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Israel

Panel Event -- Operation Protective Edge: Legal and Political Implications of ICC Prosecution (GMU, 20 October 2014)

Co-sponsored by Middle East Studies Program, the Trans-Arab Research Institute, Arab Studies Institute, New Century College, and Global Programs Operation Protective Edge:  Legal and Political Implications  of ICC Prosecution October 20, 2014 4:00-6:30PM  George Mason University Johnson Center, Room C Featuring David J. Luban, Georgetown University Margaret deGuzman, Temple University George Bisharat, UC Berkeley Noura Erakat, George Mason University Kevin Jon Heller, SOAS, University of London  Israel’s offensive against the Gaza Strip, Operation Protective Edge, killed 2,104 Palestinians, including 495 ...

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On the Proposal for the CUNY Graduate Center's Doctoral Students' Council to Boycott Israeli Academic Institutions

[Image provided by the authors.]

In April 2013, the Association for Asian American Studies (AAAS) became the first United States academic body to pass a resolution boycotting formal relations with Israeli universities. In December, the American Studies Association (ASA) and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) also passed boycott resolutions, followed by the Critical Ethnic Studies Association (CESA) in July 2014. These resolutions were adopted in response to the 2004 call from Palestinian civil society to boycott academic institutions in Israel, as part of a wider Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israeli occupation of Palestinian people’s land, ...

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Letter by Israeli Anthropologists in Support of BDS Discussion at American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting

[The following letter was issued by a group of Israeli anthropologists on 10 September 2014 in response to the Israeli Anthropological Association's objections to a scheduled discussion about boycott, divestment, and sanctions at the upcoming meeting of the American Anthropological Association.]   Letter to the AAA in Response to IAA's Letter of 28 August 2014    Dear colleagues, As anthropologists and citizens of Israel, we are writing to express our thorough opposition to the letter sent to the American Anthropological Association (AAA) by the Israeli Anthropological Association (IAA) on 28 August 2014 with regard to the scheduled ...

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Seize The Moment

[The United Nations' General Assembly. Photo credit: Rob Young via Flicker]

Should the Palestinian leadership fail to seize the moment, it would condemn itself to eternal damnation. In the speech, Abbas rejected the notion of resuming peace negotiations in the usual manner. He called for a timetable for ending the occupation supervised by the UN. He also spoke of the genocidal war Israel waged against the Palestinian people, and warned that it would not escape punishment. All important and positive remarks. Bilateral negotiations under sole American supervision should have been abandoned long ago. Final status negotiations should have been completed in May 1999, as stipulated in the Oslo agreements. Since then, negotiations have been going on ...

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Statement: Over 250 Anthropologists Join Call for a Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions

[The following press release and statement announcing the endorsement by over 250 anthropoligists of the movement to boycott Israeli academic institutions were issued on 1 October 2014 by the below-identifed group of anthropologists. Since it was first published on Jadaliiya, the number of signatories of the statement has exceed 700 anthropologists.] For Immediate Release October 1, 2014 Over 250 Anthropologists Join the Call for a Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions More than 250 anthropologists have signed a statement endorsing the burgeoning movement to boycott Israeli academic institutions in protest of Israel’s systematic human rights violations against the ...

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Displaced Intentions

[Still image from

Write Down, I Am an Arab, directed by Ibtisam Mara’ana-Menuhin. Israel/Palestine, 2014. Borrowing the opening line of one of Mahmoud Darwish’s most famous poems, “Identity Card,” filmmaker Ibtisam Mara’ana-Menuhin titled her latest documentary Write Down, I Am an Arab. The film, which had its world premiere at Toronto’s Hot Docs festival in April of this year, is described as a biographical portrait of the poet who became the voice of Palestinian people. However, in her director’s statement, the filmmaker discloses an ulterior motive behind making the documentary. She writes, “The film reveals for the first time, the story of Mahmoud Darwish’s first love—a ...

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Beirut Conference: Israel’s War on Gaza: Political, Moral, and Legal Accountability (28 September 2014)

A one-day sympoisum hosted by the Issam Faris Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs Sunday 28 September 2014 IFI Building Auditorium AUB Campus Beirut, Lebanon    

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Open Letter to the Brooklyn Book Festival re Israeli Sponsorship

[The following open letter is being ciruclated in protest of the Brooklyn Book Festival's partnership with the Israeli Office of Cultural Affairs in New York to sponsor Assaf Gavrons participation in the festival.] Tell the Brooklyn Book Festival to no longer accept partnerships with the Israeli government or complicit institutions. To the Brooklyn Book Festival Inc. and the Brooklyn Book Festival Literary Council: We, the undersigned, including participants and exhibitors at the Brooklyn Book Festival, recently noticed that the festival has chosen to accept support from Israel's Office of Cultural Affairs in New York for one of its panels. It is deeply regrettable ...

