Bush's "vision" is Palestine's nightmare

Much more important issues than the siege on Gaza were on Bush’s agenda. The need to realize and work on a “vision” for the future was in the forefront of Bush’s mind. “The parties” should now sit down and “negotiate a vision” — the parties being Israel, the fourth strongest military might in the world and a forty-year-long occupier, and the Palestinians, a stateless people who have been dispossessed by Israel for sixty years and under brutal military occupation by their colonizers for over four decades. Sam Bahour comments from al-Bireh/Ramallah. 

The silent transfer: Israel says I've lived with my family long enough

The Occupying State of Israel has decided that I have been living with my family and two daughters long enough. After being given a one month tourist visa when I entered through the Israeli border to reach the Palestinian areas (which is the only way to enter), the Israelis have responded to my request for a three month extension by saying one more month would be more than enough. Not only that, but they were kind enough to relieve me from the humiliation and agony of requesting another extension to remain with my family by hand writing, in Arabic, Hebrew and English, LAST PERMIT, on the visa. 

How Israel is tearing families apart

There are many thousands of Palestinians, or their spouses and members of their families, who hold foreign passports. The Israeli authorities, of course, know their numbers exactly. Many were denied obtaining ‘Palestinian’ IDs which are actually issued by the Israeli Occupation authorities. These IDs control birth, death, marriage, visits, visas, permits and all personal and civil matters in the Occupied Territories, even in Gaza after the ‘disengagement.’ 

Crushed by Gate of Occupation

Thaer was awaiting his family to visit from Beit Lekya, his village that is besieged by Israel’s Separation Wall. He was not sure who exactly would be his visitors this time or what kind of news they would bring. He was busy in his cell thinking of how to receive his family. He never thought in his worst nightmares that, instead of the joy of receiving his family, he would receive the news of his daughter’s fatal injury which led to her death. At home, Thaer’s daughter Rafida was rushing to her fate. She woke early in the morning and then woke her mother, wanting to get an early start on the long trip to her father. 

De-development Israeli style

The Oslo Agreement stipulation on the telecom sector is very clear. Any operator must be licensed by the Palestinian Authority if they desire to sell their services to the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Not only are all of the Israeli cellular companies illegally operating in Palestinian areas without licenses, but the Israeli government is encouraging them by disrupting the ability of the Palestinians to develop their own telecommunications networks and refusing to take action against these Israeli operators for violating agreements. 

Colin Powell And My Grandmother

Where Israel is concerned, U.S. foreign policy never ceases to amaze. When Palestinian in-fighting took place in Gaza last week, Secretary of State Colin Powell had the following to say about the United States’ position: “Just have to watch it unfold.” If U.S. interests in the Middle East continue to be hijacked and jeopardized by a rapacious Israeli state, then maybe not only the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza are occupied territories. Maybe we need a peacekeeping force immediately sent to Capital Hill. In the meantime, Palestinians’ eyes will be fixed on Washington and we will “just have to watch it unfold.” Palestinian American businessman Sam Bahour comments from occupied Al-Bireh/Ramallah. 

The World Is Knocking on Israel's Door

When The Hague speaks, the world listens, especially when a threat to international peace is involved. At least this was the case until the International Court of Justice took aim at Israel. At issue was the Israeli government’s building of a separation wall on occupied Palestinian lands in the West Bank, which, in essence, has caged Palestinian communities into ghettos reminiscent of the Jewish ghettos in Europe during World War II. Palestinian-American businessman Sam Bahour writes from beseiged Al-Bireh. 

A Guiding Light Falls on Ramallah

Ramallah is now usually quiet at night. This has not always been the case for this summer town located in the center of the West Bank. As a matter of fact, before the latest Israeli military aggression and subsequent re-occupation of the West Bank, Palestinians in Ramallah were known to walk the streets and socialize well into the night. However, tonight the deafening silence was broken, not by the frequent Israeli tanks and jeeps that now enter and exit the city at will, but rather by the music of the distinguished Daniel Barenboim, one of the great musicians of our time. 

What a Week!

IDF uses $10.2 million shopping center project under construction in Ramallah/Al-Bireh as temporary military base. Sam Bahour writes from Ramallah.