Adi Koll, a relatively unknown Knesset member from Yair Lapid’s centrist Yesh Atid party, posted this picture along with an uncharacteristically long and emotional status on Facebook, the day after she paid a visit to the home of a Palestinian friend in Ramallah. (Translated in full below) Warning! This post will be long, controversial and without color photos, even though I have plenty of photos. I made sure to take pictures throughout the day with the intention posting them to Facebook so I can show what we would all rather forget. But now it feels pointless. No picture can describe…Read More... | 43 Comments
By Lia Tarachansky and Max Blumenthal From street level in downtown Ramallah the economy seems to be thriving. Gleaming storefronts display an array of brand-name products, American fast food restaurants are sprouting up and the city is host to a bustling nightlife that could rival Tel Aviv. For years Israeli officials have pointed to economic growth in the West Bank, arguing the occupation is not as detrimental as many argue. Israeli Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein and Eitan Dogat, head of the branch of the Israeli government in charge of the occupation (COGAT), have quoted figures showing…Read More... | 31 Comments
Raid comes two weeks after a researcher in one of the NGOs was indicted for organizing and participating in nonviolent demonstrations. The offices of Addammeer – the Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, the Union of Palestinian Women's Committees and the Palestinian NGO Network were all raided by IDF last night. The offices, located in the heart of Ramallah, where Israeli forces are officially not allowed to enter, were searched, and at least in the case of Addameer equipment was confiscated, including four computer hard drives and filming equipment. Security tapes and a video made by neighbors show four IDF jeeps pulling in…Read More... | 15 Comments
An estimated 30,000 Palestinian laborers work in Israel without permits, in predominantly labor intensives jobs. Pay is poor, social rights are virtually nonexistent, and conditions in the workplace are often hazardous. A group of Palestinian workers tell their story from a construction site in Petah Tikva. By Alon Aviram “This place is a luxury penthouse” said Faisal, 26, a builder from Hebron, as he looked out across the lit city-scape of Petah Tikva. Industrial waste was strewn across the floor, tools were propped up against walls and dust hung in the air on the tenth floor of the construction site. “ We've stayed…Read More... | 32 Comments
In spite of the headlines, the international media attention, and the flow of pictures showing celebrating Palestinians waving flags – the UN resolution sparked little excitement or joy in the streets of Ramallah, which is still surrounded by walls and settlements on all sides. If anything, it was an evening of sadness and despair. Traveling to Ramallah for the late-night public screening of Palestine's UN bid, I was not expecting much. Journalists who spent the day in the West Bank had already reported that very little was going on, that PA sponsored rallies had attracted only few people in the…Read More... | 8 Comments
A new book offers a fresh look at Ramallah, Palestine's 'temporary capital.' Unfortunately, the book is dominated by a foreigner's personal essay - the voices of those who live under occupation should be front and center. Running tests boundaries—both those we place on ourselves as well as those imposed upon us by the outside world. Whether those external limits are social, cultural, or political, the runner collides with them in a way that the casual pedestrian does not, thus, serving as a mirror for the issues that are relevant to one’s particular time and space. A woman in a male-dominated…Read More...
Angie Robles, a 52-year-old migrant worker from the Philippines, recently caught her 15-year-old grandson M. smoking. While it seems like a normal act of teenage rebellion—and a small one at that—Robles says it was a sign that her grandson has lost all hope. When Robles confronted M. about his smoking, she explained to him that she felt it was a step down the wrong path. His answer, according to Robles: “What future will I have with this situation, with the deportation?” Robles left Laguna, a province next to Manila, in 1987 for Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. Her sister…Read More... | 1 Comment
A trip to Hosh Al-Elleeya, a restaurant in the heart of Birzeit's old city. Legend has it that the finest restaurant in the West Bank is located in the university town of Birzeit. My friend Gil and I decided to journey there at the end of a day of discovery in Ramallah. We took a 40 sheqel cab there, winding through the northern suburbs, overlooked by the settlement of Beit El. The restaurant Hosh Al-Elleeya is located in the very heart of Birzeit's old city. It opens to a quiet square, surrounded by stone dwellings. Nothing in Ramallah's modern bustle foretells…Read More... | 12 Comments
The fragility of the Palestinian Authority and growing support within Israel for direct control over the West Bank are reshaping the political dynamic. There are growing signs that the occupation/Palestinian issue is undergoing one of its transitional moments, after which new forces will be at play. On the surface, things are as static as they could be: Inside Israeli society, there is a total denial of the occupation – the Levy committee's report being just one aspect of it. No major political forces are offering any new idea that could end the occupation. In fact, even the old ideas –…Read More... | 21 Comments
They navigate the racetrack, Palestinian society, competition in a male dominated sport, and a military occupation. But “outside the car is one thing. Inside the car is another world.” So begins the trailer for a documentary in the works that tracks the lives of five women race car drivers – Palestine’s own “Speed Sisters.” Betty Saadeh, Maysoon Jayyusi, Noor Daoud, Marah Zahalka, and Mouna Ennab make up a team of Palestinian women competing against men and one another in monthly autocross races in the West Bank city of Jericho. Their lives are documented in “Speed Sisters,” a film directed by Amber…Read More... | 9 Comments
In solidarity with Palestinian hunger strikes, demonstrators block UN employees from entering Ramallah offices to protest inaction. Palestinian demonstrators staged a sit-in at the entrance to the United Nations offices in Ramallah Wednesday morning to protest inaction by the international body on behalf of the approximately 2,000 Palestinian prisoners now on hunger strike. The sit-in, which was organized by the group Palestinians for Dignity, prevented UN employees from entering the offices in order to raise international awareness and bring about some type of action. In the early morning a small group of 20-30 people made up of the family members…Read More... | 3 Comments
By Fady Khoury Ten Palestinians were killed today (Thursday) - nine of which were children - and dozens more injured when a bus crashed into a truck on the road between Qalandiya and the Adam settlement, near the northern border between Jerusalem and the West Bank. The bus – which was carrying kids from the "Nour Al-Huda" kindergarten in the Shuafat refugee camp (East Jerusalem) on their way for a day of fun in Ramallah – collided with a truck, rolled over and burst into flames. The reasons for the collision have not been determined yet. While no one can deny that…Read More... | 70 Comments
Yesterday, I reported on Fatah's Christmas celebration in Bethlehem. Dr. Mohammad Shtayyeh, a Fatah Central Committee member, spoke about his concern regarding the growth of settlements in the West Bank. He specifically referred to the Har Homa settlement, which is encroaching on the land of the town of Beit Sahour, east of Bethlehem. Israeli Channel 2 reported the event, but distorted Dr. Shtayyeh's comments, in an article published in Hebrew, titled "Fatah leader: No difference between Ramallah and Jaffa," which claimed that Shtayyeh proclaimed, "There is no reason to distinguish between Ramallah and Jaffa," meaning - the two cities belong…Read More... | 16 Comments
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- MOST READMOST COMMENTED24 HOURS|WEEK|MONTH
On visiting the victims of occupation in the south Hebron Hills http://t.co/YO37AXd75k by @MairavZ (via @haaretzcom)
Court questions law enabling confiscation of Palestinian land in Jerusalem http://t.co/4oGUPJYILt
Israel's A-G laments: Nobody criminally investigates settlers for illegal building http://t.co/O6zmeYz8M1
On the al-Dura affair: Israel officially drank the Kool Aid http://t.co/MF3x14NKe4 (By Larry Derfner)
#Israel Extends Zone for Fishing Off #Gaza http://t.co/aQkRdGvs60 via @nytimes