Monday, July 26, 2010

Justice sought over Jerusalem shooting

What's the worst that could happen? Oh, yeah...

I know it has been ages since I posted and I don't know if anyone still reads this blog, but I have a story to tell that is just heartbreaking. Ziad Jilani, the husband of one of my closest friends was killed by the Israeli border police in Jerusalem on Friday, June 11. He drove his car into a neighborhood where kids were throwing stones and it looks like his car was hit and he lost control of it and swerved toward the border police. When they started shooting, he ran for his life, but he was shot several times and fell to the ground. Instead of arresting Ziad at that point, one of the police walked up to him and shot Ziad in the face and body. He never had a chance to explain or defend himself.

My friend is an American like me, who moved to Jerusalem years ago to live close to her husband's family. They have 3 lovely daughters, all US citizens, who are now fatherless. Ziad was a good man. he was a dedicated family man who always put his family first. It was so refreshing to see a married couple who were still so much in love after so many years and I can't even begin to imagine how Moira will cope with the loss of this wonderful husband and father. She has permanent resident status in Jerusalem, and plans to stay in Jerusalem and continue to raise her daughters here.

To compound this terrible tragedy, the initial press reports were calling Ziad a terrorist. He definitely was not, he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. His wife Moira filed a case in the Israeli courts, but Palestinians, and even pro-Palestinian Americans have gotten little justice from Israeli courts.

Al Jazeera English finally did a piece on Ziad today, and I wanted to share it with you, but blogger has changed and I can't figure out how to embed a YouTube video here. I will try to do it from YouTube later.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

on the sunny side

After my last post, my younger daughter said "People who read your blog will think our yard is so beautiful." She is a "the glass is half empty" sort of person. There are ugly bits for sure, but why would I concentrate on them? She sees mostly the mud and weeds.

But I love the lush greenness of spring. I love the weeds.

If you get down close, they are spectacular. (The picture below was taken from under the tree in the picture above.)

There is this ugly fence all around the front yard. I try to keep it out of my pictures most of the time. See that bush hanging from the wall on the right?

It grows there every year, right out of a crack in the wall.

The flowers are amazing. In 2 months it will look entirely dead, but it will grow back next spring, inshaAllah.

I have been trying to get a good shot of these blue flowers for years, but I have such a hard time convincing my cheap, point-and-shoot camera to focus on them.

One is almost in focus! These flowers are about the size of my little fingernail.

There are so many cool shapes. Look at the little heart shaped seed pods.

Weird and cool.

Some of the flowers are bigger, and it is hard to believe they are wild.

This definitely is a weed, it has vicious thorns on the tip of each point on the leaves, but the pattern is cool.

So I have to be careful of those while I am roaming around trying to get eye level shots of tiny flowers.

I have a horrible time with the yellow and white flowers. They are always over exposed.

So I have to darken the pictures a lot to get any detail in the flower.

And the majority of the flowers are yellow.

I have tried taking the pictures on a cloudy day, but the white still over exposes.

Like so....

See these big leaves? That's khubaysah. The leaves are cooked and eaten, a spring treat my husband loves. I usually wander around taking pictures while I am picking the leaves.

Umm Farouq mentioned khubaysah in a recent post, so I made a point of getting a picture for her. It grows all around the trunks of the olive trees. It doesn't seem to like growing in the open as much. I wish you could come pick some with me Umm Farouq. There is more than I can use.


wa alhamdulillah.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I am still here

I don't know how to begin. I feel like I ought to write some long, angst-y explanation of why I suddenly stopped blogging but I don't feel up to it. I get the blues and withdraw from the world sometimes. Thank you to each of the lovely people who wrote comments to ask where I was and if I am ok. Sorry but I don't think I will respond to each of you individually. Will you forgive me if I offer you a few pretty pictures?

I have been mostly looking at spring through my windows this year. This is the view from my bedroom window.
I really need to get out more, get a little fresh air and sunshine. Today was beautiful, and since the next couple days have rain forecast, I figured I ought to have a look at my yard while I can.The plum tree by my kitchen window has started to bloom. I can't look at those flowers and not feel cheered.
The garden is full of weeds and badly in need of some TLC. Those geraniums should have been pruned back last fall. I hurt my knee in October and haven't done a bit of yard work since.
Things are springing up all over the place. These snapdragons grew by themselves in the crack between the house and the sidewalk.My camera's batteries need replaced. They don't hold a charge for very long. I charged them over night and then ran around the house snapping pix quickly before the batteries went dead.I don't know why but I can't get a good picture of how the wildflowers look except as closeups.

