The Dream Defenders have now led two delegations to Palestine. Delegates have a chance to see the land and occupation up close, while engaging in dialogue and relationship building with Palestinians on the ground engaged in the struggle for justice. DDPalestine is a part of the resurgence of internationalism within the US based movement for justice, especially inspired by the connections of Black & Palestinian liberation. Historically this movement has existed for decades, with no shortage of figures exchanging commitments of solidarity, and here we are again, declaring that our liberation is tied together.
Palestine is the site of a continued settler colonial project, the state of Israel. The colonial project was born out of a political ideology called Zionism, established in the late 19th century. Zionism as a movement was born out of Europe and they were seeking to establish a homeland for Jews outside of Europe, and after looking at several locations in Africa and South America, they settled on Palestine. While of course the native, indigenous population which was mostly Muslim and Christian with a smaller Jewish population, rejected this colonial entity, the international community led by the British ushered it into statehood. In 1948 the state of Israel was declared on top of stolen Palestinian land, with zionist militias committing massacres and forced evictions, they immediately ethnically cleansing over 750,000 Palestinians from the lands, and internally displacing thousands more.
That was the story leading up to and through 1948, and the colonial entity of Israel has only fortified itself more by taking control over more territory while keeping minimal Palestinians. Home demolitions, evictions, administrative detention, abuse/arrest of children in military courts, checkpoints and more are the Palestinian reality, all while Israeli settlements, considered illegal by the entire world continue to be built atop Palestinian land, taking both home and water from the native population. Palestinians living within Israel continue to be discriminated against at all levels of citizenship, right down to the annual threats of politicians for their passports to be stripped and then deported. Palestinians in Gaza live in the world's largest open air prison with Israel controlling land/air/sea and controlling everything that comes in and out. Israel routinely develops its latest military weaponry by attacking the civilian population of Gaza. After every Israeli assault against Gaza their sales have been a part of the package.
One page and a couple of paragraphs are not nearly enough, this is more of a quick shot of the context, and we would suggest both reading several documented sources as well as visiting Palestine for yourself.
2015 #DDPALESTINE DELEGATION
Photo Credit: Christopher Hazou, Institute for Middle East Understanding
2016 #DDPALESTINE DELEGATION
Photo Credit: Cam Be
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