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101. Arab Views
  • Author: Habib Haddad
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This section aims to give readers a glimpse of how the Arab world views current events that affect Palestinians and the Arab-Israeli con!ict by presenting a selection of cartoons from al-Hayat, the most widely distributed mainstream daily in the Arab world. The cartoons are by Habib Haddad. JPS is grateful to al-Hayat for permission to reprint its material.
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • 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: Security, Foreign Policy, Intelligence, Islam
  • Political Geography: United States, Ireland
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This small sample of photos, selected from hundreds viewed by JPS, aims to convey a sense of the situation on the ground in the occupied territories during the quarter.
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Michele K. Eposito
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • 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.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Geoffrey Aronson
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This section covers items-reprinted articles, statistics, and maps-pertaining to Israeli settlement activities in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. Unless otherwise stated, the items have been written by Geoffrey Aronson for this section or drawn from material written by him for Report on Israeli Settlement in the Occupied Territories (hereinafter Settlement Report), a Washington-based bimonthly newsletter published by the Foundation for Middle East Peace. JPS is grateful to the foundation for permission to draw on its material.
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Israel, Egypt
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: "We have just heard a brie!ng from Mr Fernandez-Taranco about the situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian territories. One of the themes that emerged was the severely damaging effect that increased settlement construction and settler violence is having on the ground and on the prospects of a return to negotiations. The UK, France, Germany, and Portugal are dismayed by these wholly negative developments.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Israel, South Africa, Brazil
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: In accordance with the Oslo Agreement the West Bank excluding East Jerusalem consists of three areas: . Area A (18% of territory, 55% of population) under Palestinian civil and security control. . Area B (20% of territory, 41% of population) under Palestinian civil and shared Israeli-Palestinian civil and security control. . Area C (62% of territory, 5.8% of population) under full Israeli security control and almost full Israeli civilian control.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Israel, Palestine
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Like the European Union (EU) report on Area C (Doc A2 above), this report was prepared for internal EU use and leaked, in this case to the British newspaper The Guardian. Prepared by the heads of mission of the EU member states in Jerusalem, it was approved by Brussels headquarters on 12 February. (A third internal EU document, on Israel's Arab minority, was prepared by the European embassies in Israel during the quarter, but not leaked in full. For a description, see Barak Ravid, "Secret EU paper aims to tackle Israel's treatment of Arab minority" in the "Selections from the Press" section.)
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Europe, Israel, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: The document below was published by the Israeli Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, B'Tselem, on 19 January. Though in the wake of Operation Cast Lead the Israel Defense Forces insisted that an independent investigation of its activities was unnecessary, the B'Tselem report details the failure of the Israeli military to investigate either policy choices or the conduct of the forces in the !eld in particular cases three years after the operation. The footnotes have been omitted for space. The document was obtained from http://www.btselem.org/gaza_strip/20120118_3_ years_after_cast_lead.
  • Political Geography: Israel, United Nations
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: It has been ten years since the four most powerful players in the Middle East peace process-the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations-came together under the diplomatic umbrella known as the Quartet. Formed in response to the outbreak of the second intifada in late 2000 and the collapse of peace negotiations a few months later, the Quartet appeared ideally suited for dealing with the seemingly intractable con!ict between Israelis and Palestinians. Its small but powerful membership allowed it to act swiftly and decisively, while its informal structure gave it the !exibility needed to navigate crises and adapt to changing developments on the ground.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Washington, Middle East, United Nations
  • Author: Norbert Scholz
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This section lists articles and reviews of books relevant to Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Entries are classified under the following headings: Reference and General; History (through 1948) and Geography; Palestinian Politics and Society; Jerusalem; Israeli Politics, Society, and Zionism; Arab and Middle Eastern Politics; International Relations; Law; Military; Economy, Society, and Education; Literature, Arts, and Culture; Book Reviews; and Reports Received.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
112. Chronology
  • Author: Michele K. Esposito
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This is part 113 of a chronology begun in Journal of Palestine Studies (JPS) 13, no. 3 (Spring 1984). Chronology dates reflect North American Eastern Standard Time. For a more comprehensive overview of regional and international developments related to the peace process, see the Quarterly Update on Conflict and Diplomacy in JPS 163.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, North America
  • Author: Rashid I. Khalidi
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: As this issue went to press, prospective Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney delivered himself of a glaring series of gaffes and insults about the Palestinians in a speech in Jerusalem whose level of pandering led even some of the mainstream media to wince, and the Daily Show (31 July 2012) to gleefully exploit his blunders. Romney grossly misstated the per capita GDP of both Palestinians and Israelis (a strange misstep for a candidate whose claim to fame is his business acumen), and ascribed the yawning economic gap between them to “culture” and the hand of Providence. But his failure to mention forty-five years of Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories as a factor holding the Palestinians back economically is lamentably not anomalous for an American politician. Romney is only one among many engaged in a dizzying race to the bottom when it comes to pandering to the most extreme Israeli positions and denigrating the Palestinians. Ignoring the elephant in the room, whether it is the occupation, or the failure of a so-called “peace process” to deliver peace for more than two decades, is par for the course in American political campaigns where Palestine is concerned.
