Hanna K. and Farah H.

by Miriam Rosen
published in MER124

Michel Khleifi, The Fertile Memory (Marisa Films, 1980).

Costa-Gavras, Hanna K. (Universal Studios, 1983).

I didn’t make this film to judge, but to transmit the diversity of attitudes. And also, because I can’t forget that as children my brothers and I had to steal fruits and vegetables in order to live in our own land.

The filmmaker is Michel Khleifi, a Palestinian from Nazareth who now lives in Belgium, and his film is The Fertile Memory, a collage of experiences that begins, in fact, with the image of a bowl of fruit on the table.

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From the Editors

by The Editors
published in MER124

For just the space of a day in mid-May, the shroud of silence that has enveloped occupied south Lebanon was lifted by the Israeli army raid on ‘Ayn al-Hilwa, the large Palestinian refugee camp that has been rebuilt outside Sidon. Events leading up to this encounter vividly illustrate the dynamic of occupation and resistance in the south today. On May 15, a large demonstration in the camp was disrupted by the local Israeli-sponsored “national guard.” That evening, Israeli tanks and armored vehicles surrounded the camp. Around midnight troops moved in under flares for four hours; some 20 homes were demolished and about 150 residents arrested. Palestinian and Lebanese sources claim 40 were killed or wounded; the Israelis deny any fatalities.

What Comes Next

by Chris Toensing | published October 17, 2013

Whatever comes next in the land between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, the State of Israel is here to stay.

To acknowledge this fact is not to nod to Israel’s “right to exist” -- people have rights, states are supposed to protect them -- but to bow to the one-state reality in historical Palestine. There is but one sovereign entity in that territory and there is presently no combination of political forces that can produce a second or compel the first to surrender its sovereignty. Anyone who would see peace in Israel-Palestine must first grapple with the many implications of the one-state reality.

Gitai, Field Diary

by Pat Aufderheide
published in MER130

Amos Gitai, Field Diary (1984).

Rarely has the cinema verité technique, with its false naiveté, been deployed so strategically as in Field Diary. It looks as if it could have been made by your little brother with the family toy camera, and it is even hard to credit filmmaker Amos Gitai with the earlier filmmaking experience that his House testifies to. But Field Diary, gracelessness and all, refuses to leave you when you leave the theater.

Black, Garrison Guatemala

by Martha Wenger
published in MER141

George Black with Milton Jamail and Norma Stoltz Chincilla, Garrison Guatemala (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1984).


A Chicana from California on a recent political study trip to Guatemala elicited a special tour from guards at Guatemala’s seat of government, the National Palace, by putting on a convincing “I'm just a curious tourist” act. Inside an assembly hall she was startled to find an Israeli flag prominently displayed next to those of Guatemala and the US. Why that Israeli flag should be there is explained in a short section, “The Israeli Connection—Not Just Guns” in this excellent book on Guatemala.

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Benvenisti, Israeli Censorship of Arab Publications

by Sarah Graham-Brown
published in MER136

Meron Benvenisti, Israeli Censorship of Arab Publications: A Survey (New York: Fund for Free Expression, 1984).

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Who Votes for Kahane?

published in MER136

The election of Rabbi Meir Kahane was undoubtedly the most traumatic outcome of the elections to the eleventh Knesset. His party, Kach, obtained 25,907 votes, or 1.2 percent of all valid votes, five times as many as in the previous elections. To understand this, we have examined the economic, social and political factors operating within the sectors which provided Kahane with his greatest electoral support.

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Israel's Economic Crisis

by Shlomo Frenkel
published in MER136

In the middle of August 1985, Minister of Science and Development Gideon Pat called on the Israeli public to disregard government declarations that the shekel would not be devaluated. The minister, on national radio, advised the public to purchase American dollars. The broadcast was aired on Friday night, during prime time. Pat’s advice was unprecedented, since trading in US dollars is a violation of Israeli law. Pat is a member of the Liberal Party, which is part of the Likud and represents merchants, industrialists and businessmen. The leader of the Liberal Party, Treasury Minister Yitzhak Modai, demanded that Prime Minister Shimon Peres fire Pat. Pat argued that his statement was taken out of context and he remained in the cabinet.

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Recipe for an Israeli Nuclear Arsenal

by Martha Wenger
published in MER143

Ten years ago, 62 percent of Israelis questioned in a poll were convinced that their nation had the nuclear bomb; 77 percent thought that if it didn’t already have it, it should. Only four percent believed Israel was nuclear-free. [1] In October 1986, an Israeli nuclear technician revealed to the Sunday Times of London that Israel indeed has an extensive nuclear weapons program. Mordechai Vanunu, who worked in a secret underground Israeli bomb factory for nine years, convinced top US and British nuclear scientists who questioned him closely that Israel has built at least 100 and possibly as many as 200 nuclear weapons. This would make Israel the sixth-ranking nuclear power in the world.

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Israel Cracks Down on Jewish Peace Activists

by A Special Correspondent
published in MER145

Jerusalem, March 10 -- On November 7, 1986, 21 Israeli peace activists landed at Ben-Gurion International Airport, returning from a three-day trip to Romania. Within minutes, four were ordered to report for interrogation by the Israeli police. The four -- Latif Dori (of the left-Zionist MAPAM party), Eliezer Feiler (of Rakah, the Israeli Communist party), Yael Lotan (active in circles close to the Progressive List for Peace), and Reuven Kaminer (of SHASI, the Israeli Socialist Left) -- were later indicted under the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance.

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