Category Archives:
Israel/Palestine

Hatim, King of the Natufians

Hatim Kanaaneh on
Brig. Gen. Ofek Buchris (Photo: Gil Nechushtan)

Hatim Kanaaneh writes about Brig. Gen. Ofek Buchris, an Israeli general recently indicted for “rape and indecent acts,” who lives one town over from him: “Part of my anguish about the report is the geographic location of the accused general’s residence; Mitzpe Netoufa is practically in my backyard. The basic concept of a Mitzpe—Hebrew for ‘lookout’—the hilltop-positioned barbed-wire-encircled Jewish-only settlement dreamt up by Ariel Sharon in the 1970s to protect the promised land of the Jews from potential ‘goy’ usurpers. Those ‘goys’ turn out actually to be us, the Palestinians who have been ‘squatting’ on the land since the Romans destroyed their second temple! Be that as it may, the good general’s purpose in life and that of his fellow Mitzpe Netoufa religious Jewish residents, is to watch over me so I won’t steal my own Netoufa (Battouf) Valley Land.”

In new book, Ilan Pappé says settler colonialism and apartheid best explain Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Ben Clarke on
Palestinian boys walk beside the controversial Israeli barrier in the West Bank town of Bethlehem on July 6 2009. (Photo: Najeh Hashlamoun/APA Images)

Launching his new collaborative work in East Jerusalem, esteemed Israeli historian Ilan Pappé, hopes to shift the paradigm through which we see the Israel/Palestine conflict: one of “settler-colonialism and its connection with apartheid.” In essence, the conflict is not between two competing national movements with an equal claim to the land, but between a movement of settler-colonialists and a native people.

Video: Jewish settler fires shots as Palestinians attempt to survey their land

Kate on
Israeli settler threatening Palestinian farmers on their land in occupied al-Khader on June 23

Israeli settlers verbally attacked Palestinian residents of the town of al-Khader in the southern occupied West Bank on Saturday, threatening them with a gun while the Palestinians were working on their land, which is situated in the Bethlehem district between the illegal Israeli settlements of Neve Daniel and El-Azar.

My family’s Nakba story

Tamara Nassar on
Photo taken in al-Ramle in May 1948. (Photo: Eldan David/GPO/AP)

Mondoweiss intern Tamara Nassar shares a lyrical and haunting account of her family’s story during the Nakba: “The tragedy of the Nakba is that it perpetually reproduces itself with every refugee born in exile and until the last refugee returns. The Palestinian in diaspora gives birth to Nakba; her children become walking embodiments of abandonment.”

Coexistence in the land of ‘Hatikvah’

Steven Davidson on
Independence Hall in Tel Aviv (Photo: Steven Davidson)

Growing up in the US, the Israeli national anthem held special meaning for Steven Davidson. But after living with a Palestinian family in Hebron, the song gained a different meaning: “Hatikvah didn’t feel so close to my heart any more. Its solemn melody still aroused that sense of belonging through wandering, only now, this sense felt betrayed by the song’s words. Everyone singing Hatikvah in this room felt like they belonged in a state they barely knew of— to the exclusion of so many whose home this had once been.”

My Name is Saleh: Notes on Palestinian childhood

Juliana Farha on
Palestinian children play as they perform the suffering of the Palestinian citizens to cross Israeli checkpoints, in the West Bank city of Nablus, on June 27, 2010. (Photo: Wagdi Eshtayah/APA images)

Ahead of this week’s House of Lords debate about the health and well being of Palestinian children, Juliana Farha reports from a sold-out presentation by Defense for Children International-Palestine at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies: “Ayed tells us that physical torture of Palestinian children was common a few years ago, but interrogators observed that those being tortured often call up reserves of strength to resist, rendering it counter-productive. Instead, they discovered, psychological terror can be more effective: threatening to arrest the child’s family members, for instance, or to revoke his father’s work permit.”

