In 2015 the Land Defense Coalition has been officially launched as the coordination body for some of Palestine’s largest popular movements as well as local grassroots organizations. We have already built powerful actions and popular resistance together – in order to continue in the year ahead, we need your support. Please consider contributing with a donation to our struggle in 2016.
Uniting 12 movements and organizations that mobilize, among others, farmers, workers, Bedouin communities, youth and women, the aim of the Land Defense Coalition (LDC) is to strengthen the resilience of the population in the areas particularly targeted by the Israeli occupation forces, and to build grassroots actions and international solidarity in order to confront the Israeli occupation, the settlement project and their implications.
Starting into a new year, we have to be prepared for many challenges: the ongoing wave of revolt and demonstrations that since October has spread all across the West Bank and beyond and is lead by local initiatives animated by a new generation of Palestinian freedom fighters, needs support; the Israeli ‘relocation plan’, which aims at the ethnic cleansing of Area C (some 60% of the West Bank) and immediately threatens some 68 communities, has so far been unsuccessful only because of a combined effort of grassroots resistance and steadfastness and international pressure. While international solidarity and the global BDS movement are rapidly growing, there is a constant need to build direct solidarity for the communities at risk and strategic campaigns to end Israel’s impunity.
Only by intensifying the Palestinian grassroots struggle, supported by global solidarity, can we ensure that Israel’s plan for complete Bantustanization of the Palestinian people will be stopped and freedom and justice can be achieved. The Land Defense Coalition is committed to contribute its part in this national effort towards liberation and return of the Palestinian people.
Our work is almost exclusively based on voluntary efforts but we need a minimum of resources to maintain the basic structure of the Land Defense Coalition and to support its members and act effectively and independently.
We therefore ask you and/or your organisation to become a supporter of the Land Defence Coalition and commit a contribution for our 2016 efforts.
We are looking for supporters that can commit between $500 and $5000 (or more, if you can) to our effort during 2016. Please contact us if you are interested in supporting us. If you are interested in running a fundraiser, we are happy to work together with you to make it a success.
Please join in solidarity and contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Some highlights of our struggle in 2015
- We work in support of a new generation of Palestinian freedom fighters
Since years, Stop the Wall has been working together with youth on political education and supported their
local organizing efforts on the ground to fight the occupation and to defend their rights and role within Palestinian society. The Land Defense Coalition has joined this effort, maintaining a strong youth component. We have been supporting the formation of youth committees in each West Bank district and the creation of a coordination body, the Palestine Youth Forum.
The ongoing wave of generalized youth lead protests that are defying the occupation’s grip over our lives are yet another proof of the centrality of these efforts. The old may die but our youth do not forget nor surrender.
- We join forces to struggle against the Apartheid Wall
In Cremisan, Bethlehem area, youth, farmers and Bedouin communities from the Land Defense Coalition have joined Stop the Wall and Kairos Palestine in supporting the ongoing demonstrations of the local committees to stop the construction of the Wall on the village land.
In August, Israel has started to finalize the Apartheid Wall in this area. Israeli bulldozers started overturning the earth and uprooting olive trees from the lands, which are situated in the valley at the feet of Beit Jala north west of Bethlehem. The confiscation of the lands in the area will result in a severe loss of income for the local population and will definitely close of Bethlehem district from Jerusalem.
Almost three forth of the apartheid Wall’s over 800km of length are already built. If Israel is able to finish it, the Wall together with military zones, the settlements and their infrastructure will form a structure that will cut off Palestinians from Jerusalem, most of their water resources and some 60% of the West Bank land.
- Our struggle against Israel’s displacement of the Palestinian people continues
At the beginning of 2015, we were a central part of the protest camp in Abu Dis area, ‘The Gate to Jerusalem’. The protest camp resisted for almost two months and a dozen demolitions before the Israeli bulldozers could move onto the land.
People gathered on the lands to stop the Israeli plan to transform the area into a ‘relocation camp’ for Bedouin communities to be displaced from their homes.
