Tomorrow, we commemorate Land Day throughout Palestine and around the world. Below is a small section from my book “Popular Resistance in Palestine” about the history of Land Day. In Palestine, the uprising is building momentum despite efforts by Israeli officials and some Palestinian officials to suppress it and/or distort its message (which is about a reconstitution of a Palestinian National Council to represent all 12 million Palestinians).
For us, missing these events at home while on the speaking tour is hard. Just in the last two weeks, the Israeli regime passed two more apartheid laws (banning Nakba commemorations and punishing activists who speak about BDS), the occupation forces murdered over 20 Palestinains, confiscated tractors of four farmers in Jiftlick, arrested scores of Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals engaged in nonviolent resistance, others were beaten, and we missed several peaceful events including the one tomorrow a march for Rachel Corrie (Wednesday at 1 PM in Babzqaq, Bethlehem).
But this tour is important: three countries, 16 USA states, over 80 events in 5 weeks (for the remaining schedule, see www.qumsiyeh.org/
upcomingevents/) . To show you just a sample of how it is making a difference, please see these two stories one before my appearance and one after it and also on the comments posted below the articles. It is instructive:
Article before: Litchfield Chabad rabbi leads protest against library's hosting of Arab speaker
Article after: Human rights author presents book talk at Oliver Wolcott Library in Litchfield (with video)
We are still looking for more organizations and individuals in different countries to help with the summer project to bring Internationals to Palestine (email me and seehttp://palestinejn.org for details)
Pages from Qumsiyeh’s book about Land Day March 30:
“Away from politics, grassroots efforts were functioning. The increased mobilization among Palestinians inside the Green Line took a dramatic and bold step forward with a large meeting in August 1975 in Nazareth attended by 110 individuals to defend the land. At this meeting, a committee was selected, headed by Anees Kardoush, to prepare for an even larger meeting. This meeting, held in October 1975, included about 5,000 activists from many factions and created the Committee for Defense of the Land (Lajnat Al-Difa’ ’An Al-Aradi) with 100 members and an eleven-member secretariat. It began by protesting against the confiscation of 22,000 dunums in the Galilee and the declaration of an even larger parcel of land belonging to three villages (in the Al-Mil area) as closed military zones, with the intention of building nine Jewish settlements in this closed zone. A meeting was held in Nazareth on March 6, 1976. This included 48 heads of municipalities and local village councils and called for a day of protests and strikes on March 30, 1976 should Israel go ahead with its land confiscation policies. When it appeared the strike would take place, many areas outside of the Galilee joined it, including in the West Bank.11 This became known as ‘Land Day’ throughout Palestine. The events actually started on March 29, when a demonstration against the Israeli army’s provocative mobilizations in the village of Deir Hanna. Later that evening, the village of Araba Al-Batoof demonstrated in solidarity and a young man, Khair Muhammad Yassin, was killed by Israeli soldiers. He was the first martyr of the 1976 Land Day. More martyrs fell over the next 24 hours. The events were well organized and participation was high. The Israeli authorities reacted violently. Many were injured, six nonviolent protesters killed and hundreds arrested. The events coincided with the secret Koening Memorandum which laid out plans for further discrimination and ethnic cleansing to ‘make the Galilee more Jewish’. The Israeli government condemned the leaking of the memorandum, but no government official repudiated its racist content.12 After this successful popular event, differences arose that weakened the organizing committee and yet, the movement continues strongly to this day.13”
ACTION in Britain through PSC: ask supermarkets not to aid companies profiting from colonial occupation http://psc.iparl.com/lobby/65
Breaking the Silence: One of hundreds of testimonies; this one about shooting at anyone on roofs
Liberated Libya Rejects US Intervention