On March 15, 2017, the United Nations’ Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) released a report entitled “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid.” Only two days later, the Under-Secretary General of the agency, Rima Khalaf, resigned rather than withdraw the report as she had been ordered to do by the newly inaugurated UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres. Indeed, the report, which concluded that “Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole,” triggered a campaign by Israel and its allies, especially the United States, to discredit the report.
It is evident, just three weeks in, that Mr. Trump’s presidency is one of dramatic fluctuations, not only where Israel and Palestine are concerned, but also in regard to his other campaign promises. This month’s Special Focus: Palestine, Congress, and the White House, features nine Journal of Palestine Studies (JPS) articles* and three recent JPS Congressional Monitor reports that, together, illuminate Palestine’s status amidst these fluctuations in an historical context. Focusing on the role of various U.S. administrations, five of these articles highlight the ways that the White House often deviously navigated the tumultuous road to peace in the Middle East. Four additional articles examine how the question of Palestine is addressed in Congress. The Congressional Monitor provides a snapshot of the 113th and 114th sessions of Congress, where 211 and 178 measures pertinent to Palestine were introduced, respectively.
News & Activities
Relocating the US embassy to Jerusalem is illegal, and is a reckless provocation
Kellyanne Conway, President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign manager, has stated that relocating the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is a “a big priority” for the incoming administration.
Late Israeli President Shimon Peres was quoted back in 1970 as saying, "The country [Palestine] was mostly an empty desert, with only a few islands of Arab settlement; and Israel's cultivable land today was indeed redeemed from swamp and wilderness." This central theme of early Zionist colonization of Palestine was refuted in this 1979 Journal of Palestine Studies article by Alan George.
For our September Special Focus, we are featuring a collection of articles on the massacre, Israeli tactical use of policy and law to inflict violence, and the broad implications of such experiences on Palestinian memory and present.
From September 16 to September 18, 1982 between 1,000-3,500 Palestinians were massacred by Phalangist militias supported by Israeli troops. "What can we say to their families who left with Arafat, trusting in the promises of Reagan, Mitterrand and Perini, who had assured them that the civilian population of the camps would be safe? How can we explain that we allowed children, old people and women to be massacred, and that we are abandoning their bodies without prayers? How can we tell them that we don't know where they are buried?"
To commemorate the United Nation’s “International Day of the World’s Indigenous People,” on August 9th, the Institute for Palestine Studies is making available seven articles from the Journal of Palestine Studies archives that highlight the history of Zionist settler colonialism upon the indigenous people of Palestine and the current methods used which continue this process into the present day.
The Palestinian experience has been aptly characterized as carceralism, in both literal and metaphorical senses. It is arguable that ever since the 1967 occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, the most consensual pillar of national Palestinian discourse has been the issue of Palestinians imprisoned by Israel. After Hamas’s so-called takeover of Gaza in 2007, however, a new, intra- Palestinian carceralism emerged.