Reintroducing the Right of Return
The author looks at the reluctance of negotiators to adhere to the standards of international law with regard to established refugee regimes. In particular he discusses the role of referenda in conflict resolution discourse both popular and political as a means of obviating the inherent moral and legal duty of Palestinian return. The article puts the case that political resolution cannot be at the expense of international norms and that effecting the Return is part of the process of peace: sustainable peace can only be effected in turn by a recognition that international norms trump the politically unequal negotiations between the Israeli state and the PLO.
The author argues that an effective strategy to implement the Right of Return depends on the success of anti-racist campaigners to expose and defeat the racist basis of opposition to Palestinian return by removing the ‘demographic’ issue from current discourse. Israeli opposition to the Right of Return based on so-called ‘demographic problems’ is in fact a code for racialised and racist policy. This article argues, that by doing so, the central obstacle to effecting the Right of Return will be excised, and the prospect of an egalitarian, bi-national state can become a realistic prospect.
This article conveys a Torah approach to the Palestinian struggle and a belief in the Right of Return as a basic moral obligation as well as an international legal necessity. It responds to Zionist criticism of the theological standpoint on Palestinian sovereignty and expounds a theory of cross-confessional solidarity. The author also looks at the Jewish notion of return to the Holy Land through a theological lens and discusses the implications and requirements for such a return based on a Torah viewpoint. Key to this view is the idea of commonality rather than coercion and co-citizenship rather than conquest.
The author looks at the particularities and precedent set by the resolution of other conflicts and the primacy and effectiveness of the principle of refugee return in all namely: Bosnia, East Timor, Tajikistan and Kosovo. In all cases international norms were respected and implemented, even when conflicts were fought over and resolved on the right of self-determination. Refugee return is not only a moral imperative but one that can be practically implemented and have long reaching pragmatic results in terms of nation-building and creating cohesive and potentially egalitarian societies.
One State Solution?
This article summarises the moral and legal contentions that undermine Israel’s claim to legitimacy. From Golda Meir’s infamous contentions that the country is the realisation of a promise from God to the current capitulation by the Palestinian leadership to notions of Israeli sovereignty, the author suggests there can be no peace without an acceptance of the concept that the existence of Israel has no normative foundation.
In this second piece written two years later, Said looks critically at the Palestinian failure to harness cultural sympathy with the struggle for self-determination and expose the true nature of Zionist exclusivism. He sees the failure rooted ultimately in the failure to provide an alternative solution that did not rely on American benevolence and which failed to address the idea of a shared and common humanity.
Surmising that: ‘Once we grant that Palestinians and Israelis are there to stay, then the decent conclusion has to be the need for peaceful coexistence and genuine reconciliation’, Said’s seminal essay on the subject of a one-state solution assesses the reality of just and sustained peace as an outcome of the two state solution and the alternative proposed by the author himself. One state that delivers the ideal of the “idea and practice of citizenship, not of ethnic or racial community, as the main vehicle for coexistence.”
Using the example of institutionalised racism in South Africa, the authors place the idea of a one-state solution within the context of the UN Charter and the Geneva Conventions. A two-state solution, with its concretisation of racist and colonial injustices, cannot allow for the development of Palestinian self-determination.
The purpose of this article is to stress the pattern of continuity in Palestine’s modern history, beginning with the late Ottoman Period, as a geo-political entity with its own cultural cohesiveness and distinctiveness. The search is for both the political structures that existed and those offered as alternatives.
In the context of a failing process begun at Oslo, the author contends that the only viable solution to the impasse and violence is the development and emergence of a binational state through international pressure. Without this as the stated goal of peacemakers in the region, the author sees catastrophe and disaster on the horizon.
The Significance of Al-Quds
Anti-Zionist activists are often confronted with accusations of anti-Semitism. Looking at both Zionism and Judaism from general and particular perspectives, the author examines the compatibility of Zionism with Judaism and whether anti-Zionism can be equated with anti-Semitism.
Drawing parallels between the Israeli occupation of Palestine with the British occupation of Ireland and in particular the role of religion in both conflicts, the author argues that only by holding Israel to account for its crimes can a just and lasting peace be established.