  • Topic: Culture
  • Political Geography: America, Israel, Palestine, Jerusalem
  • Author: Nicolas Pelham
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This article traces the extraordinary development of Gaza's tunnel phenomenon over the past decade in response to Israel's economic asphyxiation of the small coastal enclave. It focuses on the period since Hamas's 2007 takeover of the Strip, which saw the industry's transformation from a clandestine, makeshift operation into a major commercial enterprise, regulated, taxed, and bureaucratized. In addition to describing the particulars of the tunnel complex, the article explores its impact on Gaza's socioeconomic hierarchy, strategic orientation, and Islamist rule. The larger geopolitical context, especially with regard to Israel, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Nile Valley, is also discussed. The author argues that contrary to the intentions of its architects, the siege precipitated the reconfiguration of Gaza's economy and enabled its rulers to circumvent the worst effects of the blockade.
  • Political Geography: Israel, Gaza
  • Author: Tamer Qarmout, Daniel Beland
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: International aid to the Palestinian Authority is conditioned in part on democratization and good governance. However, since Hamas' victory in the 2006 Palestinian Legislative Council elections and its takeover of the Gaza Strip, aid agencies have supported the international boycott of the Hamas government. This article argues that aid agencies, by operating in Gaza while boycotting its government, subvert their mandates and serve the political interests of donors and the PA rather than the humanitarian and development needs of Gazans. As a consequence, assistance has, inadvertently and unintentionally, increased Gazans' dependence on humanitarian aid, impeded economic development, and enabled Israel to maintain its occupation and the blockade of Gaza.
  • Political Geography: Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Lawrence Davidson
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This essay looks at the 2012 Republican primaries through the lens of "localism" and how candidates and lobbies manipulate for their own purposes the ignorance of their voting constituencies on issues not relevant to their everyday lives. After a discussion of the wider process, the piece focuses on the eight leading candidates in the presidential primary race with regard to Israel and Palestine, with an overview of their positions and advisers. It ends with some reflections on the consequences of the peculiarly American mix of localism, national politics, and special interest groups.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: America, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Jehan Helou, Elias Khoury
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: The word "Palestinian" today, at least in the realm of politics, almost automatically attaches itself to the word "Authority." This calls forth images of an entity that in fact has no sovereignty, no real jurisdiction, painfully limited authority, and precious little dignity, dwarfed as it is by its Israeli and U.S. overseers and patrons. In such circumstances, it may be difficult to recall that there was a time when the word "Palestine" spontaneously evoked another word, "Resistance," and a far different set of associations.
  • Author: Grant Aubrey Farred
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Magid Shihade's Not Just a Soccer Game: Colonialism and Conflict among Palestinians in Israel turns on a "small" incident. On 11 April 1981, a football ("soccer") match took place between teams from Kafr Yassif (predominantly Christian) and Julis (predominantly Druze), two Arab villages in Galilee, Israel. "During the match,"fighting broke out between the rival supporters, causing injuries, and one fan from each village was killed (p. 2). Despite an early promise of a negotiated resolution, the Julis leadership later refused to engage in sulha(reconcilation) so that a hudna(truce) might be achieved. Eventually, "aggressors from Julis" attacked Kafr Yassif-causing considerable damage to the village-while "police forces .stood watching the violence unfold and did not intervene" (p. 6). Calls for an independent investigation were ignored, and eventually the Israeli government absolved the tactics of its police force, at once angering the Kafr Yassif com-munity and affirming their view that the Israeli state supported the Druze, in no small measure because of their conscription into the Israeli army.
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: As'ad Abukhalil
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: The memoirs of Shafiq al-Hout are the story of the Palestinian national movement in the twentieth century. Al-Hout lived a long life and was at the center of the Palestinian political struggle. He used to tell George Habash of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine that he was a communist (in his youth) when everyone around him was an Arab nationalist, then he became an Arab nationalist (in the 1960s) when everyone around him became a communist. During those political transformations, al-Hout remained a progressive and loud voice for Palestinian struggle.
  • Political Geography: Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Sara Roy
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Palestinian life in Gaza and the West Bank is defined by Israel's oppressive occupation, and this will not change until the occupation ends. Yet, after more than two and a half decades of research and writing on Israeli-Palestinian issues, I remain stunned by the lack of attention, indeed aversion, to context as an explanatory variable. By stripping issues and events of their current and historical framework, many scholars have failed to address the human dimensions of the occupation, which are central to understanding political, economic, and social behavior among Palestinians. Instead, dominant and essentialzing conceptualizations of the conflict that ignore Palestinian suffering and the reasons for it are constantly produced and reproduced despite their failure to illuminate or resolve. And in Palestine specifically these defining and recycled paradigms are further characterized by a willingness to legitimize Israel's occupation as long as there is no accepted agreement to end it. Even the word "occupation" seems to have been expunged from the lexicon of the conflict as irrelevant and obsolete.
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Nubar Hovsepian
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Sara Roy's new book on the relationship between the social and political spheres in Gaza is meticulously researched and clearly written. As always, Roy manages to give voice and agency to Palestinians individually and collectively. Roy combines scholarly rigor and moral clarity to examine and challenge "the conventional frame that defines Hamas only as a terrorist organization". She avoids simple binaries of religious versus secular. Instead, she identifies the role of Islamic-inspired organizations in creating civic space that promotes civism to cement and consolidate society, economy, and polity. But she quickly warns that the Islamist movement in Gaza is not homogeneous, but rather highly variegated. The social institutions in Gaza did not so much seek to widen their religious congregations as to create "civic communities" through incremental reform couched in a cultural and universal discourse that is not limited by religious terms.
