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.

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"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?

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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]

Palestine and the ICC

by The Editors | published January 8, 2015 - 4:29pm

At the close of 2014, Mahmoud ‘Abbas, head of the Ramallah wing of the Palestinian Authority (PA), announced that he would sign the Rome Statute, the 2002 treaty establishing the International Criminal Court based in The Hague. This move opens the possibility that the Palestinians could ask the Court to investigate Israeli military operations and/or occupation practices as violations of international law. ‘Abbas accepted Court jurisdiction retroactive to June 13, 2014, when Israel began the raids that developed into Operation Protective Edge, the seven-week bombardment and invasion of Gaza. The meaning and efficacy of the PA’s maneuver are subjects of considerable debate.

The Cold Realities of US Policy in Israel-Palestine

by Mitchell Plitnick | published October 15, 2014

During the summertime war in Gaza, the two most progressive members of the US Senate stirred up controversy among their backers with expressions of uncritical support for Israel. At a town hall meeting, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the lone Senate independent, responded to a questioner that Israel had “overreacted” with its 52-day bombardment and ground incursion, but then proceeded to justify Israel’s actions with the usual pro-Israel talking points about “missiles fired from populated areas” and “sophisticated tunnels.” [1] An audience member began to shout objections, to which Sanders said, “Shut up.”

Letter from the West Bank

by A Special Correspondent
published in MER123

Driving through the West Bank on Land Day, March 30, we pull to the side of the road outside Balata refugee camp, on the outskirts of Nablus. In the valley, two bulldozers move slowly against the backdrop of the Nablus hills, plowing a new road through wheatfields. Spring has come early this year, and in the heady sunlight we make our way through the knee-high wheat to ask two burly Israeli soldiers, clearly enjoying their duty of guarding the bulldozers, why the authorities were building a new road parallel to two existing roads.