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. She added: “It is something that our friend in Israel, a great friend in the Middle East, would appreciate and something that a lot of Jewish-Americans have expressed their preference for." 

Meanwhile, in a passage that has since been removed from the online article, the Times of Israel has reported that the Trump transition team “has begun exploring the logistics of moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv, and checking into sites for its intended new location,” adding that the site being considered was formerly the location of the Allenby Barracks,the site of the British army's Jerusalem garrison during the Mandate.

However, as is revealed by Walid Khalidi’s SPECIAL REPORT on the subject, originally published in the Journal of Palestine Studiesthe site being considered is Palestinian private property stolen from its owners, including the waqf property of several families. He points out that the move would recklessly violate US and international law and have the following impact, constituting a potentially explosive provocation.

It's Christmas in Palestine

Every year, Palestinian Christians and other pilgrims converge on the city of Bethlehem to celebrate Christmas. While the journey for most people is a spiritual one, it is also especially political for Palestinian Christians whose city has been besieged by the Israeli occupation. Twenty-two illegal Israeli settlements built on city lands, the illegal separation wall which chokes the city, and more than 30 roadblocks in the area, have severely impacted the livelihood of residents, and indeed their ability to move freely and visit holy sites in Bethlehem and beyond.

For this month’s Special Focus – It’s Christmas in Palestine, we are featuring articles* from the Journal of Palestine Studies and Jerusalem Quarterly that provide an insight into the life of Christians in Palestine throughout the years.

*Articles from the Journal of Palestine Studies will only be accessible for the reminder of December 2016.

Balfour Declaration at 99 Years

November 2nd marked 99 years since Arthur Balfour, British Foreign Secretary, sent a letter on behalf of the government to Zionist leader Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild assuring him that “His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."

“Everything that has followed in that conflict-riven land has flowed inevitably from this decision” to endorse a Jewish homeland in an Arab country by “the greatest power of the age,” Journal for Palestine Studies Editor Rashid I. Khalidi wrote in Resurrecting Empire. It would be hard to argue against the judgment that Palestinians and Israelis continue to live – along greatly asymmetrical conditions – in the shadow of the Balfour Declaration and all its attendant consequences.

As part of our monthly Special Focus, we make available ten articles from the Journal of Palestine Studies retracing the history the Declaration; offer a discount on The Palestine Deception book by J. M. N. Jeffries; and highlight three maps from our Before Their Diaspora project.

"Making the Desert Bloom": A Myth Examined

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.

Four Hours in Shatila

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?"

Zionist Settler Colonialism

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.

From the Small Zinzana to the Bigger Zinzana: Israeli Prisons, Palestinian Prisons

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.

Newest Issue of the Journal of Palestine Studies, 179 Vol. 45, No. 3 (Spring 2016)

PALESTINE IN RECENT MONTHS has witnessed a new kind of continuous, low-level ferment that betokens many Palestinians’ profound disquiet with the status quo: Israel’s ever more entrenched military occupation and the ceaseless expansion of its colonization project. Predictions that this ferment would erupt into something bigger and more general, akin to the two intifadas of the past three decades, have proven misplaced.


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