Because I am a Palestinian, born to a “goy mother,” I do not have the option of leaving the blockaded Gaza Strip where I live to attend a conference, or a give a talk at any international academic institution. Along … Continue reading “BDS: Decolonizing Palestine”
Serving as ASA President since the boycott has convinced me that U.S. national belonging is increasingly predicated on identification with Israel and disavowal of the violence made possible by its “special relationship” with the U.S. In “Academic Freedom with … Continue reading “Occupation Spin”
Over the last few years, Israel and Palestine have become major topics of interest and debate for scholars who do American Studies. This is evident in burgeoning comparative analyses of settler colonialisms, militarized borders, intersections of racialization and revolutionary … Continue reading “Comparing American and Israeli Ways of War”
I arrived in Ramallah well prepared . . . or so I thought. I’d read Saree Makdisi’s chilling portrait of Palestinian life under occupation, historical accounts by Rashid Khalidi, Walid Khalidi, Ilan Pappe, Nur Mashala, and Gabriel Piterberg, powerful critiques of Israeli apartheid leveled by Ali Abunimah, Omar Baghouti, and Uri Davis, exposés penned by Israeli journalists Amira Hass and Gideon Levy, as well as pro-Zionist voices such as Amos Oz and A.B. Yehoshua. I had Edward Said by my side, and the Electronic Intifada and the Palestine Monitor in my web browser. Our small delegation, formed at the behest of the U.S. Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, consisted of some of the smartest people I know, their collective knowledge of the situation surpassed only by our hosts at Birzeit University in Ramallah. We were there on a fact-finding mission.
When reflecting on the week-long visit to Occupied Palestine and Israel – the delegation organized by the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) – in some ways, the meeting that was the most provocative was with the Palestinian academics who hosted us at a public policy research center in Haifa called Mada al-Carmel: Arab Center for Applied Social Research. There we encountered critical and incisive perspectives on the academic boycott by Palestinian citizens of Israel that showed how the politics look different from their social location. Their penetrating critiques and our productive dialogue ultimately strengthened my understanding of the situation of fragmentation on the ground in Palestine, and of the need to grapple with this complexity to address what is, after all, one occupation.
The eight meter high Apartheid Wall bordering the Aida Refugee Camp near Bethlehem features a tattered and faded replica of Pablo Picasso’s 1937 painting “Guernica.” The painting famously commemorates the bombing and massacre of nearly 1,600 civilians by Nazi German and Italian warplanes during the fight against fascism in the Spanish Civil War. Hand-painted barbed wire and a Palestinian flag frame the Wall’s reproduction. The caption above reads:
On July 1, 2011, the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI), sent a letter to several scholars at US universities, inviting them to join a historic delegation to Palestine. The letter began: We … Continue reading “529-2”