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Protests Around the World in Solidarity With Palestine (VIDEO)

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: Commemoration of al-Nakba 2018, world events-video, activism, Nakba Day 2018, Nakba-dispossession, crimes, Nakba Day, zionism-ethnic cleansing of Palestine, Houston,, oPT, #GreatReturnMarch, HumanRights )

- 127 days ago -
Palestinians and American activists in Houston protested in support of the March of Return.


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fly bird (26)
Sunday May 13, 2018, 11:05 pm
Protests in solidarity with the Palestinian people took place in several cities around the world.
May 13, 2018

Houston, U.S.A.

Palestinians and American activists in Houston protested in support of the March of Return.

Rome, Italy

Palestinians and Italian activists hold a banner reading: “Life, land and freedom for the Palestinian People. Jerusalem is the eternal Capital of Palestine. We say no to the Wall and to Israeli occupation. Free Palestine”.

London, UK

Anti-Zionist Jews belonging to the religious group of Neturei Karta protested in London in support of the Great March of Return.

Also, a mass protest was held last Friday in front of the Israeli Embassy in London.

Chicago, U.S.A.

DePaul University students prepared for the Nakba march in Chicago.

Mercogliano, Italy

Pro-Palestinian activists protest againsted the Giro d’Italia, which started from Jerusalem on May 4.

(PC, Social Media)

fly bird (26)
Sunday May 13, 2018, 11:10 pm
70 Years of Nakba: Take the Streets for Palestine – March for Return!
12 May 2018

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges all supporters of Palestine and the freedom of Palestinian prisoners to participate in the events and actions around the world commemorating the 70th anniversary of al-Nakba and supporting the #GreatReturnMarch in Gaza. For 70 years, Palestinians have faced ethnic cleansing, forced displacement, massacres, imprisonment and racist oppression – a continuation of the previous 30 years of British colonization. Those past 70 years have also been years of resistance, organizing and struggle for the liberation of the land and people of Palestine.

Imprisonment has always been a part of the colonial weaponry used against the Palestinian people. From the imprisonment of Palestinians by the British colonial authorities – which inspired some of the songs and poetry that still remain symbols of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement today – to the imprisonment of thousands of Palestinians and the use of forced labor camps during the Nakba, prisons and resistance to them have been a part of the Palestinian liberation struggle.

As the Nakba continued, Palestinians struggling to return were labeled “infiltrators,” killed and imprisoned by the Zionist state. Throughout 70 years of struggle, the leaders and organizers of the Palestinian people – fighters, labor organizers, teachers, poets, writers, student and women’s movement leaders, farmers, workers, fishers – have been imprisoned in their hundreds of thousands by the Zionist state and have continued their resistance. The prisons have become symbols and spaces of oppression and also places to organize resistance, educate young people and build revolutionary schools to develop the struggle.

Today, 49 Palestinians have been shot down in the Gaza Strip at the 1948 armistice line, delineating the arbitrary enclave into which Palestinian refugees were ethnically cleansed by Zionist militias, and later the Israeli army, where they have gathered as part of tens of thousands participating in the Great March of Return, demanding their right to return to their homes and lands and the breaking of the siege on Gaza. As Palestinians mark 70 years of ongoing Nakba, they will march again facing brutal live fire and repression that has severely wounded thousands.

To support the march for return on the anniversary of the Nakba, broad participation in the numerous events and actions around the world is essential. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges supporters of Palestine around the world to mobilize on the anniversary of the Nakba to march alongside the Great March of Return and the millions of Palestinian refugees in exile and diaspora who struggle for their right to return home, the key to Palestinian liberation.

Send your events and actions to us at or on Facebook to tell us about your actions in response to the Land Day Massacre and for Palestinian Prisoners’ Day.

See our constantly-updated calendar of events!

The following signs can be used in your own local events and actions. PDF download links are provided below!

1 – Right to Resist – Right to Return – Download PDF
2 – End Israel’s War on Palestinian Journalists – Download PDF
3 – Right to Resist – Right to Return – Download PDF

11 May:
•International: World Keffiyeh Day – 2018
•Long Beach: Al-Awda 13th Annual Conference
•Amsterdam: Nakba commemoration on the Dam
•Chicago: 70th Commemoration of the Nakba
•NYC: Emergency Demonstration – Stop the Slaughter in Gaza
•Geneva: Rally for Gaza
•London: Stand Up for Gaza – Stop the Killing
•Athens: Demonstration in Solidarity with the Palestinian Struggle

12 May:
•London: Palestine on the Thames – Nakba in my Present
•Strasbourg: Protest for the March of Return and Palestinian Sumoud
•Caen: Protest for the March of Return and Palestinian Sumoud
•Villeneuve D’Ascq: Protest for the March of Return and Palestinian Sumoud
•St-Girons: Protest for the March of Return and Palestinian Sumoud
•Grenoble: Protest for the March of Return and Palestinian Sumoud
•Douai: Protest for the March of Return and Palestinian Sumoud
•Long Beach: Al-Awda 13th Annual Conference
•NYC: Anti-War Protest and Petitioning for Gaza
•Rotterdam: 70 Jaar Nakba
•Boston: Remember and Resist – 70 Years of Ethnic Cleansing in Palestine
•Berlin: Palestinian Day at Hermannplatz
•Edinburgh: National Nakba Commemoration Scotland
•Cologne: Rally to commemorate 70 years of Nakba
•Toronto: Rally for Gaza and Commemoration of 70 Years of Nakba
•London: Protest Nakba70 – Expose BBC Lies on the #GreatReturnMarch
•San Francisco: 70 Years of Palestinian Resistance and Resilience
•Austin: Nakba Day Return March
•Gothenburg: Demonstration to support the Palestinian cause
•Dallas: Nakba Day 2018
•Houston: Nakba Day 2018
•Belfast: Support the Right of Return Rally
•Rome: National Demonstration for Palestine
•Toulouse: March in support of the Great Return March and Palestinian Sumoud
•Paris: Great Rally for Palestine and to support the March of Return
•Lyon: Support the Great Return March – Stop Israeli Crimes
•Koblenz: 70 Years of Nakba, the Palestinian Catastrophe
•Milan: Remember the Nakba, Denounce Zionism
•Vienna: Remember 70 Years of Nakba

13 May:
•Brussels: ViaVelo Palestina 2018 + Nakba 70 Commemoration
•Madrid: Popular solidarity race for Palestine
•Manchester: Nakba@70 – Nakba Commemoration Event & Rally
•Malmo: Al-Nakba – 70 years of exile
•Calgary: Remembering the Nakba
•Copenhagen: 70 Years – We will never forget al-Nakba!

