In May 2023, 40 Jewish activists from the US, Canada, and the UK joined together for 10 days to learn and take action in solidarity with Palestinians across Jerusalem / Al-Quds and Masafer Yatta.
This year, we were able to experiment with new frameworks, deepen our work and partnerships in East Jerusalem and stand up against the clear and present fascism of the Jerusalem Day Flag March. We also spent time learning from and building with both long-time partners and new communities in Masafer Yatta, where Palestinians face mass expulsion and ongoing Israeli settler-state violence.
In Jerusalem / Al-Quds, activists on our delegation learned from Grassroots Al-Quds, Khalil Abu Khadijeh, and Afro-Palestinian members of the African Community Society about their lived experiences and how Israel’s occupation and systems of divide-and-conquer have harmed communities across the city. During the Jerusalem Day Flag March, we took a variety of coordinated actions — including joining our Israeli partners in protest to combat the racist violence of the day and supporting our Palestinian partners in the Old City. Many CJNV delegates joined with activists from Free Jerusalem and All That’s Left in a direct action which blocked settlers from accessing the city via an apartheid highway for nearly an hour, before the police arrested 10 of the activists. Others spent the day documenting the racism and fascism on display at the march and accompanied youth in the Old City at the African Community Society as they were unfairly harassed by settlers and the police.
In Masafer Yatta, activists spent time across two neighboring communities, Tuba and Sfai, where we supported the building of two playgrounds for the villages’ children. Like other Palestinian communities in the region, these communities are not permitted to build infrastructure–whether that’s a pen for their farm animals, a new school, or a small house for a growing family. Collaboration between settlers, the government, and the army make all attempts to improve their livelihoods a difficult and dangerous effort. In this environment of constant state-settler oppression, every day that Palestinians stay on their land is a powerful example of sumud (steadfastness). Building these playgrounds stakes a claim to their rights and land and is a tangible example of the meaning of existence is resistance. Creating a space for joy and connection–both in building these playgrounds and in the many hours kids will spend here–is also an act of resistance to Israeli occupation and apartheid. Doing this work together between Palestinians, Israelis, and Jews from abroad defies Israel’s attempts to isolate Palestinian communities from the world and builds the bonds of coresistance that are needed to end these systems of oppression.
Below you will find a list of articles that covered our activities, as well as a number of dispatches and reports that were published during the delegation from activists on-the-ground.
- Left-wing activists attempt to block arrivals to nationalist Flag March – Times of Israel
- Right-wing Flag March in Jerusalem’s Old City features arrests, racist chants – Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
- Israelis March Through Jerusalem, Raising Tensions in a Divided City – The New York Times
- Jerusalem’s Flag March | Hundreds Chant ‘Death to Arabs’ as Israelis Rally in Jerusalem – Haaretz
- Jerusalem tensions run high ahead of far-right Israeli rally – The Jordan Times
- Israeli Jews, Palestinians clash at Flag March in Jerusalem – Al-Monitor