  • Political Geography: Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Magid Shihade
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: In his latest work, Pappé attempts to bring attention to the history of the Palestinian citizens of the state of Israel, an ignored group that "has been dubbed traitors both by the Palestinian movement in the 1950s and by current Israeli political forces". For Pappé, theirs is a story of almost impossible navigation in a sea of "[Zionist] colonialism, [Jewish] chauvinist nationalism, [Jewish] fanatic religiosity and international indifference," and a history of "discrimination and dispossession but also of self-assertiveness and steadfastness". According to Pappé, it is important to study the '48 Palestinians because "it is only through a history of the Palestinian minority of Israel that one can examine the extent to which the long-lived Zionist and Israeli desire for [Jewish] ethnic supremacy and exclusivity" explains the Israeli position vis-à-vis all Palestinians.
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Gil Anidjar
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Some binary oppositions-the stuff of much scholarly work way back when-remain difficult to undo. These days we may think more readily in terms of exception or emergency, but the underlying logic, the deictic (or denunciatory) procedure, persists. Now is the moment to act. Or it was all happening then. Over there is where the problem lies. If only these people stopped making trouble. A concomitant, and equally pervasive, habit of thought has to do with the conviction that, if not a god, the plural will save us now. A strange response to "essentialism," and no doubt a symptom of its "unfinished project," we think ourselves safer in the vicinity of the many than in that of the one. There is a Right and there is a Left. There is liberalism and there is religiosity. And there is a profusion of modernities, countless capitalisms, and very many kinds of colonialisms.
  • Political Geography: Israel, Gaza
  • Author: Nasser Abourahme
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: To say that Zionism is an acutely spatial project is to run the risk of stating the obvious. It is not only-as is any other settler-colonial enterprise-irreducibly territorial, but also politically mechanized largely through architecture. "Facts on the ground" remain its modus operandi, and cement probably its most devastating weapon. With this in mind it is perhaps not surprising that some of the most trenchant Israeli critiques of the Zionist project have come from geographers and urbanists (E. Weizman, Hollow Land: Israel's Architecture of Occupation [London: Verso, 2007]; O. Yiftachel, Ethnocracy: Land and Identity Politics in Israel/Palestine [Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006]) trying to parse the relationship between logic and form.
  • Political Geography: Israel, London
  • Author: Matthew Abraham
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: In Israel's Dead Soul, Steven Salaita skillfully examines the many lamentations over the state of Israel's soul, exploring what these lamentations reveal about the integrity of intellectual debates about the Israel-Palestine conflict. Adding to Salaita's already impressive list of books (Anti-Arab Racism in the U.S.A., Holy Land in Transit, and Uncultured Wars), Israel's Dead Soul exposes the problematic tendency among Israel's liberal defenders to justify Israeli military adventurism by anguishing over Israel's supposed existential predicament.
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel
  • Author: Andrea L. Stanton
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Ela Greenberg's first book is a gracefully written work of scholarship that highlights an important but overlooked aspect of Mandate Palestinian history: girls' education. With a deftly woven, richly sourced text that brings together gender, religion, social class, nationalism, and politics, she presents the history of girls' education in Mandate Palestine as a key lens through which to read some of the era's most critical issues.
  • Political Geography: Palestine
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This section aims to give readers a glimpse of how the Arab world views current events that affect Palestinians and the Arab-Israeli conflict by presenting a selection of cartoons from al-Hayat, the most widely distributed mainstream daily in the Arab world. JPS is grateful to al-Hayat for permission to reprint its material.
  • Political Geography: Arabia
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Nowhere is the relationship between environmental protection and social justice displayed more clearly than between Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. The Israeli government takes great care to guarantee that its citizens enjoy the benefits of a clean and comfortable environment. The opposite is true in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, over which Israel has maintained ultimate control for almost 45 years. There, Israel has instituted an exploitative regime that disregards the needs of the local population and ignores the occupier's responsibility as a custodian of the environment as stipulated by the Geneva Conventions. This is particularly evident in how Israel distributes water, permits the environmentally destructive behavior of Israeli settlers and prevents Palestinian development on the land it directly controls.
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This small sample of photos, selected from hundreds viewed by JPS, aims to convey a sense of the situation on the ground in the occupied territories during the quarter.
  • Political Geography: Palestine, Gaza, Syria
  • Author: Michele K. Esposito
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • 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. JPS Chronologies are archived on the JPS web site at www.palestine-studies.org.
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Geoffrey Aronson
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This section covers items-reprinted articles, statistics, and maps-pertaining to Israeli settlement activities in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. Unless otherwise stated, the items have been written by Geoffrey Aronson for this section or drawn from material written by him for Report on Israeli Settlement in the Occupied Territories (hereinafter Settlement Report), a Washington-based bimonthly newsletter published by the Foundation for Middle East Peace. JPS is grateful to the foundation for permission to draw on its material.
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Gaza
  • Author: Paul James Costic
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: CongressionalMonitor.org, the companion site to this JPS section, provides in-depth analysis of the bills and resolutions listed here. Published annually, the Congressional Monitor summarizes all bills and resolutions pertinent to Palestine, Israel, or the broader Arab-Israeli conflict introduced during the previous session of Congress. It is part of a wider project of the Institute for Palestine Studies that includes the Congressional Monitor Database (CongressionalMonitor.org).The database contains all relevant legislation from 2001 to the present (the 107th Congress through the 112th Congress) and is updated on an ongoing basis. The monitor identifies major legislative themes related to the Palestine issue as well as initiators of specific legislation, their priorities, the range of their concerns, and their attitudes toward the regional actors. Material in this compilation is drawn from www.thomas.loc.gov, the official legislative site of the Library of Congress, which includes a detailed primer on the legislative process entitled "How Our Laws Are Made."
