Journalist, not an ally

The main story in Ramallahstan those days is what happened with Amira Hass in Beirzeit university few days ago.
Long story short, Amira Hass, was invited to talk in Beirzeit university. A group of student protested and kicked her out.

Some people came out in support of the students, while others choose to throw the “She is more Palestinian than Palestinians” line.

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First, lets explain who is Amira Hass!?
Amira Hass is an Israeli journalist, lives in Ramallah, and write for the Zionist newspaper, Haaretz, no more no less.
She is not more Palestinian than Palestinians, nor she is a spy “Spy on what?“. She is a journalist who choose to live close to the main topic she covers, which is Palestine and the Palestinians.
Like Robert Fisk, the British journalist who choose to live in Lebanon to be close to the Middle East, the region/topic he covers, Does this make hime a supporter to the Arab cause?
PS: I mentioned what is relevant, for more info about her, click here

Second, Amira Hass is an Israeli by birth, she belong to the colonial oppressive system Palestinians have been suffering from for the last 60+ years, she also write for a Zionist newspaper, who sometimes sound progressive, yet still strongly serves the Zionist colonial project in Palestine.
Do I really need to explain why people who live under colonial regime tend to be hostile towered those who belong to the “Colonial Master” nation!? I thought this should be obvious by now.

Third, “She is more Palestinian than some Palestinians”.
1- Who the gave you the right to say whose Palestinian and whose not!?
2- If every journalist who cover Palestine fairly will become more Palestinian than Palestinian, I can think of a long list of names before Hass.
3- Did you answer the question in the first point? Regardless to your answer, No one have the right, to say whose Palestinian and whose not. No one have this right, not even Mahmoud Abbas himself, “He is after all the head of PLO and the PA, which suppose to represent all Palestinian everywhere

Finally, It’s important to remember that Amira Hass is simply a journalist, who maybe take the ethics of journalism more seriously than the usual propaganda tools in other Israeli media outlets. She is not a pro-Palestine, solidarity activist nor she is here because she loves us!
I find it sad, that our experience with good and fair journalism is very limited, we consider whoever write a decent story, an allies to our struggle.

Also we can’t abandon the fact that Amira Hass, regardless to her impressive journalistic work belong to the other side, and this is something we can’t ignore or overcome, at least not now.
The Israelis can walk around and say “It’s not personal, it’s politic”. This is a privilege we don’t have, it’s personal for each and everyone of us.

I hope her commitment to fair journalism, not to Palestine is beyond what happened in Beirzeit.

When we forgot about the Nakba

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A must have introduction;

4 days ago marked the the 66th anniversary of the 1948 Nakab, when over 750,000 Palestinian were expelled from their villages and towns by the Zionist militia, a process in which over 20,000 were killed “Different report, different numbers, no actual statistics were ever made”, committed by the Zionist militia to strike fear in the hearts of the local Arab population.

Regardless to the heroic resistance by many on the front line across historic Palestine, defending their homes, villages, or simply the land they lived upon for years. And regardless to the support Palestinian received from few thousand Arab volunteers and the Arab armies. The well equipped 100,000+ strong,  Zionist militias easily over ran the Palestinians and their poorly equipped Arab allies. “The numbers are based on Saad ElShazly testimonyWikipedia provided close numbers”. For more information about the Nakba you can find many resources such as here and articles here.

Back to what I want to talk about;

I have avoided talking about the Nakba or participating in any of the Nakba commemoration ceremonies, as over the last few years commemoration ceremonies took a celebratory nature contradicting the real nature of the Nakab.

I don’t mean the small protest that end up with clashes with the Israeli colonial forces, which ended this year with the death of 2 teenagers, 17 year old Nadeem Noware and 15 year Mohammad Abu Thaher.

I mean the ruling faction’s sponsored “events” which usually don’t go beyond speeches, Dabka performance, a photo gallery and police suppressing any attempt to cross the “Security coordination” line. I almost forgot this year special, an old truck with a bunch of actors, to enact the Palestinian’s exodus in 1948.

