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‘Disappearing’ scholarships are just the latest violation of the Palestinian right to education

Nada Elia on

Last month, the case of Palestinian artist Malak Mattar made international news, as the young painter’s well-deserved scholarship to study in Turkey was slipping through her fingers. While Mattar herself is exceptional in myriad ways, her situation is far from the exception. Nada Elia says that Mattar’s challenges are exemplary of the decades-long violation of the Palestinian Right to Education, where increasingly it seems the Palestinian Authority is serving as an accomplice to limit Palestinian educational opportunities.

The pedagogy of apartheid

Jonathan Ofir on

The Israeli Ministry of Education dropped an explicit prohibition on racist answers by students on civic exams. So if they answer, Different population groups should be allowed to live in separate neighborhoods, thereby justifying apartheid, teachers should let it go.

US quits UNESCO over ‘anti-Israel bias’ and Israel follows suit

Kate on

The United States and Israel announced on Thursday they were quitting the U.N.’s cultural agency UNESCO, after Washington accused it of anti-Israeli bias. Washington has already withheld its funding for UNESCO since 2011, when the body admitted Palestine as a full member.

On my sixth visit, I’ve never seen Gaza so devastated

Abby Smardon on

Abby Smardon says her sixth visit to Gaza this summer was the worst. A five-year-old boy in Gaza died from a brain disease caused by bacteria in the sea, contaminated by sewage. An 11-year-old girl attempted suicide. The 2 million people of Gaza are collateral damage in a cruel political game.

Hamas and Fatah sign unity deal, but details remain unclear

Sheren Khalel on

Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation deal on Thursday during talks in Cairo. Reports of the agreement lack specific details on what exactly was agreed upon, with Fatah only officially confirming it will take over control of the Gaza-Egypt border. Ghassan Khatib, a Palestinian political scientist at Birzeit University, tells Mondoweiss the hard work lies ahead. “Inviting the PA to work in Gaza without a full agreement, is nothing more than a trap,” Khatib said.

The 13 questions on life in Palestine that non-Palestinians always ask me

Inès Abdel Razek on

Al-Shabaka’s Inès Abdel Razek has been asked the same questions about her homeland so many times that she decided to write a simple document to answer them. She writes, “During these conversations, I wish I had a simple leaflet I could hand to my interlocutors that would lay out the answers I end up diligently repeating. This is where the idea of this FAQ emerged.”

Jenin Freedom Theatre’s ‘Siege’ preps for New York tour next week

Sheren Khalel on

The Siege is a dramatization by the Jenin Freedom Theatre of a 39-day siege of the Nativity Church in 2002 during the Second Intifada, when Palestinian militants holed up in the Bethlehem church. Sheren Khalel saw the “thrilling” 90-minute production in Palestine; but it comes to NYU Oct. 12-22, in a run that is already garnering criticism from the pro-Israel community.

Occupation, in the details

Katie Miranda on

Artist Katie Miranda visits the West Bank and renders indelible images of the heaviness of occupation for ordinary Palestinians.

Israeli plan to ‘transfer’ 300,000 Palestinians to West Bank is new normal — Zoabi

Philip Weiss on

Plan by a member of Knesset from Netanyahu’s party to transfer 300,000 Jerusalem Palestinians to West Bank sovereignty is naked demonstration of apartheid. Transfer is now the “normal” center of Israeli politics, though ten years ago it would have been stifled as extremist and embarrassing, says Haneen Zoabi, Palestinian member of Knesset.

‘We need to kill Arabs’ and ‘Islam is a bad disease’ — Israelis interviewed on Jerusalem street

Kate on

A new video has shown strong anti-Arab, anti-Palestinian sentiment among Israelis in Jerusalem, with residents providing extreme solutions to the country’s conflict, such as killing all Palestinians and transferring them to other Arab countries, Al Jazeera reports. “I would carpet bomb them – it’s the only way to deal with it,” one Israeli said in the video by the TeleSUR television network, released on Sunday.

