The impacts of the Occupation are daily and diverse, and our response was daily and diverse: building relationships of solidarity, networks of support, and real material gains.
Three years ago today – on Friday May 19, 2017 – we joined with a historic coalition of Palestinians, Israelis and diaspora Jews to launch the Sumud: Freedom Camp. Over 300 of us came together that day to launch an encampment in the South Hebron Hills and reestablish the Palestinian village of Sarura which had been evacuated due to settler and military harassment. We are endlessly inspired and proud to say that Sarura continues to be a central hub of resistance in the region.
The launch of Sumud: Freedom Camp was the climax of an unprecedented 130-person delegation of Jewish justice seekers who came together to mark 50 years since 1967 with groundbreaking resistance to the Occupation.
In honor and celebration of that delegation, Gili Getz compiled a collection of powerful and memorable photos from that experience (all photos below credited to Gili Getz, unless noted otherwise).
“The Occupation is ever-present and impacts communities and individuals in every corner of their lives and in every interaction. The impacts are daily and diverse, and our response was daily and diverse: building relationships of solidarity, networks of support, and real material gains across the West Bank and East Jerusalem…together we declared that ‘Occupation is not our Judaism,’ strategically using our Jewish privilege and big numbers to challenge the Occupation with every step.” – Gili Getz
Waking up to walk to Sarura and launch Sumud: Freedom Camp
On our way to Sarura
Entering the site of what became Sumud: Freedom Camp
Welcoming the group – Palestinians, Israelis, and diaspora Jews – to Sumud: Freedom Camp
Surveying the work plan for the encampment
Setting up the large communal tent in Sarura
Dancing while we work
Settlers from the nearby illegal outpost come to the site
Friday evening Shabbos prayer in Sumud: Freedom Camp
Hanging out in the communal tent on Saturday
Gathering water to lay cement in the cave in Sarura
Entrance to one of the cave-dwellings
Saturday night Havdallah prayers and singing, hours before the army violently raids the camp
The Israeli army arrives and confiscates our tents, generator and supplies (photo credit: Ethan Miller)
Part of the group evacuating to avoid confrontation with the army. The next day the group rebuilds, shifting our attention to rehabilitating the cave dwellings.
A group from the Spring 2019 delegation spends a few days working at Sumud: Freedom Camp (photo credit: Laura Vitale)
The first day of the 2017 delegation; Ilana introducing CJNV’s guiding principles
Orienting to Bethlehem, our base during the delegation; a visit to Aida Refugee Camp
Part of the delegation walking to our work site in Issawiya, East Jerusalem
Israeli Border Police bothering us during our work project in Issawiya
Clearing rubble from a demolished home in Issawiya
Lending a hand at the Madaa community center in Batan al-Hawa, East Jerusalem
Playing at the Madaa community center in Batan al-Hawa, East Jerusalem
Joining a solidarity demonstration in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike, Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem
Legal briefing and NVDA training ahead of the launch of Sumud: Freedom Camp
Learning songs to sing at Sumud: Freedom Camp
The struggle continues,