Boycott israHell!

Boycott israHell!
Бойкот на израел и печелещите от окупацията! Boycott israHell and those who profit from occupation!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Naksa Day, Political Prisoners, Children, and More + Maia Project Update!

June 6, 2012
Dear Friend of the Children,

This week, Palestinians everywhere commemorated the 45th anniversary of the naksa, or setback, of 1967 when Israel began its occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, Golan Heights and Sinai Peninsula. 

Repeatedly violating international law, Israel's illegal annexation of Palestinian land continues as it builds Jewish-only settlements, demolishes homes and community centers in East Jerusalem, and uproots olive trees. Palestinians, however, continue to assert their dignity and human rights by fighting Israel's racist policies and apartheid system of checkpoints, prisons, blockades, and the wall. 

For nearly 25 years, MECA has supported Palestinian children and families by building playgrounds, water purification systems, funding scholarships for students, and sending medical aid. Today, we share with you a must-read issue of our e-newsletter, packed with all the latest news and analysis from the ground, as well as MECA updates below!   

Many thanks,
MECA Staff

Palestinians Commemorate Naksa Day

On June 5, Palestinians gathered in the streets of Al Khalil (Hebron) to memorialize Naksa Day. This Naksa Day marks the 45th year of the illegal occupation of Palestinian land by Israel, as a result of the 1967 war, leading to the displacement of thousands of Palestinians.

Children Under Occupation

  • Activist prevents Israeli officer from arresting Palestinian child During Sunday’s Jerusalem Day events, a Palestinian boy, perhaps 10 years old, was chased down an East Jerusalem street by a very angry officer of the Border Police. The boy tripped and fell, then picked himself up just as the Border Police officer reached him and tried to grab him. But a 22 year-old female Israeli activist prevented the boy’s arrest by throwing herself between the two, allowing the Palestinian boy to flee.
  • DCI-Palestine submits report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child On June 4, DCI-Palestine submitted a report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in advance of its review of Israel’s compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 2013. All states that have ratified the Convention are periodically reviewed by this independent UN Committee. DCI’s report to the Committee covers the period from 2002 to 2012 (reporting period), and includes information on the following issues: fatalities, injuries, detention, human shields, informants, and settler violence.
  • A Silwan Story: Palestinian Child Arrested, Abused by Israeli Authorities and Barred From Finishing 9th Grade After 30 days, Suhaib was released, having lost over 20 pounds during his detention. He was sentenced to house arrest at his grandmother's house and his family was required to post a deposit of 50,000 Shekels (about $15,000) in case he violated the conditions of his house arrest. One of those conditions was that Suhaib, who should be in 9th grade, was prevented from returning to school. "I like studying history," Suhaib told me, smiling slightly, "and I want to be a human rights lawyer when I get older."

Palestinian Political Prisoners' Hunger Strike for Dignity

On April 17, a day that Palestinians commemorate as Prisoners’ Day, thousands of Palestinian prisoners participated in a mass hunger strike, demanding an end to administrative detention, isolation and other punitive measures taken against Palestinian prisoners including the denial of family visits and access to university education. 220 children are among the thousands of Palestinians in Israeli prisoners (though none have joined the hunger strike for health reasons).

While 2,000 Palestinian inmates ended the 28-day hunger strike weeks ago, Palestinian national soccer team member, Mahmoud Sarsak, completed 81 days of a grueling hunger strike, the longest in Palestinian history.

Israel's Racist Policies

In recent weeks, reports of Israeli racism toward its African migrants have surfaced following a series of violent attacks against this community based on nothing more than their ethnicity.

MECA Executive Director Barbara Lubin comments, "I have fought against all forms of racism my entire life. But as a grandmother of two wonderful boys who were born in Ethiopia, this story particularly repulses me -- although it in no way surprises me in light of how Israel has treated the Palestinians over the past 64 years. But, it is ironic that Israel, which calls itself the only democracy in the Middle East, and airlifted much of its African population into the country, is blatantly mistreating its own citizens. I think if more people would simply open their eyes to Israel's racist policies, they would be appalled." 

MECA News and Updates 

  • Mother's Day in Silwan In the early morning of February 13, Israeli forces bulldozed a cultural café and damaged the adjacent sports field that MECA supporters helped build in Silwan, East Jerusalem. Dozens of people responded to MECA’s emergency appeal and a temporary structure was built in just a few weeks. With the help of MECA supporters, the community was able to salvage some of the equipment and build a temporary structure in time for a wonderful celebration on Arabic Mother's Day in March. MECA Supporter Cathy Shields joined the Mother's Day celebration and wrote an account of what happened. Check out our slideshow of the event!
  • Book Review: "The Politics of Teaching Palestine to Americans". Written by MECA friend and supporter, Marcy Newman; Help support MECA's work and this important educational resource about Palestine by requesting the publisher release more affordable paperback and ebook editions. Write to Lauren.Jablonski [at] All proceeds from book sales are donated to MECA.
  • [VIDEO] Foul Smell: Treating Gaza's Wastewater under Israeli Blockade, A video about water situation in gaza made by youth ambassadors in Gaza of the Thirsting for Justice Campaign. As part of the Maia Project, MECA is a member of the Emergency Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (EWASH) group in Palestine.
  • MECA Summer 2012 Newsletter, Read our latest printed newsletter!  
  • MECA's Palestine Blog, "Jerusalem Day: Where's the Unity?" MECA Program Director Josie Shields-Stromsness counters the basis of Israel's fallacious celebration.

In This Issue:

Two weeks ago, MECA’s Maia Team of eleven ran or walked “Bay to Breakers,” San Francisco’s 7.4-mile race to raise funds for the Maia Project to bring clean, safe water to children in Gaza.

Thanks to 114 people who supported friends and family members, we’ve received $10,020.23 – with contributions still coming in!

We set out to raise the second half of the funds needed to install a large, permanent water desalination and purification unit in Deir El-Balah Preparatory Boys' School school in Deir El-Balah Refugee Camp, Gaza. And many of you helped us reach and exceed our goal.

MECA supporter and two-time Bay to Breakers walker Corrie Van Thiel already raised half the cost of the unit for this school over the last two years, with the help of All Saints Catholic Church and All Saints School in Hayward, California.

You contribution goes toward the total of $11,500 for the installation of the purification unit. Soon, 2078 middle school students at Deir El-Balah Preparatory Boys' School will have clean, safe water to drink at school, for decades to come.

Many thanks,
The 2012 Bay to Breakers Maia Team:
Brenda, Chris J., Chris P., Corrie, Deborah, Dina, Donna, Harris, Jaclyn, Jane, and Meg

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