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In praise of Kamila Shamsie’s Home Fire

Richard Falk on
Kamila Shamsie (Photo: Zain Mustafa/Penguin Random House)

The Dortmund City Council was set to award the novelist Kamila Shamsie its Nelly Sachs Prize until it learned she supports BDS. The council rescinded the honor which brought the author to Richard Falk’s attention, and he is thankful it did. “Selfishly, I cannot thank the Dortmund City Council enough for its outrageous behavior,” Falk writes, “In her novels, she has manifested an uncannny awareness, more so than any writer I have encountered, of the precarious existence of ethnic, gender, and civilizational outsiders, especially Muslims, if they happen to reside in the supposedly once more tolerant West.”

Teaching Edward Said in Gaza

Haidar Eid on
Edward Said

This week marks the anniversary of Edward Said’s death and Haidar Eid reflects on how the Palestinian intellectual’s work has impacted his own. “It is important at this time of turmoil, not only in Palestine, but also globally, to remember Said as he would have wanted us to remember him, out of place,” Eid writes. 

Film charts failed experiment inviting Palestinian teens to become kibbutzniks 

Jonathan Cook on
"The Voice of Ahmad," by directors Avshalom Katz, David Ofek & Ayelet Bechar, Shadi Habib Allah, Doron Djerassi, Noam Kaplan, Dan Geva, Mamdooh Afdile and Iddo Soskolne. (Image: IMDB)

The film “The Voice of Ahmad” is screening in Israel, following the journey of Ahmad Masrawa, one of hundreds of Palestinian teenagers in Israel who were adopted by a kibbutz, agricultural communes that were at the core of the Zionist movement’s efforts to Judaize lands just stolen from the Palestinian people.

We Are Not Them: on my trips to Katilia

Hareth Yousef on
The Valley that Leads to Katilia

Since returning to Palestine last year after studying in the U.S., Hareth Yousef has been exploring the mountains and lands around Kobar, his family’s ancestral village in the West Bank. On one of those hikes he visited an abandoned farm known as Katilia, which his grandparents used to plant before an Israeli settlement known as Nahliel was built near there in 1984. Yousef writes about these trips, and what they have meant to him and his family.

A look at Washington DC’s Museum of the Palestinian People

Devyn Springer on
Works on display at the Museum of the Palestinian People. (Photo: Ana-Mation Photography)

The Museum of the Palestinian People in Washington DC exhibits Palestinians from refugee camps, Israel, Gaza, the U.S. and Canada. “Having the museum open was not something easy to be done, especially with financial challenges and starting a space in DC, collecting items to exhibit. It takes courage to do that,” says museum curator Nada Odeh.

Raja Shehadeh is disrespected in the United States– but he won’t give up on us!

Philip Weiss on

In a far-ranging interview, Palestinian author Raja Shehadeh relates how annoyed he is when American media read from the Zionist script and demand that he defend Hamas. He also talks about how difficult it is to maintain human relationships with Israelis when Israelis cannot confront the past of ethnic cleansing. And how the late Amos Oz patronized him…

‘Unapologetic Palestinian’ Oday Aboushi leads by example in the NFL

Mansur Shaheen on
Oday Aboushi addresses the media at Detroit Lions training camp (Screenshot via detroitlions.com)

Mansur Shaheen profiles Oday Aboushi the first player of Palestinian descent in the NFL. “Growing up Palestinian, [with] both parents Palestinian, they always instill the culture. That’s really shaped me as a man and my morals and current values that I have,” Aboushi tells Mondoweiss.

Documenting the Palestinian desire to be free

Haidar Eid on
The cover of Tyrants' Fear of Songs

Haidar Eid introduces his new album Tyrants’ Fear of Songs — “I hope that these songs will document Palestinian desire to be free from the ravages of colonialism, occupation and apartheid.”

Solidarity is no accident: a review of Michael Fischbach’s Black Power and Palestine

Bill V. Mullen on
Huey P. Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party, at an unknown Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, 1980. (Photo: Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation Inc./Department of Speical Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries)

Bill Mullen writes, “Michael Fischbach’s Black Power and Palestine is the best book yet written on the contemporary history of Afro-Palestinian solidarity.  The book is invaluable as a scholarly record of Black efforts to organize with and in support of Palestinian liberation, but also as a political argument about the centrality of Palestinian solidarity work to building internationalist, anti-imperialist solidarity in our time.”

