Musings of figurative artist Kathryn Kaiser
Musings of figurative artist Kathryn Kaiser

Resources and Mutual Aid

Resources and Mutual Aid for Palestine

Here are some resources and mutual aid for Palestine that I have found most helpful both in understanding the conflict, and for helping those on the ground.

Note that I have taken many of the media descriptions from the publishers/distributers and websites. A number of Jewish authors, directors and organizations have been intentionally included in this compilation.

I have attempted to add a wide variety of sources, to appeal to a wide variety of humans. Please see this as a starter list only, because there is so much more material available to grow your understanding. Knowledge is power.

If you select the book images, the link will take you directly to the applicable publishers. Side note on purchasing books: Please support your local book stores! If you are in Canada, Penguin has a Local Independent Bookstores list here.

See my Linktree (here) for more resources and mutual aid for Palestine (and Turtle Island). Thanks so much.

Contents

Educational Resources

Starter Non-Fiction

1. Edward W. Said | The Question of Palestine

The Question of PalestineThis original and deeply provocative book was the first to make Palestine the subject of a serious debate–one that remains as critical as ever.

“A compelling call for identity and justice.” ~ Anthony Lewis

With the scholarship he brought to the groundbreaking Orientalism, Edward W. Said traces the collision between two peoples in the Middle East and its repercussions in the lives of both the occupier and the occupied, as well as in the conscience of the West.

He has updated this important work to portray the changed status of Palestine and its people since the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the Intifada, the Gulf War, and the ongoing Middle East peace initiative. For anyone interested in this region and its future, The Question of Palestine is one of the most authoritative accounts available.

“Books such as Mr. Said’s need to be written and read in the hope that understanding will provide a better chance of survival.” ~ The New York Times Book Review

Edward Wadie Said was a Palestinian-American philosopher, academic, literary critic, and political activist. As a professor of literature at Columbia University, he was among the founders of post-colonial studies.

Published by Vintage 1992


2. Rashid Khalidi | The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917–2017

Hundred Years' War on PalestineA landmark history of 100 years of war waged against the Palestinians from the foremost US historian of the Middle East, told through pivotal events and family history

Drawing on a wealth of untapped archival materials and the reports of generations of family members, mayors, judges, scholars, diplomats and journalists, The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine upends accepted interpretations of the conflict.

Khalidi traces 100 years of colonial war on the Palestinians, waged first by the Zionist movement and then Israel (backed by Britain and US). He highlights key episodes in this colonial campaign, from the 1917 Balfour Declaration to the endless and futile peace process. 

Authoritative and important, The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine is not a chronicle of victimization, nor does it whitewash the mistakes made on both sides. In reevaluating the forces against the Palestinians, it offers an illuminating new view of a conflict that continues to this day.

Published by Metropolitan Books 2020


3. Ilan Pappé | The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine

The Ethnic Cleansing of PalestineRenowned Jewish Israeli historian, Ilan Pappé’s groundbreaking work on the formation of the State of Israel.

“The book that is providing a storm of controversy, from ‘Israel’s bravest historian.”  ~ John Pilger

Between 1947 – 1949, over 400 Palestinian villages were deliberately destroyed, civilians were massacred and around a million men, women and children were expelled from their homes at gunpoint.

Denied for almost 6 decades, it can only be called ethnic cleansing. Decisively debunking the myth that the Palestinian population left of their own accord in the course of this war, Ilan Pappé offers impressive archival evidence to demonstrate that, from its very inception, Israel’s founding ideology was the forcible removal of the Indigenous population. Indispensable for anyone interested in the current crisis in the Middle East.

Ilan Pappé is a Jew, an Israeli historian, a political scientist, and former politician. He is a professor with the College of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of Exeter in the UK, director of the university’s European Centre for Palestine Studies, and co-director of the Exeter Centre for Ethno-Political Studies. Pappé was also a board member and candidate of the Israeli political party Hadash.

 Published by Simon & Schuster 2007


4. Edward W. Said | Orientalism

Edward Said - OrientalismEssential, and still eye-opening, Orientalism remains one of the most important books written about our divided world.

Widely regarded as a foundational work in the field of post-colonial studies, Palestinian-American Edward Said’s Orientalism describes this concept as a framework used by Western scholars in their denigrated depictions of “The Orient.” 

Said shows how Orientalist writings and ideologies actively shape the world they describe, and how they perpetuate views of Middle Eastern people as inferior, subservient, and in need of saving. As a result, these often racist or romanticized stereotypes create a worldview that justifies Western colonialism and imperialism.

Orientalism has had an immeasurable impact on many fields of study, including literary criticism, cultural studies, and epistemological studies.

Published by Vintage 1978


5. Dov Waxman | The Israeli-Palestine Conflict: What Everyone Needs to Know

The Israeli Palestine ConflictThe Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: What Everyone Needs to Know is a highly readable, engaging and accessible account of the origins of the conflict and the reasons it has proven so difficult to solve.

“Waxman draws on his command of history, diplomacy and politics to untangle what is surely the most challenging quandary in the Middle East since the Gordian knot, and he dispenses his solid expertise in short bursts of clear and highly illuminating prose.” ~ Jonathan Kirsch, The Jewish Journal

This small (283 page) book explains key events, examines core issues, and presents competing claims and narratives of both sides. Waxman offers a range of Israeli and Palestinian perspectives, showing that there is no one Israeli or Palestinian view of the conflict, and that this very diversity of views is one of the reasons this conflict has proven so intractable.

