Archive for the ‘International Peace Teams’ Category

h1

MPT’s Fall Newsletter

October 29, 2012

Click here:  MPT’s Fall 2012 Newsletter 

Knowing that active nonviolence is always our MPT focus, how do we keep on doing the good work with informed action in community, and with commitment in the face of obstacles? And secondly: What are effective ways of overcoming our own, our community’s, our world’s sense of hopelessness, paralysis, atomization, apathy and cynicism?

This Fall 2012 Newsletter offers the following answers to those questions:

  • Some Tools for the Long Haul – Peter Dougherty (pg. 1)
  • A Noble Difference – Annette Thomas (2-3)
  • Where There Is Apathy, Let Us Bring Hope – Albert F.J. Kreitz (3)
  • This is It!: Experiencing Beloved Community – Kim Redigan (4)
  • Seeing the Other  – Kristie Guerrero-Taylor (5)
  • The Outcome Is Not In Our Hands – Sandra Schneiders, IHM (6)
  • Cynicism & Community – Lydia Wylie-Kellermann (7)
  • Making a Difference, Moment by Moment – Paula Marie (8)
  • Nonviolence Training (8)
  • Peace Teams and the Fall 2012 Peace Team (9)
  • Growing Community Events – Elizabeth Walters, IHM (10-11)
  • Help Continue the Dream (12)
Advertisements
h1

MPT’s Summer Newsletter: Accompanying Mexico in Peace

September 27, 2012

CLICK HERE:  17_MPT_Summer_2012_Newsletter

Featuring these articles:  

  • MPT with the Mayans of Chiapas, Mexico  By Peter Dougherty
  • MPT Accompanying the People of Juarez  By Elizabeth Walters, IHM
  • Birth of Mexico’s Peace Movement  By Amy Smetana
  • Opportunities
  • Take Action!
  • Support
  • Centro Santa Catalina
  • Be the Change You Want to Happen –
  • Get Involved in MPT
h1

Jenin’s Freedom Theatre: Leader in the Cultural Intifada

October 1, 2009

by Nicole Rohrkemper, International Team Deployment Coordinator

A short article to complement MPT’s Fall Theme of Arts and Culture, highlighted in our Fall print edition MPT Newsletter.

www.thefreedomtheatre.org

Many believe the power of culture, the arts, and progressive media can shift attitudes, resist oppression, and combat human rights abuses. Participants in the Freedom Theatre at Jenin Refugee Camp (West Bank) believe that a third intifada is coming—a nonviolent uprising which will create social change through art and culture.


MPT Teams visited the Freedom Theatre in the Jenin Refugee Camp twice this year as the group debuted groundbreaking productions. Located in the city of Jenin, the Camp is a densely populated area (more than 18,000 people in about a half square mile). By rough estimate, this is three times the population density of Chicago, and
ten times the population density of greater Lansing.

In 1988 Arna Mer-Khamis (an Israeli married to a Palestinian) came to Jenin to give acting lessons to Palestinian youth at the Refugee Camp. According to the Freedom Theatre’s website, Arna wanted to give the children a space to work through the trauma they experienced because of the ongoing conflict. She was awarded the Alternative Peace Prize in 1993, and used the money to build a community theatre at the Camp. The original theatre was destroyed during the Second Intifada in 2002, along with half of Jenin Camp’s housing and other buildings. Some of the 65 Camp residents killed during the conflict were former acting students. In 2005 Arna’s son, then-famous Israeli actor Juliano Mer Khamis, returned to Jenin to begin building a second theatre which stands today.

The Freedom complex includes the auditorium, video editing studios, a film darkroom, a library, two classrooms and a computer lab. According to the Theatre, the computer lab was donated by an Israeli man whose daughter received a heart transplant from a Palestinian boy killed by Israeli soldiers in the Camp in 2005.

Last Spring the premiere of Orwell’s Animal Farm at the Theatre was covered by Reuters and Socialist Worker Online, as well as others. According to an article from Reuters (“In Self-Satire, Palestinians See Cultural Intifada,” Reuters.com, April 2, 2009), it was noted that the play held a mirror to Palestinian leaders of previous uprisings, drawing on Orwell’s original message warning against the corruption of a social movement.

