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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

My letter to the Economist RE Palestine and the UN: Another gambit- How far will Mahmoud Abbas push a resolution to end Israeli occupation?

Christmas Magi Forever® stamp
RE Palestine and the UN: Another gambit- How far will Mahmoud Abbas push a resolution to end Israeli occupation?
http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21636779-how-far-will-mahmoud-abbas-push-resolution-end-israeli-occupation-another

Dear Sir,

Rage, self righteousness, religious extremism, hate mongering and bad advice on all sides exasperate the Israel-Palestine conflict, and the very real plight and suffering of the Palestinians. 

Diplomatic efforts based on FULL respect for international law and universal human rights (including but not limited to the Palestinian refugees right to return to original homes and lands) are the only way to actually end the conflict.

Hussein Ibish, senior fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine, quite reasonably concludes in a recent column Agreement on UN text is in everyone’s interest that "All parties have a clear interest in reaching an agreement over a text that can advance the prospects for peace, and reiterate the international community’s commitment to a two-state outcome between Israel and the Palestinians" http://www.thenational.ae/opinion/comment/agreement-on-un-text-is-in-everyones-interest

The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) "supports Palestinian institution-building, good governance, anti-corruption measures, economic development, and improved living standards. ATFP holds that these same values are relevant to the broader Arab world, and that the question of Palestine is inextricably linked to regional realities and developments." ... Abbas & the PLO would be wise to follow ATFP's attentive lead rather than rushing forward with a badly worded self defeating draft. 

Sincerely,
Anne Selden Annab

NOTES
An Open Door Beckons in the West Bank

Why Muslims Love Jesus Too: The virgin birth is mentioned in the...what...gasp...Koran?! It is indeed. So have yourself a merry Muslim Christmas.

A Christmas poem... in Growing Gardens for Palestine: Star Street Bethlehem Palestine 2014

US general rebrands Isis 'Daesh' after requests from regional partners

What Do Palestinians Want for Christmas

A Palestinian’s journey from stone-throwing to conflict resolution

What Will Israel Become?

The United States casts its lot with the problem solvers, the healers, and the builders,”  US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman in a September speech, quoted by CSM in their recent editorial

Kerry heads to talks on Palestinian statehood bid: "There are a lot of different folks pushing in different directions out there, and the question is can we all pull in the same direction," Kerry said Friday, when asked about his meeting with Netanyahu."


Ziad Asali

Tala Haikal: Empathy Is Essential to Humanity

Hussein Ibish: Non-violent resistance is Palestine’s most powerful weapon

Jordan's King: World must stand up to radicals

ATFP Calls for De-Escalation between Israel and the Palestinians

Five Reasons to Walk the Holy Land
 

Palestinian Refugees (1948-NOW) refused their right to return... and their right to live in peace free from religious bigotry and injustice.

"There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies" Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 – 1968)

 “Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.” Khalil Gibran (1883-1931), born in Lebanon, immigrated to the United States in 1895 where he grew up to become a beloved poet and respected writer.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Christmas poem... in Growing Gardens for Palestine: Star Street Bethlehem Palestine 2014



A Christmas poem... Star Street Bethlehem Palestine 2014

Half a world away
light flickers...

Stars strung house
to house, home to home
a narrow alley
in an ancient place
and a modern car
gliding... guiding
good thoughts...

Strand after strand
string after string
row by row over head
line by line
electric stars shine
illuminating
a golden glow
a golden path
a golden trance
as we go...

Wordless wonder
here and there
sharing a ride,
a marveling minute
(& twenty three seconds)
of real life and light
in Bethlehem
today... tonight...

think what you want
and I will too

as half a world away
Christmas returns renewed
in open hearts and curious,
creative minds
connecting. 

 

Star Street Bethlehem Palestine

Saturday, December 20, 2014

My letter to The NYTimes RE The Embattled Dream of Palestine


RE The Embattled Dream of Palestine- By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/20/opinion/the-embattled-dream-of-palestine.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

Dear Editor,

More than six decades ago the United Nations tried to help shape a just peace for the people of the region. Conspiracy theories and blame games abound on why it has not worked- yet.... Fact is as things are today, the angst of Israelis as well as the very real plight of the Palestinians are both likely to go from bad to much much worse, as various pundits, opinionators, religious bigots, propagandists, and hate mongers on both sides of the Israel-Palestine conflict look for and find reasons not to make peace. 

