Exposed: IBSI’s exploitation of African refugees to promote anti-Palestinian agenda

We’d like to take this moment to share with you the latest and one of the most offensive and disingenuous campaigns we have seen in a long while. The image above was one of many shared by Dumisani Washington who, according to his Twitter page, is the Diversity Outreach Coordinator for the right-wing and notably Islamophobic organization Christians United for Israel (CUFI) and the Director of the Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel (IBSI).

We’ve all heard about and discredited CUFI. The organization’s latest annual convention fell during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, and on the thirteenth day of Israel’s assault, attendees applauded at the death and destruction Israel brought to the Gaza Strip. It was as though they sought an encore. CUFI, run by some of the most fanatical pro-Israel Evangelicals this country has ever seen, is ironically more pro-Israel than it is pro-United States.

IBSI, though, is another story. They appear relatively unestablished and very few appear to take them seriously, but that shouldn’t surprise anyone considering the kind of inflammatory, exploitative, and fictitious material they publish. [Read more…]

Photo of the Week: The Jerusalem you can’t learn from a book

Photo credit: Elif Görken
Date taken: January 1, 2015
Location: Jerusalem, West Bank, Palestine

Children play on the steps of the Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem. [Read more…]

Photo of the Week: Palestine plays football on the big stage

Photo credit: Quinn Rooney
Date taken: January 16, 2015
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

The Palestinian national football team lines up for the national anthem moments before its match against Jordan in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. [Read more…]

Stanford students stage civil disobedience, shut down bridge

Students from Stanford University joined forces with community members and shut down the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge earlier this evening to protest police brutality in Ferguson, institutionalized racism against Black Americans, and state-sponsored violence in Palestine and Mexico, which the United States government staunchly supports.

No less than 68 Stanford students were arrested by California Highway Patrol officers. Of the 68, 11 were jailed and the rest were released with citations.

The civil disobedience occurred on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. According to participants, the action intended to ‘reclaim MLK’ and to draw valuable connections between struggles against oppression within the United States and around the world. In the words of recent Stanford graduate Kristian Davis Bailey, who was quoted by The Stanford Daily, “it was time to put my body on the line and use my privilege as a Stanford student to elevate the issues of Black Lives Matter.” [Read more…]

Match Report: Despite valiant debut, Palestine falls short to Japan

Palestine made its AFC Asian Cup debut on Monday against reigning champions Japan. Despite playing passionately for the entire match, the Palestinians fell short to the Blue Samurais, conceding three goals in the first half and a fourth goal at the start of the second half.

Palestine did not expect to win against Japan but they certainly played as though they had every intention to. Their defense was, for the most part, very capable of marking Japan’s stealthy forwards and disrupting their offensive tactics. Despite an awkward start, goalkeeper Ramzi Saleh showed the 15,000 spectators why he is the most suitable player to captain the Palestinian national team. His quick hands and swift dives kept Japan from pulling away with a much greater lead. One memorable performance happened in the second half during a long scramble in front of the goal when Saleh and the Palestinian defensive backs successfully protected their net from at least three consecutive shot attempts.

Palestine’s valiant efforts did not go unrecognized by the Japanese players, the commentators, and especially the fans, who maintained a very party-like atmosphere for the duration of the game. Palestinian flags waved alongside flags of their “Middle Eastern cousins,” as one commentator put it, and familiar nationalistic chants could be heard booming from the supporter’s section even during the match’s slowest moments. “Free, free Palestine” chants took over the stadium in Newcastle after the final whistle.

Overall, Japan dominated the match from the outset. Endo led Japan’s midfield while Honda and Okazaki controlled the pace of the game up front. The Japanese side came out in full force and played a heavy attacking game in the first half that was largely successful. But Palestine took on the second half with a renewed sense of poise and came out swinging.

Considering the fact that this is Palestine’s first match at this top tier of play, this experience will certainly provide them with valuable experience to take on Jordan on Friday and Iraq on Tuesday. The players were able to identify weak points and will seek to fill those gaps before their next two group stage matches. [Read more…]

Palestine social media kit for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup

Palestine’s stunning display at the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup saw them through to their first international trophy win and, more importantly, their first appearance in the Asian Cup, the continent’s most prestigious football tournament.

The Palestinian national team landed in Australia early to prepare for their upcoming matches. The squad shares Group D of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup with Japan, Jordan, and Iraq.

A finish in either of the top two spots of the group will see the Palestinian national team through to the knockout stage.

