After Abu Sisi’s rendition, his father cried for a day, knowing he might never see his son again

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and other news from Today in Palestine:

Land, property, resources theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid / Settlers

Interview: Hamas lawmaker defies order to leave Jerusalem / Jillian Kestler-D’Amours
EI 20 Apr — JKD:What will happen if you and your colleagues are deported from Jerusalem? Muhammad Totah: It means deporting thousands of people from East Jerusalem for disloyalty. This word does not have any dimensions or any measures, so they can claim that anybody living in East Jerusalem … is disloyal to the Israeli occupation and then deport him. We know that it is one of the main objectives of the Israeli plan to empty East Jerusalem of the Palestinian people.

Settlers determined to rebuild demolished outpost
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 22 Apr — A group of settlers is determined to rebuild an illegal outpost destroyed Thursday, hours after its establishment in an event attended by hundreds in the northern West Bank.  “Regev” was built 200 meters from a home in the illegal Itamar settlement where an Israeli family was found murdered in March … Officials from the neighboring Palestinian village of Awarta say the land is privately owned.

Palestinian Festival of Literature Outro: poems, flames, tears, and rap
[photos] 21 Apr — Violence erupted in Silwan last night [Wed], interrupting but not stopping the final day of the Palestine Festival of Literature …”The problems in Silwan tonight are a summary of what Palestinians have experienced for many years,” said Ahdaf Soueif, the Palestine Literature Festival emcee. During poetry readings, Israeli forces threw stones at the tent from the top of the hill across the street. The festival continued and was topped by [the rap group] DAM, partly breaking into a capella.

Photos from Silwanic album
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 22 Apr


Medics: Farmer shot in northern Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 22 Apr — A farmer was hospitalized Thursday after Israeli soldiers shot him as he worked on his land in northern Gaza, medics said. The 45-year-old man was shot in his stomach in the Abu Safieyah area of Beit Lahiya … Israel unilaterally imposes a no-go zone along the border inside the Gaza Strip, and soldiers frequently shoot at Palestinians inside the area. In Oxfam’s latest report, the international organization said “In practice, Israel restricts access to agricultural land up to 1,000-1,500 metres from the fence, which accounts for more than 30% of Gaza’s agricultural land and a significant number of water wells. Most of the Gaza Strip’s animal production is also concentrated in this area.”

Medics: 3 injured as Israeli tanks shell Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 22 Apr 15:19 — Three Palestinians were injured Friday in Israeli tank shelling east of Gaza City, medics said. Palestinian medics said three factory workers sustained multiple injuries in Ash-Shuja‘yeh and were transferred to the Ash-Shifa Hospital. An Israeli military spokesman said no tanks had opened fire in the area on Friday.

Israeli version:
Three people wounded near UN compound in Gaza by Palestinian mortar fire
Haaretz 22 Apr 14:28 — The wounded were not UN workers, as had been previously reported; IDF says the three were injured by an errant mortar bomb launched by Gaza militants According to an IDF spokesperson, the three were wounded by a mortar bomb fired by Gaza militants from the area of the Sajaia refugee camp. Hamas claimed, however, that the three were wounded by an IDF tank shell.

PCHR weekly report: Civilian dies, 7 injured from Israeli attacks this week (14-20 2011)
In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 14 – 20 April 2011, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that a Palestinian civilian from the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah died of his wounds. In addition, a Palestinian civilian was wounded by Israeli settlers in the south of Nablus. Responding to that incident, Israeli soldiers wounded three civilians, including two journalists. Also this week, …


Video: 250 children of Gaza spell out ‘No Fly Zone over Palestine” with their bodies on beach / Ken O’Keefe
We demand that the good people of the world acknowledge that Israeli planes simply flying over Palestine is an intentional source of panic and fear, of state sponsored terrorism, for countless people in Gaza, especially the children. There are kids in Gaza that wet themselves at night for fear of being bombed again when they hear Israeli aircraft overhead. And this is a nearly daily occurrence.

