Peaceful coexistence in Israel hasn’t been shattered – it’s always been a myth

‘In the context of Israel’s rule over us, coexistence is a fiction that conceals a reality of separate and unequal lives.’ Palestinian citizens of Israel demonstrate in Haifa, to mark a nationwide general strike. (photo: Mati Milstein / NurPhoto / Rex / Shutterstock)
A Palestinian citizen in Israel lives as a second-class citizen, denied basic rights.

By Nimer Sultany | The Guardian | May 19, 2021

In the context of Israel’s rule over us, however, coexistence is a fiction that conceals a reality of separate and unequal lives.

On Tuesday, in my hometown of Tira, which is inside Israel’s pre-1967 borders, the shops were closed and the streets were empty. A general strike had been declared in protest over Israel’s policies, whether the ethnic cleansing in Sheikh Jarrah, the storming of al-Aqsa mosque, or the onslaught on Gaza.

As the Palestinian death toll continues to rise, commentators lament the shattering of coexistence inside Israel between Palestinian and Jewish citizens. Yet in my experience as a Palestinian citizen in Israel, no such coexistence existed in the first place. Coexistence implies a background of equality, freedom and mutual respect. In the context of Israel’s rule over us, however, coexistence is a fiction that conceals a reality of separate and unequal lives.

Continue reading “Peaceful coexistence in Israel hasn’t been shattered – it’s always been a myth”

Palestinian oppression and despair in stark relief in Netanyahu’s war

People inspect the rubble of the destroyed Abu Hussein building hit by an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City in the early morning Wednesday, May 19, 2021. (photo: AP / Adel Hana)
This conflict won’t be resolved without an honest accounting of the roots of occupation and exclusion.

By Alice Rothchild | The Seattle Times | May 19, 2021

Palestinians have clearly reached a breaking point after suffering from 72 years of racist and exclusionary policies by the Israeli government, its ongoing seizure of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem and the increasingly rightward, tending toward fascistic, political parties.

Gaza is roughly a 26-by-6-mile strip of land with 2 million people living under a brutal 14-year siege where, until last week, they were struggling to control a rampant COVID-19 outbreak. Now, in just nine days, using the most advanced and lethal weaponry the United States can provide, an estimated 219 Gazans have been killed, including 63 children, 1,500 injured with 72,000 internally displaced. Dozens of educational facilities, six hospitals and 11 primary health care centers have been damaged, and water, sanitation and electrical infrastructure bombed. Israel is not allowing the entry of vaccines, and it damaged the only testing lab. There would be no available hospital beds and a shortage of critical medications and oxygen if someone were to be diagnosed with the virus.

Continue reading “Palestinian oppression and despair in stark relief in Netanyahu’s war”

We support Palestine

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Statement of protest and solidarity with the Palestinian people from the mentors of We Are Not Numbers in acknowledgement of the general strike in historic Palestine and the diaspora.

By We Are Not Numbers  | May 18, 2021

I am on the board of We Are Not Numbers and I have been working with mentors in the program to craft this statement to express our outrage and concern for the massive Israeli assault on Gaza. Our job is to support and uplift voices from the region. This statement only has power if it is read and discussed. Please send to friends, family, colleagues, use your social media, call your local newspapers. SPREAD THE WORD. THE MASSACRE IS EVER MORE CATASTROPHIC. I just received an email stating that the Ministry of Health offices were ruined, the only biological and covid testing facility destroyed, 6 hospitals and 9 primary clinics are damaged to ruined, drinkable water is short and non drinkable absent for many. The Israelis bombed the street leading to Al Shifa Hospital. Two schools that are now shelters for the dispossessed have been told they are bombing targets. These are war crimes against medical workers and innocent civilians.
— Alice Rothchild, board member

We the undersigned are mentors for the We Are Not Numbers youth storytelling project. We work with Palestinian writers 18 to 30 years of age to develop their writing skills and share their stories, poetry, and graphic art with the English-speaking public. In this capacity, we have each gotten to know a number of young people, most of whom are living in Gaza, who want to be heard and understood, who have powerful stories to tell, and are rendered largely invisible by the world. Despite the wars, the besiegement, and the relentless attacks they have faced, they braved their experiences and crafted their narratives in ways that humbly allowed us to catch a glimpse of being young, born under siege, and living with intermittent electricity, water, fuel and internet, a drastic lack of employment, drones buzzing overhead and no access to basic public services.

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Emergency Vigil in Solidarity with Palestinian Calls for General Strike – Seattle WA


Palestinians have issued a call for a general strike.  Join in Seattle’s general strike and day of action on Tuesday, May 18. Launched from Jerusalem and extending across the world, we call on your support in maintaining this moment of unprecedented popular resistance.  Liberation is within our reach. Day of Action in solidarity with the Palestinian uprising and general strike.
Date: Tuesday, May 18, 2021
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Jimi Hendrix Park, 2400 S Massachusetts St, Seattle
Information: Event information here →
Tickets: Free
Event Details

Support action organized by Falastiniyat (grassroots collective of diasporic Palestinian feminists in Seattle) in solidarity with the national general strike which is happening May 18, 2021 all over Palestine and the diaspora.

The vigil will be May 18 at 7 pm Pacific Time at Jimi Hendrix Park next to the African American Heritage Museum and Cultural Center to honor the martyrs who have been killed by Israel and Zionist settlers. Bring candles and pictures of martyrs if you would like to share. All individual prayers and forms of grieving are welcome.

More information here →

But what about Hamas’s rockets?

