The Guardian view on the war of knives in Israel and the West Bank

October 30, 2015  

The violence may subside, but it will return unless a true peace is on the horizon

interfaith vigilOff-duty soldiers go jogging with submachine guns slung across their chests. Men and women who have never owned a firearm hesitate at the door of gun shops after the laws on weapon ownership were relaxed. People eat at home, and plan their trips to the supermarket or their bus journeys to avoid the places where the Palestinian stabbing attacks, which have surprised and frightened Israelis in recent weeks, seem most likely.

On the Arab side, parents worry that a loved son or daughter will decide to trade their own life for that of an Israeli, or that a family member will be caught in crossfire. The technical security people call these stabbings “inspiration attacks”. Rarely can a word have been more ill chosen, because it suggests something uplifting, and there is nothing uplifting…

Continue reading at The Guardian

Palestines women of the Intifadas

October 23, 2015  

Three generations of Palestinian women reflect on how female fighters have always been a part of the resistance.

women of the intifadasRaja Mustafa pulls out a tattered issue of Palestinian Revolution magazine. It is from 1993, the last year of the first Palestinian uprising, or Intifada.

Inside it is a black and white photograph of Raja taken almost 25 years ago. An Israeli soldier stands in the foreground. Raja is behind him, wearing a striped nightgown. In one hand, she clutches a broomstick. The other is raised high in the air, captured just as it is about to swoop down.

“You can’t see it in the photo, but there was already a soldier on the ground that I had hit,” says the 44-year-old, grinning.

“The soldiers were known for stealing things when they did home raids. One of them stole my gold on my nightstand and wouldn’t give them back. I’d had enough and just started hitting them to get my gold back and to get them out of my house.”

Continue reading at Aljazeera

Intifada or not, something powerful is going on

October 17, 2015  

Palestinians are coming together, regardless of age, gender and political affiliation, in a show of solidarity.

Palestinian ProtestersAs the student cafeteria at Birzeit University empties after the lunchtime rush, Ehab Iwidat leans back on his chair and sips from a bottle of mineral water. The wiry, 20-year-old business and French student is suffering from a cold, but that has not stopped him from attending some of the recent demonstrations in the West Bank.

“It’s the first time in a long time that we’ve seen this,” he says. “I’ve seen young people, old people, females, males, protesting in the streets together. You can see rich people alongside poor people too.”

Like many in the so-called Oslo generation of Palestinians, who have little or no memory of previous Intifadas in Palestine, Iwidat only knows life under occupation as a second-class citizen.  Read more at aljazeera