"Al-Bushra"

Seeking truth and justice

Tell Congress: Support human rights, hold Israel accountable

Posted on Apr 20, 2018

APRIL 2018

Protests in Gaza are being met with lethal force by the Israeli military.  At least 28 Palestinians have been killed and over 1600 wounded by Israeli forces since March 30, according to an April 17 press release from UN human rights experts who said, “’security forces continue to use live ammunition and rubber bullets against the protesters, killing and wounding dozens of mostly unarmed protesters, women, men and children alike.’”

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American Palestinian to Sail “The Liberty” in honor of the USS Liberty and his Mother

Posted on Apr 18, 2018

Nabil Amra will captain “The Liberty” as one of 19 sailors in the 2018 Golden Globe Race who will travel 30,000 miles alone and without outside assistance for about nine months replicating a 1968 race that ended with one finisher.

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Uri Avnery: Eyeless in Gaza

Posted on Apr 14, 2018

Uri Avnery
April 14, 2018

WRITE DOWN: I, Uri Avnery, soldier number 44410 of the Israel army, hereby dissociate myself from the army sharpshooters who murder unarmed demonstrators along the Gaza Strip, and from their commanders, who give them the orders, up to the commander in chief.We don’t belong to the same army, or to the same state. We hardly belong to the same human race.

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My great-grandfather saved Jews during the Holocaust. Now I’m in jail for refusing to enlist in the IDF

Posted on Apr 13, 2018

Matan Helman and Ayelet Brachfeld. (Courtesy of Mesarvot)

Matan Helman and Ayelet Brachfeld. (Courtesy of Mesarvot)

Helman says his family’s history of resistance to oppression inspired his decision to refuse to enlist in the Israeli army.

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Support B’tselem: Tell Israeli soldiers not to shoot into crowds of unarmed civilians

Posted on Apr 8, 2018

 

TikkunB’tselem, the Israeli Human Rights Organization, has called for Israeli soldiers to refuse orders to shoot into a crowd of unarmed civilians. The Israeli government justifies its killing of demonstrators last Friday and its intent to do so again this Friday by claiming that there are violence seekers among the crowd, and that some threw molotov cocktails toward the separation wall. Yet this is no excuse to kill innocent civilians. Intentionally shooting and killing nonviolent protestors is inhumane and inexcusable. We face this problem in U.S. peace and justice demonstrations when a few people smash windows or throw rocks at police. It is often very difficult to restrain them, and some have been identified as undercover police agents trying to discredit our otherwise non-violent movement.

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B’Tselem urges soldiers to refuse to shoot protestors in Gaza: Shooting unarmed protestors is illegal, and a command to do so is a grossly illegal command

Posted on Apr 4, 2018


April 4, 2018 – Tomorrow (Thursday) B’Tselem will launch a campaign entitled “Sorry, Sir, I can’t shoot”. The campaign will include newspaper advertisements clarifying to soldiers that they must refuse to open fire on unarmed demonstrators. The organization is taking this unusual step following last Friday’s events, when soldiers used live fire against unarmed demonstrators. Of at least 17 Palestinians killed that day, 12 were killed at the protests. Hundreds more were injured by live gunfire.

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Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP): Participating in Non-violent Border Demonstrations Is Not an Act of Terrorism

Posted on Apr 4, 2018

Washington, D.C. – April 4, 2018 – The Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) use of live fire to suppress unarmed civilian demonstrators along the Gaza border on Friday, March 30 and over the weekend, constitutes unwarranted and excessive use of military force condemnable under international law. Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) denounces the violence, which resulted in 18 fatalities and more than 1,400 casualties, at least 750 of which were from live fire. We fully affirm the right of the Palestinian people to engage in nonviolent resistance.

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Stand with Bernie for Palestinians’ Right to Protest Without Being Shot

Posted on Apr 4, 2018

change.orgCNN reported that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders criticized the Israeli military’s violent response to recent protests in Gaza, which resulted in at least 17 Palestinians being killed and more than 1,400 injured. Senator Sanders said: “It is the right of all people to protest for a better future without a violent response.” He added: “Meanwhile, the situation in Gaza remains a humanitarian disaster. The US must play a more positive role in ending the Gaza blockade and helping Palestinians and Israelis build a future that works for all.”

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As Palestinian Christians flee Gaza, priest expresses grave concern

Posted on Apr 1, 2018

Children amid devastated buildings in Gaza. Credit: Shareef Sarhan/CRS.

Children amid devastated buildings in Gaza. Credit: Shareef Sarhan/CRS

By María Ximena Rondón

Gaza City, Apr 10, 2018 / 12:02 am (ACI Prensa).- In the past six years the number of Christians in the Gaza Strip has plummeted from 4,500 to just 1,000, due to the harsh conditions under which they are living, according to the pastor of the territory’s sole Catholic church.

