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A music lesson from Palestine, for Nick Cave

Nai Barghouti on

By playing Tel Aviv, Nick Cave silenced Palestinians, explains flutist and composer Nai Barghouti, who offers the Australian musician a description of how Israeli forces at an occupation checkpoint stopped Barghouti at 13 when Barghouti was trying to go to an important music lesson in Jerusalem.

No way to treat a child

Nyla Matuk on

“Your child is taken to an interrogation room and bullied into confessing a “crime”–insulting the honor of a soldier, for instance, or throwing stones at a wall. Like you, your son was born into a military occupation and under military law a soldier’s honor is worth 10 years of your son’s life.”–Nyla Matuk

Israeli Labor sells out African refugees, as ‘infiltrators’

Jonathan Ofir on

“Have you gone mad?” Tamar Zandberg of Meretz challenged Labor after it supported Netanyahu’s plan to deport 40,000 African refugees. But Avi Gabbay, the Labor leader, is pushing the faction to the right in order to meet the Israeli public where they stand, in racist policies.

Soldier-medic-killer Elor Azarya is denied pardon by Israeli president

Jonathan Ofir on

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin plays bad cop to Defense Minister Lieberman’s good cop. Rivlin refused to pardon former soldier-medic Elor Azarya in the Hebron execution of March 2016. Azarya’s sentence has already been cut so he will likely get out of prison next spring. Lieberman called on Rivlin to “mend the tears in society and the effect of the event and the trial upon IDF soldiers and the youth awaiting draft.” 

Families as pawns: Israel pressures Palestinians into exile through foreign spouse visas

Chloé Benoist on

Israel is in charge of giving foreign spouses in the West Bank visas, a power these spouses say has been increasingly abused. They described being issued ever-shorter visas ranging from two weeks to six months instead of the usual one-year visa, dragging them into a near-constant process of visa renewals. “I think the entire policy is to empty Palestine of its brains, of its capacities, in a voluntary manner,” says Sam Bahour, of Right to Enter.

Israeli gov’t minister says there will be one million West Bank settlers in the next 10-20 years

Kate on

Speaking to a conference on settler population growth in the West Bank titled “On the Way to a Million,” Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin dismissed the idea of a Palestinian state, “Halas [‘enough’ in Arabic] with the story of two states. There is no other option but the state of Israel, certainly between the Jordan [River] to the [Mediterranean] sea there will be one state.”

Video: Living Under Fire

Yumna Patel and Akram Al-Wa'ra on

Over half of the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank has been declared an active military “firing zone” by the Israeli army. The Israeli military conducts military exercises in these areas, even if Palestinian villages still exist there. Ibziq is one such village. Uday Nawaja’a was recently killed there while tending to a flock of goats after stumbling upon an unexploded ordnance left behind by the Israeli army. “I was tending to the flock, as Uday was wandering underneath a tree, about 30 meters away,” Nawaja’a’s uncle told Mondoweiss. “Suddenly, I heard an explosion. I ran over to Uday to see what happened. But a few seconds later, he was dead.”

Yaffa – the city my family once called home

Amirah Abu Lughod on

Amirah Abu Lughod writes, “According to most people’s definition, Yaffa is a beautiful city – sea side views, a bustling shopping scene, an artist’s village, restaurants everywhere you turn. I found myself struggling to see the beauty. I knew what I was seeing was nothing like the Yaffa my grandparents called home and what did resemble their existence there felt like a restoration of mockery.  It looks nothing like what my ancestors called home because my ancestors were those people who lived on ‘the land with no people for a people with no land.'”

Israel bars Palestinian grandmother from visiting slain father’s grave for 70 years

Sheren Khalel on

Salwa Salem-Copty hopes to someday return to live in her family’s village in the north of Israel, but at 70 years old, she thinks it is unlikely. Instead she has one request — she would like to be allowed to visit the grave of her father, who was killed when a bus full of workers traveling to Haifa was attacked in April 1948. Salwa was never allowed to visit her father’s grave. Today, now a grandmother, she is still fighting for that right.

Settler celebration of life of Sarah turns into a torment for Palestinians in Hebron

Mondoweiss Editors on

Israeli settlers celebrating the life of Sarah in the Torah turned threatening toward Palestinians in Hebron last week. Badia Dwaik of Human Rights Defenders says, “Israel is the only state in which there are two armies, namely the organized official army and the army of settlers armed with weapons. Where Jewish settler festivals have become a hell for Palestinian families.”

