Michael Dahan

Ring Around the Rosy, Pockets Full of Palestinians

The 38-year Israeli military occupation of Palestine and 57 years of ongoing Palestinian dispossession at the hands of the State of Israel has brought us to a point of total despair. Today, in 2006, Palestinians have been condensed into pockets of caged-in communities, taking on varying shapes and forms. Over 50 percent of the Palestinian population lives in exile and squalid pockets called refugee camps. Having being forced out of their homeland, they eke out a meager existence in the land and countries surrounding Israel and yearn to return home. All of the political activity in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip completely ignore these pockets of people living outside of Israel/Palestine. The end result will be that the majority of Palestinians, those living as refugees and in exile, will not be part of any organized process of governance, and thus the chance for any stability at all has been reduced dramatically. 

Play It Again Bush And Blair

Bush and Blair, seemingly jovial over Arafat’s passing, offered yet another non-starter for moving the region from its never-ending peace process to a “lasting peace.” It is said that one can fool some of the people, some of the time, but not all the people, all of the time. President Bush and Prime Minister Blair can’t possibly believe Palestinians will fall for the same tricks that have been thrown at them for years now. The substance of the most recent Bush-Blair statement on November 12 is nothing more that an unmasked and feeble attempt to fool all of the Palestinians, yet again. 

Genocide By Public Policy

Many words are taboo if used to describe Israel�s actions against Palestinians. One word in particular — genocide — sparks emotions that echo across Israel, Europe, and North America. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines genocide as “the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group.” What is happening in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip today is dangerously close to genocide, close enough that photographs of terrified Palestinians in Rafah loading their meager belongings onto carts and fleeing their homes are all too reminiscent of another time, another place another people. These images should be setting off alarm bells in the hearts and minds of Israelis. 

The Jerusalem Declaration

Nothing in the horizon seems to hold the key to a lasting peace, despite unusually loud rhetoric surrounding the latest two peace initiatives, the Geneva Accord and the Nusseibeh-Ayalon Statement. Sam Bahour and Michael Dahan say that if their two peoples and official representatives cannot sign on to this 98-word declaration (only 31 words more than the Balfour Declaration of 1917), then it is irrelevant to hide behind volumes of peace initiatives and accords that no one will read but the majority will oppose. 

Snow-covered Rubble

The snow will soon melt and the destroyed homes, bullet riddled walls, tank-rippled roads will re-appear, only to jog the collective memories of those Palestinians that remain the victims of this thirty-six year man- made tragedy called Israeli occupation. 

Another road map to nowhere

The new US “road map” to peace in the Middle East presented by US Assistant Secretary of State William J. Burns is nothing but a placebo for the Palestinians and the world community amidst war talk and sabre-rattling in Washington, DC. The new plan is not an adequate response to Palestinian and international demands that Israel immediately end the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. Palestinian Sam Bahour and Israeli Michael Dahan weigh in. 

It's the Occupation

In the wake of the horrific suicide bombings in Israel over the last 48 hours hawkish Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon made his address to the nation as he simultaneously increased, by yet another step, Israel’s part of the violence in the ensuing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.