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Posts tagged ‘Palestine’

The Troubled History of the Two-State Solution

Since 30 March, when ‘Great March of Return’ protests began in the occupied Gaza Strip, the Israeli army’s brutal crackdown on Palestinian demonstrators has prompted condemnation worldwide. On 14 May, Israeli snipers positioned across the other side of a fortified fence killed 60 Palestinians and injured many more – some 1,300 were hit with live fire.

The bloodshed of 14 May occurred the day before Nakba Day, marked annually by Palestinians to remember the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian communities in 1948, and protest Israel’s continued rejection of the refugees’ right of return. Read more

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Where is Palestine?

Google was at the center of a storm recently, after a group of Palestinian journalists claimed that the tech giant had removed ‘Palestine’ from its map. As the statement was picked up and circulated, the hashtag #PalestineIsHere went viral on Twitter, and international media outlets covered the story.

Following the social media frenzy and press coverage, Google stated that ‘Palestine’ had not been removed because it had never been there in the first place. Instead, Google claimed, a “bug” had removed the labels for ‘West Bank’ and ‘Gaza Strip,’ which would be restored shortly. Read more

LSE criticised by students for bowing to pro-Israel ‘lobby groups’

The London School of Economics (LSE) has been accused of bowing to external “lobby groups”, following the university’s public criticism of the student Palestine Society.

The controversy centres around an exhibition held by the Palestine Society in the SU building on October 22, intended to raise awareness about Israel’s repression of Palestinians living under military occupation, particularly in light of recent unrest. Read more

A Third Intifada?

It was just after midday on Oct. 5, 13-year-old Abd Al-Rahman Shadi Obeidallah was standing with friends in Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem. Young Palestinians had been throwing stones at the Israeli occupation forces stationed nearby when, without warning, a soldier fired two live bullets. Abd Al-Rahman was struck in the chest. An hour later, he was pronounced dead at the local hospital. Read more

Four important ways to advance the conversation on Palestine

Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip over the summer prompted an unprecedented outpouring of solidarity for Palestinians in the West, from street protests to expressions of outrage by mainstream politicians. Israel suffered serious damage to its reputation, while support for Palestinians – including through tactics like boycott and divestment – grew.

This occurred in the context of a slowly but steadily deteriorating environment for Israel in countries whose political leaders can still be counted on, by and large, to offer essential diplomatic, military, and economic support. Read more

Israel is an apartheid state (no poll required)

A poll of Jewish Israelis published last week in Ha’aretz newspaper created headlines round the world with its findings of support among the public for discriminatory policies. Some greeted the survey’s results as vindication of claims made by critics of the Jewish state; others pointed to what they said were flaws in the methodology and how the statistics were being presented.

There is, however, no need for such a poll in order to reach the conclusion that Israel is guilty of apartheid: The facts speak for themselves.

Firstly, a clarification about terminology. To talk about Israeli apartheid is not to suggest a precise equivalence with the policies of the historic regime in South Africa. Rather, apartheid is a crime under international law independent of any comparison (see here, here, here, and here). As former UN Special Rapporteur John Dugard put it in the foreword to my first book: “It is Israel’s own version of a system that has been universally condemned.” Read more

BDS: Can three simple letters spell liberation for one of the world’s most polemical conflicts?

“It is no longer enough to try and change Israel from within. Israel has to be pressured in the same way apartheid South Africa was forced to change.”

Those are the words of Yonatan Shapira, a former captain in the Israeli Air Force turned anti-apartheid activist. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign he supports has grown in just a few years to be a key strategy internationally for the advancement of Palestinian rights. Read more

Why Israel/Palestine needs a new definition of self-determination

Condoleeza Rice’s recently published memoirs contains an interesting passage about Palestine/Israel. Rice relates a conversation she had with Tzipi Livni in March 2004, with the discussion particularly focused on Livni’s concerns regarding the Palestinian refugees’ right of return.

The Israeli politician’s central opposition to the refugees’ return — that it could “change the nature of the State of Israel, which had been founded as a state for the Jews” — is nothing new. But the former Secretary of State’s response is instructive.

I must admit that though I understood the argument intellectually, it struck me as a harsh defense of the ethnic purity of the Israeli state when Tzipi said it. It was one of those conversations that shocked my sensibilities as an American. After all, the very concept of ‘American’ rejects ethnic or religious definitions of citizenship. Moreover, there were Arab citizens of Israel. Where did they fit in? Read more

The two state solution is dead

This week should be the end of the so-called peace process – and the ‘two state solution’. Whatever happens at the United Nations, the game is finished, and a transition to something else altogether is already underway.

This month marks 18 years since the signing of the Oslo Accords, and the declaration from the Palestinian side that they recognised Israel’s right to exist. In return, Israel recognised – the legitimacy of the PLO to represent the Palestinians. That was the exchange, and this asymmetry has shaped the ‘peace process’ ever since. Read more

The 911 Forum – Commentary No.8

“Like a shot heard around the world, like the only piece of news
It choked any other thing that might have spoken true”
‘Josephine’, Paul Kamm and Eleanore MacDonald (Ruby Eyes Publishing)

The mantra is “September 11 changed everything”. But this was, and remains, a lie – unless of course your father or sister or lover died that day in the fires of lower Manhattan, in the Pentagon, or in a Pennsylvanian field. It was a lie, crafted by the speech-makers and deployed with gusto by our politicians and ‘opinion-formers’ in order to create a state of exception – a framework for new colonial expeditions and occupations, and a justification for torture and extraordinary renditions. Read more