Sunday, 19 August 2012

Happy Eid, from Gaza with love

Boy with Eid candies, Gaza 2012 Photographer Sarah el-khoudary

In Gaza, people celebrate. Yes, Gaza celebrates. Piles of all kinds of candy are spread everywhere on sidewalks in markets. Different kinds of fresh fruit, toys, snacks, Eid cookies. In Gaza, like so many other places in the world, kids are eager to wear their new clothes at the very early hours of the first day of Eid. They wake up early in the morning of Eid to get dressed and to pray along with the rest of the neighborhood, after spending the last week preparing with their Moms, going through shopping lists, and going with them to the market to buy their precious outfits, cleaning the house and caring for little spots while cleaning the staircase, helping bake the incredibly irresistible cookies.

In Palestine, those same children miss their dads who are either locked behind bars, behind crossings and borders, or locked under gravestones. In Gaza, you feel a bit excited about tomorrow. Then electricity goes off. You remember you didn’t iron your clothes, but you haven’t decided what you’re going to wear anyway, so you don’t bother getting mad about it. In Gaza, you see pictures of weekly demonstrations in villages in the West Bank, and you wonder how THEIR Eid is going to be after all that gas they inhaled and after one more day of being silenced by an army, after one more Friday of challenge, arrests, resistance, Sumood. Friends of yours wish a Happy Eid for everyone. Then wish the next Eid would be in a free Palestine.

You laugh more

An Open Letter from Gaza to EU: Do not reward apartheid!

Open letter from the One Democratic State Group

We call on the European Union to challenge and not embrace Israel’s incessant land expropriation and racist subjugation against the Palestinian people. The European Union’s own reports document and supposedly lament Israel’s apartheid policies, yet continues to pursue policies that legitimize them, such as the scandalous upgrade of trade relations currently being put forward.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has said that the regime you wish to do even more business with is worse than South African Apartheid, having been to the West Bank many times. But you turn your eyes and ears away from him. So does former ANC MP Ronnie Kassrils and countless other South Africans who have been to see the physical and psychological matrix of control Israel has mounted against us.

You are very well aware of what is happening to us. In terms of the brutal and illegal colonisation of the West Bank your own report from the Office of the European Union Representative (EUREP) in Jerusalem of July 2011 stated

“…large Jewish populations have settled into the occupied territory, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and international humanitarian law. In 1972 there were 1,200 settlers which have grown to 310,000 settlers today in 124 settlements and 100 so called outposts in Area C. The Israeli government subsidizes and provides incentives including funding for housing, education and infrastructure such as special roads and water connection… The municipal area of settlements encompasses 9.3% of the West Bank Territory. However, due to the extensive network of settler roads and restrictions on Palestinians accessing their own land, the whole structure of the Israeli settlements dominate more than 40% of the West Bank.”

This is enforced Apartheid Segregation. Perhaps you shy away from using the words,”Ethnic Cleansing”, despite categorical evidence you yourselves present: “Prior to the Israeli occupation in 1967 the Palestinian population of the Jordan valley was estimated at between 200,000 and 320,000. As of 2009 the population is approximately 56,000…” This is ethnic cleansing in its most explicit form.

“Settlements of all kinds – formal or informal outposts – are illegal under international law.” You explain in the report. more

Mursi offers Eid greeting to Haniyeh - says Egypt will stand by Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Egyptian President Muhammad Mursi telephoned Gaza premier Ismail Haniyeh on Sunday morning to congratulate him on the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Fitr.

Mursi told Haniyeh that Egypt will stand by Gaza, while Haniyeh thanked Egypt for its support to the Palestinian people.

Haniyeh stressed the importance of joint security cooperation with Egypt. more

Guardian newspaper hires man who called for killing of activists on Mavi Marmara

By Ali Abunimah (Electronic Intifada)

Earlier today, Al Jazeera published my article “What’s gone wrong at the Guardian” about the newspaper’s decision to hire Joshua Treviño, a right-wing ideologue who openly called for Israel to murder unarmed civilians and journalists attempting to sail to Gaza in June 2011 and gloated at the killing of civilians aboard the Mavi Marmara a year earlier.

A few hours after my article appeared, I received a surprising email from the Guardian’s press office:
Josh Trevino is not a correspondent for the Guardian. He is a freelance writer on contract to write opinion pieces. His articles will appear on the Guardian’s Comment is Free section of the site ( along with articles from many other freelance writers.

Thank you in advance for making this correction.

Did I make a mistake in referring to Treviño as a “correspondent” in my Al Jazeera article, and in my original blog post of 15 August, the day his appointment was announced?

If you look at the Guardian’s 15 August press release as it appears now it begins:
Today the Guardian announced the addition of Josh Treviño to its commentary team in the United States. Formerly of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Treviño will be the newest commentator for the Guardian’s growing US politics team through his column On Politics & Persuasion which launches on Monday 20 August.

But that is not what it said on 15 August, when I quoted it. Here is how it began then (emphasis added):
Today the Guardian announced the addition of Josh Treviño to their editorial team. Formerly of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Treviño will be the newest Correspondent for the Guardian’s growing US politics team through his column “On Politics & Persuasion” which launches on Monday, August 20.

Report: Egypt airports to refuse access for Palestinians

CAIRO (Ma'an) -- Palestinians flying to Egypt over the Eid al-Fitr holiday will not be allowed to enter the country, al-Ahram news site reported Saturday.

Airport authorities informed airlines that Palestinians will not be allowed to enter Egypt because the Rafah crossing is closed until Wednesday, the Egyptian news site said.

Egypt opened the border crossing on Tuesday for three days but have now closed it for the Eid al-Fitr holiday. more