A century on, the importance of the Balfour Declaration and the policies that accompanied it cannot be overstated. British rule of Palestine enabled massive Zionist immigration until the late 1930s. This laid the foundations for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that continues to this day. The interests of Palestinian Arabs were sacrificed for Britain’s own imperial interests.
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The new document emphasizes a set of fundamental principles, such as insisting that Israel is not entitled to Palestinian land. However, in the biggest concession, the document states that Hamas considers the establishment of a fully sovereign and independent Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital within the 4 June 1967 borders, with the return of refugees and the displaced to their homes from which they were expelled, ‘to be a formula of national consensus’. By implication, the document accepts that there will be another state entity outside these borders, even if it does not mention Israel.
As a resident of many countries and a visitor to many more, Bawab will always carry several flags, highlighting her international and fluid character. Yet one of these flags will always be Palestinian. She is a tireless advocate for peace, and hopes that through her voice and music, she will be able to shed a light on the part of the world she comes from.
The Palestinian media environment is not conducive to freedom of expression. It is dominated by partisan reporting and undue influence from the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas, in addition to external interference from Israel. Both in the West Bank and Gaza, ruling authorities maintain close control over the content that is produced. The Israeli military is also able to regulate Palestine’s media output by enacting anti-incitement procedures against outspoken journalists.
In her poem, Tatour praises the Palestinian resistance against Israel. She does not live in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip; she was born in a village near Nazareth, northern Israel. The poem not only criticizes the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, it also questions Israel’s legitimacy. For example, she calls for an ‘Arab Palestine’.
The two-state solution is being eroded by continuing and even accelerated Israeli settlement activity. The one-state solution is actually favoured by many Palestinians who see the two-state solution as second-best. Yet a one-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians, on the basis of equal rights and a one-person, one-vote democracy, is totally unacceptable to most Israelis.
The security chaos following the fall of President Mubarak , the escape of Salafi jihadists from Egyptian prisons and the abundance of arms smuggled from Libya after Muammar Qaddafi was toppled in 2011 created the ideal environment for the expansion of radical groups and terrorist operations. Even with Hamas now apparently on the side of the Egyptian state, unless Sinai’s economy, infrastructure and education system are significantly improved, this situation is unlikely to change any time soon.
When asked what they thought about the series, Palestinians were divided. While some pointed to the credible portrayal of their society, others warned of normalization of the Israeli occupation. This works on two levels: Palestinian actors who participated in the series have been accused of collaborating with the occupier. Moreover, the depiction of the mustaribeen ‘normalizes’ this kind of unacceptable Israeli infiltration into Palestinian society, critics say.
Representatives from France and Great Britain negotiated what came to be known as the Sykes-Picot Agreement, a tentative agreement on the division of spheres of influence in the territories of the disintegrating Ottoman Empire. The agreement was eventually concluded on 19 May 1916. However, The British gained control of Palestine in 1920 and ruled it from 1923 until 1948. They also ruled Mandatory Iraq from 1920 until 1932. The French Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon lasted from 1923 to 1946.