MadisonRafah.org

The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project

MadisonRafah.org

Who am I? I am a Palestinian girl.

Niveen Abboushi, Facebook, December 22

Who am I?

I am a Palestinian girl.

Before I was born, the occupation took most of my village’s lands to build a new settlement called Halamish.

Then they arrested my father. When my aunt went to visit him, one of the soldiers pushed her over the stairs of the court and she died.

Since I was little the settlers of Halamish keep stealing more and more of our lands to expand the settlement.

Our home has demolition order because it is in Area C. The settlers are allowed to build on our land, but not us.

In 2005, the settlers made the spring of our village part of the settlement and prevent us from using it, even though many of us are farmers.

All these things happened with great support from the Occupation army and government.

When the people of the my village started to resist the injustices with protest marches, my father was arrested again.

My mother was arrested too. My uncles, aunts, brothers, cousins – all of them were arrested too.

My cousin Mustafa was killed by the Israeli army. My uncle Rushdi was killed by the army too!

Later, an Israeli sniper shot my mom in the leg and she couldn’t move for long time.

Almost every week, the army breaks into our homes to arrest one of my family or to confiscate our laptops or phones.

During our marches, they shoot us with tear gas rubber bullets – my cousin is in hospital badly injured because he was shot in the face the week before.

A few days ago, two soldiers came to our house to take positions to shoot at the demonstrators from my village. I stood with my family to prevent them, the soldier pushed me and I slapped him.

And now I am in jail!
My mother and my cousin are in jail too!
The occupation government and media call me a terrorist.
Do you know who I am?

And what would you do if that was your life? Or the life of your child?

#ahed_tamimi
#youth_activist
#100%Palestine

Code Pink Update: Calling for a 16-year-old to be raped?

#FreeAhed

No one should have to live under the rule of an occupying army. No one should have to pass through checkpoints on their way to school, watch their family members be shot, or have their homes invaded in the middle of the night. Two weeks ago, 16-year-old Palestinian girl, Ahed Tamimi, couldn’t take it anymore. This time when soldiers came to enter her home, she stood up and pushed back. She screamed and slapped the soldiers.

For the damage Ahed caused to their sense of masculinity, Israel is exacting revenge. Ahed has spent the past week and a half in various Israeli prisons. Most of her time has been in a freezing cold isolation cell with a camera monitoring her every move. Tomorrow as she appears in court, we are demanding of Netanyahu that she be released immediately.

Israeli leaders want extreme punishments for Ahed. Israeli Education Minister Neftali Bennett has said she and her family “should spend the rest of their lives in prison.” Israeli journalist Ben Caspit called for her to be sexually assaulted, saying, “we should exact a price at some other opportunity, in the dark, without witnesses and cameras.” Defence Minister Avigdor Liberman said she and her family must “get what they deserve.”

The ill-treatment of Palestinian women prisoners, including various forms of sexual violence, is well documented. Now, leaders of Israeli society are publicly declaring that a 16-year-old girl should be raped! Netanyahu must release Ahed Tamimi immediately!

Twice so far, Israel has refused to release Ahed. Tomorrow she appears in court again. This time she must be set free. Please share your outrage on Twitter and Facebook and let the world know we will not tolerate such horrific abuse of power.

In solidarity,
Ann, Ariel, Brienne, Haley, Jodie, Katie, Mariana, Mark, Mary, Medea, Nancy, Paki, Robin, Sarah, Taylor, and Tighe

P.S. Young women are leading the movement for Palestinian rights. This week New Zealand pop singer Lorde cancelled her upcoming concert in response to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. Lorde called it the “right decision” and we agree! Show your support for Lorde by listening to and purchasing her fantastic music.

Gaza Lights: Electrical Power for People Under Siege


The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA)

Many mothers told us the same story. Their children are so scared of the dark they won’t even get up at night to use the bathroom. One mother brings home rubbing alcohol from the clinic where she works to make a small fire so her children can have light to do their schoolwork.” –Amal Abu Moailqe, MECA Gaza Staff, Mechatronics Engineer

“Gaza Lights” provides households in the Gaza Strip with electrical power by providing a rechargeable system that generates electricity for approximately 12 hours and includes three lights, a fan, and a mobile phone charger.

The Electricity Crisis in Gaza, Palestine

The Gaza Strip has been deprived of adequate electrical power for most of the last ten years. In the beginning of 2017, most residents were getting five to eight hours of electricity per day. As summer approached, that declined to just one to three hours. This effected almost every aspect of daily life: storing perishable food and medicines, performing basic household and care-taking tasks; studying and work; phone and internet communication. Household fires have occurred from the use of candles and cooking with wood fires.

The Gaza Lights Project

“Gaza Lights” provides households in the Gaza Strip with electrical power by providing a rechargeable system that generates electricity for approximately 12 hours and includes three lights, a fan, and a mobile phone charger. The target population are the most vulnerable families in the Gaza Strip, including those with infants, elderly or disabled family members, and those who do not have the financial means to purchase electric generators. The systems were designed by Palestinian engineers in Gaza and are made with materials that are available and affordable in Gaza.


The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project has just contributed over $4,900 to the Gaza Lights Campaign for Rafah.

Free 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi

Ahedi.jpg

On December 18, 2017, in the middle of the night the Israeli army burst into the Tamimi family home and arrested 16-year-old girl, Ahed Tamimi. They beat her father, mother, older and younger brothers and confiscated the families laptops, phones and cameras. Today, when Ahed’s mother, Nariman, went to inquire which detention center her daughter was being held in, the military arrested her as well.

It is well documented that Palestinian children are beaten, abused, and tortured during their arrests by the Israeli military. For Ahed’s sake we need as many members of Congress as possible to sign onto the legislation congresswoman Betty McCollum just introduced to end the abuse and detention of Palestinian children.

Ahed is a high school student preparing for college. She lives in a Palestinian village famous for women leadership in resistance to the occupation. As a young girl, Ahed rose to headlines for her bravery to confront the Israeli soldiers who enter her village on a regular basis. In 2014, at the age of 13, she received the Hanzala Courage Award in Turkey. In 2015, she and her family were profiled by the New York Times Magazine. Now she and her mother are sitting in Israeli jails. No one knows where they are being held or if they are okay.

Tell your Member of the House of Representatives to sign onto H.R. 4391 to make the condition that US military aid to Israel not be used for the abuse and detention of Palestinian children in Israel’s military court system. Rep. Mark Pocan of the Wisconsin 2nd District is a cosponsor of this bill. Contact your Representative and Senators asking them to intervene for mother and daughter activists Ahed and Nariman Tamimi. Then share on Facebook and Twitter that the Israeli military must release them.

Palestinian double amputee killed by Israeli sniper

Palestinian double amputee killed by Israeli sniperAbu Thurayyah was demonstrating against the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital when he was killed [Mohammed Salem/Reuters]

AL JAZEERA NEWS, 16 Dec 2017

Two days before he was killed, Ibrahim Abu Thurayyah filmed a message to the Israeli army.

“I am passing a message to the Zionist occupation army,” the 29-year-old double amputee, who lost both of his legs and a kidney in a 2008 Israeli air raid, said.

