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BACBI
Academic Newsletter N°64 (November 2020)

Contents:

Spotlight (10) -- Actions (4) -- Academia (4) -- Analyses (8) -- BDS (3) -- COVID-19 (1) -- International (12) -- Israel (4) -- Palestine (8) -- Prisoners (3) -- Refugees (1) -- Resources (5) -- Videos (4)

Spotlight:
Palestine's Women: Activists and Political Prisoners

Ittaf Alian: "Female Prisoners and the Struggle: A Personal Testimony"
Excerpt from: Threat. Palestinian Political Prisoners in Israel, edd. Abeer Baker & Anat Matar (Pluto Press, 2011, pp. 183-187):

"To sum up, I would like to state that the freedom of a nation is intertwined with the freedom of its women and vise versa; therefore, I believe that as Palestinians we will not be able to end the Occupation unless we unleash our women from their social restraints and empower them to take a genuine and active role in both political and social struggles. Having had the experience of national political struggle, I can say with confidence that women's struggle is not limited to the national resistance; rather it includes also the long wait for the return of a detained husband, being a provider for the family during his absence, guaranteeing her children a good future and above all, fighting to improve her society while living under a vicious Occupation and oppressive political conditions" (p.187).


Khalida lors de sa libération d'une prison israélienne en 2016. Depuis, elle a de nouveau été arrêtée par l'occupation et séjourne actuellement en prison. (Photo : Facebook)

"Khalida Jarrar : « C'est la foi du paysan qui travaille la terre »"
Hind Shraydeh(
Charleroi pour la Palestine 11 mai 2020):

Bien des gens étaient allés cafter Khalida auprès de son père: « Mieux vaut contrôler la situation avant qu'il ne soit trop tard, Kana'an... On a vu ta fille portée sur des épaules d'hommes et elle scande des slogans dans les manifestations!»
Continue...


Prominent Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar in Nablus, West Bank on 28 February 2019 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

"Palestinian women's groups call on Israel to release MP Khalida Jarrar" (Middle East Monitor, Oct 26):

The General Union of Palestinian Women, women's institutions and rights centres yesterday called on the international community to put pressure on Israel to release female Palestinian MP Khalida Jarrar, Quds Net reported. According to the news site, the statement also called for the release of all female Palestinian prisoners, who are enduring harsh conditions inside Israeli jails, including Israa Jaabis who has suffered 65 per cent burns across her body and face and had eight of her finger amputated as a result following a gas cylinder explosion near an Israeli checkpoint in 2015.
Jarrar is a senior leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), she has been imprisoned several times by the Israeli occupation and spent numerous terms under administrative detention.  Continue...

"Statement of Condemnation and outrage"
The Union of Palestinian Women's Committees (Facebook, Nov 2):

The Union of Palestinian Women's Committees condemns, with utmost power, the arrest of the President of the Union and the secretariat member of the General Union of Palestinian Women, Khitam Al-Saafin, this morning on November 2nd, 2020, after the raiding of her house in Beitunia by the despicable Israeli occupation forces. It is worth mentioning that Khitam was subject to illegal arbitrary administrative detention before.
UPWC strives to build a civil democratic progressive community free of all forms of discrimination and respects women's rights as part of human rights in general.  Continue...



Mays Abu Ghosh was born and raised in Qalandia refugee camp near Jerusalem [Shatha Hammad/Al Jazeera]

"Palestinian student Mays Abu Ghosh speaks out on Israeli abuse and torture under interrogation"
(Samidoun, Jan 2, 2020):

Palestinian journalism student Mays Abu Ghosh spoke with lawyers from the Palestinian Prisoners' Affairs Commission, discussing her torture and mistreatment under interrogation for over 30 days. A student at Bir Zeit University from Qalandiya refugee camp, Mays Abu Ghosh, 22, is a writer and student activist who has worked to publicize the struggles of Palestinian political prisoners and Palestinian refugees.  Continue...

"Palestinian Female Political Prisoners and Detainees: Resistance and Steadfastness towards the Liberation of Palestine" by Reham Alhelsi (Samidoun, 8 Dec, 2015):

O darkness of prison, reign, we love the darkness
For after the night there is nothing, but the dawn of a glory that is rising

They fight the darkness, they fear it not. To them, it is the constant companion that will only end with either martyrdom or the glory of freedom and defeating the jailor. Every minute and every day, Palestinians held captive in Israeli dungeons present tales of heroism, steadfastness and resistance; they resist the occupation with their steadfastness, with their patience and with their refusal to surrender. They break the chains of captivity every day with their strong will and their unity. They defeat the Israeli jailors every day with their belief in the inevitability of victory.  Continue...


Therese Halasa as a young fighter in the camps and later in life, living in Amman after her release.

"Remembering Therese Halasa, Palestinian revolutionary: Rima Tannous' prison story"
(Samidoun, March 28):

On 28 March 2020, Therese Halasa, lifelong struggler and Palestinian revolutionary, passed away in Amman, Jordan, at the age of 66. Born in Akka, occupied Palestine '48 in 1954 to Palestinian and Jordanian parents, she grew up under Israeli martial law imposed on Palestinians. After the 1967 war and the occupation of the remainder of Palestine she was inspired by the same call as thousands of young Palestinians, flocking to the camps of the fighting movements of the PLO.
As an 18-year-old Palestinian fighter in 1972, Theresa was one of four militants who hijacked a Belgian Sabena plane, Flight 571, en route to Tel Aviv. Their demand: freedom for 315 Palestinian and Arab prisoners in Israeli jails. Rima Tannous and Therese Halasa were brought before an Israeli military court and sentenced to life imprisonment, but they continued to educate themselves and struggle behind prison bars
Continue...


