The following is a blog post from Liz Bajjalieh, Student Network Director at Chicago Area Peace Action
Even as a little girl I couldn’t escape it: what it means to be silenced.
Navigating the United States when you’re a Palestinian of the Diaspora is a difficult, complex experience. My first time I learned I was Palestinian was in the 6th grade, when my elementary school had a “culture day,” in which students could go on a stage in front of the school and talk about their ancestral heritage.
Current Israeli government policies act on the principle that only people of Jewish heritage should inhabit historical Palestine. The Israeli state explicitly seeks to establish and maintain a Jewish identity, both in what is now Israel proper and in the UN-designated Palestinian territories. This creates a system where Palestinians, whether Muslim, Christian, or non-secular, are living under apartheid.
CAPA’s Palestine Campaign seeks to educate and advocate on behalf of Palestinian civil and human rights. Imagine facing militarized checkpoints on the way to work, denial of water access, having your home bulldozed, legalized second-class treatment, even being denied access to vaccines. The U.S. actively supports the Israeli government’s actions, despite the fact that, for example, in November 2020, 163 nations in the UN General Assembly voted to end Israel’s occupation of UN recognized Palestinian lands.
The Palestine Campaign will expose these issues and mobilize to ensure Palestinians are treated fairly and democratically. We will educate on topics such as the oppression of Palestinian-Israeli citizens, and advocate on topics such as medical apartheid in Palestine and our own constitutional right to advocate on these issues in the U.S. Our first goal is to secure the passage of Representative Betty McCollum’s bill, Defending the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act– HR2590, to ensure the U.S. is not funding the ongoing illegal detention of Palestinian children by the Israeli government.
We welcome activists at all levels of advocacy: brand new, been organizing for years, etc.!
If you would like to get involved in this work, please contact the campaign convener Liz Bajjalieh at email@example.com!
Israel was established in 1948 as a Jewish nation. However, the state was built on historic Palestine, where millions were already living. This caused a mass expulsion of Palestinians from their homes.
Today, Israel commits a trove of human rights abuses, including illegal settlements on Palestinian land, bulldozing homes, segregated highways, restrictions on water and electricity, ID systems that give Palestinians less rights than Israelis.
Would you like to work with us in promoting Palestinian human and civil rights? Please contact the Palestine campaign convener Liz Bajjalieh at firstname.lastname@example.org!
If you would like more information, to volunteer, or intern for CAPA please contact us