Meanwhile, in Hebron...

by Yassmine Saleh | published July 21, 2014 - 3:54pm

As Israel pounds Gaza by land, air and sea, we turn for a moment to the West Bank city of Hebron. In 1997, Israel withdrew its military from the majority of the city’s area, called “H-1,” which became part of “Area A,” the parts of the West Bank policed by the Palestinian Authority (PA). Israeli soldiers remained in “H-2,” the old city, where some 400 Jewish settlers live among 40,000 Palestinians and where the Tomb of the Patriarchs / Ibrahimi mosque is located. When H-2 is not under curfew, visitors can walk down Shuhada Street and see soldiers in mesh-enclosed positions above.

From the Editors

by The Editors
published in MER271

Targeted killings. Ground operations. No option off the table. Once again, Israel is using the technocratic vocabulary of twenty-first-century warfare to obscure its colonization of Palestine, and, once again, the Western media is collaborating in the grand deception.

It was predictable, sadly, that Israel would move onto an aggressive war footing when, in June, three Jewish teenagers disappeared in the West Bank and later were found dead. Not because military retaliation was the just response or the surest means of guaranteeing the safety of Israeli citizens, but because only thus can Israel retain the upper hand in its twin quests to divide and dispossess the Palestinian people and to conceal that goal from world opinion.

Youth of the Gulf, Youth of Palestine

by Ted Swedenburg | published May 31, 2014 - 11:19am

I recently came across two accounts of Arab youth that fly in the face of conventional wisdom. One is Kristin Diwan’s issue brief on youth activism in the Arab Gulf states for the Atlantic Council, and the other is a documentary by filmmaker Jumana Manna on Palestinian “male thug culture” in East Jerusalem. The film is called Blessed, Blessed Oblivion.

Prospects for China's Expanding Role in the Middle East

by Kyle Haddad-Fonda
published in MER270

In the autumn of 2011, as the international outcry against Bashar al-Asad intensified, it was impossible for the government of China to avoid being drawn into the conflict in Syria. After China joined Russia in October of that year in vetoing a UN Security Council resolution condemning the brutality of the Asad regime, a series of demonstrations erupted throughout the Middle East. Many protesters reserved their strongest feelings for Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who had become the most visible opponent of international intervention in Syria. Yet China, which up to that point had rarely inflamed such passions in the Arab world, was also a target of the demonstrators.

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Six Questions for Mouin Rabbani

by The Editors | published April 24, 2014 - 10:37am

Yesterday in Gaza representatives of Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization announced a blueprint for talks about forming a government of national consensus (Arabic text here). Hamas and the PLO’s dominant Fatah faction have been at loggerheads, and occasionally at war, since 2007, when the Islamist movement expelled Fatah security men from their Gaza posts and took over the coastal strip.

Preening Like a State

by Darryl Li | published April 3, 2014 - 3:21pm

On Tuesday, Mahmoud ‘Abbas surprised peace processers by making use of Palestine’s recently upgraded status as a UN-recognized “state” to sign 15 international agreements, mostly concerning human rights, humanitarian law and diplomatic protocol. The move was announced at a hastily convened meeting of the PLO executive committee, but appears to have been carefully crafted to support extending the US-sponsored negotiations that have dragged on haplessly over the past nine months.

West Bank Journal

by Anita Vitullo Khoury
published in MER112

Raja Shehadeh, The Third Way: A Journal of Life in the West Bank (London: Quartet Books, 1982).

My problem with the newspapers is that I can’t settle on the right time to read them. In the morning they darken the day, at noon they kill my appetite, after lunch they make me sick, and in the evening they set the pattern of my nightmares.

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A Darkly Intimate Thriller

by Max Weiss | published March 20, 2014 - 10:03am

The first time I watched Omar, the latest Oscar-nominated work by Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad, I nearly leapt out of my seat as it careened toward the climax, unable to recall the last time a film elicited such a visceral response from me.

Our Primer on Israel-Palestine

by The Editors | published March 3, 2014 - 5:33pm

Some 43 years ago, a group of activists in the movement to end the war in Vietnam founded the Middle East Research and Information Project.

The impetus was that the American public, including the anti-war left, was poorly informed about the Middle East and the US role there. The region was commonly depicted as alien, its politics uniquely determined by religion and impossible to explain with ordinary categories of analysis. The original idea behind MERIP was to produce better reporting that would get picked up by existing left outlets.

Securing Oslo

The Dynamics of Security Coordination in the West Bank

by Andy Clarno
published in MER269

On a Friday afternoon in September 2013, dozens of Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces looked exasperated as they tried to move Palestinian youth away from the wall near Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem. Attempting to corral hundreds of children, the PA troops pushed them down the hill toward Aida refugee camp and implored them to stop throwing stones at the Israeli military positions above.

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