This article investigates the implementation of inclusive vision in Islamicjerusalem after the first Muslims conquest of the region. This will involve historical evidences in order to introduce the new conceptual framework of inclusiveness derived from the Quranic verse in which Allah says: “We have delivered him and Lut? to the land which We have blessed for all nations” (Qur’an, 21: 71). This article will also attempt to highlight how the non-Muslims were treated in Islamicjerusalem during the early period of Islam.
Palestine as a Millennium Dome: Globalization, Exceptionalism, Americanism, Zionism and Palestinization of the World
This article tries to shed some light on America’s attitude towards Palestine vis a vis Israel. Through an analysis of Eurocentrism, Americanism and Zionism, the author finds a disturbingly similar trend in the practice of the Americans towards the Native Indians with the treatment of Palestinians by the Zionists.
Zionism and the State of Israel are representative of the global secularism and materialism which have taken over the entire world. Tthe battle against Zionism is not just about land but about a far greater clash between secular materialism and the Islamic civilisation built on spirituality and justice. Any attempt to liberate Palestine must be done at a global all-encompassing level with Islam as the framework of reference; Palestine will not be liberated until there is a war against oppression in all its forms throughout the world.
The role of Torah Jewish opposition to Zionism is an often overlooked aspect of the struggle. It’s importance is manifold: in readdressing wring conceptions of the conflict as religious; as challenging Zionist claims to represent Judaism and all Jews; and in Rabkin’s terms re-establishing a normative connection between religious culture and political action. Rabkin’s history recalls in great depth not just those who opposed Zionism from this perspective, but how and why.
Far from being a self-sustaining organism, Zionism finds strength from across the monotheistic divide in a fertile and powerful network of Christian organisations, mainly in the United States. Christian Zionists are among the most fervent supporters of Zionism because they see the state of Israel as part of a divinely ordained scheme that culminates in the second coming of Christ. They number in the tens of millions and have sought to influence generations of American politicians. However, their outlook rests on a fundamentalist misinterpretation of religious scripture that runs counter to the real message of Christianity.
Zionism is not a mere catchphrase. It is an organised and international political movement, with continuing influence on the daily situation in Palestine. Any successful strategy for the liberation of Palestine must confront the reality, not the myth, of Zionism. An end to the conflict in Palestine requires the return of the Palestinian refugees and the dismantlement of the Zionist structure of the state of Israel.
Zionism and the War on Lebanon
Pappe’s latest book is an informative account of the history of Palestine from the mid-Eighteenth Century until the recent war on Iraq. It covers vital historical periods including the fall and division of the Ottoman Empire, British Mandate Palestine, the creation of Israel, the various Arab-Israeli wars, the invasion of Lebanon, the Intifadah and the failed Oslo Accords.
Rima Fakhry gives a personal view of the recent Israeli aggression and discusses how it was only the latest in a long series of attacks stretching back almost 60 years. With each attack, the Lebanese people have become stronger and realized that armed resistance is the only way to repel Zionist aggression.
The sixth war between Israel and the Arab world, like so many other cases in history, has a complex background: the long term history of the Zionist presence in Palestine is one way of explaining what occurred on Lebanon’s soil in July and August this year. A closer look at the specific Israeli policies in the last six years, is another. This long term history is discussed in the first part of this article and it is connected, in the second part to the more immediate background leading to the destruction of Lebanon and the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2006.
Using The Israeli Model
Review of Al-Quds:al-Qadhiyyah Kulli Muslim [al-Quds: An Issue for All Muslims] By Dr Yusuf Qardhawi
This is a review of a book on al-Quds written by a prominent scholar of the ahlus-sunnah school of law based in Qatar. The book deals with issues connected to Palestine in general. Issues dealt with by the scholar include the place of al-Quds in the Qur’an, the relevance and importance of al-Quds to Muslims. On the political side he deals with the enemy i.e. the Zionist, and their project of destroying al-Quds and installing the temple of Solomon on its ruins. He discusses at length the nature of the enemy utilizing various sources in Arabic and Hebrew. He points towards the support the Americans had given towards Israel in fulfilling their Zionist project of the expansion of Israel. He ends the book by outlining some recommendations for the Muslims in the face of this encroachment towards al-Quds.
