Friday, May 26, 2017

Israel/Palestine News

More than 50 Jewish anti-Occupation activists from around the world joined with Israelis on Wednesday in a non-violent demonstration in opposition to the annual March of the Flags, a violent event that celebrates the Israeli capture and occupation of East Jerusalem following the Six-Day War in 1967. During the course of the protest, ​several Israeli and international Jews were injured — including at least one person who suffered a broken arm — after refusing to allow the police to force Palestinian shops in the Old City to close.
​The activists intentionally formed a blockade as right-wing Israeli marchers began assaulting Palestinians outside the Damascus Gate. Once the blockade was formed, the protestors were stormed by a group of right-wing Israeli extremists. The Israeli authorities violently dispersed the activists. At least one American Jewish activist may have a broken arm and is en route to the hospital.
This year’s March of the Flags was especially symbolic, coming exactly 50 years after the Israeli Occupation of the Palestinian territories began and just one day after President Trump visited the region. The activists were members of IfNotNow, Free Jerusalem, and All That’s Left, different organizations that are part of the growing anti-Occupation movement in the Jewish community.
“Over the past 50 years, the Israeli Occupation of Palestinian territory has become more and more entrenched, making the daily existence of Palestinians harder and harder. Today we acted to urge our community back home to shake off its complacency and join Jews around the world calling for an end to the Occupation,” said Talia Kravitz, an IfNotNow member who lives in New York.
The demonstration started in the early afternoon as dozens of Jews joined together to shop in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City, knowing that just hours later these same shops would be forced closed by the Israeli authorities in order to clear the path for the right-wing extremists later in the day. They wanted to put their money where their hearts were. In the weeks leading up to Jerusalem Day, they canvassed stores in West Jerusalem and got more than 20 to put up signs in their windows opposing the forced closure of Palestinian shops. Two Jewish-owned stores in West Jerusalem even went as far as to strike, closing their own shops in solidarity with their Palestinian counterparts.
Following this act of economic solidarity, the activists used their bodies to block Israeli security forces from entering the Old City via the Damascus Gate. The organizers intended to stop one of the clearest ways that the Israeli state uses violence against Palestinians in service of right-wing Jewish extremists — a trend seen across the Occupied Territories.
Before it was ripped from their hands, they held a banner that read “End the Occupation” in English, Hebrew, and Arabic. They also sang songs in Hebrew and chanted slogans like “Now, now is the time; Jews must stand with Palestine.”
“Trump’s supporters are eerily similar to the sort of right-wing Jewish extremists who march through the Old City every year, chanting ‘Death to the Arabs’ and assaulting any Palestinian that happens to be in the area. Our community has seen that sort of racism and nationalism before, and we know how devastating the costs can be.” said ​Zoe Rudow, an IfNotNow member from Oakland.
There are hundreds of thousands of Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, and, according to the activists, the claim of a “unified” city hides the deep legal, economic, and political disparities between the Palestinian and Jewish residents of the city.
“For 50 years, Palestinians in Jerusalem have lived under an oppressive, unequal system. The illusion of ‘unification’ on Jerusalem Day makes the Palestinians living in the city invisible, and comes at the expense of their freedom of movement and livelihood,” said Uri Agnon, a member of Free Jerusalem and lifelong resident of Jerusalem.


More than 100 protesters demonstrated in front of the US Embassy during a
visit by US President Donald Trump in Israel, where environmental
activists, immigrants from the United States, tourists, Palestinians and
socialists called "Donald - go home."

Palestinian political cartoonist Mohammad Saba'aneh talks about his art and its importance to him and to the Palestinian people

More than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners have been on hunger strike for
over a month in Israeli jails demanding improved prison conditions.
After 34 days of foodless strike, many of the prisoners are in a
dangerous medical condition. A delegation of Israeli activists arrived
for a solidarity visit in Hebron. The delegation, which was organized at
the initiative of the Hitabrut-Tarbut movement, arrived at the tent of
prisoners' families and heard about the prisoners' demands, which
included: installing a public telephone in the prison for talks with
family members, installing toilets for families waiting for a visit,
extending the visit from 45 minutes to an hour and a half, and allowing
academic studies (a right denied to Palestinian prisoners while Jewish
security prisoners enjoy it).


