The PLO at the Crossroads

Moderation, Encirclement, Future Prospects

by Sameer Abraham
published in MER80

Throughout the twentieth century history of Palestine, none of the numerous proposals for “partition” of the country have ever been accepted by any significant group of Palestinian Arabs in spite of the many proposals to that end prior to and following the forced dismemberment of the country in 1948. [1] Palestinian and Arab resistance on this point has been unequivocal and effective -- at least until recently.

Introduction to "PLO at the Crossroads"

by Peter Johnson
published in MER80

As Sameer Abraham points out in the article that follows, no proposal for the partition of Palestine has ever been accepted by any significant number of Palestinians. Such proposals have always had the intention of securing and legitimizing the Zionist presence in Palestine. But with the “transitional program” accepted by the Palestine National Congress in June 1974 we are faced with a proposal of different intent, for this time the suggestion has come from the Palestinians themselves.

A Very Strange Peace

by Marie-Christine Aulas
published in MER82

Rarely in history has a peace settlement seemed so dismal. The Treaty of Washington between Egypt and Israel was signed on March 26, 1979. Since then there has been little excitement in Egypt about this new era in the nation’s contemporary history. There were several more or less spontaneous gatherings organized when President Anwar al-Sadat returned to Cairo. Otherwise there has been almost no sign of enthusiasm from a population victimized by four wars and usually quite ready to express itself.

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"The Palestinian Demand for Independence Cannot Be Postponed Indefinitely"

by Salim Tamari
published in MER100-101

Salim Tamari was born in Jaffa and now teaches sociology at Birzeit University, in the West Bank. He spoke with Penny Johnson, Peter Johnson and Judith Tucker in Boston in July 1981.

The Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza is entering its fifteenth year. How would you characterize the development of political forces among Palestinians during these years?

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Palestine and the ICC

by The Editors | published January 8, 2015 - 4:29pm

At the close of 2014, Mahmoud ‘Abbas, head of the Ramallah wing of the Palestinian Authority (PA), announced that he would sign the Rome Statute, the 2002 treaty establishing the International Criminal Court based in The Hague. This move opens the possibility that the Palestinians could ask the Court to investigate Israeli military operations and/or occupation practices as violations of international law. ‘Abbas accepted Court jurisdiction retroactive to June 13, 2014, when Israel began the raids that developed into Operation Protective Edge, the seven-week bombardment and invasion of Gaza. The meaning and efficacy of the PA’s maneuver are subjects of considerable debate.

Palestine, Adrift at the Met

by Bayann Hamid | published November 11, 2014 - 10:31am

Opera is dying in New York. Or at least it was until last month.

The Cold Realities of US Policy in Israel-Palestine

by Mitchell Plitnick | published October 15, 2014

During the summertime war in Gaza, the two most progressive members of the US Senate stirred up controversy among their backers with expressions of uncritical support for Israel. At a town hall meeting, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the lone Senate independent, responded to a questioner that Israel had “overreacted” with its 52-day bombardment and ground incursion, but then proceeded to justify Israel’s actions with the usual pro-Israel talking points about “missiles fired from populated areas” and “sophisticated tunnels.” [1] An audience member began to shout objections, to which Sanders said, “Shut up.”

Sifting the Berkeley Left

by Jock Taft
published in MER129

On June 5, 1984, voters in Berkeley, California, by a margin of almost 64 percent to 36 percent, defeated a ballot measure calling for the United States to reduce its aid to Israel by the amount Israel spends on its settlements in the occupied territories of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Golan Heights. What’s going on here? Since the 1960s, Berkeley has had a reputation as the most politically progressive urban community in the country. Civil rights activism on the University of California campus spawned the Free Speech Movement, which in turn set the stage for the early protests and organizing against the US war in Vietnam. When Ronald Reagan was elected governor in 1966, one of his main campaign targets was UC campus radicalism.

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Thorpe, Prescription for Conflict

by Ellen Cantarow
published in MER131

Merle Thorpe, Jr., Prescription for Conflict: Israel’s West Bank Settlement Policy (Washington DC: Foundation for Middle East Peace, 1984).

Cobban, The PLO

by Samih Farsoun
published in MER131

Helena Cobban, The PLO: People, Power and Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,1984).