Hana Shalabi, prisonnière palestinienne libérée après 47 jours de grève de la faim, posant pour les photographes dans l'hôpital Al-Quds à Gaza le 2 avril, 2012.

"Comment Israël exploite les rôles genrés pour discréditer les militantes palestiniennes"
Samah Jabr (Charleroi pour la Palestine, 26 mai):

En Palestine, l'oppression des hommes et des femmes par Israël a un impact différent. Les hommes sont exposés à la violence liée à l'occupation en raison de leur plus grande présence dans la sphère publique, tandis que les femmes sont ciblées d'autres manières. L'oppression et le colonialisme exacerbent les inégalités préexistantes entre les sexes, car la violence politique encourage une attitude « protectrice » qui empêche les femmes de participer à la vie de la communauté.  Continue...


Leila Khaled montrant une photo d'elle, plus jeune. (Photo: Tanya Habjouqa)

"Le droit de narration des féminismes palestiniennes"

The Palestine Feminist Working Group, 7 octobre 2020.

(Charleroi pour la Palestine, 10 oct):

Si les plates-formes digitales continuent à avoir le pouvoir de dicter les termes des propos qui s'y échangent, nous ne pouvons que nous attendre à une restriction encore accrue de ce que l'intellectuel palestinien Edward Saïd appelait le « droit de narration ». En tant que féministes palestiniennes, nous ne connaissons que trop bien les enjeux actuels.
En tant que féministes palestiniennes, nous honorons Leila Khaled et nous nous prévalons d'elle, de la même façon que nous nous prévalons de toutes les femmes palestiniennes, tant au pays qu'en exil, qui ont combattu pour faire en sorte que les générations de Palestiniens continuent à exister. Nous sommes honorées de perpétuer cet héritage à travers un engagement indéfectible vis-à-vis de la lutte de libération de la Palestine.


Drawing by Laura Whitehorn (fragment), former U.S. political prisoner, in the DC jail in 1989.

"For the Love of Palestine"
New booklet highlights stories of Palestinian women prisoners
(Samidoun, Nov 10, 2016)

Members of the Prison, Labor and Academic Delegation to Palestine, working with The Freedom Archives, have developed and released a new booklet focusing on the struggle of Palestinian women prisoners. "For the Love of Palestine: Stories of Women, Imprisonment and Resistance" highlights the cases of ten present and former Palestinian women prisoners and the continuing struggle of Palestinian women for justice, return and liberation.
See below:
Resources.

Actions & Calls : 

"Palestinian astrophycisist Prof. Barghouthi sees his administrative detention renewed"
Scientists4Palestine (November 8, 2020):

Hours before Palestinian Astrophysicist Prof. Imad Barghouthi's scheduled release on Sunday November 8th, the military commander of the West Bank issued a new administrative detention order extending his imprisonment, which has been going on since July 16th 2020, by an additional three months and three weeks. The justification for this decision by the Israeli military referenced secret files in possession of the Israeli forces, which neither Prof. Barghouthi nor his lawyer have been provided access to. Prof. Bargouthi continues to be held, in violation of international law, and kept from his family, students, and colleagues.
Continue...

SIGN NOW: Free Mohammad Alzoghayer

End administrative detention for Palestinian human rights activist

Mohammad Alzoghayer is a 33-year-old Palestinian community organizer. Mohammad is from Hebron and is father of three. He is the Arabic spokesman for Youth Against Settlements (YAS), a Hebron-based Palestinian grassroots group that engages in peaceful community activism against the Israeli occupation. Since late April, Mohammad has been kept in administrative detention in Israel without charge or trial. In protest, he started a hunger strike on October 20. He was then placed in solitary confinement. Read more about Mohammad's case here.
Israeli authorities routinely use administrative detention against peaceful activists. People can be held indefinitely without trial, sometimes for years. In August 2020, there were 355 Palestinians in administrative detention.
Call on United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres to demand that Israeli authorities immediately release human rights activist Mohammad Alzoghayer and end the practice of administrative detention.

"Victory for Maher al-Akhras: Palestinian prisoner suspends hunger strike, to be released 26 November"

Tamara Nassar (The Electronic Intifada, Nov 6):

Maher al-Akhras suspended his hunger strike on Friday after refusing food for 103 days to protest his detention without charge or trial by Israel. Al-Akhras took the decision after Israel agreed to release him on 26 November, when his current administrative detention order ends. Such orders can be renewed indefinitely but Israel has agreed not to renew his. He will spend the remainder of his detention hospitalized, as he recovers from a fast that brought him to the brink of death.
Continue...

Breaking news: Ubai Aboudi finally freed! (Scientists for Palestine, Oct 22):

Mr. Ubai Aboudi, Palestinian-American researcher and educator and director of the Bisan Center for Research & Development, who was abducted by the Israeli military without charges on November 13, 2019, is finally FREE! Over a thousand scholars worldwide, including Nobel prize winner George Smith and world renowned linguist Noam Chomsky, had signed a petition asking for his release.  Continue...


UN expert calls for accountability as Israel records highest rate of illegal settlement approvals

GENEVA (30 October 2020) - The Israeli government's recent announcement that it has approved construction of nearly 5,000 more settlement homes in the occupied Palestinian territory is a grave breach of international law, an independent human rights expert said today.
"The international community must answer this grave breach of international law with more than mere criticism," said Michael Lynk, UN special rapporteur for the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967. Earlier this month, a defence ministry planning committee approved plans for 4,948 more homes. "As the Israeli settlements continue to devour the land that is meant for the independent Palestinian state, the international community observes, it sometimes objects, but it does not act," said Lynk. "It is high time for accountability." 
Continue...

