Antes de la reciente cumbre del G7, la secretaria del Tesoro de Estados Unidos, Janet L. Yellen, en una poco frecuente reprimenda a Israel, le advirtió que sus planes de dejar a las instituciones financieras palestinas fuera del sistema bancario global amenazarían la estabilidad económica de Cisjordania. Pero su advertencia tal vez llegó demasiado tarde para frenar al ministro de Finanzas de extrema derecha de Israel, Bezalel Smotrich, quien parece decidido a socavar los últimos vestigios del autogobierno ya limitado de la Autoridad Palestina (AP) en Cisjordania.

Las sanciones que quiere imponer Smotrich -específicamente, revocar la exención que les permite a los bancos israelíes facilitar transacciones con los palestinos por temor a una acción legal- son una respuesta al reconocimiento formal de un estado palestino por parte de Irlanda, Noruega y España.…  Seguir leyendo »

Food rations to be delivered to Kamal Adwan Hospital in Gaza. (Eshak Daour)

Two months ago, my family opened the first soup kitchen in Beit Lahia, my hometown in northern Gaza. We served a simple vegetable stew — a spin on traditional Gazan recipes like fogaiyya and sumagiyya — made with whatever vegetables we could get our hands on. On our first day, we fed 120 families. A local photographer snapped photos, and we even made the local news.

By now, the daily routine is dignifying and familiar. Our mother wakes at the crack of dawn to peel and prepare produce, my father sources spices, and I work as operations manager. By 7 a.m.,…  Seguir leyendo »

Aid from the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in the Gaza Strip, March 2024. Mohammed Salem / Reuters

There has hardly been a war, crisis, or peace process involving Israel and an adversary that has not involved a UN response of some kind. Despite the UN’s many shortcomings, the assumption that any situation would be far worse without its involvement has generally been an accepted principle. The war that began with Hamas’s brutal attack on October 7 has challenged this assumption like never before, particularly for Israel. Despite years of working with the main UN agency that provides aid and services to Palestinian refugees, known as UNRWA, Israel is now seeking to dismantle it.

In January, Israeli officials alleged that as many as 12 of UNRWA’s staff members in Gaza participated in the October 7 attack.…  Seguir leyendo »

Christian worshipers attend a Palm Sunday procession on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem on March 24. (Ronen Zvulun/Reuters)

Easter marks the resurrection of Jesus, but this year the holiday comes with a twist: Jesus resurrected as Palestinian. Never mind that Jesus was born and died a Jew in Judaea. From the pronouncement of a member of Congress to the pages of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Jesus is now heralded as a “Palestinian” or, more delicately, as a “Palestinian Jew”.

Jesus made an appearance on social media as a “Palestinian” around Christmas, and the meme has flourished since then. The gambit casts 1st-century Jews in the role of an occupying power and “Palestinians” as their victims. Just as Herod, the king of Judaea in Jesus’ time, persecuted the “Palestinian” holy family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, so, too, goes the claim, is modern Israel an occupying power persecuting Palestinians today.…  Seguir leyendo »

Recientemente, el Gobierno de España ha declarado que reconocerá en el futuro próximo al Estado de Palestina. Pedro Sánchez, que siempre ha antepuesto el interés nacional a cualesquiera intereses electorales, está detrás de esta sabia y valiente decisión.

Obviamente estaba siendo sarcástico.

El asunto de Palestina para los intereses españoles representa un cero a la izquierda, mientras que las relaciones industriales de Defensa y seguridad y las económicas con Israel sí tienen relevancia en determinados ámbitos, de los que sólo el de la seguridad puede ser considerado estratégico. Al menos hasta que llegaron los Acuerdos de Abraham con Marruecos y la crisis del procés, en la que el Gobierno de Netanyahu se hizo de rogar antes de declarar que, al igual que el resto de la comunidad internacional, no reconocía ninguna república en Cataluña.…  Seguir leyendo »

A man with a Palestinian flag in Khan Younis, Gaza, November 2023. Mohammed Salem / Reuters

Since the first weeks of the brutal war in the Gaza Strip, Washington has devoted an inordinate amount of attention to the idea that reforming the Palestinian Authority is an essential part of any postwar governance in the territory. The United States, as well as its Arab and European allies, want neither Hamas nor Israel in charge of administering Gaza once the war ends. The default candidate for that job is the PA, established by the Palestine Liberation Organization as its governing executive during the Oslo peace accords, a series of agreements in the 1990s meant to lead to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Subversive Act of Photographing Palestinian Life

In one of my earliest memories, I am sitting in my teta’s (grandmother’s) lap. The scent of ripe figs fills the air with the calm satisfaction of late summer. We’re in the shade of our cool limestone veranda surrounded by the family’s verdant mountain farmland in a village that is now in Israel but to me has always been Palestine.