Dov Waxman is the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Professor of Israel Studies at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and the director of the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies.

Published by Oxford University Press 2019


6. Saree Makdisi | Tolerence is a Wasteland

Tolerence is a Wasteland
How denial sustains the liberal imagination of a progressive and democratic Israel.

Despite well-documented evidence of racism and human rights abuses, Israel has long been embraced by the most liberal sectors of Western society as a manifestation of the progressive values of tolerance, plurality, inclusivity and democracy.

In only 244 pages, Tolerance Is a Wasteland argues that the key to this miraculous act of political alchemy is a very specific form of denial. The Palestinian presence in and claim to, Palestine is not simply refused or covered up, but negated in such a way that the act of denial is itself denied.

Saree Makdisi explores acts such as the haunted landscape of thickly planted forests covering the ruins of Palestinian villages forcibly depopulated in 1948, the theatre of “pinkwashing” as Israel presents itself to the world as a gay-friendly haven of cultural inclusion and the Museum of Tolerance being built on top of the ruins of a Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem (which was methodically desecrated to clear the space for this monument to “human dignity”). In only 244 pages.

Published by University of California Press 2022


7. Miko Peled | The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine

The Israeli Palestine Conflict“There are few books on the Israel/Palestine issue that seem as hopeful to me as this one.” ~ Alice Walker (Activist and Author of The Color Purple)

In 1997, a tragedy struck the family of Israeli-American Miko Peled when niece was killed by a suicide bomber in Jerusalem. That event pushed him to re-examine many of the beliefs he had grown up with, as the son and grandson of leading figures in Israel’s political-military elite.

In The General’s Son, Peled writes about growing up in Jerusalem in the heart of the group that ruled the young Israel. He describes the path he took to his belief in peace between the peoples living in the Holy Land. He paints numerous touching portraits of Palestinian and Israeli peace activists he has worked with in recent years.

Avraham Miko Peled was born in Jerusalem to a prominent Zionist family. His grandfather, Avraham Katznelson signed Israel’s Declaration of Independence. His father, Mattityahu Peled, who fought in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and served as a general in the Six-Day War of 1967.

 Published by Just World Books 2012


Documentaries

Note: A large number of documentaries on Palestine are heavily censored. You may find that availability frequently shifts from one platform to another.

1. Al Nakba | Al Jazeera (2013)

This four-part series on the ‘Nakba’ (meaning the ‘catastrophe) is the history of the Palestinian exodus that led to the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948, and the establishment of the state of Israel.

Al Nakba - Resources and Mutual Aid

The documentary begins in 1799 with Napoleon’s attempted advance into Palestine to check British expansion and his appeal to the Jews of the world to reclaim their land in league with France. It then moves through the 19th century and into the 20th century with the British Mandate in Palestine and ends in the 21st century and the current crisis. Arab, Israeli and Western intellectuals, historians and eye-witnesses provide the central narrative, and accompanied by archive material and documents, many only recently released.

Since first running on Al Jazeera Arabic in 2008, this series has won Arab and international awards and has been well received at festivals throughout the world. Each episode is approximately 45 minutes, it’s free to watch online, and is a well researched, well presented and thorough documentary.

47 min | Directed by Rawan Damen | Watch series here.

*Note: You have to click on the ‘read more’ link to get to the full series


2. 5 Broken Cameras (2011)

5 Broken Cameras is a powerful work of front-line filmmaking.
5 Broken Cameras Resources and Mutual Aid
5 Broken Cameras

When his son Gibreel is born, Palestinian farm labourer Emad obtains his first video camera. At the same time, in his village of Bil’in (west of Ramallah) a separation barrier is being built that will cut through their farmlands, and the neighbouring Israeli settlement of Modi’in-Ilit plans to expand onto disputed territory.

The villagers resist, and weekly demonstrations begin. Using this first camera, Emad recorded how the bulldozers came to rip the olive trees out of the ground. 

For more than 5 years Emad films the protests as well as continuing to document the growth of his son Gibreel. Very soon the struggle affects his family and his own life, and daily arrests and night raids terrify them all. His friends, brothers and himself are either shot or arrested.

One after the other, his cameras are shot or smashed. Each of Emad’s 5 cameras tells part of his story.

Winner of a 2012 Sundance Film Festival Award, the 2013 International Emmy Award and Best Feature Documentary at Jerusalem Film Festival (among many other awards). Nominated for a 2013 Academy Award.

94 min | Directed by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi | Trailer


3. Tantura (2021)

What happened at Tantura was not an isolated event. It was one of the many villages which were targeted in 1948, but information about this has never been widespread. Until now.

“Most Israelis believe the naive story that Palestinians ran away in 1948. They don’t know that the Israeli army went into village after village and drove the people out, sometimes committing war crimes like the massacre at Tantura.” ~ Alon Schwarz

Tantura (2022) Resources and Mutual Aid

When Jewish Israeli graduate student Teddy Katz meticulously documented a massacre of Palestinian civilians surrounding Israel’s independence, he was celebrated for his groundbreaking work. Imminently, he was stripped of his degrees and was publicly shamed as a fraudulent traitor. Decades later, new evidence emerged to corroborate Katz’s initial findings.

