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  • Author: Perla Issa
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This article examines the practices of humanitarian aid distribution from the perspective of aid recipients rather than providers through an immersion in the daily home life of Palestinian residents of Nahr al-Barid refugee camp (north Lebanon) in 2011. It argues that in the name of distributing aid fairly, humanitarian aid providers put in place a pervasive system of surveillance to monitor, evaluate, and compare residents’ misery levels by relying on locally recruited aid workers. This regime of visibility was designed to be one directional; NGOs never disclosed how much aid they had available, nor when or how it would be distributed. The inclusion of local aid workers in this opaque framework turned a process that relied on community and neighborhood ties into an impersonal machine that fostered doubt and suspicion and ultimately hindered the community’s ability to engage in collective political action.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, International Security, International Affairs, Occupation
  • Political Geography: Palestine
  • Author: Nora Parr
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Conceptually linked, noncontiguous, and undeniably national, Ibrahim Nasrallah’s book series Al-milhat al-filastiniyya (The Palestine Comedies) breaks conceptual ground. Told across twelve volumes, the Comedies represents the long-called- for Palestinian national novel, though in unconventional form. The series uses diverse literary devices, including intertextuality and the archetype of the twin, to demonstrate how formal innovations can redirect assumptions about what constitutes not only a national novel, but also a nation. The series reimagines relationships between space, time, and people, giving narrative shape to a community so often imagined as fragments. Abandoning the retrospective prerequisite of bounded sovereign space and homogeneous, linear time, the Comedies imagines a “nation constellation.” A close examination of two novels within the series, A‛ras amna (2004) and Tifl al-mimhat (2000), shows how Palestinian relationships can be imagined outside existing national logics. It reads the constellation as an alternative nation form that can both encompass colonial frameworks and free the delimitation of Palestine from the dominance of power structures that only begin with the nation-state
  • Topic: International Affairs, Power Politics, Linguistics
  • Political Geography: Palestine
  • Author: Mandy Turner
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Richard Falk’s quest to combine academic scholarship with political activism is witnessed throughout his lifework, but perhaps especially so during his tenure as United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, a position he held from 2008 to 2014. Falk is a vocal critic of Israel’s occupation and a staunch supporter of Palestinian self- determination, positions that have drawn strong condemnation from Israel and its supporters, but praise from Palestinians and their supporters. There is little doubt that Falk’s work has had a huge influence on public debate and activism pertaining to this issue, both within Israel-Palestine as well as globally. This article outlines Falk’s scholarship and activism regarding Palestine, analyzes the post of UN special rapporteur in general, reviews both criticism of and support for Falk’s work, and assesses Falk’s concept of the “citizen pilgrim.” It concludes by reflecting on what this reveals about the experience of praxis for politically engaged academics.
  • Topic: International Organization, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Palestine
  • Author: Victor Kattan
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: On 25 March 2019, U.S. president Donald Trump signed a proclamation recognizing the occupied Golan Heights as part of Israel. The Golan Heights proclamation, which endorses Israel’s annexation of the territory captured from Syria in the 1967 war, was issued two weeks before the Israeli general election in a photo-op with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House. Undermining internationally agreed-upon norms prohibiting states from recognizing the annexation of territory by force, the proclamation could have detrimental consequences for the international legal order, providing a precedent for other states to take steps to annex territory they claim is necessary for their defense.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs, Occupation
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Amal Eqeiq
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This article explores border crossing and the Palestinian city as a literary metropolis—two major themes in the works of emerging Palestinian novelists in Israel. It looks at the “re-Palestinization” of urban space by writers who belong to a post-Oslo generation of Palestinian intellectuals that left villages and small towns in Israel to go and study, work, and live in the city. What distinguishes the literature of this generation is its negotiation of border crossing in a fragmented geography and its engagement with the city as a space of paradoxical encounter between a national imaginary and a settler-colonial reality. Based on a critical reading of their works, the article argues that Adania Shibli and Ibtisam Azem challenge colonial border discourse, exposing the ongoing Zionist erasure of the Palestinian city and creating a new topography for Palestinian literature. The article also traces the role of these writers in the “twinning” of Haifa and Ramallah starting in the late 1990s, and it examines how this literary and cultural “sisterhood” informs spatial resistance.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Palestine
  • Author: Michal Rotem, Neve Gordon
