The Palestinian people have struggled for self-determination consistently since the grounds were layed for the occupier's state during the British Mandate. The struggle is ultimately our own, but we have arrived at a point where we only appear to be moving backwards in regard to autonomy, freedom of movement, and the number of settlers living within the land that was meant to be for a future Palestinian state. By all objective measures, the situation looks somewhat bleak.
Here, at Addameer, we believe that international solidarity and action are the crucial step to pulling us from this reality. Unlike the view of the Palestinian Authority, we do not believe that such action must solely focus on international institutions and diplomacy; but rather, we see it as essential to engage both the diplomatic end and global civil society.To this end, Addameer has made it a priority to engage groups and individuals committed to social justice around the world.
Over the week 21 October till 28 October, this meant that we welcomed a group of activists from Latin America, and Spain. This included individuals working with refugee populations in Greece, fighting poverty in slums in Argentina, struggling for indigenous rights in Mexico, working within revolutionary movements, and student activists. The crucial thing that these individuals have in common is their commitment to a radically just world for all.
Their program involved visits to Aida, Hebron, and the Jordan Valley; briefings from experts and Palestinian parliamentarians; and meetings and discussions with Addameer stuff. This program culminated in a conference, where each of the participants were able to present on the work that they do in their home countries, and their own struggles for liberation.
For both the participants, and us at Addameer, the week brought new inspiration. It showed us that our struggles have more in common than we could imagine. Though, ultimately, it showed us that our liberation is ultimately bound up with the liberation of others.
The case of Palestine is not as unique as some would have us think, but is rather an age old story of oppresion. While some have invisible barriers placed on them, our seperation wall is easy for all to see. Though, what we now know, is that we have allies who are willing to help us bring ours down in the same way that we are willing to help with theirs.