"Al-Bushra"

Seeking truth and justice

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

mosaic (32)

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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FOSNA: Enough! Resist 50 years of occupation

Posted on Jun 2, 2017


Today, we are calling on all FOSNA members to participate in the Week of Action, June 5 to 10. During that time, activists around the United States will host actions and teach-ins to say that 50 years of occupation is enough.

Download and print this 11×17 poster to use at your local action!

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Renovations completed at Italian and French hospitals in Nazareth

Posted on Jun 2, 2017

Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

NAZARETH – Hospitals need refurbishing to keep up with the fast developing technology and provide quality care. The Italian hospital of the Holy Family and the French hospital of Saint Vincent de Paul had renovations and new equipment installed to continue to provide quality care and services.

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St. Yves Participates in a Summer Camp for People with Disabilities

Posted on Jun 1, 2017

The Society of St. Yves – Catholic Center for Human Rights took part in a summer camp for people with disabilities last month organized by the Arab Society for the physically disabled in Tiberias.

St. Yves gave three awareness raising sessions led by the advocacy department, the beneficiary intake department and the legal department. The first session concentrated on strengthening and developing individual capacities of people with disabilities (PWDs), the second session focused on the rights of PWDs, specifically on the subject of vocational training, and the last session shed light on the rights of PWDs in regards to accessibility and the integration of PWDs at work.

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UN: Israeli rule ‘key cause’ of Palestinian hardship

Posted on May 31, 2017

Jerusalem (AFP) – Fifty years after Israel occupied the Palestinian territories, its policies in the West Bank and Gaza are at the root of Palestinian hardship, the United Nations said Wednesday.

“Occupation policies and practices remain the key cause of humanitarian needs in the occupied Palestinian territories,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a report.

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“Don’t Jail This ‘Palestinian Gandhi'”

Posted on May 31, 2017

Just Foreign Policy

Issa Amro in 2015. Credit Hazem Bader/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

As Peter Beinart reports in the Forward [1], Hebron’s Issa Amro has been preaching nonviolent resistance in the tradition of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr for almost two decades. Amro’s organization, Youth Against Settlements, frequently hosts Israeli activists. Amro has won awards from the UN and the EU. Amro doesn’t just oppose violence, he’s gone to extraordinary lengths to stop it.

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CPT: Occupation Captured

Posted on May 29, 2017


While recognizing that we are only able to record a fraction of the atrocities that occur, CPT Palestine is committed to documenting these human rights violations and intervening when appropriate and possible. By sharing these numbers, we strive to amplify the stories of those who are experiencing the most injustices and promote a narrative that calls for peace with justice.


Counter-Settler Tour Pictured above: CPT monitored its first counter-settler tour created in partnership with a local tour guide. The tour takes place at the same time as the weekly settler incursion in the Old City, offering a narrative of Palestinian history and culture in al-Khalil and explaining the impact of occupation on daily life, economy, and freedom. Members of our CPT delegation were the main participants last week. A future goal of the project is to draw more Palestinians into the space of the Old City to raise awareness about resistance to the occupation. (May 20, 2017)

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INTERVIEW: Israelis and Palestinians: ‘The Holy See Can Play a Unique Role for Reconciliation’

Posted on May 28, 2017

A Conversation With Latin Patriarch Emeritus Michel Sabbah

Anne Kurian | Zenit | May 26, 2017

“The Holy See can play a unique role for reconciliation in the Holy Land between Israelis and Palestinians. It is accepted by both sides. It is above parties . . . it is a unique entity which can offer mediation,” said Monsignor Michel Sabbah, Latin Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem, in an interview with Zenit.

Monsignor Sabbah, head of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, commented on the question of “normalization,” stated in a press release of the Commission, published on May 22, 2017, as “some people, also here in the country, seem to be used to living with drama, with daily death and mutual hatred,” he said.

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Was Trump’s Middle East Visit a Win?

Posted on May 27, 2017

Analysis by APN Policy Consultant Gail Pressberg

APN
by Americans for Peace Now 05/23/17

At first glance it looks like there are a lot of winners from President Trump’s Middle East trip including:

– The Saudis, who got what they wanted. They heard Trump confirm that the US would be close to the Gulf Arab states and veer away from Iran. They also sealed an arms deal with the US for $110 billion. And they never heard the words human rights from Trump’s lips!

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Israelis rally for Palestinian state, end of occupation

Posted on May 27, 2017

Tel Aviv (AFP) – Thousands of Israelis rallied Saturday in Tel Aviv in support of a Palestinian state ahead of the 50th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land.

Banners bearing the slogan “Two states, One Hope” featured in the demonstration organised by supporters of a Palestinian state, including the Israeli NGO Peace Now.

NGO head Avi Buskila said the rally was a protest against “the lack of hope being offered by a government perpetuating occupation, violence and racism”.

“The time has come to prove to the Israelis, the Palestinians and the entire world that an important segment of the Israeli population is opposed to occupation and wants a two-state solution,” he added.