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: The struggle between Zionists and Palestinian Bedouin over land in the Negev/ Naqab has lasted at least a century. Notwithstanding the state’s continuing efforts to concentrate the Bedouin population within a small swath of land, scholars have documented how the Bedouin have adopted their own means of resistance, including different practices of sumud. In this paper we maintain, however, that by focusing on planning policies and the spatio-legal mechanisms deployed by the state to expropriate Bedouin land, one overlooks additional technologies and processes that have had a significant impact on the social production of space in the Negev. One such site is the struggle over the right to education, which, as we show, is intricately tied to the organization of space and the population inhabiting that space. We illustrate how the right to education has been utilized as an instrument of tacit displacement deployed to relocate and concentrate the Bedouin population in planned governmental towns. Simultaneously, however, we show how Bedouin activists have continuously invoked the right to education, using it as a tool for reinforcing their sumud. The struggle for education in the Israeli Negev is, in other words, an integral part of the struggle for and over land.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Palestine
  • Author: Nehad Khader
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: In this profile of Rasmea Odeh, JPS examines the case of a Palestinian woman who has been incarcerated in both Israel and the United States. After a decade of confinement in Israel, Odeh was freed in a prisoner exchange in 1979. Following deportation from the occupied Palestinian territories, she became a noted social justice and women’s rights organizer, first in Lebanon and Jordan, and later in the U.S., where she built the now over 800-strong Arab Women’s Committee of Chicago. In April 2017, Odeh accepted a plea bargain that would lead to her deportation from the United States after a years-long legal battle to overturn a devastating conviction on charges of immigration fraud. Observers, legal experts, and supporters consider the case to “reek of political payback,” in the words of longtime Palestine solidarity activist, author, and academic Angela Davis. Odeh’s generosity of spirit, biting wit, and easy smile did not desert her throughout the years that she fought her case. To know Odeh is to be reminded that the work of organizing for social justice is about the collective rather than the individual, and that engagement, relationship building, and trust are the foundations of such work.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Human Rights, International Affairs, Prisons/Penal Systems
  • Political Geography: Palestine
  • Author: Khaled Hroub
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: On 1 May 2017, Hamas released its “Document of General Principles and Policies” following years of periodic speculation that the movement was working on a new political platform. Heralded by some as a significant milestone in Hamas’s political thought and practice, the document reiterates longstanding positions but also lays out some new ones. Given the timing of its release, as well as its contents and possible implications, the document could be considered Hamas’s new charter: it details the organization’s views on the struggle against “the Zionist project” and Israel and outlines its strategies to counter that project. This essay aims to provide a fine-grained analysis of the substance, context, and ramifications of the recently released document. The discussion starts with an overview highlighting aspects of the document that could be considered departures from Hamas’s original 1988 charter, and pointing to changes in the movement’s discourse, both in form and substance. A contextual analysis then probes the regional, international, and internal impetuses behind the issuance of the document. Finally, the discussion concludes with a look at the possible implications for the movement itself, as well as for the Palestinians and for Israel.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs, Border Control, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Palestine
  • Author: Alaa Tartir
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: The Palestinian Authority (PA) adopted donor-driven security sector reform (SSR) as the linchpin to its post-2007 state-building project. As SSR proceeded, the occupied West Bank became a securitized space and the theater for PA security campaigns whose ostensible purpose was to establish law and order. This article tackles the consequences of the PA’s security campaigns in Balata and Jenin refugee camps from the people’s perspective through a bottom-up ethnographic methodological approach. These voices from below problematize and examine the security campaigns, illustrating how and why resistance against Israel has been criminalized. The article concludes by arguing that conducting security reform to ensure stability within the context of colonial occupation and without addressing the imbalances of power can only ever have two outcomes: “better” collaboration with the occupying power and a violation of Palestinians’ security and national rights by their own security forces.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Palestine
  • Author: Cecilia Baeza
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: THE THREE PAPERS that comprise this dossier explore the intraregional and intercontinental mobilities of Palestinians during the late Ottoman period and the British Mandate. While several studies have focused on both the processes of integration and diasporization of Palestinian migrants in their host countries,1 the papers in this dossier address the political and cultural implications of this migration for Palestinian society in Palestine, from the 1920s until the establishment of Israel in 1948. Although emigration from Ottoman and Mandate-era Palestine was proportionally much smaller than that from Lebanon and Syria, the three articles provide an insightful contribution to Palestinian social history, in particular for the pre-1948 period, which has aroused unabated interest in Palestinian historiography since the 1990s.2 The authors—all historians—have carried out groundbreaking research that sheds light on the Palestinian nation- building process from an original and lesser-known point of view, that of migrants. This decentered observation lens proves remarkably relevant to thinking about the political, social, and cultural changes that supported the construction of a modern national consciousness in Pales
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Palestine