Update | 9.27.2019
August and September have been absolute buzzsaws on the Palestinian population.
There were torrents of home demolitions all through the Jordan Vally and the South Hebron. From August 1 to Sept 19, 2019, the Israeli military carried out 29 different operations to demolish Palestinian infrastructure, demolishing 49 structures – 16 of which were donor-funded – affecting 1,774 people according to the most recent OCHA data.
This year there has been an alarming spike in demolitions. So far in 2019 the Israeli military carried out 196 demolitions, destroying 411 structures – 41 of which were donor-funded. The onslaught of demolitions – ranging from a widespread attack on Palestinian water infrastructure, agricultural equipment and homes impacted some 49,477 Palestinians. In 2018, during this same time frame, the Israeli military carried out 143 raids on Palestinian property, resulting in the destruction of 305 structures – 32 of which were donor-funded, impacting 5,822 people.
The dramatic increase of people affected by the demolitions – a jump from 5,822 to 49,477 – is a result of the Israeli military carrying out what appears to be a targeted campaign against the water infrastructure and agricultural facilities.
This, of course, coincides with calls from across the political spectrum to annex the West Bank during the election cycle. Both Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud and Benny Gantz’s Blue & White parties made the call to annex the West Bank to garner votes from the far-right and set the table with the smaller Zionists blocs to form a governing coalition after the election.
What is the Good Shepherd Collective doing about it?
Advocacy models that focus on leveraging international legal instruments – by themselves – have proven to be ineffective. Which is not surprising, because the international legal regime is structured to favor state rights over the rights of the individuals. Couple that with toothless enforcement mechanisms and it is unsurprising that home demolitions and indigenous displacement are continuing at alarming rates.
The Good Shepherd Collective is organizing on the local level, within Palestinian communities, and renegotiating grassroots tactics with Jewish partners on the ground to develop highly specific, targeted campaigns that will expose and disrupt the non-state actors that are advocating for home demolitions, land annexation, and the implementation of oppressive laws and policies.
For months we have been building a local network, stretching the length and width of this land, from the Negev in the south to the Golan Heights in the north, from Tel Aviv to Nabi Saleh. We’ve collective over 100 video testimonies as part of our communications strategy, putting together a team of legal activists and lawyers compile research-based evidence, and have formed the beginning of a core coalition in the United States. This is all with the goal of enacting a strategy to push back on the far-right extremist groups like Im Tirtzu, Regavim and the Kach Party and their – thus far – successful push to impose even harsher Israeli policies, like the Nation-State Law, annexation, and other fascists pieces of legislation.
We need you to support this campaign
The Good Shepherd Collective specifically fills in the gap to take on this work. The international aid regime, in many ways, perpetuates the status quo. It funnels money into co-existence workshops, capacity development, and neoliberal economic incubator projects rather than investing money to address the core problems. International aid doesn’t allocate money for grassroots campaigns for policy change. It’s that simple.
The Good Shepherd Collective rejects this money and carries on with the work based on individual donations. As a result, we are beholden only to the will of the people and are uniquely set up to enact campaigns from the ground-up, rather than from the top-down.
We need your financial investment to push forward. The money that you contribute goes directly to travel and communication costs – the core expensive of grassroots organizing. We are looking to generate about $800 dollars of monthly income for finance the next phase of the campaign development.
For US citizens, you can make a tax-deductible donation through our fiscal sponsors, the Alliance for Global Justice by clicking here. For UK citizens, you can use GiftAid through our partners, the British Shalom-Salaam Trust by clicking here.
We are looking for 80 people to make a commitment to donate $10 monthly for the next four months of development. Will you make that small investment?