(1956- ) A Palestinian citizen of Israel and political and intellectual figure. Prior to his entry into political life, Bishara taught for ten years at Birzeit University in the West Bank, including heading the Philosophy and Cultural Studies Department from 1994-1996. A founder and member of the National Democratic Assembly party, known as Balad, Bishara was elected to the Israeli Knesset in 1996. Balad and Bishara called for Israel to be "a state for all its citizens," infuriating right-wing Jewish Israelis, who unsuccessfully sought to get Balad kicked out of the Knesset, on grounds that this slogan violated a law that upheld Israel’s status as a state for the Jewish people. Bishara resigned from parliament in 2007 and, as of 2015, is in self-exile after Israel opened a criminal investigation against him, claiming that he offered information to Hezbollah during Israel’s 2006 Lebanon War; Bishara has denied these accusations. In 2011, the Israeli parliament stripped him of his pension and other Parliamentary benefits after passing a law related to revoking citizenship that has been nicknamed "the Bishara Bill." He currently resides in Qatar and serves as the General Director of the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies. See "A lawmaker vanishes," The Economist, April 19, 2007; and "Knesset passes law revoking citizenship for treason," Jerusalem Post, Rebecca Ann Stoil, March 28, 2011.
A Hebrew acronym for National Democratic Assembly. Political party in the Israeli Knesset describing itself as a "democratic progressive national party for the Palestinian citizens of Israel." Balad, which was founded in 1995 by Azmi Bishara and other young, intellectual Palestinian citizens of Israel, seeks to transform the state of Israel into a democracy for all its citizens, regardless of religion, ethnic or national identity. Balad advocates for the recognition of Palestinians in Israel as a national minority entitled to group rights, including the right of cultural and educational autonomy. There have been numerous attempts from political factions in Israel (some successful, some not) to ban the party and several of its prominent members (such as Azmi Bishara and Haneen Zoabi) from parliamentary activity. See "Balad: A country of all its citizens, cultural autonomy for Arabs," Haaretz, Dec 23, 2002; and "Arab-Israeli politician Haneen Zoabi disqualified from re-election," Harriet Sherwood, The Guardian, December 19 2012.
A diplomatic declaration in the form of a letter, dated November 2, 1917, from British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Baron Rothschild, a leader of Britain’s Jewish community. The letter expressed the British Government’s support for "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." The Declaration was at odds with British territorial commitments to the Arabs as laid out in the McMahon-Hussein correspondence, which seemed to pledge post-World War I Arab sovereignty over much of the region including Palestine. The Declaration was also at odds with the secret and concurrent Sykes-Picot Agreement between Britain, France, and Russia, which carved the Middle East into spheres of British and French influence and/or control. The Declaration was disapproved of by Palestinian Arabs who also had hopes for national independence. See the full text of the letter at "The Balfour Declaration," UNISPAL.
A set of laws adopted by the Israeli Knesset that were initially drafted in order to be part of an eventual constitution, which was never completed. These laws, which have been adopted over six decades, have often been legally regarded as a substitute for the non-existing constitution, and cover various subjects such as Jerusalem, ownership of land, the army, the state economy, the judiciary, human dignity and liberty and other essential legal matters. According to the Israeli parliament’s website: "After all the basic laws will be enacted, they will constitute together, with an appropriate introduction and several general rulings, the constitution of the State of Israel." See "Basic Laws: Introduction," The Knesset, July 15, 2008.
Derived from the Arabic term "badawi" (Arabic for "desert-dweller"), Bedouin is a general name for Arab nomadic groups. There are Bedouin communities on both sides of the Green Line; predominantly in the Naqab/Negev desert, the South Hebron Hills, and the Jordan Valley. Once characterized by a nomadic and rural lifestyle, the Bedouins in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) have largely become sedentary as a result of Israeli government policies, which aimed to settle the Bedouin population in planned communities since the 1960’s. Two major disputes between the Bedouin communities and the State of Israel persist: land ownership—many Bedouin do not have ownership papers for the land on which they have traditionally lived—and unrecognized villages, which Israel does not consider legal and therefore does not provide infrastructure or services. Israel’s Bedouins are among the most impoverished and marginalized of Israeli citizens, and Bedouins both inside Israel and in the OPT face regularly face displacement and destruction of their villages. See "In Israel’s Desert, A Fight for Land," Ben Lynfield, The Christian Science Monitor, February 20, 2003; and "Negev Bedouins - Info Sheet," The Association for Civil Rights in Israel, February 5, 2009; and "From Al-Araqib to Susiya: Adalah Releases New Film for Nakba Day" by Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, 2013.
