[Marxism] Today - Day of Solidarity with Sheikh Jarrah

Dennis Brasky dmozart1756 at gmail.com
Sat Aug 7 11:26:01 MDT 2010

August 6th, 2010 | by Rebecca Kirzner


Today has been declared a Day of Solidarity with Sheikh Jarrah, and
activists from all over Israel will protest the eviction of Palestinian
families from their homes in this East Jerusalem neighborhood.  What’s
happening in Sheikh Jarrah is just one example of the harmful Israeli policy
of building settlements in the heart of the Palestinian neighborhoods
located in close proximity to the Old City – a policy which is making it
harder and harder to imagine how Jerusalem could ever be divided into the
capital of two nations, a necessary component of almost every single
proposed plan for peace.

Israeli activists will hold vigils and protests today in the cities of Tel
Aviv, Haifa, Wadi Ara, Beer-Sheva,  Kfar Yasif,  Gan Shmuel Junction, Tira,
Taybe, Raanana, West Jerusalem, and of course, Sheikh Jarrah.  They do so in
recognition of the harrowing fact that it has been a year since the eviction
of the Hanoun and Ghawi families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah on August
2, 2009, and since then, the situation in East Jerusalem has only gotten

Activists protesting today do so with the knowledge that over the past year,
there have only been more home demolitions and evictions, more settlers in
the heart of Palestinian neighborhoods, more expansion of existing Israeli
neighborhoods, and more planning for new Israeli neighborhoods disguised as
expansions of Israeli neighborhoods.  It continues to be almost impossible
for Jerusalem Palestinians to legally build in their own neighborhoods,
which the municipal government has made sure to keep in a condition far
inferior to the surrounding Jewish neighborhoods.   The Separation Barrier
continues to be built (currently, near Wallajeh),  and as radicalism grows
in both the Israeli and Palestinian populations, the critical voices of
peace activists, Israeli and Palestinian, continue to be persecuted.

Yet, today’s demonstrators also know that their response to the home
evictions has ignited an unprecedented protest movement in Sheikh Jarrah,
drawing thousands of people to protest harmful actions by their own
government, which threaten the possibility of ever achieving peace in the
region.  They have also seen an increasing international criticism of
Israeli policy in East Jerusalem, with the result that for many months, in
this past year, settlement activity was effectively halted (OK, admittedly,
it’s not anymore!)

International activists can take a cue from the Israelis protesting all over
Israel today.  Clearly, the criticism of international leaders has an effect
on Israeli policy in East Jerusalem, and we should all be doing our part to
let our governments know what we think about home evictions and settlements
in East Jerusalem, and to make it clear that we will not stand by and watch
the possibility for peace in Israel/Palestine crumble.  As Israeli activists
will chant all over the country today, “Sheikh Jarrah, don’t despair, we’ll
still end the occupation!”

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