14 May:
•Philadelphia: Palestinian Great March of Return – Solidarity Rally
•Bay Ridge, Brooklyn: Jerusalem is Palestinian! Rally to end 70 years of colonialism
•Montreal: Nakba 70 Action
•Milwaukee: Nakba70 Rally and March
•Prague: Protest against US Embassy Move, 70 Years of Nakba, Killings in Gaza
•Athens: Solidarity with Palestinians against Israeli Occupation
•London: Protest at the US Embassy for #Nakba70 and Right of Return
•Detroit: Nakba Day – Jerusalem is (still) the capital of Palestine!
•Berlin: 70 Years of Nakba

15 May:
•Window Rock: Nakba: Diné Solidarity with Great Return March
•Cape Town: National Protest for the #GreatReturnMarch and Against Israeli Apartheid
•Vancouver: Mark Nakba70 – End Canadian Complicity
•Johannesburg: Palestine Picket at the US Consulate
•Winnipeg: Al-Nakba 70 – Hope Lives in Remembrance
•Odense: Commemoration of al-Nakba
•Aalborg: We will never forget al-Nakba!
•Washington DC: 70 Years too Long – Nakba Vigil and Storytelling
•Oslo: Marking the Nakba, 70 Years of Exile
•Gothenburg: Demonstration for Palestine
•Stockholm: 70 years of displacement – Rally for a Free Palestine
•London: Nakba Candlelight Vigil 1948-2018
•Athens: 70 Years of Nakba, the struggle continues until the liberation of Palestine
•Sydney: Protest for Palestine – 70 Years of Nakba
•Malmo: Film and Conversation – Al Nakba, 70 Years of Exile
•Manchester: Solidarity with Student Prisoners! Resist political detention!
•Montevideo: 70 Years of Al-Nakba, 70 Years of Resistance
•Sevilla: Nakba – 70 years of the occupation of Palestine
•Valladolid: Rally to commemorate Al-Nakba
•Copenhagen: Nakba=Catastrophe
•Helsinki: Commemorate 70 Years of Nakba

18 May:
•NYC: Nakba Day 2018 – Rally and March for 70 Years of Resistance

19 May:
•Bonn: 70 years of expulsion and occupation are enough!

fly bird (26)
Sunday May 13, 2018, 11:19 pm
Haaretz: Gaza Doctors: Israeli Fire at Border Protests Causing Wounds Not Seen Since 2014 War

Evelyn B (61)
Sunday May 13, 2018, 11:30 pm
32 countries are joining the Israeli celebrations of the move of the US Embassy ...

But over 150 countries are NOT ...

fly bird (26)
Sunday May 13, 2018, 11:31 pm
‘Pure Propaganda’: B’Tselem Slams Israeli Announcement to Look into Killings in Gaza.
April 26, 2018

Israeli human rights group B’Tselem described the military’s announcement that the general staff investigation mechanism led by Brig. Gen. Motti Baruch will look into the incidents in which Palestinians were killed, focusing on civilian deaths, as “pure propaganda, intended – among other things – to prevent an independent international investigation.

B’Tselem in a position paper entitled, “If the heart be not callous: On the unlawful shooting of unarmed demonstrators in Gaza,” said Israel is treating the protest in Gaza as it has handled similar events in the past: Broad, unlawful use of lethal force at a heavy price to lives, baseless legal interpretations issued to justify this policy, and whitewashing the crimes within days.

The paper provides legal analysis explaining why the orders given the soldiers, permitting live fire at unarmed civilians who do not pose a danger, are unlawful.

B’Tselem said Israeli officials are relying on worst-case scenarios to justify these orders. Yet hypothetical situations – such as thousands of Palestinians crossing the fence into Israel – are not enough to justify prior permission to open lethal fire at demonstrators.

The center stressed that given the combination of local public opinion, which ranges from ardent support to indifference, and a judiciary skilled in draining moral rules of meaning and whitewashing crime, it is difficult to imagine the necessary substantive change coming from within Israel.

BTselem maintained that although many countries violate human rights, yet Israel is unique in insisting that its unlawful actions are in keeping with international law.
”This challenges the very foundations of international law – unlike the conduct of states that make no attempt to lend a semblance of legality to their actions.”

B’Tselem stressed that if the international community does not come to its senses and force Israel to abide by the rules that are binding to every state in the world, it will pull the rug out from under the global effort to protect human rights in the post-WWII era.

“This is not a merely theoretical concern: Until Israel changes its policy, the Palestinians will continue pay for this state of affairs with life and limb,” said the Israeli human rights center.

The number of Palestinians killed by the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip has reached 40 since March 30 when the Great March of Return commenced.

(Wafa, PC, Social Media)

fly bird (26)
Sunday May 13, 2018, 11:52 pm
Israeli Shootings of Palestinians in Gaza “A Violation of International Law”.
May 13, 2018

UN Special Rapporteur Michael Lynk outlined on Canadian television why Israel’s attacks against Gazans in the March of Return violate international law. We speak to Peter Larson of Canada Talks Israel Palestine, who recently returned from Gaza.


SHARMINI PERIES: It’s the Real News Network. I’m Sharmini Peries, coming to you from Baltimore.

The Palestinian March of Return in Gaza continues, with tens of thousands of protesters demanding the right to leave what has become known as the world’s largest open-air prison, the Gaza Strip. The protests are expected to culminate to next week on May 15, the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, the deportation of most of the native population of Palestine, and what has now become the state of Israel. Israel is also celebrating its formation of the state of Israel on that very day. It is going to be a [inaudible] one.

In the meantime in Gaza, so far Israeli forces have killed over 50 Palestinian protesters and injured thousands. U.N. Special Rapporteur Michael Lynk has stated that what the state of Israel is doing by killing and maiming protesters by sniper fire is a violation of international law, when he was interviewed on Canadian television, CTV. Let’s have a listen.

MICHAEL LYNK: Most of the demonstrations, in fact, are unarmed demonstrations. The violence is really coming from the fire shot at them by the Israeli Defense Forces. Over the last, past five Fridays we’ve had over 40 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces and over 5000 Israeli-Palestinians injured, including 1700 by live fire. Of the 1700, a number of these are very devastating injuries. The doctors at the main hospitals in Gaza are reporting that high velocity ammunition has been used against them. They’re reporting patients who are arriving with significant internal damage to tissue, to bone, to organs, where there are narrow entry wounds by the ammunition and high velocity, large exit wounds, which, all of which, I must point out, probably is in violation of international law. It’s an international law, it’s a violation of international law for security forces of any sort to be using deadly ammunition fire against unarmed protesters.

Deadly, lethal fire is only permitted as a last resort, only when the lives or safety of the security forces are in imminent threat of either danger or or death. It doesn’t appear to be the case so far in these five Fridays of demonstrations.

SHARMINI PERIES: Shortly after this interview was aired, the Special Repertoire Lynk, Michael Lynk, was accused of lying by the Israeli lobby group Honest Reporting Canada, who also condemned CTV for giving the special repertoire airtime. The special rapporteur’s claims made in that interview and also in a press release was supported in a recent statement by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, both of whom says that Israel was unlawfully killing and maiming protesters, and several other U.N. officials and of UN bodies joined and issued another statement, which was a joint press statement, which lays out in more detail why international human rights experts consider IDF sniper fire a potential violation of international law.

And to add to that, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has warned Israel that its action could constitute crimes under the Rome Statute. Here is how U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley responded to the UN reports on the Israeli violence in Gaza, and trying to blame the deaths that have occurred thus far on the Palestinian Hamas party.

NIKKI HALEY: Anyone who truly cares about children in Gaza should insist that Hamas immediately stop using children as cannon fodder in its conflict with Israel.

SHARMINI PERIES: With us to discuss all of this is Peter Larson. He has just returned from Gaza, and he represents an organization in Canada called Canada Talks Israel Palestine. Dr. Peter Larson writes a regular blog on the same site, and a frequent visitor to the region. Peter, I thank you so much for joining us.

PETER LARSON: Good to be here, thank you.

SHARMINI PERIES: So, Peter, you’ve just returned from Gaza, where you observed the March of Return, and took some videos, which we will be showing our viewers as we do this interview. I want to ask you, when pro-Israeli groups say that Palestinians are threatening Israel with their protests, what did you see?

PETER LARSON: Sharmini, I went to one, of their five camps, I went to one of them on the 27th of April. And what I saw is really, there’s two parts to the demonstration. Part of it is just tents, bands, marches, food, clowns, right at the edge of the Israeli no-go zone. And then there are some young people who are more aggressive, more courageous, who are daring to oppose the Israelis, yelling at them, throwing stones and so on. But as I could see, none of the stones could come anywhere near to reaching the Israelis.

SHARMINI PERIES: All right. Did you see any weapons on any of them?

PETER LARSON: I didn’t see that. I didn’t see any weapons. I didn’t see any stones. And I didn’t, I guess if you could call a a tire a weapon, I saw them pulling some tires down to burn them to the front. But even the front, Israel has established two separate fences on the Palestinian side. So even at the first fence it’s still another 50 or 60 yards from the perimeter fence, which defines Gaza.

SHARMINI PERIES: Right. So as we heard, Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador at the UN, and when you listen to Prime Minister Netanyahu from Israel and other spokespeople from the government of Israel you are hearing more or less the same talking points. Trying to blame Hamas for what is going on on the ground, which they repeatedly say is violence that is created by Hamas. And what we have been witnessing, what people on the ground and what our reporters on the ground are reporting, is that largely the protesters are peaceful, free of any form of violence, well away from the actual military installations on the Israeli side. So tell us, you know, is this picture that I’ve just painted correct? What are your observations in terms of who’s organizing the march? Is it peaceful, and is Hamas involved?

PETER LARSON: There is a committee, a public committee, that includes groups like student unions, the bar association, women’s groups. It also includes Hamas and Fatah and so on, political parties. Hamas and Fatah are definitely involved. But based on what I saw, they are big political parties that have lots of members. It would be surprising if they weren’t involved. But it certainly did not appear to me that they were running it, or coordinating it. On the contrary.

SHARMINI PERIES: And were you witness to any of the sniper fires that was going on? I mean, we now have a total of about 50 people that have been killed by sniper fire. Did you witness any of that?

PETER LARSON: Yes I did. I’m not qualified to tell the difference between sniper and regular, a regular rifle. I certainly heard gunfire I could hear some automatic fire, and the occasional individual shots. I saw someone get hit about 50 meters in front of me, and I was standing at that time, I would say, 250 meters away from the Israeli perimeter fence. And we were being bombarded by tear gas, also I would estimate a good 250 meters into the, what the Israelis call the no-go area. Israel has unilaterally decided that Palestinians are not allowed to approach the perimeter fence, and so just doing so by the Palestinians is an act of defiance.

SHARMINI PERIES: Now, the interview that is in controversy in Canada, with the Special Rapporteur Lynk, who is on, who was on CTV. Now, he’s been condemned for saying what he did, plus CTV is being charged with giving the special rapporteur airtime. Tell us what you thought of the interview that took place on CTV, and was it, what was he saying anything that was contrary to what you witnessed?

PETER LARSON: No, I think what Michael Lynk was saying was quite consistent with what I saw. Now, I wasn’t at every place. There are five different camps. It was on different days. I went to two different camps on two different days. And in general I saw, it was overwhelming. You might be interested, I have a note here that I received from one of the organizers, who points out that this is a huge thing, and there are lots of young people in Gaza who are very unhappy and very angry. It’s not really possible to control them. The organizing committee has said that they don’t really approve of burning Israeli flags. They don’t really approve of flying those kites over and trying to cause, because they don’t really affect anything, and they just give a bad image. They don’t really approve of trying to break through the fence. But there are lots of young people who have been born in Gaza, never allowed to exit from it, and they can’t really control everybody.

SHARMINI PERIES: And Peter, you have a letter that was just sent to you by one of the organizers. Can you tell us who it is and read it for us?

PETER LARSON: Sure. So that’s from Ahmed Ratima. He’s 35-year-old Palestinian man from Gaza. He published a blog post in December saying we should do something like this. And it kind of caught fire. Because I think, and this is my view, not his, and my words, not his, that it’s clear that yes, the Palestinians in Gaza are going to resolve the problem, they have to have outside support. He says that this desperation is fueling this new generation. We’re not going back. He intends it to be entirely peaceful.

I think one of the most striking images in my mind is the picture of Hamas leaders standing up addressing the crowd, and behind them pictures of Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela. Now, for Hamas to be openly talking about nonviolent resistance is quite extraordinary. And I think that captures the sense of the organizing committee. We’ll see. I think there will be doubters. But I think we’ll see going forward that there has been a sea change here in an understanding of how this issue has to be addressed.

SHARMINI PERIES: All right, Peter, I thank you so much for joining us. Peter Larson, with Canada Talks Israel Palestine, I appreciate your honesty, and the fact that you shared your observations and what you witnessed with us. Thank you so much for joining us today.

fly bird (26)
Monday May 14, 2018, 12:06 am
Hold Israel Accountable for Gaza Land Day Killings. (Video 2:19)
Apr 6, 2018

Israeli snipers used live fire on Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza on Friday, March 30, 2018, killing at least 18 and injuring more than 1,400.

It is past time to end Israel’s impunity to using excessive force against Palestinians.

Email your Members of Congress now to demand the US open an investigation into Israel’s unlawful killing of Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza:

US Must Hold Israel Accountable for Gaza Land Day Massacre.

On March 30, 2018, the Israeli military met unarmed Palestinian protesters participating in the Great Return March with lethal and excessive force.

Israeli snipers killed at least 18 Palestinians and injured more than 1,400 with live fire, actions that Human Rights Watch are calling "unlawful." Since then, Israel has continued to shoot at unarmed protesters, killing a total of 41 Palestinians, including at least three children and a journalist.

Israel is expecting to act with impunity – again. But you can help hold it accountable for its excessive use of force against Palestinian demonstrators.

Israel is the largest recipient of US military aid, and several US laws require the imposition of sanctions against a government which uses US military aid to commit human rights abuses.

Contact your Members of Congress today and demand an investigation to hold Israel accountable for violating these laws.

Great Return March.


fly bird (26)
Monday May 14, 2018, 3:43 pm
‘America crossed every red line’: Palestinians in Jerusalem protest new US embassy.

May 14, 2018

JERUSALEM — Hundreds of Palestinians took to the streets of Jerusalem in protest as American and Israeli officials celebrated the inauguration of the US Embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba.

As US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner celebrated the inauguration with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and major Trump donor Sheldon Adelson, Palestinian protesters outside were met by armed Israeli police forces who heavily suppressed demonstrations and arrested several protesters.

Though the several speeches given during the ceremony made no mention of Jerusalem’s 350,000 Palestinian residents, protesters rose their voices in opposition to the move, which broke with decades of US foreign policy in the region.

‘America crossed every red line’

Protesters gathered in the West Jerusalem neighborhood of Arnona, about 200 meters away from where the ceremony was taking place, due to a series of road closures by Israeli police.

Mohammed Abu al-Hummus, a local activist and Jerusalem resident, said America “crossed every red line” with embassy move (Photo: Saleh Zghari)

“The fact that they closed off the streets to block protesters, and sent hundreds of police forces to attack us and arrest us, just shows that they know what they are doing is illegal,” Mohammed Abu al-Hummus, a local activist, told Mondoweiss.