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Uri Avnery: What the Hell?

Posted on Feb 10, 2018

by Uri Avnery

WHAT THE HELL am I?

An Israeli? A Jew? A peace activist? A Journalist? An author? An ex-combat soldier in the Israeli army? An ex-terrorist? A…?

All of these and more.

OK. OK. But in what order? Which is the most important component?

First of all, of course, I am a human being, with all the rights and duties of a human being. That part is easy. At least in theory.

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In a Major Free Speech Victory, a Federal Court Strikes Down a Law that Punishes Supporters of Israel Boycott

Posted on Feb 3, 2018

Israeli security forces and Palestinian protesters confront each other in Jerusalem’s Old City on Dec. 15, 2017.


Glenn Greenwald
January 31 2018, 9:06 a.m. in The Intercept

A federal judge on Tuesday ruled that a Kansas law designed to punish people who boycott Israel is an unconstitutional denial of free speech. The ruling is a significant victory for free speech rights because the global campaign to criminalize, or otherwise legally outlaw, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement has been spreading rapidly in numerous political and academic centers in the U.S. This judicial decision definitively declares those efforts — when they manifest in the U.S. — to be a direct infringement of basic First Amendment rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

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From pilgrimage to exodus: Is the end nigh for Palestinian Christians?

Posted on Jan 22, 2018

‘Our fear is from America’

By Ian Lee, CNN
Updated 11:44 AM ET, Mon January 22, 2018

 

Holy Land Christians snub Mike Pence

Bethlehem (CNN)A church service begins in Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity.

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Edward Said on “claims to Israel”

Posted on Dec 15, 2017

Following the recent announcement by US President Trump, Samia Khoury of Jerusalem forwarded the following video of the late Edward Said speaking about claims to the lands of Israel. In two minutes Said gives a rational message.

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What Christian Artifacts of the Middle East Can Show Us About Tolerance

Posted on Nov 22, 2017

  Nov 20, 2017

PARIS — Behind the famous dilating windows Jean Nouvel designed for its Seine-side home, the Institut du Monde Arabe has presented a string of recent shows that have deepened and diversified France’s understanding of Islam. From “The Thousand and One Nights” (2012) to “Hajj: The Pilgrimage to Mecca” (2014) and the epic “Ocean Explorers” (2016), exhibitions here have disclosed the breadth of Islamic culture and history, and their intimate, centuries-long links with the West.

But Islam is not the only religion in the Arab world, and this autumn the institute, which celebrates its 30th birthday this month, has turned its attention to another faith. “Eastern Christians: 2,000 Years of History,” a vital, thorough, and sometimes astonishingly gorgeous exhibition, explores the birth and transmission of Christianity from Jesus’ death to the present day.

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Is Israel Jewish?

Posted on Nov 22, 2017

UN-CUT FOR PALESTINE is one of the many Videos to follow the others in the making.

First Episode features Ronnie Barkan, a longtime Jewish Israeli activist and math teacher who was raised in Raanana, near Tel Aviv, is a co-founder of Boycott from Within. He has been involved since 2004 in protests against the Israeli barrier in the West Bank and has been arrested and detained a number of times. In UN-CUT FOR PALESTINE Ronnie Barkan opens up and gives you an insight of the Israeli occupation and there agenda.

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Holy tattoo! A 700-year old Christian tradition thrives in Jerusalem

Posted on Jul 12, 2017

Razzouk Tattoo in Old City Jerusalem, Israel. Credit: Addie Mena/CNA.

0 13 13 Razzouk Tattoo in Old City Jerusalem, Israel. Credit: Addie Mena/CNA. Razzouk Tattoo in Old City Jerusalem, Israel. Credit: Addie Mena/CNA.

Adelaide Mena | Catholic News Service

Jerusalem, Jul 9, 2017 / 04:02 pm – In the Old City of Jerusalem it’s hard to escape the ancient history that’s still alive within its walls. A simple smartphone search can send you on a walk to a centuries-old shop, bring you to the steps of a millennium-old Church, or lead you past the 3,000 year-old Temple Mount – all bursting with people and energy.

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United Church of Christ: Rights of Palestinian Children

Posted on Jul 3, 2017

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Today delegates at the national gathering for the United Church of Christ (UCC) in Baltimore voted to pass a resolution asserting the rights of Palestinian children!

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The aim of the resolution is to call attention to “the traumatic situation of children living with constant fear of arrest, detention, and violence at the hands of Israeli forces.” It calls upon the UCC to advocate for their human rights. It asks church leaders to petition the prime minister of Israel and the Israeli ambassador to guarantee due process for Palestinian children and abide by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It also calls on the U.S. government to cease military aid to Israel.

