Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Festive Birzeit

On Monday we walked through the gates to find a circus awaiting us. Flags, banners, flyers, and posters covered nearly every square inch of ground, tree, stone, wall, buildings, grass etc. It was pretty unbelievable. And so comically silly in the overbearingness of it all. The parties were advertising themselves, but the majority of those flags, banners et all were all that garish yellow color, Fateh's party. There were some red flags (PFLP) and some orange flags (we have no idea) but it would have been a real skittle rainbow if the green flags of Hamas were there. As it were, the loudspeakers were out, and the students congregated in front of the student council building (which is so ratty by the way) to hear various speakers screaming themselves hoarse about the greatness of their parties and the changes it vows to bring about and why everyone should vote for them yada yada yada. It was pretty distracting, especially when you're in class in a far away building and still could hear the whistling and applause and reverberating voices. Now those are some quality loudspeakers. Now a normal person can infer from our tone about this subject that we are highly cynical about it all. The only two parties to win elections have always been either Hamas or Fateh. Fateh has been holding the position for three years now and students have seen absolute zilch from them. Striking to lower tuition costs is fruitless because the goal is never achieved. There are so many problems in Birzeit University that we can count off the top of our heads, such as: Incompetent/unqualified teachers, the issue of getting whatever you want because you or your family know a high-ranking personnel, the goddamn SMOKING that won't let up, inside or outside buildings (cafeterias are gas chambers), the rising tuition costs, the crap computer labs with their broken printers, the sheer fugliness of most of the students, and so on. Therefore, the whole charade of elections is a complete and utter farce, because those empty promises and vows are the backbone of them.

Tuesday classes were cancelled from twelve until two, where the customary public debate between the parties took place. We hung around for about two minutes to observe the crowd, who were standing crammed as if it were the Day of Judgement itself, before we took off to our peaceful sanctuaries.

look at those cute little Fat7awi umbrellas

UPDATE: Fateh won, because it's a one party election. And numbers as low as 43% have been estimated at the amount of student voters. That speaks volumes, dunnit.

Land Day & Global BDS Day

Palestinians commemorated the 34th anniversary of what became to be known as Land Day. In 1976 six Palestinian men were shot and killed by Israeli Occupation Forces after they, along with others, were protesting the expropriation and continued theft of Palestinian land by Israel. Tens of thousands went out to rally in the city of Sikhnin. In Ramallah, there was silence, since no protests or rallies of any form can commence without the permission and approval of the cowardly degenerate Palestinian Authority. Til this day, land theft is increasing at alarming rates, with plans for even more settlements popping up everywhere.
The names of the six martyrs

Today also marked the second global Boycott, Divest, and Sanction movement which has gathered impressive momentum since Israel's senseless vicious attack on the Gaza Strip last year. Speeches by key leaders and organizers (including Omar Barghouti and Hind Awwad) were held at a conference of some sorts in the village Salfit.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Links and Rants

Na3m, the Arabs are at it again- (We Need Order, Arab Summit)- and we don't have anything at all to say on this subject that hasn't been regurgitated a million and one times by the well-meaning folk of the Arabian Mother. They meet once a year (Sirit, Libya, is the place to be), enjoy the complementary food, the lavish hotel suites, whisper it, it might still be 3eib women, and all other earthly desires. Long-winded speeches are made to the half-assed attention of others, declarations are read, promises are prepared, and at least one leader gets his panties in a twist about some improper decorum inflicted on him by a more important, more self-righteous one. Of the couple of articles we managed to read concerning this subject, we found out that there is an honest intention to carry out the most emphatic, well-meaning course of action regarding the Judaizing of Jerusalem and the overall plight of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. Yawn. Maybe after the coming of the Messiah?

We all agree that Zionists and some Jews and some Muslims are opposed to inter-racial marriages amongst each other. What would you do if your pretty cousin fell in love with an Israeli soldier, convinced him that his world was wrong, ran off to marry each other, and subsequently got hunted down in the process? Rabbis would convince the soldier that a Gentile, and a Palestinian at that, is the snake that feeds upon the weakness of his emotion and will be the fall of him, his family, and the state of Israel, or some crap like that. The girl's family would probably execute an honor killing that has never before seemed as justified as it is in this situation. But no, realistically. How about a Palestinian worker fell in love with a Jewish girl from the nearby settlement, married her, and are now expecting their first child together? The girl has converted to Islam (or, invoking the wisdom of Dr Phil, got brainwashed in the process) and lives with her husband in his village, but they are constantly getting harassed by both the PA and Israeli religious authorities. We hope they both lead a long, happy, carefree life together. This isn't wishful thinking, it's optimism, something that's new to us.

