art of resistance, Israeli - Palestinian conflict, Palestine

Worn Out, Gaza.

Iyad Ramadan Sabbah is a Palestinian artist, famous for his sculptures and installations that are very artistic and beautiful, but also political and almost always related to Palestinian issue(s). Palestine is all over his artwork, but Sabbah has no issues with that. He uses his art to show the suffering of his people.

In his latest artwork, Sabbah displayed clay figures on Gaza beach depicting people fleeing their homes, as part of a contemporary art project portraying the recent Israeli onslaught on Gaza. The exhibition, called Tahaluk (Worn Out) is meant to show the horrors Palestinians faced in the Shuja’iyya neighborhood of Gaza city.

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Sabbah said he wanted to represent the psychological impact of war and commemorate those who died.

“There has been a violation of humanity in all of the Gaza community as a result of the aggression,” he told The Independent.

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The sculputures were also placed on the beach in Gaza to symbolise the refugees fleeing to other countries illegally in a desperate attempt to escape the conflict.  They were all created using mud and waste materials found in bombsites.

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During the latest attack on Gaza, at least 2,145 Palestinian were killed and 11,200 civilians injured, according to Palestinian Health Ministry figures.

iyad sabbah

/all images via Jamal Dajani/

For more on Worn Out installation, see the article on Cairo Post and The Independent. For more on Sabbah and his work, visit his official website.

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art of resistance, Israeli - Palestinian conflict, Palestine

Gaza: Parkour, All the Way.

Parkour is on the rise in Gaza for several years now, and I already wrote about the beauty and freedom it brings to Palestinians (another great example is the story of a surf club in Gaza). It is all about breaking from conventional paths in life and finding your own. As Abdullah Enshasy, who co-founded the Gaza parkour team with Mohammed Aljkhbeer, explains it:

“There is a big relationship between parkour and barriers that we’re surrounded by in the Gaza strip. There’s the blockade, walls are everywhere. …parkour gives us a sense of freedom and allows us to endure these conditions without getting deeply depressed.”

And now, after Israel’s nearly two-month assault over the summer, parkour is blooming in Gaza again. These photos show Palestinian kids doing parkour in a heavily battered Shuja’iyya neighbourhood in Gaza.

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//all images © Mohammed Salem / Reuters//

For more on parkour in Gaza, see Gaza Parkour and Free Running facebook page.

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art of resistance, Israeli - Palestinian conflict, Palestine

12-year-old artist from Gaza: Painting is a universal language.

Mohammed Qryqa is a 12-year-old painter from Gaza. Despite his young age, his artworks receive a lot of attention and praise from much older artists and the public. This August, Mohammed was on a tour in Tunisia. He was invited to different cities to present his work. “This doesn’t mean I forget the issues and concerns of my people in Gaza. I’m in Gaza forever,” he said on his Facebook page. Valentina Primo writes how MBC News called him the Arab Picasso, but Mohammed rejected the title. “Picasso is an artist with his own identity and his own style,” he explained, “and I want to be known as Mohamed‏ Qryqa.”

He also said being famous feels like  breaking down walls, stating: “If I get to cross over, it will be a sign that the wall dividing the Palestinian lands could begin to be broken”‏. His biggest wish is to talk about his life, Gaza and Palestine, through his paintings – “I dream of telling the world about Palestine and its people, its prisoners, its children. Foreigners do not understand our language but they can understand us through painting.”

5-copia© Yaser Murtaja & Rushdi Sarraj/Baraka Bits

13-copia© Yaser Murtaja & Rushdi Sarraj/Baraka Bits

15-copia© Yaser Murtaja & Rushdi Sarraj/Baraka Bits

73© Yaser Murtaja & Rushdi Sarraj/Baraka Bits

10360480_322727611229700_8390236767960814365_n© Mohammed’s facebook page

moh© Mohammed’s facebook page

For more, go to Baraka Bits, and visit Mohammed’s facebook page.

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art of resistance, Israeli - Palestinian conflict, Palestine

Windows from Gaza – War Insane.

Basel Elmaqosui is a Palestinian painter, photographer and video artist. Born in 1971 in Gaza City, Basel always seeked for new ways to express himself and the chaos of life in Gaza. His artworks have been exhibitied all over the Middle East and Europe, and he has won many awards. He is also the founder of Windows from Gaza – Windows for Contemporary Art.

Here is one of his artworks – War Insane.

