"Al-Bushra"

Seeking truth and justice

Why a Cultural Centre?

Posted on Aug 13, 2018

In new crime of crimes against Palestinian civilians and cultural objects, Israeli warplanes targeted al-Mishal Cultural Center building, which includes the Egyptian community’s office. The building is located in a densely populated area, west of Gaza City. As a result, the building was completely destroyed and 20 civilians, from the area residents, were wounded. (Photo Palestinian Centre for Human Rights)

by Samia Khoury

A few days ago Israel bombarded the Mishal Cultural Centre in Gaza destroying it completely. Why? This centre has been the gift of Said Meshal to the youth of Gaza to help them cope with all the pressure of living under siege for the last twelve years. It is neither a Hamas nor a Fateh Centre. In fact, there is an Egyptian cultural centre in the building. Ironic, indeed, when Egypt has been trying to mediate some sort of a long term truce hudna between Israel and Hamas.

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Maria Khoury: Tragedy, fasts, and festivals

Posted on Aug 10, 2018

Maria Khoury writes from Taybeh.

Dear Friends of Taybeh,

I hope you are all having a wonderful summer!

I hope friends following the 14-day fast for the Holy Mother of God [August 15: Dormition of the Theotokos (Orthodox Christian); Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Roman Catholic Christian)] are having a blessed fast.

As I was taking my break on the roof top of the Taybeh Golden Hotel last night and staring at the most amazing beautiful lights of Amman, Jordan, and the spectacular lights on the other side of the Dead Sea, just enjoying the peace that exists in our ancient village that received Jesus on His last stop, I was so sad to hear the news that three Palestinians, including a pregnant 23-year-old mother and her toddler daughter, had been killed by the Israeli attacks on Gaza.

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JVP High Holidays: Services across the US to join or watch

Posted on Aug 10, 2018

In one month I am co-leading Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services in our vital JVP community here in Philadelphia.  As Rabbi Linda Holtzman and I sat down to plan, we faced a hard truth – nothing is normal this year, nothing can be the same, and our High Holiday services must be structured to nurture activists and resistance.  Our communities ask no less of us.

Thanks to decades of organizing, we are now experiencing a new phenomenon in U.S. Judaism: there are now numerous communities nationwide that are welcoming and comfortable spaces for prayer and reflection for JVP members. More than there ever have been for Jews like us, whose commitment to justice for all people is at the center of our Jewishness and lives, we have places to be our whole selves these High Holy Days and JVP is proud to welcome you join in-person or virtually.

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WCC and local churches express deep concern about Jewish Nation-State Law

Posted on Aug 10, 2018

03 August 2018

Heads of churches in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories have reacted with dismay and concern to the Israeli Knesset’s adoption on 19 July 2018 of a new Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People, which specifies that “The right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.”

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Palestinian Christians: “Tens years since returning to Palestine”

Posted on Aug 9, 2018

by Professor Mazin Qumisyeh of Beit Sahour

It has been ten years since I returned to Palestine after living in the US for nearly three decades.

Those ten years in Palestine have been truly phenomenal and inspirational despite the pains and agony associated with them. For example, they are bracketed by an attack on Gaza in 2008 when we saw hundreds of Palestinian civilians murdered and by the attacks on Gaza and on the freedom flotilla trying to break the blockade of Gaza in 2018.

In between much pain that I told in my weekly email messages including losing 19 of my personal friends killed by the Israeli colonization army.

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Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns: Middle East Notes on August 2, 2018

Posted on Aug 8, 2018

Commentary: When referring to Israel/Palestine, most western media sources now use the Israeli preferred and publicized term “conflict” to cover all aspects of this political, social, economic and human tragedy. “Conflict” is not an appropriate term for this struggle between parties since it implies two equal parties in dispute with one another. Use of this word both obfuscates the “facts on the ground” that the overwhelming majority of human lives being destroyed are Palestinian, and also the reality of a total disproportionality of destructive, illegal and immoral actions by one of the two parties: the Israeli Government with all its military, legislative, economic and social structures used to control, oppress and repress Palestinian people. For example, Gaza young people using incendiary kites to burn Israeli farm land is not the equivalent to Israeli planes and tanks bombarding Gaza’s populated areas. Palestinian opposition to settler colonial control of all the land and population between the Mediterranean and the Jordan by Israel is not a conflict but a struggle for survival of one people being dispossessed by another.

