Visualizing the Palestinian Struggle

 


Visualizing the Palestinian Struggle offers a much-needed focus on Palestine solidarity films, supplying a critical theoretical framework whose intellectual thrust is rooted in the challenges facing scholars censored for attempting to rectify and reverse the silencing of a subject matter about which much of the world would remain uninformed without cinematic and televisual mediation. The book’s innovative focus on Palestine solidarity films spans a selected array of works which began to emerge during the 1970s, made by directors located outside Palestine/Israel who professed support for Palestinian liberation. Visualizing the Palestinian Struggle analyzes Palestine solidarity films hailing from countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, Egypt, Iran, Palestine/Israel, Mexico, and the United States. Visualizing the Palestinian Struggle is an effort to insist, constructively, upon a rectification and reversal of the glaring and disproportionate minimization and distortion of discourse critical of Zionism and Israeli policy in the cinematic and televisual public sphere. [read more]

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One Islam, Many Muslim Worlds

 


By all measures, the late twentieth century was a time of dramatic decline for the Islamic world, the Ummah, particularly its Arab heartland. Sober Muslim voices regularly describe their current state as the worst in the 1,400-year history of Islam. Yet, precisely at this time of unprecedented material vulnerability, Islam has emerged as a civilizational force strong enough to challenge the imposition of Western, particularly American, homogenizing power on Muslim peoples. This is the central paradox of Islam today: at a time of such unprecedented weakness in one sense, how has the Islamic Awakening, a broad and diverse movement of contemporary Islamic renewal, emerged as such a resilient and powerful transnational force and what implications does it have for the West? In One Islam, Many Muslims Worlds: Spirituality, Identity, and Resistance across Islamic Lands, Raymond W. Baker addresses this question.

Two things are clear, Baker argues: Islam’s unexpected strength in recent decades does not originate from official political, economic, or religious institutions, nor can it be explained by focusing exclusively on the often-criminal assertions of violent, marginal groups. While extremists monopolize the international press and the scholarly journals, those who live and work in the Islamic world know that the vast majority of Muslims reject their reckless calls to violence and look elsewhere for guidance. Baker shows that extremists draw their energy and support not from contributions to the reinterpretation and revival of Islamic beliefs and practices, but from the hatreds engendered by misguided Western policies in Islamic lands. His persuasive analysis of the Islamic world identifies centrists as the revitalizing force of Islam, saying that they are responsible for constructing a modern, cohesive Islamic identity that is a force to be reckoned with. [read more]

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Return

 

Return cover image
Having grown up in Britain following her family’s exile from Palestine, doctor, author and ICMES Board member Ghada Karmi leaves her adoptive home in a quest to return to her homeland. She starts work with the Palestinian Authority and gets a firsthand understanding of its bizarre bureaucracy under Israel’s occupation. In her quest, she takes the reader on a fascinating journey into the heart of one of the world’s most intractable conflict zones and one of the major issues of our time. [read more]

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The Failure of the Two-State Solution: The Prospects of One State in the Israel-Palestine Conflict

 


In this important and timely collection edited by Hani A. Faris and published by I. B. Tauris, articles appear by ICMES President Norton Mezvinsky (“Mobilising Israel and World Jewry for the One-State Solution”) and ICMES Board member Ghada Karmi (“Building an International Movement to Promote the One-State Solution”). The book analyzes the history of the conflict in Israel/Palestine and its numerous peace initiatives, demonstrating how the current deadlock has been reached. It argues in turn that the viability of the two-state solution seems to have run its course, and so highlights the one-state solution as an option, and debates and develops the organizational steps and strategies, on a local and international level, that would enable the construction of a bi-national state. [read more]

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In Search of Fatima: A Palestinian Story

 

This compelling memoir relates Ghada Karmi’s childhood in Jerusalem, her family’s flight from Palestine to Syria then England after the 1948 Nakba, and coming of age in Golders Green, a largely Jewish, North London suburb. In Search of Fatima portrays Karmi’s personal experiences of displacement and loss against a backdrop of the major political events which have shaped the modern conflict in Palestine/Israel. [read more]