“This land is our land. We are not going to give up. America has to withdraw the declaration it made.”

Before his death, the wheelchair-bound Abu Thurayyah had become a staple figure at protests along the Gaza Strip‘s border with Israel.

Since December 6, he and his fellow demonstrators decried US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In photos, Abu Thurayyah can be seen climbing an electricity pole and sticking a Palestinian flag on it.

On December 15, Abu Thurayyah was fatally shot in the head by an Israeli sniper.


WATCH: Funeral of Palestinian amputee killed by Israeli fire

Another Palestinian, Yaser Sukkar, was killed the same day while protesting at Gaza’s border. Two others were killed by the Israeli army in the occupied West Bank, bringing the death toll since Trump’s decision in the first week of December to eight Palestinians.

On Saturday, funerals were held for Abu Thurayyah and the three other Palestinians killed a day earlier.

Al Jazeera’s Alan Fisher, reporting from Abu Thurayyah’s funeral procession in Gaza, said thousands of people had taken to the streets to pay their respects for “unlikely figure of Palestinian resistance and defiance”.

“He would often leave his wheelchair at home and attend rallies in protests around Gaza City just carrying his Palestinian flag,” said Fisher.

“He was carrying that flag when he was shot by the Israelis.”

Mourners carry Abu Thurayyah’s body during his funeral in Gaza City on Saturday [Suhaib Salem/Reuters]

Ashraf al-Qidra, the spokesman for Gaza’s health ministry, said in a statement on Saturday that the Israeli army has been using snipers armed with explosive bullets and indiscriminately firing tear gas canisters.

“The army also uses gas bombs of unknown quality, which has led to the injury of dozens in the form of convulsions, vomiting, coughing and rapid heartbeat,” he said.

Qidra also noted that Israeli forces have been using excessive violence against civilians and deliberately targeting paramedics, ambulances and news crews.

In April 2008, Abu Thurayyah was sitting with several friends in al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza when he was hit by the Israeli air raid that cost him his legs and kidney. Seven people were killed in the attack.

As the sole breadwinner for his 11-member family, which consisted of his two, sick parents, six sisters and three brothers, Abu Thurayyah, who was a fisherman before the Israeli air raid, was forced to find new work to pay the bills for their home in the camp.

He found work washing cars, earning 50-70 shekels ($14-20) a day. Sometimes he also sold vegetables in the market to make ends meet.

In an interview with Shehab News Agency a few years ago, Abu Thurayyah outlined his hopes and dreams for the future.

“I hope one day to own a house,” he said.

“I wish that people in European and Arab countries will help me after listening to my story to get treatment abroad and prosthetic legs.”

New Crime of Excessive Use of Force

Israeli Forces Kill 4 Palestinians, including Lower-Limb Amputee, and Wound 252 Civilians, including Children, Journalists and Paramedics

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), Gaza City, Ref: 90/2017, December 16, 2017

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On Friday Afternoon, 15 December 2017,Israeli forces killed 3 Palestinian civilians; one of whom is a lower-limb amputee, and wounded 252 civilians, including 19 children, 2 paramedics and 2 journalists; one is Indonesian, in the Gaza Strip and West Bank as Israeli forces excessively used force against participants in protests. Meanwhile, shown in a video widely published, Israeli forces liquidated a forth Palestinian after he carried out a stab attack at the northern entrance to al-Bireh in the West Bank during clashes in the area. These incidents came in light of the ongoing tense atmosphere following the U.S. President’s Donald Trump Decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and move the U.S. Embassy to it, constituting a dangerous precedent that violates the international law.

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This high number of casualties, particularly targeting a disabled and lower-limp amputee by directly shooting him in the head, prove that Israeli forces continue their systematic crimes and indiscriminate use of excessive and disproportionate force against Palestinian civilians in disregard for their lives.

PCHR’s follow up showed that it is clear that the Israeli forces heavily and upon a decision use live ammunition; some of which is explosive, to confront the unarmed civilians. Thus, comparing with the last year, the number of Palestinians wounded with live bullets east of the Gaza Strip increased in addition to directly hitting them with tear gas canisters.

The Israeli forces also fired dozens of tear gas canisters through special vehciles at the protests. As a result, dozens of civilians suffered fatigue, cramps, vomiting, coughing and high heart rate. Some of them were transered to the hospital while others were treated on the spot.

image012

In the Gaza Strip, the eastern and northern areas witnessed protests against the U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision, and the Israeli forces used force against the protestors. As a result, two Palestinian civilians were killed, including a lower-limb amputee, and wounded 192 civilians, including 18 children, 2 paramedics and 2 journalists; one is Indonesian. 117 of the Wounded civilians were hit with live bullets, 55 were hit with tear gas canisters, and dozens suffered tear gas inhalation.

According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 13:30 on Friday, 15 December 2017, dozens of young men and youngsters gathered tens of meters away from the border fence with Israel near former Nahal Oz Crossing, east of al-Shuja’iyah neighborhood, east of Gaza City. They set fire to tires, threw stones at the Israeli forces stationed along the border fence in protest against the U.S. President’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel. During the 6-hour clashes, the Israeli soldiers sporadically fired tear gas canisters and live and rubber-coated metal bullets at the protestors. As a result, 2 civilians, from al-Shuja’iyah neighborhood in Gaza, were killed with live bullets; one of them is disabled with no legs. The killed civilians were identified as Yasser Naji Sukar (23) hit with a bullet to the head and Ibrahim Nayeh Ibrahim Abu Thurayah (29) hit with a bullet to the forehead, noting that he lost his legs in an Israeli airstrike in 2008.

According to PCHR’s investigations, wheelchair-bound Abu Thurayah was directly shot to the head when he was 30 meters away from the border fence, where Israeli forces can clearly see him, and did not pose any threat to the soldiers. Moreover, shooting him in the forehead prove that he was deliberately sniped by the Israeli soldiers, without posing any threat to the soldiers’ lives, during a protest that was only about chanting slogans, throwing stones and setting fire to tires. This also emphasizes that the Israeli forces used lethal and disproportionate force against armed civilians.

The Injuries were as follows throughout the Gaza Strip:

Northern Gaza Strip: the confrontations were mainly in the vicinity of al-Shuhadaa’ Cemetery, east of Jabalia; in the vicinity of Beit Hanoun Crossing; and in Abu Samrah area, north of Beit Lahia. As a result, 67 Palestinians, including 7 children, 2 paramedics and an Indonesian journalist, were wounded. Forty were hit with live bullets; one was hit with rubber-coated metal bullets; 18 were hit with tear gas canisters; and 8 suffered tear gas inhalation. Moreover, an ambulance belonging to the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) sustained damage after being hit with a tear gas canister.

Gaza City: the clashes and Israeli shooting were mainly near former Nahal Oz Crossing, east of al-Shuja’iyah neighborhood. As a result, 43 Palestinians, including 3 children, were wounded. Twenty-three of them were hit with live bullets; 18 were hit with tear gas canisters; and 2 suffered tear gas inhalation.

Central Gaza Strip: the clashes and Israeli shooting occurred in the eastern side of al-Bureij refugee camp. As a result, 14 Palestinians, including 2 children, were wounded. Six were hit with live bullets; one of whom to the head and transferred to al-Shifa Hospital due to his serious condition; 5 were hit with tear gas canisters, including 3 directly hit to their heads; and 3 suffered tear gas inhalation.

Khan Younis: The clashes and Israeli shooting were concentrated in 4 areas: ‘Abasan al-Kabirirah and al-Jadidah; Khuza’ah; and al-Qararah. As a result, 31 Palestinians, including 4 children, were wounded. Eighteen were hit with live bullets, including a photojournalist, and the others were hit with rubber-coated bullets and tear gas canisters, including one sustaining serious wounds.

Rafah: The clashes and Israeli shooting mainly occurred in the eastern side of al-Shokah neighborhood. As a result, 37 Palestinians were wounded, including 2 children. Ten of them were hit with live bullets, and 27 were hit with tear gas canisters.

In the West Bank, All the cities witnessed protests against the U.S. President’s decision. During those protests, Israeli forces used excessive force against the protesters. The shooting to disperse the protests resulted in the killing of 2 Palestinians; one during the protests and the other was liquidated in front of cameras after carrying out a stab attack. Moreover, 60 civilians were wounded, including a child seriously wounded. Four of those wounded were hit with live bullets, and 56 were hit with rubber-coated metal bullets.

According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 13:00 on the abovementioned Friday, dozens of young men and youngsters gathered at the northern entrance to al-Bireh. They set fire to tires and threw stones and empty bottles at the Israeli soldiers stationed at DCO checkpoint. The Israeli soldiers fired live and rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters at the protesters. At approximately 14:00, Amir ‘Aqel al-‘Adam (19) from Beit Oula village, west of Hebron, holding a knife approached the soldiers and stabbed one of them He then took 4 steps backwards, and the Israeli soldiers fired 3 consecutive bullets at him, wounding him with 2 bullets in his foot. Al-Adam then fell on the ground, and another bullet was fired to the right side of his chest while he was lying on the ground. He was liquidated as documented in a video taken by a journalist’s camera. The video showed al-‘Adam lying on the ground and receiving bullet after another and suffering a lot with the soldiers’ giving no attention to him. A PRCS crew then approached al-‘Adam to rescue him and evacuate him via an ambulance. However, the soldiers prevented the crew and confiscated the ambulance keys. Therefore, the PRCS crew with the help of Palestinian young men pulled al-‘Adam and ran away a distance of around 50 meters before putting him in a private car and heading to a hospital in Ramallah. In the afternoon, his death was declared after undergoing many urgent surgeries. Eyewitnesses said to PCHR’s fieldworker that al-‘Adam was directly shot at point-blank range. The eyewitnesses added that he was wearing fake explosive belt around his abdomen.

Following ‘Aser Prayer, Residents of ‘Anata village, east of occupied Jerusalem, organized a protest at the village intersection. They threw stones at the settlers’ cars passing through the intersection, which links the northern and southern West Bank. As a result, one of the cars’ windows was broken. Israeli forces immediately arrived and heavily opened fire at the stone-throwers. As a result, Basel Mustafa Mohammed Ibrahim (29) was hit with several bullets to his chest. Basel was taken to al-Iman Medical Center in the village, but then referred to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah due to his serious condition. At approximately 18:30, doctors declared that Basel succumbed to his wounds.

PCHR follows up with deep concern the deteriorating situation in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and seriously consider the use of lethal force against unarmed civilians, amounting to targeting a civilian with no legs, in violation of the international humanitarian law standards.

PCHR also condemns the Israeli forces’ use of lethal and excessive force against the protesters and believes it is as a result of giving Israel the green light following the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. PCHR also emphasizes that this decision is complicity in a crime of aggression and directly threatens the international peace and security.

PCHR calls upon the international community and UN bodies to intervene to stop the Israeli escalating crimes and violations and work on providing international protection for Palestinians in the oPt.

PCHR also warns of the serious repercussions of the U.S. declaration, which has stirred up the feelings of millions of Muslims and Christians around the world, not only in Palestine. This was clearly evinced in the widespread international and local reaction.

PCHR also reiterates its call upon the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; i.e., to respect and ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances and their obligations under Article 146 to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention. These grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and Protocol (I) Additional to the Geneva Conventions regarding the guarantee of Palestinian civilians’ right to protection in the oPt.

December 15, 2017 Update:
Hebron Playground




[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”17″ display=”basic_slideshow”]Hi everyone,

I went to Hebron yesterday and helped with the installation of the playground. They were supposed to continue today but working on Saturday is a bit risky because of the settlers. See attached some pics. 2 international volunteers were also helping us.

Best,
Samir


Fall fundraising appeal from MRSCP, October 6, 2016
Remembering Rachel Corrie, March 22, 2016

Take Action: Palestinian leader’s son abducted by Israel

This is how Israel marked Human Rights Day. Please call the following (ask for the foreign policy aide) to intervene on behalf of Abdul Khalik Burnat with the U.S. State Department:

    Sen. Baldwin, Madison: 608-264-5338
    Sen. Baldwin, DC: 202-224-5653

    Rep. Pocan, Madison: 608-258-9800
    Rep. Pocan, DC: 202-225-2906
    (Pocan is a signer of HR 4391 on Palestinian children)

    Sen. Johnson, Madison: 608-240-9629
    Sen. Johnson, DC: 202-224-5323

A call to action from Al-Awda NY, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, and Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network

Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, 12 December 2017

DOWNLOAD THE FLYER FOR DISTRIBUTION

Abdul-Khalik Burnat, 17 years old, the son of Palestinian activist Iyad Burnat, an active leader of the Nonviolent Resistance Movement in the Palestinian village of Bil’in, was kidnapped, beaten and detained on the night of December 10, 2017 while getting pizza along with his friends Hamzah Al-Khatib and Malik Rahdi.

Their whereabouts were unknown until Abdul-Khalik’s mother and father recently learned that he and his friends are in Ofer Prison near the city of Ramallah.

Abdul-Khalik’s village of Bil’in is heavily targeted by Zionist colonizing forces for arrests, repression and persecution, especially because the people of the village continually and consistently organize well-coordinated weekly peaceful demonstrations which include visits and support from international activists to defend their land from illegal Israeli settlements and the infamous apartheid Wall.

Abdul-Khalik is a senior in high school. He was focused on completing his finals before his kidnapping. He is planning on going to college abroad after graduating high school.

This is not the first time that Abdul Khalik has been targeted by Israeli colonizing forces. The last time was in January of 2017, when he was shot with a rubber bullet in his head. They also detained him in another night-time raid in March 2017, while he was under treatment for his injuries.

Iyad Burnat’s family has been repeatedly targeted and injured by the Israeli Occupation Forces. Burnat states, “All this violence that they use against me and my family is trying to stop us from what we’re doing [Nonviolent resistance].”

Abdul Khalik’s court date is this upcoming Thursday December 14, 2017. This arbitrary hearing is crucial and likely to determine whether to extend their detention (for interrogation), impose an administrative detention order or put charges in the military courts.

