The Neocolonial Arrogance of the Kushner Plan
The Kushner plan’s notion of throwing other people’s money at the issue will not make it go away; not when it involves the national, political, civil, and human rights of an estimated 12 million people. The Palestinian people are not about to be bought off.
June 12, 2019
A Palestinian in Israeli Military Court
Palestinian activist Issa Amro has become famous for the kind of civil disobedience developed by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. So great a threat does Palestinian nonviolence pose that Israel seems bent on erasing this type of activism completely, casting expressions of civil society as potential threats.
May 13, 2019
Bedouins Halt the Bulldozers
For the Israeli right, the Bedouin Palestinians of al-Khan al-Ahmar are one of the last obstacles to a far-reaching annexationist program. They also have the incorrigible flaw of not being Jews in a Jewish state now run on exclusionary ethno-nationalist principles.
October 26, 2018
‘I Am an Illegal Alien on My Own Land’
In 1949, shortly after Israel’s War of Independence, the Hebrew writer S. Yizhar published a story that became an instant classic. “Khirbet Khizeh” is a fictionalized account of the destruction of a Palestinian village and the expulsion of all its inhabitants by Israeli soldiers in the course of the war. The narrator, a soldier in the unit that carries out the order, is sickened by what is being done to the innocent villagers. Sixty-three years have passed since Yizhar wrote “Khirbet Khizeh.” I wish I could say that what he described was an ugly exception and that such actions don’t happen any more. This week I find myself in Susya, in the South Hebron hills, whose inhabitants, if the Israeli Civil Administration gets its way, will be, quite literally, cast into the desert.
June 28, 2012
How the Occupation Became Legal
Surprisingly little is known about the legal apparatus that has enabled and structured Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory, now in its forty-fifth year. Filmed in nine days but based on years of archival research, Ra’anan Alexandrowicz’s *The Law in These Parts*, a new Israeli documentary now being shown at Sundance, aims to expose it. Even before the 1967 Six-Day War, the film reveals, officers in the army’s legal corps drew up guidelines for a separate system of laws that could be applied to territory under IDF control, rules they were convinced could strike a balance between order and justice. Focusing on these handful of Israeli legal officials who worked largely in the shadows, Alexandrowicz’s unsparing inquiry is targeted at Israelis and foreign observers, who trumpet the achievements of Israel’s democracy and the High Court’s willingness to restrain abuses even at the occasional expense of security.
January 25, 2012
The West Bank, Part II
There are tragic internal concomitants to the dramatic political failure at the top in Israel. That failure and the moral pathology that motivates it are more and more seeping down into the Israeli grass roots; or maybe they have been festering there for years, fed by the occupation and its cruelties. Ehud Barak used to say that when a truly moderate Palestinian leadership would arise, the demand to make peace would well up from below in Israel and force the government to act in this direction. Evidently, he was wrong. Consider what happened on the second day of Rosh Hashana, Friday, September 30, in the settlement known as Anatot, just north of Jerusalem.
October 19, 2011
The West Bank, Part I
On the West Bank, the Palestinian September has come and gone in an eerie quiet. Abu Mazen returned from the UN to a hero’s welcome in Ramallah, and there were low-key celebrations in other cities as well; but the mass demonstrations that many predicted, and that the Israelis feared, have not materialized. The Palestinian security forces were given strict orders to keep demonstrators away from potential places of friction such as roadblocks, checkpoints, and of course Israeli settlements. Expecting the worst, the Israeli army invested considerable resources in crowd-control technology, including the infamous “Skunk” spray, which disperses an unbearable malodorous mist; but so far they haven’t needed these methods. In the meantime, has anything changed on the ground?
October 18, 2011
Obama's Palestinian Veto
Over the past few days, much has been written about the Palestinian bid for UN recognition of its statehood and Washington’s opposition to it. But the real importance of last week’s events at the UN does not lie with the US response itself, but with the effect that response has had on the international community.
September 30, 2011