I am far from Gaza right now, in the UK, but I am speaking with my friends, my family and my medical colleagues there every day. I know doctors and nurses are working night and day to treat the people injured in the recent massacres.
I know you’re horrified by the news from Gaza—the slaughter of unarmed protesters who are simply demanding freedom; the deliberate targeting of medical staff and journalists; The murder and maiming of women, children and so many young men.
Families in Gaza desperately need medical aid and food. With your help now, MECA can provide them:
- MECA Gaza staff can purchase medicine and medical supplies in Gaza and deliver immediately to hospitals and clinics.
- There is terrible poverty and hunger in Gaza due to the Israeli siege. MECA will distribute emergency food parcels to more than 1,000 families in greatest need.
I ask you, please, just to give, as much as you can. People are desperate in Gaza and they need your help now.
Every dollar will go directly to Gaza. And with your contribution you’ll be sending a powerful message of solidarity.
Please Give What You Can.
A Palestinian child holds a sign on Land Day.
For the past six weeks, Gaza has been in the news as residents have been protesting near the barbed wire fence and free-fire “no-go” zone that traps them under Israel’s siege and blockade of the impoverished territory.
The protests began on March 30, commemorated by Palestinians as “Land Day” annually since 1976, when six unarmed Palestinian citizens of Israel (including three women) protesting government confiscation of their lands for Jewish-only settlements in the Arab-majority Galilee area were shot dead by the Israeli army and police, who were not punished.
In Gaza and elsewhere this “Great March of Return” demonstration by all factions and sectors of Palestinian society asserts their international legal right to return to the villages and towns Israel expelled them from in 1948 – lands that for Gazans lie just a few miles away on the other side of the barbed wire, and to which they have been forbidden to return solely because they are not Jewish. The demonstrations are set to culminate on May 15, Nakba (Catastrophe) Day, when Palestinians protest their ongoing dispossession by Israel and the western powers.
In the early hours of March 30, before any demonstrations had started, Israeli soldiers fired a tank shell at two farmers “acting suspiciously” in their fields, blowing one to pieces and injuring the other. Later that day, snipers Israel had placed behind earthworks along the fence with openly-declared shoot-to-kill orders began firing on the unarmed protesters. At least 18 were killed and more than 1400 injured that first day. As of this writing, the death toll stands at over 50, including five children and two journalists. Over 6,000 have been injured, with hundreds suffering devastating injuries caused by exploding bullets that rip through flesh and bone according to Doctors without Borders. No Israelis have been injured.
Amnesty International has demanded Israel “stop the use of lethal and other excessive force,” calling for a world-wide arms embargo on Israel. Human Rights Watch called the killings “unlawful” and “calculated,” saying Israeli officials green-lighted the killing of unarmed demonstrators and deploring “the longstanding culture of impunity within the Israeli army.” (Israel responded by ordering the expulsion of HRW’s Jerusalem office director Omar Shakir.)
U.S. taxpayers annually give Israel $3.8 billion in military aid. The made-in-the-USA tear gas they use is the same used in “riot control” in poor American cities like Ferguson, MO. Amnesty International believes many exploding bullet injuries “bear the hallmarks of US-manufactured M24 Remington sniper rifles shooting 7.62mm hunting ammunition, which expand and mushroom inside the body.”
Right now the Israeli military is firing at peaceful protesters in Gaza.
Right now Israeli tanks and snipers are firing at unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza. Fifteen have been killed already, and over 350 injured by live fire, rubber-coated steel pellets or tear gas. Organized by civil society and committed to nonviolence, Palestinians began gathering this morning for 45 days of peaceful protest. Right away, the Israeli military opened fire.
Eleven Democratic members of Congress just returned from a trip to Israel this week. Led by Rep. Nancy Pelosi, and including progressives Jan Schakowsky and Jamie Raskin, the Congressional delegation smiled for a photo shoot with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu while the state’s army was preparing its plan to attack the protesters. Tell these members of Congress they now have an obligation to speak out against Israel’s deadly attack on peaceful protesters in Gaza.
The Israeli army planned in advance to attack the protesters. It even gave pre-authorization for soldiers to open fire, even though the protesters disseminated the plan for their nonviolent protest in advance: Peacefully, without any weapons, they would gather alongside the border fence that imprisons them. For six weeks they would erect tents, hold cultural events, and march for an end to the siege and the right to return to their homes and lands inside Israel in accordance with UN resolution 194.
Tell the eleven members of Congress they must immediately speak out: Condemn the attacks and demand that Israel stop shooting peaceful protesters!
The people of Gaza are living under unimaginable conditions. They have little to no water, only 2 hours of electricity a day, 80% of the population relies on food assistance. For organizing a peaceful protest, they should be commended, not murdered.
Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) just launched a groundbreaking campaign, calling for the entire University of California (UC) system to divest from Israeli apartheid! Today, SJP students are showing up, uninvited, to the UC Regents Board meeting in Los Angeles to announce the new statewide #UCDivest campaign.
The students are taking this step because, despite student bodies passing resolutions at nearly every school across the UC system calling for the withdrawal of university investments from corporations profiting from Israeli apartheid, administrators have refused to act. The UC Student-Workers Union UAW Local 2865, representing 17,000 teaching assistants, readers, research assistants, and tutors, also voted to support divestment. This campaign pushes UC administrators to implement the principled change that students and workers are standing behind.
