The Electronic Intifada

Interview with Suheir Hammad

I think that poetry tries to make a connection between the absences and the losses that I feel in my person, and make the connection to the body feeling detached or feeling displaced, and the reality of land and shelter and the idea of the continuity of citizenship and the idea of ancestry. I think reclaiming is an ambitious agenda - if you’re beginning to write a poem, will you actually be reclaiming the rights to a land or a nation and other rights to citizenship? So I think the work succeeds more when it’s about illuminating this detachment. 

The Right to Live Without Fear

Lost in the discussion of peace processes, military raids, Qassam rocket fire and unilateralism carried out by the Israeli government for ‘security purposes,’ is the climate of fear that is the defining feature of Israeli and Palestinian life. It does more damage than anything else. The threat of coercion, of bureaucratic reprimand, the hold up of paperwork, the threat of home demolitions and a myriad of other policies force normal people in to silence even when their rights are violated. 

Dangerous dirty tricks in Palestine

The referendum called by Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas is supposedly meant to gain public endorsement for the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel in all the territories occupied in 1967, as set out in a plan agreed by senior Hamas and Fatah leaders held in Israeli prisons. But Abbas’ ploy has nothing to do with hastening the creation of such a state, and everything to do with Fatah’s inability to come to terms with its defeat in last January’s legislative elections. It is, says EI co-founder Ali Abunimah, another sordid attempt to use “democracy” not to reveal the will of the people, but to frustrate it. 

We Need Justice

My family and I live in Rafah. On January 21, 2004, our neighbor, Abu Jamil, woke us at 2:00 AM. He asked for help because the Israeli military came to bulldoze his home. My mother and I helped his family to empty their house. By 6:00 AM it was demolished. Since 1967 Israel has demolished 12,000 Palestinian homes. During this uprising, Israel has demolished 2000 homes in Rafah, mostly near the border with Egypt, and 3,000 houses in the Gaza Strip. In Rafah 3,000 people remain homeless. 

The Myth of Unilateralism and Convergence

What Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is attempting to pull off through unilateralism is historically unprecedented – to take a disputed territory and mark its own borders without taking in to account historical aspirations or negotiations. Convergence is a public relations term rather than something to be taken as seriously as diplomacy. It will more than likely perpetuate the vicious circle which has gone on since 1993 and could stoke the fires of a third intifada. 

How Olmert conned Washington over convergence

Israelis have a word for it: “hasbara”. It is often misleadingly translated as “advocacy for Israel”. But what the word signifies more deeply for Israel’s supporters is the duty, when the truth would be damaging, to dissemble or to disseminate misinformation to protect the interests of Israel as a Jewish state — that is, a state with an unassailable Jewish majority. If hasbara is expected of the lowliest members of Israel’s international fan club, it is a duty of the first order for the country’s prime minister. 

The Hamas Government Should be Recognized

The U.S. and Europe decided, despite Israel’s opposition, to permit the Palestinian people to hold democratic elections. According to Jimmy Carter’s report in the “Herald Tribune”, the elections were “honest, fair, strongly contested, without violence and with the results accepted by winners and losers. Among the 62 elections that have been monitored by… the Carter Center, these are among the best in portraying the will of the people.” In a just and well-ordered world, it would be unthinkable for a government that was elected in this way to be disqualified because Israel does not like the choice of the electorate in question. 

"Three Arab Painters in New York" to open in New York City

Three Arab Painters in New York is an art exhibition that features the work of three leading New York-based Arab painters. Samia Halaby, Sumayyah Samaha and Athir Shayota have been contributing to contemporary American art for decades and have exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the United States. Varied in style, technique, medium, scale and artistic influence, the three present a glimpse into the diverse and complex nature of the Arab World’s art and visual culture. 

Gaza artist opens "Fathers" exhibition

Mr. Alain Rémy, the French Consul General in Jerusalem, and Moein Sadeq, the deputy general of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquity (MTA) joined many people, including children, to gather under fluttering Palestinian and French flags at the door of the little museum of Qasr Albasha in the old city of Gaza. They gathered not for politics, but to celebrate the new exhibition, “Fathers,” by the Gazan artist Taysir Batniji, hosted at the museum under the patronage of the French Cultural Centre (CCF) and the MTA

Academic Boycott: Shin Bet training program highlights academic complicity with occupation

The Shin Bet is possibly best known for its interrogation methods when extracting confessions from detainees. As Kimmerling notes, the most likely result will be a “professional studies” programme relating to the Shin Bet’s work. Such arrangements are nothing new in Israeli academia, Kimmerling points out. There are strong ties between the universities and the defence industry because “some university staff join academia after [military] service and careers in the defense establishment, and not all of them manage to ‘go civilian’.”