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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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