I write this column with a heavy heart. For the second time in three weeks, we are mourning the shooting of a female journalist while on duty (and the fourth minor killed in two days, not to disregard the many other minors and individuals who have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces this year or earlier). Gathering and disseminating data and news on Palestine is a dangerous endeavor, as evidenced by the close to 50 journalists killed by Israeli forces since the year 2000, or the bombing of the Al Jazeera and Associated Press offices in Gaza, and Israel’s denouncing as terrorist organizations civil society groups that raise awareness of rights violations. As repressive measures move ahead unabated – house demolitions, the increasing erosion of the Arab character of East Jerusalem, and the recent violent prevention of display of the Palestinian flag even in the occupied territories – the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement BDS, once hailed as our tool for peaceful protest and resistance, is equated with antisemitism by many governments worldwide. In light of these onslaughts, Palestinian archives are crucial not only to preserve historical documents but also to assert Palestinian identity, narrative, and right to exist in peace and security.
In this rich and important issue – for which, unfortunately, we have failed to find a sponsor – our authors introduce you to several collections and Palestinian archives. (For lack of space, some articles are available only in the digital version.) TWiP wishes to thank Dr. Bashar Shammout, a lecturer and consultant based in Germany; Laila Abbas, the project manager of the Palestinian Museum Digital Archive; Dr. Maher Charif, head of the research department of the Institute for Palestine Studies (IPS), and Hala Zeinelabidin, the head librarian of IPS in Beirut; Wesam Ahmad, head of the Center for Applied International Law at Al-Haq; Wendy Whiting Blome, a direct descendant of the founders of the American Colony; Dr. Qustandi Shomali, a full professor at Bethlehem University; Khader Salameh, head of the Islamic Museum at Al-Haram al-Sharif; independent art curator Dr. Rawan Sharaf; actor and activist Salma Abu Ayyash and the Palestine Film Institute; writer and educator Mona Hajjar Halaby, the creator of British Mandate Jerusalemites Photo Library; Mo’min Swaitat, founder of the Majazz Project; Yousef Taha, an architect and a restorer of historic buildings for RIWAQ; and Carol Khoury, the managing editor of Jerusalem Quarterly.
Our Limelight section honors slain journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. Our Personality of the Month is Dr. Sharif Kanaana, and our Historical Personality of the Month is Mo’in Al-Madi. The Book of the Month is Our Vision for Liberation, edited by Ramzy Baroud and Ilan Pappé, the Exhibition of the Month features works by Rana Samara, and Where to Go takes you to Al-Jib. Enjoy the many events this June.
All of us at TWiP wish for a peaceful summer, particularly for Ukraine.
By Tina Basem