The decision by the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy’s (IARPP) to hold their annual conference in Tel Aviv, Israel reveals once again how acknowledging Israeli-inflicted Palestinian suffering continues to be an exception among progressive institutions, practitioners and theorists within psychology and, more specifically, within psychoanalysis. The IARPP’s disavowal of the reality-based reasons why holding its conference in Tel Aviv excludes Palestinians and is at odds with their own tenets cannot be written off as simply misunderstanding, ignorance of global issues or unconscious enactment.
At Birzeit University in the Israeli occupied West Bank, students and faculty are fundamentally remaking the dominant paradigm of Israel Studies as it has been configured in the United States and increasingly in Great Britain, with its proud “advocacy” mandate on behalf of the Israeli state. Birzeit’s program turns this paradigm inside out, providing students with a radical alternative: a settler-colonial framework is central within the curriculum, as is a comparative analytic framework.
Over the past three years, striking and demonstrating teachers have mobilized against their new precarious status as contract-labor under government privatization reforms implemented in 2016. The teachers’ struggle is bound up in the broader fight by Moroccan unions against the government’s neoliberal reforms targeting the public sector as a whole. Whether these protests will renew the momentum of the 2011 February 20 movement will depend upon the government’s response and the ability of the protesters to sustain and broaden the scope of their mobilization.
The ongoing attacks on Congressional critics of Israeli policies like Rep.’s Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib for their alleged antisemitic remarks appear culled from the same playbook that Israel’s supporters in Great Britain used to tarnish Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn: continuously vilify the messenger in order to discredit the message. In our continuing discussion of this issue (see our roundtable on the manufactured controversy over Ilhan Omar’s tweets) we asked two commentators from Great Britain and two from grassroots activism in the United States to respond and reflect on what is behind this tactic and why now it is being deployed in each context.
Turkish voters sent a strong message to its long-standing ruling party and its leader on March 31, 2019 that the government’s authoritarian turn has not fully succeeded. In nationwide municipal elections, for the first time in a quarter century, the political movement largely associated with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoǧan lost control over both the country’s economic and political capitals, as well as numerous other districts throughout the country. The symbolic and economic significance of losing both capitals, especially Istanbul, cannot be discounted. This article explains why this happened.
Middle East Report
One of MERIP’s signature issues over the years has been the question of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict—partly because of its intrinsic interest but largely because so much myth and cant clouds the mainstream media coverage of this subject that independent analysis is particularly necessary. This primer by Joel Beinin and Lisa Hajjar is a good place to start in understanding what is at stake as events unfold.
FROM THE ARCHIVE
Selected articles from MERIP’s 44 years of coverage that shed light on current events.
Background to Ongoing Protests in Sudan
Anti-government protests have rocked Sudan since the beginning of 2019, with police crackdowns leaving dozens of dead and many wounded. Large crowds have taken to the streets across the country to denounce a government decision in December to triple the price of bread and to demand the end of President Omar al-Bashir’s regime. The following articles and interviews offer accounts of earlier protests and regime repression as well as an overview of US policy toward Sudan leading up to the secession of South Sudan in 2011.