Learning Lessons from the Algerian War of Independece

by Nancy Gallagher
published in MER225

On May 9, 2002, Tony Judt, professor of history at New York University, began an essay on Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation with a quote from Raymond Aron’s book on the 1954-1962 Algerian War of Independence from French colonial rule. [1] France, Aron argued, could not impose its administration on the Algerians indefinitely nor was it willing to integrate them into French society. Until they left Algeria, Aron argued, the French were harming themselves more than the Algerians.

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Final Status in the Shape of a Wall

by Catherine Cook | published September 3, 2003

In Jayyous, a village of 3,000 in the northern West Bank, Najah Shamasneh cradles her granddaughter in her lap and listens to her husband Yusuf tell of the loss of their agricultural land. The Shamasneh family's 25 dunams (about 6.25 acres), their sole source of income, now lies on the western side of the wall that Israel is erecting in the West Bank.

The Makings of a Political Trial

The Marwan Barghouti Case

by Lisa Hajjar
published in MER225

The Marwan Barghouti case has been labeled a “political trial” by Israelis and Palestinians alike. In the courtroom, Israel is trying Barghouti for terrorism. In the court of public opinion, the Israeli government is using the prosecution of Barghouti to discredit the Palestinian leadership and Palestinian resistance to occupation. Barghouti, in turn, is using the event to put Israel on trial.

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Declining to Intervene

Israel's Supreme Court and the Occupied Territories

by Jonathan Cook | published August 4, 2003

Palestinians Debate "Polite" Resistance to Occupation

by Lori Allen
published in MER225

When an August 2002 opinion poll released by the US-based NGO Search for Common Ground showed that majorities of Palestinians would support a non-violent intifada, many residents of the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem greeted the results with suspicion. "They're trying to make us be 'polite,'" one leader of the Fatah youth movement laughed bitterly. The poll itself was dangerous, he suggested, possibly part of an insidious effort to convince Palestinians to give up resistance to the Israeli occupation.

Olives, Stones and Bullets

by Uri Avnery
published in MER217

On the evening of November 17, the villagers of Hares called and asked people from Gush Shalom to please come there. This Palestinian village is cut off from the world. The army is blockading it -- no one is allowed to enter or leave. The olives, the only product of the village, are going to rot on the trees, especially in the orchard bordering the nearby Revava settlement. Anyone trying to harvest there is in mortal danger. A 14-year-old boy -- alone in the orchard with his father -- was shot and killed there only three days before. The villagers hope that the presence of Israelis will restrain the settlers and soldiers, allowing them to harvest the olives on which their livelihood depends.

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Israel's Accountability for Economic Warfare

by Roger Normand
published in MER217

As Israel escalates the military conflict in the occupied Palestinian territories, brushing aside criticism of excessive force by the United Nations and human rights groups, it is tempting to conclude that international law is irrelevant to the real struggle being waged on the ground with bullets and blood. But the constant interplay between law and force -- in both politics and economics -- has always been, and will remain, a crucial factor shaping the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its just resolution.

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Under Siege

Closure, Separation and the Palestinian Economy

by Leila Farsakh
published in MER217

By mid-November, Israel had imposed over 50 days of closure on the whole of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Palestinian persons and goods were refused entry into Israel, or exit from the confines of the Occupied Territories. Mobility within Palestinian-controlled areas was also curtailed. According to available estimates, each day of ongoing closure represents a loss of $8.45 million -- totaling $336 million as of November 7 -- to the Palestinian economy. [1]  If damage to physical assets and human lives were added, the losses would be still higher.