Ordinary people are being impoverished by the Israel-Palestine conflict: Money that could be and should be invested in schools and infrastructure projects here and there, creating more jobs and better jobs, is being invested in war and bigotry with devastating consequences as well as tragic ramifications as criminals like Da'esh (IS or ISIS, Islamist terrorists) thrive on the continuation of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Ending the Israel-Palestine conflict ASAP with a fully secular two state solution based on international law and full respect for universal human rights gives both Israelis and Palestinians a chance to simply be Israeli citizens and Palestinian citizens: A chance to simply be people learning to live in peace with peace for peace.  People, not pawns for politicians and/or religious tyrants to push around, and not targets for snipers. 

Every Christmas I enjoy savoring all the many ways Christians interpret and celebrate the holidays.  Various creche scenes depicting a father and a mother looking down at a baby decorate many homes. That central theme is human history. A baby is born and loved and protected by parents. It is a moment of peace, and a moment of hope. It is unity. Common purpose. Community. Inclusiveness... Even in the happiest of happily ever after marriages there will be rough spots and disagreements and misunderstandings as two unique individuals figure out how to have a happily ever after. Compassion and empathy help, and so does hope... and diplomacy.

I hope for peace, for both Palestine and for Israel, despite everyone's obvious faults and flaws and past mistakes.  Including my own. I'd rather focus on the positive, moving forward to help promote a just and lasting peace and diplomatic efforts to (as Jean-Luc Picard often said) "make it so".

Sincerely,
Anne Selden Annab

NOTES
A Palestinian’s journey from stone-throwing to conflict resolution

The United States casts its lot with the problem solvers, the healers, and the builders,”  US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman in a September speech, quoted by CSM in their recent editorial

Kerry heads to talks on Palestinian statehood bid: "There are a lot of different folks pushing in different directions out there, and the question is can we all pull in the same direction," Kerry said Friday, when asked about his meeting with Netanyahu."


Ziad Asali

Tala Haikal: Empathy Is Essential to Humanity

Hussein Ibish: Non-violent resistance is Palestine’s most powerful weapon

Jordan's King: World must stand up to radicals

ATFP Calls for De-Escalation between Israel and the Palestinians

Five Reasons to Walk the Holy Land
 

Palestinian Refugees (1948-NOW) refused their right to return... and their right to live in peace free from religious bigotry and injustice.

"There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies" Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 – 1968)

 “Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.” Khalil Gibran (1883-1931), born in Lebanon, immigrated to the United States in 1895 where he grew up to become a beloved poet and respected writer.

Friday, December 19, 2014

My letter to CSM RE A Palestinian’s journey from stone-throwing to conflict resolution

Stop the Wall
RE:  A Palestinian’s journey from stone-throwing to conflict resolution
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/Olive-Press/2014/1218/A-Palestinian-s-journey-from-stone-throwing-to-conflict-resolution

Dear Editor,

Thank you.  Once again for the umpteenth time since I've began reading CSM many years ago, I very much appreciate your ongoing coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict...  Palestinian Aziz Abu Sarah's story is enlightening: “I wrote with anger and bitterness, and used my pain to spread hatred against the other side,” he reflected in a 2009 account. “However, the more I wrote, the more empty and angry I became.”  

Abu Sarah is wise to then point out that "“The problem with reaction is it’s not done to make a change. It is not a strategy. The only thing you’re doing is getting your anger out.”

Right now the anger and the hate mongering, religious extremism, and terrorism generated by some on both sides of the ongoing Israel-Palestine is making the plight of the Palestinians worse, as well as undermining serious state building efforts for Palestine. 

I very much hope that Palestine is able to become a sovereign state living in peace and security alongside Israel, and that the people of Israel and the people of Palestine (and all their neighbors individually and collectively) will be able to find the strength and inspiration to seek out compassionate, intelligent, and peaceful ways to break through walls of anger, fear, and ignorance... for everyone's sake. 

Sincerely,
Anne Selden Annab

NOTES
The United States casts its lot with the problem solvers, the healers, and the builders,”  US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman in a September speech, quoted by CSM in their recent editorial

Kerry heads to talks on Palestinian statehood bid: "There are a lot of different folks pushing in different directions out there, and the question is can we all pull in the same direction," Kerry said Friday, when asked about his meeting with Netanyahu."


