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Affirming the Rights of Students to Organize, Protest, and Resist (City University of New York)

[Image via CUNY for Palestine Facebook page.]

[This statement was released on 23 November 2015.] In light of recent events and revelations, we, as faculty and graduate student members of CUNY for Palestine, reiterate our unequivocal support for students to organize for social justice, and to protest against injustices, without having their rights to free speech and free assembly infringed upon or violated by members of the university administration or law enforcement. We have noted with great concern recent revelations regarding spying and surveillance by the New York Police Department, aimed at Muslim students and organizations at Brooklyn College. In light of these new revelations, we join with others in calling ...

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Navigating the Law and Misuse of Title VI: A STATUS/الوضع Special Segment

In this second episode of "Reclaiming Academic Freedom," host Tareq Radi speaks to Omar Shakir, Yaman Salahi, and Nadia Ben Youssef, three lawyers who discuss the legalities of academic freedom and the legal challenges they face both in the United States and the Palestinian 1948 territories.    The special segment below includes four parts that you can click on separately. Please find the transcript below the player. Listen to the first episode of Reclaiming Academic Freedom here.  Omar Shakir is a Bertha Fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where he focuses on unlawful detentions at Guantánamo prison, U.S. targeted ...

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Roundtable On Refugee Crisis: Historical Legacies, Political Context, and Legal Mechanisms

[Silhouette of people viewing tower and refugees behind metal bars and barbed wire. Image from Shutterstock]

Seemingly overnight Europe is confronted with a phenomenon already being experienced in Amman, Damascus, Beirut, Gaziantep and other cities in the Middle East: large numbers of desperate refugees fleeing war, destruction and economic destitution. The policy response of Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon to this influx has come under deserved scrutiny. Still, whatever their faults these countries have hosted millions of refugees despite, in the cases of Lebanon and Jordan, strained resources and weak infrastructure. Fifty-five percent of the world’s refugee population today resides in the Middle East, making it home to the largest concentration of refugee populations globally. ...

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In Jerusalem, “Religious War” Claims Cloak Old-Fashioned Colonialism

[Image from]

al-shabaka policy brief Overview  The escalating clashes between Israeli settlers and Jerusalemite Palestinians are the harbingers of a major eruption with incalculable consequences. Immediately billed as a “religious war” by the media and Israeli right wingers, they are in fact the outcome of longstanding Israeli plans to Judaize the city and empty it of its Palestinian inhabitants. Al-Shabaka Policy Member Nur Arafeh analyzes the major changes that Israel has illegally imposed on Jerusalem and addresses the Palestine Liberation Organization/Palestinian Authority’s effective abandonment of the population to fend for itself. She concludes with policy ...

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Israel: Where do the Mizrahim Fit In? (Part 2)

Ayman 'Odeh and Aryeh Der'i in the Knesset 2015

See part one of this piece here. In the first part of the article, I discussed the consolidation of a new Israel-based Mizrahi identity by the 1970s and the rise of radical protest associated above all with Black Panthers movement. Much of dissatisfaction with state policy and social marginalization, however, was channeled into support for the resurgent Right wing Likud, which won elections under Menahem Begin’s leadership in 1977 and 1981. The main reason for the shift to the Right was the rejection of the Labor Party, which was translated into hostility towards policies and discourses associated with the liberal Ashkenazi elites that retained condescending ...

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Al Jazeera America Interviews Jadaliyya Co-Editor Noura Erakat About Arson-Murder of Baby Ali Saad Dawabshe

[Noura Erakat on AJAM Interview 31 Jul 2015]

At roughly 4 AM on Friday 31 July 2015, Israeli settlers burned to death eighteen-month old Palestinian baby boy Ali Saad Dawabsheh by setting fire to his family's home while they slept. The family rushed out of their burning home and saved their 4-year old son who was suffocating from smoke inhalation. This is not an outlier in the West Bank or throughout Israel, Palestinians are dehumanized as a matter of instituionalized racism.This attack is among the 11,000 settler attacks against Palestinian bodies and lands that have gone unpunished in the last decade. Impunity for these practices ensures their exponential rise- including 144 perecent increase in violence from ...

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Why are LGBT Equality Organizations Joining Forces with Israel Advocacy Groups?

[Caption: Queers Against Israeli Apartheid Seattle activists at City Hall May 15, 2015.]

The widespread celebration of the recent US Supreme Court decision on gay marriage provides a great opportunity to think about how governments and their institutions get politically rebranded.  These days, same-sex marriage is firmly considered a liberal or progressive issue.  Images of gay couples getting married stir sentiments about liberation, freedom and equality. Marriage, sexual freedom and equality are now wound together in the cultural imagination. This is a very big shift.  Only a few decades ago, feminist interventions and “sexual liberation” brought about a crisis for the institution of marriage. The sexual liberation work of the 1960’s ...