During the years of the second intifada, Nakba commemoration was dropped from the people agenda. Overwhelmed with the rapid progress of the Massacre we calls ” second Intifada” the people had more recent “Nakbas” to remember. Nakba was pushed to the back of people minds. Beside comments here or there about how the people in Jenin camp are living a new Nakba, or how this poor family has to live through winter in a tent just like the refugees in 1951 winter “Many of the Nakba witnesses we interviewed in collage mentioned that particular winter“. It became a reference to the people daily life.

PS: Nakba is also an opportunity to remember the heroic Palestinian peasant resistance against the Zionist militia in 1936-1939 revolution and in 1948. Not just their exodus.  

You can claim people in the west bank or Gaza cares very little about the Nakba, as they weren’t directly affected by it, and they relate more to the Naksa “1967 war”. This assumption although tempting, ignore how damaging the expulsion of 750,000 out of 1٫6 millions Palestinian living in historical Palestine before 1948 to other parts within Palestine and beyond. Don’t you think the total destruction of the Palestinian society. and the formation of a new and different society with new classes, new rich and new poor. It’s much more traumatizing than the classical occupation of 1967.

In 2002 as I worked with some cousins in clearing ruins from rooms in my family compound, my dad who observed, volunteered to explain who lived in those, my cousin comment on who can live in what looked more like a dungeon than a room, made my dad explains even more about how many people lived in the compound after the Nakaba. “You see this yard, it was divided with sheet to host 10 families, each of those 2 big rooms hosted 4 families.(…) some stayed until 1956, but many moved to the refugee camps when they opened 2 years later in 1950.”

I don’t have any special feeling towered any town in 1948 Palestine, nor I have any appreciation or respect to some lines drawn by 2 white men by the end of WWI. But I do believe in heart and soul, a great injustice took place in 1948, by the creation of a “European” settler colonial state in Palestine, which is something never survive, specially if you failed to completely eliminate the natives. 

Telling a Palestinian story

I am not a writing this review to the new Palestinian movie Omar, as a professional movie critic, I am writing it as a Palestinian who was very happy when he saw a Palestinian movie telling a realistic Palestinian story. ImageA story similar to those we gossiped about while hanging out on friend’s rooftop in the old city of Nablus when we were teenagers. A story based on a real story as Hany Abo Asaad claimed.

The Movie tells the story of 3 friends, Amjad, Tariq and Omar, 3 young men plans to attack an Israeli base near Nablus, “Huwara” as we later learn, after the attack in which an Israeli soldier was killed, Israeli forces went after the 3 of them, arresting Omar in their first raid. In prison Omar face the usual Shabeh “A form of torture the Israeli uses” before he face his Shabak interrogator “Who look like Dr Bassem yousef!:)”. Omar manage to convince the Agent that he will help them capture Tariq, his comrade if they let him go. But soon enough he was brought back into prison in a failed ambush. Omar manage again to win the Shabak agent, that this time he will really helps them capture Tariq, Suspected of treason Omar tries to make his way back to the group.

In the middle of all of that, the movie tell the love story between Omar and Nadia, Tariq’s sister, their love interrupted with the continues arrest of Omar, mistrust, and the betrayal of a childhood friend ended with them going in separate ways. It was not a happy ending for the love birds.

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The movie story is very simple, yet very complicated, if you didn’t pay attention you will end up with the wrong conclusion “As I did”. Although when a certain chain of events start you could predict how it’s going to end, but you will fail to predict how the next chain of events will look like “got it?”. which kept me anxious to see how it will end, specially around the last 15 minutes. Personally, I think this what make Hany Abu Assad, a creative director.

The movie was filmed between Nablus, Jerusalem, and Nazareth, but while watching the movie you can never tell which city the events are taking place at, as the scenes flips from one city to another through out the movie, but this a minor issue you can easily over come if you weren’t born and raised in any of the 3 cities ;). Beside that the filming was great, specially the framing, many of the frames would have made a great photographs if they were paused.