The Tantura village massacre took place in May 1948 during the Arab-Israeli War. Between 200-300 Palestinian villagers from Tantura were killed by Israel’s Haganah militia. The massacre occurred following Tantura’s surrender and the victims were buried in a mass grave, which today serves as a car park for the nearby Tel Dor beach.

The Tantura documentary features interviews with former Israeli soldiers as they recount what happened at Tantura and the roles that they played in the killings. It also features tapes from research conducted by Katz and explores the way in which his investigation into the massacre was shut down.

Tantura is a such a crucial, albeit difficult watch.

94 min | Directed by Alon Schwarz | Trailer


4. Israelism (2023)

Israelism uniquely explores how Jewish attitudes towards Israel are changing dramatically, with massive consequences for the region and for Judaism itself.

Israelism (2023)

Israelism delves into the deeply rooted beliefs of two American Jews who were brought up to ardently support Israel. Their worlds are upended when they confront Israel’s treatment of Palestinians firsthand.

Through poignant interviews with luminaries like Noam Chomsky and Cornel West, it unravels a generational divide in the Jewish-American community’s perception of Zionism.

Directed by two first-time Jewish filmmakers who share a similar story to the film’s protagonists, Israelism is produced by Peabody-winner & 6-time Emmy-nominee Daniel J. Chalfen (Loudmouth, Boycott) along with activist and filmmaker Nadia Saah (Mo, Omar, 5 Broken Cameras), executive produced by 2-time Emmy winner Brian A. Kates and edited by Emmy winner Tony Hale.

84 min | Directed by Erin Axelman & Sam Eilertsen | Trailer


5. Gaza Fights For Freedom (2019)

At its core, ‘Gaza Fights For Freedom’ is a thorough indictment of the Israeli military for war crimes with exclusive documentary evidence and a stunning cinematic portrayal of Palestinians’ heroic resistance.

Gaza Fights For Freedom

This debut feature film by journalist Abby Martin began while reporting in Palestine, where she was denied entry into Gaza by the Israeli government on the accusation she was a “propagandist.” Abby then connected with a team of journalists in Gaza to produce the film through the blockaded border.

Gaza Fights for Freedom is a documentary about the historic Great March Of Return protests, which occurred every week from March 2018 until December 2019, but covers much more. It tells the story of Gaza past and present, showing rare archival footage that explains the history never acknowledged by mass media. We hear from victims of the ongoing massacre including journalists, medics and the family of internationally-acclaimed paramedic, Razan al-Najjar.

This well researched and cinematically beautiful film is high on my recommended list. The full documentary is available to view free on YouTube as of this writing. Go to Gaza Fights For Freedom on YouTube.

84 min | Directed by Abby Martin | Trailer


6. Born In Deir Yassin (2017)

The devastating evolution of the village of Deir Yassin, which was conquered in a highly controversial and pivotal battle in 1948 and subsequently turned into a government-owned psychiatric hospital.

Born In Deir Yassin

The traumatic story of Deir Yassin, the Palestinian village located near Jerusalem that was invaded, conquered, and emptied by Jewish underground fighters in April 1948, is told through first-hand testimonies by Jewish fighters who participated and youth who were sent in to “mop up” the dead.

Born In Deir Yassin also tells the story of Dror Nissan, a man who tries to discover the secrets of his origins by visiting the Israeli government psychiatric hospital built on the grounds of Deir Yassin in 1951.

Israeli director Neta Shoshani was born in Jerusalem and lives and works in Tel Aviv. She graduated from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem in the Visual Communication department. Shoshani served in the IDF Radio as a producer and editor at their news department.

Winner: Prix du Jury, Festival du Film Israélien, Paris, 2018 and Prix “Mémoire de la Méditerranée”, PriMed 2017

Born In Deir Yassin is free to watch on YouTube here.

63 min | Origin: Israel | Director: Neta Shoshani | Trailer


7. The Village Under the Forest (2013)

Unfolding as a personal meditation from the Jewish Diaspora, The Village Under The Forest explores the hidden remains of the destroyed Palestinian village of Lubya.

The Village Under the Forest

What happened in 1948? It’s the question that haunts the Israel-Palestine dynamic and defines so much of the conflict. Using the forest and the village ruins as metaphors, The Village Under the Forest explores themes related to the erasure and persistence of memory and dares to imagine a future in which dignity, acknowledgement and co-habitation become shared possibilities.

This documentary not only explores reconciliation from some deeply introspective viewpoints (both Israeli and Palestinian), it also touches on the concept of eco-Zionism and the destruction of Palestinian native habitat as a form of erasure.

Director Mark J. Kaplan is one of South Africa’s most important documentary filmmakers. His films focus on social and political issues, human rights, and historical memory, often with truth and reconciliation at the core. He has won several international awards for his work.

Heidi Grunebaum is a senior researcher at the University of the Western Cape, Centre for Humanities Research. Her research interests include Holocaust and genocide studies, critical memory studies, aesthetics and politics, comparative literary, film and narrative studies and postcolonial theory and public culture.

Journeyman Pictures have generously made The Village Under the Forest available to watch free on YouTube here.

54 min | Director: Mark J. Kaplan | Writer: Heidi Grunebaum | Trailer


8. Where Olive Trees Weep (2024) *NEW*

Where Olive Trees Weep offers a searing window into the struggles and resilience of the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation. It explores themes of loss, trauma, and the quest for justice.

Where Olive Trees Weep Documentary

“It had me in tears. It broke my heart… It’s a really great film and it’s going to open hearts and minds all over the world.” ~ Gabor Maté

Where Olive Trees Weep was initially conceived as part of a larger series covering the worldwide intergenerational trauma of colonization. Footage for the film was captured over three weeks, between May and June 2022. It was meant to be the last episode in a series tracking colonial projects over the past few centuries. However, after filming 12 international locations in 18 months, it was immediately obvious to both Zaya and Maurizio Benazzo, that these films were meant to be larger explorations of their own.

Where Olive Trees Weep became a priority in the series and is now the first to be released. The filmmakers realized they couldn’t morally delay it in the wake of recent events. It is now available to stream online as part of their 21 day event World People’s Premiere.

Donations from the screenings are going to humanitarian aid organizations in Palestinian communities. Your contribution includes support for the Palestine Red Crescent Society and the Middle East Children Alliance, trauma healing in Palestinian communities and planting olive trees in Palestine.

This documentary offers a window into the continuing struggles of the Palestinian people living under Israeli occupation through a series of interviews with residents of the West Bank.

“We expected to find the same complexity on the ground: a multifaceted scenario of shared responsibility and denial. Within a day or two, like anyone who has traveled to those parts, we found out that the big picture is surprisingly clear: a brutal settler colonial project imposing a very harsh form of apartheid and bent on ethnically cleansing an indigenous population by all available means.” ~ Maurizio Benazzo

The filmmakers have also created a program with leading historians, spiritual teachers, trauma therapists, poets and performers to complement the themes explored in the film. This series, called Conversations on Palestine, provides greater historical, cultural and social context to the plight of the Palestinian people.

Please go to Where Olive Trees Weep website (here) to find out more about the film, how to watch, the Conversations on Palestine series, as well as resources and mutual aid.

A must watch for those intimately familiar with the history of Palestinian oppression, as well as for those who are not. I am greatly anticipating the remainder of this series on colonization!

103 min | Directed by Zaya Benazzo & Maurizio Benazzo | Trailer


Fiction, Film & Poetry

Starter Fiction

1. Susan Abulhawa | Mornings in Jenin

Mornings in JeninMornings in Jenin is haunting and heart-wrenching, a novel of vital contemporary importance. Lending human voices to the headlines, it forces us to take a fresh look at one of the defining political conflicts of our lifetimes.

I highly recommend both this book and this writer. If you are only going to read one Palestinian fictional author, let it be Susan Abulhawa. I have shared some links to her poems, and more info on Susan here..

In the refugee camp of Jenin, Amal is born into a world of loss of home, country, and heritage. Her Palestinian family was driven from their ancestral village by the newly formed state of Israel in 1948. As the villagers fled that day, Amal’s older brother, just a baby, was stolen by an Israeli soldier.

This is the story of one family’s struggle and survival through over sixty years of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, from Jenin to Jerusalem, to Lebanon and the anonymity of the US. It is a story shaped by scars and fear, but also by the transformative intimacy of marriage and the fierce protectiveness of motherhood. It is a story of faith, forgiveness, and life-sustaining love.

 

Published by Bloomsbury Publishing 2010


2. Hala Alyan | Salt Houses

Salt HousesAlyan’s debut novel explores a Palestinian family caught between present and past, between displacement and home.

A multi-generational saga that spans four generations of a family hailing from Palestine, Salt Houses humanises the catastrophic consequences of political violence and displacement.

Narrated from multiple perspectives of the same family, Palestinian author Hala Alyan’s novel explores themes of survival, hope, tradition, and the costs of war.

Lyrical and heartbreaking, Salt Houses is a remarkable debut novel that challenges and humanizes an age-old conflict we might think we understand—one that asks us to confront that most devastating of all truths: you can’t go home again.


3. Susan Abulhawa | Against the Loveless World: A Novel

Against the Loveless World - A NovelA sweeping and lyrical novel that follows a young Palestinian refugee as she slowly becomes radicalized while searching for a better life for her family throughout the Middle East.

As Nahr sits, locked away in solitary confinement, she spends her days reflecting on the dramatic events that landed her in prison in a country she barely knows. Born in Kuwait in the 70s to Palestinian refugees, she dreamed of falling in love with the perfect man, raising children, and possibly opening her own beauty salon.

Instead, the man she thinks she loves jilts her after a brief marriage, her family teeters on the brink of poverty, she’s forced to prostitute herself. The US invasion of Iraq makes her a refugee, as her parents had been.

After trekking through another temporary home in Jordan, she lands in Palestine, where she finally makes a home, falls in love, and her destiny unfolds under Israeli occupation.

Published by Atria Books 2020


4. Adania Shibli | Minor Detail

Minor Detail - Adania ShibliA haunting meditation on war, violence and memory, Minor Detail cuts to the heart of the Palestinian experience of dispossession, life under occupation, and the persistent difficulty of piecing together a narrative in the face of ongoing erasure and disempowerment.

