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Posts tagged ‘Beit Sahour’

Chicago law professor praised right-wing Israeli settler group in West Bank lecture

A law professor at Chicago’s Northwestern University gave a lecture as the guest of a right-wing Israeli organisation whose head supports the “transfer” of Palestinians, it has emerged.

Eugene Kontorovich, described on his faculty website as an expert in international law, is a public apologist for Israel’s illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). In a recent op-ed for The New York Times, he attacked the European Union’s guidelines for the labelling of settlement produce. Read more

Beit Sahour: a microcosm of Israeli colonization

Forced by Israeli construction in East Jerusalem, the US president delivers a “rare rebuke” of an ally. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu begins “construction of a new housing project in East Jerusalem” despite the risk of drawing “fierce, and possibly violent, Palestinian protest, along with international denunciations,” as reported by The New York Times. While this may sound like a news summary from the last month, these are in fact news reports from 1997, as Israel began work on Har Homa colony.

A number of commentators have pointed out a sense of déjà-vu about Netanyahu’s current premiership. But while today’s gaze is fixed on colonies like Ramat Shlomo — home to the 1,600 new housing units announced during US Vice President Joe Biden’s visit — or right-wing settler expansion in Sheikh Jarrah, little has been said about what has since happened to Har Homa, the colony which caused a stir during Netanyahu’s previous time in office. Read more

Beit Sahour: a new struggle

In the Palestinian town of Beit Sahour, famous for its civil disobedience campaign against the Israeli occupation in the 1980s, a new struggle is taking place.

Ush al Ghrab (’Crow’s Nest’) is a small piece of land being targeted by a group of Jewish settlers and their allies. The area had previously served as a military base, before being evacuated in 2006. Since then, local Palestinians and international NGOs have sought to make the most of the space, in a community whose natural expansion is prohibited by Israeli colonisation. In recent times, right-wing Jewish settlers have targeted the area as a site for a possible new settlement (’Shdema’). Read more

In the settlers’ sights

The flat top of the small hill is deserted, as we walk among the gutted concrete buildings. The graffiti on the wall declares that “the Jews will keep this land”. This is Ush Ghrab, a small piece of land in Beit Sahour, south of Jerusalem, and a target for religious settlers seeking yet another colony in the Bethlehem region.

I was walking around the site with my friend Saleem and his colleague Jason, who both work for Paidia, an NGO focused on educational play. Their work has been, and continues to be, primarily social, yet they are now forced to join other locals in defending the site from attempts at colonisation. Read more