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On the BDS Blacklist

[This is a slightly revised version of comments presented as part of the event “Palestine Solidarity: A Faculty Roundtable and Student Q & A,” held at the CUNY Graduate Center on 17 October. The discussion was organized by a group of students involved with a resolution currently before the Doctoral Student Council at the Graduate Center, endorsing the academic and cultural boycott of Israel. I want to dedicate my remarks to these courageous students, who are engaged in organizing work that is at best thankless and at worst dangerous, given the current climate of hostility in the US academy—and, beyond that, to all those who struggle for justice in Palestine.] I ...

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هل يمكن إنقاذ العراق؟

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صارع صانعو السياسة والصحفيون والخبراء كي يفهموا احتلال تنظيم الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام للموصل في العاشر من حزيران\يونيو ٢٠١٤، واندفاع المجموعة جنوباً نحو بغداد وانهيار الجيش العراقي أمام تقدمها. إن الطريقة التي فُهمتْ بها هذه الأزمة المتسارعة ستحدد استجابة القادة في العراق، والشرق الأوسط، وفي النظام الدولي. وهي لن تصوغ الرد العسكري الأولي على تنظيم الدولة فحسب، بل أيضاً، وبصورة أكثر أهمية، سياسات على المدى الطويل تهدف إلى معالجة الأسباب الكامنة لنشوء التنظيم واحتلاله لأراض في كلّ من العراق وسوريا. يتضمّنُ شَرْحٌ شائعٌ (ولو أنه مفاجئ) لنجاح تنظيم الدولة الإسلامية العسكري المدهش، العودةَ إلى اتفاقية   سايكس بيكو، وهي صفقة سرية رتبها الدبلوماسي البريطاني ...

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Intervention and the Limits of US Power? A Panel Featuring Vijay Prashad and Jadaliyya Co-Editor Lisa Hajjar (Video)

[Left to right: Lisa Hajjar, Karim Makdisi, and Vijay Prashad. Image courtesy of AUB.]

A panel titled "Intervention: Limits of US Power?" was organized by the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) and the Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) at the American University of Beirut on 13 Ocotber 2014. The panel featured Vijay Prashad (IFI Senior Research Fellow), whose talk was titled "Obama's ISIS Policy," and Jadaliyya Co-Editor Lisa Hajjar (Edward Said Chair of American Studies at CASAR), whose talk was titled "Interventions from the Sky: Drone Warfare as a Projection of Power without Logic or Forseeable End." Karim Makdisi (Associate Professor of International Politics, AUB) ...

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Reflections-in-Progress on the Salaita Case: Contradiction, Overdetermination, Mobilization

[Michael Rothberg]

Much has already been said in the weeks since University of Illinois Chancellor Phyllis Wise informed Steven Salaita that she was not forwarding his appointment to the Board of Trustees and was thus effectively revoking a tenured job offer in American Indian Studies that Salaita had already accepted in October 2013. When a local faculty group I am involved with organized an off-campus forum on “Academic Freedom and Political Dissent,” I decided to step back and try to theorize the nature of the event we have been living through and the political response that has arisen out of it. Despite the context, there has been pleasure in writing this piece because it represented ...

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On the Proposal for the CUNY Graduate Center's Doctoral Students' Council to Boycott Israeli Academic Institutions

[Image provided by the authors.]

In April 2013, the Association for Asian American Studies (AAAS) became the first United States academic body to pass a resolution boycotting formal relations with Israeli universities. In December, the American Studies Association (ASA) and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) also passed boycott resolutions, followed by the Critical Ethnic Studies Association (CESA) in July 2014. These resolutions were adopted in response to the 2004 call from Palestinian civil society to boycott academic institutions in Israel, as part of a wider Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israeli occupation of Palestinian people’s land, ...

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Call for Applicants: Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of Arabic (George Mason University)

Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of Arabic The George Mason University, Department of Modern and Classical Languages (Fairfax, Va.) invites applications for a Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of Arabic beginning August 2015.  Department: Modern/Classical Languages Criminal Background Check: Standard Background Check Job Category: Instructional or Research Faculty Role (State) Job Title: Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of Arabic Working Title: Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of Arabic Job Type: Full-Time Position Number: F8436z Recruit Number: Faculty - 6233 Location: Fairfax Salary: Commensurate with education and ...