Following the ruthless killing of an innocent Brazilian in London by British police in July 2005, it rapidly emerged that for many years Britain had secretly adopted a shoot-to-kill policy to deal with suspected human bombers. The policy was implemented following lengthy consultations with and training by members of the Israeli security forces, who themselves are frequently accused of gross human rights abuses. With the civil police force in Britain adopting the brutal tactics of occupying armies, is the UK effectively being turned into a war-zone?
A relentless war against the Palestinians has been portrayed as Israeli self defence, even as a search for peace. Meanwhile any resistance has been portrayed as the obstacle to peace, even as terrorism. Through this storyline, the so-called ‘international community’ has legitimised the Zionist occupation of Palestine through its imitation of these policies in the global ‘war on terror’.
Eland looks at precisely how the US military has adopted Israeli military tactics in its occupation of Iraq. This piece exposes early on the dangers of adopting such policies as well as the likelihood of their failure as a ‘security’ oriented tactic. The only case to be made for such adoption, given the Israeli experience, appears in this analysis to be the perpetration of extreme violence largely against civilians.
One Year Of Hamas
The book under review deals with Hamas, the Islamic resistance movement in Palestine. It deals with a history of the rise of Hamas in the occupied territories, its ideology, its aims and its relationship with other Palestinian movements especially its relationship with the PLO, Fatah and the Palestine Authority (PA). It also includes a discussion on the events up till 30th June 2006 in which the famous election victory of Hamas occurred.
A Review of Absent Justice, directed by Mo’taz Jankhout, produced by E’tilat Al Kheir. A Vision Art Production. Certificate: PG. A programme of Seven Parts that records the Israeli ‘Operation Defensive Shield’. Merali reviews this seven part documentary, available on DVD, describing its content and the questions it raises for activists. The review focuses on the events in Jenin and contextualises them with contemporaneous narratives that universalize the event as a seminal moment in the struggle for Palestinian liberation. She examines the way that the documentary itself is a form of struggle, evidencing the defiance of civilians who have survived, both in their refusal to sit and die and in their acts of witness against their oppressors.
This article traces the historical developments of the Palestinian Ikhwan which led towards the establishment of Hamas in 1987. The article then continues to discuss the various roles played by Hamas in Palestinian society. The author also gives the message of Hamas by contextualising it against the backdrop of events occurring within the society. The article ends with looking at the aftermath of the January 2006 Hamas election victory as well as the recent trouble (Feb 2007) between Hamas and Fatah.
This paper deals with the current problem between the Fatah deputy leader and President of the PA Mahmoud Abbas with Hamas. It exposes the real reason for the escalation of tension between the two factions. The author points out through evidences gathered from the media that Hamas had accepted Israel’s right to exist for a long time even before their landslide victory in the legislative elections. Abbas’s pressure on Hamas and its leaders are unjustified; instead Hamas has the right and mandate from the people to reject Abbas’s request.
This paper describes and compares Hamas with other revolutionary movements in the past. Of note are the movements which led the French and American Revolutions. The writer outlines the similarities between these movements with Hamas through analogy and rigorous references to their content. He questions the attitude of accepting these movements by Western political theorists but their inability to use similar criteria in their understanding of Hamas. The author ends the article by pointing out that criticism raised by Islam against Western values is nothing new as even evangelical groups are doing the same. The Hamas victory in the January 2006 legislative elections should be used by the movement to deliver good governance for the success of their social agenda.
Keeping the Standard: Human Rights Abuses as Israeli Policy
Review of Palestine Peace Not Apartheid by Jimmy Carter, New York: Simon and Shuster, 2006, pp. 265+xvii.
Former US president Jimmy Carter’s historical narrative of the various efforts he has been involved in to bring peace to Palestine is a fascinating insight into the politics behind the would-be peacemakers. Carter shows great courage in describing how pro-Israeli bias within the current American administration is the real obstacle to peace in the Middle East; a bias which gives the green light to a system of oppression and apartheid.
The creation of Israel in Palestine in 1948 provoked untold human rights abuses both in terms of the collective rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination and in terms of their individual human rights. While the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) outlined ample provisions guaranteeing civil and political rights including the rights to life and liberty of all peoples, Israel has stubbornly refused to conform to these international norms.
