VIRTUAL DELEGATIONS TO SILWAN, EAST JERUSALEM

Eyewitness Palestine
June 12, 13, or 16
1:00 – 2:30 pm Central

Participants in this Virtual Delegation will see the ways in which Palestinians in Silwan, East Jerusalem, are resisting Israeli occupation and displacement. In Silwan, Israel and its tourist and archeology industries seek to link the bible story of King David to the modern Israeli state. This controversial reading of archeology and history supports the illusion that Jerusalem has an exclusively Jewish history and that therefore Jews are entitled to the city. This delegation is being co-sponsored by Madaa Creative Center and Art Forces.

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Update: June 4, 2021
Candle Lit Vigil for Palestine




UW-Madison Students for Justice in Palestine
UW Library Mall
8:30 PM

Join us to mourn the lives lost, show solidarity to the Palestinian people, and condemn U.S military aid to Israel.

  • Meet at Library Mall
  • Candle walk up to the Capitol
  • Speakers & Open Mic
  • Number of candles provided for the number of lives lost.
    Bring your flags, signs, and keffiyehs!

    Free and open to the public.

    Life Under Occupation: The Misery at the Heart of the Conflict

    An eviction in East Jerusalem lies at the center of a conflict that led to war between Israel and Hamas. But for millions of Palestinians, the routine indignities of occupation are part of daily life.


    Israeli soldiers firing tear gas towards Palestinian protesters in the town of Kfar Qaddum. Samar Hazboun for The New York Times

    David M. Halbfinger and Adam Rasgon, The New York Times, May 22, 2021

    JERUSALEM — Muhammad Sandouka built his home in the shadow of the Temple Mount before his second son, now 15, was born.

    They demolished it together, after Israeli authorities decided that razing it would improve views of the Old City for tourists.

    Mr. Sandouka, 42, a countertop installer, had been at work when an inspector confronted his wife with two options: Tear the house down, or the government would not only level it but also bill the Sandoukas $10,000 for its expenses.

    Such is life for Palestinians living under Israel’s occupation: always dreading the knock at the front door.

    The looming removal of six Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem set off a round of protests that helped ignite the latest war between Israel and Gaza. But to the roughly three million Palestinians living in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which Israel captured in the 1967 war and has controlled through decades of failed peace talks, the story was exceptional only because it attracted an international spotlight.

    For the most part, they endure the frights and indignities of the Israeli occupation in obscurity.

    Even in supposedly quiet periods, when the world is not paying attention, Palestinians from all walks of life routinely experience exasperating impossibilities and petty humiliations, bureaucratic controls that force agonizing choices, and the fragility and cruelty of life under military rule, now in its second half-century.

    Underneath that quiet, pressure builds.

    If the eviction dispute in East Jerusalem struck a match, the occupation’s provocations ceaselessly pile up dry kindling. They are a constant and key driver of the conflict, giving Hamas an excuse to fire rockets or lone-wolf attackers grievances to channel into killings by knives or automobiles. And the provocations do not stop when the fighting ends.

    No homeowner welcomes a visit from the code-enforcement officer. But it’s entirely different in East Jerusalem, where Palestinians find it nearly impossible to obtain building permits and most homes were built without them: The penalty is often demolition.


    Mohammed Sandouka amid the ruins of his home in East Jerusalem. Dan Balilty for The New York Times

    Mr. Sandouka grew up just downhill from the Old City’s eastern ramparts, in the valley dividing the Temple Mount from the Mount of Olives.

    At 19, he married and moved into an old addition onto his father’s house, then began expanding it. New stone walls tripled the floor area. He laid tile, hung drywall and furnished a cozy kitchen. He spent around $150,000.

    Children came, six in all. Ramadan brought picnickers to the green valley. The kids played host, delivering cold water or hot soup. His wife prepared feasts of maqluba (chicken and rice) and mansaf (lamb in yogurt sauce). He walked with his sons up to Al Aqsa, one of Islam’s holiest sites.

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    “FREE PALESTINE RALLY” IN MILWAUKEE DRAWS DIVERSE CROWD


    Lee Matz for the Wiscosin Muslim Journal

    Sandra Whitehead, Wisconsin Muslim Journal, May 21, 2021

    A crowd gathered Thursday evening at “The Calling,” the orange sunburst artwork on the east end of Wisconsin Avenue, for a “Free Palestine” rally planned by a coalition of organizations.

    A post on the Wisconsin Chapter of Bail Out the People listed the sponsors: American Muslims for Palestine, Islamic Society of Milwaukee, Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition, Jewish Voice for Peace, Voces de la Frontera, Rohingya American Society, several mosques, and Students for Justice in Palestine chapters from Marquette University, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, and Muslim Student Association chapters from MU and UWM.

    Hundreds, possibly 1,000, shouted “Free Palestine,” “End the Seige on Gaza” and other chants to the beat of a snare drum. Big green, white, black and red Palestinian flags waved and signs announced: “We Can’t Breathe Since 1948,” “Pakistan for Palestine,” and “Justice is our Demand,” among countless others. Many wore keffiyehs, the black and white Palestinian scarfs. Passersby in cars honked and waved.

    Speeches in front of “The Calling” bookended a march down Prospect Avenue that stretched from the east end of Wisconsin Avenue almost to Juneau Avenue. Mahdi Jaber, a recent UWM graduate, and others led the lively crowd in chanting between speakers and from the back of a truck as marchers followed.

