Naseer Aruri

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Naseer Aruri

Naseer H. Aruri (Arabic : نصير عاروري, 7 January 1934 – 10 February 2015) was an American scholar-activist and expert on Middle East politics, U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and human rights. Aruri was Chancellor Professor (Emeritus) of Political Science, having served on the faculty of the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth from 1965-1998. In 1993, he was the recipient of the College of Arts and Sciences “Distinguished Research Award”. Aruri’s papers have been preserved and are on display at the Claire T. Carney Library Archives and Special Collections at UMASS-Dartmouth.


Early life

He was born in Jerusalem, Mandatory Palestine in 1934. His father was a high school principal in Jerusalem and he and his family split their time between Jerusalem and the West Bank village of Burham, where the family home still stands. Aruri emigrated to the United States in 1954 in order to pursue a college education. He arrived in Springfield, Massachusetts, where his brother, Said, was already a student at the American International College (AIC). He received his B.A. in History from AIC and his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. While a student at AIC, he was "adopted" by the sizeable Lebanese community of Springfield and later married Joyce Thomas, the daughter of a Lebanese immigrant. The couple eventually settled in the Town of Dartmouth, Massachusetts and have four children and 13 grandchildren.

Jerusalem City in the Middle East

Jerusalem is a city in the Middle East, located on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. It is one of the oldest cities in the world, and is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority claim Jerusalem as their capital, as Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there and the State of Palestine ultimately foresees it as its seat of power; however, neither claim is widely recognized internationally.

Mandatory Palestine A former geopolitical entity in Palestine occupied from the Ottoman Empire in WW1.

Mandatory Palestine was a geopolitical entity established between 1920 and 1923 in the Middle East roughly corresponding to the region of Palestine, as part of the Partition of the Ottoman Empire under the terms of the "Mandate for Palestine".

Burham, Ramallah Local Development Committee in Ramallah and al-Bireh Governorate

Burham is a Palestinian village in the Ramallah and al-Bireh Governorate located twelve kilometers north of Ramallah. The largest nearby town is Bir Zeit located to the southeast. The average elevation of Burham is 680 meters above sea level. The village was established during the Byzantine Empire rule over Palestine.


Aruri was elected to three consecutive terms as a member of the Board of Directors of Amnesty International, USA (1984-1990). He was also a member of the Board of Directors of the New York-based Human Rights Watch/Middle East, 1990-1992. Aruri was a Founding Member of the Arab Organization for Human Rights (AOHR), Cairo and Geneva in 1982 and a member of the editorial board of Third World Quarterly (London). He was a key participant in the drafting of the Arab Covenant of Human Rights under the auspices of the International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Justice, in Siracusa, Italy in December 1986. He is a member of the Independent Palestinian Commission for the Protection of Citizens Rights (Ramallah) since its inception in January 1994, and a member of the Advisory Board of Directors of the International Institute for Criminal Investigations in The Hague. Aruri has spoken at the United Nations on several occasions and delivered the Keynote address on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights at the invitation of the United Nations Staff Union – U.N. Headquarters, New York, on December 9, 1988. He has testified as an “expert witness” in US Federal and Canadian Courts in cases dealing with political asylum and deportation.

Amnesty International London-based international human rights organization

Amnesty International is a London-based non-governmental organization focused on human rights. The organization says it has more than seven million members and supporters around the world.

Arab Organization for Human Rights organization

The Arab Organization for Human Rights is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that works on human rights issues in the Arab World. It was founded with a resolution agreed on in Hammamet, Tunisia, in 1983.

Cairo Capital and largest city of Egypt

Cairo is the capital of Egypt. The city's metropolitan area is one of the largest in Africa and the 15th-largest in the world, and is associated with ancient Egypt, as the famous Giza pyramid complex and the ancient city of Memphis are located in its geographical area. Located near the Nile Delta, modern Cairo was founded in 969 AD by the Fatimid dynasty, but the land composing the present-day city was the site of ancient national capitals whose remnants remain visible in parts of Old Cairo. Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life, and is titled "the city of a thousand minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture. Cairo is considered a World City with a "Beta +" classification according to GaWC.

Aruri is a former member of the Palestinian National Council, the parliament-in-exile of the Palestinian people and served on the Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization. He was a founding member and twice served as President of the Association of Arab-American University Graduates (AAUG). He was also a founding member and former Chair of the Board of Directors of the Trans-Arab Research Institute and a member of the Board of Directors of the Jerusalem Fund and its Palestine Center Committee.

The Palestinian National Council (PNC) is the legislative body of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and elects the PLO Executive Committee, which assumes leadership of the organization between its sessions. The PNC is responsible for formulating the policies and programs for the PLO. It serves as the parliament that represents all Palestinians inside and outside the Palestinian territories, and all sectors of the worldwide Palestinian community, including political parties, popular organizations, resistance movements, and independent figures from all sectors of life.

