Americans and Israelis need to resist not only border walls, but also the sentiments and systems that make them possible. By Nadia Naser-Najjab In promising to build a new wall along the American border with Mexico, U.S. President Donald Trump has openly sought to mine the deep racism and chauvinism that runs through parts of American society. Although it has been justified in practical terms, the wall has a particular symbolic significance: it renders a country increasingly unsure of itself and its place in the world, shaken as much by its own contradictions as by an external threat. [tmwinpost] Given that…Read More... | 5 Comments
Donald Trump's proposal to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border was a cornerstone of his presidential campaign. But Israel's separation wall is a lesson in why such a project is dangerous, ineffective — and morally wrong. By Abby C. Wheatley and Oren Kroll-Zeldin Throughout his campaign, President-elect Donald Trump made constant reference to the 50-foot tall concrete wall he plans to build on the entire length of the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump’s plan is divisive, further polarizing an already fractured American public. And yet there seems to be little public awareness that nearly 700 miles of fencing already exists, or that…Read More... | 3 Comments
Israeli forces who turned up to demolish a home in the West Bank village of Budrus were met with an unexpected obstacle: dozens of Palestinian women protecting the house with their bodies. The women of Budrus, a Palestinian village in the West Bank, sent a powerful message on Wednesday when they physically blocked Israeli forces from carrying out a home demolition. Video of the incident, shot by photojournalist Issam Rimawi, shows dozens of Palestinian women standing on the porch and roof of the home, as Israeli army jeeps and Border Police officers idle out front. To the side stands a…Read More...
Roughly 100 people march on a checkpoint in Bethlehem to protest the occupation and mark Christmas. Israeli forces respond by pepper-spraying and teargassing the demonstrators. Text by Oren Ziv. Photos by Oren Ziv, Keren Manor and Shahaf Polakow Around 100 members of the Palestinian Popular Committees marched towards one of Bethlehem's main checkpoints on Friday to protest the occupation. The demonstration was also held to mark Christmas, with some of the protesters dressed as Santa Claus. Private security forces on the scene, who were not expecting the demonstration, pepper-sprayed the protesters. Border Police officers arrived a few minutes later and started pushing…Read More...
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…Read More... | 13 Comments
The West Bank village of Hizma, surrounded entirely by the separation wall, is the victim of daily harassment by the army and the police. That hasn't stopped the residents from opening their homes and businesses to Israeli Jews — even the settlers who live next door. Text and photos by Tamar Flesichman For the 7,000 residents of the West Bank village of Hizma, life has become an endless routine of harassment by the Israeli authorities. Land expropriation, home demolition orders, the total disconnect from East Jerusalem, the checkpoint that serves mainly settlers and forbids the owners of the land from crossing, and the constant…Read More... | 2 Comments
As Israel approaches the 50th anniversary of its decisive victory in the Six Day War, it is evident that subsequent policies have retroactively transformed a war of self-defense into a platform for messianic expansionism that over time is undermining Israel’s very existence. By Daniel Seidemann Last weekend was the 49th anniversary of Jerusalem’s “reunification.” This anniversary comes in the context of a popular uprising in the city unlike any since 1967. Although “Jerusalem-the-eternal-undivided-capital-of-Israel” was never more than a hollow myth, 49 years post-“unification” the city is physically divided by walls of mutual fear and hatred, buttressed by violence and mistrust, as never before. [tmwinpost]…Read More... | 1 Comment
Despite admitting that the young man was only looking for work, police decide to charge him with conspiracy to commit a crime — renting a rope and ladder. Israeli police prosecutors indicted a 26-year-old Palestinian man in the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court Wednesday morning for climbing over the separation wall in order to find work. According to the indictment, last Friday Muntaner Ben-Mahmoud Barakat went to the West Bank village of a-Ram, which is separated from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina by the concrete separation wall. He paid somebody NIS 50 ($13) to use a ladder and rope to…Read More...
A decade ago popular protests against the separation wall, settlements, and occupation were the great promise of the Palestinian struggle. Now a new book takes a look at why these demonstrations were never actually able to bring out the Palestinian masses to the streets, and what activists can learn for the future. By Thimna Bunte In what may be the most insightful, comprehensive, and sensitive academic study of today's Palestinian popular resistance, Marwan Darweish and Andrew Rigby's new book, Popular Protest in Palestine – The Uncertain Future of Unarmed Resistance, provides an excellent analysis of Palestinian unarmed resistance to the Israeli…Read More... | 9 Comments
The West Bank village of Bil’in, along with supporters from Israel and abroad, march on the separation wall that has illegally annexed their agricultural lands. Bil’in has become a symbol of Palestinian non-violent resistance. By Oren Ziv/Activestills.org Hundreds of people — Palestinians, Israelis, and foreigners — took part in a march Friday to mark 11 years since the village of Bil’in started its non-violent popular struggle against the Israeli separation barrier, which annexed parts of the village’s agricultural land. Following afternoon prayers, the protesters marched along the same route that has been followed every Friday since 2005 — from the…Read More...
With politicians from right to left putting their faith in higher walls, some Palestinians are putting their faith in higher powers. Text and photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org Just before his victory in the New Hampshire primary this past week, U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump said: “We have to build a wall. Walls work. Just ask Israel. Walls work. They work.” The same week, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu announced the building of new barriers by saying: “In our neighborhood, we need to protect ourselves from wild beasts.” [tmwinpost] If you’re tempted to dismiss these statements as the ravings of…Read More... | 23 Comments
A six-year-old Palestinian girl was run over on a main road while begging for change in northern Israel. She is one of many Palestinians sent over from the West Bank, where both poverty and despair is only growing. By Yasmine Halevi The above photo is of Fatma from Hebron. She is six-and-a-half years old and she has a full time job. She was smuggled to Israel over a month ago, and since then she has been begging for change at the Kafr Kara junction in northern Israel. She sleeps in either a nearby mosque or the adjacent town of…Read More... | 24 Comments
Activestills selects the most powerful, important and moving images of 2015 — in chronological order. Photos by: Oren Ziv, Ahmad al-Bazz, Yotam Ronen, Faiz Abu-Rmeleh, Keren Manor, Hosam Salem, Ezz Zanoun, Anne Paq, Shiraz Grinbaum Editing: Anka Mirkin, Merieke Lauken / Activestills.orgRead More...
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