Video: More than 40 international and local organizations launch Civil Peace Service Gaza
22 Apr — On Wednesday 20th of April, at 11:30 (local time), more than 40 international and local organizations launched a human rights monitoring mission to report potential violations in Palestinian waters … The Oliva will start its mission next week. It will have an international crew, trained in human rights monitoring and international law, and will be equipped with video cameras and radios to maintain permanent contact with the land team.

Bring surfing to the people of the Gaza Strip / Tim King & Ken O’Keefe
20 Apr – with video “Thoughts on Vittorio Arrigoni and surfing in Gaza” … In spite of the violence and constant threat from Israel that completely surrounds Gaza, with walls, fences, soldiers and navy boats that are always quick to fire, Ken reminds us that it is an amazing coast with beautiful beaches, and there are great waves that break all day without bringing joy to people. I’ve always believed that surfing is God’s single most natural sport. As Ken says, it is time for the surfing community to come together and gather supplies to deliver to Gaza. Imagine the difference it could make, surfers understand this. What surfers can do: Whether it is kayaks, surfboards, inflatable boats, outboard motors, boogie boards, you name it, anything to enhance the ability of the children to interact with the sea.

Egyptian government to ease siege on Gaza
CAIRO (Ma‘an) 22 Apr — The Egyptian government will apply new procedures at the Rafah crossing on the Egypt-Gaza border to ease travel for residents of the besieged coastal enclave, officials said Thursday. During a meeting in Cairo, Baha Ad-Dusuqi, head of Palestinian affairs in the Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, informed Gaza government spokesman Taher An-Nunu that new measures would be in place at the terminal soon.

Brought to you by the IDF website
Red Cross official: Gaza isn’t experiencing a humanitarian crisis
IDF website quoted deputy Gaza Red Cross chief as saying that the issue in Gaza is of infrastructure and access to goods such as concrete … In an interview conducted by Rotem Caro-Weizman and published on the IDF website, Mathilde Redmatn, deputy director of the Red Cross in the Gaza Strip, said that there “is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza,” adding: “If you go to the supermarket, there are products. There are restaurants and a nice beach.”

Israel opens 1 crossing for limited goods
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 22 Apr …Israel usually closes the crossing on a Friday, but Palestinian liaison officials said around 70 truckloads of goods would enter the Gaza Strip.

Restrictions on movement

Pilgrims gather in Jerusalem for Good Friday
JERUSALEM (AFP) 22 Apr — Thousands of Christian pilgrims braved storms, hail and heavy security in Jerusalem’s Old City to pray along the route tradition holds Jesus took to his crucifixion on Good Friday … The procession ends at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built over the sites where Christians believe Christ was crucified and buried. However, heavy Israeli security — with police setting up road blocks and metal barriers — prevented many from reaching the sacred shrine.

Video: Good Friday in Jerusalem
Pal. Mon. 22 Apr — It was a day of song and prayer in the streets of Jerusalem as religious tourists and pilgrims from all over the world swarmed the Holy City to mourn the sacrificial crucifixion of Jesus. French, Italian, South American, and Filipino Catholics joined the Russian, Greek, and Armenian Orthodox with Protestants and Chinese, Japanese, Palestinian, and Swiss pilgrims in a day of procession down the Via Dolorosa … The final and thirteenth point is the Holy Sepulchre, the iconic church central to 2.2 billion Christians. The massed pilgrims were shepherded along by vast amounts of armed Israeli soldiers and police.

