Robin Yassin-Kassab: Too late for two states

Reporting for Al Jazeera, writer and PULSE co-editor Robin Yassin-Kassab writes:

I saw Haneen al-Zoabi giving a lecture. She is the knesset member who sailed with the Gaza Flotilla and was so shabbily abused while attempting to give her account of events to Israel’s parliament. In Nablus, she spoke emotionally about the situation of Palestinian-Israelis, the descendants of those few who escaped ethnic cleansing in 1948.

Citizens but not nationals of the state (nationality is for Jews only), Palestinian-Israelis receive a fraction of the services offered to Jews, are forbidden from teaching Palestinian history in schools and are as likely to be victims of land confiscation as fellow Palestinians in the West Bank. Ninety-three per cent of Israel’s land is off-limits to non-Jews and half of Palestinian-Israeli families live below the poverty line.

I heard Jamal Hwayil speak. He was the leader of the Fatah-affiliated al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in Jenin at the time of Israel’s 2002 massacre there and now he is an independent member of the Palestinian parliament. He took a clear position on Palestinian division: “Political arrests are wrong. Wrong in Gaza and wrong in the West Bank. Political arrests have no place in a liberation struggle.”

A little later he added: “There can be neither meaningful negotiations nor productive armed resistance so long as the political leadership is divided.”

Read all of Yassin-Kassab’s “Too late for two states” here.

The Screen

Polizeiposten by Wilna Marianne Werefkin

There were no classes. Instead we marched down to the square and began to shout slogans. At first the teachers led us but soon we got into a group with no teachers and we could shout what we wanted.

Ya Blair Ya haqeer

dumak min dum al-khanzeer

O Blair, you are mud

Your blood is swine’s blood

It was hard to say the words because I was laughing so loud. Muhannad squashed his nose with his finger and oinked like a pig. 

Ya Clinton Rooh Amreeka

Hal mushkiltak ma’ Moneeka

 O Clinton Get to America

Solve your problem with Monica

That was the funniest one. Muhannad screamed in my ear about Clinton’s cigar and the Jewish woman, which was bad because a girl was next to me. He told me the story almost every day, but it was funnier this time, or maybe it felt like that because the tall girl was there and such a crowd was in the square. The sky was bright, although it was a cloudy day.

Continue reading “The Screen”

Defamation and Binary Idiocy

by Ali Farzat

To summarise: I have been smeared by a Scottish newspaper. Most of the words they attribute to me I did indeed say, but they have decontextualised and selected to such an extent that they make me say things I do not believe – for instance that September 11th was a good thing, or that the Taliban should take over Afghanistan. What follows is a rather long description of meeting the man from the gutter press, which I hope will set the record a little straighter. Yesterday, meanwhile, 33 civilians were killed by NATO bombs in Afghanistan.

I was doorstepped the other morning. A young man wearing a suit and an apologetic manner wanted to ask some questions on behalf of the Scottish Mail on Sunday.

What? Stumbling down the stairs in my thermal underwear, wild-haired and bestubbled, I dream for a passing moment that I’ve become as important to the world as Tiger Woods or Amy Winehouse. Perhaps even now press vermin are going through my rubbish bin. Perhaps paparazzi are crowding the front garden.

Alas, our aspiring hack, young Oliver Tree (for so he called himself), hasn’t yet graduated to the tabloid heights, and neither have I. It soon becomes clear that his mission is much more mundane, is indeed the everyday grind of papers like the Mail: to create outrage where there was none before, to smear, misrepresent and decontextualise, in order to strangle the possibility of real debate.

Continue reading “Defamation and Binary Idiocy”