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Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem denounces bus attack on Copts in Egypt

Posted on May 27, 2017

Latin Patriarchate of Jersualem | May 26, 2017

MINYA/EGYPT – On Friday May 26, 2017, more than 20 Coptic Christians were killed and dozens wounded in a bus attack in the Minya Province in Egypt.

The Copts convoy, which was travelling to hold prayers at the St. Samuel monastery, around 140 miles south of Cairo, was stopped and came under fire by a group of gunmen.

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President Trump in the Holy Land: hope for the peace process

Posted on May 27, 2017

The second leg of the first trip of US President Donald Trump abroad concluded in Israel on May 23. On the agenda: meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem; with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem and a visit to different holy places.

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CPT: Soccer, Hospitality, Apprehension

Posted on May 27, 2017

There is a group of boys from the Old City of Al Khalil/Hebron who congregate in the evenings at Bab al-Baladiyeh, the old municipality square, to kick around a soccer ball. There aren’t very many places to play in the Old City but this is one of them; a space only large enough to play a 3-touch game up against a wall, right opposite of the Israeli occupying forces military base.

I had seen the boys playing several times as I walked through the Old City, but the day I finally found the courage to join in the game would forever change me and my understanding of the reality of living under occupation in Palestine.

It happened quite suddenly as the news spread around town; soon every kid I passed on the street knew my name, a small crowd would gather in the square, and my non-existent Arabic vocabulary now included three words: she plays soccer. This new-found fame opened doors into homes where I was welcomed like family and my dust-covered pant legs and scuffed shoes – although initially to my embarrassment – became a testimony to the joyful new friendships.

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CPT Hebron: “Old City Jewelry Shop”

Posted on May 27, 2017

Mospah follows in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. He has been making and selling jewelry in the same shop in the Old City souq for fifty years.

Why does he do what he does, where he does? Because it’s a family tradition, part of his heritage. He has a strong sense of rootedness, from both his father, whom he reveres, and his grandfather. Mospah has ten children, seven daughters and three sons, and thirty-seven grandchildren. The entire family continues to live in Hebron.

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Veteran volunteer in Hebron: “Why do I keep coming back?”

Posted on May 27, 2017


A friend asked me that question before I left for Palestine where I work with CPT in Hebron. I told her it was because, from the first time in 1997, the Palestinian people had stolen my heart. I love being in this place with its people, their culture, the hills and the villages.

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Despite apprehension, Pope Francis and President Trump talked in a “relaxed, sincere way,” sources say

Posted on May 25, 2017

Pope Francis talks with U.S. President Donald Trump during a private audience at the Vatican May 24. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-TRUMP-MEET May 24, 2017

Pope Francis talks with U.S. President Donald Trump during a private audience at the Vatican May 24. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Gerard O’Connell | America, the Jesuit Review | May 25, 2017

President Donald J. Trump’s private meeting with Pope Francis “went well,” informed Vatican sources told America after the visit.

The sources, who asked not to be identified, acknowledged that there had been some “apprehension” on the eve of the visit, which was reflected on Francis’ face at the beginning of his first meeting with the U.S. president. But, according to these sources, the atmosphere became more relaxed during their 30-minute face-to-face conversation behind closed doors. A warmer, friendlier and at times humorous atmosphere prevailed during the subsequent presentation of the U.S. delegation and the exchange of gifts.

“Pope Francis was happy because he and the president talked in a relaxed, sincere way on the issues that they each care deeply about. He felt the meeting went well,” one source close to the pontiff told America.

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Pope Francis gave Donald Trump three important gifts

Posted on May 25, 2017

Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good

Wednesday Pope Francis and Donald Trump met for the first time in Rome.

The Pope gave the President three gifts: his encyclical letter on the joy of the gospel, his encyclical letter on care for creation, and a medallion with St. Francis’s hymn on making an instrument of peace.

They each represent three areas where Francis wants to challenge Trump in his leadership of the United States.

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Peace Now: A demonstration against 50 years of occupation

Posted on May 24, 2017

Two states, One Hope

Americans for Peace Now – It has been 50 years since a great victory turned into a calamity. After 50 years of occupation, and as we reach the point of no return, Israelis are saying – enough! At 8.00 pm on Saturday, May 27th 2017, we will unite in Tel Aviv`s Rabin Square and call for two states – for the sake of a Jewish and democratic Israel, for the sake of an independent Palestine and for the end of all implications of a 50-year long occupation.

We will bring thousands of Israelis – as well as prominent public figures, artists, and musicians – to the Rabin Square with one simple message:

Enough of 50 years of occupation!

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God is no warlord claiming victory with enemies’ blood, pope says at audience after meeting with Trump

Posted on May 24, 2017

Pope Francis greets a child as he arrives for his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican May 24. (CNS/Alessandro Bianchi, Reuters)

Carol Glatz | Catholic News Service | May 24, 2017

If it seems hard to find God in this world, it is because he chooses to be with the defeated and dejected and in places where most people are loath to go, Pope Francis said.

“God does not like to be loved the way a warlord would like, dragging his people to victory, debasing them in the blood of his enemies,” the pope said on May 24 at his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square.

The audience began just after Pope Francis had met U.S. President Donald Trump.

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