November 9 – Global Day of Action: A World without Walls

Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (Stop the Wall)

From Israel’s apartheid Wall on Palestinian land to the US Wall of Shame on indigenous land at the border with Mexico – Walls are monuments of expulsion, exclusion, oppression, discrimination and exploitation. As people affected by these walls and as movements that pose justice, freedom and equality as our tools to resolve the problems of this planet, we join the call for the 9th of November as a Global Day of Action for a World without Walls.

 

Read and endorse the Call for Action below. 


Follow us on facebook to keep updated about the global mobilisation.

Click here to endorse the Global Call for Action. 


Register here for a FOSNA livestream of two workshops November 10 and 11 from the SOA Watch Border Encuentro in Tucson.

November 10 10:00 AM Pacific | 12:00 PM Central | 1:00 PM Eastern
“From Palestine to Mexico, All the Walls Have Got to Go: BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) and Border Militarization” with Palestinian BDS National Committee, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, and Friends of Sabeel North America

November 11 1:15 PM Pacific | 3:15 PM Central | 4:15 PM Eastern
“Towards a World Without Walls! Combating the Violence of Border Walls and Militarization from Palestine to the US/Mexico and Beyond” with Jamal Juma of Stop The Wall (Palestine), and Pedro Charbel of the Palestinian BDS National Committee

You can also take action on November 9 by

  • Posting on social media about the walls you resist and why, using the hashtags #WorldWithoutWalls and #MundoSinMuros
  • Reaching out to the members of your congregation to support those impacted by Trump’s immigration policies
  • Connecting with those working on immigrants rights in your community
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    "There is no word for wall in our language. We've asked our elders. We have searched. There is no word for wall because there shouldn't be walls."

    Verlon M. Jose, Tohono O'odham tribal vice chairperson. The Tohono O'odham people's land is divided by the US/Mexico border.

    From Israel’s apartheid Wall on Palestinian land to the US Wall of Shame on indigenous land at the border with Mexico – almost 70 walls across all continents are today ripping through people’s lives and lands as they fortify often unilaterally defined borders or limits of state control. They cause thousands of deaths every year and destroy means of livelihoods and hope for many more. They are monuments of expulsion, exclusion, oppression, discrimination and exploitation.

    15 years ago Israel started building its up to 8-meter high and over 700km long Wall on Palestinian occupied land as an integral part of its policy to confiscate over 60% of the West Bank and imprison the Palestinian people on not more than 13% of their historical homeland. This adds to its wall surrounding and completely isolating the Palestinian Gaza Strip since 1994. Palestinians have never stopped resisting these illegal Walls and the continuous expulsion of their people from their land and in 2003 called for November 9 – the day the Berlin Wall fell – as International Day against Israel’s apartheid Wall.

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    November 6, 2017
    Jerusalem on the Moving Edge of Colonial Rule


    Tom Philip Abowd
    Tufts University
    206 Ingraham Hall
    1155 Observatory Drive
    UW-Madison
    12 noon – 1:00 pm

    This Middle East Studies presentation will analyze how colonialism and colonial urbanism remain a crucial component of contemporary Palestinian and Israeli realities.

    It seeks to illuminate everyday life as well as the broader institutional forces that comprise and enable Israeli urban policy in Jerusalem. What kinds of barriers—physical, legal, and discursive—operate to keep Israeli-occupied Jerusalem a city of immense separation and inequality?

    The lecture will also address some of the multiple expressions of anti-racism and resistance to colonial and military rule in the city most contested by Palestinians and Israelis since 1948.

    PayPal: Stop Discriminating Against Palestinians

    We won’t accept PayPal’s discrimination against Palestinians!

    PayPal refuses to offer its services to Palestinians living in the occupied Palestinian territories, while Israelis next door in illegal settlements have full access to PayPal’s international transactions. Join us today and tell PayPal to stop discriminating against Palestinians!

    ActionAid has been raising our concerns with the CEO of PayPal since January 2017, but so far he hasn’t responded. PayPal hasn’t listened to the call of thousands of Palestinians to open up the company’s services to Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.

    ActionAid has been raising our concerns with the CEO of PayPal since January 2017, but so far he hasn’t responded. PayPal hasn’t listened to the call of thousands of Palestinians to open up the company’s services to Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.

