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Balfour Declaration

  • The new Balfour Declaration

    Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital echoes Lord Balfour's denial of Palestinian rights a century ago. Today, however, Palestinians are more empowered to challenge it. During a debate in the British Cabinet regarding its policy toward Palestine in 1919, Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour informed Lord George Curzon, another senior statesman, that the government was not interested in "consulting the wishes of the present [Arab] inhabitants of the country" to help formulate its decisions. The great powers were "committed to Zionism," he said, and Zionism was "of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now…

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  • Welcome to the new American-Israeli consensus

    The peace process, which began ceremoniously on the White House lawn in September 1993, has come to an end. We must find a new way. By Menachem Klein Conferences around the Arab world marking 100 years since the Balfour Declaration have just barely come to an end, and along comes a mini-Balfour and hands occupied Jerusalem over to Israel on a silver platter (apologies to Lord Balfour for the comparison). It is almost unnecessary to mention the many political and social differences between today and 100 years ago. But what molds Palestinian and Arab political opinion is not the historical reality,…

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  • The danger of ignoring Arab opinion: 100 years since Balfour

    Following the Balfour Declaration, two academics set out to understand what the people of Palestine wanted for their own future. What comes across from their report is the recognition that local, in this case largely Arab, opinions mattered. The British and French were undeterred. By James J. Zogby In 1919, following the first World War, the victorious Allied Powers met in Paris to remake the world. The prime ministers of Italy, France, and Great Britain as well as U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, collectively known as “The Big Four,” were the decisive diplomatic players at the meeting. Under their leadership, the lands…

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  • Banksy's new project tells the story of Palestine

    Banksy's controversial new hotel and museum in Bethlehem is more than just an interactive art gallery: it also, in the British street artist's inimitable style, lays out the history of Palestine. By Dalal Erakat “Art has something to do with the achievement of stillness in the midst of chaos.” These are the words of Saul Bellow, the late Canadian-American writer. They resonate today in Palestine, in the midst of chaos and between Bethlehem and Jerusalem, at Banksy’s new hotel and museum. [tmwinpost] As you walk down Caritas Street, your eyes will see a dead end: the huge separation wall stands tall,…

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  • Between hope and despair: A Palestinian woman's journey to Trumpland

    A month after Trump's election I found myself traveling across the United States. Along the way I met with a 103-year-old Jewish journalist, who reminded me that despite the good will of American Jewry, we live in two separate worlds. I spent 10 intense days between airports, malls, presentations, and meetings — switching between Hebrew, Arabic, English, and back to Arabic. On the last of my journey to the United States, on behalf of my village, Wahat al-Salam—Neve Shalom, I began losing a sense of time. I felt overwhelmed by the Americans I met, who were only beginning to make…

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  • The colonialist skeletons in Israel’s closet

    Modern believers in the meaning, importance and necessity of Israel as a safe home for Jews had best come to terms with its less-than-organic birth — it did not magically appear on the sands of an empty landscape. By David Sarna Galdi A day before the Paris peace summit last month, director general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, Dore Gold, tried to delegitimize the French plan by comparing it to the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916. “One hundred years ago, two officials by the name of Mark Sykes and Francois-Georges Picot tried to dictate a new order in the Middle East,” Gold…

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  • The many denials of liberal Zionism

    From its origins until today, liberal Zionism has been unable to reconcile Israeli policies of dispossession and military control with the image of a democratic state. Is it merely a matter of semantics, or inherent to the ideology? Part two of Ran Greenstein's analysis. By Ran Greenstein As discussed in the previous part of this article, liberal Zionists like Arthur Ruppin and Hans Kohn responded in divergent ways to the challenge of reconciling broad universal values with narrow Zionist aims. What they shared with other activists and intellectuals, though, was full realization of the costs involved in their choices. This…

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