Sara Roy

Sara Roy is based at the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard. The third edition of The Gaza Strip: The Political Economy of De-development was published in 2016.

From The Blog
5 April 2022

It is incumbent on us to resist any initiative that drives a wedge between Jews and other oppressed groups. We must oppose all attempts to justify Israel’s abusive and discriminatory treatment of Palestinians. We must assert unapologetically that opposing Israeli apartheid is not antisemitic; it is antiracist. It is part of a larger struggle that values inclusion over exclusion, and rejects oppression in all its forms, both domestically and globally. In this way the struggle against antisemitism and other forms of racism is expressed not as the politics of identity but as the politics of identification. Such an expanded embrace of the other is not only essential to combatting antisemitism, it is also essential to the survival of Judaism as a system of ethics and morality. Our safety comes from securing the safety of others, and fighting injustice wherever it occurs.

If Israel were smart: In Gaza

Sara Roy, 15 June 2017

Nearly three-quarters of Gaza’s inhabitants are under thirty and remain confined to Gaza, prohibited from leaving the territory; most never have. Amid such disempowerment, young people have increasingly turned to militancy as a livelihood, joining various militant or extremist organisations simply to secure a paying job. Person after person told me that growing support for extremist factions in Gaza does not emanate from political or ideological belief – as these factions may claim – but from people’s need to feed their families.

If Gaza falls …

Sara Roy, 1 January 2009

Israel’s siege of Gaza began on 5 November, the day after an Israeli attack inside the strip, no doubt designed finally to undermine the truce between Israel and Hamas established last June. Although both sides had violated the agreement before, this incursion was on a different scale. Hamas responded by firing rockets into Israel and the violence has not abated since then. Israel’s siege has two fundamental goals. One is to ensure that the Palestinians there are seen merely as a humanitarian problem, beggars who have no political identity and therefore can have no political claims. The second is to foist Gaza onto Egypt.

Last April President Bush said that Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza would allow the establishment of ‘a democratic state in the Gaza’ and open the door for democracy in the Middle East. The columnist Thomas Friedman was more explicit, arguing that ‘the issue for Palestinians is no longer about how they resist the Israeli occupation in Gaza, but whether they build a decent mini-state there – a Dubai on the Mediterranean. Because if they do, it will fundamentally reshape the Israeli debate about whether the Palestinians can be handed most of the West Bank.’

In 2002, incoming students at the University of North Carolina were required to read Approaching the Qur’an: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells, a translation into English of 35 of the early suras with a commentary and explication. Three students – one Jewish, two Christian – and a UNC alumna argued, with the support of a number of fundamentalist Christian organisations,...

‘The situation in Gaza is dangerous, and the danger is that Hamas will take over and turn Gaza into “Hamastan” – into a kingdom of thugs, murderers, terrorists, poverty...

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