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Apartheid-Free Newsletter: April 2024


Painting by Malak Mattar – “When Family is the Only Shelter”
Welcome to the April issue of the Apartheid-Free Newsletter

Today, April 5, 2024, we are observing Palestinian Children’s Day. As we enter the 6th month of Israel’s assault on Gaza, we pledge to honor the 13,000+ children who have been killed and the hundreds of thousands who have been displaced. Now more than ever, your advocacy is needed to help the Palestinian people achieve their freedom and liberty.  

Last month, Apartheid-Free communities mobilized to observe Israeli Apartheid Month. We gathered to boycott, rally, block streets, mourn, educate each other. Some even traveled to Palestine in delegations to witness apartheid. In March 2024, there was a global call for a World Day of Prayer for Palestine. We recognized Palestinian Land Day on March 30, a day of nonviolent resistance throughout Palestine in response to Israel’s theft of Palestinian land. Looking ahead to April, we strive to continue urgently mobilizing for a free Palestine. Learn more about effective advocacy and education campaigns that your communities can undertake here.

Stories from Apartheid-Free Communities
United Church of Christ Palestine-Israel Network, Interview with Allie Perry 

Reverend Allie Perry is a Worship Coordinator at Shalom United Church of Christ and the chair of the steering committee for the United Church of Christ’s Palestine-Israel Network (UCC PIN). UCC PIN works to affirms the dignity and sacredness of all people, stands against oppression and injustice, and works for peace with justice in Palestine and Israel. 

In our interview with Rev. Allie Perry, she recounts her experiences visiting Palestine in delegations dating all the way back to 2008. She spoke to us about the challenges UCC PIN faces when advocating for justice for the Palestinian people and gives critical advice for communities and congregations that are looking to take more action against Israeli apartheid and occupation: 

“A way to get people to understand what is happening is for people to understand our tax dollars, what they are doing, and the amount of support that’s going to Israel versus when we look at our communities and have people see that comparison. I’ve had people say, ‘well, we’ve got problems right here, how can we possibly be focusing on that?’ I say that the current reality really increases the imperative for that focus… when our country is driving genocide with its complicity, we have an obligation to intervene.”

Read the Full Interview 

Israeli Apartheid in the News

Palestine: Genocide Apartheid Occupation “Israel’s system of laws and policies have classified Palestinians as a group, resulting in them being restricted to enclaves, segregated from Jewish Israelis, and subjected to discriminatory policies such as unequal rights to nationality and restricted freedom of movement.”– From the Justice for All Report, “Palestine: Genocide Apartheid Occupation”

How Vermont activists are mobilizing their community to cut ties with Israeli apartheid “Although the ballot measure did not succeed, the activists in Vermont won by drawing together a diverse group in support of human rights–a bigger group than had previously existed in Burlington. Four and a half hours of public testimony at the City Council meeting gave community members a chance to be heard and begin the conversation about Burlington’s moral responsibility to name and challenge injustice.”– Zoe Jannuzi, AFSC

More News

– The Palestine Chronicle, From South Africa to Palestine: Israeli Apartheid Week 2024
– New York Times: The Two-State Solution Is an Unjust, Impossible Fantasy
– Mail & Guardian: Gaza’s humanitarian aid massacre through the lens of Sharpeville
– Truthout, Israel Didn’t Even Try to Defend the Legality of Its Occupation to World Court
– Middle East Eye, UK Home Office grants asylum to Palestinian citizen of Israel who claims apartheid
– The Wellesley News, MIT Suspends Coalition Against Apartheid
– PCS, The ordinary Irish workers who stood up against apartheid in South Africa 
– The Collegian, Israel not `Only Democracy in the Middle East’
– Context, Should ‘gender apartheid’ be an international crime?
– Atlantic Council, Inside Afghanistan’s gender apartheid
– BDS, Apartheid Chips, #BoycottIntel

Upcoming Events

Christians for a Free Palestine Day of Action
Monday and Tuesday, April 8 – 9
On Tuesday, April 9, Christians will take peaceful action calling for an immediate, permanent ceasefire in Gaza. Hundreds more Christians will hold a public peace service, praying, and singing while their loved ones take peaceful action. On Monday, April 8, Christians for a Free Palestine will host a training in Washington, DC to prepare all those who plan to take peaceful action.  

