The Nakba Files

The Nakba, the Law, and What Lies In Between

A Brief History of Banning Arabs from Palestine

Lauren Banko: The systematic exclusion of Arab migration from Israel/Palestine did not begin with the 1948 Nakba. Instead, it is rooted in specific understandings of race and nationality enshrined in the international legal agreements that laid the framework for the colonial state of the British Mandate of Palestine, the state inherited by the Zionist movement.

Can a Citizenship Law Address Palestinian Statelessness?

In 2011, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) circulated a draft Palestinian Nationality Law as part of its efforts to achieve international recognition of Palestine’s status as a state. The Nakba Files spoke to Dr. Mutaz Qafisheh, the dean of Hebron University’s College of Law & Political Science and a principal drafter of the bill. Qafisheh is the author of a study on the international law foundations of Palestinian citizenship.

Who Has the “Right” to Steal Palestinian Land?

Suhad Bishara: Israeli authorities continue to deliberate over the fate of some 40 Israeli Jewish families living in the Amona settlement outpost in the West Bank, which is located on private Palestinian property. One “solution” under consideration is to relocate the settlers to adjacent plots of land that the state considers to be “absentees’ property.” Under the proposed arrangement, the state would “rent” out the land to the settlers on behalf of its unknown Palestinian owners using renewable three-year contracts. In other words, under Israeli law the state can remedy the theft of Palestinian land by compensating the thieves with other stolen Palestinian lands instead.

Israel Pushing Palestinian Workers Out of Court, No Labor Rights for Workers

A new regulation effectively shuts West Bank Palestinians out of Israeli labor courts. It also reveals how Israel uses laws and regulations to seize Palestinian land while denying Palestinians rights.

The Nakba and the Farm

Nasser Rego: Palestinians are breaking the mold in their engagement with the Nakba in so many diverse and beautiful ways. In doing so, they reinscribe themselves in the very soil from which they have been forcibly separated for generations. In these acts, they are actively remembering. In these performances, they are not only surviving, but thriving, creating trajectories of possibility for independence and self-sustainability. Palestinians are exercising their right of return without seeking permission to do so. Palestinians are returning to destroyed villages as in Iqrit and elsewhere, organizing summer camps there, and ‘settling’ the West Bank as they did when they set up the Bab al-Shams encampment in 2013. And they are working the land.

101 Demolitions and Counting

The state of Israel has demolished the “unrecognized” Bedouin village of al-‘Araqib 101 times in order to allow the Jewish National Fund to plant forests. The Nakba Files spoke to 19-year-old Hala Abu Medeghem, who refuses to leave her land.

Challenging the Nakba through International Law?

John Reynolds: For those seeking to draw tactically on international law to confront the Nakba, the international legal prohibition of apartheid can be useful in going further than the prohibition of colonialism.

1967: The Time Machine

Majd Kayyal: The catastrophe that took place on 5 June 1967 boils down to one fact: it sealed the consequences of the Nakba. It marked the defeat of political projects that promised an Arab rebirth and refused to accept the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

Reclaiming Native History, from New Mexico to Palestine

As part of an ongoing dialogue with the Native rights movement in the United States, Adalah USA Representative Nadia Ben-Youssef recently sat down with Melanie Yazzie and Nick Estes, scholar-activists and founders of Red Nation, a coalition of Native and non-Native activists, educators, students and community organizers advocating Native liberation. They discussed the points of intersection between Palestinian and Native histories and consider ways forward to reclaim memory as a force for collective liberation.

A Native American Reflection on the Nakba

Nick Estes: While the Nakba was taking place in Palestine, Native peoples in the United States faced what is known as “the era of termination.” Termination was meant to forcibly assimilate Native peoples into white culture while in Palestine, Zionism emphasized segregating Jews and Arabs instead. But in both places, dispossession and expulsion were the order of the day.

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