PhD Proposal Summary #cliffnotes #overview #nothappeninganytimesoon

Below is a summary of one of the many PhD proposals I submitted to various universities internationally. While I was able to get into more than 15 very competitive unis, I couldn’t secure even the slightest amount of funding from any of them. It’s been three years now and I don’t seem to be any closer to getting that funding. I have contemplated switching my topic and applying again, but I may have to hold off on it since my topic being accepted hasn’t been of issue, rather funding has been my main issue. However, enough time has passed that parts of my research are irrelevant and other parts are no longer original since it has been encompassed in other researcher’s findings. The more time that goes by, the less my specific lens in regards to the topic is original or new. And therein lies the dilemma.

Anyways, here is a snapshot of one of my proposals. My other proposals are variations of the same topic. As you may know, every university has different proposal requirements. Some want a 15 page proposal, some want a 5 page proposal. Others want a full literature review, while others look down on what they deem “name dropping.” Here is just one of the many variations of proposals I have saved.

Enjoy…

Project Overview

Research Title: Transnational Contemporary Palestinian Music: Transnational Palestinian Identity Formation, Palestinian Experience and its Role in Israeli Affairs

Palestinian contemporary music, particularly Palestinian hip-hop, which is very popular amongst Palestinian youth, acts as a medium for the Palestinian experience. Palestinian musicians voice their experiences and identity through their lyrics and this music acts as a medium to explore transnational Palestinian identity formation in the US and UK, seeing as this music is consumed globally by the Palestinian diaspora. [1] This research intends to study the role of Palestinian contemporary music in formulating a transnational Palestinian identity, how this transnational identity creates a new vision of Palestinian citizenship or activism and how this transnational identity and Palestinian citizenship influences Israel’s international relations.

Project Scope

The case study for this research is contemporary Palestinian music and its role in identity expression and formation, drawing a parallel between Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities concept that print capitalism brought the rise of the nationalism,[2] in turn globalisation’s role in transnational music distribution brought the rise of a transnational Palestinian identity. This research will assess in detail how this identity formed and what role this identity plays in their political activism concerning Israeli domestic and foreign relations. This will be achieved by researching the Palestinian community’s interactions with music and political opportunity structures in their home country’s, as well as Israel.

The members of DAM, a prominent Arab hip-hop group, come from Al-Lid, Israel, although they very strongly identify themselves as Palestinian in their lyrics. DAMs closing lyrics to their song, Stranger in My Country, illustrate their multi-layered identity. And our Arabian roots are still strong. But still our Arabian brothers are calling us renegades. No. We never sold our country. The occupation has written our destiny. Which is, that the whole world till today is treating us as Israelis. And Israel till tomorrow will treat us as Palestinians. I’m a stranger in my own country.” [3]

The lyrics of DAMs, Stranger in my Country, express feelings felt by Palestinian citizens of Israel. DAMs lyrics act as a form of communication to Palestinians living in other regions, serving as a form of news to these regions that otherwise may be unaware of what Palestinians in Israel experience. This leaves the Palestinian listeners with their own experiences that form their identity, in addition to the connection they have formed with other Palestinian experiences that influence their experience hereon in, and take part in shaping their identity. This hybrid identity then influences the state of Palestinian citizenship, affecting actions taken by Palestinians, political affiliations and civic duties, creating a transnational Palestinian citizenship.

Project Empirical and Methodological Overview

This project will assess why and how the Palestinian diaspora interacts with contemporary Palestinian music, embracing Palestinian identity or eschewing the community they live in as a form of political participation by using a postmodernist theory of methodology,[4] linking the use of music with political activism amongst Palestinians in the diaspora.[5] It will focus on organisational development of politically active groups on the macro, meso and micro levels, as well as diaspora Palestinian political inspirations found in Palestinian contemporary music. This project will garner empirical data through interviews with Palestinian music listeners and political activists, in order to build a comprehensive overview of how Palestinian lyrics and music can influence its listeners to form a transnational community that acts in benefit of a nation it does not live in. I also plan to translate and analyze Palestinian song lyrics and compare these lyrics to news reports that report socio-political circumstances of Palestinians. Attending conferences or concerts in which Palestinian musicians perform will give me better access to interview Palestinian contemporary music listeners. These interviews plan to get a better understanding of how Palestinians define their experiences, what constitutes a Palestinian identity, how connected they are to Palestinians in different regions, how they view Palestinian hip-hop and contemporary Palestinian music, as well as get a better idea of their political influences.