Ziad Asali

Tala Haikal: Empathy Is Essential to Humanity

Hussein Ibish: Non-violent resistance is Palestine’s most powerful weapon

Jordan's King: World must stand up to radicals

ATFP Calls for De-Escalation between Israel and the Palestinians
 

Palestinian Refugees (1948-NOW) refused their right to return... and their right to live in peace free from religious bigotry and injustice.

"There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies" Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 – 1968)

 “Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.” Khalil Gibran (1883-1931), born in Lebanon, immigrated to the United States in 1895 where he grew up to become a beloved poet and respected writer.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

My letter to the NYTimes RE Still Failing Syria’s Refugees

Barriers to Health for Palestinians Under Occupation

RE: Still Failing Syria’s Refugees
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/14/opinion/sunday/still-failing-syrias-refugees.html?ref=opinion

Dear Editor,

Still Failing Syria’s Refugees: "Normally, the United States takes the majority of refugees referred annually by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; in 2013 this totaled 70,000 refugees from 65 countries — more than the rest of the world combined. But the approvals have become more time consuming as Washington seeks to screen out applicants with connections to militants."

Many of the refugees from Syria are originally from Palestine.  Times are changing: Religious tyrants, thieves and thugs are actively destroying the Middle East, and they are also eliminating avenues of escape for Arabs and Muslims- and Palestinians... as well as jeopardizing crucial funding for UNWRA & support for the United Nations.

Active "Pro-Palestine" advocates of a one state status quo claim to be for Palestine and peace but they are mainly an anti-Israel/anti-America echo chamber cherry picking story lines and blurring facts to build rage.

Doors are closing... and so is the window of opportunity to actually end the Israel-Palestine conflict.  Right now the PLO Delegation in Washington DC is foolishly obsessed with following and promoting Mondoweiss blog posts, as if a handful of very angry at Israel Jewish bloggers help shape a conversation that will end the Israel-Palestine conflict: The plight of the Palestinians continues to get more dire, but The American Task Force on Palestine, composed of articulate Arab Americans advocating for a two state end to the Israel-Palestine conflict in line with international law and fully respecting universal human rights, is downsizing due to lack of support.

Life is not fair- never has been. Every day brings personal pain, suffering, shocking tragedy, trauma, and betrayal to many people worldwide, with most stories never heard.  But if humankind can be industrious enough to put a man on the moon, and if humankind can be inventive enough to create the internet so that voices everywhere can be heard and preserved, surely humankind can also figure out ways to work together to empower decency, dignity, and diplomacy so that more people will have a better chance to live in peace with the rule of fair and just laws shaping a better future for all our children.

 “Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.” Khalil Gibran (1883-1931), born in Lebanon, immigrated to the United States in 1895 where he grew up to become a beloved poet and respected writer.

"There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies" Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 – 1968)

Kerry heads to talks on Palestinian statehood bid: "There are a lot of different folks pushing in different directions out there, and the question is can we all pull in the same direction," Kerry said Friday, when asked about his meeting with Netanyahu."

It's all interconnected- ending the Israel-Palestine conflict with a just and lasting peace based on a two state solution would go a long way towards ending the refugee crises and the religious extremism inspired by that conflict.

Sincerely,
Anne Selden Annab

NOTES
The power and weakness of inciting violence

Palestinian Refugees (1948-NOW) refused their right to return... and their right to live in peace free from religious bigotry and injustice.

King Abdullah of Jordan says the threat posed by ISIS represents a struggle between "good and evil." (AP)

Hussein Ibish:
Non-violent resistance is Palestine’s most powerful weapon

ATFP Calls for De-Escalation between Israel and the Palestinians

Tala Haikal: Empathy Is Essential to Humanity

Ziad Asali



"Where, after all, do universal human rights begin?

The Golden Rule... Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

Sunday, December 7, 2014

My letter to the Washington Post RE The power and weakness of inciting violence




American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) is strictly opposed to all acts of violence against civilians. The Task Force advocates the development of a Palestinian state that is democratic, pluralistic, non-militarized and neutral in armed conflicts.
RE The power and weakness of inciting violence
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-power-and-weakness-of-inciting-violence/2014/12/05/120dedca-74c3-11e4-9d9b-86d397daad27_story.html

Dear Editor,

I thought "The power and weakness of inciting violence" was very interesting, and quite helpful in understanding one aspect of the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict. 