Artist statement:

To my Mother, my wife and my sister who have been kidnapped by the war insane
To Zeyad Deep, who lost 15 members of his family by the bombardment of the war insane.
To the mother who sowed the wound of her child and then he slept dead between her arms for four days.
To all of  those who lost their houses (I’m one of them), to all those left broken-hearted and hurt by the white phosphor, the tanks, the bulldozers, the air forces of the war insane.

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/all images © Basel Elmaqosui/

For more on Elmaqosui and his work, visit his facebook page and Windows from Gaza.

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art of resistance, Iraq, Israeli - Palestinian conflict, Lebanon, Palestine, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates

(Interview) Tamara Abdul Hadi: A different Middle East.

Tamara Abdul Hadi is an Iraqi-Canadian photojournalist whose work I’ve been following for a while now. Her projects are strong and on point,  dealing with social injustice and deconstructing stereotypes. Through her work one can be constantly reminded how nothing is black and white, nothing is sealed in time and space – there’s a  lot of grey areas, but also a lot of colour to our world, and everything around us is fluid, ever changing. It is important to be reminded of that, especially when talking about the Middle East, the area often approached by oversimplification, constantly reduced to one (dark) image. It is like Suheir Hammad wrote in First writing since – „one more person assume they know me/ or that i represent a people/ or that a people represent an evil/ or that evil is as simple as a flag and words on a page/“.

It is never that simple. Here is the full interview I did with Tamara, discussing her project Picture an Arab man, self portrait workshops in Palestine, and first all female photo collective of the Middle East – Rawiya.

First of all – could you tell me – why photojournalism? When you finished your education, what was the motivation to pursue that as a career? Did you always know that is what you want to do?

I ended up pursuing photography shortly after getting my Bachelor of Fine Arts. I was specialized in graphic design at the time, but I was drawn to photography after I moved to Dubai and became fascinated by the city and its huge population of migrant workers. I started photographing them, wanting to share their stories, and thats pretty much where it started. At that point I started working at Reuters as a photographer and photo editor and then went on photographing news and features for the New York Times around the Middle East. Around that time, I started working on my own personal projects.

Zamisli arapskog muškarca, Tamara Abdul HadiPicture an Arab man, Tamara Abdul Hadi

 Another question would be – why Middle East?

That’s easy. It’s my home. Where I was born and where my family history lies.

 You are a founding member of Rawiya, first all female photo collective of the Middle East. How did that happen and what were the reactions of the public so far?

Me and the other Rawiyas had crossed paths in Beirut and decided to join forces and create a photo collective, believing that there is power in numbers and hoping to present an insiders view of our region. The reaction has been great so far, we especially appreciate receiving emails from young photographers in the region and plan to give workshops in the near future. Rawiya has so far exhibited in Europe, the US, Beirut, Lebanon, Kuwait and the UAE.

You’ve taught a one year intensive photography program for young Palestinian women with the UNRWA, at a vocational women’s college in Palestine. The aim of the project was not only to teach the women the skills of photography and editing, but also to empower them to do more. Can you tell me something about that experience?

It was a very important experience for me. The project’s aim was to encourage these young women to share the world around them, and tell stories visually. Many of these women came from conservative backgrounds so it was great to challenge them to go out and shoot pictures. I’m a big believer that photography, as with other arts and media, can be successfully utilized in engaging our youth and getting their voices heard.

zamisli arapskog muškarca , Tamara Abdul HadiPicture an Arab man, Tamara Abdul Hadi

 In your personal projects you set out to trigger social change and challenge stereotypes the Arab world faces. Can you tell me, in your opinion, what are the biggest stereotypes when it comes to Arabs and the outsiders perception of them?

There are so many misconceptions. All Arabs are Muslims. All women are oppressed. All men are the hyper masculine oppressors. There’s a side to the Arab world that gets SO much press, and that is what sticks in peoples heads. But there are people who want to know more and seek it out. If you look deeper, you will discover a region rich with diversity and culture.

 Your project, Picture an Arab Man, brings the viewer into a different relationship with stereotypes about Arab men – can you describe what were your main intentions with that project, and do you think you managed to carry them out?

My intention with Picture an Arab Man was to present the Arab Man in a more human way. When I started the project in 2008, I was sick of the generally misrepresentative portrayal of the Arab man, and wanted to bring about an alternative visual representation the contemporary Arab man.

 Do you believe that the project succeeded in encouraging Arab men to reflect on their own identity?

