Solidarity and Hope in Jaffa
On Sunday, while the horrific Flag March marauded through Jerusalem promoting Jewish supremacy as marchers screamed “death to Arabs” and destroyed Palestinian property in Sheikh Jarrah, Jaffa was the site of possibility. Arabs and Jews of all ages joined together, whole families came out, to the incredible event: the joint Jewish-Arab Party-Protest for Housing Rights. It was an evening jam-packed with joy, solidarity, partnership, and hope, with art and theatre workshops for the little ones to boot.
The leaders of the housing struggle and residents of Jaffa’s public housing who are being targeted with home evictions shared their gratitude for the big gathering. They particularly expressed their appreciation of our involvement, thanking Zazim members for supporting the shared struggle for affordable housing. The refrain came again and again: “it feels like we’re all in the same boat.”
1,000 Jaffa families are still facing the threat of eviction, and the struggle of residents made vulnerable by the mechanisms of “absentee property” is not stopping anytime soon. We will continue to stand with these residents and support them until the right and just decision is made that defends and expands affordable housing. This long-marginalized community has zero chance to compete with the crippling costs of housing currently crushing Jaffaites, especially with no support or subsidies from neither the municipality nor the state. Without that support, they are unable to acquire their homes back from the government. After years of dispossession and displacement, unfair treatment and uprooting, housing justice is long overdue.
Thank you to everyone who donated to make the party-protest possible, to those who joined in person, and to everyone who stands with this struggle in any way that works for them.
(Pictured: Gili Dor, Mira Awad, Omar Siksik, and Achinoam Nini -- who all appeared and participated, either taking part or performing, at the Protest-Party)