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  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This section is intended to give readers an overview of President-elect Barack Obama's positions on the Middle East peace process as he begins his tenure. The baseline for gauging Obama's views may be his failed 2000 race for Congress. At that time he made statements viewed as pro-Palestinian because they urged the United States to take an "even-handed approach" toward Israeli-Palestinian peace-making. As an Illinois state senator, Obama had cultivated ties with Chicago's Arab American community, which was partly concentrated in his state senate district. He won a U.S. Senate seat in 2004 with significant support from Chicago's Lakeside liberals, who included leading Chicago Jewish Democrats. His position on the Arab-Israeli conflict remained an issue during the 2008 presidential race, however, and Obama made a point of laying out his positions at several points during the campaign, in contrast to his Republican challenger Sen. John McCain, who did not detail his positions.
  • Topic: Security, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Arabia, Chicago
  • Author: Stephanie Latte Abdallah
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This article focuses on conjugal love as an articulated, lived emotion; on relationships between spouses within the context of the family; and on how these emotions and relations have changed over time in Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan. Based on interviews with four generations of Palestinian camp women, the article charts evolving marital patterns and attitudes toward marriage in relation to changing political circumstances and diverse influences. Particular emphasis is given to the third generation and the emergence of individualization of choice and its consequences. The influence of the family and the role of protection in the formation of conjugal bonds are also addressed.
  • Topic: Security, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Jordan
  • Author: Diana Allan
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This article revisits Rosemary Sayigh's theory of "culture as resistance" and considers how primordial attachments of kin and village, and by extension nation, in Shatila camp are being reconfigured by deepening poverty and provisionality. Shifting analytical attention away from the discursive continuities of nationalism toward the contingencies of everyday material practice in its local environment, the article examines how dynamically evolving networks of solidarity are reconstituting traditional structures of kinship and political belonging, broadly conceived, and producing new forms of agency and economic subjectivity for camp women.
  • Topic: Security, Politics
  • Political Geography: Lebanon
  • Author: Elena N. Hogan
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This personal account describes aspects of closure, siege, and daily life witnessed in the Gaza Strip from May to July 2009, with emphasis on the impact of the blockade in the wake of Operation Cast Lead. As an international worker made to grapple with increasingly complicated Israeli bureaucracy, but "allowed" access into Gaza for purposes of humanitarian aid, the author describes her impressions of the current Gazan situation as an instance of isolation whose plight is increasingly hidden from the gaze of the outside world.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Israel, Gaza
  • Author: Marcy Jane Knopf-Newman
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: As the reconstruction of Nahr al-Barid refugee camp in northern Lebanon is halted once again, this time due to the discovery of an archaeological site, twelve thousand Palestinians from the camp have taken to the streets in protest. The remaining nineteen thousand refugees continue to reside in eleven other camps in Lebanon, unable to return two years after the Lebanese army destroyed it. The struggle for these refugees has shifted, albeit temporarily, from the right of return to Palestine to that of return to the camp.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Israel, Gaza
  • Author: Mouin Rabbani
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: In this second installment of his interview for JPS, Khalid Mishal, Hamas politburo chief since 1996 and head of the movement since the assassination of Shaykh Ahmad Yasin in 2004, continues his discussion of Hamas's evolution and strategy. Whereas the focus of part I was Mishal's personal background, political formation, and the founding of the movement, here Hamas's more recent history is foregrounded. From the unfolding conflict and troubled relations with Fatah since the mid-1990s, Mishal recounts the thinking behind the decision formally to integrate into the Palestinian political system born of Oslo by participating the 2006 legislative elections and joining the Palestinian Authority government. He also delves into the ongoing repercussions of these decisions, including the splits within the Palestinian movement culminating in Hamas's seizure of power in the Gaza Strip in June 2007. In the course of the more than three-hour interview, Mishal's straightforward manner is on display, as well as his willingness to be challenged on matters as sensitive as Hamas's suicide bombings and the targeting of Israeli civilians, the utility of armed resistance, and the morality of the struggle. Two themes