From Land Day to Equality Day

by Joel Beinin
published in MER150

On June 24, 1987, the Palestinian Arab community of Israel conducted a successful countrywide general strike. The “Equality Day” strike was called by the National Committee of Arab Local Council Heads (NCALCH) to demand an end to all forms of racial discrimination against the nearly 700,000 Palestinian Arab citizens who constitute 17 percent of the population within Israel’s pre-1967 borders. As a result of its leadership of the strike, the NCALCH has emerged with enhanced authority as the representative of the entire Palestinian Arab community of Israel.

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Primer: Israel's Military Regime

by Lisa Hajjar
published in MER150

Since 1967 Israel has operated a military regime in the occupied territories of Gaza and the West Bank. In 1981 Israel set up a civilian administration as a separate branch of the military government. This further integrated these territories into Israel’s administrative and legal infrastructure.

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Arafat Goes to Strasbourg

by Diana Johnstone
published in MER155

Europe’s attitude could influence the decisions of the next Palestine National Council, Yasir Arafat told members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on September 14, 1988. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) chairperson urged Europeans to assume their share of “international responsibility” for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The prospect of European recognition of a Palestinian state and provisional government, he said, would powerfully support Palestinian moves to abandon armed struggle for diplomacy.

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Original Sin

by Zachary Lockman
published in MER152

Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988).

Tom Segev, 1949: The First Israelis (New York: The Free Press, 1986).

Simha Flapan, The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities (New York: Pantheon, 1987).

Shamir on Terrorism (1943)

published in MER152

The following excerpts are from an article by Yitzhak Shamir, prime minister of Israel from 1983-1984 and 1986-1992. The article first appeared in the LEHI underground organization journal Hehazit (The Front) in the summer of 1943.

Italian Communists' New Historic Compromise

by Diana Johnstone
published in MER152

The revolt in the Occupied Territories broke out at a time when support for the Palestinian cause was at a low ebb in Europe. The Italian Communist Party (PCI), for example, had for the past couple of years been giving priority to building relations with the mainstream Israeli left rather than with either the Palestine Liberation Organization or the left opposition in Israel willing to talk to the PLO.

The leader of the PCI’s right wing, Giorgio Napolitano, has shifted focus away from the Third World since he took over from Giancarlo Pajetta as the party’s “foreign minister” two years ago.

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Israel’s Rightward Shift Leaves Palestinian Citizens Out in the Cold

by Jonathan Cook | published February 13, 2013

Shortly before polling day in Israel’s January general election, the Arab League issued a statement urging Israel’s large Palestinian minority, a fifth of the country’s population, to turn out en masse to vote. The League’s unprecedented intervention -- reportedly at the instigation of the League’s Palestinian delegation -- was motivated by two concerns.

Four More Years

by Mouin Rabbani , Chris Toensing | published December 5, 2012

The 2012 US presidential election elicited less interest among Palestinians than any such contest in living memory. While most Israelis, and their government in particular, expressed a clear preference for a Republican victory, Palestinians seemed resigned to continuity in US foreign policy irrespective of which party won the White House. The main reason was that President Barack Obama, self-proclaimed apostle of change and widely hailed as such in the region when he assumed office four years ago, has yet to demonstrate a meaningful inconsistency with his predecessor George W. Bush when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Events since the election have only confirmed this policy direction and thus the validity of Palestinians’ indifference.

Repercussions in the Middle East

published in MER152


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Inside Israel's Twitter War Room

History of a Social Media Arsenal

by Rebecca L. Stein | published November 24, 2012

Within hours of the onset of Operation Pillar of Defense, Israel’s latest military campaign in the Gaza Strip, global news outlets had already turned their spotlight on social media. A raft of stories led with the Israel Defense Forces’ use of the popular networking platforms to advance their public relations message, pointing to their use of Twitter to announce the army’s assassination of Hamas military commander Ahmad al-Ja‘bari and their slickly produced Facebook posts justifying the ongoing aerial bombardment.