Analysis News

PHOTOS: Bedouin protest deadly police shootings in Israel

Police shoot and kill a Bedouin man during an arrest raid, later killing another man at his funeral. A general strike is called and protests take place across Israel.

Text by Yael Marom and Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
Photos and reporting by Activestills.org

Bedouin mourners pray near the body of Sami Ziadna, 43, during his funeral in the southern Bedouin city of Rahat, January 19, 2015. Sami died a day earlier following clashes with Israeli police during the funeral of another Bedouin man who was killed a week earlier by Israeli policemen in the city. (Photo by Activestills.org)

Bedouin mourners pray near the body of Sami Ziadna, 43, during his funeral in the southern Bedouin city of Rahat, January 19, 2015. Sami died a day earlier following clashes with Israeli police during the funeral of another Bedouin man who was killed a week earlier by Israeli policemen in the city. (Photo by Activestills.org)

Protests took place across Israel on Tuesday following the police shooting death of Bedouin citizen of Israel Sami Ja’ar last week and the death of another man, Sami Ziadna, during clashes that took place at his funeral in the desert city of Rahat.

The Arab Higher Monitoring Committee declared a general strike on Tuesday and protests were held against police violence against Palestinian citizens of Israel, Arab-Israelis.

Roughly 1,000 people marched between the homes of the two men who were killed in Rahat Tuesday afternoon, after which they gathered at mourning tents set up by their families.

Following the protest, clashes broke out between demonstrators and police. One protester was struck by a police vehicle chasing stone-throwers and was evacuated to a hospital where he was arrested.

Bedouin mourners participate in a rally in the southern Israeli Bedouin city of Rahat to condemn the death of Sami Ja’ar, 22, who died of a gunshot wound last week during a police raid in the Negev Bedouin town, and of Sami Ziadna, who was killed during clashes with Israeli police following the funeral of Ja’ar. The protesters march from the house of Ja’ar family to Ziadna family home, January 20, 2015. (Activestills.org)

Bedouin mourners participate in a rally in the southern Israeli Bedouin city of Rahat to condemn the death of Sami Ja’ar, 22, who...


Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

'Israeli army increasing use of live fire at West Bank protests'

Despite being illegal as a crowd control weapon, eyewitness accounts and a new report by B’Tselem document the Israeli military’s increased use of 0.22 caliber live bullets against Palestinians at West Bank protests and clashes.

Photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler and Oren Ziv/Activestills.org
Text by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler

An Israeli sniper aims a silenced 10/22 Ruger rifle from a tower in the separation wall in the West Bank town of Bethlehem during clashes with Palestinian youth, March 11, 2014. The clashes erupted after Israeli forces killed six Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza in the previous 24 hours. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

An Israeli sniper aims a silenced 10/22 Ruger rifle from a tower in the separation wall in the West Bank town of Bethlehem during clashes with Palestinian youth, March 11, 2014. The clashes erupted after Israeli forces killed six Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza in the previous 24 hours. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

Two years ago this week, 15-year-old Palestinian Salih al-Amarin was shot in the head by Israeli forces with live ammunition. He died several days later. Al-Amarin, a resident of Azza Refugee Camp in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, was taking part in clashes with Israeli forces stationed on the separation wall that cuts deep into Bethlehem.

“Those soldiers sitting in their towers behind the wall, are they really in danger?” Bethlehem governor Abdi Fatah Hamayel told Sky News at the time. “There is no excuse to shoot the kids with live bullets.”

According to the same report, this and other killings at the time “prompted then Israel’s (then) commander of operations in the West Bank, Brig.-Gen. Hagai Mordechai, to call for an immediate review of its rules of engagement.”

A banner picturing Salih Al-Amarin, age 15, hangs from his home in Azza Refugee Camp prior to his funeral, January 23, 2013. Al-Amarin was shot in the head by Israeli forces on January 18, 2013 during clashes in Bethlehem's nearby Aida Refugee Camp. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

A banner picturing Salih Al-Amarin, age 15, hangs from his home in Azza Refugee Camp prior to his funeral, January 23, 2013. Al-Amarin was shot in the head by Israeli forces on January 18, 2013 during clashes in Bethlehem’s nearby Aida...


Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

PHOTOS: Police kill Bedouin man, wound dozens at funeral

Israeli police clash with Bedouin protesters during the funeral of Sami Ja’ar, who was shot by officers last week during a police operation in the southern city of Rahat.

