January 21, 2022
Just World podcast “The World From Palestine”!

Dear Friends–

Happy Martin Luther King Day! I hope it finds you well.

This week, on Friday, Just World Ed will be launching our new podcast series, “The World From Palestine”. In each episode of this ten-week series the Palestinian scholar Yousef Aljamal and I will explore different aspects of the intersection between Palestine’s liberation struggle and other anti-imperialist struggles — throughout history, and until today.

The new podcast series will be available globally on Just World Podcasts and will also be available for streaming or download on Apple, Spotify, and all other major audio-streaming platforms.

I am particularly excited to work on this podcast with Yousef, given his wide experience of settler colonialisms in many parts of the world including Hawai’i, Aotearoa/New Zealand, Ireland, Algeria, in Palestine (of course!)… and here on Turtle Island.

In 2014 and 2019, he undertook speaking tours of the United States, speaking to super audiences and connecting with Palestinian-rights leaders and activists nationwide. In 2019, he also held good meetings with key members of the U.S. Congress and numerous congressional staffers.

Learn a little more about our new podcast project below…

In the meantime, I also want to tell you about another cutting-edge project that Code Pink is organizing and that Just World Ed is co-sponsoring. This is a webinar, “A Closer Look at China in Africa”, that will be held tomorrow, Tuesday, at 1pm ET.

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“We don’t have another place to go”

Dispossession, Settler Violence, & Resistance in Masafer Yatta

Occupied Thoughts, Foundation for Middle East Peace, 1/12/2022

"We don't have another place to go:" Dispossession, Settler Violence, & Resistance in Masafer YattaIn this episode of Occupied Thoughts, FMEP's Sarah Anne Minkin speaks with activist and author Ali Awad about the threats of dispossession and state-backed settler violence facing Palestinians in the Masafer Yatta area of the South Hebron Hills.

Ali's most recent article, co-authored with Awdah Hathaleen, describes extreme violence against a village elder in a non-violent protest in Masafer Yatta: "Israeli police shattered this Palestinian elder’s bones — and drove away."

Bios

  • Ali Awad is an activist from the village of Tuba in the South Hebron Hills.
  • Sarah Anne Minkin, PhD, is FMEP’s Director of Programs & Partnerships.
  • Original music by Jalal Yaquoub

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Why US lawmakers should witness the Israeli occupation firsthand

A visit by Reps. Jamaal Bowman and Mark Pocan to my Palestinian village affirmed the value of politicians learning about Israel’s policies on the ground.


Palestinians protest the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin to the heritage site of ancient Susya, in Yatta, near the West Bank city of Hebron, March 14, 2021. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)

Nasser Nawajah, +972 Magazine, December 8, 2021

When U.S. Congressman Andy Levin visited my village of Susiya in 2019, he witnessed a live illustration of the unjust reality that Palestinians in the occupied West Bank experience daily.

As we stood at the entrance of the village, looking toward the illegal Israeli settlement of the same name that has turned Susiya’s ancient ruins into an archeological park, Mekorot, Israel’s water utility company, was busy laying down pipes. The water, of course, would not be accessible to us or the other Palestinian communities in the area; it is meant to serve the outposts and settlements on the hilltops that surround us.

The congressman saw firsthand how water, a basic service which should be guaranteed as a human right, is in fact a precious commodity here in the South Hebron Hills. Do you know how much a cubic meter of water costs in your neighborhood? In Susiya, it costs NIS 35, approximately $11. For Israeli Jews — including those who live just hundreds of meters from us in the Israeli Susiya — the average price is just NIS 7, about $2.

Currently, most of our water cisterns are located in a “security buffer zone” that we cannot access. We are thus forced to buy water at five times the price, while Israelis living in settlements enjoy the same privileges as if they were living in the heart of Tel Aviv.

Last month, U.S. Congressmen Jamaal Bowman and Mark Pocan, together with their colleagues, visited Susiya and witnessed these injustices, too. I stood with them in our playground, which on the previous Shabbat had been invaded by settlers who were escorted and protected by the Israeli army.