“They tried to keep us far away, so that we could not interrupt their ceremony, and so they could celebrate in peace,” he said.

Abu al-Hummus told Mondoweiss that the transfer of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem “crossed every red line,” and criticized the presence of Dallas-based Baptist Pastor Robert Jeffress — who has previously called Islam “a heresy from the pit of hell” — at the ceremony.

“Trump made this move to appease his Zionist Christian base and make them happy, without care for the consequences it will have on Palestinian lives,” Abu al-Hummus said.

“In America, they have the statue of liberty and pride themselves on freedom, but then they come to Palestine and support the racism of the Israeli occupation,” he said. “This move shows us that they do not understand the true meaning of democracy.”

Mamoun Razeq, a resident of Jerusalem, called the transfer of the embassy “an attack on the Palestinian people.” (Photo: Saleh Zghari)

Mamoun Razeq, a resident of Jerusalem who participated in the protests, expressed similar sentiments.

“The American government is not, and will never be part of peace,” Razeq told Mondoweiss amid the crowd of protesters.

“The transfer of the embassy is a dangerous attack on the Palestinian people, and has created tensions that no one can predict the outcome of.”

“This is a provocation against the Palestinian people, and this is why I am here today,” he said. “I have a right over this land as a Jerusalemite, and I must defend it, even if just with my voice.”

Palestinian writer and Jerusalemite Bodour Hassan told Mondoweiss that the embassy move only solidified the distrust Palestinians have long had in the American government.

“We do not accept the American embassy to be anywhere in Palestine. The transfer of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was done to provoke Palestinians,” she said.

“This just shows us the real face of the US. We saw this face before, but to transfer the embassy solidified what we already knew about the US.”

No faith in the international community

Shirin al-Issawi, a lawyer and former prisoner, was among the protesters outside the US embassy opening in Jerusalem (Photo: Saleh Zghari)

Among the hundreds of protesters in Jerusalem was former prisoner and famed lawyer Shirin al-Issawi.

“I came here as a Palestinian woman and Jerusalemite, to raise my voice against the American support of the Israeli occupation and its attacks and crimes against the Palestinian people,” Issawi told Mondoweiss.

“I am here today, because as a Palestinian, it is my duty. If we did not come here as Palestinians and Jerusalemites to defend our land, who else will support us?,” she asked.

“We have always stood alone against the Israeli occupation’s policies, without any help from the international community, and we will continue to protest this transfer of the embassy, and to make sure our rights are upheld here in Palestine and in Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine.”

Al-Issawi criticized the celebration of the embassy opening by Israeli officials and citizens, saying “their celebration today shows how brutal and monstrous they are, and the racism that they practice in this land.”

Despite the Israeli suppression of protests and disregard for Palestinian opposition to the move, al-Issawi said that she, thousands others like her, will continue to protest.

“We will keep resisting until we free all of Palestine, not just Jerusalem and the West Bank, but all of Palestine,” she said.

fly bird (26)
Monday May 14, 2018, 3:55 pm
Still refugees, wherever we are.
14 May 2018

I grew up with snippets of my family history told in short, evocative sentences.

“We had the largest field of figs in the village,” or, “Your grandfather loved horses and he used to own several.”

Most heard, however, was: “We lost everything during the Nakba.”

Much of my information came from my late grandmother, Jamileh. I remember gathering around her with my siblings during power cuts, listening to her stories about my grandfather and their life before the Nakba. She would smile when she described their village, al-Masmiya al-Kabira, recalled her memories of the harvest season, or how she fell in love with my grandfather.

I am of the third Nakba generation. But though I was born almost 45 years after the fact, we all remain refugees, displaced and dispersed. My early life was dominated by UNRWA, the United Nations agency that was set up to cater to Palestine refugees. And “refugee” is a word that I used to hear everywhere: at the UNRWA schools where I studied for nine years, at the UNRWA medical centers, and in Beach refugee camp, set up by UNRWA, where I grew up.

My father was born in Gaza in 1954. His grandparents had taken refuge there, some 40 kilometers south of their village, during the 1948 Nakba after they heard news and rumors about the Deir Yassin massacre.

“I remember my father talking to my mother about it,” my grandmother, who was 16 at the time of the massacre, once told me. “They had heard that they forced the women to take their clothes off and sent them in buses to other villages in order to frighten and threaten them. The men of our village were afraid of a similar massacre in our village, and we decided to leave. Later, we heard that they destroyed it.”

Sawsan, a refugee mother

My mother is originally from Nilin in the central West Bank. She, too, lived her whole childhood as a refugee in Jordan, where she was born in 1967, and later Syria, after her family fled their village during the Nakba.

For me, to be the son of two refugees is to live in a continual state of insecurity and nostalgia. I never really knew my relatives from my mother’s side or many of my father’s siblings. The Nakba affected me directly this way and in all areas of my childhood and life.

After my parents got married in Syria, in 1984, my mother started to see her family in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus much less. My father was working as a journalist with the Palestine Liberation Organization and they had to travel a lot.

And by moving to Gaza in 1994, after the Oslo accords, and being issued with one of the newly created Palestinian Authority passports, my mother effectively gave up hope of full freedom of movement. She knew that from then, meeting her family, in Jordan or Syria, would be very difficult because Palestinians needed visas that were – and are – almost impossible for them to obtain.

It didn’t stop her from trying. Many of my childhood memories revolve around us applying for visas to spend our summer holidays in Syria and Jordan and then waiting for what would be the inevitable rejection.

Every year brought more disappointment for my mother and every year her children saw her vexed and frustrated. She missed the weddings of her siblings, and she missed the births of their children. She was not there as her parents grew older.

In 2005, and after a decade of trying, we were finally successful, though, as always with Palestinians, not completely: my father and an older brother were not granted visas.

Eventually, I managed to travel with my mother and two sisters to Syria through Egypt. It would be just the third time my mother had seen her parents since 1984. Despite my young age, I was 11 at the time, I remember the minute details of that trip. It was also the first time I met my grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. All those people had been nothing but photographs to us, our mother’s children. They suddenly sprang into warm, loving life.

We came back to Gaza after spending one of the best months in my life. However, I haven’t met my grandparents since then, though my mother did see them for a week in Syria in 2011.

My grandparents are still in Syria. My uncles and aunts are divided between Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The only way my mother can meet them is online. They share laughs, tears, dreams, fears, and a lot of childhood memories, but only through technology and only at an enforced distance.

Tawfiq, a refugee father

My father’s situation wasn’t much different from my mother’s. Born in Gaza, he returned there with my mother in 1994, joining his parents and two sisters, but leaving two brothers and two sisters abroad in Jordan, Spain and Canada.

This was much to my grandmother Jamileh’s despair, especially on New Year.

“It’s another year without your uncles, aunts, and cousins around me,” she would always say. “I’m not sure I’ll be alive for another to meet them.”

In 2012, we learned that my grandmother was dying after years battling cancer. I would spend the nights with her in her small square room at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City. She spent all night praying for each one of us by name, starting with my late grandfather and ending with her great grandchildren.

Hers was an “isolation room,” reserved for the terminally ill. But I understood she felt isolated in more ways than one, especially from her absent children.

My father called all his siblings to get them to make arrangements to come. It was not to be.

Neither sister had any success in obtaining the needed papers and my uncle in Spain found his passage blocked at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport. As a Spanish citizen, he had to try to come through the Israeli-controlled Erez checkpoint, but EU status was to prove of no benefit: he was arrested at the airport and spent the night in detention before being sent back to Spain.

