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Palestine Today: Facing Coronavirus and Colonialism

May 3 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

GAZA CITY, GAZA - MARCH 19: Palestinians gather for a demonstration to demand coronavirus (COVID-19) protection for Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, in Gaza City, Gaza on March 19, 2020. (Photo by Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Palestinians, who have endured many decades of displacement, occupation and exile, are now facing a new threat from the coronavirus pandemic. Palestinians are divided, with varying legal statuses, between the occupied West Bank, besieged Gaza, 1948 Israel and in the exile diaspora across the Middle East. Their impoverished and fragmented communities have few resources to fight the disease effectively.  This webinar will hear from each of those communities as to their condition under Israeli colonialism/occupation and the new challenges posed by COVID-19.

With participants from


Lubnah ShomaliLubnah Shomali, Advocacy manager for BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, Bethlehem. As a Palestinian human rights defender/activist, Mrs. Shomali will present BADIL’s comprehensive rights-based approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, with a focus on forced population transfer, refugees and internally displaced persons, according to international humanitarian and human rights law.  Mrs. Shomali has a bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Michigan. Born in Palestine but raised in the US, Mrs. Shomali relocated with her family to her hometown in the West Bank in the summer of 2008.  She worked with Beit Sahour Municipality for three years as their International Relations Officer before signing on with BADIL Resource Center in 2012.


Jehad AbusalimJehad Abusalim is the Palestine activism program associate at the American Friends Service Committee. He is also a PhD candidate at the History and Hebrew and Judaic Studies joint program at New York University. In his work, Jehad examines the various ways Arab intellectuals perceived and engaged with the Zionist idea and project. Jehad also studies the social and political history of the Gaza Strip, focusing on the impact of the Nakba on life in Palestine’s Gaza district and 1950s political life in the Gaza Strip. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration and Hebrew from Al-Azhar University in Gaza. He has been published in +972 Magazine, Al-Jazeera English, Palestine Square, Journal for Palestine Studies and Vox, and contributed to the anthology Gaza as Metaphor with a chapter entitled “From Fence to Fence: Retelling Gaza’s Story.”

1948 ISRAEL:

Dr Thabet Abu Ras

Dr. Thabet Abu Ras, co-Executive Director, The Abraham Initiatives is from the town of Qalansuwe in central Israel. Thabet joined the Abraham Initiatives in April, 2014, with a long background in civil society organizations. He is a political geographer and an expert in land and planning; he obtained a PhD in the field of Geography and Regional Development from the University of Arizona in the United States in 1997.  He teaches courses at Ben Gurion University such as ethnic relations, land, planning and regional development. He served on Adalah’s Board of Directors from 2006 to 2008, and joined the staff in October 2010 as the director of Adalah’s office in the Negev.


Jaber SuleimanJaber Suleiman is an independent researcher/consultant in Refugee Studies. He was a Visiting Study Fellow at the Refugee Studies Program, University of Oxford (1997-1998).  He is co-founder of Aidoun Group & the Centre for Refugee Rights/Aidoun; he is an activist in the Right of Return Movement and the Palestinian Civil Society in Lebanon.  He worked as a consultant for the Palestinian program of UNICEF in Palestinian refugee camps of Lebanon (Jan 2007 – May 2010) and has been working since Jan. 2011 as a consultant and coordinator for the Lebanese Palestinian Dialogue Forum/ LPDF at the Common Space Initiative/CSI- UNDP Support Project on Consensus Building, and Civil Peace in Lebanon.

Register to attend at Codes to join by video or phone will be emailed to you.  First in a series of webinars sponsored by Massachusetts Peace Action’s Palestine-Israel Working Group.

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Many thanks to NIDAL AL-AZRAQ of 1for3 for helping to organize this webinar!

1for3 empowers underserved Palestinian communities to address environmental health and quality of life issues.  It works to create sustainable projects to rally the community around programs that promote water and food security, better health care, children’s right to play, education, and effective communication through multimedia production. Water is the conduit through which it tackles these other issues — without reliable water, these other programs cannot exist. 1for3 is a section 501(c)(3) registered non-profit organization, incorporated in 2010 in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, USA. It is  committed to collaborating with Palestinian grassroots organizations and ensuring inclusion of women and youth.

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Efforts are underway to pressure the Trump administration to unblock aid to Palestinians through UNRWA and other agencies.  Please make sure you contact your Members of Congress to ask that they support this!


May 3
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
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Online Webinar
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