Fully respecting citizenship rights and responsibility, international law, and all the many United Nations resolutions pertaining to ENDING the Israel-Palestine conflict with a fully secular two state solution should help convince majorities on both sides to support an end to the conflict.

Worldwide bigots, activist-entertainers, religious tyrants, ivy tower cynics, naive naysayers and bully brigades might try to keep stoking hostilities... but once there is an actual fully sovereign free Palestine living alongside Israel and Jordan in peace and security, outsiders and hate mongers will have to find another hobby.

Sincerely,
Anne Selden Annab

NOTES
Palestinian Refugees (1948-NOW) refused their right to return... and their right to live in peace free from religious bigotry and injustice.

UNITED NATIONS


 
************
King Abdullah of Jordan says the threat posed by ISIS represents a struggle between "good and evil." (AP)

King Abdullah of Jordan continues his meetings with members of the US Senate and House of Representatives. (Jordan Times)

Hussein Ibish:
Non-violent resistance is Palestine’s most powerful weapon

ATFP Calls for De-Escalation between Israel and the Palestinians

Tala Haikal: Empathy Is Essential to Humanity

Ziad Asali


AMERICAN TASK FORCE ON PALESTINE:

A Moderate Palestinian Group Struggles As Hope For A Two-State Solution Wanes



"Where, after all, do universal human rights begin?

The Golden Rule... Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

Friday, December 5, 2014

My letter to CSM RE Global Newsstand: Rami G. Khouri's "Constant cycle of violence won’t bring peace to Israelis and Palestinians"

Palestinian dress and golden key
 RE Global Newsstand: Rami G. Khouri's "Constant cycle of violence won’t bring peace to Israelis and Palestinians"
http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Global-Newsstand/2014/1204/Constant-cycle-of-violence-in-Israel-regulating-working-hours-in-Japan-Bangladesh-s-quiet-mobile-revolution-Kenya-standing-against-terrorist-attacks-Latvia-s-first-openly-gay-politician

Dear Editor,

Thank you for linking to and publishing Rami G. Khouri's excellent commentary "Constant cycle of violence won’t bring peace to Israelis and Palestinians" on the Global Newsstand.  I hope many people forward the link, and read and think about the article- and figure out what they can personally do to help empower and promote a just and lasting peace. But don't be surprised if they don't. 

Khouri is right to conclude that "neither popular grassroots movements nor enlightened leaderships have emerged on either side to pull us all out of the endless cycle of death."   In today's world the internet provides information, and heart wrenching photographs and stories all about the very real plight of the Palestinians, but the internet also provides a podium for bad ideas and hate campaigning activist-entertainers, as well as religious extremists who are fueled by the Israel-Palestine conflict. Half truths flourish, basic logic is ignored, and reasonable people are harassed and pushed away. 

Enlightened leadership is not supported.  Compassion and diplomacy are scorned.  State building for Palestine is sabotaged by Israelis and also by "pro-Palestine" activists who use Israeli sources to build a case to boycott and destroy Israel.  It would be funny if it weren't so very very tragic... and dangerous.

Ending the Israel-Palestine conflict ASAP with a fully secular two state solution based on international law and fully respecting universal human rights is the best way forward. Weighing in one can chose to exasperate and perpetuate the Israel-Palestine conflict with all its many negative ramifications including the escalating rage that both sides feel towards "the other", or one can follow the lead of many noble and courageous albeit unsung heroes who, day after day, conscientiously focus in on ending the Israel-Palestine conflict for everyone's sake.

Sincerely,
Anne Selden Annab

NOTES
Palestinian Refugees (1948-NOW) refused their right to return... and their right to live in peace free from religious bigotry and injustice.

UNITED NATIONS

************
Tala Haikal: Empathy Is Essential to Humanity

Hussein Ibish:
Non-violent resistance is Palestine’s most powerful weapon

ATFP Calls for De-Escalation between Israel and the Palestinians

Ziad Asali

AMERICAN TASK FORCE ON PALESTINE:

A Moderate Palestinian Group Struggles As Hope For A Two-State Solution Wanes



"Where, after all, do universal human rights begin?

