End the Nakba: 71 years of Palestinian dispossession 1948-2019

Please join our brothers and sisters from Voices for Palestine and Palestine Solidarity Committee to remember the Nakba (Arabic for “catastrophe”) of 1948, when Zionists forces destroyed over 400 villages and drove over 700,000 Palestinians out of historic Palestine to create what is now called Israel.
Date: Friday, May 10, 2019
Time: 4:00 – 6:00 pm
Location: Westlake Park
4th & Pine Street
Information: Event information here →
Tickets: Free
Event Details

The ongoing Nakba of ethnic cleansing and apartheid still continues as Palestinians are attacked, besieged, and driven out of their homes by the Israeli military, and as the Great March of Return continues and Israel shoots down unarmed Palestinian protestors.

This year’s Nakba remembrance will include the call to Boycott of Israel on the arches at Westlake Park, and we will reach out to commuters during Friday rush hour. We will also evoke the ongoing Palestine refugee experience with PALESTINE: STOLEN HOMELAND, a display of more than 100 white tents inscribed with the names of over 400 of the destroyed villages from 1948 Palestine.

More information here →

Ethical travel to Palestine & challenging apartheid tourism

concrete stairs in between walls
Old City, Jerusalem. (photo:  Dan Gold / Unsplash)
Considerations to be aware of when planning travel that is ethical, responsible and sensitive to the land and culture.

By US Campaign for Palestinian Rights

And always, keep in mind that the privilege of non-Palestinians to travel to Palestine is, by design, premised on the denial of Palestinians to travel freely—and return—to their homeland.

A crucial component to challenging Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people is examining the harmful role of tourism in Israel. Palestinians, wherever they are, are denied the freedom to move freely to and within their homeland by Israel. At the same time, Israel cultivates a tourism industry that quite literally erases Palestinians from the landscape and history, appropriates Palestinian culture and cuisine, and whitewashes the reality of Israel’s state violence.

Whether in Palestine, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or New Orleans, typical travel and tourism enable ongoing colonization, gentrification, appropriation of native culture. Native lands and gentrifying neighborhoods are packaged and sold as tourist destinations, often featuring local culture as exotic entertainment while reinforcing negative and patronizing stereotypes of those communities. Many tourists travel effortlessly across borders and in places where oppressive governments are erecting walls, militarizing borders, dividing families, and denying freedom of movement to local communities. From Palestine to Mexico, from the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights to New Orleans, resisting racism means listening to the voices of those impacted by these systems of harm rather than normalizing and contributing to those systems through tourism.

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A pipeline protest in Amman


Demonstration against pipeline from Israel outside Jordanian Parliament. March 2019. (photo: S. Komarovsky)
A 3rd in series of reports from Dr. Alice Rothchild in Amman, Jordan after attending the Lancet Palestinian Health Alliance Annual conference.

By Alice Rothchild | Mondoweiss | May 2, 2019

Demonstrators hold red signs translated as: ‘The gas of our enemy [Israel] is occupation.’

I find traveling in a foreign country is a strange mix of exhilaration and confusion, a humbling struggle to understand and decode what I am seeing, along with a regular dose of bewildering frustration. Like the nightly ritual of searching for an adequate number of electrical outlets to recharge our assortment of computers, phones, and cameras. We managed to break two adapters in the sockets last night, leaving an exposed arm of the adapter sticking out ready to electrocute me when I get up in the middle of the night, disoriented, and try to remember, where am I now and where did they put the bathroom?

Today we learn that for the past few weeks, once a week people from distant municipalities have been marching to Amman’s city hall to demand better employment opportunities, increased wages, and better working conditions in the field of education. We come upon a demonstration outside of the Ministry of Education. We see a crowd of men, chanting, holding signs and flags, flanked by rows of police who appear armed with billy clubs. When a van of riot police pulls up and starts emptying into the street we decide it is time to leave.

Continue reading “A pipeline protest in Amman”

Britain needs to recognize Palestine as an independent state

Israeli airstrikes in Gaza. (photo: UPI / Barcroft Images)
It’s time for British recognition of the state of Palestine.

By Ian Black | The Guardian | May 7, 2019

No one doubts that Gazans need urgent relief, but the latest eruption is a bleak and timely illustration of the fact that economic development alone will not resolve the Palestinian question as long as an overwhelmingly powerful Israel, backed uncritically by the US, retains overall control and prioritizes its own settlement. project and security needs.

Over the Bank Holiday weekend, coinciding with the start of the Ramadan fast for Muslims and the run-up to Israel’s Independence Day, it was touch and go whether the latest outbreak of violence – fatalities on the border, rockets fired into Israel, airstrikes against the Gaza Strip – would escalate into all-out war. Twenty-five Palestinians and four Israelis was a modest death toll compared with summer 2014, when 2,250 Palestinians and 67 Israelis were killed in Operation Protective Edge.