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Christian Peacemaking Team Hebron Reduced Due to Denials

Posted on Aug 8, 2018

 

Pictured here: Israeli Occupation Force (IOF) military installation located in Bab al-Baladeya, al-Kalil, Palestine.

Christian Peacemaker Teams Palestine is a faith-based organization that supports Palestinian-led, non-violent, grassroots resistance to the Israeli occupation and the unjust structures that uphold it. By collaborating with local Palestinian and Israeli peacemakers and educating people in our home communities we strive to help create a space for justice and peace. Usually members of the CPT Palestine send photos documenting happenings in Hebron.

This week’s lack of photos is a direct result of Israeli forces’ increasing restrictions on foreigners entering the country. Within two weeks, several team members were denied entry to the country and have been banned for years. With all borders to the West Bank and Israel under Israeli military control, they [the military] are able to exert full control over entry and exit of Palestinians and foreigners alike.

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Israel Nation-State Law

Posted on Aug 8, 2018

by Naim Ateek, Chair of the Board

Henry Siegman, a former National Director of the American Jewish Congress said, “Israel has crossed the threshold from ‘the only democracy in the Middle East to the only apartheid regime in the Western world.’”

We have always viewed Israel’s democracy with great skepticism, but now, its Nation-State law validates its apartheid status.

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The young people of the Holy Land take part in the Franciscan March

Posted on Aug 4, 2018

Almost one hundred young people are taking part in the 28th Franciscan March in the Holy Land. The goal is to arrive at Mount Tabor, where the transfiguration of Jesus took place and, naturally, to have a strong experience with God.

Backpack on your back, sneakers on your feet and lots of enthusiasm! The twenty-eighth Franciscan March began, this year with the theme: “We walk enlightened by the Word”.

Almost 100 young people are taking part. The Franciscans and the sisters are leading the group. They all start from Ibilin, birthplace of Saint Miriam Baouardy. Then they pass through the cities of Galilee on their way to Mount Tabor!

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Prophetic Action: Christians Convening for Palestine

Posted on Aug 4, 2018

Thursday, September 27, 2018 to Friday, September 28, 2018

Join us for Prophetic Action: Christians Convening for Palestine, a gathering of Christian leaders and their close allies in concert with this year’s US Campaign for Palestinian Rights conference in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Our gathering will begin at 1:00 p.m. on September 27 and continue until 5:00 p.m. the next day. It will be held at Central Presbyterian Church, 500 Cedar St., St. Paul, close to the venue for the US Campaign conference and immediately preceding it.

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Violence of attack on Al Awda becomes clearer – Hunger strike – ‘Freedom’ is Coming

Posted on Aug 4, 2018

Just Future for Palestine

Violence of Israeli attack on Al Awda becomes clearer – Hunger strike – ‘Freedom’ is Coming
#DemandPressFreedom : Israel violates journalists’ rights

As most of the participants and crew from AlAwda (The Return) are being deported from their unlawful detention at Givon prison in Israel, we now have a clearer picture of just how much violence was used by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) in their attack on the first Freedom Flotilla ship on Sunday. Some participants were repeatedly tasered, including in the head. Others were punched or had their head beaten against a wall by IOF soldiers. Zip-cuffs were used in a manner which cut off circulation. That any of this should happen to any civilian is an outrage. That the Israeli military would deliberately hurt a frail, 69 year old, slightly built surgeon and an Indigenous elder is even more outrageous.

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Uri Avnery: Who the Hell Are We?

Posted on Aug 3, 2018

Do we realize that making peace with these Arabs, and especially the Palestinians, is the main task of this generation?

by Uri Avnery

YEARS AGO I had a friendly discussion with Ariel Sharon.

I told him: “I am first of all an Israeli. After that I am a Jew.”

He responded heatedly: “I am first of all a Jew, and only after that an Israeli!”

