Stories about Palestine from July, 2009
A television ad for Cellcom, the largest Israeli cellular provider, sprung an unprecedented debate on the face of the Israeli occupation over the past two weeks. The advert shows Israeli soldiers playing soccer with unseen Palestinians over the wall separating Israel and the West Bank, to the sound of popular music. The ad was accepted as insensitive at best by many Israelis, becoming an icon of blindness to the occupation in the Israeli society, writes Carmel L. Vaisman.
Dr. Mona El-Farra is back home in Gaza after a prolonged absence: “I now see a different Gaza, and it is not the Gaza I have known, it is like a city after an earthquake.”
In the West Bank, activist Hannah Mermelstein writes: “A friend of mine here once told me that she never feels safe, so safety is not a consideration for her in making decisions. As much as I may try, I cannot truly imagine this lack of control.”
In the West Bank, Marcy Newman has been teaching young Palestinians about indigenous Americans, as preparation for a solidarity visit by a group of Native Americans next month.
Antony Loewenstein is visiting Gaza, and is posting photos on his blog.
From Gaza, Erin Cunningham writes on Twitter: “just had my hair cut by a wonderfully gay Gazan stylist whose salon has been firebombed several times by extremists. resilience = good hair.”
The Bahraini Nationalist read the response by the Olama Islamic Council to the Crown Prince's call for dialogue with Israelis: “It’s the usual, humdrum response we’ve come to expect from all Islamist political groups…it exposes the hypocritical way these groups approach the issue of Palestine.”
While Israel as a whole has moved to the right in recent years, there are nevertheless Israelis who oppose their government’s policies towards the Palestinians. Global Voices Online has interviewed activist Joseph Dana, who blogs at Ibn Ezra, about his involvement with the group Ta'ayush ("coexistence"), the state of activism in Israel, and using social media to get the message out.
Writing on Arab-American joint blog Kabobfest, Will notes his disgust with Egypt's stalling of humanitarian aid entering Gaza. “Though we have seen Egypt’s role as essentially Israel’s sidekick before, the machinations around the Viva Palestine really exemplify how much it shares Israel’s sick agenda of collective punishment in Gaza,” he...
At the Moments of Gaza blog, Professor Abdelwahed writes about a couple taking their children out of Gaza for the first time in 13 years, and discovering that they were terrified to fly: “Their persistent question was on their situation if the airplane bombed somewhere and killed innocent people like...
Glenn Strachan has been working temporarily in Nazareth, and is now visiting Jerusalem for the first time: “What I quickly discovered is that Nazareth is to Jerusalem what hamburger is to filet mignon.”
The Palestine Solidarity Project blog reports that Israeli settlers were seen setting farmland on fire near Beit Ummar in the West Bank.
Gazan blogger DR – LION reports on the second Viva Palestina humanitarian convoy to enter Gaza, accompanied by the British MP George Galloway [Ar].
The first gay book to have been ever translated into Arabic after being originally printed in English has run into problems straight off the press. Katharine Ganly reports on blogger reactions to the book Gay Travels in the Muslim World, whose translation has spurred a heated debate.
Palestinian Pundit‘s Tony Sayegh celebrates his blog's third anniversary. “A lot has happened in the world during these three years, but in the case of the Arabs in general and the Palestinians in particular, not only there has been no progress, but actually there has been regression,” he notes.
Writing at Mideast Youth, Palestinian blogger Sami, the Bedouin, describes how ‘human rights’ and ‘democracy’ are abused in his country.
Zaytonatona asks, “What's the difference between a blogger, a forum member, and someone on Facebook?” [Ar]
Ruba Anabtawi profiles two famous musicians in Palestinian history, Wasif Jawhariyah and Amin Nasser [Ar].
A campaign was launched earlier this year, at the time of the Israeli attacks on Gaza, to promote the concept of taking pride in Palestinian resistance, and to focus on Palestinian rights not victimhood. Called the Never Before Campaign, it is based in Beirut, Lebanon, and has produced a series of videos to convey its message. Global Voices Online has interviewed the Never Before Campaign to find out more.
Dr. Mona Elfarra writes: “The number of patients who have died because they were not allowed to seek medical care outside of Gaza has surpassed 400. As a response to the deteriorating health situation, the Red Crescent Society recognizes the importance of adding an MRI machine to its diagnostic center...
Transplanted to Palestine is an American married to a Palestinian in Ramallah, and she describes various Palestinian weddings she has attended – including her own.