Posts made in October, 2015

It’s the occupation, stupid!

Posted on Oct 31, 2015

Photo by Ahmad Gharabli

Photo by Ahmad Gharabli

by Mohammed Alhammami

(We Are Not Numbers) October 15, 2015 – Peleg is a young Israeli man. And like many Israeli youth coming of age, Peleg joined the army. He did not have a choice, but after 20 years of Zionist institutionalization, of systematic brainwashing, Peleg was ready to act as the spear and the shield of the Zionist state. He is a proud soldier and a good human being (according to his own “human decency standards”; after all, he loves his family and friends, and he worries about them whenever a phase of “unrest” erupts.)

But Peleg, like most Zionists, is unable to put himself in another person’s shoes. He does not understand why the Palestinians would be upset. Why would they feel so desperate and frustrated, so compelled to take things into their own hands and hurt Israelis?

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‘As long as we choose violence, Israel will always defeat us’

Posted on Oct 31, 2015

Mubarak Awad. (photo courtesy of Meir Amor)

Mubarak Awad. (photo courtesy of Meir Amor)

Mubarak Awad was one of the main organizers of the nonviolent resistance during the First Intifada and continues to practice strategic forms of nonviolent resistance to Israeli occupation.

by Waleed Shahid

(inthesetimes.com) October 26, 2015 – The largest Palestinian uprising in the history of the Israeli occupation is largely forgotten today. In the 1980s, thousands of Palestinians took part in large-scale civil disobedience actions, strikes, pickets, boycotts and sit-ins demanding freedom, later becoming known as the First Intifada, the Arabic word for “a shaking off.”

Images of Israeli soldiers clashing with Palestinian teenagers, women and the elderly circulated worldwide as the three major American nightly news broadcasts dedicated more time to the intifada than to any other story. While the “stone thrower” became the dominant image in the later stages of the intifada, vastly underreported were the daily decisions by Palestinians to refuse to cooperate with the Israeli occupation without using weapons.

The intifada polarized Israeli society between those who supported peace with the Palestinians and those who desired increased repression of the resistance.

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Seminar at Al-Liqa’ Center marking 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate

Posted on Oct 31, 2015

Seminar at Al-Liqa' Center marking 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate (Photo: abouna.org)

Seminar at Al-Liqa’ Center marking 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate (Photo: abouna.org)

We should not be satisfied with respecting diversity, but we have rather to live it with joy. –Dr. Lana Mamkig

(abouna.org) October 30, 2015 – Al-Liqa’ Center for Religious and Heritage Studies in the Holy Land held a ceremonial meeting in Bethlehem on Friday, October 30, marking the 50th anniversary of the conciliar declaration Nostra Aetate on dialogue with other religions.

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Charles de Foucauld’s embrace with the persecuted peoples of the Middle East

Posted on Oct 31, 2015

Charles De Foucauld (Photo: Courtesy Vatican Insider)

Charles De Foucauld (Photo: Courtesy Vatican Insider)

The celebrations for the centenary of his death, which falls in 2016, start in Nazareth today. The Little Brothers recall how he witnessed the Armenian genocide at first hand, but still remained everyone’s brother. Besides this anniversary though, the celebrations in Nazareth are meant as a special gift to the Arab world which is going through very trying times.

by Giorgio Bernardelli

(Vatican Insider) October 31, 2015 – They follow the “hidden life” of Jesus – the 30-year period spent in Nazareth before his preaching – as a model. You won’t often see them in the limelight, very rarely in fact. But they are about to make an exception (for once) as the centenary of the death of the Blessed Charles de Foucauld – the French hermit who spent much of his life in the Sahara desert leaving an indelible mark on 20th century spirituality – approaches. The various branches of the religious family that is inspired by the life of this hermit, have organised a year of celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of his death on 1 December 2016. Today marks the start of the celebrations in Nazareth. Charles de Foucauld was killed on 1 December 1916 by a group of plunderers in Tamanrasset, in the Algerian desert, where the former French adventurer had settled to live out his vocation as a “universal brother”, a living image of Jesus’ love among the small, the poor and non-Christians.

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Christian Peacemaker Team: The Walk to School

Posted on Oct 31, 2015

A Palestinian boy (11) is ambushed and arrested by Israeli Border Police after school. (Photo: CPT Hebron)

A Palestinian boy (11) is ambushed and arrested by Israeli Border Police after school. (Photo: CPT Hebron)

(Christian Peacemaker Team) October 31, 2015 – As physical violence escalates all over this land, heightened military repression and collective punishment has characterised Palestinian children’s walk to school in H2 Hebron in these first two weeks of October.

