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Palestine-Israel

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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Gaza and the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood

[

The slaughter of Palestinian civilians and the Dresden-like reduction to rubble of large parts of Gaza by Israel’s military forces in the name of its own citizens’ security has exposed the hypocrisy at the heart of Israel’s dealings with the Palestinians. Israel’s claim to the right of self-defense in order to prevent its victims’ emergence from under its occupation is the ultimate definition of chutzpa. Without entering the debate over whether those rocket assaults were precipitated by Israel’s own violations of truces and cease-fire accords it negotiated with Hamas, as documented by various analysts (including Amira Hass, Peter Beinart, Nathan Thrall, Sara Roy and ...

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Why the Gaza Truce Failed

[U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, West Bank, on July 23, 2014, before the two sat down for a discussion about a cease-fire in fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Image by United States Department of State.]

It will likely be some time before we learn the details of the Cairo negotiations over a Gaza cease-fire, which collapsed on Tuesday. Israel claims that Palestinian armed groups subsequently fired the first projectiles. The Palestinians accuse Israel of sabotaging the talks because it believed it had a rare opportunity to assassinate Hamas military commander Mohammed Deif, launching seven guided missiles on a home in Gaza City’s Shaikh Radwan housing project that killed Deif’s wife and infant son. But even if the Palestinian contention on the Deif strike is correct, it does not explain why several weeks of negotiations in Cairo between the two sides failed to ...

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Persian Translation of Maya Mikdashi's 'Can Palestinian Men be Victims'

[Image by Arghavan collective blogspot]

آیا مردان فلسطینی می‌توانند قربانی باشند؟ خوانش جنسیتیِ جنگ اسرائیل علیه غزه هر صبح چشمانمان را بر لیست به‌روز شده‌ی قصابی می‌گشاییم: ١٠٠، ٢٠٠، ٤٠٠، ٦٠٠ فلسطینی کشته شده توسط دستگاه جنگ اسرائیل. این اعداد جزییات ناخوشایند بسیاری را می‌پوشانند؛ اکثریت مردم غزه یعنی یکی از پرجمعیت‌ترین و فقیرشده‌ترین مکان‌های جهان، پناهندگانی مهاجر ازسرزمین‌هایی‌اند که به لحاظ تاریخی به فلسطین تعلق دارند. غزه تحت محاصره‌ای قساوت‌بار است و هیچ جای آن از یورش اسرائیل در امان نیست. پیش از این "جنگ"، غزه شکلی از قرنطینه بود. جمعیتی به اسارت گرفته شده و به استعمار درآمده توسط توانایی اسرائیل در زیرپا گذاشتن قوانین ...

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Press Release: Wear Black to Show Sympathy and Support for the People of Gaza

[People in Beit Hanoun in Gaza using the 72-hour ceasefire to return to their homes and to retrieve the dead. Image by Boris Niehaus.]

[This press release was issued by a coalition of Palestinian women’s groups including the Palestinian Working Women’s Society for Development, Hedaya Shamon-Gaza; Al-Tajamu’ al-Nasawi al-Maqdasi, the Women’s Legal Aid and Counseling Center, the Women Studies Center, YWCA, the Gender Studies Program-Mada al-Carmel and many others on 13 August 2014.] “Let Gaza Live” - “End Gaza Genocide!” -“We Are All Gaza” Act to end complicity with Israel’s massacre of Gaza. Wear black to show your sympathy and support for the people of Gaza.  Wear black to show your opposition to those who aid Israel’s accumulative genocide against the Palestinian people.   To turn a blind ...

