I first arrived in East Jerusalem during a bitterly cold Palestinian winter in late 2005 to join the International Solidarity Movement. My first few nights were spent at a hostel in East Jerusalem. While at the hostel, I kept hearing people talking about one of the co-founders of ISM, Israeli activist Neta Golan. The way people spoke about her was larger than life: she had been shot in the thigh with a tear gas canister, she’d been arrested chaining herself to an olive tree, she was with Yassir Arafat in the Muqata’ during the 2002 siege. I was intrigued and also a bit intimated, but Neta ended up becoming a close friend and an activist role model for me.
This past summer, I reflected on the way the movement for Palestinian rights has changed over the years since I’ve worked with ISM. In 2005, the word “Palestine” was like a four letter word in polite society, especially polite Jewish society where my roots are. Now we have a handful of American politicians who are daring to speak out and a strong international BDS movement and support from many Jewish organizations.
An idea came to me to host a 20 speaker telesummit to try to figure out what has been working in our movement and what is not by asking some of the most highly respected people involved in this issue and sharing the information with like-minded activists all over the world. I interview Neta on this exact subject and her insights are about ISM’s successes are eye opening. Some of the other interviewees include Hanan Ashrawi, Cindy and Craig Corrie, Ramzy Baroud, Jeff Halper, Max Blumenthal, and Sam Bahour.
Have you ever wondered if your activism really matters or is really making a difference? I’m going to explore the topic in my telesummit: Palestine, What’s Working, What’s Not. We’re focusing specifically on tactics that are and are not working in the movement so that people can spread the word about strategy.
I invite you to join us. Link: http://bit.ly/NetaGolan