Student campaigns like #UCDivest have resulted in more than 35 campuses across the USpassing student council divestment resolutions. These divestment campaigns are an effort to heed the Palestinian call for institutions around the world to stop profiting from the abuses of Palestinian rights, and the resolutions passed call for universities to withdraw investments from corporations complicit in Israel’s occupation and apartheid regime.
The SJP students have justice on their side, but they are up against entrenched institutions and big money. They need you, and allies everywhere, to show support for #UCDivest:
1. Follow UC Divest on social media, and share their campaign announcement and other postings widely throughout the day. Follow them on Facebook at UC Divest; on Twitter at @UCDivest; and on Instagram at ucdivest.
2. Show UC SJPs that you stand with them! Share a photo and message of solidarity using #UCDivest.
After a video of Ahed confronting Israeli soldiers outside her house went viral, she was arrested in the middle of the night. Overnight, she became a hero for young women throughout the world. Israel wants her case to be forgotten so they have closed her trial to the public. No media, no diplomats, no human rights observers.
Help us call on the US State Department to demand that Ahed’s trial be opened, and that they send a US official to monitor the trial.
Dear US State Department,
It is horrible that Israel has closed the courtroom for the military trial of 17-year-old Ahed Tamimi. They are trying to hide from the international community while they try a child in a military court with an over 99% conviction rate.
Seventeen-year-old Ahed Tamimi is facing up to 10 years in prison. Each year, Israel arrests and prosecutes around 700 Palestinian children in military court. Israel’s abuse of Palestinian children must stop.
We ask you to demand that Israel open the courtroom and that you send a representative of the US government to be present throughout Ahed Tamimi’s trial.
US Campaign for Palestinian Rights
CALL CONGRESS ON MONDAY, MARCH 5 – (202) 224-3121 – to say that the Israel Anti-Boycott Act is unjust and unconstitutional!
AIPAC is descending on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, March 6 to push their anti-Palestinian rights agenda – part of which is criminalizing our right to boycott.
We need to preempt their lobbying and tell our Members of Congress that we OPPOSE the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, a piece of legislation that would criminalize individuals exercising their First Amendment right to boycott Israel.
Call (202) 224-3121 to let Congress know:
- “I oppose the Israel Anti-Boycott Act (HR 1697/S 720) because we have the right to boycott until freedom is achieved for Palestinians in occupied territory, justice is guaranteed for Palestinian refugees who have a right to return, and equality is earned for Palestinian citizens of Israel. The Supreme Court, and most recently, a Federal District Court, have upheld our right to boycott. The Israel Anti-Boycott Act is both unjust and unconstitutional.”
• “AIPAC is flailing” (October 17, 2017)
• “Punish Israel Boycotters? You, ACLU, and US Campaign Say No!” (June 20, 2017)
• “Are Your Members of Congress Trying to Criminalize BDS?” (May 18, 2017)
• “AIPAC Is Lobbying for this Today…” (March 28, 2017)
Last Thursday, the New Orleans City Council unanimously passed a historic human rights resolution!
The resolution, developed by the New Orleans Palestinian Solidarity Committee (NOPSC), calls on the city to avoid contracting with or investing in corporations that consistently violate human, civil, or labor rights— including Israel.
Now Jewish establishment groups are crying foul, saying the resolution unfairly targets Israel, and pushing feverishly for the council to revoke its original vote.
And it looks like the entire council is caving.
Before last week’s vote, Council President Jason Williams said the resolution “specifically recognizes the city’s social and ethical obligations to take steps to avoid contracting with or investing in certain corporations, namely those that consistently violate human rights, civil rights, or labor rights.”
Open Letter to Women’s March L.A.:
Women for Palestine Calls for Genuine Intersectionality
Women 4 Palestine L.A., January 17, 2018
We embrace and applaud the intersectional analysis that marks today’s social movements, and decry the absence of this perspective in outreach for the Women’s March Los Angeles.
In a shocking move, you announced that a “Special Guest” speaker at WMLA 2018 is Scarlett Johansson, who is unabashedly a supporter of Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights. She served as a spokesperson, and indeed, was the face of the advertising campaign of SodaStream, whose factory was in a settlement built illegally on land stolen from Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. As a result, she was forced to step down from her role as an ambassador for the humanitarian group Oxfam after working with the charity for eight years.
Johansson’s unapologetic support for Israel’s abuses of Palestinians confirms that she fully deserves the praise Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heaped on her in his speech to the Israel lobby group AIPAC in Washington, several years ago. Netanyahu said Johansson should be “applauded” for opposing the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign for Palestinian rights. Regardless of her claims to not be “political,” Johansson is now seen by Palestinians and their supporters as a defender of apartheid Israel.
While there are a host of OTHER examples that can be cited, here we want to focus on the impact on those of us who actively support the indigenous rights of the Palestinian people, especially in light of the recent international attention on women and child political prisoners, including 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi, the young Palestinian Rosa Parks.
Once again, grassroot feminists who promote Palestinian human rights are concerned that a hostile environment is promoted by the organizers of WMLA — whether inadvertently, or not — by the choice of featured speakers, major donors, and major partners.
The organizers of the Women’s March LA are well aware of the issues the “Women 4 Palestine” contingent faced at last year’s “Women’s March LA.” We were verbally abused with racist remarks, and bullied, to the point that some of us are reticent to return out of concern for our personal safety. Our concerns were brushed off by your organizers, in fact one of you accused one of our members as being anti-semitic when she posted an announcement for our Women’s Rally to Free Ahed and All Palestinian Child Prisoners.