  • Political Geography: Palestine, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: For over six decades, Israel's Palestinian citizens have had a unique experience: they are a Palestinian national minority in a Jewish state locked in conflict with its Arab neighbors but they also constitute an Israeli minority enjoying the benefits of citizenship in a state that prizes democracy. This has translated into ambivalent relations with both the state of Israel and Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, and beyond. They feel solidarity with their brethren elsewhere, yet many Arabs study in Israeli universities, work side-by-side with Jews, and speak Hebrew fluently-a degree of familiarity that has only made the discrimination and alienation from which they suffer seem more acute and demands for equality more insistent.
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: In January 2009, in the wake of Israel's Operation Cast Lead (OCL) against Gaza, the Palestinian Authority (PA) wrote to the International Criminal Court (ICC) formally acknowledging the ICC's jurisdiction over the occupied territories and asking to become a signatory to the ICC's founding treaty, the Rome Statute. The purpose was twofold: to lay the procedural groundwork to be able to request an international war crimes tribunal to investigate Israeli actions during OCL; and to build the case for international recognition of Palestinian statehood. The wording of the Rome Statute is such that only states may join and submit appeals to the ICC.
  • Political Geography: Palestine, Italy
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Reports that Palestinian Authority Pres. Mahmud Abbas was drafting a letter to Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu with the aim of breaking the diplomatic stalemate began circulating in mid-March 2012. Delayed by assorted diplomatic and other considerations (see Quarterly Update in this issue for details), the letter was finally delivered to Netanyahu by Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat on 17 April. The letter was not released, but a draft, reproduced below, was leaked to the press and published in The Times of Israel on 15 April. Netanyahu sent a written response to Abbas on 12 May, which reportedly reiterated the call for an immediate resumption of talks, without preconditions. The Abbas letter was taken from the Times of Israel website at www.timeso!srael.com.
  • Political Geography: Palestine
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This "proposed solution" to the conflict was first circulated in late February 2012 to Israel's political and military elites, who reportedly (Jerusalem Post 2/23) gave it "high praise." Its author, a self-made multimillionaire and a "rising star" in the religious-Zionist-nationalist right, was Netanyahu's chief of staff (2006-8), and for two years (until January 2012) head of the YESHA settlers council. Bennett is also founder and head of the extra-parliamentary movement My Israel. The Israel Stability Initiative is posted on the One State Israel website at www.onestateisrael.com.
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Former lead Israeli peace negotiator Gilead Sher, former Israeli Security Agency head Ami Ayalon, and Israeli entrepreneur Orni Petruschka (organizers of a new group called Blue White Future) made the following proposal in a New York Times op-ed titled "Peace without Partners." While most of the steps recommended by the authors are already being undertaken by the Netanyahu government or have previously been discussed among Israelis in the course of the peace process, the initiative is notable for openly labeling them as unilateral steps to determine final status and urging the Israeli imposition of a solution "regardless of whether the Palestinians leaders have agreed." The op-ed appeared online on 23 April, and in print the following day. The op-ed was obtained from the New York Times website at www.nytimes.com.
  • Political Geography: New York, Israel
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Every time I come to AIPAC, I'm especially impressed to see so many young people here. . . . You carry with you an extraordinary legacy of more than six decades of friendship between the United States and Israel. . . . And for inspiration, you can look to the man who preceded me on this stage, who's being honored at this conference-my friend, President Shimon Peres.
  • Political Geography: Washington, Israel
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Below are excerpts from former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney's address to the annual AIPAC policy conference in Washington on 6 March 2012 (the same day as the Super Tuesday primary voting). Romney did not attend the conference but spoke via video link from the campaign trail. The full transcript can be obtained from the AIPAC website at www.aipac.org. This year, we are gathering at a dangerous time for Israel and for America. Not since the dark days of 1967 and 1973 has the Middle East faced peril as it does today. This is a critical moment. America must not-and, if I am President, it will not-fail this defining test of history.
  • Political Geography: America, Washington
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This section lists articles and reviews of books relevant to Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Entries are classified under the following headings: Reference and General; History (through 1948) and Geography; Palestinian Politics and Society; Jerusalem; Israeli Politics, Society, and Zionism; Arab and Middle Eastern Politics; International Relations; Law; Military; Economy, Society, and Education; Literature, Arts, and Culture; Book Reviews; and Reports Received.
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Arabia
141. Chronology
  • Author: Michele K. Esposito
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This is part 114 of a chronology begun in Journal of Palestine Studies ( JPS) 13, no. 3 (Spring 1984). Chronology dates reflect North American Eastern Standard Time. For a more comprehensive overview of regional and international developments related to the peace process, see the Quarterly Update on Conflict and Diplomacy in JPS 164.
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, North America
  • Author: Rashid I. Khalidi
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Can Palestine achieve liberation unilaterally by state-building and economic growth, despite the ongoing constraints of a suffocating occupation? Is a two-state solution of any sort still possible, and is it even desirable? What more can we learn about key turning points in Palestine's history like 1917 and 1948? The articles and essays in this issue of the Journal address these and other concerns about Palestine.
