Let me break it down: Palestine becomes UNESCO member. Counting abstentions, 159-13. US being one of the 13, in retaliation, cuts off UNESCO funding (22% of their budget). Now watch a State Depart Rep justify it:

Traveling to Palestine, bearing witness and evaluating US policies in the region made me abandon my goal to get into the US State Department. I realized that there was no way I could wake up in the morning and lie about what I believed to be right and try to change the system from the inside. I commend my other countrymen that can though.



Truly cool tech article I just wrote. A Palestinian NGO has developed a service that allows the poor to job hunt via SMS text message - no computers or internet involved.

Awesome article and speaks to the idea of poor people first. So many people in this country could benefit from this type of service except for the fact that the cabal of internet and start-up overlords are probably far too concerned with building smartphone apps. 

I should have grabbed a picture of it but Metro-North trains had an ad showcasing an SMS-based service for finding out train times. This is the kind of stuff we need at least build simultaneously with the flashier smartphone apps. If not the world will rapidly outpace poorer people’s ability to stay competitive and culturally linked to the rest of society, further marginalizing them. 




DOSSIER: New Media

Music Wednesdays - Kazamada is a collective of independent Arab musicians in Lebanon, Egypt, Palestine, and Jordan. While their sound overlaps with much of the Arab “alternative” scene (reminiscent of what’s been coming out of the region’s capitals the past few years), the concept is interesting. Self-styled as “Neo-Arabic-Pop,” it is a collaborative, regional attempt at something different.

where can I download their music??? Some great songs, check them out on their soundcloud account

I don’t know what song I’ve been listening to

but this Arab pop song has been going HAM for like the past 15 minutes and I’ve been dancing for the majority of it and all it does is make me miss Arab wedding season and being pissed at 18 year old asshole israeli soldiers.

I wish you weren’t so enchanting Palestine. This would be so much easier.

It’s almost been a year since I left for the Holy Land.

If I didn’t have student loans I can guarantee you that I never would have left.

UPDATE: In my super-buzzed state that I was in when I wrote this I forgot to mention that I did leave and wanted to leave when I did. I totally want to go back now though.

In the past year, even before the events in Egypt and Tunisia, we connected the dots and decided what was needed in the division, down to the level of inventory of crowd-dispersal means and the preparation of infrastructure to prevent such events from taking place.

An unnamed Israeli army officer in this Ha’aretz article. The whole thing is an exercise in not hearing what you are saying. When do they realize they are performing the functions of the various state security services of regional dictatorships? Albeit without the same level of sustained and systemic brutality other services are known for. Many Israelis, or other sympathetic parties, are fanatically concerned with preserving the legitimacy of Israel. I can’t even comprehend the level of bile that would spew out from them if widespread and decisive numbers of people went out and demonstrated. The article makes good points about the people being tired from the Second Intifadah and that they doubt that any large-scale demonstrations would be non-violent.

I would point out that those arguments were made about Egyptians. 

Other things to consider:

  • Both sides benefit from the lessons learned during other regional protests.
  • Shin Bet and the IDF have a close to unified command structure with a common interest.
  • Currents in Israeli society that disagree with continuing the occupation not to mention a near-parity in population numbers between Arab-Israelis and Jewish-Israelis.
  • Any monitoring of social networks by the Israeli military and security services can be countered to a degree by Palestinian activists. Many Israeli soldiers are kids with the same connection to the internet that Palestinian youths have.
  • There has long been a non-violent resistance movement in the West Bank and they are knowledgeable in Israeli response to protests and marches.
  • Western new outlets aren’t likely to be sympathetic towards any Palestinian action non-violent or otherwise but with al-Jazeera’s cornering of the market on Arab Intifadahs as of late, it might be able to break the critically- acclaimed ‘Hasbara Mindlock.’

Who knows what will happen? I hope for freedom sooner rather than later because I would like to return some day and not have to deal with the headaches and heartbreak I dealt with on my first trip.