On Monday I went along with the IWPS (International Women’s Peace Service) as it joined in a PARC (Palestine Agricultural Relief Committee) ‘solidarity action’, picking olives with a farmer who had been attacked two days ago by settlers from Bracha. Khaled Mansour, Nablus PARC director and a leader in the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement, gave a clear message that boycott should include all Israeli goods, following the model of the boycott of South Africa. A larger-than-life figure, he lead us in many songs whilst we picked olives, including a rousing ‘We will overcome’! He lives in Al Faraa refugee camp, as his family were ethnically cleansed in 1948 from a village south of Haifa. (for more of his story read www.badil.org/en/al-majal/item/924)
Non violent BDS demonstration in an Israeli Supermarket
Two days later approximately 100 Palestinians and a small group of internationals demonstrated in a supermarket just outside the Shaar Binayamin settlement, near Ramallah. They left voluntarily when asked but were attacked in the car park by over 40 army and police using sound bombs.
Two Palestinians, including our friend Bassem from Nabi Saleh Popular Committee, one international supporter from Michigan Peace Team, and one from International Solidarity Movement were arrested. All are still being held; the internationals are threatened with deportation by the Ministry of Interior although they have not been charged with anything.
I am enthused to do more boycott solidarity work on my return…..the EU has legitimised Israel by the recent EU-Israel AACA vote.(Europe agreed to recognise Israeli standards, in effect making trade between Israel and European Union members much easier).
The Palestinians continue to struggle against the stranglehold of the occupation, we need to do anything we can to support them.