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Occupation

قدّروا شجاعة الرجل

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بالرغم من ساعات المديح والاحتفاء الكثيرة التي أُغدقتْ على صديقنا العزيز ورفيقنا إقبال أحمد، والتي يستحقها، هناك الكثير الذي يمكن أن يُقال عنه أيضاً. وأشعر بالإطراء لأنني أستطيع، على الأقل، أن أقول المزيد. إن ما لفت نظري أكثر من غيره هو أن إقبال تخطّى واجتاز حدوداً أكثر من معظم الناس، إلا أنه حافظ على جوهره في جميع الأمكنة والمواقف والسياقات الجديدة. وليس سبب ذلك الهوية الإثنية أو الدينية مطلقاً، ولا يتعلق كثيراً بالصلابة المألوفة التي يتميّز بها المواطنون الأقوياء. ذلك أنّ جمع إقبال الخاص بين التألق الفكري والشجاعة، وبين التحليل الدقيق والرفيع والحضور الإنساني الوديّ المتواصل، جعل منه،  إذا ما استخدمنا عبارة من رواية كيم لروديارد كبلنغ، “صديق العالم كله”. حين أتذكر ...

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

 Black Panthers poster from 1971. Top text reads,

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, who have been the dominant group in Israel, socially, culturally and politically. The two groups stand in opposite relations to the Israeli regime: Palestinians are ...

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Has Amnesty International Lost Its Way? A Forensic Analysis of Amnesty’s Reports on Operation Protective Edge (Part 3)

Hamas War Crimes and Violations of International Law The allegation that not just Israel but Hamas as well committed massive war crimes underpins Amnesty’s “balanced” indictment of both sides.  Amnesty’s accusations that Hamas was guilty of  “flagrant violations of international law”—that is, war crimes—fall under two heads: (1) its use of inherently indiscriminate weapons, and (2) its indiscriminate or deliberate targeting of Israeli civilians and civilian objects.  In addition, Amnesty accuses Hamas of having violated the rule of international law requiring it to take all feasible precautions to protect civilians during combat.  Each of these ...

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Another Palestinian Uprising?

[Jabalia Refugee Camp, Gaza Strip in 1988. Image by Robert Croma via Flickr]

Predictions of a new Palestinian intifada in the Occupied Territories tend to accompany every breakdown in the diplomatic process, announcement of a new colonial expansion project, and Israeli violence against Palestinian life—such as the recent horrific murder of Palestinian infant Ali Dawabsheh by settler terrorists who set fire to his West Bank family home. Such projections are often prefaced by observations that Palestinians in the Occupied Territories today live under conditions that are on the whole considerably worse and more hopeless than those on the eve of either the 1987-1993 or 2000-2004 uprisings. While it is indeed true that Palestinians, whether within ...

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سلام فياض: المجتمع المدني يحصد ما زرعته يداك

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ترددت في نشر هذا المقال، وخفت أن يُفهم أنه اصطفاف مع الرئيس واجراءاته ضد سلام فياض، وللأمانة أنا ضد سياسات الرجلين الذين تحالفا لسنوات وأوصلانا لما نحن فيه! لماذا ألوم سلام  فياض ولا ألوم الحمدلله؟ سلام فياض قدم نفسه صاحب رؤية ومشروع وفوق ذلك لديه أيديولوجية وفكر ليبرالي (بعيداً عن اقتصاد السوق المفتوح) يؤمن بالحريات والتعددية والديمقراطية.  في حين أن الحمدلله لم يقدم نفسه إلا موظف عمومي ينفذ ما تم خطه لحكومته من مهمات أربع ليس عليه الاجتهاد ليضيف لها مهمة خامسة. الحمدلله- رئيس جامعة عريقة- لم يطلب منه أحد أن يقدم مشروع حكم ولا وجهة نظر في طبيعة النظام السياسي ولا طبيعة الحكم.  الحمدلله جاء لاستكمال ما بدأه سلفه وتنفيذ ما يأمره به رئيسه ...

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Has Amnesty International Lost Its Way? A Forensic Analysis of Amnesty’s Reports on Operation Protective Edge (Part 2)

Evidentiary Bias Amnesty’s citation of official Israeli sources produces skewed results that validate Israeli propaganda at Hamas’s expense.  In some instances more credible contrary evidence is simply ignored.  In its hyperbolic inventory of Hamas’s arsenal, Amnesty quotes the Israeli allegation that it intercepted a vessel carrying Iranian rockets “bound for Gaza.”  It omits the widely reported finding of a UN expert panel that the weapons were bound not for Gaza but Sudan. Amnesty also repeats the official Israeli claim that the ground invasion was launched to “destroy the tunnel system…, particularly those with shafts discovered near ...

