Tag: Palestine

Why I’m Not Discussing Genocide in Jerusalem

Jerusalem is not just a site of ‘conflict’, as the INOGS conference programme says. It is a site in which questions of ‘genocide’, the deliberate destruction of communities, are all too live.

The International Network of Genocide Scholars (INOGS) is holding a conference in Jerusalem this weekend. The initiative has attracted an attack by Israel Charny in the Jerusalem Post under the lurid heading, ‘Genocide scholars who minimize the Holocaust – and some who are coming to town’. This summarised his article published in the pseudo-academic Journal for the Study of Antisemitism, reporting a flawed survey of his friends and acquaintances interested in genocide about their attitudes to the Journal of Genocide Research (JGR), the premier journal in the field which is sponsored by INOGS.

Anti-Israeli Occupation Group Struggles to Reconcile Movement Building and Allyship

The security guard didn’t look angry, but instead bemused. A hundred or so young Jews — replete with skinny jeans and matching white t-shirts — circled his desk, hand-in-hand, singing. They’d come to the glass-enclosed lobby of a high rise in midtown Manhattan to protest one of its tenants: the Anti-Defamation League, a pro-Israel Jewish organization.

They’d also come to celebrate the holiday of Passover, drawing a parallel between the Jewish exodus from Egypt and the liberation of Palestinians in the occupied territories. An air of unabashed jubilance, on account of the festivity, seemed to cause the guard some discomfort. Mere demonstrators, he may have encountered before. These Jewish 20-somethings, however, began to dance.

Soon enough the cops arrived, arrests were made, and the crowd dispersed.

Deadly Spite: Israel Shuts Off Water to West Bank During Ramadan

With heat indices spiking near 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) and local residents fasting in observance of the Muslim holy month, the latest act by Israel risks loss of life and a fierce response.

The Palestinian-occupied West Bank faces the threat of mass casualties from extreme dehydration and heat stroke as residents face an unseasonably hot start to summer without clean water, during a time when devout Muslims are already fasting in observance of Ramadan.

The Israeli state-owned Mekorot water company cut water supplies to the West Bank more than 40 days ago, forcing locals to rely on untreated groundwater and wastewater to survive. The water shutoff appears to be a premeditated act against the Palestinian people, with Israeli officials saying over one month ago that no technical defects exist on the waterline.

Water shutoffs in the West Bank correspond with Israeli officials boasting about surplus water supplies and plans to export water abroad to improve relations with neighbors. One such deal for exporting Israeli water supplies has already been made with neighboring country Jordan.

Gaza: A City No One Wants

The Gazans have been abandoned and left in the hands of Hamas to do with them as they please. This policy is transforming Gaza slowly but steadily into a hotbed of radicals.

As Palestinians commemorate the 68th anniversary of the Nakba, “catastrophe” in Arabic, when the indigenous people of Palestine were driven into exile and the Israeli State was established, a new Nakba takes place. This new Nakba is the political division between Hamas and Fatah.

The day to day life of the people of Gaza is best represented by the running joke: “Police have arrested a Gazan who has hope”. No hope. No future.

The Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt recently opened for two days after a three-month closure. Registered travelers numbered at more than 30,000, but Egyptian border security only allowed 747 into Egypt. A journey, which under usual circumstances should only take five minutes by bus or one hour, including bureaucratic procedures, now takes over 24 hours sometimes 48 hours, leaving hundreds of Palestinians in prison-like areas inside the Egyptian side of the Rafah border, a violation of basic human rights.

Egypt ruled Gaza from 1948 until 1967. Since then, Gazans have attended Egypt’s universities, creating a strong bond with Egypt over time. Nowadays, Egypt’s narrative has changed, and Gazans are treated as enemies.

How to strike back at Andrew Cuomo for his unconstitutional Anti-BDS move

Andrew Cuomo unilaterally decided to halt the state of New York’s business with any organization that opposes Israeli war crimes. Obviously, the court battle will proceed and those leading that charge need the support of all Americans who support Free Speech. Americans must also make a point to corrupt politicians who would stifle peaceful dissent.

Campaign donations are the life blood of all politicians. Placing pressure on those who support Cuomo will bring immediate results. Below is a list of Cuomo’s top financial supporters. BDS should immediately expand their boycott to include all of these organizations. Those who support free speech to make their presence known to all of the financiers behind Cuomo. Imagine the social media accounts of these contributors plastered with the images of Israeli brutality. Imagine these businesses unable to do business without the presence of activists. Soon they’d be calling their government lackey and demanding he change his policy. We always complain that officials are beholden to their campaign contributors. Maybe it’s time to start making those businesses pay for the actions of those they own.

Even if you don’t care about Palestine or Israel’s human rights record, an action like this by a government official must be met with the stiffest resistance possible.

Palestine: Hamas Should Halt Executions

3 Executed Amid Perceived Crime Wave

The Hamas authorities in the Gaza Strip should halt planned executions. Three men were put to death on the morning of May 31, 2016, as the first step in a declared plan to kill 13 convicted criminals. The executions came after a number of highly publicized murders.

