By Salena Tramel
December 29th, 2010
Year before last, I was sitting in the living room of my childhood home sharing a cup of morning coffee with my mother and musing over the holidays. We laughed over kitschy Christmas gifts from well-meaning relatives before deciding to turn on the news for five minutes on the brink of another vacation day. Those five minutes would turn out to be one of those times like 9/11—when you never forget exactly where you were when you found out. "Oh no," gasped my mother, tears welling up immediately in her eyes. "Gaza Explodes..." scrolled across the bottom of the screen, and plumes of smoke hung on the living room wall in high definition.
By Salena Tramel
December 23rd, 2010
Our partner, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), works to protect human rights and promote the rule of law. They have been recognized as an effective voice of the Palestinian people through awards such as the Human Rights Prize from France. PCHR has gained an international reputation as an independent voice on human rights vis-à-vis both Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Down south in the Negev desert, the sounds of jets fill wide-open spaces. Increasing militarization is constant -- at least 80% of the land there is used for military training purposes, including weaponry development. The Negev also contains the largest petrochemical processing center in the Middle East and Israel’s nuclear facilities. Bedouin communities who call the remaining land home are routinely -- and forcibly -- displaced.
By Alisa Pimentel
Among the almost 20,000 activists gathered in Detroit for the US Social Forum this week are several Grassroots International partners and allies. Grassroots International regularly provides funding to our partners and allies to participate in movement-building and leadership development gatherings.
Safa Joudeh, formerly Grassroots International’s consultant, who lives there, doesn’t think so. In her Al Jazeera op-ed, Safa explains the emotional and socio-economic trauma and stress of living under lockdown.
Today Iara Lee, a Grassroots International supporter and an independent documentary filmmaker and activist, posted online more than one hour of unedited video taken aboard the Mavi Marmara. The video, recorded in high definition, shows clear uninterrupted footage of the events that occurred before, during, and after Israeli Navy Commandos raided the boat in international waters. At least nine passengers were killed during the raid, and dozens more were wounded. The video provides a previously unavailable timeline of the raid as it unfolded, and may shed light on disputes over how and why violence ensued.
Grassroots International joins our partners in Palestine and Israel – and indeed non-violent activists worldwide – in the condemnation of Israel’s attack on the Free Gaza flotilla bound for Gaza. When Israeli forces stormed a multinational humanitarian fleet on its way to Gaza – in international waters – to deliver medicines, medical equipment, building materials and food they also assaulted Nobel laureates, holocaust survivors and civilians from 40 nations.
Among the many challenges facing Arab citizens living in Israel, access to water is perhaps the worst. Grassroots International partner the Ahali Center for Community Development is organizing to secure the human right to water in a region that thirsts for justice.
Sakhnin is a Palestinian village nestled between the mountains of Israel’s Galilee and is known for at least 3,500 years of agrarian tradition. It wasn’t until March 30, 1976, however, that the people of Sakhnin put their village on the map by starting another tradition that would become central to not only Arab citizens of Israel but to Palestinians everywhere.