A Brief History of a Teacher's Strike

An Interview with H.

by Mezna Qato , Mai Abu Moghli | published June 5, 2018

In February and March 2016, nearly 35,000 Palestinian teachers initiated a series of strike actions across the West Bank. Classes were dismissed and students sent home as teachers marched through Ramallah’s streets and organized sit-ins in front of Ministry of Education field offices. Though short-lived, the strike had wide resonance as teachers utilized their waning social capital in ways they had not done since the second intifada, and encouraged members of other unions to organize industrial actions, particularly after the March 9, 2016 ratification of Social Security Law 6.

Running as Resistance in Occupied Palestine

by Joshua Stacher | published May 3, 2018

The mass of runners awaiting the starter gun in Manger Square could be anywhere in the world. Hundreds of kindred spirits communicate without words, preparing to compete against each other and themselves, and sharing a familiar nervous energy. And yet this start line feels different than the one in quaint Hopkinton, where the Boston Marathon begins. There’s a church at that line, but it’s not the Church of the Nativity. The race in Massachusetts is the oldest continuously run marathon in the world. Bethlehem, gracious host to the Palestine Marathon since 2013, is the birthplace of Christianity.

Puerto Rican Decolonization, Armed Struggle and the Question of Palestine

by Sara Awartani
published in MER284

Lolita Lebrón, 24 years after unfurling the Puerto Rican flag and opening fire in the US House of Representatives in 1954, [1] once again cried out against Puerto Rico’s colonial status in 1978. “The liberation movement of the Nationalist Party of Puerto Rico,” declared Lebrón, “conscious of its historic responsibility to the Fatherland, aspires to, advocates and work through [sic] all means of struggle possible—including armed revolution, if it were necessary to constitute Puerto Rico as a free, sovereign and independent republic in accordance with the Principles of Nationalities.” [2]

Palestine Dispatch

by Mouin Rabbani
published in MER283

Palestinian adherents of what is known as the peace process never quite entertained the illusion that the United States is a neutral arbiter, let alone honest broker in matters Israeli-Palestinian. Rather, they allowed themselves to believe that, precisely on account of its close relationship and therefore influence over Israel, Washington would be an effective mediator and as such serve as the midwife of Palestinian statehood. It was on this basis that Palestinians embraced the framework of exclusive American sponsorship of bilateral Israel-Palestinian negotiations divorced from the existing international consensus, devoid of a clear timeline or agenda, and lacking effective arbitration or meaningful enforcement mechanisms.

From the Editors

by The Editors
published in MER282

For Palestine, 2017 is a year of anniversaries. One hundred years since the Balfour Declaration gave imperial imprimatur to the Zionist project. Fifty years since the beginning of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. And thirty years since the start of the first intifada, the popular uprising against that occupation. We will soon reach the seventieth anniversary of the nakba, the displacement and dispossession of most of the Palestinian population. These anniversaries remind us of the long entanglement of Palestine in global imperial networks. They highlight the extended, and seemingly endless and bottomless, suffering that Palestinians experience both inside and outside of historic Palestine.

Talhami, American Presidents and Jerusalem

by Suheir Abu Oksa Daoud
published in MER282

Ghada Hashem Talhami, American Presidents and Jerusalem (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2017).

What Is Prevent?

by Mezna Qato
published in MER282

In the spring of 2016, a small group of academics at the University of Cambridge put a motion before Regent House, the governing body of the university, to hold a discussion on the Prevent program—the British government’s counter-radicalization scheme. The scene during the discussion was palpably grim, with scholar after scholar imploring the university to refuse implementation of a program that had already spread across most public institutions and universities in the country.

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The Thorns that Exist and Resist

Black-Palestine Solidarity in the Twenty-First Century

by Andy Clarno
published in MER282

Black-Palestinian unity and solidarity is at its absolute height in the US, because both peoples recognize that the racist nature of the US government and the racist nature of Israel are the same. When I saw those white racists marching in Virginia, all I could think of was the white settlers in Israel burning Palestinian children to death or marching to attack my people in Jerusalem. —Rasmea Odeh [1]

Morocco's Palestinian Politics

by Zakia Salime , Paul Silverstein
published in MER282

You are not in Gaza, this is al-Hoceima!” This title describes a video clip of tear gas in the streets of al-Hoceima, the epicenter of the ongoing protests by the Hirak movement in the mountainous Rif region of northern Morocco. [1] Hirak protesters risk their lives demonstrating against corruption and for civil rights and state investment in the peripheral Berber-speaking region. Protests have been ongoing since the October 28, 2016, death of local fish seller Mohcine Fikri, who was crushed in a garbage compactor while trying to retrieve 500 kilograms of illegally-caught swordfish police had confiscated. Solidarity demonstrations spread across Morocco and the Moroccan diaspora in Europe.

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A Century of Refusal

Palestinian Opposition to the Balfour Declaration

by Lori Allen | published November 17, 2017

On the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, there has been a flurry of commentary about the controversial announcement, contained in a letter sent by British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Lord Walter Rothschild. A Conservative parliamentarian, Rothschild was also a leading British advocate for the establishment of a Jewish nation-state in Palestine, then part of the Ottoman Empire.