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Palestine-Israel

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

[Members of “The Iraqi Delegation” to Toledo—from left to right: Sami Michael, David Semah, Ella Shohat, Shimon Ballas, and Yosef Shiloach. Image from Ella Shohat’s personal archive]

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 defiance of this law, a number of meetings took place in such cities as Bucharest, Budapest, and Geneva. At that time, Israeli officials were still vocally engaged in the ...

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Emergency Humanitarian Appeals and Gaza’s On-going Destruction: The Case of Failed Accountability and Sustainability

[Palestinians receive their monthly food aid at a UNRWA distribution center in the Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip. Image: Abed Rahim/ Flash 90]

The destruction in Gaza as a result of the most recent Israeli assault has been massive. According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the bombing of water networks has reduced potable water by fifty percent. The destruction of housing and productive resources has been equally severe. Approximately 23,000 people were being housed in UNRWA shelters and an additional seven hundred displaced families have sought refuge with distant relatives. At least thirty-six fishing boats were destroyed, leaving 3,600 fishermen incapacitated from their key means of livelihood. The assault’s destruction of agricultural land has affected an estimated two ...

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O.I.L. Media Roundup (24 September)

[An American F/A-18C Hornet aboard the USS George H.W. Bush prior to the launch of operations over Iraq. Image by Margaret Keith.]

[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  President Obama's Full Speech on ISIS, Lisa Crivelli MSNBC presents the full text of US President Obama's outlining systemic airstrikes against Islamic State fighters and increasing military assistance to the Syrian opposition. House Votes to Arm Syrian Rebels, Matt Fuller Roll Call reports on ...

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Progressive Struggles against Insidious Capitalist Individualism: Interview with Angela Davis

[Angela Davis in 2006. Image by Nick Wiebe.]

In this interview, Angela Davis, and activist, teacher, author, and icon of the Black Power movement, talks about the linkages among global struggles. Touching upon black feminism, the importance of the collective, Palestine, the prison-industrial complex, and much more, Professor Davis expounds on the role that the people can and should play. A shorter version of this interview was first published in The Nation. Frank Barat (FB): You often talk about the power of the collective and stress the importance of movements. How can we that power in a society that promotes selfishness and individualism?   Angela Davis (AD): Since the rise of global capitalism and related ...

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O.I.L. Media Roundup (10 September)

[Iraqi Yazidi refugees fleeing Islamic State militants receive help from International Rescue Committee at Newroz Camp in northeastern Syria. Image by UK Department for International Development.]

[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.] Libya Libya Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni Resigns, BBC News In hopes of allowing the Libyan parliament to select a new government, Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni and his cabinet have resigned. US Officials: Egypt, UAE Behind Airstrikes in Libya, Associated Press Anonymous US officials have reported that ...

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Palestinianness on Facebook: Portrayals, Profiles, and Encoding the Self

[The viral solidarity with Palestinian prisoners campaign design. By Hafez Omar]

I would like to think that we are not just the people seen or looked at in photographs: we are also looking at our observers….we too are scrutinizing, assessing, judging. We are more than someone’s object. We do more than stand passively in front of whoever…has wanted to look at us. -- Edward Said, After the Last Sky  Over the course of several decades in the Palestinian history, Palestinians have been the subject of thousands if not millions of photos, frequently taken by others: the UN, Israel or Arab States, and nongovernmental organizations. Some of these photos became what Edward Said described as” iconic” images in both Western and Arab ...

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September Culture Bouquet

[Safwan Dahoul,

Almost a decade ago, Saadi Youssef began his poem "Imru' al-Qays' Grandson" by asking: "Is it your fault that once you were born in that country? / Three quarters of a century / and you still pay from your ebbing blood / its tax." He ended the poem with an even more vexing question: "What is it to you / now when you are asked to do the impossible?" As this long hot summer ends, we would not be mistaken to imagine these lines could be about Gaza, Mosul, or Ferguson. Maymanah Farhat contributes a recent essay from a monograph on Syrian painter Khaled Takreti. Excerpts from Khalil Sweileh's Barbarians' Paradise, trans. ...

