The Peres-Arafat Agreement: Can It Work?

by Mouin Rabbani | published November 3, 2000

Within hours of the November 2 announcement that PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and the Israeli Minister of Regional Cooperation, Shimon Peres, had agreed to implement the understandings reached between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) at the October Sharm al-Sheikh summit, Israeli soldiers shot and killed teenage Palestinian demonstrator Khalid Rezaq in the village of Hizma near Jerusalem. Another Palestinian, Adli Abeid, succumbed to wounds sustained a day earlier at the Mintar/Karni crossing on the eastern border of the Gaza Strip.

Shows of Solidarity Forever

The October 21-22 Arab Summit

by Isam al-Khafaji | published October 20, 2000

Egyptian President Husni Mubarak and his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Asad will convene an Arab summit in Cairo this weekend to formulate a common stance against the harsh Israeli response to the ongoing Palestinian uprising in the Occupied Territories and within Israel. The summit, the first in over a decade, reflects substantial pressure on Arab regimes from their own populations: large demonstrations in Egypt, Jordan and elsewhere manifest an unusually strong feeling of solidarity with the Palestinian cause on the Arab street.

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?