Global Palestine: Contemporary Collisions

John Collins (@djleftover), author of Global Palestine (Hurst/Oxford UP, 2011), explores the global politics of violence and the representation of violence, paying particular attention to the microcosmic and prophetic location of Palestine in relation to these processes.  (Image: Diego Lopez Calvin)

Intifada goes green

One of the most underreported aspects of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza has been its detrimental impact on the environment.  Living under occupation, Palestinians are unable to engage in fully autonomous and effective development efforts.  In response to this situation, a new local NGO called Bustan Qaraaqa (the Tortoise Garden) has emerged in Beit Sahour, a town famous for its inspiring tax revolt during the first Palestinian intifada (uprising) in the late 1980s. 

David Brooks gets his hands dirty

As Americans and the world digest the horrifying Bush-era torture memos that were released yesterday by the Obama administration, it is easy to pretend that the torture policy was simply the product of rogue elements within the US government.  Such a view conveniently allows Americans to express their shock - shock! - at the war crimes (as Gil Scott-Heron once joked, "America leads the world in shock!") while ignoring the ways in which the nation's collective response to 9/11 paved the way for those very crimes.  A case in point is New York Times conservative columnist David Brooks, most recently seen waxing lyrical about the "loud and promised land" called Israel.  Given Brooks' ability to separate "Israel" (read: his idealized image of Israel, sanitized of its past and current Arab presence) from the actions of the Israeli state, it is not surprising to find that he once led the cheers - in advance - for the kind of barbarity we saw at Abu Ghraib

Interweaving: Ronnie Olesker on the Israeli elections

22 Dr. Ronnie OleskerI recently interviewed Dr. Ronnie Olesker about the results of the national elections held in Israel and their implications both for the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and for US policy in the region.  Dr. Olesker is an Assistant Professor of Government at St. Lawrence University and has done extensive research on Israeli politics and majority-minority relations in Israel.  On March 30 she will deliver a lecture titled "One Land - Three Peoples? Future Prospects for Jewish-Arab-Palestinian Relations in Israel" as part of St. Lawrence's Contemporary Issues Forum.

Remembering Rachel's Solidarity

Six years after the tragic death of Rachel Corrie, international solidarity activists in Palestine are again in the news.  Another American activist, Tristan Anderson, currently lies in in critical condition in an Israeli hospital after an Israeli soldier shot him in the head with a teargas canister.  Anderson, a 37-year-old from California, was taking part in a protest in the West Bank against the continued construction of Israel's infamous "apartheid wall."  The continued willingness of international activists to risk their lives in order to act in solidarity with Palestinians tells us a great deal about the global significance of Palestine in 2009. 

March 2009: The Economic Crisis

March's Theme of the Month centers around the current global economic crisis. Throughout this month our bloggers will be examining a variety of issues related to the crisis, from policy issues to media coverage to the effect of the crisis on students. 

Likud advisor "wouldn't hesitate to make a wave of refugees out of Gaza"

Veteran journalist and blogger Helena Cobban has published a fascinating (and troubling) interview with Prof. Efraim Inbar, an advisor to Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu.  The interview, published under a Creative Commons license, appears on Cobban's invaluable blog, Just World News.   Here is the full text:

Where is Palestine in 2009?

The decades-old struggle for Palestinian liberation has reached a kind of crossroads.  On the one hand, things look bleaker than ever and seem to be getting worse.  The appalling human toll of the recent Israeli assault on Gaza, which included the use of white phosphorus shells and led to calls for an arms embargo against both Israel and Hamas, is but the latest example of this depressing trend.  On the other hand, precisely because of Israel's success in colonizing so much Palestinian land, an unexpected (but controversial) light is beginning to appear at the end of the tunnel: the possibility that the creation of a de facto apartheid-type situation may eventually give rise to a truly democratic "one-state solution" to the conflict.  So, where is Palestine in 2009?

Dear Mr. President

As the Weave concludes its February Theme of the Month on the early days of The Obama Era, I'd like to take a look back at President Obama's inauguration speech.  Listening to the speech back in January, I had some serious questions for  the new president, particularly regarding his views on the continuation of this country's imperial way of life.  Now, more than a month later, most of those questions remain.  I've put them in the form of a letter. 

One Democratic State in Israel/Palestine

A version of this piece was published this morning in the Albany Times-Union.

One Democratic State: A Way Out of the Israeli-Palestinian Quagmire

by John Collins

It's time to admit that the "two-state solution" is no longer a desirable option for resolving the conflict in Israel/Palestine.  Nationalism has failed both Israeli Jews and Palestinians, leaving the field open for a more forward-looking idea: a single democratic state for all who live in it.

A Sign of Desperation?

As someone who has supported a "one-state solution" to the conflict in Israel/Palestine for more than a decade, I have always told myself that the mainstream U.S. media would never allow this idea to see the light of day.  Then I saw yesterday morning that the New York Times had published an op-ed piece arguing in favor of...the one-state solution.  The author was Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi.  What's going on here?