If imprisoned Palestinian leader, Marwan Barghouti, becomes the President of the Palestinian Authority (PA), the status quo will change substantially. For Israel, as well as for the current PA President, Mahmoud Abbas, such a scenario is more dangerous than another strong Hamas showing in the upcoming Palestinian parliamentary elections.
The long-delayed elections, now scheduled for May 22 and July 31 respectively, will not only represent a watershed moment for the fractured Palestinian body politic, but also for the Fatah Movement which has dominated the PA since its inception in 1994. The once revolutionary Movement has become a shell of its former self under the leadership of Abbas, whose only claim to legitimacy was a poorly contested election in January 2005, following the death of former Fatah leader and PA President, Yasser Arafat.
Though his mandate expired in January 2009, Abbas continued to ‘lead’ Palestinians. Corruption and nepotism increased significantly during his tenure and, not only did he fail to secure an independent Palestinian State, but the Israeli military occupation and illegal settlements have deepened and grown exponentially.
Continue reading “From His Solitary Confinement, Marwan Barghouti Holds the Key to Fatah’s Future”
Boris Johnson’s March 16 speech before the British Parliament was reminiscent, at least in tone, to that of Chinese President Xi Jinping in October 2019, on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of China.
The comparison is quite apt if we remember the long-anticipated shift in Britain’s foreign policy and Johnson’s conservative Government’s pressing need to chart a new global course in search for new allies – and new enemies.
XI’s words in 2019 signaled a new era in Chinese foreign policy, where Beijing hoped to send a message to its allies and enemies that the rules of the game were finally changing in its favor, and that China’s economic miracle – launched under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping in 1992 – would no longer be confined to the realm of wealth accumulation, but would exceed this to politics and military strength, as well.
Continue reading “Nuclear Weapons Blazing: Britain Enters the US-China Fray”
For Palestinians, exile is not simply the physical act of being removed from their homes and their inability to return. It is not a casual topic pertaining to politics and international law, either. Nor is it an ethereal notion, a sentiment, a poetic verse. It is all of this, combined.
The death in Amman of Palestinian poet, Mourid Barghouti, an intellectual whose work has intrinsically been linked to exile, brought back to the surface many existential questions: are Palestinians destined to be exiled? Can there be a remedy for this perpetual torment? Is justice a tangible, achievable goal?
Barghouti was born in 1944 in Deir Ghassana, near Ramallah. His journey in exile began in 1967, and ended, however temporarily, 30 years later. His memoir "I Saw Ramallah" – published in 1997 – was an exiled man’s attempt to make sense of his identity, one that has been formulated within many different physical spaces, conflicts and airports. While, in some way, the Palestinian in Barghouti remained intact, his was a unique identity that can only be fathomed by those who have experienced, to some degree, the pressing feelings of Ghurba – estrangement and alienation – or Shataat – dislocation and diaspora.
Continue reading “Imagining Palestine: On Barghouti, Darwish, Kanafani, and the Language of Exile”
On Monday, January 20, Clarity Press, Inc. of Atlanta announced the launch of These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons, by Palestinian author and journalist, Ramzy Baroud, and The Palestine Chronicle Editorial Team.
Bookended by a Foreword by Khalida Jarrar Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and an Afterword by Richard Falk, former UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories, the collection conveys in prisoners’ own words, Palestinian suffering in Israeli jails and their enduring resistance to the occupation of their historic homeland.
"These are the stories of Palestine’s true organic intellectuals," said Baroud, "women and men, mothers and fathers, children and teens, teachers, fighters and human rights’ advocates, united by a single motive that transcends region, religion and ideology: resistance. Regardless of the cost, they are taking a brave, moral and internationally defensible stand against injustice in all of its forms."
Continue reading “These Chains Will Be Broken: Ramzy Baroud’s New Book Delivers Resistance Message from Palestinian Prisoners to the World”
At a talk I delivered in Northern England in March 2018, I proposed that the best response to falsified accusations of antisemitism, which are often lobbed against pro-Palestinian communities and intellectuals everywhere, is to draw even closer to the Palestinian narrative.
In fact, my proposal was not meant to be a sentimental response in any way.
"Reclaiming the Palestinian narrative" has been the main theme in most of my public speeches and writings in recent years. All of my books and much of my academic studies and research have largely focused on positioning the Palestinian people – their rights, history, culture, and political aspirations – at the very core of any genuine understanding of the Palestinian struggle against Israeli colonialism and apartheid.
True, there was nothing particularly special about my talk in Northern England. I had already delivered a version of that speech in other parts of the UK, Europe and elsewhere. But what made that event memorable is a conversation I had with a passionate activist, who introduced himself as an advisor to the office of the head of the British Labor Party, Jeremy Corbyn.
Continue reading “Embracing Palestine: How To Combat Israel’s Misuse of ‘Antisemitism’”
On September 16, I visited South Africa, a country where many Palestinians have always felt welcomed, if not overwhelmed by the degree of genuine and meaningful solidarity.
While having the honor to address many audiences in six, major cities, I have also learned a great deal. An important and sobering lesson is that while apartheid laws can be dismissed in a day, economic apartheid and massive inequality can linger on for many years. Thanks to my interactions with many South African intellectuals, activists and ordinary folk, I learned not to romanticize the South African struggle, a crucial lesson for those of us fighting to end Israeli apartheid in Palestine.
My hosts at the Afro-Middle East Center ensured that I met with diverse audiences, including top members of the African National Congress, the leadership of the country’s two, major union groups, anti-apartheid scholars and activists, and a large number of students and other people throughout the country.
Continue reading “The Africa-Palestine Conference: Why South Africa Must Lead the Way”