From the data collected, I will then seek to build a wider theoretical framework to analyse the Palestinian diaspora’s formulation of identity, how this identity is measured and the influence this identity has on Israeli foreign and domestic decision making. This research will build on the work of Usama Kahf, who researched Palestinian hip-hop and identity in Israel and its relation to the Palestinian political struggle;[6] Andy Bennett’s research that explored youth consumption of music and how this music is used to define the self;[7] Amal Jamal, who researched media’s use in cultural resistance, as well as Israeli media policies towards Palestinians;[8] and Bakari Kitwana’s research on rap music’s role in cultural movement and political power.[9]

A challenge arises as Palestinian hip-hop and other forms of contemporary Palestinian music is male dominatedHow does this dynamic play into identity formation amongst Palestinian women and does it have any impact on the political activism of Palestinian men or women?

Timeline

This research is expected to take up to three years as follows:

  • September 2015 January 2016Preliminary research, survey of literature and interpretive models.
  • February 2016 December 2016 Fieldwork, interviews and data collection.
  • January 2017 March 2017 Collate data and assess an interpretive model.
  • April 2017 September 2017 Development and presentation of preliminary findings and analysis.
  • October 2017 January 2018 First draft.
  • February 2018 October 2018 Final write up.

Project Aims and Objectives

This study will act as a vehicle case study for critiquing current research approaches to identity formation through music and its influence on international relations. It will be designed to challenge the paradigm that views transnational musical identity formation as insignificant in the face of international relations. This research is important because it fills existing empirical and theoretical gaps. Empirically, there is very little research on contemporary music’s role on the formulation of a transnational identity that leads to a politically active community that is capable of enacting change on an international level. There is also limited understanding of the Palestinian diaspora’s political aspirations and even less understanding of Israel’s interaction with Palestinian musical messages. This research looks to conduct thorough empirical research, particularly through interviews, observational data collection, quantitative monitoring of Palestinian music consumption amongst the diaspora. It will also involve an in depth analysis of contemporary Palestinian music’s lyrics, the messages intended in the music, as well as researching the connection between Israeli political relations and music.

Theoretically, this research will explore the limitations set forth by not incorporating an interdisciplinary approach to the subject of transnational musical identity’s influence on international relations and political activism. This research will utilise data to create an extended postmodernist framework to assess motivations for political activism in the diaspora and how much of that political activism is due to their Palestinian identity that was formed in part by Palestinian contemporary music.

Reasons for the Research

Recent social-political movements, such as the divestment campaigns led by Palestinian activists in the diaspora, and these movements links to transnational Palestinian identity, demonstrates the needs to understand the influence of transnational Palestinian music on this community. This research serves the purpose of better defining the Palestinian identity and what is means to be Palestinian,[10] as well as how contemporary Palestinian music has influenced this process. Once a better understanding of Palestinian identity is established, a better understanding of their experiences, their needs, desires, hopes and political aspirations as a collective can be recognised. As Palestinian youth become more influential in their societies, their shared transnational experiences and identity will shed insight onto the socio-political future of Palestinians and Israelis.    

Works Cited

1. P. Katzenstein, The Culture of National Security: Norms and Identity in World Politics, (Columbia University Press, 1996 ).

2. Bennett, Andy. Popular Music and Youth Culture: Music, Identity, and Place. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave, 2000. Print.

