Standing Together’s National Field Organiser Uri Weltmann’s latest report to supporters (16 November)
We republish below an email report from Uri Weltmann, Standing Together’s National Field Organiser, circulated to international supporters.
Earlier today I attended the funeral of the veteran peace activist Vivian Silver, who lived in Beeri Kibbutz near the Gaza border, and was presumed to be kidnapped during the 7 October attack. More than 40 days after the horrendous attack, her body was finally identified, and her funeral was held today, attended by hundreds of friends, family and admirers.
She devoted almost all of her life to ending the Occupation, helped to found the movement “Women Wage Peace”, and eventually was brutally murdered by Hamas militants. She constantly warned that without establishing an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel, that will put an end to decades long military rule by Israel over millions of Palestinians, there cannot be safety and security for anyone, including Jewish Israelis. The horrendous circumstances of her death further reinforce this conclusion.
The need for Israeli-Palestinian peace is the cornerstone of the political message of Standing Together during these past few weeks. In an op-ed I published a few days ago in the Guardian I tried to make a case for this message. Surprisingly, this op-ed was translated into Turkish (share with Turkish speaking friends!)
I spent Monday night (13 November) in Jerusalem, where I helped organize another one of our Jewish-Arab Solidarity Rallies.
After similar rallies in Tel-Aviv, Abu Gosh, Haifa, Baqa al-Gharbyyah and Lydd, came the turn of Israel’s official capital city, whose Eastern part was militarily occupied in 1967, whose residents are Palestinians who don’t have Israeli citizenship. Indeed, it’s a divided city, where the Occupation feels very close and very near.
Extreme right-wing activists tried to prevent our Jerusalem from happening. It was supposed to take place in a progressive synagogue, but the Right-wingers pressured the Jerusalem Municipality, which in turn threatened the synagogue, which resulted in us trying to search for a new venue less than a day before the event was supposed to take place.
We didn’t cave in to this McCarthyite harassment, and our event took place in a Jewish-Palestinian cultural club, with a packed crowd of 400 people filling the place to capacity:
Times of Israel ran an article in English about this Jerusalem event.
The news outlet Deutche Welle (DW), based in Germany, ran a TV report about our 700-strong Jewish-Arab Solidarity Rally in Haifa a couple of weeks ago, in English. Here is a five-minute report (worthy of these five minutes!).
My two friends and comrades, Alon-Lee Green and Sally Abed, had a speaking tour in the United States for the past 10 days, giving speeches and presentations and meeting with policy makers, trying to get the message of Standing Together across.
During their visit there, they were both interviewed by MSNBC:
It was a great honor for us in Standing Together to be able to meet with progressive members of the US congress, including Pramila Jayapal, Jamal Bowman, and others.
The BBC World Service produced a radio documentary about our work (28 minutes) – listen on BBC Sounds here.
Sally Abed, a leader of Standing Together, was a guest on the podcast “Plain English”:
The National Public Radio in the US covered a Standing Together action in Lydd.
Some interviews I gave to various publications…
To the Norwegian left-wing newspaper Klassekampen (Share with your friends in Scandinavian countries)
To the Bosnian news portal Tacno (Share with your friends in the Balkans):
If you are based in the UK, turn your attention to Friends of Standing Together UK, who set up a website here (Send the link to your UK contacts!)
Do you want to set up a Friends of Standing Together group in your own country? Write me back.