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Seize The Moment

[The United Nations' General Assembly. Photo credit: Rob Young via Flicker]

Should the Palestinian leadership fail to seize the moment, it would condemn itself to eternal damnation. In the speech, Abbas rejected the notion of resuming peace negotiations in the usual manner. He called for a timetable for ending the occupation supervised by the UN. He also spoke of the genocidal war Israel waged against the Palestinian people, and warned that it would not escape punishment. All important and positive remarks. Bilateral negotiations under sole American supervision should have been abandoned long ago. Final status negotiations should have been completed in May 1999, as stipulated in the Oslo agreements. Since then, negotiations have been going on ...

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Statement: Over 250 Anthropologists Join Call for a Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions

[The following press release and statement announcing the endorsement by over 250 anthropoligists of the movement to boycott Israeli academic institutions were issued on 1 October 2014 by the below-identifed group of anthropologists. Since it was first published on Jadaliiya, the number of signatories of the statement has exceed 700 anthropologists.] For Immediate Release October 1, 2014 Over 250 Anthropologists Join the Call for a Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions More than 250 anthropologists have signed a statement endorsing the burgeoning movement to boycott Israeli academic institutions in protest of Israel’s systematic human rights violations against the ...

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When Your Name is on the Blacklist

[The cover of Amjad Nasser's novel,

[The Gallatin School of New York University invited Amjad Nasser, one of the major poets of the Arab world, to inaugurate its Gallatin Global Writers series on 30 September. On 27 September, US Homeland Security at Heathrow, London, interrogated Nasser and prevented him from boarding the plane without giving any reason. The bilingual reading will take place as scheduled in protest of this occurrence. Nasser will join from London via Skype. The following is the essay Nasser wrote after the incident. It is translated by Sinan Antoon] When Your Name is on the “Blacklist” Amjad Nasser I read once that the number of names on the American “blacklist” is around one million. ...

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Propaganda, Politics, and Profiteering: Islamic Law in the Contemporary United States

[Image of a billboard by the United American Committee. Image from Matt57/Wikimedia Commons.]

The recent announcement of the establishment of a “caliphate” by the “Islamic State”—also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)—has put Islamic law back in the headlines. In the ensuing, polarizing debates, images of violence and extremism are countered with defensive posturing about the “true” nature of Islamic law. This endless tug-of-war between delegitimizing and legitimizing “Islamic law” confuses and obfuscates, rather than educates or clarifies, because it is focused on a false premise: the content or meaning of Islamic law is not the issue, but the prejudicial politicization of Islamic law ...

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Arab Bank Case Sets Limited Precedent

[Arab Bank Headquarters in Amman, Jordan. Image by Wikimedia Commons User Jean Pierre X.]

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 portfolio. The decision, dubbed as a “trial against Hamas,” has been welcomed by some Palestine advocates. They are hopeful that this means, Israeli or US banks can be ...

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DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival (DC-PFAF): Program and Tickets

The DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival (DC-PFAF) is a not for profit, volunteer run annual project. It is in its fourth year and aims to showcase the work of Palestinian filmmakers and artists for audiences in Washington, DC and its surrounding areas. It is a unique festival in that the stories told through this project are not necessarily about the Palestinian/Israel conflict, nor are they necessarily stories about Palestinians, but they are stories that reflect the dynamic formation of a transnational identity common to Palestinians and diasporic communities more generally. In Washington, DC, a city filled with communities from around the world, and a city ...

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LA Event: Spotlight on Egypt (23 October 2014)

On Thursday, October 23, 12-2pm at 450 Tudor Center at the University of Southern California, USC's Middle East Studies' Program (MESP) is hosting a panel discussion on "Spotlight on Egypt."  UC Santa Barbara Professor Paul Amar will examine President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi's Egypt by looking at the new means of control embedded in recently emergent regional, socio-spatial, and geopolitical patterns. UC Santa Barbara Professor Sherene Seikaly will examine the continuities and ruptures of ...

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Citizenfour: Laura Poitras’ Documentary on Edward Snowden (Video Trailer)

The following trailer is for Laura Poitras' Citizefour, which is scheduled for release on 24 October 2014.  

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Is the Center for Jewish Life Stifling Free Speech on Campus?

I have never met Slav Leibin. Nonetheless, it recently came to my attention that he vetoed, with the approval of the Center for Jewish Life, my right to participate in a proposed panel on the recent hostilities in Gaza. Apparently this preemptive act of exclusion was carried out on entirely political grounds. This strikes me as an attempt to stifle the exchange of views on an important, if contentious, issue of concern to many in the Princeton University community — an egregious violation of our ...

