The Nakba Files

The Nakba, the Law, and What Lies In Between

Gaza, From Fence to Fence

Jehad Abu Salim: For Palestinians, the fence around the Gaza Strip evokes the Nakba, the refugee struggle, and the occupation. The fence, as a physical barrier to refugee return, was the beginning of the tragedy. The fence today is its continuation. And since the fence caused the problem, the solution must include its removal. The fence is the history that Palestinians in Gaza never want to forget, and no amount of aid can induce them to do so.

New Measures to Segregate Palestinian Workers

Sawsan Zaher: In the Israeli economy, dirty, difficult, and dangerous jobs often are left to some 170,000 foreign workers, among them 55,000 Palestinian workers from the West Bank. Numerous NGO reports and media exposes have documented the abuses faced by these workers. Yet the most vulnerable and exploited segment of Israel’s labor force now faces yet another barrier to justice: in August, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked issued a new regulation requiring most foreign workers to deposit a financial guarantee as a condition to proceed with lawsuits against their employers in the country’s labor courts. As a result, whatever rights these workers should enjoy by law will likely be too expensive to actually enforce.

Symposium: Future Directions in the Study of Law and Colonialism in Palestine

Conclusion to symposium on The Dynamics of Exclusionary Constitutionalism: Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State (Hart Press), a forthcoming book by Mazen Masri.

Symposium: The Colonial History of Social Contracts

K-Sue Park: When Israeli jurists speak of their country’s “social contract,” they are tapping into a history that goes back further than thinkers like Locke and Hobbes and is instead grounded in agreements concluded by English settlers in North America.

Symposium: Why “Jewish and Democratic” Values Negate Palestinian Equal Rights

Hassan Jabareen: Israel’s Supreme Court treats the country’s Declaration of Independence as legally binding when used to bolster Jewish rights at the expense of Palestinians but dismisses it as rhetoric when Palestinians invoke its language on equality.

Symposium: Israel’s Colonial Declaration of Independence

The Nakba Files is proud to present an online symposium on The Dynamics of Exclusionary Constitutionalism: Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State (Hart Press), a forthcoming book by Mazen Masri.

The Jewish National Fund as a Colonial Entity

A brief explainer on the Jewish National Fund and how Israel uses it to legalize the colonization of Palestinian land.

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.

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