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Susya

June 22, 2012: Susya I doubt if Palestinian Susya has ever seen so many people. Some 500, maybe more, have arrived from Jerusalem (including a large Palestinian delegation from East Jerusalem), Tel Aviv, Beer Sheva, and various sites in the occupied territories: Beit Umar, Mufagara, and the khirbehs close to Susya. It’s a mixed Palestinian-Israel crowd. I see many veterans of the early years of Ta’ayush, some of them returning to Susya after a long time. We know the Susya people well: we have stood by them in the face of many violent attacks by settlers and soldiers, celebrated weddings and births with them, accompanied them to their grazing grounds, fought the legal battle with them, installed wind-turbines in the village and the surrounding khirbehs, plowed and harvested in the fields, ate and … Read entire article »

Filed under: On The Ground Reports

Urgent alert to save Susya village from destruction

Urgent alert to save Susya village from destruction

Dear Friends, Please have a look at the announcement below. For the last twelve years we have worked closely with our Palestinian friends in Susya, protected them to the best of our abilities from continuous violent harassment by Israeli settlers and by the army, fought the legal battle to keep them on what is left of their lands, celebrated weddings and births with them, cleaned wells, put up solar-energy installations in the village, and stood by … Read entire article »

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Um al-’Amad Update: April 21, 2012

Several large families–among them, Ihrizat, Ihraini, and Abu Samra–belong to Um al-’Amad, perched on a high hill west of the desert and directly across from the drab and violent settlement of Otniel. In fact, Otniel sits on the Abu Samra family’s lands. Like all other settlements, Otniel has also drawn a wide perimeter fence around itself, effectively annexing another large chunk of Palestinian land; still worse, for the last thirteen years the settlers and soldiers have denied the Palestinians access to the relatively fertile grazing and agricultural land in the wadis just under the settlement. Israeli courts have confirmed Palestinian title to these lands in the wadis, but in itself this is by no means a promise of access. Quite the contrary: like in most places in south … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, On The Ground Reports

Ras al-Amud

Ras al-Amud

May 27, 2011 We gather at 4:00 outside the settlers’ multi-story stone building opposite the old police station at Ras al-Amud, on the Mount of Olives. This was the week of Netanyahu’s speech before Congress; if,  utterly  unlikely as this  may be, there is anyone in the  world who failed to notice that he was lying through his teeth, then Wednesday’s official ceremony unveiling the new settlement here in East Jerusalem should be enough to remove the veil. He used the … Read entire article »

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Al-Aseifar and Susya, May 7, 2011

Two things strike you immediately, closely followed by a familiar third. The first is the sheer brazenness of the theft—or, rather, of the thief, who stands before you jeering, smug, sure of his power, eager to hurt. He has already taken some 95% of your family’s land, and now he bullies his way into the tiny patch that is left in order to harass you and humiliate you further, for this evidently gives him joy. Then there is the pure racism, purer perhaps than what one sees anywhere else in the world today. The thief regards you as barely human, an object capable only of feeling pain, though he needs you as his victim, for without you he is incomplete, profoundly frustrated, lonely, unfulfilled. Thus the settler in his Shabbat … Read entire article »

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Report from Sheikh Jarrah’s 65th weekly demo

By David Shulman February 11, 2011 Sheikh Jarrah It took the Planning Committee of the Jerusalem City Council less than fifteen minutes to approve plans for the next wave of evictions in Sheikh Jarrah. We knew it was coming. Six large Palestinian families—some fifty souls– are to be expelled from their homes, the houses will be demolished, and thirteen apartment units will then be built for Israeli settlers. We know the families, we know the neighborhood, and we know the meaning and intention of this move, a further step in the ethnic cleansing the government is intent on carrying through in Sheikh Jarrah. They probably feel that this moment, with all eyes focused on Egypt, is a good time to act. Some 90,000 housing units for Jews have been built … Read entire article »

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Something new is happening in Palestine

An-Nabi Salih, September 25, 2010 Something new is happening in Palestine. I saw and heard things today that are relatively rare in my experience. I saw conflict erupt in the village between those who wanted to throw stones at the Israeli soldiers and generate more violence, as in the past, and the no less passionate people who intervened fiercely to prevent this from happening. I heard tough words of peace and hope. I saw the most dignified and brave demonstration I’ve ever seen. I also saw the army react with its usual foolishness, which I’ll describe, and I saw the soldiers hold back when they could easily have started shooting. It wasn’t an easy day by any means, but it was good. An-Nabi Salih is a hard place. When Ezra heard me … Read entire article »

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Sheikh Jarrah Sukkot

September 22, 2010 It may sound unlikely, but we’re in ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan Street in Sheikh Jarrah and, together with Salah and other Palestinian friends from the neighborhood, we’re building a sukkah. The Sukkot holiday, my favorite, starts tonight. Religious Jews build little booths covered with palm fronds and eat and sleep in them for seven nights, a memory of the forty years of wandering in the desert and a reminder of the precariousness of all that exists, all that we value and love. You’re supposed to be able to see the stars through the fronds that provide a make-shift roof; honored guests, beginning with the Patriarchs and ending on day seven with King David, are invited to visit each day. But why build one in Sheikh Jarrah, in the street where … Read entire article »

Filed under: On The Ground Reports

Another Well and Another Goat

(crossposted on the Villages Group Blog) ——————- Al-Tawamin, July 24, 2010 Here is the unlikely battlefield. You have a mountain slope, baked dry, thousands of sun-bleached rocks, millions of thorns. It issues into an even drier wadi, on the other side of which another slope of rocks and thorns rises up only to descend into the next wadi, and so it goes from ridge to ridge and wadi to wadi until pure desert takes over and rolls on as far as the horizon. On the slope in question, there is a functional well, its mouth encased in stone. The well belongs to the Palestinian shepherds of south Hebron, specifically to the Al-Murgh family, which has been chased off its lands here, in the tiny point called Al-Tawamin, by Israeli settlers and soldiers. … Read entire article »

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Sheikh Jarrah, July 9, 2010

Sheikh Jarrah, July 9, 2010

By David Shulman I’ve been thinking about truth. About what the word means, and how we know what it means. This comes in the wake of yesterday’s demonstration, with its by now habitual rituals unfolding in their remorseless, bitter order—the hopeful beginning, the drumming and slogans, the dispossessed Palestinians standing beside us as we chant, the rapid, volatile crescendo, the eventual police attack, and the arrests. Sarah, a young woman of astonishing courage and clarity, was … Read entire article »

Filed under: On The Ground Reports