Rediscovering Palestine

by Ussama Makdisi
published in MER211

Beshara Doumani, Rediscovering Palestine: Merchants and Peasants in Jabal Nablus, 1700-1900 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995)

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Palestine at the UN: An Alternative Strategy

by Mouin Rabbani | published November 19, 2010

As Israeli-Palestinian negotiations lurch from crisis to crisis, Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders have been suggesting they may go to the United Nations to seek resolutions confirming the illegality of Israel’s settlements in the Occupied Territories and recognizing a reality of Palestinian statehood.

Economic Prison Zones

by Sam Bahour | published November 19, 2010

When a project mixes the feel-good words of jobs, economic development and Israeli-Palestinian cooperation, how can anyone complain? These things are some of what the international community has been promising to deliver through the construction of industrial free trade zones in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The free trade zone model has been promoted locally and globally by powerful third parties like the United States, France, Germany, Turkey and Japan for two decades, but none has much to show for the enormous efforts and amounts of money spent to bring these zones to life. Nonetheless, the project’s proponents expect the zones to constitute the economic foundation for a future Palestinian state. They hope that, by bolstering Palestine’s economy, the zones will make Palestinians less prone to social upheaval, less insistent on their national rights and more amenable to the status quo. The idea is that a peace agreement with Israel will ensue.

Economics of Palestinian Return Migration

by Ward Sayre , Jennifer Olmsted
published in MER212

Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza have faced a series of economic shocks since the Gulf war. Each shock alone would have been difficult to weather, but combined they have led to a considerable worsening of economic conditions. These shocks included the Gulf war, Israeli closures of the West Bank and Gaza, and the influx of diaspora Palestinians after the Oslo accords. While the first two clearly had negative consequences, the last is more complex. The repatriation of diaspora Palestinians has led to a reversal of the “brain drain,” and an influx of much needed capital. Yet the impact of this spending has been disappointing and widening economic inequality may have resulted.

Twenty-First Century Palestine

Toward a "Swiss Cheese" State?

by Roni Krouzman
published in MER213

Salim al-Shawamreh, his wife, Arabia and their six children live in the village of Anata, half of which is classified as Area B (under Palestinian municipal control) and half -- where Salim’s house sits -- as Area C (under full Israeli control). About a third of Anata’s 12,000 residents hold Jerusalem identity cards. The rest are considered West Bank residents, and thus cannot enter Jerusalem, including the section of Anata classified as part of Jerusalem.

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"The Land without the People"

Contesting Jerusalem on the Eve of the Millennium

by Tom Abowd
published in MER213

On September 14, 1999, the day after Oslo’s Final Status negotiations opened, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak visited Ma’ale Adumim, the largest Jewish settlement on the West Bank. There he declared that this Jewish “neighborhood” would remain part of Israel’s Jerusalem. “Every house you build,” he promised residents, “every tree you plant here, will be Israel’s forever…”. [1] Final status negotiations represent the last stage of the Palestinian-Israeli “peace process” initiated six years ago. Long-deferred discussions about the future of Jerusalem, refugees, settlements and other issues are to be addressed by September 2000.

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Faith, Money and the Millennium

A View from Palestine

by Naim Ateek
published in MER213

The solar eclipse on August 11, 1999 led some people to expect the end of the world. According to one report, three people committed suicide, sure the end was near. Others shut themselves in their homes expecting extraordinary events to usher in the eschaton (“end times”). Since a simple eclipse could cause such panic, despite our considerable scientific knowledge, one wonders what the end of a millennium might do to people, individually and collectively.

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The WWW in Palestine

An Informational and Organizing Tool

by Adam Hanieh
published in MER213

Why There's No Peace in Palestine

by Catherine Cook | published September 1, 2003

On September 13, 1993, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat signed a Declaration of Principles on the White House lawn, heralding the beginning of the Oslo peace process. Ten years later, the process is completely deadlocked. Israel has decided to “remove” Arafat, and many outside observers are left wondering what went wrong. The answer lies in the fundamental failure of the Oslo process to address the root causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The "Olive Branch" That Ought to Cross the Wall

by Abdul-Latif Khaled | published December 21, 2004

The autumn olive harvest used to be a time of celebration in this West Bank village. Entire families would spend days together in the groves. Even Israelis would make special trips here at this time of year to buy our olive oil. But with new Israeli restrictions on access to the fields, Palestinian farmers now have to leave their families at home, and may never even get to their olive grove.

Today, picking olives is no celebration. In the past few weeks, Israeli bulldozers began clearing agricultural land that belongs to Jayyous residents in anticipation of building 50 new houses for Israeli settlers.