Palestine and Israel in the US Arena

by The Editors
published in MER158

Ordinary children, women and men, a million and a half of them, have confounded the state of Israel, Washington’s major military ally in the Middle East, with their incredible courage and resourcefulness. Their resounding demand for political independence then prompted the Palestine Liberation Organization to declare unequivocally for a Palestinian state alongside Israel -- a resolution based on “possible rather than absolute justice,” as Yasser Arafat put it. [1] More than a hundred governments have officially recognized the new state. Others, such as the major European states, upgraded their relations with the PLO. The combined force of these developments finally led Washington to open formal talks with the PLO.

Israel, the Contras and the North Trial

by Jonathan Marshall
published in MER160

Oliver North’s trial this spring surprised everyone: It actually produced some new information. But some of its most important revelations -- those touching on Israel’s role in Central America -- received little or no attention in the press.

A Visit to the Tombs

Human Rights in New York City

by Sebnem Atiyas
published in MER160

When Nevzat Helvaci, president of the Turkish Human Rights Association, visited New York City in December 1988, he asked to visit a US prison. “There is no reason why these visits should be always one-sided, with foreign monitors visiting Turkish prisons,” he commented. “We also want to visit and observe their facilities.” Helvaci and Emil Galip Sandalci, head of the THRA’s Istanbul branch, came as guests of Human Rights Watch, to attend ceremonies held on the fortieth anniversary of the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

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Blitzer, Territory of Lies

by Jonathan Marshall
published in MER162

Back in 1976, a college student acquaintance of mine, Jay Pollard, used to talk in great detail about his work for Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency. I listened for hours, even if I never quite believed his stories. Eleven years later, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger would tell the court that convicted Pollard, a Navy intelligence analyst, of stealing 360 cubic feet of classified material for Israel: “It is difficult for me, even in the so-called year of the spy, to conceive of a greater harm to national security than that caused by the defendant in view of the breadth, the critical importance to the US and the high sensitivity of the information he sold to Israel.”

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Gender in Hollywood's Orient

by Ella Shohat
published in MER162

From its very beginning, Western cinema has been fascinated with the mystique of the Orient. Whether in the form of pseudo-Egyptian movie palaces, Biblical spectaculars, or the fondness for “Oriental” settings, Western cinema has returned time and again to the scene of the Orient. [1] Generally these films superimposed the visual traces of civilizations as diverse as Arab, Persian, Chinese and Indian into a single portrayal of the exotic Orient, treating cultural plurality as if it were a monolith. The Arabic language, in most of these films, exists as an indecipherable murmur, while the “real” language is European: the French of Jean Gabin in Pepe le Moko or the English of Bogart and Bergman in Casablanca.

Interventions

Interventions is a feature in Middle East Report Online offering critical reviews of important Middle East-related books, films and other cultural production. Click here for past Interventions articles.

Men Behaving Badly

by Moustafa Bayoumi | published September 2012

Here we go again. A preposterous provocation easily manages to ignite fevered protests in Muslim-majority countries around the world, and everyone is worse off as a result. The episode is playing like a sequel to the 2005 Danish cartoon controversy, but with bigger and better explosions than the original.

Interventions

Interventions is a feature in Middle East Report Online offering critical reviews of important Middle East-related books, films and other cultural production. Click here for past Interventions articles.

The Left, the Jews and Defenders of Israel

by Joel Beinin | published August 2012

When Menachem Begin first visited the United States in December 1948, a host of Jewish notables including Albert Einstein, Hannah Arendt, Irma Lindheim (former president of Hadassah), Seymour Melman (former president of the Student Zionist Federation) and the biblical scholar Harry Orlinsky wrote to the New York Times to issue a warning about the Herut (Freedom) Party that Begin led. Herut, they wrote, was “closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties. It was formed out of the membership and following of the former Irgun Zvai Leumi, a terrorist, right-wing, chauvinist organization in Palestine.”

Message of National Churches of Christ on Gulf Crisis

published in MER168

A Message of National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA on the Gulf and Middle East Crisis, November 14-16, 1990

[Excerpts]

We stand at a unique moment in human history, when all around us seemingly impregnable walls are being broken down and deep historical enmities are being healed. And yet, ironically, at such a moment, our own nation seems to be poised at the brink of war in the Middle East. “What then are we to say about these things?” (Romans 8:31)....

The September 11 Effect on Anthropology

by Lara Deeb , Jessica Winegar
published in MER261

Conventional wisdom among scholars of the Middle East is that the September 11, 2001 attacks left behind a threatening professional environment. Graduate students and faculty alike speak of hostile infiltrators in their classrooms, inevitably bitter tenure battles and the self-censorship that both can produce. At the same time, in the aftermath of September 11 Middle East scholars anticipated that the perennially spotty job market might improve.

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From the Editor

published in MER261

A question nagged at Occupy Wall Street and its myriad imitators, the most exciting social movement to emanate from the United States in more than a decade, for much of the fall. “What are your demands?” journalists persisted in asking. “What do you want?”