I remember well the early days of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. It was after the long second Intifada, when suicide bombings were making headlines, that this nonviolent means of resistance began to gain ground. Almost twenty years later, it has been misrepresented, and attempts are being made to criminalize it in many countries around the world. But there are few ways in which Palestinians can fight for their right to an independent state, promised to them again and again for more than a century. We just commemorated 75 years of the Nakba, when half the Palestinian population was ethnically cleansed. If we look for opportunities in disasters, we can realize that today’s large Palestinian diaspora communities, many of whose members are not allowed to visit their homeland in person, are immensely important for Palestine! It has become crystal clear that we cannot bring about an end to the occupation from inside the occupied territories or on our own. International pressure is the only means that can bring about change, and engagement to this end can and must be supported politically, socio-politically, and through economic means by our expat communities and solidarity groups worldwide.
This issue introduces you to Palestinian communities and solidarity groups in Europe. We thank the Scottish Friends of Palestine and the Scottish Palestinian Forum for their support towards the work of This Week in Palestine. Our gratitude extends as well to its authors: Muzna Shihabi, a Palestinian refugee from Haifa who works as a communications expert in Paris; Liana Saleh, a culture journalist who creates bridges; Professor Kamel Hawwash, chair of Great Britain’s Palestine Solidarity Campaign and a founding member of the British Palestinian Committee; social and political activist Luisa Morgantini, a former vice president of the EU Parliament and president of AssoPacePalestina; Wasim Dahmash, a Palestinian professor and activist in Italy; Ambassador Dr. Jilan Wahba Abdalmajid, who currently serves as ambassador of the State of Palestine to Ireland; David P. Carroll, an Irish poet and steadfast supporter of Palestine; Hani Zurob, a Palestinian artist based in Paris; Abir Giacaman, who currently leads the DGD Krankenhaus Sachsenhausen gGmbH in Frankfurt; Pippi von Neuschtetl, who lives in Germany; Ahmad Dari, a Palestinian artist, politician, diplomat, and activist; Wael Shawish, the former chair of the Scottish Palestinian Society and a serious political activist; Joudie Kalla, a Palestinian chef, author, philanthropist, and activist; Suraya Hoffmann, who runs Café Palestine Colonia in Cologne, Germany; Hassan Albalawi, a Palestinian diplomat and author; Kian Reme, who initiated the twinning between Nablus and Stavanger in 1984 and serves as a board member of Nablus Society; and the Palestinian Business Network.
Our two Books of the Month are The Lives and Deaths of Jubrail Dabdoub: Or How the Bethlehemites Discovered Amerka by Jacob Norris, and The Artist’s Curse by Steve Sabella. Where to Go takes you to the YMCA Ramallah Community Center. Enjoy the listed events.
The entire team at TWiP wishes you a good start into summer – and peace for all of us!
The Tina Basem