A civil war in Jordan from September 1970-July 1971, which began after several failed assassination attempts on the Jordanian king and the hijacking of three airplanes. The conflict centered on whether Jordan would be controlled by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) or the Hashemite monarchy. The Palestinian population in Jordan at that time comprised 60% of the entire populace. Thousands (predominantly Palestinians) were killed. King Hussein and the Jordanian Armed Forces were backed by the United States and Israel against the PLO, while Hussein’s attacks on Palestinian fighters and civilians were seen as traitorous in the Arab world. The PLO leadership and thousands of Palestinian fighters were expelled from Jordan to Lebanon. The Black September Group, known best for its role in the murder of Israeli athletes during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, took its name from this event. See "1970: Civil war breaks out in Jordan," BBC "On This Day," September 17, 1970.
In 2005, Palestinian civil society called for a global campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions that would continue until Israel ends its military occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Palestinian refugees have the right of return and Palestinian citizens of Israel are accorded full equality with Jewish citizens of Israel. Boycott may include the boycott of goods, services, institutions, businesses and venues. The academic boycott targets professors speaking on behalf of Israeli academic institutions, while the cultural boycott includes the refusal of artists to perform in Israel and may also include the boycott of Israeli artists who are perceived as collaborating with the Israeli government in a campaign to whitewash the occupation. Divestment targets the shares held by pension plans and investment portfolios in Israeli and international corporations profiting from the Israeli occupation. Sanctions refer to economic sanctions against Israel as a state. Within the global movement, some groups only focus on targeting goods produced in Israeli settlements or divesting from companies that contribute to settlement construction or military operations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For a full explanation of the movement from one of its founders, see "BDS: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights," Omar Barghouti, Haymarket Books, 2011; and see the BDS Movement website. For a perspective on Academic and Cultural Boycott, see also the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel website. For a perspective that endorses boycotting only settlement products and that is against sanctions, see "APN Weighs in on BDS, Criticism of Israel," Ori Nir, Americans for Peace Now, April 23, 2010.
The administrative, diplomatic and military mandate by Britain over Palestine between 1923 and 1947. Following World War I and the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, France and Britain set out to delineate spheres of influence/control in the Middle East. The mandate for Palestine was one of a number of mandates in the Middle East designed to formalize British and French administration in the newly formed countries of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Transjordan and Palestine. The British Mandate over Palestine was approved by the League of Nations Council on July 24, 1922, and declared official as of September 29, 1923. The mandate continued until 1947, when Britain sought the aid of the United Nations in determining the fate of the territory, which at that time was hotly disputed by both Zionist and Palestinian nationalists, evidenced by protests and rising militancy on both sides. British de facto rule in Palestine lasted from December 1917 to June 1948. See "The Avalon Project," Yale Law School; and A Country Study: Israel, Library of Congress, June 19, 2011.
A Palestinian village in the central West Bank located 31 km northwest of the city of Ramallah and just east of the Green Line. Est. population in 2007: 1,399. Starting in 2003, Budrus held weekly protests against the construction of Israel’s Separation Barrier whose original path designated it to cut through the village; after ten months of nonviolent demonstrations, the Barrier was re-routed. Budrus is also the name of a Just Vision film, telling the story of the village’s struggle.
Refers to roads in the West Bank that connect Jewish Israeli settlements to each other and to Israel and are reserved for use of Israeli citizens or residents. These roads either had been Palestinian roads that connected major Palestinian cities or are newly-built roads that bypass Palestinian areas. See "Forbidden Roads: Israel’s Discriminatory Road Regime in the West Bank," B’Tselem, August 2004. See also infographic "Segregated Road System," Visualizing Palestine.
