Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Travel Story - Black Sea

Black Sea - Images by Quique Kierszenbaum

Black Sea, Sealing aboard the Silver Wind, September 2010.
Embarking the Silver Wind in Istanbul, Turkey. Visiting Batumi, Georgia, Sochi Russia, Yalta, Sevastopol and Odessa  Ukraine, to disembark back in Istanbul.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Marcha en silencio por los desaparecidos, Montevideo

Esta tarde, a las 18 hs, desde Rivera y Jackson hasta la plaza Libertad...marcha en silencio, como desde hace 17 años cada 20 de mayo...porque TODOS SOMOS FAMILIARES

 Por un futuro sin impunidad/ Verdad y Justicia.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Nakba is part of Israel's history

Lifta, Jerusalem

A person who understands that an Arab citizen should not be forced to sing 'a Jewish soul still yearns' should be expected to let that citizen commemorate the Nakba without having to pay for it.
Haaretz Editorial,May.15, 2012

"I don't expect an Arab national to sing 'A Jewish soul still yearns,' Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said two months ago, after Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran refrained from singing the national anthem. Although the message was conveyed to Joubran indirectly, it reflected Netanyahu's understanding of the fundamental contradiction underlying an anthem that addresses only one people, the Jewish one.

Yet such an understanding is nonexistent when it comes to remembering the Nakba, or "catastrophe" - the Palestinians' term for what happened to them when the state was founded in 1948. This is the tragedy of hundreds of thousands of refugees and their millions of relatives, for whom May 15 - the day the establishment of the State of Israel was announced - symbolizes the day they lost their land, property and status.

The historic controversy over the responsibility for the Palestinian people's tragedy is still pending. It will continue to hover over both nations, and its explosive potential will continue to grow as long as the conflict is not settled at the negotiating table.

But washing our hands of the responsibility for the Palestinians' suffering should not mean revoking the right to remember it. Nor is it supposed to prevent us from empathizing with the suffering of the other nation living in Israel.

The tremendous effort that the state puts into wiping out the Nakba's memory is astonishing and outrageous. The Nakba has been scoured from textbooks, and Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar has "suggested" that Tel Aviv University reconsider holding the Nakba Day ceremony it had planned. Does the government really believe that thwarting a commemoration ceremony, imposing a ban on teaching the Arab chapter in Israel's history, and passing laws that forbid empathy with the Nakba will erase the tragedy from memory? Will the state's expression of grief for the refugees' suffering really shatter Israel's right to exist? And why shouldn't the state allow the uprooted villagers of Ikrit and Biram, who are citizens of Israel, to return to some of their land, which has been abandoned and unused for decades?

A person who understands that an Arab citizen should not be forced to sing "a Jewish soul still yearns" should be expected to let that citizen commemorate the Nakba without having to pay for it and without being denied government funding. Nakba Day does not belong only to the Arabs; it is an inseparable part of the story of Israel's revival.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Firing Zone 918 - South Hebron Hills

For over a decade, the residents of twelve uniquely traditional Palestinian villages in the area of Masafer-Yatta in the south Hebron hills have lived under the constant threat of demolition, evacuation, and dispossession. Israel had declared their area of livelihood a "Firing Zone" and in 1999 issued evacuation orders to remove the inhabitants of the villages, claiming that they are nonpermanent residents and ignoring their ancient culture of husbandry cultivation.
The evacuation was halted by a interim injunction issued by the Israeli High Court of Justice (HCJ) in the year 2000 and in response to two petitions filed by the residents. Since then, repeated requests for extensions by the State Attorney's Office prolonged the proceedings for many years, leaving the petitions pending with the interim injunction still in force. Recently, after years of stagnation, the case has reawakened leading the Minister of Defense to formulate an official position on the matter, which will be submitted to the Court by May 17, 2012.
The State's insistence on evacuation of Firing Zone 918 in part or in whole, if acceptance by the HCJ, might result in an immediate humanitarian disaster for almost two thousand souls, the destruction of villages, and the eradication of a remarkable way of life that has endured for centuries.

Palestinian cave dwellers caught in Israel's crossfire - The independent
Cave-dwelling Palestinian farmers facing eviction from homes - Telegraph

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Back to the streets for social justice

Around 500 people went back to the streets of Jerusalem to demand social justice and to protest the new national unity government just formed in Israel. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Ruth Danon at Barby in TA

Last week I had the chance to enjoy a great performance by Ruth Danon and her band, an extremely talented group of young musicians at the Barby in Tel Aviv.
It is great to see the courage to go on stage and take the challenge to perform mainly original music written and composed by Ruth and her friends .