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  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: A1. United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and World Food Program (WFP), Report on the Humanitarian Impact of Israeli-Imposed Restrictions on Access to Land and Sea in the Gaza Strip, Executive Summary, Jerusalem and Gaza, August 2010 (excerpts). A2. International Crisis Group (ICG), Report on Palestinian Security Reform under Occupation, Ramallah, Jerusalem, Washington, Brussels, 7 September 2010 (excerpts). A3. World Bank, "The Underpinnings of the Future Palestinian State: Sustainable Growth and Institutions," Executive Summary, Washington, 21 September 2010. A4. United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Report by International Fact-Finding Mission to Investigate the Israeli Attacks on the Humanitarian Aid Flotilla Bound for Gaza, Geneva, 27 September 2010 (excerpts). A5. Synod of Middle East Catholic Bishops, Concluding Statement, Vatican City, 24 October 2010 (excerpts).
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Washington, Israel, Jerusalem, Gaza, Brussels
  • Author: Maha Nassar
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This article traces the evolving discourse on the "right of refugee return"among the Palestinian citizens of Israel during the first decade of Israeli statehood, with emphasis on the role of the local Arabic press in shaping and reflecting that discourse. More particularly, it focuses on al-Ittihad, the organ of the communist party (MAKI), which paid the greatest attention to the refugee issue. In tracing the party's shift from a humanistic/anti-imperialist stance on the issue to one emphasizing the refugees' inalienable right to return, the article sheds light on MAKI's political strategy vis-à-vis the Palestinian minority. It also illustrates the political vibrancy in the early years of the community, generally viewed simplistically in terms of a pre-1967 quiescence and post-1967 politicization. In late autumn 1959, Saliba Khamis, a Palestinian member of the Israeli Communist Party (ha-Miflagah ha-Komunist ha-Yisra'ilit-MAKI) central committee, wrote an essay in the party's Arabic-language newspaper, al-Ittihad (The Union), reviewing the ongoing attempts to compensate and resettle Palestinian refugees outside Israel. In his view, such offers would never succeed because of "the vigilance of the refugees themselves and their strong insistence on their right to return to their country." Khamis's invocation of "rights" (huquq) permeated his analysis, appearing fourteen times in his half-page essay.# His comments also reflected a shift in thinking of many Palestinian MAKI leaders during the first decade of Israeli statehood. As the only legal non-Zionist party during the 1950s, MAKI was the political home for many Palestinian citizens of Israel who held Arab nationalist beliefs but had no other outlet for political expression. Like its predecessor, the Palestine Communist Party (PCP), MAKI's platform stressed internationalism and Arab-Jewish brotherhood, though disagreements over the party's attitude toward Arab and Jewish nationalism occasionally led to tensions within the party. In 1944, Arab leaders broke away from the PCP to form the National Liberation League (NLL), which had a closer affinity to Arab nationalist positions. Although the Jewish and Arab branches reunited in 1948 to form MAKI, such disputes once again led to the party's split in 1965 into the predominantly Jewish MAKI and largely Arab RAKAH parties. During the period under review, MAKI's Arab and Jewish leaders worked together to maintain an internationalist outlook while tailoring their political messages to appeal to their respective communities. Given the disproportionately large Arab makeup of the party, MAKI's Arab leaders used their party's publications to enhance their reputation as the champion of Israel's Palestinian minority and to convince readers to vote for MAKI in parliamentary elections. While we cannot know with certainty how widespread the views expressed in al-Ittihad actually were, a close review of the paper gives us insight into the political positions MAKI leaders believed would resonate in the Palestinian community, thus providing us with a useful lens through which to examine Palestinian political discourse in Israel during its early years. Reports and editorials that appeared in al-Ittihad throughout this period show how two threads in the discourse on return developed, crystallized, and ultimately converged. Initially, the few articles written on this subject were by party leaders with a strong pro-Soviet tilt and were aimed at convincing Israeli decision makers to allow refugees to return to their original homes and lands on humanistic and anti-imperialist grounds. However, by 1959, a host of regional