The Electronic Intifada

Palestinian Revolution Cinema Comes to NYC


The New York Arab and South Asian Film Festival will pay tribute to a group of filmmakers who have made significant contributions to various categories of Palestinian Revolution Cinema between the years of 1968 and 1982. Given the current political environment in Palestine, Iraq, and Lebanon in 2007, it is especially important to screen these films which have slipped through the cracks of history. They are a visual testament to past events and offer us a glimpse of history from the perspective of the people who actually lived it, a perspective not sanctioned by the official US/European meta-narrative of the region. 

Suzi Hazahza Imprisoned in Texas: Why Her Family Must be Freed


Tasting the food that Suzi Hazahza cooked for him on that first Thursday in November, Reza Barkhordari couldn’t have been more joyful. He went to Suzi’s house every night after work, to sit with her whole family. And each night, the wedding drew a day closer. The first Friday of November, however, found Reza driving to the Dallas offices of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in search of the love of his life. Suzi and her entire family had been rounded up at gunpoint. Like two other Palestinian families in Dallas, all of them had been rousted from bed at gunpoint and marched out the door in their bedclothes. 

Israelis Keep a Fishy Watch


GAZA CITY, Feb 14 (IPS) - In the driving rain, Suhail el-Amoudi stands on the wharf of the Gaza City port looking out over the aged and weathered fishing boats as they bob perilously amid the swells of a Mediterranean winter storm. But for el-Amoudi, a 30-year veteran fisher of Gaza’s waters, it is not the waves or the wind that concerns him. Rather, it is the Israeli naval vessel on the horizon, clearly visible despite the storm. Throughout the last three decades at sea, El-Amoudi has seen many changes — but there is always one constant of life in Gaza: “The Israelis are the key to the experience,” he said. “Their presence is always felt.” 

Subcommittee hosts anti-Palestinian threesome


Hubris leads directly to disrespect. Back in power for just a handful of weeks, Rep. Gary Ackerman, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, is already displaying his disregard for the Peace Movement, Arab Americans, Muslim Americans, the unfairly maligned progressive Jewish community, and, well, generally anyone who favors a fair debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. No such debate will occur on Valentine’s Day when Ackerman’s Subcommittee hosts a stacked and biased witness list. None of the three witnesses who will be present can be described as a vigorous advocate on behalf of Palestinian rights and freedom. 

Media fall for pro-Israel hate group's "Terror Free Oil"


National Public Radio and the BBC have been among the countless media outlets to give prominent publicity to an organization calling itself “Terror Free Oil,” (TFO) which has established gasoline filling stations in several US cities. Much of the coverage has read like a press release for the organization, or treated it as a cute feature story. The fundamentally racist nature of the claims the company makes, and the long history of anti-Muslim statements and activities of its founder have been ignored. EI co-founder Ali Abunimah investigates. 

More than a walkway


If Israeli officials felt that the protest against work near Al-Aqsa mosque was a local problem that would soon go away, they were not watching Lebanese television. Some might think that the Arab world’s most popular TV program, Star Academy, is all about singing youth and half-dressed presenters. But on Friday, February 9, the students at Star Academy joined together in singing the song of Lebanese superstar Fairuz about Jerusalem. Dressed in chic black outfits, the entire class of Star Academy 4 joined hands in front of sets depicting Jerusalem’s Old City walls as they sang “Zahrat al Madain” (The flower of cities). Without making a single reference to the latest controversy over the Mughrabi Gate walkway, the directors of this musical program made a huge political sensation. 

The Experience of Mohammad, 11-year-old in US Prison


During the day Friday, the words of 11-year-old Mohammad Hazahza have filled him up and weighed him down. On Friday night, he pours the words back out, as if wanting to be lifted back up. “Mohammad is so protective of his mother,” says Ralph Isenberg in a weary and reverent voice, recalling the day’s visits to Dallas reporters. “I watched as he got her chair and made her comfortable. And that’s what he did in jail. He protected her from forced labor. When she was ordered to clean the common area, he did that work for her. He really understands family and duty.” 

It's Time to Visit Gaza


The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one area where liberals and neo-conservatives in America find common ground. From Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton all the way to George Bush and Condoleezza Rice one and all are united in supporting Israel’s assault on the Palestinian people and their land. The criticism of Jimmy Carter’s book Palestine Peace Not Apartheid is a case in point. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi outdid herself by issuing a statement that: “It is wrong to suggest that the Jewish people would support a government in Israel or anywhere else that institutionalizes ethnically based oppression.” Wrong to suggest? Here is something right to suggest: Madam Speaker, it is time for you to visit Gaza. 

Israeli Arabs: 'Who are we and what do we want?'


While Palestinians under occupation in the West Bank and Gaza are scrambling to come up with a new national Palestinian vision, Israeli Arabs are looking for ways to wrest equal citizenship rights for themselves as non-Jews in a state whose reason for existence is to nurture Jewish identity and culture. According to a recent New York Times news item, “A group of prominent Israeli Arabs [in a report issued in December 2006] has called on Israel to stop defining itself as a Jewish State and become a ‘consensual democracy for both Arabs and Jews,’ prompting consternation and debate across the country.” 

Arabs Less Worried About Iran, Poll Finds


WASHINGTON, Feb 8 (IPS) - U.S. and Israeli hopes of forging of a Sunni Arab alliance to contain Iran and its regional allies may be misplaced, at least at the popular level, according to a major survey of six Arab countries released here Thursday. The face-to-face survey of a total of 3,850 respondents in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates found that close to 80 percent of Arabs consider Israel and the United States the two biggest external threats to their security. Only six percent cited Iran.