Year in Review

IJAN took on a good number of activities this past year, both in building participation in the organization and developing ourselves, relationship building, taking on campaigns to challenge Zionist organizations, and responding to calls for solidarity from Palestine.

The “Never Again Tour” came to the United States and Canada early in the year, in the wake of a 2010 European tour, going to about fifteen cities. Hajo Meyer, a Jewish Holocaust survivor, spoke about the universal lessons we can learn from the encroachment of fascism; and Dr Hatem Bazian, chairperson of American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), spoke about Islamophobia and anti-Arab (and those perceived as Arab) racism, how it is consciously fomented in this country, and its use in foreign policy objectives for both the US Empire and Israel. Hedy Epstein, another Holocaust survivor also made appearances. The tour was received warmly by activists, and with animosity by Zionist organizations.IJAN organizers gave talks at a number of conferences this year.

At the US Campaign Against the Occupation conference in September, IJAN and AMP gave a talk called “The Legal & Popular Approaches to Challenge Zionist Organizations in the United States”. At the National Lawyer’s Guild Conference (NLG) in November, IJAN again presented with AMP, also working with The United People of Color Caucus of the NLG, to give a similar talk called “Legal and Popular Challenges to Zionist Institutions, Activities and Backlash”. IJAN activists also attended the US Human Rights Network conference that was a response to the anniversary of the United Nations World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (description of the conference?).  An IJAN delegation participated at a gathering of grassroots forces in Cairo in June, and was invited to speak on the opening and closing panels about Zionism.

Internally, IJAN created a summertime Organizing Institute which attracted about 30 participants and helped to consolidate our membership, through workshops building our collective understandings and helping to shape an organizational direction which will allow us to increase our membership and capacity over the next year.Out of this, our Coordinating Committee ended up having regular calls which both discussed how our local chapters can plug into the national work IJAN has committed to, as well as time for reflection on local organizing and lessons to share across the network.

The Stop the JNF Campaign, a long-term campaign to revoke the JNF’s tax-exempt status based on its racist policies, launched.  Recently, the campaign sent activists to Palestine on a fact-finding mission. 2011 saw us publish an e-book on the JNF with activists and scholars writing about the role of the JNF in taking land from Palestine and erasing the physical historical memory of Palestinians.

The Rafah Crossing Campaign, a campaign to open the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt was begun after the great uprising in Egypt this past summer. IJAN worked with the United States Palestinian Community Network (USPCN) and Haidar Eid from the One State Group in Gaza. A petition was started which was signed by activists from Europe, South Africa, the US, Palestine, and Egypt. Actions were held at Egyptian consulates in South Africa and the US, in solidarity with Egyptian activists and calling for the provisional government to no longer do the bidding of Israel at the Rafah Crossing.

2012 promises to be another exciting year as we continue to grow our network and our campaigns!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *