My mom always tells me not to go to war zones because she’s afraid of losing me. I would never tell my parents when I entered a war zone, so they wouldn’t worry. But this summer when I returned to Palestine to photograph the war, she was pleased. “It’s OK,” she said, because I am next to you!” It’s funny how moms think.
Arabs are of course not of a single mind on any particular issue, nor is it possible to gauge public opinion under tyrannical regimes. But it is indicative of the fact that these authoritarians no longer see the pan-Arab Palestinian cause and supporting it as vital to their survival.
As I was furiously taking notes, one of the attendees of a tour in city of Hebron whispered at me, “You’re one of those leftists working for an NGO. You’re here to collect evidence of all the terrible things we do.”
At the root of the new conflagration in Israel-Palestine is not the obtrusive violence but the silent dispossession of Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, enabled by Israeli courts, which is foreclosing any chance of a peaceful resolution
The coastal neighborhood is now buried under Charles Clore Park, an early frontier of southward development from Tel Aviv. Today, it is filled with grandmothers on deckchairs, morning yogis, and tangled-haired surfers making their way into the frothing sea. There is no trace of the world left behind under the towering blue and white flags overlooking the beaches.
Even amid the weeks of unrest, Israeli military had assessed that Hamas wouldn’t jeopardize the established “rules of the game,” as defense officials unofficially call a years-long pragmatic arrangement between the two sides. But this arrangement, quiet for easing measures, was upended by recent events.
What shocked me as I listened to al-Assad was his lack of hesitation in telling an American diplomat point-blank that the Shebaa Farms — the entire basis for Hezbollah’s claimed status as the “Lebanese Resistance” — was not Lebanese; it was Syrian.