Analysis News

right of return

  • Hope during wartime: A Palestinian return

    The displaced former residents of Kafr Bir’im decided in the summer of 2013 to return to their village, and since then, they haven’t left. The author and his partner visited them one year later. By Eitan Bronstein Aparicio (translated by Ami Asher) We had to travel as far as Kafr Bir’em to find faith in these sad and desperate times, during the terrible war on Gaza. We spent an entire day with the Bir’em returnees. The last time we visited this community of internally displaced villagers was exactly one year ago, in their traditional summer camp, organized in order to…

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  • From Jaffa to Beirut: Re-imagining a borderless Middle East

    On a day trip through Israel, one truly understands how close the country is to the great cities of the Middle East. Unfortunately, distances here aren't measured by kilometers, but rather by border crossings.   By Leehee Rothschild Sometimes I think that the greatest tragedy of this place is not what it has become, but what it could have been. The greatest rupture in the Middle East was the destruction of the train route from Alexandria to Istanbul - precisely where Israeli existence takes place, spatially and linguistically. "From Yaffa to Beirut," a tour put on by Zochrot, an Israeli NGO…

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  • PHOTOS: Nakba commemorations from Gaza to the Galilee

    Photos by: Ahmad Al-Bazz, Mustafa Bader, Keren Manor, Ryan Rodrick Beiler, Yotam Ronen, Omar Sameer, and Oren Ziv Palestinians from Nablus to the Gaza Strip Israel/Palestine marked Nakba Day, to commemorate the events of 1948. Nakba, Arabic for "catastrophe," is the term given to the forced displacement of some 750,000 Palestinian refugees from 500 communities by Zionist forces before, during and after the 1948 War. The commemoration began last week on Israel's Independence Day, when Palestinian citizens of Israel held an annual "march of return" to the destroyed village of Lubye near the Sea of Galilee. Most of the former residents…

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  • Who's afraid of the right of return?

    The thought of six million Palestinian refugees entering Israel can be scary, even terrifying. But it turns out there are real, practical steps that we can take to mitigate those fears, and they don't have to come at the expense of those living here. By Alma Biblash Implementing the right of return is the just solution both in terms of historical and present justice for Palestinian refugees. Approximately six million Palestinian refugees live across the world. There will be no justice until Israel recognizes its responsibility for the Nakba, and allows the dispossessed to return to their homes. The almost…

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  • Photos of the week: Between May Day and Nakba marches

    This week: Palestinian citizens of Israel march to the destroyed village Lubya, Israeli activists commemorate the Nakba, solidarity with administrative detainees, May Day celebrations, the leader of Israel's refugee movement says goodbye to freedom, and more.                            

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  • PHOTOS: On Easter, Palestinians resurrect their destroyed village

    The Palestinian village of Irqit was depopulated in the 1948 war and then almost entirely razed. Now new generations of its original residents are trying to resurrect the town and realize a decades-old High Court ruling recognizing their right to return. Text and photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org It would seem that Israeli authorities conspired to intertwine the story of Iqrit with the Christian narrative. As the season of Advent approached in November 1948, the Israeli military forced residents of Iqrit and the neighboring village of Kufr Bir’im—all citizens of the newly created state of Israel—to leave their homes near…

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  • De-coding the Israeli-Palestinian peace process

    A breakdown of recent statements by principal players in the Kerry-led peace process. The Israeli/Palestinian negotiations remind me of a volleyball court. With a lack of hard information available to the public, each player punts a ball into the air at regular intervals with identifying marks on it, to remind everyone that he or she is still there for ten seconds before the ball drops and another pops up. These blips sound like a standard shouting match on the surface. But their subtext can give a snapshot of the peace process at this moment – and reveal why it’s so…

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  • The dreadful and the trivial: A response to Paula Schmitt on Palestinian refugees

    In giving voice to Palestinian refugees, journalist Paula Schmitt inadvertently strengthens the Zionist narrative. By Danny Orbach American author Scott Baker once wrote, “men generally possess no inkling of what their actions portend. This problem is not, as one might suppose, a result of man‘s blindness to the consequences of their actions. Rather it is a result of the mad way in which the dreadful turns on the trivial when the ends of one man cross the ends of another.” This quote came to mind when I read Paula Schmitt’s article about Palestinian refugees, published recently in +972. Like so many other…

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  • The academic boycott of Israel: No easy answers

    There are some strong arguments against the ASA's recent decision to support an academic boycott of Israel. But are they adequate?  Members of the American Studies Association (ASA) voted last week to endorse a resolution supporting an academic boycott of Israel, following a unanimous vote by the National Council of the ASA earlier this month. The global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement might have seemed extreme and marginal when it was established eight years ago. But what seems extreme has a way of becoming mainstream if doesn’t go away. The boycott idea became impossible to ignore as international stars such…

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  • Why can't we walk back?: A conversation with Palestinian filmmaker Annemarie Jacir

    'When I Saw You' tells the story of a Palestinian child in 1967 who refuses to accept his fate as a refugee. Writer and director Annemarie Jacir discusses what led her to make the film and what lessons its carries. By Frank Barat Returning to Palestine is a recurring theme in Annemarie Jacir's films. Unlike the majority of Palestinians, who are refugees, Jacir was able to return to her hometown Bethlehem every year to visit family while growing up, something she describes as "the privilege of Palestine." In 2008, however, she was denied entry, separated from her partner and left…

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  • Israelis and Palestinians need a Nakba debate

    Erstwhile negotiator and former Minister Yossi Beilin, in a New York Times op ed, has an idea for breaking the impasse on negotiations for a two-state solution. He suggests that Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state in order to cement the consciousness of each side as the proper home for its people. Then Israel would undertake incentives for settlers to go back behind the Green Line, but those who stay in the West Bank would form the numerical basis for the number of Palestinian refugees who can return to Israel proper. Each side has incentive to keep the other…

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  • Yair Lapid reveals true nature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

    During a recent interview with Charlie Rose in New York, Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid tacitly reveals why the Israeli-Palestinian conflict endures and why Israel will only accept peace on its own terms. Over the past week or so, as the United Nations General Assembly brought leaders from around the world to New York, several of them made their way onto American political talk shows. Charlie Rose, one of America’s best and most watched interviewers, hosted a number of political leaders from the Middle East, including Bashar al-Assad of Syria (from Damascus) and Hassan Rouhani of Iran. Rose also interviewed…

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  • WATCH: From truth to redress, realizing return

    The Palestinian "right of return" is a phrase so powerful that it tends to offend Israelis as much as the word "nakba." Last month a rare forum for open discourse on the issue took place at a conference initiated by 'Zochrot.' How can a Palestinian return be planned for, what does transitional justice look like and what are Palestinian youth doing today to realize return? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFsfAIyelng

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