The armed revolution is over,” said actor Rabia Turokman, once a fugitive fighter in Jenin. “I had to look for another revolution,” he said after coming off-stage to rowdy applause. “Having a theatre in Jenin refugee camp is the biggest revolution for Palestine.” For many of the young audience members, the play [Animal Farm, which is] based on Stalin’s corruption of Russian revolutionary ideals, reflects the Palestinian reality… “Ghetto mentality” and “dictatorship of tradition” has created a rift amongst Palestinian leaders under the Israeli occupation.”

According to the young people working there, many involved in the Theatre seek to unite Palestinians behind a coming nonviolent Cultural Intifada. They do not pass judgment on the violent struggles of previous movements, but believe that real change can only come through this new, nonviolent movement.

The Freedom Theatre is featured on B-Listed, a blog created by the international human rights organization Breakthrough to recognize under-appreciated so-called “b-list” arts projects with a message. According to their website, Breakthrough encourages harnessing the power of innovative cultural and media projects to educate, and advance equality, justice and dignity.

ElectronicIntifada.com, an alternative media outlet, is part of the tapestry of arts, culture and media organizations working to effect social change. In a June 23, 2009 article on EI, Dr. Ian Pappe writes about what he calls a critical factor in creating real change in the region: the cultural boycott. In this case, Pappe is referring to the cultural boycott of Israel, led by Palestinians but taken up around the world.

The Theatre offers programs for participants of all ages, from children’s plays to post-secondary education. There are currently 9 post-secondary students (2 women), all in their second year. The Theatre is the only acting school in the northern West Bank. One of its productions, Fragments of Palestine, is scheduled to tour in Europe in the coming months.

www.thefreedomtheatre.org

For first-hand accounts of MPT Team visits to the theatre click here: http://mptinpalestine.blogspot.com/2009/04/visits-to-refugee-camps.html, and http://mptinpalestine.blogspot.com/2009/08/jenin-from-armed-uprising-to-cultural.html

h1

Israeli Military Trying to Close Palestinian Orphanages

April 29, 2008

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

ACTION ALERT
April 28, 2008

Contact: Joshua Walsh – communications@wrmea.com

Israel has killed 1,020 Palestinian children since 2000 and Palestinians have killed 124 Israeli children. Too many precious children have suffered and died as a result of politics. Another outrage is about to occur and you can help stop it. On April 23 a program on French TV Channel 5 highlighted a tragedy that may occur at any moment. This news is not even discussed in the United States.

The Israeli military is about to close down schools and orphanages run by the Islamic Charitable Society (ICS) in the West Bank city of Hebron. More than 240 boys and girls, aged 5-18 live at the orphanages, while thousands of other children, many of whom have lost at least one parent, receive schooling, food and clothing from the charity. The Israeli military has already seized $157,000 worth of goods — including rice, oil, sugar, clothing and first aid kits — from the ICS warehouse.

Israeli soldiers entered the Rahma Bakery, owned by the society, on April 14, destroyed the oven, and confiscated more than $43,000 of equipment, including all the display cases, refrigerators, fixtures, and most of the inventory. Upstairs, the soldiers destroyed heating ducts. This bakery provided bread for the orphanages.

MPT took this picture of the destroyed bakery

The charity has appealed to the Israeli High Court of Justice. The Israeli army claims that ICS is supporting the Hamas movement, which started in 1987. The society, founded in 1962, argues that ICS is a Palestinian charitable organization, with no political agenda, which is monitored regularly by the Palestinian Authority.
Israel and its supporters in the United States and Europe have targeted almost every charity that is trying to keep Palestinians fed, clothed, and educated. By closing this charity and others, Israel will complete the economic strangulation and even ethnic cleansing of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza. Israel’s wall and checkpoints are already preventing Palestinians’ access to jobs, fields, medical care and schools.
If the Israeli army shuts down the ICS and its projects in the city of Hebron, nearly 300 orphans will have no place other than the street to sleep. Please fax, telephone and e-mail your representatives to ask Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to stop this outrage. Ask him to show Palestinians that he does want peace by stopping this heartless eviction.

