Recorded February 26, 2021
Featuring: Tania Hary (Gisha), Omar Shaban (PalThink), and Jehad Abusalim (American Friends Service Committee). See full biographies below.
In this session we examine the situation in the Gaza Strip, including how the Gaza Strip came to be isolated from the West Bank and besieged by Israel, the role of Hamas and related Palestinian political dynamics, and the humanitarian situation in light of repeated Israeli military campaigns, more than a decade of blockade, and now COVID.
This webinar is Part 4 of an 8-part series of webinars. For recordings of the other sessions in this series, please click here.
Resources Shared During this Webinar
Follow all of our panelists on Twitter & check out their organizations
–> Jehad Abusalim – @JehadAbusalim https://twitter.com/JehadAbusalim
American Friends Service Committee: https://www.afsc.org/
–> Tania Hary – @taniahary https://twitter.com/taniahary?lang=en
–> Omar Shaban – @omarthink https://twitter.com/omarthink?lang=en
From Tania Hary & Gisha
- “Gaza Up Close” by Gisha https://features.gisha.org/gaza-up-close/
- “The Absurdity of Demanding Gaza Get its Own COVID19 Vaccines” by Tania Hary https://www.972mag.com/gaza-covid-vaccine-israel/
- “The tightening of the closure on Gaza under the guise of the pandemic” by Tania Hary https://gisha.org/publication/11683
- “Area G: From Separation to Annexation” https://gisha.org/publication/11312
- “The UN predicted Gaza would be unlivable by 2020. They were right.” by Tania Hary https://www.972mag.com/un-prediction-gaza-unlivable/
- “Stories of devastatingly normal suffering in Gaza.” https://www.972mag.com/stories-devastatingly-normal-suffering-gaza/
- “Everything you need to know about the Gaza Strip since disengagement” https://gisha.org/press/4571
- Tania Hary’s remarks to the United Nations Security Council in 2019: https://gisha.org/video/10774
From Omar Shaban
- “The Pandemic: A View from Gaza” https://pomed.org/the-pandemic-a-view-from-gaza/
- “Gazans Are Protesting Their Economy, Not Israel’s Existence” https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/05/29/gazans-are-protesting-their-economy-not-israels-existence/
- “20 years on, the struggle for Gaza peace drains me of hope” https://www.cnn.com/2014/07/25/opinion/mideast-peace-omar-shaban/index.html
From Jehad Abusalim & AFSC
- “The Great March of Return: An Organizer’s Perspective” by Jehad Abusalim https://online.ucpress.edu/jps/article-abstract/47/4/90/54676/The-Great-March-of-Return-An-Organizer-s?redirectedFrom=fulltext
- “Israel Annexation Plan: Why is Gaza Missing from the Conversation?” by Jehad Abusalim https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/israel-annexation-gaza-missing-conversation
- For more about Palestinian refugeees, including those that fled to Gaza: https://www.afsc.org/resource/palestinian-refugees-and-right-return
Additional articles and books:
- For a primer on the healthcare system in Gaza, watch this webinar featuring Omar Shaban that FMEP and MEI hosted in March2020 – “COVID-19 and the Healthcare Systems in Israel/Palestine” https://fmep.org/resource/webinar-series-covid-19-and-the-healthcare-systems-in-israel-palestine/
- “One Year of Gaza Protests. A New Era of Palestinian Struggle?” by Tareq Baconi https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2019/03/29/one-year-of-gaza-protests-a-new-era-of-palestinian-struggle/
- “Israel spraying herbicides inside Gaza violates int’l law, rights groups say” https://www.972mag.com/gaza-israel-herbicides-intl-law/
- “Hamas Contained: The Rise & Pacification of Palestinian Resistance,”by Tareq Baconi, published by Stanford University Press. https://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=26309
- “U.N. Says Gaza Is ‘De-Developing’ Even Faster Than Expected” https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/07/11/536656901/u-n-says-gaza-is-de-developing-even-faster-than-expected
- “Focus On: Palestinian Political Leadership” https://al-shabaka.org/focuses/focus-on-palestinian-political-leadership/
Jehad Abusalim is from Gaza, Palestine. He is the Palestine activism education and policy associate at the American Friends Service Committee in Chicago. He is also a Ph.D. candidate at the History and Hebrew and Judaic Studies joint program at New York University, studying Arab intellectual writings on Zionism from the first half of the twentieth century. Jehad also studies the social and political history of the Gaza Strip, focusing on the impact of the Nakba on life in Palestine’s Gaza district and 1950s political life in the Gaza Strip. His writings appeared in +972 Magazine, Al-Jazeera English, Middle East Eye, Journal for Palestine Studies and Vox, and contributed to the anthologies Gaza as Metaphor and Palestine: a Socialist Introduction. He’s currently editing a forthcoming anthology tentatively entitled Gaza: Reimagining the Boundaries of Possibility.
Tania Hary is the Executive Director of Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, whose goal is to protect the freedom of movement of Palestinians, especially Gaza residents. Hary received her B.A. in modern literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz and an M.A. in international affairs, with a focus on socioeconomic development, from the New School in New York. Prior to joining Gisha, Tania worked on advocacy and fundraising initiatives for not-for-profit organizations promoting human rights in Iran, children’s rights in Argentina, and the rights of refugees. Tania regularly travels to the United States and Europe, giving lectures and presentations about access in Gaza. She is relied upon as a source of information and analysis by diplomats, foreign offices and international organizations and has been published in Haaretz, the Forward, Ma’an, and +972 Magazine.
Omar Shaban, PalThink for Strategic Studies
Omar Shaban is the founder and director of the Gaza-based PalThink for Strategic Studies, an independent think tank with no political affiliation. He is an analyst of the political-economy of the Middle East and is a regular writer and commentator for the Arab and international media. Shaban is a founder of Palestinian groups for Amnesty International, the deputy head of the board of Asala, an association promoting microfinance for women, and a member of the Institute of Good Governance.
Khaled Elgindy is a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute where he also directs MEI’s Program on Palestine and Israeli-Palestinian Affairs. He is the author of the newly-released book, Blind Spot: America and the Palestinians, from Balfour to Trump, published by Brookings Institution Press in April 2019. Elgindy previously served as a fellow in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution from 2010 through 2018. Prior to arriving at Brookings, he served as an adviser to the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah on permanent status negotiations with Israel from 2004 to 2009, and was a key participant in the Annapolis negotiations of 2007-08. Elgindy is also an adjunct instructor in Arab Studies at Georgetown University.
Lara Friedman is the President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP). With more than 25 years working in the Middle East foreign policy arena, Lara is a leading authority on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, with particular expertise on the Israeli-Arab conflict, Israeli settlements, Jerusalem, and the role of the U.S. Congress. She is published widely in the U.S. and international press and is regularly consulted by members of Congress and their staffs, by Washington-based diplomats, by policy-makers in capitals around the world, and by journalists in the U.S. and abroad. In addition to her work at FMEP, Lara is a Contributing Writer at Jewish Currents and a non-resident fellow at the U.S./Middle East Project (USMEP). Prior to joining FMEP, Lara was the Director of Policy and Government Relations at Americans for Peace Now, and before that she was a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, serving in Jerusalem, Washington, Tunis and Beirut. She holds a B.A. from the University of Arizona and a Master’s degree from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service; in addition to English, Lara speaks French, Arabic, Spanish, (weak) Italian, and muddles through in Hebrew.