Helena Cobban

Helena Cobban is a writer and researcher on global affairs. She is a Contributing Editor of Boston Review, and writes weekly news analysis on Middle East affairs for Inter-Press service. Her blog can be enjoyed at Just World News.

Articles by this author

The Israeli West Bank settlement of Beitar Ilit (Photo: Yoninah via Wikimedia Commons) Views
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Pompeo Casts International Law Aside On Israeli Settlement Policy
On November 18, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the United States no longer judges the settlements Israel has established in the occupied West Bank to be illegal. Under international law, that announcement — like the Trump administration’s earlier determinations that Golan is part of...
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One is that the longstanding refusal of most members of the U.S. political elite (officials, legislators, think-tankers, corporate media, and so on) to even mention the fact of Israel’s own nuclear-weapons capabilities and to take full account of them in public discussions of strategic matters in the Middle East is extremely harmful. (Photo: Avi Ohayun/Israeli govt/cc/flickr) Views
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
The Emperor’s New-Old Nuclear Clothes
How is it still possible to write a lengthy article about the military/strategic dynamic among the triad of Israel, Iran, and the United States while making zero mention of Israel’s robust nuclear-weapons capability? New York Times staffers Ronen Bergman and Mark Mazzetti, and their editors at the...
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President Donald Trump talks with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jared Kushner in Jerusalem, May 22, 2017. (Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO) Views
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
The Curious Case of US Domination of Palestine-Israel Peacemaking
How weird is it that Palestinians, Israelis, and the rest of the world have been agog for months, awaiting the launch of a new “peace process” from a young, seldom successful real-estate developer named Jared Kushner? There are many different levels at which this is weird. First, it’s very strange...
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Tuesday, September 10, 2013
The Russia-Syria Deal: What It Means and What Now?
Watching Syrian FM Walid Muallem on the TV news announcing his country’s acceptance of Russia’s plan to consign all Syria’s CW stockpile to international control and then destruction was an amazingly powerful sight. With this one stroke, all the air went out of the campaign Pres.
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Afghanistan: Obama's Vietnam?
There's a rapidly growing discussion here in the US about "what to do in Afghanistan." Some of it is thoughtful, well-informed, and serious. Like this piece by Rajiv Chandrasekaran in today's WaPo, which argues that the two best options look to be "Go all-in, or fold."
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Saturday, September 12, 2009
NGO Reports on Gaza War Belie Israeli Claims
This week, two respected human rights organisations - one Palestinian, one Israeli - each came out with very full reports into the extent of the damage caused by the assault Israel waged against Gaza last winter. According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), which is based in Gaza, 1,419 Palestinians were killed during the fighting, of whom 252 were combatants and the rest noncombatants, including members of the civilian police. Three hundred and eighteen of those killed were, it said, children.
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Monday, July 27, 2009
Afghanistan: 'Armed Nation Building'?
The generally sane and realistic military analyst Tony Cordesman published a 28-page paper (PDF) last on the US war in Afghanistan, which to me merely underlined how deeply un-winnable this US war has become. Here's his lead sentence:
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