GENERAL STRIKE AGAINST RACISM: Called by Palestinian citizens of Israel 1 Oct09 September 27, 2009

The strike is a ‘protest call against the racist wave that has been sweeping this country on all levels’
‘…it was decided that the strike will take place on the same day that the events of October 2000, which left 13 Palestinian-Arabs (Israeli citizens) dead, are commemorated.’
(Quotes from the original Call made by Palestinian Knesset member, Mohammed Barakeh)

The General Strike is broadly supported by Palestinian political / social organizations, NGO’s, political parties, Palestinian Knesset members and Municipalities, from across the spectrum of the Palestinian Community.

In e-mail correspondence with a Palestine contact in Israel (lawyer and activist for Palestinian rights, affiliated with a variety of renowned Palestinian organizations in Israel, and a Palestinian delegate member to the ‘Bilbao Initiative’ Conference as well as the ‘Durban II’ Conference) we agreed it would be good to organize solidarity activities across Europe (and beyond) on the day of the strike.

Accordingly, hereby an attempt to relate this message and send out a Call in support of the General Strike!!

In the Netherlands we (Netherlands Palestine Committee – NPK) are organizing a picket in front of the Israeli Embassy on 1 October, the day of the General Strike.

We call upon all friends to organize similar activities on the same day, in as many countries as possible!!!

We chose the form of a picket, as we needed to consider action which could quickly/easily be put into place in spite of it being short notice, and which does not require mass mobilization in order to be successful.
(Broad mobilization -at least within the Dutch context- would not be realistically possible due to the short notice, in addition to the sad fact that it is difficult to mobilize when an issue is not ‘hot’ in the news, plus that it is a weekday.)

Such an activity would have 3 basic aims:
- A show of solidarity with the Palestinian strikers
- To shed light on the systematic discrimination of Palestinian citizens of Israel
- To send a message to the Israeli authorities that we are watching closely, and that any violence against the Palestinian
strikers will not go unnoticed!

Please find attached:
- An English version of our (NPK) flyer
(Please feel free to use [any part of] it, if so desired!)
- An article including the original Call for the General Strike by Palestinian Knesset member Mohammed Barakeh
- An article by Jonathan Cook in which he reflects on some of the issues leading to the strike

Further information about the strike, including articles and announcements from an impressively broad range of sources (Palestinian, international and even the Israeli media!) can be found on the internet via Google by entering the terms:
General Strike Israeli Arabs  (*)

(*) We, in the Netherlands Palestine Committee, strongly oppose use of the term ‘Israeli Arabs’ -considering it an Israeli strategy aimed to strip Palestinians of their national identity-  and choose to speak of ‘Palestinian citizens of Israel’ instead.
However, a Google search using the term ‘Israeli Arabs’ unfortunately proved to deliver much greater results.

  • We would kindly like to request all those who decide to organize solidarity activities, to please inform me asap as I am compiling a list of activities to send to the Palestinian Community shortly before the Strike, in a show of support and the message: You are not alone!
  • Also, we are trying to put together a bundle of solidarity declarations to send prior to the Strike!!!!So we strongly request all organizations -whether or not you are able to organize an activity- to please send a few lines in solidarity with the General Strike!!
  • In addition, a few lines following the activity, possibly including 1-2 photos, would also be greatly appreciated in order to send a general impression about all actions taken on their behalf!
  • And last (but CERTAINLY not least!!), as we are all aware of thehigh risk that violence may be used against the strikers by the Israeli authorities, we consider it urgent to send Israel STRONG MESSAGE in advance that WE ARE WATCHING THEM CLOSELY!!!

Of course, it would be absurd to have any illusions that we could actually stop them from doing so!
However, it would certainly have a ‘surprising effect’ if they are suddenly bombarded with messages worldwide, protesting in advance any possible aggression on their part against the Palestinian Community and/or repression against the strikers.

We therefore STRONGLY URGE everyone to send messages to authorities in Israel and Israeli Embassies in your own country, in support of the Strike, with an EXPLICIT warning to the Israeli authorities NOT to attempt repress the Strike or use violent means against the Strikers!!!

In Solidarity,
(Netherlands Palestine Committee)

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