A ‘day of rage’ against Israel’s plan to displace Naqab Bedouin

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Palestinians in the West Bank marched in solidarity with Naqab Bedouin threatened with displacement by the Israeli government’s Prawer Plan. Three mini-buses and several cars of activists organized by leaders from the Popular Resistance Committees departed from Al Bireh municipality Saturday afternoon, arriving at the Israeli settlement Bet El near Al Jalazun Refugee Camp. The activists approached the settlement’s gates, hung banners denouncing the Prawer Plan, which would displace some 30,000 Bedouin citizens of Israel living in so-called “unrecognized villages” in the Naqab (Negev) Desert and forcibly relocate them to planned communities.

See more images on the AIC, plus . . .

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Seven years of nonviolent resistance in Al Ma’sara

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I’ve covered the protest against the Israeli separation barrier in the West Bank village of Al Ma’sara more than any other weekly demonstration. It’s usually a rather modestly sized gathering, for a variety of possible reasons I won’t speculate on here. But recently, on the seventh anniversary of Al Ma’sara’s popular struggle, the march swelled to more than 200. My photos illustrated articles by journalists from +972 and AIC who covered the event in detail.

From Haggai Matar’s report for +972:

Construction of the fence in this area was in fact halted about four years ago, leaving behind only . . .

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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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Cautious Optimism and Wet Blankets on Israel’s ‘Social Justice’ Protests

A protest leader at the weekly solidarity rally in Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem—not to be confused with the ‘social justice’ demonstrations taking place all over Israel.

I still don’t know what to think about Israel’s so-called “social justice” protests that are dominating the news here. I’m seeing a lot of headlines about this movement as the resurrection of Israel’s left, marginalized by the current hard-line government, now emerging with a more populist message. Here’s the NYT take:

“The left has risen back to life,” Shai Golden, deputy editor of the newspaper Maariv, said in a column on Sunday. “It . . .

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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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Cracks in the Media Narrative on Israeli-Palestinian Violence?

It’s not fun reading multiple news sources from the Middle East on a daily basis. But one key lesson of media analysis from the likes I.F. Stone and Noam Chomsky is that even by reading enough mainstream media the “truth” can slip out. I’m no Beautiful Mind schizophrenic looking for secret messages in the newspaper. But it is discouraging to read over and over again the prevailing media narratives of Israelis-only-as-victims and Palestinians-only-as-terrorists—and therefore mildly satisfying when a mainstream source like The Jerusalem Post slightly more accurately reflects the reality on the ground.

Today’s headline reads, “Border Police set . . .

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Immigration Rally Photos: March for America

I’m still learning the happy medium between getting photos posted right away after an event, and doing a good job of retouching, keywording, and captioning at the same time. But I did want to get some posted on the Sojourners blog at God’s Politics, so here’s a link to that post. And here’s a slide show link. And here are some of my favorite shots from the day:

 

 

 

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