The movie is 100% Palestinian. Directed, filmed, acted and produced all by Palestinians, which I think it gave Hani Abu Assad the freedom to choose a real life Palestinian story from the second Palestinian Intifada. Unlike paradise now which I found a desperate attempt to explain what we “Palestinian” still don’t understand.

If you want to watch a movie about Palestine, telling a real Palestinian story, Omar is the one to watch! It’s a great movie for those who look to Palestine and Palestinian from the outside and for those who lived this and still living it! It’s good for all, Go Watch it!

One last point, “Inch’Allah“, and “Bethlehem“, 2 movies who suppose to tell stories from Palestine, although I am judging “at this point” from their trailers but I can comfortably says, both are crap. In “Incha’Allah” for example, I couldn’t ignore the disgusting neo-colonialist messages the movie hold, I felt sick by watching the trailer alone!
The movie message in short “Ohh, look to this nice white lady who live in Telavive, and goes to help the “primitive” Palestinian native in the west bank or whatever, then something happen, she get emotional and crying as she goes through a moral dilemma….and FUCK YOU, how about that?
Did you see the part where the white lady gives lipstick to the Palestinian Hijabi woman… filled my eyes with tears “That was Sarcasm”

A must say note; Regardless to the movie message, if you live in “Israel”, you can be the most hard core pro-Palestine activist EVER, yet you are still part of the colonial system who oppress the Palestinians, regardless of your original nationality “yaa, I mean you, white people spending the night in Telvive and saving during the day!“. Whatever, many white liberals will adore it!

The other movie, Bethlehem, is an Israeli movie talks about the strong friendship between the Shabak agent and the Palestinian collaborator he handles,…… COME ON! Do I even need to explain, why this shit is fucked up! But, whatever, many white right-wing with liberal masks will loves it!

Stop making movies about Palestine, let us do our own. Thank you..

The real resistance

On April 30, 2013 the newly freed Palestinian prisoner Salam Asa’ad Za’ghal, 24, attacked an Israeli settler near Za’atra checkpoint in the north of the West Bank. The young man stabbed the settler to death, before Israeli soldiers and the border police arrived at the scene to shoot at him. Salam used the settler’s gun to return fire but eventually was wounded and taken away.

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Soon after the attacks, Fatah’s military wing Al-Aqsa Brigades rushed to claim responsibility for the attack, saying this comes as a response to the murder of the prisoners Arafat Jaradat and Mysara Abu Hamdyeh while in Israeli custody. They also claimed that they were granted the green light (from who? Abbas?) to begin a series of attacks to target the occupiers. Yet Fatah’s dismantled military wing claims doesn’t show any indication this act was planned or performed by the group, as facts on the ground prove this statement false. 

“If it was really  planned, God help us.”

The nature of the attack indicate its randomness. Location, timing, weapon, are all elements that point to how desperate and poorly planned the attack was.

First, the attack took place in a heavily guarded junction used by both Palestinians and settlers. Settlers are usually located in two main bus stops, over looked by at least two manned military units. Palestinians are not allowed anywhere near those bus stops. They can pass it, but they are not allowed to wait anywhere near it. If anything Palestinians usually wait for their rides 10 meters away to avoid soldiers or the settlers’ harassment.

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Second, the attack took place around 8 in the morning, a busy time of the day where the attacker would be easily spotted and captured by whoever is in the vicinity, whether they are soldiers, or armed settler militia.

Finally, Salam used a knife to stab the settler to death, which is a very simple, accessible, and impractical tool to implement a supposedly “previously planned” revolutionary attack.

If the attack was planned, it was solely by the attacker himself, which fits in with all the actions that targeted Israelis in the West Bank in the last years, specially the stabbing, running over, and shooting incidents– all that can hardly be classified under the term as being “militant acts.”
For example, in 2012 at least 7 to 10 stabbing attempt were reported, although no Israeli was killed, the attempts left few injured and the attackers either dead or detained. In other hand 2011, 5 settlers were killed in an attack on Itemar settlement.

