Special Focus

Every month, IPS presents an event or theme related to the history of Palestine by highlighting a selection of relevant JPS articles. Free online access to these articles will be available for a limited period of time.

It's Christmas in Palestine The tradition of Christmas in Palestine is a deeply rooted one. Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ at the Church of Nativity, has always been an integral part of Palestinian identity and heritage, and is home to some of the earliest Christian communities on earth. Palestinian Christians have harmoniously stood together with their Muslim fellow citizens on the frontlines of preserving culture and safeguarding religious holy sites in the face of the challenges to Palestinian identity. Examples of this unity abound, whether it is
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.” This letter, known as the Balfour Declaration, revealed British double-dealings during wartime with an eye to strategic and nationalist concerns, including an effort to avert the influx of Eastern European Jewry into the UK. For
The Second Intifada, Then and Now The end of September marked 16 years since the outbreak of the Second Intifada, also known as al-Aqsa Intifada. The uprising was triggered by the visit to Haram al-Sharif of former Israeli cabinet minister and Likud leader Ariel Sharon, in an attempt to mobilize his political base. Contravening the long-standing status quo arrangements at the sanctuary, the gesture was a widely held to be a deep provocation to the Palestinians. Escorted by hundreds of Israeli riot police, including a helicopter, on Thursday 28 September 2000,
Sabra and Shatila: A Haunting Microcosm of Continuing Systemic Violence It’s been thirty four years since the 16 th of September 1982, when over 1,300 Palestinian civilians were massacred at Israel’s command by the Lebanese Christian Phalange militia at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, south of the capital city Beirut. The untold horrors of the massacre have since become a national Palestinian emblem of collective memory, commemorated year after year across historic Palestine and the diaspora. However, while most commemorations simply celebrate or mourn an
Zionist Settler Colonialism
Zionist Settler Colonialism When in the late nineteenth century Zionism arose as a political force calling for the colonization of Palestine and the “gathering of all Jews,” little attention was paid to the fact that Palestine was already populated. Indeed, the Basel Program adopted at the First Zionist Congress, which launched political Zionism in 1897, made no mention of a Palestinian native population when it spelled out the movement's objective: "the establishment of a publicly and legally secured home in Palestine for the Jewish people.” Moreover, in the

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