[This is a monthly roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Resistance, Subversion and Social Mobilization in the Arab world and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the DARS Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each monthly roundup to DARS@jadaliyya.com.]
News & Commentaries
Freedom Intercepted, by Hamza Abu Eltarabesh
A boat, named the Freedom Ship, set sail on May 29 from Gaza as part of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition. The voyage would have been the first of its kind, as all previous attempts to break the 12-year blockade involved ships sailing from the outside world toward Gaza. The Freedom Ship was carrying 17 passengers when it began its voyage: patients, students and people who were wounded in the Great March of Return protests, as well as fishermen. However, Israeli naval boats surrounded the Freedom Ship and seized it near the 14th nautical mile.
Gaza Freedom Flotilla Boat Boarded and Searched by German Coast Guard, by Freedom Flotilla Coalition
On May 23, the Freedom Flotilla vessel Al Awda (The Return) was boarded by the German Coast Guard, at the orders of the German Ministry of Interior. They collected all the passports on board, wrote down everyone’s personal data, searched the vessel thoroughly, asked for detailed information about ports of call along the way to Gaza, and inquired about the whereabouts of the other Swedish sailing boats part of the flotilla. There are four vessels taking part in this year Freedom Flotilla in an effort to break the siege on Gaza and for the “Right to a Just Future for Palestine:” Al Awda, Hurriya (Freedom), Falestine (Palestine), and Mairead (for Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire).
What the Gaza Protests Portend, by Tareq Baconi
Tareq Baconi provides a very comprehensive historical account of what led to the Great March of Return. He writes that “Such widespread civic engagement and grassroots mobilization has rarely been seen since 1987, with the eruption of the First Intifada. […] Movements like the Great March of Return have the potential to transcend the fracturing of Palestinian political aspirations so deftly imposed by the state, by uniting the Palestinian people around a single message of rights.”
Palestinians Deserve Better Than Fraudulent Narratives, by Brendan Browne
Brendan Browne criticizes point by point certain arguments put forward in the Israeli and US media narratives, as well as by those holding “equivalency views” on Palestinian resistance. He also suggests that simply boycotting Israeli goods might not be enough. He writes that “It is a personal decision as to how you wish to support Palestinian non-violent resistance, but the framework is there and it isn’t for internationals – those who can dip in and out at will – to choose the parameters.”
In America’s News Headlines, Palestinians Die Mysterious Deaths, by Moustafa Bayoumi
In this article, Moustafa Bayoumi criticizes the language used by American media “to rob the oppressed of their very struggle.” He writes “It’s almost as if bullets just hang in the air, waiting for Palestinians to walk deliberately into them.”
Razan Al-Najjar Was a Threat to Israel, and They Knew it, by Malia Bouattia
On June 1st, the twenty one-year old nurse Razan Al-Najjar was killed by Israeli snipers. She was a “threat” for Israel because “she allowed the thousands of men and women, who were shot, tear gassed, or exhausted to heal, recuperate and carry on. Furthermore, Najjar had become a recognisable figure in the demonstrations.” This made her a potential “face of the movement,” and “this is what made her dangerous.”
A Brief History of a Teacher’s Strike, by Mezna Qato and Mai Abu Moghli
“In February and March 2016, nearly 35,000 Palestinian teachers initiated a series of strike actions across the West Bank. […] Though short-lived, the strike had wide resonance as teachers utilized their waning social capital in ways they had not done since the second intifada, and encouraged members of other unions to organize industrial actions, particularly after the March 9, 2016 ratification of Social Security Law 6. This was the largest teachers’ strike in Palestinian history, and yet it was not organized by their union, the General Union of Palestinian Teachers (GUPT). It was organized despite it.” In this article Mezna Qato and Mai Abu Moghli interviewed one of the teachers that participated in the strike and provide an comprehensive overview of the teachers’ struggle.
LGBTQ Activists Block Tel Aviv Pride March: “There Is No Pride in Occupation,” by Yael Marom
On June 8, Israeli LGBTQ activists blocked the path of the Pride Parade in Tel Aviv to protest “the Israeli government’s use of the LGBTQ community to cover up its discriminatory and racist policies and the maintenance of the occupation of the West Bank and the siege of Gaza.”
LGBTQ Filmmakers Refuse to Let Israel Use Them to Pinkwash its Crimes, by Ali Abunimah
So far, eleven artists have pulled out of the Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival, “part of a growing wave of international support for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) in the wake of Israel’s massacres of Palestinians during Great March of Return rallies in Gaza.”
Israel Scores Own Goal as Argentina March Cancelled in Victory for Palestinians, by Ben Lynfield
Argentina cancelled a friendly football match against Israel, following pressure by Palestinians and the international BDS movement. The cancellation was perceived by many as one of the most important successes of the BDS movement. “Palestinian groups welcomed the news of the cancellation, saying Israel, through the friendly, had been attempting to “sports-wash” abuses against Palestinians, including recent killings by snipers of unarmed Palestinians during protests at the Gaza border.”
Spain’s Third-Largest City Votes to Boycott Israel, by Haaretz
The City Council of Valencia, Spain’s third-largest city, voted to boycott Israel and declared Valencia an “Israeli apartheid-free zone.”
