By defunding UNRWA and attempting to define Palestinian refugees out of existence, the Trump administration is only shooting the messenger. UNRWA is a product, not the source, of the Palestinian refugee problem. By Zena Agha Last Friday, the Trump administration announced that the United States would no longer fund the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) – the U.N. body which delivers vital aid to some 5.3 million Palestinian refugees across the Arab world. The cut, which amounts to $300 million, constitutes about 30 percent of the organization’s total yearly budget. [tmwinpost] Describing UNRWA as an “irredeemably flawed operation”, the…Read More... | 65 Comments
The American president's decision to defund the Palestinian refugee agency is an attempt to accomplish something Israeli leaders have been trying for the better part of a century. By James Zogby First, the Trump Administration "took Jerusalem off the table." Now, in an especially dangerous display of recklessness, it has announced its intention to do the same for the Palestinian "right of return." [tmwinpost] The first indication that this was in the works came with the administration's announcement that it would be suspending all U.S. assistance to UNWRA, the UN agency created to address the humanitarian needs of the Palestinians…Read More... | 5 Comments
How can one feel a sense of belonging to a place where they were not born? A place you've never even seen? If there's any people who can relate to the Palestinian narrative of exile, longing and return, isn't it the Jews?Read More... | 2 Comments
70 years later, Palestinian refugees are no longer waiting for peace talks to determine their fate. In Gaza, they are actively reclaiming their place at the table. On a warm spring day in late April 1956, Moshe Dayan, then the IDF chief of staff and Israel's eminent war hero, delivered an address that would become a central part of Israel's national ethos. Dayan had arrived at Kibbutz Nahal Oz to eulogize Roi Rotberg, a kibbutz security guard who was ambushed by an Egyptian police officer and a Palestinian farmer, and then abducted into the Gaza Strip where he was brutally murdered. The chief of staff…Read More... | 19 Comments
Seventy years after its residents were turned into refugees, the descendants of Saffuriya, a Palestinian village in the north, are imagining what a life of real coexistence could look like alongside the Israeli Jews who have lived there since the Nakba.Read More...
A number of new surveys shows that at least a fifth of Israel's Jewish citizens are open to the idea of Palestinian refugees returning to their homes. So how do we reconcile this with the violence being meted out to Palestinians on the Gaza border? By Eléonore Bronstein and Eitan Bronstein Aparicio What is it about Gaza’s “Great Return March” that so threatens Israelis? What is it that Israelis are so actively preventing? The Gaza fence symbolizes the essence of the Jewish state, which was founded through the dispossession of the Palestinians, expelling the majority of them beyond its borders. Walls and fences…Read More... | 6 Comments
Justice for African asylum seekers requires that Israeli Jews relinquish their privilege to historic Palestine and instead commit to a world where all people have equal rights. By Jamil Dakwar and Nadia Ben-Youssef In recent days Israel has made international headlines for two separate events that seem unrelated. Over the weekend, Israeli security forces, including 100 snipers, massacred 17 Palestinian protesters and wounded over a thousand people in Gaza. Then on Monday, the Israeli government announced and within less than 24 hours cancelled a deal with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees to avert the looming mass expulsion of African asylum…Read More... | 3 Comments
At least 12 Palestinians are killed and 1,100 wounded as Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian protesters gathering at the Gaza-Israel border fence to mark the beginning of 'The Great Return March,' a 45-day-long series of events and protests planned to culminate on May 15 — Nakba Day. Despite using deadly force against the demonstrators Israeli army did not report a single casualty among its troops. Photos by Mohammed Zaanoun, Oren Ziv (Activestills), and +972 Magazine Text by +972 Magazine Staff Tens of thousands of Palestinians protested at the Gaza-Israel border fence on Friday, marking the beginning of the "Great Return March,"…Read More... | 6 Comments
Bayezid II, the sultan of the Ottoman Empire, saved my family's life during the Spanish Inquisition. The Israeli government could learn a thing or two from him. By Tom Pessah I am a Jew of Sephardic origin, which means the defining moment of my family's history was their expulsion from Spain in 1492. I still have relatives who speak Ladino, the Jewish language that evolved out of medieval Spanish and was preserved in the countries the Jews arrived in. We have our own dietary customs and liturgical traditions. [tmwinpost] For years, I only heard about the villains in this story — Ferdinand…Read More... | 7 Comments
As the U.S. slashes the Palestinian refugee agency's budget, Netanyahu is urging it be abolished altogether. Some believe that shuttering UNRWA would somehow make the Palestinian refugee problem extinct. 'Not true,' says the agency's director in Washington. The Trump administration announced this week that it had cut by more than half its contribution to the UN Relief Works Agency for Palestinian refugees. [tmwinpost] The agency provides life-saving assistance to 80 percent of the population in Gaza, food assistance for over a million Palestinians throughout the region, and schools for over half a million children. Trump's announcement of the funding cuts…Read More... | 3 Comments
The American Friends Service Committee once saved thousands of Jews from the Holocaust, now we are being banned from entering Israel due to our support for a nonviolent struggle for equality. By Brant Rosen Israel revealed this week a list of 20 groups from around the world it was banning from the country, due to their support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. For me, the list represented more than just another news item. As staff person for one organization included on the list – the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a Quaker group dedicated to peace and social justice – this news hit home personally as well as…Read More... | 9 Comments
Seventy years after the violent displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, it is time to undo the injustice and to enable whoever desires to return as equal citizens to do so, while respecting the rights and identities of all who live in Israel-Palestine. By Tom Pessah (translated by Yoni Molad) For millions of Palestinians worldwide, the right of return is a fundamental issue — the most important precondition for resolving the conflict. However, in Israel the matter is raised haphazardly and is not really dealt with seriously. Haokets recently published a series of important documents culled from the state archives, which show how the property…Read More... | 7 Comments
Twos hundred Israelis march against the eviction of the Shamanseh family from their home in Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. Passersby throw eggs, while settlers attack them with pepper spray. By Yael Marom Over 200 Israelis marched from central Jerusalem to the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah Friday to protest the eviction of a Palestinian family from their homes. The demonstrators marched on West Jerusalem's thoroughfare until they crossed over into the Palestinian neighborhood, where they were met by dozens of local Palestinian protesters. [tmwinpost] The march comes less than a week after Israeli security forces evicted the Shamanseh family from their home,…Read More...
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