Some years back I argued in Mondoweiss that the case for Palestine ought to be made on the basis of justice rather than national interest.

This position received empirical support in a November 2015 U.S. poll, which found that respondents’ concerns about Israel-Palestine were principally related to ‘human rights or international law’ rather than ‘America’s interests’.

This was particularly true of the most plausible targets for pro-Palestine advocacy, namely, Democrats and Independents:

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  1. [Comment from Neil:]

    Hi Jamie,

    Hope your New years was well.

    I recently read this article in Vox regarding the possibility of the collapse of the PA. The Vox article seemed to be a shade sympathetic to the plight of Israel and Israeli soldiers in the event they are ‘forced’ to institute military rule over the West Bank enclaves currently ruled by the PA. I find it strange that Vox is equating the needs to the occupier to the same level (or even higher) of the occupied.

    What are your thoughts on this article? Does it accurately portray the current and possible Future situation?



  2. I doubt the PA will collapse any time soon. As the article points out, despite its constant threats to do so, the PA leadership will not dissolve itself. As Abbas declared just this week, ‘Let no one dream about the PA’s collapse’.

    Meanwhile, the prospect of a grassroots uprising forcing the PA into a decisive break with the US and Israel, or even overthrowing the PA entirely, seems remote. The failure of the recent protests and stabbings to spread beyond a narrow sector of the population and to progress beyond isolated acts of despair indicates a lack of psychological and organisational preparedness for such a development. That said, there are certainly reasons to think that the PA’s domestic legitimacy will continue to weaken, and the timing of these things is very difficult to predict.

    I disagree with the claim that the collapse of the PA would deal a death-blow to a two-state solution. The PA is a central pillar upholding a a status quo that permits Israel to indefinitely postpone a two-state solution, while relentlessly undermining any basis for it on the ground. Of course, much would depend on how the PA were overthrown/transformed and the character and legitimacy of its replacement. But in general, a reform of Palestinian national institutions seems to me a prerequisite for a revived Palestinian national movement and the organisation of a mass nonviolent civil revolt, which in turn seems to me to represent the only plausible route to a two-state settlement.


  3. Hi Jamie,

    Hope all is well with you.

    I wanted your take on the recent developments in the UK and the US regarding boycotts of Israeli goods made in the Occupied Territories

    1) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/israel-boycott-local-councils-public-bodies-and-student-unions-to-be-banned-from-shunning-israeli-a6874006.html

    Here supporting boycotts of Israel might become a criminal offence

    2) http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/26/opinion/when-made-in-israel-is-a-human-rights-abuse.html?smid=tw-share&_r=1

    This is in regards to the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 which, from the looks of it, will be signed into law by the President in the coming days with only some verbal objection to it by the WH.



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