The Electronic Intifada

Israel's deceptions as a way of life

In a state established on a founding myth — that the native Palestinian population left of their own accord rather than that they were ethnically cleansed — and in one that seeks its legitimacy through a host of other lies, such as that the occupation of the West Bank is benign and that Gaza’s has ended, deception becomes a political way of life. And so it is in the “relative calm” that has followed Israel’s month-long pounding of Lebanon, a calm in which Israelis may no longer be dying but the Lebanese most assuredly are as explosions of US-made cluster bombs greet the south’s returning refugees and the anonymous residents of Gaza perish by the dozens each and every week under the relentless and indiscriminate strikes of the Israeli air force while the rest slowly starve in their open-air prison. 

Mobile street projections in New York City

Following a successful August 12th projection action on landmarks and in public areas of New York City, a multimedia projection team consisting of Emily Jacir, Bassem Nassar and Prerana Reddy reassembled on August 24th to create a mobile projection vehicle and take a series of Public Service Announcements (PSAs) and multimedia pieces to the streets. Equipment and guidance were provided by the Graffiti Reseach Lab. Photo documentation by Nigel Parry. 

After Lebanon, Israel is looking for more wars

Late last month, a fortnight into Israel’s war against Lebanon, the Hebrew media published a story that passed observers by. Scientists in Haifa, according to the report, have developed a “missile-trappingo” steel net that can shield buildings from rocket attacks. The Israeli government, it noted, would be able to use the net to protect vital infrastructure — oil refineries, hospitals, military installations, and public offices — while private citizens could buy a net to protect their own homes. 

Anti-war activists block UK Foreign Office in London

Palestinians, Lebanese, Iraqis, and Afghanis continue to be killed as a direct result of UK foreign policy. We will not stand as passive spectators to such crimes. We must do more than state-sanctioned marches. These sentiments were the common thread that tied over 50 anti-war activists together as they stood arm in arm in a solid and strong blockade of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office for two hours on Monday morning. The Foreign Office was targeted as a department that is entirely complicit in the ongoing wars, occupations and injustice abroad. 

A war against art and culture

This past month, Lebanese artist Youssef Ghazzawi’s studio was destroyed by Israeli military bombardment for the third time in his life. The first time was in 1977 when his home in the southern Lebanese village of Khiam was severely bombed. And the second time was in 1983 during the Israeli occupation of Beirut; the apartment building he was living and working in collapsed due to continuous shelling. Under each barrage, his entire studio and most of its contents were destroyed. He had salvaged a few things from the previous two demolitions and was saving them. In the most recent destruction of Youssef’s studio his entire life’s output was lost. 

Lessons for Palestinian School Children

In a couple of weeks, Palestinian children will start the school year - maybe. The Palestinian Authority (PA) Minister of Education, Dr. Nasser Al Shaer, was abducted by the Israeli army a few days ago and is in prison. Teachers and administrators have not been paid for months as a result of Israel’s withholding of tax revenues. As many as five PA ministers are in Israeli prisons currently, as is a third of the members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, including its speaker. The Palestinian population in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) is now thoroughly besieged, contained, infiltrated, sectioned off, isolated, locked up, controlled and manipulated by Israel. 

Political and sexual abuse

There is almost nobody in the public arena right now who objects to the view that the last month of fighting against Hizbollah was interrupted and that sooner or later, whether next month or next year, another round will erupt. Nobody disputes that such another round is inevitable, and very few are suggesting any steps to take to prevent that war from breaking out by trying diplomacy with the Lebanese leadership or even engaging the Syrians. And of course, the main issue on the Israeli agenda is the demand for ‘investigations’ into why Israel ‘lost’ the war, with accompanying demands for soul-searching by politicians. 

Abu Mazen: America's Tribute to Hafez Assad

The late Hafez Assad had “his Palestinians.” Ideologically divergent, they served politically to forestall any move by the PLO towards a negotiated settlement with Israel and personally to thwart the man Assad loathed like no other: Yasser Arafat. Surely few in my generation have even heard of the personalities comprising the Palestinian face of Assad’s crusade. Abu Musa, a celebrated Palestinian commander early in the Lebanon War, in 1983 led his breakaway Fateh faction into battle against what remained of Arafat’s PLO in the wake of Begin and Sharon’s slaughter a year prior. Thanks to Syrian patronage, his combat victory led him into total obscurity and into early retirement in Damascus. 

Music Video: "Hala" from rappers The N.O.M.A.D.S. and the Philistines

The N.O.M.A.D.S. (Notoriously Offensive Male Arabs Discussiing Sh*t) and The Philistines bring you quality hip-hop with a purpose and the video to their new track “Hala,” directed by JCON. Both groups co-sponsored and performed at the Free the P Hip-Hop and Slam Party in New York City earlier this year, which benefited Slingshot Hip-Hop, a documentary film that focuses on the daily life of Palestinian rappers living in Gaza, the West Bank and inside Israel. Based in the US, the groups are part of the growing Palestinian and Arab hip-hop phenomenon. 

The creation of "Hezbollywood"

I’m always fascinated with the birth of a meme. A new one recently surfaced amid the vitriolic rhetoric that gets dished out by the neoconservative punditry of the Internet: “Hezbollywood.” Google it and be in awe of its (as of this writing) 131,000 results. I’m almost surprised that Google even bothers to ask, “Did you mean: Hollywood?” Of course not. Right now, right-wing word herders are singing “Hooray For Hezbollywood!” And why not? In one simple word, they can summarize an entire paranoia.