These murders usually flourish when an organized resistance is absent in the oppressed society. They are the undying indication of the abnormality of the situation those people live in, and are strong reminders for both the oppressed and the oppressors of the fact that there is absolutely nothing normal in colonial occupation.

Those attacks are by nature violent, brutal, know no mercy, and will always end with the attacker’s death or arrest, unless they are lucky. They are also hard to prevent by the oppressors, Fatah’s PA and Hamas included. If no one knows what’s on your mind, no one can stop you.

A feature worth noting that dominated all individual attacks in the last year is that they are all done by the marginalized class, those with nothing to lose. Salam as the attackers before him belongs to the wretched of the Palestinian society, those who suffer from both the occupation and class oppression.

Language used to comment on Salam looks although praised him as a freedom fighter, were full of class arrogance. A man commented saying, “Even a man with such a haircut proved to be more honorable than many of us.” If you don’t know, haircuts in Palestine usually indicate a certain class or background, as people tend to associate certain looks to either refugee camps, cities or villages.

Those revolutionary acts although in many people’s opinions are impractical and have if anything a very little influence on the colonial forces, are the pure acts of resistance, untainted with the political interest of the oppressed political elite.

In short, they are the real resistance.

Meaningless Election!

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Finally,Fatah and Hamas agreed on opening the doors for the people in Gaza to register in the voters records. great news, “at least this is how they tries to sell it to the people” , it only took them 6 years to agree on this basic act. during this period both Fatah in the west bank and Hamas in Gaza continues to abort democracy before it’s born.

Since the PLO switched from a liberation movement, to simply another regime with leaders who seeks nothing but the colonialist acceptance, they started building a system loyal to PLO’s main faction, Fatah, which worked fine, during 1996 election, as Hamas refused to run that year. But in 2006 election, when Hamas finally decided go under Oslo umbrella, they ran for the election and won it, taking over the PLC, with 74% majority.
After this huge win, the problems with the one party regime started to service, suddenly we had Hamas’s government, Fatah’s loyal security forces, and colonialist asshole, hated the result so they cut the PA live line, leaving Hamas dealing with the mess, the rest is just history, so near to forget.

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Registration process started in Gaza
Picture by Rana Baker

Since Hamas took over Gaza in 2007, they started to build a Hamas-loyal system, hiring those who believe in their ideology, or in worse case from the same pool of thoughts as Hamas. Same apply on the security forces, as Hamas relied more on it’s executive forces, while getting rid of Fatah loyal security branches “for some reason the PA has like 10 different branches of security forces”.

At the same time in the more liberal, more western friendly part of the “Palestinian territories”, Fatah worked hard to ensure their position as the governor of the Palestinians, gaining legitimacy from the Fatah president who also serves as the head of the PLO executive committees “and 3 other titles, more than the loser in the white house”.
Since 07, Fatah continued it’s policy in hiring Fatah loyal in the PA many security branches. At the same time whoever seeks a governmental job, has to get a “security clearance” from the Palestinian inelegance and/or preventive security. The security clearance wont look through the applicants criminal history, nor it will question their relationship with the colonialist, it will just run through your political history, and affiliations.

Regardless to the court order of 2011, banning security clearances, replacing it with “never convicted with a crime” certificate from the court. The PA continues with the security clearance policy, through which many Hamas or Islamic Jehad affiliated are either fired or rejected for jobs as simple as elementary school teacher.

Now, after you read my understanding to the systems in both West bank and Gaza reality, do you still think elections will mean democracy!? Do you really think voting will manage to change anything in our lives!?

I am more convinced today than ever, any real democracy in Palestine can be only achieved, by totally destroying the system established by both Fatah and Hamas, then build a new system loyal to the people not the factions, then run a democratic election, other wise stop wasting our time. “not so keen about building a new system tho,maybe we can try Anarchism for a while first! please?”

