In Search of the Building Blocks of Opposition in Turkey

by Joseph Logan | published June 10, 2013

In early May, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan -- flush with a decade of electoral triumphs and a track record of economic growth dwarfing that of the European Union he once vowed to join -- had the luxury of being magnanimous.

With Friends Like These

Coptic Activism in the Diaspora

by Michael Wahid Hanna
published in MER267

In June 2010, amidst escalating controversy over the construction of a mosque and Islamic community center near the former site of the World Trade Center, two Egyptians found themselves on the receiving end of xenophobic abuse as a crowd accosted them with calls to “go home.” Unbeknownst to the angry mob, the two Arabic-speaking men, Joseph Nasralla Abdelmasih and Karam El Masry, had come all the way from California to join the protest against what was dubbed the “Ground Zero mosque.” In fact, Abdelmasih and El Masry, who were eventually escorted away for their own safety by police officers, were involved with “The Way,” a Christian satellite television program established in 2010 that broadcasts in English and Arabic.

"The Pressure Should Be on the US and Israel to Recognize the PLO"

An Interview with Hilton Obenzinger

by Joel Beinin
published in MER146

Hilton Obenzinger is a member of the executive committee of the November 29 Committee for Palestine, and on the staff of their bimonthly, Palestine Focus. His book of poems, This Passover or the Next I Will Never Be in Jerusalem, was reviewed in our February 1982 issue. Joel Beinin interviewed him in San Francisco in February 1987.

Tell us about the kind of organizing work that you’ve been involved in with the November 29 Committee.

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"They Control the Hill, But We've Got a Lot of Positions Around the Hill"

An Interview with Jim Zogby

by Joe Stork
published in MER146

Jim Zogby is the director of the Arab American Institute in Washington. He was a founder of the Palestine Human Rights Campaign (PHRC) and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). Joe Stork spoke with him on March 18, 1987.

How did you get engaged in Middle East organizing?

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Organizing Around the Uprising

by Lisa Hajjar
published in MER155

The Palestinian uprising has put the Palestinian-Israeli conflict onto the agendas of progressive organizations nationwide. It has ignited a broad range of activities, including coalition-building, referendums, conferences and teach-ins, demonstrations, petitions, letter-writing campaigns, lobbying and sister-city projects.

This intensified activity has promoted a newfound unity and direction of purpose in some circles, but it has also highlighted the obstacles to changing official US policies and public opinion vis-a-vis the Palestine conflict. No coordinated national strategy has emerged, and the broad range of responses reflects both the increased need to take action and the persistent differences among individuals and groups organizing around the issue.

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You Can't Go Wrong Pushing Peace

by
published in MER157

The Palestinian intifada is proving a headache to Israel’s image managers on American campuses. “Recent events in the territories in Israel have spilled over on to the US university campuses [and] our work has been made harder,” complains a recent book -- let from the University Service Department of the American Zionist Youth Foundation. [1] Pro-Israel groups on campus have lost “the initiative,” the booklet warns. Instead of promoting “positive Israel activities” such as Israel fairs and Israel cafe nights, campus groups now find themselves “in the position of defending Israel.”

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Berkeley's Sister-City Initiative

by Marianne Torres
published in MER157

Sister cities has become one of Berkeley’s most popular means of expressing support for particular communities and opposition to US foreign policy. Berkeley has six sister cities, including Leon in Nicaragua, San Antonio de los Ranchos in El Salvador and the South African Black township of Oukassie. Supporters of Measure J hoped its success would provide some measure of protection to the people of Jabalya. Concern was heightened in the last two days of the campaign when Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir announced that Jabalya would be the first camp to be “dispersed” after Likud formed its new government.

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Proposition W

by Jeffrey Blankfort
published in MER157

The Bay Area’s “progressive” reputation was somewhat tarnished November 8 when voters in San Francisco and Berkeley overwhelmingly rejected pro-Palestinian initiatives on their respective ballots. San Francisco’s Proposition W, which called for the US to recognize a Palestinian state “side by side” with Israel “with guarantees of security for both states” was defeated by 68 to 32 percent. In Berkeley, Measure J would have established the Gaza town and refugee camp of Jabalya as a sister city; it was defeated by a 70-30 margin.

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Cambridge Voters Challenge US Policy

by Matthew S. Gordon
published in MER157

Voters achieved an historic victory in Cambridge and a section of Somerville, Massachusetts, on November 8, 1988. By a margin of 53 to 47 percent they endorsed Question 5, a non-binding public policy question that called on elected officials to work towards a just settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. (See below.)

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Seven Perspectives

Middle East Peace Priorities in the US

by
published in MER158

Eqbal Ahmad

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