Thousands participated in events on both sides of the Green Line to mark
the Nakba and for the right of return of Palestinian refugees, calling
for reconciliation between the two peoples to recognize the injustice

Hundreds of activists, organized by a coalition of Palestinian, Israeli
and International organizations joined the families of Sarura to rebuild
their village and create the "Sumud Freedom Camp."

The coalition
wants to show a grassroots counterpoint to the high-level political
process and Trump's visit to Israel/Palestine this week. They also want
to send a message to the Israeli authorities.

The state is tolerant toward them and even offers them rehabilitation
programs and relocation to new towns set up especially for them. But
they show contempt for the law and are not deterred. Is that so? The
second article in a series on the myths and facts about Israel's Bedouin

US and Israeli companies are working with Israeli approval to siphon
natural gas from Gaza's territorial waters, even though this is illegal
according to international law, says TRNN's Shir Hever

Peace Now's Anat Ben Nun:  Support our May 27th Event from Americans for Peace Now on Vimeo.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Israel/Palestine News


Clashes broke out between protesters and soldiers from the Israeli
forces in the West Bank city of Hebron, Friday, during a rally in
support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails
entitled ‘Day of Rage’.

Clashes erupted between Israeli security forces and Palestinian
protesters near the West Bank's Qalandia checkpoint, north of Jerusalem,
on Thursday night.

The residents of Ma'lul who were expelled from it in 1948 are part of
the 300,000 internally displaced persons living in Israel, and it is
unclear to them why they are not being allowed to return to their lands.
They celebrated Easter at the church in Ma'alul, one of the few
buildings that survived the ruins of the army.​

Documentary filmmaker Lia Tarachansky explains that the income
garnishing measure targets African refugees and is intended to
discourage asylum in Israel

Every Friday, a group of freeganists arrives at the Carmel market to
save the food that is about to be thrown out by the merchants in the
market. In a reality where 40% of the food is thrown into the trash,
they try to create a new ecological culture and more appropriate use of
existing food.

An alternative torchlighting ceremony took place on the eve of Yom Ha'atzmaut, parallel to the official ceremony held on Mount Herzl. This
year's ceremony marked the 50th anniversary of the occupation, calling
for an immediate end to the oppression and violence in the occupied
Palestinian territories, for redressing the injustices we cause, for
correcting the attitude towards the weak among us, for promoting
workers' rights and for the hope of peace with all our neighbors.

Alaa Tartir of the Palestinian Policy Network explains that the
Palestinian Economy is unable to grow or develop because the Israeli
occupation controls all aspects of the economy

Some protesters faced off with security forces after one person was
killed and a few people were injured in the clashes erupted between a
group of Palestinian protesters and Israeli soldiers in the village of
Nabi Saleh, West Bank on Friday. The group walked through the village to
express solidarity with the 1,300 Palestinians, kept in the Israeli

Playback Theater is not conventional and predictable, it depends on the
cooperation between the audience and the actors. From the audience comes
a story and the actors reflect it in an abstract and personal way. This
festival hosted People with Disabilities, Refugees, Members of the LGBT
Community, Immigrants, etc. The festival is therefore called 'The Quiet
Voices Receive a Stage'.

Palestinian flag flies over Dublin City Hall in solidarity with Palestine and Palestinian hunger strike.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Israel/Palestine News


Mohammed Matry, a former political prisoner, talking during the march of
return on the land of the village of al-Kabri, about the prisoners'
strike in which he participated in the 1980s, the lethal tactics of
forced feeding, and the basic demands of Palestinian prisoners today. In
contrast to the government's propaganda, the prisoners do not demand to
be released from prison or seek excessive rights. They require the
installation of public telephones in prisons (where all the
conversations are recorded) so that they can speak with their families,
they demand the right to relatives visits , the right to study and basic
human conditions.​

Hundreds of Palestinians prevented by the Minister of Defense from
entering Israel participated in a joint memorial ceremony in Beit Jala.
At the event, a discussion was held on the importance of Memorial Day in
Israeli society and the ceremony was broadcast live from Tel Aviv.

