The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project

April 9, 2018: Voices of the Palestinian Resistance

From the Front Lines in Palestine

Monday, April 9
Multicultural Student Center
Red Gym, UW-Madison
716 Langdon Street
7:00 – 9:00 pm

In 2002, the International Solidarity Movement grabbed world attention by bringing volunteers from around the world to defend Palestine through nonviolent resistance. They stayed with resistance fighters in the Nativity Church in Bethlehem. They brought medical supplies to the besieged Palestinians in the ancient Nablus Casbah. They documented and filmed the destruction and mass killing of Palestinians in the Jenin refugee camp. In 2002 and 2003, thousands participated at their own expense.

One was Rachel Corrie, who was killed trying to prevent demolition of a home in Gaza. Another was Tom Hurndall, killed by a shot to the head. ISM has operated continuously since then, serving at the request of the Palestinian community through participation in Palestinian nonviolent resistance. In 2009, 2012 and 2014, ISM volunteers were with the Palestinian people in Gaza, reporting the Israeli invasion and helping in the hospitals, clinics and schools that were attacked even as they served the refugees.

But ISM is today unable to fill the demand from the Palestinian popular movement. We need to recruit more volunteers, so we have brought the ISM to North America to talk to interested groups. The speaking team consists of one of our Palestinian coordinators and an experienced international volunteer.

The presentation includes a screening of an abridged version of Radiance of Resistance, a film produced by three ISM volunteers serving in Nabi Salih and featuring Ahed Tamimi and her cousin, Janna Jihad.

Sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine-UW Madison. Free and open to the public.

About the Speakers

Islam Maraqa

Islam Maraqa is a Palestinian activist and electrical worker from Hebron. He has been a human rights activist since the second Intifada, in 2003, when Israeli military forces closed his university. Since then he has founded and been an active member of many groups.

He joined ISM in 2006, first as an activist and then as a coordinator and trainer of international volunteers. During that time, ISM work in Hebron included accompanying children to school along routes near settlers, direct confrontation with military forces, resistance against house demolitions and remaining with threatened families. He conducted liaison with localPalestinian committees, organizations and families, for the purpose of assuring that ISM is always Palestinian-led.

Islam is a recognized and active member of his community, and especially in the resistance against human rights violations. Outside of his ISM activities, Islam started the Marmara Housing Project with a group of Palestinians and internationals, to rebuild eco-friendly and practical homes for the Palestinian families whose homes have been bulldozed by lsraeli Forces.

Joe Catron

Joe Catron went to Palestine’s Gaza Strip in March 2011, on the first international solidarity delegation to cross the Rafah border after the fall of Egypt’s Mubarak government, and lived there through October 2014. Over three and a half years in the besieged coastal enclave, he accompanied farmers and fishermen in Israeli-enforced access-restricted areas, joined popular protests along Israel’s separation barrier, supported campaigns in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners, and assisted local organizations through editing and training.

During Israel’s military offensive in summer 2014, he and other international volunteers established a constant presence in hospitals threatened by Israeli bombardment and accompanied rescue efforts in conflict areas.

His writing and photography from Palestine have appeared in +972 Magazine, BBC, Electronic Intifada, Middle East Eye, the New York Times, Newsweek, and various other media. He is in Max Blumenthal and Dan Cohen’s new documentary, Killing Gaza, and was profiled by Ramzy Baroud in his latest book, The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story. He lives in New York and is the U.S. coordinator of Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.