Hebron: ‘Let them walk three miles’; Passover brings further restrictions on Palestinians
CPT 21 Apr — The Jewish Passover/Pesach holiday has imposed further restrictions on the residents of Hebron. All of the gates allowing entrance to and exit from the Old City souq on its east side were locked or barred shut to Palestinian residents and non-Jewish international visitors. The closure caused significant difficulties for teachers and pupils.  A woman — widely known as the “ladder lady” — whose house is on Shuhada Street, along which the Jewish worshippers walk, allowed Palestinians to use her house for getting in and out of the souq (market).  In the morning, they rang her bell, and walked through her house and down the stairway into Shuhada Street. The Israeli police on duty in the morning allowed the children and teachers then to cross Shuhada Street on their way to school. However, when school ended for the day and the children and teachers tried to make the return trip, Israeli soldiers and police initially refused to allow them to cross Shuhada Street, saying that the Old City souq was closed. Teachers, a local community leader, and CPTers asked the police to let the children cross. They pointed out to a senior Israeli policeman that if he did not allow the children to cross Shuhada Street they would have to take a detour of at least three miles. ‘Let them walk three miles,’ he responded … Passover continues through next Tuesday.


Lawyer Essawi freed along with her two brothers from Israeli jails
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC) 22 Apr — The Israeli occupation authorities has released Thursday Palestinian lawyer Sherien Essawi and her two brothers from jail after the Israeli prosecution failed to prove any charges against them. The IOA charged the three siblings with passing Hamas money to Palestinian prisoners from the Gaza Strip who were denied family visits for years now. The Israeli central court decided to release the three Palestinians after their lawyer filed a petition urging their immediate release after the prosecutor failed to prove the charges against them despite the passage of one year since they were arrested.

Qabaha urges Abbas to release Natsheh from jail
RAMALLAH, (PIC) 22 Apr — Former minister of the prisoners and ex-prisoners Wasfi Qabaha has urged Thursday Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas to immediately release Palestinian businessman Nabil Al-Natsheh from PA jails. According to Qabaha, the persistent detention of Palestinian leaders and prominent figures in the Palestinian community in PA jails contradicts the allegations of Fatah Movement of being keen on ending the Palestinian internal rift … “Indeed, I expected that Abbas would order the release of all Palestinian political prisoners incarcerated in his jails across the West Bank on the Palestinian Prisoner Day, but sad to say it didn’t happen,” Qabaha said in a statement he issued on Thursday.

Palestinian security arrest a number of suspected collaborators
RAFAH, (PIC) 22 A[r — Palestinian internal security sources in the Rafah district revealed that a number of suspected collaborators with the Israeli occupation were arrested over the past few days. The sources added in a statement that was conveyed by the Hamas information office in Rafah on Thursday said that the  internal security intensified their pursuit of possible collaborators after the assassination of Qassam commanders Tayseer Abu Selmeyyah and Muhammad Awajah.

War crimes

Mean street / Shay Fogelman
Haaretz 22 Apr — Four mortar shells fired by the IDF ‘at a military target’ in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead landed on a busy Al-Fakhoura Street and killed dozens of civilians. An investigation by Haaretz finds that the army’s answers are not consistent with its own reports about the day of the shelling and that there are also major contradictions with facts made public here for the first time.

International kidnapping

Israel, extraordinary rendition, and the strange case of Dirar Abu Sisi / Richard Silverstein
Truthout 21 Apr — …Among the heartbreaking things Yousef told me was the account of his brother’s six children, who remain in Gaza without either father or mother. They are being cared for by his sister, Suzanne, who has six children of her own. He also recounted the suffering of his elderly father in Jordan when Yousef told him that Dirar had been arrested by the Israeli security apparatus. The man cried for almost a day without stopping, knowing that he might never again see his son, given his advanced age … The case of Abu Sisi seems yet another in a long line of extraordinary renditions. But the question for Israel is — at what gain for what cost? Nabbing someone perhaps proves the Mossad’s power to get its man anywhere, at any time — a possible plus if the goal is to intimidate your enemy. However, the cost is proving that as a nation, you respect neither national sovereignty, due process nor international law. You prove the claims of your enemies that you are a rogue state rather than an upstanding member of the international community … We are left to speculate regarding the reasons for Abu Sisi’s detention. The number of possibilities includes the fact that, as Gaza’s senior civil engineer, he would be a prize for Israel in its ongoing efforts to disrupt daily life in Hamas-dominated Gaza.

