The Electronic Intifada

In remembrance: Ismail Shammout, 1931-2006

Ismail Shammout’s career as an artist and popular hero of Palestine began with his 1953 exhibition of oil paintings in Gaza of the catastrophic march through wilderness. The exhibited paintings objectify and socialize a pain that had simmered on a private level. Refugees in Gaza saw themselves reflected in Shammout’s work and felt relief. An immense attendance of the general population in Gaza, including those living in refugee camps, overwhelmed Shammout, then studying in Egypt. This stunning response to the show was a hint of the bottled up hope for liberation. 

Israel's path of self-destruction

The current “crisis” faced by the people in occupied Gaza is a matter of degree. Since the farce “disengagement” last summer, and particularly since they elected Hamas to lead them, Palestinians have been under a near total Israeli siege, backed fully by the so-called “international community” which has shamefully abandoned its responsibilities towards an occupied population. Now they face a more intense onslaught, with Israel bombing civilian infrastructure, including electricity, bridges and Palestinian Authority ministries. Thousands of Palestinians have fled their homes under direct threat from Israel. 

Israel invades Gaza

At 11:51PM (Palestine time) on June 27th, Israel launched a large scale military assault on Gaza, as Israeli fighter planes carried out three airstrikes on Gazan bridges. Further strikes against Gazan power plants took place at 1:42AM, sending most of Gaza into darkness. At 2:24AM, Israeli forces began moving into Gaza to take control of the open areas east of Rafah. According to Israeli PM Ehud Olmert the aim of the invasion was “not to mete out punishment but rather to apply pressure so that the abducted soldier will be freed. We want to create a new equation — freeing the abducted soldier in return for lessening the pressure on the Palestinians.” 

Palestinians Prepare for Peace While Israel Practices War

As the Palestinian factions prepare for peace, the Israeli military has continued to commit grave breaches of international law and inflict further suffering against the civilian population of the OPT. For the past three and a half years Israel has worked to isolate the Palestinian people by refusing to recognise their legitimate representatives (the PLO) as partners for peace. This strategy of unilateralism has taken place while very positive developments have taken place on the Palestinian side. Israeli violence has battered the Gaza Strip, perpetuating a long, hot, filthy summer of human rights violations. 

Looking for Shalit

It would be too simple to sum up Israel’s recent military incursions in Gaza as a humanitarian disaster. But beneath the immediate surface, we find those who task themselves with generating meaning where actions are inexplicable. Among them are the mainstream U.S. media, who squeeze water from stones, invoking the pretense of Qassam rockets - the latest fetish symbol of Arab confusion and savagery since suicide bombs - and now the youthful face of kidnapped Corporal Gilad Shalit, whose picture has become an exploitative reminder on nearly every Internet news story related to Gaza, whether it mentions him or not. 

Jewish tribalism comes clean

Until the advent of Zionism at the turn of the twentieth century, Jews for whom their Jewishness mattered believed either that their identity was of a strictly religious nature or, if they were secular, that it was a meaningful marker of their ethnicity. In other words, Jews who wanted to identify themselves as Jews were either Jews in that they practised a religion called Judaism or they were Jews in that they believed they belonged to a distinct ethnic group. But Zionism added a third possible category of Jewish identity. The new kind of Jewish identity was a strange hybrid from the outset. 

Palestinian parliamentarian warns of severe public health and humanitarian disaster facing Gaza

Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, medical doctor, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, and head of the Palestinian National Initiative, today warned of the public health and humanitarian disaster facing the Gaza Strip following an Israeli military bombardment that began on Wednesday night. He was speaking from Gaza City, where he has been stranded for 12 days since Israel sealed off Gaza’s borders. Dr. Barghouthi reported that Israel’s destruction of Gaza’s only electrical power station has left 80 percent of Strip without electricity. 

Deafening silence from Ireland and the European Union on arrest of elected politicians and incursions into Gaza condemned

The failure of Spokespersons on behalf of the European Union and member countries to respond to the recent events in Gaza and the West Bank reveals the appalling moral vacuum into which European Union policy has descended in relation to the Middle East. There is a striking contrast between the tactic of moral suasion which characterises the Europe Union’s policy in relation to Israel and, on the other hand, the sanctions it has imposed against the Palestinian people. 

A Race Against Time: An interview with Sam Bahour

“During the last six months specifically, the Israelis basically in my opinion have been spinning out of control. They have unleashed, literally daily attacks on Palestinians. Unfortunately, the world only sees every once in a while what’s happening there, when there is a camera taking a picture such as the incident when the whole family of civilians was killed on the beach. For the last six years, there’s been a non-stop onslaught in terms of not only killing Palestinians, but also raids into Palestinian cities where they’re actually arresting people on a nightly basis.” Christopher Brown talks to Sam Bahour in Palestine. 

Entry denied: Deporting witnesses of Israeli occupation and unilateralism

In another Israeli move designed to further isolate Palestinians from the rest of the world community, it is being reported that the Israeli army will be declaring the West Bank closed to foreign nationals. The Gaza Strip has already been made virtually inaccessible to foreign nationals; those who wish to enter must apply to the Israeli authorities, weeks in advance, to receive elusive permits. The effect is that the plight of the Palestinian civilian population living under Israeli occupation becomes all the more invisible to the international community.