Palestine: Boycotting Israel, Excluding Handala and More

From Gaza

Photo Credit: a bLoGgEr FrOm GaZa

This week in the Palestinian blogosphere, bloggers tackled serious issues such as the academical boycott of Israel, checkpoints and Edward Said’s mural in San Francisco as well as lighter topics such as a Palestinian swimmer participating in a regional competition in Beit Sahour and other personal stories.

Politics politics:

Umkhalil expressed disappointment with San Francisco's State University's General Union of Palestine Students for reaching a compromise with the Jewish community and agreeing to exclude Handala and his key (the key of return) from Edward Said‘s mural:

Dear Members of SFGUPS:
I strongly disagree with the compromise you've reached with the Jewish community which means that Handala with the house key is excluded from the mural. Evidently, in order to appease the Zionists, GUPS has foolishly agreed to a mural which is useless since the heart and soul of Palestine, the sacred and inalienable right to return, symbolized by Handala holding a key, will not be depicted on the mural. Instead of compromising, I wish that GUPS had carefully explained that the Palestinians’ right of return is part of international law, as stated in Article 13, Section 2, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

From Occupied Palestine, With Love talks about a day at Beit Furik checkpoint:

Today, after many had been waiting for over four and a half hours, a group of men ran through the crossing, and did not turn back when the soldiers saw them. As punishment, the soldiers completely closed the crossing to the remaining four hundred people. Because we argued with them, called the Israeli authorities in control of the area and other such things they had to reopen. By the time we left, a few Palestinians took over our job, locating those who needed to cross quickly, and advocating for them with the soldiers. We are growing….

The Fanonite writes about a new campaign by the Israel Lobby to destroy the career of an academic:

Is it not amusing that the same people who have been stifling free speech of academics even mildly critical of the US should cry ‘censorship’ when British academics propose a highly nuanced boycott of Israel? Only months after the disgraced charlatan Alan Dershowitz who has been accused of plagiarism both on the Left and the Right, leading a campaign to deny tenure to Norman Finkelstein, we have a new campaign by the Israel Lobby to destroy the career of another academic, Nadia Abu El-Haj, who was unwise enough to write research critical of Israel.

Layla from Raising Yousuf, Unplugged, wrote about her personal/political dilemma as a Palestinian:

I'm not sure what it will take anymore for people to realize the absurdity of it all. I mean, sanctioning an occupied people for God's sake? Demanding an end to “violence” by those occupied people all while the US shells out another $30 billion in military aid to the world's third strongest army?

And I'm not talking about the US only here. I'm talking about our very own Arab governments who, from day one, bowed in submission to US commands to freeze financial transactions to Hamas. Yes, the world, including the Arab world, has been complicit in the destruction of a society.

…and more politics

KABOBfest‘s Will wrote an article about the boycott movement targeting Israel:

When does a citizen-led boycott of a state become morally justified?

That question is raised by an expanding academic, cultural and economic boycott of Israel. The movement joins churches, unions, professional societies and other groups based in the United States, Canada, Europe and South Africa. It has elicited dramatic reactions from Israel ‘s supporters. U.S. labor leaders have condemned British unions, representing millions of workers, for supporting the Israel boycott. American academics have been frantically gathering signatures against the boycott, and have mounted a prominent advertising campaign in American newspapers – unwittingly elevating the controversy further in the public eye.


From KABOBfest, a post about moderate Muslim voices:

A common refrain in the media, and a question among some of my friends, is where are the moderate Muslim voices? I hope it does not surprise anyone, but just because you don't see it in English does not mean it does not exist (MEMRI is shall we say, a tad selective).

Arabesque Rhapsody wrote about the recent Jordanian-Iraqi condition in the Arabian blogosphere:

I kind of came to a conclusion, well it's more of a thought actually.

People, human beings, the living have something in them. I guess its what's called an instinct and that is that whenever you get attacked you get defensive and throw sentences that might not really “commit to reality” but is a kind of “reflex”…

Soul Blossom wrote about the deceased The Palestinian journalist, author, and artist Ghassan Kanafani:

I love how Kanafani summed the hardships all Palestinians endeavor -not only physically, but emotionally for the most part- and the fate awaiting everyone who fought against Israel. It makes you shed tears as you feel the events taking place.

The Fanonite wrote about his meeting with travel writer Sven Lindqvist:

On Tuesday I had the pleasure of meeting Sven Lindqvist at the Edinburgh Book Festival. Described by George Monbiot as a ‘world changing’ author, Lindqvist is an author of many books which chronicle the murderous history of European colonialism, the intellectual impostures that accompanied it, and its enduring effects on the various parts of the world he has visited. A self-proclaimed travel writer, Lindqvist’s journeys effortlessly traverse the geographical as well as the temporal dimension of travel.


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