Israel’s debacle does provide an ideal opening for the Palestinians to reclaim the international stature they have lost since Oslo and particularly in the decade since the death of Yasir Arafat. In order to do so, however, they first need to overcome their petty internal disputes, and once again become a factor that unifies the region in their support and thus deploys its collective clout on their behalf.
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.
Palestine Studies Fellow Lisa Hajjar and Stanford University Professor Joel Beinin co-authored the Middle East Research and Information Project's “Primer on Palestine, Israel and the Arab-Israeli Conflict.” This comprehensive and concise survey is an excellent reference source on the history of the conflict and many of its most pertinent issues, including refugees, Jerusalem, and the Palestinian initiative at the UN.
Fellow Mouin Rabbani spoke to France 24 on Gaza's isolation and Palestinian fragmentation on the anniversary of Israeli withdrawal from the besieged territory.
Institute Fellow and Journal of Palestine Studies editor Rashid Khalidi on changing public opinion on Israel and Palestine and the responsibilities of Arab- and Muslim-Americans.
Response to Fateh Azzam's "A Bold Proposal: Palestine Should Give Its Refugees Citizenship" by Fellow Mouin Rabbani:
Palestine Studies Fellow Nadia Hijab:
A comprehensive background on the history of U.S.-Iranian relations, the course of U.S.-Israeli efforts against Iran’s nuclear program, and Iran’s involvement in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Mahmoud Darwish—“national poet of Palestine,” “voice of the Palestinian people,” cultural icon for millions of Arabs—died seven years ago this summer, on 9 August 2008, at the age of 67 following heart surgery.