Posts made in June, 2017

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).

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. (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 /

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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