Palestinians Establish a new Village, Bab Alshams, in Area E1
250 Palestinian activists established the new village of Bab Alshams, on the lands of al-Tur, in an area referred to by Israel as E1
250 men and women from across Palestine establish this morning a new Palestinian village named “Bab Alshams” (Gate of the Sun). Tents were built in what Israel refers to as area E1 and equipment for long-term living was brought.
We, the sons and daughters of Palestine from all throughout the land, announce the establishment of Bab Alshams Village (Gate of the Sun). We the people, without permits from the occupation, without permission from anyone, sit here today because this is our land and it is our right to inhabit it.
A few months ago the Israeli government announced its intention to build about 4000 settlement housing units in the area Israel refers to as E1. E1 block is an area of about 13 square km that falls on confiscated Palestinian land East of Jerusalem between Ma’ale Adumim settlement, which lies on occupied West Bank Palestinian land, and Jerusalem. We will not remain silent as settlement expansion and confiscation of our land continues. Therefore we hereby establish the village of Bab Alshams to proclaim our faith in direct action and popular resistance. We declare that the village will stand steadfast until the owners of this land will get their right to build on their land.
The village’s name is taken from the novel, “Bab Alshams,” by Lebanese writer Elias Khoury. The book depicts the history of Palestine through a love story between a Palestinian man, Younis, and his wife Nahila. Younis leaves his wife to join the Palestinian resistance in Lebanon while Nahila remains steadfast in what remains of their village in the Galilee. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Younis smuggles through Lebanon and back to the Galilee to meet his wife in the “Bab Alshams” cave, where she gives birth to their children. Younis returns to the resistance in Lebanon as his wife remains in Bab Al Shams.
Bab Alshams is the gate to our freedom and steadfastness. Bab Alshams is our gate to Jerusalem. Bab Alshams is the gate to our to our return.
For decades, Israel has established facts on the ground as the International community remained silent in response to these violations. The time has come now to change the rules of the game, for us to establish facts on the ground - our own land. This action involving women and men from the north to the south is a form of popular resistance. In the coming days we will hold various discussion groups, educational and artistic presentations, as well as film screenings on the lands of this village. The residents of Bab Al Shams invite all the sons and daughters of our people to participate and join the village in supporting our resilience
As expected, Israel handed the Palestinians an eviction notice, despite the fact that they built on their own land — Palestine.
Photographs: The first tents of Bab Alshams are put up; Palestinians pray the first Friday prayer of their new village (Oren Ziv / Activestills)
You know, when a people is being genocidally wiped from the planet, “but they did bad stuff too!!!” is kind of fucking pointless rhetoric
Thanks for making my point about just switching hats. It’s not that I think you’re wrong. At all. I think you’re oversimplifying. I’m not saying “but they did bad stuff too, so they should all die,” or “but they did bad stuff too, so we should have no sympathy for them” or even “but they did bad stuff too, so we shouldn’t take their side.” I’m saying we need to remove the “but” from the words you put in my mouth.
They did bad stuff too. Stop trying to weigh one side’s bad stuff against the other side’s bad stuff. Stop boiling this age-old clusterf*ck down to a tidy narrative, because it’s maybe the worst mess in recent history, and that includes the Cold War (which, by the way, not 100% unrelated).
We’ve never met, so you wouldn’t know this, but pointless rhetoric is not my thing - my rhetoric always has at least one point. If we stop oversimplifying what’s going on, we might be a step closer to a lasting solution. That step almost certainly includes being willing to bring the hammer down on Israel.
Dash is one of the smartest people I know, and even he cannot avoid the ultimate truth….
We’ve seen charred bodies of dead and injured children pouring in to Al Shifa hospital of Gaza City and the other depleted hospitals around the Gaza Strip. There have been at least 50 air strikes all over the Gaza Strip so far. Deafening explosions shook us all as bombs landed close to us in the streets near the Universities — the windows of my house were broken as a result of Israeli bombing.
Huge explosions are landing all around us in Gaza City now as I write, some entire families have been injured. All the infrastructure of Gaza is coming under attack at this point — power, water, roads, houses, farms and civilians. We can also hear the shelling of Israeli Gunships. There has been announcements of possible Israeli land invasion very soon.
|—||Shamikh Badra, a Gaza-based activist with the left-wing Palestine People’s Party about Israel’s strikes on the Gaza Strip (via thepeoplesrecord)|
write your Members of Congress opposing President Obama’s request for $3.1 billion in weapons for Israel.
And what on earth is an American candidate doing giving an interview to a foreign newspaper, deriding his own president as “weak” and backing the foreign government over his own? (A foreign newspaper owned, I might add, by an American). This has now become so routine for the Likudnik GOP we don’t notice how offensive this, how, if a Democratic candidate addressed a foreign country in order to foil his own president’s foreign policy, we’d never hear the end of it.
But then, increasingly, Israel-Palestine is no longer a foreign policy question for the GOP. It’s a domestic question, related primarily to how to channel religious devotion, and to demonstrate one’s own theological cred. Like running for office in Tunisia.
Palestinian Ambassdor Maen Areikat, a forceful and effective advocate for Palestine on a major cable news show this morning. I was a little shocked (in a good way, naturally).
Not what you think: Helen Thomas appearing in Playboy in April: “I knew exactly what I was doing — I was going for broke,” the disgraced Dean of the White House Press Corps says in her first major interview since being fired. (via producermatthew) source
To quoth Gandhi (from Clone High), “say whaaaaaaat?”
I’d really love it if my followers would read this exchange.
