Ghada Karmi

Israeli massacre in Palestine

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Protesters demanding a right to return to their homes were attacked last month by snipers. Socialist Review spoke to Palestinian author and activist Ghada Karmi.

Can you explain why the protests had the focus around the border?

Firstly stop calling it a border, there is no border. This is all part of the land of Palestine. If you want you can call it an Israeli-imposed barrier because that’s what it is. The protest called itself a great march of return.

The idea was that 70 years of displacement and dispossession of the Palestinian people must come to an end and they be able to go home, and since about 80 percent of Gaza’s people are descendants of 1948 refugees the idea of return is very relevant to them.

Dead-end solution in Palestine

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As the US makes plans for new talks between Israel and Mahmoud Abbas's administration, Palestinian author and activist Ghada Karmi, just back from the Occupied Territories, challenges the claim that Palestinians have no alternative but to agree a two-state deal with Israel.

The Fatah conference, which took place in Bethlehem last month, has aroused renewed interest in the Palestinian cause. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has lasted so long and proved so resistant to resolution that hardly anything is "news" any more. Even the Gaza tragedy, so well covered by the media during late December and January, has long slipped off the front pages and scarcely features at all. I pick up a palpable weariness in people's feelings about the issue, both among Palestinians and many commentators outside.

The Side of Justice

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Review of 'On the Border', Michael Warschawski, Pluto £14.99

This book is half memoir, half political discourse by one of the best known anti-Zionist Israeli activists. As such, it adds to the stock, unfortunately too small, of writings on the progressive left of Israeli politics. Such people as Michael Warschawski were all too rare when I started my political activism in the 1970s. In those days in London I was fortunate enough to come across a group of Israeli Matzpen activists - they formed a tiny unrepresentative proportion of Israeli political thinkers at the time. The position is much better today, but still a minority phenomenon.

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