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Israeli and Palestinian Teens Have Advice for Divided Americans

Posted on Jun 30, 2017

Sarah Ruiz-Grossman, Huff Post

Israeli and Palestinian teens, who join together despite the region’s decades-old conflict, have some advice for Americans facing a deep political divide: talk with people you disagree with.

The YMCA Jerusalem Youth Chorus brings together Israeli and Palestinian teens to sing together and to discuss issues facing the region, as well as their own lives. Started five years ago by Micah Hendler, a Jewish-American, the chorus has around 30 students, about evenly split between Israelis and Palestinians. They come from schools in East and West Jerusalem, are Christian, Jewish and Muslim, and represent a range of political beliefs.

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YWCA of Jerusalem: “First, we give them hope … and then a job”

Posted on Jun 16, 2017

Every story is unique. This is the certainty with which the YWCA, the Christian Women’s Association (Palestine section) has been working for years to promote equality and employment.

Christian Media Center

“Knowledge is the tool for social engagement in a democratic environment.” This is the certainty with which YWCA, the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), has been working for years by taking ownership for themselves of the motto of the world movement “to empower women, to promote equality” (Empowering women, Promoting equality).

SANDRINE AMER
Executive Director – YWCA – Jerusalem
“YWCA is a membership-based female association. Established in Palestine in 1893 and formally registered in 1918, its main objective is the development and appreciation of Palestinian women to achieve a free and democratic civil society.”

With its headquarters in Jerusalem and other locations in Ramallah and Jericho, as well as in two different refugee camps, the association uses the collaboration of local, national and international organizations and works in different areas.

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Amnesty International’s campaign to ban all settlement goods…

Posted on Jun 13, 2017

Greetings All,

Amnesty International has just launched a ground-breaking, bold and exciting campaign ‘Occupation @ 50’.  AI is calling on all third party states to abide by their legal obligations under international law to not recognize or assist illegal situations.  Therefore, AI calls on countries to:

  •  stop helping to sustain the settlements (illegal activity) by banning all settlement goods from their markets and
  • prevent, through legislation and/or regulations, companies domiciled in their countries from operating in settlements or trading in settlement goods.
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Uri Avnery: Whoso Confesseth and Forsaketh

Posted on Jun 10, 2017

by Uri Avnery

IN THE tumult of the last few days, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the “unification” of Jerusalem, one of the articles stated that “even peace-activist Uri Avnery” voted in the Knesset for the unification of the city.

That is true. I have tried to set out the circumstances in my autobiography, “Optimistic”. But not everyone has read the book and it has so far appeared only in Hebrew.

Therefore I shall try to explain again that curious vote. Explain, not justify.

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Living Mosaics of Madaba

Posted on Jun 7, 2017

Displaced Iraqis and Syrians have a mosaic workshop in Madaba; Jordan

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Father Imad Twal | Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

Discover our ideas for gifts, a suggestion for a gesture of solidarity in favor of the Holy Land. By purchasing these artistic products you will be aiding the mission of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem in support of the Christian communities in the Holy Land. Groups, parishes and companies can order in bulk for use as gifts or for charity sales to support the Holy Land.

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Israel’s Liberty Attack Did Not Begin or End in 1967

Posted on Jun 7, 2017

The Free Palestine Movement

On June 8th, 1967, with cold-blooded mass murder as the objective, Israeli warplanes and warships made every effort to sink the USS Liberty, a mostly unarmed US intelligence vessel off the coast of Gaza, and to kill all 294 on board. Thanks only to the heroism of the Liberty crew and possibly a Soviet vessel’s offer of assistance (refused), the attack was called off before completion, although the attackers had plenty of reason to think that the sea would do the rest of the job for them.

Twice, US warplanes from the US Sixth Fleet responded to distress calls from the Liberty, only to be recalled by direct order of the White House and the US Department of Defense. In retrospect, it is clear that Lyndon Johnson and Robert McNamara in turn got their orders from the Israel Lobby and the Israeli leadership. 34 were killed and 174 wounded, with many permanently disabled.

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Wallwritings: Land of Opportunity for Testing Weapons

Posted on Jun 7, 2017

by James M. Wall

Fifty years after the June 5-10, 1967, Six Day War, Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian people offers a business opportunity for some, and massive oppression for others.

We will begin with the business opportunity, as it is seen from the perspective of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. We will get to the oppression part a bit later from B’Tselem.

Alex Kane, writing in the alternative publication, Indypendent, sets the stage: “On March 5, Gov. Andrew Cuomo flew to Israel to show solidarity with Jews amidst an uptick in anti-Semitism in New York. But the trip also doubled as the kick-off for a new project meant to bring Israel and New York closer together.”

Smart man, that Cuomo; he does business that helps his city, while he makes nice, very nice, with his voters and donors.

