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Saturday, February 20, 2016 was a memorable occasion as many people from Ramallah and Jerusalem  gathered at the Naseeb Shaheen Auditorium at Birzeit University to attend a concert.  We were sorry that Naseeb had passed away before seeing this great achievement completed.  In fact the auditorium is the fourth building on the campus contributed by the Shaheen family.    The young musicians of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music were privileged to join the...
The long stagnation in the peace process, where years have passed now since any real breakthrough, and the growing tension in Palestinian-Israeli relations invite analysts and politicians to examine why this has happened, and to suggest fresh ideas and ways forward.One of the most significant trends impacting this stagnation is the rising radicalization in Israeli public opinion. Each Israeli cabinet and Knesset over the last 20 years has been more hardline than the last, save some small...
RAMALLAH, September 7, 2015 - Debate and speculation among Palestinians over who will succeed the Palestinian president have suddenly intensified. Foreign journalists and diplomats are instantly drawn to the topic. Leaks from those in President Abbas’ inner circle that he will resign, and the replacement of Yasser Abed Rabbo with Saeb Erekat as secretary general of the executive committee of the PLO have fed the discussion.The main questions are, what would be the process of succession and will...
European countries representing the European Platform for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (EPACBI) who visited seven Palestinian universities and academies in April 2015. The delegation is grateful to the many faculty members and administrators of those institutions who made the visit possible.Summary of FindingsThe delegation was unable to visit all of Palestine’s institutions of higher education, and in particular it was prevented from visiting Gaza’s universities by the Israeli...
OverviewPalestine’s membership of the International Criminal Court (ICC) formally goes into effect April 1, 2015. As Palestinians and proponents of international justice worldwide await the Office of the Prosecutor’s next move, it is important to assess what heavy-lifting the ICC could realistically undertake in the Palestine-Israel context as well as what other accountability avenues exist.Against the backdrop of Palestine’s brief yet turbulent history at the ICC, Al-Shabaka Guest Author...
Last week’s victory of Benyamin Netanyahu and his right wing allies at the polls in Israel, and what amounts to the shrinking of left and center-left parties, is merely one more indication that Israeli society continues a trend of radicalization. Over the last 20 years, with only some fluctuations, each successive Israeli government and parliament has been more radical and more right wing than the one before it.The only way to explain this drift in the direction of increasingly rigid and...
The increase in Palestinian resistance to Israel’s attempts to change the status quo in occupied east Jerusalem and its holy sites has put the divided city of Jerusalem and the relationship between the two sides living there at a crossroads. It has become quite possible--if the recent escalation gains dynamics that sustain it, deepen it and expand it--for events to get out of hand.However, it is also not too late to pull back from the tragic consequences of sustained violence, and avoid further...
Motivated by the desire both to explore Palestinian schooling practices during the past century and to learn about some educational innovations, I carried out a small research project entitled “The History of Mathematics Education in Palestine,” which was supported by the Scientific Research Committee at Birzeit University. Given the paucity of documentation of the educational system in Palestine, I believed that there would be significant historical value in understanding how Palestinians have...
Finally, everyone can breathe a sigh of relief. An open-ended truce has been reached between Hamas and the other groups fighting alongside it against Israel.The recent war, which lasted over 50 days, has ended for now. It was a brutal one, killing over 2,000 Palestinians and maiming 12,000 others while destroying over 11,000 dwellings.It hasn’t been easy on the Israeli side either. Seventy-one Israelis were killed, and everyday life was brought to a standstill in most of the areas hit by...
Centuries of European colonialism have provided the world with certain basic lessons about subjugating colonized peoples: The longer any colonial occupation endures, the greater the settlers’ racism and extremism tends to grow. This is especially true if the occupiers encounter resistance; at that point, the occupied population becomes an obstacle that must either be forced to submit or removed through expulsion or murder.In the eyes of an occupying power, the humanity of those under its thumb...

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