    We need your help to amplify our message. Here are two things you can do right now:

    • Tell PayPal to stop discriminating against Palestinians. Sign our petition!
    • Add your voice to the hundreds of thousands already calling for PayPal to make its services available to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, and stop servicing companies and individuals in illegal Israeli settlements in Palestine. Amplify our message on social media using the hashtag #PayPal4Palestine.

    Why Do We Want #PayPal4Palestine?

    PayPal has become the default method of online payment for many people living in the 200+ jurisdictions where it does business. Among those is Israel – which PayPal considers to include the illegal Israeli settlements on the occupied Palestinian territories.

    PayPal’s discriminatory practices prevent Palestinian businesses and individuals from processing payments through one of the most common payment methods, limiting their opportunities for economic growth. PayPal’s failure to provide services to Palestinians living under the occupation is having serious repercussions for Palestinian businesses and graduates looking for jobs.

    Palestine has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the world, and the tech sector is one of the few industries that is growing, even under Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. But the industry’s growth is being obstructed, with Palestinian tech companies struggling to make or receive international online payments.

    This puts the tech sector at a substantial disadvantage, leaving it unable to absorb the thousands of young Palestinian “techies” who graduate from university every year.

    At the heart of this campaign, we want PayPal to respect the rights of Palestinians. Over 38% of people in Palestine are living in poverty, while prosperous Israeli settlements lie just meters from those struggling to survive. These settlements, built on stolen Palestinian land, are illegal under international law. They breach the fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits an occupying power from moving its civilian population into a territory it occupies. This illegal status was reconfirmed in UN Security Council Resolution 2334 of December 23, 2016.

    PayPal has a responsibility to respect human rights. It must address any adverse human rights impacts linked to their business practices in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP). PayPal shouldn’t be knowingly complicit in violations of international humanitarian law by servicing companies and individuals in the illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

    PayPal has done the right thing in the past – and together we can push the company do the right thing again. In North Carolina, PayPal scrapped plans for a major operations center in protest of an unjust law that took away protections for the LGBTQ+ community. If we come together now, we can show PayPal that it can expand its market, help the 2,000 IT graduates Palestine produces every year to find work, and end the growing backlash among politicians, tech companies and concerned PayPal users like us.

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    Ilan Pappe: No, Israel Is Not a Democracy — And Never Was

    Ilan Pappe, Jacobin: No, Israel Is Not a Democracy – And Never Was

    Israel is not the only democracy in the Middle East.
    In fact, it’s not a democracy at all.

    Ilan Pappe, Jacobin, May 5, 2017
    Excerpted from Ten Myths About Israel, Verso Books

    In the eyes of many Israelis and their supporters worldwide — even those who might criticize some of its policies — Israel is, at the end of the day, a benign democratic state, seeking peace with its neighbors, and guaranteeing equality to all its citizens.

    Those who do criticize Israel assume that if anything went wrong in this democracy then it was due to the 1967 war. In this view, the war corrupted an honest and hardworking society by offering easy money in the occupied territories, allowing messianic groups to enter Israeli politics, and above all else turning Israel into an occupying and oppressive entity in the new territories.

    The myth that a democratic Israel ran into trouble in 1967 but still remained a democracy is propagated even by some notable Palestinian and pro-Palestinian scholars — but it has no historical foundation.

    Israel Before 1967 Was Not a Democracy

    Before 1967, Israel definitely could not have been depicted as a democracy. As we have seen in previous chapters, the state subjected one-fifth of its citizenship to military rule based on draconian British Mandatory emergency regulations that denied the Palestinians any basic human or civil rights.

    Local military governors were the absolute rulers of the lives of these citizens: they could devise special laws for them, destroy their houses and livelihoods, and send them to jail whenever they felt like it. Only in the late 1950s did a strong Jewish opposition to these abuses emerge, which eventually eased the pressure on the Palestinian citizens.

    For the Palestinians who lived in prewar Israel and those who lived in the post-1967 West Bank and the Gaza Strip, this regime allowed even the lowest-ranking soldier in the IDF to rule, and ruin, their lives. They were helpless if such a solider, or his unit or commander, decided to demolish their homes, or hold them for hours at a checkpoint, or incarcerate them without trial. There was nothing they could do.

    At every moment from 1948 until today, there had been some group of Palestinians undergoing such an experience.

    The first group to suffer under such a yoke was the Palestinian minority inside Israel. It began in the first two years of statehood when they were pushed into ghettos, such as the Haifa Palestinian community living on the Carmel mountain, or expelled from the towns they had inhabited for decades, such as Safad. In the case of Isdud, the whole population was expelled to the Gaza Strip.

