ePalestine is where I frequently post news and opinions from Palestine. As a Palestinian-American living and working in Ramallah/Al-Bireh, Palestine, I cover the issue from both a Palestinian and American vantage point. Most postings will be either eyewitness reports, opinion editorials or newsworthy items not readily found in the mainstream media.
RAMALLAH, West Bank -- Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner has made me embarrassed to be an Ohioan. His invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress breaks protocol, advances the foreign policy of an expansionist Israeli leader over that of our own president, and brings the United States closer to a war with Iran that most Americans do not want.
Open Democracy (English)
Al-Quds Newspaper (Arabic)
Resetting Palestine's political system إعادة ضبط النظام السياسي في فلسطين ما عاد يحتمل الانتظار
By Sam Bahour
Today, Palestinian political strategy is being driven in the total absence of a functioning political system. Israel's forced fragmentation of our geographic reality mixed with internal political party divisions, disgust, despair and incompetence, the status quo tears apart Palestine's societal fabric. If it remains on its current course, the train of national liberation is bound to derail, resulting in serious, if not permanent, damage to our bid for freedom and independence.
Repairing the Palestinian political system cannot wait any longer.
Al-Hal (Issue 115 - Volume 10)
Issued by Media Development Center, Birzeit University
Between storytelling and reporting a story بين رواية الخبر ونقله
By Sam Bahour
Every culture has stories, whether for entertainment, education, cultural preservation, or instilling moral values. Many times, stories address more than one goal simultaneously. These stories are sometimes repeated so often in a family or community that they take on the characteristics of a fairy tale, but not without retaining a hint of the underlying truths. The life cycle of a story from fact to fiction is a discussion for another time, but let's bear in mind that when a story's main medium of travel is oral, a mix of fact, improvisation and embellishment are usually present in the final result.
Published in Hebrew in LOCAL CALL on current Israeli elections:
NO CHOICE: THE PEOPLE WHO CANNOT VOTE SPEAK
Israel pretends its society is a normal, US-style melting pot, but there are only two problems – there is nothing remotely "normal" about Israeli's societal composition and, furthermore, the pot's ingredients, by policy design, have yet to melt. The destructive societal divisions amongst Israel's population shines through during every election; this time around is no different. While Israel's nearly five-decade military occupation of Palestinians is slowly, but surely, ripping Israel out of its global comfort zone, not one electoral contender has peeped a word about how the occupation will come to an end.
Likewise, while racism inside Israel against Christian and Muslim Palestinians—full Israeli citizens—has reached levels provoking even some Jewish Israelis to call it fascism, Israel's political parties are acting as if it's business-as-usual. The only bold and somewhat refreshing electoral move, thus far, is Avraham Burg's joining of the Hadash Political Party, and even there the debate immediately focused around Palestinian political parties running in a single slate, or not, instead of the seismic shift that Burg's move represents amongst Israel's Zionist personalities.
Bottom line for us Palestinians 'living' under Israel's boot of occupation: Historically, in the USA and many other places, when a population is long disenfranchised, unrest ensues, forcing greater equality.
Jewish Israelis living in perpetual denial should take note when they head to their polling booths this March, for their sake if not for ours. The looming fork in the road for us is signposted "Palestinian Statehood" or "Civil Rights for All." While the idea of the former is dispensable, the coming of the latter is inevitable.
Palestinian Leaders Are Taking Their Quest for Statehood Global — Consequences Be Damned
By Alice Speri
January 19, 2015
"If we use violence we're punished, if we use international law we're punished, if we try to hold Israel accountable we're punished," Sam Bahour, a Palestinian-American businessman based in Ramallah, told VICE News. "I'm not exactly sure what Israel expects the Palestinians to do under occupation. But we would hope that the international community at least holds Israel accountable not to punish the Palestinians for doing diplomatic work — not only for the Palestinians' sake but also for the sake of the integrity of the international system of governance."
This volume brings together the voices and views of leading Palestinian, Israeli-Jewish, and European intellectuals, politicians, and activists who propose alternative approaches and "out of the box" thinking on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
More specifically, this unique volume aims to contribute to the emerging efforts of re-examining the current strategies and paradigms through proposing and exploring new perspectives, visionary discourses, and alternatives to partition in the case of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Put differently, it seeks to enrich European public discourse with original and refreshing views and alternative paradigms to settling this lingering conflict.