Crossing the Line interviews Diana Buttu about Israeli bill to delist Arabic

10 June 2008

This week on Crossing The Line: Israeli MP Limor Livnat recently introduced a draft bill to delist Arabic as an official language of the Jewish state. Former Palestine Liberation Organization spokesperson Diana Buttu joins host Naji Ali to discuss this latest attempt to strip Palestinians of their cultural and national identity.

Also this week, it has been more than a year since fighting between the Fatah al-Islam militant group and the Lebanese army at the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in northern Lebanon displaced the camp’s approximately 30,000 Palestinian residents. Many news outlets broadcasted the battles that took place in the camp, but what they didn’t show was the aftermath of the nearly 90-day war due to a media blackout in the country. But the collective a-films managed to get access and documented the human rights violations that took place in Nahr al-Bared. Ali speaks to a-films member Ray Smith about the events which took place in Nahr al-Bared.

Lastly, the US State Department recently denied seven students from Gaza their Fulbright scholarships, citing Israeli movement restrictions, before re-awarding them again. Ali speaks with Dr. Marcy Newman a former Fulbright scholar and activist and professor of English at Idaho State University, about the Fulbright controversy as well as the plight of other university students in Gaza who also wish to travel abroad in order to further their studies.

And as always, Crossing the Line begins with “This week in Palestine,” a service provided by The International Middle East Media Center.

Crossing the Line is a weekly podcast dedicated to giving voice to the voiceless in occupied Palestine. Through investigative news, arts, eyewitness accounts, and music, Crossing the Line does its best to present the lives of people on the ground.

Crossing the Line’s host, Naji Ali, is an independent journalist currently living in San Francisco. Ali’s South African roots and desire for social change are the reason for his strong solidarity with the Palestinian people. In 1990 Ali was arrested in South Africa where he was detained and tortured for nearly two years by the South African secret police. Ali also lived and worked in the Old City of Hebron in the occupied West Bank.