WRITE OR TELEPHONE THOSE WORKING FOR YOU IN WASHINGTON:
President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20500
(202) 456-1414

White House Comment Line:
(202) 456-1111
Fax: (202) 456-2461

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20515
Fax: (202) 261-8577

State Department Public Information Line:
(202) 647-6575
Fax: (202) 647-2283

Any Senator
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-3121

Any Representative
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-3121

E-Mail Congress and the White House:
Congress: visit <www.congress.org>; for President Bush: <president@whitehouse.gov>; Vice President Cheney: vice.president@whitehouse.gov

CONTACT THE EMBASSY OF ISRAEL:
Embassy of Israel
Ambassador Sallai Meridor
3514 International Dr., NW,
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 364-5500 Fax: (202)
(202) 364-5560
 

The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, PO Box 53062, Washington DC 20009. Phone: (202) 939-6050, Fax: (202) 265-4574, Toll Free: (800) 368-5788, www.wrmea.com Published by the American Educational Trust, a non-profit foundation incorporated in Washington, DC to provide the American public with balanced and accurate information concerning U.S. relations with Middle Eastern states. Material from the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs may be printed with out charge with attribution to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

h1

American ISM Volunteer Beaten and Arrested in Israel

April 3, 2008

Per the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (www.wrmea.com):

Blake Murphy, an American activist working with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) in the West Bank, was beaten and arrested by Israeli army and police forces on March 14, 2008. He now faces a series of evidently false charges from the Israeli authorities due to his work supporting non-violent resistance to the occupation in Palestine and is due to be deported to the United States in the immediate future. While in custody Blake has had many of his legal rights abused by the Israeli authorities.

Blake was arrested during the weekly demonstration in the village of Bi’lin, where the separation wall annexes much of the Palestinian village’s land. Blake was picked out of the demonstration by the Israeli forces, violently assaulted, with pepper spray put in his eyes before being taken off and subsequently arrested.

Blake Murphy had to be taken to hospital due to his injuries caused by the soldiers. He appeared in court on March 15, and at that time the judge prolonged his detention until March 18. He was then told that he would have to reappear in court on March 18, only to be told that this was not the case, after spending 8 hours of that day locked in a room meant for 8—along with 15 others waiting for his trial. While in custody, Blake has been denied a translator in court, he has been brought before a judge without his lawyer being informed, and he has been made to appear for a trial that was cancelled without him being informed.

Blake Murphy had been working for the last 8 and a half months in the Palestinian Occupied Territories with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). For over 6 months he was working as the media coordinator for the ISM and was therefore highly involved in supporting Palestinian non-violent resistance toward the occupation. It is for this reason that he was targeted by the Israeli authorities.

For a video of Blake Murphy’s arrest see:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzIAYQmIDRU

For more information or to contact Blake Murphy:
Adam (ISM) 0598503948 or 0548195210

The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is a Palestinian-led non-violent resistance movement committed to ending Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land. They call for full compliance with all relevant UN resolutions and international law.

For specific media inquires such as interview requests, photo usage, etc. please email the ISM Media Office at media@palsolidarity.org or visit their Web site: http://www.palsolidarity.org

Contact the following to voice your concerns:
President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20500
(202) 456-1414
White House Comment Line: (202) 456-1111
Fax: (202) 456-2461
E-mail: <president@whitehouse.gov>

E-mail Vice President Dick Cheney: <vice.president@whitehouse.gov>

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
Department of State
Washington, DC 20520

State Department Public Information Line:
(202) 647-6575

Any Senator
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-3121

Any Representative
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-3121

E-mail Congress: visit the Web site <www.congress.org> for contact information.

The Israeli Embassy, Washington, DC
(202) 364-5500
The Israeli Embassy, Canada
(613) 567 6450
 

The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, PO Box 53062, Washington DC 20009. Phone: (202) 939-6050, Fax: (202) 265-4574, Toll Free: (800) 368-5788, www.wrmea.com Published by the American Educational Trust, a non-profit foundation incorporated in Washington, DC to provide the American public with balanced and accurate information concerning U.S. relations with Middle Eastern states. Material from the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs may be printed with out charge with attribution to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

%d bloggers like this: