Palestinian Rights in Post-Oslo Israel

published in MER201

Below are the proceedings of a roundtable discussion held in Nazareth, Israel, on June 24, 1996. The participants were: Aida Toma-Suliman, general director of Women Against Violence, Hala Espanioli Hazzan, chairperson of the Follow-up Committee on Arab Education in Israel, Hassan Jabareen, director of litigation for Adalah -- The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, Mohammed Zeidan, coordinator of the Arab Association for Human Rights, Samar Zaidani, administrative director of the Galilee Society -- the Arab National Society for Health Research Services, and Yousef Jabareen, former director of strategic planning for the Nazareth Municipality.

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A New Strategy for the Palestinian "Minority" in Israel

by Hatim Kanaaneh , Rhoda Kanaaneh
published in MER204

In December 1997, the first “Equality Conference” was held in Nazareth to address the continuing marginalization of the Palestinian Arab community in Israel. This event represents part of the ongoing struggle of Palestinian citizens to overcome discriminatory laws and state practices in Israel. The conference, however, signals an innovation in this struggle because the organizers positioned it in an international human rights framework. While this has had limited immediate results, the new direction marks an attempt to appeal directly to a wider international community and to place Palestinian issues inside the Green Line in the context of various international struggles.

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Dis/Solving the "Refugee Problem"

by Rosemary Sayigh
published in MER207

“A displaced person owns nothing but the spot where he is standing, which is always threatened.” -- Murid Barghouti

Israeli power, US backing, Palestinian weakness, Arab complicity -- these are the basic ingredients for a coercive settlement of the “refugee problem” based not on refugees’ rights but on their disappearance. The “new Middle East” must be tidied up; states, citizens and borders must correspond; disruptive anomalies must be removed. Because of their centrality to regional instability, eliminating the Palestinian refugees is essential to a pacified Middle East free to fulfill its designated role in the global economy.

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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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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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Israel's Military Court System Is the Model to Avoid

by Lisa Hajjar | published October 28, 2007

Should the United States, seeking to recalibrate the balance between security and liberty in the “war on terror,” emulate Israel in its treatment of Palestinian detainees?

That is the position that Guantanamo detainee lawyers Avi Stadler and John Chandler of Atlanta, and some others, have advocated. That people in U.S. custody could be held incommunicado for years without charges, and could be prosecuted or indefinitely detained on the basis of confessions extracted with torture is worse than a national disgrace. It is an assault on the foundations of the rule of law.

But Israel’s model for dealing with terrorism, while quite different from that of the U.S., is at least as shameful.

Recipe for a Riot

Parsing Israel’s Yom Kippur Upheavals

by Peter Lagerquist | published November 15, 2008

On October 8, 48-year old Tawfiq Jamal got into his car with his 18-year old son and a friend, and set out for the house of his relatives, the Shaaban family, who lived as of then in a new, predominantly Jewish neighborhood on the eastern edges of Acre. A walled city on the sea, mainly famed in the West for having served as the CENTCOM of the crusading Richard the Lionheart, Acre is today a “mixed” Israeli town, inhabited by Jews as well as Arabs like Tawfiq. That day, he was on his way to pick up his daughter, who had been helping the Shaabans prepare cakes for a wedding scheduled for the following week. He insists that he drove slowly and quietly, with his radio turned off.

Israel's Palestinian Minority Thrown Into a Maelstrom

by Jonathan Cook | published June 16, 2010

The first reports of Israel’s May 31 commando raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla surfaced among the country’s 1.4 million Palestinian citizens alongside rumors that Sheikh Ra’id Salah, head of the radical northern wing of the Islamic Movement of Israel, had been shot dead on the lead ship, the Mavi Marmara. Salah is alive, but at the time his demise seemed confirmed when it emerged that large numbers of police had been drafted into northern Israel, where most of the Palestinian minority lives, in expectation of widespread violence.

Seeking Sanctuary

The "Church" vs. "Mosque" Dispute in Nazareth

by Graham Usher
published in MER214

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The Shrinking Space of Citizenship

Ethnocratic Politics in Israel

by Oren Yiftachel
published in MER223

On February 14, 2002, the Israeli government sent several light planes to spray 12,000 dunams of crops in the southern Negev region with poisonous chemicals. The destroyed fields had been cultivated for years by Bedouin Arabs, on ancestral lands they claim as their own. The minister responsible for land management, Avigdor Lieberman, explained:

We must stop their illegal invasion of state land by all means possible. The Bedouins have no regard for our laws; in the process we are losing the last resources of state lands. One of my main missions is to return to the power of the Land Authority in dealing with the non-Jewish threat to our lands. [1]