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Monday, March 03, 2014

Joyful Revolution

This CNN photo gallery of Clowns Without Borders reminded me of that one time I left a pregnant Ericka here in Vermont whilst I clowned around with the IDF.

I learned a lot from Patch Adams and all the clowns about joy and justice.  And what I saw in Israel and Palestine reminded me how lucky we are, and how much work we all have to do with joy in our hearts.

ntodd

PS--I'm glad Sam decided to behave in utero until I got home.

March 3, 2014 in Viva Palestina | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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Friday, January 31, 2014

Ambassador Scarlett Johansson's Diplofail

Bloomberg:

There's a lot that Scarlett Johansson doesn't understand about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The actress got caught up in the fight in her role as a paid "brand ambassador" for SodaStream, which makes some of its home-carbonation machines in an Israeli settlement in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, territory Palestinians aspire to make part of a future state.

Johansson calls the plant, in the settlement of Maale Adumim, "a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine." But there is no Palestine yet, in large part because of Maale Adumim and the other 130 Israeli settlements throughout the West Bank. They were established precisely for the purpose of preventing the Palestinians from ever gaining meaningful control over the West Bank.

So far, the plan is working. The peace deal U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to negotiate is widely thought to envision Israel annexing settlements closest to its border and evacuating the rest. But even if conservative Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were disposed to dismantle settlements, agreeing to it would endanger his hold on power because the right-wing members of his governing coalition would bolt.

These are the reasons the U.S. calls settlements "obstacles" to peace.
...
What it boils down to is this:

One can be a friend of Israel and a friend of a future Palestine, as Oxfam is. Or one can be a friend of Israel and a friend of Israeli settlements, as many right-wing Israelis are.

But one cannot be a friend of Israeli settlements and a friend of a future Palestine, the role Johansson has cast herself in.

Yup.  More on SodaStream at Global Exchange.

ntodd

PS--Gratuitous SJ pic was in the original article, so I thought it should be included for completeness.  Not entirely clear why they didn't show her in an OxFam thing.

January 31, 2014 in Viva Palestina | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Free The Bubbles, Screw The Palestinians

Oh good, Scarlett Johansson's sexy Sodastream ad is back on for the Super Bowl.  All the company had to do was admit that it profits from illegal occupation of Palestinian territory...no, wait, just not mention Pepsi or its homophobic competitor.  I guess we can just pretend the Palestinians don't exist, just like gays in Sochi.

ntodd

January 28, 2014 in Viva Palestina | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Palestinian Gandhis

They do exist and would succeed if we supported them.

ntodd

November 19, 2012 in Pax Americana, Viva Palestina | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

David And Goliath Redux

There is nothing new under the sun:

A scorpion who wanted to get to the other side of the Suez Canal asked a camel to let him sit on his hump while it walked across the Canal. 

"Whoa," said the camel. "Do you think I'm a fool? If you sit on my back, you might bite me before I reach the other side, and then I will drown." The scorpion replied, "Now,that makes no sense, because if you die, then so I will I." 

After thinking about it,the camel agreed to carry the scorpion to the other side of the Canal, and told it to climb onto his hump. When the camel got to the deepest part of the Canal, the scorpion bit and injected its poison into the camel.

"Why did you do that?" said the dying camel, "it's not logical". The scorpion replied, " I couldn't resist it. There no logic in the Middle East.

A couple other posts for perspective:

There's a symmetry in the illogic, a great deal of asymmetry in the violence, and much tragedy until the parties learn a thing or two about being human...

ntodd

November 18, 2012 in Viva Palestina | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Just A Little Bit More

Now I can't let go.  More from our Gaza mission in 2009:

I earnestly hope my children won't have to go over there for peace work, Insha'Allah.

ntodd

November 16, 2012 in Viva Palestina | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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Gaza Getting What It Deserved Again

When Samuel was still a newborn, I tweeted:

I recall in Tel Aviv last June a guy at the hostel angrily telling me, "#Gaza got what it deserved." How...proportionate.

Sadie's not much older than our son was, and this shit's happening again?  It caused me to revisit a few posts from after my mission to Palestine and Israel:

For some more current perspective, check out Richard Silverstein at Tikun-Olam.

ntodd

November 16, 2012 in Viva Palestina | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fridays In Bil'in

Oddly, the deficit hawks don't feel compelled to cut $3B in military aid to the Occupiers:

Like every Friday, the villagers walked through the village towards the second Apartheid Wall that still occupies around 30% of the village’s land. They crossed the olive groves that the Israeli army had illegally annexed for over six years and which the villagers were able to liberate through their continuous resistance. Some gathered early and enjoyed the shade of the trees in the area where villagers have now created the Abu Laymoon park.

When the protestors reached the second Apartheid Wall at the illegal colony on their lands - chanting for the liberation of Palestine and raising the Palestinian flag and banners of the imprisoned Marwan Bargouthi - soldiers stationed behind the wall started shooting tear gas canisters and rubber coated steel bullets at them, setting fire to a stretch of bushes close to the park. A twenty year old was shot with a rubber coated steel bullet in the leg.

In spite of the continuing barrage of tear gas canisters, the protestors held their ground in the heat of Palestine’s summers, chanting “Palestine is the 194 state”, in reference to the PA’s plan to request recognition as a full member state at the UN in September, demanding the immediate release of all political prisoners and vowing to keep up the resistance until Palestine is free and Palestinian rights are recognized.

Too bad the media here prefer the bullshit euphemism "rubber bullet" instead of the more descriptive and accurate "rubber coated steel bullet".  Sounds like cheap, harmless childrens' toys being fired against protesters...

ntodd

August 20, 2011 in Viva Palestina | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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Friday, July 01, 2011

Fridays In Bil'in

The day of victory: Bil'in celebrates the removal of the wall:

For the first time after nearly seven years of resistance and struggle of the residents of Bil'in, the people of the village and a large number of participants from neighboring villages could hold the Friday prayer on the land that has been retrieved 2 days ago.

...

This victory was the result of the sacrifices made by the people of Bil'in...After they reached the protected area, they built the first house there after the removal of the wall. After many years of not seeing any big groups of Palestinians so close to their residence, the inhabitants of the nearby illegal settlement were watching the celebration and the building of the first house with great attention and surprise. The people of Bil'in are now planning to built more houses, in order to protect the land from the greed of the occupation. 

Indeed, a victory to celebrate.  Here's to many more, Insha'Allah.

ntodd

July 1, 2011 in Viva Palestina | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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Friday, June 17, 2011

If It's Friday, This Must Be A Protest

CNN notices something:

Ever since he was a boy, Friday has been a day of prayer and rest for Murad Alazzany.

Following a rhythm as old as Islam itself, Fridays meant lunchtime prayers at the mosque and relaxing with friends and family for the rest of the day.

But that was before protests and revolutions across the Middle East smashed decades-old regimes and caused unprecedented civil unrest.

Yemen's uprising started in January this year, spurred on by the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions, and since then, Fridays have had a very different flavor for Alazzany and tens of thousands of Yemenis like him.

Alas, they didn't notice that for several years there have been nonviolent Friday protests in Bi'lin, Ni'lin and other Palestinian villages...

ntodd

June 17, 2011 in Viva Palestina | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Salaam

On this date exactly two years ago, instead of walking in the park with my family, I was here:

Facing these guys:

Who shot lots of shit at us:

And it sucked:

But I got to return home to safety, unlike most of these folks:

And it continues in Bil'in...

ntodd

June 12, 2011 in Viva Palestina | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Fridays In Bil'in

Same shit, different Friday:

In spite of the scalding heat, dozens of villagers from Bil’in marched once again together with international and Israeli solidarity activists to the Apartheid Wall in protest to its illegal annexation of 60% of the village’s land for the construction of Jewish-only settlements...

Waving the Palestinian flag and images of martyrs and prisoners of the popular resistance, protestors chanted for freedom and justice, against Apartheid, and for the release of all political prisoners.

As usual, the army opened fire at the protestors even before most had reached the Wall, shooting a type of tear gas that is considerably more harmful than the types ordinarily used in Europe or the US, throwing sound bombs, and spraying them with a chemical green liquid that activists have termed „shit“ or „skunk“ due to its nauseating odor which sticks to its target for days. Dozens of activists suffered from tear gas inhalation, which is aggravated by the harsh summer heat, and in various places, crops caught fire and spread quickly. The army continued to shoot at protestors even while they attempted to put out the fires.