(1886-1973) A Jewish Israeli political figure. Of Polish origin, Ben-Gurion immigrated to Palestine in 1906. Known as "Israel’s founding father," Ben-Gurion was a key figure in the establishment of the State of Israel. Prior to Israel's establishment, Ben-Gurion was the head of the World Zionist Organization, secretary-general of the Jewish trade union Histadrut, and chairman of the Jewish Agency, making him the de-facto leader of the Jewish population in Palestine. It was Ben-Gurion who proclaimed Israel's independence on May 14 1948, and he became Israel’s first and longest serving Prime Minister (1948-1953 and 1955-1963) as a member of the Mapai party, which later became the Labor party. Ben-Gurion was largely responsible for breaking up the different Jewish militia groups and merging them into one unified army. Ben-Gurion spearheaded an active campaign to bring Diaspora Jews to Israel, greatly increasing Israel’s Jewish population in the first five years of its existence. Ben-Gurion’s policies during the 1948 War were also responsible for much of the depopulation and destruction of Palestinian villages. Ben-Gurion led Israel, alongside France and the UK, to the 1956 War with Egypt. Documents released in 2015 have revealed overtly racist statements from Ben-Gurion, both towards Arabs and Mizrahi Jews. See "Newly released documents show a darker side of Ben-Gurion," Gidi Weitz, Ha’aretz, April 24, 2015. See also "What Israeli Historians Say about the 1948 Ethnic Cleansing," Charley Reese, the Orlando Sentinel, September 1999.
(1942- ) A Jewish Israeli military and political figure. Barak joined the Israeli army in 1959, reaching the position of Chief of Staff – Israel’s top military leader - in 1991. As Chief of Staff, he was involved in finalizing the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty in 1994 as well as implementing the 1994 Gaza-Jericho agreement as part of the Oslo Accords. A member of the Labor party, Barak entered politics in 1995 and first served as Minister of the Interior and then Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1995-1996. He was elected Prime Minister of Israel in 1999 and participated in the Camp David II Talks with the Palestinian Authority in the summer of 2000, the failure of which ultimately led (according to many analysts) to the outbreak of the Second Intifada. Barak left politics for four years after the Likud party’s Ariel Sharon defeated him in special prime ministerial elections in February 2001. In June 2007, he was elected to head the Labor party and was appointed Minister of Defense. Barak broke away from the Labor party in 2011, along with four other Labor party ministers, to form the Independence party. Barak announced his departure from electoral politics in November 2012. See "Ehud Barak quits Israel’s Labour to form new party," BBC, January 17, 2011.
(1959- ) A Palestinian political and military figure. A longtime member of Fatah, Barghouti was a leading member of the movement’s "Young Guard," which came to prominence in the 1980’s, when Fatah’s establishment figures were in exile in Lebanon and then Tunisia. Barghouti, who lived in the West Bank, was a key leader during the First Intifada, for which he was deported by Israel to Jordan. Following the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1994, he returned to the West Bank and was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council in 1996. He launched a campaign against corruption and human rights abuses by Arafat’s officials and security forces. Originally a supporter of the Oslo Process with several close contacts in the Israeli peace camp, Barghouti became disenchanted with the peace process, especially after the failure of the "final status" Camp David II talks. During the Second Intifada, he was the head of Fatah’s Tanzim militia. In a 2002 Washington Post op-ed, Barghouti asserted the right of Palestinians to use armed resistance for self defense and to fight for their freedom in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, though also asserted opposition to armed attacks against Israeli civilians within Israel-proper. Israel arrested Barghouti in April 2002 under allegations that he had founded the Palestinian militant group al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade (a charge which he denied, though later the Brigade named him as their leader.) As of 2015, Barghouti is serving five consecutive life-sentences in Israeli prison, after being convicted in an Israeli court for five counts of murder as well as membership in what Israel regards a terrorist organization. Barghouti refused to legitimize the Israeli court system by mounting a defense, instead using his trial as a platform to put the Israeli occupation itself on trial. In 2009, while still in prison, he was elected to Fatah’s Central Committee. See "Palestinians renew calls to free 'leader-in-waiting' Marwan Barghouti," Peter Beaumont, The Guardian, March 26, 2014; and "Want Security? End the Occupation," Marwan Barghouti, originally published in the Washington Post on Jan 15, 2002.
