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On a NY Stage: Four Strong Characters Seek Out the Meaning of Gaza and the Arab Spring

[Image from screenshot of project website.]

[This report was written by Phillip Weiss and originally published on Monoweiss.] Last night we had an event about Gaza in Manhattan with the Culture Project. It was so great and affirming that I was up most of the night savoring the experience. It was in a grand hall in midtown Manhattan, it was sold out, people actually paid money to go in, and they were rewarded with wisdom about Gaza, Goldstone and the Arab spring. Of the five people on the stage that night, four were women. Many people commented on that, and god knows I'm proud to have had a hand in that staging. But what did they say? The four experts were like four big characters in a David Hare play. They were ...

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Palestinians Organizing in Diaspora: PART I Roundtable on Palestinian Diaspora and Representation

[Image from mondediplo.com]

[This is PART I of a three-part roundtable on Palestinian Diaspora and Representation moderated by Jadaliyya Co-Editor Noura Erakat. It features Naseer Aruri, Seif Da'na, Karma Nabulsi, and Sherene Seikaly.]  Palestinians are not unique for organizing themselves in diaspora. The Tamils of Sri Lanka have recently elected their transnational government and other ther ethnic polities like indigenous communities in Latin America, including the Mayans of Zapata, have organized themselves within their homelands, as opposed to without. How can the Palestinian national body be contextualized in a legacy of diasporic politics and calls for ...

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On Our Way to Palestine: An Eyewitness Account of Nakba Day at the Lebanese Border

[Protesters marching towards Palestine. Image from Nour Samaha.]

Sunday 15th May, 2011. 7.30am, Nada calls. "The buses are already full and they told us if we want to hitch a ride we'd have to stand the whole way down, is there space with you?" The buses are full? Big smile on my face. "Of course!" Quick change of plan, and I wait for Rana before we set off to pick up Nada and Lara and join Ahmad in Khalde. After a stop for coffee, we began our journey down, with Ahmad leading our two-car convoy. It was very unlikely we would get lost though, because every kilometre or so we'd pass half a dozen buses decked out with Palestinian flags, clearly heading in the same direction as us. And if somehow we missed ...

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Cruel and Sadistic Intoxication of Power: A Personal Account of Arrest and Interrogation

[Mazin Qumsiyeh being arrested by Israeli military in al-Walaja village on May 15, 2011. Image from imemc.org]

[This report was originally published by Mazin Qumsiyeh on Popular Resistance.] Hundreds of us were kidnapped by the apartheid soldiers from demonstrations and hundreds were injuried and scores were martyred. Before I give my report I wanted to thank every one who took action. I have far too many emails to thank each of you who wrote me and I do not know who are the hundreds of others who called or wrote to officials, media etc (I do know from inside information that hundreds did write just to the US embassy as an example). The level of communication and action around Nakba was inspiring and critical around the world. Ben Gurion said about the ethjnic cleansing of ...

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Stay Human Convoy Headed for Gaza

[Vittorio Arrigoni. Image from unknown archive.]

[The following press release was submitted to Jadaliyya on May 10, 2011] PRESS RELEASE "The Stay Human Convoy is leaving for Gaza 11 May 2011" The Stay Human convoy (CO.R.UM convoglio Restiamo Umani) will be in Gaza from 11th to 18th May. The people behind this group are individuals, associations and movements which have always been close to the people of Palestine and who feel it is necessary to react to the murder of Vittorio Arrigoni. The delegation of eighty (80) people consists mainly of Italians and some internationals. The convoy will visit the land which Vittorio gave a voice to and keep alive the memory of who he was, what he was doing and what kept ...

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Radical Islam in Gaza

[Map of the Gaza Strip. Image from theodora.com]

[Below is the latest from the International Crisis Group (ICG) on the Gaza Strip. For the full ICG report, click here.] Radical Islam in Gaza Executive Summary The recent Israel-Hamas escalation returns a spotlight to Gaza and the Islamist movement’s relationship with more militant organisations. Gaza arouses multiple concerns: does Hamas seeks to impose religious law; has its purported Islamisation stimulated growth of Salafi-Jihadi groups; and will al-Qaeda offshoots find a foothold there? Hamas faces competition from more radical Islamist groups, though their numbers are few, organisation poor, achievements against Israel so far minor and chances of threatening ...

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Key Issues Relating to Report of UN Fact-Finding Mission on Gaza Conflict (the "Goldstone Report")

[Image from unknown archive.]

[The below press release was issued by the Palestine Center for Human Rights (PCHR) on April 4, 2011.] In light of the media debate and confusion triggered by Justice Richard Goldstone’s 1 April opinion piece in the Washington Post, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) wishes to highlight a few key issues regarding the current status of the UN Fact-Finding Mission’s Report, and the search for accountability in the aftermath of Israel’s 27 December 2008 – 18 January 2009 offensive on the Gaza Strip. PCHR represent 1,046 victims of the offensive, and have submitted 490 criminal complaints to the Israeli authorities on behalf of these individuals. As noted ...

