What our delegation is doing in Israel/Palestine

Submitted by AWL on 23 November, 2010 - 10:07

Nine members, supporters and friends of the AWL are currently in Israel/Palestine on a solidarity delegation. At the time of writing (Sunday 28 November), we are in the Palestinian city of Ramallah. So far we have:

* Visited Tel Aviv's African Refugee Development Centre and spoken with asylum-seekers and refugee rights activists.
* Attended a demonstration against a law being discussed in the Israeli Knesset which would give any community of over 500 people the right to exclude people (to be used against Arabs, Jews of the wrong ethnicity, single parents, gay people etc...); after which we discussed with and interviewed former Knesset member and prominent anti-occupation activist Uri Avnery; socialist and Gush Shalom spokesperson Adam Keller; and a left Zionist youth group.
* Visited the Workers' Advice Centre, a small trade union outside the Histadrut which organises both Jewish and Arab workers (so does the Histadrut, but WAC is mixed in its top personnel, militantly anti-racist and radical left).
* Spent time with a Palestinian human rights advocate, visiting Palestinians whose home had just been demolished by the IDF and a community project in a village displaced by the IDF; interviewed international monitors who spend time in Palestinian cities and villages to monitor and try to prevent IDF and settler abuses.
* Gone to the Palestinian village of Bil'in to join its weekly demonstration against the Wall, at which we were tear-gassed by the IDF, and discussed extensively with activists from the village's Popular Committee; some of us went back for the night to help guard against an IDF invasion.
* Gone on the Stop the Wall tour of the Wall, and discussed extensively with its organiser, including about the call for boycotts of Israel which he helped initiate.
* Visited Nablus to discuss with left-wing Palestinian General Federation of Trade Union Activists, and also visited a cultural/youth centre in one of the city's refugee camps.

In the next four days we plan to:

* Meet the Palestinian Democracy and Workers' Rights Centre, which is linked to independent unions outside the PGFTU.
* Attend the national PGFTU women's conference as observers (very excited about this).
* Meet the Palestinian LGBT rights group Al Qaws in Jerusalem.
* Meet an activist from Hadash, the left-wing group linked to the Israeli Communist Party.
* Meet the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.

For updates, reports, articles and interviews see our blog at ipsol.wordpress.com - and please circulate widely, post on websites, Facebook etc.

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