Let our children live

Bassam Aramin spent nine years in an Israeli jail for being a member of the Fatah in the Hebron area and trying to throw a grenade at an Israeli army Jeep which was patrolling in Occupied Hebron. On Wednesday morning, an Israeli soldier shot his nine-year-old daughter, Abir, in the head. The soldier will not spend an hour in jail. In Israel, soldiers are not imprisoned for killing Arabs. Never. It does not matter whether the Arabs are young or old, real or potential terrorists, peaceful demonstrators or stone throwers. The army has not conducted an inquiry in Abir Aramin’s death. As far as the Israeli Defense Forces are concerned, the shooting did not happen. 

Leaving Las Vegas, or getting out of Gaza

This is the second trip I have made to the Gaza Strip since 2003. I third time, in 2005, I was not permitted to enter. Back in 1985, it was easy to travel from Gaza to Jerusalem and back. In those days, I went back and forth many times. The entrance to Gaza, where a huge grotesque monstrosity of a checkpoint terminal now stands, was then only a few concrete barrels. Palestinian group taxis would weave through the concrete-filled barrels that marked the border and one could easily pass inside or outside, on your way to Gaza City or on your way back to Damascus Gate in Jerusalem. 

An anxious arrival in Tel Aviv

My main reason for being here in Israel-Palestine again for the fourth time is to do free lance photojournalism and further document widespread human rights abuses that Israel commits every day against Palestinian Arab people in the West Bank and Gaza; the Israeli government is trying to slowly suffocate them and steal their land, making life so miserable that they will leave. I can’t tell the Israeli security officer about my real reasons for coming here, for if I do, I will be detained. My passport will be stamped “Entry Denied,” and I will be placed on the very next flight back to Amsterdam. 

What Are the Root Causes, Mr. Bush and Ms. Rice?

By superimposing the ‘War on Terror’ rhetoric, the US is continuing its bull-headed approach to foreign policy. Until Americans realize that their country is vehemently hated in this part of the world, and that only a fundamental shift in approach to the Middle East can alter this perception, its tainted role can only do more damage than good. Forget about imposing an outsider’s view of democracy - order, economic development and human rights would be sufficient in this region. The other changes must happen internally by the funding and development of civil society. 

Beautiful Madness

War and chess is what mathematicians and economists call a zero sum game. It is a game built on a model which requires one winner. The problem with developing international diplomatic policy on something as unforgiving as game theory means that civilian deaths become the de facto reality when the struggles of the ego cannot be averted by either side. Stopping this march to madness is a daily struggle of perseverence, patience and determination. Unfortunately, in this context, there are no ends, only means. And the game continues. It is war all the time. 

For the life of Fatemeh

“Khashem Zeneh is not difficult to find. Just head out of Beer Sheva on the Dimona road, opposite the exclusively Jewish community of Moshav Nevatim, then turn right at the sign which reads “CEMETARY.” It sounds easy, but on the map, Khashem Zeneh does not exist. In 1965, a quick stroke of a Knesset pen created the phenomenon of “Unrecognised Villages”. Along with many other Bedouin communities in the Negev, it was made invisible to governmental planners and thus illegal in the eyes of the authorities.” Nick Pretzlik reports from the Negev.