Ali Abunimah of The Electronic Intifada says Democratic politicians,
even progressives like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, are out of
touch with their supporters when it comes to defending Palestinian

Eritrea is one of the countries that produces more refugees in the
world. More than 8.500 asylum seekers managed to arrive to Israel, but
for women, life is even more difficult. They usually can not take the
way to Europe because it's a more dangerous trip by the sea, so usually
the risk their lives crossing the Sinai, where most of them end up in
torture camps, raped and tortured by the smugglers.

The Peace NGO Forum is a platform for interactions and collaborations
with some 120 organizations. The forum's last meeting was held in Lod,
with the aim of examining the question of the connection between peace
organizations and Arab society in Israel.

Najah a-Rajabi, also known as Um Nasser, lives in Batan al-Hawa, a
neighborhood in Silwan, East Jerusalem. She is 62 years old and has nine
children. Twelve years ago settlers took over the building that adjoins
hers, and have made her life a misery ever since. She recently
received, as did most local residents, eviction claims from the Ateret
Cohanim settler association. Backed by authorities, it is part of the
most extensive dispossession proceedings underway in recent years in
East Jerusalem. Settlers are already living in a few neighborhood
buildings, and they were joined by official and private security
personnel funded by the Ministry of Housing. They regularly use violence
against Palestinian residents, including the use of live fire and crowd
control measures, threats, arresting minors and disrupting the fabric
of life.

Batan al-Hawa, a neighborhood in the heart of Silwan, is the setting for
the most extensive expulsion scheme in recent years in East Jerusalem.
The Ateret Cohanim settler association, backed by the Jerusalem
Municipality and the courts, has been trying to evict 81 neighborhood
families and take over their homes. It has already taken over six
buildings. The presence of settlers is attended by official and private
security personnel who regularly use violence against residents,
disrupting daily life.

Thousands of Palestinians gathered in Mandela Square in Ramallah on
Wednesday to support the more than 1,000 Palestinian political prisoners
who have been on hunger strike for 17 days in Israeli jails.
Demonstrators took to the street while Mahmoud Abbas was meeting with
U.S. President Donald Trump. According to Haaretz, the Trump
administration has asked Abbas to end government payments to the
families of prisoners in Israeli jails. Palestinians will strongly
disapprove if Mahmoud Abbas concedes to Trump's request. Ahmad Al Akra, a
demonstrator in Ramallah, said, “[Abbas] has been compromising more of
our freedom and so far nothing has been accomplished. And I think this
might be the final straw."

Friday, May 5, 2017

Israel/Palestine News


Abbas flattered Trump in an effort to gain favor with Trump, but Trump
offered nothing new in terms of US policy towards Palestinians, says Ali
Abunimah of the Electronic Intifada

Imad Al-Soos discusses the new Hamas declaration of principles, and how it differs from the old Hamas charter of 1988

Two Israeli men with serious mental health conditions who crossed
separately from Israel into the Gaza Strip in 2014 and 2015 have
apparently been held by the Hamas military wing, Human Rights Watch said
today. Avera Mangistu and Hisham al-Sayed, who both have histories of
wandering far on foot, including across borders without authorization,
have not been heard from since they entered Gaza.

authorities have indirectly acknowledged in media statements holding the
two men, but say they will divulge nothing about them – not even to
confirm their detention – until Israel frees a group of detained Hamas
members. Hamas authorities refer to the men as soldiers, but a Human
Rights Watch investigation indicates that the Israeli men were not
combatants or affiliated with the Israeli government when they entered

People living in occupied east Jerusalem are contesting a bill to impose
limitations on the Muslim call to prayer. The legislation is currently
making its way through Israel's parliament. But the people living in
Issawiya have literally built their opposition to the bill. TRT World's
Andre Pierre du Plessis reports.

Trailer (subtitled) - 70 Years Across the Sea: American Jews and 21st Century Zionism from Eric Axelman on Vimeo.