Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Israel steps up campaign of repression. We can step it up our campaign, too!

Independent media outlets have been providing some great coverage of this latest wave of repression directed against Palestinian nonviolence. Here's Neve Gordon at Counterpunch, who frames the issue with an overview of the history of Palestinian nonviolence and Israeli repression and summarizes the current trend:
"Clearly, the strategy is to arrest all of the leaders and charge them with incitement, thus setting an extremely high "price tag" for organising protests against the subjugation of the Palestinian people. The objective is to put an end to the pro-peace popular resistance in the villages and to crush, once and for all, the Palestinian peace movement."
And check out this great report from The Real News Network, which covers the repression of Israeli anti-occupation activists as well as Palestinian, and describes the apartheid differences in the way Israeli and Palestinian prisoners are treated: The question for us, of course, is how do we respond? What actions can we take in solidarity with our Palestinian and Israeli allies who are working nonviolently for justice and peace? If you haven't already, check out the call to action from Stop the Wall. Once you've done that, here's a couple of suggestions of actions you can take in your local community: 1) Your tax money helps pay the bill for the munitions that are used to suppress nonviolent demonstrations. In FY2001-2006, the United States provided $2,515,080 worth of .22-.50 caliber ammunition to Israel--26,619,524 bullets. In FY2007, the U.S. provided $4,181,378 in ammunition--28,672,145 bullets. In FY2007 alone, the United States gave Israel 121,991 pieces of teargas and riot control agents valued at $1,654,536. Organize against U.S. military aid by signing up as part of our Congressional District Coordinators Network. 2) Much of the Palestinian nonviolent resistance is directed against the building of the Apartheid Wall and settlements on Israeli land. Caterpillar bulldozers are used to build both the Wall and the settlements, not to mention uprooting Palestinian agricultural land and demolishing Palestinian houses. Motorola provides surveillance equipment for settlements, as well as communication equipment that is likely used to coordinate night raids in villages like Bil'in. Products such as Ahava are produced in settlements built on Palestinian land. Engaging in boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaigns in your local community is exactly the kind of solidarity called for by Palestinian civil society--and, as Omar Barghouti has said, it might just be the "most consequential form of protest" against the repression on nonviolent resistance. 3) The repression of nonviolent protest, the separation of populations, the imprisonment without trial--all of these violations of human rights fall under the crime of apartheid. Educate yourself and your community about the crime of apartheid and how it applies to Israel's treatment of the Palestinians by clicking here. 4) Finally, incorporate messaging about military aid, BDS, and apartheid into your solidarity events with the Gaza Freedom March, coming up next week. Israel is stepping up its campaign of repression. Let's show the Israeli military--and our Palestinian and Israeli partners in the struggle for a just peace--that we can step up our campaign, too. Help us do just that by making a tax-deductible contribution to the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation today!