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
  •  


    "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.

    Continue reading

    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.

    Continue reading

    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

    Continue reading

    Alison Weir: Israel’s New Travel Ban

    I want to go to Palestine – a country recognized by 136 countries around the world. But your law, astoundingly, prevents me from visiting that country. You control entry and exit to the places I want to visit, even though they’re not part of your territory, or included in your exclusive democracy.

    Palestinian women, overseen by Israeli guards, crowd around the Qalandia checkpoint in the West Bank as they try to enter Jerusalem to attend Friday prayers at the Al Aqsa mosque. (BBC News Image 8 of 10, Sept 22, 2009.)

    Alison Weir, Dissident Voice, March 20, 2017

    Dear Israeli Government:

    You’ve recently banned foreigners who support boycotts against Israel or Israeli settlements from being allowed to enter Israel – even Jewish foreigners, a first for the self-proclaimed Jewish state. After all, your “Law of Return” has allowed (and encouraged) Jewish foreigners to freely immigrate to Israel, even as multitudes of Palestinians have been banned from returning to their homes.

    People throughout the Western world have objected in outrage to your new law, particularly Jewish Westerners who have family and connections in Israel from whom they’ll be cut off in retaliation for their political positions.

    Critics, even some who oppose boycotting Israel and who have had no problem with excluding Palestinians, have called out the law for diverse reasons: its quashing of free debate and political expression, its anti-democratic nature, how it will affect them and others personally.

    I support these objections.

    But I’m not trying to visit Israel.

    I want to go to Bethlehem and Nablus, Ramallah and Hebron, Jenin and Tulkarem. I hope to return to Khan Yunis, Rafah, Gaza City, and numerous other towns and villages in the West Bank and Gaza.

    In other words, I want to go to Palestine – a country recognized by 136 countries around the world. But your law, astoundingly, prevents me from visiting that country. You control entry and exit to the places I want to visit, even though they’re not part of your territory, or included in your exclusive democracy.

    When I was born, Palestine referred to the whole of the land that your founders then ethnically cleansed and renamed. Now, it officially refers to a few segments of land, surrounded and trapped.

    Unlike the residents of every other country on earth, Palestinians are not free to travel to and from their own country unless a foreign country gives them permission – a normally universal right that you routinely deny: to young and old, Muslims and Christians, professors and paupers, men and women.

    Visitors are similarly obstructed. You decide whether they can get in, and whether they can get out.

    When I try to visit Bethlehem, for example, I must face your armed soldiers manning the Kafkaesque, towering concrete wall you have erected on Palestinian land. These gun-toting youngsters will decree whether or not I and others – including Palestinian descendants of Bethlehem’s ancient shepherds – can pass through.

    In other words, Israel is essentially imprisoning over 4 million men, women, and children (with some help from Egypt, its proxy to the south). Israeli jailers, euphemistically “border guards,” determine who may even visit this incarcerated population, and what supplies may reach them.

    Continue reading

    Congress’s Anti-Boycott Act Threatens More Than Free Speech

    Churches for Middle East Peace, July 28, 2017

    In The News

    Democratic Senators Rethink Bill Criminalizing Support for Israel Boycott [Roll Call]
    Roll Call reports, “Democratic senators are thinking twice about the proposed Israel Anti-Boycott Act after an outcry by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which considers it a ‘serious threat to free speech.’ While Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin, the bill’s lead author, said that the ACLU had misinterpreted the piece of legislation, he expressed his intention to ‘make it clearer.’ The act targets the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement, an international effort to boycott businesses in Israel and occupied Palestinian territories in order to pressure Israel to comply with international law and stop the further construction of settlements.”