Academia :

Decolonizing Our Campuses: Students Unite Against Oppression (November 13 - 15)
By: Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and wider BDS movement (Oct 28):

Join the discussion with students and academics organizing against Israeli apartheid as well as against privatization, climate catastrophe, racism, sexism and militarization of campuses.
We invite you to join us for a three-day conference to reflect upon ongoing student struggles and challenges in organizing. Decolonizing our Campuses: Students Unite Against Oppression is being organized by the Palestinian Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel and the wider BDS movement  from November 13th to 15th. Join the discussion with students and academics organizing against Israeli apartheid as well as against privatization, climate catastrophe, racism, sexism and militarization of campuses.
Follow this link to register: http://bit.ly/student-conf

"The European Centre for Palestinian Studies (ECPS)"
Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies (University of Exeter)

Cognizant of the Palestine Studies Trust adjacent to the University of Exeter initiated by Dr Uri Davis in the early 1980s, Professor Ilan Pappé and Dr Ghada Karmi founded the European Centre for Palestinian Studies (ECPS) in 2009. It is dedicated to producing interdisciplinary on the history of Palestine and the Palestine/Israel conflict.

Asa Winstanley, "UK universities reject Israel lobby's anti-Semitism definition" (EI, Oct 27):

Only a minority of UK universities have adopted the misleading and politically motivated definition of anti-Semitism promoted by Israel and its lobby. Despite repeated British government threats, fewer than 22% of higher education establishments have adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's "working definition" of anti-Semitism.  Continue...


Analyses and Comments :


Mahmoud al-Araj, the father of Bassel al-Araj, salutes his son's body during his funeral in al-Walaja, his home village in the occupied West Bank, on 17 March 2017. Anne Paq, ActiveStills.

"Bassel al-Araj: An icon for a lost generation "
Jaclynn Ashly (The Electronic Intifada, 12 Oct):

Since his killing, Bassel al-Araj has become one of the most recognizable icons in Palestine. The image of the revolutionary activist - a pharmacist by trade and education and unaffiliated to any of the existing Palestinian factions - his signature black-framed glasses perched on his nose, a gun strapped over his shoulder and wrapped in a checkered keffiyeh, adorns neighborhoods up and down streets in the occupied West Bank.
And al-Araj's influence on friends and fellow activists has grown even stronger more than three-and-a-half years after the 31-year-old was killed in a stand-off with Israeli forces in al-Bireh on the outskirts of Ramallah on 6 March 2017. His death was deeply disturbing to Palestinians, not least because of the role of the Palestinian Authority. His family
accused the PA of complicity in his killing. 
Continue...


Workers at the City of David archaeological site, near Jerusalem's Old City, on July 22, 2019. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

"In East Jerusalem, the settler project is expanding underground"

Elad's politicization of archaeology, most notably through the City of David park in East Jerusalem, erases Palestinians and their history.

Natasha Roth-Rowland (+972, Oct 23):

The news that the Jewish National Fund has for decades collaborated with settler group Elad in East Jerusalem, revealed on +972 Magazine this week, may have come as a surprise to some abroad. The JNF is revered in the Jewish diaspora for its tree-planting campaigns and for lending its name to parks across Israel. Elad, on the other hand, is known for seizing homes in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem, close to the Old City.  Continue...


A Jewish ultra-Orthodox man visits the mountain fortress of Herodium, near the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, Nov 29, 2010 (Yaakov Naumi/Flash90).

"Israel's army of archaeological looters."

Using archaeology to validate its claim to the land, Israel is displacing artifacts from the occupied West Bank and erasing Palestinian identity.
By Dima Srouji (+972, Oct):

On a recent summer night, equipped with a large flatbed truck and jeeps, Israeli soldiers entered the Palestinian village of Taquu near occupied Bethlehem to remove a Byzantine baptismal stone font. A Palestinian man captured the scene with his mobile phone, hand unsteady as he documented the military vehicles from above...
Though the military looting in Taquu reflects the kind of unabashed show of power that is rarely caught on tape, this systematic expropriation is not invisible to the Palestinian eye. And it is certainly not a recent phenomenon: multiple settler-colonial authorities that have controlled Palestinians over the last century have weaponized archaeology in some form. Today, Israel sponsors and promotes
archaeological initiatives in Palestine with the sole purpose of linking only the Jewish narrative to our land, rather than embracing its entangled complexities.
Continue...


Amira Hass, the daughter of Jewish Holocaust survivors, is seen in this October 21, 2002 file photo while working in the West Bank [David Silverman/Getty Images

"The Palestinians must try to win over disillusioned Israelis
to their cause"

Hamada Fara'na (Middle East Monitor, Oct 27):

Amira Hass is a courageous Israeli journalist who defends the Palestinian people relentlessly and without hesitation. She writes about the rights of Palestinians and exposes the actions and racism of Israel's occupation. In Haaretz recently, she wrote about a 19-year-old Israeli woman, Hallel Rabin, who refused to do her military service in the occupied Palestinian territories, which she summarises as refusing to be involved in "killing, violence and destruction". Members of the Israeli army's "conscience committee" concluded that Rabin "opposes Israeli violence directed at the Palestinians" and this, according to the committee, is not regarded as conscientious objection, but political opposition. As such, the committee decided to imprison her. Continue...


A Palestinian mother and son wait to cross the Shu'fat checkpoint into Jerusalem, while an Israeli border policeman checks a Palestinian man, April 20, 2007. (Michal Fattal/Flash90)

"For Israel, tens of thousands of Palestinian newborns don't exist."

"When the Palestinian Authority ended coordination with Israel, it also stopped sending updates of its population registry. Now, over 30,000 babies are barred from traveling."

