Madison-Rafah Marketplace Opening!

In keeping with the times, we are now offering Palestinian Olive Oil and Donation and Membership services at the Madison-Rafah Marketplace, a secure online store. A new link has been added to the header menu above. Crafts may be available at the Marketplace in the future.

The Marketplace is currently offering Holy Land Olive Oil in 500 and 750-ml bottles, with discounts for cases of six. It is an extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive oil imported directly from Palestinian growers.

Buyers in Madison have been impressed with the oil’s quality and flavor. The oil has a brilliant green color and freshness that you can taste: nutty with a little sharpness or bite, particularly in the finish, that is typical of fresh oil.

This oil comes from West Bank villages in the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, a certified fair trade organization. The oil from the 2018/19 harvest had a peroxide value of 7, an acidity of 0.37%, and a pleasant fruity flavor characteristic of fresh ripe olives. It was mellow, not bitter or peppery, and pleasantly aromatic.

Palestinian farmers are having great difficulty selling their produce due to Israeli policies of occupation and closure. Neither Jordan nor Israel, the two natural markets, will accept the oil which is now the only source of income for many people.

Store Policies
  • Pickup only — We cannot ship or deliver items.
  • We’ll contact you by email to schedule your pickup day and time.
  • Questions? Contact veena.brekke at gmail.com or ‭(608) 332-8745‬.

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COVID-19 and Human Rights – 2013 Laureate Raji Sourani

“Governments must put human rights and dignity at the centre”

Raji Sourani, The Right Livelihood Foundation, May 8, 2020

On the evening of 21 March 2020, Gaza’s health ministry confirmed the first two cases of COVID-19. Overpopulated and impoverished, the Gaza Strip faces particular vulnerability in the context of the pandemic. A potential large-scale outbreak of the virus would constitute another enormous strain on Gaza’s population, already affected by more than a decade of Israeli blockade, causing extreme poverty, harsh living conditions, dysfunctional infrastructure and a fragile healthcare system. Furthermore, Israel’s over half-century-long occupation of Gaza involved systematic human rights violations against the Palestinian population, including the use of excessive lethal force against protesters and prolonged administrative detention without charge or trial.

It is in these exceptional circumstances that 2013 Right Livelihood Award Laureate Raji Sourani has been tirelessly working to defend and promote human rights. As the most prominent human rights lawyer based in the Gaza Strip, Sourani established the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights to document and investigate human rights violations committed in the Occupied Territories, and has defended countless victims before Israeli courts. For his activism, he has been imprisoned six times by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

At the time of writing this article, 19 people in Gaza were tested positive with COVID-19. Giving the enormous challenges that this pandemic poses to the Palestinian population, we asked Sourani to give us more details about the situation in the Gaza Strip, where he currently resides.

What is the current situation in Gaza, and what are your major concerns?

Israel’s more than a decade-long closure of Gaza severely restricts the movement of people and goods. We have been in isolation for a very long time, and we know very well the implications of such an exceptional situation, that is now affecting most of the world.

At the moment, 19 people in Gaza are positive to coronavirus, 160 people in Jerusalem and 250 in the West Bank, mostly workers coming from Israel. The response to the crisis in Gaza has been mainly focused on prevention – by immediately quarantining all those coming from the outside – and on health education, including social distancing, personal protection, and hygiene rules. However, being Gaza one of the most densely populated places on earth, it became soon clear that home quarantine is not effective, and authorities have been using hotels, schools, hospital sections and health facilities to quarantine all those who have symptoms.

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MAY 17, 2020
CENSORED! Al Jazeera’s Documentary on the Israel Lobby-USA

Massachusetts Peace Action, 5/11/20

Screening of a one-hour summary of the 4-part Al Jazeera investigative report that was never allowed to air, followed by Q&A. 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm Eastern

The film was made by Al Jazeera during 2016, but was censored because Qatar, the gas-rich Gulf emirate that funds Al Jazeera, came under intense Israel lobby pressure not to air the film.

The film exposes the efforts of Israel and its lobbyists to spy on, smear and intimidate US citizens who support Palestinian human rights, especially BDS – the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. It shows that Israel’s semi-covert black-ops government agency, the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, is operating this effort in collusion with an extensive network of US-based organizations.

We will stream the video on Zoom, but for better video clarity we recommend that you watch it on Youtube. We will join the Zoom meeting for opening remarks and we will give you the Youtube link and tell you when to press “Play”. We’ll then return to the Zoom meeting for the Q&A.

Register at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEkduCqrzIjGNAS464q1DBeEFc_hjYH5Z4B; you will receive video and phone codes to join the meeting by email.

Second in a series of online meetings sponsored by Massachusetts Peace Action’s Palestine/Israel Working Group

May 16, 2020
Commemorate by Resisting: The Nakba and Indigenous Struggles

Friends of Sabeel-North America (FOSNA), 5/11/20

From Palestine to Turtle Island (North America) settler colonialism continues to exploit land and natural resources to the detriment of indigenous communities. To commemorate Nakba Day, when 700,000 Palestinians were violently displaced from their lands, FOSNA has lined up a powerful conversation with Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi, Indigenous scholar-activist Melanie Yazzie and Palestinian American activist Nadya Tannous. These powerful women will share past and present stories of Indigenous resistance to colonialism. Please join us on May 16 at 9am Pacific, 12pm Eastern for “Commemorate by Resisting: The Nakba and Indigenous Struggles.”

Panelist Bios:

Ahed Tamimi is a 19 year old Palestinian, living in Al Nabi Saleh, Northwest of Ramallah. Currently she is a Law student at Birzeit University. She spent 8 months in Israeli prisons after being accused of slapping an Israeli soldier, and other charges. Her continual resistance to the Israeli occupation has earned her then nickname, the Lioness of Palestine.

Melanie Yazzie is an Assistant Professor of Native American Studies and American Studies at the University of New Mexico. She co-founded and helps lead The Red Nation, a grassroots organization committed to the liberation of Indigenous people from colonialism and capitalism. She specializes in Navajo/American Indian history, political ecology, Indigenous feminisms, queer Indigenous studies, and theories of policing and the state.

Nadya Tannous is a passionate community organizer with a focus on refugee rights, transitional justice, youth education, and inter-community empowerment. She is a member of the Palestinian Youth Movement –USA and was previously on staff of Friends of Sabeel North America. Nadya holds an MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies from the University of Oxford and a BA in Anthropology and Global Information and Social Enterprise Studies from UC Santa Cruz.

Register Here

May 14-15, 2020
Key to Justice: Ending the ongoing Palestinian Nakba

Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), 5/11/20

#KeyToJustice Webinar – May 14, 4 PM Palestine time: Rafeef Ziadah, Marta Ill and Rey Perez Asis will discuss the connections between the Palestinian struggle to end the ongoing Nakba and the struggles of millions of refugees, migrants and those struggling for adequate housing worldwide, particularly during the pandemic.

#KeyToJustice Global Action – May 15: Share a photo of yourself on social media holding a key, and tag your post with #KeyToJustice. Learn how to make a key at home with this do-it-yourself video. The key symbolizes not just Palestinian refugees’ return, but the connectedness of our struggles for equality, dignity and freedom, for all those without homes, facing brutality and resisting erasure.

Online Nakba Day Rally – May 15, 9 PM Palestine time: With speakers and performers including DAM, Janna Jihad, Diana Buttu, Roger Waters and Ken Loach. Organized by Palestine Solidarity Campaign (UK), Jewish Voice for Peace (US), South African BDS Coalition, and the BDS Movement.

Our collective mobilisations will help turn the #KeyToJustice.