My evolving manifesto: ‘Co-resistance before co-existence’

A Palestinian and a Jewish Israeli activist confront Israeli soldiers during a weekly demonstration against the occupation and separation wall in the West Bank village of Al Ma'sara, April 5, 2013.

I haven’t done much shooting since relocating to Oslo about two months ago, but I have been busy. One of my most recent projects was to represent Activestills at the Edinburgh Radical Book Fair on October 24. There was a gallery exhibition that displayed during the entire fair, and I had the opportunity to speak on Friday night while presenting slides and stories. The turnout was great, certainly 200+, and the audience was very engaged. I also had the honor of speaking before Raja Shehada, who offered some very kind words of affirmation after my talk. . . .

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VIDEO: Shooting an exodus in a dust storm

Pillar of cloud: A dust storm swirls over Iraqis fleeing ISIS-controlled Mosul at the Khazer checkpoint operated by the Kurdish peshmerga forces between Nineveh and Erbil province, Iraqi Kurdistan, July 23, 2014.

Like most photographers, I don’t have many photos of myself because I’m always the one behind the camera. So it’s always nice when one of your companions take a shot of you at work. In this case, a video shot by one of the Christian Peacemaker Team members that invited me along to document the insanity at Khazer checkpoint as thousands of people were fleeing ISIS-held Mosul. Also, there was this big-ass dust storm—which I think looks a lot worse on the video than it really was.

Aside from making me look all cool and collected in the face . . .

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Iraq: An exodus of religious minorities flees Islamist militias


A highlight of my time in Iraq was tagging along with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) as they made a visit to Khazer checkpoint. There, Kurdish peshmerga forces are regulating movement between Nineveh Province—where Islamist forces known as ISIS have seized control of Mosul—and Erbil Province—where Kurdish forces have maintained relative safety and stability while the rest of Iraq is in turmoil. I had traveled through this checkpoint several times while visiting other parts of Nineveh Province outside of ISIS control, but this was the first time I could get out of the car and meet at least a few of the people streaming through this bottleneck. . . .

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10 years since the Israeli wall declared illegal, debunking persistent myths


Though obscured by the ongoing massacre in Gaza, a recent milestone in Israel’s flouting of international law was the 10th anniversary of the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) declaration that Israel’s separation wall is illegal. Yet even after 10 years, myths about the wall’s rationale and route continue to proliferate in Western media. …

The repeated claim that the wall stopped suicide bombings is rooted in a logical fallacy which wrongly assumes that correlation proves causation and ignores more significant factors that explain the drop in attacks.

As early as 2006, Haaretz, citing Shin Bet sources, was reporting that:

. . .

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In Iraq with Gaza on my mind: What ‘no country in the world’ should tolerate

A child stands  amid the rubble of the destroyed Al Dalu family home, Gaza City December 3, 2012. Ten members of the Al Dalu family were killed, as well as two neighbors, by an Israeli air strike on their three-story home on November 18, 2012. Four of those killed were children, and four were women.

I got sick of hearing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his spokespeople repeating the specious line that “no country in the world” would agree to live under the threat of rockets from Gaza. As if that threat somehow excused the overwhelming violence that his military was unleashing on so many innocent civilians. So I wrote this essay for +972 Magazine, accompanied by photos of past Gaza bombardments and the current situation in Iraq. Check it out. . . .

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VIDEO: Bethlehemites deported to Gaza after 2002 church siege

An Israeli tank occupies Bethlehem's Manger Square in front of the Church of the Nativity in 2002.

My first visit to Palestine was a little over 12 years ago, just days after the end of the siege of the Church of the Nativity by Israeli forces. Following the siege, 13 Palestinians were exiled to Europe and 26 to the Gaza Strip. In my last visit to Gaza this year, I happened to meet some of the Bethlehemite deportees as they rallied in front of UN offices to present a similar petition to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. In this video, spokesman Fahmi Kanan explains the situation faced by Bethlehem deportees in the open air prison that is Gaza. . . .

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A sample of my ‘Keef Gaza?’ exhibition


One of my last projects for the Alternative Information Center was a photo exhibition titled, “Keef Gaza? (How’s Gaza?)” which opened on June 10 but as far as I know is still hanging in their lecture hall for the time being. The title and the concept came from the phenomenon that because so few Palestinians (or foreigners) outside Gaza are able to visit, the first question I’d hear after mentioning that I’d been there was usually, “how is Gaza?” A broad question because so little gets told about the coastal enclave other than occasional escalating violence from Israel . . .

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Israeli forces destroy a family’s 1,500 fruit trees


The sign at the entrance to the Nassar family farm reads, “We refuse to be enemies.” In 2000, they named their land Tent of Nations and launched a program “to bring people of various cultures together to build bridges of understanding, reconciliation, and peace.” They invite youth from around the world, especially from areas of conflict, together for face-to-face interactions and host solidarity movements, churches, youth organizations, and tourist groups, each year—many of whom come to volunteer on the farm. Though they’ve been fighting a legal battle to resist confiscation of their land by Israeli authorities since 1991, they . . .

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Another Palestinian shot in Gaza’s border zone


In my visit to Gaza in February, I visited the family of a Palestinian worker who was shot and killed while salvaging building materials near the eastern border with Israel. As I reported at the time, such shootings are part of an ongoing pattern of Israeli military shootings of unarmed civilians who pose no threat that would even remotely merit a lethal response. During another recent visit to Gaza, I met with another worker who was shot. Fortunately, this time the injury was relatively minor, and the worker, Nizar Abdallah Al-Wan, is expected to make a full recovery. He’s . . .

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Nakba commemorations and clashes from Gaza to Galilee

Children from Aida Refugee Camp carry keys symbolizing the right of return toward the Israeli separation wall during a Nakba commemoration event, Bethlehem, West Bank, May 14, 2014.

During this year’s Nakba Day commemorations, I was able to attend events in the destroyed village of Lubya in the Galilee region in the north, Maghazi Refugee Camp in Gaza, Aida Refugee Camp in Bethlehem, and a march to the Green Line in the West Bank village of Al Walaja. For those unfamiliar with Palestinian history, the Nakba, Arabic for ‘catastrophe,’ is the term given to the forced displacement of some 750,000 refugees from 500 Palestinian communities by Zionist militias before, during and following the 1948 War. . . .

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