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Boycotting Israeli Academic Institutions: Advice for Anthropologists

[Image from www.shutterstock.com]

Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions is a group of concerned scholars, part of the growing global movement calling for Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against the state of Israel. The boycott movement seeks to end Israel’s widespread, systematic, and long-standing violations of the rights of the Palestinian people whether in exile, under occupation, or consigned to second-class citizenship. The academic boycott is particularly concerned with Israel’s violations of Palestinians’ right to education and academic freedom, as well as with the complicity of Israeli academic institutions in these systemic injustices. We are campaigning for ...

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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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Planning under Occupation: Elastic Geographies and ‘Area C’

[Photo Credit: Hamza Zbeidat / Location : Jordan Valley]

In recent years there has been growing concern about Israel’s planning regime and its operations across the West Bank. In particular, organizations have expressed their apprehension towards the growing number of demolitions, eviction orders, and restrictions in Area C. According to the 1995 Oslo Accords, Area C of the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) amounts to an estimated sixty-two percent of the West Bank. It is rich in land and water, and critical to the sustainable long-term development of a future viable Palestinian state. Israeli restrictions on planning and development in Area C have created systemic poverty and instability across local Palestinian ...

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Jadaliyya Launches New Palestine Page

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Since its launch in 2010, Jadaliyya has published many incisive pieces on Palestine and the Palestinians across a broad disciplinary spectrum. We have examined issues as diverse as Palestinian refugees in Syria, the assault on Palestinian advocacy in US academia and the public sphere, and Palestinian film and art. This is all in addition to extensive reportage, analysis, and interviews on the current state of Palestine, its politics and people. To date, these articles have been featured on the Occupation, Intervention, Law (O.I.L.) Page. As of today, Palestine has its own page (and O.I.L. is being renamed the Law and Conflict Page). These changes will allow Palestine to ...

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Gaza One Year On: The Crisis Never Ended

Between 7 July and 26 August 2014, the Gaza Strip witnessed the deadliest escalation in hostilities since the beginning of the Israeli occupation in 1967. With the borders effectively sealed, Palestinian civilians were prevented from fleeing the Gaza Strip and left with no safe haven. Over the course of seven weeks of fighting, a total of 2,251 Palestinians, including 1,462 civilians (299 women, 551 children), were killed and a total of 11,231 Palestinians, including 3,540 women and 3,436 children, were injured. Over 140 Palestinian families lost three or more family members in a single attack. Casualties among Israeli civilians were also sustained as a result of ...

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Rebuilding Gaza Needs Freedom and Normality – Not Just Aid

[Housing damaged by Israeli air strikes, Gaza. Image by Marius Arnesen.]

In the near three decades that I have been involved with Gaza and her people, I have never seen the kind of physical and psychological destruction that I see there today. In all Gaza’s long and tormented history, there is no precedent for its extraordinarily dangerous position in 2014. The situation is dangerous not only for Gazans, but for Israelis as well; as the scholar Jean-Pierre Filiu recently wrote: “If there is ever to be Israeli-Palestinian peace – with all other options having been exhausted – Gaza will be the foundation, and the keystone.” This is because Gaza has long been, and remains, the heart of Palestinian nationalism and resistance to Israeli ...

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

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 ...

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Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mouin Rabbani Interview by France24 on Gaza Disengagement and Its Aftermath

In this interview with France 24 television, Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mouin Rabbani explores the background and impact of Israel's 2005 disengagement from the Gaza Strip. Rabbani notes that Israel's motivations for disengagement were to deepen the fragmentation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) and further isolate the Gaza Strip, while continuing its policies of colonial expansion in the West Bank. The interview view was conducted on 15 August 2015.   Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mouin ...

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The Settling of the United States from the Perspective of its Victims

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States. Boston: Beacon Press, 2014. The Acoma poet Simon Ortiz writes in From Sand Creek that “the future will not be mad with loss and waste though the memory will.” People will not forget their past, but that should not stand in the way of change. Ortiz adds, “Be there: eyes will become kind and deep, and the bones of this nation will mend after the revolution.” Ortiz’s words are an invitation—an appeal for a shared struggle. They are ...

