Land Day protests boost Defund Racism campaign
On Palestinian Land Day, March 30th, we were reminded of the great sacrifices generations of Palestinians have made resisting Israeli settler-colonialism and apartheid. On Land Day we paid homage to Khair Muhammad Yasin from Arrabeh, Raja Hussein Abu Riya, Khader Abd Khalaila, and Khadija Shuwahna from Sakhnin, Muhsin Yusuf Taha from Kafr Kana, and Rafat Zuhairi from Nur Shams — the Palestinians that were murdered by Israeli forces as they protested the thousands of dunams that the Israeli state was set to expropriate in 1976.
Through widely funded organizations, the Israeli settler movement continues to build power, targeting key Palestinian communities. Using international charities, settler organizations like the Israel Land Fund, Ateret Cohanim, and Regavim have funneled millions of tax-deductible donations to support a program of Indigenous displacement across Jerusalem, al Walaja, Masafer Yatta, and the Jordan Valley. These Palestinian communities are facing an existential threat. Understanding the critical need to push back beyond the confines of the Israeli courts, Palestinians have called on the international community to cut the funding to these radical settler organizations and shut down the charities aiding and abetting their violence.
The Campaign to Defund Racism answers that call from the most marginalized villages, and this past week, coalition partners held protests and teach-ins across California, Florida, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Vancouver.
The coalition of the Campaign to Defund Racism is led by Palestinian organizations on the ground in Palestine, Youth of Sumud, the Hebron Defense Committee, Community Peacemaker Teams, Human Rights Defenders, and Stop the Wall. In the United States the coalition is organized by the Palestinian Youth Movement, Within Our Lifetime, Jewish Voice for Peace, and American Muslims for Palestine.
Here in Palestine, Good Shepherd joined the Youth of Sumud planting olive trees in areas most often targeted by the Israeli settlers. We also stood in solidarity with the people of Bil’in as they marched again to honor Bassem Abu Rahma, Islam Bornat, and Jawaher Abu Rahma— Palestinian who were all murdered by Israeli forces as they resisted the confiscation of their lands.
Although we marched, planted trees, and stood in solidarity with the villages on the front lines of Israeli violence, we recognize that ultimately we need to engage in campaigns that dismantle the structures of violence. Most importantly, winnable, impactful campaigns should be led by the Palestinians on the ground who are the most vulnerable to Israel’s program of erasure and colonization. And to build momentum and power within this campaign, we need you.
First, we ask that you sign the petition and share the campaign website, defundracism.org. Secondly, follow us and share campaign updates from our social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Lastly, we need your financial support to continue to expand this work here on the ground in Palestine and in the US.
The Good Shepherd Collective rejects pursuing funding from large granting organizations or state funds. Rather, we premise all the work we do on committed, individual donors — people who are willing to donate 5, 10, or 30 dollars every month. We need folks like you to build this work on the ground and abroad. Click here today to make that commitment of solidarity.
Call to Action
As we continue with this work, we are asking you to join our current “Build a movement” donation campaign. We are building a model of grassroots mobilization that rejects the restrictive and oppressive models of neoliberal foundations and nation-state aid. We are asking individuals to invest $5 a month to continue this work. You can do that by clicking this link here.
If you want to make a larger donation there are other options. If you are a US citizen and want to make a tax-deductible contribution, you can do so through the Alliance for Global Justice by clicking here. If you are in the UK, you can use our partners the British Shalom-Salaam Trust, and use GiftAid. In solidarity.
Your financial solidarity keeps us actively engaged with the most vulnerable communities. Consider making a tangible contribution to the work on the ground.