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What Can and Should be Done to End the Crisis in Gaza? Public Radio in San Francisco Interview with Mouin Rabbani and Tom Segev

On 13 August, Your Call, a daily call-in show on local public radio station KALW in San Francisco, interviewed Israeli historian Tom Segev and Jadaliyya co-editor Mouin Rabbani about the current situation in Gaza and what the military assault on Gaza reveals about the political landscape in Israel and the occupied territories.   Click to listen  

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إسرائيل تجزّ العشب

[منزل فلسطيني بعد القصف الإسرائيلي. صورة لمحمد الصباح]

تشرح هذه المقالة الأوضاع والأحداث التي سبقت (وأدّت) إلى العدوان الإسرائيلي الحالي على غزّة، من مأزق حماس حتى المصالحة واستغلال الحكومة الصهيونية لاختطاف المستوطنين الثلاثة. يُلاحظ أن معين ربّاني يقول في آخر المقال إن «هيومن رايتس ووتش» انتقدت كلا الطرفين و لم تتّهم إلّا الجانب الفلسطيني بارتكاب جرائم حرب. قمتُ بقراءة بيانين أصدرتهما المنظمّة قبل نشر المقالة (أي قبل ١٨ تموز\يوليو) والبيان الذي أصدرته بتاريخ ٢٢ تموز\يوليو ولم أجِد اتّهاماً صريحاً للمقاومة بارتكاب هذا النوع من الجرائم، بل أن المنظمة أشارت (ولم تتّهم صراحةً حسب قراءتي) إلى أن إسرائيل قد ارتكبت جرائم حرب. أترك للقرّاء هذه البيانات الثلاثة فقد أكون مخطئاً في بحثي: Israel/Palestine: Unlawful Israeli ...

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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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Gaza's Resistance: RT interviews Daniel Calic, Norman Finkelstein, and Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mouin Rabbani

Russia Today's Cross Talk hosted Jadaliyya co-Editor Mouin Rabbani along with Daniel Calic and Norman Finkelstein for a discussion of Palestinian resistance to Israeli military incursion in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli blockade of Gaza was also discused, as was the question of whether Israeli bombardment of Gaza constitutes war crimes.

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Open Letter: Dutch Man Returns Righteous Among the Nations Medal, Protesting Killing of Relatives in Gaza

[The following letter was written by Dutch lawyer H.A. Zanoli and addressed to Israeli Ambassador to the Netherlands Haim Davon. It  was published in Haaretz.] Ambassador Haim Davon Embassy of Israel Buitenhof 47 2513 AH The Hague The Hague, August 11 2014 Subject: Return of medal of honour Excellency, It is with great sorrow that I am herewith returning the medal I received as an honour and a token of appreciation from the State of Israel for the efforts and risks taken by my ...

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Chronicles of a Death Foretold: The Kerry Negotiations

[The following five commentaries were originally published together in Volume 43, No. 3 of the Journal of Palestine Studies.] Rashid Khalidi: Chronicles of a Death Foretold Farsighted observers saw it coming. For them, the apparent breakdown in April 2014 of the initiative launched by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry amid much fanfare nine months earlier, in August 2013, came as no great surprise.  Would U.S. diplomacy have the courage to do something it had failed to do for over thirty-five ...

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Why Did You Fire Professor Steven Salaita?

The following letter was sent on 10 August 2014 by UCLA Distinguished Professor of History Robin D. G. Kelley to Phyllis Wise, Chancellor of the University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign. Dear Chancellor Wise, Please do not ignore or delete this letter, or have your administrative assistant file it away. I understand that you’ve been inundated with correspondence, petitions signed by some 13,000-plus colleagues, phone calls, and messages via social media. And my letter urging you to reverse your ...

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The Ongoing Ceasefire Negotiations: Al Jazeera English Interview with Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mouin Rabbani

Al Jazeera English hosted Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mouin Rabbani for an interview on the situation in the Gaza Strip on 8 August 2014. The interview focused on current ceasefire negotiations in Cairo between Israeli and Palestinian delegations.   

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Cary Nelson: The Lackey of Power

Israel recommenced its offensive against Gaza by taking the life of a ten-year-old Palestinian child, whose death will now disappear into the anonymity of this assault’s brutal statistics. This latest upsurge in the ongoing violence that is the Israeli occupation has turned around the deaths of children: the Palestinian youths gratuitously killed by IDF snipers; the three settler teenagers murdered on the West Bank by a maverick group, which Israel cynically used as an excuse for its incursion into the ...

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