Human Rights Briefing

by Nabeel Abraham
published in MER166

What has been the performance of human rights organizations during the first two years of the intifada? A fresh look at eight organizations surveyed prior to the uprising (MER 150) shows that overall coverage has increased, as one might expect based on the intensity and duration of the uprising, but coverage remains uneven. Some organizations that had been reporting on the Occupied Territories prior to November 1987 improved their coverage; others did not. Among those organizations that had in the past ignored Palestinian rights abuses, some saw the intifada as an opportunity to take up the issue. A notable few, however, have remained silent.

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Blocking Palestinian Statehood

by Chris Toensing | published September 26, 2011

When President Barack Obama addressed the UN General Assembly in September 2010, he sounded hopeful that by the following year there would be “an agreement that will lead to a new member of the United Nations -- an independent, sovereign state of Palestine, living in peace with Israel.” Sure enough, in September 2011, the Palestinians asked the UN Security Council to recognize a state of Palestine -- but Obama ordered the US delegate to veto the request. What gives?

Letter from the Curfew Zone

by Penny Johnson
published in MER170

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Yitzhak Rabin and Israel's Death Squads

by Anita Vitullo Khoury
published in MER178

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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.

Paradise Now's Understated Power

by Lori Allen | published January 2006

Joining Ang Lee, director of the gay cowboy epic Brokeback Mountain, among the winners at the January 16 Golden Globes award ceremony was the director Hany Abu-Assad, a Palestinian born in Israel whose Paradise Now took home the prize for best foreign language film. While critics of all persuasions remark upon what Brokeback Mountain’s victory means about Hollywood and American mores, it is perhaps more remarkable that Paradise Now, a film about two Palestinians recruited to carry out suicide bombings, was deemed unremarkable enough to be honored by Hollywood.

Economic Deterioration in the Gaza Strip

by Sara Roy
published in MER200

On February 25, 1996, following several Hamas suicide bombings in West Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Israel imposed a heightened closure on the West Bank and Gaza Strip. [1] This most recent heightening of the closure has severely damaged the already precarious economy of the Gaza Strip and caused immense hardship and suffering to the local population. The overwhelming majority in the Gaza Strip have been left with no source of daily income. Many can no longer adequately feed their children. The struggle -- no longer against Israel or even the Israeli occupation -- is now against hunger and humiliation.

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The Cost of Peace

Assessing the Palestinian-Israeli Accords

by Kathleen Cavanaugh
published in MER211

We know the images well: ethnic cleansing in Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia, intra-communal violence in Northern Ireland, and competing claims to land rights spurring the forcible transfer of populations in Palestine and Israel. Claims to self-determination and minority rights, often found at the heart of intra-state disputes, draw actors to international law to determine the scope and nature of those rights. Indeed, the demands posed by ethno-nationalist disputes have moved the discourse beyond whether international law applies to ethnic conflict to how ethnic conflict has “shaped” interpretation of international law. [1] The ambiguity of the relevant international instruments has led some to question the relevance of international law.

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Economic Prison Zones

by Sam Bahour | published November 19, 2010

When a project mixes the feel-good words of jobs, economic development and Israeli-Palestinian cooperation, how can anyone complain? These things are some of what the international community has been promising to deliver through the construction of industrial free trade zones in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The free trade zone model has been promoted locally and globally by powerful third parties like the United States, France, Germany, Turkey and Japan for two decades, but none has much to show for the enormous efforts and amounts of money spent to bring these zones to life. Nonetheless, the project’s proponents expect the zones to constitute the economic foundation for a future Palestinian state. They hope that, by bolstering Palestine’s economy, the zones will make Palestinians less prone to social upheaval, less insistent on their national rights and more amenable to the status quo. The idea is that a peace agreement with Israel will ensue.

An Open Letter to Abu Jerry

by Lea Tsemel
published in MER213

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