Henriette Chacar (+972 Magazine, 3 Oct):

More than 35,000 Palestinian newborns have been registered with the PA since May 20, according to Palestinian Deputy Interior Minister Yousef Harb. But for Israel, these children simply do not exist, and therefore cannot travel freely out of the occupied territories.
Israel has controlled the population registry of the West Bank,
Gaza, and East Jerusalem since it occupied the territories in 1967. With the signing of the second Oslo Accord in 1995, Israel was supposed to transfer this responsibility to the newly formed Palestinian government in Ramallah. In effect, however, Israel merely outsourced the registry's administration to the PA, and continues to refer to its own database as the definitive record of the Palestinians living under its rule.
Continue...

"Doek valt voor Israëlische lasterfabriek NGO Monitor" (The Rights Forum, 3 nov):

Volgens de Amerikaanse websites Politico en Mother Jones zou de regering-Trump op het punt staan Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Oxfam en andere NGO's tot antisemitische organisaties te verklaren en uit te sluiten van overheidssteun. Andere regeringen zouden worden opgeroepen het Amerikaanse voorbeeld te volgen. De 3 mensenrechtenorganisaties worden beschuldigd van 'deelname aan de BDS-beweging'... De rol van NGO Monitor. Politico schrijft dat de beschuldigingen aan het adres van de genoemde organisaties zijn gebaseerd op informatie van het Israëlische NGO Monitor. Die organisatie opereert als non-gouvernementele arm van de Israëlische regering in haar strijd tegen organisaties die opkomen voor de rechten van de Palestijnen en dus een belemmering vormen voor de Israëlische kolonisering van de Palestijnse gebieden. Continue...


Moshé Machover, "La paix sera un résultat de la libération de la Palestine" (6 oct 2010, via Charleroi pour la Palestine):

Alors que le "processus de paix" sporadique titube de rendez-vous sans objet en rencontres sans signification entre les chefs de l' État colonial israélien et l' Autorité palestinienne sans autorité, avec les USA jouant le rôle de médiateur malhonnête, il ne peut plus y avoir la moindre trace de doute qu'il s'agit d'une comédie jouée par des charlatans. (Moshé Machover, né en 1936, est mathématicien, philosophe, et militant de gauche, connu pour ses prises de position contre le sionisme). Continue...


David Hearst, "Hamas's leader talks about Arab normalisation with Israel, Gaza siege, Palestinian politics and US elections" (Days of Palestine, Oct 14):

In this interview, exclusive to Middle East Eye, Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh speaks about important issues related to the Palestinian cause. Editor's note: David Hearst, editor-in-chief of Middle East Eye, met Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh in Istanbul in October 2020. The transcript below has been edited for clarity.  Continue...


BDS :

Global mobilization launched for UN investigation of Israeli apartheid"
Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), Sept 23, 2020.

In a letter released yesterday, 452 civil society groups - unions, movements, political parties and organizations - from tens of countries around the world called on the United Nations General Assembly and its Member States, currently meeting in New York, to investigate Israeli apartheid and to impose targeted sanctions to stop Israeli apartheid and illegal annexation of Palestinian land.  Continue...


Almost there! Help us reach 10,000 pledges to Boycott AXA (Palestinian BDS National Committee, Oct 28):

Under a month ago, campaigners launched a call to boycott AXA. Already 6,400 individuals and 300+ organizations pledged to boycott AXA, and many people have canceled their AXA insurance policies. - Every day Israel entrenches its apartheid regime over the Palestinian people - seizing more Palestinian land, demolishing more homes, tightening its cruel siege on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, and jailing Palestinians who protest. Complicit corporations like French insurance giant AXA play a key role in enabling Israeli repression.  Continue...


100+ Unions, Movements and Solidarity Groups demand HPE's inclusion in UN settlement database.

Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC):

November 4: HPE provides servers for the database for Israel's Population and Immigration Authority, which includes Israelis living in illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory. - Over a hundred trade unions, student associations, people's movements and solidarity groups from across the world came together to send a letter to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Michelle Bachelet, demanding that Hewlett Packard Enterprises (HPE) be included in the database of businesses complicit in Israel's settlement enterprise. HPE provides exclusive servers to maintain the database for Israel's Population and Immigration Authority. This includes the 'Yesha database' of Israeli citizens living in illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.
With the letter sent to the OHCHR, followed by the endorsements.

COVID-19 in the oPt:

International :

Statement by the [EU] Spokesperson on the Israeli demolitions of Palestinian structures.

Brussels, 05/11/2020 - 07:37, UNIQUE ID: 201105_31

This week, Israeli forces demolished more than 70 structures, including residential, livelihood and sanitation facilities, belonging to 11 Palestinian families with 41 children in Khirbet Hamsa al-Foqa, in the northern Jordan Valley. This large-scale demolition confirms once again the regrettable trend of confiscations and demolitions since the beginning of the year.
This comes on top of the threat of demolition of the Palestinian school in the Ras Al-Teen community in the central West Bank, which has been co-funded by the EU and several EU Member States. There are currently 52 Palestinian schools under threat of demolition. As reiterated in previous EU Council Conclusions, the EU calls for the protection of children, including ensuring their right to education in a safe and secure school environment. Education is a basic human right that should be protected and maintained. Such developments constitute an impediment towards the two-state solution. The EU reiterates its call on Israel to halt all such demolitions, including of EU-funded structures, in particular in light of the humanitarian impact of the current coronavirus pandemic.