  • Topic: Intelligence, World Bank
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Raja Khalidi, Sobhi Samour
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: The Palestinian statehood-by-2011 program, framed through neoliberal institution building, redefines and diverts the Palestinian liberation struggle. Focusing on its economic aspects, and in particular the underlying neoliberal thought that goes beyond narrow economic policy applications, this essay argues that the program cannot succeed either as the midwife of independence or as a strategy for Palestinian economic development. Its weaknesses, the authors contend, derive not only from neoliberalism's inability to deliver sustainable and equitable economic growth worldwide, but also because neoliberal “governance” under occupation, however “good,” cannot substitute for the broader struggle for national rights nor ensure the Palestinian right to development.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Africa, Soviet Union, Palestine
  • Author: William Mathew
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Rejecting deterministic views of the 1917 Balfour Declaration as an expression of the inevitable work of history returning Jews to their ancient homeland, this article argues that Britain's fateful endorsement of the idea of a national home for Jews in Palestine was, in fact, the result of a combination of fortuity and contingency related primarily to World War I and the concerns and personalities of the British politicians involved. The article highlights the historic improbability of the Declaration and its implementation in the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, noting the regression it represented at a time when British imperial policy aspired to more flexible accommodations with colonial populations. FOR MANY ZIONISTS in the early twentieth century, the establishment of a national home for the Jews in Palestine through the British government's Balfour Declaration of 1917 and its League of Nations Mandate of 1922 represented, momentously, the now-imminent return of a diasporic people, comparative aliens in gentile societies, to their ancient home in the Levant. The mystic Zionist, Abraham Isaac Kook, saw it all as an expression of divine purpose, a great restorative sweep of God-driven history. Such ideas were rooted, albeit with a political twist, in the ancient Jewish sense of a “sacred” history and a related metaphysic of material events. There was an even grander reclamation: a “return to history” (ha-shiva la-historia) itself. Until that point, lacking territoriality and incoherent as a nation, the Jews had been, in David Ben-Gurion's words at the time of the Balfour Declaration, “extricated from world history.” Now, through the official agency of the British, they were poised for a dramatic reentry. REGRESSION To the disinterested historian, however, what commands attention is not some working through of ineluctable religious or secular historical forces but rather the sheer short-term contingency, much of it war related, of the enabling factors underlying both the Declaration and Britain's Mandate over Palestine in which it was ultimately incorporated. If there was any great movement of events, it was more a regression than an advance, involving as it did the establishment of a European settler community in an already well-peopled and well-charted territory. Britain's sponsorship of the Zionist project stood in contradiction to the “Wilsonian” spirit of the times, in which self-determination for formerly imperialized societies had been, notionally at least, a significant concern in post–World War I political dispositions. The British were remarkably explicit in their denial of democratic rights to the Palestinian Arabs. The author of the Declaration, Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour, insisted, in an oft-quoted remark, that the aspirations of Zionists were “of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land,” and that Arab claims to Palestine were “infinitely weaker than those of the Jews.” These views were consistent with the Declaration's promise of protection for the “civil and religious,” but not “political,” rights of the so-called “non-Jewish” population of Palestine. Lord Alfred Milner, one of the drafters of the Declaration, suggested that history and tradition of “the most sacred character” made it “impossible . . . to leave it to the Arab majority . . . to decide what shall be the future of Palestine.” The prime minister, David Lloyd George, was more succinct: “You mustn't give responsible government to Palestine.” Nor could the indigenous population do much by way of effective complaint: Sir Ronald Storrs, successively military governor of Jerusalem and civil governor of Jerusalem and Judea between 1917 and 1926, observed that the Palestinian Arabs, in making pleas for political justice, had “about as much chance as had the Dervishes before Kitchener's machine guns at Omdurman.” There was, of course, a widespread failure on the part of European colonial powers to deliver self-determination to their subordinate societies: It took a second world war to bring that about. But there was a distinct sense in British imperial policy that aspired to more flexible accommodations with colonial populations—notably in India, Ireland, and Egypt. Winston Churchill as colonial secretary had, despite his own vigorous Zionism, a clear sense of the inflammatory inconsistency involved, declaring in 1922 that the problem with the idea of a Jewish homeland was “that it conflicted with our regular policy of consulting the wishes of the people in mandate territories and giving them a representative institution as soon as they were fitted for it.” Another friend of Zionism, Sir Mark Sykes, insisted in 1918: “If Arab nationality be recognised in Syria and Mesopotamia as a matter of justice it will be equally necessary to devise some form of control or administration for Palestine” that recognizes “the various religious and racial nationalities in the country . . . according equal privileges to all such nationalities.” The regression, however, was implemented, and proved to be of the greatest historical significance, with bloody consequences for the near-century ahead. The clear implication was that the Jewish national home in Palestine, inserted in newly conquered British territory, could survive only through radical moderation of its colonialist instincts and an historic compromise with the Arab majority; or, alternatively, by iron-fisted attempts to impose unmoderated Jewish political will. The second approach—the one that came to govern events—was well articulated by the “revisionist” Zionists, most notably by the Odessa-born Vladimir Jabotinsky. As Avi Shlaim indicates, Jabotinsky did not subscribe to the common, tendentious illusion that “backward” Arabs would welcome “modernizing” Jews into their midst. Conflict was bound to ensue, he maintained, and it was incumbent upon the arriving settlers to prepare psychologically and militarily for the battles to come. “Any native people,” Jabotinsky wrote in 1923, “views their country as their national home, of which they are complete masters. They will not voluntarily allow, not even a new master, but even a new partner. And so it is for the Arabs. . . . They look upon Palestine with the same instinctive love and true fervor that any Aztec looked upon his Mexico or a Sioux looked upon the prairie.” The analogies were not happy ones.