Text by Michal Rotem
Photos by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org

Bedouin men dodge live bullets and tear gas during clashes that erupted in the wake of a funeral, Rahat, southern Israel, January 18, 2015. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Bedouin men struggle to walk during clashes that erupted in the wake of a funeral, Rahat, southern Israel, January 18, 2015. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israeli police shot and killed 43-year-old Sami Ziadna and wounded a 50-year-old man, along with dozens of others Sunday night during clashes that erupted at a funeral in the southern city of Rahat.

Police fired live bullets, tear gas and sound grenades during the funeral of Sami Ja’ar, who was shot to death in the early hours of Thursday morning during a police operation. The Police Investigations Unit is currently looking into that incident.

A man bleeds from his head during clashes between Bedouin and Israeli police in the city of Rahat, January 18, 2015. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

A man bleeds from his head during clashes between Bedouin and Israeli police in the city of Rahat, January 18, 2015. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

In the wake of Ja’ar’s shooting death, the  Arab Higher Monitoring Committee (an independent political organization whose aim is to coordinate the political actions of various Arab bodies in Israel) declared a general strike last Friday and Sunday. The Rahat’s Municipality and Israel Police ostensibly agreed that police officers would not be present during the funeral, so as not to stoke the anger of the residents. Despite the agreement, a police car showed up to the funeral, and residents began to throw stones.

Tear gas clouds streak the sky during clashes between police and Bedouin in the city of Rahat. The clashes erupted in the wake of Sami Ja'ar's funeral, who was killed last week during a police operation in the city. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Tear gas clouds streak the sky during clashes between police and Bedouin in the city of Rahat. The clashes erupted in the wake of Sami Ja’ar’s funeral, who was...


Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

The decline of Christian Zionism

America’s largest Christian Zionist organization boasts about its numbers. But while their influence is a given, many Christians are slowly but surely seeing the justice of the Palestinian cause.

Text and photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org

People wave American and Israeli flags at a Zionist Christian rally featuring Glenn Beck in Jerusalem, August 24, 2011. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

People wave American and Israeli flags at a Zionist Christian rally featuring Glenn Beck in Jerusalem, August 24, 2011. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the largest Zionist Christian organization in the U.S., recently sent an email blast celebrating the milestone of “2 million members.” The Washington Post’s right-wing blogger Jennifer Rubin dutifully reported on the CUFI press release, which included an additional list of impressive numbers:

However, as reported by conservative Christian magazine Charisma, “insiders know such membership consists of nothing but CUFI having your email address. There’s nothing to pay, nothing to sign. And even if you drop out, you’re still counted as a member. Given this, insiders say the number of actual donors is closer to 30,000 to 50,000.”

So I guess CUFI counts me as a “member,” since I get their emails in order to keep tabs on their antics. (I always want to change the wording on their action alerts to Congress, but they don’t allow you to edit their talking points. Typical.) So at best they can only boast 1,999,999 actual supporters. I also happen to know that +972’s own Ami Kaufman has even “liked” CUFI on Facebook, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t really like them like them.

But the numbers game does not diminish CUFI’s significant impact. They certainly have far more influence than any Palestinian solidarity organization. (Fun fact, though: Jewish Voice for Peace is kicking AIPAC’s ass on Facebook, 199,412 to 93,902. Help JVP get over 200,000—but only if you really like them like them!)

“The pro-Israel side is still far ahead in the battle for the hearts and minds of America’s evangelicals,” CUFI’s executive director, David Brog, accurately claimed in an article last year, “Anti-Israel Christians do not come close to matching CUFI’s size, activity, or influence.”

Brog’s article both asserted the strength of the Zionist Christian movement while trying to scare up additional support to counter the growing movement of...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

‘A year with no checkpoints’: Handing out flowers in the West Bank

In one of the first Palestinian protests of 2015, demonstrators call for 2015 to be the year of no occupation and no checkpoints.

A Palestinian man dressed as Santa Claus hands out flowers cars passing through the Huwwara military checkpoint, south of Nablus, during a protest against Israeli occupation, January 1, 2015. One protester was arrested during the action. (Photo by Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

A Palestinian man dressed as Santa Claus hands out flowers cars passing through the Huwwara military checkpoint, south of Nablus, during a protest against Israeli occupation, January 1, 2015. One protester was arrested during the action. (Photo by Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Dozens of Palestinian and international activists, some dressed as Santa Claus, protested at the Huwwara checkpoint near Nablus in the West Bank on the first day of 2015. Some of the demonstrators distributed flowers to people passing through the checkpoint.

