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‘What I gave America and what America gave me’ — an interview with the incredibly charming Reja-e Busailah

Phil Weiss and Annie Robbins on

Palestinian author Reja-e Busailah says he loves the United States although he has witnessed Islamophobia here for 60 years, going back to an ad on a NY radio station, “Give a dollar and kill an Arab.” At 89, retired in Indiana, he reflects on the Nakba that deprived him of his home, and on what terms he would return to the land of his birth. Spoiler alert: Equality.

When an Israeli settler is killed, everyone notices

Jonathan Ofir on

Israeli hasbarists are exploiting the death of settler Ari Fuld for propaganda value as they admonish people for being insensitive, or even complicit, if they do not mourn. At the same time, it is forbidden to note that Palestinians are systematically being dehumanized to death by the very ideology that Ari Fuld was championing and is being openly remembered for.

Palestinians in Jerusalem likely to boycott municipal elections despite Arab list on ballot

Yumna Patel and Saleh Zghari on

Breaking with decades of policy among Palestinian political factions and religious leaders in Jerusalem, Ramadan Dabash, 53, a Palestinian man from the Sur Baher village of occupied East Jerusalem, is putting his name on the ballot for the Jerusalem Municipality elections this October. His run in the elections have reignited a long-held debate in the community over Palestinian participation in the elections.

Palestinian farmers mourn crops lost to settler attacks in this year’s grape harvest

Yumna Patel on

Every year, in late August, Palestinians begin celebrating the grape harvest, a quintessential part of Palestinian life and heritage. For farmers, a years worth of intensive labor has led up to this moment, when they cut the grapes off the vines and take their wares to markets and street carts. For most, the profits made off of a year’s harvest will support their entire family financially until the next year. This year’s harvest, for many farmers across the occupied West Bank, is bittersweet, marred by the violence of months past.

ICC responds to Trump administration threats: ‘the court will continue to do its work undeterred’

Kate on

In response to threats by the United States National Security Adviser John Bolton, the International Criminal Court in Hague said, on Tuesday, that it is an independent and impartial institution with the backing of 123 countries. The statement added that “the ICC, as a court of law, will continue to do its work undeterred, in accordance with those principles and the overarching idea of the rule of law.”

‘The atmosphere is changing here’: The Druze community confronts the Nation State law

Yumna Patel on

The Nation-State law, when Israel officially declared itself a Jewish state, was a wakeup call to many in the Druze community, but not to members of Urfod, a group of Druze activists who have refused military conscription. Urfod member Hadiya Kayoof tells Mondoweiss, “The law showed everyone [in the Druze community] that believed in the Israeli democracy, that there is no real democracy in Israel. Its either you are Jewish or non-Jewish, and if you are non-Jewish you won’t get your rights,” she said matter of factly, “it doesn’t matter if you serve in the army or not.”

The role of Christians in the struggle for justice in Palestine

Yoav Litvin on

Yoav Litvin interviews Holy Land Trust Executive Director Sami Awad on the role of Christian theology and nonviolence in the struggle for Palestinian justice. “True justice is not defined as revenge or retaliation, but a holistic means to address violence through accountability, repentance and forgiveness for the atrocities that have been committed and the pursuit of a future that is based on equality, rights and opportunity for all,” Awad says.

Video: Trump’s funding cut to UNRWA affects millions of Palestinian refugees

Yumna Patel on

Just days after Palestinian children returned back to school, the Trump administration announced it would be cutting all funding to UNRWA — the UN agency responsible for providing life saving services to 5 million Palestinian refugees across the Middle East. Mondoweiss spoke with some of those affected, who expressed fears of losing essential services like food assistance, jobs, water, and most importantly, education.

‘Why do the sick people have to pay the price of political conflict?’: East Jerusalem hospitals respond to US funding cuts

Yumna Patel on

On Saturday, the Trump administration’s announced it would be cutting $25 million in aid to Palestinian hospitals in occupied East Jerusalem. “We ask the American government, why do the sick people in the hospital have to pay the price of political conflict?” the Secretary General of the East Jerusalem Hospital Network Walid Namur asked during a press conference on Monday. “We are humanitarian organizations and hospitals, and should be left out of political problems. We serve to treat sick people.”

Boy of 17 is killed in Gaza protests

Kate on

On Friday, Israeli soldiers killed 17-year-old Bilal Mustafa Khaffaja and injured at least 210 others, during the Great Return March protests in several parts of the besieged Gaza Strip, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

Video: Decades of displacement continue in al-Walaja as Israel demolishes more homes

Yumna Patel on

In the middle of the night, as bulldozers and armed Israeli soldiers surrounded his home, Khaled Abu Kheyara, 32, woke up his three young children and told them their home was being destroyed. “It was around 3:30am when the soldiers arrived to our home,” Abu Kheyara told Mondoweiss as he sat among all his family’s belongings in his new home — a small tent made of metal rods and tarp. “We barely had any time to take out all of our belongings before they started demolishing the house,” he said. Abu Kheyara’s home, which he shared with his brother and his family, was the first of four buildings that Israeli forces destroyed on Monday morning in the Bethlehem-area village of al-Walaja, in the southern occupied West Bank.

The families of Khan Al-Ahmar insist on their right to remain and defend their village

Jamal Jaheleen on

After a long and courageous struggle, the people of Khan Al-Ahmar lost their battle when the Israeli high declared the demolition of their village can go ahead. Jamal Jaheleen, a Palestinian writer and poet who lives in the village of Khan Al-Ahmar, writes, “It is expected, that after many court sessions, after the people of Khan Al-Ahmar refuse all offers from the occupying forces, and insist on their right to remain and defend their village, the bulldozers will come to crush the lingering dream of survival, of preserving the heritage and the very fabric of their identity.”

Israel is reluctant to invade Gaza with ground troops — and it’s not because Benjamin Netanyahu has developed a conscience

James North on

Given recent history, it is surprising Israel has not invaded Gaza again. Previous massive Israeli ground attacks, in 2008, 2012 and 2014, required fewer pretexts than we see today with the success of the Great March of Return. But Israel’s ground forces stay put. Two respected analysts of Israel’s military explain why: the Hamas resistance movement has prepared strong defenses inside Gaza that have raised the costs of an invasion above an acceptable level.

Israel’s lack of remorse

Mohamed Mohamed on

In an interview with a right-wing Israeli newspaper, Elor Azaria, said he had “no remorse whatsoever” for killing an incapacitated Palestinian in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron in 2016. One might say that Azaria is simply a bad apple and does not reflect the behavior or attitudes of Israeli occupying soldiers. The problem is, there are many documented videos of Israeli forces behaving in such a callous way, with overwhelming support from the Israeli public.

Israeli court gives final green light for demolition of Khan al-Ahmar

Yumna Patel on

The Israeli High Court rejected on Wednesday petitions filed by the Bedouins of Khan al-Ahmar against the demolition of the village, paving the way for Israel to demolish the entire community any time after September 12. The decision was the final greenlight for the government to forcibly evacuate and destroy Khan al-Ahmar, a project that it has been pursuing for years in order to create a bloc of illegal Israeli settlements in the area.