These are hard but important days for us in Palestine. Just yesterday, my friend and coordinator of the Bil'in Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, Abdallah Abu Rahmah, was sentenced to a year in prison by an Israeli military court. His sole crime was being an instrumental part in our village's campaign against the construction of the wall on our lands.
However, we mustn't allow our sadness about Abdallah's incarceration to stop our work. While Abdallah worked to highlight the expansion of settlements in the West Bank, Israel also constructs illegal infrastructure in East Jerusalem.
Between the 20th and 22nd of October, almost a week from today, the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) plans to hold its bi-annual tourism conference in Jerusalem - a city whose indigenous Palestinian residents suffer from systemic discrimination and expulsion. There is not a moment to lose if we want to change this decision.
Despite Israel’s persistent violations of human rights and disregard for International law, the OECD – whose member countries include the majority of the world richest countries – granted Israel membership on May 27th of this year.
Tourism plays an important role in Israel’s colonization of occupied East Jerusalem. The state and right wing settler organizations cooperate in expelling Palestinians residents from East Jerusalem neighborhoods such as Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah for the creation of colonies and biblically theme parks for tourists.
Join us in calling on the OECD to cancel its tourism conference in Jerusalem. Please follow this link to send an email to Angel Gurría, the Secretary General of the OECD, and demand that his organization respect International law by canceling the planned OECD tourism conference in Jerusalem.
Help us highlight this injustice and voice your concern.