By Mina Remy
November 14th, 2013
Grassroots International and its partners in the We Divest coalition join activists from around the country in congratulating TIAA-CREF for taking a step toward living up to its motto, “Investment for the Greater Good”. “TIAA-CREF has made a move in the right direction by divesting its Social Choice Fund of Veolia stock given that Veolia's business model and practices have consistently put profit over people -- whether privatizing water resources around the world, or enabling Israeli occupation and segregation in the West Bank. This is a victory for all those concerned with human rights and justice,” said Nikhil Aziz, Executive Director of Grassroots International.
Read the full press release below.
The narrative below is the third in a series of three stories documented by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), a Grassroots International partner since 1996. PCHR has gained an international reputation as an independent voice on human rights documenting abuses carried out by both the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority. Raji Sourani, the founder and director of PCHR, recently received the Right Livelihood Award (known as the Alternative Nobel Prize). The PCHR documents human rights violations, provides legal aid to victims, advocates for greater economic and social rights, and, in particular, defends the rights of Gaza fishers who are routinely denied access to their fishing waters by the Israeli Defense Forces.
By Mina Remy
November 5th, 2013
The $10-billion proposed canal would divert water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea in an effort to save the later from “environmental degradation.” The project is a partnership between Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. Grassroots International partners the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees, Palestinian Center for Human Rights, and Stop the Wall are among the signatories to the statement below that calls for a halt to the project. Palestinian organizations cite both political and environmental reasons for their calls to stop this water and land grab that would impede Palestinian rights.
It is with tremendous pride and admiration that Grassroots International shares the news that Raji Sourani, director of our partner the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), has won the 2013 Right Livelihood Award, often called the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize.
Mr. Sourani was granted the award for “unwavering dedication to the rule of law and human rights under exceptionally difficult circumstances.” The award honors and elevates the status of the careful, thorough, and utterly crucial work of Mr. Sourani and PCHR to document human rights abuses and offer legal support and advocacy to the victims of violations of International Law.
The Israeli occupation of Palestine has become so routine—a checkpoint here, a denial of access to farmland there, and a razing of homes and lives everywhere—that we forget its extraordinariness. But, as the author details below, for those who live the brutality of occupation it’s a jarring existence full of perils and unknowns. It’s also a state of chronic fear in which you ask yourself, “will this be the day I’m detained indefinitely without access to a lawyer, I’m brutally attacked by settlers for being on my land, or I lose a family member to illness because they didn’t get permission to leave Gaza or the West Bank?”
For those of us who stand in solidarity with Palestinian folk we must strive against treating the Occupation as anything but extraordinarily out of step with the 21st century. The Israeli occupation, like colonialism itself, should have been left in the annals of 20th century history.
Once again, TIAA-CREF has denied its shareholders the right to have their voices heard through the ballot box at this year’s shareholder meeting.
When you hear “seed bank” what comes to mind? Is it perhaps a vault or a deep freezer stocked with seeds? Yes, Grassroots International partner the Union of Agricultural Work Committees’ seed bank has those, but what I saw and heard was so much more than that. UAWC’s seed bank also assists farmers while protecting local agricultural biodiversity across the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) – literally preserving their seed sovereignty amidst the occupation.
The real costs of the industrial food system on people’s lives and the planet are as extensive as they are hidden. The article below by long-time Grassroots International friends, Beverley Bell and Tory Field of Other Worlds, offers a thought-provoking summary of those costs—all of which challenge small farmers in the Global South on a daily basis.
The True Costs of Industrialized Food
Israeli government repression of Palestinian human rights groups continues with arrest of Stop the Wall Youth Coordinator, Hassan Karajah.
At 2:30 in the morning of January 23, 2013, the Israeli military raided the home of Hassan Karajah, Youth Coordinator of Grassroots International partner, Stop the Wall Campaign, in the West Bank village of Safa, near Ramallah. In the video below, Hassan’s brother gives a firsthand account of how the soldiers entered the house by force, searched all the members of the family (including Hassan’s mother and younger sister), ransacked their belongings, and took away computers and files, before blindfolding and arresting Hassan, and taking him away.
The recent war between Hamas and Israel was fought not only in the bloodied cities and refugee camps of a huge civilian population and in vulnerable cities and towns of Israel, but also on newsfeeds and social media. In the papers, the websites and twitter feeds, reports and analysis of the Gaza war rarely revealed any context and no reports of the deadly siege and frequent incursions that have crippled Gaza for years. Reporters and politicians often spoke with a level of racism and disregard for Palestinian civilians that should be disconcerting to anyone who values human life and the right of people to resist oppression.