From the Editors
[The following statement was issued by the Interfaith Peace Builders’ (IFPB) first African Heritage Delegation after their recent study tour of Palestine/Israel.]
STATEMENT OF THE AFRICAN HERITAGE DELEGATION
AUGUST 2, 2011
We, the members of the Interfaith Peace Builders’ first African Heritage Delegation, participated in a study tour to Palestine/Israel, July 16-29, 2011.
The delegation consisted of seven men and seven women from 25 to 73 years of age who came from different parts of the U.S. — the West Coast, the East Coast, New England, the Midwest and the South. The group included teachers, professors, college administrators, human rights activists, and ministers and lay leaders from both Christian and Islamic faith traditions. Our primary mission was to listen and to learn about the impact of the Israeli Occupation upon the lives and livelihood of Palestinians in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Israel as well as those who have been dispersed throughout the world.
Many of us have worked in support of civil and human rights in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, the anti-apartheid movement, the Haiti solidarity movement, and anti-war movements against U.S. wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. For 11 of us, the tour was our first trip to Palestine/Israel.
Because of our experience of fighting racism and exploitation in the United States, we are united in our support for civil and human rights of all peoples of the world. Before going on the delegation, we had an intellectual understanding of the impact of the Israeli Occupation on Palestinian people but we wanted to get a first-hand account from members of Palestinian and Israeli human rights organizations, faith-based groups, civil society and grassroots organizations.
Based on our observations and discussions with Palestinians and Israelis, we have come to the following conclusions:
- The Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of the Gaza Strip are in direct violation of international laws and several United Nations Resolutions;
- The Occupation has led to the physical, psychological and spiritual oppression of Palestinians in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Israel, as well as the forced expulsion of millions of Palestinians from their homes, farms, businesses and their homeland;
- In addition to the illegal occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of the Gaza Strip, the Israeli government, many Israeli businesses and wide swaths of Israeli society discriminate against Palestinians with Israeli citizenship and against Mizrahi Jews (Jews of Arab descent) who are citizens of Israel;
- The Israeli Occupation and the suppression of Palestinian rights conform to the United Nations definition of Apartheid.
As a result of our findings and conclusions, we adopted the following resolutions:
- We call on African Americans and all people of good will to support an end to the Occupation, including the removal of all Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the dismantling of the apartheid wall; the end to the military and economic blockade of the Gaza Strip; the granting of full equality to all Palestinian citizens and Mizrahi Jewish citizens of Israel; and the recognition and realization of the right of return for Palestinian refugees and internally displaced Palestinians.
- We call for the humane treatment of Palestinian children and adults in the custody of the Israeli Defense Forces and Israeli Police; the release of all political prisoners; and an end to indefinite detentions without trial.
- We call for the United States government to cease its military aid of $3 billion of our tax dollars annually to Israel, which, in the name of security, is used to further oppress, harass, maim and kill Palestinians.
- We endorse the international campaign calling for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel in support of Palestinian freedom, justice and equality.
- We call on U.S. citizens to join an Interfaith Peace Builders delegation and travel to Palestine/Israel to learn about the impact of the Occupation firsthand.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. told us, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” We believe in the indivisibility of our human rights and those of Palestinians and all oppressed peoples. We will not rest until all of humanity is free.
African Heritage Delegation Members:
Queen Adams - Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia
Avery Blakeney - Washington, DC
Carolyn L. Boyd - Alexandria, Virginia
Gloria Brown - Streetsboro, Ohio
Jesse Hagopian - Seattle, Washington
Oscar Harrell - Sudbury, Massachusetts
Keith Harvey - Wareham, Massachusetts
Trina Jackson - Decatur, Georgia
Gerald Lenoir - Berkeley, California
Michael Nettles - College Park, Maryland
Sterling Pack - Marriottsville, Maryland
Mark Pollard - Atlanta, Georgia
Raheemah Raheem - Tulsa, Oklahoma
Paula Watts - Fort Washington, Maryland
If you prefer, email your comments to email@example.com.
Hot on Facebook
Now, I watched them everyday on my laptop screen. Their painful beauty is unparalleled; they are driven by their conscience, driven by their belief in death before humiliation.click | email | tweet
Jad NavigationView Full Map, Topics, and Countries »
Jadalicious / جدلشس
حارث حسن: عن صعود الطائفية السياسية في العراق و تفكيكها http://t.co/9TZ0i599Ow
11 hours ago
Five Israeli Talking Points on Gaza—Debunked http://t.co/25osP0AzAk
yesterday at 10:05 PM
Growing Israeli and Neoconservative Fears of One More Frittata (Groundbreaking Video) http://t.co/WsmfqJcSKm
yesterday at 2:02 PM
No Ceasefire without Justice for Gaza http://t.co/ivVPmrYo29
yesterday at 12:08 PM
[now, even the BBC!] When BBC Calls, Don't Answer: http://t.co/XGcT0Sv5l6 via @rfalk13
yesterday at 11:25 AM
Latest EntriesView All Entries »
- عن صعود الطائفية السياسية في العراق و تفكيكها
- Five Israeli Talking Points on Gaza—Debunked
- Growing Israeli and Neoconservative Fears of One More Frittata (Groundbreaking Video)
- Statement by Palestinian Academics, Public Figures, and Activists in Gaza: No Ceasefire Without Justice
- Video: Gaza—Is This a War on Children?
- Press Release: From Tel Aviv to Toronto, Los Angeles to London, Chicago to San Francisco, Jews Say No to Israeli Genocide
- The Palestinian Resistance and Its Enemies
- Jadaliyya Co-Editor Noura Erakat Debates the Tactics and Ethics of Warfare on PBS Newshour
- Media on the Margins: An Interview with Sky News' Sherine Tadros on Reporting the Israeli Attack on Gaza
- O.I.L. Media Roundup (24 July)
- A Debate on Gaza: Democracy Now! Interviews Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada and. J.J. Goldberg of the Jewish Daily Forward
- New Texts Out Now: Mohammad Ali Kadivar, Alliances and Perception Profiles in the Iranian Reform Movement, 1997 to 2005
- Fractured Space: The Case of Souk al-Ahad, Beirut
- Al-Diwan Roundup: News and Analysis in Publishing and Academia from the Arab World
- Can Palestinian Men be Victims? Gendering Israel's War on Gaza
- Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (July 22)
- Israel Mows the Lawn
- نون"... حرف واحدة تكفي فاتحة للخراب الاكبر في العراق"
- Mohamed Bouazizi, l'ouvrier agricole : Relire la « révolution » depuis les campagnes tunisiennes
- Egypt Media Roundup (July 21)