Journalism in the dumps

August 19, 2009  

albaqaa-camp

By Iqbal Tamimi

Mostafa, an unemployed Palestinian refugee from Albaqaa camp in Jordan, unfolds a crumbled page of an old magazine in an attempt to read the stale news dated three years ago. This routine ritual comes usually after eating his falafel meal that was wrapped with the page. This is the only way someone suffering from poverty like Mostafa can read some news. It is common practice that the poisonous ink of the print hugs the meals of the poor in Jordan, where the 250 fills paid for the lowest-priced newspaper can buy such a humble vegetarian meal, described as ?the kebabs of the poor.?
Among the society of the poor and deprived Almastoor was born, the first magazine of its kind in the Arab world, focusing on investigating issues related to the poor. Almastoor is an Arabic word which means ?the concealed? or ?the hidden,? but in slang it means the very poor person whose suffering no one knows of because of his noble nature and the fact that he never complains. This magazine investigates the lives of the people who live in the dumps, living on what other people throw away.
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Handing on the Key: Palestinians in Australia

August 14, 2009  

the-keyIMMIGRATION
MUSEUM

Exhibition
21 Aug – 22 Nov 2009

This exhibition explores the identity of the Palestinian community in Australia.
For the majority of Palestinians in Australia, there is no lived experience of Palestine. Handing on the Key explores how the link to homeland is passed from one generation to the next through acts of memory. The changing identity of the Palestinian community through generations reveals the different and often emotional connections that Australians of Palestinian heritage have to Palestine.

EVENT DETAILS

Event Type: Temporary Exhibition

Daily, 21 Aug – 22 Nov 2009
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Community Gallery

Free with museum entry.
MV Members receive FREE museum entry.

Bookings & Enquiries 13 11 02 . IMMIGRATION MUSEUM 400 Flinders Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Dear mum: email from an Israeli prison cell

August 5, 2009  

icahdSarah Haynes, a volunteer with Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, recently wrote this group email to her friends and family in Australia:

Not all tours end in arrest — but mine did.

I am volunteering with the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD). This is an Israeli human rights group with a focus on house demolitions both in solidarity with the Palestinians who suffer the devastation of losing their home, but also to debunk the Israeli myths about actions based on security: Destroying peoples homes can have no security justification — instead it is a tool in what the convener of the group, Jeff Halper, describes as the “matrix of control”.

For a detailed account of the strategy of settlement, this article by ICAHD is pretty exhaustive.

As I mentioned in an earlier email there is a hotly contested area in East Jerusalem called Sheihk Jarrah — it has even made it on to Obama’s radar, with specific mention. There is a group of fanatical setters who want to create a new settlement complex in this neighbourhood, which means first expelling all the Palestinian residents, taking over their homes, then eventually razing the area for this new settlement.

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Palestinian Child Prisoners

August 2, 2009  

CPcoverThe systematic and institutionalised ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children by Israeli authorities

This report documents the widespread ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children at the hands of the Israeli army and police force. It contains the testimonies of 33 children who bear witness to the abuse they received at the hands of soldiers from the moment of arrest through to an often violent interrogation. Children report being painfully shackled for hours on end, kicked, beaten and threatened, some with death, until they provide confessions, some written in Hebrew, a language they do not speak or understand. The report finds that these illegally obtained confessions are routinely used as evidence in the military courts to convict around 700 Palestinian children every year.

Once sentenced, the children who gave these testimonies were mostly imprisoned inside Israel in breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention where they receive few family visits, and little or no education. The report concludes that this widespread and systematic abuse is occurring within a general culture of impunity where in 600 complaints made against Israeli Security Agency interrogators for alleged ill-treatment and torture, not a single criminal investigation was ever conducted.

The report also contains recent recommendations made by the UN Committee Against Torture which expressed ‘deep concern’ at reports of the abuse of Palestinian children when it reviewed Israel’s compliance with the Convention Against Torture in May 2009.

Full report [PDF]