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الشعب قرر الإضراب وهذا ما سيكون" عن يوم الأرض" [On Land Day: The People Have Decided to Strike and so it Shall be]

[A Palestinian on Land Day. Image from Unknown Archive]

كانت تلك هي المرة الأولى التي أرى فيها هذا الكم الهائل من قوات الجيش والشرطة تنتشر في أغلب أحياء بلدة الطيبة التي كبرت بها، والتي تقع حوالي اربعين كيلومتراً شمال يافا. لا أدري كم عاماً كان قد تركني في حينه، ربما ثمانية أو تسعة. واعتقدت، وكان الصباح في آخره، بأن الحرب قد قامت. فسألت أمي عما إذا كان الجنود ينتشرون في البلدة لأن حرب ال 67 قد عادت من جديد، تلك الحرب التي كان أبي يحدثني عنها كثيراً لأنه يعيها ويعرف تفاصيلها التي حفرت في ذاكرته أكثر من تفاصيل النكبة التي ولد قبلها بأعوام  ثلاثة. ضحكت أمي وقالت إنهم مجرد جنود سيغادرون عند الصباح التالي ويتركوننا في حالنا إلى أن يأتي العام القادم. أعوام قليلة تلت ذلك العام، وكنت  فيها من بين الطلاب الذين خرجوا للتظاهر ...

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Gaza: The Next Israeli-Palestinian War?

[Image from Cleancutmedia.com]

[Below is the latest from the International Crisis Group (ICG) on the Gaza Strip. For full ICG report, click here.] Gaza: The Next Israeli-Palestinian War? I. Overview Will the next Middle East conflagration involve Israelis and Palestinians? After the serious escalation of the past week in which eight Gazans, including children, were killed in a single day, and the 23 March 2011 bombing in Jerusalem, that took the life of one and wounded dozens, there is real reason to worry. The sharp deterioration on this front is not directly related, nor is it in any way similar to the events that have engulfed the Middle East and North Africa. ...

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Past is Present: Settler Colonialism Matters!

[SOAS Palestine Society Organizing Collective; Image from their website]

On 5-6 March 2011, the Palestine Society at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London will hold its seventh annual conference, "Past is Present: Settler Colonialism in Palestine." This year's conference aims to understand Zionism as a settler colonial project which has, for more than a century, subjected Palestine and Palestinians to a structural and violent form of destruction, dispossession, land appropriation and erasure in the pursuit of a new Jewish Israeli society. By organizing this conference, we hope to reclaim and revive the settler colonial paradigm and to outline its potential to inform and guide political strategy and ...

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Letter From Palestine

[Activist Video from Palestine]

[Dear Jadaliyya Readers: this letter from Mazin in Palestine will be the first to be posted under a new page on Jadaliyya, titled "Reports, Stories, and Letters." It will be announced shortly] -- Jadaliyya Editors   Dear friends: We were devastated to hear the news of the first martyr in 2011 being none other than Jawaher, the sister of the martyr Bassem Abu Rahma from Bil'in. Jawaher fainted in yesterday's demonstration but died apparently of this toxic tear gas (a much stronger version with unknown chemicals than used in the West).  Here is a video of the demonstration where Jawaher was injured (she was martyred in hospital the next ...

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The Problem is the Israeli Occupation: al-Nabi Saleh

[Halamish on the hillside across Road 465 in the background. Photo: Anne Paq/ ActiveStills.org

Early in the morning a car packed with Israelis and internationals leaves Tel-Aviv for al-Nabi Saleh, a small village about 30 kilometers northeast of Ramallah in the central West Bank. Our objective is to observe and participate in the weekly Friday demonstration in the village. We leave very early because Israeli military forces have been sealing off all the entrances to al-Nabi Saleh by 9:30 am, hours before the demonstration begins. The occupation forces hope to deter people from outside the village – Palestinians, Israeli Jews, and internationals – from joining the demonstrations. We are not deterred. We park the car on the outskirts of the ...

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Russia TV Interview with Jadaliyya Co-Editor on Palestine, Obama, and AIPAC

This is a Russia TV interview with Jadaliyya Co-Edtor Noura Erakat  that aired on  Tuesday May 24, 2011. In it, Noura discusses developments surrounding the Question of Palestine, with particular emphasis on the role of U.S. foriegn policy and Barack Obama's recent speech at the AIPAC Summitt.          

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Roundtable on Palestinian Diaspora and Representation (INTRO)

 “[T]he formation of a diaspora could be articulated as the quintessential journey into becoming; a process marked by incessant regroupings, recreations, and reiteration. Together these stressed actions strive to open up new spaces of discursive and performative postcolonial consciousness.” -Okwui Enwezor In the wake of Arab revolutions across North Africa and the Gulf, a new discussion on Palestinian self-determination has emerged. While all such discussions touch on foreign colonization, ...

