Marking the 60th Year of Al Nakba

Southern California events marking the Palestinian Catastrophe (Al Nakba)

Archive for February, 2008

Women in Black Gaza Vigil–Tuesday, 2/26, 7pm at Wilshire Theatre

Posted by nakba60la on February 25, 2008

WHAT: A silent vigil in support of the people of Gaza

WHERE: Wilshire Theatre, 8440 Wilshire Blvd, SouthWest corner of Wilshire and Hamilton, near the man on the horse, Beverly Hills

WHEN:  Tuesday night, February 26, 7:00 pm

REASON: The pro-Israel group, Stand with Us, is “launching its 60th anniversary of Israel’s independence” with a concert for the children of Sderot at the Wilshire Theatre.

Yet, as Israel’s supporters celebrate the its 1948 declaration of statehood, 2008 also marks the 60th year of al Nakba (“the catastrophe”) when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were violently expelled from their homes and driven from their native land.

Today, the people of Gaza live in a prison, surrounded by 27-foot walls.  Supplies of food, fuel, electricity, potable water, medicine, water filters and much more are severely restricted by Israel.  The children of Gaza are at even more risk than the children of Sderot of being maimed or killed.

Why is the Stand with Us concert only for Sderot’s children and not for Gaza’s children as well?

Please join us in silent protest at 7 pm.  Our signs say:





Signed by:

Women in Black Los Angeles
For more information, please contact 310-422-7242


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LA Jews For Peace Report on Sabeel Conference in Pasadena

Posted by nakba60la on February 20, 2008

Impressions of the Sabeel Conference,

All Saints Church, Pasadena, Feb. 15-16, 2008

By Jeff Warner

The Sabeel conference consisted of five plenary sessions with ten main speakers, and two workshop sessions. Advertised speaker Phyllis Bennis did not attend.

Sabeel mean “the way.” Sabeel is a West Bank Christian organization committed to justice, reconciliation, and non-violence. Sabeel supports the two-state solution as outlined by UN resolutions and international law. Sabeel was represented by Naim Ateek (see below).

In the following I summarize the essence of each of the ten chief speakers, list the workshops, and then address what was missing from the conference.

Sessions and Speakers

Session 1: “The Nakbah Then and Now”

· Rola Karam, a Palestinian American woman introduced a documentary video of the Nabkah as experienced in her parent’s hometown. This was a Christian town so it was not destroyed, but many men were executed.

· Anna Baltzer, a Jewish American woman who volunteered with the International Women’s Peace Service, gave a PowerPoint presentation showing the occupation: settlements, Israeli-only roads, the wall, and checkpoints. She published a book documenting her observations of the occupation. Baltzer gave a good presentation, although she tended to exaggerate and that detracted a bit from her credibility.

Session 2: “Keynate 1 and 2”

· Nabila Espanioly,.A Palestinian woman from Nazareth founded the Al-Tufla center and is chair of the Mossawa Center (Advocay Center for Arab Citizens of Israel) gave a PowerPoint presentation on Palestine from 1948-1967. She described life in Palestine under military rule. She called the events of 1967 as Al-Naksa, an expansion of the 1948 Al-Nabkah.

· Rev. Dr. Naim Ateek, is a founded of Sabeel. He was the Canon of St. George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem. Ateek described his position as seeking solutions based on faith principles of justice, peace, and non-violence and following international law. His talk focused on the post 1967 occupation, which he called evil. He claimed his work is modeled on Jesus’ resistance to the Roman Empire. Ateek reviewed the book by Israeli Abraham Burg (part of the Israeli elite, ex speaker of the Israeli Knesset) called “Hitler Won.” He pointed out that Burg was part of the Israeli elite, but has decided that the occupation is bad for Israel and Israelis.

Session 3: “Keynote: Why the Palestinian Conflict is a Colonial Situation.”

· Dr. Gabriel Piterberg, Jewish Argentinean who grew-up in Israel; now Professor of History at UCLA. Piterberg described the Jewish settlement of Palestine as a settler colonization where “white” settlers move in for the long-term, and attempt to completely replace the indigenous population (this contrasts with a different type of colonization where the indigenous population is used as a labor force). He notes that in the case of Israel, the Jews have partly succeeded – they expelled most, but not all, the Palestinians (the indigenous population). Piterberg says that Jewish efforts to replace the Palestinians continue, within the Green Line and within the West Bank. Piterberg suggested that “negotiations” toward a two-state solution only give the Jews the opportunity to continue their effort to replace the Palestinians. He suggested that the only solution for the Palestinians freedom is to give-up on two-states, and demand equal citizenship in Israel including the vote. He does not suggest that this will be easy to accomplish.

