TAU Gadi Algazi supports the declaration: The goal of liberating the peoples of the region from colonialism and hegemony, particularly that of Zionism, halting the occupation and Israeli military aggression
Palestinians hope social protests will end ‘occupation'
By RUTH EGLASH AND NIDA’ IBRAHIM
Left wing groups issue statement backing J14 movement. "We hope Israel will stop supporting settlements, focus on middle and lower class."
A group of Palestinian organizations – some left-wing political parties and movements – has issued a joint statement of support for the J14 social protest movement in Israel, including expressing hope that the recent wave of mass street protests here will also bring an end to the “Israeli occupation.”
“We believe that what is happening in Israel is similar to what is going on in the Arab world,” commented Khaled Mansur, a member of political bureau of the Palestinian People’s Party, which was one of more than a dozen left-leaning Palestinian groups that sent out a statement with left-wing Israelis supporting the socioeconomic protests that started on July 14.
“Of course there are obvious differences, but in terms of the social and economic problems there are similarities.”
He added: “We are hopeful that the State of Israel will stop supporting the settlements and instead focus on taking care of the middle- and lower-class people who took to the streets to ask for justice.”
In the statement, which was issued earlier this week by 20 political and social rights organizations from both sides of the Green Line, the social protests are clearly seen as part of the “struggle against Israel’s occupation and colonial policies.
“The protest movements and the winds of change blowing in the Arab world have aroused excitement throughout the world amongst freedom seekers, encouraging many to adopt the model of popular struggle. These protest movements have had a deep impact on various groups in Israel, amongst both Jews and Palestinians, and made an important contribution to the rise of the popular protest movement within Israel for social justice,” wrote the organizations in the joint statement.
Mansur said he is hopeful that this realization means Israelis will also understand the need for the Palestinians to have full democratic rights, and even help their bid for a UN declaration on Palestinian statehood two weeks from now.
“For us, the mere fact that Palestinian-left activists support the social protest in Israel, recognize the importance of struggles for social change in Israel out of a joint conviction that social justice is essential for Arabs and Jews alike, is an enormous moral support,” commented Gadi Algazi, an activist for the left-wing social change organization Hithabrut-Tarabut (Come together), one of the Israeli groups that signed the declaration.
“Our future is here, in the Middle East, and here, in this country; it’s based on understanding between the peoples of this region. We need partners that share ideas of mutual recognition and respect, and a vision of democracy and social justice.”
He added: [Their support] means that they recognize the complexity of Israeli society – that although they have no chance of seeing Jews other than as soldiers or settlers, they recognize social suffering within the society of the occupying power. This is important because we need partners who share our vision of democracy and social justice in the Middle East, and especially in Palestine,” continued Algazi. “This is why the signature of women’s organization, trade unions and youth groups from the West Bank is so essential.”
He added that while the support was important, what was even more significant in Mansur’s statement was that it would help build the basis of a “political alliance.”
“There have been no joint statements by political formations from both sides of the Green Line since 2000,” he pointed out. “Joint documents of this sort are unprecedented.”
Algazi added: “I also believe that the protest has created a new bridge to the Middle East – to the Middle East of popular protest in Egypt, Tunis, Syria, not the Middle East of dictatorships and tycoons. We had something to learn form Egypt – and we did.
Historic Declaration by Palestinians, Israelis in Support of Israeli Social Protest, Anti-Colonial Struggle
Monday, 05 September 2011 08:51 Multiple Signatories
Some 20 political parties and social movements from both sides of the Green Line issued an historic declaration in support of the social protests currently rocking Israel and their necessary linkage to the struggle against Israel’s occupation and colonial policies.
Together for putting an end to occupation and racism, in support of the struggle of the Palestinian people to attain their national rights and against national and social oppression
Even in light of the encouraging developments in the Middle East, the wave of social protests and the awakening of the peoples’ struggles for freedoms and the right to live in dignity, the Palestinian people still live under the yoke of the Israeli occupation, despite their persistent and ongoing struggle for freedom. The international community, for its part, demonstrates its helplessness and does not lend a hand to support the Palestinian struggle for liberation and justice.
The protest movements and the winds of change blowing in the Arab world have aroused excitement throughout the world amongst freedom seekers, encouraging many to adopt the model of popular struggle. These protest movements have had a deep impact on various groups in Israel, amongst both Jews and Palestinians, and made an important contribution to the rise of the popular protest movement within Israel for social justice.
