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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.
The Israeli government, facing increased international condemnation in the wake of last month’s attack on the Freedom Flotilla, announced earlier that they would make “adjustments” in their land blockade—while keeping their sea blockade intact.
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.
This week in the West Bank, Palestinians brace for the consequences of one of the harshest Israeli military orders to date. In what Israeli news source Haaretz called “a step too far,” the military order set into action earlier in the week gives soldiers the authority to deport tens of thousands of Palestinians and prosecute them on infiltration charges.
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.
Former Grassroots International Board member and current Board member of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, Bill Fletcher Jr. recently blogged on CNN.com about the "frequent tendency to misrepresent the lessons of [the U.S. black freedom] movement and apply them to other social movements overseas in a way that misses the mark.
Historian, activist, and Grassroots International friend Howard Zinn died January 27 at the age of 87. I remember introducing Grassroots International to Howard when I was Executive Director. He had heard of Grassroots, but he didn’t know much about it. I had just come back from the West Bank. I remember the moment when we bonded. I was trying to describe some indescribable injustice I had witnessed. Someone else who was part of the conversation asked me how I could do this work, wasn’t it just too depressing. I said, “No, it’s inspiring. What’s depressing is when people are oppressed and they can’t or won’t fight back.