Good Shepherd Collective joins others for spring rehabilitation action

Posted on Jan 9, 2020

Image: Good Shepherd Collective

Good Shepherd Collective

by Cody O’Rourke, Communications and Fundraising

The beginning of the New Year culminated in an act of joint resistance in the South Hebron Hills. The Good Shepherd Collective partnered with the Sumud and Protection Committee (Atwuani), Youth of Sumud (Atwuani), the Center for Jewish Nonviolence, and other groups to organize a spring rehabilitation action near the Avigail settlement. Some 150 Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals took part in the joint action, planting trees, building paths to the spring, and cleaning the area.

The Avigail outpost was erected illegally on Palestinian land in 2002 as means to continue the settlers’ corridor that runs through the South Hebron Hills, connecting Jerusalem to Beersheva, cutting through the West Bank, and further pushing indigenous communities into concentrated ethnic enclaves.

Image: Palestinians reclaim Ein Albeida Spring in South Hebron Hills, retaking sign, planting a flag. | 1.3.2020

Palestinians reclaim Ein Albeida Spring in South Hebron Hills, retaking sign, planting a flag. | 1.3.2020

In our joint act of resistance, we continually remind internationals that while it is essential to resist on the ground in solidarity, the real work comes when people go back home. We must continue to push people to seek out structural changes in their institutions and governments through targeted campaigns that disrupt the policies and laws perpetuating violence. For too long, we have watched so-called ‘joint solidarity work’ translate into little more than a photo-op. We continue to ask organizations and travel groups to move away from tourism that focuses only on ‘education’ and move into strategic and intentional advocacy initiatives.

We’re completing a project with a British university on the impact of home demolitions and local ideas around social change and nonviolent resistance. The project’s design incorporates an interactive component, asking Palestinian participants to construct from various materials their experiences of home demolitions and nonviolent resistance. The string that runs through all the interviews is a Palestinian call for more strategic thinking around nonviolent resistance, one that focuses on structural changes in the law rather than merely protesting.

The Good Shepherd Collective also finished a successful speaking tour across Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C., holding nearly 40 speaking events, strategic meetings, and radio interviews to discuss the function, impact, and trajectory of Israel’s program of settler colonialism. While most in attendance had a firm foundation of the history and the interlocking pieces that form the State of Israel, we were by no means “preaching to the choir.” Instead, we were laying the foundation for our 2020 campaign to challenge the flow of U.S. charitable donations to far-right Israeli NGOs that work to displace indigenous Palestinian communities.

As we move forward into 2020, methodically building our coalition on the ground and international networks, we ask you to make sure you stay connected by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

As you see how crucial it is to develop alternative models to nonviolent resistance outside of the current NGO model, we hope that you will invest $5, $,10 or $20 dollars a month. If you are a US citizen and want to make a tax-deductible contribution, you can do it through this link. If you are a UK citizen and want to utilize GiftAid, you can do so through this link. For all other donation types, you can use this link here.