Reports | January 13, 2009 19:28

Kasparov in WSJ and on BBC radio

KasparovEven when he's not talking or writing about chess (which is just about all the time these days), many chess fans still like to follow Garry Kasparov closely. That's why we gladly serve you with two links today: one to his latest Wall Street Journal article and one to a – very personal – BBC radio interview.

In Why Russia Stokes Mideast Mayhem, Kasparov's latest Wall Street Journal, published yesterday, he argues that petrodictators have a permanent interest in instability. And this morning Kasparov spoke with Fergal Keane as part of the "Take a Stand" BBC Radio 4 program, which can be listened to online for another 7 days. A very personal talk, highly recommended!

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


me's picture

Not a very balanced article by Kasparov, to say the least.
What is Kasparov's opinion on the settlements? aren't they just against international law?
The following article is interesting as well, as is the website

Reflections on October 2000

Eight years later, discrimination and racism against Israel's Arab citizens have only increased

JERUSALEM - October 6, 2008 - In October 2000, 13 people - all except one Arab citizens of Israel - were shot dead by Israeli security forces during demonstrations in the country's North. As a result of a public campaign led by human rights organizations, lawyers, and public figures, the government decided to appoint an inquiry commission to probe the events: the circumstances and background within which they took place and the conduct of the security forces involved.

The Commission, headed by Justice Theodore Or, published the most voluminous, comprehensive, and momentous report to date on the plight of Arab citizens of Israel. It stated that “achieving equality for the Arab citizens of Israel should be a prime objective of the government… In this context, the government should initiate, develop, and operate programs aimed at reducing inequality, while highlighting budget gaps in areas such as education, housing, industrial development, employment, and services. Special attention should be paid to the plight and abject living conditions of the Bedouin.”

The Or Commission also recommended that the Department for the Investigation of Police Activities should open criminal investigations for those responsible for the killings. Despite this explicit directive, all of the investigations against police officers were terminated prematurely, without sufficient treatment. Moreover, Attorney General Meni Mazuz, rather than criticizing the department for its poor conduct, threw his full support behind it. This move, combined with the failure to bring the suspects to justice, increased Israeli Arabs’ already grave distrust of the police, and increased the feeling among them that for many officials in the establishment, the lives of Arab citizens have little value.

Since the publication of the Or Commission report, little has been done to improve the standing of the Arab community in Israel. Consecutive governments have adhered to policies of discrimination and neglect and have absolved themselves of their obligations toward Arab citizens. In the absence of fair and enforced state policies, inequality continues to grow between Israel's Jewish and Arab citizens.

Below, we list a few areas in which discrimination and neglect have increased in the past 8 years:

Police violence toward Arab citizens: Since the events of October 2000, 34 Arab citizens have been killed by police, the most recent of which was the death of Sabri El Jarajawi, who died of his wounds in July 2008 after being assaulted by police. In most cases, no charges at all, or very lenient ones, have been pressed. The officers involved were not dismissed, and instead continue to work in their current positions. The police's complete disregard for the lives of Arab citizens raises grave concerns and proves that the police has blatantly ignored the findings of the Or Commission, which urged the police to adopt measures to reduce hostility toward Arab citizens.

Interrogation of political and social activists by Shin Bet: We have witnessed a growing trend whereby Arab social and political activists are interrogated by Shin Bet Security Services about lawful social and political activities. This trend limits legitimate public activity, and severely infringes on freedom of expression and thought and the right to political organization.

Planning freeze in Arab communities: Israel's planning authorities continue to disregard the development needs of Arab towns, thereby harming residents' living conditions. Due to lack of official planning procedures, thousands of houses have been built without the necessary permits. The families living in houses built without permits are deprived of basic services by the State such as water, electricity, etc. Similarly, because of the lack of planning, these communities suffer from a shortage of buildings to house public services such as health, education, and culture.

House demolition in Bedouin villages in the Negev: Each year, the State demolishes dozens of houses belonging to Arab-Bedouin families in unrecognized villages in the Negev. Each time this happens, dozens of families, including children, are abandoned, left without shelter. This ongoing policy breaches the Bedouins’ right to dignity, privacy, and security. Moreover, the government has recently stepped up its official policy of removing entire Bedouin communities from their lands in the Negev and moving them to a smaller area, forcing them to give up their traditional lifestyle, culture and economy.

The events of October 2000 were one of the most pronounced manifestations of institutionalized racism and discrimination against the Arab minority in Israel's history. The mindset of the police - the belief that they were facing an enemy rather than Israeli citizens during the demonstrations that day - led to the deaths of 13 people.

In a democratic country, the protection of minority rights is in the interest of both the minority and the majority. Racism and discrimination directed at one minority group undermines democracy and risks affecting other groups and society as a whole.

Eight years after October 2000, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) calls on the government to implement the recommendations of the Or Commission, name October 1st an official day of reckoning on Israeli democracy, and promote equality, tolerance, and democratic values among all members of Israeli society.

Manu's picture

Me < i read your post first , now i dont want to read the article.
What a sad world we live , when children are under fire.

piet's picture

Hopefully some guy will stand up and unify and clearify all those religions together as one.

Magnus Carlssen has a spiritual guide who is very into chess (probably a strong GM from the past)... would be very interesting news ;-) to explore deeper. But it is a project if you don't even "believe" (It is just knowing these days).

I am saying this cause Moslims, Christians etc. all are puting their profets on a pedestal. And their are tons of profets. Even in the now (Sai Baba, India is one of them). They are just people who connect stronger to spiritual world.

Basicly, Religion is begging and hoping for tons of people.
Connecting with guides is requesting and getting immidiately energy for your goals (still have to work for it).........

Sneaky's picture

As Bobby put it so brilliantly, Kasparov is an idiot savant and outside of chess he knows nothing.

guitarspider's picture

Kasparov's main point is clearly not how good the Israelis are, his main point is that Putin and co have a great interest in keeping the Middle East on fire to keep Oil prices high. The russian leaders also have an interest to externalize the huge conflicts within russian society. Which can be done by going to war or provoking lesser conflicts.
If you read closely, Kasparov doesn't say "Israel is great and always right", he says that Hamas would do worse things than Israel if they had the chance. Which is totally reasonable.

Arne Moll's picture

I agree with guitarspider. Kasparov's article may not be the most balanced piece ever, but it certainly isn't about the Israel-Palestina conflict as such. Let's keep the discussion clean and clear.

Manu's picture

It is clean and clear , wha are you afraid of?

Arne Moll's picture

Nothing, Manu, except perhaps that in my experience when someone mentions the word 'Israel' in a disucssion (even if the discussion is not about Israel at all), it usually gets completely out of hand before you can say 'blueberry pie' :-)

val's picture

As the saying goes: Quod licet Jovi, non licet bovi. :)

Latest articles