This is no “terrorist wave,”
it is an uprising

Gush Shalom, October 18, 2022

The State of Israel is going
to general elections,
but in the election campaigns
there is virtually no mention
of the main, existential problem
facing all who live in this country.

The West Bank is on fire,
as are the neighborhoods
of East Jerusalem.

This is not “a wave of terrorism”.

This is an uprising
of young people
making a simple
and self-evident demand:
to be a free people
in their country.

Armed with stones
and a few light arms,
young Palestinians are facing
the strongest army
in the Middle East.

Many of them pay
with their lives —
and they are not deterred.
They continue their struggle.

Two soldiers were killed this week.
A young man and a young woman,
Israeli contemporaries of
the Palestinians they face.

These soldiers were not “murdered”.
They were not “victims of terrorist attacks”.
They fell in the battle to which
the State of Israel sent them.

They fell in an unjust war,
a war for maintaining
an oppressive occupation regime,
a war for the settlers
who steal Palestinian lands.

A war which is not worth fighting
and certainly not worthy
of sacrificing one’s life.

The real heroes
of Israel 2022
are the refusers and
conscientious objectors,
held behind bars
at the Kfar Yona military prison.

The prison to which the army gave
the Orwellian name “Abode of Justice”.

Young men who refuse to wear
the uniform of
an army of occupation and oppression
and prefer to go to prison.

Young women who reject with disgust
the distorted idea that for Israeli women,
taking part in the oppression of
Palestinian women and men
is some sort of
“Women’s Empowerment”.

They are the last remaining Israelis
in whom one can take pride.


Gush Shalom (Hebrew: גוש שלום, The Peace Bloc) is an Israeli peace group founded by Uri Avnery, a former journalist and Irgun and Knesset member. The organization has been controversial for sending a relief convoy to Gaza under Hamas administration, and the mainstream Israeli media has described it on occasion as “radical” and “extreme”. In 2010 the American Friends Service Committee said the group was “one of Israel’s most influential peace organizations”.

Israeli Apartheid: A Breakdown

Israel applies an oppressive, separate, and unequal regime on Palestinians. There is only one word for this: Apartheid.

Omar Baddar, Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU), Oct 14, 2020

Omar Baddar is Director of Communications for the Institute for Middle East Understanding, and past Deputy Director of the Arab American Institute.

Lina Abu Akleh at Rebuilding Alliance Benefit on Sep. 10th

Please join us — in person or online — for a special evening. I am honored to tell you that
Lina Abu Akleh, niece of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, will be the Keynote speaker at Palestine: Hope and Resilience.

  • Joining her in person are Cindy and Craig Corrie, the parents of Rachel Corrie, who will present the posthumous Parrhesia Award to the family of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh
  • Shireen’s cousins, who live in the San Francisco Bay Area, will also be attending

Please register now to hear Lina Abu Akleh share her memories of Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh as together, we hold on to hope and resilience for the long road ahead.

    Saturday, Sep. 10th, 2022
    Gala Dinner at 5 PM PT, LiveStream program at 6:45 PM PT / 9:45 PM ET

Lina Abu Akleh is Palestinian-Armenian, born and raised in Jerusalem. Inspired by her aunt and mentor, Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, Lina completed her BA in Political Studies from the American University of Beirut and recieved her Masters in International Studies from the University of San Francisco where she chose a concentration in human rights, governance, and global justice.

After Shireen Abu Akleh reported on the struggle to access water around the West Bank’s Jordan Valley, she said, “Lina, not a lot of people talk about this.”  Consequently, Lina chose as her Master’s thesis, The Slow Creep of Settler Colonialism: Exploring Water Control in Palestine, which focused on the northern West Bank Village of Bardala whose water pumping station was locked by the Israeli Army. Just meters away, settlers installed their own exclusive pumping station.