PERSBERICHT - COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE - PRESS RELEASE 

België veroordeelt vernielingen in bezette Palestijnse Gebieden
La Belgique condamne les démolitions dans les Territoires palestiniens occupés
Belgium condemns demolitions in the occupied Palestinian Territories

Belgium condemns the recent demolition of four homes in the occupied Palestinian Territories (in al-Rakeez, south of Hebron) by the Israeli authorities. This essential infrastructure was built with Belgian funding, as part of humanitarian aid implemented by the West Bank Protection Consortium. Our country asks Israel for compensation or restitution for these destructions. Belgium supports such infrastructure projects because they meet urgent humanitarian needs. They are always carried out in accordance with international humanitarian law.
As a member of the UN Security Council, Belgium has on several occasions expressed great concern about the alarming increase in the number of demolitions and seizures of structures and humanitarian projects in area C in the West Bank. We reiterate that the demolition of infrastructure and housing in the occupied West Bank is contrary to international humanitarian law, in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel's obligations as occupying power and UN Security Council resolutions...
Belgium is also appalled by the demolition on November 3rd of more than eighty structures in the village of Khirbet Hamsa al-Foqa in the Jordan Valley. This has an enormous impact on the local population and on the assistance provided by humanitarian partners.
Continue...


A Palestinian teacher giving a lesson in a classroom at the Ras al-Tin school, near the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on 8 October (Prime Minister's office /APA images)

"EU Politicians angry over Israeli demolition of EU infrastructure"
(Associated Press, Oct 17):

On Wednesday morning, Israeli forces demolished yet another Palestinian structure in the occupied West Bank. Funded by the EU, the demolished primary school in the pastoral community of Ras El-Tin east of Ramallah used to serve 50 students first grade to sixth grade, according to Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor.
In late September, Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland and Norway delivered a joint stake-out on the Middle East at the United Nations in which the European states reaffirmed their deep concern about Israel's settlement activities and demolitions of Palestinian structures. The statement noted that "the period from March to August 2020 saw the highest average destruction rate in four years."
Continue...


Foto: OCHA Facebook

UN agencies and international NGOs call for the protection of Palestinian olive harvesters

Joint statement by OCHA, OHCHR, the Food Security Sector and AIDA, which represents over 80 international NGOs (5 Nov):

International NGOs and UN agencies call on the Israeli authorities to protect Palestinians participating in the ongoing olive harvest season, as well as their property, from violence by Israeli settlers, and ensure that farmers can access their land freely and safely. 
In the first four weeks of the season alone (7 Oct - 2 Nov), the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) recorded 33 incidents where people known or believed to be Israeli settlers attacked Palestinians or damaged their trees or produce. Twenty-five Palestinians were injured, over 1,000 olive trees were burnt or otherwise damaged, and large amounts of produce were stolen.  Continue...


Palestinian olive harvesters wait to access their land at a closed Israeli military gate, October 2020. Ahmad Al-Bazz ActiveStills.

"UN agencies call for a gentler occupation"
Maureen Clare Murphy (The Electronic Intifada, Nov 6):

A coalition of UN agencies and international aid groups are calling on Israel to protect the Palestinian olive harvest which, as it does every year, has come under attack by West Bank settlers. But their toothless demands on Israel ignore the reality of the occupation. Twenty-five Palestinians have been injured so far during this year's harvest, which began in early October. More than 1,000 olive trees have been damaged and large amounts of produce have been stolen from Palestinians by settlers...
The coalition demands that Israeli occupation forces - which they euphemistically refer to as "Israeli Security Forces" - protect Palestinians from settlers. This ignores the vanguard role played by settlers in Israel's conquest of Palestinian land, which is then enforced by the state. Settler violence is not incidental to the occupation. It is central to it. And settler impunity is not incidental to the theft of Palestinian land. It is a means towards that end, implicitly blessed by the state. The failure of international bodies to call for measures that would compel Israel to end the occupation only ensures its endurance and all the violence it entails. Continue...

Kathryn Shihadah, "Palestine in the 2020 elections: a look at Joe Biden" (If Americans Knew, Aug 6, 2019):

It looks like Joe Biden is running. With Beltway insiders and Democratic bigwigs talking up his presidential chances, the former vice-president looks to be the candidate to beat in the 2020 primaries. The only problem is, it's Joe Biden. Biden has called himself "a Zionist" and has supported Israel's strangling blockade on Gaza. Biden credits his father for making him aware as a child of the need for a Jewish safe haven, and for instilling in him "never again." He stated in 2006 that Democratic support for Israel "comes from our gut, moves through our heart, and ends up in our head. It's almost genetic." Continue...


Kamala Harris: "US will reverse Trump-era policy, restore relation with Palestine" (Middle East Monitor, Nov 3):

The administration of US Presidential candidate Joe Biden will reverse a number of President Donald Trump's controversial policies on Palestine and the broader Middle East, according to Kamala Harris. The Democratic Party candidate for vice president made numerous pledges in an interview over the weekend with the Arab American News... Harris also pledged to reverse Trump's decision to defund organisations delivering critical relief and aid to the Palestinians. "Will take immediate steps to restore economic and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people, address the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, reopen the U.S. consulate in East Jerusalem and work to reopen the PLO mission in Washington"... Continue...


Richard Silverstein: "Kamala Harris' Dismal Take on Israel-Palestine" (Tikkun Olam, Nov 8):

Toward the end of the seemingly unending presidential campaign, vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris, gave an interview to Arab American News, based in Michigan It was the standard local news interview candidates do hundreds, if not thousands of times, pitched to the interests of the local community and offering the candidate as the means to fulfill them. So there was little surprising in what Harris said.  Most of it was formulaic, some of it was reassuring, but overall it was disappointing, if not unexpected... Israel has essentially ignored U.S. protests over these same issues and proceeded on its merry way toward the very outcome we claim to oppose. Israel may not, under Biden, say it is implementing annexation, but its policies accomplish this de facto. U.S. opposition means nothing to the Israelis largely because we refuse to crack the whip. And what Harris's bromides prove more than anything is that her boss won't do so during his presidency. Continue...