3. DAM. Stranger in My Own Country. 2007. MP3.

4. Keri E. Iyall Smith and Patricia Leavy (eds.), Hybrid Identities,  (Haymarket Books 2009), 267.

5. Jamal, Amaney and Nadine Naber, Race and Arab Americans Before and After 9/11: From Invisible Citizens to Visible Subjects , (Syracuse University Press, 2008).

6. Kahf, Usama. “Arabic Hip-Hop: Claims of Authenticity and Identity of a New Genre.”That’s the Joint!: The Hip-hop Studies Reader. By Murray Forman and Mark Anthony. Neal. New York: Routledge, 2012. N. pag. Print.

7. Bennett, Andy. Popular Music and Youth Culture: Music, Identity, and Place. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave, 2000. Print.

8. Jamal, Amal. The Arab Public Sphere in Israel: Media Space and Cultural Resistance. P. 23-24, Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2009. Print.

9. Kitwana, Bakari. That’s the Joint!: The Hip-hop Studies Reader. Ed. Mark Anthony. Neal and Murray Forman. New York: Routledge, 2012. N. pag. Print.

10. Darcy Zabel, Arabs in the Americas: Interdisciplinary Essays on the Arab Diaspora, (Peter Lang Publishing, 2006), 35-39.

40 Reasons You Should Hire Me

Hello, I’m Heba. I have sent you this link because I REALLY want to work at your organization because I think your company is pretty awesome– I wouldn’t have sent this link to you otherwise. Below, you will find a list of the reasons I would make a great employee and creative partner. I hope by the end of this post you will learn more about me and give me a chance.

Here it goes:

1. I have a BA in Journalism from Penn State, an MA from Dartmouth College in Liberal Studies and an MA in Middle East and Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter.

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2. I’m a fast learner.

635920369314243634-1808424565_harvard elleI’m very much a hands on learner and I hit the ground running. As well as learning quickly, I’m always looking and finding ways to make work tasks more time efficient.

3. I’m dedicated and focused.

1n6sc.gifOnce I set my mind on a goal, I put my all into achieving it. In 2006, after a mere month of fundraising, I was able to raise almost $1 million in medical supplies for war torn regions. How many other people can say that?

4. I have strong writing and editing skills.

Cp8gJw8I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. In addition to my BA in Journalism, in which I had a 3.67 GPA in my major, I had a focus in Creative Writing during my first MA at Dartmouth College.

5. I’m willing to move.

giphy (2)I have lived in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., California, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, Switzerland, the U.K., Jordan, Palestine and Israel. I’m a professional at packing and moving. I’m more than willing to move for the right opportunity.

6. I can roll with the punches.

post-23206-be-water-my-friend-bruce-lee-g-nhkfI consider myself a perfectionist, but I understand that things can’t be perfect all the time. Sometimes, you have to do the best you can with what you have. I can handle all sorts of circumstances that come my way. Kind of like when I can’t find Collection or Gabrini eyeliner anywhere and I have to make due with Almay.

7. I’m organized.

Label Makers Can Definitely Help You Get Your Documents OrganizedReally, I am. I even won an MVP award from my time working at the GAP because I was the most organized employee.

8. I can stay calm in a crisis.

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Accidents happen and sometimes they’re unavoidable. Someone misses a deadline, a package wasn’t delivered on time, products break, people get hurt– Life happens. Working with kids between the ages of 5-17 has taught me to stay calm in all sorts of crazy scenarios. And if you’ve ever worked with kids, you know how crazy things can get.

9. I love to laugh.

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Laughing and making others laugh is a great talent of mine. I’m not signing up for any open mic nights or doing any stand-up comedy acts, but I can find the funny in the ordinary.

10. I like to read.

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In elementary school, I set the record for the most books read during National Reading Month. You can always find me with a book in hand or an article on screen.

11. I live online and stay on top of all the new trends.

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Most of my day is spent online digging through the mountains of information, videos, photos and such. I’m always on the lookout for the next big thing and am always the first one of my friends to identify viral material and trends.

12. The world inspires me.

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Everywhere I look, everyone I see, inspires me in some sort of way. Everyone I meet and encounter leaves a mark on me and inspires me to make the world a better place.