Little did I know that I will be using my degrees, my experience, and my expertise to advocate for justice and accountability for Shireen.”
— Lina Abu Akleh, as quoted in Time Magazine 7/15/22

Rebuilding Alliance asks your help to provide direct aid to Palestinian families in rural Area C of the West Bank, in Gaza, and in East Jerusalem — and for essential Contact Congress advocacy for Palestinian equal rights to restore safety to families and to keep schools, homes, and olive trees standing.  Please help us continue to make a difference for Palestinian families in need.

About the Palestine: Hope & Resilience benefit — so far, 92 people have registered and donated $20,316.

For the event dinner, we chose the Green Hills Country Club, a spacious and lovely venue nestled in the hills of Millbrae with great ventilation. If you would like to join us for dinner, please R.S.V.P. now.  The chefs need to know no later than Wednesday.

See you next week, Saturday!

Sincerely,

Donna Baranski-Walker
Founder and Executive Director, Rebuilding Alliance

Here are way that you can make a tax-deductible donation:

  • Donate online with a gift of any amount by clicking ‘Register / Donate
  • If you wish to pledge and pay by check, click Register / Donate and select “Mail a Check” as your payment method. Make your check out to ‘Rebuilding Alliance’ and mail it to our office:
    Rebuilding Alliance, 50 Woodside Plaza Ste. 627, Redwood City CA 94061
  • Would you like to donate stock? Email us at Contact@RebuildingAlliance.org

Rebuilding Alliance

50 Woodside Plaza, Ste 627
Redwood City, CA 94061

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Giant eye murals bear witness to Palestinians in Jerusalem

Murals that are part of the public art project 'I Witness Silwan' depicting the eyes of local and international figures, including George Floyd, a Black American killed by police, top right, in the Silwan neighbourhood of east Jerusalem, Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. Eyes are always open in this flashpoint district. Now, new eyes emerged; they were painted on the walls of the decaying Palestinian homes. The eye murals, and graffiti of Palestinian symbols, are so giant that make you feel they are watching you wherever you walk in the neighborhood. (AP Photo/ Mahmoud Illean)
Murals that are part of the public art project ‘I Witness Silwan’ depicting the eyes of local and international figures, including George Floyd, a Black American killed by police, top right, Aug. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/ Mahmoud Illean)

Associated Press, August 27, 2022

JERUSALEM — A group of artists has filled a Palestinian area of east Jerusalem with paintings of large, wide-open eyes. The murals are a reminder that all eyes are on the neighborhood of Silwan, a flashpoint where Palestinians say Israeli forces and settlers are working to drive them out of their homes.

Palestinian children walk between murals that are part of the public art project 'I Witness Silwan', in the Silwan neighbourhood of east Jerusalem, Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. At right are the eyes of Silwan Community Member Nihad Siyam; at left, eyes inside two poppies, which Palestinians call their national flower. Eyes are always open in this flashpoint district. Now, new eyes emerged; they were painted on the walls of the decaying Palestinian homes. The eye murals, and graffiti of Palestinian symbols, are so giant that make you feel they are watching you wherever you walk in the neighborhood. (AP Photo/ Mahmoud Illean)
Palestinian children walk between murals in the Silwan neighbourhood of east Jerusalem, Aug. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/ Mahmoud Illean)

The eye murals are so giant that they make you feel they are watching you wherever you walk in the neighborhood. Many are painted on the walls of decaying Palestinian homes alongside national symbols.

“The staring eyes say to people that we see them and they should see us too," says Jawad Siyam, director of Madaa-Silwan Creative Center.

“We want to say that we are here — we love our land and our home.”

Since 2015, the center has worked with U.S. artists to create the murals and maintain them. In total, they have made about 2,000 feet of graffiti and paintings.