    This Piece of Pro-Israel Legislation Is a Serious Threat to Free Speech [The Washington Post]
    “The Israel Anti-Boycott Act is designed to stifle efforts to protest Israel’s settlement policies by boycotting businesses in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. … Whether one approves or disapproves of the BDS movement itself, people should have a right to make up their own minds about it. … By using their power in the marketplace, consumers can act collectively to express their political points of view. There is nothing illegal about such collective action; indeed, it is constitutionally protected,” write the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Legal Director David Cole and National Political Director Faiz Shakir.

    Read The Small Print. How Nearly 200 Congressmen Could’ve Signed on a Bill Criminalizing Free Speech And Legitimizing Israel’s Occupation Of Palestine [Huffpost]
    Political consultant Marilyn Katz writes, “Hidden behind the benign language of the [Israel Anti-Boycott Act] legislation … are laws that would criminalize even speaking out about a boycott while legitimizing Israel’s 50-year occupation of the West Bank ― an occupation considered illegal by the world, and condemned even by the United States.”


    J Street, a Reliable Foe Of BDS, Urges Congress to Oppose Israel Anti-Boycott Act For Now [The Intercept]
    “J Street, founded in late 2007 to promote a two-state solution, opposes the Israeli occupation and general treatment of the Palestinians, but also has refused to endorse the Palestinian-led nonviolent boycott movement. Its activists regularly find themselves at odds with left-wing groups such as Jewish Voices for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine who view BDS as the best way to end the occupation of the Palestinians. Thus J Street often lobbies in favor of anti-BDS legislation. However, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act is a step too far for even these reliable opponents of BDS,” reports The Intercept.

    Israel Anti-Boycott Bill Does Not Violate Free Speech [The Washington Post]
    Northwestern University School of Law Professor Eugene Kontorovich writes, “The Israel Anti-Boycott Act is a minor updating of a venerable statute that has been at the center of the U.S. consensus on Israel policy — the laws designed to counteract Arab states’ boycott of Israel by barring Americans from joining such boycotts. … Current law prohibits U.S. entities from participating in or cooperating with international boycotts organized by foreign countries. These measures, first adopted in 1977, were explicitly aimed at the Arab states’ boycott of Israel, but its language is far broader, not mentioning any particular countries.”

    Jewish, Muslim & Christian Leaders Denied Entry to Israel for Supporting Palestinian Human Rights [Presbyterian News Service]
    “Five leaders on an interfaith delegation to Israel/Palestine were refused permission to board their plane in the United States, in what appears to be an implementation of Israel’s travel ban on supporters of Palestinian rights and Boycott, Divestment Sanctions (BDS). … ‘I am part of a Jewish, Muslim and Christian delegation of committed, nonviolent peacemakers whose plan is to meet with those in both Israel and Palestine who are working every day for a Just Peace in the Holy Lands,’ [stated] Rick Ufford-Chase, Moderator of the 216th General Assembly, PC(USA) and member of the Activist Council of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship. ‘At this time when tension and violence are rising once again, the work we are doing to build trust and work for a viable peace is more important than ever, and I stand ready to go the moment the State of Israel gives us permission to fly,’” reported Presbyterian Peace Fellowship in a statement released Monday.


    I’m The First Jew Banned From Israel For Supporting BDS [The Forward]
    Deputy Director of Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbi Alissa Wise was one of five members of an interfaith delegation refused permission to board a flight to Israel at the Israeli government’s request. Wise writes that she “became a rabbi for one core reason: to build toward justice and liberation for all people by organizing with Jews in deep partnership with directly impacted communities across borders and faiths. Our delegation planned to spend 12 days in Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories, meeting with Palestinian and Israeli grassroots activists and faith leaders and visiting our respective holy sites.”

    CMEP is organized to educate and give witness to principles of peace and justice in the Middle East on behalf of its religious constituencies by advocating public policy positions approved by the CMEP board. CMEP’s policy position seven states: “In order to defend free speech and religious liberty,  uphold the right of churches and organizations to find appropriate and various ways to end unjust practices and policies that violate international laws and conventions, including exerting economic leverage on commercial and government actors.”