Friday, 6 May 2011

UNRWA announces results of 2011 young refugees’ photo competition

(pic credit: UNRWA - from last year's UNRWA film competition)
RAMALLAH, May 5, 2011 (WAFA) – The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) Friday announced the results of its 2011 photo competition for young Palestinian refugees.

In a ceremony in Ramallah to launch an exhibit that will travel to Lebanon, Gaza and Jordan, European Union representative in Jerusalem, Christian Berger, and UNRWA officials paid tribute to the photographic talent of the winners.

Organised by UNRWA and the EU along the theme “What you don’t know about my life”, the competition was open to Palestinian refugees aged between 18 and 26 in all of the UN agency’s fields of operation: Lebanon, Syria, Gaza, the West Bank and Jordan.

Young Palestinian refugees were invited to create a series of five photos that would give the viewer an insight into their life; the corners of their house, the alleys of their refugee camp, or the bustle of the town where they live. more

Thanks to WAFA - the Palestinian news and information agency

Yeshiva University historian Ellen Schrecker backs Kushner, plans to return CUNY honorary degree

The extreme-right backers of Israel on the CUNY board have shot themselves in the foot as Jewish academics express dismay with their attempts to silence anyone who criticises the policies of the current Israeli leadership. Dr Ellen Schrecker from Yeshiva University has written a letter of protest to CUNY board asking how she might go about returning her honorary degree.
A noted Yeshiva University historian is seeking to return the honorary degree she holds from the City University of New York after CUNY's board blocked a similar honor for the playwright Tony Kushner, citing his criticism of Israel.

After the news broke yesterday that Kushner's honorary degree had been blocked by the CUNY board, things have quickly escalated.

Ellen Schrecker of Yeshiva University fired off a letter of protest to the board of trustees asking how to return a 2008 honorary degree -- "the greatest honor I had ever received" -- to John Jay College, a CUNY school. more

Five children and a woman injured by Israeli fire this week, PCHR reports

(pic credit: PCHR. An Israel wagon pump disgusting-smelled liquid at peaceful protestors against the construction of theannexation wall in Nabi Saleh village near Ramallah)

Palestinian Center for Human Rights weekly report on shootings, incursions, demolitions and restrictions in movement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) carried out by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF).
During the reporting period, IOF wounded seven civilians, including five children and a woman, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Three of the children were wounded in Bil'ein village, west of Ramallah, as two of them were wounded when IOF moved into the village on 28 April 2011 while the third child was wounded in Bil'ein’s weekly protest. The other four Palestinians, including two children and a woman, were wounded in an artillery shelling that targeted a house in the Gaza Strip. more

US playwright Tony Kushner denied university award because he 'disparaged Israel'

Philip Weiss from Mondoweiss blog on the blocking of an honorary degree to Pulitzer award-winning playwright Tony Kushner because he "disparaged the State of Israel" - yet another example of the sad and corrosive influence of Zionism on Jewish life in the US. Tony Kushner has written a reply to the board of City University of New York (CUNY).
The Tony Kushner mugging is huge. It is sending more Jews to the exits, wondering what the messianic Zionist movement has done to Jewish political engagement, let alone to the Palestinian experience. Mark Kleiman, a public policy prof at UCLA, says he's done with Zionism (thanks to Sullivan and Voskamp):
Peter Beinart gave a very good talk – at once eloquent and morally and intellectually serious – at UCLA Hillel last night. The talk explored the complexity of loving Israel and yet disapproving of the pattern of ethnic subordination that characterizes Israeli rule over the West Bank. Beinart mentioned the fact that settler violence against Palestinians sometimes fits any plausible definition of “terrorism” – attacks on innocents to make a political point – and that very few of those attacks ever lead to law enforcement action against the perpetrators.

The response from part of the audience left me sick to my stomach. The basic theme – stated in so many words by one participant – was “they brought it on themselves.” To hear Jews talking about collective ethnic guilt in tones worthy of Der Sturmer was really more than I could handle. I left after being personally accused of indifference to the Shoah because I refused to profess indifference to the suffering of Arabs.

And today I learn that Tony Kushner – whose views about Israel seem roughly to track mine – has been denied an honorary degree by a minority of the trustees of the City University of New York, based on a typical cowardly wingnut smear job, launched without warning in a way that gave Kushner no chance to defend himself.

I know most Israelis don’t deserve their worst American defenders, but if the result of having to defend Israel is that Jews start acting like bullies and sounding like Nazis, at some point the price gets to be too high.

Thanks to Mondoweiss.

Gazan man dies of wounds inflcited by Israeli airstrikes in April

At least 35 people died in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza in April. Another person has now died from injuries received at that time.
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Nearly a month after a series of Israeli operations pounded Gaza, a 28-year-old nurse from Rafah, said to be affiliated to Hamas' armed wing, died Thursday of wounds sustained in an airstrike.

Palestinian medics said Shadi Az-Zatmeh was critically injured in Israeli aerial shelling on April 8 in the Tel As-Sultan district west of Rafah. Two others, identified as Hamas leaders, were immediately killed in the strike. more

Video: Never Before Campaign - Return to Palestine

(Click pic to go to video)

Return to Palestine

On the 15th of May of every year, Palestinians and the whole world remember how it all started. How the Israelis' ethnic cleansing of a people and the destruction of a society - the Nakba - was met with global indifference. Many factors made it so, but among them was a Zionist propaganda machine that illustrated the crime committed in Palestine in 1948 as a war of independence against aggressive Arabs and Palestinians.

It is true that the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab people resisted the establishment of a racist regime in Palestine. And they still do. It is only normal. If anyone comprehends the extent of the injustice that has been committed against the Palestinian people, they would not even ask why they are so determined in their pursuit of justice. And if anyone knows the history of the Palestinian struggle, they would realize that this people will continue to resist in every form until they see the justice they have so longed for restored.

On 15 May 2011, the world is invited to express its understanding, solidarity and support to a people that has resisted... and continues to do so, for Justice in Palestine.

The Never Before Campaign for Palestine YouTube channel can be subscribed to here:

Palestine football team set for Olympics appearance as Gaza sees first marathon

Gaza saw the running of its first ever marathon yesterday. It was organised by the UN. See a video from Al Jazeera here. In more good news for Palestinian athletics and sports the Olympic committees of Palestine and Israel met in Rome with the Israeli side agreeing that the restrictions on the movement of Palestinians was a hindrance to competing that had to be overcome. These sentiments have not as yet changed any facts on the ground but shows that not everyone in Israel is unremittingly hostile to all things Palestinian. And in more good news, it looks like the Palestinian football team could be making an appearance at the London Olympics next year.
For the first time the Israeli NOC recognized the problem of the freedom of movement for Palestinian athletes. It also invited Palestinian athletes to train with their Israeli counterparts ahead of next year’s Olympics.

"This is very important for the Palestinian people and I think it should also be important for the Israeli people," said Palestinian NOC and FA president Jibril Rajoub of the freedom of movement issue.

"The Palestinian players and athletes are not able to move inside the Palestinian territories and from the Palestinian territories to outside."

Ironically, the March Olympic qualifier with Thailand was undermined by Israel refusing to allow eight of the 12 selected players from Gaza crossing into the West Bank.

A source close to the Palestinian FA welcomed the Rome talks and the Israeli acknowledgement of the problems facing Palestinian athletes.

“But the translation into facts of this statement remains to be seen,” he added. more