Israeli border police stand on a street lined with Palestinian homes painted in murals including one depicting goldfinches and an olive tree, that are part of the public art project 'I Witness Silwan' in the Silwan neighbourhood of east Jerusalem, Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. Palestinian and American artists have painted giant murals in an east Jerusalem district. The art project is meant to draw attention to the suffering of Palestinian residents of Silwan, a neighborhood near the Old City, who face Israeli arrests, home raids, demolitions, and the threat of evictions. (AP Photo/ Mahmoud Illean)
Israeli border police stand on a street lined with Palestinian homes painted in murals including one depicting goldfinches and an olive tree, Aug. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/ Mahmoud Illean)

The “I Witness Silwan” art project depicts the eyes of Palestinian and international leaders and influencers. It also features symbols such as the goldfinch and poppy, which Palestinians call their national flower.

Organizers say the art project aims at drawing attention to the displacements the Palestinians face in this neighborhood near the Old City of Jerusalem.

Murals that are part of the public art project 'I Witness Silwan' depicting the eyes of local and international figures are painted on houses in the Silwan neighbourhood of east Jerusalem, Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. Eyes are always open in this flashpoint district. Now, new eyes emerged; they were painted on the walls of the decaying Palestinian homes. The eye murals, and graffiti of Palestinian symbols, are so giant that make you feel they are watching you wherever you walk in the neighborhood. (AP Photo/ Mahmoud Illean)
Murals on houses in Silwan, Aug. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/ Mahmoud Illean)

Israel occupied Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed the holy city as its indivisible capital. The Palestinians claim the eastern part as the capital of their future state. Peace talks between the two sides ground to a halt years ago.

The Silwan project says it aims to counter Israeli settler groups that work to boost the Jewish presence in predominantly Arab or Palestinian areas of the contested holy city.

An Israeli border police officer watches Israeli Jewish settlers walk on a street lined with Palestinian homes painted in murals in the Silwan neighbourhood of east Jerusalem, Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. A group of artists has filled a Palestinian area of east Jerusalem with paintings of large, wide-open eyes. The murals are a reminder that all eyes are on the neighborhood of Silwan, a flashpoint where Palestinians say Israeli forces and settlers are working to drive them out of their homes. (AP Photo/ Mahmoud Illean)
An Israeli border police officer watches Israeli Jewish settlers walk on a street lined with Palestinian homes, Aug. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/ Mahmoud Illean)

Palestinian residents of east Jerusalem face Israeli arrests, home raids, demolitions, and the threat of evictions. Israeli rights group B’Tselem says Israel is “enjoying far-reaching powers with no accountability for their actions" in running the lives of Palestinians in the area.

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Jewish mobs attack Palestinians during Jerusalem rampage


Israeli Jewish extremists marching through the Old City of Jerusalem to celebrate its occupation and colonization, on 29 May 2022. (Mustafa Bader, ZUMA Press Wire)

Tamara Nassar, The Electronic Intifada, 30 May 2022

Tens of thousands of Israeli Jewish ultranationalists marched through Jerusalem on Sunday to demonstrate their hatred towards Palestinians and assert dominance over the militarily occupied city.

Many attacked Palestinians and chanted for genocide.

This was part of the annual “March of the Flags” on Jerusalem Day, a holiday invented by Israel to celebrate its occupation and colonization of the city in 1967.

Over 2,600 extremists entered the al-Aqsa mosque compound on Sunday, an unprecedented number, according to Israeli media.

A large crowd also gathered at the iconic Damascus Gate to Jerusalem’s Old City, waving the flags of Israel and the anti-Palestinian Jewish nationalist group Lehava:

Israeli Jews began their provocations early in the day. Reporters noted that they were more violent and confrontational on Sunday than in previous years.

