• This is Why Gazans Won’t Back Down

    This is Why Gazans Won’t Back Down

    The main takeaway from the “Great March of Return Protest” – a 45-day event that began just after I left Gaza six weeks ago and Tuesday reached its most important moment – is that residents of Gaza will continue to protest regardless of the number of casualties they endure. Why?

  • Interview with IPS Senior Fellow Brian Barber

    Interview with IPS Senior Fellow Brian Barber

    This is the hardest question to answer: when, if ever, will Gazans crack? I wouldn’t dare offer an evaluation on that. This interview was conducted ahead of Barber’s field work in Gaza in March 2018. The Institute for Palestine Studies, in partnership with the Palestine Center, will be hosting a talk by Barber on April 6, 2018 upon his return.

  • Palestinians in Gaza Suffer Enough Without Being Defamed as Sexual Deviants and Mentally Ill

    Palestinians in Gaza Suffer Enough Without Being Defamed as Sexual Deviants and Mentally Ill

    A November 11th Haaretz interview with a psychologist who occasionally visits the Gaza Strip (Gaza Kids Live in Hell: A Psychologist Tells of Rampant Sexual Abuse, Drugs and Despair) portrays Gazan society as a community that has completely lost its moral backbone – to the extent even, the interviewee Mohammed Mansour claims, that there is rampant sexual abuse and drug abuse and that, for all intents and purposes, everyone is mentally ill.

  • The Situation in Gaza: An Interview with Brian Barber

    The Situation in Gaza: An Interview with Brian Barber

    Brian K. Barber, PhD, is a New America Fellow in Washington, DC, a Professor of Child and Family Studies, and Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Youth and Political Conflict at the University of Tennessee. His primary field of research has been Palestine, and he has based his work on long residencies and visits with families in and near refugee camps in the Gaza Strip since the early 1990s. Zeina Azzam, Executive Director of The Jerusalem Fund and Palestine Center, interviewed Brian Barber on February 5 2016, shortly after one of his research visits to Gaza. The information was updated in early April 2016. 

  • Jerusalem Tensions: It’s how the Israelis are Ruling Palestinians There

    Jerusalem Tensions: It’s how the Israelis are Ruling Palestinians There

    Once again violence has spiked between Palestinians and Israelis; a surge that might well be hard to quell given the chaotic, random, crude, and brutal forms it has taken. There is still an alarming amount of commentary that attributes blame for the violence primarily or solely to one side or the other. More enlightened observers acknowledge that political conflicts are complex, that they have histories and scripts, and that they play out in reinforcing cycles – such that any specific act of violence cannot be understood out of its contexts.

  • After the War: A Week in Gaza, My “Second Home”

    After the War: A Week in Gaza, My “Second Home”

    “She passed!” exclaimed 34-year old Ahmed, oldest of 9 children in a family in one of Gaza’s eight refugee camps. The news that Noor, his youngest sister, had passed the dreaded Tawjihi (the college qualifying exam required of all Palestinian students) came via text message to Hazim, the second oldest brother. Noor, 18, didn’t have a cell phone to receive the news, but she had given the cell phone number of another of her 4 brothers to the testing officials for notification. When Hazim received the text early in the morning, he pounded excitedly on all the doors of the multi-flat building that houses the extended family. “And, can you believe it?” Ahmed continued, “She got a 93!”

  • Hamas, Shmamas: It’s about Israeli National Ambitions

    Hamas, Shmamas: It’s about Israeli National Ambitions

    Much recent commentary on forging a lasting peace between Palestinians and Israel makes two deceptive and unproductive claims: 1) Hamas is responsible for the recent violence and must alter its behavior; 2) More generally, both Israel and Palestinians must make “painful concessions.” This preoccupation with Hamas severely overinflates its role and importance. The call for parallel, substantial concessions distorts the reality that only one side, Israel, has power and control of the other side. Therefore, only Israel has the capacity to make substantive changes.

  • Valuing humanity of Palestinians is essential for peace

    Valuing humanity of Palestinians is essential for peace

    When most Americans think of Gaza, they focus on dramatic sound bites or recurring clips of violence and suffering. But the Gaza I know is so much more than that. I’ve spent 20 years working with Gazans. In a lifetime of travel, I have never been received with such authentic goodness as I have there, where I have been chronicling the stories of its youth.

  • Raise the right to resistance

    Raise the right to resistance

    There is only one issue that merits debate relative to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and there is no better time to finally address it honestly than now, during the cruelest outbreak of conflict in recent memory. Every form of traditional and cyber media is saturated with debate and commentary. Characteristically, it is vehemently polarised, full of more empty talking points than verifiable facts, and virtually always spinning around unproductive tangential issues: who started it, whose weapons are less immoral, who is a terrorist and who isn’t, which incendiary statement is the vilest, who deserves what, who has right to what, ad infinitum. Everything rides on the answer to one question that is astonishingly unaddressed in the discourses.

  • Palestine: Is It Resistance or Not?

    Palestine: Is It Resistance or Not?

    There is only one issue that merits debate relative to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and there is no better time to finally address it honestly than now, the cruelest outbreak of conflict in recent memory. Every form of traditional and cyber media is saturated with debate and commentary. And, characteristically, it is vehemently polarized, full of more empty talking points than verifiable facts, and virtually always spinning around unproductive tangential issues: who started it, whose weapons are less immoral, who is a terrorist and who isn’t, which incendiary statement is the vilest, whose deserves what, who has right to what, ad infinitum.