    In the countryside, the situation was even worse. The various Kibbutz movements coveted Palestinian villages on fertile land. This included the socialist Kibbutzim, Hashomer Ha-Zair, which was allegedly committed to binational solidarity.

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    Justice for Palestine

    War On Want logo    Justice for Palestine, War on Want

    The catastrophe facing the Palestinian people is a defining global justice issue of our time. It is not an intractable conflict between two equal sides. It is an Occupation by a powerful military state, armed and supported by the West, against an impoverished, stateless and displaced people.

    • A fourth generation of Palestinian children is now being brought up in refugee camps inside and outside Palestine, living in chronic poverty and denied the right to return to their family homes.
    • Hundreds of thousands more Palestinians suffer discrimination over access to public services, land rights and employment within Israel itself.
    • Israel’s siege of Gaza has condemned its 1.9 million inhabitants to poverty and psychological violence on a daily basis as movement is restricted and there is an ever present threat of military force.
    • In the West Bank, the expansion of Israeli settlements, the continued construction of the Apartheid Wall, the military closure of the Jordan Valley and the annexation of East Jerusalem are creating an irreversible reality of permanent Occupation.
    • This brutal Occupation, the building of the Apartheid Wall and ongoing military oppression can only be continued with the support of countries and companies that continue to back Israel through business and investment.

    Stop Arming Israel

    UK banks and financial institutions hold billions of pounds worth of shares in companies that sell weapons, military equipment and technology to Israel. We can’t allow banks on our high streets to continue lending support to Israel’s militarised repression of Palestinians. Stay tuned for our new report and campaign focused on the role played by HSBC in financing the sale of weapons to Israel. Take action.

    The UK government is complicit in Israel’s continuing violations of human rights and international law. By purchasing arms from and selling arms to Israel, the UK government is giving direct material support for Israel’s aggression and sending a clear message of approval for its actions.Take action.

    Political Prisoners

    A political prisoner is someone who is arrested and detained because of their beliefs or political activities. Israel holds thousands of Palestinian men, women and children as political prisoners. Israel’s system of arrest and detention is an integral part of Israel’s Apartheid system, under which Palestinians are governed under a separate set of laws than Israelis.

    We’ve successfully campaigned to get G4S to stop providing services to Israeli prisons, but others are still directly complicit in the occupation of Palestine and the unlawful imprisonment of Palestinians, including children. The UK government has a responsibility under international law not to aid and abet war crimes like torture, which is routine in the Israeli prison system.

    Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS)

    Palestinians have suffered from Israeli repression and human rights abuse for over 60 years, during which time governments all over the world have allowed Israel to act with impunity.

    The response from grassroots Palestinian civil society has been to call on people of conscience around the world to join them in the movement for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law. Read more.

    Palestine: The importance of language

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    On Facebook Live: A Conversation With Roger Waters!

    Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), July 7, 2017

    On Saturday, July 15, tune in on Facebook and join us for a live, hour-long conversation on the cultural boycott of Israel with one of today’s leading musicians!

    Live on Facebook: A Conversation with Roger Waters

    Saturday, July 15, 2017
    8pm Palestine / 5pm GMT / 12pm CDT
    Live on the BDS National Committee’s Facebook page

    The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) is excited to host a conversation with Roger Waters on his support for the cultural boycott of Israel and Palestinians’ rights.

    Roger Waters is an English rock musician, singer-songwriter, and composer. He is best known as the bass player, co-lead vocalist, lyricist and the principal songwriter in the rock band Pink Floyd.

    The conversation will be facilitated by Noura Erakat, a Palestinian human rights attorney and activist.

    We are honoured to host Roger Waters for this conversation, and hope you can join us!

    We will broadcast live from the Palestinian BDS National Committee’s Facebook page. Tune in on Saturday, July 15 at 5pm GMT / 12pm CDT for an hour-long conversation with one of today’s leading musicians.

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    Condemn, don’t celebrate, 50 years of occupation of Palestine

    Barbara Olson, The Cap Times, Jun 11, 2017


    Palestinian workers wait to cross the Israeli checkpoint of Al-Jalameh, south of the West Bank city of Jenin, on their way to work in Israel May 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Mohammed Ballas)

    June 2017 marks 50 years of Israeli military occupation of Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. In 1967, in open defiance of international law prohibiting acquisition of territory by force, Israel began settling its own Jewish population on occupied Palestinian land, seizing large swathes of the most valuable, fertile and resource-rich areas.

