Israel's West Bank Barrier has become the most visible manifestation of the Israeli military occupation and most pressing issue for Palestinians. Often misleadingly called a "security fence", photographs, images and video show another picture – that of apartheid. It is a part of Israel's larger attempt to legitimize the Palestinian ghettos, to permanently annex territory in the west of the West Bank, seal Palestinians in from the east, and surround a series of Palestinian Bantustans.
In a conflict that has produced more than its share of suffering and tragedy, the name of Kafr Qassem lives on in infamy more than half a century after Israeli police gunned down 47 Palestinian civilians, including women and children, in the village.
This week Kafr Qassem's inhabitants, joined by a handful of Israeli Jewish sympathizers, commemorated the anniversary of the deaths 52 years ago by marching to the cemetery where the victims were laid to rest.
They did so as the local media revisited the events, publishing testimonies from two former senior police officers who recalled the order from their commander to shoot all civilians breaking a last-minute curfew imposed on the village, which lies just inside Israel's borders.
No one is more surprised than Shlomo Sand that his latest academic work has spent 19 weeks on Israel's bestseller list -- and that success has come to the history professor despite his book challenging Israel's biggest taboo.
Dr. Sand argues that the idea of a Jewish nation -- whose need for a safe haven was originally used to justify the founding of the state of Israel -- is a myth invented little more than a century ago.
''Prevented from producing and competing with Israel's economy, the Palestinians became forced consumers and this is perpetuated by foreign aid. Effectively international donors foot the bill while Israeli companies profit from the desperate need of an entire population under Israel's occupation. ''
Sonja Karkar writes on what is less widely known - Israel had created a Palestinian economy deeply dependent on its own during the previous 30 years'.
Courtesy: Electronic Intifada
The following photo essay from 2003 is by Montreal photographer and community worker Scott Weinstein (courtesy Electronic Intifada), who traveled to Palestine to work with the Palestine Red Crescent Society as a registered nurse. His photographs document the contemporary realities of Israeli colonialism and occupation in the West Bank, specifically focusing on settler violence against Palestinian civilians in the West Bank city of Hebron. As documented by numerous human rights organizations, Israeli settlers have beaten Palestinian civilians and forced many Palestinians to leave the historic city center in Hebron, traditionally an important and vibrant Palestinian center of commerce in the West Bank.
The two-state approach in the Middle East has failed. There is a fairer, more durable solution
This week marks the 26th anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila massacre, one of the bloodiest events of the second half of the twentieth century.
The man who founded the "Voice of Peace" pirate radio station and did jail time for visiting Yasser Arafat during his exile in Tunisia had plenty of critics, but even more fans. And as they were asked to speak about the man who some say was before his time in his brazen and often eccentric pursuit of peace, all of them spoke of someone who stood up for what he believed in and acted on what he thought was right.
An Israeli historian suggests the diaspora was the consequence, not of
the expulsion of the Hebrews from Palestine, but of proselytising across north Africa, southern Europe and the Middle East.
A Palestine which guarded "the rights and interests of Moslems, Jews and Christians alike," to quote the Committee, was never acceptable to Zionists. To the leaders of political Zionism, nationalist politics were immeasurably more important than humanitarian concerns. For, indeed, Zionism has never been refugeeism and refugeeism never Zionism.