oliverevolt – Kuds day in Kalandiya Checkpoint- in pictures

This is the first time I visited Ramallah.
The first time I saw its flamboyant houses, shops, and mall,
so much of it glamoring with the shining light of something brand new that is growing.
Some of the building were not yet finished, still under construction,
but I couldn't date back when they were started.
Some of the stone-built houses reminded me of the place where I grew up in, Jerusalem.
Sure they did: many of the houses in my neighborhood were built by Palestinians who fled during the war and were reoccupied by Israeli residents.
This was a chance to get to know their origins.
This was a hot day of Ramadan,
but I saw that the grocery shops were open.
Smell of burning rubbish filled the air.
We were just passing by on the way to Kalandiya Checkpoint,
where the planned protest was about to take place.
Many times in my life I was proud to call myself a daredevil, a fearless tough girl.

I did not feel like one today.

Fear inhabited, I've learnt
a little about what it means to be in a struggle:
rules can and will be broken, soldiers might go berserk, and of curse.

I might get hurt.
And when I say getting hurt, I mean I get hurt when I am arrested.
I was afraid that they will stop us from getting to the protest location.
This adds to the awkward feeling of arriving a new place,

a place that might not welcome me as I am used to be welcomed in the villages.

This brings me to appreciate and even admire the brave hearts of the young protesters :

one might never know what is coming.

The soldiers might use live ammunition, it did happen before.

We were in away prepared to be in a middle of a bloodbath.

As we approached Kalandiya,
the refugee camp I could sense a change in view : the street seemed packed with buses and people, and some of the houses did reproduce the image I had of what a refugee camp is supposed to look like ; those houses and shops were simply poor looking.
The crowd gathered around the checkpoint, holding Palestinian flags and signs written in English. The crowd   contained Palestinians coming from Bili'in and Nabi Saleh, as well as some international activists and a group of us, Israeli protesters.

There were also many cameramen, reporters and journalists.

The media becomes a weapon in this scenario;
the soldiers may avoid using full brutal force in dispersing the protests, knowing that they are being taped.

PressTV (Iranian official TV station) was also present.
Taking a closer look at him, he seemed like a big bully I did not want to be in cahoots with.
At first there was a prayer,
led by megaphones, seperated for men and women ,
symbolic in a away : It meant, we only bow to God, he is the only law we are bound to.


Protesters were holding Palestinian flags and signs written in English. I was  given a sign that said:"From Palestine to Baharain, Lybia, Tunis, Egypt with FREEDOM"..The Checkpoint stands by the graffiti covered concrete wall, and there is a huge watch tower in it : during the protest I could see the soldier that deployed it briefly gazing at me. There were also small merchants' stands bazza'are style, of people selling cool drinks and cheap toys.
A  few men beside me gathered some small stones and hurled them toward the shielded windows.

The crowd began chanting in Arabic,
I understood every other word: WE ARE NOT AFRAID, WE ARE NOT AFRAID,
Out, out, Zionist Thieves
Thawera (uprising), To Jerusalem we are heading,
Martyrs by the milions,
as well as the defamed Haibar Haibar ya Yahud – Jaish Muhammad
Sa'ufa Ya'ud
(referring to the Koran story about the killing of Haibar Jews).
The women went a head, chanting fiercely at the soldiers.
PressTV (Iranian official TV station) was also present.
Taking a closer look at their enterpertuar
, he seemed like a big bully
I did not want to be in cahoots with.

Luckily enough, this ended with no bloodbath
I saw some other people from my group that withdrew to the back.
Some of them I knew as very courageous people,
but this time there was some extra tension in the air.
I took a seat on displayed sofa at a furniture store, and became a subject of interest to the local boys. They didn't reacted badly when I said that I am from "Tel Aviv" ( some kind of code name to Jews that live in Israel but do not serve in the army and don't define themselves as Zionists).
Like fear, the colonialist patronizing feelings do overcome me: I wanted badly to be seen as a friendly face, I wanted badly to feel that I may help to  decrease the level of the not-unjustified hatred within the hearts of the people we occupied their lands. In my heart I feel that hatred is corruptive by nature and corrupts he hater as well as its subject. I wanted to share the suffering and fear that they endured, to carry some of that burden with me, I wanted to share the risk they are taking by going out on a protest but instead, this time I was behind, looking at the people running, trying to escape the tear gas. I saw ambulances rushing people that were hurt by inhaling it, anxiously honking.I've heard about two Palestinians who were arrested: one from Hebron, the other is Ashraf Abu Rahma, brother of martyred Bassem and Jawahar Abu Rahma, who himself was shot in the leg while being blindofolded and cuffed in Nialin.