Activism / Solidarity

Today in Bil‘in / Hamde Abu Rahme
[photos] 22 Apr — On the second anniversary of the martyrdom of Bassem Abu Rahma and within the activities of the International Conference on Popular Resistance, Bil‘in renews the covenant of the martyrs to continue the struggle until they achieve independence. One citizen of the village of Bil‘in was seriously injured as well as five demonstrators and four others who were injured as a result of abuse by the occupying forces, in addition to dozens of other cases of people choking on poison gas.

Videos: 6th annual Bil‘in conference on popular resistance: Luisa Morgantini and Cindy Corrie
poster 21 Apr, conference 20 Apr

Freedom Coalition: No request from Fatah to participate in Flotilla
LONDON, (PIC) 22 Apr — The Freedom Coalition has denied Thursday it received any request from Fatah faction to participate in the Freedom Flotilla 2 that it plans to send to Gaza next month. A spokesman of the Coalition said to the Quds Press that his group didn’t receive any request from Fatah faction in this regard, opining that the fact Fatah was willing to partake in the Flotilla indicates that the movement started to correct its position regarding the Flotilla. In the past Fatah Movement undermined and described the Freedom Flotilla 1 that sailed to Gaza last year but blocked by the Israeli occupation as a “ridiculous game”.

Penticton couple return from peace mission to Palestine
British Columbia, Canada 21 Apr — Welch … along with husband Mark recently returned from a three-week peace mission to West Bank with the Christian Peacemakers Team … Mark vividly recalled the incredible feeling of oppression and pending violence that lasted throughout the trip … “I think that sort of day-to-day, minute-to-minute grind is a constant reminder that you’re under somebody else’s thumb,” said Twilla. “It was heart-breaking really, really heartbreaking. “It’s shocking and I don’t think anybody who experienced what we did could not be moved or changed in some way, as well as angry and hurt and concerned for the future.” However, what surprised them even more was the graciousness of the Palestinian people in spite of the oppression and their resolve to maybe one day live again in peace with their neighbours. Also their adaptability. Twilla remembered watching from her apartment window as an elderly woman carrying a small child and groceries could only access her home by a two-storey ladder from the rear of the building because her house — its front door welded shut — fronted on a street she was not allowed to use. [must have been Hebron]

Marrickville Council votes against BDS but in favor of the 3 tenets of the BDS call / Sonja Karkar
22 Apr — The Australians for Palestine team arrived in Sydney on Monday to give support to Marrickville BDS and the Marrickville councillors.  It was, we felt, an historic occasion for BDS in Australia … Labor Councillor Mary O’Sullivan foreshadowed a motion that resolved ““not to pursue BDS against Israel in any shape or form” and Greens Councillor Peter Olive proposed that a motherhood statement be inserted.  This ended up maintaining the three tenets of the BDS call — to end the occupation of all Arab lands and dismantle the Wall, to ensure full equality for Palestinians living in Israel and to support the right of Palestinian refugees to return home. This was carried 8 votes to 4 against. None of the councillors who had opposed the BDS resolution seemed aware of the incongruity of now voting for a motion that included the very demands that BDS seeks, while refusing to do anything about it.

Racism / Discrimination / Sectarianism

Poster calling to boycott stores where Arabs work with Jewish women spotted in Jerusalem
“Do you want your grandson to be named Ahmed ben Sarah?” a street poster slapped on the walls of Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods inquires, in a not-so-subtle dig at the Yesh retail chain. The problem the authors of the broadside (pashkevil, in Hebrew ) have is that Yesh, the Haredi arm of the Super-Sol supermarket chain, allows Arab men to work alongside Jewish women.

NGO slams policy putting Ethiopian olim in specific areas
JPost 21 Apr — Government creating ‘new ghettos’ by restricting where immigrants can buy homes with public aid, claims Ethiopian advocacy group.

