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Creating Change through Theater: The Freedom Theater in Jenin: A STATUS/الوضع Conversation with Nabil Al Raee and Alia Al Rosan

The Freedom Theater is the backdrop of this fascinating interview about art, performance, justice, and liberation in Jenin refugee camp and throughout Palestine.  Nabil Al Raee was born and raised in Aroub Refugee Camp in the Hebron hills of Palestine. He grew up during the First Intifada, trying to go to school between shootings, tear gas and curfew. In the 90s, Nabil joined Theatre Day Productions – a theatre company in Hebron working mainly with children and youth, and training actors. He finished his professional training there, and began training others for the next two years, also working throughout the West Bank as a musician and actor. Nabil then studied ...

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Academics for Palestine Ireland supports the organisers of the Southampton conference

[University of Southampton Sign]

Academics for Palestine, a group of Irish academics – from both the Republic of Ireland and the North of Ireland – set up to create awareness and build the academic boycott of Israel campaign in Ireland, expresses its support for the organisers of the International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism conference which was due to take place on 17-19 April 2015, at the University of Southampton, UK. The University blocked the conference citing reasons of ‘health and safety’. In doing so, it has succumbed to pressure from Israel lobby organizations (including the Zionist Federation and the Board of Deputies of British Jews), who were ...

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New Texts Out Now: Ran Greenstein, Zionism and its Discontents: A Century of Radical Dissent in Israel/Palestine

[Cover of Ran Greenstein,

Ran Greenstein, Zionism and its Discontents: A Century of Radical Dissent in Israel/Palestine. London: Pluto Press, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Ran Greenstein (RG): History is frequently written from a skewed perspective, as we tend to look at developments in retrospect, knowing already what their outcomes were. A better approach would be to look at events and responses as they unfolded in time, from the point of view of actors located within their own context, rather than from the vantage point of the present. None of the political actors discussed in this book managed to achieve their primary goals, but all of them made valuable ...

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O.I.L. Media Roundup (11 April)

[Jafra Palestinian Youth Center in Yarmouk Camp. Image by Wikimedia Commons User Tobbe.]

 Iran Here's What You Need to Know About the Iran Deal, Noah RaymanTime magazine provides an overview of a deal reached between Iran and the US and a number of western powers in which the former agrees to curb it's nuclear program to a degree in exchange for the lifting of a number of economic sanctions. The Factual Errors in John Bolton's "Bomb Iran!" Op-Ed in the New York Times – and Why You Should Care, Jon Schwarz The Intercept dissects a number of factual errors in a recent New York Times op-ed advocating war with Iran. The Fantasy of a Better Iran Deal, Samuel R. Berger  Critics of the Iran nuclear deal with the US and five western powers ...

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New Texts Out Now: Noam Chomsky, Ilan Pappe, and Frank Barat, On Palestine

[Cover of

Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappé, On Palestine, edited by Frank Barat. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this book? Frank Barat (FB): Professor Chomsky, Professor Pappe, and I had already worked on a book together called Gaza in Crisis a few years back. The experience was amazing, but the fact that the interviews between Noam and Ilan weren't interactive left me wanting more. I really wanted a chance for the two professors to have a proper conversation, to be able to argue and debate. I spoke to Ilan about this last year and he was totally for it. We then asked Noam, who, despite his crazy schedule (not that Ilan's is that ...

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The Stages of Peaceful Resistance in the Occupied Western Sahara

[Image of a demonstrated in Assa, Western Sahara calling for the release of Sahrawi activists imprisoned by Moroccan authorities]

Introduction In any history of occupation, the forms of resistance the colonized populations adopted have been shaped by, and shape, the modes of occupations. Peaceful resistance in the Western Sahara has been no different; Saharawi methods of nonviolent protest underwent transformations, first during Spanish colonialism and throughout several phases under Moroccan occupation. The Saharawi peoples’ ongoing struggle to secure their independence has faced repressive ways and means, either during the Spanish era or the subsequent Moroccan settler occupation. The aim of this paper is to document the dialectics in stages of non-violent resistance and the precipitating ...

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After the Elections: Solidarities Old and New

[Poster created by the the Palestine Solidarity Committee of South Africa. Image via Wikimedia Commons.]