    For 50 years this dispossession has been enforced by a violent regime of military occupation, a regime that has expanded and deepened until many argue that it now meets or exceeds the legal definition of apartheid — a system of laws, institutions and practices that treat people differently based on race, ethnicity, nationality or religion.

    For the last 70 years, Israel has also denied millions of Palestinian refugees their right under international law to return to the homes and properties from which they were ethnically cleansed from 1947 onward. In contrast, Israel’s “Law of Return” gives automatic citizenship rights to any Jewish person from anywhere in the world.

    Those Palestinians who refused to flee after the Israeli state was declared in 1948 spent years living under martial law before gaining Israeli citizenship. Now making up at least 20 percent of Israel’s population, they face dozens of discriminatory laws that privilege Israeli Jews.

    A special mention must be made of Gaza. While Israeli soldiers and settlements were withdrawn in 2005, Israel exercises “effective control” over Gaza’s borders, coastal waters and airspace, making it the occupying power under international law. For 10 years it has enforced a suffocating and deadly blockade of Gaza, condemned by the UN as an inhumane act of collective punishment of nearly 2 million civilians, half of them children. Devastating Israeli military assaults in 2008-09, 2012 and 2014 killed thousands of civilians and deliberately destroyed Gaza’s civilian infrastructure.

    U.S. political, military and financial support makes this possible. Republican and Democratic administrations have given lip service to the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, calling the settlements and occupation “obstacles to peace.” In reality, they envision not two equal states side by side, but disconnected, fragmented and nonviable “Bantustans” for Palestinians under permanent Israeli control.

    Meanwhile, the U.S. is underwriting Israel’s abuses of Palestinians and the massive expansion of the Jewish-only settlements that long ago killed the possibility for any two-state solution. U.S. taxpayers already give Israel more than $3 billion in weapons like F-16 (and now F-35) fighter jets, Apache helicopter gunships, Caterpillar bulldozers, the Iron Dome, and more each year. This was before President Obama agreed to give Israel another $38 billion in weapons over the next decade. And before the election of Donald Trump, who has enthusiastically aligned himself with Netanyahu and the most racist and militaristic elements of Israeli society.

    As Trump recently — at least temporarily — backed off on his campaign pledge to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Senate Democrats, including progressives Tammy Baldwin and Bernie Sanders, joined Republicans to unanimously call for just that.

    While such congressional efforts to make the Israel lobby happy go back many decades, no president has yet chosen to inflame tensions in the region by legitimizing Israel’s East Jerusalem occupation and mistreatment of Palestinians in this way.

    Sen. Baldwin actually joined Mitch McConnell in co-sponsoring the resolution, which as U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights policy director Josh Ruebner pointed out also “celebrates a half century of Israeli military occupation of East Jerusalem while ignoring Israel’s violations of international law there and its separate-and-unequal regime which discriminates against Palestinian Jerusalemites.”

    Rebecca Vilkomerson of Jewish Voice for Peace noted that “Jerusalem could not be more divided, physically, economically, socially and politically,” as Palestinians there face home demolitions, property seizures, collective punishment, and discrimination in residency rights and public resources.

    One would think that true progressives would condemn rather than celebrate 50 years of military occupation, mass imprisonment, violent repression, property theft, and expulsions, and call for a just solution based on respect for international law, equality, justice and human rights. Clearly, both Baldwin and Sanders failed that test.

    Barbara Olson is a member of the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project.

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    Israel’s Everlasting Occupation

    Palestinians were never presented with what Israel offered every neighboring country: full withdrawal from occupied territory

    NATHAN THRALL, The New York Times, June 2, 2017

    An Israeli soldier praying at the Western Wall during the Six-Day War, in June 1967 (Micha Bar Am/Magnum Photos)

    JERUSALEM — Three months after the 1967 war, Israel’s ruling Mapai Party held a discussion on the future of the newly conquered territories. Golda Meir, who would become Israel’s leader a year and a half later, asked Prime Minister Levi Eshkol what he planned to do with the more than one million Arabs now living under Israeli rule.

    “I get it,” Mr. Eshkol jokingly replied. “You want the dowry, but you don’t like the bride!” Mrs. Meir responded, “My soul yearns for the dowry, and to let someone else take the bride.”

