Author Archives: Pam Bailey

About Pam Bailey

I am social entrepreneur who reports on Palestine; teaches journalism/ social media & consults on communication strategies in the fight for peace & justice. Have 2 homes: Washington DC & Gaza.

‘We have nothing left to lose. I would rather die with my family under the rubble of our house than have a humiliating truce’: Palestinian youth demand justice

Pam Bailey writes that in dozens of conversations with youth in Gaza, the opinion was nearly universal: Despite their heavy losses and the gross imbalance of power, they do not want a ceasefire that merely stops the immediate fighting and promises to open negotiations on their other grievances. No. What they insist on – demand – is a ceasefire tied to an end to their repression, even if it means more death and destruction for their people. Life is meaningless, they say, if it is spent under the boot of an oppressor. She concludes the decisions of tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza to stay in their homes was not the result of Hamas ordering them to sacrifice themselves as human shields, as Benjamin Netanyahu would have you believe, but the principled actions of a proud, independent people. And when Hamas rejected the ceasefire unilaterally declared by Egypt and Israel, it had the support of the vast majority of residents.

Posted in Gaza, Israel/Palestine | 72 Comments

Palestinian rockets: The conversation no one is having

Almost everyone in the US peace camp is opposed to Palestinian violence. But history has shown that when there is oppression, some individuals will choose that route; it’s the norm, not the exception.

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 83 Comments

Report from Yemen: The innocent victims of the Obama drone wars

Yemen’s National Dialogue Conference debates a resolution that would end the use of drones and other forms of extra-judicial killing.

Posted in US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics, War on Terror | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Report from Yemen: ‘I thought the United States was all about democracy and the rule of law. Instead, what you’re teaching us is the law of the jungle.’

A Codepink delegation hears testimony from families of Guantanamo detainees in Yemen, while the life of one of them hangs in the balance.

Posted in Activism, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics, War on Terror | 6 Comments

A day in the sun for Gaza, or more of the same?

With the news that the UN General Assembly has voted 138-9 to accept Palestine as a “non-member observer state,” fireworks erupted and horns honked in Gaza. Finally, Palestinians were feeling as if they were having their day in the sun.

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4 myths about the Israeli attack on Gaza

As Israel continues to pound the Gaza Strip, and factions within the beleaguered territory retaliate as best they can, there are many myths and stereotypes dominating mainstream media coverage, and many conversations. Here are a few of the most common misunderstandings.

Posted in Gaza, Israel/Palestine, Media | Tagged , , , | 38 Comments

Pakistan: A land of competing narratives

In my last post, I noted the false choice that seemed to be emerging amidst all the outpouring of grief (and a certain amount of hoopla) surrounding the shooting of Malala: In other words, stop the U.S. drone attacks or the Taliban. Since then, that debate has now come front and center, along with a growing suspicion among sectors of the public of everyone involved. Two narratives. Two agendas. Both have merit, but instead of the parties working together for mutual good, an epic battle is shaping up.

Posted in US Politics, War on Terror | Tagged , , | 20 Comments

Drone attacks will lead to inevitable blowback in Pakistan

“I will never forget what the American soldiers did to my country, my tribe and my family. They violated our national sovereignty and our Islamic laws. They killed my son and my younger brother. They destroyed my home. If I see the soldiers who are responsible for this – if I have the opportunity — I will kill them.”

Posted in US Politics, War on Terror | Tagged , | 14 Comments

Pakistan is caught between two evils – US drones and the Taliban they help prop up

Pam Bailey reports from a CODEPINK delegation to Pakistan: “I am convinced that the two — drones and the Taliban — cannot be considered separately. The former “feeds” the latter.”

Posted in US Politics, War on Terror | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

The US legacy of Bagram prison

Pam Bailey reports from the Code Pink delegation to Pakistan: Abdul disappeared in 2005, and it wasn’t until 2007 that his family was finally told where their son was being held – the infamous Bagram prison, the largest detention facility in the world and known as “Afghanistan’s Guantanamo.” In January of this year, Afghan investigators accused the U.S. Army of abusing detainees at Bagram, including torture.

