December 12, 2021
Online Film: To Treat Kids Like Me in Gaza

Screening & discussion
Sun, Dec 12, 2021, 1:00 PM CST

With severe medicine shortages and an overstretched health care system in Gaza, children in need of medical treatments can only find them outside the strip. Yet Israel’s convoluted, arbitrary permit process leaves them waiting in pain, often missing life-saving care. To Treat Kids Like Me (produced by Donkeysaddle Projects and +972 Magazine) follows the family of Mohamed Saleh and several other children in the Gaza Strip as they navigate the often Kafkaesqe process of getting permission from the Israeli army to leave the besieged strip for medical treatments that are unavailable there.

The 5th offering in DSP’s Freedom Film Series will be followed by a discussion with filmmaker Jen Marlowe and special guests:

  • Ghada Majadli: Director of the Physicians for Human Rights-Israel department for Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT); featured in To Treat Kids Like Me.
  • Mohamed Lafi: Public health professional working for the World Health Organization in the OPT, with a focus on access to health care for patients who need to seek care outside the OPT.
  • Fadi Abu Shammalah: Manager of Donkeysaddle’s Palestine Grassroots Distribution Project; has been DSP’s on-the-ground support for Mohamad Salah (who is featured in To Treat Kids Like Me)
  • Miranda Cleland: Communications Manager for Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP). DCIP documents cases like Mohamed’s where Israeli forces kill or injure Palestinian children.
  • Tickets by donation. 50% of ticket proceeds go to Palestine Grassroots Distribution Project, including Mohamad Salah’s medical care.

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    No To Israel Joining the Visa Waiver Program

    Washington, D.C. | www.adc.org | August 27, 2021 – ​​​​The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is calling on President Joe Biden and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to reject Israel Envoy to the U.S. Gilad Erdan’s request for a U.S. Visa Waiver Program deal without explicit guarantees that Arab and Muslim Americans would be provided reciprocal travel privileges.

    Following a meeting with Secretary Mayorkas, Erdan posted on August 16 on Facebook that he expects to see “significant progress” on a U.S. visa waiver deal. Additionally, during Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s visit to the White House on August 27, President Biden mentioned that he would discuss with the Prime Minister how to bring Israel into the program. The lack of transparency regarding this potential deal concerns ADC and could lead to a unique exemption for Israel.

    If a deal is made without an explicit guarantee of equal treatment, Israel would become the only country participating in the Visa Waiver Program that would be allowed to discriminate against Americans due to their ethnicity or faith. None of the other 39 nations that participate in the program have been granted a similar exemption.

    The Visa Waiver Program enables most citizens or nationals of participating countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. To join the Visa Waiver Program, the entering country must allow Americans to enter without a visa as well.

    Israel routinely refuses to allow Americans of Arab ethnicity or Muslim backgrounds to enter their country or the occupied territories it controls. According to the U.S. State Department’s website, “some U.S. citizens of Arab or Muslim heritage (including Palestinian-Americans) have experienced significant difficulties and unequal and occasionally hostile treatment at Israel’s borders and checkpoints.” Additionally, “U.S. citizens have been denied entry to Israel and the West Bank for involvement in and/or expressing support on social media for the BDS movement.” Such a discriminatory practice falls well short of the intent of Visa Waiver Program participation and provides clear ground for rejection.

    In 2013, ADC and other American Arab and Muslim rights organizations defeated an attempt in the U.S. Senate that would have permitted Israel to join the Visa Waiver Program while keeping its discriminatory and restrictive immigration policies.

    June 17, 2021
    One People, Segregated IDs Premiere

    12:30 pm Central

    Join Rabet for the premiere of our latest documentary, “One People, Segregated IDs”.
    Learn more about how Israel’s apartheid policies, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, segregate Palestinians based on their ethno-national identity, issuing different types of IDs for Palestinians depending on their location, each with varying freedoms and rights.

    The event will include a panel dicussion as well as a live stream of the documentary, followed by a Q&A session on the ways in which the tiered ID system segregates Palestinians and impacts their basic human rights.

    We will be joined by the following speakers:
    Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine Director, Human Rights Watch (HRW)
    Maha Abdallah, International Advocacy Officer, The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS)

    Moderated by:
    Mayss Al Alami, Research and Advocacy, the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy (PIPD)

    For more information and to attend please register here.

    Life Under Occupation: The Misery at the Heart of the Conflict

    An eviction in East Jerusalem lies at the center of a conflict that led to war between Israel and Hamas. But for millions of Palestinians, the routine indignities of occupation are part of daily life.


    Israeli soldiers firing tear gas towards Palestinian protesters in the town of Kfar Qaddum. Samar Hazboun for The New York Times

    David M. Halbfinger and Adam Rasgon, The New York Times, May 22, 2021

    JERUSALEM — Muhammad Sandouka built his home in the shadow of the Temple Mount before his second son, now 15, was born.

    They demolished it together, after Israeli authorities decided that razing it would improve views of the Old City for tourists.

    Mr. Sandouka, 42, a countertop installer, had been at work when an inspector confronted his wife with two options: Tear the house down, or the government would not only level it but also bill the Sandoukas $10,000 for its expenses.

    Such is life for Palestinians living under Israel’s occupation: always dreading the knock at the front door.

    The looming removal of six Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem set off a round of protests that helped ignite the latest war between Israel and Gaza. But to the roughly three million Palestinians living in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which Israel captured in the 1967 war and has controlled through decades of failed peace talks, the story was exceptional only because it attracted an international spotlight.

    For the most part, they endure the frights and indignities of the Israeli occupation in obscurity.

