China’s Stance on East Jerusalem

by Mohammed al-Sudairi | published January 28, 2016 - 10:58am

For those accustomed to the themes of Sino-Arab diplomacy, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo on January 21 was predictable enough. It might not have attracted much attention at all if not for Xi’s statement that “China firmly supports the Middle East peace process and supports the establishment of a State of Palestine enjoying full sovereignty on the basis of the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

Water Blues

by Lizabeth Zack
published in MER276

Two quiet but revealing developments related to Middle East water were announced in the spring and summer of 2015. On February 26, Israeli and Jordanian officials signed an agreement to begin implementation of the long-awaited and controversial Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Project. And, on June 9, a civil society-based coalition led by EcoPeace, a regional environmental NGO, released the first ever Regional Master Plan for Sustainable Development in the Jordan Valley. The two schemes represent very different approaches to solving water problems in the region—the first is an old-school engineering fix requiring massive new infrastructure, while the second is a river restoration project rooted in sustainable development principles.

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From the Editors

by The Editors
published in MER113

Most readers are only too familiar with the litany of harassments endured by Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, from restrictions on personal freedoms to attacks on institutions and confiscation of land. Nonetheless, for the purposes of building campaigns to support Palestinian rights, and for a dearer understanding of the workings of the occupation, it is worth focusing on particular violations that are significant both for the victims and for that much-evoked phantasm, “world public opinion.”

Halabi, The West Bank Story

by
published in MER115

Rafik Halabi, The West Bank Story (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1982).

Rafik Halabi is a Palestinian-Israeli Druze. He writes at times with the viewpoint of an Israeli soldier and a former aide to Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek, sometimes as an Arab villager. The West Bank Story explores several themes. Drawing on his experience covering the occupied territories for Israeli television, Halabi offers a journalistic account of the occupation’s history, its political figures and its radical “Palestinization” (or “de-Jordanization”). Another theme is the impact of the occupation on the occupying society.

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Cohen, Political Parties in the West Bank Under the Jordanian Regime, 1949-1967

by Joel Beinin
published in MER115

Amnon Cohen, Political Parties in the West Bank Under the Jordanian Regime, 1949-1967 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1982).

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The Lebanon War and the Occupied Territories

by Khalil Nakhleh
published in MER115

Until the war in Lebanon, official Israeli policy toward the Palestinians under its occupation rested on the premise that the PLO was the only obstacle on the road to what Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir called “the fullest advancement of the process that began in Camp David.” [1] The elimination of the PLO, according to this logic, would produce Palestinians willing to take part in an Israeli-defined autonomy. Through the so- called Civil Administration, then-Defense Minister Ariel Sharon had started the process of extirpating “PLO influence in the territories.”

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Danger Signals and Dress Rehearsals for a Palestinian Exodus

by
published in MER115

Jonathan Kuttab works as an attorney in Ramallah. He grew up in the West Bank. After finishing college in the US and getting a law degree from the University of Virginia, he returned to the West Bank in 1979. He recently obtained accreditation from the Israeli bar. He works with Law in the Service of Man, the West Bank affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists, which analyzes the military orders and legal mechanisms used to implement Israeli policy and documents human rights violations. He spoke with Joe Stork in Baltimore on April 12, 1983.

What is the situation in the West Bank since the Lebanon war?

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Gaza as an Open-Air Prison

by Ilana Feldman
published in MER275

In February, the well-known British street artist Banksy went to the Gaza Strip to draw attention to the plight of Palestinians in the aftermath of the devastating Israeli assault the previous summer. With regard to the murals he painted around the Strip, he wrote: “Gaza is often described as ‘the world’s largest open-air prison’ because no one is allowed to enter or leave.

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Demographic Consequences of the Occupation

by Janet Abu-Lughod
published in MER115

The residual areas of Palestine occupied by Israel in June 1967 (generally referred to as the West Bank and Gaza) contained a population of between 1,300,000 and 1,350,000 Palestinians. At that time, this population represented over half of all the estimated 2,650,000 Palestinians in the world. At present, the number of Palestinians who remain in these zones does not exceed 1,300,000—approximately the same number as lived there 15 years ago. Had the population of 1967 remained in place, natural increase would have yielded a present population in post-1967 occupied Palestine in excess of 2 million. Therefore, we estimate that the June 1967 war and subsequent occupation were responsible for the dispersion from their homeland of over 700,000 additional Palestinians.

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Palestinian Communists and the National Movement

published in MER115

George Hazboun is a leading Palestinian trade unionist. He was dismissed from his elected position as deputy mayor of Bethlehem by a January 22 municipal council decision, spearheaded by Mayor Elias Freij, for his alleged abstention from attending council meetings since May 1982. Coming as it did three weeks before the convening of the Palestine National Council in Algeria, this dismissal was interpreted by the national movement as an attempt to clear the ground for pro-Hashemite elements in the West Bank to make their presence known in the Algiers meeting and to mute anti-Jordanian sentiment locally.