A PALESTINIAN VOICE FROM THE PAST

Peace has two parents: Freedom and Justice. And occupation is the natural begetter of violence.

My friends and colleagues, thank you for your noble act of solidarity. Thank you for your brave initiative to break the psychological siege inflicted upon us. Thank you for resisting the invitation to dance on our graves. Know that we are still here; that we still live.

Mahmoud Darwish APA images

Welcome: A letter from Mahmoud Darwish

The renowned Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish was the first writer that the Palestine Festival of Literature approached with a request to be a Founding Patron. He accepted. He was due to speak at PalFest’s inaugural event in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah in May 2008 but medical reasons prevented him from attending. He sent a letter instead. Darwish passed away three months later in August.

The English translation of his 2008 letter features as the opening piece of  This Is Not a Bordera newly published collection of essays, diaries and poems marking a decade of PalFest. Darwish’s letter appears online here for the first time.

Dear Friends,

I regret that I cannot be here today, to receive you personally.

Welcome to this sorrowing land, whose literary image is so much more beautiful than its present reality. Your courageous visit of solidarity is more than just a passing greeting to a people deprived of freedom and of a normal life; it is an expression of what Palestine has come to mean to the living human conscience that you represent. It is an expression of the writer’s awareness of his role: a role directly engaged with issues of justice and freedom. The search for truth, which is one of a writer’s duties, takes on – in this land – the form of a confrontation with the lies and the usurpation that besiege Palestine’s contemporary history; with the attempts to erase our people from the memory of history and from the map of this place.

We are now in the 60th year of the Nakba. There are now those who are dancing on the graves of our dead, and who consider our Nakba their festival. But the Nakba is not a memory; it is an ongoing uprooting, filling Palestinians with dread for their very existence. The Nakba continues because the occupation continues. And the continued occupation means a continued war. This war that Israel wages against us is not a war to defend its existence, but a war to obliterate ours.

The conflict is not between two “existences,” as the Israeli discourse claims. The Arabs have unanimously offered Israel a collective peace proposal in return for Israel’s recognition of the Palestinians’ right to an independent state. But Israel refuses.

Dear friends, in your visit here you will see the naked truth. Yesterday, we celebrated the end of apartheid in South Africa. Today, you see apartheid blossoming here most efficiently. Yesterday, we celebrated the fall of the Berlin Wall. Today, you see the wall rising again, coiling itself like a giant snake around our necks. A wall – not to separate Palestinians from Israelis, but to separate Palestinians from themselves, and from any view of the horizon. Not to separate history from myth, but to weld together history and myth with a racist ingenuity.

Life here, as you see, is not a given, it’s a daily miracle. Military barriers separate everything from everything. And everything – even the landscape – is temporary and vulnerable. Life here is less than life, it is an approaching death. And how ironic that the stepping up of oppression, of closures, of settlement expansion, of daily killings that have become routine – that all this takes place in the context of what is called the “peace process;” a process revolving in an empty circle, threatening to kill the very idea of peace in our suffering hearts.

Peace has two parents: Freedom and Justice. And occupation is the natural begetter of violence. Here, on this slice of historic Palestine, two generations of Palestinians have been born and raised under occupation. They have never known another – normal – life. Their memories are filled with images of hell. They see their tomorrows slipping out of their reach. And though it seems to them that everything outside this reality is heaven, yet they do not want to go to that heaven. They stay, because they are afflicted with hope.

In this difficult condition of history, Palestinian writers live. Nothing distinguishes them from their countrymen – nothing except one thing: that writers try to gather the fragments of this life and of this place in a literary text; a text they try to make whole.

I have spoken before of how difficult it is to be Palestinian, and how difficult it is for a Palestinian to be a writer or a poet. On the one hand you have to be true to your reality, and on the other you have to be faithful to your literary profession. In this zone of tension between the long “State of Emergency” and between his literary imagination, the language of the poet moves. He has to use the word to resist the military occupation. And he has to resist – on behalf of the word – the danger of the banal and the repetitive. How can he achieve literary freedom in such slavish conditions? And how can he preserve the literariness of literature in such brutal times?

The questions are difficult. But each poet or writer has their own way of writing themselves and their reality. The one historic condition does not produce the one text – or even similar texts, for the writing selves are many and different. Palestinian literature does not fit into ready-made molds.

Being Palestinian is not a slogan, it is not a profession. The Palestinian is a human being, a tormented human being who has daily questions, national and existential, who has a love story, who contemplates a flower and a window open to the unknown. Who has a metaphysical fear, and an inner world utterly resistant to occupation.

A literature born of a defined reality is able to create a reality that transcends reality – an alternative, imagined reality. Not a search for a myth of happiness to flee from a brutal history, but an attempt to make history less mythological, to place the myth in its proper, metaphorical place, and to transform us from victims of history, into partners in humanizing history.

My friends and colleagues, thank you for your noble act of solidarity. Thank you for your brave initiative to break the psychological siege inflicted upon us. Thank you for resisting the invitation to dance on our graves. Know that we are still here; that we still live.

8 May 2008

FREEDOM AND DIGNITY HUNGER STRIKE ENDS WITH PARTIAL VICTORIES

All salutes to the courageous, struggling Palestinian prisoners, on the front lines of the Palestinian struggle for liberation! Their victories and their struggles are those of the Palestinian people and of all people seeking justice and liberation.

And salutes to all of those around the world who have been part of the prisoners’ struggle and Palestinian victory for the past 40 days.

Image by Carlos Latuff

Palestinian prisoners suspend hunger strike after 40 days of struggle

After 40 days, Palestinians suspend mass hunger strike in Israeli prisons

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Hundreds of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons suspended a 40-day mass hunger strike during dawn hours on Saturday, after reaching an agreement with the Israel Prison Service (IPS) that reinstated the prisoners’ family visitation sessions to two times per month, according to initial information from Palestinian leadership and IPS, with details yet to emerge regarding any additional achievements.