Photo Essay: The Al Aqsa mosque remains a distant dream for many Palestinians

Mersiha Gadzo on

Visiting the Al Aqsa mosque remains a distant dream for many Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip. Photos by Mersiha Gadzo show the crush of worshippers trying to get to Jerusalem through the Qalandia checkpoint, and the jubilant atmosphere at Al Aqsa for those able to make it.

What Killed Mohanned?

Mohammed Moussa on

Mohammed Moussa writes: “On Wednesday, August 29, Gaza woke up to news of the death of Mohanned Younis in the Tel Al-Hawa neighborhood in Gaza City. The 22-year-old short-fiction writer decided to escape this pain-filled place and leave not just his sorrows but also his dreams, ambitions and goals behind. One of the contributing factors to Mohanned’s depression was unique—namely, a total rejection from his father. Yet, like all youth in Gaza, he became despondent over the lack of future prospects while living under siege. And when he took his own life, it was as if we had all failed to survive the disappointment; his death sent ripples throughout the Strip.”

Video: One Palestinian family’s last stand against expulsion

Yumna Patel and Akram Al-Wa'ra on

The West Bank village Shoshahla, located south of Bethlehem, was built in the 1870’s and by 1985 every Palestinian in the village had either been forced out or intimidated to leave by Israeli forces and settlers. But 7 years later one family did the unthinkable — they returned home. And they have been fighting to stay on their land ever since.

Malak Mattar dreamed of studying art abroad, now she is stuck in Gaza

Nada Elia on

Malak Mattar’s paintings hang on the walls in the homes of her many fans around the world and express, beautifully, the utter misery of life and death in the besieged Gaza Strip. Mattar’s dream was to leave Gaza and attend art school in the U.S. But just when this dream was about to come true it was shattered, this time not by Israel, but by the Palestinian Authority.

An Atheist in the Yeshiva: The education of Yossi Zvi Gurvitz

Yossi Gurvitz on

Yossi Gurvitz recounts how he went from growing up in a national-religious family in Petah Tikva to rejecting Judaism. For him, it all started in yeshiva: “On October 28th, 1984, I had my first crisis of faith. That evening, David Ben Shimol – an IDF soldier – fired a stolen anti-tank rocket into a Palestinian bus as vengeance for an earlier Palestinian terror attack. Every evening we had a seder erev, which began punctually and without fail at 19:10. That evening, for the first and only time I was in Nechalim, it was postponed. So that people could have time enough to dance.”

A Jewish atonement for Zionism

Yoav Litvin on

Yoav Litvin reviews Moshe Menuhin’s “Not by Might, nor by Power”: The Zionist betrayal of Judaism” a ground-breaking critique of Zionism first published in 1965. Litvin writes, “In ‘Not by Might, nor by Power,’ Menuhin dissects the crimes and fallacies inherent within Zionism and obliterates its propagandized selling points, while maintaining his love for his version of Jewish identity.”

Israelis lock down Palestinian village in West Bank after deadly attack on settlement

Kate on

Israeli forces placed the West Bank village of Beit Surik under a military lockdown on Tuesday following a deadly shooting attack carried out by a village resident, with all entrances to the village blockaded by the Israeli army. Nimr Mahmoud Ahmed Jamal, 37, of Beit Surik, killed three at the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Har Adar before being shot dead, Israeli officials said.

Meet Reem Anbar, Gaza’s first music therapist

Kate on

“Reem’s sessions take on different styles of therapy, some of which she has invented herself, and others she has collected from other therapists,” reports The New Arab.

How Israel is silently transferring Palestinians from East Jerusalem

Mersiha Gadzo on

In January, Manwa al-Qanbar’s 28-year-old son was shot dead after ramming his truck into a group of Israeli soldiers in the illegal Jewish settlement of East Talpiot, killing four. Two days later, al-Qanbar received a notice from the Israeli Ministry of Interior informing her of their intent to revoke her permanent residency status. Ten other members of al-Qanbar’s extended family also received notices that their permits will be revoked, including two minors aged 8 and 10. By punitively revoking residencies, civil society organizations say Israel is illegally engaging in a “silent transfer and colonization” of Palestinians with the aim of maintaining a Jewish majority in Jerusalem.