"Al-Bushra"

Seeking truth and justice

Palestinian Christians: The Assault Continues

Posted on Sep 8, 2018

by Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh

The assault on Palestinians continues. Last week 4 homes in A-Walaja were demolished. Dozens more await demolitions. Israeli occupation forces shot more children posing no treats to soldiers. Israel also offered the freedom boats hijacked in international waters as they headed to Gaza for sale (an act of piracy). Te US also cut off its obligated contribution to UNRWA and now even its humanitarian few millions to Jerusalem hospitals was also cut (all at the request of Netanyahu to his puppets in the US administration).

Israel tightened grip on international travelers and denied entry (including volunteers at the museum). US congress is approving more billions of tax money for Israel including a provision to force NASA to and ensured hijacking of US foreign policy. 25 years have passed since the treasonous Oslo accords (our second Nakba) and no one has yet apologized.

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Benjamin Ladraa who walked from Sweden to Palestine will be in the USA until December

Posted on Sep 8, 2018

Benjamin Ladraa, 25 is a pro-palestine activist from Sweden. He had been working for the Red Cross and other activities also and studying. He left his study and work place to take the road of 4800km from Sweden to Palestine on August 15, 2017. The goal of the walk is to shine the light, bring attention of the situation in Palestine and to motivate more people to do something about the occupation.

Hi,

My name is Benjamin Ladraa and I’m a human rights activist from Sweden. I’ve just walked to Palestine from Sweden spending eleven months on road walking 5000 km through thirteen countries. I did this journey in order to raise awareness about the human rights violations in Palestine.

Now that I’ve finished the journey I’m planning on doing a speaking tour where I share my experiences from Palestine, talk about the human rights situation there and about the journey I did. I’m coming to the US in September and will stay until December giving talks and lectures and would very much like to give talks at as many venues as possible. I’m only me however so I need some help with organizing speaking events. I hope you’re interested and I’d love to meet up when I’m there and do an event with you if possible.”

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Israel’s Fifth Column

Posted on Sep 8, 2018

Exercising control from inside the government

Philip Giraldi by Gage Skidmore.jpg

Philip Giraldi

By Philip Giraldi

Information Clearing House  September 07, 2018 – Referring to Israel during an interview in August 1983, U.S. Navy Admiral and former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Thomas Moorer said “I’ve never seen a President — I don’t care who he is — stand up to them. It just boggles the mind. They always get what they want. The Israelis know what is going on all the time. I got to the point where I wasn’t writing anything down. If the American people understood what a grip these people have got on our government, they would rise up in arms. Our citizens certainly don’t have any idea what goes on.”

Moorer was speaking generally but he had something specific in mind, namely the June 8, 1967, Israeli attack on the American intelligence ship, U.S.S. Liberty, which killed 34 American crewmen and wounded 173 more. The ship was operating in international waters and was displaying a huge stars and stripes but Israeli warplanes, which had identified the vessel as American, even strafed the life rafts to kill those who were fleeing the sinking ship. It was the bloodiest attack on a U.S. Naval vessel ever outside of wartime and the crew deservedly received the most medals every awarded to a single ship based on one action. Yes, it is one hell of a story of courage under fire, but don’t hold your breath waiting for Hollywood to make a movie out of it.

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Holy Land, Whole Land

Posted on Sep 6, 2018

September 6, 2018 – An area once called the “Holy Land” and sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims has now become “the Whole Land” from the Mediterranean to the Jordan, whose peoples, Jews, Christians and Muslims are now subject to the civil or military laws of the State of Israel. This State is now defined as a state for Jews all over the world, with only Jews having a right to self-determination therein. Only citizens of Israel have varying democratic rights and responsibilities; the other half of the population of this “Whole Land”, the Palestinians, have but one “responsibility” – to conform to the laws, restrictions and restraints of their Israeli lawmakers and enforcers.

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The “Good Faith” of the Usurpers –pre Rosh Hashanah reflections by Aryeh Cohen

Posted on Sep 5, 2018

 

Tikkun, September 5, 2018 – This past week the Jerusalem District Court decided that the Mitzpeh Kramim settlement—which no one denies was built on private Palestinian land, and no one contests that that land was taken from the original Palestinian owners by extra-legal means—can remain in the hands of the current settler residents. The reason the court gave was that the deal that was made between the settlers and the World Zionist Organization, who had been given ownership over the land by the army, was executed in “good faith”—tom lev in Hebrew, pure or whole heart. “Good faith” as we shall see, is nothing more than a legal term of art rather than a phrase which describes the actual intentions of any of the parties between the initial Palestinian owners and the current Jewish settler owners.