The Golden Rule... Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

My letter to the New Yorker RE The Civility Wars By Hua Hsu

Maan News via American Task Force on Palestine: A Palestinian woman walks in the rain past houses that were
destroyed during the 50-day Gaza war between Israel and Palestinian
militants, on Nov. 24, 2014 (AFP Mohammed Abed)
 RE  The Civility Wars By
http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/civility-wars?utm_source=tny&utm_campaign=generalsocial&utm_medium=twitter&mbid=social_twitter

Dear Editor,

Free Speech and civility are compelling catch phrases easily tweeted in order to escalate a social media witch hunt case against the University that decided, for what ever reason, that it did not want to give Steven Salaita a permanent podium.

I fell badly for Steven Salaita, but I feel much worse for the children of Gaza who are trapped in and tortured by a horrible conflict they did not create.  Right now there are some very active social media savvy "pro-Palestine" activist-entertainers who seek to blame Zionists and pro-Israel supporters for pressuring the University into "unhiring" Salaita.  These "pro-Palestine" activist-entertainers do not support state building efforts for Palestine, they do not support a two state solution to actually end the Israel-Palestine conflict, and they do not approve of dialogue with Israel. 

Step back and think: Seems to me American students work hard to get into college, and their parents have already invested a huge amount of time and money in raising them. College tuition and text books are punitively expensive and either hard earned savings are spent or loans are taken out, with the expectation that college will be a good influence, and a college degree will hopefully help one's beloved child get and keep a better job in a very competitive global world. 

Parents and students have a right to investigate: Is Palestinian American Steven Salaita a good role model- and a good poster child for Free Speech, or Palestine, or Native America Studies?   Or is he a cautionary tale... Will Congressmen and women and voters following the Salaita conversation on "civility" elect to welcome in more Palestinian refugees? What about funding for UNWRA? 

Furthermore, do astute business executives looking to hire new graduates already quietly prioritize resumes from colleges and universities that value civility and diplomacy? 

Sincerely,
Anne Selden Annab

Saturday, November 22, 2014

My comment posted online regarding the Buzzfeed news that The American Task Force on Palestine canceled its annual gala and is preparing to downsize as it faces an uncertain future.


Annie Annab 

I think ATFP has the right approach, and I very much admire their efforts, their integrity, their wisdom and all their hard work to help mainstream America understand and believe in Palestine.

What a shame to see the rude rambling comment in this comment section by the misguided and misinformed Palestinian who is "elated at the downfall of this terrible organization". Perhaps that rude cynic thinks UNWRA will continue to be funded no matter what, and that plight of the Palestinians will magically morph into glorious freedom and justice for the people of historic Palestine. That cynic claims to know and speak for all Palestinian and Palestinian Americans, but he certainly does not understand or speak for the many I personally know!

I very much hope the good people over at ATFP continue on with their valiant efforts to use diplomacy, facts, and strong arguments for Palestine's sake, convincing reasonable people that peace and Palestine are a worthwhile investment.
 
http://www.buzzfeed.com/rosiegray/a-moderate-palestinian-group-struggles-as-hope-for-a-two-sta?utm_term=4ldqpia

A Moderate Palestinian Group Struggles As Hope For A Two-State Solution Wanes

The American Task Force on Palestine cancels its annual gala and prepares to downsize as it faces an uncertain future.
 
 WASHINGTON — The American Task Force on Palestine launched in 2003 with the goal of bringing the cause of Palestinian statehood into the mainstream of the U.S. political establishment. Since then it has hung on, with a tiny budget and staff, and its yearly gala often counts high-ranking U.S. government officials and other Washington eminences among its attendees. 

Policymakers have seen ATFP as representing the best in Palestinian politics, partly due to their association with former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad, who was praised in the West for his approach of institution-building. Hillary Clinton gave a speech at the group’s gala in 2010, while still serving as secretary of state.

