The Palestinian popular resistance movement is suffering from the ongoing violence of both the Israeli occupation forces and the settlers. The Israeli authorities want to crush the non-violent struggle and to break the unity created among Palestinians, Israelis and Internationals, who for more than four years have been demonstrating together in Bilin, Nilin and other occupied villages, exerting their legitimate right to defend their land against further colonization and to struggle for the full restitution of the land annexed by Israel, disregarding international obligations and violating human rights.
In the past months we have seen an escalation of systematic arrests and kidnappings of activists in the movement by the Israeli army. This week, non-violent leaders from the West Bank village of Bilin and Al Masara have been arrested for peacefully demonstrating against Israeli separation wall and are still being held in prison.
Faced with this painful reality, the Palestinian people are committed to continuing and developing their non-violent popular struggle. This struggle has become an emblematic example not only for Palestinians but also for activists worldwide who fight for freedom, justice and self-determination. Last December, the Bil'in Popular Committee was awarded the 2008 Human Rights Medal of the International League of Human Rights in Germany.
During the 4th Bilin International Conference on Non-violent Resistance held in April 2009, civil-society groups, peace movements and human-rights organizations working in solidarity with the Palestinian popular resistance movement decided to strengthen their coordination.
It is high time to give more force to this movement. We must act right now!
By signing this open call, we are creating the International Network in solidarity with the Palestinian Popular Resistance movement in order to:
1. Improve the coordination among international civil-society groups working in solidarity with the Palestinian Popular Resistance movement.
2. Establish a permanent channel of communication between the Palestinian Popular Resistance movement and international civil-society groups.
3. Strengthen the communication, advocacy and lobbying capacity of the solidarity movements in order to put more pressure on governments and parliaments worldwide to focus on the respect for international law and human rights, to take a position against the siege on Gaza, the occupation of the Palestinian territories, the construction of the illegal separation wall and the Israeli policy of land confiscation and colonization.
4. Promote international initiatives to send civilian peace services and teams to the Occupied Territories and organize field visits of politicians, lawyers and journalists.
Mohammed Khatib - Bil'in Popular Committee (Palestine)
Máiread Corrigan-Maguire - Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (Northern Ireland)
Luisa Morgantini - Former Vice President of the EU Parliament (Italy)
Prof. Dr. Fanny-Michaela Reisin - President of the International League for Human Rights (Germany)
NOVA – Social Innovation Centre (Catalonia/Spain)
Association France Palestine Solidarité - AFPS (France)
Josette Fourme Teachers for Peace - Peace French movment FRANCE
Mahmoud Zwahre - Al Masara Popular Committee (Palestine)
Abedallah Abu-Rahma - Bil'in Popular Committee (Palestine)
Neta Golan - Co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement (Israel/Palestine)
Luca Gervasoni i Vila - NoVA - Peacebuilding and Active Nonviolence (Catalonia/Spain)
Martina Pignatti - Un Ponte per... (Italy)
Kobi Snitz - Anarchists Against the Wall (Israel/Palestine)
"Cowardice asks the question - is it safe Expediency asks the question - is it politic Vanity asks the question - is it popular But conscience asks the question - is it right And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right."
The International Network in solidarity with the Palestinian Popular Resistance movement is born in order to improve the coordination among international civil-society groups working in solidarity with the Palestinian Popular Resistance movement and establish a permanent channel of communication.
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Spirit of humanity' As long as The people of Palestine Have no liberty, no freedom Those of us with a voice to speak Must speak As long as The children of Gaza Live in fear of Israeli Bombs and occupation Those of us with a voice to speak Must speak As long as Six million Palestinian refugees Are deportees around the world Those of us with a voice to speak Must speak As long as Millions of god's children Are hungry, imprisoned, and without hope Those of us with a voice to speak Must speak Because it is in speaking We find our liberty, our freedom And no prison bars can take away Our peace, our love Which is the true spirit of humanity (for Gaza and the Palestinian people) Mairead maguire - nobel peace laureate (in Ramle - Israeli prison) 3lst june, 2009
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