International Solidarity With Hanna American Citizen Join Hunger Strike

    • maandag 2 april 2012
    • 10:00 tot 16:30
  • Palestinians Supporters Join in Hunger Strike in Solidarity with Hana Shalabi, Fight a Non Violent Resistance MovementSecond American Citizen to Join Hunger Strike-Gandhism
    ارجوكم سامحوني المواطنة الامريكية “نانسي وليامز” توجه رسالة للشعب الفلسطيني
    الشعب الفلسطيني بشكل يومي يكتمون على انفاسي ويأبون مغادرتي, بل ينمون بشكل ثابت. هذه الجمعة, في يوم 30 من مارس 2012, سوف ابدأ اضرابي عن الطعام من اجل الفلسطينين, ولن تهدأ روحي ابدا طالما تستمر معاناتهم


Date: Friday 30th March 2012
Time: 5.00 pm
Venue: Opposite the Israeli Embassy, 2 Palace Green, High Street
Kensington, London, W8 4QB

People from around the world will come together to march towards
Jerusalem. Marches will take place in Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan
and Egypt. The Global March to Jerusalem is a peaceful movement
to assert the importance of Jerusalem politically, culturally
and religiously to the Palestinian people and humanity as a whole.
This campaign is calling for freedom for Jerusalem and its people,
to end Israeli policies of apartheid and ethnic cleansing. Join
us in solidarity with their peaceful protest. The nearest tube
station is High Street Kensington. Everyone is welcome.

Egyptian Parliamentary Delegation Reaches Gaza Wednesday

 Gaza,(—An Egyptian Parliamentary delegation from the Egyptian People’s Assembly  headed by Chairman of the Arab Affairs Committee Mohammed Idris is expected to reach the Gaza Strip on Wednesday.

Idris said in a statement to media outlets that the visit aims to break the siege on the Gaza Strip and to learn more about health conditions and life in the Gaza strip , especially under the suffocating crisis is experiences currently.

He added that  meeting with Palestinian factions and Palestinian government officials will be held to discuss the latest developments of fuel and electricity crisis and the role that the people Council can play to resolve the crisis, adding that the visit will last for a few days.

It is worth mentioning that the Egyptian People’s Assembly has approved recently on the  expulsion of Israeli Ambassador in Egypt, and to summon the Egyptian ambassador from Israel  in protest against the practices and brutal attacks against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

( / 28.03.2012)

New book shows how the PA enriched an elite and normalized occupation

Globalized Palestine: The National Sell-Out of a Homeland explores the rise of a new Palestinian elite that works together with international organizations against the will of the majority of its compatriots.

The book’s author, Khalil Nakhleh, worked in the development sector as director of the Welfare Association (a Palestinian organization) for more than a decade, as well as a consultant on the expenditure of European Union aid. He witnessed first-hand the marriage of the business class and the international aid organizations in Palestine.

Thus, the book is a participant’s observation of how the coalition of Palestinian capitalists (the political and economic elite which benefited from the Oslo accords), the newly-emerging Palestinian nongovernmental organizations and the transnational aid agencies work together — while under occupation — for the myth of “economic development.”

Nakhleh suggests that this coalition is not consciously pre-planned, but that “the longer the current status quo — which is built on the internalized and marketed premise that there is no contradiction between being under occupation and economic development — is accepted and internalized, the more the tripartite coalition becomes purposeful and intentional”(xxi).

Class and capitalism after Oslo

Nakhleh dedicates the two longest chapters in the book to describe the formation of the Palestinian capitalist class.

In chapter two, the author argues that the capitalist class in Palestine is divided into two distinct branches: the expatriates who left historical Palestine, made their money in theshatat (diaspora) — mainly in the Gulf states — and came back after Oslo in the mid-1990s; and the indigenous capitalist class, formed of small family businesses which depend on subcontracting to Israeli businesses.

Nakhleh argues that the Palestinian Authority has always been biased toward the shatatcapitalists due to their “control of huge capital accumulation and their direct interplay with the PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization] as supporters of its agenda” (66).

The history of this union of shatat capitalists and the PA elites is exemplified by the rise of two particular capitalists — Abdul Majeed Shoman of the Arab Bank, and Hasib Sabbagh of the Contractor Construction Company — and the role they played as mediators between the PLO, the Arab regimes and the US. For example, the two helped mediate a way out of the PLO from Jordan after “Black September” in 1970 (King Hussein’s brutal crackdown on the PLO).

The second example of expatriate relations with the PLO before Oslo is provided through the Palestinian capitalist class in Egypt. This is illustrated by the case of Sami al-Shawa, who amassed a fortune in the pipes industry, and others from the Gaza Strip who studied in Israel and transferred their skills to start businesses in Egypt. This class played a role in normalizing economic relations with Israel.

