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Political cartoonist Mohammad Saba’aneh: Art can change how people view Palestine

Alex Kane on
Palestinian cartoonist Mohammed Saba'aneh, center, speaking at the New School. (Photo: Alex Kane)

Mohammad Saba’aneh is among the most well-known Palestinian artists. His art frequently includes images of Palestinian prisoners, Israeli soldiers and Palestinian refugees. Israeli authorities arrested Saba’aneh in February 2013, and he was held for five months. Mondoweiss spoke with Saba’aneh in New York last week, where he was speaking at the New School.

Finkelstein goes to Syracuse and the opposition stays home

Pat Carmeli on
Norman Finkelstein

Who could stay home when this self-hating, Jewish-people-hating, delusional ex-professor would address malleable ears? Sadly, with a couple of exceptions, those standing by Israel’s policies chose to stay away when Norman Finkelstein spoke at Syracuse last week.

Thorny issues

Hatim Kanaaneh on
Prickly Pear (photo: moki mok)

Hatim Kanaaneh reflects on the recent news that the Israeli Supreme Court will permit the “legal seizure” of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem by remembering a story from his youth of trying to pick the delicious, and dangerous, prickly pear.

Shaken by the war on Gaza, Palestinians in Israel gather for March of Return

Dan Cohen on
Thousands gathered to commemorate the Nakba. (Photo: Dan Cohen)

Yesterday, an estimated 5,000 Palestinian citizens of Israel and Jerusalemites participated in the March of Return in an open field overlooking the Sea of Galilee and above a valley where ruins of the village of Hadatha are scattered. Organized annually by the Association for the Defense of the Rights of the Displaced People, the March of Return commemorates the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by pre-state Zionist forces in 1947-1948 — what is known as the Nakba.

Learning Arabic in Al ‘Azza camp

Jacob Burns on
Echlas al-'Aza in the room where she teaches. (Photo: Jacob Burns)

Jacob Burns writes about taking Arabic lessons with Echlas al ‘Azza in Bethlehem. He says, “What makes the experience of learning from Echlas unique, however, is that when you learn with her, you learn in her home in al ‘Azza refugee camp. This means that the lessons are not just about the language, but also an education in the history and culture of Palestinian refugees. Without understanding one, she says, it is not possible to understand the other.”

Marking Memorial Day in Tel Aviv with Kahanists and Combatants for Peace

Dan Cohen on
As attendees filed into the Combatants for Peace event, Kahanists lit a candle display outside the venue that commemorate what they claim are Zionists fighters killed since 1860. (Photo: Dan Cohen)

On Tuesday night, a busload of Palestinians from the West Bank and hundreds of Israeli Jews filed into the Tel Aviv Exhibition Grounds to attend a Combatants for Peace event billed as an “Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day Ceremony: Honoring the Victims, Fighting for Peace.” Kahanist protesters had opposed Palestinian participation in the event and baited attendees as they entered. Dan Cohen reports on the proceedings and finds the Kahanists may be a bit more honest then their liberal Israeli counterparts.

Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: An argument

Jerome Slater on
The aftermath of Israel’s ‘Dahiya doctrine’ in Beirut, 2006.

Palestinian terrorism has been largely driven by the just cause of national liberation in part of Palestine rather than the unjust one of the destruction of Israel. By contrast, while there is a strong case that Zionist terrorism was instrumental in the establishment of the state of Israel during the 1940s, since 1967, its primary purpose has been to maintain the occupation. Jerome Slater’s argument, which did not find a home in a journal.

A tale of two Susiyas, or how a Palestinian village was destroyed under the banner of Israeli archeology

Allison Deger on
Entrance to Susiya in the south Hebron hills, the West Bank. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Hiam al-Nawaja dreams to live in what she calls a “normal house.” The 23-year old mother of three small children and sheepherder manages in a cinder block frame insulated with a tarp a typical modest home in Susiya, a pastoral Palestinian village set in the rolling south Hebron Hills in the West Bank. Yet a few short decades ago Susiya’s residents had sturdy stone structures built over ancient caves on a hilltop one kilometer from where their town stands today. The former location, “old Susiya,” is close enough that al-Nawaja can see bulldozed remains from her kitchen window. It was destroyed in 1986 when Israel dismantled the town’s mosque to uncover an ancient Jewish synagogue dating back to the sixth century.

Palestinian youth loses eye after being shot by Israeli forces in East Jerusalem

Kate on
Sponge-tipped bullets. (Photo: Emil Salman via Haaretz)

From Haaretz: “A Palestinian youth has lost an eye, apparently as a result of being shot at with a sponge bullet. It is the latest of a series of similar incidents in which Palestinian youths and children, primarily in East Jerusalem, have lost eyes to sponge bullets fired by the Israeli security services.”

Remembering Bassem Abu Rahme

Allison Deger on
Palestinians sit outside of a mosque in Bil'in, the West Bank, during a memorial service for Bassem Abu Rahme and Palestinian Prisoners Day, Friday April 17, 2015. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Subhiya Abu Rahme, 60, propped up on her elbows and recounted her son’s last morning before the Israeli army killed him. Six years ago on April 17, 2009 Bassem Abu Rahme, 30, was shot in the chest with a tear gas canister in his West Bank hometown of Bil’in outside of Ramallah. The morning was a scorcher. Bassem went into the bathroom to cool off, musing, “I will shower or I will die.” Once clean and dressed, he walked to the garden behind the house. “I was working. He told me don’t tire yourself. It’s not good for you,” Subhiya said, relaying Bassem’s final words to her.

HRW: Palestinian children pass out, vomit, from farming with illegal pesticides on Israeli settlements

Allison Deger on
Palestinian workers farm onions in the Israeli agricultural settlement of Tomer in the Jordan Valley, West Bank, January 2015. (Photo: Oded Balilty/AP)

Bad pay, hard labor, nasty skin rashes, and poor sleep in constructions sites are just the tip of work conditions found in Israeli agricultural settlements, said a Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a report released Monday. The 75-page “Israel: Settlement Agriculture Harms Palestinian Children” is a devastating look into underage Palestinian laborers farming for Israeli companies.

Walaa Ghussein on the power (and vulnerability) of Palestinian journalists

Annie Robbins on
Walaa Ghussein

Palestinians can always tell their stories better than western journalists, Walaa Ghussein explains. “We’re not less courageous, but a journalist needs to protect himself\herself in order to stay alive to tell the stories of others, and they don’t have that kind of protection.”