A child mourns while holding the body of Ahmed Al-Shenbari, who was killed during an Israeli air raid in Beit Hanoun city on the northern Gaza Strip, during his funeral on May 11, 2021.  (photo: Ahmed Zakot / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images)
We must be clear: What started this immediate horror was the intensification of Israel’s ethnic-cleansing campaign against Palestinians in East Jerusalem.

By Jeremy Scahill | The Intercept | May 14, 2021

It is an effort to “both sides” what is an asymmetric campaign of terror waged by a nuclear power against a people who have no state, no army, no air force, no navy, and an almost nonexistent civilian infrastructure.

Warning: This article contains images of violence and death.

The U.S.-backed, armed, and funded extreme right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu is currently engaged in a systemic collective punishment campaign against the people of Gaza. More than two million of them are trapped in an open-air prison camp with nowhere to run or hide from this scorched earth operation. Children are being slaughtered. Civilian residential buildings are being razed to the ground. Meanwhile ethno-nationalist militias are rampaging through the streets of Israel and terrorizing their Arab neighbors in a campaign of organized mob violence. We must be clear: what started this immediate horror was the intensification of Israel’s ethnic-cleansing campaign against Palestinians in East Jerusalem, forcibly evicting people from their homes to hand them over to Israeli settlers. The incendiary situation was then exacerbated during a Ramadan siege by Israeli forces at one of the holiest sites in Islam, the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

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Leaving Palestine

Ramallah, Graffiti on the West Bank separation wall and poster of Professor Edward Said: Scholar, Activist, Palestinian 1935 – 2003. (photo: Justin McIntosh,, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons)
This piece written 22 years ago is a reminder the signs of impending crisis in Palestine have been documented for years.   It’s hard to say we didn’t know.

By Edward W. Said | The New York Review | Sept 23, 1999

Only once did my father elucidate the general Palestinian condition: “They had lost everything”; a moment later he added, “We lost everything too.”

I recall how, on November 1, 1947—my twelfth birthday—my oldest Jerusalem cousins, Yousif and George, bewailed the day, the eve of the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, with puzzling vehemence as “the blackest day in our history.” I had no idea what they were referring to but realized it must be something of overwhelming importance. Perhaps they and my parents, sitting around the table with my birthday cake, assumed that I shouldn’t be informed about something as complex as our conflict with the Zionists and the British.

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The Nakba continues

Palestinians leaving Haifa as Jewish forces enter the city – Public Domain
Unmasking the narrative that surrounds the Israel/Palestine conflict.

By Alice Rothchild | CounterPunch | May 14, 2021

The thing to remember is that this is not a battle between two equal parties; this is a struggle between one of the strongest military powers in the world, backed by the US, bent on disinheriting and humiliating a dispossessed people.

As my grief and outrage mount at the predictable escalations of violence in Israel/Palestine, I once again marvel at the chasms of misunderstanding and miscalculations in describing events as they unfold and the script that frames most mainstream media reporting. (Recently, The New York Times is a notable exception.)
Continue reading “The Nakba continues”

Palestinian refugees deserve to return home. Jews should understand.

Palestinians from Gaza leaving the occupied West Bank to go to Jordan in 1968. (photo: Agence France-Presse — Getty Images)
A Jewish voice makes the case that the wars will not end until Palestinians can return home.

By Peter Beinart | The New York Times | May 12, 2021

The East Jerusalem evictions are so combustible because they continue a pattern of expulsion that is as old as Israel itself.

Why has the impending eviction of six Palestinian families in East Jerusalem drawn Israelis and Palestinians into a conflict that appears to be spiraling toward yet another war? Because of a word that in the American Jewish community remains largely taboo: the Nakba.

Continue reading “Palestinian refugees deserve to return home. Jews should understand.”

Why so much rests on the fate of a tiny neighborhood in East Jerusalem

Palestinians protesting at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City on Monday. (photo: Amir Levy / Getty Images)
The attempts by settlers to forcibly displace Palestinian families have set off a catastrophe

By Rula Salameh | The New York Times | May 11, 2021

The protests at Al Aqsa against denying us access to our holy sites are related to the same oppressive process of disenfranchisement and occupation.

JERUSALEM — I watched the wailing ambulances bring the injured, the medical staff carry them on stretchers and the nurses guide them into the emergency ward. I saw blood-soaked clothes and gauze-wrapped necks and faces.

On Monday more than 330 Palestinians were wounded by the Israeli police at Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Many of those needing medical attention were taken to Al Makassed hospital, about a mile and a half from the mosque, in East Jerusalem.

Continue reading “Why so much rests on the fate of a tiny neighborhood in East Jerusalem”

After raid on Aqsa Mosque, rockets from Gaza and Israeli airstrikes

The police fired rubber-tipped bullets and stun grenades at stone-throwing Palestinians. (photo: Ahmad Gharabli / Agence France-Presse — Getty Images)
Gaza officials say 20 people were killed in the airstrikes. The escalation followed clashes between the Israeli police and Palestinian protesters at Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem

By Patrick Kingsley & Isabel Kershner | The New York Times | May 10, 2021

The dispute, focused on a single Jerusalem neighborhood, has exploded into a major flare-up in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, gaining world attention after a period in which the Palestinian cause had been largely marginalized…

JERUSALEM — Weeks of simmering tensions in Jerusalem between Palestinian protesters, the police and right-wing Israelis suddenly veered into military conflict on Monday, as a local skirmish in the decades-long battle for control of the city escalated into rocket fire and airstrikes in Gaza.

After a raid by the Israeli police on the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem left hundreds of Palestinians and a score of police officers wounded, militants in Gaza responded by firing a barrage of rockets at Jerusalem, drawing Israeli airstrikes in return.

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