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The agreements came on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, for which some hunger strikers had vowed to fast and forgo the salt and water mixture being consumed by the prisoners from dawn until sunset — the only source of nutrients the hunger strikers were consuming.
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Palestinian leaders applauded the prisoners’ “victory” on Saturday, saying that the agreement represented an “important step towards full respect of the rights of Palestinian prisoners.”
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However, increasing family visits was but one of a number of demands hunger-striking prisoners were calling for — including the right to pursue higher education, appropriate medical care and treatment, and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention — imprisonment without charge or trial.
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The national committee formed to support the hunger strike has meanwhile said that more details regarding the outcome of the hunger strike would be revealed later.
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While further information about the agreement has not yet been released, reports indicated that further achievements of the strike also centered on the issue of family visits, including access to more relatives including grandparents and grandchildren; improved communication, especially between imprisoned children and women and their families, and the installation of public telephones; easing security prohibitions and the frequent bans on family visit imposed by the Israeli prison administration, according to Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Samidoun.
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An IPS spokesperson told Ma’an that an agreement was forged between the Israeli state, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and the Palestinian Authority (PA), granting prisoners the second monthly family visit, to be funded by the PA.
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The move effectively reinstated the number of family visits that were formerly provided to Palestinian prisoners, before the ICRC reduced the number of visits it facilitated last year from two to one visit a month, a decision that sparked protests across the Palestinian territory.
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However, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said back in August 2016 that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had already approved a decision to cover all financial expenses for the second visitation session. A spokesperson for neither the PA nor PPS could immediately be reached for comment.
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“It is appalling that it should take a 40-day mass hunger strike of Palestinian prisoners to restore family visits taken away by an international agency that should be motivated by the rights and well-being of the prisoners. Far from a neutral bystander, the ICRC was in fact a party to this strike and a participant in the confiscation of the rights of Palestinian prisoners,” Samidoun wrote.
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The group’s report argued that, “This raises once again sharp questions about what really provoked the cut in family visits for Palestinian prisoners and the level of Israeli involvement in what was claimed at the time to be a mere financial decision, despite Palestinian pledges to cover costs.”
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Talks at stand-still until Barghouthi brought in at 11th hour
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Head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Qaraqe and head of PPS Qaddura Fares said in a joint statement that the prisoners suspended the “Freedom and Dignity,” following more than 20 hours of negotiations between IPS officials and prison leaders in Ashkelon prison, including Marwan Barghouthi — the imprisoned Fatah official who has been the primary leader of the strike.
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The statement added that IPS officials announced the end of the strike after negotiating with Barghouthi, who IPS had consistently refused to speak with throughout the strike’s duration, as hunger strikers had meanwhile refused to enter negotiations without the presence of Barghouthi.
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The joint statement did not mention which of the hunger strikers’ demands were actually met by Israeli prison authorities.
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A Palestinian source knowledgeable about negotiations elaborated to Ma’an later Saturday afternoon that the talks started Friday at 9 a.m. at Ashkelon prison, initially in the absence of Marwan Barghouthi.At the beginning, representatives of hunger-striking prisoners were Ahmad Barghouthi, Nasser Uweis, Ammar Mardi, and Nasser Abu Hmeid.
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However, the sources said that negotiations did not make progress until IPS agreed to bring in Marwan Barghouthi.The sources said that after Barghouthi’s arrival, IPS then “immediately agreed to some of the prisoners’ demands” and promised to respond positively to them.
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At 4:20 a.m. Saturday, a phone call was made between the imprisoned leaders of the hunger strike and officials from the PA and the Fatah movement outside of Israeli prisons, and after discussions, Marwan Barghouthi agreed to end hunger strike, the sources said.
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The IPS spokesperson confirmed to Ma’an that Barghouthi was involved in the agreements that ended the hunger strike, but said that IPS was not considering the talks “negotiations,” as they only reinstated a previous policy and did not provide any new concessions to the prisoners.
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The IPS spokesperson told Ma’an that some 834 prisoners remained on strike to the 40th day, and that 18 prisoners who remained hospitalized would be returned to Israeli prison following the improvement of their health conditions.
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The spokesperson declined to comment on whether any of the other demands were met.
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The final round of talks came after Palestinian security officials and officials of Israel’s internal security agency, the Shin Bet, had reportedly been engaged in negotiations in recent weeks.
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A meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and US President Donald Trump during Trump’s two day visit to Israel and the occupied West Bank also reportedly played a role in reaching an agreement.
Abbas also reportedly raised the issue with Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s special representative for international negotiations, during a meeting in Ramallah on Thursday.
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Palestinians, UN, celebrate hunger strike’s ‘victory’
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United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov said he welcomed reports that the hunger strike had been suspended. “I call on all sides to abide by the terms of the agreement and avoid similar heightened tensions in the future,” he said in a written statement.
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A spokesperson for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Xavier Abu Eid released a statement Saturday by the “Free Marwan Barghouthi and all Palestinian prisoners’ international campaign,” saying that the hunger strike had “prevailed.”
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“This is an important step towards full respect of the rights of Palestinian prisoners under international law. It is also an indication of the reality of the Israeli occupation which has left no option to Palestinian prisoners but to starve themselves to achieve basic rights they are entitled to under international law,” the statement read.
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As the statement pointed out, the hunger strike was one of the longest strikes in Palestinian history and included a wide participation of Palestinian prisoners from across political factions.“The epic resilience and determination of the hunger strikers and their refusal to end their hunger strike despite the repression and very harsh conditions they endured allowed for their will to prevail over the will of the jailer.”

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Israeli forces had attempted to break the hunger strike through various punitive measures — with the measures being repeatedly condemned by human rights organizations — including putting hunger strikers in solitary confinement, “inciting” against the hunger strikers and their leaders — most notably Barghouthi, and threatening to force feed the hunger strikers, the statement highlighted.
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Scores of Palestinian prisoners were also transferred to Israeli hospitals during the hunger strike, with reports emerging that prisoners were vomiting blood and fainting. Palestinian leaders had feared possible deaths among the hunger strikers if their demands were not met.
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The statement went on to thank all those who stood in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners, particularly former political prisoners in South Africa, Ireland, and Argentina.“The Palestinian people are a nation held captive, and the Palestinian prisoners are the reflection of this painful reality,” the statement read.
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Spokesperson for the PA Youssef al-Mahmoud also congratulated the hunger strikers on “achieving their demands.”
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“Our heroic prisoners achieved a new victory in their legendary resistance,” he said, adding that the government would continue its efforts to “guarantee that all Palestinian prisoners are freed without exceptions or conditions.”
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He also called for an end to political divisions in Palestine and to work on regaining national unity to support Palestinians.
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Meanwhile, member of Fatah’s central committee Jamal Muheisin and head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Qaraqe held a press conference at Yasser Arafat square in Ramallah to announce the “victory” of the hunger strike.
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The national committee formed to support the hunger strike also released a statement saying that the hunger strikers had achieved a “legendary triumph forcing the occupation government to negotiate with the leaders of the hunger strike and Marwan Barghouthi after having refused to negotiate for 40 days.”
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The statement highlighted that the “epic hunger strike” brought back unity between Palestinians in Israeli prisons and revived the spirit of national solidarity, which has succeeded in “thwarting the occupation’s plots.”
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The statement added that more information regarding the details of the agreement between IPS officials and the hunger strikers would be released later.
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The Hamas movement said a statement that it “hails the incredible steadfastness of the Palestinian prisoners inside the Israeli prisons,” in which “Israeli prison authorities had no choice but to succumb to the prisoners’ just demands.””This victory serves as an evidence that by unity, will, and steadfastness Palestinians can achieve even the impossible missions in their struggle against the unjust occupation,” the statement continued, going onto thank families of prisoners, the Palestinian people, and “the free world” for showing devoting their time to solidarity actions throughout the hunger strike “to keep this humanitarian issue alive.””Their efforts and support rallies drew the world’s attention to the prisoners’ ongoing plight, and revealed the ugly face of the Israeli Occupation of being a blatant violator of the Palestinians’ human rights,” Hamas affirmed, adding that “the prisoners’ issue will remain a core one, and the ultimate goal of setting them free will never be forgotten.”
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Palestinians imprisoned by Israel have underwent numerous hunger strikes since the Israeli army occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza in 1967, with several hunger strikers being killed during strikes owing to Israeli policies of force-feeding the prisoners.
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Their demands have ranged from insisting on better quality prison food to ending torture in Israeli prisons.
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According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, 6,300 Palestinians were held in Israeli prisons as of April, most of whom are being held inside the Israeli territory in contravention to international law which forbids holding Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza outside the occupied territory.
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While Israeli authorities label Palestinians as “security prisoners,” activists and rights groups have long considered Palestinians held in Israeli custody as political prisoners, and have routinely condemned Israel’s use of prison as a means of dismembering Palestinian political and social life in the occupied territory.
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Addameer has reported that 40 percent of the male Palestinian population has been detained by Israeli authorities at some point in their lives.
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THE STRUGGLE IS FAR FROM OVER ….
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In Photos … NYC rally brings Palestinian prisoner solidarity to the heart of Times Square

