“What comes to mind when you think of a refugee camp? I had always imagined the refugee camp as filled with tents, temporary residents, humanitarian organizations, and international workers – a place for the mobile migrant fleeing war, poverty, or political unrest. But, what does a refugee camp look like when it stands in the same place for over seventy years?” Charlie Finn reports on his visit to two Palestinian refugee camps in the occupied West Bank.
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By John Collins
At a time when socialism is enjoying a resurgence and the structural flaws of capitalism are coming under greater scrutiny, when the evils of mass incarceration are being openly discussed, when even US support for Israel is on the table for debate in Washington, there is no better moment to seek out the prophetic voice of Angela Davis. Yet as John Collins notes in this news analysis piece focusing on National Public Radio (NPR), her voice is rarely found in the broadcasts and pages of US establishment media.
By Charlie Finn
Olives, garbage, and security are simultaneous embodiments of Palestinian resistance and Israeli settler colonialism.
By Asmaa Tayeh
Zeyad Aabed has devoted his career—26 years—to running an NGO dedicated to offering education and health services to the deaf. It was, to say the least, a labor of love. But now, much of the funding on which his NGO depends is drying up. And today, he feels exhausted and depressed, fearful he will have to close the El-Amal Rehabilitation Society altogether. (Reposted from We Are Not Numbers)
By John Collins
What role does spatial planning play in the Israeli process of colonizing Palestinian land? Researcher and longtime Weave News contributor Somdeep Sen discusses this issue in a recent podcast hosted by the Danish NGO Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke.
By Darcy Best
In her latest installment for our Weaving the Streets project, Darcy Best checks in from Galway, Ireland, where street serves as a way to link the Irish language movement with broader political causes ranging from welcoming refugees to expressing solidarity with Palestinian hunger strikers.
By John Collins
“In the past, fishing was better, because we could go out 12 nautical miles and no one targeted us,” observes one of the young Gazan fisherman. “Now, it’s only six miles and there’s no fish there.” This basic fact - the literal shrinking of the space within which people in Gaza can engage in fishing without risking harassment and death at the hands of the Israeli military - lies at the core of “Six Miles Out,” a striking new video released on Facebook last week by the We Are Not Numbers project (whose work has been featured previously here on the Weave News site).
By Karama Fadel
Despite the long coastline and the existence of seven crossings between its territory and Israel and Egypt, the Gaza Strip remains cocooned in a zone of isolation due to its neighbors’ punitive restrictions. Ships are not allowed by Israel to enter or leave, the lone airport was bombed in 2000, and no one may visit or exit by land without obtaining rarely given permission from the two countries’ military authorities...Thus, for Palestinians, trying to travel is arduous, slow and humiliating. But necessity knows no law, and we keep trying. Why? It’s about living with dignity and in peace. It’s about freedom. It’s about the health of our loved ones, uniting our families, studying for advanced degrees not available inside Gaza. There are multiple reasons why we insist on trying to travel, but the same ultimate goal.
In this post, reprinted from the We Are Not Numbers project, Basman Derawi describes some of the challenges that come with living under perpetual siege in Gaza.
By Bridget Ireland
A very large part of Jordanian culture today is interwoven with the effects of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Jordan is a nation of about 10 million people, and almost 2 million are here as refugees from Palestine or descendants of these refugees. It is not abnormal to see the Palestinian flag flying alongside the Jordanian flag, and Palestinian food and dress are common. Many generations of families who live in Jordan identify as being Palestinian and speak of their roots. Tragically, it is rare for those living in Jordan to be able to return to their homeland or even visit relatives in Palestine as Israel controls the visa process. Part of a recent art exhibit at Darat Al-Funun named “Do It in Arabic” I attended helped to include visitors in the art as a way of conveying the realities of the Palestinian struggle.
By Jon Soske and Sean Jacobs
The South African Nobel laureate J.M. Coetzee has a habit of speaking in rhetoricals. The effect, however, is that he makes his point quite clearly. This was the case recently at the Palestine Festival of Literature, which travels through Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. Speaking on the festival’s last day, Coetzee noticed that “naturally people ask me what I see of South Africa in the present situation in Palestine.”
At first, Coetzee suggested that using the word apartheid to describe the occupation is not a productive step (“it diverts one into an inflamed semantic wrangle which cuts short the opportunities of analysis”). Coetzee then offered a definition of South African apartheid: “Apartheid was a system of enforced segregation based on race or ethnicity, put in place by an exclusive, self defined group in order to consolidate colonial conquest particular to cement its hold on the land and natural resources.” He continued, “In Jerusalem and the West Bank we see a system of …” and proceeded to read the same definition, ending to applause: “Draw your own conclusions.”
By John Collins
As part of our occasional series of “Interweaving” conversations, I recently had the opportunity to interview Dr. Somdeep Sen, a Weave News blogger and postdoctoral researcher at the University of Copenhagen, regarding a number of issues related to his field research in Palestine/Israel. Our conversation touched on his experience of the politics of race and violence while in the field as well as his first-hand observations from Jerusalem and the West Bank regarding the current state of Israel's settler-colonial project.