Signs carried by the demonstrators called for: A year without occupation; A year without checkpoints; and the realization of the Palestinian right of return.

The Israeli army arrested one activist.

Palestinian activists protest against the Israeli occupation at the Huwwara military checkpoint, south of Nablus, January 1, 2015. (Photo by Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Palestinian activists protest against the Israeli occupation at the Huwwara military checkpoint, south of Nablus, January 1, 2015. (Photo by Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Palestinian activists protest against the Israeli occupation at the Huwwara military checkpoint, south of Nablus, January 1, 2015. (Photo by Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Palestinian activists protest against the Israeli occupation at the Huwwara military checkpoint, south of Nablus, January 1, 2015. (Photo by Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

A day later, Friday, the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh held its weekly demonstration. A number of demonstrators climbed onto a military bulldozer parked at the entrance of the village and waved PLO and Fatah flags on it.

The demonstrators then marched toward the village’s spring, which has been taken over by settlers. Two soldiers entered the village and a soldiers in a jeep later positioned themselves at a gas station at the entrance of the village.

Soldiers used .22 caliber bullets along with other more traditional crowd dispersal weapons to repress the demonstration.

Protesters place Fatah...</img></img></img></div><a href=Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

The Year in Photos: Palestine-Israel in 2014

Images help shape the way we understand the world. A powerful image can resonate in the minds of millions and affect the public agenda, leading to increased awareness, activism and policy initiatives. This year we witnessed the worst attack on Gaza in decades, endless violence and hostility in Jerusalem, housing struggles inside Israel, ongoing home demolitions in Bedouin villages and in the Jordan Valley, as well as the continuing struggle for freedom by the community of African asylum seekers. Activestills selects the most powerful, important and moving images of 2014 — presented in chronological order.

Photos by: Ahmad al-Bazz, Fiaz Abu-Rmeleh, Shiraz Grinbaum, Keren Manor, Tali Mayer, Anne Paq, Ryan Rodrick Beiler, Yotam Ronen, Basel Yazouri, Oren Ziv / Activestills.org

More than 30,000 thousands African asylum seekers participate in a protest calling to free all African refugees imprisoned in Israeli prisons and Holot detention centre and for the recognition of all refugees rights, Tel Aviv, Israel, January 5, 2013. The protest is the first event in the Strike For Freedom of African asylum seekers in Israel, and is the biggest African refugees protest in Israel's history. By: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org

Tens of thousands African asylum seekers participate in a protest calling to free all African refugees Israeli is holding in prisons and the Holot detention facility and for the recognition of all refugees rights, Tel Aviv, Israel, January 5, 2014. The protest was the first event in the Strike For Freedom of African asylum seekers launched in Israel, and was the largest African refugee protest in Israel’s history. By: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org | Read about the protest here. For background on refugees in Israel, click here.

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men and women take part in a mass prayer in Jerusalem March 2, 2014. Hundreds of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews held a mass prayer in Jerusalem on Sunday in protest against a bill meant to slash military exemptions granted to seminary students, a tradition held since the founding of Israel. By: Tali Mayer/Activestills.org

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men and women take part in a mass prayer in Jerusalem March 2, 2014. Hundreds of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews held a mass prayer in Jerusalem in protest of a bill meant to slash military exemptions granted to seminary students, a tradition held since the founding of Israel....

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

PHOTOS: Kobane refugees dream of home in Turkey's refugee camps

Though hundreds of thousands of refugees have fled the city of Kobane over the past months, some of them insist on making the dangerous journey home to retrieve what was left behind.

Text and photos: Faiz Abu-Rmeleh / Activestills.org

Refugee warm up near a fire at the Arin Mirkhan refugee camp, Turkish-Syrian border, October 2014. Photo: Faiz Abu-Rmeleh/Activestills.org

Refugees warm up near a fire at Arin Mirxam refugee camp, Turkey-Syria border, October 2014. Photo: Faiz Abu-Rmeleh/Activestills.org

Hundreds of thousands of Kurdish and Syrian refugees have fled the city of Kobane in northern Syria over the past months due to attacks on the city by Islamic State forces. Approximately 40,000 residents have fled the city, around half of them crossing the border into the Turkish border town Suruc, where they currently live in refugee camps. Turkish authorities and citizens, along with Kurdish aid organizations, are trying to handle the growing pressure on the infrastructure. Supplies in the camps are in low supply, and many are living in close quarters.

