Interview: Inside ANERA’s Projects in Palestine

By Jada Bullen and Marie Helmy

For almost two decades, Mohammed Abu Rajab and Rabah Odeh have been working in infrastructural development in the West Bank and Gaza as field staff for American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA), which focuses on meeting the development and humanitarian needs of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and refugee camps in Lebanon since 1968. On their recent trip to the United States to attend the annual ANERA dinner in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 7th 2016, Mr. Abu Rajab and Mr. Odeh were able to visit the Palestine Center.

“Night Raid” Exhibition: A Narrative of Palestinian Dignity and Resistance

By Jada Bullen and Marie Helmy

In the photographs, Bil’in residents stand on the threshold of the open doorway to their home–just as they would have done if Israeli soldiers were to knock on their door in the middle of the night. Yet, the images convey a distinct message – absent of fear and subjugation. Instead, the photographs depict families, fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters repossessing the dignity and humanity that soldiers come to steal away in the night.

The New York Times’ Jerusalem Bureau Chief Normalizes Qalandiya Checkpoint

by Lucian Dieterman

It is true that thousands of Palestinians make the trek from all over Palestine to pass through Qalandiya in route to Jerusalem and beyond, but this is not an average commute or even a commute of our own [American] understanding at all. The Times’ coverage of Qalandiya attempts to normalize military checkpoints, explaining them as furthering the “symbiotic economic relationship that is important to both sides,” as opposed to shedding light on the extreme burden and degradation that Palestinians encounter while crossing a checkpoint.

Burning the Olive Branch: Settler Violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

By Palestine Center Interns — Sarah Dickshinski, Abby Massell, Zoë Reinstein, and Mirvat Salameh

In an attempt to hold Israel accountable and inform the rest of the world, the Negotiations Affairs Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization maintains a “Daily Report” database that offers basic information about Israeli-Palestinian interactions that occur during a 24-hour period in the occupied Palestinian territories. Where the PLO report covers a range of incidents that take place in the oPt, the Palestine Center analyzes the reports specifically for acts of violence committed by Israeli settlers against Palestinians, forming the Settler Violence Project. We extract the time, location, and a brief description of the violent act from the database and then classify the violence into one of four categories: Assault, Assault on a Place of Worship, Raid, and Destruction of Property.

‘Gaza In Context’: Introducing Israel’s Settler-Colonial Ambitions to the American Classroom

By Palestine Center Interns — Sarah Dickshinski, Abby Massell, Zoë Reinstein, and Mirvat Salameh

Gaza in Context challenges squarely the U.S. and Israeli dominant narrative. By including Palestinian narratives, it counters the perception of Israeli victimization in the American educational system; therefore, the project is a crucial academic project that contextualizes Israel’s involvement in Gaza and situates Israel’s continuous aggression and siege within its broader settler-colonial ambitions. The project as a whole attempts to shift the discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in American classrooms away from Israeli hasbara and to nuance discourse on Palestine as an entity under Israeli military occupation.

The Plight of Child Prisoners: Israel’s Glaring Human Rights Violations

By Palestine Center Interns — Sarah Dickshinski and Mirvat Salameh 

In February 2016 there were 438 Palestinian minors being held in Israeli prisons and since this time the number of Palestinian child detainees in Israel has barely decreased. Victims of abuse and subject to harsh Israeli military laws that deprive them of their basic rights, Palestinian children find themselves part of larger system of inequality and oppression imposed by Israel in Palestine. Although Israel has been called out time and time again for violating international conventions protecting minors, its military forces continue to wage war against a defenseless portion of the Palestinian population.


The Rise of the Israeli Right and the Censorship of History

By Palestine Center Interns — Mirvat Salameh and Abby Massell

Benjamin Netanyahu has established the most conservative government in Israeli history that is responsible for launching multiple and brutal military assaults on Gaza, expanding illegal settlements, and pushing the declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. As leader and long-term member of Israel’s Likud party, Netanyahu has positioned the party away from its formerly secular and centrist position and toward hard-line right-wing policies. Aside from the surge in settler-violence in the last year, a recent decision to restrict access to Israel’s National Archives has created controversy among Israeli historians and human rights activists.

“Forbidden Colors” Coming to Light

By Palestine Center Interns — Sarah Dickshinski, Abby Massell, Zoë Reinstein, and Mirvat Salameh

This summer, Gallery Al-Quds presents “Forbidden Colors,” examining 30 artists’ responses to various forms of censorship or political pressure — specifically, the 1980 Israeli law forbidding artwork composed of the four colors of the Palestinian flag: red, green, black, and white. That the “forbidden colors” of the Palestinian flag still carry such a stigma indicates that exhibitions that bring exposure to this continuing issue are of the utmost importance. We are reminded that art is perhaps the most powerful tool of resistance and revolution, and the artists featured in this show exemplify this in the works they contributed.