JUNE 28, 2022
URGENT CALL TO ACTION

FREE SAMI HURAINI, YOUTH OF SUMUD LEADER ARRESTED BY ISRAEL

As Israel threatens the homes of 1,000+ Palestinians in Masafer Yatta, Israel’s occupying army is trying to silence a leading youth organizer. Speak up!

RAISE YOUR VOICE:
• Uplift Youth of Sumud’s post and their work on Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook.
• Share these posts decrying Sami’s arrest by PIPD & USCPR.
• Share this 2 minute clip of Sami & his sister Sameeha’s demands for justice.

Sami needs your solidarity: Tweet #FreeSamiHuraini now! #DefendMasaferYatta

SAMPLE TWEET:

    URGENT: Israel’s army just arrested prominent Palestinian activist Sami Huraini of Masafer Yatta, known for leading resistance with @YouthOfSumud against Israel’s destruction of Palestinian homes.

For years, Sami Huraini and his community organization Youth of Sumud have defended his community, Masafer Yatta in the South Hebron Hills, from relentless Israeli settler and military violence simply for living in their homeland. For instance, last fall Sami decried an Israeli government-backed pogrom in which settlers fractured the skull of a 3-year old Palestinian child. And last month, Sami Huraini woke up to Israeli soldiers invading his village. Soldiers now bring tanks, guns, military bulldozers, and attack helicopters into their communities daily as part of a deliberate plan, backed by Israel’s colonial court system, to push more than 1,000 Palestinians out of their homes to steal their land for exclusive use by Israeli settlers and the occupying army who enable their invasion of the Palestinian homeland.

Recently, Israel escalated its attacks against Sami and his local community organization: two weeks ago, Israel’s occupying army issued a demolition notice on their Youth of Sumud community center. Then today, June 28, 2022, they arrested Sami. Like every Palestinian, he expects no rights or due process in courts with a more than 99% conviction rate. Israel’s carceral system is extraordinarily cruel, for instance also today denying early release for Ahmad Manasra, who has been incarcerated by Israel since age 13 and endured torture. Justice for Sami depends on international outcry. The fight continues until Sami, Ahmad, and every Palestinian prisoner is freed to their loved ones’ arms.

LEARN MORE:
Instagram live with Sami & Sameeha Huraini
Background on Youth of Sumud
Background on Sami’s organizing

BREAKING: 200+ Palestinians, Israelis, and American Jews protest to #SaveMasaferYatta


Growing up, I was told over and over: “You need to take responsibility for Israel. It’s your responsibility as a Jew.”

Now, I would say: “It’s unconscionable what’s happening in my name in Israel/Palestine, and as an American Jew, I am uniquely positioned to do something about it.”

That’s why I’ve spent the past week in the West Bank, meeting and working with Palestinians who are persevering to stay on their land and in their homes. I’m on a delegation with the Center for Jewish Nonviolence, an organization building networks of solidarity and co-resistance with Palestinians.

We’ve been working with community leaders in Masafer Yatta, a region south of Hebron where more than 1,500 Palestinians are facing expulsion from their homes. This would be the largest mass expulsion of Palestinians in sixty years.

Click for more via Instagram or Email

As I’ve traveled from community to community, alongside our Palestinian partners, I’ve heard two things over and over again:

One: Work with us. A young Palestinian organizer, Tariq, told me this:

“The fact that Palestinians and Jews are working together – that scares them. It threatens the forces that maintain occupation.”

Two: Share our stories. As one community leader put it:

“We need you to come here to hear our stories, and we need you to go home to share them.”

Today, I saw firsthand how Jews and Palestinians working together threatens this violent system.

But before I tell you what happened today, I need you to take one step to help Palestinians struggling to stay on their land. If enough of us are paying attention and speaking out, 1,500 people could remain in their homes.

If you have Instagram, follow the fight to #SaveMasaferYatta here via Instagram, or here via email.

This morning, I joined a Palestinian led-protest of over 200 Palestinians, Israelis, and diaspora Jews – including IfNotNow members – working together to re-open a road illegally blocked by settlers. The plan was to roll aside the massive boulders that settlers had put in place, which had cut Palestinians off from vital travel.

