Civil Society

Commentary Civil Society

One Hundred Years and Counting: Britain, Balfour, and the Cultural Repression of Palestinians

The government and corporations of the United Kingdom have recently intensified efforts to censor Palestinian creative expression. Al-Shabaka Policy Member Aimee Shalan traces the roots of these attacks on Palestinian history and culture to the 1917 Balfour Declaration and offers recommendations for how civil society can bring the UK to change its approach.

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Commentary Civil Society

Palestinian Oral History as a Tool to Defend Against Displacement

A recent surge in the production of Palestinian oral history provides a new opportunity for activists defending communities against displacement. Al-Shabaka Policy Member Thayer Hastings outlines an advocacy role for a Palestinian oral history focused on local needs and uses concrete examples to demonstrate how such a role could promote land-based rights.

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Policy Brief Civil Society

The “S” in BDS: Lessons of the Elbit Systems Campaign

Israeli military companies such as Elbit Systems appear invincible, yet Israel’s arms industry is more vulnerable than it seems. Al-Shabaka Guest Author Maren Mantovani and Policy Advisor Jamal Juma’ examine both national and global trends and identify avenues for human rights activists to pursue to hold Israel accountable under international law.

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Roundtable Civil Society

Threats to Human Rights Defenders: How Far Will Israel Go?

Benjamin Netanyahu just declared that Israel has defeated the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. Yet the movement continues to chalk up victories while Israel ramps up its attacks against defenders of Palestinian human rights, including BDS activists. Al-Shabaka policy analysts examine these threats against Israel’s previous attacks and explore what activists can do to protect themselves and their work.

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Commentary Civil Society

BDS: Discussing Difficult Issues in a Fast-Growing Movement

Beyond the headlines of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) challenge to Israel, there is continuous debate as the movement matures. What other strategies do Palestinians need? Are comparisons with South Africa appropriate? What about problems with international law? What of gray areas around normalization? Al-Shabaka Policy Advisor and BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti addresses these and more.

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Commentary Civil Society

Palestinian Citizens in Israel: A Fast-Shrinking Civic Space

The New Year brought further attacks against the Palestinian citizens in Israel’s rights to exercise freedom of speech and association. Left-wing Israeli Jewish organizations are also under increasing pressure. Al-Shabaka policy members Nadim Nashif and Raya Naamneh analyze the impact of these attacks by both the Israeli government and right wing organizations espousing an extremist ideology.

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Commentary Civil Society

The Palestine State Project in Question

Palestine Statehood

Mahmoud Abbas raised the Palestine flag at the UN just as a Palestinian revolt against Israel’s decades-long denial of rights spread from Jerusalem to the rest of the occupied territory and Israel itself. Al-Shabaka Executive Director Nadia Hijab examines the already serious limits state and civil society face in making the Palestine State project a reality.

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Policy Brief Civil Society

BDS: A Global Movement for Freedom & Justice

The success of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement launched a decade ago owes much to the constancy of its founding principles and the flexibility of its context-specific actions, as is evident in this policy brief written half-way along the road by Al-Shabaka Policy Advisor Omar Barghouti and republished today.

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Commentary Civil Society

NGOs vs. Grassroots Movements: A False Dichotomy

Palestinian NGOs

Are people’s movements intrinsically superior to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) or is there a role for different types of organizations in the Palestinian civil society spectrum? Al-Shabaka Policy Advisor Fateh Azzam reviews some of the recent critiques of NGOs in favor of popular movements. He discusses the issues of representation, agendas, and funding, among others, and argues that there is room for all.

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Policy Brief Civil Society

Palestinian Civil Society: What Went Wrong?

Palestinian civil society

Palestinians under Israeli occupation led the civil resistance that culminated in the First Intifada of the 1980s. By the mid-1990s, much of civil society was “NGO-ized” draining the Palestinian national movement of leadership. Al-Shabaka Policy Member Tariq Dana examines the shift in organizational agendas and tactics and recommends ways to reverse course.

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