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Israel

Has ISIS Really Wormed Its Way Into The West Bank?

In Hebron, military intelligence recently broke up what it claims was an ISIS cell. Some say there's real cause for concern. Others see the crackdown as a convenient way to justify Israel's occupation of the area.

Israeli soldiers in Hebron on Jan. 8
Israeli soldiers in Hebron on Jan. 8
Piotr Smolar

HEBRON — A piece of broken glass rests on the windowsill next to a pink brush and some hair gel. Nearby is a small mirror. Brushing his hair, Ahmad Shihada sees behind him the hovel of a family home: a dirty wall, bloated in parts from damp, dangling wires, a fridge rumbling precariously.

The house contains almost nothing — a half-empty milk carton, a piece of green pepper and a tomato. It smells of urine. The landlord has given the family a month to leave the lodgings, located on the edge of the historic quarter of Hebron in the West Bank. Ahmad, 22, can in any case count on another permanent lodging, an Israeli prison.

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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