Photo: Joe Catron

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Photo: Zachariah Barghouti

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Photo: Joe Catron

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Photo: Joe Catron

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Photo: Joe Catron

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Photo: Joe Catron

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New York City activists and supporters of justice in Palestine came together in Times Square on Wednesday, 24 May for an event in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners on hunger strike.
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The event, Portraits4Palestine, was organized by Existence is Resistance and thePalestinian Youth Movement, with the participation of Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, BAYAN USA, Committee to Stop FBI Repression, the International Action Center, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, NYC Students for Justice in Palestine and the US Palestinian Community Network, as well as Al-Awda New Yorkand the Syrian American Forum. Participants took photos holding signs in support of the prisoners and distributed information, engaging with passers-by.
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The rally went on for over two hours as each group spoke about the prisoners and chanted in support of the Palestinian struggle and the prisoners’ hunger strike. Adnan of Samidoun led chants in Arabic and English as participants waved signs and banners in support of the strike, which began on 17 April 2017. 1500 out of a total of nearly 6500 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails launched the strike for basic human demands, including an end to the denial of family visits, proper health care and medical treatment, the right to access education, and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial.
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Joe Catron of Samidoun spoke at the rally, saying that “the Palestinian prisoners’ struggle is a century old, like the broader Palestinian national movement against Zionist settler colonialism. It will not end today or with the Strike of Freedom and Dignity.” He encouraged people to continue to organize and invited all to attend the upcoming protest on Friday, 26 May to support the prisoners outside the Best Buy in Union Square.
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BAYAN USA also shared information about the campaign to stop the declaration of martial law in Mindanao in the Philippines. They denounced martial law as leading only to further militarization, destabilization and neoliberalism, a threat to the people and their rights. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network expresses its solidarity with the Filipino people and the demand to immediately lift martial law in Mindanao and confront potential US involvement and the “war on terror” framework.
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The rally was of great interest to many passers-by, with various people coming to join the rally after seeing the protest and finding out more about the Palestinian prisoners’ strike. One mime performing in Times Square joined the protest and sang Palestinian songs in support of the prisoners.
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Many more actions are being planned to support the prisoners’ strike in New York City. On Friday, 26 May, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network will gather outside the Best Buy in Union Square at 5:30 pm for a protest in support of Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike.
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The protest will also urge the boycott of HP products, as Hewlett-Packard is engaged in extensive contracts with the Israeli occupation military and prison system; it is part of a global day of action for the 40th day of the strike, called by the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee. All are encouraged to attend and join the demonstration.
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Rally report FROM

INTERVIEW ~~ SUPPORT FOR PALESTINIAN HUNGER STRIKERS CONTINUES TO GROW

A couple of days ago, the leader of al Fatah, Marwan Barghouti, published his shocking article on New York Times. He had just started a legendary protest, called the “struggle of the empty stomachs”. Marwan has been able to start an extended non-violent struggle of at least 1.300 prisoners in Israeli prisons, a hunger strike. The objective is to show their reality to the rest of the world, and to make people understand what is going on in this land of denied rights. In his article published by New York Times Marwan attacks the Israeli military forces by using very hard words. The Zionist regime is responsible for the total absence and/or the daily violation of human rights, for daily physical and psychological torture, and also for bad food. 

Image by Carlos Latuff

Day 5 of 1,500 Palestinian detainees’ hunger strike in Israeli occupation jails!

Interview with Khaled, during a rally to support Palestinian prisoners

by Antonietta Chiodo, ProMosaik, English translation by Milena Rampoldi

In these hours, the population wants the competent authorities to take their responsibility to sanction a state whose law is based on the exercise of violence and power against a helpless population. However, as we can see today, this population has not stopped resisting. The President of the Palestinian Authority Abu Mazen declared his unconditioned solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners. The groups next to Hamas and the Islamic Party have not made a clear decision about whether they will participate to the hunger strike by involving their own members in Israeli prisons or not.

The day after the publication of Barghouti’s article and the extended participation to the hunger strike by prisoners, the Knesset put the leader Marwan Barghouti and other three main organizers of the protest in solitary confinement in the high-security prison in the Northern West Bank next to the city of Jenin. Since the beginning of the protests, the clashes and arrests are increasing, in particular around Nablus, Hebron, and Bethlehem.

Today I went into the streets and talked to a group of people during a solidarity rally for the Palestinian prisoners in hunger strike. Among them there was also an about eight years old handicapped child. Some of them wore gas masks. An ambulance was ready to intervene in case of clashes.

Everywhere the shapes of Israeli soldiers. In sight the separation wall. There are upset garbage containers which make me think about a day full of tensions. During the rally, I talked to Khaled, one of the guys participating to the protests, to ask him a couple of questions about them.

Have there been news from the prisons during these last hours?

No, since the beginning of the hunger strike, Israel has not been giving any information… we have only heard that the leaders of the protest were put into solitary confinement and that many prisoners are not even allowed to talk to their own lawyer.

Do you feel supported by the Palestinian Authority these days?

I cannot answer to this question… I cannot say anything about it… I am just a man who decided to take to the streets these days… as many women and children did… we would like to tell the world what has been happening in this land since seventy years now….  However, politics are the heart of Palestine… the whole world turns around politics, we do not want to know if one is on our part or not… since this is our life, and our freedom, and we will continue our resistance against the occupation, day after day… If you want to know if we trust Abu Mazen …. Then I can answer you: No, Palestine has stopped trusting him since a long time now.