When settlers harassed us, the soldiers stood by and watched. They even detained Israeli activists and released them next to the settlers, who threw stones at them, broke their car window, and injured the activists inside.

When our group of nonviolent protesters tried to clear the road, the army responded with tear gas & stun grenades.

Now, I need you to spread this story. Follow along on Instagram, or sign up for email updates about what’s happening in Masafer Yatta.

Onwards,
Ari

Continue reading

If Not Now on Masafer Yatta

On Sunday, we saw Jewish supremacists march through the streets of Jerusalem, shouting racist chants like “Death to the Arabs” and “May your village burn.” We saw protesters spit on and pepper spray an elderly Palestinian woman. We saw violence against journalists – by marchers and police alike. From Jerusalem to the West Bank to Gaza, Palestinians face the endless, dehumanizing violence of occupation and apartheid.

It is our moral obligation to condemn this violent system, and to stand in its way wherever we can.

In a few days, I’ll be joining other IfNotNow members on a delegation of 50 diaspora Jews will arrive in the West Bank – to join with Palestinians who are working to save their homes from being demolished.

Masafer Yatta, a region in the West Bank that’s home to thousands of Palestinians, is facing an imminent threat to its existence, as the Israeli government prepares to enact the largest mass expulsion of Palestinians in six decades. Now is the time to get in the way – through co-resistance and disruptive action with Palestinians leading this effort to #SaveMasaferYatta.

What can you do? Amplify the delegation’s co-resistance work.

This trip is taking place through the Center for Jewish Nonviolence, an organization building networks of solidarity and co-resistance with Palestinians.

Sign up for updates and you’ll receive dispatches from the trip that you can share via email or social media.

Across the land, Palestinians are resisting – persevering to stay in their homes and on their land, fighting to live with dignity. They’re calling on us to show up and support their resistance.

We’re heeding the call. Will you?

In solidarity,
Elias Newman
IfNotNow

Save Masafer Yatta

change.org, 5 May 2020

Update: Israel’s High Court of Justice dismissed all the petitions against the forcible transfer of up to 1,200 Palestinians in a large part of Masafer Yatta that Israel has declared a closed military zone.


Masafer Yatta is an area in the South Hebron Hills of the West Bank, which is home to twelve Palestinian villages totaling about 1,300 residents. The area is spread out over about 35,000 dunam of land, where agricultural communities have lived for generations.
In opposition to international law, which prohibits the expulsion of a population from its land and the use of occupied land for military training, in the early 1980s, the Israeli army declared the area Firing Zone 918, in order to dispossess Palestinians from their homes and strengthen Israeli settlements in the area.

Since this declaration, residents have lived under the daily threat of demolitions, evictions, and dispossession. Families in Masafer Yatta are denied access to their land, roads, sources of water, schools, medical services, and hospitals. This is in addition to nearly daily violence from settlers in the region.

The legal outcome for the area remains a question, as residents await a court ruling which will determine their futures. On March 15, 2022, the Israeli Supreme Court held a hearing to discuss the fate of the communities of Masafer Yatta. In the coming months, the court is likely to make a final decision in the case and determine whether hundreds of families will be forcibly expelled from their lands and homes. If the Supreme Court decides to permit the expulsion of residents, it will be one of the largest expulsions carried out by the State of Israel in recent decades, an alarming precedent that could lead to further expulsions across the West Bank, and a further escalation of Israel’s policies of annexation and Apartheid.

We must not stand by quietly as Israel evicts entire communities. We cannot allow Apartheid to go unchallenged.

Sign the petition.

Please join our Facebook group to receive updates on the situation.

Jewish mobs attack Palestinians during Jerusalem rampage


Israeli Jewish extremists marching through the Old City of Jerusalem to celebrate its occupation and colonization, on 29 May 2022. (Mustafa Bader, ZUMA Press Wire)

Tamara Nassar, The Electronic Intifada, 30 May 2022

Tens of thousands of Israeli Jewish ultranationalists marched through Jerusalem on Sunday to demonstrate their hatred towards Palestinians and assert dominance over the militarily occupied city.

Many attacked Palestinians and chanted for genocide.