Favoring monopolies

The marriage of capitalists and PA elites was renewed and solidified with the return of those from exile during the formation of the PA as a result of the Oslo accords. By designing of laws that favored monopolies in real estate and banking, the PA enabled theshatat capitalists to profit from new investments, marginalizing smaller family businesses.

The shatat elites, who occupied positions in policy-making centers, worked to ensure regulatory structures and general economic policies such as monopolies, foreign investments, reduction of taxes and the favoring of certain sectors to keep their interests in having total control over the PA’s economic activities.

Consolidation of the neoliberal order would not have been possible without the role played by the nongovernmental organizations. Through a process of employing the middle classes and the educated Palestinians in the NGOs, the shatat capitalists whose organizations — such as the Welfare Association — played a mediator role between the international donors and the Palestinians who worked on the de-politicization of the Palestinian society and therefore the normalization of occupation.

Altruism and nationalist rhetoric

The altruism of the shatat capitalists is not only reflected through their charity organizations, but also through their rhetoric of nationalism: their return to Palestine with the PA is sheer altruism driven by their love for Palestine and their willingness to build the nation.

Hence the hegemony of the shatat capitalists is consolidated through their control of the economic activities, and their influence in the political arena — and at the same time, their administration of the civil society sector is represented by the NGOs. This hegemonic presence has stifled the imagination of the Palestinians and domesticated them to accept the status quo in a locked system that seems hard to break.

The solutions offered by the author, under the headline of People-Centered Liberation Development, however, reads like a shopping list from the World Bank, which contradicts Nakhleh’s own analysis. Despite the author’s analysis of the tripartite coalition and its hegemony, he proposes a focus on community development and small-scale enterprises. Many questions can be posed here — the most important of which is how can the focus on the community, on education and skills fight a tripartite coalition of political and economic elites, international organizations and the development NGOs?

Perhaps twenty years of work in the development sector makes it hard for the author to imagine another paradigm of development. Perhaps it is the power of the neoliberal ideology that has stifled his and our imagination to envision solutions beyond those proferred by the same power structure criticized in the book.

The book’s analysis is also undermined by the author’s moral tone. Despite his acute analysis of the system that created these class structures and the entanglement of their interests with the global elites, the author offers solutions not according to their interests but to certain values they should hold as Palestinians: they sell out their homeland and become normalizers with the occupation when they do not abide by these values.

Moreover, the author jumps to conclusions at points without backing up his claims. This undermines the message of the book. However, Globalized Palestine is still valuable to all those interested in understanding the socio-economic situation in the West Bank, as well as those who are interested in working for justice in all of Palestine.

Mayssun Sukarieh is an independent researcher.

( / 28.03.2012)

Jerusalem is at the heart of the Palestinian struggle

The traditional centre of Palestinian social, religious and economic life is increasingly being isolated by Israeli policies

Jerusalem is a city that embodies the cultural heritage of three religions: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Yet Palestinians – both Christian and Muslim – are being driven out of Jerusalem. Just one example of this ethnic cleansing is taking place in Silwan, where 1,000 residents are facing imminent eviction as their homes make way for the King David tourist park. In response to the urgency of the situation, an international alliance is mounting a series of peaceful protests worldwide on 30 March to call for an end to the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians living in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem, the traditional centre of Palestinian social, religious and economic life, is increasingly being isolated and restricted by Israeli policies. As the Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem points out, ever since Israel illegally occupied East Jerusalem in 1967, in violation of international law, “the government of Israel’s primary goal in Jerusalem has been to create a demographic and geographic situation that will thwart any future attempt to challenge Israeli sovereignty over the city”. Some 200,000 settlers now live in illegal Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem.

Concern over these policies is not limited to pro-Palestinian activists, or Israeli human rights groups. An EU Heads of Mission report last year highlighted the continued expansion of illegal Israeli settlements, evictions and demolitions of Palestinian homes, and restrictions on legal and religious freedoms. Palestinians who have lived for generations in East Jerusalem can lose their residency rights if they leave the city because of a Kafkaesque notion that the centre of their life is no longer in Jerusalem, while Israeli citizens retain guaranteed citizenship. Since Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem, more than 14,000 Palestinianshave had their residency rights revoked. The 270,000 Palestinians living in East Jerusalem can find themselves ordered to demolish their homes or businesses, or being forced to watch whilst settlers take over their homes. It is estimated that 20,000 Palestinian homes in Jerusalem have been issued with demolition orders.

Despite Israel’s violations of international law, and the Fourth Geneva Convention – designed to protect those living under occupation – governments have failed to prevent Israel’s violations of international law, which is why it is so vital that international civil society is acting.

