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 - 5:29pm

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.

From the Editors

by The Editors
published in MER129

We would like to begin this first issue for 1985 with heartfelt thanks to our readers for your very strong support over the past year. Your unprecedented generosity in response to our fundraising appeals was essential to our work, and we appreciate very much the confidence this expresses for MERIP’s future. In this coming year we will continue to count on your help. The need for a strong, critical perspective on US policy in the region will be more important than ever as the Reagan administration begins its second term. We are grateful to know that you are with us. One innovation we are planning for this year is a special newsletter for those who contribute $50 or more to MERIP’s work. The first issue will appear shortly.

Benvenisti, The West Bank Data Base Project

by Alex Pollock
published in MER131

Meron Benvenisti, The West Bank Data Base Project: A Survey of Israel’s Policies (Washington: American Enterprise Institute, 1984).

This book, by the former Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, is the first major commercial publication of the small but industrious West Bank Data Base Project (WBDBP). The project constitutes an attempt to collect and collate an accurate and comprehensive data base which will enable “[us] to focus on fast changing conditions in the territories and, in so doing, prevent the political discussion and decision-making process from being overtaken by events.” (p. ix) This meritorious claim has received the imprimatur of no lesser figures than former Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and Special Envoy Philip Habib.

Cobban, The PLO

by Samih Farsoun
published in MER131

Helena Cobban, The PLO: People, Power and Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,1984).

The Amazing Road

by Barbara Harlow
published in MER131

The Palestinian Wedding: A Bilingual Anthology of Contemporary Palestinian Resistance Poetry, collected and translated by A.M. Elmessiri, illustrated by Kamal Boullata, Arabic calligraphy by Adel Horan, (Washington DC: Three Continents Press, 1982).

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Hussein Hangover

The West Bank After the PNC

by A Special Correspondent
published in MER131

Diplomatic activity on the future of the occupied West Bank and Gaza has again assumed a high profile. The luminaries traveling on this particular mission are jetting around the globe -- King Fahd in Washington, Hussein in Algiers, and the US and the Soviet Union in Vienna.

The people at the heart of the discussion, the population of the occupied territories, still suffer from the lull that has gripped the West Bank and Gaza since the war in Lebanon. Initiatives, not to speak of solutions, seem far removed from the curfewed alleyways of Dheisheh refugee camp, the huckster-thronged streets of the Old City of Jerusalem or the solemn night streets of Ramallah and Nablus.

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Squaring the Palestinian Circle

An Interview with Rashid Khalidi

by Nubar Hovsepian , Joe Stork
published in MER131

Rashid Khalidi, a Palestinian scholar and close observer of PLO affairs, is presently a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center of the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, DC. He recently completed a book on the PLO experience in Lebanon. Nubar Hovsepian and Joe Stork spoke with him in late January 1985.

How would you describe the balance of forces within the Palestinian movement today?