Our hands work together to pull apart grape leaves we had picked from the vines in her garden. My teta would use the leaves to cook my favorite dish: warak enab, or stuffed grape leaves. My grandparents were fellahin (farmers). They worked the land, and the land worked them.…  Seguir leyendo »

President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority. Justin Lane/EPA, via Shutterstock

I got into politics when I was 15, joining Fatah Youth in Jerusalem during the first intifada in 1987. Several years later, and with other young Fatah leaders, I met Mahmoud Abbas in his office in Ramallah, West Bank. He was the No. 2 in the Palestine Liberation Organization back then. He was in his 50s; we were in our 20s. Despite the age gap, we always enjoyed spending time with him. “You are tomorrow’s leaders”, he would tell us.

Today, Mr. Abbas is in his late 80s, we are in our 50s, and that tomorrow never came.

Thirty years after the Oslo Accords, the Palestinians who led the first intifada — and helped bring some of their exiled leaders back from Tunisia — feel they have been betrayed.…  Seguir leyendo »

Do Palestinian lives matter to the world?

I keep waiting for someone to wake me up.

As I witness the surreal and staggering devastation on the streets of Gaza, where my parents live, and the tragic loss of more than 10,000 Palestinian lives unfolding in real time, my heart keeps sinking.

I hold on to the hope that something, or someone, can end this nightmare. But that never happens.

Instead, I find myself mourning every day for the families affected and grieving for the profound injustices that permit such a horrifying loss of life to persist.

My wife and I wake up each morning in Virginia knowing we won’t find any good news some 6,000 miles away in Gaza.…  Seguir leyendo »

Supporters of Hamas rally in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Jan. 23, 2006, days before Palestinian elections. (Muhammed Muheisen/AP)

Remarking on the Israel-Gaza war in a news conference Wednesday, President Biden declared, “When this crisis is over, there has to be a vision of what comes next. And in our view, it has to be a two-state solution”. There will likely be much more fighting before any such arrangement can start to take shape. But when it does, the warring parties and international facilitators will need to learn from past mistakes.

The fractured Palestinian elections in 2006 led to a bitter and tragic schism between two factions, Hamas and Fatah. When Israel says it has no one with whom to negotiate a two-state solution, there is a degree of truth to that.…  Seguir leyendo »

La doble moral respecto a Palestina

Me he mudado dos veces a Estados Unidos desde que nací. Una vez fue de niña, tras la invasión iraquí de Kuwait. Y después otra vez, para estudiar el posgrado. Tuve el privilegio de vivir una juventud —la adolescencia y los primeros años de la edad adulta— en países donde ser palestina era bastante común. La identidad podía pesar mucho, pero no estaba en tela de juicio. No había tenido que aprender la política de la respetabilidad de ser una adulta palestina. Aprendí rápido.

La tarea del palestino es ser aceptable o ser condenado. La tarea del palestino, como hemos visto en las dos últimas semanas, es pasar una prueba para obtener empatía y compasión.…  Seguir leyendo »

Palestinians protesting in support of the people of Gaza, Hebron, West Bank, October 2023. Mussa Qawasma / Reuters

Since Hamas’s atrocious attacks on October 7 left more than 1,400 Israelis dead in a single day, Israel’s response has exacted a heavy toll on the population of Gaza. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, so far more than 6,000 Gazans have been killed and more than 17,000 injured in Israel’s aerial bombardment. The casualties could quickly climb much higher if Israel goes ahead with its expected ground invasion. Israeli President Isaac Herzog, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Knesset member Ariel Kallner, and other prominent officials have called for a military campaign that covers the entire territory of Gaza. Israeli missiles have already destroyed around five percent of all buildings in Gaza, including in areas where Palestinians sought shelter after heeding Israeli calls to evacuate their homes.…  Seguir leyendo »

Why Must Palestinians Audition for Your Empathy?

I’ve moved back to the United States twice since my birth. Once as a child, after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Then again for graduate school. I’d had the privilege of a youth — adolescence and young adulthood — in countries where being Palestinian was fairly common. The identity could be heavy, but it wasn’t a contested one. I hadn’t had to learn the respectability politics of being a Palestinian adult. I learned quickly.

