Travel to Palestine with CODEPINK and Interfaith Peace Builders

CODEPINK, Jan 30, 2017

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Travel with CODEPINK to Palestine May 13 – 26, 2017

Join CODEPINK on an Interfaith Peace Builders Delegation to Palestine and Israel! See the situation with your own eyes and explore nonviolent efforts happening on the ground to achieve peace with justice. The delegation will go to Hebron were CODEPINK’s dear friend Issa Amro is facing 18 charges in Israeli military court for his human rights work.

Sign up now to join the delegation!

Inter-Faith Peace Builders has organized 60 delegations to Palestine/Israel since 2001. This delegation is jointly sponsored by CODEPINK and Defense of Children International – Palestine. The custom-designed delegation itinerary will focus on incarceration, detention, and political persecution of human rights defenders, as well as all the issues of the occupation.

The trip includes 13 days of hotel and home stay accommodations, breakfasts and dinners, local transportation, guides, speaker/event fees, basic tips and gratuities. Partial scholarships available through IPB! Delegation leaders will include long time friend of CODEPINK, Palestinian-American lawyer Huwaida Arraf; Brad Parker of Defense for Children International – Palestine; and IFPB’s Mike Daly.

Apply today! IFPB’s initial deadline to sign up for the delegation was February 1st, but applications will continue to be accepted after that on a rolling basis until the delegation is full. Apply now as space is limited!

This February, we will be joining Issa Amro and Youth Against Settlements for the 8th annual Open Shuhada Street campaign! Since 1994, Shuhada Street in Hebron has remained almost entirely closed to Palestinians. Once the main thoroughfare and marketplace for the city, Israeli settlers now roam the streets freely openly carrying arms in while Palestinians face 12 permanently staffed checkpoints! There are even separate walkways for Jews and Muslims. It is apartheid! Between February 19-26, CODEPINK will be protesting the Goldman Sachs and the Hebron Fund for funding the violent settler movement in Hebron. Read Issa’s article about the campaign and contact ariel@codepink.org to plan a protest in your city!

Together we can rise, love, and resist for Palestinian human rights!

In Peace,

Ariel, Jodie, Medea, Nancy, and the entire CODEPINK team!

P.S. Trump nominated bankruptcy lawyer David Friedman to be the next US Ambassador to Israel. Friedman has raised millions of dollars for the Bet El settlement, supports moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, and wants Israel to annex the West Bank. Sign the petition to tell congress we need a peace maker, not a settlement funder!

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A letter from Gaza to the Natives of Standing Rock

Israa Suliman, WE ARE NOT NUMBERS, November 15, 2016

Dear Native Americans,

Although we are of different color, religion, culture and place, I have learned, as I read about the protests at Standing Rock, that we have much more in common than differences. When I read your history, I can see myself and my people reflected in yours. I feel in my core that your fight is my fight, and that I am not alone in the battle against injustice.

My ancestors were not the only ones who lived in Palestine. Jews, Christians and Arabs all lived side by side in my country. But my ancestors—including my grandparents and great-grandparents—were the indigenous people, just like you. And they suffered the same fate as your people. America's policy of occupation and displacement through forced marches like the Trail of Tears, and the gradual transfer of so many of your people to massive, impoverished reservations, hurts me deeply because it is so similar to the ethnic cleansing of my ancestors by the Israeli military occupation in what we call “al-Nakba” (the catastrophe). We know what you know: that our land is sacred.

In 1948, my ancestors—along with nearly a million other Palestinians—were frightened away or forced off their lands, in some cases at gunpoint. More than 10,000 others were massacred. Hundreds of our villages and cities were completely destroyed in a systemic plan to erase our identity—just as yours has been under continuing assault.

Native Americans' Trail of Tears
Trail of Tears

Palestine today is just 22 percent of our original homeland. Like you, some of my people (an estimated 1.5 million) must live in degrading “camps” (our word for reservations), where living conditions are "comparable to the Third World." Like your reservations, they are characterized by high rates of unemployment, poverty and suicide.

Many other Palestinians (about 6 million)—now including descendants of the original residents—are scattered elsewhere around the world, just as yours are around the United States. Today, not only has the military occupation taken over our land and declared it "the state of Israel," but it continues to carry on a policy of expulsion, demolishing Palestinian houses in the little bit of land we retain, building illegal settlements and preventing free movement with a network of “security checkpoints.”

Nakba
The Palestinian Nakba

Like you, we don’t control our natural resources. Just as you were not consulted about the Dakota Access Pipeline that will traverse your land and contaminate your water supply if installed, we are not consulted by Israel, which wants to mine the gas supply in our harbor for its own use and monopolizes the water supply in the West Bank for the green lawns of its own residents—leaving Palestinians parched and dry. In Gaza, where I live, only 10 percent of our water supply is drinkable due to the conditions in which we must live. We too know that “water is life.”