A view on the tents at the Ravaya refugee camp, Turkish-Syrian border, October 2014. Photo: Faiz Abu-Rmeleh/Activestills.org

A view of the tents at Ravaya refugee camp, Turkey-Syria border, October 2014. Photo: Faiz Abu-Rmeleh/Activestills.org

Refugees from the Syrian city of Kobane look at fighting taking place at their city across the border, Turkish-Syrian border, October 2014. Photo: Faiz Abu-Rmeleh/Activestills.org

Refugees from the Syrian city of Kobane look at fighting taking place at their city across the border, October 2014. Photo: Faiz Abu-Rmeleh/Activestills.org

Many of the refugees are afraid to give their full name, since many still have relatives in Kobane. “We need help from the United Nations and the West,” said one refugee. The refugees claim that U.S. airstrikes have helped ward off the Islamic State, yet Kurdish forces are still in need of much more than ammunition to prevent the militants from taking over the city.

Refugee lining up to register at the Arin Mirkhan refugee camp, Turkish-Syrian border, October 2014. Photo: Faiz Abu-Rmeleh/Activestills.org

Refugees line up to register at Arin Mirxan refugee camp, October 2014. Photo: Faiz Abu-Rmeleh/Activestills.org

View article: AAA
Share article

PHOTOS: Army fires tear gas, rubber bullets at commemoration march for PA minister

Photos and by Yotam Ronen, Oren Ziv / Activestills.org

Palestinians run to take cover, as the Israeli army shoot tear gas, during a demonstration commemorating the death of Palestinian minister, Ziad Abu Ein, in the West Bank village of Turmus Aya, north of Ramallah, December 19, 2014. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Palestinians run to take cover, as the Israeli army shoot tear gas, during a demonstration commemorating the death of Palestinian minister, Ziad Abu Ein, in the West Bank village of Turmus Aya, north of Ramallah, December 19, 2014. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Hundreds of demonstrators arrived Friday at the West Bank village of Turmus Aya to mark one week since the death of Palestinian Authority Minister Ziad Abu Ein. The protest took place not far from the Adei Ad outpost, where Abu Ein was attacked last week by an Israeli soldier. He died shortly thereafter in a Ramallah hospital.

Israeli border policemen arrest Palestinian activist Muhammad Khatib during a demonstration commemorating the death of Palestinian minister, Ziad Abu Ein, in the West Bank village of Turmus Aya, north of Ramallah, December 19, 2014. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israeli border policemen arrest Palestinian activist Muhammad Khatib during a demonstration commemorating the death of Palestinian minister, Ziad Abu Ein, in the West Bank village of Turmus Aya, north of Ramallah, December 19, 2014. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

The army used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the protest. Muhammad Khatib, one of the central members of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, was arrested along with an Israeli activist.

An Israeli solider with a roger riffle lies on the ground during a demonstration commemorating the death of Palestinian minister, Ziad Abu Ein, in the West Bank village of Turmus Aya, north of Ramallah, December 19, 2014. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

An Israeli solider with a roger riffle lies on the ground during a demonstration commemorating the death of Palestinian minister, Ziad Abu Ein, in the West Bank village of Turmus Aya, north of Ramallah, December 19, 2014. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

View article: AAA
Share article

Zionist Christians’ war on the true meaning of Christmas

The rhetoric of Christian Zionists consistently places loyalty to the modern state of Israel above the example and teachings of the Jesus born in Bethlehem whose birth Christmas celebrates. It’s time to stop calling such groups Christian Zionists and instead use the term Zionist Christians, to more accurately reflect their priorities.

Photos and text by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org

Graffiti on the Israeli separation wall in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, December 16, 2010. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

Graffiti on the Israeli separation wall in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, December 16, 2010. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

For the last two years, Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the largest Christian Zionist organization in the U.S., has sent email blasts urging their supporters to fight back against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement by buying Christmas ornaments “Made in Israel.” Or rather, by receiving these ornaments as a reward for a tax-deductible donation. One message urges supporters to “commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ with this symbolic ornament that was made in the land where Jesus was born.”

I don’t blame CUFI for flogging BDS to fill its own coffers. That’s just standard fundraising strategy. What offends me as a Christian is that while exploiting U.S. Christians’ sentimental perceptions of the Holy Land, they ignore the current situation in Bethlehem, they ignore Palestinian Christians, and worst of all, they ignore the Jesus they claim to follow.

Jesus was born in occupied territory. At the time, it was occupied by the Romans. Today, the West Bank town of Bethlehem is virtually surrounded by the Israeli separation barrier, which if completed as planned will confiscate some 64 square kilometers of the governorate’s land as nearby Israeli settlements continue to expand in violation of international law. How dare CUFI mention “the land where Jesus was born” without recognizing the plight of the Palestinian Christians who’ve carried his tradition to the present day?

When groups like CUFI do make a rare mention of Palestinian Christians, it is often to paint them as victims of Islamist persecution. This despite polls showing that Palestinian Christians overwhelmingly cite the Israeli occupation as the primary challenge in their lives.

View article: AAA
Share article

Three Palestinian activists exiled from Jerusalem for five months

Without explanation, three Jerusalemite Palestinians are given five-month bans from the city of their birth and residence. One is banned from the West Bank as well.

Text and photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org

Daoud Al-Ghoul walks near graffiti painted by Israelis on properties taken over by settlers in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City, March 3, 2014. Many of these properties taken over by settlers are as small as a single room directly adjacent to Palestinian homes.

Daoud Al-Ghoul walks near graffiti painted by Israelis on properties taken over by settlers in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, March 3, 2014. Al-Ghoul was recently issued Israeli military orders banning him from both Jerusalem and the West Bank for five months. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

In early December, three Jerusalem-born Palestinians received orders from Israeli authorities banning them from the city for a period of five months. Majd Darwish, Saleh Dirbas and Daoud Al-Ghoul first received phone calls saying that they were banned from entering the Old City. When they reported to the police station as requested they were given military orders banning them from all of Jerusalem until April 30, 2015.

The orders gave no reason for their exile. All three are prominent activists and community workers who have spent time in Israeli prisons.

In a Kafka-esque twist, Al-Ghoul received an additional military order a few days later banning him from the West Bank for six months. Al-Ghoul is a youth coordinator of the Health Work Committees (HWC), a Palestinian organization providing medical services. As a Jerusalem ID holder, he would normally be allowed to travel throughout Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Israel. Because Israel controls all borders, if he leaves the Palestinian territories, he risks being denied entry upon his return. This ironically means that Al-Ghoul’s only remaining option would be to stay inside the state of Israel. But according to the HWC, Al-Ghoul has returned to Jerusalem in protest of the various orders against him.

Daoud Al-Ghould talks with a neighbor of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan stand near a protest tent built by local activists, March 3, 2014. (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

Daoud Al-Ghoul talks with a neighbor next to a protest tent built by local activists in the...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

PHOTOS: Thousands take part in Palestinian minister's funeral in Ramallah

Text by Keren Manor, photos by Yotam Ronen, Oren Ziv / Activestills.org

Palestinian Authority Minister Ziad Abu Ein is carried during his funeral procession, Ramallah, December 11, 2014. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Palestinian Authority soldiers carry the coffin of PA minister Ziad Abu Ein during his funeral procession, Ramallah, December 11, 2014. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Thousands gathered Thursday morning at the Palestinian Authority headquarters in Ramallah to participate in the funeral of PA minister Ziad Abu Ein. Abu Ein, who served as the Palestinian Authority’s settlement minister died the previous day during clashes with Israeli soldiers near the illegal West Bank outpost of Adei Ad.

Palestinian President Mahmous Abbas attended the funeral, and declared three days of national mourning. The attendees marched from the headquarters toward a cemetery in the nearby city of Al-Bireh, where Abu Ein was buried.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas looks on during the funeral of PA minister Ziad Abu Ein, Ramallah, December 11, 2014. (photo: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

PA President Mahmoud Abbas looks on during the funeral of PA minister Ziad Abu Ein, Ramallah, December 11, 2014. (photo: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

 

Members of Mahmoud Abbas' Presidential Guard look on during PA minister Ziad Abu Ein's funeral, Ramallah, December 11, 2014. (photo: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

Members of Mahmoud Abbas’ Presidential Guard look on during PA minister Ziad Abu Ein’s funeral, Ramallah, December 11, 2014. (photo: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

 