Were there many clashes during these rallies? Do you think others will follow today?

We protest the whole day, also in the evening. They usually attack us in the afternoon or after sunset. As you can see, we have no arms. We just have flags… but we resist. Because resisting is the thing we can do best…. And it is not a coincidence that the majority of people participating to these rallies comes from the refugee camps, in particular from the Dheisheh Refugee Camp.

Do you think that Marwan Barghouti’s initiative will be really helpful?

Yes, I am absolutely convinced that it is a light, an open window so that the world can look into here… so that all can see how strong we the Palestinians are… we prefer dying than continuing to be oppressed and tortured. Our situation has been unchanged for seventy years now… So our fellows have started this struggle, and we have to support them because they are brave men and true examples for us.

 

Written FOR

PASSOVER ON THE STREETS OF NEW YORK

Young Jews are trying to find their way to accommodate their budding radicalism with their Judaism. The following video is of a Passover Seder held in the streets of New York …. sponsored by 

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Image by Pete Pasho

HUMAN RIGHTS UPDATES ~~ 1500 PALESTINIAN PRISONERS ON HUNGER STRIKE

Today 17 April 2017, nearly 1500 political prisoners in Israeli jails went
on an open-ended hunger strike until their demands of basic humane
treatment in prison are met. 

Image by Carlos Latufff

 

HUMAN RIGHTS UPDATES

Compiled by Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD


Today 17 April 2017, nearly 1500 political prisoners in Israeli jails went
on an open-ended hunger strike until their demands of basic humane
treatment in prison are met. This includes family visits, stopping abuse,
availability of medical treatment, knowing their sentence (administrative
detainees held for months and sometimes years without charge or trial),
etc.  There were many activities to honor them and show solidarity. For
example we in Al-Rowwad Culture and Art Society held the festival of return
(3aidoun) in their honor, there were demonstrations at the wall (inhaled
much tear gas) and we have a candle-light vigil later tonight in
Bethlehem’s manger square. Please keep prisoners issues alive so that they
stay alive and are treated with dignity they deserve. These events happen
in between our usual work at the museum (research, education,
conservation). 15 elementary school children visited as did several local
people. Our team of international volunteers (seven today) continue and are
working hard. Look for us on facebook under Palestine Museum of Natural
History.

Why we are on hunger strike in Israel's prisons (more)


U.S. Drops Its Biggest Non-Nuclear Bomb on Afghans, Already Traumatized by
Decades of War. In Afghanistan on Thursday, the United States military
dropped its most powerful non-nuclear bomb ever—the Massive Ordnance Air
Blast, or MOAB, nicknamed "The Mother of All Bombs." The 21,600-pound bomb
reportedly unleashed an explosion equivalent to 11 tons of TNT with a
mile-wide blast radius…..

[They keep telling us it is “non-nuclear” (why not non-biological,
non-chemical?). It was described the Afhani officials as devastating to
people and the environment. This came after Trump refused independent
investigations and claimed he knows Syrian government used chemical weapons
and bombed Syria. He is now the typical neocon….]

American police are now regularly getting training from Israeli apartheid
officers. Is it any wonder then they drag people out of airplanes and shoot
blacks in the street? Here is an interesting opinion piece in the
Washington Post. Crucified man had prior run in with authorities:

I guess this is how we are writing up the victims of crimes now. I did not
realize that when you boarded a plane you gave away the right to have your
past remain your past, but a theme of life these days is that only people
who have never done anything wrong, or are in some way related to Donald
Trump, deserve to go through their lives unmolested. In accordance with
this new house style I am writing up an incident whose anniversary some
people are celebrating this week.  The gentleman arrested Thursday and
tried before Pontius Pilate had a troubled background.


Open Secrets: The UAE’s Deals With Israel

 

HUMAN RIGHTS UPDATE AND MORE

Prepared By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD 

Below items deal with BDS and the attack on Omar Barghouti and other human rights advocates

Image by Carlos Latuff

 
Racist Zionists are using all the guns in their arsenal from Violence
(killing activists here and attacking and beating activists abroad) to
verbal assaults (calling human rights advocates anti-semites etc).
Emboldened by a racist US government to their liking . The US government
now openly disdains human rights and considers international law irrelevant
 and will not allow discussion of the Palestine issue at the UN. "Moderate"
(read subservient) Arab leaders like coup leader Sisi are happy with Trump.
Below items deal with BDS and the attack on Omar Barghouti and other human
rights advocates

Image by Latuff



Two Jewish Activists Charged With Assaulting Arab Teacher Outside AIPAC
Conference. Police say Yosef Steynovitz and Rami Lubranicki beat up Kamal
Nayfeh after a 'verbal altercation' broke out.

Image by Latuff



A similar demonstration against the Zionist lobby in France took place/
Below is a letter from Israeli Jewish activists to the French government on
their attempts to silence free speech in obedience to the Zionist lobby.
Israel Bans Palestinian Products Inside Occupied Palestinian Territory


Efforts To Fight BDS Have Failed, Says ADL



Boycott Air Canada: Tell Them We are not On-Board with Human Rights
Violations 

Doctors with Nazi mentality torture Palestinian prisoners


On the campaign against Omar Barghouti (by Haidar Eid)


Petition: Drop the charges on Omar Barghouthi


Statement from Omar Barghouti:
Dear friends and colleagues,

Finally, I was allowed to access my email account after 12 days of being
banned from doing so during the most intense phase of the ongoing
interrogation I am subjected to by the Israeli authorities. The BNC
statement on this issue accurately sums up this latest chapter in the
Israeli regime's war on the BDS movement.

Due to a gag order, I am not allowed to delve into any facts about the
case. I am thus denied the ability to even refute the vicious lies
published by Israel's regime against me. I am in no hurry to do so, though,
as their main objective -- attempting to tarnish my reputation and, by
extension, hurting the BDS movement -- has clearly failed. Their campaign
of repression has, to an extent, backfired. By preventing me from
travelling to the US to receive the Gandhi Peace Award, jointly with Ralph
Nader, Israel's regime has inadvertently increased the publicity around
this award.

Before anything else, I read the many moving messages of solidarity that
many of you have sent, and this gave me even more strength and hope to
resist the McCarthyite witch hunt against me. I deeply appreciate your
letters and the sincere sentiments of support that they convey. I am so
grateful to everyone who wrote an article and every organization that
issued a petition in this respect.

Nothing empowers human rights defenders facing political persecution like
the warm feeling that there is a whole community of activists and people of
conscience standing with them and carrying on the struggle no matter what.