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New Texts Out Now: Nicola Perugini and Neve Gordon, The Human Right to Dominate

[Cover of Nicola Perugini and Neve Gordon,

Nicola Perugini and Neve Gordon, The Human Right to Dominate. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Nicola Perugini and Neve Gordon (NP & NG): There were two concrete developments that prompted the writing of this book. The first was the recent appearance of Israeli settler human rights NGOs, which is a new type of actor that, in spite of its local specificities, aligns ideologically with conservative organizations around the globe. The settler NGOs are a manifestation of institutional transformations within the culture of human rights in the colonial situation of Israel/Palestine. Moreover, these ...

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New Texts Out Now: Wolfgang Kaleck, Double Standards: International Criminal Law and the West

[Cover of Wolfgang Kaleck,

Wolfgang Kaleck, Double Standards: International Criminal Law and the West. Berlin: Verlag Klaus Wagenbach, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Wolfgang Kaleck (WK): To be frank, I wrote this book out of anger. The promise of international criminal law is universal justice that can contribute to overcoming international crimes and healing the traumata of individuals and of societies. The project of international criminal justice has, however, not been living up to its own claims and is increasingly the subject of criticisms of bias and political selectivity: Although Western states like to portray themselves as global champions of human rights and ...

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If Israeli Tactics in Gaza Are Legal, No One is Safe: Response to Michael N. Schmitt and John J. Merriam

[IDF's Nahal Brigade conducting a search in the Hebron area. Image by Israeli Defense Forces.]

In their forthcoming paper, The Tyranny of Context: Israeli Targeting Practices in Legal Perspective, Michael Schmitt and John J. Merriam examine Israel’s targeting practices against the Gaza Strip and Lebanon. Their purpose is to scrutinize the context in which these attacks take place as well as the Israeli Army’s relevant legal standards regulating them. Their findings are based on two visits to Israel in December 2014 and February 2015. During those visits, the Israeli Army granted them: …unprecedented access that included a “staff ride” of the Gaza area, inspection of an Israeli operations center responsible for overseeing combat operations, a visit to a ...

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Refugees in Turkey: Implications of Increasing Politicization

Banners and election propaganda following a Justice and Development Party (AKP) rally in Gaziantep. [Image courtesy of the author]

Migration has long been a securitized issue in Turkey, but with the upcoming parliamentary election on 7 June 2015, this might indeed be the first time that immigration into Turkey has been politicized to such an extent. For a brief moment in 2008, Turkey appeared to be moving away from its security-focused approach to immigration. A representative from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), who asked to remain unnamed, says that this is why Turkey was able to pass Law No. 6458 on Foreigners and International Protection, revamping Turkey’s entire migration and asylum system. While the original incentive for Turkey’s migration overhaul were the ongoing EU ...

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O.I.L. Monthly Edition (May 2015)

[Nakba Day demonstration in Berlin, 2015. Image by Montecruz Photo, via Flickr.]

 [This is a monthly archive of pieces written by Jadaliyya contributors and editors on the Occupations, Interventions, and Law (O.I.L.) Page. It also includes material published on other platforms that editors deemed pertinent to post as they provide diverse depictions of O.I.L.-related topics. The pieces reflect the level of critical analysis and diversity that Jadaliyyastrives for, but the views are solely the ones of their authors. If you are interested in contributing to Jadaliyya, send us your post with your bio and a release form to (click "Submissions" on the main page for more information).]   Dispatches from the 2015 ...

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The Early Plight of Humanitarianism

Keith David Watenpaugh, Bread from Stones: The Middle East and the Making of Modern Humanitarianism. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2015 America is a comfortable and rich country. We have safe homes….Their homes are in ruins….The moan of a race moves out across the heart of a stricken world. This emotive call from a Near East Relief (NER) pamphlet to assist destitute Armenians, entitled The Cry of a Million: Exiled Destitute Dying, was published in 1916, but its words ...

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We Have Lost Too Much

According to the official figures, 97 civilians died in a deadly blast in Ankara on Saturday although the death toll is contested.[1] They were there to participate in the peace rally organized by leftist associations, syndicates, and unions. Many NGOs and People’s Democratic Party (HDP) representatives and supporters were among the participants. Photos of dead bodies lying on the ground covered by the flags prepared for the rally overwhelmed social media accounts, reminding one of the irony of death at ...

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Netanyahu at the UN: Jadaliyya Co-Editor Noura Erakat Interview by Al-Jazeera America

On 1 October 2015, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu addressed the seventieth session of the United Nations General Assembly. His speech came one day after Palestine President’s Mahmoud Abbas’s speech to the Assembly where he indicated that a lack of adherence to the Oslo Accords would render them null and would revert the Occupied Territories to complete Israeli control. In his address, Netanyahu dedicated most of his time to decrying the Iran Deal and highlighting the threat Iran poses to ...

