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June Apartheid-Free Newsletter

Artwork by Abdel Rahman Al Muzain, “Grief Yes – Despair No” 1982

Greetings Apartheid-Free communities, 

Our collective commitment to ending apartheid remains as strong as ever, even as this past month we witnessed horrifying images from the massacres in Rafah. Rafah was supposed to be a safe zone for the over 1 million Palestinian refugees taking shelter there. We recognize that the genocidal violence by the state of Israel to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians is a direct offshoot of apartheid and occupation, and it must end to build lasting peace. As we approach the one-year anniversary of the Apartheid-Free Initiative, many of us have dedicated this year to educating ourselves and working hard to sever financial ties with Israel.  

Let this anniversary be a reminder of our pledge to be Apartheid-Free, and to celebrate all that we have achieved this past year as faith leaders, students, workers, and members of our own communities. Join us on Friday, June 7th for a discussion on the work ahead. 

Celebrating One Year of Apartheid-Free Communities, Friday, June 7 at 12 noon ET/ 9 a.m. PT

It’s been nearly a year since AFSC has launched this initiative to show solidarity with Palestinians by taking action against Israeli apartheid. More than 335 groups have joined our efforts! This Friday, join us to celebrate our inaugural anniversary and recommit ourselves to the work ahead. This webinar will be part of the AFSC Action Hour for a Cease-Fire NOW series. Register here.

Stories from the Apartheid-Free Community:

Japanese and Palestinian Solidarity & Apartheid Roads in the West BankWith Reverend Michael Yoshii

“Many people forget that it is recent American history that saw the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II when the U.S. government forcibly relocated and incarcerated over 120,000 individuals of Japanese descent in American concentration camps. Retired Reverend Michael Yoshii of Buena Vista United Methodist Church, whose congregation and parents experienced this racism firsthand, understands the profound impact of such injustices. This historical and generational trauma fuels Yoshii’s solidarity within his own community as well as with other marginalized groups, most notably for him, Palestinians facing apartheid.” Read the Full Article 

Upcoming Events:

The Quaker Peace Testimony and Palestine (Wednesday, June 5 at 7:30 p.m. ET), Wednesday, June 5 at 7:30 p.m. ET

Join us in person at the Friends Meeting of Washington Meetinghouse or online for a presentation and conversation with Joyce Ajlouny, General Secretary of the American Friends Service Committee. Joyce, a Palestinian-American Quaker, will share AFSC’s history of working with refugees from its founding in 1917, detail the organization’s current programs in Gaza, Jerusalem and the U.S., share some of her personal experience, and invite your questions and participation. Zoom Registration Link.

Stones Cry Out Virtual Delegation – Interview with Sam Bahour, Wednesday, June 5 at 1 p.m. ET

Throughout the summer, the Stones Cry Out Delegation will hold a series of webinars with important Jewish, Christian, and Muslim scholars, activists, and NGO leaders, then gather in Washington DC during the week of September 23-27. The webinars will focus on context, strategy, leveraging, and messaging with members of Congress, the State Department, and the Administration. Register here

Apartheid-Free Anniversary AFSC Action Hour for a Cease-fire Now, Friday, June 7 at 12 p.m. ET / 9 a.m. PT

Join us this Friday at 12 p.m. ET/ 9 a.m. PT to to celebrate our inaugural anniversary and recommit ourselves to the work ahead. This webinar will be part of AFSC’s weekly Action Hour for a cease-fire in Gaza.

Israeli Apartheid In the News:


Christian orgs call for boycott and divestment of companies supporting Israel’s military oppression of Palestinians “As Christian organizations, we urge a robust boycott and divestment of the companies supporting the Israeli military system directly engaged in Israel’s “plausible genocide” of Palestinians.”
– Statement from Christian Groups

Palestinian life under Israeli occupation, An illustrated guide “In the 76 years since the Nakba, Israel’s control over the Palestinian people has affected every aspect of life, from services they can access and where they can travel, to what resources they can use and where on their own land they can build homes.”
 –Al Jazeera

More News:
MintPress News, Automated Apartheid: Walking Through Hebron Smart City | Documentary
UMKR, United Methodist Church votes to divest bonds of Israel and other occupier governments  
Miami Herald, Campus protests today parallel Florida colleges’ role in anti-apartheid movement 
Middle East Monitor, First Global Anti-Apartheid Conference for Palestine to be held in South Africa  
The Guardian, Let us remember the last time students occupied Columbia University 
The Nation, The Students Protesting the War in Gaza Are Continuing a Proud Tradition
The Harvard Crimson, The Past is Present: Four Decades of Anti-Apartheid University Struggle
Al Jazeera, How US Big Tech supports Israel’s AI-powered genocide and apartheid   
Daily Maverick, Parallels and puzzles – role of African and Arab regimes in Palestine and apartheid SA

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. 

  • Pride Month: June 1 – 31
  • 🇵🇸 Naksa Day / The Six-Day War Anniversary: Wed, 5 June 1967
    • This day marks the defeat of Arab nations during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War and the beginning of the military occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. The Naksa forced over 300,000 Palestinians to be expelled from their homes, further exacerbating the Palestinian refugee crisis. Israel celebrates this day as “Yom Yerushalayim”.  
  • World Environment Day: Wed, June 5
  • National Children’s Day: Sun, June 9
  • 🔯 Shavuot: Tue, June 11
  • World Day Against Child Labor: Wed, June 12
  • Flag day: Fri, June 14
  • Father’s Day: Sun, Jun 16
  • ☪️ Eid Al-Adha: Evening of Sun, June 17 – Thurs, June 20
  • Juneteenth: Wed, June 19
  • World Refugee Day: Thurs, June 20
  • National PTSD Awareness Day: Thurs, June 27

Apartheid-Free Continues to Grow:

As of May 1, 335 communities have signed the pledge! This includes 139 faith-based communities of Buddhist, Christian, Interfaith, Jewish, and Muslim traditions; 120 solidarity communities; and 76 businesses and other communities.

Welcome to Apartheid-Free! Shout out to our new members who joined last month: 

  • Red Letter Christians
  • Heart of the Rockies Christian Church (DOC)
  • Palestine Israel Justice Project
  • Connecticut Palestine Alliance
  • Calvary Baptist Church
  • Steelform Contracting Company
  • RocUbuntuGRATLA Foundation
  • SCPLRBible Way Ministries
  • InternationalRonin Films
  • Anglican Children’s Ministry
  • Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
  • Underwater Piano Tuner
  • Palestine Education Network
  • The Festival CenterCircle of Faith
  • 15th St. Friends Meeting, Religious Society of Friends
  • Crosenest Collective
  • MosaiCQ Consulting
  • Pax Christi Pittsburgh Area
  • Young Women Empowerment
  • Let’s Chalk About Love, LCC
  • Thrift the District

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. Apartheid-Free CampaignAFSC
American Friends Service Committee

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