“An extraordinary work of art, Minor Detail is continuously surprising and absorbing: a very rare blend of moral intelligence, political passion and formal virtuosity.” ~ Pankaj Mishra, author of The Age of Anger

Minor Detail begins during the summer of 1949, one year after the war that the Palestinians mourn as the Nakba. Israeli soldiers capture and sexual assault a young Palestinian woman, and kill and bury her in the sand. Many years later, a woman in Ramallah becomes fascinated to the point of obsession with this ‘minor detail’ of history.

Adania Shibli was born in Palestine in 1974. Her first two novels appeared in English with Clockroot Books as Touch and We Are All Equally Far From Love. She was awarded the Young Writer’s Award by the A. M. Qattan Foundation in 2002 and 2004. Minor Detail was shortlisted for the National Book Award for Translated Literature in 2020, and longlisted for the International Booker Prize in 2021.

Published by Fitzcarraldo Editions 2020


Palestinian Films

1. 200 Meters (2020)

200 Meters has a heart-wrenching narrative that beautifully captures the essence of separation and the strength of the human spirit. The film is set against the backdrop of the Israeli occupation, focusing on a simple yet profound premise: a Palestinian family divided by a mere 200 meters and an insurmountable wall.

200 Meters

Director Ameen Nayfeh’s concept for his debut film 200 Meters came from the personal experiences of his own friends and family. “You fight your way to small victories in order to achieve simple, basic tasks,” he said about their lives under Israeli occupation. Mustafa’s story was born out of these true experiences.

Part political drama and part road trip thriller, 200 Meters is at its core a very human story of a father who will do anything to overcome forced separation and be with his family.

Mustafa (Ali Suliman) lives only 200 meters away from his wife Salwa (Lana Zreik) and their children, but they are separated by the Israeli border wall. His permit to work in Israel expires and he can’t get back to his family to see his hospitalized son. What would have been a 200 metre walk becomes a long and dangerous road trip in an illegal attempt to get across the border.

96 min | Directed by Ameen Nayfeh | Trailer


2. The Present (2020)

In Farah Nabulsi’s short film The Present a loving family living in Palestine contend with the difficult reality of everyday life as they are separated by the highly controversial West Bank barrier built by Israel.

The Present (2020)

On his wedding anniversary, Yusef and his young daughter set out in the West Bank to buy his wife a gift. Between soldiers, segregated roads and checkpoints, how easy would it be to go shopping?

The Present is a film written by Farah Nabulsi. It has won dozens of awards, and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film.

Farah Nabulsi is a Palestine filmmaker and human rights advocate and the daughter of Palestinians who made Britain their home in the 1970s. Born and raised in London, Nabulsi was first a civic engineer, then investment banker (with JP Morgan) before becoming a filmmaker.

24 min | Directed by Farah Nabulsi | More info and Trailer


3. It Must Be Heaven (2019)

“Continuing to chart his own path in a Palestinian film landscape generally perceived as monolithic, Elia Suleiman turns his delightfully absurdist, unfailingly generous gaze beyond the physical homeland, where parallels and dissonance abound.” ~ Jay Weissberg

It Must Be Heaven - Resources and Mutual Aid

“Whimsical and wistful yet infused with a yearning for the stability of place, “Heaven” will have gates opened throughout the European indie circuit and potentially further afield.” ~ Jay Weissberg

The Buster Keaton-ish Elia Suleiman himself plays the role of ‘E.S.’, a Palestinian man who finds himself struggling with displacement as he leaves his homeland in search of another place to call home.

This cinematically stunning and quirky comedy won the FIPRESCI Prize for Best Film in Competition at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival and was selected as the Palestinian entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards.

82 min | Directed by Elia Suleiman | Trailer


Palestinian Poetry

1. 5 Palestinian Poems That’ll Reshape Your Understanding of Belonging

Sometimes in prose, other times in free-verse, Mille has compiled five poems published by Palestinian authors that will help you read between the lines and understand the strong bond between themselves and the promised land.

Yassine Hariss | Mille

Link to 5 Palestinian Poems here.


2. Ramy Al Asher | Ever Since I Did Not Die

Ever Since I Did Not DieThrough 17 powerful testimonies, Ever Since I Did Not Die vividly depicts what it means to live through war.

“I gathered these texts like someone collecting body parts. Here are the pieces of my body, haphazardly brought together in a paper bag. It looks like me with all my madness and sickness—how the revolution made me grow up, what the war broke inside me, and what exile chipped away.” ~ Ramy Al Asher

Exquisitely weaving the past with the present and fond memories with brutal realities, this volume celebrates resistance through words that refuse to surrender and continue to create beauty amidst destruction.

Having grown up in a refugee camp in Damascus, Al-Asheq was imprisoned and persecuted by the regime in 2011 during the Syrian Revolution. He was released from jail, only to be recaptured and imprisoned in Jordan.

After escaping from prison, he spent two years in Jordan under a fake name and passport, during which he won a literary fellowship that allowed him to travel to Germany in 2014, where he now lives and writes in exile.