13. I’m well-versed in social media.

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Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Snapchat, Periscope, Instagram, Pinterest– I love it all.

14. I’m a realistic optimist.

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I try to see the best in everyone and in every situation, but my expectations are always realistic. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

15. I can work with a team, as well as on my own.

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Being a journalist, I’ve learned to work as part of a team. Especially when working as an editor, much of the position is dependent on working with others. Working in groups is great because everyone brings a different perspective to the project at hand. But, I have also been a teacher and have had to take responsibility for creating curriculums all on my own. Working on my own is also great because I get to see how far I can push myself.

16. I have experience managing volunteers.

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Remember that huge fundraiser I talked about earlier? Well, I had recruited and managed the efforts of more than 50 volunteers in under a week’s time. I was responsible for training the volunteers, managing their schedules, communicating their needs and supervising their delegated responsibilities.

17. I’m an email wizard.

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Any of my former students can tell you that I respond to emails as soon as I possibly can, sometimes within minutes.

18. I’m creative.

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I dabble in the arts and always have new and innovative ideas running through my head.

19. I have lots of interests.

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I like fashion, desserts, poems, coffee, bright colors, food, photography, art, literature, movies, music, naps, decorating, calligraphy, libraries and spending time with my friends.

20. I’m great at conflict resolution.

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I’m an American-Palestinian-Arab-Muslim-woman with Israeli citizenship. If that doesn’t make me an expert problem solver, I don’t know what does.

21. I’m good at stuff.

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I’m a good listener and a good friend. Some other things I’m good at include, but are not limited to: eyeliner application, fashion styling, tea brewing and reality check administrating. I’m also a pretty great actress in life more so than in art.

22. I have experience writing blogs, fiction, nonfiction, research papers, listicles, essays, executive reports, newsletters and more.

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I can do it all because I have done it all. Writing, of all sorts, is what I do and it is what makes me happy.

23. I’m confident in my abilities to speak and relate to different types of communicators.

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Not everyone communicates in the same way. I have learned to adjust my tone, vocabulary and methods to fit the person I am speaking to.

24. I’m proficient in Word and other software.

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Word, Adobe, ProTools, PCs, Macs, FinalCut and so much more.

25. I’m pretty good at evaluating situations.

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I’ve always been good at reading a situation. I’m pretty observant and I can usually tell when someone is sad, happy, irritated, excited or any other range of emotion.

26. My creative writing pieces have been published in several magazines.

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You can check out my published writing by clicking on the Portfolio link at the top of the page.

27. I’m always looking to improve.

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Whether it’s getting a new haircut or trying to learn a new language, I’m always trying to improve myself, both inside and out.

28. I can dish it and I can take it… In a respectful manner, of course. Tumblr_lp0rbgfnEg1qfal67o1_r1_250.gif

As a writer, criticism can be tough. I put my heart and soul into my work and I know how disheartening harsh criticism can be. I’ve grown a thick skin over the years and can take criticism pretty well. I believe that criticism should always be constructive and when I give constructive criticism to an employee, I am always respectful and appreciative for their hard work. Constructive criticism should always help the other person improve their work and boost their self-confidence.

29. I take pride in my work.

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But just the right amount of pride. I’m not cocky, I promise.

30. I want to plant some roots.

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I’ve moved around a lot and I’ve had a lot of different type of jobs. Now, I’m ready to settle down and really grow within a company.

31. I’m a coordination queen.

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That goes for both my outfits and my workload. I’m all about the time management skills.

32. I’m passionate about human rights, education, social justice, prison reform, women’s health, politics and life.

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33. I’m always prepared.

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I watch a lot of scary movies. As a result, I’m now prepared for any and all scenarios, at all times. If the zombie apocalypse ever happens, come with me because I have a plan.

34. I like to bake.

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I love baking and all things sweet. I also believe that sharing is caring, so, if you hire me you will be sure to have a taste of the sweet life.

