An act of survivance is more than a reactionary struggle for existence. The term survivance, coined in Native American Studies, speaks to the active presence and continued dignity of native peoples, despite the ethnocidal policies of a settler colonial state. The survivance of Palestinians, like other native peoples within a settler colonial state, is not a given.
2015 is shaping up as the year in which the status quo on Israel and Palestine may finally be broken. Just in the last month, a serious attempt was made to pass a resolution for Palestinian statehood in the U.N. Security Council. After its failure, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas signed over 20 international treaties and conventions, including the Rome Statute, which will enable Palestine to become a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC) by April 1.
In light of the 10-year anniversary of President Mahmoud Abbas’s inauguration falling on January 15 and the unexpected coinciding decision this month to accede to the International Criminal Court, the IMEU offers the following Q&A with George Bisharat, Mouin Rabbani, Diana Buttu, Ali Abunimah, Raji Sourani, and Issam Younis.
The Israel exception to Western governments' human rights principles has been starkly on display in the reaction to the Palestinian Authority's decision to join the International Criminal Court. In Washington, Ottawa, Paris and London, as well as Tel Aviv, the response has ranged from discouraging to condemnatory.
What struck me most during a recent visit to Britain – my first ever – was the sense of secure continuity. Governments come and go, society is always changing, but the rights of the people are protected constantly. Hearing Big Ben echo across Parliament Square before my concert in Westminster, it seemed symbolic of this history and permanence. It is the opposite for Palestinians.
Palestinians rang in New Year's Eve by deploying what Israel has called their legal and diplomatic "nuclear option." Mahmoud Abbas, chair of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), signed the Rome Statute on behalf of the State of Palestine, which has been recognized by the UN as non-member observer state since 2012.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai announced a donation of $50,000 for the reconstruction of Gaza’s schools. That was in October, in the wake of Israel’s summer assault that affected some 113,500 homes in addition to schools, public buildings, hospitals, utilities and other essential infrastructure. As part of an investigation into Palestine’s broken aid system, I set about tracking down where Malala’s money is.
The death of Palestine Liberation Organization official Ziad Abu Ein, who was struck by Israeli soldiers during a peaceful protest in the West Bank, has renewed calls for a halt to Palestinian Authority (PA) security cooperation with Israel. Such cooperation — which has been deemed vital by PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli top officials — is deeply unpopular among Palestinians.
In the last four days of Operation Protective Edge, the Israeli army launched four attacks that totally destroyed multistorey landmark buildings in Gaza. While no one was killed, the attacks are of great significance because they are examples of what appears to have been deliberate destruction and targeting of civilian buildings and property on a large scale, carried out without military necessity. This briefing focuses exclusively on these attacks and considers whether they were militarily justified. It concludes that the destruction was extensive and appeared to have been wanton and not justified by military necessity.