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SHAKIRA HUSSEIN | MIDDLE EAST | UNLOCK?

Mourn for lost Palmyra, but it is not yours

Islamic State’s destruction of the ancient city of Palmyra is heartbreaking. But its history and artifacts do not belong to the world; they belong to Syria alone.

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BERNARD KEANE | MIDDLE EAST | 15 UNLOCK?

Australia’s Iraq ‘stalemate’ still stimulating terrorist recruitment

Australia now finds itself embedded in a “stalemate” in Iraq, at best, while apparently determined to ensure disillusioned jihadis stay there.

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SHAKIRA HUSSEIN | MIDDLE EAST | 13 UNLOCK?

Is this the real world? Bin Laden conspiracy theory makes plenty of sense

The US government loves to create its own reality, and the case of Osama bin Laden’s assassination is no different.

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MIDDLE EAST | 1

The children of Gaza need more than aid

Yes, the situation in Gaza is grim and its people need food and shelter. But they also need a reason to believe in hope for the future, write Majed Abusalema, national leader of Students for Justice in Palestine in Norway, and James Rose, founder of The Kick Project.

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MIDDLE EAST |

‘War destroys everything’: the long, painful process of rebuilding Gaza

The recent conflict with Israel has left the Gaza Strip in a shambles, with piles of rubble where apartment buildings used to be. Freelance journalist Nigel O’Connor finds out what life is like — and finds it’s about to get a lot worse.

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BERNARD KEANE | MIDDLE EAST |

The War on Terror according to the CIA: endless, self-perpetuating

While Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten peddle lies about terrorism, the head of the CIA says the War on Terror generates more terrorists and will last forever.

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MIDDLE EAST |

‘Biscuit babies’: the curious practice of smuggling Palestinian sperm

What to do when a Palestinian family wants more children but the husband is in prison? Improvise, explains Nigel O’Connor, freelance journalist currently in the West Bank.

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GUY RUNDLE | MIDDLE EAST |

Rundle: what will become of Sanaa when the fighting ends?

One of the great masterpieces of the world is the centre of heavy fighting in Yemen. Who knows what we will find when the smoke clears …

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IRFAN YUSUF | MIDDLE EAST |

How the Western media supports terrorism

Daesh supporters post gruesome photographs on social media to spread propaganda. And the Western media have been very willing to help out with that.

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MIDDLE EAST |

Why Jake Lynch was waving money around at an anti-Israel protest

Jake Lynch is a long-time supporter of Palestine, but he has shown no evidence of anti-Semitism, whatever his ideological enemies might say, writes Sydney University senior lecturer Nick Riemer

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CHARLES RICHARDSON | MIDDLE EAST |

Nothing really changes in Israel

The results from the recent Israeli election will likely reinstall a coalition government very similar to the last one.

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CRIKEY INTERN | MIDDLE EAST |

Is the West’s love affair with Israel over?

Israel has always had a special relationship with the West, particularly the United States. But recently the bloom seems to be off the rose, writes Crikey intern Brihony Tulloch.

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MIDDLE EAST |

Assad’s mass surveillance scheme didn’t work, and neither will Abbott’s

Syria’s attempt to spy on its citizens did nothing to stop terrorism, and neither will Australia’s, writes Reem Sweid a Syrian-Australian social policy researcher.

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MIDDLE EAST |

Don’t mention the war: Israeli pollies talk up a domestic agenda

Israel will go to the polls on March 17, and politicians on all sides are focused on cost of living, the economy and housing. And tellingly, no one is promising peace. Freelance journalist Nigel O’Connor reports from Israel

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BERNARD KEANE | MIDDLE EAST |

Train in vain: the absurd history of training the Iraqi Army

From Iran to Israel to Korea to Romania, the list of countries that have trained Iraqis since 2003 is lengthy. And none achieved anything.

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SHAKIRA HUSSEIN | MIDDLE EAST |

So you think you can Daesh: why schoolgirls are the new recruits

Infantilising young Muslim women won’t prevent the rise in “jihadi brides” fleeing Western nations to join Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

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SHAKIRA HUSSEIN | MIDDLE EAST |

The devil wears Shahada: how IS uses radicalised women to market jihad

The increased use of female suicide bombers by Islamic State militants is, in large part, due to the increased media coverage they generate.

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BERNARD KEANE | MIDDLE EAST |

Pentagon shows the proper way to farewell a beloved monster

While many point out he was a brutal dictator, western elites are mourning Saudi King Abdullah - and none more so than the Pentagon.

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GLENN DYER | MIDDLE EAST |

What falling oil prices will mean for the RBA’s next rate decision

As the world’s economies struggle to cope with falling oil prices, what will Australia’s central bank decide to do?

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SHAKIRA HUSSEIN | MIDDLE EAST |

Terrorism has many faces in Pakistan

Extrajudicial punishment is meted out with alarming inconsistency in a state torn apart by terrorism.

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GUY RUNDLE | MIDDLE EAST |

Rundle: Abbott visits Iraq, desperately seeking a coherent message

Team Abbott’s surprise visit to Iraq was, to put it mildly, a little curious. To put it less mildly, the move smacks of a government desperate to find a meaningful project after a year of failures.

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MIDDLE EAST |

‘The Christians had nothing’: refugees, safe but weary, prepare for a Christmas far from home

Jordanian churches have become the temporary home of thousands of refugees from Iraq. Journalist Nigel O’Connor talks to them in Amman and finds that although conditions are harsh, they feel lucky to be alive.

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MIDDLE EAST |

As we chuckle at the ‘cali-fatties’, real questions remain unanswered

Western young men travelling to the Middle East to become jihadis is a serious problem that demands serious coverage. But all the tabloids care about it is jelly belly jihadis. Irfan Yusuf, lawyer, author and commentator, reports.

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MIDDLE EAST |

G20 fails to deliver — but not for lack of Australia trying

The government was right to push for growth at the G20 summit but the minds of international leaders are no longer focused on the forum, write Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer.

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