This month, U.S. congressmen, including Reps. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), were refused entry into the Gaza Strip at the Erez crossing while on a fact-finding mission in Israel-Palestine. Israeli authorities, without elaboration, claimed that their application had not met the criteria necessary to enter. Apparently elected U.S. congressmen inspecting American taxpayer-funded projects and reviewing U.S. aid to Palestinians in Gaza is not worthy criteria.
Bernie Sanders’ representatives to the Democratic platform committee have brought the plight of the Palestinians into the national political debate. This could become a breakthrough moment, presaging policies that address the security of both Israelis and Palestinians as being mutually inclusive.
Noga Kadman speaks about her book Erased from Space and Consciousness: Israel and the Depopulated Palestinian Villages of 1948 7:30 pm, Elvehjem L150, UW-Madison Campus.
“Poignant, sensitive, and compassionate, Kadman’s deeply-informed inquiry exposes graphically the process of ‘demographic Judaization’ of Palestine, in physical reality and cultural comprehension.” – Noam Chomsky
A dramatic transformation took place in the landscape and demography of Israel after the 1948 war, as hundreds of Palestinian villages throughout the country were depopulated, and for the most part physically erased. How has this transformation been perceived by Israelis? Kadman’s talk suggests some answers, based on a research that systematically explores Israeli attitudes concerning the depopulated Palestinian villages. Noga Kadman lives near Jerusalem and is an Israeli researcher in the field of human rights and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as a licensed tour guide. Her main interest is to explore the encounter between Israelis and the Palestinian presence in the landscape and history of the country. She is co-editor of Once Upon a Land: A Tour Guide to Depopulated Palestinian Villages and Towns (in Hebrew and Arabic).
Standstill is the story of two people forced by political and social upheaval to confront the past, in order to move forward in life despite inertia from different circumstances. The Mohawk Arihote is a stranger in his own land, while the Palestinian Wedad is most definitely a stranger in a strange land.
Majdi El-Omari is a Palestinian – Canadian filmmaker. After working in the Middle East as an assistant director and production manager on various feature and documentary films, El-Omari became a filmmaker, scriptwriter, producer and editor. El-Omari’s short films d’auteur At the Window (short fiction, 30 min.); Traces on the Rock of Elsewhere (short fiction, 15 min.); À propos de l’autre (documentary, 60 min.); The Evergreen Oak (documentary, 37 min.); Al Nawss (The Quiver of the Branch by the Wind) (docudrama, 25 min.); and The Question of Assaad (short fiction, 15 min.) have been selected in several international festivals. Standstill is his debut feature film.
In January 2016—and beyond!—readers in cities and towns around the world came together to discuss Suad Amiry’s memoir Sharon and My Mother-in-Law and, in some cases, hear from author Amiry herself.
After a launch event with Amiry in Brooklyn, NY, reading groups in North America, Europe, and the Middle East attracted audiences ranging from intimate groups of fewer than 10 people to scores in some Italian cities.
This is from the Middle East Children’s Alliance project assistant in Gaza, who tells us that the program now has 220 children enrolled over two shifts. Photos are taken with consent, and A’hed’s first name is used with the family’s approval.
A’hed is a nine year old boy. He joined the project from the early beginning – in August 2015. During the primary activities of that month, like ice-breaking and introductory activities, the psychologist noticed that there was something wrong about A’hed. “I noticed that he was very aggressive and very nervous during the activities. He attacked his colleagues more than once, he was moving a lot during the activities, he was sensitive and he refused to make any relationships with the other children,” said psychologist Haneen Jomaa.
She explained: “These regular symptoms showed that A’hed is suffering from a severe psychological trauma. I talked to A’hed privately in order to complete a form about his case. After several questions, I figured out that his father had died during the last war on Gaza in 2014, his mother left him and his sister after his father’s death, and they live now in their uncle’s house.
In conclusion, his family was broken, his mother was uneducated, and he and his sister faced serious economic problems. As a result of this session with A’hed, I called his uncle’s wife for a meeting to complete the parents form with her. I asked her to speak freely and honestly about A’hed in order to help me healing him. During her speech, many problems showed up.
“A’hed was suffering from bed-wetting, he was terrified from the frequent assault of his uncle, he was a forgetful, his requests must be done immediately, he was treating animals cruelly, and, finally, A’hed once set fire to the house!” said his uncle’s wife painfully.
Today Esty Dinur talks to Leila Abdelrazaq, author of the newly released “Baddawi.” Her new book tells the story of a young boy raised in a refugee camp, trying to find his way in the world after fleeing his homeland after the war in 1948 established the state of Israel.
Palestinian American author Leila Abdelrazaq wrote the graphic novel Baddawi, which describes her father’s experience in a refugee camp during the Lebanese civil war.
Leila Abdelrazaq, a Palestinian-American writer, cartoonist, and Palestinian rights activist, was a featured speaker Oct. 23 at Central Library for the Wisconsin Book Festival. The Madison Rafah Sister City Project co-hosted the event.
Abdelrazaq recently graduated from DePaul University where she double majored in Theatre Arts and Arabic Studies. She grew up in Chicago, where she was constantly reminded of the pro-Israeli sentiment here in the United States. As Abdelrazaq studied at DePaul University, she joined a chapter of the organization Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). She also became a member of the National Students for Justice in Palestine Steering Committee.
In order to more clearly voice her thoughts on the Israeli occupation of Palestine, Abdelrazaq started a blog where she could illustrate what the situation is like for people who are unaware of the suffering of the Palestinian people and the occupation of Palestinian land, in general.
BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip—Eight months after last summer’s war between Israel and Palestinian militant groups, Gaza remains in ruins. Drive five minutes into the territory from the crossing point in southwestern Israel and you reach Beit Hanoun, one of the areas hit most severely by land and air during the conflict. Bright blue sky spreads over buildings with big bites taken out of them. Half-eaten bedrooms and kitchens yawn open to reveal tangled wires, broken rock, and household goods: a slipper, a pack of sanitary pads, a ripped-up schoolbook. People peek over mounds of rubble from tents behind their former homes, like aliens come to settle an abandoned planet.