I have this image in my mind of a war bound to international laws, to Geneva accord, a war that  one can gain honor and glory, a fight of equal titans.
Obviously this is not the war I'm in, between Zionists and Palestinians, that are no match by means of ammunition and resources, but what they do have is the morale support of the Arab world and their own courage.
I wish there was more I can do to even this equation,
We, the Israelis, already lost so much even if we think we won.
We already lost our dignity, our pride, our values.
I dare not speak about the Palestinian loss : they do it better than me.
The world should listen and know by now.

sleepless with Gaza

Some nights I have hard time falling asleep,
as I follow the time lines of people who twitter from the besieged city of Gaza.
I am trying to listen to the voices from that far-away so-close place called Gaza.
I find it hard to sleep as buzz goes on, carrying news of explosions,
F-16, Apachis,

The intensity of the twits sweeps me into it,
and I am feeling as vigilant as if my alertness could
possibly make some affect,
as if me being "watching" can change anything.
As if Gaza was a huge jail, and I could somehow
empower  the people who are sending twits live from Gaza by
amplifying their voices  as many other people in twitter do,

and deliver a message:
You are not alone.

The Israeli media tries to portray a bright picture of Gaza,
a city that enjoys economic  growth and better conditions,
following the opening of Rafah crossing.
But there are many sources suggest otherwise.

Data Corner: Movement of people and goods

Gisha access report reveals that there Gaza is still unable to export its goods and provide for its people due to Israeli restriction. That Unrwa can't implant most of the recovery and reconstruction.

On August 16th, a Palestinian boy from the refugee camp Al-Nusseirat ,
that had a mental disability according to his family, was shot dead  by the Israeli occupation forces as he approached the fence from a distance of 400 meters, according to PCHR report.
On October 16  IOF launched strikes on 3 of the main cities of Gaza Strip,
Rafah, Khan Yunis and Gaza itself, resulting with 6 people casualties.
Here are their names:

Names Of The Six Martyrs
, In the Last Attack On Rafah City :
1- , Malak Shaat.
2- Abu Awad Neirab.
3- Imad Hammad.
4- Khaled Shaath.
5- Khaled el-Masri.
6 Unknown young man

A twitterer from Gaza described it as an ongoing reality for the last several years,

as I  tried to veirfy data I picked from a facebook status,

saying Gaza was suffering ongoing IOF strikes on the past two weeks before the attack on the southern boarder.

On August 18, an armed attack of enemy forces

killed 8 Israelis and wounded many others.

Israel "vows payback/ retaliation" the media said.
As a blogger commented–  the term
"Retaliation" becomes obscure & vague once you can hardly tell what was before and what was after.
This "retaliation" have claimed the lives of 15 Gazan, including the
life of a 14 years old boy,
Mouhamad Abou Samra.
I just saw another report about a burnt body of a child that has arrived to
Al- Shifa hospital
Many women, elders  and children have been wounded as well.
All this comes at a time when the connection between Gaza Strip and the attackers haven't been fully clarified. It is unclear whether this attack is affiliated  with Al-Qaeda like groups in Sinai.
After the armed attack in the Southern boarder I was hearing some malicious joy coming from  individuals, Palestinians and Egyptians mostly.
I confess I felt reluctant. I remember the command,
not to rejoice on an enemy's fall.
Those people who were killed, they were civilians too.
I denounce and I shall always do hurting civilians.
I do believe that civilians should be kept away from carnage at all cost.
Death of armed once doesn't make me happy either.
Malicious joy is ugly, but my first instinct is to excuse it by saying there was very little sympathy for Palestinians' lost lives coming from the Israeli side. I also remind myself that victims are victims, whether they are innocent or flawed. Terror comes from both sides, but one side is the occupier, and stronger, and the other side is the occupied, and weaker in terms of ammunition and resources.

