news & thoughts this morning

Ramallah streets seemed quiet yesterday. Lots of businesses closed, though not all. As I walked through downtown I could hear people chatting and I would hear Mahmoud Darwish’s name uttered on the lips of many people I passed by. There are new posters around town (pictured above) preparing for today’s funeral. The schedule keeps changing and it is a bit confusing, but it seems that Darwish will be arriving shortly to the Muqata’a in Ramallah and there will be a public azza at the Cultural Palace. Supposedly people are already gathering there just now. The funeral is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of people from all over–all over except Palestinians from outside who cannot get in, Palestinians from Gaza who cannot get in. Contrast this funeral with the one that is being held today for Ghassan Abu Tir who brilliantly managed to find a way to use a Caterpillar bulldozer for resistance. But Israeli media is reporting that they are limiting how many people will be allowed to attend his funeral.

I was wandering all over Ramallah, Al Bireh, and Qalandia yesterday because I was trying to find a rental car to help me move up to Nablus today. It seems that almost no one had cars for rent with Palestinian license plates. But that is the only kind I can rent if I want to make it through Huwwara checkpoint. Finally I found a place in Al Bireh that had one such car. Notice (if you look closely in the photograph above) that the white and green license plate is which I am referring to. These are the cars that are only allowed on Palestinian roads, making the trip a great deal longer, as opposed to the Jewish-only roads where settlers and Israeli Aggressive Forces drive.

Separate roads is the least of the racism here, though. For anyone who had doubts about Zionism = Racism here is a story that ought to convince you:

A Palestinian resident of Ras KarKar, a West Bank village located near Modiin, claimed Wednesday that a Jewish settler tied his 17-year-old son to an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) and dragged him through an olive grove.

According to Hafez Nupal, on Monday at around 6 pm he and his son were working in their fields when two settlers riding an ATV approached. “One of them yelled ‘what are you doing on this land? God gave us this land and no Arab dog will set foot on it’,” he recounted.

Compare this story with that of James Byrd, Jr. who was lynched in this way in Jasper, Texas over a decade ago:

On the evening of June 7, 1998, James Byrd Jr. disintegrated on a country road outside of Jasper, Texas.

Three young white men, all with ties to white supremacist organizations, accosted Byrd, beat him, chained him to the back of a pickup truck, and dragged him for two miles. His head was severed from his body by a concrete culvert. What was left of his body they dumped in front of a predominantly black church.

James Byrd was an unlikely, unwilling martyr. He was not an outspoken leader in the community of 7,000-plus people. He was just a man walking home.

There is a good documentary on Byrd’s context, by the way, called Two Towns Jasper, from which the above quote was taken.

One final thought for the day. الفلسطينية reports that there is collusion between Israeli corporations and Jordanian and Iraqi corporations in Iraq. (It bears repeating: note to Syria: this is what normalization brings you.)

Israeli Companies in Iraq

New TV reported on a slew of israeli companies working out of iraq. i did some research and it turns out that Maariv, an israeli newspaper, listed the number of israeli companies in iraq between 70 to 100. New TV had also reported lebanese and jordanian businesses were cooperating with these israeli companies as well (so much for boycott). someone is indeed making a lot of money…

this is of course, is not news. the occupation continues in both iraq and palestine…

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