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Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity http://www.en.justjlm.org The Israeli-Palestinian struggle against the settlement in Sheikh Jarrah Thu, 22 Mar 2012 14:05:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1 Friday, March 23rd, at 11:45 – Continuing the struggle to stop the Mount Scopus national park http://www.en.justjlm.org/679 http://www.en.justjlm.org/679#comments Thu, 22 Mar 2012 14:02:41 +0000 http://www.en.justjlm.org/?p=679

A week after the launch of Solidarity‘s campaign against the plan of the new national park in east Jerusalem, we made an achievement in the struggle. Hundreds of people sent faxes and e-mails to the Nature and Parks Authority, and results soon followed:

The Jerusalem municipality has announced the allocation of additional lands for the development of Issawiya and A-Tour, at the expense of the intended national park.

 In the upcoming months the struggle to determine the size of land allocated to the neighborhoods will continue, and will determine the fate of thousands of families living in the area.

Continuing the struggle at this time is crucial.

So what can you do?

1.    Come to the weekly protest vigil in Issawiya, this coming Friday, March 23, at 11:45 AM. We will meet at the Eastern lookout of Mount Scopus, at 11:45 AM.
For details, call
For the facebook event, click here.
   

2.     Check out the site that we launched, including short videos and information about the political manipulation of the “Slopes of Mount Scopus National Park.”

3.       Send faxes and emails to the Israel Nature and Parks Authority- simply by clicking a button on the website (at the bottom of the page).

4.       Spread the site to your friends and networks, and encourage them to contact the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.

5.       Help make the short videos into a viral campaign: share them on facebook and send them to your friends. Here you can find the links to all of the videos.





Read more: Join our campaign: Help stop the construction of a national park on Palestinian land in East Jerusalem! ; Background and information;


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A demonstration in Issawiya: stopping the Mt. Scopus Slopes National Park! Friday, Feb 17th, 11:45 http://www.en.justjlm.org/677 http://www.en.justjlm.org/677#comments Wed, 15 Feb 2012 15:37:42 +0000 http://www.en.justjlm.org/?p=677

Last Friday, in stormy weather, dozens of residents from Issawiya and A-Tour held a prayer in the observatory overlooking the designated park, and we joined them in a march protesting the plan to establish a National Park on their private lands. Over a hundred people walked through A-Tour in yet another step in bringing the issue to public attention.

This week, Solidarity and the residents of Issawiya and A-Tour
continue in a joint effort to prevent the establishment of the national park,
and expose the political agenda motivating some members of the Nature and Parks Authority.

Come join us on Friday, Feb 17th
Meeting points: 11:45 at the Mount Scopus Eastern observatory
Or 11:30 at “Aroma” coffee house in Mt. Scopus
For further details: 0546236609
Facebook event – share with friends!

Read more:
 Background and information
Join our campaign: Help stop the construction of a national park on Palestinian land in East Jerusalem!
A call for action: Stop the Slopes of Mount Scopus “National Park”
A New Plan to Establish a National Park Threatens to Choke Issawiya and A-Tur

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The Israel Nature and Parks Authority demolished a community center in Silwan – A video http://www.en.justjlm.org/674 http://www.en.justjlm.org/674#comments Mon, 13 Feb 2012 22:24:01 +0000 http://www.en.justjlm.org/?p=674

On February 13th, 2012 at 7:00 AM, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, accompanied by the police, demolished a community center and playground in Wadi Hilweh, Silwan.

The center was the only public space and playground for all of the non-settler residents of Wadi Hilweh.

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After this week’s demolition – demonstrating on the grounds of the declared Mount Scopus Slopes National Park: this Friday, February 10th, 11:45 http://www.en.justjlm.org/672 http://www.en.justjlm.org/672#comments Tue, 07 Feb 2012 14:36:19 +0000 http://www.en.justjlm.org/?p=672

Last Friday activists and representatives from the Palestinian committees planted trees together on the grounds declared as a new National Park, in protest of continued advancement of the plan by the Nature and Parks Authority (see an activist’s report here).

Days later, the Nature and Parks Authority’s bulldozers returned once again to work illegally on the grounds of A-Tour and Issawiya, damaging Palestinian property as well as ancient caves on the premises. Five Israeli activists who tried to prevent the work by standing in front of the bulldozers were arrested, along with a local resident of A-Tour (the illegal work on the land can be seen in this video).

The illegal and violent actions taken by the Nature and Parks Authority only increase our resolve to continue opposing the National Park plan.

We will continue the campaign which has already postponed the deliberations at the local planning committee by a few months.

