MES Statement on Palestine… #Anthropology roundup

We stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people against ongoing settler colonialism and condemn Zionist violence against them, including forced evictions and retaliatory violence by Israeli state forces against Palestinians in the Occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza, and within the state of Israel. We condemn the recent forced evictions of Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem–part of a now decades long campaign of ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem–and Israeli violence perpetrated against families trying to defend their homes.

In October 2014, nearly 1200 anthropologists signed “Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions” to support the global campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. On November 20, 2015, a resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions was endorsed by a vote of 1040-136 at the American Anthropological Association business meeting. It was subsequently forwarded to the full membership for an electronic ballot and narrowly missed adoption by a razor-thin margin of 39 votes (2,423 for and 2,384 against)….

Weeks of protests in Jerusalem, where Palestinians are resisting an effort by Israeli settlers to force them from their homes, and challenging Israeli police restrictions on their freedom to worship at Al Aqsa Mosque, spiraled into armed conflict on Monday, as Israeli airstrikes on Gaza killed 24 Palestinians, nine of them children, health officials said, after Hamas militants fired a barrage of rockets into Israel.

The rockets fired from Gaza, seven of which reportedly reached the outskirts of Jerusalem but caused no serious casualties, came hours after Israeli police had entered the Aqsa mosque compound on Monday morning, firing stun grenades and rubber bullets at Palestinian protesters defending the site with rocks and fireworks.

On May 6, right-wing Israeli officials descended on Sheikh Jarrah, a neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, to show their support for the settler movement’s push to displace Palestinian residents and take their homes.

One of the officials was Aryeh King, a deputy mayor of Jerusalem and settler who lives in the Palestinian neighborhood of Ras al-Amud. In an exchange caught on camera, King mocked Palestinian activist Mohammed Abu Hummus for being shot by Israeli forces in his backside, and then, pointing at his head, said, “It’s a pity it didn’t go in here.” It was a wish for the death of a Palestinian.

The surge of attention to the occupation is unimaginable without last year’s protests.

Is What’s Happening in Israel a “Third Intifada”?

There are similarities to previous Palestinian uprisings, but it’s unlikely to be as long-lasting or widespread.

A Mystery and a Scandal for Anthropology

Weeks after the University of Pennsylvania announced repatriation plans for a controversial collection of skulls, a separate set of human remains is bringing scrutiny. Princeton University is implicated.

Back in 1990, when I was in my third year of graduate school, then-President George H.W. Bush signed the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) into law: an act under which federally recognized Native American tribes can formally request the repatriation of ancestors and their belongings, among other items, from museums and repositories.

I remember speaking with museum curators, directors, archaeologists, and biological anthropologists (all of whom happened to be non-Native, as was common at the time), many of whom thought NAGPRA would be the death knell for museums and collections-based scholarly research as we knew them. They thought tribes were going to be able to successfully claim almost everything, and there would be nothing left to study or display as a result.

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