Now we have come to this part of the year, where students will not be allowed to enter campus unless they show the guards at the front gate their hideous mug shots on their ID cards. Why, for sooth? It's....ELECTION WEEK! Time for another student council...or not. We hate how the political parties dominate these elections. The votes, roughly, are split 45/45 between the Fateh party (as-Shabeeba) and Hamas (Kutla al-Islamiyya). 8 percent goes to the PFLP party, and the remaining two percent are allocated over a couple of groups that no one cares about, and theres always that 0.023% that the other, unknown groups get. These statistics have been pulled right out from our asses. But it's something like that. This year, the Hamas party are boycotting, and are calling on all students to boycott the elections because so many of their leaders/members are imprisoned in the PA's jail cells. We won't vote. That's our policy. We most likely won't vote for anything during our measly lives. This week, banners and posters and balloons and demonstrations and debates and confrontations and fights and all other manners of festivities will dominate. Proof of the small-mindedness of the students. How about Unity for a change?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Good Shit

(clever play on words, no?)

We don't know why some Palestinians were so optimistic with the election of President Obama. US foreign policy will change when we become subjugated housewives, i.e never. One of our favorite rappers, Lowkey, delivers this sucker punch of a song so eloquently it puts the pizzazz in castigation. We luuurve.
"Wonder why I call it the racist experiment...that ain't gonna change with the race of the president"
Preaching to the choir ya kbeer!

NOTE: Not to be confused with the hardy har har song by Republican Ed Montana. Meh.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

Semantic Nature

We learn new things every day. In one of our classes-- Cultural Studies: Modern and Contemporary European Civilization (a university requirement)-- we've covered Machiavelli, Bacon, Descartes, and Locke. We're wrapping up Immanuel Kant now. Still, we can't help but flinch involuntarily whenever his name is called out. We HATE that word. Saying it in an Arabic accent doesn't help either.

"According to KANT, laziness and cowardice are the reasons for an illiberal mind."
"You are exactly the type of person KANT wrote about!"

Sheesh. Now, another word has been bandied about in a different class: cliticization.
We're the only ones who start giggling when someone else says that word in class.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The First Martyr of the Yet to Materialize "Intifada"

16 year old Muhammad Qadus was shot in the chest by a live bullet in Iraq Burin, Nablus today. He died shortly after arriving at the hospital in a private car, because the IOF prevented an ambulance from arriving. Every Saturday, as has been the case in the last few weeks, the settlers from the adjoining settlement of Bracha harass the people of Iraq Burin, from which they have stolen more than 100 dunums. At around noon, the settlers and soldiers barged in the village, with soldiers and their jeeps taking up strategic positions and chasing youth in the streets.

The honorable IDF defended this killing as usual, with their bullshit flowing freely:

"Contrary to what was published, live fire was not used. The Palestinians were hurt by rubber bullets used during the incident."

So doctors at the hospital made a fatal mistake in identifying a rubber bullet as a live bullet. Welcome, Bullshit.

"An Israeli military spokesman said "during a violent and illegal riot, dozens of Palestinians from Iraq Burin arrived in the area, inciting a provocation." According to the army, Israeli forces arrived at the scene to prevent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli civilians. Palestinians "violently hurled rocks at the force." "

Riots are illegal in this democratic nation. Israeli civilians, settlers, were caught up in this riot? And Palestinians "violently hurled rocks at the force"? Oh, the poor force must have been just devastated by those rocks! Especially when armed to the teeth with submachine guns and hand grenades. Another 16 year old Palestinian, Useid Abed An-Nasser Qadus, was seriously injured by taking one to the head. He's currently undergoing surgery.

