How did the proposal to partition Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish state -- a solution endorsed by international consensus in 1947-49 -- become and obscure and even unthinkable option by the mid-1960s? As the most consistent advocates of this two-state solution the Marxist parties in Egypt and Israel -- The Communist Party of Egypt, The Communist Party of Israel (MAKI), and the United Workers Party of Israel(MAPAM), which attempted, but ultimately failed to sustain a dual commitment to Marxism and Zionism -- constitute the focal point of this analysis. The failure of these movements and the progressive abandonment of an internationalist orientation toward resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict is explained as a consequence of the hegemony of nationalist politics in both Egypt and Israel.
There is also no reference to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), failed or inadequate political initiatives such as the Oslo Accords, the Saudi Plan, or the ongoing weekly joint Palestinian and Israeli demonstrations in the Occupied West Bank and the intensification of Israeli military violence against them. And although the pro-boycott petition calls for people to abide by UN Resolution 194 (arguing for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions until Palestinian refugees are allowed to return to their homes), there is no acknowledgement that this Resolution was made in 1948 and does not address the difficult question of how to respond to the descendants of the refugee population that it originally addressed. There is no reference to the Balfour Declaration or to U.S., French, and British rule and military interventions in the region, including in the places today demarcated as Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel. Nor, indeed, is there any acknowledgement of the political connections between this regional history and the refugee crises with which Europe and the United States are confronted today and for which they are largely responsible.
Goldfarb speaks mostly of Hamas. He ignores the between Fatah and Hamas, now only two months old. No doubt the weakness of Hamas was one of the main motivations, but it was undoubtedly a step towards a less intransigent attitude towards Israel. This pact was rejected both by Israel and the USA. As usual, the term “terrorist” was made to do a lot of work. Netanyahu responded by tightening controls on the Hamas border and announcing without evidence that the Hamas leadership was responsible for the murder of the three Yeshiva students and that Hamas would be made to pay. It was clear that his policy has been to destroy the alliance between the PLO and Hamas, even though some measure of political unity is necessary if there is to be negotiation, let alone a political settlement, between Israel and Palestine.
believe that Israel, as the occupier of Palestinian lands for decades now, has the greater responsibility to move toward a peaceful settlement and withdraw from these lands. And Palestinian leaders must be prepared to respond. But a boycott of anthropologists and other academics undermines the principles of academic freedom, and squelches the exchange of ideas.
Neither of the petitions holds the United States or Europe historically accountable for the political problems that Palestinians and Israelis confront. Neither of them addresses the political questions posed by Jewish, Muslim, or postcolonial difference generally in the context of Western liberal democracy. Nor do they acknowledge the historical relations between Israel, the United States, and Europe; between Arab countries and Palestinians; or between the United States and the so-called Middle East.
In response to Guy Markle. Sir you have got it wrong. Zionism is about returning to the Jews’ eternal home, it was a dream, now it is a reality. All Jews may return if they so desire. To try to equate Zionism with Nazism is a wicked transgression because Zion is in the heart, it doesn’t mean that other people should be eliminated (sic). You may say that the arabs have suffered, that’s true, but they have been fed an impossible dream, that the Jews (Israel) can be defeated and the land ‘from the river to the sea’ can be theirs again (it never was theirs in the first place, just look at history Ottoman Empire, British Mandate etc.) They have turned down offers of peace over and over again. Israel tried withdrawing from Gaza in the hope of a peaceful settlement, but we all know what happened with the rise of Hamas. So Mr Markle I suggest you educate yourself on the subject before commenting.
Despite the hostility that many of those who criticize Israel have faced at different institutional levels, the numbers and names on these petitions signal a significant shift in the political waters of U.S. academia on the topic of Israel. At the same time, this shift seems to have led to a public discourse in which anything that is said is subsumed into one or the other of two increasingly entrenched and simplistic positions of either pro- or anti-boycott, with the moralizing discourse of one camp pitted against the moralizing discourse of the other. This is not, of course, to suggest that some of the signatories on both petitions do not have critiques of the specific wording of the petitions, but rather to characterize the public framing of the debate. Perhaps this “you’re either with us or against us” signature-based divide would be less troubling if these discourses engaged the specificity of Israeli and Palestinian contexts and their histories, as well as scholarship about the ethics, method, and the politics of anthropology itself. But they don’t.
First, the anti-boycott petition suggests that any boycott, by definition, goes against the ethos and principles of anthropology, and should for this reason be opposed. This argument does not address the pro-boycott points that the boycott is a boycott of institutions and not of individual scholars, and that because the boycott is a response to a situation in which Palestinians’ academic freedom is curtailed by Israel’s politics, there is no neutral initial context of academic freedom to begin with. Second, the petition suggests that an academic boycott is a tactical mistake. This remains to be seen. History has often shown the skeptics to be wrong. Zionism is no exception; at the turn of the century it was only a very small group of people who believed Theodor Herzl’s call for a Jewish homeland to be anything but an unrealistic dream.
After the 1993 Oslo Accords people across the world anticipated the onset of peace and an end to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. For Israelis, the Accords generated massive economic growth and a sense of security. For Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, they led to a dramatic rise in poverty and unemployment due to a complex array of closures, militarized checkpoints, and bypass roads, and a vast expansion of the settlement project that fractured Palestinian territories and communities. In 2000 popular Palestinian rage with the new shape of the Israeli occupation erupted in a second uprising or intifada.
In this volume, prominent scholars and journalists examine the dramatic political changes in Palestine and Israel from the Oslo Accords through the second intifada and the death of Yasser Arafat. Their essays address the political economy of the Oslo process, social and political changes in Palestine and Israel, United States foreign policy, social movements and political activism, and the interplay between cultural and political-economic processes. The volume also includes documents, maps, poetry, and graphic art.
The Struggle for Sovereignty: Palestine and Israel, 1993-2005 (Stanford University Press, 2006); co-edited with Rebecca L. Stein
First, although Palestinians are Semitic, anti-Semitism means being anti-Jewish generally or, in an individual case, unfairly. Secondly, Zionism means a love of Zion religiously, historically or culturally and the most it implies politically is the desire that there should be a sanctuary for those of the Jewish religion, nation or race. This seems to be a fairly harmless “ism”. Anti-Zionists, however, take the opposite view and there have historically been many Jews, who do not accept the secular State of Israel as a realisation of this ideal.