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Samih al-Qasim: The Last Train

[Image of Letter from Rashid Hussein to Samih al-Qasim, May 18, 1970]

[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 brother — Believe it or not, but after all this time separated from one another, you may find it hard to recognize me when you stand there on the station platform, waiting ...

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One Century after World War I and the Balfour Declaration: Palestine and Palestine Studies

[Following the disturbances in Tel Aviv in November 1945, a Palestinian constable acts as an interpreter for the officer in charge of a British Army patrol on the streets and warns people against remaining in the area. Image by No 1 Army Film & Photographic Unit, Meek F (Sgt)]

We meet today to celebrate the second anniversary of the establishment of the SOAS Centre for Palestine Studies. I am honoured to have been asked to deliver this first Annual Lecture. It is deeply gratifying to be addressing you on this occasion in the name of a sister institution—Institute for Palestine Studies (IPS)—which has just celebrated its fiftieth anniversary as an independent, private, non-partisan, non-profit, public service research institute. We at IPS look forward to long years of innovative cooperation between our two institutions. Like other centres of Palestine studies, we are both researching the same phenomenon: the ever-growing accumulation of debris ...

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From Containment to Counterinsurgency in the Gaza Strip

[Destruction in Gaza, 2009. Image by Wikimedia Commons User Gloucester2Gaza.]

Israel’s recently terminated “Operation Protective Edge” against the Gaza Strip was beyond destructive. Little is left standing in Shuja’iya, Khoza’a, Beit Hanoun, and Rafah’s east, where photos reveal a tableau of grey ruin. Israel shelled hospitals, targeted ambulances, killed paramedics, leaving the health sector strained beyond the breaking point. As Israeli munitions rocked graveyards, even the dead rested uneasy. According to one development NGO, the war simply demolished the economy, “turning factories into piles of rubble and destruction,” with over 180 leveled since the assault began on 7 July, and billions of dollars in damages. The power plant is ruined, tens ...

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الخطر السياسي القادم ما بعد العدوان على غزة

[منزل تعرض للقصف في غزة، 2009. المصدر ويكيبيديا]

توجد أربعة أسباب على الأقل تشكل حوافز للحكومة الإسرائيلية للسعي إلى العودة إلى مسار سياسي بعد العدوان على غزة، حتى لو قبلت بعض الشروط التي رفضتها سابقاً، مثل تجميد غير معلن للاستيطان، أو عدم الإعلان عن عطاءات جديدة للبناء في المستوطنات، إن قبل الجانب الفلسطيني بذلك.  وتوجد دلائل واضحة الآن حتى قبل أن تسكت المدافع، أن الجانب الفلسطيني يرغب في ذلك، بل هو يدعو إلى إنهاء الاحتلال كمرحلة تلي المرحلة الراهنة ومكملة لها، كما صرح أكثر من مسؤول فلسطيني خلال الأسابيع الماضية، بمن في ذلك الرئيس أبو مازن نفسه مؤخراً.  ولا توجد مشكلة من ناحية المبدأ في هذه الدعوة، إنما السؤال يتمحور حول ما يمكن أن تفضي إليه هذه المفاوضات، وما إذا كانت آليات اتّخاذ القرار الفلسطيني في حينه ...

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O.I.L. Media Roundup (24 August)

[Police in Ferguson, Missouri use tear gas against civilians. Image by Wikimedia Commons User

[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 / United States The Shortest Distance Between Palestine and Ferguson, Jaime Omar Yassin Yassin draws a parallel between police brutality in Ferguson, Missouri and Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip.   Palestinians Express "Solidarity with the People of Ferguson" in Mike ...

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Displaced Intentions

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 ...

