TEL AVIV, ISRAEL-PALESTINE—On the face of it, there are few pressing reasons for Americans to take any interest in what is happening in Israel-Palestine/Palestine-Israel. From the climate catastrophe to the war in Ukraine, from the energy crisis to the crisis of democracy—Americans have plenty of reasons to be preoccupied.
This somewhat understandable American apathy was apparent in Joe Biden’s visit to our region in July. The US president, much like his predecessors, felt no need to pressure Israel on its military occupation; to force it back into negotiations with the Palestinian leadership; to visit the Masafer Yatta region of the occupied West Bank, where over 1,000 Palestinians are facing imminent ethnic cleansing; or even to hold Israel to account for the killing of the Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. And just this past weekend, Biden essentially greenlit yet another Israeli attack on Gaza, saying nothing about the unnecessary violence or about the 15 year long siege which has devastated the strip
Yet as the United States focuses elsewhere, the reality on the ground is changing. For Palestinians and Israelis alike, the Green Line—the 1949 armistice border that many view as the basis for a future two-state solution—has all but disappeared. For over a decade, under both former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the past year’s “government of change,” Israel has supercharged its de facto annexation of the West Bank, further entrenching a one-state reality between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This has recently prompted leading Israeli and international human rights organizations, from B’Tselem to Human Rights Watch to Amnesty International, to accept what Palestinians have long said: that the Israeli regime is one of apartheid in every corner of the land under its control: from the river to the sea, including the Gaza Strip, which Israel still controls through its siege policies and its grip on the Gazan civilian register, water and electricity infustrcutrue, currency and more. It is this regime and the war crimes it carries out that uninterested American citizens are continuing to fund, all while their government sanctions Russia for similar crimes in Ukraine.
The erasure of the Green Line is a seismic shift in the political reality of this land, which is precisely why these two articles, by Palestinian and Israeli journalists and activists Amjad Iraqi and Meron Rapoport, are so timely. The two serve as editors in a unique ecosystem of independent journalism: Iraqi at +972 Magazine, which offers news and analysis about Palestine-Israel in English for an international audience, and Rapoport at Local Call, which does the same in Hebrew for Israeli readers. These are the only media outlets in the country that are run jointly by Israeli and Palestinian journalists, and they are grounded in an unequivocal commitment to fair journalism and anti-apartheid activism. And as the two articles in this issue show, these journalists’ parallel yet complementary interpretations of what the Green Line’s erasure means for the future of the land between the river and the sea are essential to understanding the full story—and to charting a course for change rooted in justice, equality, and liberation.