Posted in US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics, War on Terror | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Palestine to Pakistan…connecting the dots

When I announced that I am joining a CodePink delegation to Pakistan, with the purpose of journeying into Waziristan – the quintessential “no-man’s land” – to interview families of victims of American drone attacks, I invariably have been met with a blank look. “Why?” they ask. Followed by, “Isn’t that a bit too….dangerous?” Let me try to answer both of those questions, starting with “why?”

Posted in US Policy in the Middle East, War on Terror | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Zahi Khouri to Methodist conference: ‘We don’t need charity; we want freedom to help ourselves’

When United Methodist delegates gather as a plenary to vote on church policies this week, two petitions will be presented that reflect opposing approaches to helping Palestinians.

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel/Palestine | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Investment in Palestine no substitute for divestment from oppression

On Friday, a United Methodist Church subcommittee voted to amend a call on the church’s Pension Board to divest from three companies that enable the occupation, to instead look for opportunities for Palestinian investment. However, support for divestment was sufficient enough to force a presentation in support of divestment to the full conference sometime next week.

Posted in Activism, BDS | 25 Comments

Moment of Truth: Report from day two of the United Methodist General Conference

Delegates to the United Methodist Church General Conference (UMGC) were shown Wednesday a vision of what the future could look like if Israel were to finally end its control of the Palestinian territories.

Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel/Palestine | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

March 15 one year later in Gaza: Has the fire gone cold?

A year later, the March 15th movement for unity between Palestinian factions seems to have lost energy in Gaza.

Posted in Gaza, Israel/Palestine | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

This is the face of war

The pain of Cast Lead is still festering, just beneath the surface in Gaza. It is evident in the estimated 6,500 amputees you see almost everywhere — some begging, others going about their everyday lives. One of the lasting stories of Cast Lead that haunts me the most is the fate of 11-year-old Amal al-Samouni.

Posted in Gaza, Israel/Palestine | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Let there be light: Life in Gaza without electricity

There are so many basic things most of us take for granted….like, electricity. But in Gaza — especially these days — it’s a precious commodity.

Posted in Gaza, Israel/Palestine, On the ground reports | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

NGO ‘industry’: a boon or bane in Gaza?

Those who gain permission to come and go from Gaza through the soulless Erez Crossing sometimes serve to normalize the inhuman siege

Posted in Gaza, Israel/Palestine | Tagged , , | 31 Comments

Borders of the mental and physical kind

An activist recounts attempting to enter Gaza through both the Israeli and Egyptian borders.

Posted in Gaza, Israel/Palestine, On the ground reports | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Tribute to a Palestinian ‘Gandhi’ — Mahmoud Abu Rahma of Al Mezan

The unrecognized heroes of Palestine are the human rights investigators.  Their job is to investigate and expose the atrocities committed against their people, no matter who the perpetrator — Israeli or Palestinian. Nine times out of 10, they are stymied, … Continue reading

Posted in Gaza, Israel/Palestine | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

Letter to the FM of Sweden from Gaza youth

Dear Mr Carl Bildt, My name is Majed Abusalama. I am 23 years old and I live in the Jabalya Refugee Camp, Gaza. I was born during the first Intifada, raised during the second and “found my voice” during the … Continue reading

Posted in Gaza, Israel/Palestine | 47 Comments

What next after the latest frustrated flotilla?

 The latest flotilla to try reach the coast of Gaza has been turned back — ships impounded and passengers deported — just like every other one since December 2008 (right before the launch of Israel’s massive attack). And although the … Continue reading

Posted in Gaza, Israel/Palestine | Tagged , , | 26 Comments

Do we really need another ‘Gandhi’?

 Calls abound for another Gandhi — particularly when the subject is the Palestinian struggle for human rights and self-determination. Nicholas Kristof is just the latest. The main reason why my business partner and I called our latest venture the Palestinian … Continue reading

Posted in Israel/Palestine | Tagged , , , | 59 Comments