According to the New York Times today:
The American State Department has withdrawn all Fulbright grants to Palestinian students in Gaza hoping to pursue advanced degrees at American institutions this fall because Israel has not granted them permission to leave.
Aside from the obviously despicable nature of this sort of thing, its worth reflecting for a moment on the fraud of Israel's "withdrawal from Gaza" that this decison reveals.
The Israeli "withdrawal" from Gaza seems to have had one real purpose: confusing the reality of an emerging Palestinian majority living under Israeli rule. By pulling out of Gaza (but still exercising all the blunt instruments of colonial domination against its residents) Israel can claim to still be a state with a Jewish-majority, and therefore, according to the impoverished vision of democracy that we have come to accept, "democratic." This sort of creative accounting puts Hillary Clinton's campaign to shame. It is the sort of Orwellian game that leads Israelis (and their supporters) to call a 26 foot high concrete waal "a fence."
As human rights violations go, obstructing the movement of an aspiring Palestinian MBA may seem like small potatoes. But as the aspiring MBA himself explained:
"If we are talking about peace and mutual understanding, it means investing in people who will later contribute to Palestinian society," he said. "I am against Hamas. Their acts and policies are wrong. Israel talks about a Palestinian state. But who will build that state if we can get no training?"
What this policy reveals, of course, is that Israel has no interest in the emergence of a viable Palestinian state. Israel wants Palestinian lands and the resources (particularly water) underneath them. This means talking endlessly about a "two state solution" while continuing to put into place the infrastructure of continued colonial domination, including multiple second, third, and fourth class legal statuses for the Palestinian people (Israeli Arabs, "residents" of Jerusalem, occupied in the West Bank, and completely disposable in Gaza).
Unfortunately, there is little reason to hope that any of the presidential candidates will do anything to appreciably challenge this dynamic.