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Democracy Now! Roundtable with Noura Erakat on Obama Speech and Palestine

 This is a roundtable interview conducted with Jadaliyya Co-Editor Noura Erakat, author Norman Finkelstein, and J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami on Friday, May 20 in reference to President Barack Obama's May 18th "Middle East Speech" and U.S. policy towards Palestine and Israel. In a major speech on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and on the Arab Spring, President Obama said a Palestinian state must be based on the 1967 borders, the first time a U.S. president has explicitly taken ...

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لم تعن لي شيئاً

لم تكن النكبة تعني لي شيئاً. مالي أنا  وعام 1948 الذي لم اشهده ولا علاقة لي به أصلاً؟ كان لحلول ذكراه في كل عام طعم ورائحة كريهة، كانت تأتيني على هيئة تضامن وشفقة من قبل من أصر والداي على تسميتهم "إخوتنا العرب."  لكن هذا التعاطف سرعان ما كان ينكشف على حقيقته بعد أيام من مرور "عيد الحزن": كنتو هربتو ليه وسبتو بلدكم؟ مش لو كنتو فضلتو كان اشرفلكو؟ ما كانش حالكم بقى كدة... هيه، على العموم إحنا عملنا اللي علينا وزيادة والباقي عليكو انتو. كنت أقص حذافير هذه المحادثات المتكررة على ...

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Who Killed Vik?

I never knew Vittorio “Vik” Arrigoni before his tragic death in Gaza City on 15 April 2011. I won’t pretend to piece together who Vik was or what lay behind his passions. But before he slips from the headlines to the footnotes, it is worth attempting to make an accounting of this terrible death that has shocked the Palestinian movement. His death cannot be allowed to pass without considering what it tells us about ourselves, our movement and our collective future. While it would be premature to draw ...

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Statement by Mother of Vittorio Arrigoni

[The below statement was originally issued in Italian by Bretta Arrigoni, mother of Vittorio Arrigoni. Translation by Sabastio Nascirmento.] One has to die to become a hero, to hit the headlines and to have TV crews around the house, but does one have to die to stay human? I recall Vittorio in the Christmas of 2005, detained and incarcerated in the Ben Gurion Airport, the scars left by the handcuffs that cut his wrists, the denial of any contact with the consulate, the farcical process. And I recall ...

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What Emergency? The ADL, Academic Freedom, Lawfare, and Palestine

On the evening of March 24, the board of directors of University of California – Hastings College of the Law held an emergency meeting that lasted until midnight. The putative emergency was a two-day conference titled “Litigating Palestine” scheduled to start at 3 pm the following day. What resulted was the following statement: BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Directors…in its EMERGENCY CLOSED SESSION that it is in agreement that the College should take all steps necessary to remove the UC Hastings ...

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Elia Suleiman's Time

The Time that Remains [Al-Zaman Al-Baqi]. Written and directed by Elia Suleiman. UK/Italy/Belgium/France, 2009. An early scene in The Time that Remains [Al-Zaman Al-Baqi], Elia Suleiman’s latest film, reveals a great deal. The scene begins with a shot of the harried-looking mayor of Nazareth banging open a door at the end of a long hallway. We have some sense of why he is so harried: we have just watched the car that was driving him to the meeting being repeatedly menaced by a low-flying propeller ...

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Bad Faith at the Book Festival

“Everywhere you look the boycott debate is in the news,” Joseph Dana notes in a recent article on his blog. The most prominent example involves British novelist Ian McEwan, who rejected calls to boycott the 2011 Jerusalem Book Festival after being awarded the Jerusalem Prize. Instead, McEwan, in his acceptance speech last week, offered some words of criticism for Israeli policies, including settlements and the siege of Gaza, while simultaneously paying tribute to “the precious tradition of a democracy of ...

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Palestinian Refugees and the Peace Process: Caught between Israeli Xenophobia and Palestinian Political Expediency

2011 will mark the 63rd year of the Palestinian refugee crisis. Driven out of their homes during the course of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, Palestinian refugees fled to neighboring Arab countries and territories where they expected to remain for only a short period until the end of military conflict and the restoration of calm that would facilitate their collective return. However, that “short period” has become an indefinite timetable as the newly established Israeli state defined itself as a Zionist one ...

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A Day in the Wilderness of Judea

Let’s say that you have a plot of land in Germany, and you don’t work it. Someone else does. You don’t pay attention because you aren’t using it. Then you return and claim the land. When the German legal authorities look into it they will say it is no longer your land. It belongs to the one who worked the land for ten years.    This is how Yochanan, a resident of the unauthorized “outpost” of Mitzpe Ya’ir explains why he has the right to put a fence in the middle of ...

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Locations [Gone to Palestine: 5]

We chose the hamlet of Beit Jeez in from the hundreds of Palestinian villages that were cleansed in 1948. Maryam was scouting locations for her film, and she was looking for a ’48 village where one scene in particular needed to be shot. It was the scene where the protagonist and his girlfriend go after robbing the bank, the place they hole up while they decide whether to continue going on with their crime spree, or to leave for good. It was important that it take place in the ruins of a ’48 village. Her ...

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