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  • Author: Elizabeth M. Holt
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: For the last decade of his life, the Palestinian intellectual, author, and editor Ghassan Kanafani (d. 1972) was deeply immersed in theorizing, lecturing, and publishing on Palestinian resistance literature from Beirut. A refugee of the 1948 war, Kanafani presented his theory of resistance literature and the notion of “cultural siege” at the March 1967 Beirut conference of the Soviet-funded Afro-Asian Writers Association (AAWA). Articulated in resistance to Zionist propaganda literature and in solidarity with Marxist- Leninist revolutionary struggles in the Third World, Kanafani was inspired by Maxim Gorky, William Faulkner, and Mao Zedong alike. In books, essays, and lectures, Kanafani argued that Zionist propaganda literature served as a “weapon” in the war against Palestine, returning repeatedly to Arthur Koestler’s 1946 Thieves in the Night. Better known for his critique of Stalinism in Darkness at Noon (1940), Koestler was also actively involved in waging cultural Cold War, writing the United States Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) Congress for Cultural Freedom 1950 manifesto and helping the organization infiltrate Afro-Asian writing in the wake of Bandung. Kanafani’s 1960s theory of resistance literature thus responded at once to the psychological dislocation of Zionist propaganda fiction and the cultural infiltration of Arabic literature in the Cold War.
  • Topic: Cold War, Zionism, Literature, Arabic, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon
  • Author: Diana Allan, Curtis Brown
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Within hours of Israeli commandos' deadly raid on 31 May 2010 on the Mavi Marmara, the Turkish aid ship attempting to break the siege of Gaza as part of a six-ship Freedom Flotilla, the Israel Defense Forces' (IDF) official public relations (PR) and media body had uploaded a series of videos of the attack on the flotilla to YouTube. Edited from footage confiscated from professional journalists, pro-Palestinian activists, CCTV cameras onboard, and IDF surveillance, these videos shaped the U.S. media's understanding of the raid. While the journalists and activists were held incommunicado for days, Israel used the media blackout to present its narrative, justifying the killing of civilian activists by claiming that soldiers were forced to open fire in self-defense. The video footage, we were told, spoke for itself.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Israel