“Let us combine forces. Let us struggle together. Cross the mountainous road together, and strive together for a better world for us, for our children, and for our grandchildren. A world where all human beings are equal, safe, and free.” — Great March of Return founder Ahmed Abu-Artema addresses the 2019 Palestine Expo in London, England
Tag Archives: ChangeMakers
The Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) Toronto chapter was supposed to hold a scholarship launch party to celebrate the artistic expressions of Palestinian youth in Canada and the United States, but right-wing supporters of Israel successfully pressured the venue to cancel shortly before it was supposed to take place. The PYM event was still able to take place, but the threat remains. “Efforts to suppress the Palestinian narrative and the voices of Canadians and others who support Palestinian rights is widespread and should be deeply alarming to anyone who cares about human rights and freedom of speech,” Lina Assi writes.
“Reclaiming Judaism from Zionism: Stories of Personal Transformation,” is a collection of autobiographical essays from 40 Jewish activists and scholars. These voices must contend with being called anti-Semitic and self-hating Jews by strangers as well as by family members, Eleanor Roffman writes.
Activists with Manchester Action Palestine have shut down a building owned by the Israeli defense contractor Elbit for three days. Holding up on the roof, they hung large banners that read: “UK Stop Arming Israel.”
A report by the Council on Islamic-American Relations revealed a money trail from over 1,000 largely mainstream charities to 39 anti-Muslim groups that it calls the “Islamophobia Network.” In New York City, activists protested one of the charities, the Jewish Communal Fund.
New York City’s Whitney Museum of American Art’s legendary Biennial exhibit is taking place, but the Whitney has a problem. Warren B. Kanders, the vice chairmen of the board of trustees, has amassed a $700 million fortune selling law enforcement gear and tear gas that has been used against unarmed civilians in Ferguson, Baltimore, Standing Rock, Puerto Rico, the U.S.-Mexico border, and in Israel/Palestine. Calls for the war profiteer’s resignation are growing louder by the day.
Palestinian artists held a concert in a building destroyed by Israel just a week ago to call on the world to boycott the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Tel Aviv. “Why doesn’t Eurovision arrange an event to let the music of dead, bombed-out buildings, and for the voices of mothers of the slain to be heard?” asked Sabreen Juma’a al-Najjar, the mother of slain paramedic Razan Al-Najjar, who attended the concert.
After a months long battle, a Texas school teacher was told she could return back to work after a federal court blocked an anti-BDS law in the state on the grounds that it was “likely unconstitutional.”
Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli jails won a small but significant victory April 15 when the Israeli Prison Service agreed to several key demands voiced by 400 prisoners who had been on an open-ended hunger strike. The hunger strikers’ apparent victory came just two days before Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, an observation held annually on April 17 to draw attention to the plight of the thousands of political prisoners held—many for very long terms and many without any fixed term at all—in Israel’s broad network of military prisons.
Founder and head of Israeli Physicians for Human Rights Ruchama Marton delivers a speech calling for Israelis to endorse BDS in the plight for Palestinian human rights as she wins the prestigious Leibowitz award. “Palestinians were here and will continue to be here. They can and some indeed want to live in peace if only the occupier’s boot were lifted from their necks.”
Despite possessing a valid visa through 2021, founder of the BDS movement Omar Barghouti was prevented from entering the U.S. Wednesday, sparking questions if legislation circling on Capital Hill to curtail boycotts against Israel has come with a shadow policy to prevent its most vocal advocates from entering the country.
It all started because of a bird. Ahmed Abu Artema, the unlikely leader of the largest popular Palestinian movement in decades, strode beside the separation fence that divides his home in the Gaza Strip from Israel on a January evening last year. At twilight he saw birds fly overhead, soaring past the fence “and no one stopped them.” Abu Artema talks with Allison Deger about life in Gaza and the enduring power of the Great March of Return: “Our demands were simple and honorable, we want to return, we want a dignified life”
Following Israel’s expulsion of the TIPH observer group from Hebron last month, a group of Palestinian activists from the city formed their own team of observers to fill in the gaps. Mondoweiss followed the team around one morning, and in the span of half an hour, the group, including our cameraman, were attacked and harassed by Israeli settlers, while one international activist who was filming the altercation was arrested by police.
Palestinians took to the streets in Hebron to commemorate when a US-born Israeli settler named Baruch Goldstein opened fire on Palestinian worshippers in the Ibrahimi Mosque in 1994, killing 29 and wounding more than 100. The protests this year were held at a time of heightened tensions in the city following the Israeli government’s expulsion of international human rights observers from the city.
Palestinian activists in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron have established their own local observer group in the wake of Israel’s expulsion of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) from the city.
The “Humboldt 3” are three BDS activists who face a criminal trial in Berlin next month for disrupting a pro-Israel event by an Israeli lawmaker at a university in 2017. Israel has silenced Germany on Palestinian rights using Holocaust guilt, but in Copenhagen the three activists received an award for their courage in exposing apartheid.
Marc Lamont Hill delivered an inspiring keynote address to a standing-room only celebration of radical organizing for Palestine as the organization Existence is Resistance celebrated its 10-year anniversary in New York City.
The Edward Said Library is in desperate need of donations in order to be able to continue offering book clubs, English language conversation classes, and opportunities for schoolchildren in the Gaza Strip. Nada Elia writes, “Please donate what you can. It can buy a box of crayons, coloring books, books on decolonial struggle, it can help pay the rent. It can lessen the suffocation of Gaza, until the siege is lifted.”
Michia Moncho reports on the amazing success of 2018’s Israeli Apartheid Week in South Africa which saw over 150 activities, including events with over 5,000 people in attendance: “Not out of arrogance, but humility, we can confidently claim that in this last year’s #IsraeliApartheidWeek, South African civil society (across the gender, racial and religious spectrum) undoubtedly played a role in advancing the struggle for the freedom of the Palestinians.”
Over a dozen Palestinian activists, along with Israeli and international supporters, blockaded the entrance to Israel’s new ‘Apartheid Road’ in the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem on Wednesday morning. The group of activists closed the gates to the newly opened road and formed a human chain, raising banners in Arabic, English, and Hebrew saying “No to Apartheid” and “No to Annexation.”
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, over 350 scholars of the Civil Rights and Black Freedom Movements, and veterans of these historic struggles, along with educators and human rights advocates, issued the following statement in support of Palestinian human rights, and in defense of, Angela Y. Davis, who was publicly dishonored three weeks ago by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute when it abruptly reversed its decision to recognize her with its annual award because of her stand on Palestinian rights.
The decision by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute to withdraw an award to Angela Davis because of her support for BDS has become a giant embarrassment to the Institute and the Jewish groups that put pressure on it to reconsider. Both the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center and the Birmingham Jewish Federations have tried to walk back statements critical of the award.
Angela Y. Davis on the cancellation of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award: “Although the BCRI refused my requests to reveal the substantive reasons for this action, I later learned that my long-term support of justice for Palestine was at issue. This seemed particularly unfortunate, given that my own freedom was secured – and indeed my life was saved – by a vast international movement. And I have devoted much of my own activism to international solidarity and, specifically, to linking struggles in other parts of the world to U.S. grassroots campaigns against police violence, the prison industrial complex, and racism more broadly. The rescinding of this invitation was thus not primarily an attack against me but rather against the spirit of the indivisibility of justice.”
David Kattenburg gives an update on his effort to prevent wine from Israeli West Bank settlements labeled “Product of Israel” from being sold on Canadian store shelves.