Rabbis slam attack on Reform synagogue
Ynet 22 Apr — A number of rabbis and public figures from the city of Raanana have signed a letter strongly condemning the desecration of a local Reform synagogue. “This act, like other acts of violence, saddens all of us,” the letter said. “We stress that the Torah condemns any act of violence and harm to our fellowman.”,7340,L-4058163,00.html

Political/Diplomatic/International news

Gilmore says Israeli blockade of Gaza ‘absolutely unacceptable’
22 Apr — IRELAND WANTS the EU to take a more active and urgent interest in the situation in Gaza, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has told the Dáil. The Minister for Foreign Affairs said he had made this “clear to my colleagues and the European Union foreign affairs council”.

Abbas in Paris as France mulls recognizing Palestine
AFP 22 Apr — President Nicolas Sarkozy hosted Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas in Paris on Thursday as France told the United Nations that Europe was considering giving formal recognition to a Palestinian state. “Recognition of the state of Palestine is one of the options which France is considering, with its European partners, with a view to creating a political horizon for relaunching the peace process,” French ambassador Gerard Araud told a UN Security Council debate on the Middle East.

Abbas: UN rejection of statehood could be dangerous
PARIS (Ma‘an) 22 Apr — President Mahmoud Abbas warned Thursday that there could be serious ramifications if the UN rejected recognition of a Palestinian state in September. The president told France 24 that rejecting Palestinian statehood could be a dangerous move, and that he did not want a third Palestinian uprising to erupt, in an interview broadcast Thursday.

‘Merkel to press Abbas on state declaration’
AFP 22 Apr — Der Spiegel says German chancellor will explain to Palestinian president why she thinks it ill-advised for him to push for recognition of Palestinian state at UN General Assembly meeting in September,7340,L-4059839,00.html

UN political chief urges ‘bold and decisive’ steps to revive Middle East peace talks
UN 21 Apr — …”Both parties should be concerned that the political track is falling behind the significant progress being made by the Palestinian Authority in its state-building agenda,” said B. Lynn Pascoe, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, in a briefing to the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East. “The international community is rightly concerned at the protracted stalemate in the peace process…”

Egypt detains ex-energy minister over gas deal with Israel
Reuters 21 Apr — Egypt’s public prosecutor on Thursday ordered former Energy Minister Sameh Fahmy and five other senior energy officials detained for questioning over a natural gas deal with Israel that the government is reviewing. Israel gets 40% of its natural gas from Egypt under an arrangement put in place after a 1979 peace deal. Opposition groups have long complained the gas was being sold at preferential prices and that East Mediterranean Gas (EMG), the company which supplies it, violated bureaucratic regulations.,7340,L-4059621,00.html

Other news

Palestinian Authority threatens to block international mail
JPost 21 Apr — The Palestinian Authority will stop sending and receiving international mail beginning next month, a Palestinian minister has warned, asserting that Israel has failed to implement a 2008 agreement that would let the PA have direct postal relations with the rest of the world. Speaking to journalists in Ramallah on Tuesday, Communications Minister Mashhour Abu-Daqqa charged that Israel is deliberately disrupting Palestinian mail services, causing Palestinian postal services losses of over $200,000 a month. Israel’s failure to comply with tax deduction and clearing mechanisms has shaken the confidence of Palestinians in their postal services, he told the Palestinian daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadidah.

Body of Arrigoni suspect to be returned to Jordan
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 22 Apr — The body of a Jordanian charged with murdering an Italian activist left Gaza on Friday through the Erez crossing on Israel’s border, officials said. The Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs coordinated with the Gaza government to return Abdul-Rahman Al-Breizat’s body to Jordan via Israel, sources in the Palestinian liaison office told Ma‘an. Al-Breizat died Tuesday during a raid on a building in the Gaza Strip suspected of housing the killers of Vittorio Arrigoni. The Hamas-run interior ministry said that Al-Breizat shot himself during the raid, after throwing a grenade at two others also suspected of killing Arrigoni.