and domestic factors led al-Ittihad to emphasize the collective and inalienable right of Palestinian refugees-both the "external" refugees mainly in the surrounding states and the "internal" refugees still in Israel but prevented from returning to their villages-to do so. These factors included mounting Palestinian calls for the right of return, which, coupled with growing Soviet support on the issue, gave MAKI some of the political cover it needed to take a stronger stance. At the same time, competition with the newly formed Arab nationalist group al-Ard and the leftist-Zionist party MAPAM for the political support of Palestinian Israelis, along with pressure from internal refugees themselves, further convinced MAKI's Arab leaders to emphasize the refugees' right of return-a position they have held ever since. This confluence of domestic and regional developments makes 1959 a useful endpoint for our discussion of MAKI's transformation. Understanding how and why these changes occurred not only gives us keen insight into the dynamics of Palestinian activism in Israel during this early period but also demonstrates that the direction of this activism was often bottom-up rather than top-down. Furthermore, it shows how al-Ittihad helped connect the geographically and politically isolated Palestinians in Israel to the rest of the Arab world, paving the way for a reunited Palestinian political entity in the post-1967 era. The refugee issue is one of the most contentious of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Palestinians have long argued they have a legal right to return to their homes in historic Palestine. This was based in part on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provision, "Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country," as well as on UN General Assembly Resolution 194 (III), which recognizes "that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property."Israel, however, has maintained that Palestinians do not have a legal right to return and that a solution to the refugee problem must be part of a broader peace agreement focused on the resettlement of refugees. While Israel did allow a few thousand refugees to be repatriated under family reunification provisions negotiated at the Lausanne conference in 1949, it has resisted pressures to accept large numbers of refugees since then. Much of what has been written on the Palestinian refugees has focused on the origins of the problem and their prospects for return. Studies of internal Palestinian refugees in Israel have outlined the mechanisms by which they were deprived of access to their lands and their own attempts to return. Less attention has been paid to how Palestinians in Israel viewed the refugee issue as a whole, especially during the early years of the state. One reason for this may be the fact that Palestinian citizens of Israel are often viewed as having been quiescent prior to 1967, whereas after 1967, exposure to Palestinians in the newly occupied territories and in exile led them to challenge government policies more forcefully. This was certainly true to some degree: the military government imposed on the community between 1948 and 1966, coupled with land confiscations, economic discrimination, and travel restrictions, greatly hindered any attempt at political mobilization during that period. Nonetheless, bisecting the political history of Palestinian Israelis into "pre-1967" and "post-1967" periods glosses over more nuanced developments within the community during the early years of the state. Among the aims of the present study is to determine when the concept of "right of return" became commonly used in MAKI's discourses on refugees.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: A1. Richard Goldstone, Former Chair of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, "Reconsidering the Goldstone Report on Israel and War Crimes," Washington Post, 1 April 2011. A2. Office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, "Palestinian State-Building: A Decisive Period," Brussels, 13 April 2011 (excerpts). A3. Members of the Goldstone-led UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, Response to Goldstone's Statement "Reconsidering" the Mission's Findings, Guardian, 14 April 2011. A4. Turkish Pres. Abdullah Gül, Op-Ed on the Importance of the Palestine Issue, "The Revolution's Missing Peace," New York Times, 20 April 2011.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: New York, Washington, Gaza, Brussels
  • Author: Rashid I. Khalidi
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: THIS ISSUE OF THE JOURNAL carries an article, a report, and three essays which share a focus on recent events, as well as two substantial articles on historical topics with continuing relevance, about the Greek Orthodox and Armenian communities of Palestine.