But things changed for ATFP this year. This summer’s war between Israel and Hamas and the breakdown of U.S.-mediated peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians aiming to broker a two-state solution, which is core to ATFP’s mission, have proven to be a toxic combination to the nonprofit. The group has decided to cancel its annual gala this year, which usually brings in half of its annual fundraising. And its founder says it will have to cut staff and office space. ATFP’s situation is a casualty of a larger shift: The hope for a two-state solution, which is official U.S. policy and regarded by the establishment as the only legitimate way to end the conflict, is running out of steam, causing a major existential crisis for some of those most dedicated to it.

In an interview on Tuesday with BuzzFeed News at ATFP’s office in downtown Washington, Founder and President Ziad Asali outlined ... READ MORE
 
[AS ALWAYS PLEASE GO TO THE LINK TO READ GOOD ARTICLES IN FULL: HELP SHAPE ALGORITHMS (and conversations) THAT EMPOWER DECENCY, DIGNITY, JUSTICE & PEACE... and hopefully Palestine]

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Palestinian-American Author Ibtisam Barakat: "Religions need inspiring people as much as people need inspiring religions. . . "

Ibtisam Barakat's butterfly
"Religions were sent to improve the conditions of people. . . And now people should improve the conditions of religions by making them sources of inspiration and beauty, not sources of pain and violence.

Religions need inspiring people as much as people need inspiring religions. . . "
Author Ibtisam Barakat 2014

Sunday, October 26, 2014

War Games ... a poem

Einas Khalil (Enas Shawkat abu Khalil ... #EnasShawkat )
a five year old Palestinian child, died after being hit by a car driven by an Israeli settler near the central West Bank town of Sinjil 10-19-2014 .... Over 500,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law.

       War Games

It is hard to make peace
with an entity
that kills your children.

An entity that for generations
burns your orchards

pulverizes
your home

usurps
your land.

Hard to make peace.

Easier to rage.
Easier to protest.
Easier to be the momentum
the entity wants to entice
into self destruction.


Palestinian House in Jerusalem burned due to intense Israeli teargas and sound grenades

[AS ALWAYS PLEASE GO TO THE LINK TO READ GOOD ARTICLES IN FULL: HELP SHAPE ALGORITHMS (and conversations) THAT EMPOWER DECENCY, DIGNITY, JUSTICE & PEACE... and hopefully Palestine]
Palestinian House in Jerusalem burned due to intense Israeli teargas and sound grenades
 PNN/ Jerusalem
A house in Issawiya neighbourhood, Jerusalem, was burned Friday after clashes between Israeli occupation forces and Palestinian citizens.

Israeli soldiers intensely threw teargas grenades and sounds grenades in the area, causing the house to be burned.

Six people were wounded in the fire , their injures were slight to average as many suffered from suffocation of smoke.

Clashes took place yesterday in many neighbourhoods of Jerusalem, and other Palestinian cities including Bethlehem, Jenin, and Ramallah.

Israeli forces attacked the Palestinian protestrs using teargas and sound grenades, and rubber coated bullets.

Israeli "Students for the Temple" break into Al-Aqsa mosque, again

Israeli "Students for the Temple" break into Al-Aqsa mosque, again

[AS ALWAYS PLEASE GO TO THE LINK TO READ GOOD ARTICLES IN FULL: HELP SHAPE ALGORITHMS (and conversations) THAT EMPOWER DECENCY, DIGNITY, JUSTICE & PEACE... and hopefully Palestine]
 PNN/ Jerusalem
"Students for the temple" Israeli organization, again, broke into Al-Aqsa mosque from Magharba Gate of the mosque, heavily guarded with private units of Israeli police.

Meanwhile, Israeli occupation forces attacked the elderly Abu-Bakr Shimi before arresting from the mosque.

Local sources said that such zionist groups provocatively roamed around the mosque and its yards, during the presence of Muslim worshippers.

Israeli forces prevented worshippers form entering the mosque, or detained their ID's until they exited the mosque.

Analysis: Israeli restrictions on movement strangle Palestinian life ... Almost every Palestinian faces some kind of discrimination.


Daoud Kuttab is a Palestinian journalist and former professor of journalism at Princeton University.

[AS ALWAYS PLEASE GO TO THE LINK TO READ GOOD ARTICLES IN FULL: HELP SHAPE ALGORITHMS (and conversations) THAT EMPOWER DECENCY, DIGNITY, JUSTICE & PEACE... and hopefully Palestine]

Israeli restrictions on movement strangle Palestinian life
.... If one lives in East Jerusalem one cannot enter Jordan by land except over the King Hussein Bridge, where one must pay the permit fee of 230 shekels (about $70) to Israeli authorities, in addition to the exit tax of 180 shekels ($55).