We’ve already stopped Palestinian business who had been lured into profitting from this plan, we’ll continue to work together to stop the ‘relocation camps’ and the displacement of Palestinian communities.
- We work to unite the Palestinian communities
The Land Defense Coalition has been supporting communities in the Jordan Valley to form the Popular Council of the Jordan Valley. The initiative has been a process of two years of consultations and conversations in order to unite the communities, that have been fragmented by administrative divisions and Israeli policies of isolation.
Today the 18 communities and village councils that form the Popular Council work together to resist the ever growing pressure to ethnically cleanse the Jordan Valley, support each other against military trainings, home demolitions and have created a collective voice nationally and will hopefully be heard always more clearly at international level.
- We fight for social, economic and political rights of small farmers, workers, women, youth and marginalised social groups
Last year, the Land Defense Coalition has joint the struggle initiated by the Palestinian Farmers Union and the Popular Council for the Jordan Valley against taxes the Palestinian National Authority wanted to levy on small farmers and the livestock of the Bedouin communities. We achieved a temporary suspension. We are currently fighting for the complete cancellation of the tax and for the archiving of the court cases against farmers who have refused to pay the tax. Palestinian farmers and Bedouin communities, especially in Area C, are at the forefront of the struggle for our land and carry the brunt of the occupation’s devastating policies. They deserve support not more stranglehold imposed on them.
The New Unions have organized together with the Land Defense Coalition three mass demonstrations demanding the creation of labour courts and the formation of a investigation committee to solve the labour cases that are still since years pending in the courts. The New Unions have helped over 400 workers to bring their cases in Israeli and Palestinian courts but the failure of the Palestinian court system de facto disenfranchises workers in front of their employees.
- We work to hold the agents of apartheid against the Palestinian people and the war profiteers accountable
Members of the Land Defense Coalition have continued to actively promote and support the global BDS movement and to contribute to the Palestinian National Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Committee (BNC).
Stop the Wall has continued its efforts to stop any contracts, investments and funding for Elbit Systems, the Israeli military company that, among others, builds the drones that are a central tool of assassination in Israel’s repeated massacres of Gaza, provides technology for the Wall and the settlements. This year we have initiated together with the ECCP the campaign to end EU funding for Elbit Systems and Israeli military and security companies.
We have continued to build efforts against the global interests and participation in water privatization effort of Mekorot, the Israeli water company responsible for the implementation of Israel’s ‘water apartheid’.
We continue to give special attention to the global south and work together with partners from India to Brazil. The Palestinian struggle being anti-colonial at its core, the alliance with the people that have struggled against colonialism and continue to fight neo-colonialism is a central element in our global perspective. Considering the growing importance that the non-Western countries play in sustaining economically Israeli apartheid, strengthening this alliance is an urgency.
We believe that Israeli apartheid is not only devastating for the Palestinian people, it is antagonistic to all those that struggle for social, economic and political justice.
Our organizational structure
- Stop the Wall Campaign
- Palestinian Farmers Union
- Palestinian New Federation of Trade Unions (New Unions)
- Palestine Youth Forum
- Association for Farmers’ Rights and for the Preservation of the environment
- Women Center for Social Development
- Association Jadayel / Palestinian Center for Culture, Arts and creativity
- Jadayel Foundation
- Palestinian Farmers Society-Tulkarem
- N’lin Society for Development and Community Work
- Popular Council to Protect the Jordan Valley
- Al-Amal Association for Childhood and Development
Our coordination mechanism:
The members of the LDC have come together to strengthen the common struggle on the ground, to pool capacities especially in the areas of popular mobilization, international outreach, research and administration.
The LDC is lead by an executive committee composed of representatives of its members. The LDC executive committee appoints the general coordinator.
1 international outreach coordinator
The Palestinian Farmers Union supports the LDC through its accountant.
For more see the Land Defense Coalition brochure.