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Interview with Rela Mazali: The Israeli left, BDS, and the ‘habit of hope’

Rebecca L. Stein on
Rela Mazali

Rela Mazali is one of the founders of the Israeli feminist organization New Profile, Movement for the Demilitarization of Israeli Society. Founded in 1988, the activist organization is committed to educating the Israeli public about the centrality of war culture within Israeli society, to advancing demilitarization, and to supporting Israeli youth who refuse their compulsory service in the Israeli army. In Mazali’s words: “We’ve become an army with a state, instead of a state with an army. We need to reduce the hold of the military, and of militarized thinking, on the moves of our country and the courses of our lives.” Rebecca L. Stein recently spoke to Mazali in Tel Aviv.

Palestinian family says alleged attacker being held on false evidence

Emily Mulder on
The mother of Maysoon Mousa stands in her daughter's room, where Israeli forces searched the day before for evidence of her alleged attack on an Israeli soldier at the Bethlehem checkpoint. (Photo: Emily Mulder)

Israeli authorities claim that 19-year-old Maysoon Mousa carried out a knife-wielding attack on an Israeli soldier earlier this week, but her family says Israel’s account makes no sense and that Maysoon is being held with false evidence. Emily Mulder talks with the Mousa family as they try to determine what happened and deal with the repercussions of the arrest on the entire family.

Inside the labyrinth: a daytrip to East Jerusalem

Yarden Katz on
Graffiti on the separation wall in East Jerusalem. (Photo: Yarden Katz)

On a visit to East Jerusalem, the rule of occupation and apartheid is concrete and tangible. Services are denied to Palestinians that Jewish settlers living among them get. When you build walls, you make a labyrinth of the world, a graffiti warns

Rainbow flag covers Israeli separation wall near Ramallah

Alex Shams on
Rainbow flag on the separation wall.

On Monday, Ramallah-based visual artist Khaled Jarrar painted a portion of Israel’s separation wall as a rainbow flag following the US Supreme Court decision in support of marriage equality. Jarrar said in a statement: “I went and painted the colors of the rainbow (on the wall) as these colors were circulated all over the world. These colors are ultimately an expression of freedom.”

In Gaza, the ultimate humiliation

Dan Cohen on
Tshirt saying Whichever way we want it, whenever we want, in Hebrew, in Gaza, photo by Dan Cohen

Every Monday, Palestinians in Nuseirat refugee camp rummage through piles of secondhand Israeli junk in the cheapest market in the Gaza Strip. Dan Cohen finds several t-shirts that include military insignia for the army that slaughtered so many in Gaza.

Exclusive: Palestine seeks to charge Israel with ‘apartheid’ and war crimes at The Hague

Allison Deger on
View of  International Criminal Court, July 23, 2014 in The Hague, The Netherlands.  (Photo: Enfoque Derecho)

Palestinian leaders seek to charge Israel with the crime of “Apartheid,” and 22 other charges including seven war crimes, according to Shawan Jabarin, the director of the Palestinian human rights group Al Haq. The thick set documents were ceremoniously handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) today at headquarters in The Hague, yet yesterday morning Jabarin was given exclusive access to the report in Ramallah.

Interview with a suicide bomber

Dan Cohen on
Mohammed Zaidan in his taxi in Gaza City. (Photo: Dan Cohen)

Mohammed Zaidan awoke in an Israeli hospital, recovering from serious injuries to his stomach, eye socket, head and arm. At the height of the second intifada the Jenin resident had gone on a suicide bombing operation, but the explosives he brought failed to properly detonate. Fifteen years later, Dan Cohen interviews Zaidan in his home in Gaza City where he recounts why he decided to become a suicide bomber, what his life has been like since the failed attack and whether he would do it again.

One story behind the suicides taking place in Gaza

Anas Jnena on
Young men look for their belongings in the remnants of a Gaza apartment building, August 2014. (Photo: Dan Cohen)

The Palestine News Network announced this week that the suicide rate in the Occupied Territories jumped 68.4 percent last year. In Gaza, Al-Shifa Hospital said that at least one person attempted suicide every day. Gaza writer Anas Jnena shares one story of an attempted suicide in the besieged Gaza Strip that helps sheds light on the statistics.

UN report on Gaza war includes stories of civilian executions, attacks on ambulances and targeting of humanitarian facilities

Allison Deger on
Palestinians walk an hour and a half from Gaza City to their homes in Shuja’iyeh during the ceasefire in order to collect personal items, July 25, 2014.. (Photo: Allison Deger)

The 51-day summer war between Hamas and Israel was not only “heartbreaking,” but rampant with “possible war crimes” according to a much anticipated United Nations report published Monday. Investigators conducted nearly 300 interviews over the past year. All took place outside of Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, as Israel denied entry to the researchers. Witnesses and victims—both Israeli and Palestinian—gave testimonies about the targeting of civilians, medical facilities and United Nations shelters, along with the existence of human shields (and the lack thereof), collective punishment, and the proportionality of the attacks.

When a police officer is actually a soldier

Dan Cohen on
Border police officer aims rifle, Aida refugee camp. (Photo: Dan Cohen)

A Palestinian stabbed an Israeli member of the Border Police at the Damascus Gate Sunday, and Netanyahu hailed the victim as a “fighter”. The Border Police serve as soldiers in the occupation, and the use of the term police is pure semantics.

What I learned crossing the Qalandia Checkpoint

Léa Georgeson Caparros on
Artists, including the author, center, traveling with the Palestine Festival of Literature travel through the Qalandiya checkpoint on May 24, 2015 in Ramallah, Palestine. (Photo: Rob Stothard for The Palestine Festival of Literature)

Léa Georgeson Caparros writes about crossing the Qalandia checkpoint while traveling in the occupied Palestinian territories with the Palestine Festival of Literature in May 2015.

Obfuscating the truth: The UN report on war crimes in ‘Operation Protective Edge’

Jerome Slater on
Judge Mary McGowan Davis, head of Gaza inquiry

The UN Human Rights Commission report on last summer’s Gaza war is inappropriately “balanced.” It is more or less equally critical of Israeli and Hamas actions, without regard to the differences between the vast and horrific extent of civilian destruction caused by Israel and the far lesser civilian deaths and destruction that resulted from the largely ineffective Hamas attacks. –Scholar Jerome Slater

US journal ‘Biography”s special issue on Occupied Palestine is launched in Gaza

Yousef M. Aljamal on
Cover Art for Biography -- Life in Occupied Palestine,  Volume 37, Number 2, Spring 2014
Photographer, Eloise Bollack

Refaat Alareer and Lina Alsharif are among contributors to a special issue of the journal Biography on Life in Occupied Palestine, published by the University of Hawaii Press. Editor Cynthia Franklin says The quelling of free speech in the United States works in tandem with Israel’s human rights violations against Palestinians.


Leila Abdelrazaq on
Baddawi excerpt Mondo_Page_7

Read an excerpt from the new graphic novel “Baddawi”, by Leila Abdelrazaq. Baddawi is the story of a young boy named Ahmad struggling to find his place in the world. Raised in a refugee camp called Baddawi in northern Lebanon, Ahmad is just one of the many thousands of refugee children born to Palestinians who fled their homeland after the war in 1948 established the state of Israel. Leila Abdelrazaq explores her father’s childhood in the 1960s and ’70s from a boy’s eye view as he witnesses the world crumbling around him and attempts to carry on, forging his own path in the midst of terrible uncertainty.