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The women who used to run Palestine's movie theaters

A new film documents the story of a Palestinian woman who wanted to open up a movie theater in Nazareth in the 90s. But a closer look reveals that women were running Palestine’s cinemas long before.

By Eli Aminov (Translated to English by Connie Hackbarth, Alternative Information Center)

A recent article by Nirit Anderman published in Haaretz covers a new film that will be screened next week at the Haifa International Film Festival. “Nazareth Cinema Lady,” directed by Nurit Jacobs-Yinon, tells the story of Safaa Dabour, a Palestinian who grew up in a wealthy and religious Muslim family in Nazareth. In the 1990′s Dabour began to fulfill her dream of establishing a cinematheque in the city of Nazareth.

Despite the opposition and derision suffered from her family, as well as the pressure she faced from her conservative society, which prefers that woman fulfill their traditional tasks in the home and not participate in the public spaces, Dabour succeeded in realizing her dream in 2003. She had the idea after she was forced, like other residents of Nazareth, to go to Tel Aviv’s Cinematheque to see a Palestinian-directed film.

It is likely that the author of the article, the film’s director and perhaps even the film’s heroine do not know that this isn’t the first time a woman has run a movie theater in Palestine. They certainly don’t imagine that this situation, in which Palestinian women face limitations and difficulties concerning their participation in the public sphere, such as the lack of such spaces in Arab society and the perception of a woman running a movie theater as something extraordinary, is a direct result of the establishment of the State of Israel. This lack of knowledge is not the result of ignorance, but rather of intentional actions by the Israeli establishment in what can be termed as “memory killing.”

Existing patterns of behavior in Palestinian society in Israel are not the result of an historical continuation of traditional patriarchy that controls society, but a renewed phenomenon created following the 1948 War. It was during this year that urban Palestine was annihilated and Palestinian society was thrown backwards from the 20th century to the previous one. This is because the social situation of women in urban Palestine during the British Mandate was much better than the situation under Israeli rule today.

Take Ophelia Butrus for example. She was an exiled Palestinian...

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Photo exhibit challenges Zionism's most popular myth

Using haunting aerial photographs of the Negev Desert, American artist Fazal Sheikh challenges the notion that the desert was an unpopulated land before Zionism made it bloom.   

By Tom Pessah

In “Caravan Song,” the late Arik Einstein sings of a caravan of Zionist immigration and settlement that began in the 19th century and continues to this day. Most of the song is in his own voice, apart from one line in which he lovingly imitates David Ben-Gurion promising that the Negev will bloom.

It is less acceptable today to talk of a people without a land populating a land without a people, but that is not the case for the Negev, still seen as an empty desert waiting for Jews to finally make it flourish.

A new exhibition by American artist Fazal Sheikh challenges this mythology through haunting aerial photographs of the area, which expose the many layers of its history. The project, named “Desert Bloom,” was a result of collaboration with academics such as Eyal Weitzman and Oren Yiftachel, local activists like Haia Noach, Nuri al-‘Oqbi, and Siyakh al-Turi, and experts on deciphering aerial photographs.

The resulting images were part of a recent exhibition (“This Place”) in the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. The exhibition will be traveling to the Norton Museum of Art, in West Palm Beach, Florida, from October 15, 2015 to January 15, 2016, and then to the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York, from February 12 to June 5, 2016.

Below are five of these images, together with their captions:

Desert Bloom

5 • Latitude: 3 1°2 5‚ 1 4”N / Longitude: 3 4°2 8 ‚ 2 4”E
October 10, 2011. Decommissioned British-era munitions storage base near the Gaza border, constructed in the early 1940s in anticipation of an attack by the Germans from North Africa during WWII. Shown here are some of the 170 soil mounds built in a square missing rib formation as fortification and protection from the wind. Low walls along one side are to prevent an explosion from one storage space igniting a neighboring site. Following the German defeat by the Allied forces in the battle of al-‘Alamein, the fortifications proved unnecessary, and have not been used since 1942. The site is on the historical Bedouin villages of Abu Mwēlek/Hasanāt, of the Tarabīn tribe, which...

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The IDF must come clean about the Hebron shooting

Why is the Israeli army refusing to release its footage from the shooting of 18-year-old Hadeel al-Hashlamon? 