Quakers for Peace in Palestine and Israel Solidarity Day of Fasting
Monday, April 8
Quakers for Peace in Palestine and Israel is inviting friends to join them in a day of fasting in solidarity with Gaza, on April 8th: “Together we will bear witness to the starvation that is being inflicted on the people of Gaza. We hope the experience will connect us to the Light and Power that take away the occasion of war.” See 5 Queries for Fasting

Tax Day Actions: No Tax Dollars for War Crimes! 
Monday, April 15
AFSC invites people across the U.S. to visit the district offices of their senators and representatives to demonstrate that the majority of Americans want a cease-fire and do not want their tax dollars to support military attacks on Gaza. Please join us this Tax Day in DC or find an event near you to demand an immediate and permanent cease-fire now, unrestricted humanitarian access to Gaza, and funding for care, not killing: no tax dollars for war crimes. 

AFSC Action Hour for a Cease-fire Now
Every Friday at 12 p.m. ET / 9 a.m. PT
Join AFSC staff every Friday at 12 p.m. ET/ 9 a.m. PT to hear updates from Gaza. Then, take action with us as we contact our elected officials and call for an immediate cease-fire and humanitarian access to Gaza. Our elected officials need to keep hearing from us. 

Boycott Chevron
The U.S. oil company Chevron is a major supplier of Israeli energy apartheid. Chevron contributes significantly from the military blockade on Gaza, and the illegal exploitation of Palestinian land and resources. It is also responsible for countless crimes against our planet and indigenous people across the globe. AFSC published a new landing page with resources for the global Boycott Chevron campaign: BoycottChevron.info. Please consider joining the boycott, informing others about it, and sharing the new resource with your partners.

Upcoming Dates for Organizing

The following holidays and events provide us with opportunities to organize actions. While we have listed many dates, feel free create an event around the holidays that best aligns with your community. Visit our Take Action page for ideas and inspiration on how you can take action for Palestine and live into the Apartheid-Free Pledge. 

– 🇵🇸 Palestinian Children’s Day: Fri, April 5
This day, we celebrate and honor all Palestinian children. According to the Defense for Children International-Palestine, every year between 500 and 700 Palestinian children are arrested, interrogated, and detained by the Israeli army and police. Read more.
– International Al Quds Day: Sat, April 6
Al Quds Day is an annual pro-Palestinian event held on the last Friday of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan to express support for Palestinians and oppose Israel and Zionism.
– ☪️ Lailat al Qadr: Sat, April 6
– ☪️ Eid Al Fitr / End of Ramadan: Tues, April 9 or Wed, April 10
Tax Day (US): Mon, April 15
Register your Tax Day actions to AFSC’s sign up list so your local community can register! Or sign up for an existing Tax Day action here.
Earth Day: Tues, April 22
– ✡️ Pesach / Jewish Passover: Tues, April 22
International Labor Day: Wed, May 1
– ✝️ Orthodox Easter: Sun, May 5
Mother’s Day: Sun, May 12
– 🇵🇸 Anniversary of the 1948 Nakba: Wed, May 15In the Palestinian community, this day has become an international call for nonviolent protests against Israel in honor of the 750,000+ Palestinian’s violently displaced by Israel in 1948.

Actions and Moments of Togetherness

Please submit photos and videos of your community’s actions to palestineactivism@afsc.org to be considered for a feature in the newsletter!
People hold up Apartheid-Free signs, Floyd Friends Meeting
From Kites for Gaza, an event in Washington DC. Photos courtesy of AFSC.  

Update from AFSC Staff in Gaza

Just weeks before Israeli forces hit three World Food Kitchen vans and killed 7 aid workers and their Palestinian driver, Serena, an AFSC staff member from Gaza, reported that she was able to make it to a WCK welcoming point for displaced families to provide them with food. 

Serena reported, “There is a woman I will never forget and the reason why we made this urgent help. From a neighborhood next to Al-Shifa hospital where the forces are still displacing more and more families, she walked all the way to the South under threat of guns, separated from her family, hungry and not only that. She is pregnant with a newly fired bullet lodged inside her womb, came with her injured son seeking help and a hospital. Thankfully, AFSC has provided the WCK welcoming point with 50 kits for pregnant women and newborns, which considered lifesaving kits for them.”  

The massacre of the World Central Kitchen workers has pushed the number of aid employees killed during the war on Gaza to at least 196, according to the U.N. secretary general, António Guterres.  Take action to help stop the war on Gaza

Is your community, congregation, or solidarity organization actively fighting against racism, bigotry, and apartheid? If so, join the movement by signing the Apartheid-Free pledge – a powerful statement of dedication to fostering an inclusive and equitable society.

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