The Electronic Intifada

Palestinian Refugees of Iraq

On the border between Iraq/Jordan and Iraq/Syria today live hundreds of Palestinian families who fled the US war to find themselves stranded in no-mans land. These families live in tents, in squalor, with little certainty or hope for the future, like their parents and grandparents did after their expulsion from their own homeland in the 1948 Nakba (catastrophe) by the Israelis. The Al-Hol, Al-Tanaf, Al-Ruweished and Al-Walid refugee camps in the Iraqi desert are examples of the on-going Nakba that Palestinian refugees face. The fate of the 34,000 Palestinian refugees who once lived in Iraq can be added to the many tragic stories of the US invasion and occupation of that country. 

Violence against women rises in the occupied territories

Three Palestinian women were shot dead in the northern Gaza Strip last month — rumours say it had to do with ‘honour’. The corpses of the women — Ibtisam Mohammad Musallam Abu Qeinas, 31; Samira Tahani Debeiky, 45; and Amani Khamis Hosari, 40 - were found within a 24-hour period in Beit Lahiya and Gaza City, leaving residents shocked. “People are saying it was an honour killing, that the women were of loose morals…” 

The lighter side of the Axis of Evil

Since the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., Middle Easterners have found themselves under the microscope, especially in the US, and our polarized world is being misdiagnosed as a “clash of civilizations.” Thankfully, standup comedians Dean Obeidallah, Ahmed Ahmed, Aron Kader, and Maz Jobrani are here to skewer it all in the must-see Axis of Evil Comedy Special, which airs in the US on Comedy Central this Saturday. Comprised of American performers of Middle Eastern descent, the Axis of Evil Comedy Show is an ongoing tour that began in 2005 and has been greeted across the US with critical acclaim. 

Canadians and the International Boycott Movement

We in Canada have our own AIPAC’s, devoted Zionists in bed with our government, and the Christian Right. However, we also have many Palestine solidarity and Arab organizations, as well as grass roots civil groups that have flowered here over the years, and take a dynamic, public position on the occupation, the right of return, the human rights abuses that Palestinians are subjected to, and have wholly embraced the movement to Boycott, Divest and Sanction Israel. We consider it our mandate to educate the Canadian public on these issues and as well, on our government’s untenable and right wing policies towards the Middle East. 

Egypt Gov't Challenged over Israeli Action at Mosque

CAIRO, Mar 7 (IPS) - In a rare show of unity, parties from across the political spectrum have condemned reported Israeli violations against Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque. They have warned of “dire consequences” if the site — the third holiest in Islam — were to be damaged. “Jihad [holy war] becomes incumbent on Muslims when violence is done against them or their holy places, dignity or possessions,” Mohamed Tantawi, grand sheikh of Cairo’s venerable al-Azhar University declared in a departure from his usually non-confrontational position. 

Israel, Iran, U.S. Least Liked Countries

WASHINGTON, Mar 6 (IPS) - A majority of people from around the world hold predominantly negative views of Israel, Iran, and the United States, according to a survey of more than 28,000 respondents in 27 countries. The survey, which was sponsored by the BBC World Service and designed by Globescan and the Washington-based Programme for International Policy Attitudes (PIPA), found that 56 percent and 54 percent of all respondents said they had mainly negative views of Israel and Iran, respectively. Fifty-one percent and 48 percent said the same about the United States and North Korea, respectively. 

Requesting Permission to Narrate: "Dreams of a Nation" Reviewed

Since 1948, Palestinians have not only occupied the painful position of many oppressed peoples who are systematically displaced, disenfranchised, denationalized, brutalized and murdered; they have also been put in the awkward, even tragicomic, position of having to convince the rest of the world of their very existence. This problem of visibility lies at the heart of Dreams of a Nation: On Palestinian Cinema, an illuminating, if incomplete, anthology of essays on the efforts of Palestinians to represent themselves on film to the world and to each other. 

Open Letter to the People of Six Nations

On the anniversary of the Six Nations Land Reclamation we express our solidarity to you and to all those that are defending today their land and livelihoods against theft and colonization. On February 28th, 2006, after the Canadian government gave a construction company the permission to build a settlement on their land, the people of Six Nations took it back, demanding an end to the theft and destruction of their land and to settler encroachment on their territory. Many of them now face charges in Canadian courts for defending their land. This sounds tragically familiar to us in Palestine and to many others around the world. 

Palestinian youth in Bethlehem area fully support non-violent resistance

The Joint Advocacy Initiative (JAI), an initiative of YWCA of Palestine and East Jerusalem YMCA, carried out research among young people from the Bethlehem area, to examine the attitude of Palestinian youth towards non-violent struggle against the occupation and oppressive practices. The results published in a report recently show that almost sixty percent of the youth are affiliated to a political party and they fully support non-violent means of resistance against the Israeli occupation. The opinions voiced by the youth offer clear building blocks for a strategy of national resistance. A strategy that shows striking similarities to the strategy successfully used by the African National Congress of South Africa to fight apartheid. 

How Barack Obama learned to love Israel

On March 2, Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama gave a speech that proved that when it came to supporting Israel he is “as strong as Clinton, as supportive as Bush, as friendly as Giuliani” in the words of one Israeli journalist. Obama blamed Palestinians for the failure of peace efforts and uttered no criticism of Israeli policies. Yet once upon a time Obama supported Palestinian rights and an even-handed US approach to solving the conflict. EI co-founder Ali Abunimah who has met the candidate half a dozen times over a decade analyzes the speech and traces Obama’s path into the hardline pro-Israel camp.