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Israel

Palestinian Prisoner Payouts: Humane Or Pure Hypocrisy?

The PLO gives monthly allowances to the families of Palestinians detained in Israeli jails. The Israeli and U.S. governments want the practice to stop.

Protests in Ramallah
Protests in Ramallah
Cyrille Louis

RAMALLAH — Muhannas' tough-looking teenage face is just one among the many portraits of men, some young and others not so young, pasted on the walls of the Qalandiya refugee camp. Some of those portrayed are dead — around here, people call them "martyrs." The posters made in their memory represent them either weapon-in-hand or posing in front of the golden dome of the al-Aqsa mosque. Others are rotting away in an Israeli jail, some for a very long time.

Muhannas is one of them. He was seized by Israeli soldiers on Jan. 14, 2004 in the late days of the Second Intifada. Just 16 at the time, he was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment for having fired shots at several Israeli soldiers. For this feat of arms, he's celebrated here as a "freedom fighter."

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Geopolitics

AMLO Power Grab: Mexico's Electoral Reform Would Make Machiavelli Proud

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, aka AMLO, says his plans to reform the electoral system are a way to save taxpayer money. A closer look tells a different story.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico votes

Luis Rubio

OpEd-

MEXICO CITY — For supporters of Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) the goal is clear: to keep power beyond the 2024 general election, at any price. Finally, the engineers of the much-touted Fourth Transformation, ALMO's 2018 campaign promise to do away with the privileged abuses that have plagued Mexican politics for decades, are showing their colors.

Current electoral laws date back to the 1990s, when unending electoral disputes were a constant of every voting round and impeded effective governance in numerous states and districts. The National Electoral Institute (INE) and its predecessor, the IFE, were created to solve once and for all those endemic disputes.

Their promoters hoped Mexico could expect a more honest future, with the electoral question resolved. The 2006 presidential elections, which included AMLO as a recalcitrant loser, showed this was hoping for too much. That election is also, remotely, at the source of the president's new electoral initiative.

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