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Sympathy for the Devil: Palestine’s Tragic Collaborators

[Film still from Hany Abu-Assad's Omar (2013). Image copyright the filmmaker. Courtesy of Film Press Plus.]

Omar, directed by Hany Abu-Assad. Palestine, 2013. Omar, the most recent film by Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad (of Paradise Now fame), opens with a traversing of obstacles—a prefatory homage to the resilient Palestinian spirit. Exuding youthful vigor, the titular character scales the portion of the separation wall isolating his West Bank neighborhood from that of his childhood friends, his resistance brigade, and his love interest. Omar fearlessly scurries along the edges of buildings and leaps across rooftops, exercising what has, by now, become his routine refusal to accept the limits on life, work, and love imposed by the Israeli occupation. We watch him ...

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مملكة السيمولاكروم: الإسرائيلي الافتراضي والفلسطيني المختفي

[

كانت المكاشفة الأخيرة بين الإسرائيلي والفلسطيني والتي بدأت في شعفاط وانتهت في مذبحة غزة، مختلفة هذه المرة، وقد جاء اختلافها بالأساس من كونها قشرت طبقات كانت مختبئة حول الوجودين الحضاري والأخلاقي لكل طرف في فلسطين التاريخية ومبرراتهما والسؤال التفاضلي بينهما. فوسط جنون جماعي إسرائيلي وذهول فلسطيني أشبه بالتطبيع مع القدر تغير تداخل دور الجلاد والمحتل النقي والطاهر بدور الضحية الخالصة والنبيلة، تداخلت الأمور للغاية وقد يكون السبب الرئيس لهذا التداخل هو السؤال الكبير الذي طرح؟ هل استنفذت شروط وجود الإسرائيلي جدواها عبر إدارة الفلسطيني ظهره واختفاءه من فضاء الرصد الأخلاقي الذي يصادق على وجوده كأب محرر (محرر للمثليين مثلا أو للنساء المرشحات للقتل في مجتمعاتهن). في إحدى نهايات ...

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Samih al-Qasim: I Will Engrave Our Names on the Wind

[Samih al-Qasim and Mahmoud Darwish, Image from Qadita.net]

[While well-known as a poet, the late Samih al-Qasim was also a talented essayist, writing regularly in the Arabic-language press of Palestine/Israel. He was also a remarkable public speaker and letter writer. Over a period of two years—from May 1986 to May 1988—al-Qasim exchanged a series of extraordinary letters with Mahmoud Darwish. The letters are monuments to poetry and language and also friendship and love and, not surprisingly considering the authors, contain some of the most moving discussions of home and exile in the Arabic language. Published as a series of "packets," the collection of letters instantly became a classic of modern Arabic ...

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On SJP’s Freedom to Organize: An Open Letter from CUNY Faculty

[Students for Justice in Palestine logo.]

[The following letter, signed by faculty from sixteen colleges of the City University of New York (CUNY), was released on 1 September 2014. For more information, or to sign on as a CUNY faculty signatory or an affiliate supporter, click here.] As members of the CUNY faculty, we are writing this open letter to administrators throughout the CUNY system regarding principles of freedom of speech and assembly, and how such freedoms apply to students involved in organizing with Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at several of the CUNY colleges. We have viewed with great concern instances of unequal and unfair treatment of SJP by members of the CUNY administration over ...

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Letter to Hosts of the International Conference for the Reconstruction of Gaza

[The following letter was issued by the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association] Hosts of the International Conference for the Reconstruction of Gaza Børge Brende Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway via utenriksminister@mfa.no via fax +47 23 95 00 99 Sameh Shoukry Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt via fax + 20 2576 7967 Your Excellencies,  I write on behalf of the Committee on Academic Freedom (CAF) of the Middle East Studies Association of North ...

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الظاهرة المتنامية لدعم إسرائيل في الجامعات الصينية

أثناء العقد الأخير، نجحت شبكةٌ من المنظمات المؤيدة لإسرائيل، والتي لا تجمع بينها علاقات متينة، (تشمل عدداً من منظمات الأبحاث والسياسة والجامعات وجماعات الضغط والمؤسسات والباحثين والناشطين والواهبين أيضاً) بالعثور على موطئ قدم في البيئة الأكاديمية الصينية. كان هدف هذه الجماعات في الصين هو تأمين منصة لتبني مشروع (هازبرا)، وهي كلمة عبرية تعني الشرح، أي استخدام الوسائط الدبلوماسية والإعلامية والسياسية لتوضيح مواقف إسرائيل وأفعالها والدفاع عنها، من أجل إعادة صياغة التصورات الأكاديمية الصينية حول الدولة ...

