Palestine


Palestinian performance poet Rafeef Ziadah on stage with Phil Monsour, with whom she is touring Australia's in late March and April.

We Teach Life
CD & Australian tour
Rafeef Ziadah & Phil Monsour
http://www.rafeefziadah.net

Rafeef Ziadah is a Palestinian campaigner and spoken word performer of such immense power that she demands to be heard.

Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine and the Foundations of a Movement
By Angela Davis
Haymarket Books, 2016
180 pages, $15.95.

In the summer of 2014, images spread across the world of protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, facing off against police in riot gear, driving tanks and hurling tear gas grenades in the wake of the police shooting of Black teenager Michael Brown.


Training for the Right To Movement marathon. Photo: Patrick Harrison.

When people imagine Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation, lacing up some trainers and hitting the pavement is not the first thing that comes to mind.

But for some Palestinians, running is one creative and non-violent way to oppose Israeli injustices — rallying behind the banner of the Right to Movement organisation.

Human rights activists protested the visit to Melbourne on March 7 of Israeli war criminal Benny Gantz.

“We will always live by our sword,” declared Lieutenant General Gantz on his retirement as Chief of General Staff of the Israel Occupation Forces, 12 months ago.

Gantz led two major Israeli military offensives against Palestinians. Operation Protective Edge killed 2200 Palestinians, including 500 children and left tens of thousands of Gaza residents homeless.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is again pushing a proposal to deport Palestinians from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip, despite broad opposition to what would be a violation of international law.

In a March 2 letter, Netanyahu asked Israel's attorney-general to conduct a legal review of the proposal, which would allow families of convicted “terrorists” to be deported. Ynet reported that the prime minister said during a cabinet meeting that he does not agree with “how it [war crimes] is defined in the Geneva Conventions”.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has filed a lawsuit against Distinctive Assets, the company distributing a luxury gift bag to Oscar nominees that includes an all-expenses paid trip to Israel sponsored by the Israeli government.

“Distinctive Assets has been falsely representing that its extravagant 'gift bags' [are] redistributed by the Academy, at its direction, or with its endorsement or approval,” an Academy spokesperson told the Hollywood trade publication Variety.


Palestinians protest in support of jailed journalist Mohammed al-Qeq

Thirty three-year-old Mohammed al-Qeq, a Palestinian journalist who has being held for more than six months in administrative detention without charge or trial in an Israeli prison, ended a 94 day hunger strike on February 26.

Al-Qeq ended the strike — the longest by any Palestinian prisoner — after Israel agreed not to renew his administrative detention order, which ends on May 21, AFP said that day.

While Israel’s supporters in Australia have worked themselves up over stationary shop Typo selling a world globe naming the area inhabited by the state of Israel as “Palestine”, this year has already involved new injustices for those living in occupied Palestine.

The “new normal” of extrajudicial killings, set during the escalation of violence in Occupied Palestine last October, remains firmly in place. Israeli occupying forces have also accelerated their policy of housing demolitions.

There has been plenty of heat this Palestinian winter in the campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

There have been some important victories, helped by the increased scrutiny of Israeli state violence since October. And equally, the hysteria from Israeli and Western political establishments over the “threat” posed by the BDS campaign has reached new levels.

After 77 days on hunger strike in protest against his arbitrary detention by Israeli forces, Palestinian journalist Mohammed Al-Qeeq is on the verge of death.

Al-Qeeq is currently in detention in a hospital in the northern city of Afula; his petition to be transferred to a clinic in Ramallah has been rejected by the Israeli government.

His lawyer says he refuses to stay in Israeli hospitals and will only accept medical treatment in the West Bank. He was arrested on November 21 last year on charges of being an activist with the Gaza-based Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.

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