(1913–1992) A Jewish Israeli political and military figure. Of Russian and Polish origin, Begin immigrated to Palestine via enlistment in the Polish army in 1942. He was a primary political leader of the Revisionist Zionist movement and assumed command of the Irgun, an underground Jewish paramilitary group that operated in resistance to the British mandate government prior to Israel’s establishment. Begin and others founded the Herut party (the precursor to the Likud party after Israel’s establishment in 1948 and he officially entered politics as a member of the Israeli Knesset beginning with the first elections. In 1977, as head of the Likud party, Begin was elected Prime Minister of Israel and held the position until 1982. While in office, he negotiated a peace treaty with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat at Camp David that led to Israel’s withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula in exchange for Egypt’s recognition of Israel, and was co-recipient of the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize with Sadat. During his tenure as prime minister, Begin authorized the Israeli Air Force to bomb the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq, and launched the 1982 War in Lebanon. He is known as well for advancing the Jewish Israeli settlement movement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. See "The Nobel Peace Prize 1978: Menachem Begin," Nobelprize.org, September 2, 2011.
(1954- ) A Palestinian doctor, political figure, democracy and human rights activist who calls for popular nonviolent resistance to the occupation. Barghouti has been active in establishing health programs throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees. Politically, he was a longtime figure in the Palestine People’s Party (formerly the Communist Party) and participated in the Madrid Conference in 1991. In 2002, he co-founded the Palestinian National Initiative (Mubadara) and currently sits as the party’s Secretary General. Barghouti served as the Minister of Information in the short-lived Palestinian national unity government from March-June 2007. Since then, he has played a key role in facilitating internal political negotiations surrounding Fatah-Hamas unity agreements. He has been arrested by Israeli police on multiple occasions. As of 2015, he sits on the Palestinian Legislative Council and is a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization Central Council. Barghouti was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010. See "An Insider’s view of the Palestinian unity deal", Tom Kutsh, Foreign Policy, May 6, 2011; and "Nobel Peace Prize and Dr. Mustafa Barghouti" U.K. Parliament
An Israeli political figure. In 2012, Bennett became the leader of the Jewish Home party, a right-wing, religious Zionist party. Formerly a software entrepreneur, Bennett entered politics in 2006 and is considered a strong future contender for Prime Minister. He initially served as Netanyahu’s chief of staff, and then co-founded (with Ayelet Shaked a settlement-championing group called "My Israel." In 2014, Bennett published an op-ed in the New York Times in which he stated that there should be no Palestinian state and that 60% of West Bank land should be annexed to Israel. In 2015, Bennett was appointed Minister of Education. See "A newly hatched hawk flies high," The Economist, Jan 5, 2013; and "Naftali Bennett West Bank annexation plan a wake up call for the West," John V. Whitbeck, Ma’an News Agency, November 8, 2014.
(1948- ) A Jewish Israeli political figure. Beilin worked at the Israeli newspaper Davar from 1969-1977. He became the spokesperson of the Labor party in 1977. Entering the Israeli parliament in 1988, he served for 11 years and has held multiple ministerial and deputy ministerial positions. Beilin was instrumental in the early stages of the Oslo Process and is one of the authors of the non-governmental, non-binding Israeli-Palestinian Geneva Initiative. In 2003, he left the Labor party and joined the Meretz party in 2004, serving as its head, and serving again in the Israeli Knesset from 2006-2008. Though Beilin retired from politics in 2008, as of 2015 he is still involved with the Geneva Initiative. See "Dr. Yossi Beilin," The Geneva Initiative, June 18, 2011; and "Meretz’ Beilin retiring from politics," Ynet, Attila Somfavi, October 28, 2008.