Palestine and Israel in the US Arena

by The Editors
published in MER158

Ordinary children, women and men, a million and a half of them, have confounded the state of Israel, Washington’s major military ally in the Middle East, with their incredible courage and resourcefulness. Their resounding demand for political independence then prompted the Palestine Liberation Organization to declare unequivocally for a Palestinian state alongside Israel -- a resolution based on “possible rather than absolute justice,” as Yasser Arafat put it. [1] More than a hundred governments have officially recognized the new state. Others, such as the major European states, upgraded their relations with the PLO. The combined force of these developments finally led Washington to open formal talks with the PLO.

From the Editor

published in MER261

A question nagged at Occupy Wall Street and its myriad imitators, the most exciting social movement to emanate from the United States in more than a decade, for much of the fall. “What are your demands?” journalists persisted in asking. “What do you want?”

Responsibilities of the US Peace Movement

by David Cortright
published in MER167

Once again the American peace movement faces the threat of war. In the 1960s and 1970s it was Vietnam, in the 1980s Central America and the nuclear threat, and now it is Arabia. This dangerous moment calls for a major change of direction for peace and anti-intervention forces. Activities underway before the crisis -- the peace dividend campaign, redefining global security -- have been sidetracked. Everything now depends on the outcome of the crisis in the Middle East.

Although press coverage has been scant, many groups in cities across the country have already begun organizing, and a growing movement is emerging. Most groups are united around five political demands:

Peace Projects

by Joel Beinin
published in MER178

We may come to recall 1992 as the year of the peace activist in the burgeoning literary and cinematographic record of the Palestinian intifada. By rupturing the structure of the occupation, Palestinian popular collective action and the decisions of the nineteenth Palestine National Council expanded the possibilities for political initiatives by Palestinian and Israeli supporters of a “two-state solution,” including new forms of Palestinian-Israeli collaboration. As this perspective gained credibility as a realizable historical project, its proponents received increasing attention.

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Left In Limbo

Leninist Heritage and Islamist Challenge

by Salim Tamari
published in MER179

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The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and the Arab Awakening

by Joel Beinin | published August 1, 2011

The March 15 Youth Movement, whose name comes from demonstrations held in the West Bank and Gaza Strip that day to demand unity between Fatah and Hamas, is the most direct Palestinian expression of the “Arab awakening” of 2010-2011. The next day, March 16, Fatah’s leader, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud ‘Abbas, announced his willingness to travel to Gaza to conduct unity talks with Hamas. A reconciliation agreement was signed in Cairo on May 4.

ADL's Spy Ring

published in MER183

The scandal has not yet received the national media attention it deserves, but West Coast activists are up in arms about revelations that the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith secretly employed a self-styled art dealer named Roy Bullock to collect information on a wide range of individuals and organizations deemed anti-Jewish or hostile to Israel, including Rep. Ron Dellums, the ACLU, New Jewish Agenda, MERIP and many Arab-American, Palestine solidarity and anti-apartheid activists and groups. Bullock, who was employed by the CIA in El Salvador in the 1980s and also served as an FBI informant, worked for the ADL for more than three decades, amassing a database that included files on some 12,000 individuals and 950 organizations.

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Interventions is a feature in Middle East Report Online offering critical reviews of important Middle East-related books, films and other cultural production. Click here for past Interventions articles.

The Peace Movement Plans for the Future

by Mark LeVine | published July 2003

As the Bush administration struggles with occupying Iraq, the anti-war movement is in the midst of intense self-evaluation. For all of the movement’s success in raising doubts about and opposition to the March 2003 invasion, as of July George W. Bush’s war is still popular among Americans. The war caused thousands of Iraqi civilian deaths, and Iraqis may be dying for years to come due to widespread use of cluster bombs and depleted uranium munitions. While some local Kurdish and Shi‘i leaders have cautiously decided to work with the occupation regime, the inability of US forces to restore law, order or public services, along with the imperial style of US viceroy L. Paul Bremer, have led to increasing opposition to the occupation among ordinary Iraqis. Yet sentiment among Americans, amidst concerns over post-war casualties and the missing weapons of mass destruction, still supports (albeit cautiously) the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Community Participation and Environmental Change

Mobilization in a Cairo Neighborhood

by Inas Tewfik
published in MER202

Cairo -- a city home to upwards of 14 million inhabitants -- is known to be one of the most polluted cities in the world. Although measures of pollutants in some places in Cairo exceed internationally recognized standards, popular collective action organized around environmental issues is rare. The case of ‘Izbat Makkawi, an industrial area in northern Cairo, and the successful struggle of the residents there to close local lead smelting factories is a reference point regarding possible forms of popular organizing in response to environmental pollution and sheds light on the limits and merits of community participation as experienced within the wider political context in Egypt.

The Israeli Peace Movement

by Joel Beinin
published in MER205

Mordechai Bar-On, In Pursuit of Peace: A History of the Israeli Peace Movement (Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press, 1996).

Iman Abdel Megid Hamdy, “Dissenters in Zion: The Bi-nationalist and Partitionist Trends in the Politics of Israel,” unpublished PhD dissertation (Cairo University, Department of Political Science, 1996).

Reuven Kaminer, The Politics of Protest: The Israeli Peace Movement and the Palestinian Intifada (Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 1996).

Simona Sharoni, Gender and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: The Politics of Women’s Resistance (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1995).

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