  • Topic: Development, United Nations, War
  • Political Geography: Palestine, Gaza, Armenia
  • 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
  • Author: Cléa Thouin
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: ON THE SECOND DAY of the 2010 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) annual policy conference, Eric Cantor, the Republican Whip for the 111th U.S. Congress, declared, “We gather today under a dark cloud of uncertainty.” Cantor may have been referring to most participants' favorite subject, the Iranian “nuclear threat,” but his statement proved an apt description of the overall atmosphere at this year's conference. The conference came in the midst of unusually fraught public tensions between the United States and Israel over the announcement two weeks earlier of new settlement construction in East Jerusalem. The dispute over an issue as important to the United States as the peace process, against the background of recently revealed statements by the U.S. military high command that the nonresolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was negatively impacting U.S. security and military operations elsewhere in the world, directly challenged AIPAC's fundamental founding premise: the identity of U.S. and Israeli interests. As a result, the conference was colored by a palpable level of uncertainty about the way forward for the pro-Israel community in the United States. TELLING THE STORY AIPAC's fifty-first annual conference, which took place from 21 to 23 March in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., was billed as the largest ever, with 7,500 delegates. The size itself posed challenges. To accommodate such numbers, the plenary sessions were held in a 780-foot-long conference hall—more than twice the size of a U.S. football field. This meant that despite the extravagant 500-foot split screen, the crowd on one side of the hall could not see what was happening at ground level on the other side, sometimes resulting in serious confusion. On more than one occasion, for example, half the audience, spontaneously joining with commotion on the other side of the hall without being able to see the source, unwittingly applauded pro-Palestinian activists protesting speeches, particularly by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Middle East Quartet envoy (and former British prime minister) Tony Blair. These were two of the main speakers, the other most highly anticipated speaker at this year's conference being U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton. Besides four plenary sessions (and a gala dinner) that featured the main speakers, the program consisted of approximately one hundred “breakout sessions”—focused panels, university-type seminars, and advocacy training sessions led by scholars, professionals, or lobbyists. These took place concurrently before or after the plenary sessions, and most were repeated more than once in the course of the conference (sometimes with different speakers). There were also luncheons and dinners with distinguished guests, most of which (as well as some panels) were “by invitation only,” restricted to select AIPAC members. Only one plenary session was held on the last day of the conference, as most of the morning was dedicated to training workshops in preparation for AIPAC's traditional day of lobbying on Capitol Hill. These workshops were organized by region, with participants attending lobbying sessions for their specific region so as to receive targeted training on their congressional representatives. The overall conference theme, “Israel: Tell the Story,” represented AIPAC's effort to redirect the increasingly negative public narrative on Israel that has emerged since Israel's winter 2008–2009 assault on Gaza. This was part of a broader attempt to shift from a defensive campaign aimed at refuting criticism of Israel to an offensive campaign focused on advancing a positive picture of Israel, that of “an innovator, a Jewish homeland, an open society, a light unto the nations.” AIPAC executive director Howard Kohr outlined in broad strokes the new strategy, expressly calling on his audience to shed their “defensive mentality,” which he argued focused “all too often on the slights Israel faces,” and instead “tell the story of Israel's hand extended in peace . . . Israel's example of freedom and democracy.” The results of the conference fell short of this goal. The only successful “storytelling” took place at the opening plenary session titled “Innovation Nation,” which framed Israel's modern technological entrepreneurship as a continuation of early Zionist settlers' alleged ability to “make the desert bloom,” and in a video (one of many screened on the conference hall's mega screen) that depicted the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as a humanitarian vanguard without ever hinting at the possibility of improper conduct during Operation Cast Lead (OCL). Only four “breakout” panels addressed the Israel-as-innovation-nation theme—two on Israel's economic and technological achievements, the other two on its military innovation. Moreover, most panels on Israel throughout the conference could be seen as “defensive,” for example, “Singled Out: Delegitimizing Israel at the United Nations,” “Mainstream to Fringe: Reality of Anti-Israel Effort in America,” or “Tough Questions: Answering Israel's Detractors.” Similarly, although a number of secondary speakers, from a Paraguayan entrepreneur to a Nigerian doctor, were tasked with “telling Israel's story” during the conference's plenary sessions, they were never the focus of the sessions at which they spoke and instead seemed to be no more than fillers before anticipated speakers like Clinton and Netanyahu. Even main speakers like Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz inevitably found themselves defending Israel's policies—whether on settlements or on the IDF's conduct during OCL—rather than actually telling the story of what Kohr called the “small miracle we know as Israel.”
