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This week in June 2017 marks ten years of Israel’s blockade of Gaza; 50 years of Israel’s military occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem; 70 years since the Nakba and ethnic cleansing of Palestine began following the partition of the land against the will of the indigenous people; and 100 years since the Balfour Declaration, which set the stage for the Zionist movement to colonize Palestine and later to establish a Jewish state.
Organizations across the country and world staged actions this week to demand an end to Israel’s brutal occupation as part of a commitment to justice for all Palestinians, whether in Palestine or in exile. One action, by Defense for Children International-Palestine,was a Congressional hearing held June 8, 2017 on Capitol Hill, a hearing that might be more consequential than the hyped James Comey hearing, given that the U.S. is giving $38 billion in military aid to Israel over the next ten years. Speaking on the lives of Palestinian children living under Israeli repression are Omar Shakir of Human Rights Watch; Brad Parker of Defense for Children International-Palestine; Yazan Meqbil, a student at Goshen College and Nadia Ben-Youssef, director of the Adalah Justice Project.