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نقطة تحول

يدلّ خطاب الرئيس على أن لحظة الحقيقة، لحظة اتخاذ القرار الذي طال انتظاره، تقترب، وإذا لم يتم التقاطها بسرعة ستطارد لعنة التاريخ القيادة الفلسطينية إلى الأبد. لقد رفض الرئيس في خطابه العودة إلى المفاوضات كما كانت تجري في السابق، وطالب بوضع جدول زمني لإنهاء الاحتلال من خلال الأمم المتحدة، وتحدث أيضًا عن حرب الإبادة التي شنتها إسرائيل ضد الشعب الفلسطيني، محذرًا أنها لن تفلت من العقاب، وهذه أمور كلها في منتهى الأهمية والإيجابية. وقف المفاوضات الثنائية برعاية أميركية انفرادية أمر كان يجب أن يحدث منذ فترة ...

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Statement by Jewish Studies Professors Regarding 'Deplorable' Amcha Initiative

[The following statement was originally published in The Jewish Daily Forward on 1 October 2014] We the undersigned are professors of Jewish studies at North American universities. Several of us have also headed programs and centers in Jewish studies. Many of us have worked hard to nurture serious, sustained study of Israeli politics and culture on our home campuses and elsewhere. It is in this latter regard that we call attention to the activities of an organization calledthe AMCHA Initiative whose ...

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A Voyage to Toledo: Twenty-Five Years After the 'Jews of the Orient and Palestinians' Meeting

On 3-5 July 1989, an unusual gathering, which went largely unreported in the media, took place in Toledo, Spain—“Judíos orientales y palestinos. Un diálogo para la paz árabe-israelí” (“Jews of the Orient and Palestinians: A Dialogue for Arab-Israeli Peace.”) Four years before the commencement of the Oslo Accords, the Toledo conference took place at a time when Israeli law forbade such meetings, legally defined as proscribed political contacts with Palestinian terrorist organizations. In ...

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Statement by Scholar Ann Laura Stoler Endorsing BDS against Israel

[The following statement was issued by Ann Laura Stoler on 10 September 2010 and originally  published by pulsemedia.org on 17 September 2010] By Colonial Design As someone who has worked for some thirty years as a teacher and student of colonial studies– on comparative colonial situations, colonial histories, and the violent and subtle forms of governance on which colonial regimes rely, it would be difficult not to describe the Israeli state as a colonial one. It would be difficult not ...

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The Growing Phenomenon of Pro-Israeli Advocacy in Chinese Academia

Over the last decade, a network of loosely affiliated pro-Israeli organizations—embracing a number of think tanks, universities, lobbyist groups, foundations, activist-scholars as well as donors—have successfully established a foothold in Chinese academia. The aim of these groups in China has been to provide a platform for espousing hasbara—a Hebrew term for “explanation” denoting the utilization of diplomatic, media, and political mediums to clarify and defend Israel’s positions and actions—that would ...

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NYC Event -- The War on Gaza: Military Strategy and Historical Horizons (19 September, Columbia University)

The Center for Palestine Studies and the Middle East Institute present The War on Gaza Military Strategy and Historical Horizons Presenters Noura Erakat (Assistant Professor, George Mason University) Rashid Khalidi (Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies, Columbia University) Moderator Nadia Abu El-Haj (Professor, Bard College) Date, Time, and Location: Friday, 19 September 2014 12:00pm-1:30pm Room 501, Schermerhonr Hall Columbia University

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Algeria’s Jewish Past-Present

Given other dramatic events this summer, readers might be forgiven for failing to notice a curious announcement the Algerian Minister of Religious Affairs, Mohamed Aïssa, issued on 3 July. The statement advertised that the ministry was to reopen twenty-five of the synagogues that still remain in the country. This announcement is of far more than local concern, teaching us a great deal about the complex way in which the Middle Eastern Jewish past is put to use in the interest of contemporary ...

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Archives and Collections in Israel/Palestine: An Interview with Zachary J. Foster

[NOTE: This Ottoman History Podcast episode was first aired in June 2011. We are featuring it here with a new introduction by Zachary J. Foster.] The sources and collections for the study of the Ottoman period located in Israel/Palestine are extremely rich. This introduction (and podcast) is less a survey of available libraries and archives (which has been itemized categorically here, here, and here). Instead, I would like to highlight some interesting sources I myself have found, and encourage other ...

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Samih al-Qasim: The Last Train

[The late Palestinian poet, Samih al-Qasim, was also a talented essayist, writing regularly in the Arabic-language press of Palestine/Israel. He was also a compelling orator and correspondent. The collection of his letters with Mahmoud Darwish is a uniquely great accomplishment of modern epistolary literature. Al-Qasim's correspondence with Rashid Hussein is slim by comparison, yet this 1990 "letter"—addressed on the thirteenth anniversary of Hussein's tragic death—stands out.] Rashid, my ...

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Open Letter on Gaza and BDS from the Middle East Caucus of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies

[The following statement was issued by the Middle East Caucus of the Society for Cineman and Media Studies on 11 August 2014.] As scholars, artists and community organizers, and as members of the Middle East Caucus(MEC) of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS), we are deeply disturbed by the indiscriminate and disproportionate violence that has been waged these past weeks by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) against the civilian population of Gaza. This is a population which has ...

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