That may look like an abstract debate. But in reality, this is the question that lies at the heart of all our basic problems. It is the core of the crisis which is now rending Israel apart.

THE IMMEDIATE cause of this crisis is the law that was adopted in great haste last week by the rightist Knesset majority. It is entitled “Basic Law: Israel the Nation State of the Jewish People”.

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Alternative Tourism in Palestine

Posted on Aug 3, 2018

Alternative tourism offers travelers an opportunity to experience Palestine’s natural and historical beauty, as well as its exceptional hospitality, while learning about traditional customs and supporting the local economy.

by Tony Khashram

A recent trip to Florence has convinced me of the transformational potential of travel and tourism. There, crowds of travelers line up for a chance to visit the city’s attractions. Shopkeepers are excited to meet the newest arrivals and are constantly preoccupied with expanding their businesses to accommodate new guests. Tour guides, universities, and religious and historical communities all work cohesively to generate experiences for the excited visitors. The city is buzzing with activities. “Imagine this,” I thought to myself, “Imagine this in Palestine. How transformed she would be.”

Remains of Roman Sebastiya

The travel industry in Palestine holds the promise of being uniquely advantageous. The country’s abundance of historical sites, exquisite landscape, and rich culture make it an obvious choice for a wide range of travelers. Thus, the sector represents an indispensable source of income for the country’s growing economy, particularly in cities such as Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Jericho that have few other income-generating industries.

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Because Israel will not protect Palestinian children, we must.

Posted on Aug 3, 2018

Defense for Children International - Palestine

The first half of the year has been troubling to an organization like ours that puts “the best interest of the child” at the center of its work. The U.S. Embassy move in May sent a message to Palestinian children in Jerusalem that their living conditions are not a priority to leaders in Israel or the U.S.

As clashes broke out across the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Israeli forces showed little restraint toward children, arresting them and using unjustifiable levels of force.

There has been a sickening rise in the numbers of Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces. In just the past three months, Israeli forces have killed 22 children whose names and faces we will not soon forget.

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UNRWA laying off its staff

Posted on Jul 31, 2018

by Samia Khoury

I have written more than once on the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) crisis, but this time UNRWA is laying off its staff and is causing a great deal of concern within the Palestinian community. The financial situation, especially in Gaza has been deteriorating so badly that the last thing this besieged area could deal with is the cutting of UNRWA services and laying off its staff.

When UNRWA was established in December 1949, it was established as a temporary relief agency for the Palestinian refugees who, in 1948, were driven out of their homes at gun point, or fled for their lives, when the state of Israel was established on Palestinian land.

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Wallwritings: Ahed Tamimi Completes High School in Prison

Posted on Jul 30, 2018

by James M. Wall

Ahed Tamimi (right) and her mother Nariman were released from an Israel prison Sunday. They had served dual eight-months sentences. Ahed, a 17-year-old teenager, left her cell and found a wild reception from friends, family and townspeople of her Nabi Saleh community.

Before her day of release ended, Ahed had held a press conference for the world’s media, was welcomed home by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and laid a wreath at the grave of Palestine’s first president, Yasir Arafat.

In her quiet, polished manner, Ahed also gave Israel what it dreaded, a heavy blow to its already-staggered public image of what is now a self-named Jewish state. She has become a symbol of both Israel’s 70-year Occupation, and Palestine’s future, by quietly serving her eight-month sentence for slapping an Israel soldier.

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Behind the scenes: USCPR’s role in church divestment

Posted on Jul 26, 2018

Dale Loepp of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America tells of the common organizing thread connects the church divestment wins: US Campaign for Palestinian Rights.

US Campaign on Palestinian rights
Dear Supporter,

Ten days ago, my heart surged when I learned that The Episcopal Church had voted to join with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in creating an investment screen to remove investments in companies profiting from Israel’s human rights abuses. This was the fruit of nearly a decade of work by the Episcopal Peace Fellowship Palestine Israel Network. This victory was particularly personal since I had helped lead the successful ELCA campaign two years ago.

A common organizing thread connects the church divestment wins that came before ours—Presbyterian Church (USA), United Church of Christ, and others—to those that came after ours, like the Mennonite Church (USA) in 2017 and the Episcopal Church this month. That thread is the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights.