For more than a year now my colleagues in the BDS movement and I have been
warning about the "tarnishing unit" established by the Israeli Ministry of
Strategic Affairs as a key organ in fighting BDS. As I have personally
written and argued many times, this devious unit's key function is summed
up in "digging up dirt" against human rights defenders and networks
associated with the BDS movement and if no dirt is found in fabricating it.

McCarthy would be proud of his loyal heirs in Israel's regime of oppression
and repression. Many of you have asked how best you can support me to face
this latest persecution. My answer is, without hesitation ... more BDS!

We need to expand, mainstream and build on our many inspiring BDS
campaigns, academic, cultural and economic, as the most effective way to
respond to the new McCarthyism designed by Israel's regime of occupation,
settler-colonialism and apartheid and exported to states where its lobby
groups enjoy massive influence.

Further growing our movement for freedom, justice and equality is the
answer. Highlighting and popularizing the recent, unprecedented verdict by
a UN body that Israel is guilty of apartheid -- the second most serious
crime against humanity in international law -- is the answer.

Countering their racism, hate, "black lists" and ugly colonial repression
with our inclusiveness, categorical rejection of all forms of racism, and
our boundless passion for freedom and justice is the answer. Further
strengthening our principled intersectional alliances with movements for
indigenous, racial, economic, social, gender, climate and other forms of
justice is our loudest response to their xenophobic, far-right,
fascist-leaning agenda and their draconian laws.

As they desperately attempt to sow fear and despair, to chill our free
speech, to tarnish our records, and to bully us into silence, we nourish
our well-founded hope with generous doses of effective, strategic,
morally-consistent campaigns for justice and equality and insist on our
right to freely express ourselves and to defend our rights.

As humans, we need permission from no one to pursue our inherent rights. As
human rights defenders, no degree of intimidation and bullying can deter us
in our passionate, nonviolent resistance to injustice, inequality and
colonial slavery.

Alone, we fail. Together, we prevail. The latest savage, even irrational,
attacks on our movement indicate, more than anything else, that we are
indeed prevailing.

In gratitude and hope,
Omar
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March 10th, 2017
Dear Excellencies, Mr. François Hollande, President de la Republique Mr.
Bernard Cazeneuve, Premier Ministre Mr. Michel Cadot, Préfet de Police de
Paris

We are writing to you as Jewish citizens of the State of Israel who are
opposed to the illegal and immoral practice of the Israeli governments over
the years. It has come to our attention that attempts are currently
underway in the city of Paris, to restrict and even ban altogether the
ongoing demonstrations in support of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and
Sanctions) campaign against Israeli human rights violations. It is
therefore of utmost importance for us to state, as clearly as possible,
that the BDS campaign is not anti-Semitic and is clearly opposed to all
forms of racism. Rather than being racist, it is founded on the strong
basis of adhering to international law and universally respected human
rights. Only recently, on March 7th, 2017, the campaign unequivocally
stated1 that :

Adhering to the UN definition of racial discrimination, the BDS movement
does not tolerate any act or discourse which adopts or promotes, among
others, anti-Black racism, anti-Arab racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism,
sexism, xenophobia, or homophobia. We strongly condemn apartheid, genocide,
slavery, colonial exploitation and ethnic cleansing, which are crimes
against humanity that are founded on racism and racial supremacy, and we
call for the right of their victims, including descendants, to full
reparation. We equally condemn and stand in solidarity with the victims of
other human rights violations including human trafficking, workers’
exploitation, and sexual exploitation. Furthermore, we are appalled by the
false accusations made by Ms. Kosciusko-Morizet, in a letter of February
15th 2017 to Mr. Cadot, le Préfet de Police, where it is claimed that the
BDS discourse amounts to hate speech.

We are clearly opposed to Israel’s grave violations of international law,
including its practice of the Crime of Apartheid as defined in the Rome
Statute and we are unapologetic about it. Our demand to end Israeli
apartheid is a clear expression of love towards all the residents of
Israel-Palestine, along with our insistence on the most basic values of
equality, freedom and justice for all. It would be outrageous if France, of
all states, would ban freedom of expression of its population who insist on
respect of the law and on these fundamental human values which are the very
foundational elements of the French constitution and the Declaration of the
Rights of Man and of the Citizen.

We therefore urge you to respect and protect the rights of those who
challenge Israel’s severe human rights violations and to protect your
French citizens who campaign on behalf of the BDS movement to be able to
freely do so, without being intimidated with legal persecution or with
physical threats as had happened in the past.
Sincerely,
Ronnie Barkan
Einav Kaplan-Raz
Maya Rotem
Lia Tarachansky
Guy Davidi
Ron Merom
 Lizi Sagie
Tamara Traubmann De-Colonizer
Ofer Neiman
 Herzl Schubert
Michel Warschawski
Shir Hever
Lorien Newman
Stavit Sinai
Sergio Yahni
Yudit Ilany
Jonathan Ofir
Eyal Sivan
Yael Kahn

#NotMyPresident ~~ NO BAN, NO WALL! ~~ IN PHOTOS

Image by Latuff

Trump's Muslim ban

Trump’s Muslim ban

 

   NO BAN, NO WALL,  NEW YORK IS FOR ALL

          SAY IT LOUD, SAY IT CLEAR, REFUGEES ARE WELCOME HERE

          DON’T GIVE IN TO RACIST FEAR, IMMIGRANTS ARE WELCOME HERE

 

These words were chanted frequently the evening of January 25th at a rally organized by CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) in Washington Square Park in NYC and attended by many thousands.  This was a response to Trump’s executive orders that called for a wall to keep out Mexicans, closing our doors to Syrian refugees, and a suspension of visitors from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Sudan & Somilia.  People spoke from many organizations, all expressing outrage.  One said his family was on a ship filled with Jews escaping Hitler and they were not allowed to enter the US.  The ship went from port-to-port never being allowed in anywhere.  It had to return to Germany where many perished.

Several speakers were part of the NYC government.  They all urged resistance and said that they would not allow anything to happen to the population here.  NYC has been declared a “Sanctuary City” meaning that they will not allow  families to be torn apart or children to be left without parents.  City personnel will not arrest or detain residents for Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE).  The only thing the federal government can do is retaliate by withholding federal funds from the city.

It was a beautiful clear, balmy winter night.  The park was filled to capacity with a very mixed group of people.  The podium was placed under the iconic arch and the voices of the speakers sometimes echoed.  The speeches were both emphatic and militant.  Immigrants are on the firing line in this administration.  At one point everyone raised their arm and made a pledge to support their foreign born friends and neighbors.  It is hoped that some went home feeling less alone, less vulnerable.

On his Facebook page Steven Goldstein, Executive Director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect wrote,

“As President Trump prepares orders to wall out Mexicans and shut out refugees from America, today marks one of the most hateful days in our nation’s history, Donald Trump is retracting the promise of freedom to an extent we have not seen from a president since Franklin Roosevelt forced Japanese Americans into internment camps during World War II.   Today the Statue of Liberty weeps over President Trump’s discrimination.”

Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Report by Chippy Dee

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Finally some Judicial Justice

Total madness going on here.  Thousands are demonstrating at airports all over the country and people who were cleared to come into the US are being put on planes to go back to where they came from.  And the vicious moron says it is working “nicely”.  A judge in Brooklyn just signed an order to stop the deportations.  Demo tomorrow @ Battery Park, where it should be freezing by the water, and then a march to border control offices at the new WTC. Everyone’s adrenaline is pumping non-stop.

(Click on link to see NYT Report)

Judge Blocks Trump Order on Refugees Amid Chaos and Outcry Worldwide

WORSE THAN A KAPO?

In my many years of pro Palestinian activism I have personally been called an anti Semite and a self hating Jew. Considering the anti zionist implications of these labels, they are both worn proudly.

BUT

When a new label, ‘kapo‘ is added, that is truly a hit below the belt. Not being a fan of J Street, I still find this term offensive and stand with them as they are smeared in such a way.

“They are far worse than kapos – Jews who turned in their fellow Jews in the Nazi death camps.” 

Image by Carlos Latuff

David Friedman, a fierce Zionist, is Trump's choice for US ambassador to Israel

David Friedman, a fierce Zionist, is Trump’s choice for US ambassador to Israel

Trump pick for ambassador to Israel supports Israeli annexation of West Bank and calls liberal Jews ‘kapos

Donald Trump has nominated 57-year-old Long Island native David Friedman to serve as U.S ambassador to Israel. Friedman served as Trump’s Israel adviser during the election campaign and has worked as Trump’s bankruptcy lawyer. He is a vociferous pro-settler advocate who openly advocates for the annexation of the West Bank, and serves as president of American Friends of Bet El Institutions, a settlement advocacy group. Friedman will join an administration that has continually promised to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and has made clear its opposition to the two-state solution. In announcing the pick Trump called Friedman “a longtime friend and trusted adviser.”

Friedman is a writer for the Israeli settler news service Arutz Sheva, and his columns demonstrate strong right wing views concerning the occupation, U.S. politicians, and the Middle East. Friedman has called for ending “the two-state narrative”, describing it as “an illusion that serves the worst intentions of both the United States and the Palestinian Arabs.” Friedman has also referred to the recognition of Jerusalem as “the indisputable capital of the Jewish people” as a holy battle, one that will be won by those who acknowledge Jerusalem as being “the holy capital of the Jewish people—and only the Jewish people”.

In 2015, Friedman wrote an article praising the pre-war sentiment expressed by Mike Huckabee, evangelical Trump-supporter and former Governor of Arkansas, who “referred to war as “killing people and breaking things” until the loser gives up or is destroyed.” Friedman writes that the Obama administration, which is waging countless military operations around the world, has been too docile and light-headed when it comes to “terrorists”.

“The United States has the largest and most powerful military in the world. Under the Obama Doctrine, however, it is no longer in the business of fighting to win,” he argues.

In another stunning column for Arutz Sheva, Friedman accuses Obama of being an anti-Semite, and characterized the centrist Zionist organization J Street as being “worse than kapos”.

“They are far worse than kapos – Jews who turned in their fellow Jews in the Nazi death camps,” he wrote.

Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, tells Mondoweiss that the appointment of David Friedman as Ambassador to Israel “is but the latest suggestion of what a Trump administration’s policy toward Palestine/Israel will be and that is a full, unapologetic embrace of Israeli Apartheid. Trump has railed against political correctness throughout his campaign and in many ways he seems to be doing the same thing with shaping his policy on this issue.”

Munayyer explains that “for decades the US has done a sort of “politically correct” dance where they have consistently supported Israel as it colonizes what is left of Palestinian territory while saying they support a Palestinian state.” The nomination of Friedman signals that the U.S. will do away with this farce, and  “just own what they have done for years which is support the apartheid reality on the ground.” Munayyer contends that a Trump administration will treat Israel with light-headedness, which means that “the civil society effort to impose costs on Israel through boycott, divestment and sanctions tactics [BDS] has never been more important.”

Mouin Rabbani, co-editor of Jadaliyya, was straightforward in his reaction to Friedman’s nomination, telling Mondoweiss that he “hopes the appointment of such an avowed extremist to the position of US Ambassador to Israel, selected precisely because of his extremist positions, will disabuse Palestinians of any remaining illusions the the United States has anything positive to contribute to their struggle for self-determination.”

Jewish Voice For Peace released a statement from executive director Rebecca Vilkomerson condemning Friedman’s nomination as U.S. Ambassador to Israel, arguing that it “indicates that the Trump Administration has aligned itself with the farthest right elements of the Israeli government”, and warning that this signals that the incoming administration will give the Israeli government a free pass to further its abusive control of Palestinian land, and to continue infringing upon Palestinian rights.

Writing on Twitter, London Review of Books writer Adam Shatz put it succinctly: “Let’s call the Friedman appointment by its name: a declaration of war on the Palestinian people.”

Both Trump and Friedman share the intention of rejecting the two-state solution and abiding by the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which calls for recognizing Jerusalem and Israel’s capital and moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The bill was passed in 1995 but left unsigned under Bill Clinton and subsequently suspended on 22 occasions—thanks to the presidential waiver authority—mostly due to alleged national security concerns. Israeli education minister Naftali Bennett was euphoric after Donald Trump’s electoral win, calling his election an “opportunity for Israel to immediately retract the notion of a Palestinian state in the center of the country”. He said, “The era of a Palestinian state is over.”

For this reason, advocates of the two-state solution are troubled by Friedman’s nomination. A press release from the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) president Rabbi Rick Jacobs notes that while URJ supports Friedman’s goal of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and its designation as Israel’s capital, the organization is “greatly concerned” that Friedman is against a two-state solution. The Reform group maintains “that only a two-state solution will allow Israel to remain both Jewish and democratic while also addressing the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinians.”

Americans for Peace Now also announced its opposition to Friedman saying, “Friedman opposes the very essence of APN’s values and mission.” The organization added, “Trump repeatedly declared that he would like to broker a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians, but coupled with the President-elect’s statements about his intention to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, Friedman’s nomination is a destabilizing move, which only adds fuel to the Israeli-Palestinian fire.”

Chemi Shalev, U.S. editor and correspondent for Haaretz, recently published an article arguing that due to Friedman’s right-wing inclinations, “[h]e makes Benjamin Netanyahu seem like a left-wing defeatist”. Shalev contends that Friedman will satisfy Evangelicals, Jewish settlers “and bring pleasure to Land of Israel zealots far and wide”. While the Obama administration may have offered Palestinians some semblance of even-handedness, Shalev writes, Friedman and the Trump administration will likely offer them no such thing.