Tech diplomacy: Israeli CEO hires Palestinian programmers
CSM 22 Apr — The last time chief executive officer Eyal Waldman had been to the Israeli-occupied West Bank was as a soldier. But when he needed to outsource some work for his fast-growing Israeli technology company, he chose an unconventional solution: hiring Palestinian programmers from Ramallah. The year-old experiment has worked so well that the firm, Mellanox Technologies, expects to establish a research and development center in Ramallah. Even if it costs more than a similar operation in Eastern Europe, Mr. Waldman says there’s an intangible upside: boosting political stability by employing Israel’s neighbors.

Hebron village waiting for promised water repairs
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 22 Apr — Residents of Deir Al-Asal area in Dura village in Hebron are still suffering from the shortage of water for two years and they received many promises to solve their case. Resident Raed Al-Shawamreh said, “The officials of this region promised eight months ago to repair and fix the water canals and system but nothing was done.” He is afraid that summer will come and no water will be available. An official at the water department in the region, Walid Abu Sharar, said that the old network was undergoing repairs. The new one will reach Deir Al-Asal in Dura and 14 other villages, he said.

Subaru: We have no link to ad showing kids hit by car
JPost 22 Apr — Japan Auto, carmaker Subaru’s importer in Israel, says it has no idea who is behind the creation of an advertisement attributed to it which uses a picture of two Palestinian children being hit by a car driven by a prominent right-wing activist … A Subaru logo sits in the bottom right-hand corner of the ad, accompanied by the sentence, “Let’s see who will stand in your way.”

Israel air force prepping for air terrorism with real-life scenarios
Haaretz 22 Apr — To defend the country’s airspace, endless surveillance of the air traffic in neighboring countries is required, using a quick warning system and permanent readiness of interceptors … Much of the exercise was carried out at the control center on Mount Meron. At 1,200 meters, it is one of the highest peaks in Israel, but the controllers work deep underground, in a facility capable of withstanding air attacks.

Culture / Human interest

Nablus The Culture
22 Apr — “I look at culture as a way of resistance,” Hammad said, smoking cigarette after cigarette beneath the two-story marble columns of his music and events center, Nablus The Culture. “You can arrest anybody but you can’t arrest a soul.” The singers are a diverse mix of Palestinians and internationals from Spain, the U.S. and Europe. A crowd of fifty or so, mostly Palestinian, showed up in suits and dresses to listen to songs of merriment, locomotion, revolution and love. Hammad started Nablus The Culture in 2005, focusing on arranging concerts and teaching local music students. But it took four years before he really got it off the ground.

Interview: Clay Carson’s Martin Luther King play goes to East Jerusalem, West Bank
21 Apr — Stanford’s Martin Luther King scholar Clay Carson took his play, Passages of Martin Luther King, to the Palestinian National Theatre in East Jerusalem and West Bank communities in March and early April. The production, translated into Arabic and directed by Kamel El Basha, featured eight Palestinian actors, along with six African American singers who depicted King’s Ebenezer Baptist Church choir and civil rights freedom fighters.

Analysis / Opinion

Staying human — a heroic legacy / Ramzy Baroud
22 Apr — Vittorio Arrigoni’s murder was an opportunity for Israel’s supporters. Most notorious amongst them was Daniel Pipes. He wrote, in a brief entry in the National Review Online: “Note the pattern of Palestinians who murder the groupies and apologists who join them to aid in their dream of eliminating Israel.”  Pipes named three individuals, including the Palestinian-Israeli filmmaker, Juliano Mer-Khamis, and Arrigoni himself, and then proceeded to invite readers to “send in further examples that I may have missed.”  Pipes’ list, however, will have no space for such names as Rachel Corrie, Tom Hurndall and James Miller, for these individuals were all murdered by Israeli forces. Pipes will also fail to mention the nine Turkish activists murdered aboard the Mavi Marmara ship on its way to break the siege on Gaza in May 2010, and the nine activists abroad Irene (the Jewish Boat to Gaza) who were intercepted, kidnapped and humiliated by Israeli troops before being deported outside the country in September 2010.

