East Jerusalem – Today, the Israeli government demolished two more Palestinian housing complexes in East Jerusalem. Last month, in one sweep, bulldozers demolished 17 Palestinian homes. Those affected? Men, women, children – families trying to survive in their city of their birth, on their land of their ancestors, but discriminated against on the basis of race and religion. In other times, in other places it’s been called ethnic cleansing, racism, and apartheid. In other times and in other places, the international community mobilized to protect.
Who is going to stop the Israelis from erasing the Palestinians from Jerusalem? Who is going to stop this war that they have declared on the Palestinian people? In the middle of the night on Friday, August 10, Israeli police raided the Orient House and occupied it. They took down the Palestinian flag and raised the Israeli flag. On Saturday August 12, the Israeli police beat and arrested 10 people, 3 Palestinians and 7 foreign civilians, for holding the Palestinian flag. They have made the Palestinian flag illegal and are now working to rid Jerusalem of its Palestinian inhabitants.
The Palestinian people cannot sit idly by as their homes and their lives are demolished. They cannot be expected not to take action in the face of repeated assault and continued provocation by the Israeli leadership. We are asking for the support of the international community as we resist uprooting and attack. We ask that the international community not sit idly by as this region continues to degenerate into more and more violence and the Palestinian people attempt to stand up against one of the strongest armies in the world – an army which has shown that it will not hesitate to unleash its war machinery on an unarmed civilian population.
The Israeli government has managed to occupy and close down the Orient House but we will not let them succeed in driving the Palestinians out of Jerusalem. We are setting up this tent here as a symbol of our resistance to the brutal policies of the Israeli government and our will to continue our struggle to live in freedom. Here is Orient House and at the site of every home that Israel tries to demolish will be Orient House.
We say to the Israeli people and to Jewish people around the world; You, a people that knows suffering, abuse and discrimination; you, a people that survived the attempt to erase your memory, your existence, stand up and DO NOT FORGET. Do not inflict upon the Palestinian people what has been done unto you. Join the international movement in calling upon your government to stop inflicting this policy of erasure of the Palestinian people.
We thank the foreign civilians that are here that have pledged their support to us and call upon their governments to take action.
Jerusalem – a City of Peace, a City of Coexistence, a City for Palestinians AND Israelis.