Kumi Now
Week 2: Doing Business while Palestinian
Dear ,
Our apologies for being a day late this week. There's a lot going on in getting all the new material up and running.
First of all, thank you for everyone who joined us on Tuesday to discuss the new Kumi Now. The online gathering is now available to watch on YouTube.
Remember that list of Palestinian businesses that we put together for Christmas? It now has a home on the website as our Shop Palestinian guide and has been further updated with a few of your submissions. It's also not done, and will be receiving some attention to make it look nicer and be more useful. And if you have any shops that should be added to the list please email us at kumi@kuminow.com. As you'll see, the list also comes in handy for this week's Kumi Action.
As we focus on this new Kumi Now we're attempting to streamline the newsletter. We've received a lot of positive feedback, but the word "overwhelming" was used more than once. Let us know what you think and we'll continue to tweak the formula.
Finally, look in the Arts and Culture section for information on the Mondoweiss Book Club. At least one of us here plans to participate regularly in the book club. It would be great if a few Kumi Now folks around the world came together to participate in the Mondoweiss Book Club together. The first book is Susan Abulhawa’s Against the Loveless World. Interested in reading it together? Email us at kumi@kuminow.com. If 5 or more people express interest we'll contact you about how we might meet and discuss the book.
Now let's move on to information on our next Kumi Now online gathering: 
January 12: Week 2 - Doing Business while Palestinian
The first injustice we address is limitations on the ability of Palestinians to participate in the business and labor market. 
Our guests include Denes Assad, a Palestinian storyteller from Caesarea, Sam Bahour, an American businessman and entrepreneur, and Nisreen Musleh, founder and Managing Director of RITAJ Managerial Solutions in Ramallah
Time: Tuesday, January 12, at 6:00 PM East Jerusalem, Palestine time (UTC+2) That's 8am in Seattle, 10am in Chicago, 11am in New York/Toronto, 4pm in London, and 11pm in Manila.
Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 946 7950 2800
Password: 1wQuTG
Remember, if you'd like to receive a reminder about the gathering an hour before it begins, please use the registeration form at the bottom of this page.
And here's what we have coming up for the rest of January so you can plan ahead and decide how you want to be a part of Kumi Now: 
Coming up in Kumi Now
Each week below will have an online gathering with a guest or guests speaking on the topic. The time and Zoom link will be the same each week.
The weekly newsletter will always contain reminders of the upcoming online gatherings and the Zoom link. But if you're like me and need a reminder right before the sessions begin, you can register to receive a reminder email one hour prior to each online gathering. And no more digging through your inbox looking for the Zoom link! Just use the registration form at the bottom of the page.
January 19: Week 3 - Building Permit Discrimination
As we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, another injustice that we need to address is how Palestinians in the West Bank have been systematically denied their rights to improve and build upon their land.
For our Kumi Action we will be participating in and publicizing Tent of Nation's Sponsor a Tree program.
January 26: Week 4 - Jerusalem
The Israeli military occupied Jerusalem in 1967. Yet Israel started its efforts to claim Jerusalem as its alone, regardless of the wishes of the United Nations and the claims of Palestinians, years earlier on January 23, 1950, when the Knesset declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel.
Our Kumi Action will be our first letter writing campaign of the year, identifying new audiences to educate about Jerusalem and finding creative ways to do so.
Kumi Now
Please note: To match the dates in the book, we will now be posting a new entry each Friday, and this newsletter should go out each Thursday or Friday.
Sharing and publicizing: The graphics in this newsletter are designed to be the perfect size and shape to share to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. So each week you can help the cause simply by sharing these images online. It's one more option you have to help.
Kumi Week #2: Doing Business while Palestinian
Week 2 of Kumi Now is now available on the website. This week we look at hardships faced by Palestinians trying to engage in business and trade, but with the deck stacked against them. 
Please read the essay on this issue and the story about Taybeh Beer. And here are a few more facts for you:
Understanding Doing Business while Palestinian: Just the Facts...
