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Bethlehem

  • Israeli army installs new remote-controlled weapon atop separation wall

    The IDF has installed a new crowd-dispersal weapon on top of the separation wall in Bethlehem. The new weapon, which is remote-controlled and shoots "skunk" water (putrid-smelling liquid), began operating over the last month. According to the IDF Spokesperson's Unit, the weapon can also fire stun grenades, tear gas among other crowd-dispersal means. In the past month, Palestinian residents of Bethlehem began noticing the new weapon perched on top of the separation wall in an area near where most of the protests against the occupation and the barrier take place. According to participants in last week's Palestine Marathon, the new camera-equipped…

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  • PHOTOS: 'Christ at the Checkpoint' challenges Christian Zionism

    Last week's Christ at the Checkpoint conference in the West Bank town of Bethlehem brought evangelical Christians together with their Palestinian sisters and brothers to ask what their faith has to say about the Israeli occupation. Christian Zionists aren't happy about their answers. Text and photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org Two of the most potent forces insulating Israel from any political accountability for the occupation are right-wing lobbying groups, most notably AIPAC, and the Christian Zionist movement of which the largest U.S. organization is Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Recent months have seen cracks in AIPAC’s influence, most notably defeats…

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  • When will Israelis start speaking Arabic in public?

    A disturbing encounter at a Jerusalem mall reminds Mya Guarnieri that speaking a second or third language does not mean you have to give up your own. Living in Bethlehem, working at a Palestinian university, studying Arabic; writing about the occupation and Israel’s treatment of migrants; standing by my partner, who is under intense pressure from his family to leave me because I’m Jewish. All of this could be considered “political work.” But maybe this isn’t the type of work that affects change. Maybe change happens on a smaller scale? With smaller seeds? I was in Jerusalem's Talpiyot neighborhood running…

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  • Photos of the week: Asylum seekers, LGBT activists hit the streets

    This week: solidarity with asylum seekers, animal rights activism, denouncing against attacks on transgender people, return of Palestinian militants' remains, tear gas in Aida Camp, military training in the Jordan Valley, Palestinian steadfastness in Khirbet Makhoul, protests against medical privatization, and weekly demonstrations against the occupation.                    

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  • +972's Editor's Picks of 2013

    As 2013 comes to a close, +972 Magazine's editors and bloggers took time to look back at the year that was, and share the articles that most resonated with them - in no particular order. 'They're all named Mohammad nowadays' In one of the most heartfelt posts of the year, Mya Guarnieri describes the difficulties of confronting discrimination, identity politics and occupation while searching for an apartment in Bethlehem. Read the article here. 'I am pro-Israel too': Reflections on +972's use of the term When some +972 writers used ‘pro-Israel’ to negatively describe right-wing politicians and activists, Dahlia Scheindlin stood up,…

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  • Photos of the Week: From a razor-wire Christmas to 'Marches for Freedom'

    This week: Former hunger striking Palestinian prisoner gets a taste of freedom; African asylum seekers march through central Tel Aviv and the Negev desert demanding recognition as refugees and an end to detentions; an art exhibit in Bethlehem brings occupation to pilgrims, one tear gas canister at a time; a week after massive storm, Gaza residents still struggle to recover from floods; Afghan asylum seekers march in Belgium; Tel Aviv homeless activists face eviction from tent encampment; and, Israeli journalists demand better wages and work conditions.  

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  • PHOTOS: This tear gas brought to you by the U.S.A.

    Text by Ryan Rodrick Beiler On the same day that Bethlehem's minister of tourism noted that the US government provided $400,000 to decorate the city for Christmas, local activists brought a few more US-sponsored ornaments to show to visitors in this West Bank town at the height of its tourist season. The activists delivered used tear gas grenades — that had been fired by Israeli forces at Palestinian youth less than two kilometers away in Aida Refugee Camp that same day — and hung them on a tree in Manger Square. One activist from Aida Camp was arrested for his participation in…

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  • 'They're all named Mohammad nowadays'

    Mya Guarnieri confronts discrimination, identity politics -- and the occupation -- as she searches for an apartment in Bethlehem. Read her previous post, 'Reflections on one state from the West Bank.' Not knowing much about my background, the elderly landlord who doesn’t rent to Jews called and asked me to come sign a lease. Despite my reservations, I agreed. The landlord ushered me in and we sat on a couch on her large, enclosed balcony. “First, I must ask you,” she began. “What is your religion?” “I don’t see how that’s really relevant.” While I understand that she and her family have…

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  • Reflections on one state from the West Bank

    The first time I went to my current sublease in Bethlehem, I noticed something strange on the floor — the Star of David. When I moved into the place and looked closer at the pattern, I noticed a menorah. Here I was, in the heart of a Palestinian city, and the floor was “Jewish.” My apartment is in a home that is at least 100 years old. Hand-painted floor tiles were common in wealthy homes — Christian, Muslim, and Jewish — throughout pre-state Palestine. While I know that the land wasn’t always divided, the current context makes it hard to…

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  • Why West Bank Palestinians avoid traveling at night

    Something so basic, so normal, so human — like going home late from work, visiting family or a loved one in another town — becomes an overwhelming and frightful task in the face of the occupation. Last night, when I was headed from Ramallah to Bethlehem, I went through a checkpoint. As the service taxi I was on slowed down and approached the checkpoint, I saw an unusually large number of soldiers. There were two armored jeeps and a police car. I counted more than 10 soldiers. They were searching a small car. A man, presumably the driver, was on…

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  • Staring into the eyes of the occupation

    After taking part in a protest action challenging the checkpoint and permit regime in Bethlehem, one activist finds herself in a home where the reality of the occupation comes to life in a way that 'breaks your heart while punching you in the stomach as you stare at it.' By Leehee Rothschild We went to Bethlehem yesterday for a direct action where a group comprised mostly of Palestinians, along with several Israelis and internationals, tried to walk across the Bethlehem checkpoint and visit Jerusalem. The Israeli army stopped us as we reached the checkpoint and prevented us from continuing on…

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  • PHOTOS: Palestinians commemorate Nakba Day in rallies and protests

    As Noam Sheizaf's recent headline states, "the Nakba's memory is more present than ever in Israel."  The Nakba, literally, "the catastrophe," is the name given to the massive deportation of more then 700,000 Palestinians from what became the State of Israel in 1948. Sheizaf goes on to point out how efforts, such as the "Nakba law," which authorizes the finance minister to withdraw funds from organizations commemorating the day, have backfired and effectively injected Nakba consciousness into the global discourse. From Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and throughout the West Bank and Gaza, activists marched to assert a history which is no longer…

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