This was part of the annual “March of the Flags” on Jerusalem Day, a holiday invented by Israel to celebrate its occupation and colonization of the city in 1967.

Over 2,600 extremists entered the al-Aqsa mosque compound on Sunday, an unprecedented number, according to Israeli media.

A large crowd also gathered at the iconic Damascus Gate to Jerusalem’s Old City, waving the flags of Israel and the anti-Palestinian Jewish nationalist group Lehava:

Israeli Jews began their provocations early in the day. Reporters noted that they were more violent and confrontational on Sunday than in previous years.

Footage shared by Haaretz journalist Nir Hasson shows Israelis throwing a chair and other objects at Palestinians, who throw objects back:

A Word from Jeff Halper on “Jerusalem Day”

Jeff Halper, ICAHD, May 29, 2022

Today, Sunday, May 29, the Jewish state of Israel will carry out a government-sponsored pogrom on the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem. “Jerusalem Day,” the annual Israeli celebration of the conquest and illegal annexation of the Old City and “East” Jerusalem, has been called the “national holiday of the settlers.” If Independence Day on May 15 marks the UN vote in 1948 that approved (with no authority) the establishment of the state of Israel on the majority of historic Palestine, then Jerusalem Day, by contrast, marks the displacement of the Palestinians from Palestine — the Judaization of Palestine whose flip-side is de-Arabization, the erasure of the very Palestinian Arab presence in the country. Just two weeks ago the Israeli police attacked the funeral of the murdered Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and tore the Palestinian flag off her casket; it is illegal to display a Palestinian flag in an Arab city in a historically Arab country that still has an Arab majority despite Israel’s massive expulsions and displacement.

It is not enough to displace Palestinians from their lands, homes and communities (more than 530 entire Palestinian villages, towns and urban areas were systematically demolished inside what became Israel in 1948, and 85% of the Palestinian population driven from the country; since 1967, Israel has demolished 60,000 Palestinian homes, schools, mosques, agricultural facilities and community structures). It is not enough to replace the Palestinian population with Israeli settlers. It is not enough to eliminate by force and by law every expression of Palestinian resistance to their own national erasure. Israel must send “the Arabs” – Israelis do not say “Palestinians” – a clear message: You have three choices: submit and accept the fact your country is now a Jewish state and you will never have civil rights, get out, or die.

Jerusalem Day is when Israel annually reaffirms this message, and it uses the religious settlers as its eager messenger. The Russian government and the others of Eastern and Central Europe sponsored hundreds of pogroms against their Jewish communities with exactly the same message, albeit with the emphasis on “get out or die.” Jews were ideally controlled, contained and intimidated into submission by the population rather than by the military or police, populations inculcated with virulent anti-Semitism. Israel uses its religious settler population, including pupils from virtually every Jewish religious school in the country, for the same purpose, supported by governments elected by an Israeli Jewish population inculcated by a virulent hatred of “Arabs,” seen as “terrorists” whose elimination is therefore justified.

Pogroms against Palestinians are daily occurrences, of course. Even the United States has protested against “settler violence,” the euphemism used for progroms. But government-sanctioned pogroms – military attacks on densely-crowded refugee camps or the Gazan concentration camp of 2 million people; the displacement of entire populations such as that of Masafer Yatta, approved by the Supreme Court; massive demolitions of Palestinian homes and confiscation of land; nightly raids on sIeeping families to “demonstrate a presence”; detention of thousands of Palestinian children and teens; a virtual hunting season on Palestinian men; the storming of al-Aqsa mosque – are carried out by official arms of Israeli state terrorism, whether the legal system and the courts, the military or police, or their settler agents.

Tomorrow’s pogrom will see thousands of religious Israelis (primarily kids, the ones still in need of indoctrination) carrying Israeli flags through the Damascus Gate and down the main street of the Muslim Quarter shouting “Death to Arabs!”, damaging stores, businesses and homes, and attacking any Palestinian they find in their way. True, there will not be mass murders tomorrow as there were in European pogroms, but there will be mass murders, simply spread out over the mini-pogroms carried out daily. Diluted rather than concentrated killings. Israel killed 319 Palestinians in the Occupied Territory in 2021, 71 of them children, according to the Israeli human rights organization, B’tselem.

