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right of return

  • Trapped 'from fence to fence' in Gaza

    Not only are these borders artificially drawn, they highlight the utter insanity of fencing an entire population in the world’s largest open-air prison simply because of Israel’s need to maintain a Jewish demographic majority. By Jehad Abu Salim Summer days are long, but in Gaza, they are longer than one might think. They get even longer when the electricity and the internet are shut off, which is most of the time. This had been my daytime nightmare ever since Israel imposed its siege on the Gaza Strip in 2007. To escape it, you could read or visit a friend to talk to, but when…

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  • The Israeli-Palestinian conflict doesn't have to be a zero-sum game

    A new poll shows that most Israelis and Palestinians support the idea of two states, but reject the practicalities of it. But there is a way out of this mess. By Michal Haramati A recently published opinion poll sought to answer our region's million-dollar question: is the two-state solution still relevant? Unlike many others, the poll was carried out simultaneously by the Israel Democracy Institute and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research and included largely similar questions for both sides. The results are eye-opening. [tmwinpost] In keeping with previous polls, while the two-state solution is still preferred by…

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  • PHOTOS: Palestinian ‘return train’ is stopped at Israel’s wall

    On Nakba Day, activists build a symbolic train to bring Palestinian refugees back to their homes in what is today Israel. Photos and text by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org Hundreds of Palestinians gathered outside the Bethlehem-area Dheisheh Refugee Camp on an unseasonably hot Sunday, Nakba Day, in order to board and accompany a symbolic “Return Train” meant to take Palestinian refugees back to their homes and villages from which they fled and were expelled in 1948. Dheisheh is home to thousands of Palestinians who fled or were expelled from some 45 villages and cities in what is now the state of Israel.…

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  • The role of Israeli Jews in planning for Palestinian return

    Perhaps the most important area in which Jewish Israelis can be active regarding Palestinian return is preparing the Israeli public for that eventuality. By Eitan Bronstein Aparicio The Nakba has entered the mainstream Israeli discourse in recent years in ways that were unthinkable in the past. A large majority of Jews in Israel know it is a word in Arabic connected to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has a negative connotation, shows a public opinion poll to be published soon by De-Colonizer, a research and art laboratory for social change, that provides materials and tools to expose and challenge the colonialist nature…

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  • WATCH: The Palestinian youth realizing their dream of return

    For three years, a group of young Palestinian citizens of Israel has been meeting in order to imagine and plan their return to the destroyed villages from which their parents and grandparents were expelled. The project they initiated, “Udna” (“Return”), aims to give the younger generation an awareness of the Nakba, and to create actual models for return. In episode 3, refugees from Iqrit return to their abandoned village, despite the state's opposition. Watch episode 2 here and 1 here.

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  • WATCH: Internally displaced Palestinians plan their return

    For three years, a group of young Palestinian citizens of Israel has been meeting in order to imagine and plan their return to the destroyed villages from which their parents and grandparents were expelled. The project they initiated, “Udna” (“Return”), aims to give the younger generation an awareness of the Nakba, and to create actual models for return. In episode 2, descendants of the internally displaced from al-Lajjun made a film about the expulsion from the village in 1948. Watch episode 1 here. More on planning Palestinian return: Displaced Palestinians return to village after 64 years At annual conference, Palestinians…

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  • WATCH: 3D modeling helps visualize Palestinian right of return

    For three years, a group of young Palestinian citizens of Israel has been meeting in order to imagine and plan their return to the destroyed villages from which their parents and grandparents were expelled. The project they initiated, “Udna” (“Return”), aims to give the younger generation an awareness of the Nakba, and to create actual models for return. The displaced descendants of one such destroyed village, al-Ghabisiyya, made a 3D simulation of what their village might look like if and when it is rebuilt. More on planning Palestinian return: Displaced Palestinians return to village after 64 years At annual conference,…

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  • 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. 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 hours right outside…

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