Footage shared by Haaretz journalist Nir Hasson shows Israelis throwing a chair and other objects at Palestinians, who throw objects back:

A Word from Jeff Halper on “Jerusalem Day”

Jeff Halper, ICAHD, May 29, 2022

Today, Sunday, May 29, the Jewish state of Israel will carry out a government-sponsored pogrom on the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem. “Jerusalem Day,” the annual Israeli celebration of the conquest and illegal annexation of the Old City and “East” Jerusalem, has been called the “national holiday of the settlers.” If Independence Day on May 15 marks the UN vote in 1948 that approved (with no authority) the establishment of the state of Israel on the majority of historic Palestine, then Jerusalem Day, by contrast, marks the displacement of the Palestinians from Palestine — the Judaization of Palestine whose flip-side is de-Arabization, the erasure of the very Palestinian Arab presence in the country. Just two weeks ago the Israeli police attacked the funeral of the murdered Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and tore the Palestinian flag off her casket; it is illegal to display a Palestinian flag in an Arab city in a historically Arab country that still has an Arab majority despite Israel’s massive expulsions and displacement.

It is not enough to displace Palestinians from their lands, homes and communities (more than 530 entire Palestinian villages, towns and urban areas were systematically demolished inside what became Israel in 1948, and 85% of the Palestinian population driven from the country; since 1967, Israel has demolished 60,000 Palestinian homes, schools, mosques, agricultural facilities and community structures). It is not enough to replace the Palestinian population with Israeli settlers. It is not enough to eliminate by force and by law every expression of Palestinian resistance to their own national erasure. Israel must send “the Arabs” – Israelis do not say “Palestinians” – a clear message: You have three choices: submit and accept the fact your country is now a Jewish state and you will never have civil rights, get out, or die.

Jerusalem Day is when Israel annually reaffirms this message, and it uses the religious settlers as its eager messenger. The Russian government and the others of Eastern and Central Europe sponsored hundreds of pogroms against their Jewish communities with exactly the same message, albeit with the emphasis on “get out or die.” Jews were ideally controlled, contained and intimidated into submission by the population rather than by the military or police, populations inculcated with virulent anti-Semitism. Israel uses its religious settler population, including pupils from virtually every Jewish religious school in the country, for the same purpose, supported by governments elected by an Israeli Jewish population inculcated by a virulent hatred of “Arabs,” seen as “terrorists” whose elimination is therefore justified.

Pogroms against Palestinians are daily occurrences, of course. Even the United States has protested against “settler violence,” the euphemism used for progroms. But government-sanctioned pogroms – military attacks on densely-crowded refugee camps or the Gazan concentration camp of 2 million people; the displacement of entire populations such as that of Masafer Yatta, approved by the Supreme Court; massive demolitions of Palestinian homes and confiscation of land; nightly raids on sIeeping families to “demonstrate a presence”; detention of thousands of Palestinian children and teens; a virtual hunting season on Palestinian men; the storming of al-Aqsa mosque – are carried out by official arms of Israeli state terrorism, whether the legal system and the courts, the military or police, or their settler agents.

Tomorrow’s pogrom will see thousands of religious Israelis (primarily kids, the ones still in need of indoctrination) carrying Israeli flags through the Damascus Gate and down the main street of the Muslim Quarter shouting “Death to Arabs!”, damaging stores, businesses and homes, and attacking any Palestinian they find in their way. True, there will not be mass murders tomorrow as there were in European pogroms, but there will be mass murders, simply spread out over the mini-pogroms carried out daily. Diluted rather than concentrated killings. Israel killed 319 Palestinians in the Occupied Territory in 2021, 71 of them children, according to the Israeli human rights organization, B’tselem.

Your media may or may not cover the “March of Flags” on tomorrow’s Jerusalem Day. But a state-sponsored pogrom is about to happen.

Thank you for your continuing support.

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Israeli police ​attack funeral procession for shot journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh

TV images show Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Aqleh’s coffin falling as police grab Palestinian flags from crowd

Sufian Taha, The Guardian, 13 May 2022

Jerusalem — Israeli forces have attacked a funeral procession for a Palestinian American journalist shot dead this week, kicking and hitting people with batons and causing mourners carrying her coffin to lose balance and drop it to the ground.

Police said mourners were “disrupting public order”. Footage showed the coffin of Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Aqleh on mourners’ shoulders outside St Joseph’s hospital in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem as police rushed in and attacked people, several of whom held Palestinian flags. The sound of a stun grenade could be heard.