On the aftermath of her May 27 remarks about Israel: “I went into self-imposed house arrest for two weeks…Every columnist and commentator jumped on me immediately as anti-Semitic. Nobody asked me to explain myself. Nobody said, ‘What did you really mean?’”
On the situation in Palestine: “Everybody knows my feelings that the Palestinians have been shortchanged in every way. Sure, the Israelis have a right to exist – but where they were born, not to come and take someone else’s home. I’ve had it up to here with the violations against the Palestinians…[The Palestinians] are incarcerated and living in an open prison. I say to the Israelis, ‘Get out of people’s homes!’ It’s unacceptable to have soldiers knocking on a door at three in the morning and saying, ‘This is my home.’ And forcing people out of homes they’ve lived in for centuries? What is this? How can anybody accept it? I mean, Jewish-only roads? [She later corrected herself to say Israeli-only roads.] Would anyone tolerate something like that in America? White-only roads?”
On Palestinian violence against the Israelis: “Of course I don’t condone any violence against anyone. But who wouldn’t fight for their country? What would any American do if their land was being taken? Remember Pearl Harbor. The Palestinian violence is to protect what little remains of Palestine. The suicide bombers act out of despair and desperation. Three generations of Palestinians have been forced out of their homes – by Israelis – and into refugee camps.”
On American support of Israel: “We keep giving Israel everything. Our government bribes the Israelis by saying, ‘Please come to the [negotiating] table and we’ll give you this and we’ll give you that’…Why do you have to bribe people to do the right thing? I don’t want my government bribing anybody. I want them demanding. Stop all this aid to Israel when they’re killing people!…Why do they send my American tax dollars to perpetuate it?”
On Jews: “I think they’re wonderful people. They had to have the most depth. They were leaders in civil rights. They’ve always had the heart for others but not for Arabs, for some reason. I’m not anti-Jewish; I’m anti-Zionist.”
On Jewish persecution and victimization: “The slaughter of Jews stopped with World War II…They were liberated since then. And yet they carry on the victimization. American people do not know that the Israeli lobbyists have intimidated them into believing every Jew is a persecuted victim forever – while they are victimizing Palestinians…Why do they inflict the same pain on people who did nothing to them?”
On memorializing the Holocaust: “There’s nothing wrong with remembering it, but why do we have to constantly remember? We’re not at fault. I mean, if they’re going to put a Holocaust museum in every city in Germany, that’s fine with me. But we didn’t do this to the Jews. Why do we have to keep paying the price and why do they keep oppressing the Palestinians? Do the Jews ever look at themselves? Why are they always right? Because they have been oppressed throughout history, I know. And they have this persecution. That’s true, but they shouldn’t use that to dominate.”
On the Jews’ influence and power: “[The Jews are] using their power, and they have power in every direction…Power over the White House, power over Congress…Everybody is in the pocket of the Israeli lobbies, which are funded by wealthy supporters, including those from Hollywood. Same thing with the financial markets. There’s total control…It isn’t the two percent. It’s real power when you own the White House, when you own these other places in terms of your political persuasion. Of course they have power. [To the interviewer] You don’t deny that. You’re Jewish, aren’t you?”
On Congress’s anti-Arab sentiments: “I want you to look at the Congress that just came in. Do you think [New York Democratic senator Charles] Schumer and Lehtinen – whatever her name is – in Florida [Republican representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a strong supporter of Israel] are going to be pro-Arab? No. But they’re going to be very influential. Eric Cantor, the majority leader of the Republicans, do you think he’s going to be for the Arabs? Hell no! I’m telling you, you cannot get 330 votes in Congress for anything that’s pro-Arab. Nothing.”
On the uprisings and demonstrations sweeping through the Arab world: “I love the new revolutionary spirit in the Middle East and North Africa. The power of the people is removing ruthless dictators in Tunisia and Egypt – and that’s only the beginning. There is no stopping this free new movement. The Arab world is waking up to the possibilities of democratic life and freedom for its people, and I am happy to see this happening in my lifetime.”
On what her obituary will say: “[Eyes suddenly fill with tears] Oh, I know what they’re going to say: ‘anti-Semite’…They don’t give a damn about the truth. They have to have it their way, and they’ll be writing my obituary…I don’t care what they write about me…Because of what happened recently, people are going to remember me a certain way. The truth is, I don’t hate anybody. I care deeply about people. I care for the poor, the sick, the lame, the harmed, those who’ve been treated unjustly.”
“…no matter the occasion, no matter the question, no matter the newspaper or TV or radio journalist, every question must first be answered with a few basic points about the military occupation that has been in place for 34 years since 1967. This is the source of violence, this is the source of the main problems, and it is the reason Israel can never have real peace. Our entire political position must be based on ending the occupation and this must take precedence over any and every other consideration. When Erekat or Shaath or Ashrawi or Khatib is asked something, for example, about the Mitchell report or the Powell visit, the answer should always begin, “so long as there is a military occupation of Palestine by Israel, there can never be peace. Occupation with tanks, soldiers, checkpoints and settlements is violence, and it is much greater than anything Palestinians have done by way of resistance.” Something like that.
These estimable people have to remember that 99 per cent of the people reading newspapers or watching TV news all over the world (including Arabs) have simply forgotten — if they ever knew — that Israel is an illegal occupying power and has been for 34 years. So we must remind the world of that over and over. Repeat and repeat and repeat. This is not a difficult task, although it is, I believe, absolutely crucial. To remind everyone repeatedly about the Israeli occupation is a necessary repetition, much more so than stupidly inconsequential and sentimental Israeli and American-style remarks about peace and violence. Can we learn, or are we condemned to repeat our mistakes forever?”
Hey, everyone who thinks Helen Thomas is anti-semitic: Fuck right off.