Report Back: Rome

March 30, 2011 – Land Day

Land Day commemorates the sacrifice of six young Palestinians who, in 1976, were killed in the area of al-Jahil while protesting the expropriation of their land. For the past three years, throughout the world Land Day is commemorated with Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) actions targeting the Israeli economy. March 30, 2011, in fact, saw the launch from Palestine of an international campaign to block the activities of the Jewish National Fund (JNF).

Since 1901, under the pretext of working for the environment, the JNF has stolen land and resources from the Palestinian people, selling the land exclusively to Jews or planting non-native trees so as to distort and cancel the sites of Palestinian history and culture.

In response to this call for action, the Rome Palestine Solidarity Network, together with young people from the Palestinian Community, planted olive trees in various locations in the city of Rome. Four olive trees were planted on the very land where some years ago the JNF, together with the Municipality of Rome, had planted trees. With this action, the activists intended to symbolically return dignity and freedom to this piece of land, recalling the struggle of the Palestinian people and their daily actions to defend their land from the Israeli occupation, of which the JNF is an integral part.

Another olive tree, together with a plaque explaining the meaning of the action, was planted in front of the Colosseum, a symbol of Rome often used as a backdrop for initiatives supporting human rights. The sixth olive tree, donated by A.C. Germogli, an environmental association from Sabina (near Rome), was planted next to the monument commemorating Rachel Corrie, killed in 2003 by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza while defending a Palestinian home.

No occupation will ever succeed in uprooting the Palestinian people from their land.

Refuse apartheid. Boycott Israel.

Rome Palestine Solidarity Network

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