Thursday, February 2, 2012

Some Leadership we Have: Khader Adnan's Struggle Falls Upon Deaf Ears

There is pride mingled with fear for Khader Adnan when his name is mentioned, pride for his mental endurance and resistance, kind of like bringing back the spirit of Palestinian resistance that has waned after the signing of the Oslo accords.
Fear not for his life, for which we have respect, but fear for what happens next. In a recent letter he wrote, he stated that “I will continue the hunger strike and will not give in, even if it means death.”
What is so chilling is that if Khader Adnan were to die, our lovely leadership won’t even spare him a thought! Just yesterday Abbasshole met with UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon and ensured that negotiations with the fascist apartheid “state of Isghael” are a must to continuing the path to the so called (delusional!)…peace process….
Digression alert: (Ban Ki Moon was showered with sarami from Palestinian families of prisoners in Gaza earlier today that condemned his bias to Palestinians and so that gave us a minute sense of satisfaction.)
Hmm. Doubt Khader wants peace with the pigs that used his beard as a shoe cleaner, ripped his beard, cursed his mother, chained him to a hospital cell with cockroaches for company, forced him to sit in extremely painful positions for hours at a time. Read Addameer’s report on his unjust detainment and the disgusting reality he faced at the hands of Israel Prison Service.  Zionism and peace are complete antonyms, and Khader Adnan is doing all that is in his power to resist such fascist crimes against humanity in the form of a hunger and speaking strike. Call him a terrorist for resisting these criminal actions and it makes you look dimwitted. Our pathetic leadership, delusional to a sickening extent, chooses to get distracted by their little fake statehood fantasy, of which concession is the main aspect. #Tfoo
In the same letter, Khader blamed the Palestinian leadership and stated, “To what level of severity must my case go to in order for you to actually address it??”
As with many Palestinians, (or should I say all), Khader has had his basic human rights denied. Previously, he has been imprisoned for a total of 8 years in administrative detention, an inhumane policy practiced by Israel that imprisons Palestinians for years, without ever giving them a charge.
Oh and of course he is the terrorist (I mean teghoghist) for resisting this branch of barbarism that Isghael has to offer. For more on Khader Adnan, read this.
For 47 days now, Khader Adnan has been on a hunger strike protesting Israeli cruelty and unjustness. We’re sick of counting and counting and counting without seeing justice brought to Khader and to all Palestinian prisoners that are also in his shoes.
What we do know for sure is that Khader Adnan has raised our heads, raised them with the dignity of Palestinian resistance we were born to defend.

One of Sheikh Khader's 2 daughters. His wife is pregnant with their 3rd child.

Note: Despite Khader Adnan being fully aware of the necessary vitamins hunger strikers are allowed to obtain, he is resisting even this.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

#Blog4Quds The Jerusalem in Me: My Jerusalem is a Memory

To so many Palestinians, Jerusalem is a memory. A bittersweet reminiscence that begins with a vibrant “Remember when we could enter Jerusalem…” and ends with glum, sullen looks and hefty sighs.

“Remember when we could enter Jerusalem and there was always that mountain of za’tar in the souk?”

What I remember about Jerusalem is that when we could go, we would always go pretty early so as to catch Duhr prayer in Qubbat Asakhra (the Dome of the Rock). The change of timing is what kept my most prized memory such a vivid one. One Ramadan a few years back (when we could enter Jerusalem, of course), my father hoisted us in the car and off we were to catch Maghreb prayer and to break our fast, right next to Qubbat Asakhra, right in the heart of Palestine, in Jerusalem! Dusk was to fall around me in Jerusalem, for the first time in my life. I like to think that it won’t be the last time in my life.

In a the-sun’s-about-to-set-hurry-get-food frenzy, Baba grabs yogurt, delicious Jerusalem falafel and ka’ik, apples and BOOM-the cannon blast calling for Maghreb prayers in Ramadan is sounded.

The cannon blast cues for the sun to set in Jerusalem.
The sun sets, and Jerusalem’s beauty becomes mutated in the darkness of gluttony, larceny, wickedness. In the darkness of Judaization.
     * * * * * * * 

“Remember when we could enter Jerusalem and there were always these colored chicks for sale! Colored chicks! And then they would usually be dead by the time we got back home.”

So many years ago. The extended family, aunts and cousins, with our ridiculous 90’s outfits, out for a day in Jerusalem. Prayer in Qubbat Asakhra, as well as in AlAqsa. The souk. Jerusalem ka’ik.

"Remember that guy who always took pictures of people on the stairs leading to Qubbat AlSakhra?"

The sanctuary sight of Qubbat Asakhra, with its dim lights and beautiful Quranic calligraphy encircling the dome greets you as soon as you step foot inside (literally, as shoes are not allowed in mosques).

A personal haven for Muslims all around the world, reduced to a memory.  A basic, personal right for Palestinians all around Jerusalem, a mere few kilometers away from their capital city, reduced to a bittersweet recollection complete with fighting back tears and a glimmer of hope. 

                  * * * * * * *

Walking through the souk with the uncle and cousins and all around is the breathtaking kaleidoscope of delicious treats, souvenirs, spices, accessories and toys, clothes…the list goes on. Look up, however, and an Israeli flag is hanging from a window, disrupting the beauty of Jerusalem with the looming factor of Zionism, mocking your Palestinian presence as if to say, “Soon, you invented creature, whatever race you claim you belong to with be ethnically cleansed from this land…you just wait.”

                                                   * * * * * * *

This memoir does not include the concept of having to pass through checkpoints or having to deal with armed Israeli soldiers commanding “khaweeya” on buses, for that would stain the magnificence Jerusalem holds.

Yes, inevitably, the memories of Jerusalem I have contain aspects of Judaization and Zionism, because that is the reality Jerusalem and Palestine are temporarily locked under, but the Jerusalem running in my blood contains no such filth.

The Jerusalem running in my blood is the Jerusalem that no occupation can thieve, the Jerusalem for all human beings regardless of race or religion, under a mighty sun, the sun of justice.  

One day, that Israeli flag hanging from that window and the rest of the Zionist factors looming in every nook and cranny of Jerusalem will be nothing but an unpleasant memory.

Jerusalem is physically out of my reach, but when I look inside my heart, I see Jerusalem and I thank my enemy for keeping it alive in all of us.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

تحية فلسطينية للثورة السورية Palestinians for Syria

من فلسطين لسوريا الشعب بدو حرية
From Palestine to Syria, the people want: FREEDOM

تحية فلسطينية للثورة السورية
21.1.12 يوم الغضب العالمي لنصرة الشعب السوري
ثورة سلمية.. ضد التدخل الأجنبي.. ضد الطائفية والفئوية..
منذ عشرة شهور يسير الشعب السوري نحو الحرية وثقتنا به لا تشوبها شائبة لذا نرى أن من واجبنا أن نحذره من خطر التدخل الأجنبي وأن نشد على أياديه للحفاظ على سلمية الثورة التي عودتنا منذ بدايتها على رفض الطائفية والفئوية.
منذ عشرة شهور يسير الشعب السوري نحو الحرية بثبات، رغم تعثر خطواته التي يقطعها إجرام نظام بشار الأسد بأسلحة كانت أولى بحرب تحرير أرضه المحتلة، أو يقطعها اختلاف من ائتمنهم الشعب السوري على تمثيله.
منذ عشرة شهور يسير الشعب السوري نحو الحرية يسقط في مسيرِه شهيدا من يسقط، دون أن يَحدّ القتل ومحاولة تفريق الصفوف  من صموده البطولي.
منذ عشرة شهور يسير الشعب السوري نحو الحرية والعالم كله يُحلل شعارات مظاهراته وتحقق الفضائيات نسب المشاهدة المرتفعة فوق دماء شهدائه ويبيع الإعلام الكلام والصور عن حرب أهلية أو مؤامرة،  ويتهالك على سورية من لم يدعموا يومًا الحرية والديمقراطية في شرقنا، معتقدين أن مؤامراتهم ونواياهم تنطلي علينا. ونحن على ثقة أن هذه المؤامرات ستتهاوى عند أقدام الشعب السوري العربي العريق، حالما يستعيد عافيته.
عشرة شهور ونحن نتفرج ونؤدلج الموقف ونتفادى مشاهدة الجثث الممثل بها والنساء اللواتي لا يتظاهرن خوفا من الرصاص وننتقي القناة التي سنشاهد فيها خبر استشهاد ثلاثين وسبعين ومئة سوريّةً وسوريًّا ونخجل من تضامننا البائس. . وعندما ينتهي كل يوم ثوري تنام عشرات الأسر السورية دون أحد أبنائها ودون أن يقاسمها ألمها أحد.
نحن نشطاء ومدونون فلسطينيون، وفي يوم التضامن العالمي مع الثورة السورية، نؤكد وقوفنا  إلى جانب الشعب السوري الثائر. نرفض بشدة استخدامنا واستخدام قضية فلسطين كسجادة يكنس نظام الأسد جثث ثوار سورية تحتها ثم يدوس عليها أمام عيوننا جميعا. لنفكر عميقا بما يدور حول الثورة السورية وداخلها لكن لنترك التحليل المفرط والفذلكة جانبا لأن الثمن ليس أقل من دماء إخوتنا. لندعم الثورة السورية لتظل ثورة ترفض التدخل الأجنبي وتلفظ الطائفية وتحتفظ بسلميتها، فدون ثقتنا جميعا بها ودعمنا لها لن يكون لنا أي حق بالتنظير والمزاودة على الشعب السوري الذي يُقتل كل دقيقة.
Palestinians for Syria

21/01/12 is the Global Day Of Rage For Syria

A peaceful revolution…a revolution against foreign intervention…a revolution against sectarianism and factions.This is the revolution of the Syrian people we know.

For ten months now the Syrian people have marched towards freedom and we have no doubt that they will achieve their liberation. For this reason we see it as a duty to warn them of the dangers of foreign intervention and to express our support for their peaceful revolution against sectarianism and factions.

For ten months the Syrian people have marched steadily towards freedom, despite the criminal oppression of Bashar al-Assad’s regime which uses weapons against its own people, instead of using them to liberate their occupied land, and despite the disagreements among their representatives whom the people gave trust in.

For ten months the Syrian people have marched towards freedom as martyr after martyr is sacrificed, which has only strengthened their resolve and steadfastness to continue their march.

For ten months the Syrian people have marched towards freedom as the world analyzes the meanings behind slogans raised in protests, and satellite channels have garnered more viewers with the increase in bloodshed and murders. The media sells to its viewers talks of a conspiracy or of a civil war, and many powers, sells us their support to freedom or democracy in the Middle East, when they never did. We are confident that these plots will fail and be crushed under the feet of the Syrian Arab People.

Ten months and we have avoided watching the disfigured bodies and the brave women who do not fear facing the live ammunition. Ten months and we chose which channel to hear from about the news of 30, 70, 100 martyrs of Syria, which made us ashamed from our miserable show of solidarity, as at the end of every day dozens of families lose their sons and daughters, with seemingly no one to share their pain with.

We, Palestinian activists and bloggers, on the Global Day of Rage for Syrian Revolution, stress our support for the brave revolutionary Syrians. We strongly reject manipulating the Palestinian cause as a cover under which the Syrian martyrs’ bodies are brushed under and stamped upon by Bashar al-Assad’s regime. It is true we must think logically about the dynamics of the Syrian revolution, but we must put the overwrought analyses aside, because the cost is the blood of our Syrian brothers and sisters. We reiterate our support for the peaceful Syrian revolution and its rejection of foreign intervention amidst the threats of sectarianism, as without our solidarity and faith we have no right in theorizing and preaching to the Syrians who are being murdered one after the other.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Taiseer Khatib: Raise Your Voice Against The Apartheid