Published by Seagull Books


3. Mahmoud Darwish | In the Presence of Absence

In the Presence of AbsenceThrough these lyrical meditations on love, longing, Palestine, history, friendship, family, and the ongoing conversation between life and death, the poet bids himself and his readers a poignant farewell.

“There are two maps of Palestine that politicians will never manage to forfeit: the one kept in the memories of Palestinian refugees, and that which is drawn by Darwish’s poetry.” ~ Anton Shammas

Widely regarded as the Palestinian national poet, Mahmoud Darwish’s In the Presence of Absence was one of the writer’s last works and explores the relationship between tormenting contradictions. On the threshold of mortality (d. 2008), the poet looks back at his own existence, intertwined with that of his people.

Published by Archipelago


4. Poems From Palestine

A series of 25 poems from Palestine, curated by the poet and translators Fady Joudah and Lena Tuffaha. This collection of poetry is thoughtfully curated and beautifully illustrated with images from the Palestine Poster Project and other Palestinian artists.

Lyric Dispatches | The Baffler

Go to Poems From Palestine here.


5. Mohammed El-Kurd | Rifqa

Rifqa - Mohammed El-KurdWritten with blazing passion and outstanding control of his poetic voice, Mohammed el-Kurd’s debut poetry collection vividly describes the writer’s experience of dispossession, dislocation, and loss, in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

“These words remind me that home is a series of shared memories, not brick and mortar. Home is where we go to remember and revisit who we’ve always been. Mohammed El-Kurd’s poetry is a home returned to us.” ~ aja monet

The book narrates the author’s experience of dispossession in Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem. The refugees in Sheikh Jarrah continue to live on the brink of homelessness at the hands of the Israeli government and US-based settler organizations.

The book, named after the author’s late grandmother who was forced to flee from Haifa upon the establishment of Israel, makes the observation that home takeovers and demolitions across historical Palestine are not reminiscent of 1948 Nakba, but are in fact a continuation of it: a legalized, ideologically-driven practice of ethnic cleansing.

Published by Haymarket Books 2021


Mutual Aid

1. Operation Olive Branch (International)

Operation Olive Branch#operationolivebranch is a collective grassroots effort to support and amplify oppressed and occupied peoples on the quest to Collective Liberation

Operation Olive Branch (OOB) is managed by a diverse group of volunteers who have combined the efforts of a few groups to focus on aid for Palestinian, Sudanese and Congolese families. The Operation Olive Branch link included here will take you to a Google Docs spreadsheet. The spreadsheet may look confusing at first glance.

To help a family directly, go to the Master List’, which I have linked here. Find it on the index tab either at the bottom of the Google spreadsheet. In addition to the Master List, families have been put into tabs such as perinatal, medical/disabled, Gazan heroes (medical professionals).

Read through some of the profiles, and identify a family or two that resonates with you. Donate directly to their Go Fund Me if you are able. Visit the representative for the family on social media, follow them, and share their social media posts. Make your own social media post about the family and use #OperationOliveBranch in your post.

You may also use Operation Floodgates, which uses hashtags and other strategies to boost the family’s social media posts. There is a link with instructions on the Operation Olive Branch spreadsheet.

Please note: if you are not financially able to help at this time, you can still help IMMEASURABLY by boosting Palestinian posts, and the posts of creators who are featuring them. Many content creators (including Palestinians) are using the funds generated by their posts to help.

In the Google Docs spreadsheet index tabs, you will also see Rebuild Our Home (those wishing to stay in Gaza), OOB Starters (campaigns just getting off the ground), OOB Finishers (almost completed campaigns), Continued Support, Congo & Sudan.

The following TikTok explains how to navigate the Google Docs quite well, and for those of us who need visuals, may be more helpful. Make sure to turn the volume on, as it is usually off in the embed.

@operationolivebranch

Operation Olive Branch FAQ Video! #operationolivebranch #gazanheroes #traveltoegypt #egypt #frequentlyaskedquestions #FAQ #fyp

♬ original sound – Operation Olive Branch

All these families have been vetted, but Operation Olive Branch cannot take responsibility for fraudulent claims. Get to know your family and their representatives. If you suspect fraud, there is a link to report it on the Google spreadsheet.

There are also many other ways to help through this collective. For example, there is a link to purchase badly needed eSIM cards for phones. Internet and cell phone ability is largely non-existent now. Read the directions carefully!

OOB has partnered with an initiative run by 2 doctors (and sisters) Nour and Nagham Abu-Halima, called Pal Humanity. Please read more about what Pal Humanity are doing here. The links for these resource and mutual aid initiatives (and more) are all on the Google spreadsheet.

*Update on Pal Humanity! They have recieved enough funds to begin construction of a perinatal care focussed family encampment. This means funds have begun to be funnelled into a second phase for OOB’s direct aid initiative. This will be a camp for disabled people and their families, as well as medical providers. Please find out more about Operation Olive Branch’s Direct Aid Initiative here.

Operation Olive Branch is understandably a massive undertaking, and they are often in need of volunteers.

Go to the Operation Olive Branch Google Docs page here.

Follow OOB on Instagram here, Twitter here, Telegram here or TikTok here. The Operation Olive Branch Linktree is here.


