Hold It All


Category: Palestine

The Way It Looked In 1968

Within a short period of time there will be no Jewish workers in Israel. The Arabs shall be the workers; the Jews shall be the managers, inspectors, officials, and policemen and mainly secret service men. A state governing a hostile population of 1.5 to 2 million foreigners is bound to become a Shin Bet state, with all that this would imply to the spirit of education, freedom of speech and thought and democracy. This corruption, characteristic of any colonial regime, would be true for Israel. The administration will be forced to deal with the suppression of an Arab protest movement and the acquisition of Arab quislings. We must fear that even the army and its officers, a people’s army, will deteriorate by becoming an occupation army, and its officers, turned into military governors, will not differ from military governors elsewhere in the world.

Yeshayahu Leibowitz, Israeli philosopher and scholar
Yediot Ahronot
March 1968
Quoted in George Baramki Azar, Palestine: A Photographic Journey

Yesh Leibowitz


The Good News, 3.4.2017

The Good News is that Dianne Lee sent me the following letter, which reminds me of Hedy’s sharp wit, deep commitment to the Palestinian people, and support of people seeking justice.

Hedy letter to Burke

The Power of Hummus and Hospitality

My friend Lindsey Weston sent me this letter in November of last year.  I am happy to share it with you.

lindsey-w1 Read the rest of this entry »

Saturday 15 October: Share the Wealth with Yael Shomroni

I immigrated to the US from Israel and I’m a potter. I will be talking about being an artist in St. Louis, being an immigrant, about leaving Israel because of the Apartheid and my favorite subject…  the necessity of challenging progressive Jews in the US on Palestine.

Join us
Saturday 15 October
Potluck dinner begins at 6:00 p.m.
Yael begins sharing at 6:45
At the home of Fatima Rhodes
4406 A Laclede
Central West End


Summer Reading, 2009

I recently found this in an old file…



Annping Chin, The Authentic Confucius: A Life of Thought and Politics
David Hinton, Selected Poems of Wang Wei
D.C. Lau, trans. Mencius
Andrew Plaks, trans., Chung Yung
Ivan Morris, Madly Singing in the Mountains: An Appreciation and Anthology of Arthur Waley
Stephen Ruppenthal, The Path of Direct Awakening
Simon Winchester, The Man Who Loved China
Mao Zedong, Little Red Book


Noam Chomsky, American Power and the New Mandarins
Noam Chomsky, What We Say Goes: Conversations on U.S. Power in a Changing World–Interviews with David Barsamian
Donaldo Macedo, ed., Chomsky on Mis-Education
Peter Mitchell and John Schoeffel, eds., Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky
Assaf Khoury, ed. Inside Lebanon: Journey to a Shattered Land with Noam and Carol Chomsky Read the rest of this entry »

Life under Occupation/95

With the passing of every day I feel angrier because I am restricted from walking, from going places in my car, from taking breaks away from the house, from going on with my life, going to my office, seeing my nephew and niece, going out for dinner or to see a film. My car battery has died from non-use.

–Palestinian phenomenologist of Israeli-enforced curfew, Raja Shehadeh, in his book, When the Birds Stopped Singing: Life in Ramallah under Siege

Saturday Share the Wealth with Jeneane and Lena Salameh: Stories of a Land That Lives Within Us

We will be sharing stories of living in the United States as Palestinians, experiences we have had in Palestine, and what the term Al-Nakba means to us. In sharing our stories we hope to spread the story of a land that lives within us.

Since we were young, we have been traveling back to Palestine. Lena lived in Palestine for about 3 years, and we have spent many summers in Jalazone refugee camp in the West Bank. Our family lost their home and country 68 years ago but we have not lost our hope to return to the town that many generations of our family have called home.

Lena, a graduate of Maryville University, will begin SLU Law School in August.  Jeneane is graduating with her Master’s in Accounting from SLU next month.

Join us SATURDAY 23 April
Potluck lunch begins at NOON
Lena and Jeneane begin sharing at 12:45
In Marguerite Hall
Campus of Saint Louis University


Salameh sisters

The Salameh Sisters

On the Phone with Hedy

Even her detractors might agree:
Two of Hedy Epstein’s characteristics—
Pertinacity and indomitability

I’ll add a third and fourth
Tenderness and compassion
As when I called her from Ramallah

To explain why I was unable the day before
To pick up her and friends at Ben-Gurion Airport
After their long flight from Saint Louis

The IDF had detained me and friends for hours
Granting me the most infinitesimal taste
Of what Palestinians routinely undergo

Hedy took this in …
Then the tremulous softness in her voice as she asked
“Did … they … torture … you?”

Support a Gaza Cancer Center

It’s an honor to know Dr. Zeina Kiblawi; please consider making a contribution to this project. She writes:

“Hi everyone! On April 1st, I’m running in the Palestine “Right to Movement” Marathon (I’ll be doing the 10K!!) in Bethlehem, Palestine to raise funds for building the first and only children’s cancer deptartment in the Gaza Strip. In the U.S. we are able to effectively treat most childhood cancers, with a survival rate of almost 90%. Early treatment is crucial, but due to the Israeli military blockade, children fighting cancer in Gaza are unable to access standard of care treatment. The “Right to Movement” Marathon is a perfect way to symbolize the challenges that our children fighting cancer in Gaza face.  Instead of sending them abroad, PCRF plans to bring services to them that will save lives and help reduce the suffering of these poor children and their families. PCRF has already successfully built a cancer treatment center in the West Bank and construction is currently underway in building an even better facility in Gaza   I hope you can make a donation on behalf of my run so it can go towards building this vital pediatric oncology department in Gaza. Thank you!!

Two Pages

Your book arrived today, just a few days after I ordered it on Amazon (and on a Sunday no less!)

It looks beautiful and I couldn’t be happier for you

I opened up to the first page, eager to re-read what I had only seen in a PDF version before

And what a wonderful opening!

But suddenly it was too real for me

Layla’s ideas, inspirations, desires to go to Gaza reflected my own before I went to Ecuador

It hit me like a ton of bricks


And I had to sit with it and digest it for a minute….

and then an hour…

and then the whole evening

This still unprocessed, year-old sorrow of losing 50 friends after a single plane trip back to the United States of Apathy

And I will be honest, my hurt still runs deeper than I will admit to myself

But you awakened it in me, brought my awareness back to it

“Breathing in I am sad, Breathing out still sad”

If you can believe it, I had never cried since coming back from Ecuador, despite yearning for tearful release with every part of my soul

All it took was to read the first two pages of your book and I was gone, a sobbing, soggy mess on my couch

Well, you can count me among those who have been moved by your words

–from Chelsea Jaeger, July Gmail Chat