The letter written below was written by Taiseer Khatib in response to Israel's racist court ruling, which leaves the Khatib family in fear of living apart.
 You can read about this racist new court ruling here, here and here.
Dear friends,
Those who are here and those who are spread all over the world, those in academic institutions, political parties, theatres, human rights organisations, students, workers, and everyone of You, please consider this email addressed to you personally.
Some of you might be aware of the latest racist Israeli supreme court decision from yesterday, that threatens to separate tens of thousands of Palestinian family members apart. This decision in addition to 25 laws and laws proposals are designed to segregate and discriminate against the Palestinian minority inside Israel. These racist laws have one goal: to bring to a situation where this state, should be only for a Pure race: Jewish!  The deportation can start with Palestinian spouses today who are married to Palestinians inside Israel, but tomorrow it will be the overwhelming majority of Palestinians in Israel, if not all !
Yes, i feel very pessimistic! Yes i feel that a deportation of my wife and its separation from me and from my children is real ! It is a black day in my life and the life of tens of thousands of people in my situation! Deportation had not only become real but legalized!
I am writing to ask you to act in the name of humanity and human rights, which the Israeli supreme court had legalized a war against them, as it declared the war against us, we the “other”, it gave the green light for all security services to act in the name of LAW! The supreme court was the last shelter for defending human rights in Israel, and now it had shut its doors to Rights, and kept the Humans (Palestinians) out without any protection.
Below you will find some articles explaining the current racist law and also some articles or interviews with me and my family, there is also the TV interview (in Hebrew).  Please contribute your part in fighting Israeli racism and spread the word, articles, and all what you find in regard of this law to ALL your friends in your Email, social networks, facebeook, twiter, and others, in order to raise the awareness mainly in Europe and in US to what is going on inside the so called “Democratic” state of Israel. Please do not let it stop by your email, spread and make the voice loud against this racist and discriminative actions!
To all of you who sent me emails, called, and express their solidarity with our case, i would like to say thank you, (especially my Israeli friends who denounced the law and told me, that the law doesn’t speak in their name, and that they feel ashamed of such a decision, for expressing solidarity with yourselves in the first level, and with me and my family on the second level, Racism against the Palestinians inside Israel, will not stop by them, it will continue further to the Jewish Israeli society, as it is becoming clear in the last period.
I will end my email with a citation from the great intellectual Said:
Remember  the solidarity shown to Palestine here and everywhere… and remember also that there is a cause to which many people have committed themselves, difficulties  and terrible obstacles notwithstanding. Why? Because it is a just cause, a notable ideal, a moral quest for equality and human rights.” 
Edward  Said 

I hope this just cause can get to as much as people as you can, as it is one of the last ways of fighting fascist decisions, raise your voice against the Apartheid!

Please spread this letter far and wide. Let the world know about the racist apartheid and occupation of Palestine.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Road to Liberty: Keep Smelling like Skunk, Keep Smelling like a Thawri

Call it superstition, call it chance, call it LUCK if you will but there was no denying that the skunk water was after us this Friday at Nabi Saleh. We were even planning from a week before to bring a change of clothes; we were sick of running whenever the skunk truck reared its dreaded aim at us.

So this morning in Nabi Saleh began with a “friend” of ours -whom we wished to avoid for…trustworthy reasons- requesting that he interviews us. We absolutely refuse but eventually decide to join as an unlucky friend was kind of forced to do the interview. Therefore we joined for “emotional support.”

Questions like “What do you wish to achieve from these demonstrations?” and “What is the purpose of these demonstrations, week after week?” are questions that cannot be answered comfortably in a filmed interview with a very untrustworthy human being as the interviewer. The reason for that is mainly because this certain human being was only looking for his own good advantage (as proved at the end of the interview as he tried to fabricate our words to make it seem as if teargas was an occasional thing at Palestinian popular resistance demonstrations, and that skunk water was merely…"water".)

We have no hopes that that interview will ever go just the way it was recorded; it is only logical to think that our words will probably be twisted and turned to suit that certain deceitful human being's..views.

But questions like that, from a pro-Israel normaliser, do nothing but disgust us. Read his views on what it means to be pro-Israel here and here. 

Obviously the ultimate reward, liberty from occupation, did not come that afternoon in Nabi Saleh. Nor will it come tomorrow, or the day after. Yet the fact that victims of the occupation are standing up, resisting, therefore existing, is a wonderful fact: The oppressed are not passive.

"When you don't oppose a system, your silence becomes approval, for it does nothing to interrupt the system." --Mumia Abu-Jamal

And then, one full of disbelief and doubt when it comes to matters of resistance may ask, “But what is the point? Did you free your land? Did you [in the case of Nabi Saleh] manage to get the spring back and halt the settlement? No. So what is the point?”

Whatever happened to having a voice? More importantly using that voice?

Whatever happened to waking from the dangerous lurks of silence and rising beyond the oppressor’s will?