underlying the interview were Mishal's preoccupation with the need to repair the intra-Palestinian split ("our greatest priority") and the devastating impact of the ongoing siege of the Gaza. Since our interview in early March 2008, two potentially significant developments with relevance to these concerns have taken place. On the internal Palestinian front, Mishal repeatedly emphasized the need for intra-Palestinian dialogue without preconditions, with all subjects on the table including controversial topics like early elections. A first step toward reconciliation was made on 24 March 2008, when Hamas and Fatah representatives signed the "Sana'a Declaration," negotiated in the Yemeni capital, which outlined points of consensus on various domestic issues including security and political institutions. Though the declaration quickly ran aground, with Fatah demanding that Hamas immediately cede control of Gaza before implementation of other aspects would be discussed, by June 2008, Hamas and Fatah were once again considering national unity talks on the basis of the Yemeni initiative. As for alleviating the extreme external pressures on the Hamas-led Gaza Strip, indirect negotiations between Hamas and Israel mediated by Egypt produced a bilateral cease-fire that went into effect on 18 June. Though initially confined to Gaza, the understandings also call for a gradual reversal of the siege as well as renewed negotiations on a prisoner exchange, including the release of captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. Hovering over both Hamas-Israel and Hamas-Fatah relations is Washington, which remains opposed to any deals through which the Palestinian Islamists can emerge from their enforced isolation. Yet whatever the ultimate success of either development, the reality is that Mishal and Hamas are increasingly central players in the intra-Palestinian, Israeli-Palestinian, and broader regional equations. Indeed, itwas Mishal, not Abbas, whose movement reached an agreement with Israel before the expiration of the Bush administration.
  • Topic: Security, Government
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Gaza, Egypt
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: InternationalA1. John Holmes, UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Briefing to the Security Council on the Situation in the Middle East, Geneva, 26 February 2008 (excerpts)Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 37, no. 4 (Summer 2008), p. 159Documents and Source Material John Holmes's briefing emphasizes the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza resulting from Israeli restrictions on the movement of people and goods. Holmes was appointed Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs in January 2007 by UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Kimoon. The full text is available online at www.ochaonline.un.org.
  • Topic: Security, Humanitarian Aid, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: On 13 April, the Israeli human rights organization Public Committee against Torture in Israel (PCATI) released an extensive report, excerpted below, detailing the Israeli Security Agency's (Shin Bet) use of abuse and threats against detainees' family members in order to extract confessions. PCATI's report also reveals that despite the Israeli High Court ruling against the use of torture in 1999, both physical and psychological torture, assisted by physicians, continues. The report concludes with recommendations concerning both legislation and the supervision of the General Security Services (GSS) that will contribute to preventing the use of this deplorable method. One of six cases presented in the report is excerpted below. The full report is available online at www.stoptorture.org.il.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: Michael Lynk
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: UN Security Council Resolution 242 endorsed the "inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war" and called for "withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied" in the June 1967 war. Since then, a debate has raged over whether these provisions call for a complete Israeli withdrawal, a minor revision of borders, or license for Israel to retain sovereignty over some of the conquered lands. This article argues that the resolution must be read through the lens of international law. A principled legal interpretation clarifies 242's ambiguities on withdrawal and re-establishes the importance of universal rights to a just and durable peace in the Middle East.
  • Topic: Security, Law
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Canada, Israel
  • Author: Omar M. Dajani
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This essay offers an assessment of the extent to which UNSC Resolution 242's procedural and substantive recommendations have facilitated a negotiated settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The historical record of each of the mechanisms of the Middle East peace process demonstrates that the mediation mechanism established in 242 was too feeble for the task assigned to it. The resolution's ambiguities and omissions further diminished its value as a tool of dispute resolution, creating confusion about what acceptance of 242 signified, encouraging hard bargaining by the parties, and denying leaders the political cover for necessary compromise.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia