On January 19, during one of its raids in the Occupied West Bank, the Israeli military arrested a Palestinian journalist, Abdul Muhsen Shalaldeh, near Al-Khalil (Hebron). This is just the latest of a staggering number of violations against Palestinian journalists and freedom of expression. A few days earlier, the head of the Palestinian Journalist Syndicate (PJS), Naser Abu Baker, shared some tragic numbers during a press conference in Ramallah. “Fifty-five reporters have been killed, either by Israeli fire or bombardment since 2000,” he said. Hundreds more were wounded, arrested or detained. Although shocking, much of this reality is censored in mainstream media. The murder by Israeli occupation soldiers of veteran Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh on May 11 was an exception, partly due to the global influence of her employer, Al Jazeera Network.
Hundreds of Palestinians gathered on Monday, January 23, near Khan al-Ahmar in the occupied West Bank to oppose the proposed Israeli plan to forcefully displace the residents by demolishing their village. The protesters gathered following the calls for demolition issued by ultra right-wing Itamar Ben-Gvir, interior minister in Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. It was also rumored that Ben-Gvir would be visiting Khan al-Ahmar along with his cabinet colleague and settler leader Bezalel Smotrich. Maarouf Rifai, legal advisor to Palestinian Authority (PA), who participated in the protests, told Al Jazeera that Khan al-Ahmar “is Palestinian land. It is private Palestinian land. There is no excuse for the Israeli government, other than to develop the ‘Greater Jerusalem’ plan and to link the settlements surrounding East Jerusalem in order to clear this area from Palestinian Arabs.” He asserted that PA will not let Khan al-Ahmar be demolished.
In the past year alone, the movement led by Native communities to reclaim lands and spaces — sometimes called the “Land Back” movement — saw huge gains in mainstream momentum. Some of that has come from rallies, like those led by Indigneous activists fighting to close Mount Rushmore. Other conversations about Native lands have been sparked by major court decisions, like the Supreme Court's landmark decision in the McGirt case in which it ruled that a large portion of Oklahoma is still Native land. And with U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland now the country’s first Native secretary of the interior, many Land Back advocates are finding renewed hope in their aspirations. But make no mistake: The concept of Indigenous reclamation — land and otherwise — isn’t new. The movement encapsulates everything from protecting treaty rights to reviving cultural practices that have been historically threatened to securing farmland, all of which Native nations have fought to protect since settlers first arrived.
In recent years, the concept of white supremacy has been associated with extreme racist groups and ultranationalists, as well as high profile acts of associated racial terrorism, particularly in Western countries. Some examples are: the massacre of nine African-American worshippers at Mother Emmanuel AME Church in South Carolina (USA), the violent white nationalist march in Charlottesville, Virginia (USA), the mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand that killed 51 people and injured 49, the Hanau, Germany attack that killed nine people and wounded six others, and the shooting deaths of eleven congregants in a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA), among many others. There has also been a renewed rise of right-wing movements, politicians, and governments who espouse and advocate for ethno-nationalist and white supremacist policies.
In the middle of the Sahara desert, half a million people resist and fight for their liberation. Under the slogan “intensify the armed struggle to expel the invader and build sovereignty,” the Polisario Front, the political organization that leads the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), is holding its 16th Congress in Dajla – one of five Sahrawi refugee camps in the town of Tindouf, Algeria. After 30 years of ceasefire, this is the first Congress to be held again in the context of armed confrontation with Morocco. “All the human, financial, and material resources are sent to support the combat on the armed front. Before they were directed to other areas that will continue, but we must focus on the battlefield,” SADR’s Prime Minister Bucharaya Beyun declared. The Sahrawi Republic was founded in 1975, after gaining its independence from Spain.
Benjamin Netanyahu has been sworn in for his sixth term as prime minister of Israel. While his prior tenures resulted in the commission of war crimes against the Palestinian people, Netanyahu’s new regime promises to be the most right-wing and religiously conservative in Israel’s history. Netanyahu won reelection despite facing criminal charges for bribery, fraud and breach of trust. In order to secure a sixth term, Netanyahu made a devil’s bargain with the extreme right-wing religious elements in Israel. Aside from Netanyahu’s largely secular Likud Party, all other parties in his new coalition are religious, with two of them representing ultra-Orthodox Jewish Israelis, or Haredim.
Morocco, Western Sahara - Moroccan forces illegally occupying the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) have come under repeated bombardment by the Sahrawi People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). Moroccan forces currently occupy over 80% of SADR, also known as Western Sahara, which remains classified by the UN as among the last countries still awaiting decolonization. On Friday, December 30, according to a statement by the Ministry of Defense of SADR, the SPLA “targeted the trenches of the occupation soldiers in several areas of the Mahbas sector.” The SPLA bombarded the positions of occupation forces in this region, in the northwest of occupied territory, for the third consecutive day on Friday. Attacks were also reported on December 28 and 29, inflicting “heavy losses in lives and equipment along the wall of humiliation and shame.”