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المشهد الاقتصادي في حيفا قبل سقوطها

منذ حوالى منتصف القرن التاسع عشر بدأت فلسطين تشهد، كبقية بلدان حوض البحر المتوسط الشرقي، تحولاً اقتصادياً كبيراً. فقد ازدادت العلاقات التجارية مع بلدان أوربا الغربية، التي ساهم فيها استخدام البخار لتسيير السفن مما جعل التجارة عن طريق البحر أسرع وأقل تكلفة. وساهم تطبيق النظم الإدارية العثمانية الجديدة، التنظيمات، في زيادة الأمن والنظام مما ساعد على تأمين التجارة. أحدث كل هذا أثراً بعيد المدى على السواحل الشرقية لحوض البحر المتوسط وأخذت المدن الساحلية في النمو والازدهار بشكل كبير. مع أن هذا التحول ...

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Snapshot: Palestinian Olive Trees

Text by Elle Kurancid, photos by Bryony Dunne. Olive tree felling is a longtime strategy of Israel’s occupation regime in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Since 1967, an estimated 800,000 Palestinian olive trees have been destroyed by Israeli authorities and settlers. In February 2015, Irish-born filmmaker and photographer Bryony Dunne traveled across the West Bank and encountered evidentiary support for such activity (in tree stumps and civilian stories). Over the course of one week, she moved through ...

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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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خلافـــــة الرئيـــس

كلمّا تقدّم الزمن تُطرح مسألة خلافة الرئيس محمود عباس بقوة أكبر، لأن الرئيس تجاوز الثمانين من عمره وانتهت الفترة القانونية لولايته منذ حوالي سبع سنوات من دون إجراء الانتخابات التي لا يعرف أحد متى ستعقد وكيف، مع تأكيد الرئيس المستمر بأنه لن يترشح لولاية ثانية، ما يعني أن معركة التنافس على الخلافة قد بدأت – وإن من وراء الكواليس - منذ فترة طويلة، وهي التي يمكن أن تفسر الكثير مما يحدث من قرارات وإقصاءات. كما أنّ الأطراف المقررة (فتح وحماس) ليستا ناضجتين ولا جاهزتين، ولا تريدان إجراء الانتخابات بالرغم من ...

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Has Amnesty International Lost Its Way? A Forensic Analysis of Amnesty’s Reports on Operation Protective Edge (Part 1)

Amnesty International is among the premier human rights organizations in the world.  Its pronouncements shape public opinion, while councils of state feel obliged if not to heed them at any rate to respond.  A movement for justice aspiring to reach a broad public and inflect state policy can ill afford to ignore Amnesty if and when it goes astray.  It is the contention of this monograph that Amnesty has indeed lost its way, and it is the intention of this monograph to document this ...

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Bringing Our Lost Brethren Back Home: Messianic Zionism, Settler-Colonialism, and the Lost Jews of Kaifeng

The Kaifeng Jews of China–numbering at present some five hundred to one thousand in total–are one of the latest communities to garner the interest of right-wing messianic organizations connected to the settler-colonial movement in Israel. Over the last decade, messianic groups have intensified efforts to encourage the community to immigrate (aliyah) to Israel. This endeavor is making some headway. Messianic organizations, including Amichav (My People are Returning), its semi-successor Shavei Yisrael ...

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Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism: Profiting Israel, Entrenching the Blockade

Israel’s eight-year, ongoing closure of the Gaza Strip maintains a protracted humanitarian crisis and prevents access to fundamental rights and freedoms of the population of almost two million Palestinians. The International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict, have condemned the siege as unlawful collective punishment while the European Union has long considered it an illegal closure. After Israel’s July-August 2014 full-scale military assault on Gaza, ...

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The Limits of Humanitarianism

The prose of collapse increasingly punctuates reports and communiques concerned with the well-being of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. As early as 2006, as the Israeli siege slowly settled into place, reports cautioned of the collapse of the health system. On 4 January 2009, the Israeli human rights organization Gisha warned, “Gaza’s water and sewage system is on the verge of collapse following bombardments that have destroyed electricity lines.” On 27 May 2009 the European Commission announced, “The ...

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Palestinian Refugees Deserve to Live in Dignity

Allow me to introduce you to Baby Salma from Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza. She is dead. She died of hypothermia in January this year at just forty days old. Her body was drenched in freezing rainwater during the winter storm knows as Huda. Baby Salma was Huda’s youngest victim. I met Mirvat, Salma’s mother in Beit Hanoun along with sixteen members of her extended family living in what can only be described as an animal pen. Mirvat shares The night we took Salma to the hospital her flesh was frozen ...

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