Author Archives: Sam Bahour

About Sam Bahour

Sam Bahour is a Palestinian-American business development consultant from Youngstown, Ohio, living in the Palestinian city of Al-Bireh in the West Bank. He frequently provides independent commentary on Palestine and serves as a policy advisor of Al-Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network. He is co-author of HOMELAND: Oral Histories of Palestine and Palestinians (1994) and blogs at

The wandering Europeans: European Council on Foreign Relations report outlines failed EU policy in Israel/Palestine

Next to U.S. support for Israel, the main reason why the military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip continues is that the Europeans have reduced themselves to a subservient role in the Middle East Peace Process: one in which they underwrite the cost of Israel’s occupation by artificially propping up the Palestinian Authority, which created from the Oslo Peace Accords but has no sovereign authority whatever.
Coming on the heels of a recently published open letter on the Middle East peace process from ‘the European Eminent Persons Group’, a new report from the European Council on Foreign Relations, Europe and the Vanishing Two-State Solution, spills the beans, and they’re all Europeans beans. The author is not your average run-of-the-mill report writer, he is Nick Witney, who previously worked for the European Defence Agency where he was first chief executive. Before that, his career was divided between the UK diplomatic service and UK defence ministry. So Witney is in a position to know.

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 11 Comments

Why Palestine is different

Secretary of State John Kerry is making an all-out effort to restart peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine. Many well-intentioned people with hands-on experience in resolving other longstanding, global issues, like those of Ireland, South Africa, and U.S. civil rights have engaged in the Palestinian-Israeli issue. While there is always a great deal to learn from other global experiences, the case of Palestine is different and unless Secretary Kerry recognizes this all efforts will be in vain. Three issues related to this conflict that are crucial to understand are: historic guilt, colonial responsibility, and the U.S. “special relationship” with Israel.

Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | Tagged | 135 Comments

Diaspora Jews must speak out against the Israeli Law of Return


Writing from Ramallah, Sam Bahour calls on Jews in the diaspora to speak out against the Israeli Law of Return, which bestows automatic Israeli citizenship on an Jewish person who seeks it while Palestinians are prevented from returning to their homes and lands. Bahour says, “if Diaspora Jews can accept having an Israeli citizenship being held ‘forever’ for them while Palestinians are denied not only citizenship, but basic human rights, then they too are directly partaking in the continued apartheid against Palestinians.”

Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, Israel/Palestine | Tagged | 187 Comments

Roots of Resistance: During the first Intifada Palestinians used our most strategic asset — our people

Sam Bahour reviews the accomplishments of the first intifada and what remains to be done. This post is part of the series “Roots of Resistance: 25 year retrospective on the first intifada.”

Posted in Activism, Israel/Palestine, Occupation, Roots of Resistance | Comments Off

The Galilee First: Equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel is essential for peace and reconciliation


Sam Bahour reports from the Galilee : “Anyone who thinks that resolving the Israeli military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip would bring peace to the region would be well-advised to peel away the veneer of democratic façade, one that covers an Israeli plan with only one goal in mind: completing the campaign of ethnically cleansing Palestinians that started with the creation of the State of Israel.”

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Nakba, Occupation, On the ground reports | Tagged | 26 Comments

Letter to Presbyterians: Investing in Palestine without divesting from occupation only underwrites the status quo

June 18, 2012  Commissioners 220th General Assembly Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) RE:  Divesting from Caterpillar, Inc., Motorola Solutions, and Hewlett Packard Dear Commissioners: I wish you all well from the Holy Land and hope you have a fruitful 220th General Assembly. I write you … Continue reading

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel/Palestine | 3 Comments