The Solidarity movement, along with residents of A-Tour and Issawiya,
continue in actions to stop the establishment of the national park,
and expose the political agenda
motivating some members of the Nature and Parks Authority.

Come join us on Friday, Feb 10th
Meeting points: 11:45 at the Mount Scopus Eastern observatory
Or 11:30 at “Aroma” coffee house in Mt. Scopus
For further details: 0546236609
Facebook event – invite friends!

Read more:
From the Jerusalem Post; From Haaretz (in Hebrew); Background and information
Join our campaign: Help stop the construction of a national park on Palestinian land in East Jerusalem!
A call for action: Stop the Slopes of Mount Scopus “National Park”
A New Plan to Establish a National Park Threatens to Choke Issawiya and A-Tur

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Video from and updates from last Friday protest in Issawiya http://www.en.justjlm.org/671 http://www.en.justjlm.org/671#comments Sat, 04 Feb 2012 20:21:17 +0000 http://www.en.justjlm.org/?p=671

The “Solidarity” Movement is continuing is action together with the residents of Issawiya and A-Tur. As in past weeks, we joined  the residents of the two neighborhoods this Friday in a a vigil and tree planting in protest of the planned national park.

Read more about the last Friday vigil:  http://kateincolor.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/olive-trees-ii/

Watch the video here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ze_1WRfHEFI&feature=youtu.be

Join us next Friday!

We will meet at 11:45 on the lookout on the Eastern part of Mount Scopus
for details call 0546236609

Join our campaign: Help stop the construction of a national park on Palestinian land in East Jerusalem!
A call for action: Stop the Slopes of Mount Scopus “National Park”
A New Plan to Establish a National Park Threatens to Choke Issawiya and A-Tur

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What is social justice and what makes a nation / Viki Vaanunu http://www.en.justjlm.org/668 http://www.en.justjlm.org/668#comments Sat, 04 Feb 2012 19:30:32 +0000 http://www.en.justjlm.org/?p=668

Viki Vaanunu, public housing activist, speech given at the Sapir conference, January, 2012.

Translated from Hebrew by: Inbal Arnon and Arik Moran

I was asked to talk about two topics – what is social justice and what makes a nation. I want to clarify that I am going to talk about these issues from my personal perspective and from the experience I have gained in the course of my participation in the struggle for public housing over the past six months.

Before I address these topics, I want to tell you a bit about myself. I was born and raised in the Katamonim neighborhood in Jerusalem and am today a single mother to a four year-old girl. My grandparents came to Israel from Egypt without money or property and without knowing the language. Their lives were very difficult – after immigrating to Israel they lived in a maabara (transitory camps where Jewish immigrants were settled in the 50’s) and worked in low paying jobs that didn’t pay enough to provide for the basic needs of their family, let alone to live with dignity.

This sad story repeated itself with my mother who worked as a cleaner to support me and my two brothers on a salary that was far below what she needed in order to get an education or learn a profession. Sadly, I find myself caught in the same vicious cycle. I work as a care-taker through a manpower company, I make much less than I deserve, and my salary doesn’t cover the basic needs of me and my daughter. Being caught in this place – the inability to live with dignity and take my daughter out of the cycle of poverty and hardship – is what drove me to stand up and protest; to change reality so that my daughter will not be the fourth generation in my family to live a life of poverty and hardship. I’ve also joined this struggle for the people around me. Everywhere I look in my neighborhood I see a lack: of housing, of food, of education.

And now after talking about my life experiences, I would like to address the issues I was asked to talk about: For me, the question of what is a nation and what is social justice flows from all that I described to you earlier

My people are those who work hard all their lives and get a wage that doesn’t allow them to live with dignity. My people are my friends who are sleeping in the streets now because the state doesn’t give them another option. My people are those who work in the jobs that keep the economy alive, and are asked to sacrifice constantly while other people get rich at their expense. My people are the ones that love this country, and want to be a part of it and to generate real change – those are my people!

The establishment wants me to believe that my people are the Jewish nation, but if there are Jews that exploit me and like me, and who do not allow us to live a normative life, then this definition is not satisfactory and I do not agree with it. My people are all those who are oppressed like me: Jews, Arabs, refugees. All those who are exploited by the establishment.

My definition of social justice derives from my definition of people/nation. Social justice happens when all the groups I mentioned take responsibility for changing their reality. When we stop relying on the establishment to change our situation. Social justice is those people who are willing to sacrifice themselves for change and justice. Social justice is understanding that when the law is illegal, it calls for civil disobedience.