2. Palestine Toolkit (Australia/International)

This website is an effort to collectivize calls to action from Palestinian activists and cross-solidarity movements both within so-called australia and internationally, as well as grassroots knowledge around safety, accessibility and community care.

It features actions you can take from home and in the streets, information on protest rights, privacy and safety strategies, holding institutions accountable, mutual aid initiatives, Palestinian history, culture and arts, and more.

The Palestine Toolkit has some of the same initiatives that Operation Olive Branch has, but an easier to navigate format. Go to the Palestine Toolkit here.

One resource that I find very helpful on this site, is the Amplify Palestinian Voices page, with links to Palestinian journalists on the ground. 


Organizations Supporting Palestinians

1. NISA Foundation (Canada)

The Nisa Foundation is a Canadian registered charity that began as Nisa Helpline in 2014. Built by a group of dedicated Muslim women who personal experiences through all walks of life, saw the need and took it upon themselves to do something about it.

NISA Foundation

In 2023, Nisa Foundation welcomed Nisa Homes, under the umbrella of the National Zakat Foundation. Like the helpline, Nisa Homes was born out of a need to provide culturally responsive safe shelters for marginalized women and children. This includes women of colour, Muslim women, immigrants, refugees and those without status.

The Nisa Foundation is currently providing housing and support for women and children resettling in Canada from Gaza. They have housing across the country in various locations in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.

Find out how you can help the Nisa Foundation here.


2. Independent Jewish Voices (Canada)

Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) is a grassroots organization grounded in Jewish tradition that opposes all forms of racism and advocates for justice and peace for all in Israel-Palestine.

Independent Jewish Voices

IJV has active chapters in cities and on university campuses across Canada.

The IJV currently has multiple campaigns running: Stop the JNF (Jewish National Fund), No IHRA (against the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of Antisemitism) and Together Against Apartheid.

Independent Jewish Voices have a documentary series called Palestine Trilogy that presents Palestinian, Israeli and International activists who work together in various groups and projects that attempt to address the historic and contemporary repercussions of Israel’s occupation and colonization of land. Deir Yassin Remembered (free to watch on YouTube) is one of the videos in this series.

The director of Deir Yassin Remembered is Israeli born Canadian filmmaker and installation artist, b.h. Yael. She is based in Toronto, is Professor of Integrated Media at OCAD University and teaches in the Art & Social Change minor as. Yael’s films and installations have dealt with the many intersections of identity and family, Her work has focused on activist initiatives in Palestine/Israel, as well as apocalypse, geopolitical and environmental urgencies.

Learn more about IJV and how you can support them here.


3. Jewish Voice For Peace (USA/International)

Jewish Voice for Peace

Jewish Voice for Peace fights for the liberation of all people. It is the largest Jewish organization of its kind in the world. Jewish Voice for Peace believes that through organizing, it is possible to dismantle the institutions and structures that sustain injustice and grow something new, joyful, beautiful, and life-sustaining in their place.

Find out more about Jewish Voice For Peace here.


4. Zochrot (Israel/International)

zochrot-logoZochrot makes accessible existing information about the Palestinian Nakba and the Right of Return mainly for the Jewish public in Israel, through guided tours in Palestinian sites that have been emptied of their residents and destroyed during the Nakba, as well as courses, workshops, direct actions in the space, public campaigns and events, and through our tri-lingual database.

Zochrot is also engaged in generating new knowledge, learning materials and teaching tools which we provide to Israelis who want to initiate this transformative process through learning and teaching others.

Find out more about Zochrot here.


Collectives & Organizations in Palestine

1. Gaza Kinder Relief

gaza-kinder-relief-logoGaza Kinder Relief is a diverse volunteer group which specializes in gathering critical information on severely injured children, providing vital resources, and facilitating their temporary evacuation.

Case managers play a pivotal role in overseeing all processes, working closely with volunteers and liaising with medical experts. Using the expertise of their team and the relationships cultivated within the community, they provide the best possible support for critically injured children and their families, and do what they can to get those children evacuated.

Find out more about Gaza Kinder Relief and how you can help here.

2. Decolonize Palestine

Decolonize PalestineDecolonize Palestine is a collection of resources for organizers and anyone who wants to learn more about Palestine.

It is an independent, self-funded project founded by two Palestinians living in Ramallah. The research and writing for these articles have been a labour of love spanning over a year, which we plan to continue and improve upon going forward.

They are looking for assistance moving forward. Please check out Decolonize Palestine and their resources here, and help if you are able.


Boycott Divest and Sanction (BDS)

1. Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC)

The Palestinian BDS National Committee is the largest Palestinian coalition leading the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Activists, organizations and institutions worldwide have expressed meaningful solidarity with their urgent struggle to stop Israel’s unfolding genocide in Gaza through boycott and divestment campaigns.

Boycott, Divest & Sanction is a Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice and equality. BDS upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity.

Their website has an ongoing list of companies to boycott and why.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC)

2. Canadian BDS Coalition

Canadian BDS CoalitionBDS is a strategy that allows people of conscience around the world to play an effective role in the Palestinian struggle for justice. In July 2005, Palestinian civil society issued a call for a campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights. A truly global movement against Israeli Apartheid is rapidly emerging in response to this call.

