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Since last week the already desperate situation in Gaza has deteriorated considerably. While we acknowledge and share the anxiety and suffering of Israeli citizens, especially those living in the South, we maintain that the government's use of disproportionate force cannot pacify the situation in Israel's South, but instead only fuels the cycle of violence, which in turn will further endanger the well-being of people on both sides.

While condemning the killing of civilians on both sides, we insist that it is Israel's responsibility to relieve the population of Gaza by ending the blockade and eventually the occupation. For the sake of both Palestinians and Israeli Jews, we demand an end to all forms of violence, including the structural violence of discriminatory policies towards the Palestinian population as a whole.

. . . Read the complete statement.

Writing Competition Voting Begins Today

Entries are now closed for the 2012 Competition and the voting begins. Please go to the website and check out the semi-finalists at this link.

The three entries that receive the most votes will be the finalists. Then Bradt Travel Guide author , Sara Irving will select the winner.

 . . . Vote now at this link.

New Tel Aviv/Jaffa Tour

The new Tel Aviv Jaffa Tour is up and running. It features an entire day of walking some key neighborhoods and covers the history, social and political development of the city. 

Come and learn with the experts.  Jaffa is one of the oldest ports in the world, and a gateway to the Middle East for at least four thousand years.

 . . . Learn More

Safety and Risk: Some Recommendations for Women Solo Travellers in Palestine and Israel

This article by Miri describes best practices by women travellers to avoid misunderstandings in an unfamiliar culture, and to lower the risk of unwanted attention or harrassment. 

Miri includes clothing suggestions, behaviour in unfamiliar cultures, how to interact with local men, and what to do in the event of an assault. 

While the people of both Palestine and Israel are very hospitable, this article is a must read for women who are travelling alone. 

. . . Read the article

'tis the Season for Giving

As we get closer to the 'Holiday Season' we start to think of gifts for family and friends. Please take a moment to consider the needs of the least among us in Palestine/Israel.

Green Olive Tours works closely with several underserved and oppressed communities and we now ask your help to make some lives a little brighter. Three projects have been selected this year:

  • Gifts4Giving is a Bethlehem-based project run by Yamen, one of our guides. Green Olive Tour participants distribute toys to children in refugee camps. 
  • A Children's Playground is desperately needed at the Women's Center of Balata Refugee Camp in Nablus so the kids have activities while their mothers are attending a class. Our weekly Nablus tour visits the camp.
  • Computers and textbooks are needed for the new Education Center at the Al Noor (the Light) Mosque in the Bedouin town of Kseifa in the Negev Desert. The Bedouin are at the very bottom of the socio-economic ladder in Palestine/Israel. Our Saturday tour visits the Mosque.

 . . . Read more about these projects and donate.

Book Review

by Sahar Khalifeh

Reviewed by Yahav Zohar

In this review, Zohar has both criticism and praise for the novel, but describes it as not the best Khalifeh book he's read, calling it "far from perfect".
He goes on to write:

"For those who experienced the destruction of the West Bank only on television, where Palestinians were terrorists or collateral damage, faceless, nameless killers and casualties, ‘The End of Spring’ may act as eye-opener."

. . . Read more of this review.