Shachar Berrin, IDF soldier of 19, is going to prison for a week because during the public filming of a television program on May 14, he spoke about the widespread racism he has seen among Israeli occupation forces. He recalled an incident in which an Israeli soldier told fellow IDF troops to stop harassing Christian tourists because “come on, they are people, not Palestinians.”
Category Archives: Israel/Palestine
Over a dozen writers arrive in Ramallah from different parts of the world this week to take part in the Palestine Festival of Literature, a traveling roadshow that puts on public literary events featuring Palestinian and visiting writers in different cities in the evenings
Yahiya Sami al-Amudi, 10, was walking near a checkpoint by the East Jerusalem refugee camp Shua’fat when he was shot in the head by a rubber bullet. Micky Rosenfeld of the Israeli police says he was “moderately injured.”
Jeff Halper writes about a meeting between Israeli activists and FIFA President Sepp Blatter during his recent visit to Palestine/Israel. Halper says their message was: “Until the Occupation ends and specifically Israeli harassment of Palestinian football, we told him, the IFA deserves a “red card” from FIFA.”
Leila Najjar is 25 years old and six months pregnant. She and her husband Mohammed Sulaiman want to be together for their child’s birth, but she may not see him for years. That’s because Najjar lives in Gaza and Israeli authorities won’t let her pass through the Erez crossing to join Sulaiman who is studying in Australia. Najjar and her husband are not alone. Countless other Palestinian families are separated by Israeli restrictions as well.
This evening Israeli Forces delayed the Palestinian National Football Team at the Allenby/Al Karamah Crossing, the only international border for Palestinians living in the Occupied West Bank. The national team was on its route to Tunisia as part of their preparation for its upcoming official matches. This new Israeli violation occurred less than 24 hours after Mr. Sepp Blatter, president of FIFA, left Israel and Palestine, having received a commitment from Israeli PM Mr. Netanyahu about facilitating the travel of Palestinian athletes.
In March, Palestine was supposed to compete in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Doha but was unable to because Israel would not allow the team to leave the Gaza Strip. Even though beach soccer is nowhere near as important or popular as association football, barring an entire team from participating in a tournament was the final straw for the Palestinian Football Association.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu axed a plan that would segregate buses between Palestinian and Israeli riders in the West Bank, however, since 2013 Israel has already had in place a segregated line that transports Palestinian workers into Israel. The reason? Settlers did not want to ride with Palestinians.
Ma‘an reports: “Right-wing Jews and Israeli police officers physically assaulted Palestinian security guards on duty at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound early Tuesday.”
AFP: Israeli nationalists and police clashed with Palestinians in occupied east Jerusalem on Sunday as crowds of Jewish hardliners marched across the city to mark the 48th anniversary of its capture.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed Jerusalem has always been the capital “of the Jewish people alone, not of any other people” at a Jerusalem Day ceremony on Ammunition Hill, in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem on May 17. Netanyahu also pledged to “continue to build and nurture [Jerusalem], to expand her neighborhoods.”
Michael Lesher writes, “‘Jerusalem Day,’ celebrated in Israel on Sunday – the annual commemoration of the IDF’s seizure of East Jerusalem in June 1967 – ought to be the most unsettling day of the year for religious Jews.”
Two and half year old Ahmad Najjar is one of 700 children in the Gaza Strip who suffer from Phenylketonuria (PKU), a hereditary disease that causes phenylalanine to build up in the body that can inhibit mental and physical development. The disease is easily treatable in wealthy countries — PKU requires a medical formula that is often in the form of milk as well as a carefully planned diet — but in the Gaza Strip, where 80% of the regular diet is detrimental to PKU patients, this formula is impossible to find due to the Israeli/Egyptian siege.
Amer Hussein’s grandmother passed away three days ago, just days before the 67th commemoration of the Nakba, when she was forced from her home in Palestine. He writes, “I was not left with a key to a house like many other Palestinians; my only inheritance is their memories. Memories handpicked like sweet grapes from their vineyard to compose a memory book; our passport for return, and a burden to never forget the 6 olive trees, the jasmines and the water well.”
On Nakba Day, Mariam Barghouti writes about her grandfather. She says even when his memory fails, sometimes mixing up his grandchildren, he can still tell you the stories of Palestine in perfect detail. She says such recollection acts as the burden and savior of Palestinians. She writes, “It is within that memory we find pain, and within that memory we implement our existence.”
Old wine in a new bottle. Former Israeli Foreign Minister Yossi Beilin says Israelis are fearful of a one-state solution and Palestinians need Israelis to get their economy running, so he proposes a federation.
A new Israeli organization called De-Colonizer produced a video asking Israelis on the street in Tel Aviv about the meaning of the word “Nakba.” The answers range from the nonsensical to the profound. Yara Dowani served as an Arabic translator on the project and responds to what she saw: “Reading the answers gave me a very unpleasant feeling about the ignorance that most of the Israelis are living. Should I blame the Israeli education system for example? Or blame those who don’t know what the meaning is because they don’t look for the truth and search for it?”
Sarah Aziza shares her family’s story during the Nakba and the importance of Nakba Day as way to remember: “Nakba Day, like all ‘days of remembrance,’ is thus important not simply as an end in itself, but for the difficult and ground-breaking work that faithful reckoning with the past might inspire. May honesty, humility, and imagination lead us forward.”
Israeli forces on Tuesday demolished a mosque under construction in the Bedouin village of Wadi al-Niam near Beersheba, locals said. Heavily guarded bulldozers entered the village accompanied by dozens of Israeli police officers from the southern command and demolished the foundation of the mosque.
The Alternative Information Center reports: Israel’s new government is planning to “legalise” West Bank settlement construction conducted in contravention of Israeli law, according to the coalition agreement between Likud and the Jewish Home. This stands in stark contrast to the demolition policy implemented by Israel against Palestinian-owned homes built without permits.
Lauren S. Marcus writes about trying to attend a DJ pool party in Israel with some Palestinian friends: “’Identification cards, please,’ said the woman at the entrance. I had a sinking feeling in my stomach as soon as I heard the words. I passed the woman my card. She looked over it without a second thought and my female friend was given the same treatment. We were quickly waved through to enter the party. As soon as she saw our male friend’s ID, she clucked and shook her head slightly. I knew exactly what had happened; she saw his city of residence and his name, both of which are distinctly Arab.”