Jonathan Cook, "Social media's erasure of Palestinians is a grim warning for our future" (J.C., Oct 26):

Facebook, Google and Twitter are not neutral platforms. They control the digital public square to aid the powerful - and can cancel any of us overnight. The experience of Palestinians online points to a future in which tech giants like Facebook, Google and Twitter gain ever greater control over all of us - over what we know and what we are allowed to think, and over who is visible and who erased. Continue...


Maha Nassar, "US media talks a lot about Palestinians - just without Palestinians" (+972 Magazine, Oct 2):

Although major U.S. newspapers hosted thousands of opinion pieces on Israel-Palestine over 50 years, hardly any were actually written by Palestinians. The decision of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to withdraw from a memorial honoring Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin has rightly been seen by observers as evidence that Palestinian voices and perspectives are finally being taken seriously in progressive Democratic circles.  Continue...


Kathryn Shihadah, "Congress cranks out legislation for Israel: The details" (If Americans Knew, Oct 31):

Congress has been cranking out legislation that bankrolls & benefits Israel at a remarkable pace during the current congressional session. Here's a rundown... -  Since Israel's founding in 1948, it has received (adjusting for inflation) more than $252.7 billion from the U.S. - an amount that the majority of Americans consider excessive. In spite of its consistent, long, documented history of frequent human rights violations (often not reported in US media) and discrimination, Congress seeks to reward Israel and chastise Israel's victim (read more about aid to Israel here and here).  Continue...


"Cori Bush, Democrat who supported BDS, wins Missouri congressional race" (Times of Israel, Nov 4):

JTA - Cori Bush, a Democrat who expressed support for the movement to boycott Israel, is set to become the St. Louis area's next congresswoman. Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, who also support the movement to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel - known as BDS - are also expected to win. Continue...


Israel :

Eitan Bronstein Aparicio: "Ik verhuisde naar Brussel, maar verliet Israël niet" (De Wereld Morgen, 3 nov):

In december 2019 verhuisde de Joodse Israëli Eitan Bronstein Aparicio van Tel Aviv naar Brussel. Het was voor hem geen evidente beslissing. De maatschappelijke realiteit van de apartheid in Israël, de kolonisatie en de bezetting van Palestina werden echter te confronterend. Van jonge, overtuigde kibbutznik en linkse zionist evoluëerde hij tot een van de meest radicale linkse stemmen tegen het zionisme in Israël. Continue...

Zie: Eitan Bronstein Aparicio & Éléonore Merza Bronstein: "Israël et la Nakba, de la reconnaissance au déni" (OrientXXI, 19 avril 2018). En: "NAKBA - Pour la reconnaissance de la tragédie palestinienne en Israël" (Éd. Omniscience 2018, ISBN 979-10-97502-09-6, 320p., 20 euros).


Orly Noy, "Israeli conscientious objector begins third stint in military prison" (+972, Oct 21):

Conscientious objector Hallel Rabin was sentenced to 25 days behind bars for refusing to join the Israeli army over its policies toward the Palestinians.
Q. "You're currently the only conscientious objector sitting in prison. Do you have a sense of why conscientious objection has almost ceased to be used as a political tool by the left?"
A. "I think it has become illegitimate. From what I see, many people seek exemption on medical or psychological grounds. It's a more comfortable avenue for boys and girls as well as the army, since it does not place a mirror in front of its face."  
Continue...


Ali Abunimah, "Genocide supporter may get top job at Israel Holocaust memorial" (The Electronic Intifada, 29 Oct):

Israeli General Effie Eitam minces no words about Palestinians. "These are creatures who came out of the depths of darkness," he told The New Yorker's Jeffrey Goldberg in 2004. "We will have to kill them all," Eitam said, before adding this merciful note: "I don't mean all the Palestinians, but the ones with evil in their heads."  Continue...


Afif Abu Much, "New initiative in Israel for Jewish-Arab party" (Al-Monitor, Oct 31):

In three rounds of elections last year, Israel's center-left bloc campaigned on the notion of dissociating itself with the country's Arab citizens. In an effort to sway right-wing voters to switch allegiance to the center-left bloc, Blue and White party chairman Benny Gantz, now the minister of defense, made a point of keeping a distance from the Arab population. Continue...


Palestine Occupied :

Gideon Levy & Alex Levac, "At the Foothills of an Israeli Settlement, Palestinians Are Used to Weekends of Terror" (Haaretz, Oct 31):

Five people wounded - that was the bloody toll of two assaults last weekend by settlers from Yitzhar and its neighboring outposts on Palestinian villagers in the West Bank. Guess which of the sides gets army protection. -- The last row of houses in the village of Asira al-Qibliya, near Nablus in the West Bank, looks like a sort of fortress. 8 residential dwellings whose windows are protected with bars, courtesy of a European aid organization, their yards covered with a smattering of stones that have been thrown at them, encompassed by a fence, doors shuttered. Continue...


Settler violence against Palestinians and their property is routine in the West Bank and is rarely prosecuted by Israeli authorities. (Photo: File)

"Jewish Settlers Cut Electricity Supply to Palestinians"
(The Palestine Chronicle, Oct 30):

A number of settlers from the settlement of Rahalim near the village cut off electricity poles with electric saws and destroyed the water network for citizens in the western region of the village of Al-Sawiyah, which led to the disruption of main services for hundreds of Palestinian citizens in the area... "Jewish settler violence should not be analyzed separately from the violence meted out by the Israeli army, but seen within the larger context of the violent Zionist ideology that governs Israeli society entirely," wrote Palestinian author and editor of The Palestine Chronicle, Ramzy Baroud.