A descriptive look at the daily life for the people of Gaza. The writer brilliantly illustrates the horrors of living under fire and portrays the Palestinians of Gaza as a people abandoned by the world to the murderous Israeli occupation, but whose will to resist strengthens with each atrocity committed against them.
Checkpoints, closures, curfews and the bureaucracy of permits and licences that back up these measures have long been the tools that facilitate the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory. However, since September 2000 the system has been intensified, ‘industrialised’ and, increasingly, brutalized. This article will make the point that the very existence of this massive scheme of obstacles, even when no physical or verbal abuse are perpetrated there, is in itself an abuse of a fundamental human/civil right: freedom of movement. More than this, allegedly a necessary security measure, the checkpoints are in fact instruments of control and humiliation of a civilian population and the paralysis and disruption of their economy and society (World Bank, 2007). Checkpoints are a tool towards Israel's realisation of maximum territory with a minimum of Palestinians; yet another element in the ongoing system of population transfer that began with the Naqba-Disaster of 1948 and that continues, by various means, up to the present time.
The following are extracts from a recent report on house demolitions in East Jerusalem authored by Dr. Meir Margalit and published by the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. The chapters explore the underlying motivation behind house demolitions and set forth musings as to the significance of home demolition for a family; what East Jerusalemites undergo from the time they are served the demolition order until the bulldozer arrives: the scars left on the souls of young children, and the effects of house demolition on the fabric of life in Jerusalem.
One State or Two? Revisiting Self-determination
Joining forces – Asian and Pacific civil society and worldwide initiatives to support a peaceful solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
This brief paper will revolve around five questions. Is the experience of ending occupation in Asia and the Pacific of any relevance to the Palestinian struggle? Is the experience of nation-building in Asia and the Pacific relevant to the Palestinian struggle? What is it that makes the Palestinian struggle such a unique challenge for humankind? How can the rest of the human family help the Palestinian people end the agony of occupation? What is the special role that civil society in Asia and the Pacific can play to bring occupation to an end?
The Beginning or End of Hope? Transforming the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict through Nation Building. Reviews of Married to Another Man by Ghada Karmi, The One-State...
Merali reviews three recent books supporting a one state solution for the Israeli – Palestinian conflict. From Virginia Tilley’s seminal volume of 2005, The One State Solution, through Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah’s One Country to Ghada Karmi’s Married to Another Man, the review examines the three authors’ claims on the one state solution as a normative and practical project, comparing and contrasting the three sets of claims, and applying their ideals to the current situation in Palestine.
A very courageous critique of the world's refusal to resolve the Palestinian Question based on any theory other than the 'Two-State Solution'. Dr Pappe highlights in detail how this mantra has been used to legitimize and exacerbate the Israeli occupation and the oppression of the Palestinian people. He contends that for Palestine to return its pre-Zionist days, Israel should be the target of an anti-Apartheid campaign which would ultimately result in genuine peace for Jews and Arabs alike.
Review of The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict 1947-1951, Ilan Pappe, I.B.Tauris, 2006, pp.324+ix.
The book under review deals with the major political processes which took place in the Middle East during the crucial period of 1947 -1951, the effects of which remain with the world today. Dr Pappe focuses in detail on issues such as Jewish immigration to Palestine, the influence of the USSR in the creation of Israel, the war of 1948-49, both the military and political aspects, and the role of the British and other Arab states in it.
Lessons from South Africa
Review of Madina to Jerusalem: Encounters with the Byzantine Empire, Ismail Adam Patel, Islamic Foundation, 2005, pp 160
Ismail Adam Patel’s book presents a readable account of the early Muslim expansion into al-Sham (modern day Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Palestine) challenging the superpower of the time - the Byzantine Empire. The book covers Muslim activity in al-Sham from 629-637 CE.
Despite this article being written in 1999 during the now discredited “peace process”, its powerful message for the basis of truth and reconciliation in Palestine is equally important today. The writer contends that the people of the region can never move forward unless the oppressors humanise those they systematically oppress and the injustices that have been committed are recognised.
Neville Alexander's analysis of post-apartheid's challenges in South Africa has been submitted by the author as a realistic but hopeful view of what a transformed Palestine-Israel can be, as well as sounding salutory warnings on the complacency of a post-conflict state.
