The Editors

The Editors
18 March 2014Comment

We are shocked at the current US campaign to rob a future Palestinian state of viability and genuine independence (see the front page interview with Norman Finkelstein).

The best case scenario in the foreseeable future for both Palestine and Israel is an authentic two-state solution which allows a Palestinian state on the 1967 ‘green line’ borders, meaning the West Bank , East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. This means the evacuation of illegal Israeli settlements on the West Bank (…

8 June 2013Comment

Nonviolent resistence in Palestine

The courageous Israeli Jewish journalist Amira Hass recently condemned the phrase ‘nonviolent resistance’ in relation to the Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation. This caused some jubilation among activists concerned with Palestine who are hostile to nonviolence.

Their jubilation may have been premature.

Amira Hass said, in her interview with US radical news programme, Democracy Now!, ‘I don’t like the term “nonviolent resistance”…. because it puts the onus of being…

22 May 2013Comment

On Thatcher’s moments of vulnerability

The death of Margaret Thatcher has provoked a huge reaction. Amid all the tributes and eulogies, pop songs and death parties, one aspect of her reign has been neglected: Thatcher’s moments of vulnerability.

Almost from moment of her election as prime minister, Margaret Thatcher was one of the most divisive figures in modern British history. A YouGov poll after her death found that half of the public thought she had been a good prime minister, while exactly a third…

5 April 2013Comment

On the approaching anniversary of 1914

As we approach the hundredth anniversary of the First World War, an uncomfortable question raises its head. Why did so many millions succumb to ‘war fever’ in 1914? While there was a lot of reluctance and a fair amount of resistance to the war, the actual declaration of war spawned huge, wildly-excited crowds in the major capital cities and the fever claimed many liberals and left-wingers.

The emotions that overwhelmed these Europeans had little to do with hate…

9 March 2013Comment

International Women’s Day has been celebrated in different ways in Iran. Last year, it was reported that meetings were held in people’s houses, and that it was proposed as a day of ‘solidarity and self-criticism’. The year before, there were street demonstrations in Tehran – and masked, baton-waving women police. In 2010, the Iranian government marked the day by banning the country’s greatest living poet, Simin Behbahani, from travelling to France where she had been invited by the mayor of…

8 February 2013Comment

Heading off for our first joint peace delegation (one of us has been to Iraq, the other has been on a Fellowship of Reconciliation delegation to Iran before), we’ve been reflecting on the history and purpose of peace delegations.

In his monumental book about the anti-war movement in Britain during the First World War, Against All War, Adam Hochschild tells the story of Emily Hobhouse, who had exposed the horrors of the British concentration camps during the Boer war. In 1915, well…

27 April 2012Comment

Responding to the situation in Syria

The brutal pace of events in Syria has been hard to follow, let alone to comprehend and to critique. Large-scale nonviolent protests against the regime of president Bashar al-Assad began over a year ago, in March 2011, after 14 schoolchildren were arrested and tortured in the city of Deraa. Their crime was to have written a popular Arab Spring slogan on a wall: ‘The people want the downfall of the regime’. The shooting of demonstrators spread the protests around…

31 March 2012Comment

A PN perspective on the growing conflict

Iran is entering a dangerous period.

We know that there is a realistic way out of the crisis: transferring ownership and management of Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities to an international consortium, as advocated by retired US and British diplomats, and endorsed by a variety of Iranian officials and politicians.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: if the west’s real concern is preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, the consortium is the way to go.…

1 November 2011Comment

A perspective on events in Libya.

As PN goes to press, the airwaves are filled with slightly-troubled self-congratulation at the death of Muammar Gaddafi, former ruler of Libya. As the retrospectives begin, there is one fact that is undeniable. While it is commonly said that this NATO military action was authorised by the UN, security council resolution 1973 only actually authorised military action (a) to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya (paragraph 8) and (b) “to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas under threat of…

1 June 2011Comment

75 years on, what is the future for Peace News? One thing is clear. As activism, and life in general, become more and more digital, Peace News will have to develop its presence online, and find new ways to be useful to new generations of activists. The new website we’re launching this summer is just the start of a broad range of major digital PN projects.

Having said that, and despite our reliance on phone conferences for organising PN activities, we remain firmly committed to old-…

1 March 2011Comment

Former British prime minister Tony Blair’s justification for the Iraq war is now that, for all the devastation it caused, launching the invasion was better than leaving dictator Saddam Hussein and his sons in charge of the country for decades to come. The peoples of Tunisia and Egypt have delivered a comprehensive rebuttal to this colonialist argument, overthrowing two entrenched dictators in the space of a month.

Two central factors in both countries were uncontainable popular rage…

1 April 2009Comment

The British press has been marking the 25th anniversary of the start of the miners’ strike of 1984-5, a shattering event for many of us who lived through it. The strike was one of the major events of postwar British history, marking a turning point for owners and managers, supported by the state, in exerting their authority over working people.

The strike was ignited by a government programme of pit closures aimed at breaking the power of the National Union of Mineworkers, and thereby…

3 December 2006Feature

On 4 December the government published a White Paper outlining its preferred option for the continuation of Britain's nuclear weapons programme, committing the country to a new fleet of nuclear submarines and to a service life extension for the US-owned Trident D5 missiles. Buried on page 30 was the news that the future of Britain's nuclear warheads would be determined in the next parliament. For now, a reduction in existing warhead numbers, from the equivalent of approximately 1,600…