We're saddened by the fact that the loss of a Palestinian life at the hands of the IOF is accepted so readily. It makes us gloomy. When Lina Nabulsi was shot and killed in her school uniform by an Israeli soldier back in 1976, the national outrage and horror stirred the Palestinians up. It made them angry. Nowadays, it's become an accepted part of life.
"Ibn fulan istash-had ilyoum."
"Yee, miskeena immo. Nawalni hal wusada warak."

We love the song inspired years later by Lina Nabulsi's death:

UPDATE: Sadly, Useid didn't make it. Another two Palestinians were shot and killed today. That makes FOUR Palestinians dead in the last 24 hours, all from Nablus. How many more until assertive action is taken up by Palestinians?

Friday, March 19, 2010

They Say: We've Explained Our Position...Now Get Out

What is this conflict all about? Religion? Land? Palestinians have no problem with religion. This may sound ground-breaking, but we are NOT Anti-Semitic. Do Zionists know what the hell a Semite is? Hi, we're Semites! Very briefly, the conflict is about war crimes (massacres, ethnic cleansing, etc) committed against an indigenous people, stripping these people of their basic human rights, injustice, lies, propaganda, unlawful detainment of Palestinian men, women, and children and so on. You get the gist.

Zionists have distributed this extremely racist publication to the folks in Jerusalem. It's so comical, we could cry.

"Call for all Muslims living in "Israel "

In this message, we would like to explain the view of Torah regarding non- Jewish inhabitants in Israel. Firstly, we say that all human beings were created by one God and every faithful man must be treated respectfully. Therefore, the view of Judaism is not racial nor inhumane! It is all about religion!"

Shall we infer that Judaism is NOT Zionism, and vice versa?

"The gist of our religions both is the belief in God, the creator. As we both believe, God gave us Torah which contains the duties and messages that we must achieve."

Ooh, drawing upon comparisons between Muslims and Jews! Could this be to pacify us for what's going to come next?

"As what Holy Qur'an says, there is no contrast between what Torah says and what Qur'an says. As faithful Jews, we must achieve our duties. In many parts of Torah, it is written that the land of "Israel" was promised to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their grandsons ONLY!"

The Quran says there's no contrast between it and the Torah? Which Torah exactly, the modified one or the one directly sent by God? Wait, we can't judge, let's leave that to the theologians.

"All the people agree that we are the grandsons of the ancient people of Israel, grandsons of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!!"

Jesus, you must be old. It's pretty funny, because these prophets are in all three religions, yet only one can claim ancestral heritage? The mind boggles.

"Moreover, it is written in Torah that this small land is a property of the Jewish people ONLY! And it is forbidden to let others live here permanently. It is also written in Books of Nevi'im (Books of the Prophets) that we were dismissed because we did not achieve this divine order!"

Lordy. In this day and age, a group of people can claim land they have no biological connections to at the expense of an indigenous population based on...a holy book? Superstitions? False beliefs? Messianic revelations? Notions?

"The Jewish people were dismissed and stayed outside their homeland for 2000 years. Now and after we have returned back to the land of Israel, as we were promised by Prophets; it is time for the Israeli people to achieve this divine order. So, we ask you to leave the land of Israel!!!"

Loving the exclamation marks. But since you asked so politely, the answer, forever and ever, will always be a resounding ear-shattering NO.

Stop spreading your fanatical words around, they do no good.

Read the full publication at

Picture of the Day

Palestinian students were prevented by Israeli soldiers from getting to school. The students had their classroom at the checkpoint. Resilience or what!

stolen from Mondoweiss

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Tuesday was the last day to register your name for the Palestinian local elections, provided that you are 17 and older and carry an Israeli-issued Palestinian I.D (haweeya). The elections will take place in July. We did not bother with the whole hullabaloo. Posters were hung everywhere around campus, sides of buildings were covered with gargantuan posters, and in each building on campus, a couple of students sat behind a table with an encouraging smile. Sure. Our votes are gonna rock the damn world. Oh, but we shouldn't take this pessimistic view, because if everyone feels that way then they might make a difference if they actually voted. The government in Gaza rejected these upcoming local elections, saying that reconciliation between Fateh and themselves should occur first. We remember the elections in late 2005, everyone was excited and the people around us were relieved and proud to vote for Hamas, since they were beyond fed up with the corrupted Fateh party. We're not going to discuss the political views of both parties, God knows we get enough of it from heated arguments between narrow-minded students around us, but just to make things clear, we are definitely not affiliated with any political faction. Palestinian unity yeah! It's a farce to vote while under occupation. That about sums our feelings up. Many elements come into play, but they're so obvious we're not going to bother depressing ourselves with recounting them. Democratically elected Hamas--leave the 'terrorist group' name tag to the idols of the marketplace (Bacon! We actually learned something here!)--was shunned by the international community and subsequently after over-throwing Fateh from the Gaza strip, collective punishment was imposed on the civilian population, which is illegal under international law blah blah blah. And the President extended his own term by a year. Democracy people! This is what it does to you. How dare you vote for such a party? Hmm..we might become Marxists now.

