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‘Music of dead, bombed-out buildings must be heard’ — Gaza artists hold anti-Eurovision concert in building destroyed by Israeli attack

Ahmad Kabariti on
Children watch the concert in the ruins of the al-Qamar building (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

Palestinian artists held a concert in a building destroyed by Israel just a week ago to call on the world to boycott the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Tel Aviv. “Why doesn’t Eurovision arrange an event to let the music of dead, bombed-out buildings, and for the voices of mothers of the slain to be heard?” asked Sabreen Juma’a al-Najjar, the mother of slain paramedic Razan Al-Najjar, who attended the concert.

Gaza cultural centers and artists call for a boycott of Eurovision 2019

Open Letter on
Cultural workers in Gaza call on the world to boycott the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Tel Aviv, and have announced the creation of the Gazavision festival.

Cultural workers in Gaza call on the world to boycott the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Tel Aviv, and announce the creation of the Gazavision festival: “Even when Israel bombs us, imprisons our men, women and children, kills and maims thousands of Palestinian protesters on the Great Return March and does everything to silence our voices, we will continue to sing.”

Oh Lord, Deliver Me from My People

Marc H. Ellis on

The Israeli bombing of Gaza brought the crisis of the Jewish professional to a head. How to be a rabbi to a community and challenge that community’s ethics? Marc Ellis writes that Rabbi Brant Rosen’s psalm, beginning, “oh lord deliver me from my people,” rises to the challenge.

Babies, pregnant women, and 12-year-old boy among 25 Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza

Yumna Patel on
Palestinians inspect the remains of a building following an Israeli airstrike, in Gaza city on May 5, 2019. Israeli warplanes hit the building on Saturday where Anadolu Agency’s office is located.

One of the worst flare ups in violence across the Israeli-Gaza borders continued to escalate on Sunday, as Israeli air forces pounded more than 300 sites in the Gaza Strip, while Hamas forces in Gaza fired hundreds of rockets into Israeli territory.As of Sunday afternoon, reports from the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza indicated that 25 Palestinians, including a four-month and 14-month-old girl, two pregnant women, and a 12-year-old boy were killed in the strikes.

My Skype lecture in Gaza is postponed due to bombing

Marc H. Ellis on

Marc Ellis was to lecture students in Gaza by Skype but Israeli bombing caused a postponement– a first for the veteran scholar, who writes, “You are witnessing the end of ethical Jewish history.”

May Day in Gaza, ‘If you work, you are lucky, if not, then you starve’

Ahmad Kabariti on
Building the new maternity ward at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

Ahmad Kabariti talks to workers across Gaza on May Day to find out what they think of the labor holiday. Most are just happy to be working. Maged al-Dali, 27, an auto painter working in an industrial zone in Shejaiya tells him, “If you work, you are lucky, if not, then you starve.”

Gaza now has a toxic ‘biosphere of war’ that no one can escape

Mark Zeitoun and Ghassan Abu Sitta on
Palestinian children fill bottles with water from a public tap in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, July 1, 2014. Israel had bombed the main water line for al-Shati refugee camp and a sewage plant west of Gaza City. (Photo: Eyad Al Baba/APA Images)

A biosphere refers to the interaction of all living things with the natural resources that sustain them. Mark Zeitoun and Ghassan Abu Sitta write that Gaza has become a “biosphere of war”, where “sanctions, blockades and a permanent state of war affects everything that humans might require in order to thrive, as water becomes contaminated, air is polluted, soil loses its fertility and livestock succumb to diseases. People in Gaza who may have evaded bombs or sniper fire have no escape from the biosphere.”

One senseless death in Turkey: a reflection of the fate of Palestinian refugees

Issam Adwan on
Mohammed Shamla, 25, died in Turkey on April 12, 2019 after falling from a balcony while evading police who were raiding the hotel room of asylum seekers and migrants. Shamla fled Gaza earlier this year year and was living in Turkey on an expired tourist via. (Photo: Facebook)

Mohammed Shamla, 25, used to call Gaza the “grave of dreams.” Luck was his only hope. Earlier this year he paid a bribe to exit Gaza through Egypt an traveled on to Turkey where he died on April 12 after falling from a balcony while police chased him for allegedly not possessing paperwork to legally be in the country.

Critiquing the critique of the Great March of Return

Haidar Eid on

Haidar Eid responds to Palestinian criticism of Gaza’s Great March of Return which says the protests have not been worth it: “these intellectuals’ assimilation of the (neo)liberal mentality, makes them look down upon the culture of resistance as useless, futile and hopeless. This defeatist ideology fails to appreciate people power or even to see that it exists. They are defeated because they want to fight the battle on Israel’s terms-through the adoption of an Israel-Hamas dichotomy, rather than apartheid Israel vs. the Palestinian people.”

Gaza fishermen still struggle despite Israel’s loosening restrictions

Ahmad Kabariti on
Gaza Port in Gaza City. (Photo: Mohammed Assad)

On Monday, Israel doubled the area where Palestinians can fish in the Mediterranean Sea off of the Gaza Strip as part of Egyptian brokered talks with Hamas. The distance fisherman can operate in was extended from 6 nautical miles at the narrowest sea corridor, to 15 nautical miles at the widest. Yet Gaza fisherman say the relaxed restriction has no impact.

‘We thirst for dignity’: Gaza marks Great March of Return anniversary

Ahmad Kabariti on

Human waves flooded the Israel-Gaza fence beginning Saturday morning marking the first anniversary of the Great March of Return protests, facing off against Israeli forces behind the fortified barbed-wire fence. The demonstrators gathered despite rain, and even as Egypt is seeking to mediate a deal to end the blockade of Gaza.

On the one-year anniversary of the Great March of Return

Haidar Eid on
A Palestinian youth protesting as part of the Great March of Return in Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip on March 30, 2019.

Haidar Eid writes about the Great March of Return: “The reason as to why Israel is very concerned about the Great March of Return — which began on March 30, 2018 and has not yet ended – is that it has shuffled the cards and brought crucial questions to the fore regarding the essence of the Palestinian cause as well as the status of the Gaza Strip. Despite the bleak reality of life in Gaza a new consciousness is emerging.”

A journalist’s memoir of covering the Great March of Return

Hamza Abu Al-Tarabeesh on
A Palestinian man waves a Palestine flag ahead of the beginning of the Great March of Return protests on March 29, 2018. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/ APA Images)

Hamza Abu Al-Tarabeesh reflects on covering the first year of the Great March of Return protests. He writes, “After covering nearly 50 Fridays over the past year, I can’t be more grateful that I’m still alive and did not suffer serious injury.”

Palestinians rush to stock up on food as Israeli airstrikes light up Gaza

Ahmad Kabariti on

Ahmad Kabariti reports from Gaza that long spontaneous queues of people spent the night waiting outside of Gaza’s biggest bakery to buy bread, a scene that usually occurs during war. Muzaffar Batniji, 27, shoemaker, said that his family urged him to buy 200 loaves of pita bread, “just in case of this escalation might continue for a week or more.”