It is no exaggeration to say that some of the most positive assessments of the recent election results in Israel have come from within the Palestine solidarity movement. “Positive” is, of course, not quite the right word, since no one serious about justice in Palestine would suggest that there is any bright side to the fact that Israeli voters rewarded Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party for a campaign that was deeply, viciously, and explicitly racist even by the degraded standards of contemporary Israeli political discourse. That said, there has been a strong sense that Netanyahu’s victory represents a clarifying moment, especially for those viewing the results from ...

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Snapshot: Palestinian Spring

[In the northern West Bank. Photo by Ahmad Al-Bazz.]

As a Palestinian photojournalist living in the West Bank my daily work is very far from the quiet and fabulous nature that is seen in these pictures. Every week I spend hours covering protests, clashes, and the military operations of the Israeli occupying forces. In between I give myself some rest time, which I prefer to spend in hills and mountains around the trees and flowers, away from the usual places I work. Every year I try to take advantage of the spring season to take some green frames before the start of summer season when everything turns yellow. After a good rainy period and even before the official start of spring, Palestine has again turned green with ...

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Twelve Years After Iraq Invasion: An Interview with Rijin Sahakian, and “ A Letter to Al-Mutanabbi Street” by Sinan Antoon

[U.S. Marines patrol the streets of Al Faw, October 2003. Photo by Ted Banks from Wikimedia Commons]

On 19 March 2015, twelve years will have passed since the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Today, the country is back in the headlines because of the brutality with which ISIS has been trying to destroy what is left of Iraq’s diverse cultural and human landscape. Since ISIS has moved into northern Iraq, they have displaced over a million people and gone after the cultural heritage that makes Iraq such an irreplaceable locus of world history. They have destroyed mosques, burned thousands of books in the library at Mosul and, in the past few weeks, desecrated some of the country’s most significant ancient archeological sites. This week, Malihe Razazan speaks with Rijin ...

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Open Letter Urging ‘Docunight’ to Cancel its Participation in Festival Sponsored by Israeli Government

What has quickly brought together a diversity of individuals—including a former Iranian political prisoner, a celebrated Palestinian filmmaker, important public intellectuals, and various professors, activists, students, artists, poets, writers, and cultural programmers? What has brought them together is their commitment to support the growing Palestinian civil-society call for cultural boycott, which is one element in the Palestinian call for  Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). This BDS movement, inspired by the international boycott campaign that helped to abolish apartheid in South Africa, aims to pressure Israel and send the message that there will be no ...

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من ذكرياتي عن العام 1948

[أحد مخيمات الاجئين الفلسطينيين في سورية]

في مثل هذه الأيام تعود بالإنسان الذاكرة إلى أيام من عام 1948، عام النكبة، عام التشريد والضياع. وتعود صور الأحداث وذكراها تشغل الذاكرة وتغص حزنا وألماً، فقد مضت أربعة وستون عاماً، إلاّ إنّ الأمل لا يزال يداعب النفس بأن الغد سيكون أفضل.  ولما كنت قد عاصرت تلك المرحلة، وعايشتها، فقد رأيت أن أدوِّنها لأنقل صورة تلك الأحداث إلى القارئ، الذي لم يشهدها. ولدتُ في أواخر 1937 في البيت الذي بناهُ جدّي سعيد أحمد الحسيني، وكان مكوناً من طابقين أحدهما لسكنه وولده إبراهيم، والدي؛ والآخر لسكن ولده الثاني رجائي، عمّي.  وفي الوقت الذي انتقل فيه العم رجائي إلى العمل في المكتب العربي بلندن، أحد فروع المكاتب العربية التي أنشأها موسى العلمي، أُنشئت جماعة "الإخوان ...

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Letter to Sponsors of International Conference for the Reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, regarding Israel's Indiscriminate Bombardment and Destruction of Palestinian Educational Institutions in July and August 2014.

[The following letter was issued by the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association on 25 February 2015] 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,  On behalf of the Committee on Academic Freedom (CAF) of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA), I wrote to you in October 2014, to express grave concern over Israel’s indiscriminate bombardment and destruction of Palestinian ...