35. I smell nice.

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I wear perfume even when I don’t leave the house, because I deserve to smell nice. I’m also super hygienic and carry around hand-sanitizer that doubles as lotion. It’s kind of my thing.

36. I love animals.

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Well, most animals. I have a fear of geese and swans, but other than that, I love animals. One of my dreams is to open up an animal sanctuary so I can love and hang out with my animal friends all day.

37. I’m a feminist.

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I believe everyone should be a feminist and we should all be working towards equality and justice for women.

38. I make 11:11 wishes for good measure.

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It can’t hurt, right? I’ll make a wish for you too.

39. My life is a meme.

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Anyone who knows me, knows that if there is a one in a million chance of something strange happening to someone, it’s going to be me.  And most days people get a kick out of it. Me included.

40. I want to work and have fun doing it.

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I want my work to be meaningful and I want to enjoy doing it. I’m not looking to clock in and clock out. I want to make a difference and improve people’s lives. I may not be able to change the world, but I certainly can change a tiny corner of it– even if it is one person.

It’s like they [Confucius] say: Choose a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.

Transnational Hebrew- Language Limbo

David Crystal’s three stages of endangered languages, while broad is also constraining. The first stage is the imposed language stage in which, for top down or bottom up reasons, a group becomes pressured into using the new dominant language. [1] While in stage two, argued as the best chance for progress and language preservation to be made, an emerging bilingualism takes place. [2] The new language is used efficiently, while the old language is used competently [3]— ideally coexisting and complementing each other without confrontation.[4] The third stage consists of a newer generation identifying with the new language and the emergence of family dialects.[5]

This, however, fails to mention or go into greater detail that in the same way a dominated language can be influenced by a dominant language; a dominated language can influence a dominant language. In the case of Israel, Hebrew and Arabic are both considered their official languages, conversely, Arabic is arguably a victim of “language murder” [6][7] as some employers ban Arabic from being used by their staff,[8] a college has banned the use of Arabic[9] and the use of Arabic in public can lead to accosting by the police or receiving other forms of verbal and physical violence, as well. [10]This being a rather top down occurrence with bottom up qualities,[11] as Palestinian youth in Israel do use Hebrew to “show off”[12], but Modern Israeli Hebrew exhibits more of a bottom up system as certain Arabic phraseology and terms become increasingly adopted into Hebrew. Modern Hebrew is a reflection of various ethnic communities contributing to its formation.

While Arabic is by no means an endangered language, it is used significantly less in official settings. Crystal’s third stage hardly seems relevant to the question of Israel or Modern Israeli Hebrew, as the Palestinian population living in Israel has not exhibited the third stage of Crystal’s model, en masse, but they have undergone the first and second stages. Nevertheless, Palestinians living in Israel have adopted quite a bit of Hebrew phraseology in their day-to-day speech, in the same way Hebrew has adopted Arabic terminology into their language. If the dominated language, Arabic, has filtered through and is being used to an extent by the dominant language, Hebrew, then the dominated language, Arabic, has found a new form of existing.  It cannot be considered language death if even the smallest of phrases is still used, nor would it be considered a living language, but rather a language in limbo.

Modern Israeli Hebrew is not only deeply affected by Arabic, but also by Yiddish, Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Amharic, Tagalog, Thai and others, all spoken by significant immigrant populations in Israel. Adapting these languages into Modern Israeli Hebrew does not make Hebrew any less Hebrew, nor does it threaten national unity.[13] Oppositely, the assimilation of all these languages into Hebrew creates a new language, specific to the needs that suit the Israeli-transnational identity, in which one can pick and choose how the Hebrew language reflects the ever-evolving social and political needs of the population.

