Report from Amman

by Lamis Andoni
published in MER156

When King Hussein announced last July that Jordan was severing its political ties with the West Bank, he implicitly acknowledged that his strategy of 20 years, to broaden and deepen his political base there, had been overtaken by the Palestinian uprising. The Palestinian revolt has asserted an independent political identity with such clarity and force as to make it impossible for Jordan to continue to claim to represent the Occupied Territories politically.

The communiqués issued by the Unified National Leadership did not conceal the accumulating enmity towards the regime. They apparently had a personal effect on the king himself, who was deeply disappointed by the “hostile” attitude they expressed.

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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.

Palestinian Rights in Post-Oslo Israel

published in MER201

Below are the proceedings of a roundtable discussion held in Nazareth, Israel, on June 24, 1996. The participants were: Aida Toma-Suliman, general director of Women Against Violence, Hala Espanioli Hazzan, chairperson of the Follow-up Committee on Arab Education in Israel, Hassan Jabareen, director of litigation for Adalah -- The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, Mohammed Zeidan, coordinator of the Arab Association for Human Rights, Samar Zaidani, administrative director of the Galilee Society -- the Arab National Society for Health Research Services, and Yousef Jabareen, former director of strategic planning for the Nazareth Municipality.

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Dis/Solving the "Refugee Problem"

by Rosemary Sayigh
published in MER207

“A displaced person owns nothing but the spot where he is standing, which is always threatened.” -- Murid Barghouti

Israeli power, US backing, Palestinian weakness, Arab complicity -- these are the basic ingredients for a coercive settlement of the “refugee problem” based not on refugees’ rights but on their disappearance. The “new Middle East” must be tidied up; states, citizens and borders must correspond; disruptive anomalies must be removed. Because of their centrality to regional instability, eliminating the Palestinian refugees is essential to a pacified Middle East free to fulfill its designated role in the global economy.

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Jordan's Balancing Act

by Nicolas Pelham | published February 22, 2011

When anti-monarchical revolution swept the Middle East in the 1950s, Jordan was one of the few populous Arab states to keep its king. King ‘Abdallah II, son of Hussein, the sole Hashemite royal to ride out the republican wave, has all the credentials to perform a similar balancing act. Aged 49, he has been in charge for a dozen years, unlike his father, who was just 17 and only a few months into his reign when the Egyptian potentate abdicated in 1952. And the son has grown accustomed to weathering storms on the borders, whether the Palestinian intifada to the west or the US invasion of Iraq to the east.

Palestinian Uprising Cannot be Ended by Force

by Ian Urbina | published October 7, 2000

Israel needs to halt its use of force that has claimed more than 60 Palestinian lives in the past few days. And unless an international investigation is launched into Israel’s brutal attacks on Palestinian demonstrators, more blood will be shed.

So far, the United States has blocked U.N. Security Council resolutions condemning the killing of Palestinians. That is not a moral position to take. Nor does it advance the peace process.

The "Olive Branch" That Ought to Cross the Wall

by Abdul-Latif Khaled | published December 21, 2004

The autumn olive harvest used to be a time of celebration in this West Bank village. Entire families would spend days together in the groves. Even Israelis would make special trips here at this time of year to buy our olive oil. But with new Israeli restrictions on access to the fields, Palestinian farmers now have to leave their families at home, and may never even get to their olive grove.

Today, picking olives is no celebration. In the past few weeks, Israeli bulldozers began clearing agricultural land that belongs to Jayyous residents in anticipation of building 50 new houses for Israeli settlers.

Withdrawal from Gaza Won't End the Occupation

by Lama Hourani | published August 13, 2005

Gaza City—“I’ll go visit Auntie Lina in Ramallah after I obtain a tasreeh (an Israeli permit) and when Erez checkpoint is open, OK mama?”

This is what my son, who is almost three years old, told me the other day after having a chat with his cousin Laila who lives in Ramallah, in the West Bank. The problem is that during the last five years I have received permission to go to the West Bank only four or five times. Although I have a West Bank identity card from Nablus, I live and work with my husband and son in Gaza City. My son already knows the world: tasreeh , tukh (shoot) and Erez checkpoint is closed.

Behind the Gaza Breakdown

by Chris Toensing | published December 18, 2006

The latest convoluted set of events within Palestine, and at its borders, form a depressing tableau that mirrors the conflict as a whole.