eleven years without being formally charged with a crime, and of his death, the US government's account of which Poitras describes as "hard to take at face value." 


"Reforming U.S. Drone Strike Policies (pdf)," Micah Zenko
In a report for the Council of Foreign Relations, Zenko argues against the legality and net benefits of using drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen and lays out a "substantive agenda" whereby the United States could end targeted killings of unidentified militants and contribute to an international legal framework regarding the use of drones.


"European and Transnational Rulemaking," University of Amsterdam, 15 January, 2013; submit proposals here and here (emails).

On Jadaliyya

"European Footballers Declare Support for Palestine," Jadaliyya Reports

,   Lila Abu Lughod and Maya Mikdashi",التقاليد والآلة المناهضة للسياسة: "جرائم الشرف" تغوي فرقة الدام"

   (Tamer Nafar, Suhell Nafar, Mahmood Jrery (DAM ",رد فرقة الدام على مقال التقاليد والآلة المناهضة للسياسة"

"Don't Play Apartheid Israel: Summary of 2012 Cultural Boycott," Jadaliyya Reports

"Settler Colonialism: Then and Now (Video)," Jadaliyya Reports

"Imagining Justice Beyond the ICC," Samar Al-Bulushi

Sherene Seikaly ",عدّ الكالوريات وصناعة الليمونادا في غزة"

"Good Taliban, Bad Taliban: Pakistan’s Double Game and the US War on Terror," Waqas Mirza

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