[1] David Crystal, Language Death, p. 78-79

[2] David Crystal, Language Death, p. 80

[3] David Crystal, Language Death, p. 78-89

[4] David Crystal, Language Death, p. 81

[5] David Crystal, Language Death, p. 78-89

[6] David Crystal, Language Death, p.86

[7] Ali Jabareen, Language Policy and the Status of Arabic in Israel, p. 34, http://www.qsm.ac.il/asdarat/jamiea/9/3–ali%20jabareen.pdf

[8] Conal Urquhart, McDonald’s bans Arabic, The Guardian, 11 March 2004, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/mar/11/israel

[9] Or Kashti, Private Israeli college forbids teachers from speaking Arabic to students, 24 July 2013, http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.537770

[10] Isabel Kershner, Young Israelis Held in Attack on Arabs, The New York Times, 20 August 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/21/world/middleeast/7-israelis-held-in-attack-on-palestinians-in-jerusalem.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

[11] David Crystal, Language Death, p. 78

[12] Ali Jabareen, Language Policy and the Status of Arabic in Israel, p. 32, http://www.qsm.ac.il/asdarat/jamiea/9/3–ali%20jabareen.pdf

[13] David Crystal, Language Death, p. 83

Remembering Rachel Corrie on the anniversary of her death

contact@ifamericansknew.org

 

 

Dear Friend,

On this day 13 years ago, American peace activist Rachel Corrie was crushed to death by Israeli soldiers driving a military bulldozer. She was trying to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian family’s home. According to numerous witnesses and photographic documentation, she was killed intentionally.

Representative Brian Baird from Washington State introduced a resolution in Congress calling on the federal government to “undertake a full, fair, and expeditious investigation” into Rachel’s death. The bill was co-sponsored by 77 representatives, but Congress took no action. 

The Corrie family then filed a lawsuit against Caterpillar Inc in 2005, alleging that Caterpillar supplied Israelis with bulldozers even though they knew they were being used to commit war crimes. The lawsuit was dismissed.

The Corrie family’s appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was also dismissed. The court acknowledged that the U.S. government paid for the bulldozer that killed Rachel, but said that they didn’t have the jurisdiction to rule on the “political question” of U.S. military aid to Israel. 

In 2010, the Corrie family filed a lawsuit in Israel against the Israeli Defense Forces. Israeli officials prevented the physician who had examined Rachel’s wounds from testifying in the case. The court ruled that Rachel was responsible for her own death. In 2014, the Corrie family’s appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court of Israel, and the IDF was absolved of any wrongdoing.

Keep Rachel’s message alive by sharing her story with your community. We have cards, a booklet of Rachel’s letters, and posters available for download and order.

#SupportPalestineInDC2016

U.S. taxpayers send Israel over $3 billion a year in military aid with virtually no strings attached, and now the prime minister of Israel wants $5 billion a year.

The majority of Americans oppose taking sides in the Israel-Palestine conflict, but virtually all Democratic and Republican members of Congress continue to supply Israel with more and more weapons each year (Palestinians do not receive military aid).

American taxpayer dollars have enabled Israel to continue its decades-long illegal occupation of Palestinian land and deny Palestinians basic legal and human rights. With our money, Israeli forces have killed over 9,200 Palestinians as well as numerous international journalists and peace activists since 2000.

We are driving the violence in this region, and we must stop it.

This weekend, AIPAC kicks off its annual policy conference in Washington, D.C., with Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump scheduled to give speeches. We hope you will join us this Sunday at noon at the White House to protest AIPAC’s influence on American politics and support Palestinian human rights. Your voice is urgently needed!

As always, thank for your commitment to peace, justice, and equality for all people.

The If Americans Knew team

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Order or download Rachel Corrie cards, letters, and posters on our site

Protest AIPAC in DC on March 20th! Join this rally spearheaded by Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition.

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Get involved with Israeli Apartheid Week

mail@bdsnationalcommittee.org

Want to support Palestinian freedom, justice and equality?

Join #IsraeliApartheidWeek 2016

Each year, Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) takes place in more than 150 universities and cities across the world. With creative education and action, IAW aims to raise awareness about Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid over the Palestinian people and build support for the nonviolent Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

In response to the impressive growth of BDS in the last few years, Israel and its right-wing allies in the west have launched repressive, anti-democratic attacks on the movement and the right to boycott, instead of fulfilling their obligations to end Israel’s violations of international law. This makes this year’s #IsraeliApartheidWeek more crucial than ever.

