Middle East

Has Gaza’s Blockade been eased?

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 Condemns Attack on Gaza Humanitarian Flotilla

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.

Israeli-ordered Deportations Threaten Palestinians


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.

Honoring Land Day in 2010, and Remembering Its Roots

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.

Don't Deny Peaceful Protests in West Bank

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.

Howard Zinn – a remembrance

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.

Palestinians in Gaza Donate to Haiti

Jean Entine


An article I came across recently in the midst of much depressing news around Haiti, and a lot else, was: "Palestinians in Gaza donate to Haiti." It spoke of how Gazans were collecting something -- anything -- to donate to earthquake victims in Haiti. Dr.

From Gaza to Haiti and Back Again


GAZA CITY—I dreamt of Haiti last night. Something about the scene felt eerily familiar. The visions of people trapped under folded sheets of concrete, children crying out to family members they would never see again, and incapacitated hospitals overflowing with the dead and injured were so vivid that even after I opened my eyes, I still thought I was there. And then the early Islamic call to prayer brought me back to where I was—I had made it into the Gaza Strip from Israel the day before.
Last year, I visited Grassroots International’s partners and projects in Haiti right after spending time in Gaza over the summer.

Jamal Juma' of Stop the Wall Released by Israeli Authorities

After suffering more than a month in detention without charges, Jamal Juma’, the coordinator of the Stop the Wall Campaign has been released by Israeli authorities.  A Grassroots International partner, Stop the Wall is a coalition of Palestinian non-governmental organizations and neighborhood committees that work to halt the construction of, and dismantle Israel's Wall in the West Bank.

Many international organizations, including Grassroots International, have called for his release, as well as that of other Palestinian human rights activists.

The Middle East International Media Center interviewed Jamal shortly after his release yesterday.

From Jerusalem with Love - Blog from the Middle East


The “special treatment” began in the Newark Liberty International Airport where the departure gate for Continental Flight 84 to Tel Aviv, Israel was walled off and separated from all the other gates and passengers. In order to enter that gate area, one had to pass through yet another personal inspection with metal detectors and hand luggage had to be checked all over again. Once you were in this special closed-off gate area you could not leave.