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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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  • Protest against settler-friendly JNF expands, raises existential questions

    Some of you may have been following the campaign to thwart the eviction of the Sumarin family in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan by activists from Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity and Rabbis for Human Rights (both Israel and North America), reported on our site here. As part of the effort to raise awareness, a group of activists staged a protest in front of the Jewish National Fund building in Jerusalem on Monday in order to send the message that the JNF is being "held captive by the settlers," as they put it, since it continues to work to acquire and repossess land in…

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  • Palestinians demand freedom for detained Syrian blogger

    Following the arrest of Syrian-American blogger Razan Ghazzawi on December 4 by Syrian authorities, Razan subsequently faces various anti-state charges that carry up to 15 years of imprisonment. Today, a group of Palestinian bloggers and activists issued the following statement of support, which appeared on a range of internet outlets and blogs and follows weeks of campaigns for her release. The statement read: We, a group of Palestinian bloggers and activists raise our voices loud and clear in solidarity with all the prisoners of the Great Syrian Revolution. We stand with all the prisoners, activists, artists, bloggers and others, all who…

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  • An open letter of solidarity to Israel's nonviolent activists

    A statement of support for two Israeli anti-occupation activists, who continue in their courageous struggle for democracy and justice in the face of growing hostility and violence By Ben Elkind and Simone Zimerman On Friday, September 30, 2011, a violent mob attacked Assaf Sharon and Sara Beninga in the Anatot settlement outside of Jerusalem.  Reportedly, during the attack, police stood idly by and watched. Though badly beaten, Assaf and Sara remained fervently committed to democracy and social justice.  In response to the violence at Anatot, my friend Simone and I wrote this letter expressing our solidarity with Assaf and Sara. …

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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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  • WATCH: Israelis launch world protest day with solidarity demo on Syrian border

    (Update - the video is now fully subtitled.) Today is October 15 - the day slated by dozens of local social justice and democracy movements to try and hold a worldwide, truly global demonstration. Protests are taking place in an astonishing 951 cities in 85 countries, including, obviously, New York, Tel Aviv, Cairo, London. But the most heart-warming images so far today come from the small, crisis-stricken town of Kiryat Shmona. Kiryat Shmona, Israel's northernmost city, is effectively a frontier town, usually in the news either as a habitual target for Hezbollah rockets or for its rather dismal socio-economic state;…

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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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  • WATCH: Palestinian youth abducted by police in E. Jerusalem

    While Israelis are busy pitching tents across the country, in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, life under occupation goes on as usual, far away from the media's eyes. In the shocking footage below, taken with a surveillance camera last Friday, July 22, Palestinian teens playing soccer in the street are suddenly abducted by Israeli soldiers in an undercover vehicle and hauled away.  Whether guilty of stone throwing or not, this is not the way to go about conducting justice in a country's capital. As Sloveninan philosopher Slavoj Zizek has expressed many times, when there are no big headlines in…

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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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