By Salena Tramel
April 16th, 2010
Sakhnin is a Palestinian village nestled between the mountains of Israel’s Galilee and is known for at least 3,500 years of agrarian tradition. It wasn’t until March 30, 1976, however, that the people of Sakhnin put their village on the map by starting another tradition that would become central to not only Arab citizens of Israel but to Palestinians everywhere.
Former Grassroots International Board member and current Board member of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, Bill Fletcher Jr. recently blogged on CNN.com about the "frequent tendency to misrepresent the lessons of [the U.S. black freedom] movement and apply them to other social movements overseas in a way that misses the mark.
Historian, activist, and Grassroots International friend Howard Zinn died January 27 at the age of 87. I remember introducing Grassroots International to Howard when I was Executive Director. He had heard of Grassroots, but he didn’t know much about it. I had just come back from the West Bank. I remember the moment when we bonded. I was trying to describe some indescribable injustice I had witnessed. Someone else who was part of the conversation asked me how I could do this work, wasn’t it just too depressing. I said, “No, it’s inspiring. What’s depressing is when people are oppressed and they can’t or won’t fight back.
An article I came across recently in the midst of much depressing news around Haiti, and a lot else, was: "Palestinians in Gaza donate to Haiti." It spoke of how Gazans were collecting something -- anything -- to donate to earthquake victims in Haiti. Dr.
After suffering more than a month in detention without charges, Jamal Juma’, the coordinator of the Stop the Wall Campaign has been released by Israeli authorities. A Grassroots International partner, Stop the Wall is a coalition of Palestinian non-governmental organizations and neighborhood committees that work to halt the construction of, and dismantle Israel's Wall in the West Bank.
Many international organizations, including Grassroots International, have called for his release, as well as that of other Palestinian human rights activists.
The Middle East International Media Center interviewed Jamal shortly after his release yesterday.
Nitin Sawhney, a friend of Grassroots International and long time activist for Palestinian rights, was one of the 100 delegates, from the over 1300 international delegate-members of the Gaza Freedom March, chosen to go into Gaza through a last minute intervention by Suzanne Mubarak, wife of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. Nitin, and many of his colleagues including the American activist and Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein decided at the last minute to not go.