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21 May 2021
Subject CLS Researchers' Statement of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
<Beirut & Amman, 21-5-2021> For over seven decades, Israel has forcibly dispossessed, disinherited, and displaced the Arab population of historical Palestine to make way for the building and expansion of a mono-ethnic state on stolen land. The idea of 'transfer' – a concept so foundational to mainstream Zionist thinking – has meant, in reality, the ethnic cleansing of large parts of the country.
Though the Palestinian people have never stood silent in the face of mounting death rates, increasing incarceration rates, growing expropriations, and widening demolitions, the international community has. The events at Sheikh al-Jarrah are a microcosm of the indignities faced by the Palestinian people. Divided by checkpoints, fences, and walls reaching upwards of 26 feet, the Palestinian people have risen today to speak out against and reject once more the systematic denial of their fundamental human rights, including the right to live in peace and security in one's homeland.
The brutal assault on worshippers at the Al-Haram Al-Sharif occurred during Ramadan, the holiest month of the Muslim calendar, and is a serious violation of custom, international, and human rights law. The Occupation and the threats that it represents to the lives, dignity, and rights of Palestinians – Christian and Muslim – have long been in breach of United Nations Security Council and United Nations General Assembly resolutions and the Geneva Conventions.
Over 300 civilians are so far killed in Gaza, the result of indiscriminate use of force by Israel. A new generation, like yesterday's, is growing traumatised and scarred. Hate, that feeling of anger, helplessness, and injustices suffered grow ever stronger. "Men," Martin Luther King Jr. said, "must see that force begets force, [that] hate begets hate, and [that] toughness begets toughness. The world must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate and the chain of evil."
How much longer is the world going to turn a blind eye to the suffering of the Palestinians?
Over a century has passed since the first Zionist immigrants landed on the Mediterranean coast of historical Palestine. Seventy-three years have passed since the Nakba and 54 since the Naksa. In the words of B'Tselem Director Hagai El-Ad, "This is not democracy plus occupation. This is apartheid between the river and the sea."
Our commitment to justice, freedom, and dignity at the Centre for Lebanese Studies obliges us to speak out firmly and explicitly against the tyranny and violence of Israel's policies towards the Palestinian people and support the right of Palestinians everywhere to live a life in dignity, peace, and security. The world must support the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) movement. It is also essential to include the voices of Palestinians – whether in the Occupied Territories or elsewhere – in conversations on the subject. It is time we extend acts of solidarity beyond the contours of verbal and written statements of support or condemnation.
Suggested Readings on the History and Plight of the Palestinian People
- The Question of Palestine Republished, with a new introduction and epilogue, by Vintage Books in 1992, ISBN 0-679-73988-2
- -The Politics of Dispossession: The Struggle for Palestinian Self-Determination, 1969-1994, 1994, Pantheon Books, ISBN 0-679-43057-1
- The End of the Peace Process: Oslo and After, Republished by Vintage Books in 2001, ISBN 0-375-72574-1
- The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood. Beacon Press. 2006. ISBN 978-0-8070-0308-4.
- Sowing Crisis: The Cold War and American Dominance in the Middle East, Beacon Press, 2009.
- Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East, Beacon Press, 2013. ISBN 978-08070-4475-9
- The Hundred Years War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917–2017, Metropolitan Books 2020 ISBN 978-1-627-79855-6
- Expulsion of the Palestinians: The Concept of "Transfer" in Zionist Political Thought (1992) (Washington DC: Institute for Palestine Studies) ISBN 0-88728-235-0
- Imperial Israel and the Palestinians: The Politics of Expansion (2000) (London: Pluto Press) ISBN 0-7453-1615-8
- A land without a people (1997) (London: Faber and Faber) ISBN 0-571-19113-4
- The Politics of Denial: Israel and the Palestinian Refugee Problem (2003) (London: Pluto Press) ISBN 0-7453-2121-6
- Palestine: A Four Thousand Year History. (Zed Books Ltd., 2020), 448pp. ISBN 978-1-78699-272-7
- The Palestine Nakba: Decolonising History, Narrating the Subaltern, Reclaiming Memory (London: Zed Booksm 2012), 288pp. ISBN 978-1848139718
The Centre for Lebanese Studies (CLS) at the Lebanese American University (LAU) is an independent academic institution established in 1984 to undertake impartial and balanced research focused on refugee rights, education, and disability advocacy. CLS is affiliated with the Middle East Centre at St. Antony's College, the History Department at the University of Cambridge, and the Lebanese American University.