Karma Nabulsi

Don't deny our rights: open letter to Mahmoud Abbas

No Palestinian institution or leader has ever accepted an exclusive Jewish claim to Palestine, which is irreconcilable with the internationally recognized rights of the Palestinian people. Our rights inhere in us as a people; they are not yours to do with as you please. 

Rebel from a bygone era

“His very name scatters fire through ice,” wrote Byron of an 18th-century revolutionary leader, and so it has always been with the name of that extraordinary Palestinian, George Habash. Habash died an impoverished refugee in enforced exile in Amman last weekend. What, then, can this revolutionary of a bygone area provide us with now to address today’s bleak geopolitical predicament? Karma Nabulsi comments. 

The Role of Participatory Methods for Mobilizing Change

Surveys, opinion polls, and now, consultative approaches are increasingly being used to explore Palestinian refugee issues, and to formulate policy. The Civitas project adopted an entirely different approach to the matter. Indeed, civic participation is different even than consultation exercises - participation gives space for the young woman from Egypt (in the quote above) to articulate the complex sentiments, ideology, and political understandings that she possesses. It highlights many of the understandings Palestinians have for Palestine, but crucially it gives a more sophisticated understanding to those reading it about its importance and relevance. 

Under an iron fist

Palestinians don’t want fresh elections in the occupied territories, but a free vote for a truly national ruling body. The elections that all Palestinians are demanding today (the millions under occupation and the millions in the refugee camps outside) are for the Palestine National Council, the parliament in exile, which is the national body that represents all Palestinians. The Palestinian people have indeed already spoken: for elections to the Palestine National Council, for lifting the economic boycott of a democratically elected authority; for liberty and to independence. 

The refugees' fury will be felt for generations to come

***IMAGE1***People walk the dusty, broken roads in scorching summer heat, taking shelter in the basements of empty buildings. In Gaza and Lebanon, in the refugee camps of Khan Younis and Rafah, in Tyre and Beirut, in Nabatiyeh and Sidon, hundreds of thousands of men, women and children seek refuge. As they flee, they risk the indiscriminate wrath of an enemy driven by an existential mania that can not be assuaged, only stopped. Ambulances are struck, UN observers are struck. Warning leaflets are dropped from the sky urging people to abandon their homes, just as they were in 1996, 1982, 1978, 1967 and 1948. The ultimately impossible decision in Gaza and Lebanon today is: where does a refugee go? 

From Generation to Generation

Today marks the 58th anniversary of the expulsion of Palestinians from their land, also known as the Nakba. With millions still living under occupation or in exile, the Nakba or the Palestinian catastrophe remains at the heart of their national identity, argues Karma Nabulsi. The predicament of life under military occupation is usually recognised in principle, but life in exile has its own characteristics, and continues to create its own bitter experience for Palestinians. 

Democracy and Rights are also for Palestinian Refugees

The Palestinian body politic is alive and united on a variety of central concerns, and has not been fragmented or destroyed in spite of more than 10 years of concerted attempts to do so. At this very moment Palestinians from all walks of life have been gathering together in large and small meetings to discuss the issues that concern them, in open debate. They choose the things they wish to speak about, and raise the issues that concern them. They discuss how to advance their rights - and there are certainly a multitude of them - legal, economic, civic, political, and social.