Ain el Hilweh in the heart of Montreal

EI co-founder Ali Abunimah writes about a visit to a family of elderly Palestinians refugees who have been given sanctuary in a Montreal church for nearly a year, after the Canadian government ordered them deported: “What was so shocking and moving about the situation Ayoubs find themselves in, in their church basement room in Montreal, is how reminiscent it is of the conditions they fled in Ain el Hilweh refugee camp.” 

The End of the Arafat Era

So now, as the Occupied Territories prepares for a Palestinian power struggle and a power shift from within between the Tunis old guard, the young Fatah activists, the Communists represented by the Palestine People’s Party, the more militant Hamas and other splinter groups, the Palestinian desire for self-determination will suffer in the short term. It will be up to people like Mahmoud Abbas, Ahmed Qureia, Saeb Arakat and others to fashion a responsible leadership that will take the Palestinians to the place they aspire to be. 

Breaking the impasse

The left is dead in Israel. And if you hold to the observation that social change related to human rights in Israel will be initiated by the left, this is a worrisome trend. In the land of home demolitions, military assassinations, movement restrictions, settlement construction, religious and secular strife, collective punishment, military incursions and legal and socio-economic discrimination, and all the psychological and physical damage associated with the Occupation there is a growing chorus of those who believe that the situation will deteriorate before it gets better. Am Johal shows the failure of leadership at every level in this conflict. 

It's the occupation, stupid !

Four years ago on September 28, 2000, when Ariel Sharon made his operatic visit to the Temple Mount, no one could have predicted how dire the situation would become so quickly: close to 6,000 dead, many thousands more injured, the construction of the Separation Wall, mass movement restrictions, detention and torture and other forms of violence and racism. What is one of the worst things perhaps in this new reality, which is quite similar to the old reality, is the level of normalization this political climate has taken on in Palestinian and Israeli society. After four years, Am Johal takes stock. 

The World's Largest Open Air Prison

Jamal Juma’ is a busy man. As coordinator of PENGON, the organization spearheading the campaign to stop the construction of the Israeli Wall rapidly surrounding the future Palestinian ‘state’, he is constantly scrambling to reach as many people as he can, independent journalists and heads of state alike. If Mahmoud Abbas and the United Nations have publicly condemned the wall, it’s in no small part due to PENGON’s meetings with them. Diplomacy aside, however, troubling facts continue to appear on the ground across the West Bank which do not bode well for peace. Darren Ell writes following a trip to the West Bank. 

Tell them, "why"

I had the privilege of teaching Shaker two years ago in Bourj El-Barajneh Palestinian Refugee Camp in Lebanon. He has been visiting Canada now for the past three weeks, along with seven other Palestinian refugee youth. His English language skills are excellent, as he stands before audiences filled with hundreds of people, telling us about how he exists in Lebanon - deprived of civil liberties, victim of countless Human Rights abuses, caged within the open prison of a refugee camp. His voice is being heard. Are we listening? 

We Are Here; They Are There

Above: Cover of The New Intifada. Buy this book on
Since returning from my November 2002 trip to Palestine, I’ve been reading an illuminating new book on the Israel/Palestine conflict: The New Intifada: Resisting Israel’s Apartheid. Its essays reveal just how seriously the mainstream media has misrepresented the conflict. I recall that in 2000 we heard how former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak was the Palestinians’ best chance for peace and how Arafat ruined it all by turning down Israel’s magnanimous concessions at Camp David. Quite a different story arises in Sara Roy’s essay. Darren Ell writes from Montreal, Canada.