IN PHOTOS ~~ IMMIGRANT SOLIDARITY DAY

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On IMMIGRANT SOLIDARITY DAY, 11/13, thousands of New York City’s citizens poured into the  street in front of Trump’s International Hotel singing and chanting with an anger and a militancy that resounded off the walls of the hotel.

“ No hate, no fear, everyone is welcome here”

“Muslim rights are human rights”

“F**k white supremacy”

“This is what democracy looks like”

“Black lives matter”

“Queer and proud”

“Women’s rights are human rights”

 

 They marched through the streets on route to Trump Towers on 5th Avenue.   Thousands of people filled the street from curb to curb. All traffic was stopped. The demonstrators turned on 5th Avenue to  pass Trump Towers where they would inform Trump of their resistance to his bigotry.   Police barricades were set up to prevent the thousands from reaching Trump Towers.  The demonstration was organized by immigrant rights groups. Nonimmigrant allies joined them in solidarity. This demonstration was one of many, involving thousands of people throughout the United States on a daily basis .

Photos and commentary © by Bud Korotzer

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NATIVE RIGHTS ~~ WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

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Report by Chippy Dee

On Friday evening, September 9th, a group of about 400 New Yorkers gathered in Washington Square Park to rally in support of the Native Americans in Standing Rock North Dakota who are resisting the installation of a crude oil pipeline through their sacred burial ground and next to their source of clean water which the pipeline will put in jeopardy.  Hundreds of tribes have native people on the site who are, with their bodies, stopping the project from moving forward.  They have been set upon with large dogs who have been biting them and drones are flying over their campsite.

The unique aspect of this rally was the presence of groups that are also supporting human rights for the people of Palestine.  At one point a speaker pointed out the similarities of the 2 peoples – both live in colonial-settler states, both have lost their rights, their land, and their water, both live in poverty.   After the connection was made the entire group chanted, “Free, free Palestine”.  With the increased ability to communicate over great distances more and more people are recognizing the commonality in their struggles and are joining forces in solidarity with one another.

 Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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Related report (Click on link)

Palestinians back Standing Rock Sioux in “struggle for all humanity”

 

YES VIRGINIA, THERE IS THE DEATH PENALTY IN ISRAEL

Despite it’s claims to the contrary, there IS the death penalty in Israel as can be seen in the following report that you won’t read about in the Western Media …

Israeli court’s decision may be death sentence for hunger striker

Al-Qiq, who works for the Saudi news agency Al-Majd, began his hunger strike in November, shortly after Israeli authorities arrested him. Following his interrogation, Israel put him in administrative detention.

Human rights organizations and UN officials have called on Israel to charge or release al-Qiq, who is one of 660 Palestinians held without charge or trial under administrative detention orders handed down by a military court.

Image by Carlos Latuff

Despite his critical condition, journalist captive Mohammad al-Qiq refuses to bow.

Despite his critical condition, journalist captive Mohammad al-Qiq refuses to bow.

Israel’s high court today confirmed its refusal to free Muhammad al-Qiq, the gravely ill Palestinian journalist who has been on hunger strike for 84 days.

The judges held a closed session Tuesday morning, adjourned for several hours, and then issued their decision.

In response to the decision, al-Qiq reportedly told his supporters and his family to be “patient and steadfast.”

The Palestinian Prisoners Club, whose lawyers represent al-Qiq, sent a brief statement to media confirming the court’s rejection of al-Qiq’s request to be allowed to receive treatment in a hospital in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.

The court’s hearing likely marked a last chance for al-Qiq, who is now too weak to receive visitors, according to sources at the hospital where he is being held.

Doctors have said that al-Qiq could die at any moment. By all accounts his life remains at imminent risk.

“Death sentence”

Yousef Jabareen, a member of Israel’s parliament for the Joint List, called the court’s decision a “death sentence.”

“Instead of canceling the administrative detention to save al-Qiq’s life, the court once again succumbed to the diktats of the security agencies and set aside humanitarian considerations,” Jabareen added in a statement sent to media.

Al-Qiq has vowed not to give up his strike unless he is freed.

On Monday, a video was circulated on social media showing al-Qiq in his hospital bed, crying out from severe pain.

Earlier on Monday, the high court rejected a petition from al-Qiq to be transferred to Ramallah, but it ruled that he could go to al-Makassed hospital in occupied East Jerusalem. It gave him until Tuesday to consider the offer.

But al-Qiq rejected the offer immediately, because it did not meet his condition to be released and go where he chooses.

Al-Qiq has insisted that he be allowed to return to the West Bank and receive treatment in a Palestinian hospital.

No compromise

While the court considered its decision on Tuesday, Palestinian Prisoners Club attorney Jawad Boulos told mediathat Israeli military prosecutors had said in the hearing that they could not allow al-Qiq to go to Ramallah, where he would be outside Israel’s direct control, and could therefore represent a “threat” to its security.

Boulos said he responded that currently al-Qiq is not under guard at the hospital in Afula, in the north of present-day Israel, and is able to speak to whoever he wants, which would also be the case in Ramallah.

Boulos added that al-Qiq and his family had also agreed that he could be monitored by Palestinian Authority security for the remainder of his administrative detention period, which ends in May.

On 4 February, Israel’s high court suspended al-Qiq’s administrative detention but ordered him to remain in the HaEmek hospital in Afula to receive medical treatment.

But al-Qiq rejected the suspension, refusing to be treated by Israeli authorities as long as he was not free to leave. It is also unclear what the suspension meant in practice, since al-Qiq has remained effectively an Israeli prisoner.

Al-Qiq, who works for the Saudi news agency Al-Majd, began his hunger strike in November, shortly after Israeli authorities arrested him. Following his interrogation, Israel put him in administrative detention.

Human rights organizations and UN officials have called on Israel to charge or release al-Qiq, who is one of 660 Palestinians held without charge or trial under administrative detention orders handed down by a military court.

AMERICA’S STRANGE BEDFELLOWS

Moral:
You Are Known by
the Company You Keep

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Obviously oil is more important than Human Rights as far as Obama is concerned

Saudi Arabia overturns execution, sentences Palestinian poet to prison, 800 lashes

A Saudi court overturned the death sentence for Palestinian poet Ashraf Fayadh on Tuesday, his lawyer announced in a statement the same day.

A Saudi court overturned the death sentence for Palestinian poet Ashraf Fayadh on Tuesday, his lawyer announced in a statement the same day.

Fayadh was sentenced to the death penalty in November for “apostasy” and allegedly emitting “blasphemous statements” in some of his poetry.

The poet’s sentence has been changed to eight years in prison and 800 lashes by the general court of the city of Abha in southwestern Saudi Arabia.

Fayadh’s lawyer, Abd al-Rahman al-Laham, hailed the downgraded sentence, while maintaining that Fayadh was innocent on all charges.