The family of Abdul-Khalik Burnat have urged international action and publicity to help them obtain justice for their son and his immediate release.

**

Unfortunately, Abdul-Khalik’s story is all too common. Every year, over 700 Palestinian children face military trials and military imprisonment at the hand of Israeli occupation soldiers. Palestinian children are subject to torture and abuse under interrogation, arbitrary military trials, denial of their right to education, physical and psychological violence and imprisonment without charge or trial on a regular basis.

Israel’s impunity and gross violations of the rights of Palestinian children continue with the silence and complicity of governments around the world, including the U.S. government that not only provides $3 billion in military funding each year to the Israeli occupation state but also recently declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel, putting its stamp of approval on ethnic cleansing, settlement construction, land confiscation and blatant violation of international law.

Canada and Europe continue to maintain free trade pacts and association agreements with the Israeli occupation. It’s time for real international pressure to defend Palestinian children like Abdul-Khalik Burnat – and all Palestinians – from apartheid, war crimes and brutal, racist injustice.

TAKE ACTION TO FREE ABDUL-KHALIK BURNAT!

  1. For supporters in the US: Call your member of Congress to support H.R. 4391, the Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act. Tell them specifically about Abdul-Khalik’s case, and urge them to act for his release. Click here to tell your member of Congress to support the bill.
  2. For international supporters: Call your government officials and demand action for Abdul-Khalik Burnat and other Palestinian child prisoners.

Call your country’s officials urgently:
Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop: + 61 2 6277 7500
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland: +1-613-992-5234
European Union Commissioner Federica Mogherini: +32 (0) 2 29 53516
New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully: +64 4 439 8000
United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson: +44 20 7008 1500
United States President Donald Trump: 1-202-456-1111

  1. Join one of the many protests for Jerusalem and distribute this information about Abdul-Khalik. Get others involved in the struggle for Palestinian freedom! Build the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel and complicit corporations like HP and G4S.
  2. Write to Israeli officials to demand the release of Abdul-Khalik Burnat and fellow Palestinian child prisoners.Write a message and email or fax it to the officials below. Contact information and sample letter follow:

Contact information:

Minister of Defence
Avigdor Liberman
Ministry of Defence
37 Kaplan Street
Hakirya
Tel Aviv 61909, Israel
Fax: +972 73 323 3300
Email: minister@mod.gov.il
Salutation: Dear Minister

Minister of Justice
Ayelet Shaked
Ministry of Justice
29 Salah al-Din Street
Jerusalem, 91010, Israel
Fax: +972 2 640 8402
Email: sar@justice.gov.il
Salutation: Dear Minister

Attorney General
Avichai Mendelbilt
Ministry of Justice
29 Salah al-Din Street
Jerusalem 91010, Israel
Fax: +972 2 530 3367
Email: ClassActionFiling@justice.gov.il

Military Judge Advocate General
Brigadier General Sharon Afek
Hakirya, Tel Aviv, Israel
Fax: +972 3 569 4526
Email: Mag@idf.gov.il
Salutation: Dear Judge Advocate General

Commander of the IOF – West Bank
Major-General Roni Numa
GOC Central Command
Military Post 01149, Battalion 877
Israel Defense Forces, Israel
Fax: +972 2 530 5741, +972 2 530 5724
Salutation: Dear Major-General Roni Numa

Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan
Kiryat Hamemshala
PO Box 18182
Jerusalem 91181, Israel
Fax: +972 2 584 7872
Email: gerdan@knesset.gov.il
Salutation: Dear Minister

Sample Letter:

Dear Ministers,

I write today to demand the immediate release of Palestinian child prisoner Abdul-Khalik Burnat, the son of Iyad Burnat, nonviolent popular movement leader in the Palestinian village of Bil’in.

Abdul-Khalik and two of his friends were beaten and abducted by Israeli soldiers as they ate pizza on the evening of December 10. A dedicated high school student, Abdul-Khalik was in the middle of studying for his final exams when he was ripped away from his home and his studies.

Abdul-Khalik is 17 years old, and in his short life he has been detained and interrogated by armed Israeli soldiers, shot with a metal-coated rubber bullet, and suffered from severe traumas due to ongoing Israeli violence targeting his home village and his family.

Abdul-Khalik and his friends Hamzah Al-Khatib and Malik Rahdi are being held in Ofer military prison. They are not alone but are among approximately 300 Palestinian children held in Israeli military detention. Military detention and imprisonment of children violates their rights and creates lifelong trauma.

These boys have been targeted for nothing more than being Palestinian. I demand their immediate release.

Sincerely,

 

December 12, 2017
Beyond One State, Two State

Creative Solutions to the Israel-Palestine Conflict

Dr. Johan Galtung
Professor and Founder of Transcend International
Livestream from The Palestine Center
Washington, DC
11:00 pm – 1:00 pm CST

Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Dr. Johan Galtung will discuss alternatives to the one-state, two-state solutions for Israel-Palestine.

A sociologist and mathematician by profession, Galtung is recognized as the ‘founding father’ of peace studies and conflict transformation as a scientific discipline. He founded the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (1959), the world’s first academic research center focused on peace studies, as well as the influential Journal of Peace Research (1964). He is currently the president of the Galtung-Institut for Peace Theory & Peace Practice.

In addition to being a frequent Nobel Peace Prize nominee, he is also winner of the Right Livelihood award, which is the alternative Nobel. He has negotiated with many heads of state, inspired the idea of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe – the OSCE, and has helped resolve many conflicts from families to nations to regions.

More on Dr. Johan Galtung and Transcend International

What’s The Deal With Jerusalem, Anyway?

 
Sana Saeed, AJ+, June 11, 2017

Jerusalem is arguably the most contentious city in history. From the Crusades to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, a lot of civilizations and peoples have tried to claim the land. But the recent history of Jerusalem has made the city more than just contentious – it’s made it one of the greatest symbols of modern conflict, at the heart of the 50-year-long Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Learn more here:
• United Nations, “The Plan of Partition and the End of the British Mandate”
• Al Jazeera America, “Who Owns Jerusalem?”
• Time, “Why Jerusalem Isn’t Viewed as Israel’s Capital”

The Palestinian Right to Jerusalem Is an International Law that Cannot Be Taken Away

Position Paper: A Grant of Recognition from those who do not own to those who do not deserve

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), December 7, 2017

Baflour Declaration Recurs
In a dangerous precedent that violates the international law, on Wednesday, the US President, Donald Trump, declared that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and the American Embassy will be removed to it, signing an order of this.  The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the irresponsible statements by the US President and emphasizes that Jerusalem’s legal status as part of the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) codified in the international law according to the resolutions adopted by the UN and International Court of Justice (ICJ) and recognition of an overwhelming majority of the world’s States. 154 States voted in favor of recognizing the state of Palestine on the territory occupied in 1967, including Jerusalem.