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WCC regrets USA withdrawal from UN relief for Palestinian refugees

Posted on Sep 3, 2018

World Council of Churches, Sept. 3, 2018 – The World Council of Churches (WCC) has expressed deep regret over the decision by the government of the USA to withdraw all funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian Refugees.

“This is effectively a decision to abandon the Palestinian refugee population and to block them from the realization of their inalienable human rights and legitimate aspirations for the future – including a viable two-state solution,” said WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit. “As such, we consider the decision immoral and unjust, driving Palestinian refugees to more hopelessness, despair and desperation.”

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Baptism Garments from Bethlehem

Posted on Sep 1, 2018

Arlette Anastas provides baptism garments made in Bethlehem where Jesus was born. In the timeless design of Holy Land tunics, the garments range in infant size from newborn to large (18-24 months) and are suitable for both boys and girls. Special orders are possible for different sizes. Choose gold, white on white, or multicolored embroidery.

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“Christina” books by Dr. Maria Khoury

Posted on Sep 1, 2018

When shopping for Christmas gifts for children, you may wish to consider the books about Christina in the Holy Land by Dr. Maria Khoury.

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Palestinian Chrisitans: Volunteers and donors contribute to natural history and sustainability projects in Palestine

Posted on Sep 1, 2018

by Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh

The Palestine Museum of Natural History (PMNH) and Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability (PIBS) at Bethlehem University (BU) continue to make amazing progress thanks to volunteers, donors, staff, funders, and supporters.

We have several major projects including…

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Music and cultural events featured in “This Week in Palestine”

Posted on Sep 1, 2018

Samia Khoury writes from East Jerusalem:

Here is the latest from This Week in Palestine [http://thisweekinpalestine.com/], and my apologies to those of you who have already subscribed on-line.

Enjoy this special issue that emphasizes our love for life, and the performing arts, which very often the occupation forces deprive us of.

Yesterday a Swedish teacher of music who was supposed to teach at the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music was returned to Sweden upon arrival at the Ben Gurion airport. WHY?? Does anybody have an answer?

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BDS Win: How Tunisian Groups Blocked Entry of an Israel-Linked Cargo Ship

Posted on Aug 29, 2018

A Tunisian demonstrator flashes the sign for victory and waves the Palestinian flag during a demonstration on December 7, 2017, on Habib Bourguiba Avenue in Tunis. Fethi Belaid / AFP / Getty Images

Truthout.org , August 24, 2018 – This August, the Tunisian General Labour Union, Tunisia’s main labor federation, and Tunisian civil society succeeded in turning back a cargo ship that was seeking to unload its goods in the Tunisian port of Radès.

According to the Jerusalem Post, a call then came from Palestinian trade unions, a local Tunisian union and international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activists to prevent the ship from entering the port. The successful blocking of the ship was a meaningful victory for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, which originated in Palestinian civil society in 2005 and asks the international community to cease normal relations with Israeli state institutions until Israel gives the Palestinians the rights due to them according to international law.

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Christian Peacemaker Team: Palestine A week in photos August 20 – 27, 2018

Posted on Aug 29, 2018

al-Khalil Women held in administrative detention

Pictured here: A banner showing the six women who are currently held in administrative detention.
On Saturday, August 25th almost 90 people gathered at Ibn Rushd, al-Khalil calling for the release of six local Palestinian women held under Israeli administrative detention. One of the women is a writer and another is a member of the al-Khalil municipality. The  Israeli military is increasingly targeting local nonviolent activists. The previous night Israeli soldiers conducted raids on two homes, issuing written orders for two people to present themselves at the police station within the large settlement of Gush Etzion more than half an hour away from al-Khalil for interrogation.

( August 25 2018)

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World Week of Peace in Israel and Palestine

Posted on Aug 25, 2018

During this week which includes the International Day of Prayer for Peace on 21 September, church organizations, congregations, and people of faith are encouraged to bear a common witness by participating in worship services, educational events, and acts of support in favour of peace and justice for Israelis and Palestinians.

When: 16 – 23 September 2018

Theme: Youth and Children

Where: Worldwide

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My fifty years with Uri Avnery

Posted on Aug 25, 2018

Adam Keller, who spent 50 years working alongside Uri Avnery, remembers the man who hoped for a warm embrace between an Israeli and a Palestinian president.

 

Uri Avnery (Yossi Gurvitz)

 

by Adam Keller

How to sum up in a few words 50 years of political partnership, which was also an intimate friendship, with the person who, I believe, had the most influence on me?

