As the year ends, and as the Palestine-Israel 'peace process' lays dormant, the United Nations Security Council voted to sanction Israel for its illegal settlement policy in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. What was most significant about this vote was that the United States chose not to veto the resolution; instead it abstained.
US Secretary of State John Kerry, in a long speech, delivered the most obvious verdict for the situation on the ground - namely that if Israel rejects a two-state solution, then the only alternatives are permanent occupation or a democratic, non-ethnic, non-religious unified state. It is of interest that American politicians speak the truth when they are on the way out - Kerry joins a long list of such politicians (one of whom, of course, is Jimmy Carter).
My report in The Hindu was written before Kerry's speech. It makes the point that what Israel fears more than mere criticism is the movement of its file in the International Criminal Court. If Prosecutor Bensouda decides to actually do what she has previously suggested that she might do - namely to open a criminal file on Israel - then there are material ramifications for Israel, namely that its soldiers would think twice before being shock troops for the occupation.
You can read my report here.
The image above is by the Palestinian sculptor Abdulrahman Katanani. It uses barbed wire to replicate the olive tree. Abdulrahman says that the barbed wire tree both reflects the occupation and the desire of Palestinians, rooted in the soil, for freedom.
Meanwhile, in Libya, signs point to the revival of the pro-Qaddafi Green Movement. Before he died, Qaddafi's close ally Khuwaildi al-Hamidi told me in Cairo that the Green Movement went dormant after 2012, but would soon rise up. I found it hard to take him seriously. That was in 2013. Over the past few months, several events suggest that there is indeed such a movement on the ground in Libya - not just in the Fezzan region in its southwest, but also in the north. Between a hijacked plane and a protest at Ghat (see picture above), this movement has begun to revive itself. This has implications for the NATO war of 2011 and for the future of Libya. Just because the Western media is now convulsed with Trump and the possibility of Le Pen in France does not mean that the West should be allowed to wash its hands of the chaos it has produced. In my book - The Death of the Nation - I point a finger at the 'destruction of countries', how these states have been built over a hundred years, and then how they have been destroyed in an afternoon. Libya is the test case.
In Alternet, I have a report that brings together my conversations with Qaddafi-era people as well as my own observations on the potential of the Green Movement and its links to the Libyan National Army. You can read it here.
Meanwhile, I was happy to join al-Jazeera's The Stream to discuss the Obama legacy. The programme was in two parts, domestic policy (which you can watch here) and foreign policy (which you can watch here). Abduction is not a bad option on some days.