By Noam Rotem

Israeli soldiers shot to death Hadeel al-Hashlamon, 18, in Hebron last week while she was apparently on her way to school. Found inside the black bag she was carrying were notebooks, a blue Pilot pen, a brown pencil case, a cellular phone, and other things girls of her age take to school.

The IDF Spokesperson says that the metal detector at the urban checkpoint beeped when she passed through it, and that she ignored orders to stop from the soldiers, who the shot her. It was then discovered that she had a knife, and when she still didn’t stop they shot her some more.

Witnesses told various reporters that Hashlamon simply didn’t understand the orders being shouted at her — she didn’t speak Hebrew. The first shot was a warning shot at the ground, the second shot hit her left leg and dropped her to the ground, and a third shot immediately after that hit her in the right leg. Two eye witnesses say that at that point the soldier who fired the first shots approached her, crossed the metal barrier that was separating them, stood over her, and shot her again, in the stomach, and then in the chest.

One of the witnesses, Fawaz Abu Aisheh, was very close to Hashlamon while she was still standing inside the checkpoint. He was also photographed speaking with her by an activist from “Youth Against Settlements.” Shortly after the shooting he gave his testimony to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, in which he stated that when Hashlamon fell to the ground, after the first shot, her hand — which had been hidden until that point — was exposed and in it was a knife.

Abu Aisheh changed his story in his interview with The Guardian, forgetting to mention the knife. He remembered once again when he gave his testimony to Amnesty International, even noting the color of the handle — brown. That, despite the fact that in the photo of the knife distributed by the IDF, the knife’s handle is yellow. Another witness who was nearby, who also gave his account of the events to various organizations and international media, didn’t mention seeing the knife in any of his versions.

Hashlamon was left lying on the ground for a number of...

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Is Bibi using J'lem violence as an excuse to target all Arabs?

Netanyahu is trying to expand the open-fire regulations so that they target Arabs inside Israel. The outcome? Only more bloodshed. 

By John Brown* and Michal Rotem

For the past few weeks it has been difficult not to avoid reports on stone throwing in East Jerusalem.

Government representatives compete with one another over who will offer up the firmest way to deal with these youth in order to “do away with this phenomenon.” Of course none of them offers dealing with neglected East Jerusalem, the discrimination, the home demolitions, and the fact that 75 percent of East Jerusalem residents — and 84 percent of children there — live below the poverty line, or the fact that there is no framework to take care of children and teenagers after school is over. It is strange that not a single politician has offered to shoot settlers when they throw stones following the demolition of their illegal structures in the West Bank. The opposite is true: they are granted hundreds of new housing units.

Shooting teens

So what do they propose? Along with idiotic proposals by the Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan to block promotions for judges deemed to lenient on stone throwers, racist proposals by Culture Minister Miri Regev to revoke the rights of parents whose children throw stones, or simply war crimes under the guise of collective punishments, two proposals by the prime minister himself are already being implemented.

The first proposal is a minimum sentence for stone throwers, which was approved by the government on Thursday. “Like we did for sexual offenses,” said Netanyahu. This is such a baseless and humiliating comparison that there is really no point in discussing it, as it continues the right-wing’s long-standing tradition of using women in order to promote nationalistic goals.

The basic assumption of this proposal, as if a lack of deterrence is what allows for stone throwing, is a deceitful. The treatment of Palestinian teens and children by the authorities in East Jerusalem is already immoral and cruel (perhaps only the military regime in the West Bank exceeds it). A good portion of these children and teenagers are below the age of criminal responsibility, such that these penalties are not applicable to them.

So what do the politicians suggest? Just shoot them. They want to say: they may be too young...

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It's time for the Israeli Left to part with the kibbutz

Between unequal distribution of municipal taxes that discriminate against development towns and admittance committees that bar entry to those who do not belong to the ‘white tribe,’ the Left must lead the struggle against the kibbutz’s sectorial policies. 

By Elad Wolf

Since the founding of the state, the kibbutzim have undergone a process of privatization. From their socialist infrastructure, the kibbutzim and the moshavim have turned into the enemies of equality and solidarity. Perhaps the time has come for the Left to move forward and release its hold on the kibbutzim.