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New Texts Out Now: Vijay Prashad, Letters to Palestine: Writers Respond to War and Occupation

Vijay Prashad, editor, Letters to Palestine: Writers Respond to War and Occupation. London and New York: Verso, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this collection? Vijay Prashad (VP): Slowly, surely, the apparent consensus around US support for Israel’s occupation of Palestine seems to be breaking. There was a time when it was impossible to have a rational conversation about Israeli policy in the US, with large sections of people taking the view that criticism of Israel was off-limits. My ...

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The Joint List: The Fetishism of Representation and the Illusion of Influence

In the recent Israeli elections, the parties representing the Palestinian citizens united in one list: the Joint List. It has attracted more external enthusiasm than internal. Authors like Lebanese novelist Elias Khoury praised the list, endorsed it, and even suggested it as a model for elsewhere in the Arab world. Yet, Arab voters—Netanyahu’s alarmism notwithstanding—did not go to the polls in droves. Lacking any element of fierce inter-party competition, the movement of voters on election day was slow. ...

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

 [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 ...

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The Business of Backlash: The Attack on the Palestinian Movement and Other Movements for Justice

[The following report, the executive summary of which is excerpted here. was issued by the International Jewish anti-Zionist Network. The full report may be read here.] Introduction In the United States, criticism of Israel is increasing and support for the Palestinian movement for justice is growing. From the growing number of divestment resolutions by student bodies and academic associations across the U.S., to successful community campaigns to boycott or de-shelve Israeli ...

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Joint NGO Statement: Stop the Forced Displacement of Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the West Bank

[The following open letter was issued by the below signatories on 1 April 2015.] We the undersigned condemn Israel’s unceasing policy of forced displacement of Palestinians in East Jerusalem, and the West Bank in general, and the recent attempted eviction of the Ghaith-Sub Laban family from their house in the Old City of Jerusalem in particular. The family holds ‘protected tenant status’ under Israeli Law, meaning that as long as they continue to pay rent they should not be subject ...

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Britain's "Interest" in Bahrain: Legal Fictions and the Logic of Empire

In 1783, the Al Khalifa family—originally from the Najd region of what is now Saudi Arabia—captured the islands of Bahrain from Shaykh Nasr Al Madhkur, who had ruled them on behalf of the Qajar dynasty of Persia. In 1926, over one hundred and fifty years later, the status of Bahrain’s sovereignty remained a contentious issue. In December of that year, G. R. Warner, a British diplomat in London, wrote to a colleague in India stating that “on political grounds it is of great importance to avoid any action ...

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O.I.L. Media Roundup (28 March)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Occupation, Intervention and Law and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the O.I.L. Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each biweekly roundup to OIL@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every other week.] Palestine-Israel Short Doc Looks for the Palestinians in Israeli Elections, +972 +972  features a documentary from filmmakers Tamar ...

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Boycott, Sovereign Anxieties, and the Decolonizing Temporality of Return: A Note on Adi Ophir’s Remarks on BDS

And so it is not I who make a meaning for myself, but it is the meaning that was already there, pre-existing, waiting for me. – Frantz Fanon[1] It is fair to say that the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign has today achieved a certain (belated) level of legibility, or audibility. Its opponents still vociferously and viciously fight it. However, in the United States and European academy it has, with some effort, gained the right to be heard. It is, give or take, an ...

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Reading Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s Guantanamo Diary

“You are holding me because your country is strong enough to be unjust.” Guantánamo Diary, written by Mohamedou Ould Slahi,[i] depicts the continuing incarceration of this Mauritanian national in the military detention facility in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The book tracks Ould Slahi’s multiple interrogations on three continents, his secret rendition to Jordan and then removal to Afghanistan, torture, degradation and isolation in Guantánamo, and his ongoing struggle to have his day in ...

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O.I.L. Media Roundup (14 March)

 [This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Occupation, Intervention and Law and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the O.I.L. Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each biweekly roundup to OIL@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every other week.] Islamic State The Islamic State's Atrociies--and Our Own, John Feffer Writing for The Nation, Feffer argues that the "public ...

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

[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 ...

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Mental Health Programs for Syrian Refugees

Lebanon is host to the largest number of Syrians displaced by the current conflict. Most of these refugees, some one-and-a-half million, live in tragic and precarious conditions.[1] Intensive war and forced displacement are known risk factors for social and mental health problems. Mental health services have become an important component of humanitarian programs in the context of emergencies arising out of conflict. After briefly reviewing the history of mental health programs in acute emergencies ...

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