Support Palestinian popular resistance to oppression–join IAW 2016.

Check out apartheidweek.org and #IsraeliApartheidWeek to find out what’s happening in your area. More events in different cities are being added all the time, so do check back if there’s nothing in your city listed yet. 

Want to organise #IsraeliApartheidWeek events on your campus or in your city? Register your organisation here and you’ll receive an info pack full of ideas about how to organise #IsraeliApartheidWeek.

Dates:
UK: February 22-28
Europe: February 29-March 7
Palestine: March 1-10
South Africa: March 7-13
Arab World: March 20-26
US: various, including March 27-April 3
Latin America: April 10-24
Canada: various throughout March, check with local organisers

Human Rights Newsletter

mazin@qumsiyeh.org

Gratitude blog available here where you can leave comments

http://popular-resistance.blogspot.com/2016/02/grateful.html

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming

gardeners who make our souls blossom.” Marcel Proust

I am so grateful for all that is happening in resistance to the incredible

odds and repression practiced by the elites in power. While some may get

activism or compassion “fatigue” , there are literally millions of people

deciding to leave their apathy behind and put their hands with other people

to work.  Our tiny little small part of the world (Palestine now an

apartheid sate called a “Jewish state”) has become a major center of global

activism. This centrality can be due to many factors:

1.Religious centrality to three main religions, one of which was hijacked

for political purposes locally in the past (Christianity –> Crusaderism),

the other hijacked in the past 150 years and is still strongly hijacked

(Judaism –>Zionism) and the other more recently and in nearby areas

beginning to be hijacked (Islam –> Isis and Wahhabism).

2. Nowhere else on earth is Western government hypocrisy more evident than

in Palestine. While the western leaders speak of democracy and human

rights, they support an apartheid racist “Jewish state” that engaged and

engages in racism, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing

(so far 7 million of us Palestinians are refugees or displaced people).

Thus, this is the Achilles heel of Western propaganda.

3. The 12 million Palestinians in the world, most refugees and others

squeezed into bantustans have been remarkably peaceful and tolerant and had

a long history of popular resistance for the past 130 years that provided a

stellar example to the world (see my 2012 book “Popular Resistance in

Palestine: A history of hope and empowerment”).

4. Israeli citizens and the global community are increasingly joining hands

with us to demand justice as the only road to peace.

5. More and more people realize that peace in the “Middle East” (Western

Asia) and around the world is dependent on peace for Palestine. Zionism

with its (sometimes dominant, sometimes subservient) twin US imperialism

are and have been most destructive forces in causing global conflict.

But what really gives us optimism daily are the people we interact with.

Students at the universities who see the importance of knowledge (power)

and come to school with enthusiasm even in the face of suppression of their

movement. Farmers that work hard in their fields even as land and water are

being taken from them by the occupiers. Unarmed young demonstrators showing

bravery in challenging the heavily armed Israeli forces (who occasionally

murder them). Thousands of political prisoners and “administrative

detainees” who resist the prisoners (one on hunger strike is close to

death). Activists who sometimes sacrifice comforts to be with us.

Organizers of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activities around the

world who refuse to be silenced by illegal measures their governments try

to impose on them to suppress free speech. Volunteers at our activities

from refugee camp youth centers like Al-Rowwad to our Institute of

Biodiversity and Sustainability (http://www.palestinenature.org/about-us/ ).

Sometimes small actions make us retain our sanity and gives joy and meaning

to our lives. Just this past week:

– A small village of Izbet al-Tabib managed to gather 300 demonstrators

protesting the illegal confiscation of land and resources to serve settlers.

-We saved a cattle egret (bird with long legs and beak from the heron

group) which had been shot and with a macerated wing. We did an operation

that saved its life (unfortunately the wing had to be amputated).

-We released a fox that was drowning in a water treatment pool in the

Bethlehem garbage dump site.

– My tourism class did an exercise to help in a local tourism promotion

project.

