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  • Blurring the lines between Palestine and Baltimore

    A new play tells the story of Aseel Asleh, one of the 13 Palestinians killed by police inside Israel at the start of the Second Intifada. Playwright Jen Marlowe is bringing it to black colleges in the U.S. in the hopes of connecting two struggles. Before his death, Palestinian teenager Aseel Asleh dedicated himself to his Jewish Israeli friends. As a loyal alumnus of Seeds of Peace, a coexistence summer camp, he was convinced that the promise of peace lay in forgiveness and reconciliation. [tmwinpost] More than 15 years after he was killed at the age of 17 by Israeli…

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  • A Palestinian refugee's open letter to all Israelis

    I know your fear is very real to you, even if it makes little sense to me. I know you see my desire to return to the land of my parents as an attack on your very existence. I wish our rights weren't framed in zero-sum terms. By Israa Thiab Dear Israeli Citizen, I am writing this appeal as a Palestinian refugee who is concerned with the endless cycle of violence that has continued throughout my life. There has been no time when I was not saddened to see fellow human beings supporting the oppression of another people, oppression so…

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  • An open letter to the family of Mohammed Abu Khdeir

    As Israel and the Palestinians descend further into open violence, concerned Israelis challenge their fellow citizens in an attempt to forge a joint Israel-Palestinian resistance to violence.  (Translated from Hebrew by Idit Arad and Matan Kaminer) Our hands shed this blood, our hands set Mohammed Abu Khdeir on fire, our hands fanned the flames. We have been living here for too long to claim that we did not know, we did not understand, we were not able to foresee. We witnessed the actions of the vast machine of incitement to racism and revenge operated by the government, the politicians, the…

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  • PLO committee agrees to push for landmark elections

    With the Palestinian political horizon looking grim, reconciliation, elections and reform may be the only hope. News of a major development in Palestinian politics was reached today in Cairo between leaders of various Palestinian factions. A committee established by the reconciliation agreement signed in May 2011 to advance PLO reform has agreed to push for direct elections to the Palestinian National Council (PNC), the PLO’s parliament and highest legislative body, once polling and a mechanism can be reached. PNC elections, if held, would be a landmark accomplishment for Palestinian politics and pave the way for a representational government including Palestinians…

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  • Palestinian leaders reinforce Fatah-Hamas reconciliation in Qatar

    Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Meshaal sign agreement in Qatar on Palestinian reconciliation. Leaders of the two main Palestinian political parties, Fatah and Hamas, signed an agreement in Qatar on Monday, reinforcing efforts at reconciliation and reform. Reports from Qatar say that current Palestinian Authority President and Chairman of the PLO, Mahmoud Abbas, will also be in charge of a new interim government as Prime Minister until upcoming elections usher in a democratically elected one. Mahmoud Abbas met with Hamas’ politburo chief Khaled Meshaal for the second day of talks in Qatar. According to the Palestinian Central Elections Commission's (CEC) Twitter…

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  • What pushed Hamas and Fatah into each others arms?

    By Michael Omer-ManWriters on this website have speculated that a soon-to-be-signed Palestinian reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah was spurred by a fear shared by both Palestinian leaderships that they’ve lost all legitimacy among their constituencies. Others have suggested that the deal represents a Hamas willingness to support Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s (Fatah) efforts to achieve on-paper statehood in the United Nations this September. But the fact of the matter is that nobody outside of the two parties’ leadership circles knows what the deal actually entails, let alone what prompted it. The lack of available information combined with the…

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  • Fatah-Hamas reconciliation key for Palestinian strategy to end the occupation

    The Arab revolutions have been a key reason for the reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah. This was apparent in the change of tone by both sides following the uprising in Egypt. President Abbas and Prime Minster Fayyad surprised everyone with the their proposals for unity. Abbas offered to visit Gaza to reconcile with Hamas and Fayyad went even further suggesting a joint government without Hamas having to relinquish its control over Gaza. These two offers were considered red lines for Fatah just few months ago. Hamas has also been following the changes in the Middle East with growing interest and…

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  • Erekat on unity: respect our democracy

    Abu Mazen: Like it or not, Hamas is part of Palestinian people. Ramallah - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared today that the reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas shouldn't stand in the way of future negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. In a meeting with representatives of "Israel Initiatives," a group of businessmen and veteran security officials who advocate a solution based on the Arab League Peace Initiative, Abbas said, "I am ready to talk. If Prime Minister Netanyahu calls me tomorrow, I will talk to him." The reason for the breakdown of negotiations, Abbas said, is Israel's refusal to…

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  • All I really need to know I learned at the Mukataa

    The first time I came to live in the States with my family, the year was 1990. I was 14 then and we lived in the heart of Washington D.C.'s teenager-unfriendly sprawl. It was at about that time that I really got into books, and would walk the unwalkable distance (no distance in suburbia is walkable) to a small strip mall, sit on the floor of its branch of "Crown Books", and browse. "Crown Books" in Cabin John, Maryland, was a temple to Stephen King. Even its poetry section didn't get much artsier. The most exciting, avant garde book shelved…

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  • Occupation remains the obstacle to Palestinian unity

    Put simply, Palestinian unity strikes fear in the hearts of Israeli strategists and military planners. A unified Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza which adopts nonviolent resistance tactics has the potential to inflict incredible damage on the Israeli occupation. Actually, Israel does not have an effective strategy to combat Palestinian nonviolence and unity. Look at the amount of military resources Israel have used to crush small West Bank villages like Nabi Saleh, which embrace unity and nonviolence against occupation. The agreement signed last night between Fatah and Hamas does not represent unity. The reconciliation agreement represents a move…

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  • Hamas Fatah Reconciliation - what does it mean?

    The Israeli media is correctly calling the deal between Hamas and Fatah "historic." We don’t yet know which direction history will take the Palestinians or whether the deal has any hope of reaching the basic goals the Palestinian leaders seem to have set: the establishment of a legitimate transitional government, elections within a year, and probably ultimately, the advancement of a viable Palestinian state. But here are a few points about what the apparent reconciliation could mean for Palestine and for Israel. 1.  Some believe that the Palestinian state the PA seems likely to declare in September will be a…

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