In this article, Victoria Brittain explores the many parallels between the treatment of Palestinians by Israel and that of Blacks by the apartheid South African regime, in particular focusing on the Western powers support for the oppressor in both cases. Brittain concludes that the only effective manner in which Palestine can be liberated is for the people of the world to use tactics similar to those used to topple apartheid – Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.
Palestine in the Cultural Imagination: Some Thoughts on North America
The book under review courageously explores the bitter realities behind the creation of Israel, a process of ethnic cleansing which continues today.
While We Stand Aside and Look: Demonising Palestinians in Hollywood Movies – Where is the Responsibility? Review of the DVD, Reel Bad Arabs: How...
A review of the documentary based on the book of the same name which meticulously examines the portrayal of Arabs in some 750 movies from Hollywood’s earliest days until today.
Extracts from a study by the Islamic Human Rights Commission into the representation of Muslims in the media that reflect the intersection of ideas of Palestine and Muslims and Islam in the British media. These particular extracts look at the portrayal of Palestine in some Hollywood movies and suggest that the impact of these types of images and ideas are of huge significance in shaping public opinion against Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims.
Palestine and the ‘Humanisation’ of the Historical Arab in Hollywood : Still Racism by any Other Name?
Using two recent Hollywood blockbusters (‘Kingdom of Heaven’ and ‘Munich’) as case-studies, Seyfeddin Kara draws parallels between the traditional presentation of racial minorities in Western cinema and the representation of Palestinians in Hollywood today.
A study of the political, religious and cultural factors underlying the pro-Israeli bias apparent in the Western media today, as depicted in the mainstream news and television programmes.
Everywhere is War: 60 years of Israeli Belligerence
Sixty years after the creation of Israel, the true nature of its underlying ideology of Zionism has become apparent for all to see. The writer examines whether a grassroots global boycott movement will have the same effect of ending apartheid in Israel as happened in South Africa in the Eighties. This article originally appeared in Crescent International (May 2008).
A detailed examination of the struggle within the Jewish community during the formation of Zionism and the attempt to reconcile the policies of Zionism with traditional Jewish teachings and values.
The State of Israel is the product of a political movement, Zionism, aimed at providing a solution to “the Jewish question”, i.e. the rise of modern Anti-Semitism in Europe at the end of the 19th Century. “The Palestinian question” is the direct result of the unilateral drive to resolve the Jewish question by creating a Jewish State in Palestine, without taking into account the existence and the rights of the indigenous population.
In this piece, Yvonne Ridley speculates as to whether or not Israel would be able to survive independently of aid and support from the United States. Ridley considers whether, politically and economically, Israel has become a greater liability than benefit to its greatest ally.
Review of Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews (Vols 1 & 2) by Alan Hart (World Focus Publishing, 2005) 596 pages
Samira Quraishy reviews Alan Hart’s courageous 2 volumes discussing what he states is the primary source of anti-Semitism in the world today – Zionism and the state of Israel.
Review of Kanaaneh, Hatim. (2008). A Doctor in Galilee: The Life and Struggle of a Palestinian in Israel. London: Pluto Press.
Kara reviews Kanaaneh’s autobiography regarding his life in Palestine following his return form the United States, and focuses on how his experiences of social discrimination at the hands of teh Israelis changed his belief in the possibility and the desire for a 2 state solution.
In this comparative study of Islamic and secular resistance movements in the Muslim world, the writer traces the roots of both and discusses how in contemporary times, resistance movements in the Muslim world have reclaimed their Islamist roots after a period of failure during which they turned to secularism for inspiration. The article was first published in Monthly Review in October 2007.
In this article, the writer discusses a new method which Israel has adopted to demolish Arab homes in Occupied Jerusalem – the use of the Municipal Bye-Law for Conservation of Order and Cleanliness. This method is quicker and easier to implement than long and tiresome judicial proceedings which would have to be undertaken if the homes were demolished under national laws. By removing the cloak of the need for Conservation of Order and Cleanliness, Margolit exposes the actual underlying racist reason for the demolitions. This article was translated from Hebrew by George Malent
Written over a decade ago and personally handed to Yassir Arafat, Professor Boyle’s plea to be given authority to bring genocide proceedings against the State of Israel in the International Court of Justice is as relevant (if not more relevant) today as it was then.