Another uncle, who lives in Canada, took a more risky route. He came through Egypt and traversed the smuggling tunnels into Gaza. It was desperate. And late. His mother passed away before his arrival and we were forced to postpone a funeral which three of Jamileh’s other children were unable to attend until he made it through.

Today I live in Paris. My parents and siblings are in Gaza. I have relatives across the Middle East, Europe and Canada. But nowhere can we feel safe or settled or permanent.

Ours is a state of temporariness and a longing for the security of our own homes on our own land whether in al-Masmiya or Nilin and those fig trees my grandmother would recall so fondly.

Mousa Tawfiq is a journalist, formerly based in Gaza, currently living in Paris.

Colleen L (3)
Monday May 14, 2018, 8:06 pm
Nice to see that they were all peaceful, non-violent marchers. Power to the people. PEACE. Thanks Fly

fly bird (26)
Tuesday May 15, 2018, 12:24 am
“Horrific, unprecedented”: Israel massacres almost 60 Palestinians in Gaza. (PODCAST)
14 May 2018

A report from the Great March of Return, after Israeli forces kill dozens of Palestinians in Gaza; excerpts of talks by Ghada Karmi, Joseph Massad, Ilan Pappe and Salman Abu Sitta.

Read more here:…stinians-gaza

(Photo: Palestinian protesters demand their rights during the Great March of Return, Rafah, Gaza Strip, 14 May. Photo by Mahmoud Bassam/APA Images)

fly bird (26)
Tuesday May 15, 2018, 10:03 am
Erdogan slams international community’s apathy for Palestine.

Palestine is the centre issue in the world, Erdogan said.
May 09 2018

International community's indifference over the sufferings of Palestinians caused by Israeli attacks shows that no society has a safe future, the Turkish president said on Monday.

Speaking at the International Mount of Olives Peace Awards at the Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall in Istanbul, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: "Palestinians are the symbol of all oppressed people in the world because of the persecution, massacres and injustices they have been subjected to."

Erdogan said the Palestine cause was not an exclusive issue of a nation or a city, adding that the future of humanity would be determined according to its stance against the Palestine and Jerusalem cause.

“If the reverse happens, a dark future will be awaiting us, one in which all rights, freedoms, and moral and conscientious measures are absent or eliminated and in which tyranny prevails.”

Erdogan said what was happening in Palestine was the legitimization of tyranny, highlighting Israel’s mounting persecution against Palestinians whose sole guilt was trying to defend their own land.

"The indifference of the international community towards the Palestinians, who have had tens of martyrs and thousands of injured people during these [Israeli] attacks, is the sign of a future in which no society and individual will be safe," Erdogan said.

Erdogan accused the international institutions responsible for ensuring peace and security in Palestine, calling them “hypocrites.”

He also stressed that when it came to delivering aid, great economic powers fiercely competing with each other whenever an economic, political or military interest was at stake had fallen behind Turkey.

“And that is because humanitarian aid, totally an issue of conscience and morality, does not bring money, oil, gold, or political power," he said, adding that Turkey so far had spent $31 billion for the Syrians staying in Turkey.’s-apathy-for-palestine

fly bird (26)
Tuesday May 15, 2018, 11:40 am
Events for May 15 2018

Window Rock: Nakba: Diné Solidarity with Great Return March
Across France: Protests against the Massacre in Gaza
Houston: Emergency Protest for Palestine
Cape Town: National Protest for the #GreatReturnMarch and Against Israeli Apartheid
Olympia: Commemoration of 70 Years of Nakba
Orlando: Stand in Solidarity with Palestine
Edinburgh: National Nakba Commemoration Scotland
Brussels and Throughout Belgium: Silent Circles to Remember the Nakba
Vancouver: Mark Nakba70 – End Canadian Complicity
Washington, DC: Nakba Teach-In at Schumer’s Office – Free Gaza, Free Palestine
Ankara: 70 Years of Nakba
Johannesburg: Palestine Picket at the US Consulate
Amsterdam: Remember the Nakba – Stand for the Right of Return
San Francisco: 70 Years of Palestinian Resistance and Resilience
Copenhagen: Nakba=Catastrophe
Chicago: Emergency Rally – Reject US Embassy Move & Israeli Massacres
Winnipeg: Al-Nakba 70 – Hope Lives in Remembrance
Tucson: Nakba Day Vigil
Boston: Remember and Resist – 70 Years of Ethnic Cleansing in Palestine
15 May, Odense: Commemoration of al-Nakba
Aalborg: We will never forget al-Nakba!
Washington DC: 70 Years too Long – Nakba Vigil and Storytelling
Oslo: Marking the Nakba, 70 Years of Exile
Helsinki: Protest 70 Years of Nakba
Gothenburg: Demonstration for Palestine
London: Gaza – Stop the Massacre, Emergency Protest
Buenos Aires: Stop the Genocide of the Palestinian People
Rome: Solidarity Demonstration for Palestine
Stockholm: 70 years of displacement – Rally for a Free Palestine
London: Nakba Candlelight Vigil 1948-2018
Athens: 70 Years of Nakba, the struggle continues until the liberation of Palestine
Berlin: 70 Years of Nakba – Solidarity Demonstration for Palestine
Adana: 70 Years of Nakba
Albertville: 70th Anniversary of the Nakba
Brussels: Stop the Gaza Massacre! Protest for Gaza
Dublin: Nakba Day Vigil – in Solidarity with the #GreatReturnMarch
Paris: Rally against the Massacre in Gaza
Calgary: Emergency protest for Gaza – Palestine
Sydney: Protest for Palestine – 70 Years of Nakba
Malmo: Film and Conversation – Al Nakba, 70 Years of Exile
Manchester: Solidarity with Student Prisoners! Resist political detention!
Montevideo: 70 Years of Al-Nakba, 70 Years of Resistance
Istanbul: 70 Years of Nakba
Edmonton: Emergency Rally for Gaza Palestine
Bologna: Enough with the Israeli crimes!
Sevilla: Nakba – 70 years of the occupation of Palestine
Santiago: 70 Years Resisting the Nakba – Manifestation for Palestine
Valladolid: Rally to commemorate Al-Nakba
Barcelona: 70 Years of Resistance in Palestine, 1948-2018

Events for 16 May 2018

Paris: Rally against the Massacre in Gaza
Stains: Solidarity with the Palestinian People
Lille: Stop the Massacre in Gaza!
Toulouse: All to Capitole for Gaza and Jerusalem

Events for 17 May 2018

Saint-Etienne: Rally in support of the Palestinian People

Events for 18 May 2018

NYC: Nakba Day 2018 – Rally and March for 70 Years of Resistance
May 18 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Times Square, Times Square
New York, NY United States

Cleveland: Nakba70 – Gaza – Jerusalem
May 18 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Public Square, Public Square
Cleveland, OH United States

fly bird (26)
Tuesday May 15, 2018, 11:58 am
Events for 19 May 2018

Bonn: 70 years of expulsion and occupation are enough!
Clermont-Farrand: Nakba – Gaza – BDS Demonstration
Montpellier: Stand with Gaza – Protest the Massacre
Florence: Protest to support Palestine and its resistance

fly bird (26)
Tuesday May 15, 2018, 11:17 pm
UN Observer Calls for Probe into Israeli Crimes in Gaza as US Blocks UNSC Statement.
May 15, 2018

Permanent observer to the UN, Riyad Mansour, Tuesday, called for a transparent and independent investigation into the deadly violence in the Gaza Strip, and said that Palestinians will endorse the results of the investigation in advance.