“The death penalty is always wrong, especially in a legal system like Gaza’s in which torture and coercion are common,” said Sari Bashi, Israel and Palestine director. “Gaza’s leaders should be addressing due process abuses, rather than making them worse by killing people.”

The Palestinian Museum: imperilled objects and unsafe ideas

Palestine’s first National Museum opens today in the West Bank – a “cultural mothership” drawing together pieces from a scattered and censored Palestinian history.

On signs overlooking the ancient Mediterranean port of Jaffa – once the largest city in historic Palestine – visitors can read about more than a millennia of town history in up to four languages. None of these is Arabic. In the city centre’s clock tower square, constructed by the Ottomans in 1900, a commemorative plaque in Hebrew meanwhile evokes in readers “the Memory of the Heroes who Fell in the Battle to Liberate Yafo.” Indeed, there is little in today’s Jaffa to indicate to the outsider that the region was once home to some 800,000 Arab Palestinians, 95 per cent of whom were displaced by Zionist military forces in 1947-48 with the declaration of the state of Israel. Likewise, on highways leading out of the city, the terrain’s Palestinian past can be seen progressively elided in roads signs which now designate towns with Hebraised names – Jerusalem no longer “al-Quds” in Arabic script, but “Urushalim.”

Such contemporary markers seem to manifest Edward Said’s observation, more than thirty years ago, that the Palestinian narrative has never been admitted to Israeli history, “except as that of ‘non-Jews,’ whose inert presence in Palestine was a nuisance to be ignored or expelled.” As he wrote of the widespread vindication, locally and internationally, of Israel’s account of statehood, “to top it all off, Palestinians are expected to participate in the dismantling of their own history.”

Jordan: Ease Travel for Gaza Palestinians

Restrictions Block Educational, Economic Opportunity

Jordan should facilitate travel for Palestinians seeking to travel from Gaza to third countries, Human Rights Watch said in a letter released today to Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour. A recent apparent tightening of criteria for transit has blocked access to professional and educational opportunities abroad, including for Gaza’s young people struggling with the effects of an Israeli-imposed closure.

“Jordan has gone to great lengths to accept and meet the needs of large numbers of refugees from across the region,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director. “Since last August, however, Palestinians from Gaza have found it increasingly difficult to get permission to transit through Jordan to travel abroad, without any explanation for the change.”

Celebrating Israeli Independence Day From the Other Side of Apartheid Fence

Leaving the meeting I was searching for a safe way to go through the old City of Hebron alone, where there was a celebration of ”Israeli Independence day” going on. I wanted to reach my ISM team members who were already patrolling there. I took off my Kufiya, the Palestinian scarf, because I would probably not be safe wearing it amongst crowds of settlers. I went by taxi to the nearest checkpoint; I got out, passed the checkpoint and descended the hill on the palestinian side.

Loud, happy music had been playing for days and at the main square, there was a stage surrounded by Jewish families cheerfully dancing, clapping hands watching the event going on. Reaching the entrance of the event, even soldiers at the checkpoint were dancing happily.
Only one old palestinian man with a cane was observing the scene melancholically. I felt his grief. Once that had been a palestinian place, with Palestinians celebrating on it. But those days were gone.

I found my friends and we started to walk through the old city, to check on the situation. The streets were empty, houses locked up and you could see Palestinian children behind lattice windows, trying to catch up on some of the events going on outside. Their parents had them made stay at home, being scared of clashes and attacks by settler groups, as they had been in past celebrations of independence day.

Israel Imposes Restrictions ahead of Nakba Day: Report

Israeli authorities have enforced tough restrictions across the occupied territories as thousands of Palestinians are gearing up to mark the 68th anniversary of the Nakba (Catastrophe) Day.

Nakba refers to the 1948 Palestinian exodus when more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs fled or were expelled from their homes by Israel during the 1948 Palestine war.

Israel plans to mark the day with celebrations, barring Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip from entering East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

According to the Israeli military, the ban will be imposed as of 1:00 a.m. on Wednesday local time (2200 GMT Tuesday) until midnight (2100 GMT) on Thursday, Press TV reported.

Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria: an argument for protecting humanitarian law in US politics

US presidential candidate Donald Trump recently added international humanitarian law to his growing list of people, places, and things he disdains and thinks America would be better off without – including the entire Muslim-American population, all women who undergo abortions, and a diverse range of public figures from Heidi Klum to Arianna Huffington. On the law of armed conflict, he stated, “The problem is we have the Geneva conventions, all sorts of rules and regulations, so [US] soldiers are afraid to fight.” These words are no surprise coming from the man who promised to “bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding” at a Republican debate back in February.

Like so many of Trump’s statements, beyond the initial ludicrousness and falsehood, there is a lot of dangerous thinking – and potential for dangerous action – behind these provocations. But with his racist, misogynistic ideologies, Trump is far too easy a target for yet another social justice-minded, New York writer to simply tackle. So this piece is not about Trump. Rather, it is about the significance of humanitarian law, and its relevance for some of the world’s most marginalized and repeatedly victimized populations, one of which – Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria – I will shed light on in what follows. But first and foremost, thank you, Mr. Trump, for bringing this important issue under the political spotlight.