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Issue 92, July/August 2005

Den of Despair: What Awaits the Palestinians after Disengagement?

ARIEL SHARON and the settlers have never had to wink to understand one another. A month before disengagement from Gaza, they are cultivating a Phony Trauma that will make any further withdrawal inconceivable. The aim? To consolidate their hold on the West Bank.

Sharon’s friends in Washington cover their Middle East imperialism with a Democracy Scam

Professor Anat Biletzki talks to Challenge in the 38th year of the Occupation. She explores the Post-Oslo Dilemmas of the Left: Will Sharon go through with disengagement? Is it a step toward peace? Is the two-state solution feasible? Biletzki calls a “Jewish democratic state” an oxymoron. She insists on the refugees’ right of return.

Challenge follows, once more, Palestinian workers who sneak into Tel Aviv in search of jobs. They overnight in an unfinished shopping mall, three stories underground, with no water, electricity or fresh air. The police give chase but They Always Return. One did not: it is suspected that Ali Abu Rob, aged 20, was beaten to death in a police station. The official story is that he killed himself.

You are not permitted to work in Israel, but before you graze your sheep in the West Bank, check for poison. Young settlers in White Shirts, from the illegal outpost of Havat Maon, harass the people of Tuwani in Mt. Hebron. The pastures of the villagers are repeatedly strewn with poison pellets, which Sisyphean volunteers from Ta’ayush try to clean up.

In June the Organization for Democratic Action held a three-day seminar in Galilee on the Rise and Fall of Empires. We publish one of the lectures, On the Retreat of Israeli Colonialism.

Sindyanna of Galilee has trained ten Arab women in Basketry, a pilot project which, it is hoped, will serve as a transition Between Worlds, drawing on traditional culture while connecting the women to Fair Trade markets abroad.

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