"Settlers stone Palestinian cars for hours on Route 60 near settlement of Eli" (B'Tselem, Oct 20):

On Thursday evening, 3 September 2020, dozens of settlers blocked a lane on Route 60 near the turnoff to the settlement of Eli. They threw stones at passing Palestinian cars and tried to block their way. Some of the stones hit passengers or the cars. According to testimonies given by B'Tselem, soldiers were present in the area and came to the spot at least twice, yet did nothing to protect the passengers or stop the settlers from throwing stones. In at least one case, the Israel Police was notified but did not arrive. This is no exception. It is part of routine, daily conduct by Israeli settlers and security forces in the West Bank that has been going on for many years. Continue...


Polluted areas due to the Israeli sewage are seen in Golan Heights on October 25, 2016. [Anadolu Agency/Faruk Al Ahmed]

"Israeli settlers flood Palestinian farmland with sewage"
(Middle East Monitor,
19 Oct):

Israeli settlers today flooded Palestinian-owned land with sewage and wastewater in the village of Deir Al-Hatab in Nablus governorate. The flooding has disrupted the local olive harvest. According to Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official in charge of the settlements' portfolio in the northern West Bank, settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Elon Moreh were responsible for flooding the land and damaging the trees. He explained that most of this land is planted with olive trees, which means that this year's crop of olives is threatened.  Continue...


Abdul-Ghani Awawdeh is seen among the debris of an Israeli demolition in the Palestinian community of Humsa al-Fuqa, in the occupied West Bank, November 4, 2020. (Ahmad al-Bazz/Activestills)

"Israel carries out largest West Bank demolition operation in a decade"
Israel demolished over 70 structures in the Humsa al-Fuqa community in the occupied West Bank, displacing 11 Palestinian families.

Ahmad Al-Bazz and Oren Ziv (+972, Nov 4):

In the largest West Bank demolition operation in a decade, Israeli military authorities on Tuesday razed around 70 structures in the Jordan Valley's Humsa al-Fuqa community in the occupied West Bank. Locals reported that six bulldozers, accompanied by around 100 Israeli soldiers, carried out the demolitions, leaving 11 Palestinian families homeless. Among the demolished structures were those seemingly funded by the European Union and other European governmental and non-governmental institutions.
"They startled us with no prior notification," says Abdul-Ghani Awawdeh, 52, who lost every residential structure on the land where he lives, including animal shelters, water tanks and solar system units. Israeli forces also confiscated his car.  
Continue...


The ruins of a demolished home in Fasayil, the West Bank. Credit: Alex Levac.

Amira Hass, "The Latest in Jewish Morality: House Demolitions, Displacement, Settlement Construction"
(Haaretz, Nov 2):

Last Wednesday a unit from Civil Administration and the Israel Defense Forces destroyed a 1.5km water pipeline, and in doing so cut off the villages of Mughayer al-Abid and Khirbet Al-Majaz in the Masafer Yatta (Hebron district) from their water supply. The destroyers ignored the fact that the villagers of Masafer Yatta have petitioned the High Court of Justice against the damage to the pipes that bring water to them from the central tap in the village of Al-Tawani. The proceeding has been scheduled for March... Continue...


Hagar Shezaf, "Extreme heat dashes Palestinian olive farmers' hopes for a good year" (Haaretz, Oct 31 - Credit: Meged Gozani):

Groves are reporting exceptionally bad harvests across the West Bank, and experts are tying the results to the heat wave back in May - as global warming threatens. - When fierce rains wet West Bank lands last winter, the precipitation fed the hopes of many farmers for a fruitful harvest. But just five days after the season began this week, some farmers were already declaring they were done. Continue...


"Palestinian factions condemn PA crackdown on West Bank protests" (Middle East Monitor, Oct 15):

Palestinian factions condemned on Wednesday the Palestinian Authority's "violent" crackdown on protests at Red Cross offices across the occupied West Bank in solidarity with a Palestinian hunger striker held by Israel. Maher Al-Akhras is being held indefinitely with neither charge nor trial and has been on hunger strike for 80 days.  Continue...


Prisoners :

# Report: "Press Release: Urgent action needed to protect Palestinian detainees amid surge in COVID-19 cases in Israeli prisons"

Al Mezan Center for Human Rights (5 Nov 2020):

Al Mezan Center for Human Rights is gravely concerned over reports of an ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases among Palestinian detainees in Israeli custody. Al Mezan reports that 85 Palestinians have tested positive in Gilboa Prison (HaShita Junction).[1] Despite numerous requests by Al Mezan to the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) to adequately mitigate and prevent the outbreak of the virus in its prisons, no measures have been taken to ensure that the health and hygiene needs of Palestinian detainees are met. Al Mezan is deeply concerned about the dire detention conditions that make Israeli prisons a dangerous breeding ground for the virus, notably due to overcrowded cells. Continue...

[1] Located in the North of Palestine, Gilboa prison was established in 2004 next to Shatta prison in the Beesan (Beit She'an) area. The prison has five sections with 15 cells in each section. The prison is known for overcrowding cells with inmates being held eight per cell and given an insufficient number beds.

"Israel is subjecting Palestinian children to physical and psychological abuse"
Israel is the only country in the world to prosecute children routinely in military courts that lack basic safeguards for a fair trial.

Anjuman Rahman (Middle East Monitor, Oct 29):

There are currently at least 200 Palestinian children held in Israel's Ofer, Damon and Megiddo Prisons. They include children with disabilities and mental health problems. Damon and Megiddo are seriously overcrowded, and child prisoners are kept in close proximity to each other in squalid and unsanitary conditions. There is little healthcare provision.
Campaigners say that Save the Children's findings demonstrate that children in custody are being treated worse than animals, describing their treatment as "appalling" and warning that "children are being harmed." The reality is that if animals were treated like this, it would be a national and even international scandal.  
 Continue...