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    Progressive U.S. Lawmaker: ‘We Need to Be Able to See What’s Happening in Gaza’

    Wisconsin Democrat Rep. Mark Pocan tells Americans for Peace Now that Israeli policies funded by U.S. tax dollars form an obstacle to realizing the two-state solution


    Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) at a conference in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2017. Credit: CHRISTOPHER ALUKA BERRY/REUTERS

    Ben Samuels, Haaretz, Apr. 22, 2021

    WASHINGTON – Rep. Mark Pocan, one of the most vocal supporters of Palestinian rights in Congress, called on the Israeli government on Wednesday to immediately allow U.S. lawmakers entry into the Gaza

    WASHINGTON – Rep. Mark Pocan, one of the most vocal supporters of Palestinian rights in Congress, called on the Israeli government on Wednesday to immediately allow U.S. lawmakers entry into the Gaza Strip.

    The Wisconsin Democrat told a webinar for Americans for Peace Now, a nonprofit whose stated aim is to help find a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, that he is particularly concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Strip. He described the coastal enclave as an “open-air prison,” and lamented the conditions he says are radicalizing Gazan residents.

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    February 13, 2021
    Love in the Time of Apartheid

    10:00 am CST

     

    How will many Palestinians be spending their Valentine’s Day?

    For a lot of us in the UK, Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate love and romance; to show our affection through gifts, cards, and flowers. Or we may choose to avoid the hyper-consumerism in the Hallmark holiday, shun the ritualistic exchange of commodities, and simply spend time with those we hold dear.

    For Palestinians, however, February 14th comes as a reminder of Israel’s suffocating restrictions on their movement, cutting them off from their loved ones. A coercive matrix of ID cards, blockades, borders and prisons means many Palestinians are separated from their Valentines, simply because they are Palestinian, and live under a discriminatory system of rule amounting to the crime of apartheid.

    For those living under Israel’s brutal military occupation of their land, even the act of buying a gift is fraught with difficulty. Segregated roads, soldiers and checkpoints can make going to the shop a difficult affair.

    Don’t miss this fascinating free online talk and film screening to learn more about how many Palestinians will be spending Valentine’s Day. We’ll be joined by Palestinian journalist and filmmaker Elia Ghorbiah, as well as more speakers to be announced.

    Film: The Present by Farah Nabulsi (2020, 24′) 
    Yusef and his daughter, Yasmine, set out in the West Bank to buy his wife a gift. Between the soldiers, segregated roads and checkpoints, how easy would it be to go shopping?

    Register here to join us on Saturday 13th February, 10 am Central!

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    July 27, 2020
    Pandemic and the Creative Response

    JULY 27
    Pandemic and the Creative Response: How can art pave the way for justice?

    In recent weeks, we’ve witnessed a global cry for justice in face of systemic racism. How can art be a catalyst for social change? We’ll hear from students and faculty of Dar al-Kalima as they share how art provides a social justice lens in which to critically reflect on reality while imagining new futures. Learn how the students are navigating the unique challenges and opportunities of a pandemic learning environment.

    Join our Bright Stars team and friends in Palestine for a Virtual Summer Series: Palestine During Double Lockdown.

    The series title, taken from Rev. Dr. Raheb’s latest book, speaks to the additional layer of oppression that the pandemic has inflicted on Palestinians. Hear from Bright Stars co-founder and Dar al-Kalima University President, Mitri Raheb alongside students, faculty, and scholars from the university.

    We’ll be highlighting how our friends in Palestine are unlocking hope amidst this “double lockdown.”

    Limited space available. Registration required. Free. For more information and to register, visit Bright Stars of Bethlehem.

    Palestinian Scholar Noura Erakat: Israeli Forces Killed My Cousin on His Sister’s Wedding Day

    Democracy Now!, JUNE 24, 2020

    Israeli soldiers on Tuesday killed 27-year-old Ahmed Erekat at a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank as he was on his way to pick up his sister, who was set to be married that night. Ahmed Erekat is the nephew of senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, and cousin of Palestinian American legal scholar Noura Erakat, who says Israeli claims that Ahmed was attempting a car-ramming attack on soldiers are completely unfounded. “What we understand is that Ahmed lost control of his car or was confused while he was in his car. That was all it took to have a knee-jerk reaction … and immediately to cause the soldiers to open fire on him multiple times,” she says.

    AMY GOODMAN: Well, we’re going to begin today in Israel and the West Bank. Israeli officers on Tuesday shot dead a Palestinian man at a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank as he was on his way to pick up his sister, who was set to be married last night. A warning to our viewers: This story contains graphic footage. The video from the scene shows 27-year-old Ahmed Erekat bleeding, but still alive on the street where he was shot. He’s the nephew of senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat, the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, who said his nephew was, quote, “murdered in cold blood,” and wrote in a tweet that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is responsible for his death.

    Ahmed Erekat’s family said he was killed while on his way to a beauty salon to pick up his sister and his mother, but Israeli authorities claim he tried to run over an officer at a checkpoint in the Palestinian village of Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem. His family rejects the allegations, is calling for Israeli authorities to release security footage. Ahmed himself was also due to be married soon.

    His killing comes nearly a month after another Palestinian man was killed in similar circumstances near Ramallah, also in the West Bank, and as Netanyahu plans to start annexing nearly a third of the occupied West Bank next month.

    For more, we’re joined by Ahmed Erekat’s cousin, Noura Erakat, who’s a Palestinian human rights attorney and legal scholar, assistant professor at Rutgers University, author of Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine.

    Noura, our condolences to you and your family. This is such a terrible time for you. We so deeply appreciate you’re able to join us. This is just hours after your cousin was killed. Can you describe the circumstances under which you understand he died?

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