In the next few hours, history could be made in Palestine. A small number of brave Palestinians will risk attack and arrest to commit a forbidden act -- they will board a public bus.
Lacking their own state, Palestinians are forbidden to use buses and roads reserved for non-Arabs -- part of a host of race-based rules that US President Jimmy Carter has called "apartheid". 50 years ago, African-Americans in the US challenged these rules by simply and non-violently refusing to follow them. In a few hours, Palestinians will take the same approach, and their actions will be live webcasted by Avaaz teams at the link below.
As diplomats stall in the fight for a Palestinian state, the Palestinian people are taking the fight into their own hands, one public service at a time. And they're doing it with the simple, elegant and unstoppable moral force of non-violence in the tradition of Gandhi and Martin Luther King. The Palestinian spring begins right now - click below to watch it LIVE, register support, and give these brave activists the global solidarity and attention they urgently need to win:
Non-violence is the game-changing force in this long-standing conflict. Boarding buses is a symbolic act, but so was Gandhi's salt march, and Rosa Park's own courageous ride on a segregated bus in the US. Just as non-violent protest was able to topple dictators in Egypt and Tunisia, so can it finally free the Palestinian people from 40 years of crippling military oppression by a foreign power.
There are many dangers. Israel has been arming the extremist settler population, a tactic which is likely, if not intended, to provoke awful violence that will draw the news cameras away from the brave acts of non-violence. Even the Palestinian authorities are pushing back on the action which they fear will start a democratic protest movement that they cannot control. But these few brave Palestinians have had enough, and if we stand with them now, we can help them ignite a flame that will burn its way all the way to a free and peaceful Palestinian state: http://www.avaaz.org/en/palestine_freedom_riders/?vl
We have no idea what will happen in the next 24 hours. Maybe the authorities will crush this brave action. Maybe it will spark into a massive conflagration. Maybe it will sow the first seed of an unstoppable movement with tremendous integrity. But we can watch it live, and lend our voices to the effort. And maybe one day, we can tell our grandchildren that we were there when Palestinians boarded the buses that would ultimately take them to freedom.
With hope and determination,
Ricken, Emma, Alice, Raluca, Pascal, Diego and the rest of the Avaaz team
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Fatah and Hamas have agreed on several controversial issues as part of a reconciliation deal signed on May 4 between both parties, a Fatah official said Monday.
Senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad told a local radio station that details of the agreements will be released after a meeting set to take place in late November between President Abbas and Hamas leader in exile Khaled Mashaal.
Last Friday, the official PA news agency had reported that Abbas and Mashaal would meet in Cairo in the last 10 days of November.
The Fatah official said that both parties had agreed that elections will take place next May, although he stressed that certain conditions must be secured before a vote can take place. more