Becker, The PLO

by Helena Cobban
published in MER133

Jillian Becker, The PLO: The Rise and Fall of the Palestine Liberation Organization (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1984).

Welcome to the weird world of Ms. Jillian Becker—a world in which the PLO wreaks senseless vengeance on the hapless Palestinian people, PLO prison officers decorate their offices with blood-daubed Stars of David (pp. 146-47), generally elusive victims of PLO violence have their genitals or breasts cut off, or are ripped mercilessly limb from limb, etc. This is a universe where, in the author’s words, “dynamic ‘First World’ cultures come up against and clash with stagnant ‘Third World’ cultures.” (p.5)

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Before Their Diaspora

by Sarah Graham-Brown
published in MER139

Before Their Diaspora: A Photographic History of the Palestinians 1876-1948, introduction and commentary by Walid Khalidi, (Washington, DC: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1984).

Before Their Diaspora gathers some 400 photographs to present a portrait of Palestine, its people and their culture, from the late 19th century—he last years of Ottoman rule—until the end of the British Mandate in 1948.

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Smith, Palestine and the Palestinians

by
published in MER134

Pamela Ann Smith, Palestine and the Palestinians, 1876-1983 (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1984).

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PNC Strengthens Palestinian Hand

by Rashid Khalidi
published in MER147

The most striking impression to a casual observer at the Club des Pins Conference Center in Algiers where the Palestine National Council met over April 20-25 was the emotional intensity of the greetings and reunions between long-lost friends among the 2000 or more Palestinians in the corridors outside the main meeting hall. As in Amman in 1984 and Algiers in 1983, the PNC now clearly plays a vital role in bringing together Palestinians in the post-Beirut situation, where there is no longer any center for diaspora politics.

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No Going Back?

Women and the Palestinian Movement

by Julie Peteet
published in MER138

During the early stages of national political formation in the Middle East, when crises prevail and mass mobilization is a major organizing strategy, political movements often recruit women and the domestic sector into the political arena. Continuous crises, from which the domestic sector is not immune, compel women to participate. This was the case in the pre-1982 Palestinian community in Lebanon.

Prison, Gender, Praxis

Women's Prison Memoirs in Egypt and Elsewhere

by Marilyn Booth
published in MER149

Do you, too, believe that I betrayed my motherhood when I left you, against my will, to go to prison?…. I have read an article by the Moroccan writer Hadiya Sa‘id…she expressed a point of view maintained by some of our friends who love me and are concerned about you. She says that I must cease my political work and leave it to Husayn, for the sake of you children…. [1]

So writes Farida al-Naqqash to her daughter in 1981, during her second confinement in the Barrages women’s prison just north of Cairo.

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The Exile Bourgeoisie of Palestine

by Pamela Ann Smith
published in MER142

‘Umar ‘Aqqad is planning to export bottled water from Saudi Arabia. Not the kind of project you might expect in a desert kingdom where water is scarce. But then, ‘Aqqad is one of the shrewdest and most successful businessmen in the region. Not coincidentally, he is also a Palestinian. For Palestinians, stateless and living by their wits, have been among the leading capitalists of the Middle East. Their number has included Beirut’s greatest banking genius, partners in the foremost contracting firms of the Gulf, Jordan’s top banker, and several of Saudi Arabia’s leading managers and industrialists.

Shehadeh, Occupier's Law

by Rex Wingerter
published in MER144

Raja Shehadeh, Occupier’s Law: Israel and the West Bank (Washington, DC: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1985).

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Jordan's Plan for the West Bank

by Kevin Kelly
published in MER144

Jordan and Israel together have destroyed the post-Lebanon strategy of the Palestinian movement led by Yasser Arafat. King Hussein’s $1.2 billion five-year development plan for the Occupied Territories, unveiled in mid-July, provides the velvet glove to accompany Israel’s iron fist.

From the Editors

by The Editors
published in MER151

The adversarial relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union, the two great powers of this era, is key to understanding Washington’s and Moscow’s policies in the Middle East. In the Persian Gulf, for instance, Washington’s secret arms sales to Iran and subsequent naval buildup were both prompted by the Reagan administration’s fear of Soviet political advances in the region. And Washington’s strategic interest in the Middle East goes beyond oil and markets, as successive administrations have used war and turmoil there to construct a base structure capable of supporting US military operations in and around the southern part of the Soviet Union.