I am sure you’ve wondered as I have, if your activism in building Palestinian solidarity really matters or is making a difference. Katie Miranda, the artist and activist with the International Solidarity Movement, is taking on these strategic questions: she’s leading a “tele-summit” of important voices on what works best in organizing on this very difficult issue.
Imagine being able to attend a strategy-building conference on Palestine with some of the top activists, scholars, journalists and thought leaders from all over the world. You’d have to pay conference fees, airfare and hotel. But because of the unique telesummit format, all this is yours for free.
The summit begins tomorrow. You can attend by signing up here.
Miranda interviewed Hanan Ashrawi, Neta Golan, Haidar Eid and others to try to arrive at a “coherent strategy in order to move closer to the goal of Palestinian liberation. We need to stop doing what isn’t working and focus on what is working,” she says. So we don’t waste time!
Here are some excerpts from Miranda’s tele-summit. Hanan Ashrawi on the sacrifices Americans make by giving so much aid to Israel:
“$38 billion dollars have been pledged additionally to Israel… And this $38 billion dollars, you should ask your own government, your own Congress, what can it do with its school system, with social security, with the health services in the US?… I have grandsons in the States, and they have good public schools… and they lack funding for extra-curricular activities and sports and arts. So we as the grandparents in Palestine donated to our grandchildren’s extracurricular activities in the States.”
Neta Golan about how incremental change takes place:
“You shed light on a policy and they change it… and sometimes it’s worse. Sometimes it’s better. And they change it and then you have to start over. With the campaign for the Right To Enter.. they were denying spouses of Palestinians entry. And the Campaign managed to pressure Europe to pressure Israel to change that. So the situation is still terrible, but there was a major achievement.”
Haidar Eid shows the parallel of the Sharpville massacre in South Africa to the massacre in Gaza during the Great March of Return– and the possible political effects of the Gaza massacre:
I think it is very short-sighted to think of resistance without sacrifices. In 1961, in South Africa, the people took to the streets and the racist white policemen committed a war crime, a massacre, in Sharpville where 69 nonviolent protestors were killed and many more were injured. That did not mean the end of resistance against the apartheid system. In 1976-7 the Soweto uprising took place and hundreds of people were also killed and in the mid 80’s the same thing took place. But without those sacrifices, Nelson Mandela would not have been released in 1990 and apartheid would not have crumbled.
Katie Miranda is herself one of the speakers, too. All 20 speakers explore the topic: Palestine, What’s Working, What’s Not. We’re focusing specifically on tactics that are and are not working in the movement so that people can spread the word about strategy.
It’s going to be a special gathering, to hear from many folks who have thought about how to renew and refine our work for Palestinian rights. Lastly, I’d like to let you know that I’m one of the guests! I hold forth about the importance of organizing inside the Jewish community so as to end the orthodoxy of Zionism, which has governed Jewish political engagement on the question for decades.
Once again, here’s the link to sign up.