The starting point: summer of 1969. A 14-year-old from Tel Aviv, during the summer between elementary school and high school, I notice an ad in HaOlam HaZeh newspaper asking for volunteers at the election headquarters of the “HaOlam Hazeh – Koah Hadash” (“New Power”) party. I went. In a small basement office on Glickson Street, I found three teenagers folding propaganda flyers into envelopes. To this day, the smell of fresh print takes me back to this very moment. Two hours later, we heard a commotion outside. Member of Knesset Uri Avnery, the man whose articles brought us to this office in the first place, walked in.

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The coffin of veteran peace activist Uri Avnery will be placed tomorrow (Wednesday) in Beit Sokolov

Posted on Aug 21, 2018

The coffin of veteran peace activist Uri Avnery will be placed tomorrow (Wednesday) between 5-6 pm in Beit Sokolov (Journalists’ Association House) at 4 Kaplan St., Tel Aviv.

That is a suitable and worthy location for a man who has made an major contribution to the development of the Israeli press.

All who cherish his memory are heartily invited to come and pay their final respects.

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Uri Avnery, first Israeli to meet Arafat, dies at 94

Posted on Aug 20, 2018

While prospects for peace seemed to be dwindle in recent years under rightwing Israeli governments, Avnery remained firm in his belief the public could be swayed to support a Palestinian state.

a person holding a sign: FILE PHOTO: Left-wing Israeli activists take part in a protest against the building of settlements in East Jerusalem

© REUTERS/Baz Ratner/File Photo FILE PHOTO: Left-wing Israeli activists take part in a protest against the building of settlements in East Jerusalem

 

AFP, August 20, 2018 – Israeli journalist and peace activist Uri Avnery, who pushed for the creation of a Palestinian state and stoked controversy by meeting Yasser Arafat, has died aged 94, a hospital spokesman said Monday.

Seen by many as the backbone of Israel’s peace movement, Avnery never lost hope an agreement could be reached with the Palestinians.

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Uri Avnery passes from this world 1923-2018

Posted on Aug 20, 2018

 

Tikkun grieves and mourns the passing of the founder and leader of Israel’s peace movement, Gush Shalom, Uri Avnery.

Until the last moment he continued on the way he had traveled all his life. On Saturday, two weeks ago, he collapsed in his home when he was about to leave for the Rabin Square and attend a demonstration against the “Nation State Law”, a few hours after he wrote a sharp article against that law.

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Uri Avnery – 1923-2018. His opponents will ultimately have to follow in his footsteps

Posted on Aug 20, 2018

Gush Shalom grieves and mourns the passing of its founder, Uri Avnery. Until the last moment he continued the way he had traveled all his life. On Saturday, two weeks ago, he collapsed in his home when he was about to leave for the Rabin Square and attend a demonstration against the “Nation State Law”, a few hours after he wrote a sharp article against that law.

Avnery devoted himself entirely to the struggle to achieve peace between the State of Israel and the Palestinian people in their independent state, as well as between Israel and the Arab and Muslim World. He did not get to the end of the road, did not live to see peace come about. We – the members of Gush Shalom as well as very many other people who were directly and indirectly influenced by him – will continue his mission and honor his memory.

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Diary Entry from an ISM Volunteer. Northern Jordan Valley.

Posted on Aug 16, 2018

To exist is to resist … I saw this written on many walls.. To exist is to resist… Who is the terrorist?  —Kristin Foss

by Kristin Foss , International Solidarity Movement

I lost my flight.. On purpose.. I was pretty sure I would though, when I left for Palestine. To be honest, I don’t think its gonne make it easier to leave later. The more I know, the more people I know – the more involved I get. And how, I wonder, am I going be able to get on a plane and leave, when my new friends aren’t even able to leave the West Bank. They can’t leave and they can’t live. Are some of my new friends gonna be arrested when I’m gone? Will I lose some? It does not bear thinking about…

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Booking.com Erased Palestinians

Posted on Aug 16, 2018

Shouldn’t you know if you’re going to book a room in an illegal Israeli settlement? Apparently Booking.com doesn’t think so.

Days ago Booking.com, bowing to pressure from pro-Israel activists, started describing all of Jerusalem as a “city in Israel” – literally erasing Palestinian East Jerusalem.

Booking.com’s CEO Gillian Tans is a proud progressive female leader, famous for her openness – so if we put her personal reputation on the line we can get Booking.com to tell the truth: East Jerusalem is occupied territory.

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Students at interreligious summer school say it ‘breaks down prejudices about the other’

Posted on Aug 16, 2018

10 August 2018

Christian, Jewish and Muslim students who attended the World Council of Churches (WCC) 2018 Interreligious Summer School at the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey said that learning to break down prejudices about the other was a lasting impression from the six-week course.

The planting of three trees formed part of the graduation ceremony on 9 August to “care for creation” and reflected the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 to which the course was related this year.

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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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