In the ten days that Palestinian children have gone to school this month, Israeli forces have fired more than 143 teargas canisters as children walked to and from school, as well as five stun grenades, from two military checkpoints in H2 Hebron (approximately 0.3 miles apart). Two Palestinian children in this area were hospitalised as a result of excessive teargas inhalation on their walk to school on 12.10.15. On two of those ten days, Israeli forces also fired rubber-coated steel bullets into a crowd of children (rubber-coated steel bullets can be lethal, for example killing 13 year-old Ahmad Sharaka near Ramallah this week).

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Christian Peacemaker Team: Black October

Posted on Oct 31, 2015

CPT Palestine Team Picture

(Christian Peacemaker Team) Hebron, October 31, 2015 – Since the death of Hadeel Hashlamoon (18) in Hebron on September 22nd, the physical violence of this decades-long occupation has escalated to an alarming extent. Addressing the UN, Abbas has stated that the human rights situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories is “the worst and most critical since 1948″.

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Narrative: Longing for Palestine while living the American dream

Posted on Oct 31, 2015

My father was born in Palestine and raised in a refugee camp; I was born and raised in our national’s capital. Who does that make me, exactly?

By Karmah Elmusa

(Elle) October 30, 2015 – After living under occupation their whole lives, and with no prospect of political resolution on the horizon, Palestinian youth have taken to the streets this month in protest. As I sit and watch the polarizing coverage—​now considered to be at near-“catastrophic” levels—​from afar, disparate emotions dart around inside me like pinballs, striking chords and hitting nerves. There’s the sadness, of course–​the sadness that I always feel when I think about Palestine—​that is now pulled to the surface and sharper than usual. Sadness that so many of today’s young people are lost to a struggle that is decades old. Sadness that it feels like it may continue for decades more.

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Baby dies in West Bank tear gas incident

Posted on Oct 31, 2015

(Palestine.com) October 30, 2015 – An eight-month-old Palestinian boy died after choking on tear gas fired by the Israeli army near his West Bank home.

A spokesman for the Palestinian Health Ministry said Ramadan Thawabteh died after the gas seeped into his house in Bethlehem not far from where clashes broke out between youths and Israeli soldiers.

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Middle East Notes, October 29, 2015

Posted on Oct 31, 2015

(Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns) October 29, 2015 – Commentary: Some commentators are calling the present phase of the Israeli Palestinian conflict “the Jerusalem Intifada.” The perceived constant increase of Israeli encroachment on the compound of the Haram al Sharif has alarmed Muslims all over the world, and created an unorganized and violent response from Palestinian residents of Jerusalem. This response by individuals has had expressions among Palestinian citizens of Israel, and Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza. These violent expressions have been met by walls in Jerusalem and intensified IDF presence.

Responses to this “Jerusalem Intifada,” the continued and expanding settlements and occupation of the West Bank, the isolation of Gaza, attempts to silence criticism within and outside of Israel, and refusal to respond creatively to the growing BDS movements in Europe and the U.S., are now being seen by many friends and foes of Israel as indications that the inner core of Israeli values of justice, compassion and wisdom is being challenged and is perhaps in a process of decay. If there is such a weakened core, it seems Israel will be seen and responded to by most nations of the world as an apartheid country, and have to depend more and more on its military strength and political support from the U.S. to grow and even survive.

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Uri Avnery: Adolf, Amin and Bibi

Posted on Oct 31, 2015

Uri Avnery, Founder of the Gush Shalom peace movement and former member of the Knesset

Uri Avnery, Founder of the Gush Shalom peace movement and former member of the Knesset

(Gush Shalom) October 31, 2015 – IT IS not very pleasant when serious people around the world – historians, psychiatrists, diplomats – ask themselves if my prime minister is completely sane.

But this is happening now. And not only abroad. More and more people in Israel are asking themselves the same question.

All this is the result of one event. But people are now looking at many other events – past and present – in a new light.

Until now, many strange actions and utterances by Binyamin Netanyahu have been seen as the manipulations of a clever politician, a talented demagogue who knows the soul of his constituents and supplies them with ample lies.

Not anymore. A troubling suspicion is getting around: that our prime minister has serious mental problems. Is he losing his marbles?

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