Palestine

Gaza and the Palestinians - an unsustainable injustice

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Israel's brutal attacks have inflicted untold suffering on Gaza's beleaguered population. Yet Israel, despite its military might, has not succeeded in its mission to smash Hamas, Saree Makdisi tells Socialist Review.

The assault on Gaza was described implicitly by Israel and the media as a war of military and economic equals. What were the living conditions in Gaza before the war?

How can Palestine be free?

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Israel's war on Gaza provoked huge protests across the world. People are asking what the solution is for Palestine. It lies with the working class in the region, argues Anne Alexander. Recent struggles in Egypt show that the road to liberation goes through the streets of Cairo.

The recent attack on Gaza has exposed the brutal nature of the Israeli state to millions around the globe. Gaza remains a potent symbol of Palestinian resistance. The area is crammed with refugees and their descendants who fled ethnic cleansing by Zionist militias in 1948. They suffered decades of direct Israeli occupation and the theft of their land and water by Israeli settlers. They have seen their already weak and stunted economy strangled by Israeli policies of "closure", transformed into a near total blockade since 2005.

Palestine: 60 years after the Nakba

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Sabby Sagall recently visited Palestine as part of a twinning project. Here he describes the daily struggles of Palestinians as they continue to resist the Israeli occupation.

The taxi skirts round the 16th century Ottoman wall of Jerusalem's Old City, reaching for the hills of Palestine. The rocky, sun-dried slopes roll east towards the Jordan river and north towards Galilee; silent witnesses of the unending suffering of the Palestinian people, but also of their unbelievable courage and resilience.

Israel, the Holocaust and the Nakba

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Sixty years ago half of Palestine's population was expelled when the state of Israel was created. Acclaimed anti-Zionist historian Ilan Pappe looks at the legacy of the Nazi persecution of Jews, and the complicity of world leaders, past and present, in maintaining the occupation in Palestine.

Very few matrixes can be as sensitive as that of the Holocaust, Israel and the Palestinian Catastrophe of 1948 (known as the Nakba). It is no wonder that very few people in the past have attempted to comment on the nexus between the Holocaust, the Nakba and a solution for the Palestine question. To all intents and purposes, researchers, journalists and essayists who were, and still are, interested in the Palestine question preferred to deal with each of the subject matters separately - as if there is no connection whatsoever between them.

Married to Another Man

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Anne Alexander spoke to Ghada Karmi about her new book and the situation in Palestine

June was a bad month for supporters of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It remains to be seen whether Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, will re-establish Fatah's authority over the Occupied Territories, or whether the survival of the Hamas-led government will mean in effect a "three-state solution", with Israel dominating a Fatah-led entity in the West Bank, while besieging Hamas in Gaza. But both scenarios underline the impossibility of constructing a viable Palestinian state side by side with Israel.

Building solidarity with Palestine

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Supporters of Israel want to undermine union support for the Palestinians. The left must be clear about imperialism's role in the region, and about how to maximise solidarity, writes Chris Harman.

A big debate has broken out after the annual congress of the lecturers' UCU union voted to hold discussions in branches around the country on how best to show solidarity with the Palestinian people. This has come just as the plight of the Palestinians has gone from bad to worse, with civil war between the elected Hamas administration which controls the Gaza Strip and the Fatah regime based in the West Bank.

Combatting the Strangulation of Palestine

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Western governments have so far refused to recognise the Palestinian Hamas government democratically elected in January 2006.

Economic aid to the Palestinian government was curtailed and Israel is unlawfully withholding tax and customs revenue due to the PA (£35 million per month). Likewise, foreign bank accounts and financial transactions by the Palestinian Authority have been frozen, and frequent blockades of border crossings between Egypt, Jordan and Israel are causing Palestinian trade to collapse, leaving the Palestinians without basic food and medicines.

The Palestinian Unity Government: an Overdue Consensual Strategy?

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The tormented birth of the Palestinian national unity government could mark a truly new phase in the Palestinian struggle for self-determination.

Hamas, the mainstream Palestinian Islamist movement that was established in 1987 and won the January 2006 elections will share power with Fatah, the main Palestinian secular national force who had led the Palestinians from the late 1950s until Hama's surprise election victory this year. The main parameters of the agreement include the formation of a cabinet with almost twice as many posts going to Hamas as to Fateh. Ministers are to be only sympathisers of either movement or technocrats drawn from their second ranks.

Palestine: Attacks on Hamas

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Palestine in 2006 was dominated by a single event: the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas's overwhelming victory in last January's general elections.

Israel then launched an economic embargo on the new government, withholding tax-revenues belonging to the Palestinian Authority (PA) and successfully urging western governments to cease aid payments.

The result has been a slow strangulation of the already crippled Palestinian economy and a great intensification of Palestinian suffering. The justification was three-fold: Hamas's refusal to recognise Israel's right to exist, to formally renounce violence and to accept previous agreements with Israel.

Palestine: Fatah, Hamas, Israel and the West

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In the last weeks of 2006 Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah faction finally launched their much anticipated attempted coup against the democratically elected Palestinian cabinet headed by the Islamic organisation Hamas and prime minister Ismail Haniyeh.

This followed days of deliberately engineered interfactional violence.

Karma Nablusi, a former leading Fatah activist, has incisively attacked her former party on the authoritative Palestinian website, Electronic Intifada, for allowing themselves to become a Western puppet.

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