“What did you do when Gaza was dying?” An interview with Freedom Flotilla to Gaza crew member Zohar Chamberlain Regev, as the boats stop in Copenhagen for a few days. This is the tenth freedom flotilla to Gaza. None has gotten through the Israeli blockade.
Category Archives: Activism
Demonstrators muffled the sounds of the Philadelphia Orchestra over the weekend in a protest of the company’s upcoming tour in Israel.
The National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies recently passed a resolution in support of Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi. Fulano de Tal explains how this resolution came to pass, while weaving in the historical trajectory and current events in Gaza.
New Yorkers turned Times Square into a ground for dissent Friday afternoon, taking to the streets in support of Palestinians actively resisting Israeli occupation and dispossession.
Statement by civil society organizations in Israel: “In light of recent barbaric and inhumane military actions carried out against unarmed protesting Palestinian civilians in Gaza by Israeli forces protests have erupted all over the world and in Israel in solidarity with Gaza and its victims. Amongst the many hotspots, Haifa experienced the highest number of Police brutality cases and arrests of activists and high school students. Demonstrators have been gathering daily to peacefully express their right to protest and stand by the “March of Return” victims. Police have escalated their intervention and use of violence against protesters each day culminating in the mass arrests and brutality witnessed on Friday night.”
Nada Elia writes, “Protests, planned and spontaneous, play a major role in that they show popular support for the plight of the Palestinians, but we cannot just protest, then go home. Just as Al Nakba is ongoing, so our outrage must be sustained, long-term. We must go beyond the anger of the moment, the chants and slogans and pumping fists in the air, to focus on the slow, less immediately gratifying, more tedious work of strengthening the foundation of our better future.”
Jonathan Ofir: “The presence of the people across the fence in the Great March of Return is a gigantic mirror, saying not only ‘we are still here,’ but ‘this is who you are.’ And Israel wants to shatter that mirror, so it sends hundreds of snipers to shatter it. All Jews should consider whether they can bear possessing such a mirror for their narcissistic self-image, while it tears apart Palestinian existence and has done for over 70 years.”
“Today is one of the most tragic days in the history of the Jewish people” – A letter to the Israel Action Committee of a synagogue in Westchester, New York shows the anguish a growing number of American Jews are feeling towards Israel and its actions in Gaza.
On Kensington High Street, around the corner from the Israeli embassy, Londoners protested the killing of Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza yesterday, with more actions across the city in recent days at the U.S. embassy, the Saudi embassy, the BBC, 10 Downing Street, and Parliament Square.
In August 2014 Dan Cohen and Max Blumenthal entered Gaza and began collecting the harrowing testimonies that would become the basis for their new documentary, “Killing Gaza.” Cohen writes, “Killing Gaza will stand as a lasting testament to a people struggling to wriggle out from under the boot of a ruthless empire by resisting their occupation through every means available.”
For Rana Askoul’s entire life she had identified as a Palestinian, yet was never allowed to return to her homeland. That changed when she acquired a new passport. It was her turn to return: “For the last 35 years of my life, my home had been out of reach, denied, held hostage and destroyed. For 35 years, I watched closely all the videos of all those who returned to visit the ruins of our northern Palestinian village. For 35 years, I tried to memorize the geography of the place, to figure out the scent of its red dirt and to imagine what it would have been like if it all didn’t happen. And I could reach it now. In less than 3 hours. But my heart raced, and my hands clenched into fists. I couldn’t do it.”
While senior White House officials were in Jerusalem today to mark the opening of the U.S. embassy, and 55 Palestinian protesters in Gaza were killed by Israeli forces, young Jews with the group If Not Now blocked traffic in Washington DC outside the Trump International Hotel for two hours by erecting an “Embassy of Freedom” to protest the administration’s move.
Durham, North Carolina became the first city in the country to ban local police exchanges with Israel on April 16, when the city council unanimously passed a resolution opposing any international “military-style” training for police officers. The victory was the result of a two-year campaign by a coalition of 10 local organizations, as well as the deep legacy of intersectional and internationalist solidarity in the U.S. South.
Fifteen Israeli human rights organizations issued a statement condemning the Israeli government’s decision to deport Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine Director at Human Rights Watch: “Israel is trying to keep both its own citizens and the world from seeing what it is doing. Neither closing the borders to human rights groups and activists nor other Israeli measures against organizations critical of the occupation will deter us – or them – from reporting human rights violations in areas under Israeli control. Rather than trying to hide the occupation from the world – end the occupation.”
Moving Forward looks like the Forward to suggest Jewish newspapers should be cover the Palestinian Nakba on its 70th year.
BDS support among Jews is a problem that goes back to Jews being against other Jews in the Torah, says Roseanne Barr. She would reach out to those Israel-criticizing Jews with Torah. “They are not really all that educated,” Barr told the Jerusalem Post conference. “I would tell them….Do you know you’re looking at the greatest recorded rebellion of a slave class of people that’s ever been written?”
For the first time in its 101-year history the Giro bicycle race will begin outside Europe, on May 4 in Jerusalem, thanks to $12 million from the Israeli government. We can on the same Friday look forward to the spectacle of the start of an international sporting event hosted by the same country that about 50 miles away is concurrently killing and wounding civilians in cold blood.
Katherine Franke: “My interrogation in Tel Aviv made it clear that I was banned from entering Israel because of my work in the U.S. on behalf of Palestinian rights.”
The campaign against the Philadelphia Orchestra’s upcoming tour to Israel continues to intensify. Eleven longtime subscribers and donors have issued a statement announcing their decision to withdraw their support of the Orchestra if it does not cancel the tour. “We will no longer support the Orchestra if it decides to lend legitimacy to Israel’s apartheid regime,” the statement reads.
Rebecca Miles has lived her entire life in Lapwai, Idaho and since 2009 she has been the Executive Director of the Nez Perce tribe. Miles writes that the struggle for Palestinians rings familiar to her struggle as a Native American where indigenous people must struggle for the use of their own waterways, resources and ways of life.
Many Palestinians and their allies had long maintained that the Palestine predicament was absolutely unique, but Nada Elia says an increasingly larger number of Palestinians now appreciate the similarities between their oppression and the oppression of others. Elia writes, “As we commemorate seventy years of Palestinian Nakba, seventy years of ongoing catastrophe, we can finally envision freedom through the end of Palestinian exclusivity: we exist, as a distinct people, despite the Zionist claim to the contrary, and we are not terrorists one and all, but freedom fighters and civilians standing up for our human rights, as freedom fighters and disenfranchised civilians have stood up and will continue to stand up for their human rights all around the globe.”
The George Washington University student Senate overwhelmingly passed a resolution to divest from nine companies known to be complicit in Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights after being delayed a week because of threats to their safety by the anti-BDS group Canary Mission. Still, Canary Mission showed up on campus the night of the Senate vote, and it got very bizarre.
Palestinian Christian Advocates for Justice and the Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace: “The Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, as well as the rest of the West Bank, Gaza, and the Syrian Golan Heights, is now in its fifty-first year, the longest military occupation since the end of the nineteenth century. Palestinian Christians and Muslims are calling on the church to use its influence to end the occupation.”
Israeli human rights activists submitted a Freedom of Information request concerning the international network of anti-BDS activity by Israeli ministries – and were surprised to find that the Justice Ministry was directly involved.
Like the recent Barnard BDS vote, Natalie Portman’s refusal to attend the Genesis Prize award presentation shows how deep the cracks in Zionism are running for a growing number of Jews who today find it “increasingly tricky” to reconcile one’s familiar love for Israel and one’s decency, and eventually opt towards dissociating themselves from Zionism.