April 1, 2022: The Troubling Developments in Tunisia and a Commemoration of Palestinian Land Day

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Today Tunisian president Kaies Saied dissolved the parliament after parliament members challenged the autocratic powers he has exercised since his self-coup last July. Last Wednesday, lawmakers held an online meeting, defying Mr. Saied’s warning that the session was illegal, and a majority voted against his power grab, which they said violated the country’s Constitution. Elected in a landslide in 2019, the president has been ruling by decree since July, jailing opponents, suspending parts of the Constitution, dismissing the Supreme Judicial Council and restricting press freedom. Khalil Bendib spoke with our Tunisian correspondent Mohammed-Dhia Hemmami about the current political situation in Tunis. To commemorate Palestinian Land Day, an annual event dating back to March 30, 1976, when six unarmed Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces during protests against the Israeli government’s expropriation of large tracts of Palestinian land for Jewish settlers, we also bring back a 2014 conversation with UC Berkeley Professor Samera Esmair about the return of some of the Palestinian refugees to their village Kafr Bir`im, located in northern Palestine in the Galilee, whose residents were expelled in 1948. Mohamed-Dhia Hammami is an independent researcher and analyst and a PhD Student at Syracuse University. Samera Esmeir is Assistant Professor of Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley.

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