Until I learned Hebrew, I saw Jews as frightening, scary, armed people who expelled us from our land in 1967, now working on finishing us off. Does that surprise you? By Suleiman Maswadeh My name is Suleiman, I am 22 years old and I was born in Jerusalem's Old City. Despite the fact that it is located only hundreds of meters from my home, for most of my life Jaffa Street in central Jerusalem was like a foreign, European country. In my childhood, the word "Jew" referred to either Israeli Border Police or riot police. West Jerusalem was a frightening…Read More... | 7 Comments
The Jerusalem municipality has repeatedly refused to come up with master plans for its Palestinian neighborhoods. The result? It has taken to demolishing illegally-built homes. By Michal Haramati and Sahar Vardi Forty Israeli Jews set out for a tour beyond Jerusalem's hills of darkness last week, paying a visit to the neighborhood of Ein al-Loza in Silwan. The tour was led by members of the neighborhood committee, who for over a decade have been trying to receive the same treatment from the Jerusalem municipality as residents of West Jerusalem do. The past few months has seen a steady increase in fines and especially home demolitions…Read More... | 2 Comments
Chapter four in the nighttime journey is a tale of two parties. For other nights click here. If you think the nights I skip in this chronicle are uneventful, think again fast. On Wednesday I was rushed to the airport with an immigration scandal. A young American who flew in to intern with a company for which I work was interrogated on arrival and then deported. The reason remained withheld but we suspected political bias. This is hardly an unusual occurrence these days. The intern handed her interrogators the number of the company head: a leader in alternative tourism, a National…Read More...
For years now young Palestinian men have found themselves the targets of groups of Jewish youths roaming the streets of West Jerusalem on weekend nights. As warm weather returns, so are the attacks. One such attack raises the question: who are the police protecting? By Aviv Tatarsky (Translated by Ofer Neiman) Thursday night, Zion Square, West Jerusalem. Summer is officially here, and the area that was quite empty during the winter is bustling with thousands of people enjoying a night out. Among them are some Palestinians who have come to partake in “Israelization” — or, at least, that's how some…Read More... | 15 Comments
A group of activists attempts to show Israelis and American tourists the occupation that's taking place just a few blocks away, by simulating an American occupation of West Jerusalem. By Moriel Rothman What do you do when rammed by a man in an electric wheelchair who’s fundraising for needy Holocaust survivors? Just walk away. OK, um, guys, seriously we need to just walk away. It is hot. I am confused. My shins pre-hurt. My stomach feels twisted and odd. Over the last three years of activism and direct actions I’ve been yelled at, shoved, spit on, detained, whacked with a…Read More... | 10 Comments
Beit Safafa is a Palestinian neighborhood just south of West Jerusalem, inside annexed and occupied East Jerusalem, all within the boundaries of Israel's vast Jerusalem municipality. It is situated between the Green Line to its northern perimeter, and the Israeli settlement of Gilo on its southern perimeter. (To find Beit Safafa on Ir Amim's map below, move your eyes directly down from "West Jerusalem" and you will see it, just below the Green Line.) Until 1967, Beit Safafa was divided between Israeli-controlled West Jerusalem and the Jordanian-controlled West Bank. Train tracks ran through it along the 1949 Armistice Lines. When Israel occupied East…Read More... | 17 Comments
Those who think that E1 is the nail in the coffin of the two-state 'solution' are willfully blind to the fact that a one-state outcome is already on the ground and that the Zionist militias started building it before there ever was an Israel. I know this is a little late. The big brouhaha about E1 was, what, a few weeks ago? I wasn’t paying that much attention because, as someone who spends a lot of time traveling between Jerusalem and the West Bank--and noticing the one unequal state already on the ground--I didn't quite get the fuss about E1.…Read More... | 44 Comments
A stroll west of West Jerusalem can lead to a surprising discovery, confronting the casual walker with various layers of the Palestinian tragedy. I just finished an ordeal at the Knesset. The next thing on the agenda was a long phone call, one that would last for at least an hour. Instead of walking about West Jerusalem for an hour, I decided to begin heading west on foot. The brisk winter day was gorgeous. Beneath me, past the last row of city blocks, lay the gulley separating West Jerusalem from a ridge of lofty hills to the west. The slopes…Read More... | 16 Comments
I’d stepped into the alley to grab a few sage leaves for my tea. In my West Jerusalem neighborhood, the alley is more like a massive, shared garden. Branches loaded with plums, pomegranate, berries, apricots, oranges, lemons and olives bend over fences. Sage and rosemary are everywhere. When I first moved into the neighborhood, I used to ask permission to take fruit and herbs and olives. After some surprised yeses and after noticing others just plucking as they passed, I realized it’s a bit like a kibbutz. The same goes for the people. An elderly neighbor watches my landlords’ children…Read More... | 4 Comments
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:…Read More... | 11 Comments
Amid the revolutionary cheer that was emanating from Egypt last week, a group of Israeli Jews attacked and killed a Palestinian in the heart of West Jerusalem. 24-year-old Palestinian Hussam Rwidy was killed by a group of nationalist Jewish youth screaming "death to Arabs" as he was walking home from work. The Israeli government quickly put a media blackout on the case fearing a violent reactions from Palestinians in Jerusalem, Israel and the West Bank. Once the media blackout was lifted, select Israeli media outlets covered the story as a "drunken brawl turned bad." According to one Jerusalem resident who…Read More... | 11 Comments
By Louis Frankenthaler Israel’s High Court of Justice recently issued a ruling that could lead to the expulsion of dozens of families from the East Jerusalem Palestinian area of Sheikh Jarrah. This is a section of Occupied East Jerusalem that has gained increased attention over the past year as Israeli settler organizations, supported by Israeli courts, have made ownership claims over pre-1948 properties in which Jews lived but which are now inhabited by Palestinians. The courts have accepted these claims and the result is that Israel’s government, the Jerusalem municipality and settler organizations expel Palestinian men, women and children from…Read More...
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