Moved by our aspiration to attain a just and fair peace in the region, a peace that is truly essential for the peoples of the region and can assist in promoting the struggle for justice and progress for everyone, we – Palestinian and Israeli social and political forces, representatives of women’s associations and young people from both sides of the Green Line – emphasise the need for a joint struggle, with the goal of liberating the peoples of the region from colonialism and hegemony, particularly that of Zionism, halting the occupation and Israeli military aggression and supporting the just struggle of the Palestinian people for fulfillment of its right for self-determination in accordance with the decisions of the international community.
We look forward to the liberation of all the region’s peoples from dictatorship, ruling tyranny and from all forms of national, social and economic oppression.Therefore, we the signatories on this document, emphasise:
1. We support the Palestinian September initiative in the United Nations, the body which carries responsibility for laying the foundations of peace internationally, in order to demand full membership for Palestine in the UN and recognition of a Palestinian state in the borders of 4 June 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital, and to strengthen the efforts to end the occupation of the Palestinian people’s lands, with preservation of the right of the Palestinian people to oppose the occupation and the right of return of the refugees in accordance with United Nations Resolution 194. In this context, we emphasise that the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) is the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, deriving its legitimacy both from the Palestinian people in the homeland and exile and from the recognition it received from the Arab League and the United Nations.
The UN initiative is a legitimate step. The United Nations must fulfill its responsibility to realize its responsibility to establish peace and justice on the international level. This is a step that strengthens the rights of the Palestinian people and in no way represents a threat to Israel, despite the great efforts of the Israeli government to present this step to the Israeli people as a declaration of war or harming the legitimacy of the existence of Israel.
2. We understand that one of the primary reasons for the social and economic distress of citizens in Israel, in addition to the capitalist economic policies, is the continuation of the occupation and excessive security budgets, which Israel’s government seeks to justify as needed for defending the security of the settlements on the one hand and the state borders on the other. We therefore believe that an end to the occupation and establishment of a fair and just peace are essential for a life of peace and welfare.
We welcome the participation and integration of the Palestinian population in Israel in the social protest. This is an important opportunity to present before various groups within Israeli society the distresses of the Palestinians and the injustices caused to them, so that these groups can take responsibility in the struggle against the marginalizing policies and ongoing discrimination against the Palestinians in Israel, for putting an ending to confiscation of lands and full equality, and an end to the occupation of the Palestinian lands that were occupied in 1967.
We warn again the familiar attempts by the occupation government to evade the crises and its internal crises and the pressure of the protest waves through the politics of fear which point to an external threat: Whether by presenting the Palestinian appeal to the UN as a “danger” or by military actions, as we have witnessed in the past few days in light of the harsh escalation in bloodletting of the Palestinian people in Gaza.
3. We recognize the right of the Palestinian people, living under occupation, to make use of all the legitimate forms of resistance in accordance with international norms for removing of the occupiers from its land and for self determination. In this context, we emphasise the importance of the joint popular struggle of Palestinians and Israelis. A popular joint struggle is one of the central guiding principles in the struggle against the occupation, the settlements, racism, colonialism, against policies of exclusion, weakening, impoverishment, and racist separation within Israel.
Signed: Political parties, social organizations and young women and men Palestinian and Israeli activists (in alphabetical order)
Association of Palestinian Democratic Youth (Palestine)
Association of Progressive Students (Palestine)
Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (Palestine)
Democratic Front for Peace and Equality (Israel)
Democratic Teachers’ Union (Palestine)
Democratic Union of Professionals in Palestine (Palestine)
Democratic Women’s Movement in Israel (Israel)
Israeli Communist Party (Israel)
National Campaign for Return of the Bodies of Arab and Palestinian Martyrs Captured by the Israeli Government (Palestine)
Palestinian People’s Party (Palestine)
Popular Campaign for the Boycott of Israeli Products (Palestine)
Progressive Workers’ Union (Palestine)
Tarabut-Hithabrut – Arab-Jewish Movement for Social and Political Change (Israel)
The Alternative Information Center (Palestine/Israel)
Union of Palestinian Farmers’ Unions (Palestine)
Union of One World for Justice (Palestine)
Union of Palestinian Working Women (Palestine)
Workers’ Unity Bloc (Palestine)