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.

A Guide for the Perplexed

On the Return of the Refugees

by Samera Esmeir | published April 2014

You have reached the village of Kafr Bir‘im. Enjoy the clean air of the Upper Galilee. Listen to the mountain silence. Observe the elegance of the stone construction in front of you; it is left standing after the 1948 occupation of the village and its consequent destruction. And realize as well that not everything you see is in the past tense.

The Battle for Nazareth

by Leena Dallasheh | published March 4, 2014 - 5:16pm

By order of the Israeli Supreme Court, Nazareth will reconduct its mayoral election on March 11. The city is once again the site of an acrimonious political battle.

Municipal elections were held in Nazareth, along with the rest of the country, on October 22, 2013. The first tally showed ‘Ali Sallam unseating the incumbent, Ramiz Jaraysi, by a razor-thin margin of 22 votes.

Analyze This

by Shira Robinson | published March 4, 2014 - 4:50pm

In her column on the Haaretz website yesterday, Carleton University political scientist Mira Sucharov bemoaned the tendency of “some of the cleverest minds on Israel and Palestine” to “devolve” into Manichean thinking about Israel as either “good or bad.”

Our Primer on Israel-Palestine

by The Editors | published March 3, 2014 - 4:33pm

Some 43 years ago, a group of activists in the movement to end the war in Vietnam founded the Middle East Research and Information Project.

The impetus was that the American public, including the anti-war left, was poorly informed about the Middle East and the US role there. The region was commonly depicted as alien, its politics uniquely determined by religion and impossible to explain with ordinary categories of analysis. The original idea behind MERIP was to produce better reporting that would get picked up by existing left outlets.

Israel, the Sorcerer's Apprentice

by Esther Howard
published in MER112

President Ronald Reagan had just left Honduras, the last stop on his recent tour of Latin and Central America. Only two days later, on December 6, the red carpet was out again in Tegucigalpa, the Honduran capital. This time the guest of honor was Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon. The official explanation for Sharon’s three-day visit was “exchanges of views.” The main topic was Honduran armed forces chief Gen. Gustavo Alvarez Martinez’s quest for new sophisticated warplanes. Washington and Paris, it seems, have felt politically constrained from selling Honduras new F-5 or Mirage jets to replace 12 French-made Super-Mystere fighters originally purchased from Israel some years back. [1]

Jansen, The Battle of Beirut

by Ibrahim Abu-Lughod
published in MER114

Michael Jansen, The Battle of Beirut: Why Israel Invaded Lebanon (London: Zed Books, 1982).

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The Ongoing Fantasy of Israeli Democracy Before 1967

by Shira Robinson | published February 25, 2014 - 5:31pm

The past week has a witnessed a flurry of debate in the American and Israeli media over the growing call to boycott companies and institutions that profit from or are otherwise complicit in the ongoing 47-year occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Zionism Good and Bad

Jacobo Timerman and the Lebanon War

by Zachary Lockman
published in MER114

Jacobo Timerman, The Longest War (London: Chatto & Windus, 1982).

New Data on Palestinian Workers in Israel

by
published in MER114

A survey covering the inhabitants of the territories who work inside Israel, conducted by the manpower planning section of the Department of Employment, reveals that in 1981 some 76,000 of them were working in Israel. In 1971, the equivalent figure had been 21,000 and in 1975 it had been 66,000. According to the survey, financed by the Defense Ministry through the coordinator of activities in the territories, the inhabitants of the territories constitute about 5.5 percent of workers in Israel.

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The Peace Now Demonstration of February 10, 1983

published in MER114

This account by Shulamit Har-Even appeared in Yediot Aharanot on February 14, 1983. It was translated from Hebrew by Israel Shahak. According to Shahak, who was present at the demonstration himself, the pro-Sharon crowd was made up of West Bank settlers (“Gush Emunim types”) and young yeshiva students of the Agudat Israel Party, both of these largely Ashkenazi, and a separate group of young Oriental Jews brought in on special buses from Beit Shemesh. Shahak observed that while the Peace Now crowd was continuously joined by new marchers, virtually no individuals joined the pro-Sharon group during the demonstration.