Our Primer on Israel-Palestine

by The Editors | published March 3, 2014 - 4:33pm

Some 43 years ago, a group of activists in the movement to end the war in Vietnam founded the Middle East Research and Information Project.

The impetus was that the American public, including the anti-war left, was poorly informed about the Middle East and the US role there. The region was commonly depicted as alien, its politics uniquely determined by religion and impossible to explain with ordinary categories of analysis. The original idea behind MERIP was to produce better reporting that would get picked up by existing left outlets.

Israel, the Sorcerer's Apprentice

by Esther Howard
published in MER112

President Ronald Reagan had just left Honduras, the last stop on his recent tour of Latin and Central America. Only two days later, on December 6, the red carpet was out again in Tegucigalpa, the Honduran capital. This time the guest of honor was Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon. The official explanation for Sharon’s three-day visit was “exchanges of views.” The main topic was Honduran armed forces chief Gen. Gustavo Alvarez Martinez’s quest for new sophisticated warplanes. Washington and Paris, it seems, have felt politically constrained from selling Honduras new F-5 or Mirage jets to replace 12 French-made Super-Mystere fighters originally purchased from Israel some years back. [1]

Jansen, The Battle of Beirut

by Ibrahim Abu-Lughod
published in MER114

Michael Jansen, The Battle of Beirut: Why Israel Invaded Lebanon (London: Zed Books, 1982).

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The Ongoing Fantasy of Israeli Democracy Before 1967

by Shira Robinson | published February 25, 2014 - 5:31pm

The past week has a witnessed a flurry of debate in the American and Israeli media over the growing call to boycott companies and institutions that profit from or are otherwise complicit in the ongoing 47-year occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Zionism Good and Bad

Jacobo Timerman and the Lebanon War

by Zachary Lockman
published in MER114

Jacobo Timerman, The Longest War (London: Chatto & Windus, 1982).

New Data on Palestinian Workers in Israel

published in MER114

A survey covering the inhabitants of the territories who work inside Israel, conducted by the manpower planning section of the Department of Employment, reveals that in 1981 some 76,000 of them were working in Israel. In 1971, the equivalent figure had been 21,000 and in 1975 it had been 66,000. According to the survey, financed by the Defense Ministry through the coordinator of activities in the territories, the inhabitants of the territories constitute about 5.5 percent of workers in Israel.

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The Peace Now Demonstration of February 10, 1983

published in MER114

This account by Shulamit Har-Even appeared in Yediot Aharanot on February 14, 1983. It was translated from Hebrew by Israel Shahak. According to Shahak, who was present at the demonstration himself, the pro-Sharon crowd was made up of West Bank settlers (“Gush Emunim types”) and young yeshiva students of the Agudat Israel Party, both of these largely Ashkenazi, and a separate group of young Oriental Jews brought in on special buses from Beit Shemesh. Shahak observed that while the Peace Now crowd was continuously joined by new marchers, virtually no individuals joined the pro-Sharon group during the demonstration.

Divisions in the Kibbutz

by Elfi Pallis
published in MER114

Israel’s kibbutzim, each a block of neat cottages built round a communal dining room, have always concerned themselves with more than the shared tilling of soil pioneered by Jewish settlers in 1911. Since the prospect of a spring election appeared in the autumn of 1982, kibbutz members have been preparing their customary campaign on behalf of factions in the Labor opposition with which they are affiliated. Well organized and articulate, they have provided Labor with campaign bases, public speakers and leading political figures.

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Israeli Economy Struggles for Appearance of Solvency

by Joe Stork
published in MER114

In a year when much of the world endured a protracted economic crisis, and Israel itself was politically torn by the invasion of Lebanon, that country&rsquos economy appeared deceptively unruffled. True, inflation rebounded to a near-record level of 131.5 percent, [1] but most of the country’s citizens seemed to be well cushioned from its effects. Unemployment stood even at 5 percent -- about 65,000 persons -- a rate that has not changed since 1979. Unemployment does not seem to have been exported to the Occupied Territories either, as a record number of workers from the West Bank and Gaza are currently employed in Israel.

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"There Is a Basis for an Israeli-Palestinian Strategy of Joint Struggle"

by The Editors
published in MER114

Daniel Amit is a physicist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is a founding member of the Committee Against the War in Lebanon and its predecessors, the Committee in Solidarity with Birzeit University and the Committee Against Settlement in Hebron. During the 1982-1983 academic year, he is Einstein Professor at Princeton University’s Institute for Advanced Studies. He spoke with MERIP editors in New York at the end of January, just before the Kahan Commission issued its final report on the Beirut massacres.

What are the main accomplishments of the Committee Against the War?

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