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  • Author: Michal Rotem, Neve Gordon
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: The struggle between Zionists and Palestinian Bedouin over land in the Negev/ Naqab has lasted at least a century. Notwithstanding the state’s continuing efforts to concentrate the Bedouin population within a small swath of land, scholars have documented how the Bedouin have adopted their own means of resistance, including different practices of sumud. In this paper we maintain, however, that by focusing on planning policies and the spatio-legal mechanisms deployed by the state to expropriate Bedouin land, one overlooks additional technologies and processes that have had a significant impact on the social production of space in the Negev. One such site is the struggle over the right to education, which, as we show, is intricately tied to the organization of space and the population inhabiting that space. We illustrate how the right to education has been utilized as an instrument of tacit displacement deployed to relocate and concentrate the Bedouin population in planned governmental towns. Simultaneously, however, we show how Bedouin activists have continuously invoked the right to education, using it as a tool for reinforcing their sumud. The struggle for education in the Israeli Negev is, in other words, an integral part of the struggle for and over land.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Palestine
  • Author: Jeffrey Reger
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Drawing on Arabic, English, and Hebrew language sources from the British and Israeli archives, this article seeks to bridge the catastrophic rupture of 1948 to the early 1950s and to trace the changing relationship between ordinary Palestinian olive cultivators in the Galilee and the newly established Israeli state. In contrast with studies that center on the continued expulsion of Palestinians and extension of control over land by the state and state-supported actors in the aftermath of the Nakba, this study examines those Palestinians who stayed on their land and how they responded to Israeli agricultural and food control policies that they saw as discriminatory to the point of being existential threats. Beyond analysis of Israeli state policy toward olive growers and olive oil producers, this article brings in rare Palestinian voices from the time, highlighting examples of Palestinian resistance to the Israeli state’s practices of confiscation and discrimination.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: Sahar Francis
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Women have been instrumental to the Palestinian liberation struggle from its inception, and the role they have played in political, civil, and armed resistance has been as critical, if not as visible, as that of their male counterparts. In addition to experiencing the same forms of repression as men, be it arrest, indefinite detention, or incarceration, Palestinian women have also been subjected to sexual violence and other gendered forms of coercion at the hands of the Israeli occupation regime. Drawing on testimonies from former and current female prisoners, this paper details Israel’s incarceration policies and examines their consequences for Palestinian women and their families. It argues that Israel uses the incarceration of women as a weapon to undermine Palestinian resistance and to fracture traditionally cohesive social relations; and more specifically, that the prison authorities subject female prisoners to sexual and gender-based violence as a psychological weapon to break them and, by extension, their children.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: Nehad Khader
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: In this profile of Rasmea Odeh, JPS examines the case of a Palestinian woman who has been incarcerated in both Israel and the United States. After a decade of confinement in Israel, Odeh was freed in a prisoner exchange in 1979. Following deportation from the occupied Palestinian territories, she became a noted social justice and women’s rights organizer, first in Lebanon and Jordan, and later in the U.S., where she built the now over 800-strong Arab Women’s Committee of Chicago. In April 2017, Odeh accepted a plea bargain that would lead to her deportation from the United States after a years-long legal battle to overturn a devastating conviction on charges of immigration fraud. Observers, legal experts, and supporters consider the case to “reek of political payback,” in the words of longtime Palestine solidarity activist, author, and academic Angela Davis. Odeh’s generosity of spirit, biting wit, and easy smile did not desert her throughout the years that she fought her case. To know Odeh is to be reminded that the work of organizing for social justice is about the collective rather than the individual, and that engagement, relationship building, and trust are the foundations of such work.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Human Rights, International Affairs, Prisons/Penal Systems
  • Political Geography: Palestine
  • Author: Salim Tamari
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: The passing of Ibrahim Dakkak in early June 2016 marked the departure of the last of the great socialist leaders of Palestine’s post-Nakba generation. Dakkak was known for multiple levels of activism, as a trade unionist, as an exponent of economic development and higher education, and as a political organizer. He was also widely recognized for his role as the chief architect in charge of the restoration of al-Aqsa Mosque after an arson attack in 1969. Politically, he was in the top leadership of three major movements inside the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt): al-Jabha al-wataniyya or Palestine National Front, a coalition launched in August 1973 that mobilized civil resistance to Israeli land confiscations and a whole host of other rights violations; Lajnat al-tawjih al-watani (the National Guidance Committee or NGC), established in 1978 to coordinate resistance efforts inside the oPt with the political leadership of the national movement based outside; and al-Mubadara al-wataniyya (the National Initiative Committee), which Dakkak cofounded with Mustafa Barghouti and Haidar Abdel-Shafi in the 1990s to counter the consequences of the Oslo Accords.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Palestine
  • Author: C. William Walldorf, Jr.
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: C. WILLIAM WALLDORF, JR. discusses sanctions and their effectiveness to promote democracy and human rights. He draws from a set of historical cases in Latin America and argues that his Findings have direct policy implications for present day sanctions against countries like Burma and Syria. - See more at: http://www.psqonline.org/article.cfm?IDArticle=19316#sthash.l7UjcdcH.dpuf
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Central America, Syria
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: I think it is difficult to contest that the most important state player in world affairs over the last one hundred years – and consistently so over this period – has been the United States of America. World War I – into which, to borrow from Christopher Clark's justly celebrated book, we 'sleepwalked' – marks a useful starting point. It is not only the fairly important role America played in bringing WWI to an end that signals the beginning of this era, but also the no less important role it played in shaping the aftermath. Wilson's 14 points were considered at the time 'idealistic' by some of the yet-to-be 'Old Powers'. But by dismantling the Ottoman Empire through the principle of self-determination (not at that time a universal legally binding norm) it was an early swallow to the demise, a mere generation later, of all other colonial empires and the truly decisive reshaping of the balance of power in the post-WWII world. The US played an equally cardinal role in ideating and realizing the United Nations Organization and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – two lynchpins of our current world order.
