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- Today in Palestine
Author Archives: Allison Deger
Perhaps the greatest achievement in neutralizing the Palestinian cause from how it started out, as a liberation struggle, was nudging it into a humanitarian project. Over the past two decades political talks have been exchanged for economic ones. The U.S. hand in this transformation became clear after Israeli and Palestinian leaders met in Jerusalem on Sunday to reopen economic collaboration measures
Three West Bank villages, including Rammun (above), are challenging Israeli orders to confiscate their agricultural fields, which are earmarked for a Palestinian Authority landfill funded by the German Development Bank. The dump illustrates the paradox of state-building to end the occupation, while still under occupation. How can the PA function as a body to arbitrate an end to the occupation if it’s government projects are backed by the might of military code?
The Israeli government approves a plan to relocate Jahalin Bedouin in al-Khan al-Ahmar to a “dump site” called “Nueimah” near Jericho. The Nueimah plan sets the stage for a future territory swap where Palestinians will lose out on residency rights to geographically key land in exchange for a wasteland in the desert.
Travel host Rick Steves writes a series in the Huffington Post on Israel and Palestine.
Clashes broke out across the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem, yesterday as Palestinians marked the 65th anniversary of the Nakba. Allison Deger reports from Ofer prison where protesters faced off with Israeli soldiers.
For the second time in two years, students at Tel Aviv University (TAU) commemorating the 1947-49 Palestinian expulsion and the destruction of villages were met with a counter-protest. At last year’s event over 1,000 amassed on campus, ending in clashes incited by members of Knesset. Again this year, the youth-based “new Zionist” group Im Tirtzu bottom-lined the demonstration, distributing a counter analysis pamphlet titled “Nakba Harta” or “Nakba-Bullshit”.
On Saturday the J14 movement made a “comeback” with 10,000 protesting in Tel Aviv over austerity measures. So Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s honeymoon with the Israeli center-left is over. And while you’d think that the protesters would be upset about the housing subsidies to West Bank settlers, they’re careful not to talk about the occupation
Allison Deger reports from Jerusalem Day, a celebration of Israel’s 1967 conquest of the holy city, as religious-nationalists parade through the Palestinian sections of the Old City. Above, Israeli girls sing and dance in front of the Jaffa Gate entrance to the Old City.
Until last week the Arab world’s position on Israeli borders was firm. Then Secretary of State John Kerry visited the Middle East and the Arab League reversed its stance on settlements, backing “land swaps” between Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.
Noted Israeli activist Ezra Nawi faces a struggle to continue protesting in the West Bank. He needs a new truck.
On Wednesday an Israeli court ordered an expansion of the separation barrier into the Cremisan Valley. The wall will now envelop a Catholic monastery and school on three sides, and confiscate precious wine-producing lands. Will this landgrab awaken the world to the plunders of Greater Jerusalem?
Allison Deger writes from Jerusalem about a racist encounter she had on Yom Haatzmaut, and the tension that is seen everyday in interpersonal interactions across the city.
The Tel Aviv neighborhoods of Shapira and Neve Sha’anan are the parts of town where cracks in the concrete do not get fixed and they’re never featured in guidebooks for the White City. Crumbling between the 1960s era homes and recently fabricated tin structures is a ghost of Israel’s past: a Palestinian mansion only a five-minute walk from the center of the city’s transport system. Dubbed the “Red House,” this structure serves as a reminder that Israel’s first city was not built from empty sand dunes.
The contradiction between the presentation of force and a policy against it was no clearer than last week at the Hebron funeral of Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh, a Palestinian prisoner who died of cancer while in Israeli detention.
Land Day is an annual commemoration of six killed during a 1976 march against land expropriations in the Galilee. Last year Palestinians protested in thousands to mark Land Day. This year’s protests, at Qalandia, Damascus Gate and the southwest Jerusalem village of Beit Safafa, failed to capture the same momentum– and may signal a change in Palestinian attitudes about demonstrations.
Hundreds of Israelis traveled over the Green Line to observe Passover this week at a carnival-like event as Israeli officials closed the Ibrahimi Mosque to Palestinians in the West Bank’s largest city. The contrast between the Palestinian and Israeli Jewish areas was stark. While most Palestinians closed up shop in Hebron’s Old City due to the threat of settler harassment, Israeli Jews marked Passover by dancing in the streets, surrounded by high-flying Israeli flags and armed soldiers.
Israeli police raided the protest village Bab al-Shams in the early hours of Sunday, hours after President Obama departed from the region. Around 200 Israeli police clad in riot gear, affixed with green glow sticks, set upon the protesters. A small group of the protesters were taken to Ofer military prison. Above, Israeli riot policemen detain Palestinian activists during the eviction of Bab al Shams (Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills).
Obama-mania is not contagious in Palestine. As Israeli authorities are occupied trying to make Barack Obama’s visit a big success, Palestinian activists have quietly rebuilt a protest encampment that was raided and demolished three months ago, on E-1, Palestinian lands on the east side of Jerusalem, that Israel has targeted to build more Jewish settlements.
Despite some fanfare over President Barack Obama’s upcoming three-hour visit to Ramallah during his trip to Israel, Palestinians in the de facto capital of the West Bank are for the most part disappointed with the diplomatic tour. Allison Deger talks with several Ramallah residents who doubt Obama has any interest in the well being of the Palestinian people and believe his policies already indicate Israel is the U.S.’s ally in the region. Above, a Palestinian coffee shop makes light of the short visit.
Mohammed Asfour’s burial earlier this month in the village of Aboud near Ramallah was not a national event. The 23 year-old Bethlehem University student and sports lover may not be memorialized outside his small village, yet Asfour’s March 8th funeral was a turning point. Protests in the wake of his death are indicative of a wave of confrontations with the Israeli military across the West Bank. The prisoners’ hunger strike has pushed into small villages and re-invigorated popular dissent. As President Barack Obama’s makes his much lauded arrival in the region this week, a nascent uprising is forming.
Using secret travel ban, Israel prepares to deport activist Adam Shapiro preventing him from being at the birth of his first child
Adam Shapiro, co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), will be deported Wednesday evening after flying to Israel for the birth of his son. Shapiro’s wife Huwaida Arraf says Israel claims he was presented with Hebrew document in 2009 that stipulated a 10-year entry ban, but she says, “this is the first time he’s been told he has a 10-year ban.” Shapiro’s looming deportation demonstrates that Israel not only issues entry bans, but also conceals them until the time of arrival.
Despite a week of clashes settlers party for Purim in Hebron.
Allison Deger reports from the West Bank as demonstrations grow in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners. Israel has attempted to crack down on protests with force, and appease Palestinians by releasing long withheld tax revenues, but there is no end in sight as the popular resistance spreads.
Allison Deger reports from Ramallah where Khader Adnan and a growing group of protesters have been conducting a sit-in and fast inside of the offices of International Committee of the Red Cross. The action aims to bring attention to Israeli administrative detention practices and the cases of Palestinian hunger strikers Samer Issawi and Ayman Sharawna. Adnan explains, “It’s a message to the international world and the international community that their silence is killing us.”
Michael Lucas, gay porn mogul and anti-Muslim advocate crosses into the mainstream with Israel Undressed: Gay Men in the Promised Land, a pinkwashing documentary.