Palestinians Visions of Freedom

Dear Supporter,

Yesterday, we commemorated 71 years of an ongoing catastrophe for the Palestinian people, our Nakba. Justice has been denied to the Palestinian people through Israel’s oppression and the US' complicity for too long.  However, Palestinians never stopped resisting, and only they can determine their future.

Today, we visualize and strive towards a future where we all are free.

Adalah Justice Project asked Palestinians in Palestine and in the United States to think about a world without walls, separation and oppression.
 

Click the image to watch



Our invitation to all Palestinians is: Yalla, let’s visualize what freedom will look like.

We’ve created a two-minute video in partnership with the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights to capture some of the visioning and dreams of our people.

This Nakba Day, we reaffirm our commitment to our history, our unity and our future.

Much love,

Sandra and Izzy 

Back Home in Palestine, Finding Love and Hope

Dear Supporter,
 

I made it home to Palestine.

This past week, I have experienced the full range of emotions from anger and devastation to warmth and hope. What I have felt and seen in these last few days is just a glimpse of what Palestinians directly living under Israel’s occupation and discriminatory policies deal with on a daily basis.
 

I was interrogated at the airport for 9 hours and threatened denial of entry from my own land. I  encountered a scene of settler violence near my village. And I feel so helpless and far away from the bombings in Gaza, even though I am only a short drive  away. All of this is the daily violence that Israel has normalized and uses to maintain our oppression.


Of course it’s not all despair. There are also pockets of hope and joy.

The holy month of Ramadan has begun. Spending this sacred time with my family and friends has been full of love and mutual feelings of support.

This is why I love Palestine and my people -- regardless of despair, we always find moments to cherish life because of our collective understanding that tomorrow is never promised.
 

Over the next few weeks, I will be meeting with our partners in Palestine to continue constructing a bridge that will let us exchange mutual support and build with each other to combat fragmentation. I look forward to continuing to update you all on my whereabouts!

Please enjoy this short video of the place that helped spark my devotion in striving towards justice and freedom for Palestine and for people across the globe.

With my cousin, Hadi

With my cousin, Hadi

Much love,

Izzy Mustafa

Communications Strategist

The Impossible is the Least We Can Demand

Dear Supporter, 

My friend, Palestinian scholar and educational leader Yamila Shannan, once told me something I’ve never forgotten, “Ignorance is not the absence of knowledge; it is the presence of myth.”

There are many myths that surround American understandings of Israel, but one of the most difficult to dispel is the fairy tale of Israeli democracy. Earlier this week, Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s advisor on Israel, published an op-ed in The New York Times full of falsifications about who is to blame for the situation in Gaza. Spoiler alert: It’s not Israel.

One of his pieces of evidence for why Israel is blameless for the situation in Gaza is the “normal lives” of “Arabs in Israel.” In some cases, “Arab” citizens are even allowed to “thrive,” according to Greenblatt’s analysis.

Adalah has documented Israel’s institutional discrimination against its Palestinian citizens for over two decades.

In Israel, there is a distinction between citizenship and nationality. Citizenship is Israeli, but citizens are identified by nationality comprised of various ethnic and religious categories, including Jewish, Arab, and Druze.

In 2013, the Israeli Supreme Court affirmed that there is no such thing as an "Israeli nationality."

Israel tolerates “procedural democracy” by giving Palestinian citizens of Israel the right to vote and participate in political life; however, true democracy requires a foundation of equality and justice. Maintaining a Jewish majority is a critical component of Israel's self-identity as a Jewish and “democratic” state. Israel’s Law of Return, adopted in 1950, grants every Jewish person in the world the right to obtain citizenship and live in Israel; Israel does not, however, recognize the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

No where are Israel’s colonial ambitions more clear than in Palestinian access to land.  Palestinians citizens of Israel make up 20% of the population and live on less than 3% of the land. Residency in 43% of all towns in Israel is determined by Admissions Committees that filter out Palestinian applicants on the basis of their “social unsuitability." 

 

Trump and his Middle East team soon will unveil yet another “peace plan” for the region. Given Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, his relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and his approval of Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, Palestinians have no reason to take Trump’s plan seriously. Netanyahu’s campaign promise to annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank is a real threat in this political moment.

We have a big job ahead of us. Our task is to do more than present accurate information. In order to dispel myths, we must also articulate a truthful and hopeful vision that promises safety, belonging and love for all. We must challenge the willful ignorance of Israeli and U.S. leaders who fuel racism, hatred and lies. James Baldwin once said, “Ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.”

But Palestinians have an alternative.  A future where all people of Palestine/Israel live in freedom, historic justice and equality.
 

We will assert this hopeful vision throughout the course of the Democratic Party primaries and into the Democratic National Committee convention in the summer of 2020. The issue of justice for Palestinians will be a central debate among Democrats and progressives.  Adalah Justice Project, through outreach, messaging and action, is ready to shape that conversation.

Let’s remember that Baldwin also instructed:

The impossible is the least that one can demand.”

With impossible hope,

Sandra Tamari

Acting Director