I hope so. I mean, with this project I presented a view, my view, of the Arab man. The father, brother, son, uncle, husband, friend. My father loves the project, so for me that is a success in and of itself.

Did your perception of Arab men change during the realization of that project and in which ways? 

I was moved by with their willingness to talk about their identities and masculinity, and of course their openness to be a part of this series. Every man that I photographed for the project believed in its message, and that, in essence, made the project worthwhile.

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 You also did a great project – Self portraits from inside Palestine. Journalists often deal with issues of presentation and representation, and people we see in the news almost never get a chance to choose how will they be seen, what moment will they be captured in, etc. Tell me something about the project and how you chose to approach these issues.

This specific project took place at Amari refugee camp in Ramallah, which people have called their home for decades. The residents of Amari and many other refugee camps are tirelessly photographed by outsiders. I thought, lets put the control in their hands. I wanted them to capture their own self portraits, and decide when to press button/shutter. It was an interactive exercise that promoted self expression, and really, community engagement. I usually focus this project on marginalized or underrepresented communities. I’ve since self portrait workshops with Syrian refugees in Amman, migrant workers in Dubai and youth in Kasserine, Tunisia.

A lot of your work is connected to Palestine and its people. Unfortunately, we’ve all seen and continue to see the new-old turmoil in Gaza. There is this perception these are the great escalations, and people seem to forget occupation itself is an escalation. What are your thoughts these days, when seeing the news, hearing the stories?

Palestinians are a resilient and beautiful people. There have been a lot of young photographers photographing the war and its aftermath in Gaza- and it is important to see it from a locals perspective.

Autoporteti iz Palestine, Tamara Abdul HadiSelf Portraits from inside Palestine, Tamara Abdul Hadi

 Do you have any special wishes and plans for the future projects?

Publishing Picture an Arab Man as a book is a big future project for me, as well as my own personal projects and photography workshops- like the self portraits series. I recently registered an arts organization- Fannan– which I am using as a platform for these workshops.

 

/ /all photos © Tamara Abdul Hadi//

 

For more on Tamara Abdul Hadi and her projects – visit her official website and Rawiya collective.

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art of resistance, Israel, Israeli - Palestinian conflict, Palestine

Beauty of Resistance: Surf Club, Gaza.

I’m all about the beauty of resistance, not just merely surviving through harsh conditions, but finding creative ways to give birth to life when you’re surrounded by (the constant glimpses of) death. That is why I love stories like Darfur Sartorialist, Syrian artists breaking world records in the midst of war, or parkour in Gaza.

It’s about finding freedom within you. It has to work within a limited physical area (like Gaza), yes, but it helps breaking the imposed restraints. Because – you choose to live and not be defeated and not be depressed. It gives you strength to go on in life and – fight back.

This is another story about the beauty of resistance.

Andrew McConnell is famous photographer whose work was featured in most of the world’s biggest publications, he has won two 1st place prizes at the World Press Photo Awards and many other awards. What I like about his work is the fact that he’s always driven by a desire to tell the stories that remain underreported in the international media. From Congo to Gana, from Syria to Gaza.

One of those stories is a story about the surf club in Gaza. Here are some of McConnell’s photos.

foto1Mohammed Abu Jayab gestures to his dughter as he walks from his home in Shati Refugee Camp, Gaza.

foto2Mohammed Abu Jayab teaches his son to surf at his home in Shati Refugee Camp.

foto316 years old Amer al Dous paddles out to sea from Gaza City.

foto4Ibrahim Alamassi breaks through the surf off Gaza City.

foto5Sabah Abo Ghanem, 11, and Kholoud Abo Ghanem, 10, look at the horizon off Gaza city. The girls are cousins and together with their two sisters they represent the only female surfers in Gaza, borrowing surfboards when they can.

foto6Gaza’s Mediterranean coastline, seen from Gaza City.

foto7As the last of the light fades, Mohammed Abu Jayab paddles through the surf  in the hope of the final waves, Gaza City.

foto8Ali Ayrhim walks along Sheik Khazdien beach with his sufrboard, Gaza City.

foto9Surfers melt candles onto their boards before going to surf off Gaza City. Surf materials like wax are impossible to find in Gaza.

/all photos © Andrew McConnell/

For more on McConnell and his work, visit his official website.

For more on the context of the recent events in Gaza, I recommend the latest piece by Rashid Khalidi for New Yorker.

To end this post:

We teach life, sir!

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art of resistance, Israel, Israeli - Palestinian conflict, Palestine

Children of Gaza.

