Israel's latest operation has brought about an end to the notion that Gaza can be separated from the rest of Palestine. The current war in Gaza demands we revisit the circumstances surrounding Israel’s “disengagement” from the Gaza Strip in 2005. Supporters of the war often claim that Israel left the territory and “got rockets in return.” The first rocket was fired from Gaza in 2001, but there is a more important point to be made here: one cannot evacuate a certain part of the occupied territories and expect the problem to be solved – at least in that particular area…Read More... | 10 Comments
I know of many Palestinians who do not like Hamas. Yet for them, the Gaza war is about the siege - part of their own war of independence. Israelis refuse to get that. In The Fog of War, Errol Morris’ excellent documentary, former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara speaks about a certain inability to understand the enemy – one that stems from a lack of empathy. In the film, McNamara, a brilliant systems analyst, who is today associated more than anything with the Vietnam War, says that part of President Kennedy’s successful management of the Cuban Missile Crisis was his…Read More... | 91 Comments
Despite the danger, Walid Abuzaid couldn't be separated from his home in Gaza for very long. And though coming home means facing possible death, he refuses to give in to hate. By Walid Abuzaid Thursday, June 27 I was in Cyprus when it all started. When we heard about the kidnapped teens, we were thrilled by the possibility of another prisoner release. Hamas would be held responsible for the kidnapping, but we treat our prisoners well – at least the one prisoner we've ever had. It's my last night in Cyprus and one of so few in which I smile…Read More... | 7 Comments
As Israel and the Palestinians descend further into open violence, concerned Israelis challenge their fellow citizens in an attempt to forge a joint Israel-Palestinian resistance to violence. (Translated from Hebrew by Idit Arad and Matan Kaminer) Our hands shed this blood, our hands set Mohammed Abu Khdeir on fire, our hands fanned the flames. We have been living here for too long to claim that we did not know, we did not understand, we were not able to foresee. We witnessed the actions of the vast machine of incitement to racism and revenge operated by the government, the politicians, the…Read More... | 5 Comments
For the sake of both the residents of Israel's south and the Palestinians, we must speak about Gaza as a place with real people, rather than as a science experiment. Over the past few years, the Israeli public discussion has reduced conditions in Gaza to one of two situations: either it's the place where rockets are fired from, or it's the place where rockets are momentarily not being fired from. Responses to the rocket fire are determined accordingly: attack with vigor or hold back; refrain from entering the Strip or recreate the "achievements" of Operation Cast Lead; allow building materials…Read More... | 34 Comments
What we're seeing today is not a new intifada, but an ever-more sophisticated version of the one Palestinians have been fighting all along. In a pre-interview with a television news producer yesterday, I found myself stammering over a familiar question: as a Palestinian, do you have any hope for the future? Steeped in the day-to-day of our "conflict" with Israel, I find it difficult to respond to such banalities - not least because I'm in no position to represent all Palestinians. So after attempting something articulate with the producer, I decided to get in touch with my friend, Emad Burnat, the…Read More... | 5 Comments
In order to avoid theocracy, apartheid and civil war, one Israeli believes it is time for her fellow Jewish citizens to start re-imagining their identity. By Dorit Naaman Fine, I am not yet a Palestinian Jew, but in 10 to 15 years - and certainly in my lifetime - this place will be called Palestine, and I will be a citizen of Jewish-Israeli heritage. By saying I am a Palestinian Jew I am being neither flippant nor provocative, as my critics would likely hasten to argue. Instead, I am analyzing the current reality and describing the future - utopian, or…Read More... | 43 Comments
Though she never made it there, Maya Angelou's spirit resounds in my native Gaza. For she and I have known different shades of the same tyranny: that quiet brutality wrought by generations upon the next. By Ghada Ageel It’s predictable by now. Within hours of their passing, our most famous artists—whose works outlast them precisely because they eschewed the formulaic—are memorialized in too-easy platitudes that are “shared” and “liked” but seldom felt. As a Palestinian woman, I felt Maya Angelou’s passing. I felt it deeply. For she and I have known different shades of the same tyranny—that quiet brutality wrought by…Read More...
The Israeli and Egyptian blockade on Gaza has led to ever-rising unemployment, construction skidding to a halt and water is becoming scarcer than ever. By Avi Blecherman Last week the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics published its most recent unemployment data in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The unemployment rate in Gaza jumped last quarter and now stands at 40.8 percent. That means that there are currently approximately 180,000 unemployed people in Gaza. That's a 30 percent jump from this time last year, and the highest since 2009. For the sake of comparison, the unemployment rate in the…Read More...
Throughout history, the sea has always been considered the primary outlet for Gaza. Today, even with Israel’s acts of aggression and occupation, the sea is still considered vital for Gazan life. This small coastal enclave has acquired many of its habits and traditions from the sea and developed itself through this maritime resource. Photographer Basel Yazouri, born and raised in the Strip, takes us along for a photographic stroll along Gaza City's shoreline. Photos & Text: Basel Yazouri /Activestills.org Editing: Keren Manor, Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org The fishing trade has always been an important aspect of the economy in Gaza. However, there…Read More...
Although the Gaza Strip is only about 50 kilometers from the city of Hebron in the West Bank, few people are given permission to travel this short distance. One Israeli filmmaker decided to bring Gaza's separation policy to the heart of the Israeli mainstream. By Tania Hary Any illusions that Israel’s policy on Gaza is only about security surely should have been dispelled by the events of this week. Israel’s highest court struck down the petition of Gaza’s only Olympian runner, Nader al-Masri, who had asked to be able to travel to Bethlehem to race in the second annual Palestine…Read More... | 27 Comments
The people of Gaza don't need the sympathy of the international community, they need to be treated like human beings. By Abeer Ayyoub I’m a Palestinian from Gaza, not simply "a Gazan." I’m not exactly what you see in the mainstream media: I’m no expert in firing rockets, I don’t live under rubble and I don’t rely on humanitarian handouts. Actually, I was never aware of how people outside of Gaza saw us until I was given the chance to leave the isolated enclave for the first time. The first time I left Gaza was in 2012, when I traveled to…Read More... | 11 Comments
Can Gazans boycott Israel while also studying Hebrew at university? One Palestinian believes in the power of understanding Israeli culture and people in their own words. By Abeer Ayyoub “It is 6:30 a.m. Jerusalem time, this is the broadcast from Voice of Israel.” This is how my mornings have always started since I was six years old, or at least on days when I had to wake up for school. Not because I was always interested in the news, but because my father, who gets up for the Fajr morning prayer, can never start his day without listening to the "local"…Read More... | 15 Comments
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Assault on Gaza
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PHOTOS: Another deadly week of violence in Gaza. @activestills was there to capture it: http://t.co/oJg7AiF8u9
#Gaza Health Ministry says death toll has risen to 1418, surpassing that of Cast Lead
Blaming Palestinians for their own deaths http://t.co/jwPxLaRQb1 by @HagaiElAd
As the war in Gaza continues unabated, the U.S. opens its special stockpile to rearm the IDF http://t.co/vuTb9TqQS5 by @nsheizaf
Photos: Another deadly week in Gaza http://t.co/oJg7AiF8u9 by @activestills http://t.co/2Dui6M07zf