When I was young, I saw how the media portrays negative images of you, especially in Hollywood films—depicting you as uncivilized, savage, racist and drug abusers. Likewise, my people are portrayed as terrorists, “backward,” misogynists and anti-Semitic. And yet no one regards whites as all the same.

Like yours, our resistance has been labeled as acts of terrorism and violence rather than as a fight for survival and dignity. That's not surprising, since this is the policy of every oppressor who seeks to criminalize others to justify its acts. It is the oppressor's way to create its own version of reality to rationalize its behavior and brainwash the masses. And it is the oppressor's plan to make the colonized feel weak and alone. But you are proving they won’t succeed and I want you to know that my people are with you.

Seeing your women, elders and youth stand together to protest the pipeline and your exclusion from decision making is so inspiring! It gives us strength to go on with our own struggle.

As a Palestinian in Gaza, I have grown up feeling detached from the rest of the world as Israel tightens its decade-long blockade. I am sure many of you feel the same way. But we are not isolated. We are “soulmates” in the way that counts.

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Breaking Ground at Cinema Hebron

Rabbi Brant Rosen, Shalom Rav, July 17, 2016

This past Friday, I had the honor to participate in an incredible, unprecedented mass action of civil disobedience in the H2 section of Hebron – in the heart of Israel's unjust and illegal occupation.

I'll start with a little bit of history:

In 1968, a year after Israel conquered the West Bank, a group of radical religious settlers led by Rabbi Moshe Levinger, led a group of followers to a hotel in Hebron – with the government’s support – to observe a Passover seder. When it was over, they refused to leave; and following a negotiation with the government, they were allowed to create a settlement to the east of Hebron that they named Kiryat Arba Since that time, Jewish settlers gradually moved into Hebron proper. Over the years tension gradually increased in Hebron. Things changed drastically in 1995 after Baruch Goldstein murdered 29 Muslim worshippers in the Ibrahimi mosque. Fearful of reprisals, the IDF imposed increasing curfews and restriction of movement on the Palestinian population.

In 1996, as part of the Oslo agreement, Hebron was divided into two sections: H1 and H2. H1 is locally governed by the Palestinian Authority and is home to approximately 120,000 Palestinians. Tens of thousands of Palestinians live in H2 along with 600 Jewish settlers. Since the Second Intifada, Israel increased their security crackdown on this part of the city, blocking off major streets to Palestinians – most notably the main commercial road, Shuhadah Street. (The army refers to them as “sterile roads”).

Virtually every Palestinian shop in H2 has been closed and their doors welded shut by the army. Because the Palestinian residents of Shuhadah St. are not allowed to walk on the road, they must enter and exit through the rear of homes because they cannot leave their own front doors. Because of these measures – and the ongoing harassment and violence at the hands of Jewish settlers – what was once the busting commercial center of Hebron has become a ghost town. 42% of its Palestinian homes are empty and 70% of its Palestinian business have been shut down.

We visited Hebron earlier this week and it was a truly chilling experience. Our group went on a tour led by Breaking the Silence, an organization of Israeli army veterans who are speaking out about the abuses the IDF are committing in Hebron. I did a BTF tour in 2008 during my first real foray into the reality of contemporary Hebron. Today, the situation there is even more dire if such a thing is possible.

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FREEDOM TO MOVE, FREEDOM TO BOYCOTT

Jewish Voice for Peace

On May 9th, 2016 the Israeli government confirmed that it has refused to renew travel documents for Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement — a nonviolent, Palestinian-led movement for equality, freedom, and justice.

This is a blatant act of political repression that effectively imposes a travel ban on Barghouti. Why? Because he publicly organizes for Palestinian human rights.

Send a message to Secretary John Kerry: the U.S. must intervene to stop attacks on human rights activists!

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Israel’s Global War Web and a One-State Solution

Jeff Spitzer-Resnick, The Progressive, May 10, 2016

Jeff Halper, anthropologist and Israeli peace activist, does not shy from unconventional positions. In his latest book, “War Against the People: Israel, the Palestinians and Global Pacification,” he argues that nations around the world allow Israel to continue its repression of Palestinians because they benefit from Israeli technology and security support to pacify their own people.

Halper lays out how Israel provides military and security technology across the globe and has developed an international military and security web that has engendered often unexpected support from around the world, including from China and India. He argues that Israel has used the Palestinian territories as a laboratory for this military and security technology, which it now proffers worldwide.