Anthony Dawton lives and breathes his photography. It’s his life, he says. Various NGOs use his skills of capturing the moment (UNICEF, Red Cross Lebanon, Save the Children, etc), and he always tries his best.

He has done some wonderful projects in the Middle East, and one of them is Children of Gaza. Children are the greatest victims in Gaza, not just those killed (and many of that 1000 + number in these last three weeks are indeed children) but those who have survived but lost their parents, lost their limbs, lost their homes, lost their schools, lost their hospitals, lost their playgrounds.

Children should never go through that. There is no excuse for that, and no comfort in ocassional brave reports from justice-biased journalists (although I applaud them for that), or in ocassional celebrities tweets, bravely tweeted and deleted (them I do not applaud that much), there is no comfort while the general silence drowns the screams. While there’s no real changes. As King of Crimson put it:

Knowledge is a deadly friend
If no one sets the rules
The fate of all mankind I see
Is in the hands of fools

Confusion will be my epitaph
As I crawl a cracked and broken path
If we make it we can all sit back and laugh,
But I fear tomorrow I’ll be crying,
Yes I fear tomorrow I’ll be crying

(These) children deserve better.

gaza_01Khan Yunis.

gaza_02Gaza City.

gaza_05Beit Lahya.

gaza_06An Nazlah.

gaza_07Beit Hannoun.

gaza_08Deir Al Balah.

gaza_10Government Girls’ School.

gaza_11Petrol is a rare commodity. Khan Yunis.

gaza_19Heba: she sells packets of tissues to car drivers in the middle of the main road in Gaza City. She spends her spare time at the Al Qattan Centre library.

 /all photos © Anthony Dawton/

For more on Dawton and his work, visit his official website.

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art of resistance, Israeli - Palestinian conflict, Lebanon, Palestine

Beirut to Gaza.

This is Beirut (22nd of July), during a demonstration against the latest assault on Gaza. Names of Palestinians killed by Israel in the last two weeks were hung on huge banners in Raouché and protesters also threw flowers into the sea.

Newest data (24th of July): 736 Palestinians have been killed and over 4563 have been injured.

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/all photos © Jamal Saidi / Reuters/

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art of resistance, Israeli - Palestinian conflict, Palestine

Make a wish – Gaza.

Loulou d’Aki is a Swedish photographer. She is currently based in the Middle East, and is passionate about youth – the age of infinite possibilities.

Her project Make a wish  is an investigation about the dreams and visions of a selection of 21st century youngsters. The project took place in Istanbul, Gaza, Cairo, Sana’a, Tehran, Jerusalem and Naples.

Make a wish – Gaza was shot the days before, during and after Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012. Here are some of the photos – stories.

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Amaha El-Naga, 16 lives with her 7 family members in Khan Yonis buffer zone. The day after Operation Pillar of Defense truce people stroll up unto the border for the first time.

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19-year old Abdallah Al-Rhaman works with his brother Ahmed; together they make a living by performing with horses in weddings and ceremonies, just like their father used to do. 

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 Mahmoud Sarsour, 23 from Tal El-Hawa after Friday prayers. He studies Civil Engineering at the Islamic Universtiy and believes that this is the best time to reach a united Palestinian leadership in order to change the situation.

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Alah Ahmed Daama attends The Right to Live Society; a special school for Gazans with downs syndrome, established in 1993.

 

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Jasmine Nebieh, 24 used to teach Yoga in the stadium before it was destroyed in an Israeli air strike during Operation Pillar of Defense. She studies Sport Psychology and would like to work with children in Spain.

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21-year old Maraam Homed is very active on Twitter; she sees it as a way to communicate to the world what is going on in the Gaza strip. She is the only Gazan to Tweet in french and was recently invited to Paris on a conference trip.

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Ahmed Zayed, an 18-year old fisherman in the rubbles of what used to be his home in Salateeh area, until it was destroyed in an Israeli air strike a few hours before the truce between Israel and Hamas after the 8-day Operation Pillar of Defense.

/all images © Loulou d’Aki/

For more on d’Aki and her projects, visit her official website.

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Israel, Israeli - Palestinian conflict, Palestine

Things we must know and remember about the Israeli – Palestinian conflict.

The number of victims in Gaza continues to grow, several days ago Israel and its Egyptian allies offered  „ceasefire“ that’s as laughable and insulting as it is insincere, pretty much all of the mainstream media reported how Hamas rejected another chance for peace, just like they’ve reported about the terrorist attacks on Israel and Palestinian violence as the main reason for the recent turmoil.