Palestinian boy of 12 in occupied West Bank is killed by rubber-coated steel bullet

Kate on
Muhye Muhammad Sidqi al-Tabbakhi, 12, who was killed by Israeli forces yesterday in the occupied West Bank, from Facebook

A 12-year-old Palestinian boy, Muhye Muhammad Sidqi al-Tabbakhi, was killed Tuesday evening during clashes with Israeli soldiers in the occupied village of al-Ram in the West Bank after he was struck in the heart by a rubber-coated steel bullet. Police had raided the village and youths responded with bottles and stones, which were met by live fire, rubber bullets, and tear gas.

Israel’s opposition parties plan to filibuster bill to expel Hanin Zoabi

Allison Deger on
Hanin Zoabi

Members of Israel’s opposition coalition will filibuster overnight to stall a vote on a controversial bill to expand the Knesset’s power to oust one of their own. The expulsion bill, formerly called the suspension bill, grants parliamentarians the authority to permanently kick their peers out of office, without loose criteria for disqualification. It is aimed at one member: Hanin Zoabi of the Joint List.

Explaining Israel’s separate and unequal education system

Hatim Kanaaneh on
Israeli Education Minister Naftali (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Haaretz has run a series of articles on Israel’s “separate and unequal” education system that allocates more funds to Jewish students than Palestinian students. Hatim Kanaaneh says it’s old news. It’s been this way for the four decades he’s been advocating for Palestinian citizens of Israel. In a state that defines itself as Jewish, what do you expect?

Gaza couples struggle with financial difficulties amidst social crisis

Isra Saleh El-Namy on
Palestinian grooms sit with their brides on the stage during a mass wedding ceremony in Gaza City, on April 11, 2015. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

After nine years of Israel’s blockade and consistent assaults on Gaza, Gazans are faced with a financial crisis that impedes on daily and personal decisions leading to disastrous social consequences: young couples lack basic resources to marry and sustain families.

Israeli human rights organizations push back against law designed to ‘silence opposition’

Emily Mulder on
Israelis from the left-wing organization Peace Now protest in front of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's residence in Jerusalem over the "Jewish state" bill, November 29, 2014. (Photo: Peace Now/Facebook)

Israel’s human rights NGOs pushed back this week after the Knesset passed a transparency law that critics say was the most recent attempt by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition to persecute the country’s left. Leading Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now vowed to wage legal war against the new law, which requires NGOs that receive more than half of their funding from foreign donors to declare their funding sources prior to addressing Knesset committees, speaking with public officials, as well as on publications and websites.

Prisoner Bilal Kayid rushed to hospital on 33rd day of hunger strike

Kate on
Hunger striker Bilal Kayid, on a poster made by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

Palestinian prisoner Bilal Kayid was rushed to a hospital in Ashkelon, Israel, after his health suddenly deteriorated, as he entered his 33rd day of hunger strike, according to the Palestinian Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs. Meanwhile, some 37 Palestinians prisoners have begun open hunger strikes in solidarity with Kayid.

Palestinian youth was shot 9 times ‘accidentally,’ Israeli army says

Kate on
Yahya Hisham Hijazi, 24, shot in the leg 9 times on July 14, mistakenly, Israeli soldiers say, as he traveled in Jerusalem. Photo by IMEMC

Yahya Hisham Hijazi, 24, from Shu‘fat refugee camp in occupied Jerusalem, who was injured by nine Israeli army bullets [on Thursday 14 July], became the latest victim of Israel’s security obsession and paranoia, under allegations that became known to the Palestinians, claims of “carrying a knife,” that continue to be used as a direct justification of the military’s open fire orders.

Powerful new game ‘Liyla and The Shadows of War’ dramatizes 2014 Israeli attack on Gaza

Wilson Dizard on
Liyla and The Shadows of War

A Palestinian computer engineer has put together a chilling game for smartphones, which shows the struggle of Gazan civilians to survive Israel’s 2014 onslaught. Rasheed Abueideh, creator of “Liyla and The Shadows of War” says he wants to provoke an emotional reaction from players. “[The purpose of the game is] to make people cry,” he says. “It’s to show the facts in the war and the effect of war on the civilians and on children.”