Tag Archives: Palestine

Mohammed Assaf THE Arab Idol

 

Assaf

 

Mohammed Assaf is not merely the Palestinian\Gazan who won Arab Idol. No my friends, he isn’t just that, he is now a symbol. He’s a symbol for everything that we Palestinians stand for. A symbol of hope, love, survival, steadfastness and a symbol of what an honest competition is or should be like. Through his voice, his strong confident voice he reached the hearts of all Palestinians all over the world, the hearts of all people all over the world even, if it’s safe to say! Through his voice he united us, he united Palestine and Palestinians together. We all voted for him, we all cheered for him and we all “ a’aleena al kufyya.”

Yesterday, June 22nd 2013 – yes I have marked the date on my calendar and so should you- yesterday was the happiest day Palestine ever witnessed in 66 years. Ever. As soon as Annabella Hilal the presenter of Arab Idol announced “Mohammed Assaf” the winner people cheered their lungs out, god knows I did! The streets were jammed with cars waving the Palestinian flag, car horns wouldn’t stop making noisy, random happy beeps you wouldn’t actually figure out whether a car was beeping at you to move your car away or if it was just beeping the happy beeps all cars were beeping, fireworks were all over the sky that I think we may have harmed the Ozone layer! Children were happy as they could even be, I saw children dancing in the streets, cheering Mohammed Assaf’s last name and even some were poking their heads out of the cars’ windows carrying pictures of Assaf. I mean it was 12:00am and the sky and the spirit and the ecstatic vibe which filled Gaza made it feel like it was noon. Gaza was genuinely happy, we really needed this. Gaza was the definition and incarnation of the word “Happiness.” We could have never been more proud. Ever since he auditioned for the show and we have been living the Palestinian dream, and yesterday it came true.

So congratulations a thousand times more to Mohammed Assaf  the face of Palestine.

 

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FW  asaf  ppl

peeps  20130623_000428  strts  assaf  20130622_224256

 


Ali Abunimah’s speech on Global BDS/land Day

Wednesday, the 30th of March 2011. Dr Haidar Eid organized a seminar via Skype in Al Aqsa University here in Gaza, with Ali Abunimah the author of “One Country” and Ronnie Kasrills former Minister for Intelligence Services in South Africa, about Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) and its effect and impact around the world.       

Here is Ali Abunimah’s speech.

“Today is land day of course this is a day that is an occasion that is marked in the memories of Palestinians everywhere, inside the homeland and in every part of the homeland. Also it is being declared as the international BDS day of action the international Boycott divestment and sanctions day of action. Of course land day commemorates the struggle of the Palestinian people to remain on their land through all of the means of stuggle that Palestinians have used over many years.

Boycott Divestment and Sanctions as a method of struggle might sound new, but in fact it maintains the same principals and the same basic demands as the Palestinian people have always had. What many of us know is that compared to Israel and its supporters, the Palestinian people might appear to be very weak, in terms of military balance, economic power, political power and diplomatic power. This is not to take away any way from the determination and the struggle the Palestinians have waged even with very little means that they dispose of.
The simple fact is, we do not have any super power standing behind us and providing us with every means with which to wage our struggle. And we know that those suppressing us do have super powers behind them. So BDS is a method to change the balance of power and to shift the power towards the Palestinian people and their just struggle.

Is this possible? Can we really believe that something so simple could hold so much power? I want to give you an example. Last year, last February, an Israeli Sink tank in Israeli institution called the Raout (I’m not sure I got the spelling right) institution, which is very close to the Israeli government and Israeli military, published a report in which it said that the BDS movements constitutes one of the greatest existential threats to Israel.
Why is this? It is because the Palestinian people and their BDS movement could forward very clear demands that are legitimate in international law, legitimate in terms of human rights and legitimate in terms of the Palestinian people’s own struggle in history.

I’m going to say now few words of back ground on the BDS and then talk about how this movement is growing around the world and what the effect that is happening.

In 2005, Palestinian civil society issued a call for BDS and this call was signed by almost 200 Palestinian organizations in Palestine and around the world from all back grounds without any exception. The demands of the BDS movement are for people around the world to isolate Israel the way apartheid South Africa was isolated until Israel meets three demands:

To end the occupation of all Arab lands occupied in 1967, Number one.
Number two, guarantee equality of all Palestinians in the 1948 area of Palestine, those known as Palestinian citizens of Israel.
Number three, the right of return.

What is important about those demands is that they truly unify the entire Palestinian people. I challenge you to find any Palestinian anywhere from any background to disagree with these demands. And what is also important is that unlike the Oslo process which failed, those demands deal with the rights of all the Palestinian people, including those in the 1948 areas and the Diaspora who as we know were excluded from consideration under the so-called peace process.

I wrote a book in which I believed that Palestine from the river to the sea is One Country, and that this land cannot be divided into different states. All those who live in it must live with the rights that they deserve. However, these demands do not impose a particular political solution. They focus on the basic rights of all the Palestinian people. This also means that all Palestinians can support them regardless of their view about political solution.

In 1955 the south African people issued a call for BDS on apartheid south Africa until African people achieved their freedom at the end of the apartheid regime. But that campaign took from the 1950s until the 1980s before it became popular and well known in Europe and the United States and the other countries that was supporting apartheid in South Africa at that time. And which are today providing financial, practical and political support to Israel.

What is different about the Palestinian campaign is that it’s growing much faster, in just five or six years we see the number of action and organizations supporting the Boycott for Israel running rapidly around the world. And I want to stress that what makes the Palestinian campaign legitimate is that, the call for Boycott comes from the Palestinian people themselves inside Palestine and in the Diaspora.

(Ali Abunimah gives examples of the success of the BDS campaign.)

… the impact, what is the impact of all of these actions and many many other which I didn’t mention. It might seem one action here and there can hardly have an impact on Israel which uses its might and power the way it want to. But that is not the perception in Israel itself, if you look at Israeli media and what Israeli politicians and leaders are saying. We have to remember that Israel’s war against the Palestinian people doesn’t just include a war of killing and starvation and siege it is also an information war.

And what we see is that Israel has lost dramatically in its effort to portray itself as a democracy and as a civilized state. Israel as a colonial creation in Palestine can only exist with external support. BDS is a method to remove the basis of external support that has allowed Israel to oppress Palestinians for so long. And it is working.
Last thing I want to say is that so many of the success that the BDS movement has had specially in the field of culture and academic Boycott is because the request to Boycott Israel cme from Palestinians themselves. Specially students in Gaza. When Palestinians make this demand, the conscience of the world cannot ignore it…”   

If you want the full speech, just contact me.


“Rally to Restore Sanity”

Last year, on the 30th of October Jon Stewart led a rally in the National Mall in Washington, D.C. which he called a “Rally to Restore Sanity.” It’s stated purpose was “to provide a venue for attendees to be heard above what Stewart describes as the more vocal and extreme 15–20% of Americans who “control the conversation” of United States politics.”

 

Inspired by the Egyptians and the Tunisians successful revolutions and the idea that “people” can make history together, Palestinians decided enthusiastically to arrange a rally calling for the “end of division” between factions in Palestine calling for unity between them all, and they organized it to be on March 15th. As for Gazans, all people of all ages and all backgrounds and all factions were looking forward to this day. Twitter and Facebook ever since the news of the rally spread out were the means of arrangements between the participants in the rally creating special “Groups” and “Pages” for the occasion.

March 15th has come, and most people were carrying the Palestinian flag up high wearing the Palestinian Koffya chanting for the end of division so proud and excited. But unfortunately the fact that a faction was holding its own flag infuriated the other faction, and holding the palestinian flag by some people infurated the same faction that is holding its own flag. And what was highly anticipated to be something of a success, turned out to be a highly anticipated mess, which soon turned into an assault between factions, which is lasting until this day.

Here is why I called my blog  “Rally to restore sanity” and why I began my blog with a piece of information about it:

I believe that the events and the assaults that are taking place here in Gaza, and after the unsuccessful rally that was supposed to unite rather than create more division, urgently needs a rally to restore sanity.

The sanity that says we are all Palestinians. We are not green, we are not yellow, and we are not red. We are not a color. We are a belief that together we can make a change, alone we make no progress and no nothing, and the sanity that division will bring nothing but more division and more separation, and that we must end this division hole that keeps increasing. The sanity that we must stop making a joke out of ourselves by being the worst example of democracy and unity, while we MUST be the role model, and that the real enemy is not each other but the forces who are devastating our houses, hijacks our lands and kills our children, women and men. for that and more i believe that, We MUST create our own well organized non-biased Palestinian rally to restore this sanity.  

I will conclude by saying, what is happening today and what happened on march 15th something we should all “Look Back in Anger at, and decisively determine that we must end this division and this insanity

My friends and I joined in the march15 rally, and we were pretty much “disappointed” with how things turned out. These are some pictures I took from the rally.

     

     

For more photos.. click here: http://tiny.cc/m03w6

ps. Look Back in Anger , is a play written by John Osborne about a young man who is desperately seeking change in the society and the new generation.  

   


Palestine Papers

Once upon a time there was a Palestine, and now there is “Palestine papers“.

We Palestinians never knew ‘defeat’ until we were met by an unexpected one some days ago. They call them “Palestine papers“, but unfortunately they are anything but “Palestinian“. Not only do they uncover secrets and reveal conspiracies, but also they uncover wounds and reveal grief.

Surprisingly, what these papers expose is relatively not shocking, for we all simply knew something wrong was happening. We just choose not to believe, or I would rather say convinced ourselves we were wrong. But now ironically these exposés are hunting us everywhere, and they are surely the talk of the city, the talk of the world. We cannot escape them now, no matter what.

What the “Palestine papers” expose in brief is,

‘Hundreds of people died for nothing, hundreds of lands were simply given away, and negotiations were held for us to give not to take back what once was ours’.

So in a briefer brief, we have been living a web of lies.

The funny thing in all this is that the “Others” behind the conspiracies against “us” Palestinians call themselves the true patriots and the sons of martyrs.. they call themselves true Palestinians, and the tragic heroes.. they call themselves the saviors and the S.O.S answerers. Well I don’t need either a polygraph nor Mark Wahlberg to help me figure out if they were ‘true’ or ‘false’, for papers and facts says it all..

Anyway, I have come to a conclusion that, watching these exposé’s Is like watching a lousy play that you wish the curtains to fall any time soon, but at the same time you don’t want to leave because you don’t want to miss the ending.

That being said, “the rest is silence.”