PCHR believes that the declaration represents granting recognition from those who do not own to those who do not deserve as if the history repeats itself to bring out a new “Balfour Declaration in the centennial of the old declaration but by an American tongue this time.  PCHR stresses that the Palestinian right to Jerusalem is an international law that cannot be changed by political statements and measures, adding that the declaration convicts its issuer, making him a criminal at the international level and a big shame to the free world.

PCHR emphasizes that Trump’s declaration explicitly violates the international law, Security Council Resolutions, and Geneva Conventions, and constitutes two crimes.  The first crime is a crime of aggression against the Palestinian State as the declaration supports and upholds the annexation of lands using force.  The second crime is a war crime as the declaration is considered as a complicity in the Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank, including Jerusalem.

In his comment, Lawyer Raji Sourani, PCHR’s Director, said that, “This decision is an explicit call for imposing the rule of jungle and de facto policy in addition to completely flouting the international law and UN’s role… This declaration also gives political legitimacy for the Israeli crimes and affects the history, present and future of the Palestinian people.”

This development came in light of the current US administration’s systematic policy of denying the Palestinians’ right to self-determination and attempting to close down the Palestinian cause.  This policy started with supporting the settlement expansion, which was explicitly expressed by the American administration in many events, through being deliberately silent to condemn it or through frankly speaking that settlements belong to Israel and denying they are an occupied territory. In addition, the huge pressures practiced by the US on the UN Bodies, Intentional Criminal Court (ICC) and the Palestinian leadership to deprive the Palestinians of resorting to the International Justice.  This was a position expressed by the US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, when she said that, “the days of Israel bashing at the UN are over.”  And finally, the Us Administration’s aggression on the Palestinian territory came to end practically the Peace efforts and the two-state solution.

It should be mentioned that 13 States had embassies in Jerusalem until 1970s without recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  However, the US was not among those States as it only had a Consulate in Jerusalem that refers to the US Embassy in Tel Aviv.  Those 13 States then moved their embassies from Jerusalem to other cities in Israel, especially following the Security Council’s Resolutions No. 476 and 478, which both condemn Israel’s attempted annexation of Jerusalem.

It is noteworthy that the US Congress recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in 1995, and the US President recommended in his decision at that time to issue an official declaration to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem.  Since then, the US Presidents continued to delay the embassy move until today when the US President Trump dared to issue the declaration in violation of the international law and disregard for the international peace and life of many innocents that would be endangered due to provoking feelings of millions of Muslims and Christians around the world.

Explicit Violation of UN Resolutions

The Security Council issued 12 resolutions that emphasize Jerusalem is a territory occupied by the Israeli authorities.  Eight of them stipulate that all measures and changes in the legal status of the city are not lawful and the Israeli forces shall be withdrawn from it.  The four other resolutions call upon Israel to withdraw from the territories occupied in 1967, including Jerusalem. The first of them was the Security Council’s Resolution 242.

Of those resolutions directly relevant to Jerusalem is the Security Council’s Resolution 476 in 1980 that Calls upon Israel to withdraw from the occupied territory, including Jerusalem, emphasizing any change to the status and character of Jerusalem has no legal validity.

In the same year, Resolution 478 was adopted to condemn Israel’s Basic Law which declared Jerusalem to be Israel’s “complete and united” capital, constituting a violation of international law and not affecting the continued application of the Geneva Convention on the City as an occupied territory.  The Resolution also condemned all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel which have altered or purport to alter the character and status of Jerusalem are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith.

One of the latest and most prominent resolutions condemning settlements in the oPt, including Jerusalem, was Resolution 2334 in 2016, which states that Israeli settlement activity constitutes a “flagrant violation” of international law and has “no legal validity” in addition to undermining the peace process and two-state solution.  The Resolution also calls upon all States to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.  It is noteworthy that this Resolution passed in a 14–0 vote by members of the UN Security Council with the US abstention.  This Resolution is considered the fifth of its kind affirming and condemns Israel’s commission of the settlement activity crime.

In its Advisory Opinion on the Annexation wall in 2004, the ICJ affirms that the Gaza Strip and West Bank, including Jerusalem, are occupied territories according to the international law.  On this basis, the ICJ’s Resolution came to affirm that the wall has no legal validity as it cuts off parts of the Palestinian territory.

The General Assembly also adopted many resolutions affirming that Israel has no right to Jerusalem as it is an occupying power. The first of these resolutions was Resolution 303 in 1949, which condemns Israel’s declaration of Jerusalem as its capital.

following the Israeli Six Day War in 1967 on the Arab countries and occupying part of them, including the Gaza Strip and West Bank, The General Assembly adopted Resolution 2253 which denounces the application of the Israeli Law in East Jerusalem.  Following this, Resolution 1536 was adopted in 1981 to consider any change to the status of Jerusalem is illegal.

The UNESCO also adopted many resolutions relevant to the status of Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque.  The latest was in 2016 affirming that al-Aqsa Mosque/ Al-Haram Al-Sharif is an Islamic heritage, including the Buraq Plaza (Western Wall), and Jewish people has no right to it. The Resolution also condemns all Israeli changes and encroachments in the archeological sites there, considering al-Aqsa Mosque as an integral part of the internationally protected human heritage.

Aggression and Complicity in War Crime:

The US Declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a flagrant violation of the International humanitarian Law (IHL) and a clear complicity in a crime of aggression, which directly threatens the international peace and security.  This declaration also provokes the religious feelings of millions of Muslims and Christians around the world, not only in Palestine, and that was clear from the international reaction.

The crime of aggression violates the UN Charter, which prohibits the annexation of others’ lands using force and considers it as one of the bases that allow the intervention of the Security Council under Chapter (7) of the Charter to restore international peace and security. This crime is also considered as one of these crimes that falls within the Jurisdiction of the ICC even if its term has not entered into force yet.

The settlement activity crime is considered as a war crime codified in Article (49) of the Fourth Geneva Convention and Article (8), paragraph (8) of  the Rome Statute of the ICC.

According to this, the US is complicit with Israel in the settlement activity crime. Thus, the ICC has the right to prosecute the US officials responsible for this declaration, particularly President Trump. It should be noted that the settlements file is one of the files into which the ICC has been conducting preliminary investigations since June 2014.

Destruction of the Global System that Protects Humanity

The US decision undermines the international law and the UN and sets a dangerous precedent when a State like the US violates the Security Council’s resolutions and international law.

Thus, President Trump undermines the efforts that started after the end of the Second World War to replace resorting to force with resorting to law, and the world has gone a long and important way to this. This world that prevented the occurrence of a Third World War, and the UN was one of its main means in addition to the promotion and respect for the international law, including the IHL.

The US Declaration, which violates all the International humanitarian laws, along with all the policies that support, cover and legitimate the Israeli violations of the international law in the oPt puts the whole world before important inquiries: does the UN still have real effectiveness with regard to restoring international peace and security?!.. Does the international law that Protects humanity and peoples’ rights have any consideration?!.. Have the International bodies protecting humanity become completely powerless and a weapon in the hands of the powerful states to intervene in the affairs of the weak states?!