Your media may or may not cover the “March of Flags” on tomorrow’s Jerusalem Day. But a state-sponsored pogrom is about to happen.

Thank you for your continuing support.

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Email us at: info@icahdusa.org

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Why Did Israel Execute Shireen Abu-Akleh?

They attacked the mourners because they weren’t in the casket

Steve Salaita, May 13, 2022

Immediately after Israeli soldiers executed Al-Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu-Akleh and fired at a group of her colleagues, observers began asking how such a horrible thing could happen. Why would Israel murder a journalist well-known throughout the Arab World? A noncombatant wearing appropriate press gear? A high-profile Palestinian with U.S. citizenship? At best, it seemed like a terrible PR move. It didn’t make any sense.

Except it did make sense. In fact, from a certain point of view killing Abu-Akleh was painfully sensible.

It’s natural to seek rational explanations for what appear to be mindless acts of violence. Explanation is contingent on material conditions, though, and so we have to understand the situation in context of Zionist settler colonization. Using the humanistic logic prevalent in most civil societies, Israel’s conduct was baffling. Its soldiers murdered a civilian in full view of people whose job is to report news. Those soldiers had to know that they couldn’t keep their act a secret, that targeting journalists would result in worldwide outrage. And yet they did it anyway.

Why?

To arrive at an answer, we have to discern the colonizer’s psyche. We’re not dealing with normal civil society standards, first of all. The relevant context is military occupation. In such a context, gratuitous state violence is normal. Obviously, killing Abu-Akleh has the immediate benefit of silencing a prominent voice of Palestinian resistance, one that had long exposed Israeli crimes of aggression.

There is more to the story, however.

We also have to explore the assumptions underlying a desire for simple explanations. By asking for reasons over and over again, observers seek answers to incongruous questions. In so doing they’re apt to tacitly implicate the victims in their own suffering. The journalists must have done something. There had to be a provocation. Israeli soldiers don’t just shoot innocent people for the hell of it.

But that’s exactly what Israeli soldiers do. Israel has murdered around fifty journalists over the past two decades. One or two might be an aberration. Fifty is a policy.

We needn’t turn to the victim’s behavior for answers to the colonizer’s violence. He is violent because of colonization.

So there’s no need to seek legible reasons for Abu-Akleh’s murder according the rationale of civic decency. The settler doesn’t need a “reason” to kill the native. The settler kills because deracinating the native is a precondition of his social identity. It is a function of his legal status and class position. Israeli forces viciously attacked a crowd carrying Abu-Akleh’s coffin—abusing our beloved martyr even in death—which only affirms the fact that the settler kills precisely when confronted by the native’s vulnerability. There is a higher purpose to his violence. The settler doesn’t kill simply to produce death; he kills to negate the native’s existence.

Israeli forces attacked Abu-Akleh’s corpse because killing her wasn’t enough. They needed to expunge her from a land they claim by divine mandate. Her body impedes a mythological birthright underlying the settler’s entire sense of self. She has to be rendered nonexistent in order for the settler to survive. Such is the logic of desecrating ancient Muslim cemeteries and planting flora over the ruins of ethnically cleansed Palestinian villages.

The same forces attacked hundreds of mourners not because they were unruly, but because they weren’t also in the casket.

The settler’s violence, in short, is endless. It is the only way he knows how to be a good citizen. And it is the only way, in the end, he can imagine a meaningful existence.

Steve Salaita is a scholar, author and public speaker born in Bluefield, West Virginia.

May 15, 2022
Madison Nakba Rally

This coming weekend marks 74 years since the Nakba (Catastrophe) of 1948, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine that continues to this day.

There will be a rally in Madison on Sunday, May 15, 1:30 pm at Lisa Link Peace Park, 452 State Street.

Please join us and wear your traditional Palestinian clothing and keffiyehs, and bring your flags!

Need a keffiyeh? Stop by Palestine Partners (Booth 78 on State Street between Gorham and Johnson Streets) at the Madison Night Market on Thursday, May 12th to buy a genuine Palestinian Hirbawi keffiyeh and to check out all the great items made by Women in Hebron!