Saudi’s Women Rights Activists & the Farce of Reform, by Mariam Sleiman
“On May 18, the Saudi Press Agency publicly announced that the government had detained seven members, both male and female, of a group that was ‘organizing’ against the ‘security and stability of the Kingdom, its social safety and national unity.’ It quickly became clear that all those arrested have a rich history of defending women’s rights in Saudi Arabia. […] The arrests are a threatening reminder to the leaders of the Saudi women’s rights movement, indeed to all activists in general, that they should not demand anything further. They are a signal to Saudi activists that allowing women to drive does not mean the state is willing to partner with its critics and activists to reform the country and that it, and it alone, remains in complete control.”
Saudi Authorities Release Three Women’s Rights Activists, by Al Jazeera
Authorities in Saudi Arabia have released three prominent women's rights activists, who are part of a group of eleven women's rights campaigners rallying for more liberties, including the abolition of the male guardianship system that, among other things, prevents women from travelling without the permission of a male relative. Aisha al-Mana, Hessa al-Sheikh, and Madeha al-Ajroush were released less than a week after their initial detention, in what many critics view as a crackdown on dissent.
Moroccans Rattle Leaders with Mass Boycott Over High Prices, by Amira El-Masaiti
A boycott movement in Morocco targeting big companies, such as Afriquia gas and oil distribution company and Centrale Danone, has turned into a “protest against the concentration of wealth and power in a country that had been spared the tumult of the Arab Spring eight years ago.”
Activist Amal Fathy Arrested for Decrying Sexual Harassment in Egypt, by Marie-Helene Rousseau
Marie-Helene Rousseau describes the case of activist Amal Fathy who was arrested for criticizing the Egyptian government’s lack of action to combat Egypt’s pervasive sexual harassment problem and for its harsh treatment of political protesters.
Detained for Good: The Use of Remand Detention as a Punitive Measure Against Political Opponents, by Mohamad Hamama
Through a thorough investigation of protest-related charges behind the arrests of 10,400 people, the author examines how remand detention (or provisional detention) is increasingly used as a “tool of punishment” in Egypt.
في عيد العمال: صحف عربية تنتقد أوضاع العمال الفلسطينيين
مجموعة من الملخصات لمختلف المقالات المنشورة في الصحف العربية بمناسبة عيد العمال. تبحث هذه المقالات في وضع وأنشطة العمال في جميع أنحاء العالم العربي ، بما في ذلك فلسطين ومصر والجزائر والمغرب
إرتفاع عدد القتلى في غزة والسلطة الفلسطينية تتهم إسرائيل بإرتكاب “مذبحة"
تتحدث هذه المقالة عن الاشتباكات بين الجيش الإسرائيلي و المتظاهرين الفلسطينيين في غزة في يوم تدشين
سفارة الولايات المتحدة في القدس. مع ما لا يقل عن 37 قتيلا و 1700 مصاب، الحكومة الفلسطينية تتهم إسرائيل باستخدام العنف المفرط ، مما تسبب في مذبحة رهيبة.
وقفة نسائية ليلية في تونس...مساندة للشعب الفلسطيني وحقه بالعودة
قامت مجموعة من النساء بوقفة تضامنية مع الشعب الفلسطيني في العاصمة تونس. و قالت رئيسة الجمعية التونسية للنساء الديمقراطيات التي نظمت هذه الوقفة إن "تونس مع الفلسطينيين" و أن رسالتهن للشعب الفلسطيني "لا تراجع عن حق العودة" و "المقاومة مستمرة“.”
Art & Culture
“Hopeless Nation:” Meet Mosul’s First Rap Collective, by Laurene Daycard and Sebastian Castelier
Iraqi artists Zayn Adam, Boika, MC Reko and Yabangi formed Mosul’s first hip-hop collective. Hip-hop is “a style of music that is really suitable for direct criticism” says Yabangi. “Back from forced exile, the rappers are determined to speak out as long as they can.”
Dabka Dancing, Singing and Poetry: How Gazans Protest, by Rami Almeghari
Near the Israeli border, the organizers of the Great March of Return have organized a series of festivities including dabka dances, singing and poetry performances. Such activities have been organized in five centres of protest in the Gaza Strip and demonstrate Palestinians’ steadfastness in defending their right of return.
Events & Conferences
International Palestine Summit 2018: Israeli Settlement and the West Bank Barrier in Palestine, 21-22 June 2018, Turkish Asian Center for Strategic Studies, Istanbul, Turkey.
Re-Imagining Cultural Histories of the Middle East and North Africa, 28 June 2018, University of Westminster, UK.
Political Violence in Syria: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, 14-15 September 2018, Ultrecht University, Netherlands. (Call for Papers Deadline: 15 April 2018)
Cinema-Going in The Arab World: Exhibition, Distribution, and Audiences, 14-15 September 2018, Netherlands-Flemish Institute, Cairo, Egypt. (Call for Papers Deadline: 30 April 2018).
Workshop: Digital Media, Islam, and Politics in the Middle East, 28-29 September 2018, University of Basel, Switzerland. (Deadline for Applications: 5 July 2018)
The Biannual Conference of the Middle East Studies Forum: Trump and the Middle East, 29-31 October 2018, Deakin University Burwood, Victoria, Australia