-We noted several species of butterflies in our botanic garden already and

the flowers of rare orchids and even the Star of Bethlehem

-We had our first class in biodiversity for the new master program in

environmental biology at Birzeit University.

-We received dozens of visitors to our facilities and added to our very

large network of friends (now tens of thousands)

-We submitted two small grant proposals (we hope to start to do major

fundraising soon for our museum, botanical garden, and institute of

biodiversity and sustainability)

-Our aquaponic system is doing great and we expect our first harvest next

week (lettuce)

– We said goodbye to some volunteers and we welcomed others who helped us

build this institution.

We expect to receive more volunteers next week including a professor from

Jordan and an aquaponics researcher from Switzerland and at least 10

students from Bethlehem University doing their community service. We are so

grateful for all the above and we welcome volunteers and supporters with

all backgrounds and skills. We are guided by love and respect (to

ourselves, to others, then to nature). We are strengthened amid all the

suffering (here in Gaza, in Syria, in Yemen etc) by human connections and

by caring for each other.

Israeli soldiers beat detained Palestinian teenaged boys

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mzw2D5iL0bg

Palestinian Teacher Among World’s Top 10

http://www.palestinechronicle.com/palestinian-teacher-among-worlds-top-10/

Reconstruction Of Gaza: Zero Buildings, Massive Profit

http://www.whoprofits.org/content/reconstruction-gaza-zero-buildings-massive-profit

Should Jews Have To Pay Reparations for Slavery? Richard Kreitner

http://forward.com/culture/213776/should-jews-have-to-pay-reparations-for-slavery/

“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have

roses.” Alphonse Karr

Stay human

Mazin Qumsiyeh

Professor and (Volunteer) Director

Palestine Museum of Natural History

Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability

Bethlehem University

Occupied Palestine

http://qumsiyeh.org

http://palestinenature.org

Writing the Arab-Israeli Conflict: Historical Bias and the Use of History in Political Science

For a presentation of Jonathan B. Isacoff’s article go here

http://prezi.com/wztnt5-r802z/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

Post-Zionist Critique on Israel and the Palestinians: Part 1 The Academic Debate

A presentation of Ilan Pappe’s 1997 article can be found here

http://prezi.com/fi9mqt6uxuy7/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

Popular Palestinian resistance against Israeli oppression enters its second month

#SolidarityWaveBDS

Since the start of October, Palestinians have been taking part in mass popular resistance against Israeli settler colonialism and apartheid.

On Saturday, tens of thousands of people joined a huge demonstration in al-Khalil (Hebron) and similarly large demonstrations took place in Jerusalem, Ramallah, Bethlehem and across Palestine. Palestinians continue to take mass action on an almost daily basis in cities, towns and villages throughout historic Palestine.

This uprising is led by a generation of fearless young Palestinian Davids who are no longer intimidated by the brutality of the Israeli Goliath and who are asserting their right to self-determination and freedom. It comes as a response to the escalation of Israel’s criminal attacks on and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

Israel’s repression of this ongoing uprising has been brutal. Israel has killed 74 Palestinians, mostly unarmed protesters and bystanders, including 15 children and a pregnant woman. More than 2,000 civilians have been shot with live and rubber coated bullets. More than 1,350 Palestinians have been arrested.

See our full update for a selection of photos and updates about the ongoing popular resistance.

Take action in solidarity with the Palestinian popular resistance:

  • Share our photos and update about the ongoing protests in Palestine and the mapping of resistance by our member organisation Stop the Wall.
  • Organise a protest or visually exciting, creative action in solidarity with Palestinian popular struggle. Take steps to ensure your actions are covered in the media and shared through social media. Please use the #SolidarityWaveBDS hashtag.
  • Read and share our Q&A on the ongoing popular resistance to try to counter some of the falsehoods and bias circulating in the media.
  • Read and share our briefing on how international military ties help Israel to repress Palestinian resistance.
  • Read and check out more ideas for action here

Many thanks, 

Palestinian BDS National Committee