Aruri, Naseer H. 1934-

views updated

ARURI, Naseer H. 1934-

PERSONAL: Born January 7, 1934, in Jerusalem, Palestine (now Israel); naturalized U.S. citizen, 1970; son of Hasan (a school principal) and Miriam (Abed) Aruri; married Joyce Thomas, February 12, 1961; children: Faris, Karen, Jamal, Jay. Ethnicity: "Arab." Education: American International College, B.A., 1959; University of Massachusetts at Amherst, M.A., 1961, Ph.D., 1967. Politics: "Left." Religion: "Non-sectarian; Muslim by birth." Hobbies and other interests: Boating, snorkeling.

ADDRESSES: Home—97 Lexington Ave., North Dartmouth, MA 02747. Offıce—Department of Political Science, University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, North Dartmouth, MA 02747; fax 508-999-8819. Agent—The Lavin Agency, 872 Massachusetts Ave., Ste. 2-2, Cambridge, MA 02139; fax: 617-499-4002. E-mail—[email protected]; [email protected]; info@

CAREER: Texas Technological (now Texas Tech) University, Lubbock, TX, instructor in political science, 1962-63; Greenfield Community College, Greenfield, MA, instructor in political science, 1964-65; University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, instructor, 1965-66, assistant professor, 1966-68, associate professor, 1968-73, professor, 1973-96, Chancellor Professor emeritus of Political Science, 1996—; Trans-Arab Research Institute, Boston, MA, currently president. University of Kuwait, visiting professor, 1973-74; lecturer at colleges and universities, including Harvard University, University of California, Tufts University, Brown University, Brigham Young University, Smith College, and Princeton University; guest on television and radio programs in the United States and abroad, including Monitor Radio, National Public Radio, the "McNeil-Lehrer News Hour," and the British Broadcasting Corp.'s World Service on the Middle East. Institute of Arab Studies, member of board of directors, 1980-83; National Task Force on Cultural Diversification, co-chair, 1986—; Middle East Research and Information Project, member of board of directors, 1986-89; Middle East Watch, member of board of directors, 1990-92; International Commission of Jurists, member of board of directors of the West Bank affiliate Al-Haq, 1991—; Independent Palestinian Commission for the Protection of Citizens Rights, member; Arab Organization for Human Rights, founding member of chapters in Cairo and Geneva. Welfare Association, Geneva, member of General Assembly, 1983—.

MEMBER: Amnesty International (member of board of directors, 1984-90), Association of Arab-American University Graduates (president, 1970, 1983), Human Rights Watch/Middle East, Palestinian National Council, Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Central Committee.

AWARDS, HONORS: Occupation: Israel over Palestine was selected an "outstanding academic book of 1984/1985" by Choice.


The Palestine Resistance to Israeli Occupation, Medina University Press (Wilmette, IL), 1970.

(Editor, with Edmund Ghareeb) Enemy of the Sun: Poems of Palestinian Resistance (poetry) Drum and Spear Press (Washington, DC), 1970.

Jordan: A Study in Political Development, 1921-1965, Nijhoff (The Hague, Netherlands), 1972.

(Translator into Arabic, with A. Tarabein) Virginia Brodine and Mark Seldon, Open Secret: The Nixon-Kissinger Doctrine in Asia, [Beirut, Lebanon], 1974.

(Editor) Middle East Crucible: The Arab-Israeli Confrontation of October, 1973, Medina University Press (Wilmette, IL), 1975.

(Coeditor and contributor) Lebanon: A Challenge to the Arab World, Association of Arab-American University Graduates (Detroit, MI), 1977.

(With Fouad Moughrabi and Joe Stork) Reagan and the Middle East, Association of Arab-American University Graduates (Belmont, MA), 1983.

Occupation: Israel over Palestine, Association of Arab-American University Graduates (Belmont, MA), 1983, second edition, 1989.