The US is no Longer a Mediator in the Peace Process, but Rather Undermines it

The US has always been an unfair mediator and uncommitted to the international law in the peace process in the Middle East. It has continued to claim, as in today’s speech, that its violation of the international law and using the Veto Power for dozens of times to prevent the adoption of any decision against the Israeli violations by the Security Council, not even a condemnation, in order to protect the peace process.

This declaration came to show the ugly face of the American administration and its false allegations. The resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly relevant to Palestine have been always confirming that: any prejudice to the legal status of Jerusalem or any change in it would undermine the peace process and threatens the two-state solution. Here comes the American President’s declaration to end any opportunity for the peace process and the two-state solution and deny the Palestinians’ right to self-determination.

The UN Secretary General confirmed that the US President’s declaration undermines the peace process, emphasizing that the whole borders issue, particularly those related to Jerusalem, shall be left for the two parties to find a solution through negotiations. This statement was followed by several others by States’ presidents stressing on the same content.

PCHR stresses that the Palestinian cause shall not enter in the frame of political bargains, emphasizing that the international law and resolutions define the borders of the Palestinian State. PCHR also emphasizes that any negotiations should be limited to how to implement what was stipulated in the international law in a way that guarantees peace for everyone.

Confronting the American Step

PCHR calls upon all Palestinians, the peace-loving states of the world, international organizations, and all activists and free people of the world to unite in order to prevent this crime. To achieve this,

  1. PCHR Calls upon the ICC to list the US President Trump among those accused of committing a settlement activity crime in the oPt in the files referred to the ICC regarding the settlement activity crime;
  2. The Palestinian leadership shall resort to the Security Council to condemn the declaration of President Trump in order to reveal the US anti-peace position and demand the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination;
  3. The Palestinian leadership shall resort to the General Assembly and work with the peace-loving states of the world to use the Special Mechanism of “Union for Peace” to avoid the US Veto in the Security Council and condemn the US declaration, rendering it null and void, and take necessary procedures to confront it;
  4. The Palestinian leadership shall call for an urgent meeting with the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions for drafting a statement to condemn the American position and ensure the application of the Geneva Conventions in the oPt in 1967, including Jerusalem, and work on obliging the US to abide by these Conventions as it is one of the High Contracting Parties;
  5. Calls upon the European Union to condemn the American Decision for violating the international law and directly threatening the international peace and security;
  6. Calls upon the American Civil Society and the free people of the world to move and pressurize the US President to save the world peace and spare the world a religious war due to the irresponsible behaviors of the American President; and
  7. Calls upon the Arab States and Islamic world to take decisive steps to force the US President’s administration to withdraw the declaration and strop the encroachment on the Islamic and Christian holy places.

Gaza City in the spotlight: hesitant hope in a city where everyone still wants out

As the UN’s day of solidarity with Palestinians nears, Gazans have restored a hesitant bustle

Miriam Berger, The Guardian, Saturday 25 November 2017

Fishermen off the coast of Gaza City, which is home to a 5,000-year-old port. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian
Fishermen off the coast of Gaza City, which is home to a 5,000-year-old port. (David Levene, The Guardian)

Today Medinat Ghazzah, or Gaza City, is running on empty – and yet still going. Gaza City, the Gaza Strip’s principal urban centre, carries various scars of war. Since 2006, Gaza has endured one civil war between Palestinians, three wars between the ruling Hamas militant group and Israel, a decade of Hamas’ repressive rule, and a crushing blockade by neighbouring Israel and Egypt – all of which have crippled the economy and turned the tiny territory into a site of humanitarian crisis.

Gaza City’s dusty buildings and bumpy roads, many still damaged or half-rebuilt from the last war, are at times reminiscent of facades found in Egypt and the Palestinian West Bank. But it is the crushing monotony and suffocating limits of life that define the city for residents who have walked the same streets for a decade without a chance of getting out. Still, the city carries on, with coffee shops, traffic, clothes stores, restaurants and even a new upscale mall offering diversions for those who can afford them.

Palestinians attend Friday noon prayer beneath the fallen minaret during the 2014 war.Palestinians attend Friday noon prayer beneath the fallen minaret during the 2014 war.

The city’s framework, like the rest of Gaza, is innately tied up with politics. Gaza was once part of Britain’s Mandate Palestine. Then came Egyptian occupation in 1948, followed by Israeli in 1967. Now, for the last decade, Hamas, which the European Union has designated as terrorist group, has ruled the tiny territory while Israel controls most borders.

Limited visitors

This month – on 29 November – brings the United Nations international day of solidarity with Palestinians. Gazans, however, don’t see much of the international community these days. That’s in part because Israel strictly limits entry to the Gaza Strip, with mainly journalists (Israelis and Palestinians excluded) and aid and development workers allowed through. Even then, UN bodies and NGOs working in Gaza constrain much of the movement of their foreign staff due to security protocols. Along Gaza City’s highly polluted coast are two expensive hotels that are considered the “safe zone” where aid workers and many journalists stay.

The five-star Arcmed al-Mashta Hotel, built in 2011The five-star Arcmed al-Mashta Hotel, built in 2011

Facing an ineffective and corrupt government, the UN and NGOs have stepped in. Gazans are grateful – but know they can do better and mistrust the politics that dictates where funds are directed. Around much of Gaza are signs thanking Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates for funding reconstruction projects. But the Arab countries have pledged far more for reconstruction than they’ve actually delivered, while many Gazans feel acutely abandoned by the Arab states and international community, and know new buildings still go first to those with Hamas connections.

Gaza City in numbers

40 – rank of Gaza city in 2014 list of most densely populated cities worldwide. At the time, the population of Gaza City and surrounding area was estimated at 750,000.

360 – square kilometers covered by the Gaza Strip, about the size of Detroit.

80 – percentage of families in Gaza who receive some sort of aid.

44 – percentage official unemployment rate in Gaza; for those aged 15-29, the rate rises to 60%.

3 – number of hours of electricity generated by Gaza’s only working electricity plant at a severe low point this summer. For the last few years Gaza has averaged around at most eight hours a day of electricity.

History in 100 words

Gaza City, famed for its port, is more than 5,000 years old. Over centuries various empires between the Nile River and Middle East – Philistines, Egyptians, Assyrians, Persians, Alexander the Great, Romans, Byzantines, Moguls, Ottomans, among others – ruled Gaza, as Jean-Pierre Filiu documents in Gaza: A History. Gaza’s status as a key trading and transit place shaped its unique culinary traditions, melding flavours like hot pepper and dill. Today Gazan culture and society has expanded to incorporate the Palestinian refugees who fled to here during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

Fresh produce on sale at Al-Zawiya market.Fresh produce on sale at Al-Zawiya market. Photograph: Rex/APAimages

