Posts Tagged ‘Palestine’
On 28 February, an Israeli activist with Checkpoint Watch, a movement of Israeli women peace activists who oppose the Israeli occupation and the denial of Palestinians’ rights to move freely in their land, and who conduct daily observations of Israeli army checkpoints in the occupied West Bank, was at the bus terminal in Oraniot on highway number 5. At 5 pm, she writes, two police vehicles and two army trucks arrived at the terminal, and a sergeant ordered all the Palestinians to get off bus number 286, on its way to the Jewish settlement of Ariel. The soldiers collected identity documents and permits from all the Palestinian workers on the bus; the workers were told to get off, sit on the cold floor and wait. At first some of them managed to catch another bus (although they have to pay double fares), but the soldiers found out and made them march on foot for the Azoun-Othma checkpoint two and a half kilometres away.
It was cold, the sun had set. Most of these Palestinian workers had got up at three AM to catch their transportation to work inside Israel. Most live within a few kilometres and all they wanted was to be allowed to stay on the bus for a stop or two. They had paid the bus fare and 8,000 Israeli shekels (€1,670) for the permit. You have to work very hard before you can cover such expense and earn your first shekel.
Of course I am happy about the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. After eight days of pounding Gaza’s population, and the barrage of rockets on Israeli civilians, any cessation in hostilities is welcome. While I am fully aware of the horrors faced by friends in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, this attack has been so much worse for the people of Gaza just four years after operation ‘Cast Lead’, and of course also for people in the south of Israel. During the eight days173 Palestinians were killed (113 of thom civilians, 38 children and 13 women)
and 6 Israelis (no children) were killed. In the year preceding the onslaught, 64 Palestinians were killed in Gaza, 5 in the West Bank, and no Israelis. Since the first rocket fell on Israeli soil in April 2001, 59 Israelis were killed and 4,717 Palestinian.
Meanwhile, the US gave Israel 8.2m dollars per day. The reality of the death of children and the devastation in Gaza has been whitewashed in the western media as all social networks report.
The conflagration could never achieve its aims – the Israeli military did not stop the rockers and the rockets did not stop the Israeli military attack. But I cannot help thinking about the inevitability and imbalance of it all. There are many often forgotten but worth retelling facts about Gaza, as the Israeli (Jewish) blogger Eyal Clyne documents. The Gaza ‘Strip’ is an artificial space created by Israel after its establishment in 1948, when Israel chose not to incorporate it. Most Gazans are 1948 refugees, not allowed to return to their homes. Gaza was forcibly governed by Egypt until it was occupied by Israel in 1967, when a third of it was confiscated to build military camps and Jewish settlements. Read the rest of this entry »
Arab-Jewish Activism in Israel-Palestine. Marcelo Svirsky. Farnham: Ashgate. 2012. 211 pp.
ISBN 978 40942297
Since the onset of ‘the Arab Spring’ social scientists have been moving from analysing oppressive political regimes to analyses of acts of resistance. This is particularly relevant in the case of Israel-Palestine, where, since the turning point events of October 2000, when 13 Palestinian citizens of Israel who protested in solidarity with the Al Aqsa Intifada were shot by the Israeli police, acts of resistance are becoming widespread. Several social scientists are beginning to grapple with acts of resistance not only in the OPT, where non violent protestors confront the Israeli security forces on a weekly basis, but also within the state of Israel, where protestors (mostly Jewish) take to the streets to campaign for social justice.
That the two campaigns rarely meet, even though many of the protestors are active on both fronts, has been addressed by bloggers and contributors to social networks and is a point Marcelo Svirsky’s new book may have addressed. Read the rest of this entry »
I was expecting that the subject of this article, Palestinian hunger striker Khader Adnan, would not be alive by the time this article was published. Adnan, a 33- year old baker and father of two daughters living in the occupied West Bank, is a political activist and spokesman for Islamic Jihad, who was hunger striking against the Israeli practice of administrative detention. His 66-days strike was the longest in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Mr Adnan was hospitalised and lay shackled to his hospital bed, despite the Israeli authorities’ commitment to unshackle him. However, as I was preparing to write this, Mr Adnan agreed to end his hunger strike in return for the state of Israel releasing him on 17 April. Read the rest of this entry »
David Landy seems to have been curious about the construction of Jewish identity for a long time… when I first met him in 2004 he wanted to do a PhD on Ireland’s Jews… I deterred him, as this small and curious minority (‘who has ever heard of an Irish Jew?’) has been researched and written about disproportionately to its number and significance. I invited him to apply to the MPhil in Ethnic and Racial Studies, for which he wrote a dissertation on Zionism and Irish Jews.
Linking his interest in Jewish identities to his passion about Palestinian rights, it was no surprise that when he did research his PhD he focused on diaspora Jews opposed to Israel. I loved working with him as his supervisor on both dissertations; he also worked for me on a research project on Israeli memory networks – I learnt a lot from him and admire his wry sense of humour… I particularly enjoyed his thinking about the complexities of researching something he is part of – being both ethnically Jewish and a central member of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, a tightrope act which he performs admirably, evincing his commitment to both sociology and the social movement he studied.
His research field is English groups of Jewish people engaged in opposing Israeli policies. In the course of writing this book he expanded his theoretical understanding – as one does – particularly to examining diaspora opposition to Israel in terms of being a social movement – the focus of this well researched book. Read the rest of this entry »