The Obstruction of Peace: The U.S., Israel, and the Palestinians, Common Courage Press (Monroe, ME), 1995.

(Editor, with Muhammad A. Shuraydi) Revising Culture, Reinventing Peace: The Influence of Edward W. Said, Interlink Books (Northampton, MA), 2000.

(Editor) Palestinian Refugees: The Right of Return, Pluto Press (Sterling, VA), 2001.

Dishonest Broker: The U.S. Role in Israel and Palestine, South End Press (Cambridge, MA), 2003.

Contributor to books, including The Arab-Americans: Studies in Assimilation, edited by Elaine Hogopian and Ann Paden, Medina University Press (Wilmette, IL), 1969; Man, State, and Society in the Middle East, edited by Jacob Landau, Praeger (New York, NY), 1972; The Middle East in World Politics: A Study in Contemporary International Relations, edited by Tareq Y. Ismael, Syracuse University Press (Syracuse, NY), 1974; The Sociology of the Palestinians, edited by Khalil Nakleh and Elia Zureik, Croom Helm (London, England), 1980; The United States and the Middle East: The Search for New Perspectives, edited by H. Amirahmadi, State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 1991; Building Long Term Peace in the Middle East, edited by Paul F. Walker, Institute for Peace and National Security (Cambridge, MA), 1993; and Amal and the Palestinians: Understanding the Battle of the Camps: Viewpoints, edited by Elaine C. Hagopian, AAUG Press (Belmont, MA), 1985. Also contributor to scholarly journals. Editor, Mideast Monitor, 1980-90; member of editorial board, Arab Studies Quarterly, 1979-90, and Third World Quarterly, 1992—.

SIDELIGHTS: Naseer H. Aruri is Chancellor Professor emeritus of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth and president of the Trans-Arab Research Institute in Boston. As a writer and scholar, Aruri focuses on issues related to Palestine, Israel, and the role of the United States in Palestinian-Israeli relations. "Dr. Naseer Aruri is an expert on the politics of the Middle East, and a passionate advocate for a just settlement for the Palestinian people," wrote a biographer on the Lavin Agency Web site. Aruri has served as a co-chair of Amnesty International and was a member of that organization for three terms. He has also been a member of the Palestinian National Council and served on the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Central Committee. "Born in Jerusalem in 1934, he became a U.S. citizen in 1970 and has spent the majority of his life working for peace, human rights, and justice in the homeland he left more than forty years ago," wrote a biographer on the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Web site.

The Obstruction of Peace: The U.S., Israel, and the Palestinians closely examines the peace process in the Middle East and the influence exerted upon it by Palestine, Israel, and the United States. "Most readers will not want to support the case made in this lucidly written and well-researched book: that the chances for a real peace in the Middle East have actually declined in recent years," observed Stephen Zunes in Middle East Policy. "Yet by the concluding chapter of Naseer Aruri's The Obstruction of Peace, it is hard not to be convinced."

The book focuses on the struggle for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and on the pervasive influence of the United States on the process. The Obstruction of Peace "pays especially close attention to the United States' historic interest and policy goals in the region," noted Jay Murphy in Arab American News. "Aruri's narrative moves soberly, systematically, and inexorably in explicating how the Oslo I and II agreements finally fulfill the United States' long-coveted goal of being the Middle East's unilateral superpower, in league with its Israeli ally." Aruri examines the changed and expanded role of the United States in the Middle East following the first Gulf War, as well as the areas in which the United States is imposing its own policies and ideas on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. "Oslo has become a symbol of diplomatic paralysis for the Palestinian people," Aruri said in an interview on the International Socialist Review Web site. "It is an instrument to prolong and consolidate the Israeli occupation of Palestine by pseudo-diplomatic means."