Palestine Liberation Organization Palestinian militant and political organization

The Palestine Liberation Organization is an organization founded in 1964 with the purpose of the "liberation of Palestine" through armed struggle, with much of its violence aimed at Israeli civilians. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed observer status at the United Nations since 1974. The PLO was considered by the United States and Israel to be a terrorist organization until the Madrid Conference in 1991. In 1993, the PLO recognized Israel's right to exist in peace, accepted UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, and rejected "violence and terrorism". In response, Israel officially recognized the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people. However, the PLO has employed violence in the years since 1993, particularly during the 2000–2005 Second Intifada. On 29 October 2018, the Palestinian Central Council suspended the recognition of Israel and halted security and economic coordination in all its forms with it.

The Palestine Center is an independent educational program based in Foggy Bottom, Washington, D.C.. Their focus is on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and other Middle East issues.

Aruri has spoken at hundreds of universities and scholarly conferences and has appeared as a guest on numerous media outlets throughout the world, including PBS NewsHour, CNN Crossfire, CNN Lou Dobbs Tonight (Moneyline), ABC News, C-SPAN, Al Jazeera and has been a commentator on NPR, Pacifica Radio, the BBC, Radio Monte Carlo, the Voice of America and Alternative Radio.

The PBS NewsHour is an American daily evening television news program that is broadcast on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), airing seven nights a week on more than 350 of the public broadcaster's member stations. As the nation's first hour-long nightly news broadcast, the program is known for its in-depth coverage of issues and current events.

CNN American news channel

Cable News Network (CNN) is an American news-based pay television channel owned by AT&T's WarnerMedia. CNN was founded in 1980 by American media proprietor Ted Turner as a 24-hour cable news channel. Upon its launch, CNN was the first television channel to provide 24-hour news coverage, and was the first all-news television channel in the United States.

<i>Lou Dobbs Tonight</i> television series

Lou Dobbs Tonight is an American editorial commentary and discussion program hosted by Lou Dobbs, which previously broadcast on CNN and is currently broadcast on the Fox Business Network. The hour-long show aired live on evenings every weekday, and was replayed in the overnight/early morning hours. It covered the major news stories of the day with a focus on politics and economics. Field correspondents provided additional reporting and occasionally served as guest anchors. During Dobbs' tenure, notable politicians and economists were often guests on the show.

Aruri has published widely in newspapers, magazines and scholarly journals throughout the Globe. He is the author/editor of numerous books, chiefly on the subject of American foreign policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Aruri’s many publications include The Palestinian Resistance to Israeli Occupation (AAUG Press 1970), Enemy of the Sun: Poems of Palestinian Resistance, with Edmund Ghareeb (Drum and Spear Press 1970); Occupation: Israel Over Palestine (AAUG Press, 1983/ZED Press 1985; 2nd Edition, 1989) (chosen by the American Library Association’s Choice Magazine as an “Outstanding Academic Book for 1984/1985”); The Obstruction of Peace: The U.S., Israel and the Palestinians (Common Courage Press, 1995), Palestinian Refugees: The Right of Return (Pluto, 2001). "Revising Culture, Reinventing Peace: The Influence of Edward W. Said" with Muhammad Shuraydi (Interlink, 2001). His book Dishonest Broker: the U.S. Role in Israel and Palestine, (South End Press 2003) has also been translated into Arabic, Spanish and Italian. He is the co-author (with the late Professor Samih Farsoun) of Palestine and the Palestinians: A Social and Political History. Second Edition, Westview Press (2006).

Samih Farsoun sociologist

Samih K. Farsoun, was a professor emeritus of sociology at American University, where he taught for thirty years until his retirement in 2003. He graduated from Hamilton College in New York. He received a master's degree in 1961 and a PhD in 1971, both in sociology from the University of Connecticut. He died June 9 of a heart attack while on a walk with his wife in New Buffalo, Michigan. He was a resident of Florida and Washington, D.C. During his career at AU, Farsoun served as chairman of the Department of Sociology for eleven years, chairman and member of numerous university-wide committees and founder of its Arab Studies Program.

Aruri was a consistent critic of the decades long U.S. dominated “peace process” that he has argued was never intended to reach a just peace, but rather designed to serve Israeli and American interests in the region.[ citation needed ] He was a harsh critic of the Oslo Peace Accords in what he suggested, at the time, amounted to a surrendering of the internationally recognized rights of the Palestinian people. He has been especially vocal in his criticism of the PLO, and later the Palestine Authority (PA), for its complicity in a process that he has described as providing the framework and cover for further Israeli colonization of Palestinian land.[ citation needed ]

Personal life

Aruri and his wife Joyce (Thomas)married in 1961. They have four children and thirteen grandchildren. Aruri died of complications from Parkinson's disease on 10 February 2015, aged 81. [1]


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