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  • What is normal about normalization?

    The anti-normalization movement plays into the hands of the state of Israel's policy of separation. By refusing to engage and even on some level cooperate with Israelis, Palestinian anti-normalizers accept this policy. Anti-normalization is one of the hottest topics in the Palestinian community, although very few people can define exactly what it should mean. It is a term that gained strength in the 1980s against accepting the status quo of the occupation. Those who supported anti-normalization then were concerned about the occupation becoming a secondary issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A growing number of Palestinians working for Israeli businesses, a…

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  • Fact sheet: Israel's tightening control over Jerusalem

    Sergio Yahni at the Alternative Information Center compiled and I edited and added to this fact sheet about Jerusalem. It's a great resource for journalists or anyone with a general interest in the political situation of Jerusalem, which embodies the history of Israel/Palestine as well as what is happening now in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. “The 75 kilometer wall being built in East Jerusalem is an instrument of social engineering designed to achieve the Judaization of Jerusalem by reducing the number of Palestinians in the city.”   -Professor John Dugard, United Nations Special Rapporteur   Fact and Figures about Jerusalem Population Total population:…

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  • WATCH: Olive harvest brings settler violence in West Bank

    On the outskirts of the northern West Bank village of Qasra, a 19-year-old resident recently told me that settlers are not going to stop attacking Palestinians, simply because they don’t have too. According to the man, settlers live in a world of no consequence as if removed from the normal social contract of Western societies. One look at this year’s olive harvest, taking place throughout the West Bank over the next two weeks, proves the statement to be correct. This morning (Friday), a group of armed settlers from the illegal outpost of Ash Kodesh (Sacred/Holy Light) approached a group of…

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  • Normalcy, hope and the Israeli tent protesters

    Hope, one of the most powerful and fickle of human emotions, was a philosophical obsession of Baruch Spinoza, the 17th century Jewish philosopher. Spinoza paid a high social price in dedicating his life to the creation of philosophic system which valued rationalism above all else, especially hope and fear. The Israeli tent protests, which have rocked the country and this site over the last six weeks, have thrived on a momentum of hope in the absence of concrete language and goals. Similar to the historic presidential campaign of Barak Obama, the tent protests have been heavy on feelings but light on specific…

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  • Racism, settlements and Glenn Beck: One pic that says it all

    Joseph Dana twitted this pic from the Glenn Beck rally, which tells most of what you need to know about the current moment here. The second man on the right is Supermarket mogul Rami Levi, who recently started separating Arab and Jewish workers at one of his stores. to his right is Nir Barkat, the mayor of Jerusalem and patron of settlements in Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan and other Palestinian neighborhoods.

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  • Supreme Court ruling turns village into open-air prison

    The Supreme Court gave the state a green light to continue walling in a village split between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, blocking the villagers on all four sides The Supreme Court turned down yesterday a petition against the construction of the separation wall between the village of Walajeh, so close to Jerusalem it can essentially be seen as an inlet, and the city itself. The opposition to the wall came from an unusual amount of quarters, including the villagers themselves (arguing the wall would block them from their fields, olive groves and the village water spring, as well as…

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  • Activist group opposes cultural events in City of David

    While I am not a member of the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement, I have been active with them and decided to post their appeal as I think it is an important cause and call to action By Silan Dallal and Ella Elbaz-Nir Under the misleading title “Israeli Culture at Heritage Sites” a series of musical performances sponsored by Israel’s Ministry of Culture commenced on August 11 at The City of David, a controversial “archeological site,” located in the heart of the Palestinian village of Silwan in East Jerusalem. These concerts are but another ploy in a long line of actions…

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  • Why did so few Palestinians march for statehood on Friday?

    Palestinian belief in the two-state solution is dropping rapidly, and Israelis who aren't yet willing to come out should be warned: It is now, or never.           In an effort to save the two states solution, thousands of Israelis and Palestinians marched from Jaffa gate to the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem. The march was organized in cooperation with residents of East Jerusalem from Silwan, Issawiyah and Sheikh Jarrah. The three neighborhoods are facing growing settler activities. The march was a success in today's standards. This kind of march has not happened for decades in…

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  • A Palestinian East Jerusalemite's view of the joint march

    By Jalal Abukhater The writer, a resident of East Jerusalem, does not favor a two-state solution, but the joint demonstration did leave him hopeful that Palestinians and Israelis can work together for a better future. Less than a week ago, I started reading on Twitter that there will be a large demonstration organized by Israeli Leftwing activists in Jerusalem protesting the new Boycott Bill and Israeli occupation of Palestinian Occupied Territories. I expected that activists will challenge the anti-Boycott law and chant for BDS or call for Settlement boycott as well as chanting for a Palestinian state, I was wrong. It turned…

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  • Photo Essay: March for Palestinian independence

    The demonstration today in Jerusalem in support of Palestinian independence was attended by anywhere from 2000 to 4500 people (according to a Facebook post), who marched from the Old City's Jaffa Gate to Sheikh Jarrah. I was there and organizers announced 3,000 attendees at the end, but Channel 2's evening news reported "over 1000."  I suppose they're playing it safe, but after tramping through burning sun on a winding walk through Jerusalem's famous Friday crush, with people singing, drumming, cheering, dancing and laughing, that conservative estimate has a cynical ring. Here are a few photos. The goal of this demonstration…

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  • Israelis, Palestinians to march in joint call for Palestinian statehood

    By Eitan Grossman 'Only Free Men Can Negotiate' - Nelson Mandela   This Friday (July 15, 2011), thousands of Palestinians and Israelis will march together in Jerusalem to express their support for international recognition of the unilateral declaration of Palestinian independence. Thousands of Palestinians and Israelis will take part in a historic march organized by the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity movement and the popular committees of East Jerusalem. Marchers will set out from Jaffa Gate and walk along the border between the two parts of the city. The march will culminate in a rally in Sheikh Jarrah, a neighborhood that symbolizes…

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  • IDF officers to hide their identity for fear of arrests abroad

    In an attempt to protect themselves from prosecution abroad, IDF officers will hide their identity The IDF is increasingly worried about the possibility of being prosecuted abroad for war crimes: Maariv published an article this morning (Hebrew), saying senior officers will have their identities hidden, noting specifically this was not due to ‘field security’ reasons, i.e. fear that the officers will become targets for assassination, but rather for legal reasons. A senior officer told Maariv this is done in order to “protect the officers from the legal point of view.” Borrowing a longstanding Air Force tradition, soon Israeli media will…

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  • Most important Jewish anti-occupation group needs your support

    Facing mounting legal costs, Anarchists against the Wall have issued an urgent plea for donations. This is why I think we should support them Anarchists Against The Wall is, at least in my opinion, the most important progressive political group to operate in Israel in the last decade. It's hard to note in a short post the enormous effect the Anarchists have had on grassroots politics in Israel and Palestine, but I will try to make a few points on their actions. The name of the group might be misleading. AATW are not like similarly named groups in the West.…

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