As I learned almost exactly 2 years ago, tear gas (other projectiles notwithstanding) is bad enough.  Can't imagine the stink juice in that heat...

ntodd

June 10, 2011 in Viva Palestina | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Fridays In Bil'in

Last week:

Today in the weekly march in Bil'in organized by the Popular Committee Against the Wall with the participation of Sa'di Tameezi, the Palestinian ambassador to Vietnam, two young men were injured, and dozens of people suffered from the effects of tear gas fired by Israeli soldiers. Dozens of Palestinians were joined by international and Israeli activists, commemorating the martyrs who fell in the demonstrations held on the anniversary of the Nakba last week.

he march began in the center of the village after Friday prayers. In the area above the wall, demonstrators raised the Palestinian flag, as well as banners inscribed with the names ofvillages destroyed in 1948 and pictures of the imprisoned Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti.Participants chanted nationalist slogans in favor of the right of return (the return of refugees to the land from which they were expelled).

But fuck Palestinian security, right, Mr Obama?

ntodd

May 27, 2011 in Viva Palestina | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

This Is Real Occupation, Bibi!

Thank you, Rae!

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to the special joint meeting of Congress Tuesday afternoon was interrupted early on by [my friend and fellow Code Pinker, Rae Abileah, a 28-year-old Jewish activist of Israeli descent...she yelled, “stop Israeli war crimes.”]

The protester was removed, and the crowd in the chamber first booed her, then gave Netanyahu a standing ovation.

Netanyahu recovered quickly, going off his prepared text to say that “in our free societies, you can have protests,” pointing out that in the “you can’t have real protests in the farcical parliaments of Tehran and Tripoli. This is real democracy!”

Alas, you also can't have real protests in occupied Palestine:

As soon as the protestors reached the fence, Israeli soldiers started firing tear gas, rubber, tutu and live bullets and stink water causing the injuring of 17 years old Mohammad Abu Rahma who twisted his knee not to mention dozens of cases of asphyxia due to the tear gas. In the same time soldiers, hiding behind olive trees captured Iyad Al Khatib, 15 years old, beat him and took him away in an unknown place

5-6-7-8, Israel is a fascist state...

ntodd

May 24, 2011 in Viva Palestina | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Fridays In Bil'in

No news of today's regular protest, but I guess folks are dealing with other things:

In yet another night raid, Israeli soldiers raided Bil’in last night and arrested three people. Forced entered the village at roughly 8:30 local time using tear gas and stun grenades. The three have been taken to an unknown location.

In Gaza-related news, the Stay Human convoy honoring the murdered activist Vittorio (Vik) Arrigoni arrived yesterday.

ntodd

[Update: Bil'in commemorated Nakba Day during Friday's weekly protest.]

May 13, 2011 in Viva Palestina | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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Friday, May 06, 2011

Fridays In Bil'in

The Israelis must be really pissed about a unified Palestinian front:

The march celebrating the end of the division between Hamas and Fatah started from the center of the village and tried to reach the separation wall. The Protesters, raised Palestinian flags and banners of all factions, especially Fatah and Hamas, while chanting the national anthem as a message of welcoming to the signing of the reconciliation agreement and calling for unity and rejection of differences.

Two Bil'in's citizens, dressed as President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen and the head of the political office of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, carried the coffin of the " Division" and protestors burnt it at the gate of the wall as a message of the permanent end of the division. As soon as the protestors reached the fence, Israeli soldiers started firing tear gas, rubber, tutu and live bullets and stink water causing the injuring of 17 years old Mohammad Abu Rahma who twisted his knee not to mention dozens of cases of asphyxia due to the tear gas. In the same time soldiers, hiding behind olive trees captured Iyad Al Khatib, 15 years old, beat him and took him away in an unknown place. 

