See: Israeli settlers walk into a Palestinian home and decide it belongs to them

This footage, filmed and published in 2009, gives you an intimate yet disturbing close-up of colonial expansion and occupation. Watch as over a dozen Jewish settlers make their way into a Palestinian home in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and lay claim to a section of the property.

The home belonged to the Al-Kurd family. Rifqa Al-Kurd, 90, attempted to keep the settlers from entering the home but the settlers quickly moved around her, bringing their own belongings into the house and removing the family’s belongings from the premises. [Read more…]

Infographic: Bab Al Shams was founded to resist Israel’s colonialism

[Read more…]

Enormous mock wall challenges Israeli apartheid on U of Illinois campus

Guest contribution by Yarah Kudaimi

In light of Israeli Apartheid Week, Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign constructed a ninety-foot wide, seventeen-foot tall wall mirroring the barrier wall built by Israel enclosing the West Bank. Construction of the original wall  in the West Bank began in 2002 under the guise of Israeli security. In actuality though, it is yet another expression of illegal colonial expansionism.

The 470-mile wall cutting through parts of the West Bank has annexed Palestinian land and separated Palestinians from each other and from access to land, schools, and health care. In addition, it winds in such a way to annex the most fertile soils and gives Israel optimum use of the majority of Palestinian water resources. According to international law, building this wall on Palestinian territory is illegal.

SJP-UIUC intended to raise awareness about this barrier wall by erecting a mock version of the wall on the University’s main quadrangle, the heart of student life. The wall has been up since Monday, April 16 and will be taken down on Friday, April 20. During this time, it has attracted the attention of thousands of students, faculty, and campus staff.  The wall blocked the view of the building directly behind it and towered over students, reflecting the confinement and intimidation Palestinian civilians regularly experience under the wall’s presence. Similar to the actual wall in the West Bank, SJP members used the wall as a canvas of expression. They painted the panels with pictures, quotations, and statistics. Information about refugees, Palestinian detention, and the historical context surrounding the occupation of Palestine was printed directly on the wall for the campus community to see. [Read more…]

SJP Conference 2011: Day 2 Highlights

Photo credit: Sara Jawhari

The second day of the National SJP Conference feature was densely packed with interactive workshops and colloquiums designed to redefine campus activism for Palestine. The workshops were followed by an open plenary in which student delegates representing dozens of universities convened to establish national coordination for future campus movements and networks. The first round of workshops sought to provide fresh perspectives and understandings about the occupation of Palestine within new legal, political, and social frameworks. The small group meetings, primarily centered around political development and skill building, provoked thoughtful discussion on what exactly the occupation of Palestine means, what it entails, how it is perceived, and how its relates to other historical models of colonialism, ethnic cleansing, and oppression.

Photo credit: Sara Jawhari

The full program for the day’s set of workshops can be found at the National SJP website, but here is a brief report-back on some of the offered workshops:

The Economics of Israeli Colonialism

This workshop, headed by Dalit Baum, focused on the influence of Israel and other foreign actors on Palestine’s economy. Israel’s activity in the West Bank, particularly in so-called industrial zones, settlements, and businesses catering only to illegal settlement populations, has a profoundly negative effect on Palestine’s economy and its ability to fiscally sustain itself. It becomes clear that colonialism is not restricted to just the physical geography of occupied land. Denying Palestinians the ability to maintain authority over their own economy without sabotage from foreign state actors simply reinforces the very framework of occupation and oppression. [Read more…]

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