Palestine is currently ranked the 14th strongest team in Asia by FIFA. Their recent success, which has made them the talk of the Asian Cup, came against all odds. Coach Saeb Jendaya, who took over the head spot in the run-up to the Cup, lost his home to Israel’s invasion of the Gaza Strip last summer. Many of the players face severe travel restrictions under Israel’s military law which has made it almost impossible for the entire team to practice on the same pitch.

Palestine has a tough road ahead. The following is the team’s preliminary schedule.

Here at Sixteen Minutes to Palestine, we will cover Palestine’s progress in the tournament. Show your support of the Lions of Canaan by uploading the following images and banners, sharing our updates, and tweeting with the #PalestineUp hashtag. [Read more…]

Muslim freedoms do not matter

Guest contribution by Samee Sulaiman

The United States is responding to the murders in France with the familiar cycle of spectacular emoting that we have seen over and over again in past events.

Included in this cycle are those outraged by this slight on freedom of speech and those who are outraged that Muslims again are receiving disproportionate attention and blame for the horrific forms of violence occurring all over the world. I have always been part of the latter group, but recently I have become too cynical to respond to these things, so I just ignore them. What I cannot ignore anymore, however is the hypocrisy that all of us continuously enact with our expressions of disgust.

Those of a progressive or leftist mindset might think they know what I am going to say, that portrayals of the loss of Muslim life are never as tragic, or that the violence of white people is never considered as horrific. No, we know this. We have known this for decades and centuries.

What is so terribly ironic about the current discourse is that both the bigots and the progressives have fallen victim to the same trap: that when we express our thoughts in these moments we have reduced Muslim life to only its coarsest biological definition. For when we express outrage at these murders or respond to that outrage only with arguments about disregard for Muslim life and white/Christian/secular/imperialist murder, we forget one thing: it is precisely that the people who have suffered the most attacks on their freedoms in these democratic countries and the nations they occupy, bomb, and destroy are Muslims. [Read more…]

When living became a crime

Guest contribution by Isaac K. Agboola

Palestine.
So far removed from the struggle of my brother.
The agony, the pain, the chaos.
It’s hard to believe that we came from the same mother.

It’s funny how quickly you get really good at goodbyes.
I remember when they just used to take seconds and were quickly forgotten.
But these days the sentiments are more intimate.
The time spent is intentional, because walking out the doorway might not just be the exit from home, but an exit from the life that we know.

The skies darken, sirens wail, and the air is covered in ashes.
Who will survive us, if all the kin we have are mannequins?
Lifeless, limp, and desolate.

Who will be the voice to cry for us?
The ones we assumed would be the protectors have long since been muffled.
I have no stakes in this war.
I just wasn’t aware of when living became a crime.

It’s unfortunate that I was born here.
It’s unfortunate I look the way I do.
Its unfortunate that I live on this side.
It’s unfortunate for Palestine. [Read more…]

Inspiring: Gaza man displays utmost integrity despite crushing personal circumstances

A crippling siege could not erase the integrity of an entire people, as evidenced by one Palestinian man earlier this week.

Jawad Mansour is a father of five who has fallen on tough times. It appeared that luck was working in his favor when he stumbled upon a stash of $30,000 USD on his way to work. But despite his difficult financial circumstances, he made sure that every single dollar was returned to its rightful owner.

Mansour, known also as Abu Waseem, even refused to accept the reward, citing personal principles.

Abu Waseem has worked for eight years as a municipal caretaker in the Gaza Strip. He can often be found sweeping streets and watering plants along the road for a mere $200 USD per month.

He makes barely enough money to provide for his family.

On his way to work on December 29, Mansour found $30,000 USD abandoned on the road. He immediately set off to find the money’s owner.

That same day, a man identified as Abu Muhammad filed a report with Gaza police. He had attempted to make a deposit at a local bank when he found that he was short $30,000 USD. [Read more…]

T.I. gives Gaza Strip shoutout in recently released single

In the spirit of covering Palestine’s presence in the world of music, we have just been alerted to a politically-conscious rap single by recording artist T.I. that mentions the Gaza Strip in its opening line.

‘New National Anthem’, which features vocals from Skylar Grey, focuses on a number of injustices endemic to the United States particularly as they apply to Black America. From police-endorsed racial profiling to the school-to-prison pipeline that breaks families apart and prevents new ones from forming, and from political corruption to the ever-expanding gun problem, T.I. asks a very valid question: “Is this the new national anthem?”

Despite the track’s relevance to today’s social climate, it was written months before the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, this past August. The single was finalized and released on September 23. The lyrics ring truer today than ever before. [Read more…]

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