Juliano Mer-Khamis — a killing inspired by drama, not politics / Conal Urquhart in Jenin
Guardian 21 Apr — Jenin residents claim public opinion turned on director for performing plays that went against Islamic conservative values — The murder earlier this month of Juliano Mer-Khamis was condemned all over the world but met with a grim silence by the residents of the Jenin refugee camp where he founded his Freedom Theatre. It has emerged that the residents of the camp had serious grievances against the actor-director that may have provided the excuses for an unknown gunman to kill him … Meanwhile, at the theatre staff remain determined to continue the work of Mer-Khamis despite a sense of paranoia that the killer had a connection to the theatre.

Hebron Reflection: a call to let go of fear for the sake of justice / Paulette Schroeder
CPT 22 Apr — I recently finished reading the Kairos Palestine Document, a text full of faith and hope put out by the shrinking Palestinian Christian community in Israel/Palestine, which now amounts to just 1.5% of the total population. Now into my third year as a member of the Christian Peacemaker team in Hebron, West Bank, I daily encounter Palestinians whose freedom has been taken from them. The separation wall has turned their towns and villages into prisons, separating them from one another. Israeli settlements control their water and natural resources and their ability to raise their crops. The military checkpoints subject their brothers, their uncles, and their fathers to daily humiliations. Like one young Palestinian businessman recently said to me at a checkpoint: “I’m living in quicksand.  I’m trapped.”  I wonder if any Palestinian neighbor of mine thinks about all the creative possibilities within him/herself.  I worry, too, whether more than forty years of military occupation may have smashed such hopeful thinking. But the cries of hope ring out loudly from the Kairos Document:

Bieber’s empty pop can’t drown out Palestinians’ cry / Alexander Billett
EI 21 Apr — The same evening that Justin Bieber played a concert in Tel Aviv, Palestinian solidarity activist Vittorio Arrigoni was kidnapped. Next morning, Arrigoni’s body was found in an abandoned house in Gaza, and the biggest story in the Israeli media was Bieber’s tweet of thanks to the nation’s people. Arrigoni’s death could have been an opportunity for Israel’s media to discuss the affects of the blockade on Gaza, and to once again place that debate on an international stage. Bieber ran interception on this possibility. Yet another stark, tragic argument for the artistic and cultural boycott of Israel.

Video interview: Jonathan Cook on Nazareth, Israeli citizenship laws, and the Arabic language
posted 20 Apr — Nazareth-based journalist Jonathan Cook interviewed by Jon Dillingham

‘Transcript’ of the Itamar investigation / Gabriel
20 Apr — Ynet: “Shin Bet, IDF and police have arrested two Palestinians, both residents of the village of Awarta, in connection to the Fogel family massacre in Itamar in March.” Now, YNET doesn’t mention the method of investigation. But, luckily, I have the partial transcript: Shin Bet Investigator 1 (David): So, Hakim, I was told that the last week you spent in our four stars hotel convinced you to cooperate with the investigation? Hakim: (trying to move his broke arm) yes. Shin Bet Investigator 2 (Shlomo): Good! Good! Yalla David, let’s finish this. Let’s finish it and call it a day. David: (taking a file from a pile on his desk, opening it). So, Hakim, do you confess that you were in the room with Hitler when he gave the order to exterminate all the Jews of Europe? Hakim: I do. I do.

Israel ‘supplied arms to Argentina during Falklands war’ / Robin Yapp, São Paulo
Telegraph 20 Apr — Israel secretly supplied arms and equipment to Argentina during the Falklands War due to Prime Minister Menachem Begin’s personal hatred of the British, a new book discloses.


Thursday: 8 Iraqis killed, 17 wounded
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki met with Admiral Michael Mullen in Baghdad and reiterated his belief that Iraq’s military is prepared to take over when the last U.S. soldier leaves at the end of the year. Meanwhile, at least eight Iraqis were killed and 17 more were wounded. Six decomposed bodies were found in Samarra. A roadside bomb blast targeting a judge killed a child and wounded four people. In Baghdad, gunmen wounded a police major in Adhamiya. A bomb in central Baghdad wounded three people….

About Kate

American; political science major, M.A.; former ISM volunteer in the West Bank

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