Gay Liberation Network declares ‘We Stand With Palestine’ during Chicago’s Gay Pride Parade

(Photo: Gay Liberation Network)

Mondoweiss, June 24, 2018

Confounding many people’s expectations, our “We Stand With Palestine” contingent in the Chicago Gay Pride Parade Sunday, June 24th – with its huge 160 sq foot banner, “Israel: STOP killing Palestinians!” – was met with almost universal approval by the approximately 1 million people who lined the four-mile parade route.

(Photo: Gay Liberation Network)

With the recent killings of over 100 unarmed protesters by Israeli sharpshooters, including children and clearly identified medics and journalists, and the wounding of over 11,000 others, people in this country are waking up to Israel’s systematic deprivation of Palestinians’ rights.

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Palestine: Unlimited Photo Exhibits in Madison

Now Through Saturday, June 16:
Christ the Solid Rock Baptist Church, 1502 Parkside Dr., Madison 241-9796
First Congregational Church, 1609 University Ave., Madison 233-9751
Midvale Community Lutheran Church, 4329 Tokay Blvd., Madison, WI 238-7119
Memorial United Church of Christ, 5705 Lacy Rd, Fitchburg, WI 53711 273-1008
Lutheran Church of the Living Christ, 110 N. Gammon Rd, Madison 829-2136

The entire exhibit of 24 photos is divided among these churches.

Palestine: Unlimited is a collection of award-winning photos by Palestinians on exhibit in the U.S. The photos, reflecting Palestinian views of their culture and way of life, is on display at Madison-area churches. The display is open to the public daily during regular hours of each church.

This exhibition is derived from a signature initiative of the Dar Al Kalima University College of Arts and Culture in Bethlehem. The exhibit, featuring the ten finalists from the Karimeh Abboud Award Competition – named for a pioneering 20th century Palestinian female photographer – helps break through icons and stereotypes, in order to experience Palestine as it really is. In the words of photographer Ala’a Abu Salem: “These portraits aim at representing the Palestinian away from any ties, connections or expectations with themes and specific subjects. In short, it is an attempt to break the stereotype and overused image of the Palestinian person.”

Sponsored by Bright Stars of Bethlehem. See sample photos and messages from the artists.
 

Palestine: Unlimited


Elaine Pasquini, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, 2017 March-April

Throughout the month of December, photographs from the first annual Karimeh Abboud Award Competition were on display in St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in San Francisco. The exhibition, “Palestine: Unlimited,” was presented by the charitable organization Bright Stars of Bethlehem. Bright Stars is dedicated to the support of the Bethlehem-based Diyar Consortium, which includes, among other Bethlehem institutions, Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts & Culture, which initiated the showing.

Hailing from across all of historical Palestine, the 10 finalists were Mohammed al-Kurd, Mohammad Shaloudi, Luay Sababa, May Hirbawi, Saleh Zghari, Waseem Ali, Majd Sanuri, Reem Awad, Alaa abu Salem and first prize winner Nihaya al-Haj Mahmoud. The exhibition was curated by filmmaker Mahasen Nasser-Eldin, who teaches film studies and production at Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts & Culture.

In presenting their wide range of subjects, the artists utilized various styles of photography, including experimental, abstract, conceptual and documentary.

Luay Sababa’s wrenching photo “Checkpoint 300” captures Palestinian workers traversing the checkpoint in Bethlehem—where unemployment is high—to work in Israel.

“Our Mother is Palestinian” by Mohammad Shaloudi offers an oft-seen vignette in the Old City of Jerusalem of a mother selling her vegetables in the street.

May Hirbawi’s photo “Demolition Order” reveals a Bedouin learning his home will soon be confiscated and demolished.

“There’s been a lot of talk recently about the need for empathy and to take someone else’s point of view,” Randy Schieber, chair of St. Mark’s endowment fund, which helped sponsor the exhibition, told visitors at the Dec. 4 opening reception. “This exhibit really puts us in the eyes of these young adults in Palestine and offers us a glimpse into their lives.”

The award is named for photographer Karimeh Abboud (1893-1940), who shattered stereotypes by becoming the first professional female photographer in Palestine, where she had studios in Bethlehem, Nazareth, Haifa and Jerusalem.

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Israel ambassador to U.S. speaks at Milwaukee Rotary Club

Bill Glauber and Amed Elbenni, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 6, 2018

Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, said America’s recent move to relocate its embassy to Israel will help advance the cause of Middle East peace.

During an address Tuesday at the Milwaukee Rotary Club, Dermer called President Donald Trump’s decision to open the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem “historic” and “one of the greatest decisions in the history of Zionism.”

“I know some people are concerned that this decision will set back the cause of peace. I disagree,” he said.

“This is our historic home and peace can come to the region and the Palestinians can cross a psychological Rubicon and say, ‘You have a right to be here, too,’ ” he added.

The event was co-sponsored by the Milwaukee Jewish Federation. The Rotary has invited the Islamic Society of Milwaukee to a future presentation.

