Striking for Dignity and Freedom

by Amahl Bishara | published May 5, 2017 - 7:28am

More than 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners began a hunger strike on April 17 for better conditions inside Israeli jails. Their demands include access to education, proper medical care and an end to the practice of solitary confinement. They are striking to make their families’ lives easier, too—for regular visitation rights and respectful treatment of visitors by prison administrators.

Where Is Israel in the Refugee Crisis?

by Callie Maidhof , Michael Fin | published September 28, 2015 - 2:54pm

Last week, SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum and Mayor Talal Al-Krenawi of the Negev Bedouin city Rahat issued a joint statement offering the absorption of 1,000 refugees from Syria, who would be supported by employment at the new SodaStream factory in nearby Idan haNegev.

Israeli-Palestinian Dialogue

Report from the West Bank

by Salim Tamari
published in MER111

One of the lesser known aspects of Palestinian politics over the last eight years has been the steadily growing contacts between a number of Palestinian and Israeli progressive groups and individuals in the occupied territories. Though unreported, those contacts have not always been clandestine. They have involved a much wider circle than more publicized meetings between the small leftist parties on both sides of the “green line,” such as Matzpen and the Communist Party.

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Halabi, The West Bank Story

published in MER115

Rafik Halabi, The West Bank Story (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1982).

Rafik Halabi is a Palestinian-Israeli Druze. He writes at times with the viewpoint of an Israeli soldier and a former aide to Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek, sometimes as an Arab villager. The West Bank Story explores several themes. Drawing on his experience covering the occupied territories for Israeli television, Halabi offers a journalistic account of the occupation’s history, its political figures and its radical “Palestinization” (or “de-Jordanization”). Another theme is the impact of the occupation on the occupying society.

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Status-less in Cyber City

by Maisam Alahmed
published in MER275

When refugees from the Syrian war first began to stream into Jordan, the Jordanian Ministry of Interior registered the newcomers and placed them in the care of families, under the kafala system, mainly in the capital of Amman. The kafala or guardianship system has roots in Bedouin customs, but in modern times the term refers to how many Arab states handle migrant workers. A citizen or a company, known as a kafil, sponsors the migrant for a work visa and residency permit. At first this system accepted everyone, regardless of nationality or legal status—including 55 Palestinian families coming from Syria.

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Resistance Museum in Abu Dis

by Alex Lubin
published in MER275

In the shadow of the Israeli separation wall, and on the bucolic campus of al-Quds University in Abu Dis, a suburb of East Jerusalem, sits a museum dedicated to Palestinian prisoners of Israel. The Abu Jihad Museum for the Prisoners’ Movement is named after the Palestinian political prisoner and martyr, Khalil al-Wazir or Abu Jihad, who gained notoriety as a leader of the first intifada and an advocate for prisoners’ rights. Al-Wazir was assassinated by Israel in Tunisia in 1988.

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Writing Palestinian Politics in Israel's Prisons Before Oslo

by Rebecca Granato
published in MER275

Since Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza in 1967, around three quarters of a million Palestinians have been arrested, sometimes for actions taken against Israeli soldiers or civilians, but at other times for association with others or for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. In the early days of the occupation, thousands of Palestinians were rounded up, many serving sentences of ten years or more.

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Demographic Consequences of the Occupation

by Janet Abu-Lughod
published in MER115

The residual areas of Palestine occupied by Israel in June 1967 (generally referred to as the West Bank and Gaza) contained a population of between 1,300,000 and 1,350,000 Palestinians. At that time, this population represented over half of all the estimated 2,650,000 Palestinians in the world. At present, the number of Palestinians who remain in these zones does not exceed 1,300,000—approximately the same number as lived there 15 years ago. Had the population of 1967 remained in place, natural increase would have yielded a present population in post-1967 occupied Palestine in excess of 2 million. Therefore, we estimate that the June 1967 war and subsequent occupation were responsible for the dispersion from their homeland of over 700,000 additional Palestinians.

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Palestinian Communists and the National Movement

published in MER115

George Hazboun is a leading Palestinian trade unionist. He was dismissed from his elected position as deputy mayor of Bethlehem by a January 22 municipal council decision, spearheaded by Mayor Elias Freij, for his alleged abstention from attending council meetings since May 1982. Coming as it did three weeks before the convening of the Palestine National Council in Algeria, this dismissal was interpreted by the national movement as an attempt to clear the ground for pro-Hashemite elements in the West Bank to make their presence known in the Algiers meeting and to mute anti-Jordanian sentiment locally.

Two Books on Jordan

by Mary C. Wilson
published in MER119

Avi Plascov, The Palestinian Refugees in Jordan, 1948-1957 (London: Frank Cass, 1981).

Peter Gubser, Jordan: Crossroads of Middle Eastern Events (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1983).

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