  • Roughly 127,000 Palestinians work inside Israel or in illegal Jewish settlements.
  • Gaza’s economy actually shrank by 8% in 2018, while the West Bank only saw 2% growth.
  • Olive oil and tropical fruits make up the majority of Palestine’s exports.
  • Palestine has no airport. The site of the former Jerusalem International Airport is now being used to expand Israeli settlements.
  • Ports and crossings have limited hours, no refrigeration facilities, no Palestinian agents, out-dated infrastructure, and onerous packing restrictions.
  • Outgoing goods from Gaza averaged 201 truckloads/month in 2018, less than 20% of the 1,064 truckloads/month prior to the 2007 tightening of exports by Israel.
  • Palestinian businesses rely on the Israeli ports of Haifa and Ashdod to export goods.
  • 75% of Palestinian goods bound for outside Israel and Palestine go through these Israeli-controlled ports.
  • The King Hussein Bridge crossing into Jordan is controlled by Israeli forces.
  • The movement of manufactured goods and agricultural products to market i subject to the whims of Israel, which often leads to unwarranted delays, increased costs, wasted produce, and lower profits.
This week's Just the Facts comes from:
Learning More
You can also check out the EU's page regarding Palestinian trade
Once you understand the situation you'll want to get involved. Here's the Kumi Action for this week:

Kumi Action
In our Kumi Action this week we look to assist Palestinian businesses and brands by publicizing their goods or buying something ourselves (or sharing what you bought or received for Christmas!).
The keffiyeh is a symbol of Palestinian resistance and solidarity. And yet, for five decades the only producer of keffiyehs in Palestine has been Hirbawi. You can take a look inside their factory in this short video. Due to the complications posed by checkpoints and other Israeli restrictions and the production of cheaper keffiyehs made outside of Palestine, Palestinian-made keffiyehs are at risk of disappearing. Order your keffiyeh today from Hirbawi in Hebron. For more information visit their website.
Don’t want a keffiyeh? Through the week we will share other ways to buy Palestinian-made goods. So be sure to check our social media accounts and our Shop Palestinian guide on the website.
Post a photo of your Palestinian product on social media, including a message such as “I’m supporting Palestine by purchasing Palestinian products. You can too!” Include a link to this page of the Kumi Now website along with the hashtags #KumiNow and #Kumi1.
Important news going on in Palestine, Israel, and the diaspora, from trusted sources of news.
  • Activist Issa Amro was found guilty on six charges, and now faces a February 8 sentencing hearing. (Twitter) (Middle East Eye)
  • Israel has refused a WHO request to provide vaccinations to Palestinian medics and frontline workers. (The Independent)
  • Meanwhile, Israel’s Public Security Minister Amir Ohana has doubled down on his refusal to vaccinate Palestinian prisoners despite Health Ministry guidelines including prisoners in the current group to be vaccinated and being ordered to do so by the attorney general. (Haaretz)
  • Sixty Israeli teenagers have refused to serve in the Israeli army, citing the ongoing occupation. (+972 Magazine)
  • The new U.S. Foreign Affairs chairman is considering resuming U.S. aid to Palestine. With the UNRWA recently running out of funds it would be a very welcome development. (MEMO)
Get Involved
Updates on how Kumi Now partner organizations and other organizations are engaging in the struggle for Palestinian human rights and equality, and ways that you can help.
Featured Action: Prevent the demolition of al-Maleh School
Rebuilding Alliance is attempting to prevent the demolition of al-Maleh School in the Occupied West Bank:
"On December 28th, the Israeli Army issued a military order for the demolition of al-Maleh school, giving only 96-hours to appeal. The school, which opened two years ago with funds from the European Union, serves 50 elementary and kindergarten students. Attorney Tawfiq Jabareen's appeals were denied; the school may be demolished at any moment."
This is why they ask you to act now. They have a letter writing campaign and are looking for at least 200 letters to be written to U.S. members of Congress. Of course, you can use their language to email letters to members of government in your own country.
