The Nakba Files

The Nakba, the Law, and What Lies In Between

The 50-Year-Old Military Order That Could Unleash a New Wave of Land Grabs in the West Bank

The Nakba Files presents an original English translation of Military Order 58: Order on Abandoned Properties (Private Property), which was promulgated by the Israeli military command in the West Bank on 23 July 1967, at the dawn of the occupation of that territory.

Driving While Palestinian, on Both Sides of the Green Line

Amahl Bishara: In many hours logged on the road, I’ve learned that driving is a site of embodied, everyday politics — a kind that is too often overlooked in favor of official or formal political statements and stances. The different experiences of ’48 Palestinians and ’67 Palestinians shows how the Nakba is at the root of Palestinian fragmentation, and the road network is a prime instrument of their separation from each other.

Decolonizing the Vocabulary of Palestinian Human Rights Work

Amjad Alqasis: As Palestinian human rights activists and organizations, we must be more careful in the way we articulate reality through the terminology we use. We have to control our own discourse, to challenge the Israeli narrative’s local and international dominance.

When is a Village Not a Village? When Israel Says So

Muna Haddad: Referring to Palestinian villages as “unlawful clusters” is just one small example of how the state of Israel misuses language to distort history and deny rights to Palestinians.

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.

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