A largely forgotten casualty of the Great Return March protests in the Gaza Strip quietly returned home in November after serving 18 months in an Israeli prison. Suhail al-Amoudi, 58, was the captain in the Freedom Boats 2, commanding one of three vessels in a flotilla that sought to break the Israeli naval blockade around Gaza.
The young Gaza writers of We Are Not Numbers could not ask for a more responsive audience than you, the Mondoweiss community. “What I’m mostly concerned with when I write is to show reality as it is, portraying what precisely happens in Palestine from within, without exaggeration,” Fadi says. You can help spread Fadi’s writing far and wide by participating in the current challange: as of now, we will receive $100 for every new donor who signs up for a monthly gift at any level by October 16 — up to 50 new donors. Sign up today! Your gifts will support both Mondoweiss and the young writers of We Are Not Numbers.
Benjamin Netanyahu is demanding that Hamas halt the weekly Great March of Return demonstrations and assure this weekend’s expected massive protest be nonviolent. Gazan youth with We Are Not Numbers share their thoughts about this Israeli ultimatum.
How do Gazans respond to missile attacks? “I was peacefully mixing my Nutella brownie batter when Israel decided to bomb the shit outta Gaza, I didn’t flinch,” Omar Ghraib wrote. “I was watching a Korean TV series and didn’t check Facebook for hours,” writes Besan Aljadili. We Are Not Numbers surveyed responses.
As the international community divides over who to back for leader of Venezuela—President Nicolás Maduro or opposition legislator Juan Guaidó, who has declared himself the rightful head of government—the Palestinians of Gaza see an unsettling similarity to their own history. “There is a similarity between the Palestinian people and the Venezuelan people,” observes Nisreen Abu Amra, a member of Gaza’s Central Committee for the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. “We are in the same trench, facing a reactionary, imperialist conspiracy led by the United States of America and Israel.”
Israel and the United States take turns following in each other’s footsteps in many unpleasant ways, ranging from the treatment of hunger-striking prisoners to the militarization of domestic police forces. Another recent example came to light Nov. 11, when Israeli special forces were caught deep inside the Gaza Strip, impersonating employees of a respected local NGO that assists the burgeoning number of Palestinians with disabilities in the wake of three military offensives and ongoing border protests.
The slaughter on the Gaza border has given Palestinian writers an opening in the mainstream media they have not had before. And this could lead to a public opinion shift. It shouldn’t take the deaths of 128 Palestinians to open the world’s ears. Haneen Abo Saud and Rana Shubair of We Are Not Numbers are two Gazans writing about freedom who deserve global support.
Palestinians in Gaza respond to a filmed production of a play about the occupation where the script is entirely sourced from testimonies provided by former Israeli soldiers, complied by the group Breaking the Silence: “By the end of the play, I felt crushed and devastated. Tears rolled down my face, because it is so very real. My fellow Palestinians are humiliated in every aspect of their lives, and why? Because we are Palestinians. But to Israeli soldiers and settlers, we are ‘worms,’ and miserable ones too,” writes Rana Shubair.
Young people in Gaza are at the end of their rope spiritually after three wars and 10 years of blockade. They want to find a sliver of hope in the news that the Hamas government is in talks with the Fatah faction in the West Bank, possibly ending Hamas’s isolation in global affairs.
Today is the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of what now is called the Palestinian territories. This shameful milestone is being marked with a plethora of pundit commentary about Trump’s potential role, the continuing division among the Palestinian leadership and—in the background—the ever-expanding Israeli settlements, but almost no mention of Gaza. We Are Not Numbers is a project working to break the media blackout of Gaza and is currently raising funds to start Gaza’s first all-youth news agency.