Freedom Summer 2007: Confronting Apartheid

FREEDOM SUMMER 2007:

Confronting Apartheid


Why Palestine?
For over 40 years the people of Palestine have endured a brutal military occupation.
Apartheid and military occupation make every day life almost impossible, whether it’s tending crops and livestock, passing through an Israeli military checkpoint, or going to school when illegal Israeli settlers attack.

South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu and U.S. President Jimmy Carter described Israel’s Apartheid policies as “worse than South Africa’s.”

There’s always plenty of argument and hot-air generated about Palestine, but the ISM gives you the chance to act. Palestinians ask international volunteers to support their non-violent demonstrations, to confront policies of land theft and destruction, and to intervene whenever necessary.


Why Now?


This June marks the 40th anniversary of the military Occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem. Now, more than ever there is a need for an international presence in Palestine.

International volunteers help reveal to the world the truth on the ground from Occupied Palestine—a truth that the mainstream media disguises or simply ignores. The world needs to understand that when the Israeli government says they are going to “starve” the Palestinian government into making concessions, the ordinary people do the starving and no political progress is made.

The world may believe that the Israeli occupation ended with the Gaza pullout, but volunteers who witness settlement expansion on Palestinian land know that the occupation in the West Bank gets worse.

Volunteers with ISM’s Freedom Summer 2007 will stand side by side with villagers in Bil’in as they continue their two-year struggle to save their land from Israel’s Apartheid Wall. They will also join demonstrations in the village of Um Salamuna, where a large amount of village land has been confiscated for the construction of the Apartheid Wall and expansion of nearby illegal settlements. Volunteers will also protest the demolition of Palestinian homes in the Jordan Valley and South Hebron, where Israeli forces are currently demolishing homes.

When international volunteers are absent, the Israeli army use lethal tactics of repression, such as live ammunition on unarmed protesters. Your presence means Palestinians can peacefully protest without being threatened with death.

ISM volunteers also serve as human rights monitors in the Hebron neighborhood of Tel Rumeida, where Israeli settlers harass and often attack children and teachers. Israeli soldiers in Hebron sometimes detain Palestinians for hours at checkpoints and arbitrarily invade Palestinian homes.

You can make a difference, as our volunteers have in the past, to help hold Israeli soldiers and settlers accountable for their actions.

In addition to the important field work, there are many other tasks that must be done. You may be able to join Palestinian communities in providing emergency medical services, help to disassemble restrictive roadblocks, or assist in the ISM Media Office.

One of our most important and undervalued skills as internationals is listening to and witnessing what Palestinians have to say about their current situations and how their lives have been ruined by the illegal occupation of their land.

There is plenty of room to share your creative skills with the Palestinian and international community, whether you can help run an art workshop for children or utilize your circus talents to de-escalate military harassment, both of which are current projects in Tel Rumeida.

Join the ISM for Freedom Summer 2007 and encounter first-hand the courage and the generosity of the Palestinian people as they continue to exist and survive under Israeli Apartheid and occupation.

On the day of the Summer Solstice, let us join Palestinians in non-violent struggle to end the Israeli Occupation. Let the whole world come together here in Palestine to confront Apartheid and to sustain the solidarity which remains unbroken.

Your presence in Palestine this summer, for a week or for three months, is an important part of maintaining the bridges that have been built with the Palestinians, and for new ones to come.

Freedom Summer 2007 kicks off June 21 and ends August 15. Volunteer training sessions are held every Thursday and Friday.

In addition, there are two ISM-related projects, Art Under Apartheid and the Tel Rumeida Circus for Detained Palestinians for those interested in developing creative workshops with children or non-violent resistance through circus performance. See www.artunderapartheid.ps and trcdp.livejournal.com.

Further details to come…

For more information on how to join us in Palestine, see:
www.palsolidarity.org/main/join

Contact: freedomsummer2007@gmail.com


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