The Global March to Jerusalem is bringing together an impressive coalition of Palestinian voices and organisations, with supporters from dozens of countries around the world travelling to Jerusalem, and to the border countries, to participate in the peaceful actions, or organising protests in London and other cities around the world. Two Nobel laureates, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Mairead Maguire, have joined the international endorsers. Other members of the advisory board include Mustafa BarghoutiRabbi Lynn Gottlieb, author and activist in theJewish Renewal movement; and Ronnie Kasrils, the South African national liberation leader and former cabinet minister.

The struggle for freedom, peace and justice for Palestinians is a key issue for those of us committed to equality and human rights. I grew up during the era of apartheid in South Africa, and saw the potential for us all to successfully oppose injustice. This was why I sailed on the Mavi Marmara, in a flotilla with participants from over 40 countries, attempting to break Israel’s siege on Gaza. The struggle for Palestinian rights is at the core of the global movement for social and economic justice, for liberation, for equality, and against racism. The Global March to Jerusalem is continuing in that tradition, organising a nonviolent response to Israel’s violations of international law.

( / 28.03.2012)

Persbericht 2 inzake Global March to Jerusalem


Vrijdag 30 maart a.s. is het dan zo ver en zullen tienduizenden mensen, er wordt stil aan rekening gehouden met mogelijk een half miljoen, met een vreedzame tocht vanuit verschillende landen trachten naar Jerusalem te lopen. D.m.v. deze Mars willen we aandacht vragen voor de ernstige belemmeringen voor het Palestijnse leven en de vernietiging van de Palestijnse cultuur in Jerusalem. De tocht wordt georganiseerd door een groot aantal organisaties en personen in tientallen wereldwijd. Ondanks wat er steeds wordt gezegd door organisaties en media die anti deze tocht zijn, wordt het op het hart gedrukt van de mensen die meelopen, dat het een vreedzame tocht is.

Van verschillende kanten van de aardbol zijn er al mensen gearriveerd in de landen van waaruit ze gaan lopen, m.n. Libanon en Jordanië, mogelijk ook nog vanuit Egypte. Ook vanuit Nederland is een groep mensen onderweg naar hun startpunt; de voorzitter van de Stichting Stop de Bezetting, Gretta Duisenberg, zal vanuit Beirut de tocht aanvangen.

Sinds de bezetting van Jerusalem – ruim 40 jaar  geleden – hebben de Israëlische autoriteiten de burgerrechten van de ruim 14.000 Palestijnse inwoners enorm beperkt en zelfs geheel afgenomen. De burgemeester van de stad heeft recentelijk verklaard dat de Palestijnen die buiten de muur wonen, overgedragen zullen worden aan de civiele administratie van de Westelijke Jordaanoever. Dat zou inhouden dat zo’n 70.000 Palestijnen de stad niet meer mogen binnenkomen.

Het initiatief voor de Mars is twee jaar geleden genomen door verschillende Europese, Aziatische, Amerikaanse en andere pro-Palestinagroepen. De dag van 30 maart is gekozen omdat die de Palestijnen herinnert aan het eerste verzet tegen de onteigening van hun land op 30 maart 1976, nu de Dag van het Land.
Tegelijkertijd zal over de hele wereld worden geprotesteerd tegen de steeds verdergaande Judaïsering van Jerusalem. In Nederland zal op vrijdag 30 maart 2012 om  14 uur een demonstratie zijn bij de Israëlische ambassade, Buitenhof 47, Den Haag. Wij roepen een ieder op die hart heeft voor de Palestijnse zaak om hierbij aanwezig te zijn. Breng spandoeken mee, liefst met het logo van de Global March on Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is het universele erfgoed van christenen, joden èn moslims. De stad is het centrum van spiritualiteit en van grote ideologische betekenis voor alle monotheïstische religies.

De organisatoren benadrukken dat de deelnemers geen politieke partij of religieuze fracties vertegenwoordigen, maar dat eenieder welkom is deel te nemen; daarnaast benadrukken zij dat het een vreedzame beweging is, die geen enkel geweld gebruikt om haar doelen te bereiken.

Enkele leden van de Advies Raad van de Global March to Jerusalem zijn:

Mairead McGuire, Nobel Prijs winnaar;

Fr. Louis Vitale, frater van de Orde van Franciscaner Monniken;

Gretta Duisenberg, oprichtster en voorzitter Stichting Stop de Bezetting, Board member “Free Gaza Movement”;

George Galloway, ex-parlementslid van Engeland en oprichter van Viva Palestina;

Atallah Hanna, aartsbisschop van Sebastia;

Lalita Ramdas, Greenpeace International;

Desmond Tutu, Nobel Prijs winnaar