Solidarity with the Palestinian People

Shared Injustice, Shared Struggle
on International Day of Solidarity

Claire Gilbert, Grassroots International, November 28, 2017

November 29th is the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people. These days, the global Palestinian solidarity movement has deepened and grown with powerful expressions of joint struggle with other movements around the world.

A few weeks ago in over 30 countries worldwide people participated in a series of global actions for a #WorldwithoutWalls. Analysis from Grassroots International’s partner Stop the Wall Campaign reveals shocking statistics about the grim proliferation of walls globally:

“Who would have thought in 2002 when Israel started building its apartheid Wall that today we would have nearly 70 walls around the world built to militarise borders or to annex occupied lands? Who would have thought it possible that exactly one year ago Donald Trump won the presidential elections by promising a Wall?

Walls are key elements in today’s racist policies aimed against migrants, including refugees, to criminalise and keep them out or kill them. Walls are ever more pervasive in cities and societies to segregate, control and repress. Ideologies of hatred and supremacy are growing together with these walls and the profits of an entire industry of walls, fear and exclusion are rising exponentially. By 2022, the border security market is expected to rise to $52.95 billion globally.”

Stop the Wall Campaign is a Grassroots International partner in Palestine focused on stopping and dismantling the Wall in the West Bank, resisting Israeli occupation, and defending Palestinian communities’ rights to land and water.

The #WorldwithoutWalls actions included new chances for shared struggle as a delegation from the US, Mexico and Palestine traveled from Oaxaca to Nogales at the US/Mexico border as part of an International Caravan, while a delegation of activists from Mexico and the US traveled to the West Bank.

Our allies at the Border Agricultural Project and our partner La Via Campesina shared this statement:

“Sunday, November 5th, 2017 – From the border of Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico and El Paso, Texas, United States, La Vía Campesina, its members participating in the V International Meeting on Migration and Wage Labour, its guests and allies, the academic and public institutions that accompanied the encounter as well as the border community, we send you a fraternal message of solidarity to all migrants and people suffering walls of apartheid; and we tell you that you are not alone, that from November 2 to 5 we have met on this border to make a commitment to fight with all our conviction for the full human rights of all migrants and border people and against the current anti-migrant attacks by bad governments, against the walls of exclusion, violence and criminalization for the mere fact of being migrants or border people.”

And they shared a photo (at the top of this blog) of Juslene Tyresias, a leader of Grassroots International’s partner the Peasant Movement of Papaye in Haiti, speaking out against the US/Mexico wall. Several other partners of Grassroots International are shown including the Association of Rural Workers in Nicaragua.

Jamal Juma, Coordinator of the Stop the Wall Campaign shared:

“The rising number of physical walls around the globe, many of them inspired or built by Israeli technology, are the symbolic centerpiece in a world full of visible and invisible walls of injustice.

As Palestinians we don’t only feel, we are, directly connected to all those struggling against walls of injustice. Israel promotes its ideology of apartheid, colonialism and war as well as the technologies to implement them globally.

We are determined not only to tear down Israel’s apartheid Wall but to join hands with all those that resist walls of injustice.”

You can listen to powerful testimony of the joint struggle against walls in this video: https://www.facebook.com/stop.the.wall.campaign/videos/1527201174037767/

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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.

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.

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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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