A Different Kind of Memory

An Interview with Zochrot

by Meera Shah
published in MER244

“Who is trying to change the names of Haifa streets to the street names in the period prior to the War of Independence?” This question led an article in the December 15, 2004 edition of the Israeli daily Ma’ariv. Someone -- “people from outside,” said the mayor -- had placed signs in Arabic that labeled major thoroughfares as they had been known prior to the expulsion of many of the city’s Palestinians, and the incorporation of Haifa into the nascent state of Israel, during the war of 1948.

Crime and Punishment on Israel's Demographic Frontier

by Peter Lagerquist , Jonathan Cook
published in MER237

On August 4, 2005, Natan Zada, 19, boarded an Egged bus at Haifa’s Hamifratz station, picked a seat in the back and rode it into Shafa ‘Amr, a mixed Druze, Muslim and Christian town in the heart of the Arab Galilee. Zada wore his Israel Defense Forces uniform and, as prescribed, carried with him his military-issued M-16 assault rifle, magazine primed in the slot. On any given day, Israel’s public transport system brims with young men like him, shuttling to and from military bases across the Israeli coastal plain and the occupied Golan Heights and West Bank. On this particular day, however, he was neither returning home nor reporting for duty.

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The Ghetto vs. the Gun

by Shira Robinson
published in MER240

Idith Zertal, Israel’s Holocaust and the Politics of Nationhood (trans. Chaya Galai) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005).

Palestinian Women in the Israeli Knesset

by Suheir Abu Oksa Daoud
published in MER240

On March 28, 2006, Nadia Hilou from the mixed Arab-Jewish city of Jaffa became only the second Palestinian woman to be elected to the Knesset since 1949, the year of Israel’s first national elections. Hilou’s sole predecessor was Husniyya Jabara, who made history in 1999 when she won a seat in the Israeli parliament. Jabara’s election to the Knesset with Meretz, a leftist Zionist party, caught the political system by surprise. Hardly anyone expected an Arab woman to win, much less Jabara, because many other Palestinian women in both Arab and Zionist parties were better known in the media or had longer histories as political and social activists.

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The Only Place Where There's Hope

An Interview with Muhammad Khatib, Jonathan Pollak and Elad Orian

by Robert Blecher
published in MER240

Beginning in December 2004, and then every Friday since February 2005, Palestinians, Israelis and internationals have converged on the West Bank village of Bil‘in to demonstrate against the barrier that Israel is building there, as part of the chain of walls and fences (the Wall) that the Israeli government hopes will be Israel’s unilaterally declared eastern border. The protests in Bil‘in have been among the most effective and sustained of any in the Occupied Territories.

Social Security

How Palestinians Survive a Humanitarian Crisis

by Lori Allen
published in MER240

In the Jenin refugee camp, on the outskirts of the West Bank town of the same name, remnants of the rougher days of the second intifada persist. Akram Abu al-Siba‘ is here to tell a French delegation, one of the few making the trek to Jenin these days, about the latest in the camp’s long list of dramatic and tragic experiences. In early July, he relates, disguised Israeli operatives drove into Jenin camp, burst out of the car and sprayed gunfire at a group of men gathered to offer condolences to the family of a man killed the day before. The apparent target of this operation, Zakariyya Zubayda, leader of the al-Aqsa Brigades in Jenin and a man much wanted by Israel, escaped unharmed. Thirty-four others were not so lucky.

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Stein, Itineraries of Conflict

by Gil Hochberg
published in MER253

Rebecca L. Stein, Itineraries in Conflict: Israelis, Palestinians and the Political Lives of Tourism (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008).

“To read Israel as itinerant is to imagine its alternative future.” With these optimistic words, Rebecca L. Stein closes the introduction to her beautifully written ethnography of Israeli tourism in the years between the 1993 Oslo agreement and the second intifada that began in the fall of 2000. What shines through in this book, indeed, is Stein’s optimism, which, far from being romantic or dreamy, emerges out of a sober and well-crafted socio-political analysis. Joining a growing body of works dedicated to the mechanisms of Zionist domination, Itineraries in Conflict stands out in its commitment not only to documenting the present predicaments of Israel-Palestine, but also to thinking through these predicaments and the often paradoxical possibilities they open for setting the political reality on a different trajectory.

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Planning Apartheid in the Naqab

by Monica Tarazi
published in MER253

The authority to plan and order physical space is among the most significant powers a government possesses. Spatial planning can be a force for reform and emancipation or a mechanism of control and subordination. In Israel, national planning goals are rooted in Zionism’s agenda of nation building and “Judaization” of territory. In the southern desert, known in Arabic as the Naqab and in Hebrew as the Negev, those priorities have led to the expropriation of more than 90 percent of the historical lands of the Palestinian Bedouin for the establishment of Jewish towns. The result is one of the clearest examples of apartheid in Israel.

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