Now, this is an ideal chance to stop, think, rewind. We’ve seen this before. It is just like Robert Fisk wrote in his latest piece for The Independent: „Once, we used to keep clippings, a wad of newspaper cuttings on whatever we were writing about: Israel, Lebanon, Iran, Gaza. Occasionally, we even read books. Maybe it’s because of the internet, but in most of our reports, it seems that history only started yesterday, or last week.“ He continues to say: „I’m afraid it’s about context, this memory-wipe. It’s about the way that armies and governments want us to believe – or forget – what they are doing, it’s about a historical coverage, and it’s about – and here I quote the wonderful Israeli journalist Amira Haas – ‘monitoring the centres of power’.“

10313386_10204019644990042_1826316081284667245_nimage © Paolo Pellegrin

So what do the centres of power want us to forget, what does Israeli government want us to leave out? Well, there are a lot of things, a lot of truths we must speak off and keep on going back to. The recent turmoil is not about the boys that were killed, and it is not about Hamas and its rockets. It is about decades of injustice and decades of oppression, decades of colonialism and its insatiable appetite, decades of wrong leaders and bad judgements and – decades of ignorance and status quo.

Escalations are due to happen. Occupation itself is an escalation, and these are some of the reasons why.

Peace talks that offered no peace

Oslo, or as Edward Said called it „The Palestinian Versailles“ was a bad deal for the Palestinians, and time proves it – day by day. As Simona Sharoni and Mohammed Abu-Nimer write in Understanding the Contemporary Middle East (second edition): „At the end of the 1990s, Palestinians had full autonomy in 27% of the Occuppied Territories. In the West Bank, this translated into 3% of the total surface area, whereas in Gaza the PNA controlled 60% of the territory. In the West Bank villages, however, the PNA had only civil and police powers, Israel remained responsible for ‘internal security’, the meaning of which was open to interpretation. Furthermore, because the towns and villages are mostly noncontiguogus and Israel remained in command of the road network connecting them, all movement of goods and persons into and out of these encalves as well as between them could be interdirected at will.“ Things got worse after the 1996 elections, won by Netanyahu and Likud Party. The 1999 Likud charter emphasized the right of settlement: “The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.“ Likud’s policies were based on settlement expansion and „judaization“ of East Jerusalem, among other things. Israel continued to build new settlements even during the recent peace negotiations, often claiming it is an imperative. All the “offers” so far have ignored most of the realities Palestinians endured for decades, their desires and basic human rights, and that is why they never lived outside the sheets of paper and conference halls. One sad fact is that in the world of big politics (and big money and resources) you have to be able to offer something in order to get something in return. There is no moral and no justice anywhere on the top charts of international relations, it is not anywhere in the scope of their interests. That is what Palestinians are paying the price for – the truth is – they have nothing to offer to the other side. Israel has everything. Well, almost everything. The rest they cannot get because – and that is the only thing Palestinians have as an „advantage“ – Palestinians exist and they do not plan on going anywhere. Another aspect of the peace talks is all the pressure put on Palestinians to be the ones to initiate it and adjust to all conditions, but, as Edward Said often asked: „Since when are the illegally militarily occupied people responsible for creating a peace movement?“

Two different nationalisms

There is a lot of talk about nationalism and its connotations on both sides. However, there is little talk when it comes to distinguishing Israeli and Palestinian nationalisms. There is a difference between the Israeli, institutionalized state nationalism and Palestinian nationalism, which is the nationalism of a liberation movement. While Israel justifies everything it does on the premises of national security, Palestinians focus on national liberation. Sharoni and Abu-Nimer describe how: „As a result of the primary emphases on national security and national liberation, different social and ecnomic problems within both communities have been put on the back burners until the Israeli – Palestinian conflict is resolved. Nevertheless, the differences between Israeli – Jewish and Palestinian nationalisms, which are often overlooked are far greater than similiarites. They involve fundamental differences in the history and social context of the two national movements and, most particularly, striking disparities of power and privilege between the two communites.“ We must never forget to mention the power relations and the fact that Israeli – Palestinian conflict is an asymmetric war. When talking about Israeli national security and Palestinian national liberation, there is an impression, and it is being deepened by the political leaders for such a long time, that the two cannot be achieved at the same time – ever. However, the great paradox here is that Israel puts national security as a pre-condition for peace, not seeing how it will never be secure until Palestinians fulfill their national aspirations through a political solution they want.

