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right of return

  • Alternative peace initiative comes under fire for 'normalization'

    Pressure from both Palestinian activists and right-wing Israelis has put the spotlight on a conference that will present a new model for peace and coexistence. That is, if it ever happens in the first place. A launch event for an alternative Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative, slated to take place next week in the West Bank, is on the receiving harsh criticism from both Palestinian activists and right-wing Israelis. [tmwinpost] The initiative, titled "Two States, One Homeland," was founded by veteran Israeli journalist Meron Rapoport and Palestinian political activist Awni al-Mashni. The initiative began when Rapoport and al-Mashni, who sat in an…

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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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  • Why won't Israeli peace groups talk about the Nakba?

    It's 2015 and Israeli peace groups still refuse to talk about the mass dispossession of Palestinians in 1948, including those who became Israeli citizens. Tom Mehager says it is time for a real conversation about the right of return. By Tom Mehager Israeli non-profit organizations that strive for a society based on coexistence most often focus on the most pressing issues vis-a-vis Jewish-Arab relations: educating toward democratic values, mutual recognition and teaching the Arabic language; equal allocation of resources and land; integration into the workforce and strengthening economic investment in Arab towns and villages; proper representation in decision-making processes; legitimacy for…

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  • WATCH: 'Jaffa flotilla' marks destruction of Palestine's cultural capital

    Dozens of Palestinians and Israeli Jews sailed along the coast last week to mark the destruction of Jaffa — the former political, cultural and economic capital of Palestine — during the 1948 War. Organized by the Israeli NGO Zochrot, which works to raise awareness of the Nakba and promote the right of return among Israeli Jews, the participants, which included Joint List MK Haneen Zoabi, listened to first-hand stories of the fear, expulsions and mass exodus of Palestinians from the city by the pre-state Zionist militias.   Related: The road out of the occupation runs through the Nakba S. African…

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  • To return, we must feel what our grandparents went through

    So what if we didn't liberate Palestine on our rain-soaked March of Return? Each and every one of us got a little taste of what life was like for our forefathers in 1948. By Samah Salaime There is no doubt that this year's "March of Return" was the most difficult, physically and mentally, of these past years. The inclement weather forecasts did not deter thousands from coming to Hadatha, a small village located on the road between Kfar Tavor and Tiberias. We decided to leave early, after last year's march in Lubya, when we were stuck in traffic for three…

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  • Liberating Israelis from the mentality of occupation

    The occupying identity has become second nature — a state of being. Recognizing the Nakba and Palestinian right of return would go a long way toward liberation — of Israelis. By Eitan Bronstein Aparicio and Dr. Eléonore Merza Bronstein On the 67th Independence Day of the State of Israel, its citizens appear to be further than ever from the “liberation” promised on the day of its founding. A war that was intended to “liberate” us (‘us’ being Jews alone, of course) in 1948 ended in military occupation and the expulsion of most of the Palestinians from the country. Even more severe than…

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  • Hope during wartime: A Palestinian return

    The displaced former residents of Kafr Bir’im decided in the summer of 2013 to return to their village, and since then, they haven’t left. The author and his partner visited them one year later. By Eitan Bronstein Aparicio (translated by Ami Asher) We had to travel as far as Kafr Bir’em to find faith in these sad and desperate times, during the terrible war on Gaza. We spent an entire day with the Bir’em returnees. The last time we visited this community of internally displaced villagers was exactly one year ago, in their traditional summer camp, organized in order to…

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  • From Jaffa to Beirut: Re-imagining a borderless Middle East

    On a day trip through Israel, one truly understands how close the country is to the great cities of the Middle East. Unfortunately, distances here aren't measured by kilometers, but rather by border crossings.   By Leehee Rothschild Sometimes I think that the greatest tragedy of this place is not what it has become, but what it could have been. The greatest rupture in the Middle East was the destruction of the train route from Alexandria to Istanbul - precisely where Israeli existence takes place, spatially and linguistically. "From Yaffa to Beirut," a tour put on by Zochrot, an Israeli NGO…

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  • PHOTOS: Nakba commemorations from Gaza to the Galilee

    Photos by: Ahmad Al-Bazz, Mustafa Bader, Keren Manor, Ryan Rodrick Beiler, Yotam Ronen, Omar Sameer, and Oren Ziv Palestinians from Nablus to the Gaza Strip Israel/Palestine marked Nakba Day, to commemorate the events of 1948. Nakba, Arabic for "catastrophe," is the term given to the forced displacement of some 750,000 Palestinian refugees from 500 communities by Zionist forces before, during and after the 1948 War. The commemoration began last week on Israel's Independence Day, when Palestinian citizens of Israel held an annual "march of return" to the destroyed village of Lubye near the Sea of Galilee. Most of the former residents…

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  • Who's afraid of the right of return?

    The thought of six million Palestinian refugees entering Israel can be scary, even terrifying. But it turns out there are real, practical steps that we can take to mitigate those fears, and they don't have to come at the expense of those living here. By Alma Biblash Implementing the right of return is the just solution both in terms of historical and present justice for Palestinian refugees. Approximately six million Palestinian refugees live across the world. There will be no justice until Israel recognizes its responsibility for the Nakba, and allows the dispossessed to return to their homes. The almost…

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  • Photos of the week: Between May Day and Nakba marches

    This week: Palestinian citizens of Israel march to the destroyed village Lubya, Israeli activists commemorate the Nakba, solidarity with administrative detainees, May Day celebrations, the leader of Israel's refugee movement says goodbye to freedom, and more.                            

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  • PHOTOS: On Easter, Palestinians resurrect their destroyed village

    The Palestinian village of Irqit was depopulated in the 1948 war and then almost entirely razed. Now new generations of its original residents are trying to resurrect the town and realize a decades-old High Court ruling recognizing their right to return. Text and photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org It would seem that Israeli authorities conspired to intertwine the story of Iqrit with the Christian narrative. As the season of Advent approached in November 1948, the Israeli military forced residents of Iqrit and the neighboring village of Kufr Bir’im—all citizens of the newly created state of Israel—to leave their homes near…

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