To rise, to wake up, to prove one’s existence, to emphasize one’s complete and utter rejection to the vile oppressor’s loathsome tactics of degrading basic humanity is directly the road to liberation from the criminal occupation, which calls itself…a security measure.

No, it will not come in a day, or a week, or a year…but it will come.

As long as we stand firm on our existence, it will come.

And so when we were chanting at the IOF, the skunktruck proceeded to rear its ugly bulls-eye on us. Its menacing aim missed us, but barely a few times. It jeers at us, takes aim like a sniper, then releases an extremely foul acid, the epitome of the occupation itself.

And so later, when that same “friend” of ours asked us why we kept coming back to Nabi Saleh despite being hosed in such filth, inhaling and suffocating from teargas (and risking our lives as teargas canisters are aimed at head and abdomen level by the oh so moral IOF) keeping watch out for ammunition (whether they be rubber coated or live), we took his question more personally.

Why do we keep coming back, Aziz, despite risking our lives every time? The answer is simple. We have a voice, and we will not put it to waste. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Martyrs are NOT numbers

1400 were murdered, 344 being children, 1417 children murdered, 6,537 Palestinians shot. Numbers, statistics, human lives turned into digits. Martyrs downgraded into numbers.


We generally use this term to express those who die, or are murdered, in the name of liberation, for Palestine.
We wrong them as we brand them as statistics, thereby audaciously disregard the life they once had; the hopes, dreams, families, pasts and futures they were stripped of, in the name of liberation. 
They serve us to promise a future for Palestine, and we shamelessly call them numbers.

What is the point of stating our martyrs as number? To underline the atrocity of the Zionist entity, one which murders children and calls it in the name of defense?

Never forget that those children have names. Khetam Iyad Fayez ad-Dyah, Mohammad and AbedRabbo al-Astal, Farah Ammar al-Hilou.

All martyrs have a story to tell. It is up to us, their brethren, to insure their legacy burns as the brightest candle in the darkness of occupation. We must brand their names into our memories in our fight for justifying their blood that drenched their mothers' souls.

We are Palestine. We are in its olive trees, its music, its rocks, its sea, its martyrs, we are Palestine.
Our martyrs are the light of our eyes. The least we can do is remember their names. Jawaher Abu Rahmah, Mustafa Abdel Razzaq al-Tamimi, Qasem Tal’at Jameel Abed an-Nabi.

The least we can do is honor their names. Hasan Atta Hassan Azzam, Ahmad Osama Mohammad Qurtom. We must honor the lives of which no number can measure, the lives that pave the way to freedom, justice, humanity. Ala’a al-Barghouthi, Sujoud Hamdi Juma’a ad-Dardasawi. We must honor the lives that fearlessly threw stones at fully armed occupying puppets of Zionism. Ahmad Mousa, Ahmad al-Samouni, Mohammad Samir Hejji. We must honor those blown to smithereens in their beds. Adham Baroud, Musa Yousif Hasan Barbakh, Haneen Wa’el Dhaban.

The regard for human life is now disregarded, shunned by the organizations that are supposed to make human life their priority. Instead, human life has turned into data. Organizations like the UN, have become so accustomed to calling martyrs numbers that they have reached a point where Mustafa Tamimi was murdered right in front of their delegates and they did nothing. To them Mustafa and thousands like him are simply that: thousands. Numbers.

After the Gaza Massacre, Ban Ki Moon made a trip to Gaza. He looked at a few bombed buildings and held a press conference, expressing great dismay at the aftermath caused by the massacre. Words words words! Empty words. Did he compensate the schools destroyed? Mosques? Hospitals? Did he look a child in their eyes, and tell them how sorry he was for not regarding them?

Did he show off his 5,000 dollar Armani suit? Yes.

The following tweet by comrade and activist Abir Kopty explains what runs through the minds of every Palestinian when they hear the words “United Nations."

Honor the stories and dreams these lives had and were forced away.
“Israel" forced away their lives, dare you disregard their stories?
Give them their names. Nancy Said Mohammad Waked. Give them their dreams. Fathiyah Ayman Saleem ad-Dabari. Give them the earth they fought for. Mohammad Khader Abed Rajab. Give them pride. Issa Mohammad Eyadah Ermailat. Give them their dignity. Mustafa Nehad Taleb Abu Sido.
Give them Palestine.
Carry them on your shoulders, bathe in their blood. Their valuable blood spilled in the name of a free Palestine.
Spilled so nobody would remember them as numbers.
Never again. 