This Week 
  • Monday, January 11: Foundation for Middle East Peace will hold the webinar “Raided and Razed: West Bank Education under Attack” with human rights attorney Netta Amar-Schiff, Middle East Institute’s Khaled Elgindy and NRC’s Priscilla Washington, in conversation with FMEP’s Sarah Anne Minkin. It is at 11am Eastern, 6pm Palestine time.
  • Tuesday, January 12: Kumi Now hosts an online gathering on "Doing Business While Palestinian". 11am Eastern, 6pm Palestine time. Information near the top of this email.
  • Wednesday, January 13: MECA is presenting an extraordinary film about Robert Fisk's life, “This Is Not A Movie” (made by filmmaker Yung Chang), on Wednesday, January 13, 5-7:30pm Pacific time—co-presented with the Arab Film & Media Institute. Details are now available.
  • January 27: ICAHD UK and Pluto Press will host the book launch for Jeff Halper’s new book, Decolonizing Israel, Liberating Palestine. It will be 7pm UK time (that's 2pm Eastern, 9pm Palestine time). More information to come in the new year.
Ongoing Campaigns
Organizations in Action
Kumi Partners
Updates on how Kumi Now partner organizations are engaging in the struggle for Palestinian human rights and equality. 
Other Organizations
Updates, reports, and actions from the United Nations, governments, and other international organizations that relate to Palestine.
The Arts
Recent and not-so-recent films, books, music, and other arts related to Palestine, as well as news about festivals and other events.
The Mondoweiss Book Club
Mondoweiss has launched a book club focused on Palestinian literature. You can read about the book club and register to receive updates here. Their first selection is Susan Abulhawa’s third novel, Against the Loveless World. You can read an excerpt on their website.
Interested in reading it together and forming our own Kumi Now branch of the the Mondoweiss Book Club? Email us at kumi@kuminow.com. If we get at least 5 interested people we'll contact you about next steps. 
Voices from the Holy Land Online Film Salon: "Next Generation's Perspectives on the Occupation | Three Short Films"
On January 17, Voices from the Holy Land, in conjunction with Bright Stars of Bethlehem, invites you understand the next generation of Palestinians’ perceptions of the Occupation. They are screening three short films directed by students from Dar al-Kalima University’s College of Arts and Culture in Bethlehem. These powerful award-winning films reveal glimpses of life under Occupation through the eyes of the youth.
Once you register you will be able to watch all three films at your convenience and then join Zoom for the online discussion on January 17 at 3pm Eastern, 10pm Palestine time. Register for the Zoom meeting here.
You Should Know
One or two people, companies, or organizations you should know, and how you can follow them online.
Dr. Hanan Ashrawi
Dr. Hanan Ashrawi made the news about a month ago when she resigned her position with the PLO. Prior to her resignation, she had a long career in pro-Palestinian activism. In 1991 she was a spokesperson for the Palestinian delegation in the Madrid peace talks. And when the Palestinian Authority was formed she became a minister in the government until she resigned in 1998. Ashrawi was later elected to the Palestinian parliament in the 2006 elections.
And while she has resigned from the PLO, she has not resigned from her activism. Her resignation has already allowed her to have meetings and conversations she would not have been able to before. She is very active on Twitter and worth following.
Ashrawi was a founder of AMAN-Transparency Palestine. AMAN investigates corruption within the PA government. Many of our news sources tend to focus on the Israeli government and its corruption, so AMAN's Facebook page is a good source to learn about efforts to reform the PA.
Furthermore, she was a founder of the Independent Commission for Human Rights, which you can follow on Facebook, and Kumi Partner MIFTAH: The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy, which you can follow on Facebook and Twitter.
What's Next
We hope to see you in the online gathering on Tuesday, after which you'll receive another newsletter next Friday, focused on our next issue, Building Permit Discrimination. And we still hope to give you some news on downloading the new edition of the Kumi Now book sometime soon. Until then, more and more pieces of the puzzle will continue to be added to the website.

The Kumi Now Team
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