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These Jews are ditching Israel to visit Occupied Palestine

Posted on Jul 25, 2018

Published: 12:27 July 23, 2018 | Gulf News | Layelle Saad, GCC/Middle East Editor

Dubai: An American Jew visiting Israel as a part of Birthright Israel tour has won the praises of many Palestinians and civil rights groups after a video of him lambasting his tour guide went viral on social media.

Elon Glickman was one of a group of Jewish Americans travelling to Israel as part of the ‘Birthright’ programme.

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Meet two Holy Land tour guides who bridge the Israeli-Palestinian divide

Posted on Jul 24, 2018

First aired on May 5, 2015

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has just one more day to form a coalition government following March’s election, or someone else will be asked to try. His efforts hit a snag Monday when his foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, quit his post and announced that his party would join the opposition.

    Netanyahu shocked many when, just days before the election, he reversed position and said there wouldn’t be a Palestinian state if he remained prime minister, a statement he softened after his victory.

    Despite that and many other setbacks to the peace process, our special correspondent, Martin Seemungal, recently met two remarkable women who have chosen to blaze their own trail forward through the painful realities of the region.

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Christian Peacemaker Team: Dialogue

Posted on Jul 24, 2018

 

A CPTer dialogues with Israeli soldiers who invaded the CPT rooftop.

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Wallwritings: When Trump and Bibi Depart, “Pray For the Fish”

Posted on Jul 23, 2018

To identify Israel as a Jewish democracy is to label the nation with an oxymoron.

by James M. Wall

Bibi Netanyahu has long begged for others to recognize that “Israel is a Jewish state”. No one has agreed to do so. So, Bibi and his Likud right-wing party did it for themselves.

Netanyahu is the Donald Trump of the Mediterranean. Both men are driven by a desperate need for political and economic power for its own sake, coupled with an equally strong need to be loved. Donald wants the love for himself and, by extension, his family. Bibi seeks love for himself and his tribe.

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My Memories of 1948

Posted on Jul 22, 2018

by Samia Khoury

The Beginning…

I belong to the last generation who lived and enjoyed Palestine before 1948.  I was born in Jaffa in 1933 and lived in several Palestinian cities: Ramleh, Safad, Nazareth, Nablus and Jerusalem. I have fond memories of the times I spent swimming in the sea of ​​Jaffa and Lake Tiberias.  Although I always dreamed of returning to those areas that we were dispossessed of, I did not imagine that this would come in the shadow of a second Nakba (catastrophe) called Naksa (setback) in 1967.  We actually did return to the land, but it was not really a return.  It was a visit within a new stage of an ongoing Nakba up till this day.  

I remember how sad I felt when we visited the sea of Jaffa, which we had been deprived of for the last 19 years. The scene looked so strange, and the language was not familiar that I found myself crying non-stop.  I experienced the same pain during my visits to our home in Jerusalem and my grandfather’s house in Jaffa.   We the  owners of the house, were now strangers in our own house, occupied now by strangers.

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Uri Avnery: “The March of Folly”

Posted on Jul 21, 2018

by Uri Anvery

ONE CAN look at events in Gaza through the left or through the right eye. One can condemn them as inhuman, cruel and mistaken, or justify them as necessary and unavoidable.

But there is one adjective that is beyond question: They are stupid.

If the late Barbara Tuchman were still alive, she might be tempted to add another chapter to her groundbreaking opus “The March of Folly”: a chapter titled “Eyeless in Gaza”.

THE LATEST episode in this epic started a few months ago, when independent activists in the Gaza Strip called for a march to the Israeli border, which Hamas supported. It was called “The Great March of Return”, a symbolic gesture for the more than a million Arab residents who fled or were evicted from their homes in the land that became the State of Israel.

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My Journey through East Jerusalem by Cat Zavis

Posted on Jul 20, 2018

 

Cat Zavis, executive director of the NSP, is spending the summer in Israel. Read below for her reflections on a recent political tour of East Jerusalem led by a Palestinian.

 

Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem.