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New Texts Out Now: Wadie E. Said, Crimes of Terror

Wadie E. Said, Crimes of Terror: The Legal and Political Implications of Federal Terrorism Prosecutions. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Wadie E. Said (WES): After working on United States v. al-Arian, reported to be the largest terrorism prosecution in US history, I felt that several of the issues we had litigated remained unresolved from a legal perspective, as well as that of fundamental fairness. A criminal prosecution is not the ...

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Israel: Where do the Mizrahim fit in? (Part 1)

Many people are unaware that the majority of the Israeli population belongs to one of the two groups that cut across the conventional divide between settlers and natives. These are Palestinian citizens, comprising twenty percent of the population, and Mizrahim, Jews whose origins go back a generation or two to the Middle East and North Africa, and who comprise approximately forty to forty-five percent of the population. Jointly they outnumber Ashkenazim, Jews with origins in Eastern and Central Europe, ...

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Quick Thoughts: John Reynolds on Recent Amendments to the Israeli Penal Code

[On 20 July 2015 Israel’s parliament adopted legislation pursuant to which individuals convicted of throwing stones at moving vehicles can be sentence for up to twenty years in prison. To be applied to Israel’s Palestinian citizens and the population of East Jerusalem, it imports military decrees that are already applied by Israel in the occupied territories against Palestinian residents but not Jewish settlers. Jadaliyya asked John Reynolds, lecturer in international law at the National University of ...

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Permission to Kill in Gaza

In the summer of 2014, Israel unleashed unprecedented violence against the Gaza Strip. Although it was third such large-scale attack since 2008, the fourteenth military offensive since Israel’s unilateral disengagement in 2005, and the twenty-second since former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced plans for disengagement in April 2004, Operation Protective Edge (OPE) was by far more violent and merciless than any of its predecessors. In large part, this shift reflected Israel’s radical innovations in ...

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How To Not Know about the CIA’s Targeted Killing Program

The CIA operates armed drones to engage in targeted killing operations in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. That is known. But, to borrow from former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s iconic statement, is it a “known known” or a “known unknown”? Known knowns are things we know we know, whereas known unknowns are things we know we do not know. The third ingredient of Rumsfeld’s rhetorical mélange is the “unknown unknowns”—things we do not know we do not know. The CIA wishes its drone program was an ...

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النجاة بمصر – ملاحظات تأسيسية

بين صخب فاسد للسلطوية الجديدة تنتجه دوائر رسمية ونخب اقتصادية ومالية وإعلامية وحزبية تقبل استتباعها للحكم نظير الحماية والعوائد، وبين نزوع البعض داخل الحركة الديمقراطية المصرية إلى التورط في استدعاء سلطوي ومزدوج المعايير لفكرتي المصداقية الأخلاقية والاتساق الفكري على نحو يمارس ديكتاتورية الرأي الواحد باسم الحق ويرتب رفض الاختلاف باسم الحرية ويحدث باسم العدل ضجيجا لا ينتهي من المزايدات فارغة المضمون، تختلط القيم والمبادئ والمفاهيم على الناس وتتداخل مضامينها لتنفر الكثيرين من مواصلة الاهتمام بالشأن العام ...

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Salma Hayek and the Sexist Lebanese Citizenship Law

Last month, Salma Hayek visited Lebanon to promote the world premiere of The Prophet, the new animated film based on the poetry of Khalil Gibran. It was her first ever visit to the country.  The Lebanese greeted her with open arms as a long-lost daughter. The visit culminated with the rumor that Hayek had been offered Lebanese citizenship. The gesture is not surprising in and of itself. Lebanese citizenship is transmitted through paternal blood and Hayek’s paternal Grandfather was Lebanese. But ...

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Roundtable on Anti-Blackness and Black-Palestinian Solidarity

Moderated by Noura Erakat In the course of resilience against the merciless edge of state violence in the summer 2014, protestors in Ferguson held up signs declaring solidarity with the people of Palestine. In turn, Palestinians posted pictures on social media with instructions of how to treat the inhalation of tear gas. Organically, an analysis emerged highlighting similarities, but not sameness, of Black and Palestinian life, and more aptly, of their survival. But before the violent and tragic events ...

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The Politics of Gendered Violence in Lebanon

Ali al Zein murdered his wife Sara Al-Amin on 18 May 2015. Her murder was shocking in its brutality. It is only one link in a long chain of visible and invisible violence against women in contemporary Lebanon. Structural conditions give birth to this violence. These conditions enshrine the legal impunity and social acceptability of female vulnerability to violence. Amin’s murder is an instance of intimate partner violence, the latest in a spate of wife killing across Lebanon. In addition to ...

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