Can Art Cross Borders?

Qalandiya and the Problem of Tanzir

by Kirsten Scheid
published in MER274

“We are not just talking culture and art for the sake of having a vision (lil-tanzir), holding exhibitions irrespective of who comes or doesn’t. To the contrary, we have a mission!” At the press conference in Ramallah on October 21, 2014 for the second edition of the Qalandiya International Biennale (QIB2), impassioned organizers responded to a pointed question about the role art could have in protecting Palestinian identity and overcoming Israeli oppression. The spokesperson, Jack Persekian, proclaimed that naming the biannual Palestine art event for the infamous checkpoint in the Israeli separation wall could transform the barrier into a bridge.

Please Subscribe to access the full contents of this article.

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 Palestinian Option

A Reply to Fred Halliday

by Khalil Nakhleh
published in MER96

Fred Halliday’s comments on the debate that constitutes the bulk of Towards a Socialist Republic of Palestine (1978) require a serious Palestinian response. Unwittingly, perhaps, Halliday’s comments tend to undermine this debate, and put a damper on Palestinian intellectual and passionate explorations of genuinely democratic options to their undemocratic, persistent and oppressive predicament.

Revolutionary Realism and the Struggle for Palestine

by Fred Halliday
published in MER96

The discussion of socialist strategy in Palestine recorded in Towards a Socialist Republic of Palestine has lost none of its pertinence despite the fact that it was recorded some time ago, in 1976. Sadat’s initiatives have not yet revised the basic terms in which the problem has been set since 1948. The refugees remain in the camps, and new bands of Jewish settlers are entrenching themselves on the West Bank.

From the Editors

by The Editors
published in MER96

The question of Palestine has consistently been of great importance to our work ever since the first issue of MERIP Reports was published ten years ago, in May 1971. More recently, in our introduction to “The PLO at the Crossroads” (July-August 1979), we wrote that MERIP is interested “in encouraging further efforts to evaluate specific conditions at any given time and appreciate their implications for Palestinian strategy.” Reports since then have discussed the impact of Camp David on Palestinians in the occupied territories ("Palestinians Confront the Treaty," December 1979) and examined aspects of the current crises in Israeli society (“Israel’s Uncertain Future,” November-December 1980).

Two Views of Said, The Question of Palestine

by Stu Cohen , Beshara Doumani
published in MER100-101

Edward W. Said, The Question of Palestine (New York: Quandrangle, 1979).

In the late 1950s, my political education began at the knees, or rather the soapboxes, of Union Square’s old lefties. Saturday morning meanderings among the Fourth Avenue bookstores were followed by afternoon “classes” in New York’s equivalent of London’s Hyde Park. Every political tendency on the American left, each splinter group and faction, had its champions -- and its critics.

Please Subscribe to access the full contents of this article.

"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?

Please Subscribe to access the full contents of this article.

From the Editors

by The Editors
published in MER102

It is no easy task to comprehend the significance of religion in its political dimension. Here in the US, for instance, Black churches have played a vital and progressive role in the struggle for political and civil rights. More recently, fundamentalist and revivalist Christian churches have participated intimately in advancing the political fortunes of the new right. Other church people have been in the forefront of the campaigns against nuclear weapons. In Central and South America, “liberation theology” emerged out of fierce mass struggles against political oppression and. economic degradation, while the Catholic hierarchy remained committed, for the most part, to the ruling classes.

The 100-Year War

Report from the West Bank and Gaza

by Joan Mandell , Salim Tamari
published in MER108

“Israel is fighting in Lebanon,” declared Israel’s armed forces chief of staff Raphael Eitan on July 10, “to win the struggle for Eretz Yisrael.” Addressing officers and soldiers of a front-line armored unit, Eitan declared that “destroying and uprooting the terrorists’ base in Lebanon, would weaken the Palestinians’ opposition to the Jewish presence in Eretz Yisrael.” [1] In Eitan’s view, “The principal enemy has been fighting us for Eretz Yisrael for 100 years.” [2]