Rock climb Palestine – how rock climbing in the West Bank fosters community and connection to the land

Miriam Deprez on
Rock climbers with Wadi Climbing in the scale a limestone bluff in the West Bank city of Ein Qiniya. Routes range from beginner climbs to advanced. (Photo: Miriam Deprez)

Five years ago organized rock climbing in Palestine was non-existent. Then two young American climbing enthusiasts began developing rock climbing sites near Ramallah and refugee camps around the West Bank. “You know there are beautiful areas around Ramallah, but we would not go there if we didn’t climb,” local climber Momen Naeem tells Mondoweiss. “It makes people love the land, makes you love this place more.”

Revenge against the Empire: a review of Anita Anand’s The Patient Assassin

Susan Abulhawa on

Susan Abulhawa reviews Anita Anand’s The Patient Assassin, the dramatic true story of a little known orphan boy who spent his life plotting a revenge that would eventually rattle the British Empire to its core: “This is a book for students of history, for lovers of thriller novels, and for anyone interested in contemporary politics, social movements, liberation struggles, biographies, or just a well-told true drama.”

Racism is at center of Israeli settler-colonialist venture — Ronit Lentin

Jonathan Ofir on

Ronit Lentin’s recent book “Traces of Racial Exception – Racializing Israeli Settler Colonialism”, demonstrates the importance and centrality of race in the Palestine-Israel context, an issue downplayed by Israel-apologists. Because veiling that racism in the eyes of the world is essential to maintaining the colonialist project.

The force of law vs. the law of force: a review of Noura Erakat’s ‘Justice for Some’

Richard Falk on
A Palestinian child plays in the rubble of a mosque as UN lead investigator Richard Goldstone and members of his delegation arrive to inspect the destruction at the Samouni family home in Gaza City on June 03, 2009.

Richard Falk praises Noura Erakat’s new book ‘Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine’: “What Erakat seeks and achieves is less about the emancipatory interpretation of legal norms and more about allowing us to grasp the manipulative nexus that underlies international legal discourse, and shapes political patterns of control and resistance.”

In Gaza, from afar: How survivors struggle with the trauma of war and occupation after leaving

Walaa Ghussein on
A Palestinian family inspects the damage to their home after an Israeli air strike on October 11, 2015 in the Zeitoun area south of Gaza City. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

Walaa Ghussein speaks with other young Palestinians who have left Gaza in recent years about how they deal with the ongoing trauma of war in occupation. “I later realized that I’m never ‘post’ my traumas,” Heba Al Hayek tells her. “As a Palestinian, I’m never given a real chance to process because I’m still there even if my body isn’t.”

Imagine a US president taking Iran’s side in conflict with Israel, and you get Maguire’s thriller ‘Exodus Betrayal’

Philip Weiss on

Gil Maguire’s new novel, “The Exodus Betrayal,” imagines a US president siding with Iran after Israel attacks Iran, and it is intended to get Americans out of love with Israel, much as “Exodus” got us in love back in 1958. “I am trying to show how harmful our relationship with Israel has become and how the so-called special relationship is based on a myth of Israel’s importance,” Maguire says.

Getting in, and getting out, of Palestine

Alice Rothchild on

“The night is filled with the anxiety that any interaction with Israeli security triggers. We leave all of our suspicious material on Palestine, human rights, and any evidence of an interest in justice in an extra bag in Amman to retrieve on our return, and arrive at Allenby Bridge at 7:30 am.” — Alice Rothchild on entering Palestine from Jordan.

Fakhoury family keeps Ottoman-era pottery techniques alive in Hebron

Miriam Deprez on

Waheed Fakhoury, 74, sits behind a pottery wheel, eyes glued to a television above as his hands instinctively shape a silky mass of brown earth dug up from the West Bank city of Hebron. Within a few minutes he has modeled a large bowl. Fakhoury means “potter in Arabic.” When asked how long his family has been doing this craft, Waheed chuckles, “As long as my name has been Fakhoury.”

Beautiful resistance, and teenage angst, inside Aida refugee camp

Alice Rothchild on

Alice Rothchild is inspired by a visit to the Alrowwad Cultural and Arts Society in Aida refugee camp in occupied Bethlehem. Abdelfattah Abusrour founded Alrowwad 21 years ago in a mission to serve the needs of the community, and give children and young people every possibility to live rather than to die for their country.

Long past time to reclaim Judaism from Zionism

Carolyn L. Karcher on
A shuttered Palestinian shop in Hebron closed down by the Israeli military that was vandalized with a Star of David, an ancient Jewish symbol adopted by the Israeli state as a national symbol. (Photo: Lauren Surface)

How can the ethical precepts of Judaism be reconciled with Zionism? Carolyn L. Karcher has wrestled with this question for years, and the result is her new book “Reclaiming Judaism from Zionism: Stories of Personal Transformation” a collection meant to initiate difficult conversations within Jewish families and communities.