Boycott List of Shame

Apartheid-Free Businesses and Organizations

 

3. Ethical Shopping Guides

While on the topic of BDS, I will mention general product boycotts. I will not attempt to tell the reader what to boycott, but do decide what matters to you and avoid products that oppose your ethics. There are many sources for ethical shopping, although I could not find Canadian based guides. Find a guide and/or app that is pertinent to your locale. As always, support local small businesses and farmers markets in your area.

I have only listed two sources here, but if anyone knows a good North American source for ethical grocery shopping, let us know!

a. Good On You is a truly a well developed and helpful resource for ethical clothing, and is based in the US. Good On You has a website here, and apps for Apple and Android.

b. Ethical Consumer is a UK based independent cooperative that has developed a sophisticated and simple to use personal ethical rating system to give you the information you need, based on extensive research. Although based overseas, it is a great place to begin to analyze how ethical (or not) many products are. Obviously some products will be more pertinent to us in the west than others, but there is a trove of information of what to look for when you shop. Ethical Consumer website is here.


Resources for Kids

1. Rifik Ebeid | Baba, What Does My Name Mean? (Illustrated by Lamaa Jawhari)

Baba What Does My Name MeanA cutting-edge, innovative children’s book that celebrates the beauty of historic Palestine. Written entirely in rhyme, readers will embark on a fun and light-hearted journey, as seen through the eyes of Saamidah, a young Palestinian refugee who discovers her roots and the important meaning behind her name.

This beautifully illustrated book is ideal for pre-school and school-aged children. Baba What Does My Name Mean touches upon themes of diversity, cultural identity, self-acceptance, and global awareness.

Note that Rifik Ebeid has written more children’s books, including You Are the Color and Birthday Kunafa.

2. I Am From Palestine

I am from Palestine

I Am From Palestine is an award winning children’s animation about the Palestinian-American experience in K-12 schools. As Saamidah, a young Palestinian-American girl, anxiously starts her first day of school, she finds her identity in question when faced with a world map that doesn’t include her homeland.

This award winning short animation is based on the book Baba What Does My Name Mean? A Journey to Palestine (written by Rifk Ebeid & illustrated by Lamaa Jawhari). It is available to watch free on YouTube (link below).

6 min | Directed by Iman Zawahry | Watch on YouTube here


3. Munger Tawam | Holding On To Hope

Holding On To HopeWitness life through the eyes of a brave little girl named Amal. She grew up in Gaza and all she
wants is freedom and justice for her and her people.

100% of the proceeds of this book will go to Palestinian families, organized together with Operation Olive Branch (above).


Resources for Youth

1. Gaza Writes Back: Short Stories from Young Writers in Gaza

Gaza Writes Back- Short Stories from Young Writers in Gaza
Edited by Refaat Alareer
These young authors see their accounts as acts of resistance and defiance, proclaiming the endurance of Palestinians and the continuing resilience and creativity of their culture in the face of ongoing obstacles and attempts to silence them.

A compelling collection of short stories from 15 young writers in Gaza, members of a generation that has suffered immensely under Israel’s siege and blockade.

Their experiences, especially during and following Israel’s 2008-2009 offensive known as “Operation Cast Lead”, have fundamentally impacted their lives and their writing. Indeed, many of these writers saw the war as a catalyst for their writing, as they sought an outlet and a voice in its aftermath.

Gaza Writes Back is a means of preserving Palestinian memories and presenting their own narratives to the world without filters.

I have done a painting in honour of Dr Refaat Alareer and a poem he wrote before his death. If you wish to see it, the link to Let It Be a Tale is here.


2. List of Books About Palestine for Children & Youth

Goodreads has a relatively decent list of Recommended Books for Children and Young Adults here. 

Most of these books are for young adults, but there are a few books for kids included in their compilation.


3. Ahed Tamimi | They Called Me Lioness

They Called Me LionessA Palestinian activist jailed at sixteen after a confrontation with Israeli soldiers illuminates the daily struggles of life under occupation in this moving, deeply personal memoir.

This is not just a story of activism or imprisonment. It is the human scale narrative of an occupation that has riveted the world and shaped global politics, told by a young woman who grew up in the middle of it.

Ahed Tamimi is a world-renowned Palestinian activist, born and raised in the small West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. Nabi Saleh became a centre of the resistance to Israeli occupation when an illegal Jewish-only settlement blocked off its community spring. In 2017 she became globally renowned when (at 16 years old) she was filmed slapping an Israeli soldier who refused to leave her yard. The video went viral and Tamimi was arrested and held for 8 months. She was arrested again in 2023 and released as part of a hostage exchange.

Published by One World Publishers 2022


Press (News Articles, Blogs, Podcasts, Radio & More)

For now, I am starting a page with a partial list of Israel-Palestine Conflict Press page here. I believe it will keep this blog post from getting too long. A common fault of mine. LOL


Other Links

Please see my Linktree for these and more helpful resources and mutual aid for Palestine and Turtle Island.

There is also more info on Colonization and Residential Schools in my blog post here.

See the page How to Be a Genuine Ally to Indigenous Peoples here as well.

As always, be sure to follow and amplify Palestinian voices on social media. I have compiled a list of some activists and journalists on a few platforms here. Until then, feel free to peruse my socials (Instagram, Twitter and TikTok mostly), and find some accounts there.

Thanks so much.

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