Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Photo post:
"I Saw it in Palestine" is now in the Middle East studying Arabic and not updating this blog for two months. But the blogger will be back come December. Until then, have a photo. In another week, another will be posted. And come back for more news about At-Tuwani and Palestinian nonviolent resistance this winter. Don't stop reading!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Action Alert from Jewish Voice for Peace: Free Mohammad Othman

On September 22, Mohammad Othman was arrested and detained by Israeli soldiers on the Allenby Bridge Crossing, the border from Jordan to Palestine. He was returning from a trip to Norway, where he was advocating for Palestinian human rights.

I have written to US President Obama, asking that he press Israel for his release. I hope you will do the same: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/301/t/9047/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=27938

If you want to learn more about Mohammad Othman, go here:
Women in Tuwani remove a road block....interactive art!

My dear friend James just made this for me
. Check it out!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Visiting Earlham College

Few days ago, I returned from spending some time speaking about Tuwani at my Alma Mater, Earlham College. It's always energizing to spend time with people who are thinking seriously about how social change comes about - and what we can do to be a part of it. So, a very big thank you to all of you. It was lovely to get to come back to a place that will always have a special place in my little activist heart.

So, in case you Earlham students are actually reading this now, I'm so proud of to be a part of the same struggle for social change. I know it can be a slow process, whether you in Richmond, in Ramallah or in Tuwani, so here's to keeping the faith. And if there's anything I can do for you (like, say, an alumni petition supporting an Earlham divestment campaign), or if you want to support Tuwani, let me know. Bet that wasn't what you thought they ment when they talked about an "alumni network."

PS: I know there's a podcast of me floating around. I'd love a link to it!

PPS: If you want to know what a guest speaker gets to eat (and it was really good), visit Crack the Plates! Just scroll back a few posts to numbers 8 and 9. And thanks so much, Adrienne!
Re-Post: Planting Patience

Check out my teammate Sam's new blog post about At-Tuwani's latest act of nonviolence. You'll be glad you did.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Protesting Olmert at U of C, part two: Inside with Ehud

Have I mentioned my love for Electronic Intifada? They managed to get a camera into the auditorium with Olmert. Take a look:

Protesting Olmert on University of Chicago Campus

"Shame, Shame, U of C, Palestine will be free!" Yesterday afternoon (October 16th), I stood in the rain in a crowd of two hundred who had gathered to protest Ehud Olmert's speech on the University of Chicago campus. The message of the demonstration was simple and clear: Ehud Olmert should be giving a speech at the Hague, not an academic institution.

Olmert, of course, was Israel's prime minister during Israel's bombing of Gaza last December. The United Nations recently found that Israeli authorities committed war crimes during their attack and has condemned the ongoing siege of Gaza.

And we in Chicago do too!

As a part of the demonstration, fifty students (hear that, 50!) attended Olmert's speech and countered what he had to say. I'm told that Olmert was hardly able to finish a sentence - when he talked about peace, students talked about his occupation and when he talked about academic freedom, students asked him where was academic freedom when he bombed universities in Gaza. (You can check out some great live-blogging from inside the hall from Ali Abunumiah here.)

This young woman whose name I didn't catch (and I'm so sorry about that!) told those of us outside that she stood up during Olmert's speech and held up the names of all of the people killed his bombing of Gaza. She clutched the names in her hands again when she spoke to us - over a thousand killed and Olmert responsible for them all.

It's always energizing to be apart of a demonstration like this. American Muslims for Palestine and the rest of the coalition that organized this event, including several student groups, did a wonderful job and deserve your support in the future! But I found myself moved as I thought o how Israeli authorities respond to nonviolent demonstrations like this one when they take place in the west bank.

Gather with signs and megaphones somewhere like At-Tuwani and Palestinians are met by Israeli soldiers. Those soldiers will likely declare the area a closed military zone and threaten everyone with arrest. Palestinians are beaten, shot, and tear-gassed in demonstrations like the one we took part in.

And that's why it is so important that we raise our voices and tell the world that we don't support apartheid, whether it's in South Africa, in Palestine, or when it's representatives come for a visit to our college campuses. We stand for peace and justice!

Here's is the local news coverage from channel seven. It's pretty fantastic for mainstream news, I think. Take a look and then send them an email thanking them for doing such a great job.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Peace Prize? Huh?

Last Thursday, we blew a crater on the moon, Obama was awarded the peace prize, and I went to bed with a headache. Let's just say that it was a weird day.

Obama himself said that he didn't yet deserve the peace prize and honestly I agree with him. When I am in Palestine, I hear nothing but frustration for Obama's unwillingness to do anything more than say the right things while Israel continues to build more and more settlements. Between this and the way that the Goldstone report on Gaza has been buried, the middle east peace process is stalled - giving Israel plenty of time to change the "facts on the ground" by building more and more settlements. Clearly, the Nobel Committee gave Obama this award to encourage future work for peace. I'm pretty sure this strategy will only work is everyone who greeted the announcement with a resounded "huh?" pressures Obama to really stand up for peace.

So who do I think should have gotten the Nobel? Well, if the committee really wanted to honor nuclear disarmanent efforts, then past nomaniee Mordechai Vanunu would have been an excellent choice. But I'm sure that none of you will be suprised that I know a small village in the South Hebron Hills full of people who deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. Take one man - we'll call him H. for his own safety. He was elected head of the South Hebron Hills nonviolent resistance organzing committee and has been beaten, arrested, and harassed for his work. If Obama gets a peace prize, H. certainly deserves it.