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Israel's plan to annex West Bank is another catastrophe for Palestine

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The 1st of July is the date of Israel’s 1967 annexation of the Jordan valley. What does it mean? If we ask president Donald Trump he will say: “The annexation is good for the Palestinians because there will soon be a Palestinian state.” If we ask Benjamin Netanyahu, he will say: “The annexation is great for Israel. It will add 33 percent of the area of the West Bank to the state of Israel.” If we ask the Arab leaders, some will keep silent and some will support Netanyahu. But if you ask Palestinians, we already rejected it, and here is why.

Track and Trace: In safe hands?

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Even in the middle of the Dominic Cummings scandal, it still comes as a surprise that the person put in charge of Track and Trace by Matt Hancock is Baroness Dido Harding. Among other things she is also on the board of the Cheltenham Festival. As the Daily Mail pointed out, the board decided that the event should go ahead this year despite the pandemic, and experts believe it “caused a spike in Covid-19 deaths”. Now even taking into account the fact that Johnson and Cummings and the rest of the Cabinet are without shame, perhaps she was still the best person for the job.

Starmer bends the knee to the Tories

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Keir Starmer’s sacking of Rebecca Long-Bailey was both opportunistic and profoundly ideological. It enabled him to identify himself with western imperialism’s support for Israel and simultaneously to distance himself from the Left in the Labour Party and trade union resistance to the Tories. The pretext for the sacking was spurious, but symbolic. By no stretch of the imagination could Long-Bailey have been guilty of furthering “antisemitic conspiracy theories” by re-Tweeting an interview with the actor Maxine Peake.

A glimpse of struggle as France eases restrictions

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There have been a series of hundreds-strong demonstrations outside hospitals

France is emerging blinking into the post-lockdown light. It is not a liberation like the last scenes of beethoven’s opera Fidelio, where the freed prisoners sing of their joy.

Although many of us are happy to escape from confinement, we are also aware that we are being chased out far in advance of what is medically sound in order to start the euro-making machinery for the corporations.

In the poorer parts of Paris, people had to keep working for the most part anyway. If you live from week-to-week you can’t afford to be too unwilling to turn up when your employer calls.

Rebellion flares across US cities

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Instead of addressing the root causes of police violence, the authorities have done nothing

Minneapolis is burning and the fire is spreading across the country.

George Floyd was murdered on 25 May by the Minneapolis Police Department. He was murdered by Derek Chauvin, an officer who has murdered innocent people in the past and gotten away with it.

For three nights in a row, Minneapolis has been ablaze. Crowds of thousands have gathered, setting buildings on fire, destroying police cars and getting into skirmishes with the cops.

West Bank and Gaza are trapped between pandemic and siege

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The Israeli occupation seized tents in the West Bank that were being used as emergency clinics reports Yousef Asfour, Palestinian activist living in the Gaza strip

In Gaza, we understand what being under a blockade is like. More than two million people have lived under siege for over ten years, it is one of the most crowded places in the world and has experienced three wars that have destroyed infrastructure including hospitals and health centres.

SNP is culpable in the coronavirus catastrophe

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Edinburgh has tail-ended the disastrous Covid-19 policies of Westminster

It is a given that the coronavirus crisis has exposed the rotten, inhuman priorities of Boris Johnson’s Tory government at Westminster. It is less obvious that Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party (SNP) administration at Holyrood also has difficult questions to answer.

Covid-19 has been allowed to ravage Scottish society in essentially the same way it has in the other countries of the UK.

The mainstream left face defeat and dilemmas

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It is beggars belief that Piers Morgan and The Sunday Times have been much more effective in calling out the government than the opposition

The defeat of Jeremy Corbyn in December’s General Election and his subsequent replacement as Labour leader by Keir Starmer raises serious questions for the mainstream left. These are underlined by the suspension of Bernie Sander’s bid to become the Democratic Party candidate in the US presidential election and his endorsement of Joe Biden’s candidacy.

Greece wages war on refugees for EU

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On 3 March EU commissioner Ursula von der Leyen went to Evros on the Greek-Turkish border in order to congratulate Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on his murderous policy against refugees.

She also pledged €700 million (£635 million) to continue his work, stating that Greece has become “Europe’s shield”.

Meanwhile, Greek foreign minister Nikos Dendias’ request for an urgent EU leaders’ summit on the “refugees crisis” was met on 18 March when they held a conference call.

However, the issues discussed were Covid-19 and the resulting economic crisis.

Sweeping powers puts France under the boot

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France is in Covid-19 lockdown with strong decrees enforced by heavy state power. Nearly everyone accepts that there has to be an end to most social interaction. But it’s being done in a harsh and class-based manner.

The first fine for violating the rules over confinement or being outside without reason is €135. This is increased to €1,500 in the event of a repeat offence within 15 days. In the case of four violations within 30 days, the offence will be punishable by a fine of €3,700 and a maximum of six months in prison.

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