City in sound and vision

Each of Gaza City’s 10 neighbourhoods have their own rhythm and reputation. There’s the Remal neighbourhood, the city’s nicest, where many of the fancy shops and NGOs are based. Along the main drag, Omar Mukhtar Street, cars honk and shouting street vendors sell all kinds of wares. Along the way are various historical landmarks: the Square of Unknown Soldiers, Gaza’s largest open space, filled with music and light-up cars for kids to ride at night; Saraya Square, an old prison where political rallies are now held; cinemas that have been closed by Hamas; and the city’s public park, teeming with children. Keep going and there’s the old city, with the traditional Al-Zawiya market, one of the oldest in the Gaza Strip and filled with everything from spices to shoe shiners, and the Great Mosque of Gaza, the largest and oldest in Gaza and originally a Byzantine-era church. To Gaza City’s east is the Shejayia neighbourhood, a dense network of cement houses and narrow side streets that was heavily bombed during the 2014 war, and has the reputation as housing its toughest people. On Gaza City’s Mediterranean side is Al-Shati, known as the beach refugee camp. Here the sounds and rhythm of the sea mix with the honking of horns and occasional wafts of sewage as Gaza City brings the sweet and sour all at once.

fatma_mosabah
Gaza Strip
مسجد السيد هاشم 🕌
يعتبر من أقدم مساجد غزة وأتقنها بناء ❤️
ويقع في حي الدرج في المنطقة الشمالية لمدينة غزة القديمة ويبعد عن المسجد العمري مسافة كيلو متر واحد تقريباً 👌🏻
وورد في الموسوعة الفلسطينية أنه من الراجح أن المماليك هم أول من أنشأه 💛
وقد جدده السلطان عبد المجيد العثماني سنة 1266 هـ 1830م"
Mosque of Hashim 🕌
Is one of the oldest mosques in Gaza and trained building️️ and located in the neighborhood of the stairs in the northern area of the old city of Gaza and away from the mosque Omari approximately one kilometer 👌🏻 The Palestinian Encyclopedia stated that it is most likely that the Mamluks are the first toestablish 💛 Renewed by Sultan AbdulMajeed Ottoman in 1266 AH 1830 AD "

How liveable is Gaza City?

For many residents, to remain living in Gaza is a point of national pride. But after a decade of war, siege, and Hamas rule, just about everyone wants out – even if only temporarily. The generation born since the siege have mostly never left Gaza; the older generation have memories of what came before, when Israelis came to the city’s markets and Gazans worked in restaurants and construction in Ashkelon and Tel Aviv. Now unemployment in Gaza is among the highest in the world, electricity and clean running water are in dire shortage, and the young generation is well educated with no place to go.

fatma_mosabah
Gaza Strip
نأمل من الله أن يكون هناك غداً أفضل 🌹🌿

On the move

Most people get around by foot, shared taxi or car – the former growing more common towards the end of the month, as salaries are stretched thin. The city has no formal public transport. Instead, regular cars roam around looking for riders heading in the same direction, each ride costing the customer one or two shekels (about the price of a falafel sandwich) depending on the distance – and the driver’s mood. Inside the shared taxi, there are informal rules governing how males and females should interact.
Palestinians speed through Gaza City by car. Photograph: Santiago Lyon/AP

There used to be buses and microbuses serving Gaza City. Now they are mainly reserved for students to get to school or for travel between Gaza City and other areas. There are a few hubs around the city to catch cars going to the rest of Gaza. Companies sometimes provide transportation for employees, as does the government. Gas is expensive due to import restrictions (Gazans say the gas from Israel is better than Egypt’s watered-down offerings). For a more secure, albeit expensive ride there are private taxi companies.

What’s next for the city?

It has been three years since the last war between Hamas and Israel and for many in Gaza the dream of what’s next is the same as it ever was: reconstruction and employment. Huge swaths of the territory’s infrastructure, including 171,000 homes, were damaged or destroyed during the 2014 war. The city centre is now hesitantly bustling during the day , and a little brighter than other areas at night when the sun sets and electricity-starved Gaza largely goes dark. Many structures remain partially finished as people can only sporadically afford building materials.

wissamgaza
Al-Shatee refugee camp in Gaza City on February 14, 2017. By Wissam Nassar @wissamgaza #wissamgaza مخيم الشاطئ للاجئين والبحر المتوسط

These days, the streets convey a sense of hesitant hope tempered by fatigue. Last month, Hamas and its rival, the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority based in the West Bank, signed a unity deal intended to end the territorial dispute that began when Hamas evicted Fatah from Gaza in 2007. Reconciliation has eased some imports, hindered some of Hamas’ much-resented taxes and provided more work for Fatah employees in Gaza. But people in Gaza have heard these promises before and then repeatedly seen them fail. In Gaza City, the centre of economic activity, people say there’ll believe this time is different when there’s work and opportunities again. For now, it’s still the same suffocation.

Close Zoom

Gaza may be physically and politically isolated, but many Palestinians in Gaza have turned to Instagram to get their version of their city and lives out. For slices of life you can check out some of Gaza’s most popular instagrammers such as Fatma Mosabah and Ensaf Habib , or the photojournalist Wissam Nassar.

Follow Guardian Cities on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to join the discussion, or explore our archive

New Palestine 101 video! – US Campaign for Palestinian Rights

Anna Baltzer, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, 29 Nov 2017

Have you ever heard anyone say that the issue of Palestine/Israel is “complicated?” We have, and now there is a video to debunk it.

Today, on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People and the 70th anniversary of the United Nation’s (UN) partition of Palestine, we are releasing a short video showing what Palestinians and their allies have known all along: it’s not that complicated.

Watch, and then share, Palestine 101: Not That Complicated on Facebook and Twitter.

The state of affairs – apartheid – on the ground in Palestine/Israel today is not too complicated to understand. It is, quite simply, a continuation of the ongoing and unwavering process of Zionist settler colonization.

70 years ago today, the UN proposed partitioning Palestine against the will of the native Palestinian population, emboldening Zionist militias to create a Jewish state by force, including through the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Today is just one of four significant anniversaries for Palestinians this year: 2017 also marked 100 years since the Balfour Declaration, 50 years since the beginning of Israel’s illegal military occupation of the Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and ten years since the imposition of the siege on Gaza. All of those anniversaries point to the undisguised settler colonial nature of the Zionist project.

Palestine 101: Not That Complicated can help folks both familiar and unfamiliar with the issue understand the ongoing process of Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestine, and the legacy of Palestinian resistance to the colonization of their homeland.

You can learn more about the dynamic history of that same Palestinian resistance on Dec. 9. On the 35th anniversary of the 1987 intifada, we are hosting a webinar that will cover the rich history of Palestinian resistance, from the general strike of 1936 to hiding cows from Israeli soldiers in 1987.

From the Arab Revolt to the Intifadas to BDS: 100+ Years of Palestinian Resistance
Saturday, Dec. 9 | 10:00 AM PT / 1:00 PM ET
Register here!

Featuring Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh, author of Popular Resistance in Palestine: A History of Hope and Empowerment, Nadia Hijab of Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network, and Abdulrahman Abunahel, Gaza Regional Coordinator for the BDS National Committee

Both the video and webinar are part of Together We Rise: Palestine as a Model of Resistance, our political education curriculum designed to provide critical voices, context, and resources to strengthen liberation struggles from the US to Palestine. Together We Rise includes 101 resources on Palestine, skill-building tools, outlines how US and Israeli colonialism and racism are connected, and what we can learn from Palestinian, Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and other freedom struggles.

