Together at the WSF2005:
For Land, Justice and Liberation in Palestine and the Syrian Golan Heights!
OPGAI â United in Struggle!
Who are we?
âUnited in Struggle â The Occupied Palestine and Syrian Golan Heights Advocacy Initiativeâ (OPGAI) is a common platform for NGOs working in the West Bank and the Golan Heights to coordinate their activities for the World Social Forum 2005 and beyond. As activists living under Israeli Military Occupation and Apartheid we believe that it is time to join our efforts to further strengthen our struggle and to present our cause united to the world. We are thus further coordinating with Palestinian, Arab, and international groups for a successful WSF 2005.
The civil society organizations participating in the joint delegation are:
- YMCA East-Jerusalem
- Palestinian Grassroots Anti Apartheid Wall Campaign
- YWCA -Palestine
- Defence for Children/Palestine Section
- Alternative Tourism Group
- Golan for Development
- Badil Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights
- Jerusalem Centre for Women
- Environmental Education Center
Why are we participating in the WSF 2005?
***image2***Our participation at the WSF will be an important step towards united and coordinated action on the national, regional, and global levels. It will be an opportunity for our delegation to find ways of applying the processes of the social forums on a local and Middle Eastern level. Activists from around the world who are seeking alternatives to the neo-liberal paradigm, who are struggling in the front line against the wars being waged on the global south and those offering their resistance inside the dominating countries, can enrich our agenda in countering the âforms of dominationâ we live under in Occupied Palestine and the Syrian Golan Heights. The fifth edition of the WSF offers us a perfect platform to engage in âreflection-actionâ together with other South and North formations to sharpen our praxis.
How do we want to contribute to the WSF 2005?
The delegation has held a number of workshops and meetings to prepare for the fifth edition of the WSF 2005, and will continue the discussions and to prepare common activities.
We will present our cause and struggle to the world through many different activities aiming at a more integrated approach to the Middle East question. We are preparing for successful discussion of common grounds of struggle with other organizations and movements worldwide.
Our main objective is to work together for an alternative world with other WSF participants. We want to link our struggle to the efforts of the worldwide anti-globalization and anti-war movements and all those that strive for a just world.
What do we expect from the WSF 2005?
We are participating in the WSF2005 to strengthen our capacity for action.
If we do not take steps to identify common lines of struggle with activists from all over the globe, we will not have been able to take advantage of this occasion for exchange and discussion.
If we do not succeed in strengthening a global network of solidarity with our cause through our discussions and lead towards effective, concrete, and immediate worldwide action against Israelâs continued policies of occupation and apartheid, we will have failed to take up our role in the struggle and to understand the necessity for and possibilities arising from the support the Palestinian cause receives among the people of this world.
If we are not able to come out of the WSF more united as a region, then we will reduce this process into a global activists talk shop that does not effect any change. If we do not translate the work of the WSF into our localities, then we will be failing the people living under occupation in Palestine and the Golan Heights.
A program of action that can be implemented for our region along these lines is what this process should create.
We believe in the importance of exchange and learning processes from the example of other experiences and struggles. The flagrant and systematic violations of international law and human rights by the Israeli occupation forces in our land must be confronted innovatively to achieve justice and freedom in Palestine and the Arab world.
âUnited in Struggle â The Occupied Palestine and Syrian Golan Heights Joint Advocacy Initiativeâ is planning four different workshops and seminars to explore different aspects or our struggle:
– Workshop: A Historical Analysis of the Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
– Workshop: Actual Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
– Seminar: Confronting Zionism: Bringing together Global Movements against Racism and Globalization.
– Seminar: Against Israeli Occupation and Apartheid: The Call from Palestine for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions.
We are further coordinating the:
Strategy Meetings on Solidarity with Palestine to be held on January 27th, 28th and 29th from 7pm to 9pm
together with the Movement against Israeli Apartheid and other networks. (Your contributions to the preparation process for the strategy meeting are highly welcome, as they will help us to make sure a comprehensive, effective, and all-inclusive strategy of solidarity can be elaborated. Please send an email to email@example.com if you would like to contribute to the preparation or would like further information.)
We will be present in a solidarity tent at WSF, and will be involved in many other initiatives and activities that are being coordinated with like minded organizations.