He told the 15 members of the Security Council that Israel is the main source of violence in the region and any attempt to forge this fact is not consistent with reality.

“We ask those who have different accounts; why are you obstructing a transparent and independent investigation? We accept in advance the results of this investigation called for by 14 members of the Council and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.”

He affirmed, according to WAFA, that Palestinians accept the results in advance and asked if the countries blocking the investigation are ready to accept it along with its consequences.

The United Nations Security Council met on Tuesday, to discuss violence along the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, following the deadliest day during which dozens of Palestinians have been killed by Israeli armed forces.

Nikolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator addressed the council members and said the killing acts in Gaza don’t serve the peace process. He strongly condemned the events in the Gaza Strip and held Israel responsible for the use of lethal force, which led to the high death toll.

He said that Palestinians in Gaza are protesting because of poverty and for living in a large prison with no future. Palestinians in Gaza are frustrated and angry. If their voices are not heard, more destruction will happen, he explained.

Kuwait called for the session after 60 Palestinians were killed and thousands wounded by Israeli gunfire amid mass protests, on Monday, against opening the US embassy in Jerusalem.

Mansour Al-Otaibi, Kuwait’s ambassador to UN condemned the killing of over 60 Palestinians and said that Israel’s violation of International law would not have continued if it wasn’t for the lack of action by the Security Council.

He added that moving embassies to the city of Jerusalem is a violation of all decisions adopted by the Security Council and affirmed his country’s support of any Palestinian move on the national and the international level to solidify its sovereignty in the occupied city of Jerusalem.

Al-Otaibi said he would circulate a draft resolution to the 15-member council on Wednesday calling for the provision of international protection for the Palestinian people.

Sacha Sergio, the representative of Bolivia to the Security Council said “We must demand that the UN Security Council implement its commitments, as it will not achieve anything for the Palestinians.”

He added that the international community and the UN Security Council have completely failed the Palestinians and the world must work to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and stop the illegal occupation of Palestine.

Sergio condemned the transfer of the US Embassy to occupied Jerusalem, “because this is a violation of the resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly, and the United States, which supports the occupation has become an obstacle to peace and part of the problem and not part of the solution.”

He called for an independent investigation into what happened in the Gaza Strip and to work to end the occupation and establish a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders in line with UN resolutions and the UN Security Council.

PNN further reports that the Trump administration, on Monday, blocked a statement by the UN Security Councilthat was intended to call for an investigation of the events on the Israel-Gaza border.

The statement, circulated by Kuwait, included an expression of rage and sorrow on behalf of the Security Council over Israel killing more than 50 Palestinians on Monday. However, the US blocked the statement from being adopted and published.

The Kuwaiti statement also included a call for the creation of an “independent and transparent investigation” into Israel’s actions on the border.

It wasn’t the first time that the U.S. has blocked an action at the Security Council related to Israel’s actions in Gaza, but was notable in light of the high death toll yesterday in Gaza – the highest since the end of the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas.

fly bird (26)
Wednesday May 16, 2018, 2:44 am
Gaza killings: Names and faces of those killed by Israeli forces this week.
Eight-month-old Laila is youngest Palestinian killed in Gaza on Monday, the deadliest day since 2014 war.

Last update: Wednesday 16 May 2018

note: Middle East Eye has live coverage of protests in Palestine and Israel here.

Sixty-two people were either killed or died of wounds inflicted by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip on Monday and Tuesday as thousands of Palestinians demonstrated across the occupied territory to mark the 70th anniversary of the Nakba.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Gaza Ministry of Health released the names of 59 Palestinians killed:

1. Laila Anwar Al-Ghandoor, 8 months old

2. Ezz el-din Musa Mohamed Alsamaak, 14 years old

3. Wisaal Fadl Ezzat Alsheikh Khalil, 15 years old

4. Ahmed Adel Musa Alshaer, 16 years old

5. Saeed Mohamed Abu Alkheir, 16 years old

6. Ibrahim Ahmed Alzarqa, 18 years old

7. Eman Ali Sadiq Alsheikh, 19 years old

8. Zayid Mohamed Hasan Omar, 19 years old

9. Motassem Fawzy Abu Louley, 20 years old

10. Anas Hamdan Salim Qadeeh, 21 years old

11. Mohamed Abd Alsalam Harz, 21 years old

12. Yehia Ismail Rajab Aldaqoor, 22 years old

13. Mustafa Mohamed Samir Mahmoud Almasry, 22 years old

14. Ezz Eldeen Nahid Aloyutey, 23 years old

15. Mahmoud Mustafa Ahmed Assaf, 23 years old

16. Ahmed Fayez Harb Shahadah, 23 years old

17. Ahmed Awad Allah, 24 years old

18. Khalil Ismail Khalil Mansor, 25 years old

19. Mohamed Ashraf Abu Sitta, 26 years old

20. Bilal Ahmed Abu Diqah, 26 years old

21. Ahmed Majed Qaasim Ata Allah, 27 years old

22. Mahmoud Rabah Abu Maamar, 28 years old

23.Musab Yousef Abu Leilah, 28 years old

24. Ahmed Fawzy Altetr, 28 years old

25. Mohamed Abdelrahman Meqdad, 28 years old

26. Obaidah Salim Farhan, 30 years old

27. Jihad Mufid Al-Farra, 30 years old

28. Fadi Hassan Abu Salah, 30 years old

29. Motaz Bassam Kamil Al-Nunu, 31 years old

30. Mohammed Riyad Abdulrahman Alamudi, 31 years old

31. Jihad Mohammed Othman Mousa, 31 years old

32. Shahir Mahmoud Mohammed Almadhoon, 32 years old

33. Mousa Jabr Abdulsalam Abu Hasnayn, 35 years old

34. Mohammed Mahmoud Abdulmoti Abdal’al, 39 years old

35. Ahmed Mohammed Ibrahim Hamdan, 27 years old

36. Ismail Khalil Ramadhan Aldaahuk, 30 years old

37. Ahmed Mahmoud Mohammed Alrantisi, 27 years old

38. Alaa Alnoor Ahmed Alkhatib, 28 years old

39. Mahmoud Yahya Abdawahab Hussain, 24 years old

40. Ahmed Abdullah Aladini, 30 years old

41. Saadi Said Fahmi Abu Salah, 16 years old

42. Ahmed Zahir Hamid Alshawa, 24 years old

43. Mohammed Hani Hosni Alnajjar, 33 years old

44. Fadl Mohamed Ata Habshy, 34 years old

45. Mokhtar Kaamil Salim Abu Khamash, 23 years old

46. Mahmoud Wael Mahmoud Jundeyah, 21 years old

47. Abdulrahman Sami Abu Mattar, 18 years old

48. Ahmed Salim Alyaan Aljarf, 26 years old

49. Mahmoud Sulayman Ibrahim Aql, 32 years old

50. Mohamed Hasan Mustafa Alabadilah, 25 years old

51. Kamil Jihad Kamil Mihna, 19 years old

52. Mahmoud Saber Hamad Abu Taeemah, 23 years old

53. Ali Mohamed Ahmed Khafajah, 21 years old

54. Abdelsalam Yousef Abdelwahab, 39 years old

55. Mohamed Samir Duwedar, 27 years old

56. Talal Adel Ibrahim Mattar, 16 years old

57. Omar Jomaa Abu Ful, 30 years old

58. Nasser Ahmed Mahmoud Ghrab, 51 years old

59. Bilal Badeer Hussein Al-Ashram, 18 years old

60 - 62: Unidentified

fly bird (26)
Wednesday May 16, 2018, 10:50 am
UK: Jews deliver message of condemnation to Israel

In a message to world leaders, international organization of Orthodox Jews against Zionism reiterates support for Palestine.