Erm...about that Intifada

At five A.M on Tuesday hordes of ultra-orthodox Jews entered the old city of Jerusalem and began waving Israeli flags, all the while celebrating what Palestinians call the 'Judaizing' of al-Quds. Israeli police surrounded the zealots as a means of protection, and an hour later Palestinian young men had gathered near the crowd, kept back by the police. The young men were shouting chants about liberating al-Aqsa mosque and tension between the two sides was growing thicker. The breaking point arrived after a new party of Jewish settlers arrived from behind the Palestinians, trapping them in the middle. The Israeli police force nonchalantly looked on as the settlers began to harass the Palestinians, and fights erupted. The Palestinians were out-numbered, and the settlers on one side and the police on the other obstructed their escape. Suddenly, one settler began firing his firearm, causing serious injuries to four Palestinians. The Israeli police finally managed to restrain the trigger-happy fool, and the Palestinians dispersed, but not before a good handful were arrested. The injured were prevented from receiving medical aid, and at around 7 A.M the old city welcomed its first martyr. News slowly infiltrated the rest of the West Bank and the world, and a general strike was called upon by the Palestinian territories. As the day went on, clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers became more frequent, and casualties began to toll higher. Thousands took to the streets in Nablus, Jenin, Gaza City, Bethlehem, Hebron, but in Ramallah, Abbas's security forces, in plainclothes and in uniforms, heavily patrolled the streets and took random people for interrogation. In Qalandia, Palestinians were involved in a series of altercations with the Israeli soldiers, which prompted the typical Israeli response of firing live bullets to nullify the 'destructive' effect the stones thrown by the Palestinians were causing. Palestinian anger reached a point that led masses to surround Abbas's headquarters, al-Muqata'a, with women leading and protesting in the front rows. Back in the old city of Jerusalem, the reopening of the synagogue witnessed delays caused by the confrontations by the Palestinians and Israelis. In the courtyard of al-Aqsa mosque itself, Israeli soldiers barged in and removed Palestinians by force, which led to a killing spree. At the end of the day, 23 Palestinians in Qalandia and in the old city were killed. Amid the international out-cry, Israel forced another curfew on the West Bank, this time sealing it off for an undetermined amount of time. F-16 missiles were directed at the Gaza strip, and sonic helicopters hovered in the sky without any let-up. The Palestinians in the 1948 areas congregated in separate areas at midnight, condemning the Israeli brutal attacks and lighting candles in vigil. Abbas has expressed sorrow at the downturn of events, and pleaded with Palestinians via a televised message not to get carried away and to give negotiations another chance. Meanwhile, protests erupted around the rest of the world--

HOLD UP. You want to know what really happened that day?

Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem, and clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers near the Qalandia checkpoint.

Have a nice day.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Remeber the Day: March 16 2010..a new Intifada?

