Activism News

Former Dutch Prime Minister regrets his defense of Israel

Former Dutch Prime Minister Dries van Agt expressed regret of his defense of the Israeli army in front of the Dutch parliament after the massacre of Palestinian civilians in Sabra and Shatila. “At that time I couldn’t believe that under the eyes of the Israeli army such atrocities could have taken place as later was revealed,” Van Agt told a Dutch daily newspaper on Saturday. 

Should a university silence voices calling for peace and justice?

The University of Victoria and the School of Social Work should be places where we openly challenge, discuss and debate a wide range of ideas and perspectives. Moreover, the call to pay attention to issues of human rights and the imperative to voice demands for peace and social justice cannot be practices that are merely “reserved” for particular places or occasions. The responsibility to speak out against injustice, both locally and globally, is a responsibility incumbent upon all individuals, groups and institutions, at all moments, and in every domain of life — there are no “inappropriate” places or times for this sort of endeavour.” Fairn Herising, a Ph.D. candidate at the Univeristy of Victoria and a member of the University’s Anti-Racist Action Coalition, reflects on a recent act of censorship and the dangers of shutting out dissenting voices. 

Imprisoned behind barbed wire: "Without European decisiveness no perspective on peace in the Middle East"

While Israeli and Palestinian negotiators discuss the road map to peace and while Palestinian groups maintain a ceasefire, a delegation of nine prominent Dutch women visited Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories (July 6 - 12, 2003). The delegation was shocked to observe that while presently attempts are made to have the road map implemented, Israel is bringing about an opposite reality on the ground. 

Freedom Summer

Amman, Jordan, 17 July 2003 — The International Solidarity Movement’s second Freedom Summer has begun, and much has changed since our last: the war on Iraq, which focused all eyes on the region; the much-hyped road map; full-blown construction on what Palestinians have come to call the Apartheid Wall. Sadly, though, much remains the same: the continuing deterioration of the lives of Palestinians, with poverty and health crises in a crescendo. Adam Shapiro, an organizer with the International Solidarity Movement, writes in The Nation. 

"We are all Palestinians"

“I have been hiding out here in Tel Aviv the last few days, recovering from a really turbulent few weeks and of the bitter news that my friends are being deported from Israel now. Already 5 of the 8 detained internationals have been deported, following the Tel Aviv District Court decision upholding the Interior Ministry’s decision that these human rights activists pose a “security threat”. The judge seemed unsympathetic, ordering the immediate deportation of the activists, dismissing a request to allow for one more week to file an appeal.” Avi Zer-Aviv writes from Tel Aviv. 

"He risked all for others": Tom Hurndall's mother remembers her son

“On Friday 11 April, my eldest son, a photojournalist, was shot in the head by an Israeli soldier. He was trying to protect two young girls in the Israelis’ line of fire in Gaza. He is 21 and now lies in a coma, with severe brain damage. We know he is not expected to recover and our family are endeavouring to come to terms with this. Recently, we were able to fly him home from Israel and he is now in The Royal Free in Hampstead, in a room overlooking London, filled with photographs of his life. Two large sheets covered in wonderful written messages from friends hang on the walls.” Tom Hurndall’s mother Emily remembers her son. 

Prominent Dutch women visit Israel and occupied Palestine

EI’s Arjan El Fassed facilitated a mission of prominent Dutch women to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories which took place between the 7th and 12th of July. The mission was organized by United Civilians for Peace, a joint initiative of six Dutch peace and development organisations who have been working with their Palestinian and Israeli counterparts for many years in the field of development, peace building and human rights. 

Another six ISM activists arrested

Six international peaceworkers participating in The ISM Freedom Summer in Palestine campaign were arrested this afternoon in the city of Nablus, on the West Bank. The group had removed 2 earthen roadblocks in the Nablus area and were working on removing the 3rd today. All 6 activists arrested by the Israeli military were handcuffed and transported by Israeli bus to Ariel police station.