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: America, Israel
  • Author: Ismael Sheikh Hassan, Sari Hanafi
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This article examines the intersection of the Lebanese state's post-conflict security policy in Nahr al-Barid refugee camp and the reconstruction of the camp, which was destroyed in a battle between the Lebanese army and the militant group Fatah al-Islam. The significance of the government's security focus derives from its intention to make Nahr al-Barid a “model” for all the other camps in the country. After discussing the Lebanese security context, the characteristics of the pre-conflict camp, the arrival of Fatah al-Islam, and the ensuing battle, the authors focus on the urban planning process for a reconstructed Nahr al-Barid, highlighting both the state's militarization of the process and the local grassroots planning initiative which, in partnership with UNRWA, managed to secure some concessions. Also analyzed is the government plan submitted to donors, which conceives of “governance” as community policing without addressing the status of the Palestinians in Lebanon. IN THE SUMMER OF 2007, the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Barid, the second largest of the fourteen United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) camps in Lebanon, was totally demolished. This was a result of a battle between the Lebanese army and Fatah al-Islam, an Islamist fundamentalist group, predominantly foreign, that had implanted itself in the camp only six months earlier. After its destruction, the camp remained a strict militarized zone, imposing additional hardship on a post-disaster community of refugees struggling to rebuild their lives. Various security-based projects and policies affecting the camp's urban form, governance structure, and legal status that were planned, negotiated, or approved by the Lebanese government signaled a new era in Lebanese-refugee relations. With the events of Nahr al-Barid, the Lebanese state entered the realm of the camp, and security concerns and practices assumed new forms that would potentially affect the future lives of Palestinian refugees in all Lebanon. The camp remains a military zone to this day. More importantly, the Lebanese government's plan to make Nahr al-Barid a security model for the other Palestinian refugee camps in the country brings the issue of security more urgently to the forefront of the debate about Palestinians in Lebanon. Nahr al-Barid also fits into a wider security discussion relating to Palestinians in the host countries in the context of the “war against terror,” with issues relating to the status of camps becoming intertwined with the correlative themes of good governance, refugee rights, human security, and integration for the benefit of international donors and development agencies, even as policies on the ground disregard and sometimes contradict these concepts. This article is based on two years of fieldwork and action research in Nahr al-Barid camp. Our involvement included participation in local community post-conflict initiatives, in-depth interviews with Nahr al-Barid residents and community leaders, and up-close observation of various Palestinian and Lebanese actors in the reconstruction planning process. Our aim is to contribute to the debate on the role of “security” in dictating state policy and actions during and after the battle. The fact that government policies are still in flux makes reflection and debate on these events all the more urgent. CONTEXTUALIZING SECURITY WITHIN PALESTINIAN REFUGEE CAMPS A variety of themes and discourses at the local, regional, and global level intertwine as a backdrop to a discussion of the heightened security measures for Palestinian refugee camps in general and Nahr al-Barid in particular. One of these is the state's traditional fear of refugees as a potentially threatening and disruptive political force. Ironically, this fear—and the security measures it engenders—is shared by those who produced the refugee problem and the host states that suffered its consequences; indeed, some disturbing parallels have been drawn, mutatis mutandi, between measures against Palestinians enacted by Israel and Arab states in the name of security. Thus, whereas historically the violent conflicts between the Palestinian movement and various Arab regimes were attributed to ideological differences and power struggles, the current situation seems to be heading in new directions. Today, what has become a seemingly universal obsession with security and fighting terror increasingly infiltrates Arab slogans to validate various practices against Palestinian camps and neighborhoods (not to mention against their own citizens). These practices affecting citizens/refugees and cities/camps alike are empowered by largely uncritical international military, financial, and political support for the “war on terror.” As a result, massive urban destruction has been wreaked on densely populated communities with scant consideration for civilian populations, with the suspension of civil liberties and imposition of siege now standard procedures validated by security-based arguments for Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003), Jenin/Nablus in the West Bank (2002), Lebanon (2006), Nahr al-Barid (2007), Gaza (2008), and Yemen (2009).
