AMP endorses Global BDS Movement in commemoration of Land Day

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March 29, 2011
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(CHICAGO 03/30/2011) – On March 30, in solidarity with Palestinians as they peacefully struggle for self-determination and liberty, the American Muslims for Palestine stands with the Palestinian BDS National Committee in commemorating Land Day this year.

Land Day, or ‘Youm al-Ard’ in Arabic, commemorates the day in 1976, when Israeli Occupation Forces opened fire on a group of Palestinians peacefully protesting the confiscation and closure of 5,500 acres of land from villages in the Galilee. That day, Khair Mohammad Yasin, Raja Husein Abu Ria, Khader Abd Khalaileh, Khadijeh Shawahneh, Mohammad Yousef Taha, and Rafat Al Zuheiri lost their lives defending their rights; 96 were injured and more than 300 were arrested.

The confiscated land later was developed into Jews-only settlements, in direct contravention of international law. Land confiscation and home demolitions continue at an unbridled pace. More than 500,000 Jewish colonizers are living illegally in the West Bank and Jerusalem. The network of settlements and Jewish-only bypass roads has crisscrossed the West Bank and Jerusalem, carving the areas up into isolated cantons. With the addition of the Apartheid Wall, which has annexed an additional 45 percent of available West Bank land, Palestinians have been reduced to living on just a fraction of what was one Historic Palestine.

This year, AMP is joining the international campaign to “Stop the Jewish National Fund,” the key catalyst behind the colonization of Palestine since the early 1900s. The JNF, also known as the Keren Kayemet LeIsrael, (JNF-KKL) enjoys charity status in many countries, including the United States.

With a budget of $51 million in 2008, the JNF proclaims it is the “caretaker of the land of Israel on behalf of its owners – Jewish people everywhere,” according to its IRS tax-exempt 990 form. The Zionist organization also claims to have planted more than 240 million trees in Palestine since 1901, in areas that then become prohibited to Palestinians.

Despite the JNF’s slogan “To Make the Desert Bloom,” the trees are not planted in a barren desert empty of inhabitants that Jewish people have come to populate and make flourish.  Lands were, and still are, obtained from their Palestinian inhabitants through exploitative land sales, forced removal or other apartheid State policies.

The JNF owns 13 percent of the land in the historic Palestine. Since 1953, it has operated as parastatal organization and appoints nearly half of the board of the Israel Land Authority (ILA). Because of this private-public partnership, Israel controls 93 percent of historic Palestine.

We must work together to Stop the Jewish National Fund.

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To join the campaign: