Palestinians dismantle Israeli military roadblock

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In one of the swiftest and most decisive direct actions I’ve ever witnessed, a group of Palestinians, accompanied by international solidarity activists, descended on an Israeli military roadblock, smashed the lock, and then pushed the entire gate and concrete block apparatus down the hill. Pretty cool. And all before a single Israeli soldier could arrive on the scene. . . .

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Exploiting Lukas

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I’ve joked with other activist journalist friends about how we post so many political things on our blogs or Facebook that get no attention, and then one cute shot of Lukas cutely doing something cute and there’s 20 comments and 100 likes. So how to harness the viral potential of my infant son to raise political awareness? Lest I seem cynical, it was really just in the normal course of life here that people risking their lives to resist occupation love Lukas as much as anyone else, and I end up photographing them with him. So here’s some pictures of . . .

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Make Tea, Not War: Palestinians Serve Up Steaming Cups of Nonviolent Resistance

Mahmoud Ala'deen, who has been arrested for his nonviolent activism, offers tea to Israeli soldiers.

A common scene at the weekly demonstration against the Israeli separation wall in the West Bank town of Al-Masara.

Having photographed many demonstrations by now, it’s a constant struggle to make images that tell a new, fresh, story. It’s all too easy to fall into visual ruts, especially since the protests themselves follow very familiar patterns. An additional challenge is that though these patterns may be familiar and obvious to me, I know that many potential audiences remain completely unfamiliar with the contours of the Palestinians nonviolent resistance, and thus still need to see that basic story told. The . . .

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Merry (Cough, Cough) Christmas, with Tear Gas Grenades from Pennsylvania to Palestine

The week leading up to Christmas, I got to photograph two activist art projects in Bethlehem’s Manger Square. Both were Christmas trees, one made of barbed wire, the other “Wall Tree” was designed by Palestinian artist Rana Bishara to symbolize the Israeli separation wall. Both were set up in Manger Square at one of the busiest times of the year for international tourists, with the hopes of educating some of them about the realities that Bethlehem residents face living life under the Israeli military occupation.

As the photo shows, Rana’s “Wall Tree” was garlanded with barbed wire and ornamented . . .

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‘Nonlethal’ Weapons Kill (Another) Palestinian in West Bank Protest

Why do Israeli riot police tear gas guns have precision sights?

 

Three months before Mustafa Tamimi of the West Bank town of Nabi Saleh died after being shot in the face with an Israeli tear gas grenade at close range, this ominous tid-bit appeared near the end of a New York Times article on preparations for the Palestinian UN statehood bid (emphasis added):

Brig. Gen. Michael Edelstein, the chief officer commanding the paratroopers and infantry responsible for preserving order this month, told reporters that the army had equipped itself with a broader range of nonlethal weaponry. It has . . .

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Palestine’s ‘Freedom Riders’ Reveal Lesser-Known Side of Israeli-Style Apartheid

Israeli border police soldiers stand near an Israeli public bus serving settlements in the West Bank city of Hebron.

Whenever pro-justice and anti-occupation activists draw parallels between the Israeli occupation and South African apartheid or the U.S. civil rights movement, critics are quick to point out examples of why such allusions are imperfect. Of course, all analogies from one freedom struggle to another are imperfect. But one of the biggest difference between Israeli oppression and these other examples is that Israel is careful not to codify many of its most discriminatory practices into explicit laws. (Though even this is . . .

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Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Enters a New Season

On the last Friday of weekly demonstrations in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, activists confront Israeli settlers who have taken over part of a Palestinian home.

 

With all of the excitement about the J14 movement’s “March of the Million” (give or take a few 100K) in Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities this weekend, a minor historic moment passed with little fanfare among activist media in the region. The Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity movement, which has organized weekly demonstrations against the takeover of Palestinian homes by Israeli settlers in East Jerusalem for the past two years, announced . . .

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Thousands March in Jerusalem for Palestinian Statehood

There was a major solidarity demonstration of Israelis and Palestinians in support of Palestinians statehood this week. Here are a few of my best images from the event, followed by a news and commentary link round-up. Note that in this case, the Jerusalem Post article is far superior to Haaretz, so I’m not even listing the latter. The exact political goals were somewhat ambiguous (two-state or one-state? liberal Zionist or anti-Zionist?) but it was inspiring to see so many Israelis marching in support of Palestinian rights, often led in their chants by Palestinian marchers. Read the articles to get more . . .

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Romero vs. Qaddafi: ‘Stop the Killing!’

A Jerusalem rally in solidarity with Egypt. The sign reads: “Long live Palestinian-Egyptian cooperation against the occupation and American policy.”

I haven’t been inspired to write any commentary on recent events in Egypt and the rest of the Middle East beyond the occasional Facebook post. Maybe I will eventually. Pastor Alex Awad at East Jerusalem Baptist Church has had great sermons touching on these issues the last two weeks, and I hope to post them online soon. But heeding his challenge today to engage the news on these various events and not “change the channel” (I put this in . . .

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East Jerusalem Demolition for New Jewish Settlments

A building demolition in East Jerusalem has provoked international condemnation including statements by Secretary of State Clinton, and leaders of the UN, EU, and UK, due to plans to build a new Jewish settlement in the Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. The settlement will become one more link in a chain of Jewish enclaves encircling the Old City of Jerusalem, effectively cutting it off from the rest of Palestinian East Jerusalem and the West Bank. A few key facts in this particular case:

The hotel was declared “absentee property” by Israel after it captured and annexed East Jerusalem. The title . . .

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