An analysis from Adam Keller, a Jewish Israeli in Israel, followed by a set of action items you can use to respond (U.S. based)
Adam Keller, May 12, 2021
Yesterday morning (Tuesday) we woke up with the news of twenty one Palestinians killed in Gaza, nine of them minors, and two Israeli women killed in Ashkelon (one of them; it later turned out, was a migrant worker from India, and since then, the death toll on both sides more than doubled). Then came the email which I was expecting. Noa Levy of Hadash sent out an urgent call for emergency protests in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, A second message, from the Forum of Israeli and Palestinian Bereaved Families and Combatants for Peace, endorsed the Hadash call and added a Haifa protest venue initiated by the Haifa Women for Women Center. “The government is playing with fire – all of us get burned! In a desperate attempt to cling to power, Netanyahu is dragging us into war, into killing and suffering and pain for both peoples. Stop the escalation! Cease the fire! Stop the expulsion of families from Sheikh Jarrah, stop the police rampage in East Jerusalem. There can be no peace and no quiet as long as the West Bank lives under occupation and Gaza suffers a suffocating siege. The solution: an end to the occupation, an end to the siege of Gaza, and the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, with East Jerusalem as its capital. We all deserve to live in freedom and security. The time to act is now!”
And so, there were several hours of frantic work at the computer and phone, spreading the message by Facebook and Whatsapp to all who waited for such a call on such a day. And then taking the bus to Tel Aviv. The Kugel Boulevard, main Holon thoroughfare on which all buses to Tel Aviv travel, had its completely normal daily bustle. On King George Street in Tel Aviv there were already several hundred people gathered outside the Likud Party headquarters. Among them familiar faces, the determined minority of Israelis who always show up on such days, as in 2014 and 2009.. “Stop the fire, stop the bloodshed!” chanted several hundred throats. And “On both sides of the border / Children want to live!” and “Sheikh Jarrah, don’t despair / We will end the occupation yet!” and also “Gaza, Gaza, don’t despair / We will end the siege yet!” and “Netanyahu, Netanyahu / The Dock at the Hague waits for you!”.
What you can do (from the Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine and Nancy Murray)
TAKE THIS ACTION FOR PALESTINE!
Once again, Israel and Palestine are back in the headlines and once again, people around the world are taking to the streets to demand justice and freedom for Palestinians.
It is now 73 years since the Nakba (Catastrophe) which drove 750,000 Palestinians from their homes. Since the conception of the State of Israel in 1948 until now, Israeli occupation forces have deprived Palestinians of their land, their security, their dignity and all the rights we as Americans take for granted: freedom of expression and assembly, freedom from arbitrary arrest and torture, freedom of movement and civil and political rights.
Because American taxpayers give Israel $10 million every day, we are complicit in what Human Rights Watch has termed Israel’s Apartheid policies.
Without unstinting US support, it is hard to see how Israel would have had the impunity to stage repeated attacks on Ramadan gatherings in East Jerusalem or to unleash advanced US-supplied military weapons on civilians that it has confined for 14 years in the ‘open air prison’ that is the Gaza Strip.
For decades, the US media has honed in on homemade rockets fired from Gaza and stones thrown at Israeli soldiers in the effort to justify the ferocity of Israel’s suppression of Palestinians.
But over the last few weeks, some media outlets have featured Palestinian voices, enabling Americans to learn more about the root cause of the conflict: the ongoing dispossession and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.
For instance, here on Democracy Now! you can learn about the attempted settler takeover of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem from one of its residents, Mohammed el Kurd. And hereNoura Erakat and Mariam Barghouti write about Sheikh Jarrah in The Washington Post.
Each of us has a role to play in bringing this US-enabled injustice to an end. Let us join our voices to those of people of conscience across the country and demand a say in how the $3.8 billion we give Israel every year is used.
Take this demand to your Members of Congress:stop bankrolling ethnic cleansing and apartheid, and start investing in health and safety for all.
You can do so here: bit.ly/riseupwithpalestine
See this 3 minute video for how aid to Israel from Massachusetts could be used at home.
Please raise your voice and take this action now!