A friend from Gaza – now living in Europe after three attempts to leave the Strip – tells me how he only entered the territory of Israel, where his ancestral home lies, once in his life.
He was a child, on a bus going to visit his uncle in indefinite political incarceration in an Israeli prison. All the windows of the vehicle were blacked out so that its Palestinian passengers could see nothing of their journey; just the prison facility at their destination, and the open-air prison of Gaza they had travelled from.
The anecdote seems to capture all the mechanisms of erasure, displacement, coercion and collective punishment that have come to characterize the system of apartheid now enacted against Palestinians by Israel. But Palestine has many other faces. Palestinian culture endured for centuries before Israel’s foundation and under occupation, and has evolved in diverse forms of daily life, resistance and political consciousness.
Alongside the violent tools of Israeli domination, it is these myriad Palestinian experiences that this issue aims to reflect. Through voices from Gaza, the West Bank, Israel and the Palestinian diaspora, we consider how land, culture, geopolitics and the rising tide of Israeli extremism are shaping Palestinian lives and their continued struggle for justice.
Also in this edition, Richard Matoušek writes on how housing activists in São Paulo are taking back empty buildings, Amy Hall reports from Kenya on a landmark reparations case for Indigenous people and Subi Shah reflects with much-loved author Michael Rosen.
Zoe Holman for the New Internationalist co-operative.
A new far-right Israeli government’s meddling with the supreme court has Jewish citizens up in arms. But the shredded freedoms of the Palestinian people under Israel’s thumb are still off the table. Zoe Holman looks at how the so-called ‘peace process’ has allowed Israel to deepen its colonial project and regime of control over Palestinian lives.
Three decades on from the Oslo Accords, a growing number of voices from all sides are declaring the death of the two-state model. Zoe Holman talks to author and researcher Cherine Hussein about what the landmark agreement meant for Palestinians – and what solutions remain.
One year on from a landmark court ruling, the Ogiek of the Mau Forest are still waiting for reparations and collective land rights. Amy Hall reports from Kenya on a case that has the potential to change the lives of Indigenous people in East Africa and beyond.