Statement: International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People 2017

We, at Addameer, have seen our fair share of International Days of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. We have celebrated them in Palestine; we have celebrated them in New York; and we have celebrated them in Geneva.

The event that started as a diplomatic exercise, and is celebrated on the day of the adoption of the 1947 Partition Plan, has become a day for empty platitudes. Each year we are reminded of the international community’s commitment to the Palestinian people, and the will to hold the occupying power accountable for its crimes under international law. For a large portion of countries, it’s not clear that there is even the will; all we hear are the promises and the concern.

That said, over the past decade, something has changed. This day has become more about community organizing, awareness raising, and engagement with solidarity groups. The crucial events are no longer the ones being held in the halls of the UN, rather they are the events being held in the streets and in the universities. We welcome this change. Seventy years after the Partition Plan, it has become glaringly obvious that the international community will not hold Israel accountable without a strong push from civil society.

So, with the day itself tomorrow, we commend all the people who are putting pressure on bigger institutions to hold Israel accountable. We also want to thank you for your support of the Palestinian cause over the past year.

For the year to come, Addameer will be planning campaigns and ways to further engage both Palestinian society and our global supporters.

 We are firmly of the belief that change will come from the streets, and the community, not from the halls of power. It is local and community pressure, whether in the EU or Latin America, that will force countries to treat the occupying power in accordance with its crimes.

 International civil society will be what makes the difference for the Palestinian people, not those who shake hands with the occupier.