  • Political Geography: Britain, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Dan Freeman-Maloy
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: The participation of thousands of overseas volunteers (the Mahal) in Zionist military operations conducted throughout the 1948 war has received insufficient critical attention. Mainly English-speaking World War II veterans recruited by the Zionist movement in the West for their expertise in such needed specializations as artillery, armored warfare, and aerial combat, the Mahal's importance to the military effort far exceeded their numbers. Situating their involvement within the broader historical context of Western support for the Zionist project, this article examines their role within the Haganah and Israel Defense Forces (particularly in aerial and armored units) in operations involving the violent depopulation of Palestinian communities. IN 1948, thousands of overseas volunteers traveled to Palestine to take part in Zionist military operations. While various accounts of their participation are available, the record of those Zionist combatants formally designated as Mahal (from the Hebrew Mitnadvay Hutz La'aretz, “volunteers from abroad”) has been distorted in deference to conventional Zionist historiography. The Mahal recruits are generally depicted as “forgotten heroes,” as historian David Bercuson describes them in The Secret Army. Providing the foreword to a study published amidst Israel's jubilee celebrations in 1998, Binyamin Netanyahu praises the “contribution to the struggle for liberation” made by Mahal fighters. “For them,” the authors of the study explain, “justice lay entirely on the side of the Jews”. The various memoirs written by volunteer combatants themselves likewise emphasize heroics in the service of a just cause. Yitzhak Rabin summarizes the standard narrative in his forward to one such volume: “The contribution of this small band of men and women is a glorious chapter in the story of Israel's struggle for freedom.” Estimates vary regarding the number of Mahal personnel interspersed throughout the Zionist forces. An initial Israeli census produced an estimate of 2,400, a figure now roundly considered low. Bercuson asserts that there were “more than 5,000 foreign volunteers who served with the Israeli forces”; Benny Morris cites an estimate of “more than 4,000.” A short study published by Israel's Ministry of Education in 2007 puts the figure at approximately 3,500. In any event, with total Israeli troop levels nearing 100,000 by the end of 1948, the significance of Mahal combatants did not lie in their numbers. “Mahal's special contribution,” in the words of David Ben-Gurion, “was qualitative.” Mostly English-speaking veterans of World War II, Mahal recruits devoted specialized skills to the Zionist military effort. Their expertise in modern military organization, artillery, armored warfare, naval, and aerial combat crucially facilitated the development (and early application) of Israeli military power. This “glorious chapter,” as Rabin calls it, has gradually been written into the “heroic version” of Israel's establishment. The role of foreign recruits in the political and demographic transformation of Palestine effected in 1948 merits a more critical recounting. What is recorded in the annals of Zionist historiography as Israel's War of Independence was experienced by Palestinians, some 750,000 of whom were displaced from their homes in the process, as colonial conquest. Widespread ethnic cleansing was among its principal features—a painful reality made more so by the denials, disinformation, and even celebrations that have surrounded it since. The present article reexamines the record of Mahal recruits in this light. THE POLICY OF COERCION AND ITS INTERNATIONAL UNDERPINNINGS From its establishment in 1897, the World Zionist Organization (WZO) pursued its ambitions concerning Palestine through organizational activity in Europe and North America and a strategic orientation toward the paramount imperial powers of the time. This approach succeeded in spectacular fashion during World War I when the Zionist movement secured British sponsorship for the creation of a Jewish “national home” in Palestine—a sponsorship given force by Britain's occupation of Palestine during the war and incorporated into its subsequent rule over Palestine under a Mandate approved by the League of Nations. With the growth of the prestate Jewish settlement (the Yishuv) during the period of British Mandatory rule (1922–1948), the center of Zionist decision making gradually shifted from Europe to Palestine. The WZO presidency of Chaim Weizmann, anchored in London, was overtaken by the leadership of David Ben-Gurion, based primarily “in the field.” But militarily as otherwise, the strength of the Yishuv remained heavily dependent upon international support. Funds from Western affiliates of the WZO—notably, the United Palestine Appeal (UPA), which channeled North American funds to Palestine through the Keren Hayesod (Foundation Fund)—were allocated according to the priorities of the Zionist Executive, including building military capacity. In matters of formal politics and diplomacy, the WZO operated in post-World War I Palestine as the Jewish Agency, which enjoyed formal juridical standing within the British Mandatory regime. Its military arm, the Haganah, though formally illegal, in practice also received important (albeit uneven) support from British authorities. This was most significant during the Palestinian Arab rebellion of 1936–1939, when sections of the Haganah were equipped and trained by the British to help put down the uprising within the framework of “Special Night Squads” and the Supernumerary Police force. Their experience bolstered the Haganah's capacities and contributed to shaping its military doctrine, particularly its preference for night-time assaults on Arab villages. By the late 1930s, as Nur Masalha has shown, leading Zionist decision makers were engaged in frank internal discussions regarding the prospect of forcibly expelling (or “transferring”) Palestinians to clear the way for a Jewish state. The fate of statist Zionism and its quest for a Jewish demographic majority would thus rest on coercive power. In a June 1938 discussion of transfer with the Jewish Agency Executive, Ben-Gurion emphasized that although the Zionist movement should seek Arab acquiescence, it “must enforce order and security and it will do this not by moralizing and preaching 'sermons on the mount' but by machine guns, which we will need.” “For Ben-Gurion,” writes biographer Shabtai Teveth, “the Yishuv's relationship with the Arabs of Palestine was now a military and not a political question.”
