This summer, the Veterans Peace Team will send a delegation of 8-12 members to the West Bank to stand in solidarity with Palestinian nonviolent resistance to the Israeli occupation and to the encroaching settlements on what remains of Palestinian land. We are asking for your support for this project.
Currently Palestinians are risking life and limb to establish new villages in the South Hebron Hills and to resist the Netanyahu government’s plan to take over even more Palestinian land.
“We began building the tents and were surprised when a large force of the Israeli army began attacking us and destroying tents and hitting us,” Younis Arar, coordinator of the popular committee in the southern West Bank, told Ma’an news. According to Haaretz, the water sprayed at the protesters was “foul water,” also known as “skunk water,” which has a putrid smell that can linger on clothing. A Hebron human rights activist told Al Jazeera, “The Israeli army does not distinguish the journalists from activists, or from the people living there–they just attacked everyone. They were very aggressive today.”
Our intention as nonviolent veteran activists is more than just to observe, return home, and report. We plan to present a team of recognizable U.S. military veterans and allies (we will have VFP shirts, flags and banners) standing shoulder to shoulder with Palestinians as brothers and sisters and taking the same risks as they do every day in the face of overwhelming IDF use of force.
We are in touch with key people in the Palestinian/Israeli resistance, including members of Combatants for Peace. The people on the ground in Palestine that we have approached so far about this idea are very enthusiastic, as it will be the first time that a team of U.S. military veterans will visibly and recognizably stand in solidarity with them.
For reasons of security, we cannot disclose specific details about the timing and participants of this initiative. However, we need the financial and moral support of our brothers and sisters in order to make this a reality. This will not be without risk. We will make every effort to insure the safety of our people but obviously cannot guarantee anything. Everything we do will be documented. Those coming on the trip will be expected to be deeply trained and immersed in nonviolence theory and practice and to be well versed in the history of the struggle for Palestinian self-determination.
Our financial goal for this project is $10,000, which will be used to defray travel costs and expenses for the team. Those on board are long on commitment and courage but sometimes short of funds. Please help us reach this critically important part of our mission. You can make donations here.
In solidarity and gratitude,
The Veterans Peace Team for Palestine