Ghetto Palestine: Challenges and Possibilities for Resistance with Jon Elmer |

Ghetto Palestine: Challenges and Possibilities for Resistance with Jon Elmer |

Today on People’s Health Radio we bring you a lecture on “Ghetto Palestine” delivered by Canadian writer and photojournalist Jon Elmer at UBC on December 2, 2011. Jon’s perspective is based on 10 years of reporting from the West Bank and Gaza. His on-the-ground experience of events such as the second intifada and the Fatah-Hamas clashes in Gaza inform an analysis absent from mainstream media narratives.

On our show today we bring you Jon’s lecture in three parts. First, Jon explores the meaning of ghetto Palestine; what this looks like on the ground and the implications for Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation. In the second part of our show Jon discusses the potential for new forms of Palestinian resistance in light of the Arab Spring. Finally, he looks at how the changing dynamics on the ground in Palestine create both opportunities and challenges for Palestinian resistance and national liberation.

Featuring music by Shams and Maisa Assi and Rafeef Ziadeh. Rafeef’s CD “Hadeel” is available for purchase online through CD Baby:

A full audio transcript of Jon’s lecture is available online through the Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign (Vancouver):…

Photos taken by Jon Elmer. More from Jon available at

Ala Dal’ona
Recorded by Shams & Maisa Assi

‘Ala Dal’ona ‘Ala Dal’ona
We listened to you, now listen to us
We played together as children
We walked together along the path of struggle
Together we sacrificed our valuable blood
And the darkness remained in the light of our eyes

I want you to listen to me, please my brother
Just as he brought you, my father birthed me
Our story is a common story of humanity
Eve is our mother, and Adam our father
You are the son of nine months,
and I am the daughter of nine months
The spring was created for us both
We will reach it together on Thursday and Friday
We will not thirst and you will not make us thirsty


Ever since I was a suffering child
I have wanted to realize my dreams, to be educated
To reach, with you, the highest rung on the ladder
To be the best I can
My older sister was raised oppressed
Our neighbor wanted to be a doctor
She was hit with marriage while young
Beaten and controlled, she lived humiliated


My tender grandmother,
during the height of the harvest,
Was wounded in the heart
and wounded in the hand
My grandfather married another
and divorced her
She found neither protection nor law
Men like my grandfather still exist now,
I swear sister
I could be a copy of my grandmother
But I do not accept it,
neither would you accept it
Nor would anyone accept it,
and we shouldn’t care what other think


It is my right to study an honorable career
To choose my partner, to build our life
It is my right to work any job
We must protect women’s rights
The rights of the women
and the rights of the children
Are hidden in the shadow of the law


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