It is unacceptable that there are empty buildings in Israel when people are homeless. It is unacceptable that the state evicts people from their homes. It is unacceptable that the state serves one group of people – the thin layer of elites – at the expense of all of us.

I want to take the opportunity to comment on the things Shlomo Maoz said yesterday[1]. Before I started to protest I didn’t understand why people say that there is discrimination against mizrachi Jews. Now I see how rampant that discrimination is. All the people I know who are poor are mizrachi. I know that there are also ashkenazis who suffer hardship, but it seems that most of the people suffering economically are mizrachi. A small example – as a mizrachi woman, my chances of going to university are much smaller than those of an ashkenazi woman. In that sense, I agree with most of the things that Shlomo Maoz said. There has been discrimination against mizrachi Jews, and that discrimination continues to this day. But unlike Maoz, I do not see the protesters from Rothschild as our enemies. I think that aschenazi Jews also have an interest in changing the system and building a society built on justice and equality.

I want to end with what is to me the heart of the struggle – the issue of public housing. There has been no new construction of public housing in the past twenty years. The public housing law has been frozen time and again as part of the law of hesderim[2]. The state has been selling the public housing apartments at a huge profit  – 3 billion NIS – but has not used this money to build additional public housing as required by law. The money has been used to fund other projects instead.

A house is stability. A house is security for us and for our children. A house is the possibility to live a normal life. From here I call upon the decision makers in Israel –re-enact the public housing law! Stop throwing people to the street and demolishing houses! Build houses for those who need them! The first stone has yet to be thrown in our struggle, but if the state continues to ignore us, continues to silence us with the police, our struggle will escalate. We are ready to fight for our future and the future or our children.

Viki Vaanunu, public housing activist, speech given at the Sapir conference, January, 2012


[1] Shlomo Maoz was fired from his role as chief economist at Excellence Nessuah after giving a speech where he spoke out about the continuing discrimination of Mizrachi Jews by the Ashkenazi elite.

[2] An amendment to the government budget that is used to ‘correct’ the budget by transferring funds to various departments and activities. In practice, these annually  re-formulated laws are used to appease those pressure groups needed to sustain political stability at the expense of the broad, long-term policies that are so desperately lacking in annual budget programs

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The Court: “Investigative Fiasco” – A victory for a Solidarity Activist. A day of judgment for the Police. http://www.en.justjlm.org/666 http://www.en.justjlm.org/666#comments Thu, 02 Feb 2012 15:06:35 +0000 http://www.en.justjlm.org/?p=666

Solidarity in Silwan. Photo by: Oren Ziv, Activestills.

After more than two years of struggle and almost 200 arrests, today the first court case  involving an activist from the Solidarity Movement came to a end: Dorit Argo was cleared of all charges, and the Police received a strong reprimand.

Dorit Argo, a Solidarity Activist, today was cleared of all charges in what was the first case to make its way through the court system, out of around 70 indictments filed against Solidarity Activists over the course of the struggle against Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem over last few years. The Solidarity Movement, which became known following its successes in curbing the spread of settlements in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, is active throughout East Jerusalem, including in Silwan, a neighborhood known as a point of tension between settlers, police and Palestinians. Argo was arrested during a demonstration against of the settler movement in Silwan, let by a group called ELAD, which is in charge of the tourist site of the “City of David.” Argo, who was indicted for “public disturbance” and “attacking police officers” was cleared of all charges by Judge Shimon Stein in Beit Misphat HaShalom in Jerusalem.

Along with the clearance, the court ruled that the arrest itself was carried out in a way that did not align with the law and that Argo’s “arrest in such circumstances would even have allowed her to resist arrest with reasonable force,” despite the fact that “it has been proven that the defendant was escorted away by the police without resisting.” As such, Judge Stein ruled that “this is a case of investigative fiasco” and he even hinted that a number of the police officers did not tell the truth in their testimonies. Throughout the discussion, the officer that carried out the arrest claimed that Ms. Argo resisted arrest violently and that he was forced to drag her from the place by force. After video was presented to the court in which Argo was seen responding to the officer’s approach and allowing herself to be escorted to the police car without any form of resistance, the officer was forced to go back on his testimony. Moreover, the other charges of attacking and threatening police officers were discarded by the court after they were contradicted by the testimonies of other officers and by other evidence. Thus, for example, the Judge ruled that “the claim that the defendant took part in tearing Officer Assad’s trousers was contradicted by Officer Assad’s own testimony.”

Judge Stein dealt at length with the issue of freedom of expression and the demonstration, and ruled categorically that the actions of the police amount to a violation of the legal rights of the demonstrators and that the police does not respect their rights to make their voices heard. The police, according to Judge Stein, acted improperly in trying to “silence the voices of the demonstrators.”