I feel so helpless, incapable to stop this storm of death, violence, pain and fear.
Despite the fact that I am agnostic there is one more thing I'd like to do, besides going to protest
against the Israeli aggression on Gaza:
I would like to pray in my own way, lie in my bed, chant mantra of peace for Gaza.

Photo by Mahmud Hams, AFP

ישנם לילות שבהם אני  חסרת שינה עם עזה.
אני עוקבת אחרי הדיווחים שזורמים בטוויטר,
כאילו הדריכות שלי יכולה להשפיע משהו על המצב.
  אני נסחפת לתוך האינטנסיביות של הקולות.
פיצוצים, חלונות שבורים, מטוסי F16, אפאצ'י, פצועים.
כאילו עזה היא בית כלא גדול,
ודרך הסורגים אני מנסה להעביר מסר ביחד עם המוני קולות אחרים:
אתם לא לבד.
התקשורת הישראלית מנסה לצייר תמונת מצב כאילו בעזה טוב יותר,
וכאילו עם פתיחת מעבר ראפיח, אין יותר סגר, והכל בעצם בסדר.
ובנתונים רשמיים שפרסמה מדינת ישראל.
אלא שנתונים כמו שפרסם ארגון גישה  מתארים תמונת מצב אחרת:
בעצם, אין עדיין אפשרות לתושבי עזה לחזור לייצוא כפי שהיה בשנים עברו,
בטרם מבצע עופרת יצוקה ולפרנס עצמם בכבוד. סחורה בקושי יוצאת מעזה,
ואחוז קטן מהפרוייקט לשיקום ובנייה מחדש שיוזם ארגון אונר"א יוצא לפועל.
ב-16 לאוגוסט תקפו מטוסי חיל האוויר
בתוך ריכוזי אוכלוסייה אזרחית,
ברפאח, חאן יוניס, עזה עצמה.
התקיפה גבתה את חייהם של שישה אנשים.
 בין ההרוגים היה צעיר לוקה בנפשו
שהתקרב 400 מטר לגדר הביטחון.
ניסיתי לברר כמה זמן נמשכות ברצף תקיפות  הצבא הישראלי ברצועת עזה.
מישהו כתב שבוע וחצי. משתמש טוויטר שחי בעזה
 כתב שהמצב הוא כזה מזה כמה שנים.
ב-18 לאוגוסט מתקפה של כוחות חמושים גבתה את חייהם של שמונה ישראלים ופצעה עוד עשרות רבים.
התקשורת הציונית דיווחה שראש הממשלה בנימין נתניהו הבטיח "תג מחיר", "תגמול".
כל זאת כאשר הקשר של הזרוע הצבאית של חמאס, ורצועת עזה בכלל לא הוברר דיו.
עד כה, גבתה המדיניות הזאת את חייהם של
15 אזרחים נוספים, פרט לאילו שנהרגו ביום שלישי.
ביניהם נער בן 14 בשם מוחמד אבו סאמרה.
אלא שבמצב כזה של אלימות מתמשכת, מה יכול להיות מתואר כ"תגמול"-
ומה כנקמה? מדובר במעגל דמים מתמשך שאליו נשאבים חיי אזרחים, בהם ילדים.
האם לפני התקיפה בגבול הדרומי היו החיים בעזה שקטים ושלווים?
האם מישהו יכול לצייר את הקו בין
 "תגמול/ תג מחיר" לבין אסקלציה, פרובוקציה שמטרתה
לעורר עוד תגובה?
משהו בתוכי נדחה  מקריאות השמחה לאיד של  אנשים
לאחר המתקפה באילת.
משהו בי דורש דרישה צדקנית ש"יגנו את הטרור".
משהו בי רוצה להצדיק,
 ולומר שלא הייתה סימפטיה רבה מצידנו לקורבנות הפלסטיניים,
ולמה שנצפה לזאת מאיתם?
הכיבוש משחית, ולא רק את הכובש.
 והרי אין בעצם קורבנות חפים מפשע וקורבנות שמגיע להם.
הכיבוש הוא לא נכון על פי החוק הבינלאומי,
 פשע היסטורי, ולא משנה בכלל אם הפלסטינים הם צאן קדושים או ברברים צמאי דם.
 בשביל לעשות צדק, לא צריך לאהוב. בשביל לאהוב, צריך להכיר ולהכיר אפשר רק אנשים פרטיים.
לא מושגים אמורפיים כמו עם, לאום,  גזע, מין
אישית אני מאמינה, בין הדברים הבודדים שיש לי בהם אמונה מוצקה, שיש לשמור על האזרחים מפני הדרדרות למעגל האלימות והקטל ואיני שמחה גם במותם של  חמושים.
.  אני מרגישה חסרת אונים מול כדור השלג המתגלגל של האלימות ושפיכות הדמים, וחוץ מלעקוב בטוויטר אני רוצה לעשות עוד שני דברים:  האחד הוא לצאת להפגין, להשמיע את קולי נגד התוקפנות הישראלית כלפי  אוכלוסיה אזרחית בעזה, והשני  הוא לעשות מדיטציה, בשקט, ביני לביני ולשנן מנטרות של שלום לעזה. שלום כאן. שלום לכל העולם.

