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Film Review: "Kings and Extras": Digging for a Palestinian Image

Azza El Hassan’s documentary Kings and Extras: Digging for a Palestinian Image chronicles the director’s journey on the trail of the lost PLO film archive that went missing in Beirut in 1982. Through the narratives of individuals whose interviews El Hassan feels can assist her with locating the lost archive, the film touches on several aspects of contemporary Palestinian life. The engaging documentary was featured in this year’s Chicago Palestine Film Festival, adding yet another dimension to the chronicling of Palestinian history. 

Film Review: The Balata Film Collective: "Nour's Dream"

This year at the Chicago Palestine Film Festival, the Balata Film Collective presented their thirty-one minute documentary Nour’s Dream. Through a visual journey of Palestinian history, culture, heritage and resistance the film demonstrates the imperative need for the documentation of Palestinian lives. As the fictional main character, Nour narrates the documentary by informing the viewer of the significance of stones within past and present Palestinian society. 

The truth lies buried in Gaza sands

If you keep lying long enough and with enough conviction, people start to believe you — or at least doubt the evidence in front of their own eyes. And so it has been with the Israeli army’s account of how seven members of a Palestinian family were killed, and dozens of other Palestinians injured, during shelling close by a beach in Gaza. The army has been claiming for more than a week, based on its own evidence, that the lethal explosion was not caused by a stray shell landing on the Gaza beach but most probably by a mine placed there by Palestinian militants to prevent an Israeli naval landing. The army’s case could be dismissed outright were it not for the racist assumptions that now prevail as Western “thought” about Arabs and Muslims. 

We don't need no occupation: Roger Waters graffitis the Israeli Wall in Palestine

Roger Waters founding member, with Syd Barrett, of the super group Pink Floyd visited the West Bank city of Bethlehem on June 21, 2006. He called for an end to the on-going Israeli Occupation. Waters moved Thursday’s concert from Hayarkon Park outside Tel Aviv after discussions with Palestinian artists, as well as Israeli refuseniks, who called on him to use the gig as a platform to build solidarity with those fighting the injustices of Israeli foreign policy. 

3 Palestinian Children Killed and 15 Others Wounded in a Failed Extra-Judicial Execution Attempt Carried out by IOF

On Tuesday evening, 20 June 2006, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) carried a new extra-judicial execution attempt in the northern Gaza Strip. Whereas the targeted persons survived the attack, 3 Palestinian children were killed and 15 other Palestinians, including the three targeted persons were wounded. IOF admitted responsibility for the attack, and claimed that they targeted “a senior official of Fatah movement who is the leader of a group responsible for manufacturing and launching rockets.” 

International Benefit Concert for Palestine in London

On the 29th of June, 2006, the Balata-London Link Benefit Concert will take place at the Rivoli Ballroom in London, the United Kingdom. The Rivoli Ballroom is a unique venue in South London, that used to be a cinema in earlier times, and hosts 700 seats. The benefit is organized by John Hamilton, conductor of the Strawberry Thieves Choir, and aims to raise funds to bring a group of children from Balata Refugee Camp over to London, to work with youth groups and create drama and dance together. 

From Palestine: Generation After Generation

A chance encounter with the well known Palestinian filmmaker Michel Khleifi at the offices of the Qattan Foundation in Ramallah says it all: “No, one should not get depressed about the current situation,” says Khleifi. “In fact, this is the best time for us to work seriously on the Palestinian as a human being.” There is indeed quite a lot to be depressed about. Palestinian factions are busy fighting each other while Israel pursues its own criminal designs with the complicit approval of the international community. 

America deaf to Palestinian screams

The screaming of 11 year old Palestinian Huda Abu Ghalia from Gaza seems not to have reached American officials. Huda’s parents and five siblings were killed before her eyes last week when Israeli artillery crashed onto the beach as they picnicked. The US was the only major power which not only refused to condemn the incident, but described it as “self defense.” Afterwards, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called Israel’s army the “most moral” in the world. Palestinian Central Election Commission Salfit coordinator, Fareed Taamallah, comments. 

Diplomatic Quartet backs international mechanism to aid Palestinian people

The diplomatic Quartet on the Middle East – made up of the United Nations, United States, European Union (EU) and Russian Federation – today issued a statement elaborating on an EU proposal for channeling aid directly to the Palestinian people and voiced hope that others will participate in it. The “temporary international mechanism” would be limited in scope and duration and operate with full transparency and accountability, the Quartet said in a statement, pledging to review whether it is still needed after three months. 

Former Dutch Ambassador Calls for Sanctions if Israel Refuses to Comply with International Law

Some weeks ago I heard Jan Wijenberg, a retired Dutch Ambassador, speak about what the International Community could do to break with its complicity to the ongoing violations of international law and human rights by the Israeli regime. Wijenberg served over a decade as an ambassador for the Dutch government in Jemen, Tanzania and Saudi Arabia. He regularly writes to Dutch ministers and politicians to remind them of the responsibility of the Dutch government and the EU to hold Israel accountable to international law. His views are expressed in this article.