It has now been five years since the sentencing of the Holy Land Five: Muslim-American humanitarians who were falsely convicted of providing “material support for terrorism” because of their charitable work in Palestine.┬áTo mark the occasion, the daughters of the Holy Land Five have produced a powerful video message featuring the families of those imprisoned, as well as people around the world, expressing solidarity with the innocent men.

Alas the overtly politicised case against the Holy Land Five is only one among many. Since 11 September 2001, there have been numerous legal efforts to criminalise compassion in the US, ultimately denying Muslim-Americans of the right to freely practice their religion.

Continue reading ‘Islamic charities, the domestic victims of the war on terror’


It is widely known that Israel and its allies spend millions of dollars to promote Zionism on college and university campuses across the US. Zionist organisations fund student groups like Hillel, the largest Jewish campus organisation in the world, as well as sponsor American Jewish students to travel or study abroad in Israel through programmes like Bithright Israel and MASA Israel Journey.

Israel and its allies also spend vast resources organising pro-Zionist speaking tours, both on and off college and university campuses. The Jewish National Fund works with an extensive list of Zionist scholars and professionals to, as it proudly states, “Bring the Israel experience to your next meeting, community event or conference.” Furthermore, while a doctoral student at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in Central New York, I was told that the Israeli embassy regularly contacted the administration, as well as the directors of selected programmes, to pressure them to schedule an event featuring the Israeli Ambassador to the US.

Continue reading ‘Institutionalising Zionism in the American academy’

The New York Times┬árecently published an editorial by Yuval Steinitz, an Israeli politician and Knesset member for the Likud party, under the headline “How Palestinian hate prevents peace”. It is not necessary to elaborate on the argument that Steinitz presents in this article, as the title speaks for itself.

Zionists have often repeated this strange mantra, portraying an occupied people as hateful and belligerent and an occupying military power as peaceful and tolerant. Although engaging in a serious critique of this abusive logic ends up giving it some legitimacy, analysing its purpose is still useful because we learn that it says a lot more about Israeli society than it does about the Palestinians.

Continue reading ‘Portraying the occupied as hateful and the occupier as peaceful’

Disappearin Canada

In North America, the mainstream media is not exactly sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. This presents a huge obstacle for solidarity activists who want to change the hegemonic discourse of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to reflect the reality on the ground: that Israel is an occupying power systematically cleansing Palestinians from their land.

As a result, activists are forced to adopt more creative approaches to campaign for Palestinian rights. One option that has been popular in recent years is organising poster and billboard campaigns, for example on subways, train lines or buses. The aim is to educate ordinary people in Canada and the US about the situation in Palestine, while at the same time reclaiming our public transit as an inclusive space.

Continue reading ‘“Disappearing Palestine” poster campaign takes Vancouver by storm’

Earlier this month, Oxfam published 20 facts about Oslo that painfully illustrate why the “peace talks” between Israel and Palestine have abysmally failed. In the past ten years alone, the number of illegal Israeli settlers has doubled while Israel has constructed a 708 km separation wall around the West Bank and demolished around 15,000 Palestinian structures across the occupied territories.

Nevertheless, on Tuesday an international donors’ conference was held in New York City to coincide with the UN General Assembly’s annual meeting in an attempt to prolong the “peace talks” by raising funds for Palestine’s faltering economy.

Continue reading ‘Foreign aid to Palestine exists only to support the “peace process” industry’