What was true in 1917 is still true in 2017: a Jewish state was made possible through the violent removal of native Palestinians and resettlement of Jewish people in their place. Today, educate yourself on the issue by watching and sharing Palestine 101, and registering for the Dec. 9 webinar outlining more than a century of Palestinians fighting for freedom, justice, and equality.

December 2, 2017
Fair Trade Holiday Festival

Monona Terrace Convention Center
1 John Nolen Drive, Madison
9 am to 4 pm

Come do your holiday shopping with Madison-Rafah Sister City Project, Playgrounds for Palestine-Madison and 54 other vendors selling fair trade products from around the world!

MRSCP and PfP will be selling Palestinian olive oil in several sizes, olive oil soap, zaatar, “Playgrounds” brand Fair Trade Coffee, a great NEW selection of ceramics from Hebron, Hirbawi kuffiyehs, earrings, our beautiful Palestinian embroidered scarves, shawls, purses, bookmarks, and more.

We will also be accepting donations to benefit a deaf children’s classroom at the Atfaluna Society for the Deaf in Gaza City, which produces many of our embroidery and wood crafts items.

The Festival will feature items from the SlaveFree Madison’s Fashion Show “Saving the World, One Accessory at a Time”.

FREE! Bring your friends & family to this one-of-a-kind event!
More info? Visit fairtrademadison.org/ or facebook.com/fairtradeholidayfestival/

Israel and the US are trying to prevent publication of a ‘blacklist’ of companies doing business in the West Bank

Israel West BankBusiness Insider/Julie Bort

Josef Federman, Josh Lederman, Jamey Keaten, Business Insider, November 27, 2017

  • Israel and the Trump Administration are working “feverishly” to prevent a database of companies that operate in Israel’s West Bank settlements from being published.
  • Dozens of major names are expected to appear on the list, including 100 local companies and 50 international companies, mostly from the US and Europe.
  • The UN’s top human rights body, the Human Rights Council, ordered the compilation of the database in March 2016.

JERUSALEM (AP) — Weeks ahead of the expected completion of a U.N. database of companies that operate in Israel’s West Bank settlements, Israel and the Trump Administration are working feverishly to prevent its publication.

While Israel is usually quick to brush off U.N. criticism, officials say they are taking the so-called “blacklist” seriously, fearing its publication could have devastating consequences by driving companies away, deterring others from coming and prompting investors to dump shares of Israeli firms. Dozens of major Israeli companies, as well as multinationals that do business in Israel, are expected to appear on the list.

“We will do everything we can to ensure that this list does not see the light of day,” Israel’s U.N. ambassador, Danny Danon, told The Associated Press.

The U.N.’s top human rights body, the Human Rights Council, ordered the compilation of the database in March 2016, calling on U.N. rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein to “investigate the implications of the Israeli settlements on Palestinians.”

The international community overwhelmingly considers the settlements, built on occupied land claimed by the Palestinians for a future state, to be illegal. Israel rejects such claims, citing the land’s strategic and religious significance, and says the matter should be resolved in negotiations.

Israeli officials say that about 100 local companies that operate in the West Bank and east Jerusalem have received warning letters that they will be on the list. In addition, some 50 international companies, mostly American and European, also have been warned.

The companies have not been publicly identified, but one official said they include Israeli banks, supermarkets, restaurant chains, bus lines and security firms, as well as international giants that provide equipment or services used to build or maintain settlements. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter with the media.

The only company to confirm receiving a warning letter has been Bezeq, Israel’s national telephone company. Bezeq’s chief executive, Stella Handler, posted a copy of the letter sent by Zeid’s office in September on her Facebook page. It accused Bezeq of using West Bank land for infrastructure, providing phone and Internet services to settlements and operating sales offices in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Handler angrily wrote that Bezeq provides service to all customers, regardless of race or where they live.

“The council’s bias against Israel is so extreme that it has lost all relevance in the world,” she wrote. “We will not cooperate with a move that is all in all anti-Israeli propaganda.”

But hours later, Handler removed the post, saying she had done so at the request of the government. The Israeli official confirmed the government has asked companies not to speak about the issue. Bezeq declined comment.

Israel has long accused the United Nations, and particularly the rights council, of being biased against it.

Israel is the only country that faces an examination of its rights record at each of the council’s three sessions each year. Some 70 resolutions, or about quarter of the council’s country-specific resolutions, have been aimed at Israel. That is nearly triple the number for the second-place country: Syria, where hundreds of thousands have been killed in a devastating six-year civil war.

Israeli leaders and many non-governmental groups also complain that some of the world’s worst violators of human rights, including Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Congo and Cuba, sit on the council.

Some Western diplomats have said the database could set a harmful precedent by blurring the line between business and human rights on issues that are better left to trade policy than the Geneva council.

Israel seems to have little leverage over the council. But its campaign has received a big boost from the United States. The Trump administration has taken a tough line against the U.N., demanding reforms and in October, withdrawing from the cultural agency UNESCO because of alleged anti-Israel bias.

In a speech to the council last June, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley railed against its makeup and demanded that Israel be removed as a permanent fixture on its agenda. She also hinted that the U.S. could quit the council.

The upcoming release of the database could test that commitment. It has triggered a quiet, but high-stakes effort by Israel and the U.S. to try to block its release.

“We just view that type of blacklist as counterproductive,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said recently.

Danon, the Israeli ambassador, accused the council of unfairly targeting Israel at a time of conflict throughout the world, saying it amounted to a “blacklist” of Jewish companies and those who do business with the Jewish state.

He also said it would turn the rights council into “the world’s biggest promoter of BDS,” an acronym for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement — a grassroots international boycott movement against Israel. Most of the companies linked to the blacklist are frequent targets of the BDS movement.

“What kind of message will this send?” Dannon said.

But Nabil Shaath, a senior Palestinian official, said the list is an “important step” moving from verbal condemnation to practical action against the settlements. He expressed hope that it would lead companies to stop doing business with the settlements and even lead to sanctions against those that continue.

The original resolution calling for the list stipulates only that the council’s high commissioner is requested “to transmit the data therein in the form of a report” to the council.

To that end, Israel and its allies have been encouraging the council to leave the list out and submit only a basic, broad-strokes report that doesn’t name names, according to several U.N. diplomats familiar with the discussions. The diplomats were not authorized to comment publicly and demanded anonymity.

The pressure campaign has shown some signs of success. After an earlier delay, Zeid’s office said the release of the “report” has been pushed back again, from December to early next year.

For now, it does not appear that the list’s publication would be the direct trigger that leads the U.S. to quit the council. Haley’s office said it is focused on implementing reforms on the council, though publication of the list could make U.S. participation “less likely.”

Eugene Kontorovich, the director of international law at the Kohelet Policy Forum, a conservative think tank in Jerusalem, said he was “deeply skeptical” the report will not be published and said the Israeli government would be better off trying to discredit the report ahead of time. “I think it’s important for people to understand how bad this is,” he said.

The resolution, he warned, would cause “reputational harm” to companies and put “a cloud over business in Israel.” Although nonbinding, he said it could be used as a basis for future legal action. “The goal of this is to cause problems for Israel,” he said.