Illuminated Pages

Michael Palin, Robin Yassin-Kassab and Jeremy Harding in a 'qasr' near Ain Qenya, Ramallah
Michael Palin, Robin Yassin-Kassab and Jeremy Harding in a 'qasr' near Ain Qenya, Ramallah

Another fine LRB diary piece by Palfest participant Jeremy Harding. A visit to the al-Khalidi library leads Jeremy to consider “the war for control of East Jerusalem that Israel has been waging, slowly but surely, by non-military means.” More pieces by Jeremy are here , here, here, and here.

Haifa al-Khalidi says that she’s not a librarian. Fine. But the al-Khalidi collection on 116 Bab al-Silsilah Street in the old city of Jerusalem doesn’t pretend to be anything other than a library so maybe Haifa simply means she’s not a scholar, even if she’s now acquainted with a thousand rare manuscripts and many more works in print that are housed here. One of the first she shows us is a beautifully decorated Arabic translation of a work on poisons and remedies by a 12th-century Indian physician. (Later I learn it contains a tale about metabolic resistance and how it’s possible, carefully and slowly, to administer a poison to a subject whose antibodies enable him to survive, even though someone else who touches him will die. Actually, that ‘he’ in the story is a her, tanked up to become a poison pie and set before a king.) 

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Israel ‘using tourist sites to assert control over East Jerusalem’

The Judaisation of Jersusalem continues reports Rory McCarthy. Israel is using its well-known tactic of building tourist sites on falsified Jewish ‘historical spots’ to erase the past of the indiginous population. Unfortunately McCarthy’s own historical account of the Israel-Palestine conflict only starts with Israel’s annexation of Gaza and the West Bank in 1967, rather than extending back to 1948 with the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, which would provide readers with the context required to understand how that same policy has continued since.

Israel is quietly extending its control over East Jerusalem in alliance with rightwing Jewish settler groups, by developing parks and tourist sites that would bring a “drastic change of the status quo in the city”, according to two Israeli groups.

Ir Amin, a group working for a shared Jerusalem, said the purpose of the “confidential” plan was to link up several areas of East Jerusalem surrounding the Old City with the goal of asserting Israeli control and strengthening its claim to Jerusalem as its capital city. Israel captured East Jerusalem in 1967 and later annexed it, a move not recognised by the international community. Continue reading “Israel ‘using tourist sites to assert control over East Jerusalem’”

Israeli authorities ban Palestinian Cultural Festival

An Al-Haq press release reports on one of the many Zionist attempts to eliminate Palestinian cultural identity:

A ceremony celebrating Jerusaelm as the Capital of Arab Culture 2009 in the West Bank city of Tulkarem, 22 March 2009. (Mouid Ashqar/MaanImages)

As an organization dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), Al-Haq condemns the repressive actions taken today [Saturday 21 March 2009] by the Israeli authorities in banning peaceful cultural activities organized as part of the Palestinian Cultural Festival marking the declaration of Jerusalem as the “Capital of Arab Culture 2009.”
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