The ceasefire negotiated by Egypt and the UN should ease the punishing blockade imposed by Israel since the Islamists of Hamas took over Gaza in 2007. Millions of dollars donated by the Gulf state of Qatar will continue to pay official salaries and help needy families. Palestinian fishermen will be able to operate farther out to sea. Electricity and fuel supplies should be boosted.

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Gaza has made its choice: It will continue to resist

A wounded Palestinian boy is evacuated during a protest at the Israel-Gaza fence, in the southern Gaza Strip on May 3, 2019. (photo: Reuters / Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)
Weekly peaceful protesters continue to resist settler-colonial occupation.

By Haidar Eid | Al Jazeera | May 6, 2019

What is happening in Gaza is incremental genocide, not a ‘security operation’.

We have spent sleepless nights under Israeli bombs before – in 2006, 2008, 2012, 2014 and 2018. On Saturday, apartheid Israel decided to launch yet another murderous campaign of bombardment against one of the most densely populated areas on earth.

Again, the victims were children and women. Fourteen-month-old Palestinian toddler, Siba Abu Arrar, was killed along with her pregnant aunt, Falastine, who succumbed to her wounds shortly after American-made, Israeli warplanes targeted their home in Zeitoun neighbourhood.

On Friday, like all the previous 57 Fridays, I joined thousands of peaceful protesters at the eastern fence of the Gaza concentration camp, where Israeli snipers shot and killed four Palestinians and injured 51, including children. One of those killed was 19-year-old Raed Abu Teir, who was walking on crutches, having been injured during previous protests.

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EVENT: Israel, Zionism and the Jewish Community in 2019 (May 23)

Peter Beinart. (photo: Center for American Progress Action Fund / Flickr)
Please join our brothers and sisters for this exciting evening with Peter Beinart.
Date: Thursday, May 23, 2019
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Location: Temple de Hirsch Sinai
1511 E Pike St
Seattle, WA 98122
Information & Registration: Event information here →
Event Details

Join us for a discussion with Peter Beinart, a prominent columnist for The Atlantic and the Forward. He will share his thoughts on anti-semitism, the changing conversation on Israel in the Jewish community, the results of the Israeli election and more.

Peter Beinart is Associate Professor of Journalism and Political Science at the City University of New York. He is also a contributor to The Atlantic, a Senior Columnist at The Forward, a CNN Political Commentator and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Foundation for Middle East Peace. He has written three books, The Good Fight, The Icarus Syndrome and The Crisis of Zionism.

Beinart has written for The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, the Boston Globe and other prominent publications. Beinart became The New Republic’s managing editor in 1995. He became the magazine’s Senior Editor in 1997, and from 1999 to 2006 served as its Editor.

This event is co-sponsored by J Street, Kavana Cooperative, Temple Beth Am, Temple de Hirsch Sinai and Congregation Beth Shalom.

More information here →

Film: Wajib (Jun 7)

Please join our brothers and sisters at the Mideast Focus Ministry for their First Friday Film series.
Date: Friday, May 3, 2019
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Location: St. Mark’s Cathedral
Bloedel Hall
1245 10th Ave E
Seattle, WA 98102
Information: Event information here →
Tickets: Free Admission
Event Details

There’s a quiet warmth that runs like a current through ‘Wajib,’ a new film from the Palestinian director and writer Annemarie Jacir. The title is Arabic for “duty,’ and here the obligation is shared by father and son. Abu Shadi, an aging divorcee living in a Christian Palestinian community in Nazareth, is driving around his neighborhood and its outskirts all day at the beginning of the Christmas season — he’s got ‘Jingle Bells’ as his phone’s ringtone — hand-delivering invitations to his daughter’s wedding. With him is his son, Shadi, an architect who now makes his home in Rome.
— Glenn Kenny, The New York Times

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From God to art to politics, in Amman

Abdul Hay Mosallam’s frieze of Gaza, at the Darat al-Funun museum in Amman Jordan. March 2019. (photo:  Alice Rothchild)
Rothchild’s second dispatch from a Middle East trip describes the political messiness and the heartache of a complicated country facing many challenges.

By Alice Rothchild | Mondoweiss | Apr 28, 2019

Jordan has ‘the second highest share of refugees compared to its population in the world.’

March 23, 2019

Leaving the Nazarene Church, I meet up with a reporter from the Electronic Intifada, Tamara Nassar, who is excited to inform me that this week is Israeli Apartheid Week, organized by the Jordanian BDS chapter. I learn that there is a general sentiment here that supports boycotting Israel and Israelis broadly rather than just complicit institutions. Tamara talks of another unaffiliated group focused on anti-normalization called Etharrak that recently was critical of Netflix for filming a new TV series using Amman as Tel Aviv. These activists denounced this effort as normalizing relations with Israel. As Tamara wrote in a piece for Electronic Intifada, two Jordanian actors pulled out of the show and there were protests at one of the film locations.

Etharrak condemned the filming in a letter to the Royal Film Commission of Jordan, an official body that promotes and facilitates foreign film and television production in the country.

Israel uses cultural normalization “to beautify and whitewash its crimes, terrorism and occupation,” the letter stated.

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