    On this 50th anniversary of the war, it is clear that over the half-century that followed, Israel managed to fulfill Mrs. Meir’s wish, keeping control of the land indefinitely without wedding itself to the inhabitants. This resilient and eminently sustainable arrangement, so often mischaracterized as a state of limbo assumed to be temporary, has stood on three main pillars: American backing, Palestinian weakness and Israeli indifference. Together, the three ensure that for the Israeli government, continuing its occupation is far less costly than the concessions required to end it.

    Each pillar, in turn, draws support from a core myth promoted by leaders in American, Palestinian or Israeli society. For Americans, the myth that the occupation is unsustainable is a crucial element in maintaining and excusing the United States’ financial and diplomatic abetting of it. From the halls of the State Department to editorials in major newspapers and the pronouncements of pro-peace organizations like J Street, Americans are told that Israel will have to choose, and very soon, to give Palestinians either citizenship or independence, and choose to either remain a democracy or become an apartheid state.

    Yet none of these groups calls on the United States to force this supposedly imminent choice, no matter how many times Israel demonstrates that it prefers a different, far easier option — continued occupation — with no real consequences. The only real fallout from continued occupation are major increases in American financing of it, with Israel now receiving more military assistance from the United States than the rest of the world does combined. Mistaking finger-wagging for pressure, these groups spend far too much time on phrasing their criticism of settlements and occupation, and far too little asking what can be done about it.

    What supports the fiction that Israel cannot continue subjugating the Palestinians — and therefore that the United States will not be complicit in several more decades of subjugation — is a seemingly endless parade of coming perils, each of which, it is claimed or hoped, will cause Israel to end its occupation in the near future.

    Initially, the threat was of an attack by the Arab states. But that soon crumbled: Israel made a separate peace with the strongest one, Egypt; the Arabs proved incapable of defending even sovereign Lebanon from Israeli invasion; and in recent years, many Arab states have failed to uphold even their longstanding boycott of Israel.

    Then there was the demographic threat of a Palestinian majority arising between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean. But official Israeli and Palestinian population statistics indicate that Jews have been a minority in the territory Israel controls for several years now, and with no repercussions: A majority of the world’s nations still speak of undemocratic rule by a Jewish minority as a hypothetical future, not an unacceptable present.


    A standoff as Palestinians and Israeli soldiers await the arrival of Palestinian police officers in Gaza in 1994 (Susan Meiselas/Magnum Photos)

    Later came the threat of renewed Palestinian violence. But Israel, with the strongest army in the region, has repeatedly demonstrated that it can endure and outlast whatever bursts of resistance the divided and exhausted Palestinians can muster.

    The next threats, too, came up empty. The rise of nominally pro-Palestinian powers like India and China has, to date, had no negative effect on Israel, which has strengthened ties with both countries. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, though noisy on some American campuses, has yet to make a dent in Israel’s economy or its citizens’ self-reported level of life satisfaction, among the highest in the world.

    Advocacy among some Palestinian intellectuals and their allies for enfranchisement in a single state, the so-called one-state solution, has not been endorsed by a single Palestinian faction and is a long way from drawing majority support in the West Bank and Gaza. If the proposal ever gathered momentum, Israel could easily counter it by withdrawing from the West Bank, as it did from Gaza in 2005.

    The latest, though surely not the last, in this list of threats is the prospect of political changes within America and its Jewish community. Israel has become a more partisan issue, and polls show a majority of Democrats in favor of some economic sanctions or other action against Israeli settlements. Among American Jews, a growing rate of intermarriage with gentiles is lessening attachment to Israel, and Jewish organizations are increasingly divided over support for the country. Despite such vexation, mainly among liberal Jews, surveys over nearly four decades have shown overall American backing for Israel over the Palestinians only increasing, and none of the hand-wringing has translated into changes in American policy.

    For American politicians, electoral and campaign finance incentives still dictate a baseline of unconditional support for Israel. The United States has given more than $120 billion to the country since the occupation began, spent tens of billions of dollars backing pro-Israel regimes ruling over anti-Israel populations in Egypt and Jordan, and provided billions more to the Palestinian Authority on condition that it continue preventing attacks and protests against Israeli settlements. And those expenditures do not reckon the cost to American security interests of Arab and Muslim resentment toward the United States for enabling and bankrolling the oppression of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

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