  • Topic: Human Rights, War
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Gaza
  • Author: Michelle Leanne Burgis-Kasthala
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This study employs a select ethnography of Palestinian workers in the field of international law and human rights to explore how an epistemic community gives content and meaning to international law in its professional and personal life. Through a series of interviews conducted in the West Bank in the wake of the Palestinian attempt to gain full United Nations membership in September 2011, the article constructs a meta-narrative about the nature of international legal discourse as spoken on the Palestinian periphery. It shows how speakers of international law are required to restate or over-state the distinction between law and politics so as to sustain their hope and desire for Palestinian statehood in the face of despair about its protracted denial. The article then is an exploration about the politics of meaning making through international law and a call for methodological hybridity within the discipline of international law.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Politics, United Nations
  • Author: Sara De Vido
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Water has been a challenging issue over the centuries. From questions of national boundaries and navigation, quite common in the past, to the development of a human right to water, this essential element for human life has always spurred debate among international lawyers, economists, political scientists, geographers, and anthropologists. The reason may be found in the scarcity of water, a phenomenon which affects both developed and developing countries. Much has been written on the topic, but the three books under review significantly contribute to a critical analysis of some pertinent legal issues related to water. The title of each monograph reflects the purpose of the respective study. Hence, International Law for a Water-Scarce World by Brown Weiss starts from the acknowledgement that 'the fresh water crisis is the new environmental crisis of the 21st century' (at 1) and provides an integrated analysis of water law, which considers climate implications, river basins, and the availability and quality of fresh water. Boisson De Chazournes' Fresh Water in International Law investigates the status of fresh water in international law. The choice of the titles of the chapters is particularly evocative. Thus, after a chapter on regulation of fresh water use, the book continues with chapters on the 'Economization' of the law applicable to fresh water, its 'Environmentalization', followed by its 'Humanization', and 'Institutionalization Trends in Fresh Water Governance', before focusing on dispute settlement mechanisms. The use of the ending '-zation' gives the immediate impression of the evolution of the law on fresh water resources, which now includes several separate but clearly interrelated aspects. The title of the third book, written by Thielbörger, deserves attention for two elements, the first being the letter 's' inside the parentheses and the second being the adjective 'unique' used for identifying the human right to water. The Right(s) to Water. The Multi-Level Governance of a Unique Human Right pursues a different purpose from the two other books under review which adopt a more comprehensive approach. Thielbörger's book (based on his doctoral dissertation) studies the human right to water from a comparative and international perspective, emphasizing the complexity of a right which is strictly linked to other rights but constitutes at the same time a right of its own.
  • Topic: Development, Human Rights, International Law
  • Author: Mark R. von Sternberg
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: Both geographic and normative constraints restrict access to surrogate international human rights protection for those seeking a haven from serious human rights abuses. Primary among territorial restrictions has been the fall-out from the US Supreme Court's decision in Sale v. Haitian Council Centers in which the court explicitly ruled that nothing in US statutory law, or in the 1951 Convention on Refugees or its 1967 Protocol, precluded the interdiction of Haitian refugees in international waters and their return to the country of origin without an effective interview on their protection clams. This ruling is in transparent contradiction to the general international law norm of non-refoulement according to modern scholarship and emerging case law. This paper concludes that Sale should be overturned by statute as should related pre-screening practices. A new standard of “jurisdiction” should be adopted which does not depend on territorial access to a signatory state but on whether the state is exercising power in fact. Similar concerns exist with respect to safe third country agreements which often offend the international customary right of the asylum seeker to choose where his or her claim will be filed. This paper argues that the right of choice should be recognized and onward travel and admission to the country of destination allowed. This result is especially called for where return of the alien by the country of first contact raises serious concerns under the law of non-refoulement. Imbalances noted in this paper include those generated by the new terrorism related grounds of inadmissibility in the United States and the summary denial of children's asylum claims flowing from gang violence. Other questions are raised in this paper concerning work authorization and detention of asylum seekers. Access to an employment authorization Journal on Migration and Human Security document for those filing colorable claims should be recognized by statute to render US practice consistent with that of most other states. Release from detention, on the other hand, for asylum seekers has now been broadly recognized by the US Department of Homeland Security where the asylum seeker's identity can be ascertained and the claim is non-frivolous in nature. This approach is largely consistent with international law, although there have been unnecessary delays in implementing it. On the substantive law, the international customary norm of non-refoulment has been expanded considerably through the development of opinio juris by scholars and the practice of states. This paper traces efforts in Europe to develop a law of temporary refuge for those fleeing civil war situations characterized by humanitarian law violations. Similarly, case law under the European Convention of Human Rights has now come to focus on the harm the claimant would suffer as the result of conditions in the country of origin without identifying an explicit agent of serious harm. Related to these developments has been the notion of complementary protection under which relief can be conferred where the alien would suffer serious harm upon return to the home state but not for a Convention reason. These approaches have now received approval in the European Union Asylum Qualification Directive so that international protection may now be conferred either because the alien would suffer serious harm on account of the intensity of human rights violations taking place in the country of origin, or those conditions, taken in conjunction with the claimant's personal situation, support a finding that the claimant would be impacted. This paper argues that this latter standard has now been made a part of the customary norm of non-refoulement and that it should be recognized by statute as a basis for non-return and coupled with status where the new standard can be met. Such a measure would help restore the nation's commitment to human rights and humanitarian concerns.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States