The Electronic Intifada

The process of transfer continues: The Jerusalem Municipality plans to demolish 88 houses in Silwan, East Jerusalem

Jeff Halper
3 June 2005


The Municipality of Jerusalem intends to demolish an entire East Jerusalem neighborhood. Eighty eight homes housing 1000 residents in the el Bustan area of Silwan village in East Jerusalem close to the walls of the Old City. The reason, (according to the city engineer Uri Shitreet, who issued the orders) is that this area is an important cultural and historical site for the Jewish nation because it stands on the site where King David established his kingdom. The aim, says Shitreet, is to return this “densely populated Palestinian part of the city” to its landscape.

Power, propaganda and the promised land

Gary Fields
2 June 2005


Language, as George Orwell remarked, is a proxy for power. According to the celebrated author of “1984,” those in power use language to disseminate truth selectively through a process of representation and concealment. When applied to the region of Israel/Palestine, Orwell’s insights reveal how this interplay of representation and concealment permeates the exercise of power, and why, absent changes in the discourse of the powerful side, there is little reason to expect any progress in the situation.

"According to security sources": What remains of the Israeli media

Tanya Reinhart
3 June 2005


In the 1960s, there were many jokes in Israel about the “Voice of the UAR (United Arab Republic) from Cairo”, which broadcasted news in broken Hebrew, written by spokesmen of the Egyptian regime. The absurdity of these broadcasts enhanced the credibility of the IDF spokesmen in our eyes. Today, we are not all that far from the “Voice of the UAR” ourselves, and in fluent IDF Hebrew. Tanya Reinhart reports.

Time to admit it is only gravel

Hasan Abu Nimah
1 June 2005


Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas has just completed a “successful” visit to Washington. He expressed great satisfaction with the results, and comparing what he had expected to what he had achieved, he must be right. Regular EI contributor Hasan Abu Nimah argues that despite the fanfare and the claims, what the visit actually brought to the Palestinians amounts to much less. Abu Nimah notes that Bush was visibly cordial. He praised Abbas, described him as “a man of peace,” thus elevating his stature to that of Sharon, and addressed him right from the start as “Mr President”, when Arafat had never achieved anything beyond “Mr Chairman.”

The AUT Boycott: Freedom vs. Academic Freedom

Omar Barghouti and
Lisa Taraki
31 May 2005


On May 26, the Association of University Teachers (AUT) in Britain reversed its previous decision — taken on April 22 — to boycott Israeli universities. Intimidation and bullying aside, no tool was as persistently used, abused and bandied about as much as the claim that academic boycott infringes on academic freedom. Freedom to produce and exchange knowledge and idea was deemed sacrosanct regardless of the prevailing conditions. There are two key faults in this argument. Omar Barghouti and Lisa Taraki, founding members of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), comment.

One Hand Clapping: Applauding Tolerance and Pluralism in Israeli Academia

Sharif Hamadeh
31 May 2005


The walls and outposts of the Zionist enterprise are becoming ever more conspicuous, so too are the contradictions inherent in the 57-year-old experiment of establishing a state that is both “Jewish” and “democratic” in pluralistic Palestine. The recent, albeit short-lived, decision of Britain’s Association of University Teachers (AUT) to impose an academic boycott on Bar-Ilan and Haifa Universities attests to the growing realization abroad that Israel’s policies adversely affect Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line.

Photostory: The Erez Crossing Point in Gaza

Rima Merriman
29 May 2005


These 10 photos were taken on 22 May 2005 and show the passage from the point of arrival at the border of Gaza to the point of entry into Gaza. A sign at the entrance to the passage says in faulty Arabic: “Continuing with violence results in the withholding of ease of access and luxury for the people.” The passage is similar to the design developed by Temple Grandin (an assistant professor at Colorado State University) for the routing of cattle as they are led to slaughter. The Israelis are on the scene through remote control. When a person exiting from Gaza approaches the turnstile, a disembodied voice, rough and rude, tells him or her to drop bags to the floor, to lift up clothes, turn around, etc.

No man's land: Government mistreatment of Palestinian asylum seekers

Jeff Handmaker and
Adri Nieuwhof
25 May 2005


Governments should be allowing Palestinians the opportunity to claim political asylum, but they are failing to do so and mistreating Palestinians in the process. In this article, the writers consider international law in relation to this. They also examine the case of Khalil, who has — contrary to international law — not been given an effective opportunity to claim refugee status in the Netherlands and instead has been confined to a bureaucratic ‘no man’s land’, with severe personal consequences.

At the UN, Palestinian democracy tests American and Israeli limits

Michael Kagan
25 May 2005


Last week, an obscure UN body called the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations decided to “defer” the application from the Badil Resource Center, a Palestinian organization working for Palestinian refugee rights based in Bethlehem. Badil was asking for “consultative status” that would allow it to make statements at official UN gatherings. The committee was supposed to decide if Badil’s work was consistent with the purposes of the UN. Germany demanded that Badil provide a copy of every statement it has ever made on terrorism. The US demanded to hear Badil’s position on the land issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Then the US asked if Badil had anything to do with the International Solidarity Movement.

Academic boycott will lead to Israeli self-examination

Oren Ben-Dor
25 May 2005


Moving away, but only for a moment, from the issue of Nakba-denial in the academy, there are arguably very good reasons for a general boycott of Israel, in such areas as trade, sports and so on. Here, parallels with South Africa are not out of place. Such a boycott is separate from one directed against Nakba-denial in the Israeli academy. When academics are included in a general boycott, it is as a result of their belonging to a population which is boycotted because its various activities nourish a criminal state.


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