After the Sharm al-Sheikh Summit

An Armed and Temporary Truce

by Mouin Rabbani | published October 17, 2000

Time in a Bottle

The Uneasy Circulation of Palestinian Olive Oil

by Anne Meneley
published in MER248

Olive oil has been a central element of Palestinian agriculture for centuries. It is a relatively durable food commodity, unlike fresh produce such as strawberries or tomatoes, which rot quickly in the sun. Unlike wine, however, olive oil does not improve with age, and is best consumed within a year or two of its production. It is extremely sensitive to exposure to heat, air and light, which cause the quality of the oil to deteriorate rapidly. It is also expensive to store and ship; the days of the Roman terracotta amphorae are gone, and now olive oil is often stored in glass bottles, heavy and easily breakable.

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The Road to Hebron

by Khalid Farraj
published in MER248

Back before the 1991 Gulf war, Palestinians could move fairly easily between the cities and provinces of the West Bank. The trip from Ramallah, in the north, and Hebron, in the south, lasted 50 minutes at most. These days, the luckiest traveler will spend something like two hours on the road.

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The Iron Fist in the Peace Process

by Roger Normand | published October 4, 2000

Televised images of Israeli combat soldiers killing unarmed Palestinian children and helicopters strafing Palestinian neighborhoods have publicly exposed the Israeli military force that undergirds and shapes the Oslo process.

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.

Acts of Refusal

An Interview with Rela Mazali

by Joel Beinin
published in MER231

Rela Mazali, an Israeli writer and feminist peace activist, is a founder of New Profile, a group challenging the militarization of Israeli society and opposing the occupation. Joel Beinin, an editor of Middle East Report, spoke with her in Herzliya, Israel on January 6, 2004 and continued the conversation by e-mail in May 2004.

Your work with New Profile has focused on the relationship between gender and militarism in the context of the occupation. Can you tell us about the status of this relationship, and the historical evolution of feminist anti-occupation activism?

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?