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Married to Another Man: Israel’s Dilemma in Palestine

 

In this book Ghada Karmi explains in analytic detail the difficulties which Israel’s existence has created for the Arab world, and why the search for a solution has been so elusive. She argues convincingly that the conflict will end only once the needs of both Arabs and Israelis are accommodated equally. This means, most perhaps importantly, acknowledging the 1948 Nakba. [read more]

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A Religious Institution in Contemporary Syria: The Fatih Islamic Institute and Its Religious Scholars

 

Edited by ICMES Board member, the late Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi’, and David J. Goa, this collection documents and theorizes the Fatih Islamic Institute in Damascus Syria, established in 1956 by Sheikh Muhammad Salih Farfour with the aim of developing Islamic education and fostering theological thought about contemporary Islamic issues. The volume contains numerous essays by Sheikh Hussam al-Din Farfour and others on several such issues, including pluralism, human rights, Christianity, terrorism, dialogue, business, Shari’ah, and Western philosophy. ICMES President Norton Mezvinsky’s contribution to the collection supplies “An American-Jewish Perspective on the Fatih Islamic Institute and Syria.” [read more]

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Academic Freedom, Ideological Boundaries, and the Teaching of the Middle East

 

This special Fall 2011 double-issue of Arab Studies Quarterly, co-edited by ICMES Board member Terri Ginsberg (along with colleagues Tareq Ismael,  Hossein Khosrowjah, Rima Najjar Kapitan, and Gayatri Devi), contains articles on seven recent academic freedom cases, each of which involves important and timely questions about Middle East teaching and scholarship. Cases covered are: Ward Churchill at the University of Colorado-Boulder (Dr. Julio Gonzales); Debbi Almontaser and the New York City Board of Education (Lawrence Davidson); Norman Finkelstein at DePaul University (Matthew Abraham); Douglas Giles at Roosevelt University (Giles); Terri Ginsberg at North Carolina State University (Ginsberg); Joel Kovel at Bard College (Kovel); and Kristofer Petersen-Overton at Brooklyn College (Petersen-Overton). Contextualizing these seven articles are analyses by Khosrowjah and Ginsberg, respectively, of key structural, disciplinary and discursive conditions within the U.S. academy which have contributed to–and continue to enable–the suppression and silencing of critical speech relating to the Middle East, U.S. foreign policy, and Zionism; and a concluding contribution by Kapitan that elucidates the positioning of academic freedom as a fundamental human right within American jurisprudence. [read more]

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Cultural Cleansing in Iraq: Why Museums Were Looted, Libraries Burned and Academics Murdered

 

Why did the invasion of Iraq result in cultural destruction and killings of intellectuals? Convention sees accidents of war and poor planning in a campaign to liberate Iraqis. Co-authors Tareq Ismael, ICMES Board member Raymond W. Baker, and Shereen T. Ismael argue instead that the invasion aimed to dismantle the Iraqi state to remake it as a client regime. Post-invasion chaos created conditions under which the cultural foundations of the state could be undermined. The authors painstakingly document the consequences of the occupiers’ willful inaction and worse, which led to the ravaging of one of the world’s oldest recorded cultures. Targeted assassination of over 400 academics, kidnapping and the forced flight of thousands of doctors, lawyers, artists and other intellectuals add up to cultural cleansing. This important work (Pluto Press, 2010) lays to rest claims that the invasion aimed to free an educated population to develop its own culture of democracy. [read more]

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Islam Without Fear

 

For the last several decades an influential group of Egyptian scholars and public intellectuals has been having a profound effect in the Islamic world. Raymond Baker offers a compelling portrait of these New Islamists–Islamic scholars, lawyers, judges, and journalists who provide the moral and intellectual foundations for a more fully realized Islamic community, open to the world and with full rights of active citizenship for women and non-Muslims. [read more]

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