The biggest question one must ask is what will happen when the residents of Israel’s impoverished development towns decide to engage in a struggle. A real struggle that will include banging on the kibbutz gates and blocking its access roads. When they decide to rise up against the historical injustice, according to which municipal taxes go solely to the tiny kibbutzim and moshavim at the expense of dilapidated development towns, or simply rise up against the admittance committees that refuse to accept them. Perhaps they could also demand that the kibbutzim divvy up their land for the purpose of building public housing.

Where will the Left be on that day? Will it shut up? Will it protect the kibbutzim? Will it call for negotiations? Or perhaps it will decide to take the side of the development towns? Choosing any of these options aside from the last one is an affront to the very idea of the Left. But if you ask any of the self-defined Israeli leftists this very question, they aren’t likely to choose the last option.

The development towns must engage in this struggle. The distribution of municipal taxes and the national budget is simply unfair. There is a preference for the rich, white Israelis over the hungry workers — it is as simple as that. Take, for instance, the debt accrued by the development town of Yeruham as opposed to the unreasonable growth of the Ramat HaNegev Regional Council’s (which presides over mostly kibbutzim and moshavim) budget. While Yeruham is struggling to rise above its debt — without any resources of its own — the state keeps transferring huge sums of money in municipal taxes to the adjacent Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council; this despite the fact that all the IDF bases are in or around Yeruham.

Or take the factories, hotels, and tourist services at the...

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Saying goodbye to the establishment's anti-occupation journalist

One of Israel’s most iconic television personalities passed away on Friday morning, leaving behind him a media landscape lacking the fierce criticism that Moti Kirschenbaum was so well known for. Elinor Davidov, who worked with him for many years, says goodbye.

By Elinor Davidov

I am trying to imagine what Moti would say about this Kirschenbaum festival taking place over the last day. He would tell people to go off the air, since, well, what’s the big deal? Are we at war? Do we really need rolling coverage? And how many times can we hear and see the very same thing? He would have laughed at Netanyahu’s eulogy and likely made a sarcastic remark about Herzog’s, he would have become embittered by the kitsch, bemoaning the entire situation: “This is your country, I won’t be here when you need to deal with all of this.” And now he is really no longer here, and I am trying to think about the Israeli media without him, without his show “London and Kirschenbaum” every night.

My friends and acquaintances hold one of two views about the show. According to one view, London and Kirschenbaum was the last Mohican, a symbol of quality work in a sea of shallow and self-righteous trash. According to the other view, Moti represented the rule of the white, male, Zionist regime — a man who had a hand in creating the “white tribe” that wanted to hear its voice and its voice alone. This was the voice of the liberal Zionist left: no women, ultra-Orthodox, or settlers. For me, the truth lies somewhere between the two, although it leans far more toward the first.

Moti’s journalistic standards included endless updates on everything that was happening at any given moment, a real love for the camera and all it captured — real empathy toward his interviewees, the heroes of his reports and movies, an honest attempt at portraying reality “objectively,” along with expressing his clear, uncensored opinions. He had respect for all people, and above all, the ability to tell a good story, to laugh at everything — especially hypocrisy, self-importance, and pomp.

The Moti I knew during the years I edited London and Kirschenbaum insisted on presenting both sides, although it was clear to which side he belonged. In today’s media, especially television, it seems that we can no longer find anyone who will voice a slightly...

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When Israel recruits Palestinian informants, Arab society pays the price

With every wave of political tension, Israel recruits new Palestinian informants en masse. They are resettled in Arab cities, where their presence prompts violence rates to surge. In fact, many will be murdered before even ‘making it.’

By Makbula Nassar (translated by Gila Norich)

Aouni, who owns the neighborhood grocery in Haifa, wants me to talk on my radio show about the collaborators roaming free and unfettered through the streets of the city. But he wants to be featured anonymously, much like the pseudonym Aouni, which I have assigned him here.

“I’ll send you everything in writing,” he says.

“Why?” I ask.

“Because I don’t want to get into any trouble.”

“Get into trouble with whom? With collaborators?”

“No, I don’t want to get into trouble with the police.”

A violence that has its own informants

Through perhaps unnecessary, it is not hard to understand the source of his fear. We agree that I will read his words during the broadcast and stimulate some discussion among listeners. Two days later Aouni backs out. He saw a film on Channel 10 about Shin Bet officers — a different type of collaborator, yet still a product of the “inside” that specializes in snitching — and came to the conclusion that it was not even worth bringing up.