I'm not overly optimistic about the Fatah/Hamas deal, but applaud any attempt to bring Gaza and the West Bank back together again.

ntodd

May 6, 2011 in Viva Palestina | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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Friday, April 29, 2011

Fridays In Bil'in

Didn't get the skunk water when I was there:

At Bilin's protest today, a ten year old boy, Mohammed Iyad Bornat was hit with a tear gas canister in the thigh. In addition, dozens of peaceful protesters both internationals and Palestinians, suffered from tear gas inhalation. This was in an attempt from the Israeli army to repress Bilin's weekly protest marches against the wall and the illegal settlements which continue to strangle the village.

...

When the protestors arrived at the east gate of the wall, the Israeli soldiers repeatedly fired sound bombs, "skunk water", tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets towards the protestors resulting in minor casualties among the demonstrators.

This comes a day after the IDF wounded 2 children in another daytime invasion...

ntodd

April 29, 2011 in Viva Palestina | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Fridays In Bil'in

Two years since Basem was murdered by the IDF:

The Participants of the march waved many Palestinian flags, flags of Palestinian factions and pictures of martyrs Jawaher and Bassem Abu Rahma. There were also yellow banners with a picture of the leader Marwan Barghouti who is a prisoner of the occupation. This started the participants chanting national anthems calling for unity and rejection of differences, to unite in the face of the occupation and its plans and to end the division and occupation as quickly as possible.

The march headed towards the wall, where Israeli forces intercepted the march by storming the village from the west side. They fired bursts of gas, sound bombs, rubber bullets, lead Toto and live bullets toward the participants in an attempt to prevent the demonstration from getting to the area. This resulted in a injury to citizen Isra' Bornat, 20 years old. He received serious injuries as a result of inhaled poison gas and was transferred to a Palestinian hospital in Ramallah.

Mohamed Hesham Bornat 28 years old was hit by a soldier's baton in the head, Jasser Ash'al, 22 years old was hit by a tear gas canister in the hand, Ahmed Ibrahim Abu Rahma, 38 years old was hit by a tear gas canister in the leg, Mohammed Shawkat, 18 years old was shot with a rubber bullet in the leg, and Simon Krieger 22 years old was hit with a tear gas canister in the arm. The occupation forces severely beat all of Iyad Bornat, 38, and Mohammad Al Khatib, 36, as well as two people from London showing solidarity with the Palestinian people, all of whom were severely bruised.

After the Israeli soldiers broke out with such violence the protestors managed to make the army of occupation retreat to the back wall.

For some context: Bassem Abu RahmaIyad Bornat.

ntodd

April 22, 2011 in Viva Palestina | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Fridays In Bil'in

Bilin Protester shot with live ammunition by sniper:

The protester, a 35 year old resident of the village was hit in his shoulder and foot by 0.22 mm live bullets shot at him by a sniper during a protest in memory of Vittorio Arigoni, murdered tonight in gaza. Live ammunition was also used in the village of Nabi Saleh.

It's not been an especially good week over there...

ntodd

April 15, 2011 in Viva Palestina | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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Friday, April 08, 2011

Fridays In Bil'in

Naturally, Republicans want to cut Planned Parenthood's funding at home, but not military aid to attack nonviolent demonstrators every week:

Dozens suffering from suffocation in Bil'in's weekly demonstration Today dozens were suffering from poisonous tear gas and the stench from chemical water that the Israeli occupying forces launched towards the demonstrators after the weekly peaceful march in Bil'in.

...

The march started after the Friday prayer in front of the mosque in the village and went towards the apartheid wall. The people of Bil'in, dozens of Palestinian civilians from nearby villages and a British delegation participated in the march as well as an adviser to the Prime Minister, Jamal Zakut, the Palestinian writer, Liana Badr, the leaders of the Popular Struggle Front and dozens of Israeli peace activists. Several foreigners, Israeli and international activists and other participants raised Palestinian flags and pictures of martyrs in solidarity. They also carried yellow banners with the image of the captive leader, Marwan Barghouti, posters of two of the longest serving Palestinian prisoners Nael and Fakhri Barghouti and a poster of the Palestinian activist, director, thinker and leader, Juliano Khamis who was killed in Jenin.

This comes just a few days after yet another night raid by the IDF, and shit hitting the fan again in Gaza.

ntodd

April 8, 2011 in Viva Palestina | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack