Palestine

Palestine: the end of isolation?

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The Arab revolutions threaten to break the networks of control erected by the US and Israel. This has particular significance for Palestinians, whose oppression has been enabled by the collaboration of Arab regimes with Israel. Estelle Cooch asks whether Palestine's isolation may be coming to an end

On 15 May each year Palestinians have commemorated Nakba Day, "the catastrophe", the day of Israel's establishment in 1948 that oversaw the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes.

No rest for the people of Gaza

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The siege began in 2006. In 2007, when Hamas took full control of Gaza, the siege stopped being only an economic embargo - a comprehensive siege was imposed. All aspects of life were harmed.

More than 150 medicines are blocked from Gaza and so is medical equipment - 510 people have died due to this lack of medicine and the inability of people to travel for treatment. Some of them, when they asked for treatment in Israel, were told, "Yes, you can have medication. But you have to work as a spy for us."

Boycott, divestment, sanctions

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The flotilla attack sparked protests and solidarity worldwide. Phil Marfleet reports on the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which can offer a focus for solidarity with Gaza.

Gaza has been under occupation for over 40 years but international interest has seldom been as intense and international solidarity rarely as effective as since the recent killings at sea.

Eyewitness report: Israel's murder on the high seas

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On 31 May Israeli commandos attacked a flotilla of ships carrying aid to Gaza, killing nine people and injuring dozens more. Kevin Ovenden from Viva Palestina recounts the horror of the attack and gives his views on building a movement that can lift the siege of Gaza.

"All changed, changed utterly." So wrote the great poet William Butler Yeats after the execution by Britain of Irish freedom fighters following the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin. Those words resonate today, following the massacre aboard the Mavi Marmara on bloody Monday - 31 May 2010. Now, a new phase of struggle is born in the movement to bring justice and freedom in Palestine. But it has come at a terrible price.

Letter from Palestine

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Last month the Israeli government approved plans to build a synagogue next to Al-Aqsa mosque. This is part of Israel's strategy to drive native Palestinians out of Jerusalem, writes Abdul Wahab Sabbah

Last month the Israeli government gave the green light for settlers to open the Hurva synagogue in east Jerusalem next to the Al-Aqsa mosque. The mosque is one of the most important sites in the world for Muslims.

The enemy within - Palestinians in Israel

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Abu and Umm Shams are members of Harakat Abnaa elBalad (Sons of the Land Movement), a revolutionary organisation based in Israel and active since the 1960s. They talked to Chris Jones about life as Palestinians living within Israel, and their daily struggles against Zionism.


Over 1.3 million Palestinians live within Israel and constitute nearly 20 percent of its total population. Can you give us some indication of your situation today?

What you refer to as Israel we refer to as 1948 Palestine. This is the land of Palestine that was occupied by Israel in 1948. The West Bank we refer to as 1967 Palestine, following the Israeli occupation in 1967. And Gaza is Gaza. The three together form Palestine as far as we are concerned.

Dead-end solution in Palestine

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As the US makes plans for new talks between Israel and Mahmoud Abbas's administration, Palestinian author and activist Ghada Karmi, just back from the Occupied Territories, challenges the claim that Palestinians have no alternative but to agree a two-state deal with Israel.

The Fatah conference, which took place in Bethlehem last month, has aroused renewed interest in the Palestinian cause. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has lasted so long and proved so resistant to resolution that hardly anything is "news" any more. Even the Gaza tragedy, so well covered by the media during late December and January, has long slipped off the front pages and scarcely features at all. I pick up a palpable weariness in people's feelings about the issue, both among Palestinians and many commentators outside.

The other occupation

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Every mass campaign has its symbols. For me the most moving of the Gaza campaign were the dolls dressed in bloodstained baby clothes, carried by children or teenagers, brought up to the front of demos and cradled in people's arms.

Young people have been central to the campaigning since Israel launched its attack on Gaza on 27 December. Young people have been burning the Israeli flag, organising demos, carrying placards, collecting money and organising boycotts.

Most impressive has been the wave of student occupations in solidarity with Gaza. More than 30 colleges have been in occupation since the middle of January. They have broken new ground in a number of ways.

BBC: Whose side are you on?

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The refusal of the BBC's top management to broadcast the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Gaza aid appeal focused public anger over media coverage of the Israeli assault.

The BBC Board's position had nothing to do with "impartiality". When a dog savages a child, it is not impartial to stand back and watch the child bleed - that is siding with the dog. Hiding behind the shibboleth of impartiality in reality meant that the BBC sided with Israel.

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