Israeli forces target Palestinian schools, teachers in East Jerusalem and Hebron

Sheren Khalel on

Israeli police entered Zahwat al-Quds school in occupied East Jerusalem on Monday, arresting the principal of the school as well as three teachers in front of students, before closing down the school. The arrests came one day after Israeli forces detained several teachers in the southern Hebron Hills on their walk to school, again in the presence of their students.

Five Palestinians bodies recovered from tunnel bombing after Israeli court ignores emergency rescue petition

Sheren Khalel on

Israeli authorities announced on Sunday evening that Israeli forces recovered the bodies of five missing Palestinians who had been trapped, without access to rescue crews, in a tunnel bombed by Israeli forces on Oct. 30. Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and the Gaza-based Al Mezan Center for Human Rights had filed a petition with the Israeli Supreme Court demanding official Palestinian emergency responders be allowed to carry out a rescue mission but never received a response. Adalah Attorney Muna Haddad said preventing rescue crews from entering the bombed area when people were known to be trapped in rubble, could constitute a war crime.

May, Netanyahu celebrate Balfour while Palestinian politicians call for UK to apologize, recognize Palestinian state

Sheren Khalel on

As the hundred year anniversary of the Balfour Declaration takes way, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, as well as various other Palestinian politicians are calling on the United Kingdom to not only apologize to the Palestinian people for the “suffering” caused by the declaration, but to also recognize Palestine as a state. Meanwhile, the UK is planning quite the opposite, as Israeli Prime Minister heads to a state dinner organized by UK Prime Minister Theresa May to celebrate the centennial.

Um Abed: a Palestinian woman who embodies the Balfour legacy

Mohammad Arafat on

Mohammad Arafat writes, “‘Once we heard about the declaration, we knew the future of Palestine and the Palestinians was in danger,’ Um Abed so softy I could barely hear her. She couldn’t say more without crying.”

The message that changed our fate — Balfour at 100

Karama Fadel on

Can anyone credibly state that the result of the Balfour Declaration has not “prejudiced the civil and religious rights of the ‘non-Jewish communities’” (just say it! Palestinians!)? No, it triggered a range of “-cides”: genocide, ethnocide, sociocide, politicide, memoricide and urbicide, all against the Palestinians, the original owners of the land.

Armed groups in Gaza vow to respond to Israeli attack on tunnel

Kate on

At least seven Palestinians were killed, and 12 others were wounded after Israeli forces blew up an underground tunnel between the southern Gaza Strip and Israel on Monday. “We will exercise our right to respond – this is our duty,” Daoud Shehab, a leader in the Islamic Jihad movement, told Al Jazeera, adding that it is a legitimate right of resistance groups to respond.

The Balfour Declaration set in motion the ethnic cleansing of Palestine

Rana Askoul on

Rana Askoul writes to British Prime Minister Teresa May: “I hear you will be celebrating the centenary of the Balfour declaration with ‘pride’. I hear you also said that you will be conscious of the sensitivities that some people have about the Balfour declaration and that there is more work to be done. Pride, sensitivities, some people, more work. In my mind, I picture you standing in front of my paternal grandmother, as she walked on her journey out of Palestine to Lebanon in 1948, clutching my father as a baby to her chest. I see you uttering these words to her. Pride, sensitivities, some people, more work. It seems Ms. May, you also have not the slightest clue as to how we Palestinians can move on. It seems Ms. May that you too, like your predecessors have chosen the easier wrong, over the harder right. It seems Ms. May, that you too need a lesson as to why we need to apologize when we have done wrong.”

Israel denies entry to Amnesty International staffer due to alleged ‘BDS activities’

Sheren Khalel on

Israeli border authorities on Monday denied entry to Raed Jarrar, an American citizen and the advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International USA. Jarrar was on his way his way to be with family and grieve the recent death of his father, but was instead turned back to Jordan, as Israeli authorities refused to allow him entry. In a statement released by Amnesty condemning the denial, the group said Jarrar’s refusal was a “retaliation against the organization’s human rights work.” Meanwhile, Israel’s Foreign Ministry told local media that Jarrar, whose family is originally Palestinian, was denied on a personal basis due to his alleged “BDS activities.”