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.

Report from the Occupied Territories

by Sarah Graham-Brown
published in MER115

Snow fell seven times on the hill towns north of Jerusalem this past winter, and the warmth of spring did not come until after the middle of April. But the welcome spring did not bring relief from the harshness of the Israeli occupation. In the town centers, Israeli troops were a constant reminder of the military authority, fingering their machine guns, one member of the unit holding a radio with an enormous whip antenna, ready to summon further forces at a moment’s notice. There are now more soldiers than before—on the hilltops, on the roads, in the squares, patrolling, lounging, harassing. The fines are higher, the jail sentences are longer, restrictions are tighter on personal movement, censorship of newspapers is more onerous.

Khalidi and Mansour, Palestine and the Gulf

by Rex Wingerter
published in MER119

Rashid Khalidi and Camille Mansour, eds., Palestine and the Gulf (Beirut: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1982).

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Tuma and Darin-Drabkin, The Economic Case for Palestine

published in MER80

Elias H. Tuma and Haim Darin-Drabkin, The Economic Case for Palestine (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1978).

This book does not seem destined to become a classic in the literature concerning a future Palestinian state. Its intent is both polemical and practical but because of its narrow economic scope it is addressed, to a small audience: those who oppose a West Bank-Gaza Strip state on economic grounds, and the future economic planners of such a mini-state. People who fall outside either category are likely to find The Economic Case for Palestine dry reading.

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Israel Previews "Autonomy" with Halhoul Curfew

published in MER80

Muhammed Milham is the mayor of Halhoul, a West Bank town of mostly peasant farmers. In March 1979 the Israeli occupation authorities imposed a total curfew on the town for more than two weeks. The mayor here describes the events heading up to the curfew, its impact on the townspeople, and its implications for current Egyptian-Israeli negotiations over “autonomy.&rdquo The text is the edited transcript of an interview with Jim Zogby of the Palestine Human Rights Campaign in Washington, DC, in late April 1979.

On Thursday, March 15, the Israeli authorities imposed a 23-hour-a-day curfew on the town of Halhoul. It began like this.

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Can Art Cross Borders?

Qalandiya and the Problem of Tanzir

by Kirsten Scheid
published in MER274

“We are not just talking culture and art for the sake of having a vision (lil-tanzir), holding exhibitions irrespective of who comes or doesn’t. To the contrary, we have a mission!” At the press conference in Ramallah on October 21, 2014 for the second edition of the Qalandiya International Biennale (QIB2), impassioned organizers responded to a pointed question about the role art could have in protecting Palestinian identity and overcoming Israeli oppression. The spokesperson, Jack Persekian, proclaimed that naming the biannual Palestine art event for the infamous checkpoint in the Israeli separation wall could transform the barrier into a bridge.

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The PLO at the Crossroads

Moderation, Encirclement, Future Prospects

by Sameer Abraham
published in MER80

Throughout the twentieth century history of Palestine, none of the numerous proposals for “partition” of the country have ever been accepted by any significant group of Palestinian Arabs in spite of the many proposals to that end prior to and following the forced dismemberment of the country in 1948. [1] Palestinian and Arab resistance on this point has been unequivocal and effective -- at least until recently.

Introduction to "PLO at the Crossroads"

by Peter Johnson
published in MER80

As Sameer Abraham points out in the article that follows, no proposal for the partition of Palestine has ever been accepted by any significant number of Palestinians. Such proposals have always had the intention of securing and legitimizing the Zionist presence in Palestine. But with the “transitional program” accepted by the Palestine National Congress in June 1974 we are faced with a proposal of different intent, for this time the suggestion has come from the Palestinians themselves.

A Palestinian Option

A Reply to Fred Halliday

by Khalil Nakhleh
published in MER96

Fred Halliday’s comments on the debate that constitutes the bulk of Towards a Socialist Republic of Palestine (1978) require a serious Palestinian response. Unwittingly, perhaps, Halliday’s comments tend to undermine this debate, and put a damper on Palestinian intellectual and passionate explorations of genuinely democratic options to their undemocratic, persistent and oppressive predicament.