The disputed „right to return“

Big part of peace negotitations was always the question of Palestinian refugees. It is not just about people returning to their homeland, it is also about finally acknowledging that they actually had to leave and that Israel is responsible for that. There would finally be a much needed recongition. There is another  great paradox – Palestinians should acknowledge Israeli – Jewish „organic“ connection to the land Israel occupies, while Palestinians, the indigenous people, are denied that same connection, and all the rights emerging from it. It is also ridicilous to deny the rights of the Palestinians born in exile, claiming „they’ve never even seen Jerusalem“, while at the same time Jews from all over the world, with no connection to Israel, have the „right to return“, and they are entitled to it by the Law of Return.

Bad leadership, on both sides

Israeli government has done its fair share of crimes over the decades, there is no doubt about that. However, the Palestinian side – from Arafat to Abbas – did nothing to properly fight all the Israeli wrongdoings. Palestinian leadership was and is mainly corrupted, with no real strategy, most of the time serving as marionettes and a mockery. While people in Palestine were starving, Arafat’s big political move was to give Bill and Hillary Clinton  gold and diamond necklaces, bracelets and earrings – worth $12,000. In addition, Arafat gave former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright jewelry worth $17,400. That’s just one example of his international relations strategies. On the other hand – just couple of days ago, Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the Egyptian ceasefire intiative, saying he appreciated the Egyptian role and efforts to protect the Palestinian people. The intiative is a big nothing for Palestinian people, but there is no surprise Abbas welcomes it.

The key role of the United States

Edward Said dedicated his life to Israeli – Palestinian debates in the American society. It was crucial, he always thought, beacuse USA is where the Zionist headquarters are. That is where the money comes from, and money moves mountains. Just last November, The American Friends of the IDF organization (FIDF) branch in Los Angeles held its annual fundraiser in the Beverly Hilton hotel and raised a record number of $20 million for IDF soldiers’ welfare. Some 1,200 guests attended the event (among them Simon Cowell), the host was a billionaire Power Rangers creator Haim Saban and the guests were entertained by Lionel Richie. It is just one of numerous fundraisers for Israel and its army.  That is why the rare media in the United States providing fair debates on Israeli – Palestinian conflict, like Democracy Now and Vice, are almost priceless. However, until there is not enough pressure from the political leadership and the society in general, it is hard to imagine big changes happening in relations to Israel and the occupation.

Arab is not a one thing, and Arab nations are not a one

If these last couple of days have proved anything – it is that Arab nations, Arab countries and Arab people – are not one. There is no support for the Palestinians from the leaders of other Arab countries, Egypt was waiting for days to open the Rafah border crossing and now initiated a shameful idea of „ceasefire“ that is not even close to a ceasefire. Other Arab countries, the money lands of Gulf and others – stand still, in silence. No surprise there, it is not the first time. In this disheartening fact we could find something positive – this is a lesson, a chance to learn for the western mainstream media. It is time for them to realize that Arabs are not one group, all the same, and Arab countries are not united and we can never speak of them as such. From this lack of support for Palestine, once again, we can learn (beside the fact that economical and geopolitical interests always come first, and moral and justice are laughable terms) to finally stop addressing Arabs as one, and acknowledge the political, economical, cultural and human differences that exist among them. Just like other people – they are not the same, and they are for sure not united – except in doing nothing, just like in this case.

Slowly dying is also dying

While in today’s world everything revolves around numbers, and they have to big and shocking in order to get attention, even when there are no „huge events“  in Gaza and West Bank, there is still a lot of violence, oppression and – slow death. It is the occupation, to some a very subtle thing, but still obvious on every level – the unemployment, the endless waiting, the curfews, the checkpoints, all that despair and uncertainty. A February 2013 publication from UNICEF shows that: „In the past 10 years, an estimated 7,000 children have been detained, interrogated, prosecuted and/or imprisoned within the Israeli military justice system — an average of two children each day. The analysis of the cases monitored by UNICEF identified examples of practices that amount to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention against Torture.“ Briefing on Children in Gaza by Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights notes that Israel’s blockade of Gaza, a gruesome form of systemic violence, “puts children’s right to health at a grave risk as access to health services and care inside Gaza is hampered by lack of equipment, expertise, and medicines, while access to care outside of Gaza is largely restricted.” And these are only children we are talking about. So, even when Gaza and West Bank are not in the news like the last couple of days, there are a lot of reasons for them to be.

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