On November 9, the Supreme Court heard the case Haaland v. Brackeen. You might not have seen much about it; media coverage has been spotty. I will drop us into the center of it with the lead of our guest’s recent piece for Truthout.org: Anywhere colonizers have invaded, Indigenous children have been separated from their communities. Whether through boarding or residential schools, child protective services, or outright murder, the theft of Indigenous children destroys tribal nations—which is what’s at stake in the US Supreme Court case Haaland v. Brackeen. Nominal plaintiffs in the case, Chad and Jennifer Brackeen, fostered a Native child whom they subsequently adopted, but were upset that they might not be able to as easily adopt his half-sister. But, as with many Supreme Court cases, their story is not the story, which extends far beyond them. It requires critical, thoughtful, human rights–centered storytelling to untangle an intentionally snarled story, to explain what—and who, really—are truly at stake.
Seventy-Five years after the United Nations’ fatal decision to partition Palestine, the carnage and oppression of Palestinians by those who would claim they represent the Jewish people continues – and it promises to get much worse. Some claim that Zionism came to save the Jewish people from another Holocaust, that they speak for defenseless Jews so that they will never again have to endure a genocide the likes of the Nazi genocide of the Jews in Europe. But these assertions are merely excuses to allow the Zionist regime to exercise its cruelty and brutality without interruption. The United Nations Partition Resolution or Resolution 181 of November 1947 brought about the first attacks against Palestinians and opened the door to the brutality of forced exile.
On 21 November 2022, Mali’s interim prime minister, Colonel Abdoulaye Maïga, issued a statement on social media announcing the government’s decision ‘to ban, with immediate effect, all activities carried out by [French] NGOs operating in Mali’. This announcement came a few days after the French government cut Official Development Aid (ODA) to Mali, alleging that Mali’s government is ‘allied to Wagner’s Russian mercenaries’ (referring to the Russian private military company, the Wagner Group). Colonel Maïga called the French claims ‘fanciful allegations’ and a ‘subterfuge intended to deceive and manipulate national and international public opinion for the purpose of destabilising and isolating Mali’. This is the latest expression of a new mood that has gripped the areas of northern Africa where France once wielded colonial rule.
Starting in 1452, under the guise of the Papal Bull Romanus Pontifex and later the 1493 Papal Bull Inter Cetera, the Christian Doctrine of Discovery, European Christians began their efforts to expand colonial rule, and the Christian Empire, throughout the world. These Papal Bulls sanctioned European Christian Nations to “capture, vanquish, and subdue the saracens, pagans, and other enemies of Christ, to put them into perpetual slavery, and to take all their possessions and property” and were authorized “to take possession of any lands discovered that were not under the dominion of any Christian rulers.” Early colonial efforts centered on the western coast of Africa as Portugal “claimed” lands and engaged in the trafficking of African slaves.
According to UAINE youth organizer Kisha James, who is Aquinnah Wampanoag and Oglala Lakota and the granddaughter of Wamsutta Frank James, the founder of National Day of Mourning, “Native people have no reason to celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims. We want to educate people about the true origins of the first Thanksgiving, which were far bloodier than the ‘Pilgrims and Indians’ story in the Thanksgiving myth. The first official day of ‘thanksgiving’ was declared in Massachusetts in 1637 by Puritan Governor Winthrop to celebrate the massacre of over 700 Pequot men, women and children on the banks of the Mystic River in Connecticut. Wampanoag and other Indigenous people have certainly not lived happily ever after since the arrival of the Pilgrims. To us, Thanksgiving is a Day of Mourning.
“Look, we are defending ourselves,” he says, in a voice both clear and firm, apparently anticipating the question. “I first became wanted [by Israel] two years ago,” he tells Mondoweiss. Pistol always on hand, his stature is imposing, his gait upright. Abu Daboor, 28, stands at the entrance of Jenin refugee camp. The brown flesh of his hands contrasts with his black top and dark sweatpants. Behind him, past the roundabout and through the barricades at the entrance of Jenin Refugee camp, a clumsy graffiti reads, “the wasps’ nest welcomes you.” Established in 1953, the 0.42 square kilometers comprising the camp is home to almost 12,000 Palestinians, many of whom are originally from areas near Haifa and Nazareth, north of historic Palestine.
“Land Back.” You may have seen this slogan recently on T-shirts or hashtags, but its roots are as old as the colonization and displacement of Native people in the U.S. In recent years, Washington has seen several new Native land reclamation efforts, ranging from ancestral land purchased by tribes themselves to land returned to tribes that was purchased by conservation groups or other entities. At their core, Land Back initiatives are intended to support the sovereignty and self-determination of Indigenous people. The reclamation efforts begin to remedy the injustice of government policies that stripped land, language and culture from Native people. They also recognize the urgent need to approach our environment and ecology in a more sustainable way that protects life for seven generations and beyond.
On Monday October 10, when the nation celebrates Indigenous Peoples’ Day, D.C.-based peace activists transformed a prominent statue of Queen Isabella I of Castile by dressing her in traditional indigenous garments. The statue stands in Washington, D.C.’s Foggy Bottom neighborhood at the entrance to the headquarters of the Organization of the American States (OAS). Queen Isabella sponsored Christopher Columbus’ 1492 expedition that led to the extermination of millions of indigenous peoples, laying the foundation for Spanish colonialism and the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The statue was gifted to the OAS in 1966 by the fascist leader of Spain, Francisco Franco. General Franco clearly looked to Queen Isabella as the embodiment of his own ideals, and of the right of Christian Europeans to rule as dictators over other peoples.