  • Topic: Islam, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Gaza, Lebanon
  • Author: Randa Farah
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Drawing on ethnographic field research, this analysis compares the evolution of refugee camps as incubators of political organization and repositories of collective memory for Palestinian refugees in Jordan and Sahrawi refugees of the Western Sahara. While recognizing the significant differences between the historical and geopolitical contexts of the two groups and their national movements (the PLO and Polisario, respectively), the author examines the Palestinian and Sahrawi projects of national consciousness formation and institution-building, concluding that Palestinian camps are "mapped" in relation to the past, while political organization in Sahrawi camps evidences a forward-looking vision. TO WHAT EXTENT do ideological and political structures affect the positioning of refugee camps in national space and shape the politics of identity and memory? Does the symbolism of camps change following radical shifts in official national politics? Are subjective factors irrelevant in such circumstances? Comparing the evolution of political leaderships in two different settings-Palestinian and Sahrawi refugee camps-can shed light on these questions. Drawing on anthropological fieldwork conducted in Palestinian camps in Jordan (1995-2000 and 2007) and Sahrawi camps in Algeria (2005-2007), this article examines camps as venues refracting the structural dynamics, political contexts, and nationalist ideologies and praxis of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of al-Saqiat al-Hamra' and Rio de Oro (Polisario). It proposes that the contexts within which these organizations evolved have led to two different prototypes of polities and leaderships in exile, enabling the Polisario-but not the PLO-to transform refugee camps into incubators of new social and political institutions transportable to national territory upon repatriation. Given the complexity of the subject matter, this article will limit its discussion to the pivotal historical, structural, and subjective factors most useful for explaining the different political trajectories of Palestinian and Sahrawi camps. INITIAL COMPARISONS Whereas the Palestinian issue is well known, a brief overview of the history of the Sahrawi movement provides context for the argument that follows. As the Spanish government prepared to abandon its protectorate of Western Sahara in November 1975, it secretly signed an agreement with Morocco and Mauritania aimed at establishing a tripartite administration of the territory. Morocco and Mauritania had competing claims to the Western Sahara, a region bordered on the north by Morocco, the northeast by Algeria, the south and southeast by Mauritania, and the west by the Atlantic Ocean. Just as Spain was preparing to withdraw, Morocco and Mauritania invaded the territory. Morocco took control of the northern two-thirds of Western Sahara, which it renamed its southern (or "Saharan") provinces, while Mauritania seized control of the southern third. Meanwhile, the Polisario, established in 1973, won Algeria's backing for its independence struggle and set up its headquarters in Sahrawi refugee camps located in an isolated region of the southwestern Algerian desert near the town of Tindouf. The camps are also home to the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), the state-in-exile established by the Polisario in 1976. After Mauritania withdrew from the Western Sahara in 1979, Morocco extended its control to the territory Mauritania had claimed. In the 1980s, Morocco built a 2,700-kilometer-long sand and earthen wall (or "berm") that cuts diagonally through Western Sahara, extending from its northeast corner down to the southwest near the Mauritanian border. (See map.) The berm enables Morocco to control two-thirds of the areas richest in phosphate and minerals, as well as the Atlantic coast's fishing industry. On the eastern side of the berm is what the Polisario calls the "liberated" or "free" zone. No country recognizes Morocco's sovereignty over the Western Sahara, which remains on the United Nations' list of non-self-governing territories. Hostilities between Morocco and the Polisario ended in 1991 with the establishment of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) in accordance with settlement proposals accepted in 1988 by Morocco and the Polisario. Both the PLO and the Polisario are Arab national liberation movements that, despite decades of struggle, have failed to fulfill their aspirations of self-determination long after most other national liberation struggles entered a postcolonial stage. It is worth noting that the Palestinian resistance inspired the Polisario, which drew parallels between the colonization of Western Sahara in the maghreb and Palestine in the mashreq. As Sahrawi refugees frequently pointed out to me, the resemblance between their flag and the Palestinian flag was intentional. . . .
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: Palestine, Arabia, Morocco
  • Author: Walid Khalidi
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Challenging the widely accepted premise that the 1948 war was a war of Jewish self-defense, the author demonstrates that the 1947 United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) partition resolution was fundamentally a green light for the Yishuv's fully mobilized paramilitary organizations (supported by the resources of the World Zionist Organization) to effect the long-planned establishment of a Jewish state by force of arms. He further argues that as a national movement, Zionism was inherently conquest-oriented from the moment of its birth in Basel in 1897 and that it most closely resembles—in the alchemy of its religious and secular motivation and its insatiable land hunger, irredentism, and indifference to the fate of the “natives”—the Iberian Reconquista of the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries.
  • Topic: United Nations