8 Mar 2011IPSC Home
International Women's Day: Leading female activists express solidarity with Palestinian women
International Women's Day: Leading female activists express solidarity with Palestinian womenTo mark International Women’s Day 2011 the Chairwomen of the two leading Pro-Palestinian organisations in Ireland have issued a statement of solidarity with the women of Palestine. Mags O'Brien, Trade Union Friends of Palestine (TUFP) Chairperson and Freda Hughes, Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) Chairperson reaffirmed their commitment to campaign for Palestinian national, human and democratic rights.
What Palestinian civil society has asked for is simple and in accordance with international law and human rights legislation – it is that Israel ends its military occupation, that it stops discriminating against Palestinians inside Israel and that it respects Palestinian people’s right of return to their own land. The Palestinian people ask for no more than we would expect for ourselves. They demand equality and justice.
Women have always formed the backbone of the struggle for Palestinian liberation as well as from time to time taking prominent leading roles. As a result of their visible political activity, Palestinian women have not escaped mass arrest campaigns. Women in detention are subject to daily mistreatment and are often held in cells with Israeli criminal prisoners. Regular body searches are performed with brutality; sexual harassment is common; the right to elect a representative for their collective demands is not recognised; solitary confinement is used as a form of punishment; they are prohibited from going outside regularly; confiscation of personal belongings is common; and attacks by beatings or tear gassings occur regularly.
What is obviously apparent in the new generation of anti-Zionist activists in both Palestine and Israel is that the popular committees and collectives carrying out much of the non-violent grassroots action against the occupation are coordinated by both men and women together.
Much of the American anti-Zionist movement is also made up of progressive anti-Zionist Jews and Muslim women which easily refutes the myth that the Israel-Palestine conflict is based around a religious war.
Today we want to remember, celebrate, and honor the sacrifices, talents and leadership of women in Palestine and express our solidarity with them and their continuing struggle for national liberation.
The people of Palestine need our support in their struggle for freedom and justice - and we can help by supporting the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel.
We call on all women of conscience in Ireland to join with us in supporting Palestinian national, human and democratic rights by campaigning for justice and an end to the occupation.
ENDSRelated Link: http://www.ipsc.ie/