What just looks like grass in this picture contains thousands of tiny flowers.The cat divides his time between chasing butterflies in the flowers and waiting at the door for my husband to feed him.
Stupid kitty.This all will need to be dug by hand. The plow can't get in these narrow parts of the yard without trampling the plants I want to keep.
Everything looked pretty today.The field behind the house is full of pretty red flowers, but they don't grow much in my yard. I love to look at them, but it never looks as nice in the pictures.Luckily, my youngest picked me a hand full of them on his way home from school, right before my batteries went dead. (The color here is totally wrong. They are a deep, true red.)
Bye for now. InshaAllah it won't be another 6 months before I post again.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Jerusalem is now

This article is from Al-Ahram Weekly, but I found it at the Palestine Monitor. I don't recommend that you follow the link to the Al-Ahram site, because Google says that the site has had some sort of malware that downloads from it. Anyway, I liked this so much that I decided to print it all here instead of just linking to it. It's all about delay tactics. The goal seems apparent, to delay making "peace" until the older generation that remembers the nakba is gone, so that no one is left to say, "that was my house, there is my home." They think the old will die and the young will forget. Do they think that Jews spent centuries saying "next year in Jerusalem," but Palestinians will forget in a generation?

Jerusalem is now
Al-Ahram Weekly Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi MP
26 September 2008

One doesn’t need to be an expert in the so-called "peace process" to know that Israel’s aim for the past 40 years has been to deny the Palestinians their rights. Having failed to break the backbone of the Palestinians and end their resolve to resist, Israel resorted to delay tactics. When not postponing urgent issues, it tried to empty from them all meaning. Thus the idea of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state was diluted into that of creating a self-rule entity, shorn of any real authority, over fragmented patches of land.

This is what the Oslo process managed to produce over the past 15 years or so. The number of settlers in the occupied territories has doubled. A wall of racial segregation has been erected. The West Bank has been cut off from Gaza. And Jerusalem is now surrounded on all sides and stranded, with little or no connection to other Palestinian areas. When negotiations resumed, Israel tried to impart legitimacy on its major settlements, refusing to discuss the matter of the refugees and insisting on postponing any decision on Jerusalem. Meanwhile, the Israelis tirelessly tried to change the face of Jerusalem, building settlements inside and around it, altering and Judaising it by the day.

Israel is now suggesting a Palestinian state with "interim borders". In return, it wants the Palestinians to give up, effective immediately, the right of return of the refugees. Israel also wants the Palestinians to cede claims to large swathes of their land — land that has been gulped up by settlements, land surrounding the Dead Sea, land in the Latrun villages (Imwas, Yalu, and Beit Nuba), etc. Israel is not in a mood to discuss Jerusalem right now. But it is in a good mind to build more settlements inside and around it.

Israel may be changing its rhetoric, but not its tactics. Instead of opposing a Palestinian state, it is willing to accept a state that has no sovereignty to mention. Instead of keeping every single settlement it has created on Palestinian land, it is willing to pull out 3,000 settlers, leaving 450,000 in place.

Everything Olmert and Barak have said so far suggests that they want to transform Jerusalem beyond recognition. The Jerusalem we all know is not the one they have in mind. The Jerusalem of Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Mount of Olives, Salwan, Al-Issawia, and other parts of the old town, is about to look very much like the neighbourhoods that have sprouted all around it: Izariya, Abu Dies and perhaps Beit Hanina.

Every time Palestinian negotiators give an inch, Israel takes a mile; the Oslo Accords are but a case in point. It is fine to negotiate, but not when negotiations undermine the very basis of international resolutions and norms. UN resolutions — backed by rulings from the International Court of Justice — state that all the land Israel grabbed since the morning of 5 June 1967 are occupied territories. This goes for the old city of Jerusalem and its surroundings, the West Bank, Gaza, the Latrun villages, the Golan, and even the Shebaa Farms.

Egypt insisted on taking back every inch of Sinai, just as Syria is holding out for every inch of the Golan. The Palestinians cannot accept less. We must insist on Israel’s withdrawal from all the occupied land, instead of being talked into a risky land exchange. It is bad enough that Israel took in 1948 half of the land the 1947 UN partition plan gave to the Palestinians. We don’t need to make things worse.

And what exactly is going on in negotiations? It’s all kept under a tight lid, except for the randomly leaked piece of info suggesting that the issue of Jerusalem would be postponed, yet again. The Palestinian people are left in the dark about what’s really going on. Given the bitter experience of Oslo, when a done deal was hatched behind the back of official negotiators, this doesn’t augur well.

Everyone knows that giving up Arab Jerusalem, or any part of it, is not an option acceptable to the Palestinian people. Also, any interim solutions, especially those postponing discussion of Jerusalem, are highly risky if not an outright sign of capitulation.

The last thing we need is another deal that undermines our rights and weakens our people. Those negotiating on behalf of the Palestinians bear a huge responsibility in this moment. Anything they do can have long-term consequences for us all.

Israelis for Obama

Well, I am convinced........ that there is no hope.
HT al-Falasteenyia