On September 21, 1922, the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate passed a joint resolution endorsing the Balfour Declaration passed by the U.K. House of Commons five years prior. Akin to its British counterpart, the statement endorsed a Jewish homeland in Mandatory Palestine while sidestepping the matter of demography and national rights for the Palestinian people.
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.
On 17 September 1948, Count Folke Bernadotte, member of the Swedish royal family and appointed by the United Nations as a mediator to seek a settlement of the Palestine conflict, was murdered in the Zionist controlled section of Jerusalem. His assassins belonged to a "dissident" group that had allegedly broken away from the Stern Gang.
Thirty-three years ago on 16 September 1982, the Lebanese Christian Phalange militia entered the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila in Beirut. Israeli forces occupied the surrounding city and allowed the militia’s entry into the camp. Over the following three days, at least 800 civilians were massacred as Israeli-manned checkpoints turned back fleeing Palestinians and Israeli troops fired flares to illuminate the camp at night.
On September 13, 1993, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat signed the Oslo Accords’ Declaration of Principles. To mark that anniversary, we recommend an interview conducted by Senior Fellow Mouin Rabbani with Edward Said on the DOP's consequences for Palestinians:
On 12 September 2005, Israel completed its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. While erroneously presented as a peace offering to Palestinians, the unilateral withdrawal rebuffed any cooperation from the Palestinian Authority, enabled an indirect Israeli occupation with Gaza's population treated as dispensable, and served the purpose of entrenching Israeli occupation in the West Bank.
Thursday, October 15, 2015 from 12:00 PM to 2:30 PM - Washington, DC
Senior Fellow Nadia Hijab and Alaa Tartir, Program Director of Al-Shabaka, on the future of the Palestinian political leadership:
On September 3, 1947, the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) submitted its report to the General Assembly recommending the partition of Palestine into an Arab and Jewish state. UNSCOP's report foreshadowed the Assembly's passage of Resolution 181 on November 29; the so-called partition resolution, an effective green light for the Yishuv to conquer Palestinian villages and "transfer" their inhabitants outside of the allotted Jewish state.
The present battle by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) to scuttle the 14 July Iran nuclear agreement may prove to mark a pivotal moment in the history of the organization and its status as vanguard of the so-called “Israel lobby.” AIPAC is fully mobilized against the American president, and its success or defeat may very well determine its future clout on Capitol Hill.