Thousands march from Ramallah to the Al-Bireh cemetery during Ziad Abu Ein's funeral procession, December 11, 2014. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Thousands march from Ramallah to the Al-Bireh cemetery during Ziad Abu Ein’s funeral procession, December 11, 2014. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

 

Thousands march from Ramallah to the Al-Bireh cemetery during Ziad Abu Ein's funeral procession, December 11, 2014. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Thousands march from Ramallah to the Al-Bireh cemetery during Ziad Abu Ein’s funeral procession, December 11, 2014. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

 

Members of the Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigade fire into the air during Ziad Abu Ein's funeral procession, December 11, 2014. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)
Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Replace fake co-existence photos with real images of co-resistance

The exposure of a popular ‘co-existence’ photo as a staged fabrication points to the need for better images of the path to a just peace.

Text and photo by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org

A photograph intended to illustrate the peace process ended up being more accurate than intended. The now-iconic image showing a “Palestinian” and an Israeli boy walking arm in arm was a contrived set-up that anyone with experience in the region should have been able to spot as a fake.

The popular photo recently showed up in a tweet by Rihanna after she posted — and then quickly deleted — a tweet with the hashtag #FreePalestine during last summer’s Israeli offensive on Gaza.

While it’s certainly true that many Palestinian and Israeli Jewish children are friends with each other, those familiar with local culture would know that only older men wear their keffiyeh scarf the way this little boy is shown. As it turns out, the Jewish boy wearing the kippah (yarmulke) wasn’t even religious — so even he’s fake.

As The Forward reports, the original photo was taken by American photographer Ricki Rosen for a cover story about the Oslo peace accords for the Canadian news magazine Maclean’s:

What makes this photo the more-perfect-than-intended allegory for the peace process is that it was the product of Western directors who orchestrated an image of peacemaking in which Israeli Jews went through the motions and Palestinians were excluded in virtually everything but appearance. Despite enthusiasm abroad for each new round of talks, few on the ground — either Palestinians or Israeli Jews — had much hope for their success, at least in recent years. Facts on the ground such as ongoing settlement construction had long subverted any real prospects for a two-state solution.

Yet the process goes on in fits and starts — and images like this endure and proliferate — because people in the West cling to the idea that if we all just came together as human beings, we could solve this thing. The problem with that fantasy is that it ignores the structures of Israeli oppression, in which one side holds virtually all of the power.

But perhaps more encouragingly, the allegory of this image continues...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

PHOTOS: In West Bank village, Palestinian farmers go against the grain

For the first time in 14 years the farmers of Salem decided to reach their agricultural lands without permission from Israeli authorities. It wasn’t long, however, before Israeli settlers and soldiers came to disturb their work. 

Text and Photos: Ahmad al-Bazz / Activestills.org

Palestinian farmers sow their lands located behind a settlers' by-bass road, at Salem village, Nablus, West Bank, December 05, 2014. Photo by: Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org

Palestinian farmers work their lands, located behind a settler by-bass road, Salem, Nablus, December 5, 2014. (Photo by: Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Every December, just after they have finished tilling their soil, Palestinian farmers in the West Bank head back to sow their land. Some of them plant wheat while others sow barley or other kinds of seeds.

However, not all Palestinians can do so freely. Farmers who own lands located near Israeli settlements, military camps or settler bypass roads are barred from accessing their land throughout most of the year. In these areas, Israeli authorities allow farmers to reach their lands only two times a year: once in April, during which they till the soil around olive trees, and again in October for the olive harvest. Because this process is limited to such a short time, it is usually not long enough to finish the work.

Due to the restrictions, many farmers have not been able to fully cultivate their land for years. On Saturday the farmers of Salem, a village located few kilometers east of the West Bank city of Nablus, decided to access their land without permission from the Israeli authorities for the first time in 14 years. The land is located behind an Israeli bypass road used by the settlers of Elon Moreh.

Elon Moreh settlement seen from the agricultural lands of Salem village, Nablus, West Bank, December 5, 2014. Photo by: Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org

The Elon Moreh settlement seen from the agricultural lands of Salem, Nablus, West Bank, December 5, 2014. (Photo by: Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Together with Palestinian and international activists, the farmers headed to their lands. After quickly crossing the bypass road, they performed Friday prayers on their land, after which they managed to till the soil, plant several olive trees and sow the land with barley.

It wasn’t long before Israeli settlers took notice of...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article
© 2010 - 2015 +972 Magazine
Follow Us
Credits

+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

Website powered by RSVP

Illustrations: Eran Mendel