Halper still sees a way forward to peace.

Co-founder and Director of the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolition (ICAHD), Halper was born in Hibbing, Minnesota, engaged in anti-Vietnam war protests, and then emigrated to Israel in 1973, where he has lived and engaged in peace activism ever since. He is currently on a book tour, which included a stop in Madison, Wisconsin.

Until about five years ago, Halper believed that the much-touted two-state solution, through which an independent Palestine would be created out of the West Bank and Gaza, was the pathway to a just and peaceful resolution. But he now believes Israel has intentionally made this solution impossible with its ever-expanding settlements in the West Bank.

At the time of the Oslo accords in 1993, he notes, there were 200,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank. That number doubled by the year 2000, and currently there are 600,000 settlers there. Israeli building plans project a settler population of about 1 million in the foreseeable future.

In Halper’s view, the current state of affairs amounts to the warehousing of Palestinians, and that most Israelis do not approve of the radical settlers (90 percent of settlers are not political, but merely seeking cheap subsidized housing). His proposed solution for the future of IsraelPalestine (he combines the name into one word): a bi-national democratic state that would recognize the importance and viability of both the Jewish and Palestinian people. He proposes that citizens would get two votes for members of a bicameral legislature, one vote for a democratically elected house, and the other vote for a house whose purpose would be to protect the rights of each people from a possible tyranny of the majority.

Israel does not currently have a constitution, so Halper believes that to make a bi-national state work, a constitution would need to be adopted to protect the integrity and rights of both peoples.

Of course, the real question is what needs to change to make such a binational state a reality. Halper sees the current leadership of both Israel and Palestine as incapable or unwilling to come to any resolution of their conflict. Noting President of the Palestinian Authority (PA) Mahmoud Abbas’s poor health and the lack of widespread support for him among his people, Halper sees the PA as verging on collapse. Halper believes that collapse will create sufficient chaos to shake up the status quo. Halper is quick to admit that a binational state cannot come into being without strong popular Palestinian support, which is currently not there.

As for the role of progressives in the United States, Halper argues that they cannot force a solution on Israelis and Palestinians. He supports what he calls “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” of Israel, and has coined the phrase, “BDS 4 BDS,” or “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions for a Bi-national Democratic State.” He is concerned that the current BDS movement must become connected to an end game, because as only a protest movement it is unlikely to accomplish anything meaningful.

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May 4, 2016
An Evening with Jeff Halper


Wednesday, May 4, 2016
7:00 pm
DeLuca Forum, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery
330 N. Orchard Street, Madison
Book Signing to Follow

In his new book, War Against the People: Israel, the Palestinians and Global Pacification, Jeff Halper argues that Israel’s need to continuously suppress and dispossess the Palestinians has led to the militarization of everyday life, and that systems like database tracking, automated targeting, and unmanned drones have become a “seamless” part of it. He points to the Occupied Palestinian Territories as a “veritable laboratory” for this effort and explores how the approach is rapidly globalizing as major powers and corporations transform military, security, and police forces into instruments of global pacification.

A leading figure in the Israeli peace movement, Jeff Halper is a co-founder of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), an anthropologist, and former professor at Haifa and Ben-Gurion Universities. His previous books include An Israeli in Palestine: Resisting Dispossession, Redeeming Israel; and Obstacles to Peace: A Reframing of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Halper travels and lectures widely on the Israeli/Palestinian issue. In 2006, the American Friends Service Committee nominated him along with Palestinian Ghassan Andoni for a Nobel Peace Prize.

This free event is sponsored by The Wisconsin Union Directorate Distinguished Lecture Series and is co-sponsored by: the American Friends Service Committee of the Madison Friends’ Meeting; Amnesty International Local Group 139; Bright Stars of Bethlehem; Jewish Voice for Peace – Madison; Madison-Rafah Sister City Project; Playgrounds for Palestine-Madison; Students for Justice in Palestine – UW Madison; The Crossing; and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom – Madison Branch. Welcomed by WORT Radio.

For more information, visit

  • https://www.facebook.com/WUDDLS;
  • https://union.wisc.edu/get-involved/wud/dls/,
  • or e-mail rafahsistercity at yahoo.com
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    Note: You can also hear Jeff Halper live on WORT Radio (89.9 FM or listen live on line) at 12 noon on Wednesday, May 4 with A Public Affair host Karma Chavez.

                

    For a short preview of Jeff’s talk, see the book trailer:

  • Richard Falk Review of “The War Against The People”
  • WORT A PUBLIC AFFAIR audio: Jeff Halper And “The War Against The People”, MAY 4, 2016
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