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Arab Bank Case Sets Limited Precedent

On Monday September 22, 2014, a jury in the US District Court of Brooklyn found that the Arab Bank is liable for financing terrorism. This is the first jury trial to find a bank liable for financing terrorism under the 1990 Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA). The Arab Bank contends that the case was riddled with errors that should be rectified upon appeal before the Second Circuit. The Central Bank of Jordan has come out in support of the Bank, whose earnings constitute a quarter of the country’s stock market ...

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Another Letter to Mr. Elie Wiesel

[The following letter was written as response to Elie Wiesel and his decision to author and publish an advertisement in August 2014 which ran in the New York Times and other major medial outlets. The ad claimed that “Jews rejected child sacrifice 3,000 years ago. Now it’s Hamas’ turn.”] Let me begin by saying that we have met, although you may not remember. In 1980, I was a young actor in a theatrical adaptation of your novel Dawn, produced by the Cambridge Ensemble of Cambridge, Mass., which opened ...

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Dozens to Bike from Philadelphia to Washington, DC to Raise Funds for Medical Relief for Gaza’s Children

[The following press release was issued 17 September 2014 by Cycling4Gaza.] Dozens to Bike from Philadelphia to Washington, DC to Raise Funds for Medical Relief for Gaza’s Children  Between September 18 and 21, more than 40 cyclists are expected to pedal more than 217 miles (350 km) from Philadelphia to Washington, DC, to raise money for the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) so that it can continue to treat and care for the children of Gaza. Riders will include 16-year-old Ahmed Abu ...

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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 ...

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O.I.L. Monthly Edition (August 2014)

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

[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 ...

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Samih al-Qasim: Two Poems

  1. “RAFAH’S CHILDREN” (1971) To the one who digs his path through the wounds of millions To he whose tanks crush all the roses in the garden Who breaks windows in the night Who sets fire to a garden and museum and sings of freedom. Who stomps on songbirds in the public square. Whose planes drop bombs on childhood’s dream. Who smashes rainbows in the sky.   Tonight, the children of the impossible roots have an announcement for you, Tonight, the children of Rafah say: “We have never ...

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Italian-Palestinian Relations: What Went Wrong?

Throughout July, Zionist groups carried out a number of attacks against Palestine solidarity activists and Palestinian institutions in Italy. They attacked and abused seven young Italians in Rome. One of the victims was accosted merely for wearing a kaffiyeh during the first day of the latest Israeli escalation on the Gaza Strip. Some gun shots were fired at the Palestinian diplomatic residence. Italian political institutions and media have neither condemned nor commented on these worrying events, which ...

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After The Ceasefire: Searching for Accountability

On 26 August 2014, Israel and Palestinian resistance groups  entered into a long-term ceasefire agreement. The agreement looks almost exactly like the November 2012 ceasefire, including a lack of implementation mechanisms. The vague terms leave to question whether the Gaza Strip and its besieged population will be adequately rehabilitated. Worse, if the parities fail to make the agreement more precise, it will be no more than a holding position until the next Israeli assault.   The ...

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Israel's "Operation Status Quo": A Preliminary Assessment

Israel’s massive onslaught on the Gaza Strip in July-August 2014 has been a military and political fiasco. A regional superpower, it failed to impose its will on an isolated enemy operating in a besieged territory without advanced weaponry. Its sub-standard military performance was matched by a failure to reverse Palestinian reconciliation or deepen Palestinian fragmentation, and its overall strategic position has grown weaker. Led by a government too extreme to seize the initiative with proposals that ...

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Gauging the July-August 2014 Gaza War

The July-August 2014 Gaza war has not thus far initiated regional and international action to address the root causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, nor to end the inhumane blockade that has been imposed on Gaza. Israel is keen to separate “humanitarian” issues from political ones, and is trying to play on the Hamas/Fatah division and the tense relations between Hamas and the Egyptian government. This will not help to address the real issues. Hamas and other Palestinian factions will resist ...

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