The Electronic Intifada

Rachel Corrie Rebuilding Campaign in Gaza nominated in competition

Donna Baranski-Walker
25 January 2005

Redwood City, CA — The Rachel Corrie Rebuilding Campaign in Gaza has been nominated for a competition. Through January 27th, people throughout the world can vote online and rate the entries they deem best. The Gaza project is one of only two in the Human Rights category. 15 semifinalists chosen through open ratings will present their work at the Global Philanthropy Forum on Borderless Giving in March, where three winners will share $100,000 in project grants.

Deconstructing the WJC campaign for a UN resolution on anti-Semitism

Laura Reanda
25 January 2005

The World Jewish Congress has launched a campaign for the adoption of a General Assembly resolution condemning anti-Semitism and is circulating a petition asking for support and financial donations. On the face of it, the proposal seems worthwhile and non-controversial: who could possibly object to a statement against anti-Semitism? On closer inspection, however, several questions arise. Former United Nations official Laura Reanda comments.

Israel's fantasy stands in the way of peace

Saree Makdisi
27 January 2005

The recent election of Mahmoud Abbas as the new President of the Palestinian Authority has renewed speculation that 2005 will bring genuine peace between Palestinians and Israelis. Insofar as it depends on Israel’s own intentions, however, such hope is entirely misplaced. Israel has made it clear that the first thing it expects of the new Palestinian leader is for him to bring the Palestinian population under control, something it could not achieve with its gloves off during almost two decades of direct military occupation of Palestinian land. Professor Saree Makdisi comments for EI.

What "Peace" Really Means to Israelis

Avigail Abarbanel
20 January 2005

Two months ago I returned from a two-week family visit to Israel. Although I am an activist for Palestinian rights, I decided that this visit would be entirely private. Living for two weeks with my brother, his wife and their two little girls in their tiny apartment in a North Tel-Aviv suburb, gave me an opportunity to observe and see what daily life is like for Israelis at the moment. Israelis have always talked about peace, sung about it, made art and poetry about it as if it is something almost supernatural, some kind of a paradise that they yearn for but that has nothing to do with their everyday reality, and that they have no idea how to create.

US must act to stop ethnic cleansing in Palestine

Priscilla Read
21 January 2005

The average American finds unfathomable the desperation that drives suicide bombers. Yet Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is a recipe for producing violence. It robs Palestinians of their livelihood, their dignity, and their faith in the future. U.S. acquiescence in Israeli policies that render Palestinians’ lives untenable in order to force them off their land makes a mockery of Washington’s pretense at being an honest broker in this conflict. Across the Arab and Muslim world, suffering in the Occupied Territories provokes bitter hostility.

Behind Israel's official version of the news

Anna Weekes
20 January 2005

Two innocent Palestinians were killed by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on 12 January 2005. Although they were the latest in a long line of Palestinian victims, and from a tiny village near Ramallah, they made headlines all over the world. They were the first Palestinians to be assassinated by the IOF since the election of Mahmoud Abbas, which had taken place just three days before. The so-called ‘period of restraint’ had come to an abrupt end with the killings. For this reason, the assassinations were portrayed by the commercial media as a necessary response to two violent militants who had opened fire at Israeli soldiers. However, eyewitnesses on the ground report an entirely different story.

Departing head of UN refugee agency decries conditions in Gaza as horrendous

Genevieve Cora Fraser
18 January 2005

Peter Hansen, the departing Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNWRA), spoke out about the conditions in Gaza at a recent conference sponsored by the Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace held in East Jerusalem. According to Hansen, the situation in Gaza is so horrendous that without the help of bulldozers you couldn’t get through the debris and sand barriers thrown up to block traffic. “If you wanted to go into Gaza today you wouldn’t be able to because there are tanks along all along the main road to Gaza. All along the road you will see houses that have been bulldozed. As you move down through Gaza the situation gets even worse,” Hansen stated.

Mass hypnosis in the Middle East

Hasan Abu Nimah and
Ali Abunimah
19 January 2005

What explains the widespread readiness of various groups to lapse into hypnosis and euphoria about a non-existent “window of opportunity” for peace, ask EI co-founder Ali Abunimah and regular contributor Hasan Abu Nimah? They examine the motives of various constituencies that have welcomed the charade of the Mahmoud Abbas election from an endless stream of EU envoys to the US government, and suggest that the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority may have more in common in their approach to the peace process than initially meets the eye.

East Jerusalem's Chehade Brothers Nominated for Music Award

Amal Awad
18 January 2005

Among this year’s nominees for a BBC Radio 3 Award for World Music is Palestinian group the Chehade Brothers. Rami and Farid Chehade, in their 20s, are originally from East Jerusalem. They have recently enjoyed success with their improvised approach to tarab (a musical style fusing various cultural elements), which they term “light popular tarab”. The result is a modern, smooth and gentle approach to a popular style of music. The Chehade Brothers have been nominated in for the Award for World Music in the “Middle East & North Africa” category. The other nominees in this category are Khaled from Algeria, Mercan Dede from Turkey and Souad Massi from Algeria.

The Art of War

Eoin Murray
13 January 2005

There is something about the art of war - not the methodology - but the art, that fascinates. People looking for a way of expressing the misery of warfare. It is, even if it deals directly with the topic of war, a way of escaping or, at the very least coping, with conflict. The real art of Gaza is on the streets, the art of resistance, the art of revolution and memory. Eóin Murray has fond memories of a trip to Derry for his Dads birthday in which they stood by Free Derry corner and were amazed by the amazing power of the house murals which surrounded them. There was a real sense that these murals expressed the fears and memories of the people and, in so doing, assisted them in their struggle for human and civil rights, for peace and for justice.


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