Israel forbids public displays of Palestinian flags and often prevents people from hoisting them at rallies and protests in the city.

A senior Palestinian figure, Hanan Ashrawi, tweeted that “savage Israeli ‘special forces’ viciously attack the funeral procession bearing the coffin” of Abu Aqleh as it left St Joseph’s hospital. “The inhumanity [of] Israel is on full display,” said the former Palestine Liberation Organisation official.

Police said they had held talks with Abu Aqleh’s family in order to “enable a respectable funeral. Unfortunately, under the auspices of the funeral and taking cynical advantage of it, hundreds of people began disrupting public order before [the funeral] even began.

“As the coffin was about to exit the hospital, stones began to be thrown at officers from the hospital’s plaza, and the officers were forced to use riot dispersal means.”

Police released a video in which an officer outside the hospital grounds addresses the crowd. “If you don’t stop these chants and [Palestinian] nationalistic songs we will have to disperse you using force and we won’t let the funeral take place,” the officer says.

Abu Aqleh’s coffin left the hospital grounds by vehicle and arrived at a Jerusalem church for her funeral.

The 51-year-old reporter was shot in the head on Wednesday morning in the West Bank city of Jenin during what her colleagues at the scene said was a burst of Israeli fire on a small group of journalists covering an expected Israeli military raid.

The Israeli military said its troops shot back after coming under “massive fire” in Jenin and that “there is a possibility, now being looked into, that reporters were hit – possibly by shots fired by Palestinian gunmen”. However, the Israeli military chief, Lt Gen Aviv Kochavi, later appeared to back away from those assertions, saying: “At this stage we cannot determine by whose fire she was harmed and we regret her death.”

Video of the incident showed Abu Aqleh was wearing a helmet and body armour clearly marked “press”. Ali Samodi, a producer for Al Jazeera who was shot in the back, told the Guardian from his hospital bed that contrary to claims made by Israeli officials, there were no gunmen standing near the journalists when they were targeted.

Agence France-Presse contributed to this report

Israeli settlers and police seize part of historic hotel

Petra hotel in East Jerusalem’s Old City is the subject of an 18-year legal battle between the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate and the powerful settler group Ateret Cohanim


An Orthodox Jewish man raises his hand as he walks past the Petra hostel in the Old City of Jerusalem near the Jaffa Gate, 11 June 2019 (AFP)

Mustafa Abu Sneineh, Middle East Eye, 28 March 2022

Israeli police and settlers have taken control part of the historic Petra hotel, the subject of a years-long legal challenge between the Greek Orthodox Patriarch and settler group Ateret Cohanim, in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem.

On Sunday evening, dozens of Israeli policemen and members of Ateret Cohanim moved into the first floor of the hotel, near Jerusalem’s Jaffa Gate.

‘The settlers’ intrusion came without any right and without any legal justification. We are the owners of the right to protect the hotel, which will remain an Arab property’ — Basma Qirresh, owner

The area is part of the Christian quarter in Jerusalem and is located strategically near the western walls of the city, which is thriving with tourists and pilgrims visiting the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Petra has been the subject of an 18-year legal battle between the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate and Ateret Cohanim, a powerful and active settler group that pushes for increased Jewish presence in East Jerusalem neighbourhoods.

In 2004, Ateret Cohanim bought the leases to Petra’s first floor and two other properties owned by the patriarchate in the Old City through three foreign private companies. 

The patriarchate controls the top floor of the Petra which it leases to the Qirresh Palestinian family.

The buildings are highly sought after due to their strategic position in both the Christian and Muslim quarters of the Old City.

On Sunday evening, the Israeli police arrested three Palestinians and prevented the hotel’s tenants, Palestinians and lawyers from entering the building, Wafa news agency reported.

Some Palestinians gathered outside the hotel and performed the evening prayer in protest.

