The Electronic Intifada

Book Review: American author's debut novel, "The Woman I Left Behind"

Khalid and Irene are like two tectonic plates - when friction arises between them, their relationship is shaken to its core. Coming from two separate experiences - American Irene, who lived a privileged East Coast childhood, and Palestinian Khalid, who lost nearly all of the significant people in his life to war — the two come together with great passion that later gives way to uncertainty and distrust, shaking their faith in each other. Their rocky journey towards mutual trust is at the center of Kim Jensen’s debut novel The Woman I Left Behind

Israel's Elections: A Decisive Vote for Apartheid

“Israel votes for disengagement and final borders” and “Israelis abandon the dream of Greater Israel” were the main themes in the spin that characterized mainstream, even some progressive, media coverage of the Israeli parliamentary elections which took place on March 28. In reality, the election results revealed that a consensus has emerged among Israeli Jews, not only against the basic requirements of justice and genuine peace, as that was always the case, but also in support of a more aggressive form of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and cementing Zionist apartheid. 

African National Congress: An Inspiration for Palestinians

On March 28, Rifat Odeh Kassis wrote here that a different political body must be build to represent the Palestinian people everywhere. “A body, which will reorganise the Paletinian struggle to achieve its aims. A body which will represent and use all political parties, civil society structures, NGOs, trade unions and individuals and organize their efforts internally and externally.” Bangani Ngeleza and Adri Nieuwhof write about the history of the struggle for freedom and democracy of the South African National Congress (ANC) in order to inspire Palestinians to explore new strategies. 

I will not be silenced

“Last week, Hillel Director Robert Fishman sent an organizational e-mail over the Hillel listserv accusing me of being a terrorist,” writes GW law student Fadi Kiblawi, “The claims include that I have ‘led chants (of) ‘Death to Jews.’” In this contribution to EI, Kiblawi, a leading advocate of divestment from Israel, demands an apology for these falsehoods, calumny and intimidation, and warns he will take legal action to clear his name against those who launched this scurrilous campaign. He affirms that he and other students who insist on open debate about how to confront Israel’s human rights abuses will not be silenced. 

A just peace or no peace

Do policymakers in Washington and Europe ever feel ashamed of their scandalous double standards? Before and since the Palestinian elections in January, they have continually insisted that Hamas comply with certain demands. They want us to recognise Israel, call off our resistance, and commit ourselves to whatever deals Israel and the Palestinian leadership reached in the past. But we have not heard a single demand of the Israeli parties that took part in this week’s elections, though some advocate the complete removal of the Palestinians from their lands, writes Ismail Haniyeh, the new Palestinian prime minister. 

UPA: Direct humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people

Palestine is reeling from high unemployment and a poverty rate of 48%, with half its people surviving on food aid. With an increasingly deteriorating situation on the ground, severe food shortages in Gaza, and talk of suspending aid to the Palestinian people, the Electronic Intifada asked Makboula Yasin, Executive Director of the United Palestinian Appeal, Inc., in Washington, D.C., what people can do in terms of getting direct humanitarian assistance to the people who need it most. 

The New York Times Covers Up Discrimination against Palestinian Citizens of Israel

March 28th’s Israeli elections saw the sudden rise of Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party to become the fourth largest Israeli party, advocating transferring some Palestinian towns in Israel to PA control, thus revoking the Israeli citizenship of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.  The results of a poll released last week showed that 68% of Israeli Jews would refuse to live in the same apartment building as a Palestinian citizen of Israel, and 40% of Israeli Jews believe the state needs to support the emigration of Palestinian citizens. However, because of the way Israel is portrayed in the mainstream US media, such blatant discrimination would likely surprise the US public. 

Asking Hamas for the moon: Severing ties illustrates flawed policy

Canada and the US are the first governments that have severed all ties with the Palestinian Authority. The US administration and Canada accordingly want Hamas to denounce violence, recognize Israel and accept previous agreements, including the Road Map. EI’s Arjan El Fassed argues that this move shows how inconsistent foreign policy is towards Palestine and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. These governments have failed to denounce violence on the part of Israel, have not recognized Palestine themselves and have failed to ensure Israel’s for signed agreements. This latest move has formally exposed the bias of the Quartet. 

Fatah Chapter Closed: Creating a Palestinian National Congress

The current calls to emphasise the role of the PLO coming from Fatah and the other political factions cannot be very convincing to the Palestinian people. Fatah bears the bulk of responsibility in destroying the PLO and marginalizing it. Whichever the motives, Fatah and all Palestinians must recognise that trying to revive the PLO as it stands is not the answer. The structure and methodology is outdated. There is no other way but to build up a different political body to represent the Palestinians everywhere, writes Rifat Odeh Kassis. 

Rachel's Words Live On

On March 22, a congregation of ardent supporters gathered to commemorate Rachel’s life and spread her words at the Riverside Church, the very church Martin Luther King first spoke out against the war in Vietnam. This event came out of controversy. The critically acclaimed play My Name is Rachel Corrie was canceled by the New York Theater Workshop. Just weeks after the cartoon controversy and the mass trumpeting of free speech worldwide, Rachel Corrie was being silenced. The New York Theater Workshop attempted to crush her memory but her words live on.