Palestine and the Palestinians in the 21st Century

By Rochelle Davis; Mimi Kirk | Go to book overview

Introduction

ROCHELLE DAVIS

The first decade of the twenty-first century witnessed both significant ends and noteworthy beginnings for Palestinians. In this volume, specialists on Palestinian politics, history, economics, and society examine the continuities that bind the twentieth to the twenty-first century. The contributors address these junctures with an analytical eye on the effects of colonial rule and on the political and ideological trends following the 1948 and 1967 wars, bringing a close reading of history into crucial and critical scholarship on the present. They also consider what the future may hold based on the evidence provided by ongoing political, social, economic, and legal developments. The rigorous scholarship in this volume offers a well-grounded perspective from which to recommend informed solutions to bring a just and peaceful future to Palestine and Israel.

At the outset of the twenty-first century and as the decade progressed, it became clear that the political agreements that had underpinned post–Oslo Accord Palestinian-Israeli relations were no longer being observed. Israeli policy under prime ministers Ariel Sharon and Benjamin Netanyahu moved sharply to the right. The launch of the second Intifada (2000) shifted Palestinians’ resistance to Israelis in a way that adopted a new and violent character. The decade saw an increase in the repressiveness of Israeli occupation policies, including completion of the major portions of the separation wall,1 continued confiscation of Palestinian land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and the building of settlements,2 extrajudicial executions,3 and arrests of political activists.4 These policies solidified the settlement, water, and road networks that by design also inhibit Palestinians’ access to their farmland, to enough water to live on, and to unhindered movement.5 The decade also witnessed the rise and then the sharp decrease of Palestinian suicide bomb-

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