Bypassing Bethlehem’s Eastern Reaches

by Nate Wright | published October 7, 2008

The town of Bayt Sahour spills down the hills to the east of Bethlehem, spreading out along ridges and valleys that mark the beginning of the long descent to the Dead Sea. Up the slopes the roads carve out twisting rivers of dirt and asphalt, wending their way through clusters of soft brown stone houses, but across the ridges they run straight and smooth.

The Collateral Damage of Lebanese Sovereignty

by Jim Quilty | published June 18, 2007

Residents of Lebanon might be forgiven for wanting to forget the last 12 months. The month-long Israeli onslaught in the summer of 2006, economic stasis, sectarian street violence, political deadlock and assassinations—most recently that of Future Movement deputy Walid ‘Idu, who perished along with ten others in a June 13 car bomb explosion—have weighed heavily upon the country. It is as if the dismembered corpse of the 1975-1990 civil war—assumed to be safely buried—has been exhumed and reassembled, all the more grotesque. Since May 20, the Palestinians in Lebanon, too, have been made to relive past nightmares.

Après Nous, Nous

Covering the Colonial Retreat

by Peter Lagerquist , Thomas Hill | published May 19, 2005

Opening the Debate on the Right of Return

by Sari Hanafi
published in MER222

A decade after Oslo, Palestinian negotiators have reached an impasse in the debate concerning refugee return. The discussion should be opened to creative ideas beyond the sacred positions. New ideas, even those that won’t work, can shake loose new possibilities.

The Costs of Chaos in Palestine

by Mouin Rabbani
published in MER224

Israel has launched a comprehensive war of attrition in the Occupied Territories, whose objective is a decisive military victory leading to prolonged interim arrangements dictated by Israel. Facing these overwhelming odds, the Palestinians remain plagued by a crisis of leadership that has already exacted a high price indeed.

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The Makings of a Political Trial

The Marwan Barghouti Case

by Lisa Hajjar
published in MER225

The Marwan Barghouti case has been labeled a “political trial” by Israelis and Palestinians alike. In the courtroom, Israel is trying Barghouti for terrorism. In the court of public opinion, the Israeli government is using the prosecution of Barghouti to discredit the Palestinian leadership and Palestinian resistance to occupation. Barghouti, in turn, is using the event to put Israel on trial.

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Palestinians Debate "Polite" Resistance to Occupation

by Lori Allen
published in MER225

When an August 2002 opinion poll released by the US-based NGO Search for Common Ground showed that majorities of Palestinians would support a non-violent intifada, many residents of the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem greeted the results with suspicion. "They're trying to make us be 'polite,'" one leader of the Fatah youth movement laughed bitterly. The poll itself was dangerous, he suggested, possibly part of an insidious effort to convince Palestinians to give up resistance to the Israeli occupation.

Fatah's Tanzim

by Graham Usher
published in MER217

On November 9, 2000, Hussein Abayat and Khalid Salahat, along with around 50 other Palestinians, were visiting one of the seven houses hit by Israeli tank shells the previous night in the West Bank village of Beit Sahour. They then climbed into their Mitsubishi pickup truck to drive back up the hill to the heart of the village. Thirty seconds later, the truck was a smoldering shell, hit by an anti-tank missile launched from an Israeli Apache helicopter. Abayat was killed instantaneously -- as were two Palestinian women standing behind his van -- and Salahat was severely wounded. The two men were the first victims of an Israeli policy of "initiated" assassinations aimed at taking out the "ground" leadership of the Palestinian intifada.