Jordan, which does not consider the bridge an international border, does not allow Palestinians to use the Sheikh Hussein Bridge.

The Israelis give Palestinians in East Jerusalem a travel permit called laissez-passer, but that travel document is not renewed if one cannot prove that the "center" of one's life is Jerusalem.

If one lives outside the city for an extended period of time, one loses one's right to it even if born in it.

Travel in and out of Jerusalem is much more restrictive if one is a Palestinian Jerusalemite, unlike Jewish settlers who have alternative roads and much easier procedures at checkpoints.

I was told that if one has a foreign passport with an Israeli stamp, one is allowed in as long as the person is not of Palestinian origin.

So even if one has a European or American passport, being born in Jerusalem automatically bars one from obtaining a visa at the airport, while other citizens from the same country can get a visa even if they have an Israeli stamp on their passports.

The travel troubles facing Palestinians, especially those of Gaza, are apparently a major motivation for attempts to emigrate (legally or illegally) to Europe or any other Western country whose passports are much more respected than Palestinian or Arab passports.

Frustration about not being able to travel freely and seek opportunities elsewhere is apparently a strong motivator for joining radical groups.

When Palestinian officials meet this week indirectly with the Israelis under Egyptian supervision, the issue of the airport will be discussed.

While few hold hope that the Israelis will allow the reopening of the Gaza International Airport, there is ample evidence that the issue of freedom of movement is not a demand by one single Palestinian faction, but a requirement for a sane life by all Palestinians.

Darwish's desire to return to his homeland produced verses. To Palestinians living in the occupied homeland, the freedom of movement is a top priority.

The issue cannot be shoved under the carpet anymore.

The views expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily reflect Ma'an News Agency's editorial policy.

Israel confiscates 20 dunums of Palestinian land near Salfit ... The confiscated lands are then used to construct Jewish-only settlements on the land, while further confiscation often uses the pretext of the settlements' security.

[AS ALWAYS PLEASE GO TO THE LINK TO READ GOOD ARTICLES IN FULL: HELP SHAPE ALGORITHMS (and conversations) THAT EMPOWER DECENCY, DIGNITY, JUSTICE & PEACE... and hopefully Palestine]

(MaanImages/file)
Published Thursday 23/10/2014

SALFIT (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities on Thursday confiscated 20 dunums (5 acres) of Palestinian land near the Jewish settlement bloc of Ariel in the northern West Bank, on the same day that Israeli authorities halted plans to take 15 dunums (4 acres) nearby.

Israeli bulldozers began razing 20 dunums of agricultural lands in the Palestinian village of Haris near Barqan settlement on Thursday, while locals said dozens of Israelis from the nearby Jewish settlement came to help destroy the fields.

Palestinian local Muhammad Suf told Ma'an that the lands belonged to his grandfather Ali Abed Daoud Jaber Suf from Haris near the Khillet Habiba area north of Barqan settlement.

The land seizure and destruction of Palestinian agriculture comes on the same day that Palestinian officials working in coordination with the local Committee Against Israel's Separation Wall and the Settlements announced that they had succeeded in saving 15 dunums of land from confiscation just a few kilometers away, in the southwestern part of the Ariel settlement bloc.

The office of the Salfit governorate said in a statement that the land, located in Bruqin village, had been under threat since its owners were handed a 2013 evacuation order that stated the land was Israeli state property.

A lawyer representing the Committee Against Israel's Separation Wall and the Settlements, Alaa Mahajna, manged to demur the Israeli claims by proving the land was privately-owned Palestinian property that has been under constant cultivation by the owner.

As a result, Israeli authorities retracted the confiscation decision and recognized the land as private property.

Since the beginning of the 1967 occupation of the West Bank, Israel has confiscated hundreds of thousands of dunums by declaring it state land.

Israeli authorities in 1968 banned Palestinians from registering their lands and subsequently took advantage of previously low rates of land registration to confiscate areas currently or previously in use by locals but not registered as such.

The confiscated lands are then used to construct Jewish-only settlements on the land, while further confiscation often uses the pretext of the settlements' security.