New Film on Hebron at the New York Times

Mission: Hebron by Israeli filmmaker Rona Segal was published recently in the opinion section of the New York Times website, and can be watched there (with a subscription) or on YouTube.

Mission: Hebron is a short documentary based on interviews conducted by the director with Breaking the Silence testifiers about their service in Hebron. Describing a horrifying yet mundane routine of manning checkpoints, invading homes, nighttime arrests, and violently dispersing protests, they paint a picture of what serving in the second largest Palestinian city in the occupied territories requires, the atmosphere in the city, their interaction with the local population, both Palestinians and settlers, and how they felt about it all.

Screened around the world at international film festivals, the film won the Shagrir Prize at last year’s Jerusalem Film Festival and is now long-listed for the Academy Award for Best Short Documentary.

Settler attacks on Palestinians more than double in two years

Israeli authorities have created a “permissive atmosphere” allowing settlers to “let off steam”


Hebrew graffiti in the village of Deir Estya, which translates as ‘village of terrorists’, in an apparent ‘price tag’ attack by Jewish settlers, 18 June 2019 (AFP)

Middle East Eye, 4 October 2021

Israeli settler attacks on Palestinian villages and properties in the occupied West Bank have more than doubled in the first half of 2021, compared with the same statistics over the past two years, Haaretz reported on Sunday.

The spike may be linked to a change in tactics from authorities following the death of teenage settler Ahuvia Sandak, who died in a car crash fleeing Israeli police, and the killing of 52-year-old mother Esther Horgan by Palestinians in December 2020.

To avoid confrontation, Israeli authorities created what officials described as a “permissive atmosphere”, including allowing settlers to “let off steam”, according to the Israeli newspaper.

In 2019, 363 settler attacks were reported, while in 2020, that number was 507.



Masked settler mob attacks Hebron villages
Read More »

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Amnesty Condemns Settler Attack on Palestinian Playground


Jewish settlers try to destroy a Palestinian playground near Hebron. (Photo: via Social Media)

The Palestine Chronicle, November 8, 2021

Amnesty International has condemned an attack by Israeli settlers and soldiers against Palestinian children in a playground in the occupied West Bank village of Susya, near Hebron (Al-Khalil), according to the Middle East Monitor.

The incident took place on Saturday when Israeli soldiers prevented the children and their mothers from having access to the playground in their village.

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October 22, 2021
2021 Edward Said Memorial Lecture with Susan Abulhawa

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm Eastern
The Jerusalem Fund

In this year’s Edward Said Memorial Lecture, Susan Abulhawa will provide valuable insight into Israel’s global arms trade and exports, and how this ties into Israeli settler colonialism and oppression of Palestinians.

Susan Abulhawa is a novelist, poet, essayist, scientist, mother, and activist. Her debut novel Mornings in Jenin (Bloomsbury, 2010), translated into 30 languages, is considered a classic in Anglophile Palestinian literature. Its reach and sales has made Abulhawa the most widely read Palestinian author. Her second novel, The Blue Between Sky and Water (Bloomsbury, 2015), was likewise an international bestseller. Her third novel, Against the Loveless World, was published by Simon & Schuster in August 2020. She is also the author of a poetry collection, My Voice Sought The Wind (Just World Books, 2013), contributor to several anthologies, political commentator, and frequent speaker.

Please note that all times are in US Eastern time.

Click here to register for the event on Zoom

Click here to watch the live stream on YouTube (no registration required)

September 22-28, 2021
Virtual Delegations to the South Hebron Hills

Visit with Youth of Sumud and your guides Bana & Sami
September 2021

Join us for a virtual tour of the South Hebron Hills. During this tour we will visit villages in the southern part of the West Bank where Palestinians remain steadfast and continue to resist the constant threats and attacks from nearby Israeli settlements and outposts. Saurora was abandoned in the 1990’s because of settler violence from the nearby illegal Israeli outpost of Havat Ma’On and the ancient cave homes were damaged or demolished. In 2017, members of Youth of Sumud have begun to revive the village of Saurora – rebuilding the caves and establishing a permanent presence there. Youth of Sumud have also taken on the responsibility of accompannying children who have to travel past neaby settlements and outposts to go to school and farmers who face violence from settlers and Israeli soldiers in their fields.