Josh Breiner, "Lawmakers find 'intolerable' conditions in surprise visit to Israeli prison" (Haaretz, Nov 3; Credit: MK Miki Haimovich) [A shower in Ayalon Prison, Ramle, Nov 1]:

"The tension and the violence are growing," says a former inmate, as incarceration conditions deteriorate under COVID-19 restrictions. Parliamentarians vow to take the case to Knesset committee. - Footage of Ayalon Prison in Ramle on Sunday revealed bedbug infestations, toilets that are just holes in the floor, mildew and water leaks on the walls, and plastic bottles for showerheads. According to Haimovich, "the situation is even more horrible in the separation cells for prisoners who have committed disciplinary infractions. This is a means of punishment, but the cells are not fit for human habitation. Even in the regular cells, where prisoners spend years, the complaint of bedbugs is persistent."  Continue...


Refugees :

UNRWA SPOTLIGHT SERIES: SYRIA UPDATE

Imagine nine years of conflict. Nine years of displacement, of running for your life, of fear in the eyes of your children.

Palestine refugees in Syria:
2/3 were displaced at least once since 2011;
91% of the households live in absolute poverty;
126,000 are in the "most vulnerable" category.

This is the reality for Palestine refugees in Syria. Now, those same 438,000 refugees are confronted with yet another challenge: COVID-19.
Similarly to the rest of the world, the socio-economic impact of the pandemic has devastated the people of Syria, and Palestine refugees are no exception. Travel restrictions, business closures, imposed curfews and other preventative measures have destroyed income and livelihoods for thousands of households, with daily paid workers being particularly impacted.
Food prices have reached record levels, with a 236% increase reported in the estimated cost of the national average reference food basket.

Consider a donation to our Syria Emergency Appeal.
It would make a difference in the lives of so many Palestine refugees.

Resources : Books, Documents, Reports...

"Life on Hold: The Policy of Administrative Detention"
(Addameer, 30 Oct 2016):

Addameer is pleased to announce the launch of a new film that tackles the issue of administrative detention as a policy used by the Israeli government to hold Palestinians indefinitely on secret information without charge or trial. The 11-minute film specifically focuses on the psychological effects of administrative detention on detainees and their families. The film was produced in collaboration with Aanat Film, as part of Addameer's global campaign to "Stop Administrative Detention".


Drawing by Laura Whitehorn, former U.S. political prisoner, in the DC jail in 1989.

"For the Love of Palestine."

Stories of Women, Imprisonment and Resistance.

Produced in partnership with: Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association & Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network. 
Published by The Freedom Archives, Nov 2016 (pdf, 43p.)

The stories in this pamphlet are drawn primarily from materials on the Addameer and Samidoun websites - with deep appreciation for their tireless work on behalf of Palestinian prisoners. An electronic version of the pamphlet can be found at: www.freedomarchives.org/Pal/womenprisoners.pdf

@ Jerome Slater, "Mythologies Without End. The US, Israel, and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1917-2020." Oxford UP, Nov 2020, 512p., ISBN: 9780190459086, $29.95.

The history of modern Israel is a fiercely contested subject. From the Balfour declaration to the Six-Day War to the recent assault on Gaza, ideologically-charged narratives and counter-narratives battle for dominance not just in Israel itself but throughout the world. Excerpt from the Introduction available on Mondoweiss: Jerome Slater, "'Mythologies Without End' - a new reading of Israeli history" (Oct 27).


@ Susan Abulhawa, "Against The Loveless World". Atria Books, 2020, 384p. ISBN 9781982137038. $27.

A sweeping and lyrical novel that follows a young Palestinian refugee as she slowly becomes radicalized while searching for a better life for her family throughout the Middle East. - Susan Abulhawa was born to refugees of the 1967 war when Israel captured what remained of Palestine, including Jerusalem. She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her daughter. Review: Hatim Kanaaneh, "A Palestinian saga of patriarchy and occupation" (Mondoweiss, Sept 21).


Newsletters:

# "Agence Media Palestine - Newsletter," https://agencemediapalestine.fr/  S'inscrire à la Newsletter: cliquez-ici.

# "Charleroi pour la Palestine", https://charleroi-pourlapalestine.be/ . S'inscrire à la Newsletter: cliquez-ici.

# "Palestina Solidariteit", website van Palestina Solidariteit vzw, https://palestinasolidariteit.be. Voor dNieuwsbrief: klik hier.

# "The Rights Forum," (NL) website: https://rightsforum.org/. Op de Nieuwsbrief inschrijven kan op elke pagina van de site.

Videos:

Introduction to "Degrees of Incarceration." The documentary introduces viewers to a diverse group of Palestinians – mothers, teenagers, children, community leaders – who strive to support each other in the enduring shadow of political prison.

Belgian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel

Committee: Prof. Karel Arnaut (KU Leuven), Prof. ém. Marie-Christine Closon (UCL), Prof. Patrick Deboosere (VUB), Prof. Lieven De Cauter (KU Leuven), Em. Prof. Herman De Ley (UGent), Em. Prof. Marc De Meyere (UGent), Prof. Serge Deruette (UMons), Lieve Franssen (dir. Brussels Brecht-Eislerkoor), Carl Gydé (director CAMPO), Prof. Perrine Humblet (ULB), Prof. Marc Jacquemain (ULiège), Em. Prof. Madeline Lutjeharms (VUB), Raven Ruëll (metteur en scène), Prof. ém. Christiane Schomblond (ULB), Dr. Nozomi Takahashi (UGent), Prof. Karin Verelst (VUB).

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