There were protests outside the War Memorial Center organized by Jewish Voice for Peace-Milwaukee, an organization that advocates for full Palestinian citizenship that has labeled Dermer “Israel’s apartheid ambassador.” Peace Action Wisconsin also was an organizer of the protest, which attracted about 60 people from various backgrounds — Jewish, Palestinian, Lebanese, black.

The groups criticized Israel’s recent actions in Gaza, where more than 115 people have been killed since March. Hamas has organized what it called the Great March of Return.

The protests come on the heel of a recent explosion of violence in Gaza and at the Israeli border that left more than 100 people killed and thousands more injured. The Friday killing of Razan al-Najjar, a 21-year-old Palestinian medic who was shot by an Israel Defense Forces soldier, has inspired a fresh wave of outrage.

“It’s an atrocity,” said Tony Peressini, a member of Jewish Voice for Peace.

Jodi Melamed, co-founder of the Milwaukee chapter of JVP, attended the address but was not impressed. “As a Jew of conscience,” she said, she was “disgusted that he was joking about ‘Laverne & Shirley’ and baseball” without ever acknowledging the recent violence in Gaza.

Near the end of the protest, the names of recent Palestinian victims were read out. After each name, the protesters said, “We remember you.”

Inside, Dermer said: “The relationship between Israel and the U.S. is stronger than ever.”

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The Palestinian women at the forefront of Gaza’s protests

In socially conservative Gaza, women have been leading the Great Return March movement, uniting all Palestinians.

Mersiha Gadzo & Anas Jnena, 20 Apr 2018

‘I loved the sense of unity we all felt when both young men and women helped each other during the march protest,’ said Taghreed al-Barawi, seen in the photo [Mohammed Salem/Reuters]

Gaza Strip – On one side of the fence, dozens of Israeli soldiers lay positioned behind sand dunes, tracking the Palestinian demonstrators through the crosshairs of their snipers.

On the other side, young women, with keffiyeh scarves covering half their faces to avoid tear gas suffocation, stand in front of the young protesting men, providing cover.

“Women are less likely to be shot at,” said 26-year-old Taghreed al-Barawi on April 13, while attending the third consecutive Friday protests in Gaza near the Israeli border with her younger sister and a group of friends.

“We live in a male-dominated society and women’s participation in protests can be a strange scene for some people in Gaza. However, this time men somehow were more accepting and encouraging. It seems like they finally realised that we’re all part of this and women should be present,” Barawi said.

But being female is no guarantee for protection.

Some 1,600 protesters, including 160 women, have been wounded and more than 30 have been killed by Israeli snipers since the Great Return March movement began on March 30, marked as Land Day for Palestinians.

Even though Barawi inadvertently choked on tear gas numerous times and felt like she was about to faint, the thought of quitting the protest didn’t cross her mind.

“I had this feeling of strange courage, or I don’t know what to call it – it’s as if the nearer I got to the border, the stronger my desire was to move forward. Maybe it was the urge to come closer to our home and visit it [territories that Israel took over in 1948].

“Personally, I’m also inspired and intrigued by Ahed Tamimi and her bravery standing up to the Israeli army,” Barawi said.

The Great Return March is a non-violent, grassroots movement that calls for the right of return of Palestinian refugees to their homes, as per the UN Resolution 194, from which they were expelled in 1948 when the state of Israel was created.

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Palestinian Child Prisoners
Day of Social Media Action
April 17, 2018

Palestine Solidarity Campaign, April 16, 2018

Join us in campaigning to protect child prisoners on the 17th April, marking the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian Prisoners.

We need you to help raise awareness of the mistreatment of Palestinian children by sharing our ready made infographics on your social media throughout tomorrow. Please post 2 or 3 of the images at the end of this email, also to be found on our website, with the hashtag #freechildprisoners .

Please also take the opportunity to write to Congress to ensure that pressure remains for action in holding Israel accountable for violating the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

Under Israeli Military Detention, Palestinian children as young as 12 are routinely:

    • Taken from their homes in night time raids at gunpoint
    • Blindfolded, bound and shackled
    • Interrogated without a lawyer or relative and with no audio-visual recording
    • Put into solitary confinement
    • Forced to sign confessions – often in Hebrew, a language they do not understand

Children shouldn’t have to fight against the injustices of occupation, which is why they need our support. Please lend your voice on twitter and facebook, and also write to Congress.

The statistics are truly shocking. Over 78% of detained children are strip searched each year, 74.5% report physical violence committed against them, and 97% are interrogated without a parent or lawyer present.

A 2013 UNICEF report called Israeli ill-treatment of children “widespread, systematic, and institutionalised”. Every year 500 – 700 children are subjected to this traumatic experience.

Change will only come from sustained international pressure. We at PSC are making sure that the cry for justice for Palestinian children is so loud that it can’t be ignored any longer. Thank you for supporting this cause.