 

Another intense and exhausting day. Went on a political tour of East Jerusalem. The guide told the story of the establishment of the State of Israel, the Nakba, and the current reality from her narrative as a Palestinian living in Palestine/Israel and it is not a pretty present day or past reality. And, in the telling of her narrative, there was no mention of the history of the Jewish people’s connection to and reality of living in this land prior to the 1900s.
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Uri Avnery: “Not Enough!”

Posted on Jul 18, 2018

by Uri Avnery

The State of Israel has no oil wells. It has no gold mines. What has it got? It has the ownership of the remembrance of the Holocaust.

That is worth a lot. Everyone who wants to clean himself from the stain needs a certificate from the State of Israel. Such a document is worth very much. And the larger the guilt of the applicant, the higher the price of the dispensation.

What does that remind us of?

FOR MANY centuries the Catholic Church sold “dispensations”. These were documents issued by the pope and the cardinals, which allowed the recipient to dispense with religious duties or to do things forbidden by the church.

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Wednesday, GlobalGiving is matching donations to keep Palestinian villages standing

Posted on Jul 17, 2018

 

Good steps forward in a dangerous time:

  • The young woman, Sara abu Dahouk was released home to Khan al Ahmar village today. Her lawyer reached a plea bargain that changed the indictment and sentenced her for 14 days, including the time she had been in prison during the arrest hearings. So she was went home today to celebration, no issue of house arrest.
  • School opened as scheduled on Monday!
    The right wing opposition sued to keep the school from opening but Israel’s High Court declined to stop the school from opening.
  • Israel’s High Court did not accept the Government of Israel’s push to hear the case and demolish the school this week, while equipment is there at the ready. Instead the High Court has set August 1st as the date when the court will hear the villager’s petition to recognize their own master zoning plan.
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Christian Peace Teams Palestine: A Call to Action

Posted on Jul 13, 2018

DID YOU KNOW about HP’s link to the Israeli Occupation? Join CPT’s online protest now! In solidarity with Palestinians, Christian Peacemaker Teams International is calling for a mass social media action starting today. Hewlett-Packard supplies the Israeli military with products that violate the human rights of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.
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BREAKING: Episcopal Church votes to divest from Israel’s human rights abuses!

Posted on Jul 13, 2018

US Campaign on Palestinian rights

Big news! The General Convention of the Episcopal Church, with more than 3 million members, just voted to divest from companies involved in Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights! 

The Episcopal Peace Fellowship Palestine Israel Network (EPF PIN) put in amazing work over many years to make the Episcopal Church the 10th Christian denomination in the US to take economic action for justice in Palestine. Thanks in large part to their mobilization, the church also passed ground-breaking resolutions

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Episcopal Church has just voted to divest from companies involved in Israel’s violation of Palestinian rights!

Posted on Jul 13, 2018

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We’re excited to announce that the Episcopal Church, with more than 3 million members, has just voted to divest from companies involved in Israel’s violation of Palestinian rights! This is the first of many steps that the Episcopal Church is taking to end its complicity in Israeli occupation and confront the intensifying violence waged against Palestinians.

FOSNA is proud to have supported the Episcopal Peace Fellowship-Palestine Israel Network (EPF-PIN), along with many dedicated allies, in urging the church to respond to the global call for justice for Palestinians.

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General Convention speaks against humanitarian crisis in Israel-Palestine despite shelving ‘divestment’

Posted on Jul 13, 2018

Bishops on Palestine

The House of Bishops votes on one of the four Israel-Palestine resolutions it took up July 13, the last day of the 79th General Convention in Austin, Texas.

By David Paulsen

[Episcopal News Service – Austin, Texas] The 79th General Convention wrapped up its consideration of resolutions relating to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on July 13, with mixed results due largely to the House of Bishops unwillingness to take many of the bolder steps urged by the House of Deputies.

Of the 15 resolutions submitted on Israel-Palestine going into General Convention, only six passed both houses, though the successful resolutions still touch on a range of issues, including the plight of Palestinian children, the status of Jerusalem, the disproportionate use of lethal force on both sides and ways the Episcopal Church can press for peace through its investments.

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