(Continued here:

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Burbank Neighbors Documentary Screening/Discussion, 02/17

Posted by nakba60la on February 11, 2008


“Life in Occupied Palestine” is the eyewitness photos and stories by Anna Baltzer who spent several months in Palestine. Because Ms. Baltzer is a Jewish American, she was able to freely move in both Jewish and Palestinian areas during her stay there. She has recorded stories of the effect of the settlements, the wall (or fence), check points, settler¹s roads, etc. on the Palestinian people. It gives a clear picture of what occupation really is and the effect on both the occupied and the occupiers. It is an insight into the Israeli/Palestine situation that most people do not have access to and would not otherwise see.



Filmmaker Anna Baltzer will be our special guest for the community discussion following the film and will be happy to answer any questions you may have after seeing it .


SUNDAY, February 17, 2008 beginning @ 1:30 p.m.
MCCAMBRIDGE PARK, Rec. Center Room #4

1515 N. Glenoaks Blvd., Burbank, 91504

Sponsored by

Burbank Neighbors for Peace & Justice


For Info. call (818) 842-5055 or email

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Sabeel Conference in Jerusalem: Sixty Years After The Nakba

Posted by nakba60la on February 10, 2008

Beyond Remembrance:

7th International Sabeel Conference
November 12-19, 2008

The conference will focus on the commemoration of 60 years since the Nakba, and the complex issues of memory, narrative, and identity raised by the events of 1948.

The conference will include:

  • 4 nights in Nazareth, with trips to villages that were destroyed in 1948 and visits with the local Christian community
  • 4 nights in Jerusalem, with trips to Jaffa, Ramle, and Lidda
  • Lectures, workshops, discussions, and cultural events focusing on the last 60 years and the future for Christians living in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories
  • Optional pre-conference travel to holy sites in the Galilee
  • Optional post-conference travel to understand the Occupation including visits to holy sites in Bethlehem and Jerusalem

Mark your calendars, and spread the word!

For more information, email: or call: (972) 2-532-7136
This is the phone number for Sabeel in Jerusalem.

Troubled Past, Complex Future

Among those who struggle for justice and peace in Palestine, our focus has been the fight to end the illegal Occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. However, in order to truly understand the complexities of memory, narrative, and identity faced by the Palestinian community, it is vital to examine the events of 1948—what the Palestinians refer to as the Nakba, or Catastrophe. For 60 years, the Nakba has cast its shadow over the struggles of identity and narrative undertaken both by Palestinian citizens of the state of Israel and those in the Occupied Territories. As the nonviolent resistance to Occupation continues, the question of what it means to be a Palestinian remains.

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San Diego Screening of “The Presence of Absence in the Ruins of Kafr Bir’im” – 6 PM, Saturday 2/16

Posted by nakba60la on February 10, 2008

“The Presence of Absence in the
Ruins of Kafr Bir’im”
Film screening followed by discussion
with filmmaker Dr. John Halaka
When: Saturday February 16, 2008 6 PM

Where: Al-Awda Center, 2734 Loker Avenue West Suite K, Carlsbad CA 92010

About the Film:  2007 release by SittingCrow Productions. Produced, filmed, written, narrated and directed by John Halaka. Edited by Marissa Bowman. Music composed and performed by the Ramallah based musician Mohsen Subhi. Running time: 60 minutes.  Language: English and Arabic with English subtitles

“The Presence of Absence in the Ruins of Kafr Bir’im” presents a seldom-heard Palestinian perspective. Shot on location in the ruins and cemetery of Kafr Bir’im, a Palestinian village located in Northern Galilee, the film introduces the viewer to Mr. Ibrahim Essa, an elderly poet who is a survivor of the mass dispossession and expulsion the native population of Palestine experienced in 1948 at the hands of the Zionists. Mr. Essa’s family has lived in Kafr Bir’im for the past 700 years.  Through his narrative and poetry, Ibrahim Essa recounts his experiences as a youth in the village, the hardships of a life in exile and the intense emotional, physical and historical connections to the land that he shares with the 7.5 million Palestinians who are also living in forced exile from their homes and land. Mr. Essa employs an ancient oral tradition of poetry that, in style, is similar to what is now referred to as “Spoken Word Poetry.”  This improvisational oral tradition has been around for centuries in Northern Palestine and continues to be used by farmers and villagers to express the community’s intimate relationship to the land; a yearning for past times and a better future; and their cultural, psychological and physical attachment to the ancient and modern ruins that exist throughout that region.