The task of the Palestinian is to be palatable or to be condemned. The task of the Palestinian, we’ve seen in the past two weeks, is to audition for empathy and compassion.…  Seguir leyendo »

Al Birah Cultural Center, Ramallah, Palestine, June 2023. Molly Crabapple

I spent the end of May and the beginning of June in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem, first as a guest of the Palestine Festival of Literature, and then documenting daily life in my sketchbook. It had been eight years since my last trip to Palestine, and on the face of it, everything had gotten worse. The contradictions that plague any ethnonationalist project had all come to a bloody head with the reelection of Netanyahu last fall and his appointment of openly fascist ministers Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, who have been encouraging settler rampages across the West Bank.…  Seguir leyendo »

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, West Bank, January 2023. Ronaldo Schemidt / Reuters

In 2005, Mahmoud Abbas was elected to a four-year term as president of the Palestinian Authority, filling the vacancy left by the death of Yasir Arafat. Since then, there have been no elections; 18 years later, Abbas is still in office.

The PA was established by a 1994 agreement between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. Although legally subordinate to the PLO, with powers limited to the West Bank and Gaza, the PA swiftly became the center of gravity in the Palestinian political system. The authority’s structure was modeled on the governments of Egypt, Syria, and Tunisia, with a theoretical separation of powers between the legislature (the Palestinian Legislative Council), the judiciary, and the executive.…  Seguir leyendo »

Israel’s One-State Reality

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s return to power in Israel with a narrow, extreme right-wing coalition has shattered even the illusion of a two-state solution. Members of his new government have not been shy about stating their views on what Israel is and what it should be in all the territories it controls: a Greater Israel defined not just as a Jewish state but one in which the law enshrines Jewish supremacy over all Palestinians who remain there. As a result, it is no longer possible to avoid confronting a one-state reality.

Israel’s radical new government did not create this reality but rather made it impossible to deny.…  Seguir leyendo »

La misión de proteger y educar a los refugiados palestinos

Por cerca de 75 años, la Agencia de Naciones Unidas para la población refugiada de Palestina en Oriente Próximo (UNRWA) ha prestado servicios de educación a refugiados de Siria, Líbano, Jordania, Gaza y Cisjordania, incluido Jerusalén Oriental. Más allá de habilitar a los refugiados para que no interrumpan su educación, la UNRWA les brinda un espacio seguro en que pueden escapar del conflicto, la violencia y las crisis económicas cada vez más profundas que rodean su realidad cotidiana. Pero nuestra capacidad de satisfacer las necesidades de los niños y niñas refugiados se ve cada vez más limitada por una razón trágicamente simple: la falta de fondos.…  Seguir leyendo »

¿Cuándo tendremos en casa una Navidad en paz?

Como alcaldesa de la ciudad palestina de Belén tengo el privilegio de encender el árbol de Navidad en la Plaza del Pesebre y asistir a la misa de medianoche, o de vigilia, en una de las iglesias más antiguas del mundo, construida en el siglo IV por la emperatriz bizantina Helena, pero mi tarea más importante es la de dar fe y aliento a la gente. Cuando encendí el árbol de Navidad el 3 de diciembre, expresé mi esperanza de que la luz irradie al mundo nuestro deseo de paz, y oramos juntos para que se cumpla la promesa de la Navidad, de unir a la gente.…  Seguir leyendo »

Las instituciones financieras de la Unión Europea concentran cada vez más su atención en Palestina con el propósito de ayudar a estimular el desarrollo sostenible, crear empleos, promover el crecimiento y apoyar la recuperación posterior a la pandemia. Pero, a pesar de los enormes flujos de inversiones, principalmente en forma de préstamos al sector privado palestino, la UE continúa ignorando los obstáculos estructurales al desarrollo que están presentes en Palestina. En lugar de ocuparse de dichos obstáculos, la asistencia de la UE apuntala al sistema bancario palestino y sostiene una economía destrozada bajo el régimen de la ocupación.

Según un reciente análisis realizado por la UE de las inversiones en Palestina desde el año 2014, los aportes económicos en curso brindados por el “Equipo Europa” (la UE, sus Estados miembros, y los bancos públicos de desarrollo, en particular el Banco Europeo de Inversiones y el Banco Europeo de Reconstrucción y Desarrollo) ascienden a 1,4 mil millones de euros (1,5 mil millones de euros).…  Seguir leyendo »

A lo largo de los años, la conmemoración anual del 29 de noviembre de 1947, día en que las Naciones Unidas votaron la partición de Palestina en dos Estados (uno judío y uno árabe), se ha convertido en una fiesta del odio contra Israel. En la ONU y en todo el mundo se celebra el día en solidaridad con los palestinos y se recurre a eslóganes, resoluciones y llamadas a la acción en contra del Estado judío.

Que la ONU sea el lugar donde se celebran estos actos no es ninguna sorpresa. La ONU, al menos desde la década de 1970, tras la aprobación de la infame resolución de "el sionismo es racismo", ha estado más interesada en la guerra ideológica contra Israel que en el cambio real en la región.…  Seguir leyendo »