Obituary: Farewell to Rim Banna, Palestinian cultural icon

First published by the Arab Weekly on 1/4/2018 Banna performed her music in a youthful, magical manner, which reached deep into the hearts of her audiences. Prolific legacy. A 2009 file picture shows Palestinian singer Rim Banna performing during a concert in Damascus. (AFP) I never had the honour of meeting Rim Banna or hearing …

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Bedouins’ endless suffering in Israel

First published by the Arab Weekly on 25/2/2018 How else does one explain replacing Bedouin villages with Jewish-only settlements? Unabated onslaught. Bedouin children stand on the rubble of two classrooms destroyed by the Israeli Army in the village of Abu Nuwar in the West Bank, on February 4. (AP) Descendants of the Bedouins who inhabited …

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Israeli sovereignty doesn’t extend to Palestinian territories

First published by the Arab Weekly on 21/1/2018 Israel is using its control of entry points to the occupied Palestinian territories to punish human rights activists and organisations. Fifty years after Israel took control of all of historic Palestine in the Six-Day War, it is taking a number of approaches to the sta­tus and laws …

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Palestinians should put more focus on their case internationally

First published by the Arab Weekly in 12/11/2017 The PLO should join more international bodies and conventions and use these to pressure Israel back to the negotiating table. If it is to make progress to­wards realising its people’s legitimate right to self-deter­mination in their homeland, the Palestinian leadership needs to take stock and weigh its …

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The Balfour Declaration: 67 words that changed the history of Palestine

First published by the Arab Weekly on 5/11/2017 The Balfour Declaration crucially omitted reference to the indigenous Palestinian Arabs who at the time made up 90% of the population. The British and Israeli governments celebrated the Balfour Declaration in London and Is­rael while Palestinians and their supporters marched in many cities across the world demanding …

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What better offer does Israel have than the Arab Peace Initiative?

First published by the Arab Weekly on 20/8/2017The last serious, sus­tained effort to bro­ker a deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians was made during the Obama administra­tion by then-US Secretary of State John Kerry. He tried over nine months to advance peace talks but his efforts met with failure and the breakout of the …

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Language discrimination, another blow at Jewish- Arab equality in Israel

First published by the Arab Weekly on 6/8/2017 Israel has been replacing Arabic road names with the Hebrew names.   The Israeli Ministerial Committee on Legislation recently approved a draft bill that would end Arabic’s status as an official language of the country, despite an Arabic-speaking population that includes 20% of the state’s citizens. This …

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Israel’s double standards about boycotts do not advance peace

First published by the Arab Weekly on 16/7/2017 It is quite hypocritical for Israel to reject BDS while boycotting others for taking legal and moral positions in support of the Palestinians.  Peaceful expression. An Egyptian man shouts anti-Israeli slogans in front of banners with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) logo at the Journalists’ Syndicate …

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Pro-Israel positions likely to continue with new British landscape

First published by the Arab Weekly on 2/7/2017 British Prime Minister Theresa May There are ques­tions with regards to what effects the snap elections have on British foreign policy towards Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. The Conservative Party, led by Prime Minister Theresa May, won 318 seats in parliament but that was eight seats …

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