Tag Archives: Israel-Palestine

Kristian Bailey on ‘Reports from Palestine’

by Kristian Bailey, ’14

Using Storify, Kristian Bailey provides readers with his take on a recent presentation by professors Angela Davis and Gina Dent. Kristian saw the two speak on the subject of Palestine, and shares the following account of their reflections on a visit to Palestine earlier this year.

View the story “Angela Davis & Gina Dent: ‘Reports from Palestine’ – Martha’s Vineyard 2012” on Storify

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The Pro-Israeli Cult

by Jeff Mendelman, ’09


“The international solidarity movement is a cult,” said Norman Finklestein recently, “Just come out and say it, you want the destruction of Israel.  You think you’re so clever, but you’re not fooling anyone.”  The BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement for a just peace in the Israel/Palestine conflict gets attacked, often, and with vigor.  But, that’s the opposite of how it should be; those who promote the status quo should get an earful.

Zionists are, increasingly, status quo advocates.  Why?  Because life as an Israeli Ashkenazi Jew right now isn’t too bad: there are jobs, natural resources, and security.

But, what about the people who live on the other side of the border?  What do they experience? In the Gaza strip, the unemployment rate for young people is as high as 60%.  The average yearly per capita use of water in Palestine is limited by Israel to 50 cubic meters of water, whereas in Israel citizens may use up to 2400 cubic meters.  And the Palestinians have to pay twice as much for their water, even though their GDP per capita is $1,000 per person as compared to Israel’s $30,000 per person. Continue reading

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Why I’m Protesting Israeli Independence Day

by Samar Alqatari, ’14

It happens every year in the middle of May: an extravagant celebration of Israel’s “birthday” in the middle of White Plaza, with a big tent, inflated balloons, a camel (real or inflated), falafel and other indications of Middle Eastern culture.  And every year in the middle of May, right across from that celebration, a group of activists shrouded in black, stands off to the side with signs protesting this joyful occasion.

Last year I was one of those activists shrouded in black, but this year, I paused and asked myself: do I really want to put myself in that position again? My peers casted their glances upon me as they walked by — some bewildered, some surreptitious, some with indiscreet looks of hostility towards me. And, in case I tried to cast aside the feelings of discomfort, occasionally someone would take a picture of me and share it, rendering my shame and persona non grata status permanent. But the most difficult part was seeing the faces of those passing by who knew meand did not approve of what I was doing. I could not endure the expressions of my Jewish friends as we experienced awkward moments of silent confrontation; do I wave? Pretend I don’t see them? Shamefully look away?

So, I weighed the pros and cons of standing there again on Thursday and receiving the same stares, hearing the same commands to leave, and alienating (and potentially losing) my friends. Continue reading
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