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Palestinian refugees

  • A Palestinian refugee's open letter to all Israelis

    I know your fear is very real to you, even if it makes little sense to me. I know you see my desire to return to the land of my parents as an attack on your very existence. I wish our rights weren't framed in zero-sum terms. By Israa Thiab Dear Israeli Citizen, I am writing this appeal as a Palestinian refugee who is concerned with the endless cycle of violence that has continued throughout my life. There has been no time when I was not saddened to see fellow human beings supporting the oppression of another people, oppression so…

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  • Addressing the root of the Palestinian refugee problem

    Cash shortages at UNRWA distract from the wider issue: it is the lack of a diplomatic solution, not funding, that leaves Palestinian refugees vulnerable. In the end, it was the catastrophe that wasn’t. For a nervy few weeks it seemed a severe funding shortage would delay the school year for half a million children reliant on the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA). Then, a predictable last-minute rush of donations closed the gap and Palestinian refugee children went back to school across the Middle East. The reasons for the funding shortage seemed clear: deepening crises across the Middle East, in particular the Syrian…

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  • Why Syrian refugees in a Budapest train station talk about coexistence with Israel

    At the central station in Budapest, blankets strewn across the floor form the makeshift homes of thousands of asylum seekers. Most are trying to get to Western Europe by any means necessary, but all paths are blocked. 'Whoever helps us, we’ll be grateful to them for generations. And if help comes from the Israeli people, that would signal a new beginning for our two nations.' By Shahar Shoham (translated by Gila Norich) BUDAPEST — The refugee “crisis” in Hungary is making headlines the world over, especially following the discovery last week of a truck containing the bodies of dozens of…

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  • Israel cannot turn a blind eye to worldwide refugee crisis

    Dozens of bodies are found in a refrigerated truck in Austria, while hundreds wash up on the shores of Libya and Italy. As the refugee crisis hits unprecedented levels, in Israel it's business as usual. "Mother, I am sorry that I was not rescued and drowned. Forgive me for all the loans you took out so that I could escape like the other young people. I am sorry that I won't send 50 euro every month to my brother like I promised. Don't look for me, mother, you don't have the money for burying my body. I am thankful for…

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  • How Israel's media turned a British NGO into terrorists

    Israel's two biggest newspapers didn't hesitate to copy-paste a press release from the Foreign Ministry, turning a small London organization into 'Hamas in Europe.' By Yoni Mendel I often hear Israeli friends and co-workers belittle the Arab-speaking media in Israel. Especially due to the fact that many Arab media outlets in Israel don't actually employ journalists, and that any piece written in good Arabic for one of the more popular Arab news sites will likely be published without any changes. [tmwinpost] I thought about it yesterday as I took the train from Tel Aviv to Haifa, while leafing through Yedioth…

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  • When will Israel stop seeing Palestinians as a 'demographic threat?'

    Israel’s political and social outlook, rooted in its desire to be a 'Jewish state,' makes it impossible to view the Palestinians as anything but an existential problem, even those it accepts as citizens. By Amjad Iraqi Last week, Haaretz’s Ofer Aderet reported about the auctioning of a letter written by Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, to then-Haifa Mayor Abba Hushi. In the letter Ben-Gurion rejected attempts to allow Palestinian Arabs to return to Haifa after fleeing during the 1948 war, stating that “until the war is over, we don’t want a return of the enemy.”  While the letter does…

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  • BDS is not a Zionist movement

    The Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is not about the number of states, it's about a just outcome that guarantees basic rights for everyone. Liberal Zionists and progressive Jews have a hard time with the BDS Movement. Many liberal Zionists very much want to support the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign as a non-violent vehicle for opposing the occupation. Unfortunately, they quickly find that they have difficulties with its clearly-defined goals and tactics, the way it defines those goals, and sadly, the fact that it is a Palestinian-led movement. [tmwinpost] Coming at the tail end of countless failed peace…

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  • Lifelong refugees: Palestinian boat people search for a new home

    After escaping the horrors of the Syrian Civil War by boat, a group of Palestinian refugees washed up on the shores of Greece. Now they are wandering the streets of Athens without food or shelter. After four days at sea, with no food or fuel, 175 Palestinian refugees were rescued by the Greek navy. After fleeing the horrors of war in Syria for neighboring Turkey and paying huge sums to their smugglers, who promised to bring them to Italy (not to mention ensure they had entry permits, as well as food and drink), the refugees found themselves living in the…

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  • The road out of the occupation runs through the Nakba

    As long as Israelis deny, distort and repress the expulsion of over 750,000 Palestinians, we will never truly accept and absorb the end of the occupation. It is difficult to find a view in Lifta that isn't marred by the words 'death to Arabs' graffitied in Hebrew on its hollow buildings. Someone even took the trouble to write it in drying cement at the entrance to the site, ensuring that it will always be one of the first things visitors see. The leftovers of a Palestinian village that was depopulated over the course of a few months at the end…

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  • Finding my family in Yarmouk — then losing them again

    Six decades after the Nakba forced us into different corners of the world, social networks allowed us to reconnect with our families and villages. In Yarmouk, I found the people I should have grown up around—the ones who looked like me and my immediate family. And then war broke out in Syria, Facebook went dark and people disappeared, once again.  Those who do not have family members in Syria's refugee camps can watch the atrocities taking place on the news from far away, as if it were all just one big Hollywood horror movie: one that causes deep anguish for…

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  • If only there was oil under Yarmouk

    As Palestinians are being murdered and starving to death in the refugee camp near Damascus, the Arab world is busy intervening in Yemen, the Palestinian Authority is silent, and Israeli television is talking about where to eat during the Passover holiday. Monday morning, on the morning show on Israel’s Channel 10, which was co-hosted by the station’s military correspondent because the regular hosts are on vacation, they were supposedly discussing recommendations for the Israeli holiday traveler. After describing Israelis on vacation as ugly and litterers and more, the hosts recommended places to see and good places to eat. [tmwinpost] As…

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  • Every day is Land Day, on both sides of the Green Line

    The word 'occupation' evokes the West Bank, but the policies of land expropriation and Judaization were perfected inside Israel long before they were used on Palestinians in the occupied territories. In 2005, Amnon Raz-Karkotzkin, a professor of Jewish history at Ben-Gurion University known to his friends and associates simply as Nono, published a seminal article titled "There is No God, But He Promised Us the Land." The article, published in Hebrew in Mitaam, an Israeli journal devoted to literature and radical political thought, captured perfectly the spirit of the Zionists who founded the State of Israel. While Judaism may have…

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  • The Palestinian who won't give up on the power of nonviolence

    At the end of 2000, as the Second Intifada was beginning to spread throughout the West Bank and Gaza, Israeli Professor Meir Amor sat down to speak with Dr. Mubarak Awad, a Palestinian expert on nonviolent resistance. Fifteen years later, the two met once again to talk about nonviolence, growing religious fundamentalism, gender equality, Palestinian refugees and Jews from Arab countries. This interview will be published in Peace Magazine in January 2015. By Meir Amor * * * Meir Amor: About 15 years ago you and I had a discussion published in Peace Magazine. The editors think it's a good opportunity…

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