  • Political Geography: Britain, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Ghada Karmi
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This essay examines the one-state alternative to the commonly accepted two-state solution, which has been the basis of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process since 1993. It reviews the prospects for success of the two-state solution and sets out the arguments for and against such a settlement. The history and interpretation of the one-state alternative, whether binational or secular democratic, are explored, and the future chances of its success assessed. The author finds that to date no "road map" exists for how to implement the one-state solution, without which it is likely to remain an idealistic dream. THIS ARTICLE IS WRITTEN against the background of the latest round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that began in Washington on 2 September 2010. The object of the talks, as of the peace process launched in 1993, is the termination of the conflict through the creation of a Palestinian state “alongside” Israel, that is, the two-state solution. However, changes on the ground in the occupied Palestinian territories since 1993 threaten to make such a solution unlikely, if not impossible. The Israeli colonization of the West Bank and East Jerusalem has so advanced as to make questionable the logistical possibility of creating a viable Palestinian state on the territory that remains. Yet there is an extraordinary reluctance on the part of most politicians concerned with the conflict to look the facts in the face and draw the obvious conclusion: A two-state solution that complies even with minimalist Palestinian requirements cannot emerge from the existing situation. Rather like Hans Christian Andersen's tale of the emperor's new clothes, none of them is willing to see the naked truth. As the feasibility of the two-state solution recedes, the debate has turned to the one-state alternative, often as an undesirable outcome of last resort failing implementation of the preferred option. Both sides have used it as a threat against those standing in the way of the two-state solution. Israel's former prime minister Ehud Olmert, for example, told Ha'Aretz on 30 November 2007 that if the two-state solution collapsed, leading to a South African-style struggle for equal rights, Israel would be “finished.” And former Palestinian prime minister Ahmed Qurai' declared in 2004 that if the two-state solution became impossible, Palestinians would have to aim for one state. Whatever the motivation, the idea of a unitary state has attracted renewed interest. In fact, the idea of sharing the land between Arabs and Jews is older than that of the two-state solution, which is a recent notion in Palestinian history that emerged in response to a series of defeats for the Palestinian national movement. Though never totally absent from the debate about a solution, the unitary state has increasingly become part of mainstream political discourse. A number of one-state groups have come into being, half a dozen conferences have been held, and a growing literature on the topic has appeared. Given the reality on the ground in what remains of Palestine, the uncertainty of success for peace negotiations aimed at two states, and the precariousness of the political situation, it would be irresponsible not to seriously examine the one-state alternative. THE EVOLUTION OF THE TWO-STATE IDEA The two-state solution has become something of a mantra for all those involved in the peace process. But the proposition that it is the ultimate solution, to the point of obviating the need to consider others, is neither true nor consonant with elementary notions of justice. Not only does it divide the Palestinians' historic homeland into grossly unequal parts, made possible by coercion and force of arms, it also forecloses any meaningful return for the refugees driven out. The idea that it could reasonably settle a conflict whose very basis is dispossession and injustice without addressing those issues is, to say the least, unrealistic. The two-state solution is in fact a recent position for Palestinians, who always rejected the idea of partition as a device used by Britain and later the UN and Western states for accommodating Zionist ambitions in the country. Today's Western support for a two-state solution springs fundamentally from the same motives. The Zionists first proposed partition to the Mandate authorities as far back as 1928, when the Jewish population of the country was 20 percent. In 1937 the Peel Commission, set up by the British Government to find a solution for the conflict between Jews and Arabs in Mandate Palestine, recommended that the country be divided into Jewish and Arab states. In 1947, the partition of Palestine was enshrined in UN General Assembly resolution 18, which was passed thanks to overwhelming U.S. pressure and against strong Arab opposition. The Palestinians at the time saw partition as an outrageous assault on the integrity of their country and an undeserved gift to a newly arrived immigrant Jewish minority imposed on them. This remained the Palestinian position after 1948, when the aim of the newly formed PLO in 1964 was “the recovery of the usurped homeland in its entirety,” as the preamble to the 1964 Palestine National Charter phrased it. It was the 1967 war, which spectacularly demonstrated Israel's superior military power, (not to mention its staunch Western support), that forced a change in the Palestinian position. The question of partition returned implicitly to the national agenda in 1974, precipitated by the peace negotiations that followed the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, offering hope of a comprehensive settlement and a role for the PLO. At its twelfth meeting, the Palestine National Council (PNC) formally resolved to set up a “national, independent and fighting authority on every part of Palestinian land to be liberated” from Israeli occupation. Although there was no mention of a Palestinian state as such, the resolution paved the way for new thinking about the future. This was reflected in the next PNC meeting in 1977, which called for “an independent national state” on the land with no reference to its total liberation. By 1981, the PNC had welcomed a Russian proposal for the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the idea of a two-state solution was gaining ground.