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Call for Papers--Radical Increments: Toward New Platforms of Engaging Iraqi Studies (New York, 27-28 February 2015)

 Radical Increments: Toward New Platforms of Engaging Iraqi Studies Columbia University New York 27-28 February, 2015 The rift between theory and application in Iraqi studies has grown over the past three decades, with Iraqi scholarship curtailed at home due to geographic isolation during the Iraq-Iran war, dearth of funding and faltering of infrastructure during the embargo years, sectarian violence in the post-2003 phase, and funding sources in the west channeling knowledge to achieve ...

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MESA Pre-Program Discussion: The Salaita Case and the New Assaults on Academic Freedom (22 November 2014)

MESA Panel: The Salaita Case and the New Assaults on Academic Freedom Panel Logistics 3:30pm Saturday, 22 November 2014 Marriot Wardman Park Hotel Washington DC Panel Description After a brief introduction by Laurie Brand (Chair of the Committee on Academic Freedom) and Paul Sedra, the discussion will begin with four 15-minute presentations. We will hear: Steven Salaita will speak about the implications of the attack on his constitutionally-protected speech and academic freedom. ...

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The Politics of Boycotting Israel while Fighting Sanctions on Iran

As the bombs rained down on Gaza this summer, we were reminded yet again of the failure of peace talks, negotiations, or dialogue to attain meaningful results for the Palestinian people over the last seven decades of Israeli colonialism. Indeed, global demonstrations throughout July and August showed how widespread calls for the boycott of Israel have become, as activists around the world have come out in support of the 2005 Palestinian civil society call for the boycott of Israel. Iranians stand in a ...

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Statement by Jewish Studies Professors Regarding 'Deplorable' Amcha Initiative

[The following statement was originally published in The Jewish Daily Forward on 1 October 2014] We the undersigned are professors of Jewish studies at North American universities. Several of us have also headed programs and centers in Jewish studies. Many of us have worked hard to nurture serious, sustained study of Israeli politics and culture on our home campuses and elsewhere. It is in this latter regard that we call attention to the activities of an organization calledthe AMCHA Initiative whose ...

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Fourth Annual DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival: October 2-5, 2014

The Arab Studies Institute is happy to announce it's sponsorship of the 2014 DC Palestinian Film & Arts Festival CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS  2014 Program of Films and Events:    Thursday October 2, 2014: Stories for Justice: Visualizing Palestine Exhibit and Opening Reception  Join us for the opening reception of the fourth annual DC Palestinian Film & Arts Festival, featuring the work of Vizualizing Palestine. Visualizing Palestine uses creative visuals to describe ...

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عندما يكون اسمك على "القائمة السوداء"

قرأتُ، مرةً، أنَّ عدد المسجلين على القائمة الاميركية "السوداء" يبلغ نحو مليون شخص. ولكنَّ ذلك قبل الحادي عشر من سبتمبر. بعده لا أحد يعلم كم بلغ العدد! قد يخطر في بال من يسمع بوجود هذه القائمة أن الأمر يتعلق بأسماء المتورطين بـ "الارهاب"، مشاركة ً وتمويلاً وتمجيداً، أو بارونات المخدرات الذين يدمِّرون شباب العالم، أو تجار السلاح الذين يسلّحون نزاعات الشعوب بأدوات القتل، ولكن كلا. فقد كان عليها عدد من أبرز كتاب وفنانين العالم ممن ساندوا نضال الشعوب ضد الاستعمار، أو حقِّها في تقرير ...

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Beirut Conference: Israel’s War on Gaza: Political, Moral, and Legal Accountability (28 September 2014)

A one-day sympoisum hosted by the Issam Faris Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs Sunday 28 September 2014 IFI Building Auditorium AUB Campus Beirut, Lebanon    

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Open Letter to the Brooklyn Book Festival re Israeli Sponsorship

[The following open letter is being ciruclated in protest of the Brooklyn Book Festival's partnership with the Israeli Office of Cultural Affairs in New York to sponsor Assaf Gavrons participation in the festival.] Tell the Brooklyn Book Festival to no longer accept partnerships with the Israeli government or complicit institutions. To the Brooklyn Book Festival Inc. and the Brooklyn Book Festival Literary Council: We, the undersigned, including participants and exhibitors at the Brooklyn Book ...

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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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