Action Items

Letter: Switzerland must act on Gaza even as others choose silence

EI co-founder Ali Abunimah writes to the Swiss foreign minister: “I am not an ambassador, a minister, or an elected official. I have no standing to appeal to your conscience except as a human being. I do so now with all the will I can muster to urge your government immediately to reconvene the Conference of the High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention urgently to consider measures to enforce this Convention and end the grave and mounting breaches being perpetrated by Israel, the Occupying Power, in the Gaza Strip.” The letter followed the morning of an Israeli massacre in Beit Hanoun which killed 19 civilians, including 11 from a single family. 

Open Letter to the U.S. Ambassador to Israel on the Israeli Incursion into Gaza

As a Palestinian organisation dedicated to the protection and promotion of human rights, Al-Haq is extremely alarmed by the current intensification of Israeli military operations in Gaza. This operation, codenamed “Autumn Clouds”, which is exerting a heavy toll on the civilian population of Gaza, is disturbingly reminiscent of operation “Defensive Shield” of 2002. Further, the ongoing military assault is effectively contributing to the destabilisation of the entire region. We hereby call upon you and the international community as a whole to take immediate and concrete steps to halt the indiscriminate attacks being carried out in Gaza. 

ADC documenting Americans denied entry to Israel and OPT

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination (ADC) has noted increased reports which indicate Israel is discriminating against US citizens and other foreign nationals by denying them entry or re-entry into the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel. In late September, the US Consul General in Jerusalem also acknowledged a noticeable change in the number of Israeli refusals or denial of entry cases. More than 120,000 Arab Americans are believed to be impacted by this latest Israeli policy and the Consulate is urging people to document this information. Additionally, on October 11, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said, “I will continue to do everything in my power … to ensure that all American travelers receive fair and equal treatment.” 

Prisoners' association shut down in Israel and West Bank

On September 8, 2006, the offices of Ansar Al-Sajeen in Majd El-Kurum (Galilee) were raided and shut down by the police and the Israeli Shin Bet (General Security Service) in the early morning. The administrative order issued by the Israeli Defense Minister declared Ansar al Sajeen as an illegal organisation. The police also confiscated the organisation’s assets, including 14,000 shekels (around 2,555 euros) dedicated to prisoners and their families, hundreds of legal files and documents, phones, photocopying machines and computers. The closure occurred soon after the association launched a campaign to include the cases of 1948 Palestinian prisoners, citizens of Israel, in the current talks for the exchange of prisoners. 

Arab-Americans denied entry into Israel and Palestine

The Arab American Institute (AAI) is encouraging Arab Americans who have encountered problems or been turned away when entering Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories to report details to the State Department and AAI. AAI believes that firsthand accounts from Arab Americans about difficulties in entering the region - believed to be as many as 120,000 - will help prompt the State Department to recognize the widespread, discriminatory and adverse effects of the policy and advocate for its change. AAI is also actively working with the Consulate General in order to assist Arab Americans who have been detained, turned away or harassed upon entry. 

The International Community Must End the Collective Punishment of the Palestinian People

As non-governmental human rights organisations based in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), we are gravely concerned by the recent internal clashes between forces loyal to Fateh and forces loyal to Hamas. Six people were killed in Gaza on Sunday 2 October 2006, in the worst internal fighting for months, as striking government employees demanded the back payment of outstanding salaries. The following day gunmen forced businesses to shut their doors in several towns throughout the West Bank. The hardship created by Israel’s retention of tax revenues collected on behalf of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and the cessation of international aid has brought the OPT to the brink of a civil war. 

Gaza Still Occupied

Calling to the international community to get mobilised and bring the Israeli occupation to an end, Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights has launched an international campaign to demonstrate that the Gaza Strip remains under Israeli effective control despite its claims otherwise. The campaign comes one year after the completion of the Israeli Unilateral Disengagement from Gaza in September 2005. It aims to bring about more effective international public and government involvement in the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) in an effort to repair the consequences of prolonged infringements of international law. 

Appeal to petition Israeli government to respect the right to education

With the onset of the academic year and in light of the difficult political circumstances facing the Palestinian people (children and adults), the Gender Studies Project (GSP) at MADA Al-Carmel: Arab Center for Applied Social Research, Haifa, appeals to all those who believe in the importance of the right to education to support us in petitioning the Israeli government to respect this right. It is imperative that this basic human right can be exercised without infringement and that students can receive their education free from fear, danger and violence. 

Architects' Petition to the Organizers of the Venice Biennale

We are writing to express our dismay and concern that the Venice Biennale has agreed to host the Israeli contribution to the exhibition on the Architecture of Commemoration. The whole contribution, funded by the Israeli Government, totally excludes the Palestinians who are the target and real victims of the seemingly unending series of wars being memorialised, and awards Israel the sole position of victim and victor. The contributor Dan Daor says that the message of memorial structures is that “there are no heroes - all there is, is the eternity of Israel, all of the country is on the front, and all of us are victims.” 

Letter to the Organizers of the 10th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale

We the undersigned groups and organizations request that the Venice Biennale cancel the country exhibition of Israel entitled “LIFE SAVER - Typology of Commemoration in Israel - Architecture and Society” for the following reasons: The Israeli participation is supported by the Israeli state, a state that continues against all International laws and UN resolutions to occupy the West Bank and Gaza Strip; to deny the right of return for Palestinian refugees; and to wage a daily war against Palestinian children, men and women, their homes and livelihoods.