Confronting Settlement Expansion in East Jerusalem

by Joel Beinin | published February 14, 2010

The neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, a 20-minute walk up the hill from the Damascus Gate to the Old City of Jerusalem, has become the focal point of the struggle over the expanding project of Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Assessing Israel's New Government

by Joel Beinin | published July 6, 1999

When Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak presents his coalition government to the Knesset he will receive a vote of confidence from 75 of its 120 members. Seven parties, some with incompatible positions on key issues, support the new government. In addition to Barak's One Israel list (Labor Party plus Gesher and Meimad, 26 seats), the coalition includes the Sephardi-orthodox SHAS (17 seats), the dovish-secularist MERETZ (10 seats), the politically ambiguous Center Party (6 seats), whose leaders include ministers in the previous Likud government; the secular-Russian immigrant Yisrael ba-`Aliyah (6 seats), the pro-settler National Religious Party (5 seats), and the ultra-orthodox United Torah Judaism (5 seats).

Mubarak in Washington

Assessing the US-Egyptian Bilateral Relationship

by Fareed Ezzedine | published June 30, 1999

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak visits Washington this week at a time when US-Egyptian relations appear to be harmonious. Yet beneath the surface, relations may not be as cordial as they seem. Particularly discordant notes in the current US-Egyptian relationship concern free trade, regional economic integration and Egypt's human rights record. These issues will be high on the agenda during meetings between US and Egyptian officials this week.

Interpreting Israel's 1999 Election Campaign

by Joel Beinin | published April 16, 1999

The current election campaign in Israel is often portrayed as a struggle over the future of peace with the Palestinians. But according to Ephraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University, "this great debate is over."[1] Most Israelis believe a Palestinian state is inevitable and that even a Likud government will accept some form of Palestinian political autonomy.

The Demise of the Oslo Process

by Joel Beinin | published March 26, 1999

Following the death of King Husayn and the accession of Abdullah II, the Clinton administration and the International Monetary Fund expressed their support for the new Jordanian ruler by committing $450 million in new aid on top of $225 million committed by the US earlier this year. The US is also increasing its annual grant to the Palestinian Authority from $100 to $400 million. Israel, on the other hand, will not receive the $1.2 billion it was promised at the October 1998 Wye summit. These financial measures are meant to sustain a Middle East peace process that has all but collapsed. King Husayn's death, the fall of Israel's Likud government, the scheduling of early Israeli elections and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's decision to freeze implementation of the Wye accords have rendered progress in the peace process impossible for the foreseeable future. This has led to much speculation about the effects of political changes in Jordan and in Israel on the peace process. Such crystal ball-gazing obscures an underlying reality: the Oslo process was always unlikely to result in a just and stable resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Journey Towards a Route in Common

by Bashir Abu-Manneh
published in MER231

Route 181: Fragments of a Journey in Palestine-Israel, directed by Michel Khleifi and Eyal Sivan (2003).

Doing Time in the Theater of Occupation

by Peter Lagerquist
published in MER231

The photograph fetched from a back room in the narrow two-story house on the edge of Bethlehem’s Aida refugee camp shows a precociously handsome adolescent, posing in a baseball cap and sports jacket against a faux backdrop of the Versailles palace gardens. A kaffiyya is tucked around his neck; his smile is mildly self-conscious. “He was 16 when they arrested him; his seventeenth birthday he spent in prison,” says Marwan’s older brother Maher as the picture is passed around. “He liked acting.”

On the Importance of Thugs

The Moral Economy of a Checkpoint

by Rema Hammami
published in MER231

From late 2000 to 2004, the most common form of Palestinian resistance to occupation has simply been getting there -- refusing to allow Israeli checkpoints and sieges to shut down daily life. The unlikely symbols of that resistance are checkpoint workers -- van drivers and porters -- whose impromptu services allow other Palestinians to get there.

Transportational Contiguity

by Robert Blecher
published in MER234

Israel seems to have gotten the message that Palestinian land, in any final resolution to the conflict, cannot simply be divided into isolated cantons. But Prime Minister Ariel Sharon still intends to hold onto large chunks of the West Bank. How can Israel link Palestinian enclaves and dampen criticism of its closure policy while maintaining its hold on the Occupied Territories?