Thawret Welad ElKalb- Sons of Dogs revolution

#Cartoon - Occupation soldiers are also protesting in the str... on Twitpic

We are Sons of Dogs.
Like Sons of Dogs
we followed Our
Alpha-male generals,
that kicked us
 abused our rights
yet as
beaten dogs do
we re-elected them
out of canine sense of loyalty.
 Our Alpha male generals
are leading us towards
one war  after another,
blood of both Arabs and Jews shed in vain.

But since the beginning of #J14
maybe there is a
spark of hope that shows we may be able to restore our dignity.

I am delighted to see Palestinian intellectuals taking part in the protest. 

I admire their noble, dignified, brave contribution.
I am delighted to see Abir Kopty on tent48,
Ouda Basharat, a great writer and journalist- former Al-Jabha member,
and the famous beloved writer Sayed Kasho3  making public speeches at the protests' assemblies .
Those honorable people make me think we can overcome
a system that doesn't work for us ;
recover from false conscious created by many years of Zionist indoctrination.
I am happy to see Hatikva (slum) residents,
people that are not usually affliated to the Israeli Left chant with the Palestinians of Yaffa: We refuse to be enemies.

I do realize that this tag stirs high emotional levels ,
that it provokes the Jewish developed sense of paranoia.
I think instinctively my first reaction would be a "Gewald Pogrom" shout-out.
I realize this tag includes a lot of hate speech,
but I also believe that the hate/ anger
  are already there- and not without any reason.
I think that having the anger, hatred, harsh criticism
surfaced may give us a chance to confront them,
dialogue and debate.
And perhaps not just argue & debate,
but also be motivated to do more than we do now
in a struggle for equal rights for people on this land.
Perhaps we can challenge ourselves with disturbing  truths,
points of view of people who hold us responsible
for all the evil doing of the occupation, as individuals.
Maybe we can learn to include them without going straight
to defense/offense mode.
My own experience taught me that interaction
direct interaction with the "Other" is a good way to be
cured from racism.
I truly believe that many of the fiery twits on that tag
are coming from Palestinian refuges from abroad,
that have no other
way to be engaged in Protest against occupation
but writing scorching fiery commentary
(see Ouda Basharat's article in Hebrew for more)
It's not that I think that this tag is all about antisemitism.
I can identify myself with a lot of things tweeted.

This week: 
on-going  IOF attacks on protesting villages as
Beit-Umer, Nabi Saleh, Nialin that were not denounced publicly by #J14 leaders.
RT : What do Palestinians want from Israeli leftists? Me: support for full equal rights.