Some last points;

1- I still didn’t mention the other reason that involve the Palestinian National Council “PNC” elections. which also doesn’t make sense at this point either.
2- Fatah and Hamas still have a lot to agrees on, and they wont.
3- There is no such thing as, people are not ready for democracy, it’s the system itself that’s not ready for it, not the people.
4- Until the system is fixed election in any Palestinian institution whether it was the PNC, PLC or presidential, it’s a waste of time.
5- I didn’t mention the Israeli colonialism because pointing the obvious will be a waste of time for us all.
6- This is not a call to boycott an election that will never happen, it’s just me practicing my right to write before it become illegal
7- The policies practiced by Hamas in Gaza, are also practiced by Fatah in the west bank, the opposite is also true.

Clean kill in Budrus

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Sameer Awad a 16 years old from Budrus village near Ramallah was shot 4 times during clashes with the Israeli colonialist forces earlier today.

In the video, Palestinian doctors try desperately to revive the young man, before they announced his death.
Eye witnesses said, a small unit from the Israeli army raided the village, taking position near the village school. As the students walked out from their final exams, clashes erupted with colonialist, which lead to the fatal shooting of Sameer.

The Israeli army shot Sameer 4 times in his legs, twice in the chest and once in the head, although their is no records about the shooting sequence, I think I can make a guess.
He was shot in his legs first, then in the chest twice, to finish the job with a bullet in the head.
It was a clean kill, a work of professional assassins rather than a scared soldier defending himself!.

This was just a guess, the most reasonable scenario I could think of. In the end, regardless to what I think happened, “facts will reveals it self later in the coming hours. The undeniable fact is a 17 years old was shot 4 times, by a highly trained soldiers while he was leaving his school.

Go a head, and justify that!

Update: Final medical report, Sameer Awad was shot 3 times from the back, legs, neck and ribs cage, which lead to his death.
Obviously, it was not the work of assassins, just the act of a cowered gunman.
At the same time the Israeli colonial forces said in their statement “Palestinian teenager that soldiers shot dead in West Bank had been part of group trying to damage the separation fence.so, let me get this straight, a whiteman structure is more valuable than the life of a native teenager. The Israeli are taking their colonial mentality to a whole new level

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3 Pictures for Samer Awad and his family in the hospital!

Remember Ayash

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Remember Ayash

I have complex feeling about Ayash, But he is without a question a remarkable man, you can not forget.
Yahya Ayash born in Rafat village near Nablus in May 5, 1966, where he study until hight school, before he move to study in Birzait university, where he studied electrical engineering to graduate in 1988, he got married, and had 2 children, he was assassinated in January 5, 1996.

Ayash In his short live, managed to be one of the most brilliant bomb makers the Palestinian resistance ever knew, he was specialized in making explosive from basic materials available in occupied Palestine. Ayash played a major role in introducing and developing what later became known among Palestinian as “Martyrdom operation” . The tactic was first introduced in Lebanon by the Lebanese resistance in the 80’s. Ayash managed to develop it, making explosive lighters, smaller, and more lethal. In 1994 Ayash changed his targets from the Israeli military caravans, checkpoints and bases to the Israeli civilians after he was given the green light from AlQassam leadership, as shock and anger overwhelmed the Palestinians after the Ibrahimi mosque massacre in which 29 Palestinians were killed by Dr.Baroch Goldestien.
Ayash revenge left 76 Israeli dead and 400 injured.

Many of those who will read this might see Ayash as a terrorist, others might see him as a hero. Personally I always saw him as the man who changed the Palestinian resistance forever, making it self dependent, and independent from the PLO leadership in Tunis back then. Add to that, all developments Hamas military wing (AlQassam brigades) reached in the recent years can be traced to Yahya Ayash work. He played a role in developing the explosive and drawing the blue prints of many of AlQassam current gadget.

Yahya Ayash said before his death, “The colonialist can uproot my body from Palestine, but I seek to plant something in my people, they can never uproot”
I think he did.