If Kerry fails, what then?

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Suppose the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, fails to cajole the Israeli and Palestinian leaders into finally ending their conflict. What would happen next? By Sam Bahour and Tony Klug - Sabbah Report § A tsunami of pent-up animosities is likely to be unleashed, with each side holding the other … [Read more...]

Freedom, Not Handouts, Will Save Palestine

Palestinians celebrate on a street in Gaza City November 30, 2012. The 193-nation U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution on Thursday to upgrade the Palestinian Authority's observer status at the United Nations from "entity" to "non-member state," implicitly recognizing a Palestinian state. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Palestine not only has a pie in the sky, it also has one off the coast of Gaza and many more across the land. The pies here are strategic economic assets for a Palestinian economy worthy of a state. But all of them are under total Israeli military control, rendering them paralyzed at best. Until the … [Read more...]

A Palestine That Israelis Can’t See

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How Does an Unsustainable Situation Keep On Going? The status quo in Palestine and Israel is unsustainable. Anyone involved in the reality on the ground in this part of the world knows this for a fact. As such, one can view the current Palestinian bid to the United Nations General Assembly for non-member … [Read more...]

The Galilee First!

Attorney Sabri Jiryis (L) and Sam Bahour standing on the rooftop of the 105 year old Mar Elias Church in the Palestinian village of Fassouta which is located in the western Galilee. The South Lebanon skyline is in the background.

The horrendous reality of the Palestinian communities inside Israel—in places like Akka, Haifa, Nazareth, Yaffa, and the Negev—is not about being regulated to sit in the back of the bus; they could only wish for such blatant racism. Here, the racism is multilayered, ideological, well-camouflaged, … [Read more...]

Palestinian U.N. bid teaches us about America

El Bireh, West Bank -- The case of Palestine's bid for U.N. membership is teaching us more about the United States than it is about the stubborn Middle East. Sadly, the United States, my country, heads the list of member nations making a mockery of the international venue founded to intervene in exactly the … [Read more...]

Welcome to Palestine – if you can get in

Israel's threat to deny visitors entry to Palestine is as disturbing as it is shocking. Our protest will be a civil society tsunami By Sam Bahour* | Sabbah Report | www.sabbah.biz Palestinians have globally touted an array of rights that Israel systematically denies. There is the right of return, the … [Read more...]

Palestine is the key to Arab democracy

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Protesters in Egypt and Tunisia can learn from events in Palestine, the region's barometer for reform By Sam Bahour* | Sabbah Report | www.sabbah.biz Current events in Egypt and Tunisia have the entire region and beyond glued to their television sets. The all-too-spoken-about Arab street has risen, … [Read more...]

US mediation monopoly collapsing

By Sam Bahour* | Sabbah Report | www.sabbah.biz The United States is at a crossroads in its mediation of Middle East peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians. The Obama administration can no longer walk on the Israeli side of the line--which is exactly where the US has been since Israel’s … [Read more...]

Best option: dignified failure

By Sam Bahour* | Sabbah Report | www.sabbah.biz The entire U.S. administration's Middle East A-team--President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, and Special Envoy Mitchell--is defying the mass majority of political analysts by dismissing the status quo in the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza Strip, and … [Read more...]

Civil society in the lead

Palestinians call to boycott Israeli products (Photo: MaanImages/Mushir Abdelrahman)

By Sam Bahour* | Sabbah Report | www.sabbah.biz When politicians face failure what do they do? Step down? No way. Not in Palestine at least. Over and over again the Palestinian leadership has hit a cement wall (no pun intended) in its attempts to lead the Palestinian people to freedom and independence. And … [Read more...]

Independent and interdependent

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By Sam Bahour and Bernard Avishai* | Sabbah Report | www.sabbah.biz The latest rift between the United States and Israel, which began with Israel's announcement of more planned construction planned in Ramat Shlomo - a Jewish-only neighborhood - that would further separate East Jerusalem from the rest of a … [Read more...]

Happy Passover from Gaza

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By Sam Bahour* | Sabbah Report | www.sabbah.biz In 2010, Jews in Israel and around the world will celebrate Passover beginning on March 30th. Passover is the seven-day holiday of the Feast of Unleavened Breadcommemorating the ancient Hebrews' escape from enslavement in Egypt. (In Israel, March 30th is also … [Read more...]

America To The Rescue, (Not) Again

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By Sam Bahour* | Sabbah Report | www.sabbah.biz We are told that President Obama has taken a leap of political faith in trying to bridge a final peace settlement between Palestinians and Israelis. The United States' new weapon is "proximity talks": if either side fails to meet American expectations, … [Read more...]

International law is key

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The Palestinians' right of return challenges not only international law itself, but more so the political will of UN member states to act in the face of blatant racism and forced dispossession. A reply to Ahmed Badawi's "Palestine: seize the initiative". By Sam Bahour * Ahmed Badawi is to be applauded … [Read more...]

Sam Bahour – The Elders’ next move

Desmond Tutu, center, placed a stone on a grave in Bilin, site of weekly protests against the Israeli barrier. With him, from left: Gro Brundtland, Jimmy Carter, Ela Bhatt and Abdallah Abu Rahmah. Photo: Rina Castelnuovo for The New York Times

By Sam Bahour* RAMALLAH, West Bank -- At long last, a spotlight is shining on Palestinian nonviolent efforts to throw off the Israeli occupation. A visit by a group of high profile "Elders" last month to the Palestinian village of Bil'in in the West Bank, and the barrier running through it, bathed our … [Read more...]

Sam Bahour – A Must Listen To Human Story

The story below is about two women who are very dear to me. Deb is a long-time Israeli friend, an adopted "mom" of sorts. Maha is a work colleague in Gaza and the aunt of the 14- yr old boy in Gaza she and I have been working to help get medical treatment. This is the human level of this … [Read more...]

SOS: Palestine’s Private Sector

by Sam Bahour and Iyad Joudeh July 30, 2007 The Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are Israeli occupied lands that have brought despair to all involved. The most recent chapter in this historic saga was the overrunning of Gaza by Hamas militants. As the world contemplates how to deal … [Read more...]