A young boy in the Palestinian refugee camp of Talbieh in Jordan / Omar Chatriwala, Flickr
Writing in the New York Times, author Peter Beinart writes in support of a boycott and divestment campaign against illegal settlements in the West Bank. His proposal is to boycott the products of settlements but to strongly support Israel proper and to oppose efforts to boycott Israel within the green line.
Beinart sees Israel’s expansion into the West Bank as creating “an entity of dubious democratic legitimacy, given that millions of West Bank Palestinians are barred from citizenship and the right to vote in the state that controls their lives.” He proposes calling the occupied territories “non-democratic” Israel, in distinction to the “democratic” Israel inside the Green Line. Thus, he favors boycott and divestment against settlements, but not against what he terms “democratic” Israel. Beinart is right that it is time for pressure on the non-democratic elements of Israel. But Beinart doesn’t go far enough in recognizing what those non-democratic elements are.
Continue reading “Beinart’s Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Proposal Leaves Out Palestinian Refugees” »
Catholic Church (England and Wales), Flickr
Joseph Hanania - The murder of four at a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, the worst act of anti-Semitic violence since 1982, was a tragedy. And yet, there was also an aspect of this killing which, up to now, has been largely overlooked.
As the New York Times reported, French President Nicolas Sarkozy “has sent gendarmes and riot police officers to guard all Jewish and Muslim schools and places of worship until the killer is stopped.” Other media, pointing to the same gun being used in other murders over the past week or so, have speculated that the killer may be a serial killer – one whose victims also include French Muslim soldiers headed to Afghanistan.
So here is the puzzle.
French Jews and Muslims have made common cause against this extremist, even as Middle Eastern Jews and Muslims are at each others’ throats. So whether Jews and Muslims are allies or enemies seemingly depends on the quirks of geography. The same Muslim with whom I, a Jew, am allied in France becomes my fearsome enemy in the Middle East. This makes sense?
Continue reading “Ending the Muslim-Jewish Blame Game” »
Vivien Sansour - Zahera Shalabi is the sister of Hana Shalabi, a 29 year-old woman from the village of Burqin in the Jenin district in Palestine. In February 2012, the Shalabi’s home was raided and Hana was arrested. She has since been in Israeli prison under what is called Administrative Detention where over 300 Palestinians are held without charge or trial. Zahera speaks about her sister as a young woman who is an artist and a dreamer who never hurt anyone. She speaks of the struggles her family has been going through since Hana was arrested. Shalabi’s parents have both been on hunger strike in solidarity with their daughter. As Hana Shalabi could be dying in prison, her father appeals to the whole world to hear their call and to put pressure on the Israeli government to release his daughter. In his own words, “Hana is not only my daughter, she is the daughter of every Palestinian.”
Vivien Sansour is an activist, organizer, writer and photographer. She has been involved in social justice issues and organizing communities in Honduras, India, Uruguay, Palestine, Colombia, and the United States.
Iron Dome Battery Deployed Near Ashkelon / Israel Defense Forces, Flickr
We take a special look at the events surrounding the deadliest escalation of violence between militant groups in Gaza and Israel since the 2008 Gaza War in this week’s review of the top #Palestine stories.
Continue reading “Week in Review: “Deadliest Violence in Gaza” Edition, Mar 16th” »
Annie Escobar -
From the moment we arrived at the International Women’s Day protest at the Qalandia checkpoint, we could’t hear ourselves think.
The Israeli Defense Forces had already activated a sound bomb- a loud, persistent and painful noise that feels like a hammer pounding a nail into your eardrum. They were already launching tear gas canisters into the crowd and “skunk water” was being sprayed (a putrid, carcinogenic liquid with a smell that won’t leave for weeks).
We soon realized that our plan to shoot many interviews with women wasn’t going to happen.
Continue reading “[Video] International Women’s Day Protest at Qalandia” »