Three Updates on Palestinian Political Prisoners

by Amahl Bishara | published April 7, 2014 - 2:18pm

Update 1 on prisoners and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, from the halls of the State Department: Last week, the United States considered releasing Jonathan Pollard, an American convicted of espionage on behalf of Israel, in exchange for Israel doing, as political analyst Yousef Munayyer put it, “several things it already should have done long ago,” including releasing both short- and long-term Palestinian prisoners. The media attention to the Pollard case is just another distraction from the wider issue of Palestinian political prisoners, whose incarceration affects thousands of families every day.

Analyze This

by Shira Robinson | published March 4, 2014 - 5:50pm

In her column on the Haaretz website yesterday, Carleton University political scientist Mira Sucharov bemoaned the tendency of “some of the cleverest minds on Israel and Palestine” to “devolve” into Manichean thinking about Israel as either “good or bad.”

Our Primer on Israel-Palestine

by The Editors | published March 3, 2014 - 5:33pm

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.

The Ongoing Fantasy of Israeli Democracy Before 1967

by Shira Robinson | published February 25, 2014 - 6:31pm

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).

"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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Maxime Rodinson Looks Back

by Joan Mandell , Joe Stork
published in MER269

Maxime Rodinson (1915-2004) was a pioneering scholar of Islam and the Middle East, as well as a prominent Marxian public intellectual. A product of classical Orientalist training, he was professor of Old Ethiopic and South Arabian languages at the Sorbonne. His scholarly sensibility was historical-materialist, a perspective he brought to his famous biography of the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (1961), as well as later publications including Islam and Capitalism (English edition, 1973), Marxism and the Muslim World (English, 1979) and Cult, Ghetto and State: The Persistence of the Jewish Question (1983). Rodinson was a contributing editor of Middle East Report from 1988 to 2000.

Securing Oslo

The Dynamics of Security Coordination in the West Bank

by Andy Clarno
published in MER269

On a Friday afternoon in September 2013, dozens of Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces looked exasperated as they tried to move Palestinian youth away from the wall near Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem. Attempting to corral hundreds of children, the PA troops pushed them down the hill toward Aida refugee camp and implored them to stop throwing stones at the Israeli military positions above.

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Settlement Secularism

by Callie Maidhof
published in MER269

Scan the headlines for news about Israeli settlers, and you are likely to be overwhelmed by stories of a radical and violent religious nationalism: extremists marching on the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, guarded by Israeli soldiers, to pray atop the Temple Mount; West Bank colonists torching olive trees and cars, or making midnight jaunts into Palestinian villages armed to the teeth, to put a “price tag” on both Israeli state slowdowns of the settlement project and Palestinian attacks on Israeli targets. But lately tales have emerged of a kinder, gentler settler as well. Take this Associated Press dispatch:

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Water and Israel's Occupation Strategy

by Joe Stork
published in MER116

The long conflict involving Israel, the Palestinians and neighboring Arab states has revolved around the elementary bonds of people and territory. Water is perhaps the single most important material resource determining the relationship of people to land. From the beginnings of the Zionist project through the wars and occupations of the last two decades to the current negotiations between Israel, Lebanon and Syria, access to and control of water has figured as a primary strategic factor. The centrality of water to Israeli strategy can be summarized in the following points: