Reprinted from The Jerusalem Post
Solidarity movement volunteer will receive J Street’s Honoring Our Heroes award at the organization’s conference in Washington.
by Melanie Lidman
The Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement, the grassroots organization that has organized weekly protests in the east Jerusalem neighborhood, is taking steps to become a national activist organization, leaders told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.
One of the organization’s central volunteers, Sarah Beninga, will receive J Street’s Honoring Our Heroes award at the organization’s conference in Washington this weekend. The movement decided to use the award as a launching point for its national expansion, which will see the group renamed “Solidarity.”
|J Street's director Jeremy Ben-|
Ami leading demonstration in
Sheikh Jarrah against Jewish
The group’s new manifesto, released on Tuesday, calls for an end to the “occupation” and the “liquidation or fundamental change of organizations that contribute to the dispossession of Arabs, including the Jewish Agency, the Jewish National Fund, and the Israel Lands Authority.”
“The movement is an example of how Jews and Arabs can work together in successful ways, and this can be translated to other areas of the country,” said the group’s spokesman, Avner Inbar.
The Friday protests in Sheikh Jarrah were launched in November 2009, following the eviction of three Arab families in Sheikh Jarrah. For the past 15 months, the demonstrations have drawn an average of 200 to 300 activists for two-hour rallies with signs in English, Hebrew and Arabic, and a lively drum corps. [Blogger's note: Funding for the drums may have come from soliciting from J Street mailing lists.]
The group will oversee weekly protests in Lod, Taibe and Beit She’an against housing demolitions, evictions and “mechanisms that preserve the regime of privilege for Jews,” Inbar said. The organization, which has no paid members and no offices, will have bases in universities around the country, including the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba and Tel Aviv University.