We will visit with Youth of Sumud and also hear about a new campaign, Defund Racism, a Palestinian-led movement to end the use of ‘charitable’ funds raised in the United States to carry out the mission of Israeli settler organizations.

Your Guides, Bana & Sami!

Bana Abu Zuluf is a researcher and community activist with the Good Shepherd Collective, where she has played a crucial role in developing the Campaign to Defund Racism, helping organize over 200 Palestinian organizations, villages and individuals from across historical Palestine to make the call to stop the flow of charitable money to Israeli settler organizations.

Sami Huraini is a political activist and community organizer in Palestine. Huraini co-founded Youth of Sumud, a nonviolent resistance movement that provides material support for marginalized communities facing settler violence across the West Bank. Youth of Sumud spearheaded the efforts to return a Palestinian presence to the displaced community of Sarura after it been abandoned for over 20 years.

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September 12, 2021
South Hebron Hills online tour and event

A lot of media focus has rightfully been given to Sheik Jarrah and Gaza recently, but in the South Hebron Hills similar human rights violations are going on which don’t garner as much attention. We invite you to join us and our friends at the Good Shepherd Collective and the Youth of Sumud to explore this important part of the country and the topic of settler/IDF violence.

South Hebron Hills online tour and event

We’ll explore several small Palestinian communities gradually being surrounded by Israeli settlements.

Because of the on-going violence, Palestinian children in Atwuani require a military escort to go to school. The local organization, Youth of Sumud, has led the popular nonviolent resistance struggle against the illegal settlement encroachment. They also re-established a Palestinian village in Sarura after the community had been abandoned for 20 years.

Palestinians in the South Hebron Hills live in fear, not knowing when the bulldozers will come for their homes. Demolition orders are not limited to houses, but also extend to things like the wood burning stones where villagers bake bread and lavatories.

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Conscientious objector: ‘I don’t want to wear a uniform that symbolizes violence and pain’

Shahar Perets, who was sentenced to prison for refusing to join the Israeli army, talks about meeting Palestinians for the first time, her visits to the West Bank, and how Israeli society represses the occupation.


Israeli conscientious objector Shahar Perets. (Oren Ziv)

Oren Ziv, +972 Magazine, September 1, 2021

Israeli conscientious objector Shahar Perets was sentenced to 10 days in military prison on Tuesday after announcing her refusal to join the Israeli army over its policies toward Palestinians. 

Perets, 18, from the town of Kfar Yona, is one of the 120 teenagers who signed the “Shministim Letter” (an initiative with the Hebrew nickname given to high school seniors) in January, in which they declared their refusal to serve in the army in protest of its policies of occupation and apartheid. In June 2020, she was one of the 400 Israeli teenagers who signed a letter to the Israeli leadership demanding it halts its erstwhile plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank as part of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s so-called peace plan. 

On Tuesday morning, dozens of supporters, including Joint List MK Ofer Cassif, accompanied both Perets and conscientious objector Eran Aviv — who will enter his fourth stint behind bars — to the Tel Hashomer induction base in central Israel, where they both told the army they would not serve. Aviv has spent a total of 54 days in military prison for refusing to serve in the army, and was sentenced to an additional 10 days behind bars. After they are released, they will have to return to the induction base and repeat the process until the army decides to discharge them. Military conscription is mandatory for most Jewish Israelis. 

Aviv arrived to the induction base in uniform after he began the enlistment process in May, when the army promised him a position that was unrelated to the occupation. When army officials reneged on the promise, he chose to refuse — yet from the IDF’s point of view, he is considered a soldier.

Shahar’s father, Shlomo Perets, who himself sat in prison four times for refusing to serve in Lebanon and the occupied territories, was also there to support his daughter. “These are her choices, she does what she has decided out of awareness, care, and a desire to make a change. I support her and hope that she will succeed in not doing the things that go against her principles and refusing to be what she is not.”