It is especially important this year to show opposition to the Israeli court decision that just cleared the way for mass expulsions of thousands of Palestinians in the Masafer Yatta area of the West Bank and the destruction of their homes, farm and community buildings, lands, and flocks. In fact, Israel has just destroyed over 20 structures in the area.

If you haven’t already, please sign the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) petition to Congress opposing the destruction of the eight villages in Masafer Yatta.

And be sure to watch Palestine 1920: The Other Side of the Story, a fantastic new 45 minute documentary from Al Jazeera that explains how Palestine was prosperous, fully occupied, and as modern as any other part of the region before British and then Israeli colonialism took it over.

Because in the words of comedian Amer Zaher, Palestine was Akhaduha Mafroosheh: Fully Furnished.

Zoom with Congressional Staff to keep Masafer Yatta and Al Aqaba Standing

Image

Heartbreak to happiness: the difference is YOU!

I invite you to join a 30-minute Zoom Briefing with your Congressperson or Senator’s office to safeguard

  • 14 Palestinian Massafer Yatta communities in Firing Zone 918 in the West Bank’s South Hebron Hills, and
  • 33 families in Al Aqaba village in Firing Zone 900 in the north, Jordan Valley.

To reserve your place on the Zoom briefing call, please

Email Congress Now.

So far, over 50 Congressional offices have written back to schedule. On the Zoom call,

  • Local experts from the region will join us
  • I’ll be calling in from the West Bank where Rebuilding Alliance is hosting a Congressional Staff Delegation in the coming weeks

You as their constituent are the most important person on the call because House and Senate offices only take action when constituents ask.

The largest forced relocation of Palestinians in recent years may soon be underway, but it doesn’t have to be like this. In Firing Zone 900, Al Aqaba Village pioneered a remarkable model of community development with no demolition orders for 12 years — it’s time to grow their model throughout the region. Actual evacuation is subject to the discretion of the Israeli military commander, so

Email now to press Congress to intervene.

Thank you for all that you’re doing.
Sincerely,

Founder and Executive Director

P.S. The clock ran out on the 96-hour appeal deadline for Nedah and his family in their new home, the family in the photo above. Technically, the Israeli Army can demolish any time after the deadline, but because Adv. Netta Amar filed their appeal in time, the Army must wait.

I was there with the family on Friday. If the Israeli Army unit had appeared, I would have been the one to present the appeal docs and explain that Americans are funding this home, along with the family.

Nedal’s family moved-in fast to save their home. It is cold and windy — they still need doors and windows: Please Give Now

Speak Out Against Forced Displacement in Masafer Yatta

Americans for Justice in Palestine Action (AJP Action) firmly condemns Israel’s plans to ethnically cleanse the city of Masafer Yatta in the West Bank. We call on Congress to demand the State Department rebuke Israel for the forced displacement of over 1000 Palestinians, a clear and reprehensible violation of international and human rights law.

YOUR VOICE MATTERS. TAKE ACTION!

Capping off a 20-year-long legal battle between Palestinians and Israeli occupation courts, Israel’s high court announced that over 1000 Palestinians can be forcibly displaced from Masafer Yatta, a city in the West Bank. These Palestinians are victims of Israel’s ethnic cleansing, displaced from their homes in order for their land to be repurposed for Israeli military use.

The Israeli high court’s decision is one of the biggest forced expulsion rulings since Israel began occupying Palestinian territories in 1967.

Israel’s demolition of Palestinian homes and businesses constitutes a “grave breach” of international humanitarian law, specifically the Fourth Geneva Convention which cites “extensive destruction and appropriation of property” and “unlawful deportation or transfer” as grave breaches of international law. As a result, Israel’s actions are subject to criminal liability. Moreover, the legal concept of universal jurisdiction obligates State Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to arrest and prosecute those responsible for grave breaches of the Convention.

Thank you for taking action against injustice and standing for Palestine; we won’t stop until it’s free.

Contact Congress Here!

Sincerely,
Americans for Justice in Palestine Action

AJP Action, an affiliate of American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization lobbying for legislation that supports the human rights of the Palestinian people.