The victory today confirms our claims over the past to years that the Jerusalem police’s law enforcement practice is discriminatory, and affirms the needs for the police to conduct serious self-examination and indeed for an overhaul in basic education of the police force in Jerusalem. The police would do well to cancel the remaining indictments against activists from the movement, rather than humiliate itself again in court by further exposing its biased nature, lack of professionalism and lack of commitment to truth.

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Friday, February 3rd, 11:30: Stop the “Slopes of Mount Scopus” National Park http://www.en.justjlm.org/663 http://www.en.justjlm.org/663#comments Tue, 31 Jan 2012 14:44:09 +0000 http://www.en.justjlm.org/?p=663

The “Solidarity” Movement is continuing is action together with the residents of Issawiya and A-Tur. As in past weeks, we will join the residents of the two neighborhoods this Friday in a protest vigil that will focus on agricultural work on land in Issawiya that is slated to be part of the “National Park.”

The Israel Nature and Parks Authority destroyed – we will continue to repair

This Friday, February 3rd
we will meet at 11:45 on the lookout on the Eastern part of Mount Scopus,
or at 11:30 at the Aroma near the Hebrew University.
For details, call Daniel 0546236609

For the facebook event, click here

*****

Join our campaign: Help stop the construction of a national park on Palestinian land in East Jerusalem!
A call for action: Stop the Slopes of Mount Scopus “National Park”
A New Plan to Establish a National Park Threatens to Choke Issawiya and A-Tur
“New Jerusalem park a ‘ruse’ to set up new settlement, activists say”, Ha’aretz
“National park in east Jerusalem stirs controversy”, Jerusalem Post

 

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Friday, January 27, 11:30: Stop the “Slopes of Mount Scopus” National Park http://www.en.justjlm.org/661 http://www.en.justjlm.org/661#comments Mon, 23 Jan 2012 16:10:48 +0000 http://www.en.justjlm.org/?p=661

Last Friday, around 100 activists and residents of Issawiya worked together to fix the damage done by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. For a video of the event, click HERE

The Solidarity Movement will continue to act together with the residents of Issawiay and A-Tur. As in the past weeks, we will meet this coming Friday for a protest vigil whose focus will be to continue our action against the damage done by the INPA.

We will meet at 11:45 at the Eastern Lookout on Mount Scopus
Or at 11:30 at the Aroma Cafe on Mount Scopus (next to Hebrew U)
For the facebook event, click HERE
For details, call Daniel 0546236609

*****

Join our campaign: Help stop the construction of a national park on Palestinian land in East Jerusalem!
A call for action: Stop the Slopes of Mount Scopus “National Park”
A New Plan to Establish a National Park Threatens to Choke Issawiya and A-Tur
“New Jerusalem park a ‘ruse’ to set up new settlement, activists say”, Ha’aretz
“National park in east Jerusalem stirs controversy”, Jerusalem Post

 

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Solidarity in Ramle: Help Stop the eviction of El-Ajuo Family, Thursday, January 26 http://www.en.justjlm.org/659 http://www.en.justjlm.org/659#comments Mon, 23 Jan 2012 14:19:04 +0000 http://www.en.justjlm.org/?p=659

 

Solidarty Against house evactuation, Ramle, 7th of April, 2011. Photo by: Oren Ziv, Activstills

In April 2011, and once again in July of the same year, we were able to prevent the eviction of the El-Aju family from their home in Ramle by the ‘public housing company’ Amidar. The El-Aju family has lived in their home for over 50 years, but in recent years, Amidar has tried to evict them without offering any housing alternative. The family has a small income, and they are precisely the kind of people for whom the public housing company was established. Nevertheless, instead of helping the family, Amidar insists on throwing them into the street, in order to sell the property at a profit.

This Thursday, January 26, Amidar intends to evict Sawsan and Ayyub El-Aju, as well as their nine children, in the middle of winter. The family has nowhere to go, and if Amidar is successful, eleven people will find themselves in the street. Sawsan and Ayyub are determined to struggle for their right to remain in their home.

We will be there with the El-Aju family on the day of the eviction, in order to prevent it from going through.
The El-Aju family’s struggle is part of the nation-wide struggle for the right to equitable and just housing – and against the greed of Amidar.

Join us! Social justice isn’t just a slogan.

This Thursday, January 26
Facebook event
for online registration: see here

From ’48 to Israel 2011: The Story of the Al-Aju Family from Ramle/ Hadas Ben-Eliyahu
Through the cracks: Solidarity in Ramleh / Daniel Argo

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