Palestine: August 2007

Attorney and activist delegation sponsored by Al-Awda-NY and the Palestine Solidarity Group-Chicago


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This delegation for lawyers and activists was sponsored by Al-Awda New York, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition and the Palestine Solidarity Group-Chicago,* and included a representative of New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW).

The delegation participated in about sixty meetings and on-site visits in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Haifa area.

Everywhere, Palestinians greeted us warmly and with generous hospitality, feeding us, housing us. While there is tremendous anger at the injustice of Zionism, we never felt any hostility toward those of us who are Jewish.

Everywhere we went, Palestinians were nearly unanimous in describing both the conditions under which they now live, and in vowing to resist until there is:

  • An end to all Israeli military occupation of the 1967 areas;
  • The inalienable individual and collective rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in the 1948 areas;
  • One democratic Palestine with equal rights for Palestinians and Jews.

This blog highlights what we saw and heard.


*Open Call

This is an open call to apply for participation in a delegation to Palestine organized by Al-Awda-NY, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition and the Palestine Solidarity Group (PSG) of Chicago. If you are currently active or wish to become active in organizing for justice for Palestine and participating in Palestine solidarity work, please consider taking part in a trip to the occupied territories and 1948 Palestine to witness Israeli military occupation and colonization first-hand.

The delegation will be made up of people from various national, racial, religious, and class backgrounds; will travel throughout the West Bank and Jerusalem to experience how the occupation affects different cities and villages, and the people who live there; and will also meet with people and groups inside 1948 Palestine (“Israel”) fighting against the institutionalized racism against Palestinians there, with a focus on Political Prisoners.

The delegation will also include a number of attorneys who will document Palestinian conditions throughout Palestine, the “application” of racist “Israeli” laws, and the treatment of Political Prisoners from a legal persepctive.

Mission Statement

Al-Awda-NY and the PSG-Chicago are organizing an international solidarity delegation to Palestine for this coming summer. Delegates will spend time with various Palestinian organizations working to build an infrastructure of resistance through organizing and advocacy in Palestine and abroad. We want to make it clear that we will not be engaged in any form of direct action in Palestine, but rather we seek to build an organizing trategy for work in the United States based on the first-hand experience gained by participating in the delegation.

We encourage all people who are serious about learning more about the conditions of the Palestinian people and who will be committed to being part of the Palestine solidarity movement upon their return to the U.S. to join us. We expect the delegates to give reports in their communities, write stories for their local papers, organize local solidarity committees, and undertake any other form of activism that builds from their experiences in Palestine. We also intend on maintaining connections with delegates and forming a large network of activists devoted to justice in Palestine. We understand that people’s time and resources are limited, but we are convinced that anyone spending time in Palestine will feel a strong connection to the people and their struggle and return to the U.S. with renewed dedication to do whatever they can to bring about justice for the Palestinian people.

Potential delegates must fill out an application and undergo an interview/screening process. We see fundraising as a collective responsibility of both the Awda-PSG and all delegates, so everyone is expected to participate in fundraising efforts. Al-Awda and The Palestine Solidarity Group is committed to supporting five basic principles:

1. the Right to Return, compensation, and restitution for all Palestinian refugees and their descendants;

2. the end of the illegal occupation and colonization of Palestinian lands;

3. the right of Palestinians to defend themselves against Israeli aggression;

4. self-determination and national liberation for Palestinians;

5. the release of all Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli and Palestinian Authority (PA) jails. Please log onto and for additional information about the group, our campaigns.

If interested, please request an application or more information from:

Written by nyclaw01

April 13, 2008 at 1:35 pm

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Jerusalem — Union of Women’s Health Committees

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Photo: Rima Merriman

The next evening, we were hosted by the Union of Women’s Health Committees at the home of Rawda Odeh, whose son Louaï et Ubaï, is a political prisoner serving a life sentence.

Rawda told us, “As former political prisoners, his father and I are not allowed to visit him, even though I have cancer. In my hand is the key to the home my family lost when Israel seized the remaining 22% of Palestine in 1967. Palestinians will never give up the right to return to our homes.”

Written by nyclaw01

August 5, 2007 at 12:28 am

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Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv (above) airport has a carefully cultivated appearance of “normalcy.” However, the one Latino delegation member of our delegation was subjected to a brief “security” questioning.

Delegation member Lamis Deek, a New York City attorney with U.S. citizenship, had to come in by land through Jordan, because, as a Palestinian, she is barred by the Israelis from entering “Israel,” i.e., the territories from which Palestinians were ethnically cleansed since 1948.

Written by nyclaw01

August 4, 2007 at 2:12 pm

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Jerusalem — Sho’fat Neighborhood

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In 1948, Sho’fat was strong resistance center of Palestinian resistance to the Nakba. The night of our arrival, we attended this traditional wedding.

Written by nyclaw01

August 4, 2007 at 12:10 am

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