Political Systems

The fall and rise of Marwan Barghouti

Long regarded as a future leader of Palestine, Marwan Barghouti has been imprisoned by Israel since 2002. What would his release mean for the future of the Middle East? In the early hours of 5 March 2002, a 21-year-old officer in the Palestinian navy stood across the street from the Sea Food Market restaurant in downtown Tel Aviv carrying an M16 rifle,…

‘Self-silencing’: For Palestinians, talking about Hamas comes with hazards

Long before Hamas’s murderous rampage in Israel on Oct. 7, the group made a name for itself with its ruthless takeover of Gaza in 2007. Its calling card? Killing its political rivals execution style in the streets, in hospital shootouts, and by throwing them off the rooftops of high-rise buildings. Since then, arbitrary detention, torture and enforced disappearances has been…

Most Gaza Residents Do Not Support Hamas, According to Poll Conducted a Day Before October 7 Attacks

‘Collective punishment is always wrong, but certainly if there is a claim that the citizens of Gaza are really supportive of this government — they’re really not,’ one of its authors told The Messenger Less than one-quarter of residents of the the Gaza Strip said they would vote for Hamas if given the opportunity, and more than two-thirds said they…

Why Iraqis are still searching for a ‘homeland’ 20 years after US invasion

Two decades after the US waged war on Iraq, the political demands and aspirations of the Iraqi people remain unfulfilled under a political system that was designed to fail The US invasion of Iraq succeeded in toppling the Baathist regime of President Saddam Hussein, but 20 years on, it clearly failed to achieve its proclaimed goal of bringing freedom, security, democracy, and prosperity to Iraq and its…