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Fifty years of occupation will not kill hope for a free Palestine

Posted on Jun 7, 2017

On its 40th day, the mass hunger strike by Palestinian political prisoners was suspended after an agreement was reached to allow two visits per month.

Picture by Non Violent Vigilante. Flickr.com (CC BY-NC 2.0). Some rights reserved.

by Samia Khoury

The strike was hailed as a small victory and highlights the dire conditions of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons.

The demands throughout the strike have been within the minimum rights of political prisoners in accordance with the Geneva Conventions: Regular visits from their families, access to telephones to call home, access to media in Arabic, as well as better food and better health care. Unfortunately the Israeli authorities have long ignored those requests and these basic demands, failing to respond to the humanitarian crisis.

I am just wondering what was it that moved Israel to respond to their demands, especially since the international community did not take any action.

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404 Not Found: How Silicon Valley forgot Palestine

Posted on Jun 4, 2017

Above: Panorama of the city of Hebron. Muslim quarters. April 12, 2017     Image Credit: mtsyri / Shutterstock.com

Gisel Kordestani, Crowdpac

At times, the most ordinary of occurrences leaves a lasting impact. Such was the case when a student, by simply arriving late to an event, transformed how Google, and I, understand the politics of tech in Israel and Palestine.

As Google’s Director of New Business Development at the time, I was hosting a hackathon for 800 software developers in Tel Aviv. Mohammad, a Palestinian student from Ramallah, showed up three hours late. He apologetically explained that he and his seven friends were detained at an Israeli checkpoint. Of the eight, only he was allowed to pass. In that moment I realized that, just by the location of our event, we at Google had effectively chosen sides without meaning to.

That was nearly 10 years ago. Last week, as I found myself in Gaza participating in the AngelHack Global Hackathon Series hosted by Gaza Sky Geeks, I had cause to reflect on the progress we in the tech industry have made on this front and what work still remains to be done.

In the tech sector we often seek to avoid politics, and Israel and Palestine is perhaps the most political matter of all. Yet with activism by tech CEOs on the rise, the landscape is changing, and it has become increasingly untenable for leaders not to take a stand. Even attempts to adhere to the status quo can inadvertently work to deepen inequalities. For example, PayPal is offered to Israeli citizens, including those living in settlements in the occupied West Bank, but is not offered to Palestinians living on the same land. Airbnb lists properties in those settlements as being inside Israel. Palestinian areas are not only missing from maps on Waze, but should one approach a Palestinian town, Waze alerts you to “avoid dangerous areas.” I don’t think these errors are on purpose. In fact, I know they aren’t, because I made the same mistake.

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Uri Avnery: Greetings from Diana Buttu

Posted on Jun 4, 2017

…what remains for the Palestinians to do? In two words: Hold on.

by Uri Avnery

A FEW days ago, a not so well-known Palestinian woman received an unusual honor. An article of hers was published on top of the first page of the most respected newspaper on earth: New York Times.

The editors defined the writer, Diana Buttu, as: “a lawyer and a former adviser to the negotiating team of the Palestine Liberation Organization”.

I knew Diana Buttu when she first appeared on the Palestinian scene, in 2000, at the beginning of the second intifada. She was born in Canada, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants who tried hard to assimilate in their new homeland, and received a good Canadian education.

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Jewish Voice for Peace: Call to action in USA

Posted on Jun 4, 2017

Issa Amro is a hero of the movement for Palestinian human rights. For thirteen years, he and the organization he founded, Youth Against Settlements, have struggled day in and day out to nonviolently resist the occupation. They keep Palestinians in Hebron in their homes, run a kindergarten and a summer camp, volunteer maintaining the city’s infrastructure, and provide a space for Palestinian youth to learn principles and tactics of nonviolent resistance. The UN named Issa “Human Rights Defender of the Year in Palestine” in 2010.

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L’École Biblique at Our Lady of Peace Center in Jordan

Posted on Jun 2, 2017

by Claire Guigou | Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

AMMAN – For almost a week in May, students and volunteers from the French Biblical and Archaeological School of Jerusalem visited Jordan, guided by Father Dominique-Marie Cabaret, who teaches topography, made a stop at Our Lady of Peace Center.  It is a trip into the heart of both biblical and archaeological history, and encountering pre-Christian civilizations and churches of the early centuries.

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Vatican Message to Muslims for Ramadan

Posted on Jun 2, 2017

Christians and Muslims: Caring for our Common Home

Christians and Muslims: Caring for our Common Home

Dear Muslim Brothers and Sisters,

We wish to assure you of our prayerful solidarity during this time of fasting in the month of Ramadan and the celebration of ‘Id al–Fitr that concludes it, and we extend to you our heartfelt best wishes for serenity, joy and abundant spiritual gifts.

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