I understand him. It is widely held that collaborators feel they are above the law — and are regarded as such. Last year, Khalil Mahroum, the owner of an Arab grocery in Haifa, was murdered. Mahroum taught physical education, was a paramedic, and volunteered in his community. He was alerted to intervene on behalf of his son who was being attacked for refusing to sell cigarettes to a minor, the son of a family of collaborators. Cameras capture the son being brutally beaten with rakes, then Khalil being shot to death in cold blood during a fight that quickly escalated. The killer was the minor’s grandfather, a former collaborator from the territories (according to reports) to whom the state had given full citizenship and resettled in the heart of Arab Haifa, where he served as a member of Israel’s internal security services, the Shin Bet.

Haifa is also still reeling from the vicious murder of young Mahrous Zbeidat. Zbeidat asked his neighbors, an established family of collaborators, to stop harassing his younger sister. He had a chair thrown at him from...

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The dark narrative of Israel's Rhodesia fantasy

The Rhodesia fantasy sees an Israel that can be controlled by a very small elite, what they refer to as a ‘villa in the jungle.’ At the heart of the delusion is an imagined community of ‘founders’ and an imagined majority status for what was always a minority.

By Seth J. Frantzman

Earlier this month the editor of a major newspaper in Israel complained that the “non-Zionist tribes” were gaining ground in Israel. “There is no consensus on a joint, unifying national ethos…Ultra-Orthodox Jews and Arabs, who do not wave the flag or sing the national anthem, reject the ‘Jewish and democratic’ formula. As long as they were weak, small minorities, the center ignored them and moved on. But when half the first-graders belong to the non-Zionist tribes, the national anthem and flag have a problem.”

This narrative has a history that stretches back to the 1950s. Every decade voices have risen in Israel that have discussed the demographic threat. Haaretz editor Aluf Benn writes: “more ultra-Orthodox, Arabs and religious Jews and fewer secular Jews, the impact of demographic changes on Israeli society will only get stronger.” Ari Shavit writes about the capital of the country: “The battle for Jerusalem is almost lost. Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) students currently account for 39 percent of all the capital’s school children. Arab students account for 37 percent of the capital’s school children. Zionists account for only 24 percent of the capital’s school children and, of those, only half are secular.”

The demographic narrative is particularly interesting in Israel because it unites most streams of “Zionism,” from left to right. At the heart of the equation is “how many others are there” and “how many of us.” The definition of what is “us” changes depending on where one stands on the political spectrum. For the “Liberal Zionist left” it is about being secular and “liberal.” These kinds of debates were at the heart of the recent series of columns by Zionist Camp leader Isaac Herzog and Gideon Levy about whether Levy was “inside” the Zionist Camp or outside of it.

At a speech to the Herzliya Conference Herzog told the audience:

A fellow traveller in the Zionist-demographic narrative, S. Daniel Abraham writes, “Within its current borders, Israel is not a Jewish state. But the vast majority of Israeli Jews want to live in a Jewish state; most Jews worldwide want Israel to remain a Jewish state. Is Netanyahu listening at all?”

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Regrets but never an apology: When the IDF makes 'mistakes'

For Jews, Yom Kippur is a time to ask forgiveness from those one has harmed during the course of the year. The Israeli army has a hard time with the concept of saying it is sorry or asking forgiveness. Regretful? Sure. Sorry? Not when the victim is Palestinian.

By Noam Rotem

Ma’amoun al-Dam was 12 years old when he left his house to play in a nearby field and an inexplicable chain of events led to an Israeli Air Force jet shooting a missile at him, killing him on the spot. “We found no fault in this attack, despite the regrettable outcome,” the military prosecution said in a statement about the tragic end to this innocent child. “There was no evidence to support a conclusion that the attack was carried out illegally.”

The Israeli army has killed hundreds of Palestinian children in recent years, but it has said sorry a grand total of no times. Al-Dam’s case is just one example of the creative ways the IDF apologizes. Or rather, the ways it does everything in its power to avoid asking for forgiveness. Often times it “regrets,” or it “didn’t intend to,” or it “looks into the incident” and comes out clean — there’s always some coincidence in which innocent civilians are killed by the IDF, which admits to their innocence but never asks for forgiveness for killing them.

