From the Editors

by The Editors
published in MER119

On Sunday night, November 20, we paused along with millions of others in the US to watch ABC’s television drama of nuclear devastation. “The Day After” abstracted its fictional crisis from current headlines by having its US-Soviet confrontation occur over Berlin rather than Lebanon or Nicaragua. On the other hand, it faithfully portrayed ordinary people’s frustrating and fruitless dependence on television itself to understand and know what was supposedly happening to trigger such a deadly duel. In its own way the day before was as harrowing as the day after.

ADL, Pro-Arab Propaganda in America

by Martha Wenger
published in MER121

Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, Pro-Arab Propaganda in America: Vehicles and Voices (New York, 1983).

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Morgan, Domestic Intelligence

by Konrad Ege
published in MER96

Richard E. Morgan, Domestic Intelligence: Monitoring Dissent in America (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1980).

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Israel's Invasion and the Disarmament Movement

by Noam Chomsky
published in MER108

On June 12, 1982, over half a million people demonstrated in New York, calling for a halt to the nuclear arms race. The demonstration was unusual in its size, and even more so in the favorable media coverage it received. About the same time, a few thousand people in scattered cities throughout the country actively protested the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the barely disguised US government support for it. A strong case can be made that the latter actions constituted the more direct and appropriate response to the very real danger of nuclear war.

The Yemeni UFW Martyr

by Nadine Naber
published in MER273

In the summer of 2014, director Diego Luna released Cesar Chavez, a feature-length retelling of the story of the 1973 grape pickers’ strike in California that inspired an international grape boycott and made Cesar Chavez a household name. In the film, the first person killed on a farm worker picket line was a Mexican bracero named Juan de la Cruz. In fact, de la Cruz was the third of five “United Farm Worker martyrs” to die violent deaths struggling for social justice in the vast fields of American agribusiness. The first was Nan Freeman, a young Jewish student helping a sugarcane strike in Florida, and the second was a Yemeni migrant called Nagi Daifallah.

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The Long Shadow of the CIA at Guantanamo

by Lisa Hajjar
published in MER273

‘Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a designated “high-value detainee” in US government parlance, is on trial in the Guantánamo Bay military commissions. The 49-year old Saudi Arabian is accused of directing the October 2000 al-Qaeda suicide boat bombing of the USS Cole off the coast of Aden, Yemen, which killed 17 sailors and injured 40 more, and a failed plan to bomb the USS Sullivans. Five other high-value detainees, including alleged “mastermind” Khalid Shaikh Mohammad, are being tried together for the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. All six could face the death penalty if convicted.

Ferguson to Palestine

by Steve Tamari | published December 1, 2014 - 10:34am

The world’s attention again shines on Ferguson, MO, where Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American 18-year old was shot by white police officer Darren Wilson on August 9, 2014. This time, the occasion is the grand jury’s failure to indict the officer. There will be no trial. There will be no opportunity for Brown’s family to defend their son’s reputation and see justice served.

Title VI and Middle East Studies: What You Should Know

by Bekah Wolf | published November 14, 2014 - 5:04pm

In the past few years, pro-Israel groups have mounted an escalating and concerted effort to set the contours of scholarly debate about Israel on American campuses. This fall, two such organizations, the AMCHA Initiative and the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, are lobbying Congress and the Department of Education to punish Middle East studies centers that present alternatives to staunchly pro-Israel viewpoints. The lobbying campaign demands that the Education Department stop federal funding to these centers under Title VI of the Higher Education Act or engage in intrusive oversight of the departments to assure the prevalence of viewpoints more sympathetic to Israeli government policies. The Higher Education Act is up for Congressional reauthorization this year.

Palestine, Adrift at the Met

by Bayann Hamid | published November 11, 2014 - 11:31am

Opera is dying in New York. Or at least it was until last month.

The Cold Realities of US Policy in Israel-Palestine

by Mitchell Plitnick | published October 15, 2014

During the summertime war in Gaza, the two most progressive members of the US Senate stirred up controversy among their backers with expressions of uncritical support for Israel. At a town hall meeting, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the lone Senate independent, responded to a questioner that Israel had “overreacted” with its 52-day bombardment and ground incursion, but then proceeded to justify Israel’s actions with the usual pro-Israel talking points about “missiles fired from populated areas” and “sophisticated tunnels.” [1] An audience member began to shout objections, to which Sanders said, “Shut up.”