The Qirresh family, who rent the building from the patriarchate and run the hotel, said that the Israeli police and settlers were trespassing on their property.

A settler attacked Medhat Deeba, a lawyer for the family, with pepper spray. Deeba was later detained for questioning for six hours.

Deeba told local media that “the settlers stormed the hotel by force without any decision enabling them to do so. The case has been in the courts for 20 years to protect the property from danger.”

He was in the area with lawyer Maher Hanna to provide legal advice to the Qirresh family. Israeli police installed a gate on Sunday between Petra and the adjacent Little Petra hotel. 

Ateret Cohanim has filed another lawsuit to evict the Qirresh family from the entire building. 

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Israeli top court annuls Sheikh Jarrah eviction orders

I am writing with breaking news from this week in Sheikh Jarrah.

On Tuesday, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled to annul the current expulsion orders against four Palestinian families in the neighborhood — the El-Kurd, Jaouni, Al-Qasim, and Iskafi families.

Overturning years of previous decisions, the new ruling protects the families from forced eviction for months and possibly years to come. This decision comes after a decades-long organizing campaign led by the Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah to save their community.

While we celebrate this significant step, the struggle in Sheikh Jarrah is far from over. The families are protected from immediate expulsion, but the court left it up to the Ministry of Justice to review property rights over the land, meaning the threat of dispossession continues to loom large. Other families in the neighborhood and throughout Jerusalem still face the imminent displacement, though some believe this ruling could set a precedent for dozens of other cases in Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan and beyond. And the brutality of the occupation remains in full force — on Wednesday police closed off Sheikh Jarrah with metal barriers, preventing some journalists from entering, while protecting an ultra-nationalist settler rally protesting the court’s ruling.

Nevertheless, this is an inspiring reminder of what can be achieved through the powerful combination of grassroots mobilization and international pressure. The four families affected by the ruling made clear in their joint statement [below] that they do not expect justice to come from Israeli courts, writing: “We count on the popular and global movements that have accomplished the unprecedented feat of forcing the court to cancel the imminent expulsion.”

Keeping our eyes on Sheikh Jarrah and the rest of Jerusalem is crucial. As we have seen this week, the power of our attention can make a difference.

With resolve,
Emma Alpert
Deputy Director, Just Vision


A statement by Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood Units
in response to the Occupation’s Supreme Court ruling.

On March 1, 2022, the Occupation’s Supreme Court ruled to annul the expulsion orders
issued against four families in Sheikh Jarrah (laouni, Al-Qasim, El-Kurd, and Iskafi) and
defer the review of property rights over the land (Karm Al-laouni) to “title settlement and
registration” procedures.

The battle to solidify our rights in our lands and our homes is far from over-rather, it has
started anew. The Occupation authorities weaponize “land settlement and registration” as a tool to control land in occupied Jerusalem. We reaffirm: our cause is righteous and we will continue in our fight.

We know we will not receive justice from Israeli Occupation courts. Rather, we count on the popular and global movements that have accomplished the unprecedented feat of forcing the court to cancel the imminent expulsion.

Yet, the threat of dispossession is still looming over our community. Through this decision,
the Occupation’s Supreme Court imposed on the four families the status of “protected
tenant,” a special legal status in which families deposit an annual amount to a trust account held by the lawyers until the “title settlement and registration” procedures are complete.

However, such procedures can take anywhere between months to years. Therefore, we must rely on continual and persistent grassroots efforts until this battle is officially over and our families — and all Palestinian families — can live in their homes without fear of expulsion.

The Occupation’s Supreme Court would not have ruled in this direction had it not been for
the thousands of Palestinians who participated in the “Unity Uprising,” and the global
movement against ethnic cleansing in Palestine. We thank everyone who has contributed to this movement so far, and call on the local and global community to apply more pressure and resistance to dispossession in Sheikh Jarrah and across all of Palestine. We also thank the team of lawyers for their tireless efforts over the years in defending the people of our neighborhood.

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