The anti-Zionist Neturei Karta organization has delivered a message of support and solidarity to Palestine as well as one of criticism and condemnation to Israel over its treatment of Palestinian civilians.

In a meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Monday evening, Elahanan Beck, the chief rabbi of Neturei Karta, said “we have to realize and understand -- helping the state of Israel is not in the favor of Jewish people”.

“The Zionists say they want to make a safe haven for Jewish people, they want to help Jews… but this is untrue. The most dangerous place today for Jewish people -- not to speak for Palestinians, but even for Jews -- is in the state of Israel,” Beck said.

Praising Erdogan for withdrawing Turkey’s ambassador to Israel after the opening of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, Beck said: “If you want to help the Jewish people, follow the example of what the Turkish president did: withdraw your ambassador from there and come out in the clear”.

Tensions have risen in the region after President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December and ordered the opening of a new U.S. embassy in the disputed and occupied city, a decision that has earned him global criticism and has broken many agreements regarding Jerusalem’s status.

At least 62 Palestinian demonstrators on the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel who were protesting the embassy’s inauguration were killed Monday by the Israeli Defense Forces.

The killings have sparked a global outcry, with many world leaders condemning Israel, which claimed it was in self-defense.

“We are against the state of Israel. We are against occupiers, and we have to bring peace to the region,” Beck added.

fly bird (26)
Wednesday May 16, 2018, 11:42 am
No More U.S. Weapons to Israel.

Sign this petition to the U.S. government:

End the provision of free weapons to the government of Israel.

fly bird (26)
Wednesday May 16, 2018, 3:15 pm
Seventy Years of Palestinian Resistance Since the Establishment of the State of Israel.
May 15, 2018

The brutal cost that Palestinians in Gaza are paying is because of their resistance to Israel- a resistance that began over seven decades ago.
Yara Hawari

The Great March of Return in the Gaza Strip has reminded the world of Palestinian resistance and the Palestinian struggle for rights. Since March 30, Palestinians in Gaza have engaged in peaceful, grassroots mass protests at the Israeli military fence that imprisons them, calling for an end to the dire conditions in the Strip as well as for the right to return to the land from which they were expelled 70 years ago this month – what Palestinians call the Nakba, or catastrophe. The protestors are literally placing their bodies on the line risking being shot by Israeli snipers. Before the US embassy move today, more than 40 Palestinians had been shot dead by Israeli snipers, and thousands had been seriously injured. Today saw the bloodiest day, with over 52 Palestinians killed at the demonstrations and again thousands injured. The brutal cost that Palestinians in Gaza are paying is because of their resistance to Israel- a resistance that began over seven decades ago.

In 1948, the Nakba (catastrophe in Arabic) saw the state of Israel established, 750,000 Palestinians forced into exile, and over 500 Palestinian villages and towns destroyed. Palestinian society was torn apart and Palestinians were geographically fragmented. Yet not only did the Palestinian people survive, they also demonstrated remarkable resistance to the attempt to erase them through sumud (steadfastness), collective action, and defiance. The Great March of Return is the latest manifestation of this legacy.

In the first few years after 1948, thousands of Palestinian refugees attempted to return to their homes, only to be shot by the Israeli military along the new borders. The Israeli state called them “infiltrators” and passed the Prevention of Infiltration Law to legislate its practice of preventing them from returning. Meanwhile, Israel placed the 150,000 Palestinians who managed to stay within the borders of the new state – the Palestinian citizens of Israel – under a severe military regime and politically repressed them.

Under this atmosphere the Palestinian citizens of Israel survived and even developed their own spaces of political, social, and cultural agency. In 1958, for example, a group established the Al Ard Movement, whose platform connected the struggles of all Palestinian people, no matter their geographic location, whilst also developing a pan-Arab tone. It called for a secular and democratic state in Palestine, as well as the right of return for the refugees. Israel frequently arrested its members and placed them under surveillance, and shut down its publishing operations. The movement was banned in 1964.

Although Al Ard had a short existence, it paved the way for other Palestinian politics inside Israel, such as the movement known as Abnaa al Balad, which is still active today. Abnaa al Balad grew out of the student movement and also initially presented a mandate for the development of a Palestinian democratic and secular state. The movement was at its height in the 1970s and gained further momentum after the event known as Land Day.

Land Day took place in 1976 following the Israeli government’s announcement that it would appropriate huge swathes of Palestinian land in the Galilee, in northern Israel. Palestinian citizens organised a mass collective action in resistance not only to the theft of the land but also to overall settler colonial policies of erasure. Protests in solidarity took place in other areas of Israel as well as the West Bank. Israeli authorities placed six villages in the Galilee under curfew, and met protestors there with serious violence: In addition to six killed, hundreds were injured.

A decade later, Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Israel joined together during the First Intifada. The uprising, which lasted from the late 1980s until the Oslo Accords of 1993, was the result of years of grassroots organising that built the foundation for political mobilisation. Palestinian left-wing factions took the lead during the 1970s, including by establishing popular committees, women’s committees, workers’ unions, student organisations, and volunteer groups. These groups took inspiration from other Third World anti-imperial struggles and were run in a decentralised, democratic, and collective fashion. Important to this struggle was the establishment of a self-reliant economy; as such, the movement explored economic models based on cooperatives that would not be subservient to the occupation and would serve the national and social Palestinian agenda. These models laid the foundation for current initiatives that aim to build economic resistance, such as Amoro, Palestine’s first mushroom farm.

Palestinian resistance doesn’t only take place in the occupied territories or in Israel proper. Palestinians in Yarmouk camp in Syria – home to over 25,000 Palestinian refugees in the 1970s and 80s – engaged in left-wing ideas of liberation and resistance, such as Marxist theories of revolution, during the time of the First Intifada. Many organised within the camp despite the dangers of doing so under the Hafez al Assad regime. Yarmouk was also home to youth organisations that would often rally in response to events in Palestine. Since the Syrian civil war, many of the refugees have fled the camp as it has suffered an ISIS invasion as well as siege and in the last weeks a severe bombing campaign that left the camp mostly destroyed by the current Assad regime.

A more recent act of resistance occurred in the summer of 2017, when Israeli authorities installed security cameras, turnstiles, and electric metal detectors at the Haram al-Sharif compound following an attack on Israeli soldiers by three Palestinian citizens of Israel. In response, the Islamic Waqf (trust) called for mass civil disobedience. Thousands of Palestinians from Jerusalem and around the country responded to the call, abstaining from entering the compound to protest Israel’s attempt to further control the space. Instead, they prayed in nearby streets and checkpoints. Israel met them with brute force, killing three Palestinians and injuring hundreds. Nonetheless, the perseverance of the protesters and their clear, tangible goal led to Israeli capitulation: The electronic metal detectors were removed.

