Law and Disorder Radio – Gaza Freedom March Reportback Speeches: Ali Abunimah – Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace – Hosts: Heidi Boghosian, Michael Steven Smith & Michael Ratner – Produced by Geoff Brady

Law and Disorder Radio

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Gaza Freedom March Reportback Speeches

We hear strong speeches detailing the experience at the Gaza Freedom March by Ali Abunimah, co-founder of the Electronic Intifada and author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and our own co-host Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights.  As many listeners know, hundreds of activists with the Gaza Freedom Marchers returned from Israel, Palestine and Egypt from the largest international mobilization of people in solidarity. The Egyptian authorities refused to allow the 1,365 participants from 43 countries to enter the Gaza Strip, but later 100 people were let in to Gaza.






Michael Ratner’s Article: From Hebron to Yad Vashem: Jewish Sorrow Justifying the Sorrow of Others

Gaza Freedom March Commitments Include:

  • Palestinian Self-Determination
  • Ending the Occupation
  • Equal Rights for All within historic Palestine
  • The full Right of Return for Palestinian refugees

From: Waging Nonviolence blog. The Egyptian government didn’t let most of the over 1,300 protesters from around the world into Gaza for the planned march, but those at Judson said that they witnessed a new stage in the emergence of a global movement, facilitated by the Internet, that may well be poised to end the international support that makes Israel’s policies possible. The lynchpin of the movement, the Cairo Declaration of the Gaza Freedom March, was drafted by would-be marchers while they waited in Egypt.





Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace

In the wake of Gaza siege earlier this year, many groups such as Code Pink have brought delegations of people to Israel to visit and bring support to Palestinian refugees and families. Today we talk with Joel Bitar. He’s a student who traveled to Israel with the group Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace. The group is an international network of academics and students supporting a complete end to the illegal Israeli occupation of lands seized in 1967. Last summer, Joel was among many who visited Israeli universities, the Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and stayed with Palestinian families. These delegations call on the international academic community to take a stand in supporting the end to occupation in Gaza and the West Bank.

Joel Bitar:

  • Most of my life I tried to hide my Palestinian identity and this trip was all about confronting and realizing who I am. For so long, especially after 9/11 it wasn’t respectable to be an Arab in America.
  • I was kind of ashamed of my Dad’s history and culture for a long time. This trip was about inner healing and understanding where I came from.
  • I went to the West Bank for a month and a half.
  • It’s all about fitting in and surviving, being a confrontational force in a culture is something I didn’t have the courage to do unfortunately. My family has been apolitical. Doing activism around this (Gaza) has been unifying for my family.
  • It’s enabled us to confront all the awful aspects of American culture and society.
  • What happened in Gaza, shook me, woke me up. I’ve been doing a lot of investigating about the conflict, it seemed so mystical and mysterious. I read a couple books, it’s really not that complicated, it’s very simple. Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid by Jimmy Carter; The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy.
  • I learned about Norman Finkelstein and conflict between him and Alan Dershowitz.
  • Simple in terms of the law. The law is very clear. You can’t acquire territory by force. Something you learn when you’re growing up: don’t bully people, don’t take their stuff.
  • We visited numerous hot spots of the occupation, we went to Hebron, which is under vicious occupation by Israeli soldiers.
  • 8-meter-high concrete slabs in many places. 85% of the wall runs on Palestinian land.
  • Dual road systems and dual license plates.
  • My Palestinian family pays taxes but don’t get the benefits of the taxes; they’re living in an imposed ghetto.
  • They don’t have access to water 24/7 like every Jew in the settlement. There’s garbage everywhere.
  • We’ve been doing a lot of work with the Gaza Freedom March, with the anti-war movement at Hunter.
  • A lot of the Jews who do an iota of research at Hunter know that what Israel did was awful.

Guest: Joel Bitar, a Hunter College student who traveled to Israel with the group Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace. The group is an international network of academics and students supporting a complete end to the illegal Israeli occupation of lands seized in 1967. Joel is active with the Hunter College Campus Anti-War Network.