Zunes also noted that the book "is not without problems. Aruri is at times a bit strident in his tone. He cuts a few corners and makes some rather sweeping generalizations which would likely put off those who do not already subscribe to his leftist critique of U.S. foreign policy." However, Aruri delivers a "devastating critique of how the United States is sabotaging any real hope for peace by its policy of throwing its enormous weight behind the narrowest Israeli interpretations of the Oslo accords, sabotaging the enforcement of U.N. Security Council resolutions, and effectively giving Israel a blank check for its ongoing violations of international law," Zunes commented. "Aruri is acute in analyzing U.S. domestic politics" and foreign policy "in this age of pax-Americana, pax-Israelica," Murphy remarked.

Aruri edited Palestinian Refugees: The Right of Return, a compendium of papers originally presented at a Trans-Arab Research Institute conference and "an indispensable resource for everyone committed to finding a just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," commented Nancy Murray in Race and Class. "The book openly advocates the cause of Palestinian refugees, arguing forcefully for their right to return to homes and property lost in the wars of 1948 and 1967," wrote Laurence Kotler-Berkowitz in Political Studies. Subject areas covered include the historical context of the Palestinian situation, the interests and goals of the various international actors at work, the situation of refugees in areas other than Palestine, material claims by refugees, and proposed solutions. Criticism is leveled at most major players in the areas, including the PLO and Palestinan Authority, Israel, and the United States. Despite an overall lack of cohesiveness from chapter to chapter, "The book benefits from an effort to cover many topics of the refugee issue," Kotler-Berkowitz remarked. "Additionally, some of the chapters are well written, accessible, and informative, and many are obviously deeply felt pleas for the redress of grievances." However, "All of these essays are crucial to understanding the background and scope of the Palestinian refugee problem, and the forces that prevent it from being solved," Murray concluded.

Revising Culture, Reinventing Peace: The Influence of Edward W. Said examines the beneficial effect that Columbia University professor Said's work has had on "literature, cultural studies, and Palestinian nationalism," remarked Fred Rhodes in Middle East. In ten essays originally presented at the "Culture, Politics, and Peace" conference (which addressed Said's scholarly work), the basis of Said's humanistic philosophy is analyzed and explored. Essay topics include disability rights, the economics of orientalism, future prospects for Palestinians and Jews, and a variety of other subjects. The essays are "an appreciation of the indispensable contributions" made by Said, who is "truly a renaissance man with an international reputation," Rhodes commented.



Arab American News, October 18, 1996, Jay Murphy, review of The Obstruction of Peace: The U.S., Israel, and the Palestinians, p. 3.

Choice, May, 2002, D. Peretz, review of Palestinian Refugees: The Right of Return, p. 1661.

Economist, January 19, 2002, "Grey Is Hard to Find; Palestine."

Journal of Palestine Studies, winter, 1999, Kathleen Christison, review of The Obstruction of Peace: The U.S., Israel, and the Palestinians, pp. 99-100; winter, 2002, Amr G. E. Sabet, "Focus on Edward Said," pp. 86-87.

Middle East, May, 2001, Fred Rhodes, review of Revising Culture, Reinventing Peace: The Influence of Edward W. Said, p. 40; March, 2002, Fred Rhodes, review of Palestinian Refugees: The Right of Return, p. 41.

Middle East Policy, March, 1996, Stephen Zunes, review of The Obstruction of Peace: The U.S., Israel, and the Palestinians, pp. 188-190.

Political Studies, December, 2002, Laurence Kotler-Berkowitz, review of Palestinian Refugees: The Right of Return, pp. 1035-1036.

Race and Class, October-December, 2002, Nancy Murray, review of Palestinian Refugees: The Right of Return, pp. 91-93.


International Socialist Review, (January 1, 2001), Anthony Arnove, "Oslo: Cover for Territorial Conquest."

Lavin Agency, (February 24, 2004), profile of Naseer Aruri.

South End Press, (February 24, 2004), biography of Naseer Aruri.

University College Cork, (February 24, 2004), profile of Naseer Aruri.

University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire, (February 24, 2004).*