  • Political Geography: Britain, Washington, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Yosefa Loshitzky
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: As a film about “terror” spilling over from its local context (the struggle over Palestine) into the global arena, Munich transcends the specificity of the so-called “Palestinian question” to become a contemporary allegory of the Western construct of “the war on terror.” The essay explores the boundaries and contradictions of the “moral universe” constructed and mediated by the film, interpreted by some as a dovish critique of Israeli (and post-9/11 U.S.) policy. Along the way, the author probes whether this “Hollywood Eastern” continues the long Zionist tradition seen in popular films from Exodus onwards, or signals a rupture (or even latent subversion) of it. In his globally acclaimed Schindler's List (1994), Steven Spielberg, an American Jew “perceived by many as the formative representative of American popular culture,” allegorized his own journey “from a 'nondidactic' popular entertainer to his much publicized 'rebirth' as a Jewish artist.” More than a decade later, he continued this journey with Munich (2006). But whereas Schindler's List ended on a note of triumphant Zionism, Munich appears to cast doubts if not on the moral core of Zionism itself, then at least on some of its tactics and modes of operation as carried out by its embodied political incarnation, the State of Israel. This essay explores the boundaries, limitations, and contradictions of the moral universe constructed and mediated by Spielberg's Munich, probing whether this “Hollywood Eastern” continues the long Zionist tradition prevalent in so many of Hollywood's popular films, from Otto Preminger's Exodus (1960) onward, or signals a rupture (or even a latent subversion) of it. Drawing on and fusing an eclectic array of genres (the war film, the 1970s spy thriller, the travelogue) and wrapped in the contemporary veneer of self-doubt, Munich is a soul-searching journey in pursuit of morality and justice. Described by Spielberg himself as “a prayer for peace,” it was made at the peak of the al-Aqsa intifada as part of his plan to produce what he called “peace projects.” Guardian journalist Jonathan Freedland hailed the film as representing “a new departure for the director, his most political movie yet,” and wrote that while Spielberg “still loves Israel” and still “longs for its survival and wellbeing,” he is now “paying attention to the moral costs—the impact not so much on the Palestinians, but on the Jewish soul.” Munich merits exploration for a number of reasons. Claiming to be inspired by real events and based on George Jonas's thriller, Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Counter-Terrorist Team, the film follows a cell of Mossad assassins as they set out across Europe to kill the eleven Palestinians allegedly responsible for murdering eleven Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972. As a film about terror spilling over from its local context (the struggle over Palestine) into the global arena, Munich transcends the specificity of the so-called “Palestinian question” to become a contemporary allegory of the Western construct of “the war on terror” that is embedded in the film's underlying ideological project. Moreover, in an ironic twist on “the Jewish question,” the film connects the emerging discourse on and of the war on terror to the reincarnation of the “Jew” (traditionally perceived as the classical “other” of old Europe) as the “Israeli,” by confronting him with the “Palestinian.” CHALLENGING (?) THE MORAL PARADIGM OF THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT Even before its Tel Aviv premier in January 2006, Munich was criticized for its perceived sympathy for the Palestinian cause in Israel by commentators who had not seen the film and by Israeli officials in the United States invited to advance screenings. Concerning its critical reception in the United States, Ha'Aretz chief U.S. correspondent Shmuel Rosner reported that all the American Jewish critics (most notably Leon Wieseltier in the New Republic and David Brooks in the New York Times) argued against the film. The underlying (yet open) assumption uniting the American reviewers, regardless of whether they praised or criticized the film, was the unquestioning acceptance of Israel's moral superiority; the anger leveled at Spielberg was based on what Zionist critics saw as his “chutzpah” even to attempt to equalize the two sides in the so-called Israeli-Palestinian conflict. What still remained a taboo within the framework of the American debate, even among its more liberal participants, was any acknowledgment of the moral superiority of the Palestinian cause (or not to mention any attempt to explore the possibility of it being so). Furthermore, the debate did not even present the dialectical option offered by what Rashid Khalidi calls “the contrasting narratives regarding Palestine,” but unequivocally presupposed the moral superiority of the “Israeli narrative.” Thus, Spielberg's Munich was perceived by many American Jews as betraying both American values and the Schindler's List legacy, which not only globalized the memory of the Holocaust but also promoted and celebrated the establishment of the State of Israel as the redemption of this historical tragedy. Yet the debate built into the film's marketing strategy (for which Spielberg had hired Israeli public relations consultant Eyal Arad, whose political clients included Binyamin Netanyahu and Ariel Sharon) was aimed both at enhancing its publicity and at providing it with ammunition against any serious accusations of being anti-Israeli. The controversy attached to this film, then, played out within the safe boundaries of the “Jewish world.” Palestinian and pro-Palestinian perspectives were strikingly absent from these debates, which were dominated by critics and commentators frantically defining the dangerous “other,” the Palestinian terrorist. In his introduction to the 2005 edition of Jonas's Vengeance, first published in 1984, Jewish American journalist and writer Richard Ben Cramer provides the moral imperative for the book (as well as the film) when he describes it as “a cautionary moral tale—perhaps more apt today than it was when it was first published.” According to him, the moral core of this “cautionary tale” is founded on the following questions: “Can a free society descend to murder to punish murder? Does fighting terrorism require terror? Does it inevitably put a nation's defenders into the world of the terrorists—and onto their level?” In Cramer's view, Israelis “have been forced to confront these questions for decades—more often in the last ten years. And now, post 9/11, Americans are in the same soup: Our own CIA has politically gone into the business of 'targeted killing.'” Cramer's moral imperative, much like Spielberg's, is disturbed not so much by the morality of the “just revenge” as by its utilitarian ends (“does it work?” he asks in his introduction). Cramer reminds us that at the end of the story Avner, the leader of the commando team and the main protagonist of the book (and film), is “still convinced of the...
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Nimer Sultany
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Reviewed work(s): Good Arabs: The Israeli Security Agencies and the Israeli Arabs, 1948-1967, by Hillel Cohen, translated by Haim Watzman. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010. ix + 264 pages. Bibliography to p. 268. Index to p. 281. $29.95 cloth.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: Elik Elhanan
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Reviewed work(s): The Political Right in Israel: Different Faces of Jewish Populism, by Dani Filc. London New York: Routledge Studies in the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 2010. vii + 143 pages. Notes to p. 151. Bibliography to p. 160. Index to p. 168. $120.00 cloth.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: Makram Khoury-Machool
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Reviewed work(s): Georgiopolis, by Dor Guez. Petach Tikva, Israel: Petach Tikva Museum, 2009. 198 pages. n.p.