For more information, contact:

Al-Awda San Diego
The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
PO Box 131352
Carlsbad, CA 92013, USA
Tel: 760-685-3243
Fax: 360-933-3568

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Radio Intifada: Palestinians Struggling for Justice, 02/07

Posted by nakba60la on February 7, 2008


intifada=shaking off – oppression/silence

Voices from Kolkata to Casablanca
Voices of struggle, Voices for change

Thursday, February 7, 2008 3-4pm PST

KPFK/Pacifica Radio 90.7 fm, Los Angeles

streaming at – available on audio archive for 90 days


Reports on Gaza, Palestinians in Israel;

Arab Nationalism and the legacy of George Habash

This week’s Radio Intifada will focus on Palestinians continuing struggle for justice in Gaza and the political implications of the Gazan “prison break,” as well as the united Palestinian and Jewish Israeli support from inside Israel to lift the siege. We will also discuss the call for a General Strike by Palestinian Israelis in response to a recent decision exonerating the Israeli police who killed 13 Palestinians in the Galilee in 2000 and end with a retrospective of George Habash.


 Osamah Kahlil on the ground in Palestine and Egypt; doctoral student in political science at UC, Berkeley and contributor to Electonic Intifada.

 Hisham Naff’a, award-winning journalist, author and Palestinian political activist living in Haifa

 Michel Shehadeh, longtime Palestinian activist, former West Coast Regional Director of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, member of the LA 8

Produced by Sherna Gluck; Co-hosted with Rana Sharif, South/West Asia and North Africa (SWANA) Collective, KPFK

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Friends of Sabeel Conference: February 15, 16

Posted by nakba60la on February 5, 2008

Keynote & Workshop Speakers

From a position of faith, Dr. Ateek seeks to find solutions based on the faith principles of justice, peace, and nonviolence. A former Canon of St. George’s Cathedral, Jerusalem, he helped found the ministry of Sabeel.
Dr. Gabi Piterberg was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and grew up in Israel. Currently he is Associate Professor of History at UCLA. He has also taught at the University of Durham, England, and Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.
Ms. Bennis is a senior analyst at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., and a fellow of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam. She has been a writer, analyst and activist on Middle East and UN issues for many years.
Nabila Espanioly founded the Al-Tufula center in Nazareth in 1989 and has served as the director since that time. Nabila is a founding member and current chairperson of the Mossawa Center, the Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel.
Reverend Wagner is professor and director of the Center of Middle Eastern Studies at North Park University in Chicago. He is also on the steering committee of FOSNA.
Dr. Al-Marayati is the spokesperson and past president of the Muslim Women’s League, a Los Angeles based organization dedicated to disseminating accurate information about Islam.
Ms. Baltzer is a Jewish American Columbia graduate, Fulbright scholar, and volunteer with the International Women’s Peace Service. She brings a Jewish perspective to experiencing occupation.
Rizek Abu Sharr was the first Palestinian General Director of YMCA in West Jerusalem. For 46 years he worked for dialogue and reconciliation among Christian, Jew and Muslim.
Founder of Zatoun, fair trade olive oil from Palestine, Robert Massoud has used the glorious gift of olive oil from Palestine to weave a web of inspiration and mass support in North America and build bridges to Palestine.
Chris Brown is an independent journalist living in San Francisco. In 2004 he volunteered with Christian Peace Maker Teams near Hebron. While escorting Palestinian children to school he and a colleague were beaten by Israeli settlers.
Dr. Shalhoub-Kervorkian is currently a lecturer in law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Institute of Criminology. She also holds a teaching position at the Hebrew University School of Social Work.
Mr. Ayloush is the Southern California Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). He frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs.

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