The Joint Advocacy Initiative of the East Jerusalem YMCA and the YWCA of Palestine asks you to stand in solidarity with women and men around the world in observing the International Day of solidarity with Palestinian people on November 29th.
Much has happened and not happened this year. What has not happened is a just peace to resolving the conflict. What has not happened is the rebuilding of Gaza after the 2014 Gaza Offensive. What has not happened is any third party state upholding of international or humanitarian law or holding Israel accountable for its war crimes.
What has happened, in brief, is the following: the continuation of the prolonged military occupation of Palestine with its ongoing policies of colonialism, apartheid, and attacks on Al Aqsa; an increase in round ups and detentions of youth and children; the authorization of shoot to kill policies in Jerusalem leading to summary executions; and new Israeli laws that allow punitive home demolitions against alleged "terrorists". What has happened is that hundreds of Bedouins are being forced from their homes and lands and over 340 new illegal settlements have just been approved in the Jerusalem area. What's new is that over 100 Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of October 2015 while more than 1,000 have been injured in clashes with either the Israeli military or armed settlers. What's new is that hundreds of olive trees have been burned or destroyed and the Apartheid Wall is almost finished cutting off Bethlehem governorate from Jerusalem. What's new is how bad things have become; how deep the hate and fear are; how fear and violence have escalated to a point that some are calling an intifada.
To stand in solidarity with Palestinian people, JAI asks you to join them in demanding that all resolutions and international laws be implemented and that all measures including economic, political, and cultural be considered and enforced.
We applaud the EU's decision to label products from the settlements and encourage others to divest or boycott from companies that profit from the longest occupation in modern history. We ask you to demand that your governments impose sanctions and arms embargos against Israel.
On this special day we call on civil society to lobby their governments to take every measure to:
- End the military occupation of the State of Palestine;
- End the siege on Gaza and support its reconstruction;
- Stop the forced transfer of Bedouins from their lands;
- End settlement expansion;
- Support the Right of Return for Refugees;
- Free all detainees held under administrative detention especially women and children.Stop the use of live ammunition and shoot to kill policies.
Palestinians deserve to live in freedom and peace with dignity and security. Let us all stand shoulder to shoulder to make this a reality.