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July 30, 2014
by mara.ahmed
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Even the Pictures

Inside the shelter where 42 families are living, the father did not speak a word. But the mother said that this was the first time they left their home. Even during the war on Gaza in 2008, when the tanks were only 150 meters away from the house, they stayed in their house. They stayed in the house living with fear and hearing the sounds of bombing around the clock. “Life here is not a life. We only eat, drink, breathe, and try to sleep. Here everything is shared by so many, the toilets, the beds, everything — and the sound of the bombing is nonstop. I ask the world: What is the fault of these children to live this life of homelessness?”

Along with the pain of the destruction of her whole family’s life, Isra’ continues to live with the grief of a young woman who has just lost not just her home but also the man she loves, “ There is no taste in life after the death of Saleh. Even the pictures we took together. I don’t have them.” And she cries…

More here.

July 30, 2014
by mara.ahmed
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Violence outside Paris synagogue falsely attributed to anti-Semitism

One of the loudest voices denouncing this false [antisemitic] characterization belongs to a Jewish woman named Michèle Sibony, a member of the Union Juive Francaise pour Le Paix (The French Jewish Union for Peace). Sibony, incensed by what she described as an Islamophobic report of the demonstration on a Nouvel Observateur blog, penned an open letter to its editor. Posted on the UJFP website, her side of the story in question, as interpreted by Mondoweiss, is as follows:

“Protester thugs tried to attack the Synagogue de la Roquette? You cite, without flinching, a ‘testimony of the JDL (Jewish Defense League).’ The announcement of the JDL assembly you mention, in support of Israel before the Synagogue de la Roquette, was organized with the eloquent title ‘Keep Calm and Kill Hamas.’ Curiously, when a rally for war crimes takes place in front of or inside a Synagogue, the injection of religion in politics does not shock you, nor does it even register. It requires no commentary from you. It is sufficient to insinuate that the [pro-Palestinian] demonstration was antisemitic. You need that for your cause: silence about crimes in Gaza, of which you say nothing. So I’ll tell you what I, a poor Jewish infidel, saw at this protest on the Boulevard Beaumarchais, right near the Chemin Vert Métro stop, four or five JDL types perched on a bench, completely surrounded and protected by two rows of riot cops, threw projectiles and insults at the crowd. Cops and officials begged the crowd to not lose its cool and respond to provocations – what they were waiting for. Of course, as crowds dispersed, there were fights at the entrance of the Synagogue de la Roquette, as expected, I dare say.”

Watch video which supports Michèle Sibony testimony.

July 30, 2014
by mara.ahmed
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Israel Has Lost

Sunera Thobani: Israel will no doubt continue to justify its genocidal politics by offering its usual Islamophobic platitudes, that is, Palestinians don’t value human life; Hamas is a terrorist organization; they use their own children, families and communities as human shields; Israel lives daily under the threat of extinction, etc. etc. And its political backers, particularly those in the US, Canadian and European media, will continue to help peddle this racist colonial discourse, demonizing Hamas and dehumanizing Palestinians. Some of them may even wring their hands as they do so. But it is clear that Israel has been pushed to the brink by the strength of the Palestinian resistance. Operation Protective Edge has now taken Israel over the edge as it lashes out in a largely self-defeating – albeit murderous – strategy. All Israel has to offer is more massacres, more death, more destruction. This violence has to be made to stop immediately. The situation is dire for Palestinians, particularly in Gaza, but it is certainly far from hopeless. The anger and resistance of Gazans is inspiring Palestinians in the West Bank and in Israel to rise up again; even Mahmoud Abbas was pushed into expressing solidarity with the Hamas position on the cease-fire. Palestinians have demonstrated again and again their resolve to end the Israeli occupation of their lands. The inspiration of this resistance is further felt in the growing support around the world for the BDS movement’s call for an arms embargo on Israel. The challenge to activists internationally is to intensify the pressure for this embargo. To do otherwise while Israel’s military arsenal becomes even bigger is to be complicit in its genocide of the Palestinians. More here.

July 30, 2014
by mara.ahmed
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From Steven Salaita

At this point, even having a debate about what’s happening in Gaza is grotesque. Either condemn it without qualification or embrace your political identity as somebody who’s okay with the wholesale slaughter of children.

July 30, 2014
by mara.ahmed
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Map courtesy of Middle East Monitor

60% of the west bank is classified as “area c” and is under full and exclusive israeli control. now on account of the ongoing massacre in gaza, 44% of the gaza strip has been declared a “no-go zone” by the israeli military. more than a 1,000 human beings killed, more than 200,000 people displaced, so that more land could be stolen by israel.

Map from Middle East Monitor

Map from Middle East Monitor

July 30, 2014
by mara.ahmed
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Attack on Ahmadis

Whatever the case, the police failed to come to the rescue of a community that is all too often persecuted. With this attitude, it is unsurprising that, apart from the police, no other administrative arm of government was there. Many houses were set on fire and at least three lives were lost because of suffocation. The administrative approach to this latest incident of members of a minority community being targeted inspires little hope that the perpetrators of the violence will ever be held accountable. The standard response of the government and of society is to shrug off such instances, to take them in their stride — and without any signs of guilt. More here.

July 30, 2014
by mara.ahmed
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Freedom for Palestine: #GazaNames Project

Prominent Palestinians, jews and others stand for Palestine in this heartbreaking video with Jonathan Demme, Gloria Steinem, Tony Kushner, Diana Buttu, Chuck D, Eve Ensler, Brian Eno, Roger Waters, Mira Nair, Wallace Shawn, Naomi Klein, Raj Patel, Noura Erakat and many others. To learn more or take action, visit freedom4palestine.org, JewishVoiceforPeace.org.

July 30, 2014
by mara.ahmed
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colonial feminism?

naomi wolf’s answer to someone asking her about the “demographic threat” (more palestinians than jews in palestine/israel): “i don’t give a s— about it, it is racist. the issue is values not ethnicity. if the demographic boom turns into an extremist state with female genital mutilation that would make me sad. but that is the risk you take with democracy (we have our own lunatics in the US). but if there is a collective push to humane democratic civil society values why should i care if there are more ethnic palestinians than ethnic israelis?” — i am glad that naomi thinks the entire concept of “democratic threat” is racist (and colonialist) but why the heck is she talking about FGM? what does that have to do with palestinians? also, her assumption that more palestinians would probably result in more “extremism” is such a load of crap. look at israeli society now. if that’s not extremism, then what is? justifying the killing of children with cold logic (based on propaganda about self-interests) is hardly moderate let alone humane. i’m glad that naomi is finally “discovering” the truth about palestine/israel and getting excited about it, but perhaps she should read a few more books before articulating her noble pronouncements.