That was the case for Lubna al-Hanash, a 21-year-old political science student from Bethlehem, who was killed while walking to her college with friends in 2013. The IDF recognizes the fact that she was innocent, and that Lt.-Col. Shachar Safda and his driver shot her to death. “But to our great regret,” the MAG concluded, Lubna’s death was not the result of negligence or any other criminal offense committed by the soldiers. In other words: shit happens.

Khalil ‘Anati was only 10 years old when an Israeli soldier drove into the al-Fawwar Refugee Camp in the West Bank, opened his jeep’s door, and fired a single shot into his back. “The IDF regrets his death,” the army spokesperson said at the time. Not a mistake, god forbid, or something one should apologize for. One can only regret that such things happen in this cruel world.

Iyad Abu Khusah, one and a half years old from the al-Bureij Refugee Camp in Gaza, could only wish that party responsible for...

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Using Palestinians as a human shield against BDS

In response to the Reykjavik City Council’s — since reversed — decision to boycott Israeli goods until the occupation is ended, Israeli politician Yair Lapid wrote an open letter to the Icelandic people titled ‘The Hypocrisy of Boycott.’ In his oped, Lapid argued that Israel should not be boycotted because doing so would harm its Arab citizens. One of those citizens responds.

By Rami Younis (translated by Ofer Neiman)

Dear Yair,

What is Israeli to you?[1] Actually, no need to answer. The time has come for you to hear what Israeli is to me. So what is Israeli to me? You are. I am referring to the hypocrisy and condescension that accompanies every step you take. What else is Israeli to me? The herd of racists following you, unable to see that the emperor has no clothes, no ideas of substance and nothing of the “new discourse” you claim to have brought into Israel politics.

You begin your article against the boycott, which you published in Iceland after the Reykjavik City Council decided to boycott products from Israel, with an impressive sequence of questions regarding Palestinians living in Israel. “Does the boycott include products made by Israel’s Arab minority which is 20 percent of the population? Does the boycott include the 14 Arab Israeli parliamentarians who sit beside me in Israel’s parliament?” You ask these questions as if you were the champion of protecting our rights. I am baffled as to the source of your insolence and audacity.

Aren’t you ashamed? You embarrass yourself with your cynical use of Israel’s Palestinian citizens as a human shield against the boycott.

What have you ever done for us, Palestinian citizens of Israel? As finance minister you tried to lower housing prices in a populist move by slashing VAT to zero — but only for military veterans. And what about those who did not serve in the army — i.e., Arabs? In their case, you wanted the law to apply only when purchasing an apartment under NIS 600,000 ($150,000). That means you wanted to encourage Arabs to continue living in poverty stricken neighborhoods. As far as you are concerned, if there is no loyalty[2], there should be no reasonably priced housing for Arabs.

What plans have you or your party promoted for the well being of those [Palestinian] residents behind whom you are now trying to hide? You mention in...

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What Israel can do today for economic equality

Everyone in Israel understands the economic potential of integrating the Arab workforce. Now is the time for change, and public tenders are the tool.

By Nitzan Tenami

Earlier this summer the Histadrut, Israel’s largest Labor Federation, signed a memo of understanding with the Finance Ministry which will restore about 15,000 outsourced workers to direct employment by the government.

The campaign waged for this purpose, and the agreement that was reached, shed light on a practice that has become common over the past three decades — the transfer of large sums of public money to private firms, by means of tenders, for the purchase of goods and services. Instead of functioning as a productive body that provides employment, the government purchases goods and services from private firms and NGOs.

Public procurement constitutes 13-20 percent of GDP in the OECD countries. On the assumption that in the State of Israel the percentage of GDP devoted to public acquisitions is similar, we are talking about approximately NIS 150 billion (about $40 billion) in public funds channeled each year to companies in the private sector for the purchase of goods and services.

The result is that to a great extent it is the public that is responsible for what happens in the private market, and therefore it is our obligation to examine where the our funds go: who are we employing and under what conditions? In addition to the important question of work conditions for outsourced workers, the public money transferred to the private market should also be seen as an opportunity to promote integration of the labor market — considered an important goal by the government. Economists agree that one of the main challenges of the Israeli job market is to increase the employment rate in Arab society.

Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug said in 2013 that “the Arab population in Israel represents a huge and unexploited potential in terms of the ability of the Israeli economy to grow. If we can take advantage of this potential to increase growth and reduce the gaps, all of us, Jews and Arabs, can benefit from the results of this step. If we are unable to do so, we will, in my opinion, pay a high economic and social price already in the coming years.” According to the figures of the Authority for the Economic Development of Arab Society, the cost of failing to utilize...

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Paying the price for Netanyahu's religious war

Lacking any ability or will to deal with the political stalemate, Netanyahu has a vested interest in presenting the current situation in Jerusalem as a showdown between radical Islam and the West. Who will pay the price?

By Yael Marom

The latest clashes at Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the death of Israeli Alexander Levlovitch as a result of Palestinians throwing stones at his car, have awoken the Israeli media and the prime minister. They tell a very specific story: Palestinians have come together to ruin the Jewish New Year. Why? Perhaps they have something against apples and honey.

But like Avi Issasscharof explained in Walla!, the latest incidents in East Jerusalem are not the result of incitement by extremist Palestinian groups, as the government claims. The clashes are being fueled by the changes being made vis-a-vis entrance procedures for Muslim worshippers to Al-Aqsa (including time, age, and gender restrictions), and especially Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel’s provocative ascendance to the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif on the eve of Jewish New Year. His act led to the violent closure of the entire compound, and despite the ban on Jewish prayer at the Temple Mount, Ariel prayed there anyway.

While Israel has managed to chip away at the status quo at Al-Aqsa and the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif for years, this time it seems like it bit off more than it can chew.

The awakening of Netanyahu and the guard dogs of democracy may seem sudden, but the events in Jerusalem are anything but. Since last summer, Jerusalem has been the site of daily, violent events that go entirely unreported in the media. As Haaretz’s Nir Hasson wrote recently: “In recent, purportedly calm months, there hasn’t been a day without stones being thrown at the Jerusalem light rail system or at motor vehicles, confrontations with the police or harassment of Jews on the Temple Mount and in the alleyways of the Old City, firebombs thrown at the homes of Jews in Palestinian neighborhoods or the firing of flares at police positions.”

The violence toward Palestinians in the Old City also takes place on a day-to-day basis, usually in the wake of the prime minister’s emergency meetings, and include: enclosing entire neighborhoods as collective punishment, Border Police provoking confrontations with schoolchildren, arrests, rubber bullets that have led to heavy injuries, skunk water, tear gas on homes and schools, and...

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Could these be the final days of the Oslo Accords?

Abbas is rumored to be considering putting an end to Oslo in his UN speech later this month. If he does, will Israel reoccupy Palestinian cities? Will he also dissolve the Palestinian Authority? Or will nothing change — as usual.

By Talal Jabari

Mark September 27th in your calendars. It could be a big day in the West Bank. And in typical Mideast fashion, it could be a day of celebration and it just as easily could be the day the tanks roll back into the streets of Hebron, Jenin and Ramallah.

Where is this coming from? On the morning of September 26th, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to make a speech in which it is rumored he will declare all accords with Israel null and void, and declare Palestine to be an independent state.

At the heart of the matter are the Oslo Accords, which, ironically, Abbas played a key role in formulating.

Now bear with me as I take a brief look at the many failings of the Oslo Accords. Firstly, they are based on the premise, as stated in the Declaration of Principles, that the Palestinians recognize the State of Israel. In return, Israel does not recognize anything resembling a Palestinian state. It didn’t sound right at the time, and it still doesn’t.

The Oslo Accords were meant to be valid for an interim period of five years. In other words, they were only supposed to last until 1999. That was 16 years ago! The Israelis were supposed to disband the Civil Administration (its military government in the West Bank and Gaza) — that didn’t happen. Many of the democratically-elected members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, formed through the accords, are in Israeli detention facilities. The major Palestinian population centers, designated as Area A and which are supposed to be under full Palestinian control, are violated on a daily basis by Israeli army incursions.

The bottom line for Palestinians is that we felt the Oslo Accords might lead to an independent Palestinian state in the areas occupied by Israel in 1967, with occupied East Jerusalem as its capital — this is clearly not going to be the case. Israel refuses to negotiate on borders, on Jerusalem or on settlements, three issues that eliminate our chances for an independent state.

In the months after Oslo, our exhilaration turned into disappointment and then into anger. Two decades...

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