    Continued at Wisconsin Muslim Journal >>

    Across The U.S., People Protest The Violence In Gaza And Israel

    Jason Breslow, NPR, May 19, 2021


    Crowds gather Tuesday at the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles, in solidarity with a general strike by Palestinians in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Justin L. Stewart/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

    In cities across the U.S., overwhelmingly pro-Palestinian protesters have taken to the streets in solidarity with Palestinian civilians caught in the ongoing violence between Israel and Hamas.

    From Dearborn, Mich., where demonstrators booed President Biden on Tuesday over the administration’s policy toward Israel, to outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, crowds gathered to demand an end to Israeli attacks that have killed 219 people in Gaza, according to health officials.

    Supporters of Israel have also demonstrated in cities such as Los Angeles and New York since the latest conflict erupted 10 days ago, though in far fewer numbers. Thousands of Hamas rockets launched at Israel have killed 12 people, according to the government.

    Outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington on Tuesday, protesters were draped in the black, white and green of the Palestinian flag. They chanted against the U.S. alliance with Israel and read the names of Palestinians killed in the latest burst of violence over a public address system.

    Among those who gathered outside the embassy was Taher Herzallah, an activist who said he had learned only hours earlier that his relatives in Gaza lost their home in an airstrike. They were unharmed. Still, Herzallah said he wants the lives lost to be known as more than just a death toll.

    “Every single Palestinian life matters. Every single Palestinian soul that was taken matters,” he said. “And that’s why we wanted to make sure that those names were read. These are people who come from us, that are of us.”

    Similar rallies were held in at least 22 cities across North America over the weekend, including in New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago and Dallas.


    Protesters objecting to U.S. policy toward Israel gather Tuesday at Lapeer Park in Dearborn, Mich., during a visit by President Biden to a nearby Ford Motor Co. plant. Seth Herald/AFP via Getty Images


    A woman cries as the names of Palestinian children killed in the fighting in Gaza are read during a protest Tuesday in front of the Israeli Embassy in Washington. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images


    Ido Shalev, 12, joins other pro-Israel demonstrators last week outside the Federal Building in Los Angeles. Jae C. Hong/AP Photo


    Crowds gather during a pro-Palestinian rally last week at Copley Square in Boston. Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images


    Pro-Israel demonstrators gather outside the Federal Building in Los Angeles last week. Jae C. Hong/AP


    Pro-Palestinian demonstrators rally Tuesday in New York City’s Times Square. Drew Angerer/Getty Images


    People hold a rally Monday in Tucson, Ariz., in support of Palestinians. Ross D. Franklin/AP

    NPR’s Connor Donevan contributed to this report from Washington, D.C.

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    American Muslims for Palestine — Milwaukee Rally

    American Muslims for Palestine — Milwaukee Rally to Defend Jerusalem and Palestine, May 12, 2021

    “Over 1,000 people showed up for Wednesday’s AMP-Milwaukee Rally. Milwaukeeans sent a loud message they will not stand for the continued violent occupation of Palestinian lands by Israeli forces.”

    All photos: Joe Brusky. More information: AMP-Milwaukee


    Emergency Aid Appeal


    First of all, thanks to those who turned out for yesterday’s banner drop and today’s demonstration at the Capitol covered by Channel 27 News. Demonstrations were held all over the world yesterday and today, even in France where they were prohibited by the Macron government at the last minute.

    As I write this, live media coverage out of Gaza by Arabic channels is showing the constant bombardment of Gaza that takes place every night. As you may have heard, Israel destroyed yet another high rise building in Gaza, this time the one that also houses many press agencies including AP. Here is a video of the building owner pleading for just 10 extra minutes.

    This was preceded by the destruction of 17 media offices and the wounding of 3 journalists in Gaza. Clearly Israel does not want anyone to know what is really going on.

    Israel also destroyed a house in Shati (Beach) Camp and killed 10 members of one family.

    And there were many injuries as Palestinians protested across the West Bank. Yesterday, 11 were killed by Israel.

    The U.S. media is barely reporting and certainly not showing the extent of the damage and casualties. If you want know the reality including pictures please go to Al Jazeera English and Middle East Eye.

    Also, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) in Gaza issues daily reports documenting in excruciating detail the damage, deaths and injuries, including what is happening in the West Bank and to Israel’s Palestinian population.

    And for direct, personal experiences and perspectives on life in Gaza be sure to regularly check out We Are Not Numbers.

    WHAT CAN YOU DO?

    Emergency Relief: At this time the Middle East Children’s Alliance recommends donations to the Paliroots Food Project.

    Action: Four Things Recommended by MRSCP: (from our Op-Ed of today in The Capital Times)

    1. Demand that the Biden administration denounce Israel’s illegal expulsions of Palestinians and the demolition of their homes & property. Ask Senator Tammy Baldwin to follow the lead of Rep. Mark Pocan and others in Congress and do the same.
    2. Listen to and share the voices of Palestinians. Post those stories and photos on social media; Use #SaveSheikhJarrah and #SaveSilwan in all your social media posts.
    3. Support Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it lives up to its obligations under international law.
    4. Urge your representatives to support HR 2590, the Palestinian Children and Families Act, which is the first legislation of its kind to have the U.S. taxpayer stop paying for Israel’s arrest, torture, and imprisonment of Palestinian children, its demolition and destruction of Palestinian homes and communities, and the further annexation of Palestinian land. (Pocan is a co-sponsor, so thank him.)
    5. Continue reading