Under the new sentence, Fayadh would be subjected to 16 sessions of 50 lashes each, al-Laham said.

The lawyer added that he would appeal in the coming days.

In May, the general court of Abha sentenced had Fayadh to four years in prison and 800 lashes, but the prosecution, which had called for the death sentence, had successfully appealed. The downgraded sentence effectively adds four more years in prison to the original sentence.

Fayadh has denied all charges against him, saying that another man made false accusations to the country’s religious police following a personal dispute.

Saudi Arabia’s Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice arrested Fayadh in January 2014 for poetry he had published in 2008.

Fayadh had previously been arrested in 2013 after a complaint was filed against him alleging that he spread “misleading ideas.” However, he had quickly been released due to lack of evidence.

In November, Human Rights Watch slammed the death sentence handed down to Fayadh, calling it “yet another indictment of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.”

According to the organization, Saudi Arabia executed 158 people in 2015, the highest number of executions in the Wahhabi kingdom in 20 years.

Source

MEET A REAL PALESTINIAN-AMERICAN HEROINE

The Case of Rasmea Odeh: A Palestinian Hero

Read all about her case HERE

With updates at #Justice4Rasmea

Image by Carlos Latuff

Cartoon of the Hour: #Justice4Rasmea A Palestinian Hero!

Cartoon of the Hour: #Justice4Rasmea A Palestinian Hero!

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CZtCcR_WAAEopny

SAUDI TOONS GOING VIRAL

And we helped 🙂

One of Latuff’s recent contributions …. 

Does it Make Any Sense to Have Saudi Arabia as Head of UN Human Rights Council?

Does it Make Any Sense to Have Saudi Arabia as Head of UN Human Rights Council?

Cartoons taunting Saudi Arabia’s membership of the United Nations human rights council have gone viral on social media after the kingdom executed 47 people in one day. 

Cartoons highlight anger at Saudi Arabia’s position as head of key UN human rights panel

While the regime’s interior minister claimed most of the 47 executed had been involved in the deadly 2003 and 2004 al-Qaeda attacks, a prominent Shia cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, was also put to death. He was a vocal supporter of the mass anti-government protests that flared up in the kingdom’s Eastern Province in 2011.

The U.N.’s top human rights official has strongly criticised the executions.  Zeid Raad al-Hussein says the killing of Sheikh al-Nimr was “a very disturbing development indeed, particularly as some of those sentenced to death were accused of non-violent crimes.”

He says international law only permits the death penalty in cases where the crimes committed are considered “most serious” and human rights bodies have consistently defined those as being “being restricted to murder and other forms of intentional killing.”

Shiekh Nimr often criticised the House of Saud and called for free elections in the oil-rich kingdom.

In retaliation to the state executions people on social media started sharing cartoons mocking the Saudi regime’s membership of the United Nations human rights council.

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Speaking to Reuters, Human Rights Watch’s Middle East director, said: “Regardless of the crimes allegedly committed, executing prisoners in mass only further stains Saudi Arabia’s troubling human rights record.” She added that Sheikh Nimr was convicted in an “unfair” trial and that his execution “is only adding to the existing sectarian discord and unrest.”
Iran’s supreme leader’s website, also posted a contentious image comparing the Saudi executions to the barbaric practices of the so-called Islamic State.
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Leaked diplomatic documents published last year by the Guardian suggested that the UK and Saudi Arabia conducted a secret vote-trading deal to ensure both states were elected to the UN human rights council.
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SOURCE

SUNDAY’S TOON ~~ THE IRONY OF HUMAN RIGHTS

Image by Carlos Latuff

Does it Makes Any Sense to Have Saudi Arabia as Head of UN Human Rights Council?

Does it Makes Any Sense to Have Saudi Arabia as Head of UN Human Rights Council?

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Will POTUS release a statement condemning the recent executions in Saudi Arabia?

Will POTUS release a statement condemning the recent executions in Saudi Arabia?

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FRIDAY’S SPOOF ~~ PALESTINIAN CHILDREN ‘CELEBRATE’ HUMAN RIGHTS DAY

IN ISRAELI PRISONS!

Image by Carlos Latuff

More Palestinian children in Israel jails!

More Palestinian children in Israel jails!

SPOOF OF THE HOUR ~~ REMEMBER THE GAZA SLAUGHTER

Image by Carlos Latuff

On This Human Rights Day, Remember the Gaza Slaughter!

On This Human Rights Day, Remember the Gaza Slaughter!

RAPE IN THE NAME OF GOD

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GO FIGURE

Submitted by Mahan Singh Khalsa *

    The ISIS soldier comes home from manning the check point. He lays out his prayer rug, kneels and prays. Then he fetches his captive, a young Yazidi girl, and rapes her. He was horny and wanted sex. Then he goes back to his prayer rug and prays. Furthermore he claims his sacred text approves it. What he has done is a Holy thing.

    The Zionist soldier rises and goes to his temple to pray. Then he and his fellow soldiers go into the occupied territory. They drag a young Palestinian woman and her children out of their house into the street and bulldoze the house. They are greedy and want the land. Then he goes back to the temple to pray. Furthermore he claims his sacred text approves it. What he has done is a Holy thing.

    Meanwhile politics in the United States are such that the ignorant ISIS soldier is considered evil and the ignorant Zionist soldier is considered noble. The United States bombs ISIS and gives bombs to Zionists.  GO FIGURE!

*  I am member of “Utahns for a Just Peace in the Holy Land” which is a member of “US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation of Palestine and Sabeel North America”. I am also a member of “Military Families Speak Out” which is for families who have members in the U.S. military and are concerned about overseas involvements and deployments.

IN PHOTOS ~~ REFUGEE CRISIS COMES TO NYC

AT UNION SQ. A DEMONSTRATION DEMANDING ACCEPTANCE OF MID-EAST REFUGEES TO NYC

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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The German ‘solution’ ….

Refugees housed in German concentration camp

A small German town has begun housing the refugees at the Buchenwald camp, where 56,000 Jews were killed in World War two.

 

Full report HERE

RECENT VIDEOS ~~ A GLIMPSE AT WHAT IS HAPPENING IN PALESTINE TODAY

Nabi Saleh on Friday saw a remarkable confrontation when an Israeli
occupation soldier tried to kidnap a child (with arm in cast after an
earlier attack on him ended up with a broken arm) but his family came to
his aid and freed him. Watch these remarkable videos:





This is not the first time family members stick together. Ahed and her
younger brother challenged Israeli soldiers who kidnapped their older
brother earlier (the other older girl is cousin Marah Tamimi)





The Tamimi children of course are like any other children interested in
living their lives on their land and having access to their water spring
things denied to them by a brutal colonial racist occupation.  HERE ARE THE
CHILDREN helping us in studying nature and biodiversity in their beautiful
village:




Commentary and videos sent by Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh,PhD

STAY HUMAN

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