Posts made in July, 2018

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


    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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