Have you felt challenged when understanding Palestine and the history of occupation?
Perhaps you don’t know where to look. In today’s world – with so much information about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – it’s difficult to know where to start.
So, where do you go to learn more–and get an objective point of view?
Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) opposes anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, and anti-Arab bigotry and oppression. JVP seeks the following solutions:
- An end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem
- Security and self-determination for Israelis and Palestinians
- A just solution for Palestinian refugees based on principles established in international law
- An end to violence against civilians
- And peace and justice for all peoples of the Middle East
JVP offers a living document with educational resources on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for those looking to learn more about the history of the occupation of Palestine and the current reality. In this comprehensive document, the voices of the Palestinian liberation movement are amplified.
Understanding the Israel/Palestine conflict requires, among other things, a knowledge of the Palestinian struggle. The resources in “Palestinian Guide 2021” are a primer for those looking to stand in solidarity in 2022.
History of Occupation
Decolonize Palestine is an online resource offered in the living document for those looking to expand their introductory knowledge and debunk myths. Readers can choose from articles, a database of myths about Palestine, and a comprehensive reading list. One notable article includes a history of Palestine Pre, Post, and during Nakba.
Gaza Unlocked is an online resource that has a blog, infographics, and videos featuring the stories of firsthand accounts from Palestinians living in Gaza. Each year, college-aged students are unable to finish their education because they cannot leave Gaza to study in the West Bank or elsewhere. Their stories discuss how the Gaza blockade also restricts imports and exports, access to land and water, and the movement of people in and outside of Gaza.
The best sources of information may be direct sources. For example, Christians might think the best way to learn about Christians would be to talk to Christians (and not depend on Jewish or Muslim sources for what Christianity is like). By the Golden Rule, it may be better to understand Muslims by talking to them or visiting a mosque than by asking someone at church. To understand Palestinians, direct access to Palestinian voices is valuable.
Information from Palestinian voices may sometimes be censored on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. JVP recognizes the need to hear from Palestinians directly. JVP’s living guide offers a list of organizations, artists, activists, and professionals driving awareness to the Palestinian struggle.
Here are a few of those voices.
– Issam Adwan (tw: @Issam_Adwan) is the Gaza project manager for We Are Not Numbers (tw: @WeAreNotNumbers, ig: we_are_not_numbers), an organization that helps young artists – some in Gaza – tell their stories of fear and triumph.
– Noura Erakat (tw: @4noura, ig: nouraerakat) is a Palestinian-American activist, human rights attorney, and professor. She is a social critic of Israel and the author of Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine.
– Sumaya Awad (tw: sumayaawad) is a Palestinian writer. She is the Director of Strategy at the Adalah Justice Project (tw: @adalahjustice, ig: adalahjusticeproject), a Palestinian advocacy organization that aims to shift public discourse and policy on Palestine.
– Mohammed El-Kurd (tw: m7mdkurd, ig: mohammedelkurd) is a Palestinian poet and writer from Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem. He writes about dispossession in Jerusalem and colonization in Palestine.
Understanding Palestine requires a basic knowledge of some movements. One of them is Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). BDS is a movement to end international support for the oppression of Palestinians in Israel. The living guide offers a variety of tools and resources for those just getting started with BDS.
The BDS National Committee (BNC) is the broadest Palestinian civil society coalition that works to lead and support the BDS movement. Some current members of the BNC are the Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine, Union of Palestinian Farms, and General Union of Palestinian Women. The website offers a primer on the movement as well as ways to get involved.
The living document also provides a link to BDS Toolkit and Videos created by the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR). The website offers a short video series, webinars, and PowerPoint presentations that contain topics such as, “What is BDS and How Does it Work” and “How to Prepare a BDS Campaign.”
Approaches to Zionism
Zionism is a nationalist movement with a primary goal as the creation and support of a Jewish national state in Palestine. It originated in eastern and central Europe in the latter part of the 19th century.
JVP’s living document contains a variety of links to resources on the topic, including Wrestling with Zionism. This resource is a JVP-incubated theatre project about the history of Jewish Zionist and anti-Zionist thought an action. You’ll also find a comprehensive list of YouTube videos including a conversation on the end of Zionism with Philip Weiss and Ali Abunimah.
One notable resource is an article in progressive political magazine, In These Times. A conversation with scholar Benjamin Bathaser concerns the history of Jewish, working-class anti-Zionism in the 1930s and 40s.
Amplifying the Movement for Palestinian Liberation
In addition to a number of noteworthy podcasts (such as +972 Podcast and Women Behind the Wall) and books (namely On Palestine by Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappe and Palestine as Metaphor by Mahmoud Darwish), many films also address the Palestinian struggle and can help you understand Palestine.
If you haven’t seen the Oscar-nominated short film, “The Present,” then you should watch it, along with the documentary “Free, Free Palestine: Biden, Israel and the Fight for Palestinian Liberation.” The living document also contains a link to the JVP Film Library, with over 70 films concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Above all, the “Palestinian Guide 2021” is really just the beginning. The resources here can prove helpful while learning more about Israelis and Palestinians moving toward security and self-determination.