لكي لا ننسى 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Mustafa: Pray We Won't Let You Down

“Isn’t that what Mustafa fought for? Didn’t he fight for his land, and this spring? And that’s what we’re going to do.”

Ibrahim’s eyes were flashing with a determination emerging from deep within. Emerging from years of being humiliated, stripped of his basic human rights, from witnessing colonization and the ethnic cleansing of his home village, Bil’in. Years of being harassed and attacked for wanting basic human rights, for wanting freedom. Gesticulating widely, he told us of today’s plan:
To head and reach al-Kaws spring. Not only will we attempt. We will.

Simple, right?


In any other country in the world, heading to a water spring would be as casual as a walk in the park. It is a natural phenomenon, after all, in which water from underground gushes to the land’s surface; clean natural water that can serve an entire village.

But we are in Palestine. Something as heading to a spring of water can be a life-threatening experience, with extremist illegal settlers living in Jewish only communities and Israeli “security” forces ready to attack (or as they believe, defend).

God’s chosen people.

When the illegal* settlement of Halamish was built right on the village of Nabi Saleh, al-Kaws spring, which was the village’s main water supply, was seized by fascist arms, adding that incident to a list of offenses carried out by the Zionist entity. Our attempts of rightfully drawing water from the spring, or going anywhere near it for that matter, are met with brutality and violence by IOF (Israeli Occupying Forces), whom make it their duty to guard and protect any thieved settler possession. Even if that means to attack, injure, and in the case of Mustafa Tamimi, kill anyone who attempts to defy such illegal actions.

“International! International! Ya jama3a!”

Ibrahim’s voice sounded above everyone else’s.

“All together now, all of us, down to the spring!”

A few eager demonstrators, Palestinian, Israeli and international, followed suit.

“Last time we were only 15! We need all of us to go now! All of us! 3annab3a, 3annab3a! To the spring!”

A few more activists joined. Many others stayed on the street. I honestly don’t know why. 

What is the point of demonstrating in Nabi Saleh? Is it just to get a few good pictures, gloat to friends of teargas and skunk water, and to say that you stood unarmed in front of a military jeep?

I thought of Ibrahim’s determined face the morning of the demonstration. “Isn’t that what Mustafa fought for? So we’re going to go down to the spring, and put his picture on it. That is what we’ll do today. That is our goal.”

I can only hope that a revolutionary change will come to Palestine, one confiscated village at a time. To do that, we must not run. We must not flee. We must not hesitate. This Friday was in honor of Mustafa, in honor of a hero, a Palestinian martyr that lost his life for a cause..a free Palestine, where heading to a spring is nothing more than a walk in the park. Where basic human rights exist, to everyone. Where Palestinians can live in peace and harmony without worrying where the Israeli soldiers will shoot next. Without worry of being arrested and treated as a criminal. Yes, the IOF inhumanely attack us with teargas canisters aimed at head level, but aren’t we all Mustafa? Aren’t we loyal to him? Won’t we show him that his death wasn’t in vain? 

We must be fearless. We must march forward. We must resist. We must become the revolution.

To all activists, Palestinian, Israeli, international, please make use of your time at Nabi Saleh. We must head toward our stolen spring, our dispossessed land, in hoards, in crowds of hundreds, thousands, millions.

I thought of those of us who managed to get closest to the spring before IOF began their usual brutal "Gas the Arabs! And all those who stand with them!" policy. We were a maximum of twenty. I thought of how together, we formed a human chain to resist physical attack from IOF. I thought of activists that actually reached the spring, and were arrested one by one. I thought of Jonathan Pollak’s last words as he was being dragged to an Israeli military jeep following his arrest..”revolution until victory!” I thought of sacrifices one has to make for the ultimate prize we so eagerly yearn for…freedom from oppression.

If Mustafa did it, why can’t we?


*"International humanitarian law prohibits [an] occupying power [from transferring] citizens from its own territory to the occupied territory (Fourth Geneva Convention, article 49). The Hague Regulations prohibit the occupying power [from undertaking] permanent changes in the occupied area."