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Palestine | East Bay | International | Womyn
Palestinian Women's Voices: Featuring MK Hanin Zoabi and Areej Ja'fari, Berkeley, 11/02/10: audio
On November 2nd, as election night results began pouring in, the Middle East Children's Alliance hosted two Palestinian speakers at the First Congregational Church of Berkeley. Areej Ja'fari is a youth/women’s leader & refugee activist from Dheisheh Refugee Camp. Hanin Zoabi is an Al-Tajammu’ Party leader in 1948 Palestine, a Palestinian Member of the Knesset, and a leading member of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla’s Mavi Marmara.
Areej Ja'fari speaks about growing up playing sports in Palestine, the issues surrounding women's attire in conservative Palestine, and the right of return for displaced Palestinian families as she recounts traveling with children to their villages of origin.
MK Hanin Zoabi discusses the threefold lock-down Israel has achieved against Palestinian resistance: the wall, hundreds of security checkpoints, and the 2009 war on Gaza. She says that security therefore is no longer an issue for Israel, and that's why the focus has been shifting to loyalty oaths to a Jewish State for non-Jewish residents of Israel as a means for further stifling Palestinian demands for justice. She speaks about the large number of racist laws in Israel (such as the law requiring any Israeli who marries a Palestinian to leave the country) and how these laws are not ends in themselves but are intended to suppress Palestinian rights as citizens, thereby betraying Israel's claim to be a democracy in the model of Western nations.
Areej Ja'fari and MK Hanin Zoabi thoroughly answered numerous questions from the audience following their talks. Topics addressed include lessons learned from South Africa post-apartheid and the American civil rights movement, the debate between a one-state or a two-state solution for Palestine and Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Hammas. Jack Heyman of the ILWU is the last questioner and he mentions both the upcoming November 5th sentencing of Johannes Mehserle for the murder of Oscar Grant (convicted of Involuntary Manslaughter) and the ILWU anti-apartheid picket at the Oakland port on June 20th.
A special appeal is made for a program that provides desperately needed water purification for Gaza after many of the water systems were destroyed by Israel's war on Gaza in 2009.
Event announcement: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/10/13/18661285.php
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