Dear ICAHD family, friends and supporters (actually, we’re beginning to be more of a clan, edging towards a tribe),
This is just a note wishing you all a good, good, happy and productive New Year, with peace finally coming to Palestine, Israel and our whole global community.
In this very difficult moment in the seemingly intractable Israel/Palestine conflict, in which we have invested so much effort and have experienced the pain of the conflict so personally, we need to reaffirm our commitment to the struggle for a just peace and, no less important, to support each other in friendship and solidarity.
We are a few good souls battling political, social, economic and cultural forces much larger and more powerful than we are, and it is easy to fall into despair. We have to remember, however, that injustice is unsustainable. It may seem strong at the moment — think of the Soviet Union, the Shah, Apartheid South Africa, Marcos in the Phillipines, Jim Crow in the American South, the American forces in Vietnam, the colonial regimes of the past: all history. 2007 marked the 200th anniversary of the end of the trans-Atlantic slave trade (January first, marks the 200th anniversary of the end of the slave trade to the US).
Injustice may last a long time; a particular form may even outlasts our lifetimes, and we must realize that there is no quick fix. But it contains the seeds of its own destruction. Injustice must be exploitative and cruel; it must be oppressive and violent. But it can never be stabilized, normalized or routinized. It can never be accepted by the oppressed. At some time it falls. Our job, in terms of the Israeli Occupation and all the obstacles to a just peace and Palestinian freedom, is to hasten that end.
If we understand the forces we are up against, if we know we’re in this for the long haul, our efforts can be sustained. Its a hard road, though. It takes mutual support for all of us to sustain our efforts, and a constant reminder that we, the privileged, have no right to despair; we must continue struggling even if the oppressed are exhausted and unable to withstand the oppression themselves — which is where the Palestinians are today — even when no solution is readily available.
I am grateful that we have such a strong, determined, creative and committed circle of co-strugglers. ICAHD is working tirelessly, on the ground in Palestine, within Israeli society and internationally, to bring about that just peace. Your support and solidarity are not only meaningful for us; we in Israel/Palestine cannot succeed without your efforts, without a joint struggle. I believe we have succeeded in getting our critical message out. The next stage in our campaign has to be two-fold: to mobilize wider circles of civil society than we have, and to reach higher into the circles of the decision-makers. Hopefully we can do so in closer cooperation with partner groups both in Israel/Palestine and abroad.
I didn’t mean for this to be such a long missive. I just wanted to share with you my belief that no matter how difficult things may seem, small and determined groups of strategic activists like us CAN make a difference.
So let’s make 2008 the year we turn the corner towards a just peace in Israel/Palestine.
In love and solidarity,