We've been behind on posting, forgive us and we won't rant about our good excuses for being so. Lots of action has happened this past week. Tuesday Israel stuck a huge inflexible middle finger to Vice President Israel-Lover Joe Biden after announcing, on the same day as his visit, that a further 1,600 new settler houses would be built in East Jerusalem. Bibi saw nothing wrong with this, claiming that this move would not hurt the Palestinians in Jerusalem in any way. He's hardly delusional folks. Really. Friday after noon prayers witnessed protesters clashing with the Israeli police in al-Quds. The West Bank was closed for 48 hours, with the curfew lifted Saturday at midnight. Friday also saw an all-womens protest at Qalandia checkpoint, where the IOF were captured beating women. Today on campus the speakers came out, the great Intifada songs were blaring, and members of various student factions screamed in microphones about saving al-Aqsa and doing something assertive to prevent the Judaizing of al-Quds. Tomorrow, Tuesday, is toted as the ground-breaking day where a possible third Intifada might burst out. Israel is planning to lay the foundations for the synagogue (kanees il5arab) in the old city of al-Quds, with building plans to make the dome much bigger than that of Dome of the Rock, thus falsifying their claim to the stolen Palestinian land even more. The tension is REAL, it's pervasive, it's crackling. Surprisingly, there are quite a number of students at BZU who deeply care and understand the grave matter of this action. The rest of the Ay-rab countries sit back contentedly, catching up on the latest Turkish soap opera. There's no point in wailing WEIN IL3ARAB, they deserted us ya 7abaybi a long time ago. The long-time excavation of al-Aqsa mosque has gone unnoticed. al-Quds has been in danger for a while now. The continued colonization of the city and ruthless eviction of whole Palestinian neighborhoods hasn't raised not even a whimper from the international world, who are excelling in their role of complicity with the Israeli occupation.

What will this new Intifada, if it happens, mean? Could it be the beginning of the demise of Israel as an occupying, racist, and colonizing regime? Will the Palestinians finally unite and work together for justice? Will the land be stained with the blood of many Palestinian shabab? Will the spineless Palestinian Authority grow some balls or be replaced with a government that actually acts and represents the rights and interests of its people? So many questions brought about by a shady future...Our faith is with Allah.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Women's Day

Admit it. The first thing that comes to mind when you hear 'Women's Day' being touted out you think of an AA kind of meeting, where women sit around in one circle effusing praise for their femininity while at the same time asserting their rights to everything men can get away with. They're also plotting an ingenious plan to make the world a woman's one, which is not a bad idea at all. Bathrooms will never run out of toilet paper. Minus the likes of Condoleezza 'Kundara' Rice and Tzipi Facial Hair Livni and Margaret Iron Lady Thatcher, the world will be most likely full of more bitch-slapping and skanks, as opposed to war and terrorists. Plus each woman would adopt three impoverished children, protect the environment, and share recipes across the globe. This is not to deter from the meaningfulness of what this holiday-in-the-sense-you-don't-get-a-day-off-but-still-gets-its-own-name is about. March 8th is celebrated around the world (for those countries who give a flying hoot) for the emancipation and equality of women which has drastically changed over the last century. Duh. Women can vote, go to universities, run for President (SO glad you did not win Hilary, but every presidential candidate is cut out of the same cloth so eh to you Obama) and wail that they cannot juggle working and raising kids at the same time.

We must stress this point though. Just because it IS Women's Day the hard-laced librarian had no right to kick us out. All because she had to dash off somewhere to celebrate this day. We're not making this up. And since we've started, why the hell not carry on. Moving on to another library (the main one on campus) the dumb unhelpful incompetent male fool librarian (hehe) also had no right to make us wait for half an hour for another unhelpful incompetent male fool librarian who was supposedly out on his lunch break. Then to find out that that UIMFL (work with us on abbreviations here) actually went HOME is beyond aggravating. Plus walking in the heat back and forth multiple times to the ends of campus is extremely annoying. Stupid sun, don't shine so brightly on our day! And we don't need to listen to Egyptian heavy breathing on TV while standing awkwardly in the money exchange office! Or put up with the neighbor's heavy bass crap music! WHERE'S THE WEED TEA WHEN WE NEED IT!!


On Saturday one half of us got the opportunity to 'observe' and interject a few questions to the three members of Tashweesh, a Ramallah-based audio-visual group that kicks butt.

The group integrates the talent and interests of all three of its members. Aswatt, Boikutt, and Ruanne Abu-Rahme, the first two of the now disbanded Ramallah Underground and the latter who used to occasionally work with them, merged together to form this unique collaboration that incorporates samples of film recordings, archives, and sound productions to re-narrate the material.

Not sure all can be divulged here...just read the article about them in next month's This Week in Palestine!

Tashweesh will be giving their first full performance in Nablus May 3rd as part of PALfest.