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  • For Netanyahu and Trump, Palestinian Christians are only pawns for political gain

    We are an integral part of the Palestinian people, yet we are virtually invisible for those in the White House who claim to care about Christianity. By Fr. Emmanuelle Awwad When Israel barred Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from visiting Palestine last week, it was a clear attempt to keep the congresswomen from witnessing the impacts of military occupation for themselves. This decision, however, also revealed the extent to which the very leaders who claim to care about Christians in the Middle East are willing to weaponize religion. [tmwinpost] I was supposed to meet with the congressional delegation. My…

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  • This Palestinian Life: Uncovering the stories of women behind the wall

    A podcast highlighting stories of Christian Palestinian women aims to inform new audiences on how occupation impacts their personal lives. A mother in the West Bank struggling to explain to her child, on reaching a checkpoint, that no, they have not yet arrived at the zoo. A grandmother in Beit Sahour who wishes to join her family in the diaspora, but lives alone in Palestine, to provide care for her elderly father. A young woman from Bethlehem who dreams of becoming a director in Egypt but is held back by societal expectations and patriarchal norms. [tmwinpost] These are a few…

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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: Christian, Muslim Palestinians protest separation wall route

    Days after the army uprooted Palestinian-owned olive trees to pave the route of the separation barrier in Beit Jala, Christians and Muslims from the town hold a joint protest to try and put a stop to the plan. By Oren Ziv Hundreds of Muslim and Christian Palestinians protested Sunday morning in the West Bank town of Beit Jala against the future establishment of the separation wall that would cut them off from Jerusalem. Protesters marched Sunday toward the work zone where the wall is route is being paved, just days after the army uprooted dozens of ancient olive trees to pave…

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  • Hebrew U. threatens Palestinian students with expulsion over political activities

    Twelve Palestinian students are facing possible expulsion from Jerusalem's Hebrew University for participating in an 'illegal' political protest. In the past, the university only took steps against particular student groups. Now, it's switching gears and targeting individual students. Near the end of September, 12 Palestinian students received a notice from the Hebrew University administration, stating that Dean of Students Udi Shavit had lodged a complaint against them over their participation in an "unauthorized demonstration that goes against regulations," which took place on July 10, 2014. The notice said that the administration was waiting for a response from the students before…

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  • Is the West Bank ripe for an intifada?

    Media and politicians have been quick to claim that Palestinian protests against Operation Protective Edge mark the beginning of a third intifada. But in Beit Sahour, the town that was the heart of the First Intifada, some are skeptical that today's demonstrations will turn into tomorrow's revolution.  Some ten thousand Palestinians marched from Ramallah on Thursday night to Qalandia checkpoint, in protest of Israel’s military assault on the Gaza Strip and in hopes of reaching Jerusalem. One man was killed and dozens were injured in what was the largest demonstration the West Bank has seen in years. While protesters and…

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  • WATCH: Palestinian short film tackles emotional impact of conscription

    A just-released short film, titled "Project-X," tackles a politically charged issue -- conscription by the Israeli military -- through an emotional appeal to Palestinian youth. "We wanted this time to make a different kind of video," said Nadim Nashif, director of Baladna -- the Association for Arab Youth, which co-sponsored production of the film. "We wanted to treat the issue in a cinematic way... [to show] what it produces by way of impact on the self." Nashif's comments, which are translated above from Arabic, are included in the description to the "Project-X" video, which can be found here. (The video…

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  • Left Jabs: Getting ready for Independence Day, and more

    Short, polarizing comments about the news. ------------- Celebrate Israel  Former heads of Shin Bet and Mossad say Israel could, without question, stop the runaway settler attacks on Palestinians if it wanted to, it just doesn’t want to.   On Tuesday, why shouldn't we celebrate Israeli Independence Day? This is a great country if you're Jewish. --------------- The king’s speech  Bibi: ‘Iran openly declares its intention to destroy the State of Israel … there will never be another Holocaust.’ Watching Netanyahu’s Yom HaShoah speech, the way he turns Iran into today’s Nazi Germany, making people believe that the Holocaust is still…

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  • PHOTOS: In fight against the wall, does Cremisan have a prayer?

    After more than two years of vigils by Palestinian Christians that gained widespread international attention, the Israeli High Court issued a preliminary order questioning the path of the separation barrier that would further divide West Bank land, cutting off the Cremisan monastery and a valley of olive groves. Photos and text by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org “What do we do? We pray,” said Father Ibrahim Shomali to the crowd assembled in an olive grove in the West Bank town of Beit Jala. “Because we believe in God and we believe that one day he will hear our prayer and he will…

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  • 'They're all named Mohammad nowadays'

    Mya Guarnieri confronts discrimination, identity politics -- and the occupation -- as she searches for an apartment in Bethlehem. Read her previous post, 'Reflections on one state from the West Bank.' Not knowing much about my background, the elderly landlord who doesn’t rent to Jews called and asked me to come sign a lease. Despite my reservations, I agreed. The landlord ushered me in and we sat on a couch on her large, enclosed balcony. “First, I must ask you,” she began. “What is your religion?” “I don’t see how that’s really relevant.” While I understand that she and her family have…

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