Latest Entries

Israel’s historical fear of the Palestinian mind witnessed in Gaza today

Israel’s occupation is deliberate and intentionally extensive. It is designed to inflict maximum damage on Palestinians while shirking as much responsibility as possible.

In the Gaza Strip, the ongoing siege has ruined the lives of tens of thousands of families and has effectively crushed the dreams of so many bright Palestinian students. The siege was created in 2006 to deprive Palestinians not just of food, water, and daily-use products but of safety, opportunity, and a window to the outside world as well.

This weekend, students unable to leave Gaza to pursue further education staged a protest and threw mock diplomas into the sea as a symbol of their achingly lost dreams.

Israel has historically feared the Palestinian mind. The exaggerated stories of Palestinian parents walking miles over rocks and in between tanks, barefoot and carrying recycled notebooks bearing the scuffed graphite strokes of last year’s notes, are truer than we are inclined to believe. Education is emphasized and then it is overemphasized. Palestinians allow very little to get in the way of education, and it is not uncommon for families to send their children to school even with Israeli air strikes ringing just miles away. Hours-long delays at military checkpoints are factored into the travel time. Palestinians don’t arrive to class late — they leave home early.

Despite its challenging circumstances, Palestine is recognized throughout the Middle East for its academic achievement. Literacy rates are among the highest in the Middle East. Education, many Palestinians will say, is one of Palestine’s most sacred institutions. Read More

Call-Out: Seeking submissions on the ‘identity shaming’ of Palestinians

Sixteen Minutes to Palestine (SMP) is preparing to launch a new series on the many ways in which Palestinian-Americans have had to hide their identities in academic or professional settings.

There are many instances when Palestinians have been encouraged to keep their identities hidden to avoid offending colleagues or peers, or to avoid hurting their career, academic, or personal prospects.

The implication is that being Palestinian is inappropriate and that its rich and complex heritage is inherently offensive. This is largely due to the way Palestinians are vilified in mainstream news and pop culture. There are, however, many other reasons, and this is where you come in.

Little has been written about this issue and its implications on Palestinian academic and professional progress. Little is also understood about what contributes to this identity shaming. Our goal is to highlight how extensively Palestinians are shamed for their identity. After that, we hope to expand the conversation into possible solutions.

We are currently in need of guest contributions. If you have ever experienced some kind of identity shaming, if you have ever been advised to hide your identity as a Palestinian in order to “better your chances,” or if you have ever been punished because of your Palestinian identity, we humbly request that you consider submitting. Read More

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

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

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