5th October 2017 | International Solidarity Movement
Since 2001 the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) has operated on the occupied Palestinian West Bank and in the Gaza Strip – since the second Intifada of 2001.
As a Palestinian-led movement in solidarity with the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people, we have facilitated the deployment of thousands of volunteers to serve as international observers and activists.
ISM opposes the illegal occupation of the West Bank and the siege of Gaza by Israel, through non-violent resistance and civil disobedience actions such as daily school patrols to escort children crossing through military checkpoints in Hebron. ISM participates in weekly demonstrations against the occupation to de-escalate violence committed by the Israeli army against the Palestinians with the use of cameras and documentation, and if need be by the bodies of the international activists.
ISM also operates a media office that seeks to direct the attention of the world to the human rights situation in Palestine, and which publishes daily reports and documentation of attacks upon the population in the West Bank and Gaza. ISM contributes significantly to assist the Palestinians struggle for their rights, on their own terms and through non-violent means.
Every summer the number of volunteers rise, and the ISM is able to cover several cities at once, and assist in the olive harvest before the coming winter.
However with the fall in temperature the number of volunteers likewise dwindle and often only a handful of activists maintain an ISM presence in Palestine.
This not only diminishes our ability to effectively document the human rights abuses committed in the West Bank but also weakens the organisation since new members are not given the opportunity to interact with and learn from experienced volunteers staying over longer periods and familiarising themselves with the locals, the Arabic language and the level of oppression.
As a rule we never fund expenses for volunteers, but recognize that three months without an income and covering travel expenses is more than most people can afford.
Therefore, we would like to facilitate the deployment of two or three long-term volunteers on the West Bank for a minimum of three months starting in the late autumn and again from December to spring. We see this as an investment and not as a way to pay people for volunteering.
The money collected would be used to cover their travel expenses, and most of the living costs for the volunteers deprived of an income during their stay. We see this as a valuable investment to not only strengthen the presence of active international volunteers, but also as a way to pass on valuable experience.
Once the money has been raised we will announce a call for applicants committing to a minimum three months of volunteering, one of the conditions being earlier volunteers experience with the ISM.
Any remaining funds will be donated to the International Solidarity Movement to fund media work, legal aid and basic logistics necessary to run the organisation.