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  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: D1. Amjad Atallah and Bassma Kodmani, "Preparing for the End Game: UN Membership for Palestine," New York, September 2010.2 D2. David Makovsky, President Obama's Draft Letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu Offering Inducements in Exchange for Renewing the West Bank Settlement Freeze, Washington D.C., 29 September 2010 (excerpts). D3. Human Rights Watch, "West Bank: Reports of Torture in Palestinian Detention," Washington, D.C., 20 October 2010.
  • Political Geography: United States, New York, Washington, Palestine
  • Author: Rashid Khalidi
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: A number of the essays and other items appearing in the current issue of the Journal of Palestine Studies have direct or indirect bearing on Palestinian strategy and the stalled “peace” process.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Palestine, Central America
  • Author: Manzar Foroohar
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This survey of the understudied topic of the Palestinian diaspora in Central America, based on existing documentation and interviews, focuses mainly on Honduras and El Salvador, the areas of greatest Palestinian concentration. Two waves of immigration are studied: the first and largest, in the early decades of the 20th century, was mainly Christian from the Bethlehem area in search of economic opportunities and intending to return; the second, especially after 1967, came as a permanent diaspora. The article describes the arrival from Palestine, the factors behind their considerable success, the backlash of discrimination, and finally assimilation. Palestinian involvement in Central American politics ( Right and the Left) is also addressed. The article ends with a discussion of identity issues and renewal of ties with Palestine. SINCE THE EARLY YEARS of the twentieth century, Palestinian immigrants to Central America have played a major role in the social, cultural, and economic development of their host countries. In some places, such as Honduras, they have been at the very forefront of commercial and industrial development. But while the history of Palestinian immigration to the United States, Mexico, and South America has been the subject of major scholarly investigations, Palestinians remain almost invisible in Central American historiography. Indeed, this is a research field that is just opening. This article is an attempt to compile existing documentation on the Palestinian international diaspora in Central America. The material is supplemented by nearly two dozen interviews, in Central America and in Palestine, with immigrants or their descendants, or with persons “back home” familiar with the emigration. It focuses on the history of the formation of Palestinian communities in Central America and their social, economic, and political contributions to their adopted countries. While Palestinian communities throughout Central America will be discussed, particular attention will be paid to Honduras and El Salvador, the countries with the largest concentrations of Palestinians in the region. The research and the interviews together shed light on the degree to which Palestinian diaspora communities have been assimilated into their host countries, and the degree to which they have simultaneously retained their identity and ties to their Palestinian origins. THE EARLY IMMIGRANTS Palestinian immigration to Central America began at the end of the nineteenth century. Because Palestine, like most of the Arab Middle East, was under Ottoman rule until 1918, it is difficult before that date to document their numbers accurately, since the immigrants carried Ottoman (Turkish) passports and therefore were categorized in the Central American registries as Turks (turcos). Though some documentation of the Palestinian component of Arab immigration exists for Honduras, where Palestinians are shown to constitute the overwhelming majority, no such information is available for the other states of the region. Palestinian immigration in the early period swelled as of the second decade of the twentieth century and peaked in the 1920s. It is not difficult to understand why. Most historians of the Middle East point to the general economic decline of the Ottoman Empire and the ongoing wars as the main reasons for emigration during the early period. The new Ottoman conscription law of 1908 intensified emigration among young male citizens of the Empire, and indeed the early immigrants to Central America were generally young males, 15 to 30 years old. Moreover, the Ottoman lands, including Palestine, suffered excruciating hardship and even starvation during World War I. Thus, in interviews with descendants of early immigrants, the two factors repeatedly highlighted as the causes of emigration from Palestine were miserable economic conditions in wartime and the military draft obligations. Most of the emigrants initially intended to return home after accumulating savings and for that reason did not invest in real estate in their host countries. After the end of the war and the restoration of stability following Palestine's occupation by Britain (and the establishment of the Mandate), economic and educational opportunities in the homeland increased. According to some scholars, between a third and a half of the early emigrants did return home and invested their savings in land and homes. Meanwhile, the returning emigrants served as sources of information about economic opportunities in the Americas, and their wealth and prosperity spurred others, especially young men, to try their luck in foreign adventures.
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Palestine
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: A. Meeting Minutes, PLO Negotiation Affairs Department Office, Jericho, 16 September 2009 (excerpts) B. Meeting Minutes, PLO Negotiation Affairs Department Office, Jericho, 17 September 2009 (excerpts) C. Meeting Minutes, U.S. Mission to the United Nations, New York, 24 September 2009 (excerpts) D. Meeting Summary, U.S. State Department, Washington, 1 October 2009 (excerpts) E. U.S. Draft Terms of Reference Document for Restarting Negotiations, 2 October 2009 F. PLO Negotiation Support Unit, Preliminary Comments on U.S. Proposal as Presented on 2 October 2009 G. Meeting Minutes, U.S. State Department, Washington, 2 October 2009 (excerpts) H. Meeting Minutes, U.S. State Department, Washington, 21 October 2009 (excerpts).
  • Political Geography: United States, Palestine
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This section includes articles and news items, mainly from Israeli but also from international press sources, that provide insightful or illuminating perspectives on events, developments, or trends in Israel and the occupied territories not readily available in the mainstream U.S. media.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel
  • Author: Michele K. Esposito
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: The Quarterly Update is a summary of bilateral, multilateral, regional, and international events affecting the Palestinians and the future of the peace process. More than 100 print, wire, television, and online sources providing U.S., Israeli, Arab, and international independent and government coverage of unfolding events are surveyed to compile the Quarterly Update. The most relevant sources are cited in JPS's Chronology section, which tracks events day by day. 16 November 2010–15 February 2011
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: D1. Human Rights Watch, "Separate and Unequal: Israel's Discriminatory Treatment of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories," Summary Section, New York, 19 December 2010 (excerpts).D2. U.S. AMB. to the un Susan Rice, Explanation of the U.S. Vote on the Unsc Resolution on Condemning Continuing Israeli Settlements, New York, 18 February 2011.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, New York, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Raja Shehadeh
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: In April 2011, Raja Shehadeh visited the United States to promote the U.S. edition of his new book, A Rift in Time: Travels with my Ottoman Uncle (OR Books, 2011). JPS heard several of his presentations, during which he read passages from his book and reflected on its genesis, major themes, and how writing it changed his thinking about the future of the region. In response to our request, he agreed to allow us to compile the typed notes for his various lectures into a single integrated essay, which he later edited and expanded with additional reflections and comments. A London-trained lawyer with numerous cases in Israel's military courts to his credit, Shehadeh first gained prominence as a human rights advocate and cofounder (in 1979) of al-Haq—the West Bank affiliate of the Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists and the first human rights organization in the occupied territories—and for his legal writings. He has written a number of memoirs, one of which—Palestinian Walks: Forays into a Vanishing Landscape—won the Orwell Prize, Britain's top award for political writing, in 2008. When I finished writing Palestinian Walks about the vanishing hills around Ramallah, I felt confined, both by the narrow territory of the West Bank and by a time frame that logically begins with the 1967 war. The West Bank was the arena of that book, yet the Palestine problem, my overriding concern, neither began there nor can its meaning be contained within the four decades of the post-1967 period. The Israelis have perfected the art of “maintained uncertainty,” which consists of repeatedly extending and then contracting, through an unpredictable combination of changing and selectively enforcing regulations and controls, the space in which Palestinians can maneuver. This exacts a heavy psychological toll, inducing a sense of perpetual temporariness. At the same time, the proliferation of settlements, bypasses, and roadblocks that Israel constructs has succeeded in convincing the occupied of the permanence of the fragmentation, as if a truly new geography had been put into place. It suits Israel to elude political resolution, to keep negotiating borders (or talking about negotiating borders) while counting on the resulting uncertainty to maintain the population's quiescence. I wanted to escape all this. I needed to travel in a wider area and to write, so to speak, on a larger canvas in terms of both space and time. One of my abiding interests, which was at the base of Palestinian Walks, is the relationship that exists between people and the landscape. I wanted to continue this exploration. I had always been fascinated by the Great Rift Valley, created by a fault in the geology of the earth that extends from the Taurus mountains in southern Anatolia all the way to Mozambique in central Africa, forming a series of smaller rift valleys along the way. In its eastern Mediterranean segment, the valleys and plains through which the Orontes, Litani, and Jordan rivers flow are part of that system, as are the mountains and hills that lie to either side. Thus our stretch of the Great Rift Valley runs from modern Turkey in the north through Syria, Lebanon, Palestine/Israel, and Jordan, all the way down to the tip of the Hijaz in modern-day Saudi Arabia—all lands once part of the Ottoman Empire. As early as the mid-1990s, when the disappointment of the Oslo process was becoming obvious, my thoughts had begun to turn to the past. I considered writing a book that looks at the relations between the Turks of Ottoman times and the other peoples and lands of the eastern Mediterranean. When I proposed the idea to my publisher, he said this would be not one book but three. But I kept thinking about how I could frame such material and make of it a coherent story. In the meantime, I discovered a memoir written by a great-great uncle of mine, Najib Nassar, an important historical figure of late Ottoman and Mandate Palestine, who was one of the first to publish a book in Arabic about the dangers of Zionism. Though he defined himself the same way any Palestinian, or Turk, or Syrian, or Jew would have defined himself at the time, as an Ottoman, his memoir recounts his “great escape” from the Ottoman police during World War I. His “escape” took him from Haifa through the Galilee and down the Jordan Valley and into the desert wilderness east of the Jordan River. As I read about him, I saw we had a number of things in common: a strong interest in agriculture, an affinity to people who live close to the land, and a preoccupation with a cause. He was also a writer whose writings advocated for that cause. The two ideas—the Great Rift Valley and my great-great uncle's story—coalesced when I began to look for a subject to write about after finishing Palestinian Walks. The result was A Rift in Time: Travels with my Ottoman Uncle. It's a book about two journeys: the great escape of my great-great uncle from 1915 to 1917, which basically followed the Great Rift Valley, and my own modern-day explorations, starting out from Ramallah, of the places where he had been. And so it is also a book about two rifts—the Great Rift Valley that begins in Asia Minor and the “rift in time”—the century that separated our two journeys, and how the land has been transformed in the course of that century. More broadly, this book is my attempt to escape the confining reality of occupied Palestine, to free myself to see another reality beneath the present reality that tries to impose itself on our minds in every way, driving home its immutability. It seemed to me that it might be possible to emerge from the political despair that has become our lot by going back into the past and reimagining our region, concentrating on the Rift Valley and its physical integrity, and thinking how that continuity might one day return to reflect the political wholeness that the region once had. It was an act of imagination that I wanted to invite others to share, with the hope that they might come to see, like me, that the present is not permanent and that it is possible to rethink our land and what its future might look like.
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, London, Palestine
  • Author: Graham Usher
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: The Palestinian Authority's application to become a full member state at the United Nations represents the latest stage in its “alternative peace strategy” born of the collapse of the U.S.-sponsored Oslo peace process. But—argues the author—the new strategy remains overly dependent on diplomacy and uncertain Palestinian allies like the European Union. If it is to achieve a balance of power for future negotiations more favorable to the Palestinians, however, it will need to be anchored in a greater national consensus at home and in the diaspora, and allied more closely to the emerging democratic forces in the region.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Palestine, Oslo
  • Author: Richard Falk
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict, edited by Adam Horowitz, Lizzy Ratner, and Philip Weiss. New York: Nation Books, 2011. vii + 426 pages. Index to p. 449. $18.95 paper FINALLY, the reading public has been provided with an edited text that makes possible a comprehensive understanding of the Goldstone Report (GR)—the investigation commissioned by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) into war crimes allegations arising from the Gaza war (2008–09)— and the controversy that followed its release. Given the near certainty that no further official action will result from the report, without such a book the GR could well be removed to the vast graveyard of excellent UN reports prepared at great expense and effort, but which rarely see the light of day unless one is prepared to embark on a digital journey of frustration and discovery to track down the text and its necessary context online. Yet the GR, however discredited thanks to the tireless efforts of Israel and the United States, is a milestone in a number of ways, not least because its authoritative demonstration of the lawlessness of Israel's behavior in these attacks helps us understand why, at this stage of the conflict, the Palestinian struggle needs to rely on non-violent soft power coercion, as by way of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions. The present volume, edited by Adam Horowitz, Lizzy Ratner, and Philip Weiss, offers not only substantial excerpts of the main body of the report, but also eleven solicited essays by expert commentators holding a range of views as well as an illuminating timeline of relevant events. All in all, the editors of The Goldstone Report have made an exemplary contribution to the ideal of an informed citizenship so crucial to the responsible functioning of a democratic society.
  • Topic: Human Rights, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, New York, Israel, Palestine, Gaza