This month thus marks not only 70 years since the establishment of Israel and the Palestinian Nakba, but 70 years of ongoing Palestinian resistance – only a fraction of which is outlined above. This discourse of resistance and survival must be the focal point of the Nakba narrative. It emphasizes that the settler colonial project has not succeeded in Palestine and that the indigenous Palestinians have long fought for their rights to and existence on the land.

S J (130)
Thursday May 17, 2018, 4:59 am
No bloody embassy! In solidarity with Palestine. Meows fly

fly bird (26)
Thursday May 17, 2018, 9:21 am
Why Do So Many Denounce Authoritarianism From Trump and Putin — but Not Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu?

We hear a great deal from liberals in the West these days about the rise of authoritarian and illiberal governments across the world: from Putin’s Russia to Orbán’s Hungary; from Trump’s America to Erdogan’s Turkey; from Modi’s India to Duterte’s Philippines.

We don’t hear so much about Netanyahu’s Israel — despite the fact that the country, as former Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami has conceded, “is succumbing to its deepest ethnocentric impulses” and is “now well on its way to joining the growing club of illiberal democracies, and it has Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to thank.”

Some might say “on its way” is an understatement. According to Hagai El-Ad, executive director of B’Tselem, the Israel Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, the Jewish state could be considered a founding member of that particular club because it has enjoyed a “significant head start” on the rest. For example, the practice of “describing the opposition and specifically human rights organizations as traitors, and then also calling for their criminal investigation … may sound familiar to listeners from various countries … in which authoritarian governments are on the rise,” he tells me on the latest episode of Deconstructed, “but, hey, Israel has been there way before.”

Consider the array of “anti-democratic” laws that have been passed by the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, over the past decade; laws which have had a chilling effect on freedom of speech and expression. In 2011, there was the “Boycott Law,” which made any Israeli individual or organization that calls for a boycott against Israel liable to be sued for damages. There was also the “Nakba Law,” which authorized the Israeli finance ministry to cut state funding from institutions that reject Israel’s character as a “Jewish” state or mark the country’s Independence Day as a “day of mourning.” In 2015, there was the “NGO Law,” which targets foreign-funded human rights organizations inside Israel and was described by Meretz politician Mossi Raz as a “semi-fascistic law that harms democracy and silences dissent in a way that is reminiscent of Putin’s Russia.” (Of 27 organizations threatened by this law, 25 of them are left-wing or human rights groups.)

Then there is Israeli public opinion, in which the shift to the authoritarian and racist right has been remarkable in recent decades. According to polling by Pew, nearly half (48 percent) of Israeli Jews now support expelling Arabs from Israel, while the vast majority of them (79 percent) believe that they are entitled to deserve “preferential treatment” over non-Jewish minorities in Israel.

On Deconstructed, I also spoke to Avner Gvaryahu, a former paratrooper in the Israel Defense Forces who now serves as executive director of Breaking the Silence, an Israeli NGO that is “particularly reviled among right-wing Israelis” because it collects anonymous testimonies from Israeli army veterans about abuses they either committed or witnessed during their service in the Occupied Territories. According to Gvaryahu, the Israeli right has created “a toxic environment that I think will backlash in the future, but at this point, it’s pretty much destroying what’s left of the liberal values in our country.”

For making such provocative claims and exposing possible war crimes perpetrated by the IDF in the Occupied Territories, Gvaryahu, El-Ad, and their fellow human rights activists in Israel have not only been targeted by anti-democratic laws, but they have also been subjected to verbal abuse, harassment, and death threats. Senior members of the Israeli government have piled in, too. You think Donald Trump calling CNN “fake news” is bad? Netanyahu has attacked Breaking the Silence for spreading “lies and slanders [against] our soldiers around the world.” Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has accused members of B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence of being “complete traitors” who are funded by “those same foundations that fund Hamas.”

I asked Gvaryahu how he reacts to such vicious and personal attacks from the most senior officials in his country. “We sort of joke about this … amongst the members of Breaking the Silence: At what point did we become traitors? Was it … the first time we read a left-wing blogger as soldiers? Was it when we read … some book when we were guarding [Palestinian prisoners] that this idea popped into our head, and we started questioning what we’re doing — were we traitors then as well? When we shared our experiences coming back home, speaking to some of our family members — were we traitors then? Or did we only become traitors once we … [began] breaking our silence publicly?”

In recent weeks, IDF snipers have come under heavy criticism for shooting and killing dozens of unarmed Palestinian protesters, including children and journalists, at the border with Gaza. For Gvaryahu, “the truth of the matter is that there are soldiers who are probably on the border now who will be part of Breaking the Silence in the future. Are they already traitorous at this point?”

El-Ad says he is isn’t surprised by the hostile rhetoric. “For 50 years, we’ve been defining any Palestinian opposition to the occupation as incitement. Then why wouldn’t we start defining Israeli opposition to the occupation as incitement and gradually closing the gap between the two sides of the Green Line — but in the wrong direction?”

With El-Ad, Gvaryahu, and their organizations under constant attack from right-wing Israeli officials and news outlets, isn’t it shameful that leading liberals in the West aren’t speaking out in loud support of them? That they are so keen to denounce the illiberal and authoritarian behaviors of Trump or Vladimir Putin, but so willing to give Netanyahu a pass?

This current Israeli government — the most right-wing, anti-peace government in living memory — is bent on demonizing and delegitimizing its domestic critics, especially human rights activists and civil society groups. Freedom of speech and expression be damned!

Why? Because Jewish criticism of the Jewish state has always been harder to dismiss or ignore. Whether it was Albert Einstein and Hannah Arendt in the 1940s … or Natalie Portman earlier this month. The Israeli-American actress provoked uproar in Israel after refusing to attend an awards ceremony in Tel Aviv because she said she “did not want to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu” and objected to the “mistreatment of those suffering from today’s atrocities” in Israel. And what was the response from the Israeli government? Cabinet Minister Yuval Steinitz claimed Portman’s boycott “bordered on anti-Semitism.”

Anyone who speaks out against the Israeli government’s repressive behavior, both inside and across the Green Line, must be silenced. That is now the authoritarian and ultranationalistic mentality that dominates not just inside the Netanyahu cabinet, but in the Knesset, too. Earlier this year, Israeli legislators gave initial approval to an amendment allowing the education ministry to ban organizations critical of the IDF from entering schools. Members of the Knesset explicitly singled out Breaking the Silence while debating the amendment.

Gvaryahu believes such a sweeping and draconian measure would be difficult to defend in the courts. “But more interestingly,” he tells me, “is even though this has been in discussion and there is pushback on schools that invite us, we’re still invited. We had this pretty amazing experience a few months ago where high school students invited us, and their principals were actually scared from the pushback. And they decided to cancel.”

Nevertheless, the Breaking the Silence boss continues, “the students themselves said, ‘You know what? We’re going to meet them in our own time, in our own home’ — 17-, 18-year-olds! Like, how do you motivate 17-, 18-year-olds in this time and age to do anything? And they, on their own time, out of school, said, ‘We’ll invite you.’”

Gvaryahu, therefore, says he is an optimist and has no plans to give up his campaign against Israel’s illegal occupation or human rights abuses anytime soon — no matter how much pressure is applied from above, and no matter how little support he gets from liberals in the West. The former soldier believes that he and his fellow activists can continue “breaking the silence” in front of more and more Israelis, especially younger ones. “They’re closing a door,” he tells me, “we’re going in through the window.”

Deconstructed with Mehdi Hasan

The Killing Fields of Gaza.

Israeli activists speak out on the occupation of Gaza.
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