- Tens of thousands of media stories appeared just in the last 48 hours (ranging from social media to mainstream media). All major Israeli media covered the campaign. Some media outlets doing several stories (almost on a daily basis).
- Our websites in different countries including support websites recorded significant increase in hits with a logarithmic growth after our phenomenally successful press conference last Tuesday (video excerpt here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1i8jzmnKBhQ). We anticipate this to increase even more in time especially over the weekend (Friday to Saturday when most of our visitors will arrive). One Zionist hooligan’s attempt to shut down one of our many websites briefly was dealt with.
- French and Belgian citizens including some politicians and many in the media are asking why those governments are not standing with their citizens but instead doing the unusual thing of warning their own citizens from going to visit a people under occupation. The people of France, Belgium and other countries are very upset but are not deterred. And even more who have not booked tickets to come this time already decided to join our next campaign.
- Serge Hustache, Belgian Parliament Deputy from Hainaut wrote a letter to Yitzhak Aharonovitch, Israeli minister of “security”, to object to Aharonovitch’s calling visitors “provocateurs”.
- In a similar vein, the British government seems complicit in the siege of the West Bank and have advised their citizens to be aware that they cannot come to their defense if deported (but this can and should be challenged in British courts). In Scotland, there is a motion to the Scottish Parliament (Motion S4M-02477) supported by many MPs in support of our campaign.
- Israeli media and activists are inquiring vociferously about the “legality” (with Israeli apartheid laws the quotes are deserved) to deny entry to the country by individuals who broke no Israeli law and wish merely to declare themselves coming to visit with Palestinians (after all, 5.5 million Palestinians are under direct Israeli control).
- The Mayor of Bethlehem City and the Governor of Bethlehem District express support for the Welcome to Palestine 2012 campaign. We also received support from politicians and religious leaders around the world.
- Lufthanza airline is an airline that acceded to an Israeli demand and actually went beyond that canceling reservations on its flight for Sunday. Some of those whose reservations were canceled in Germany and France were not even associated with the Welcome to Palestine Campaign. Is this “collateral damage”?
- Dozens of Israeli supporters are working on the media issues inside 1948 areas and are mobilizing to support and welcome the visitors in the airport. Several of those people were questioned by Israeli police or other security agents but they are not deterred and their numbers are growing. Thanks to them, there is widespread awareness of Israeli repressive and hysterical tactics. And more Israelis are jumping on board to help.
Frequently asked questions updated including what you can do in your country to support this campaign (we need people to read and send suggestions for updates): http://www.palestinejn.org/en/section-blog
We need your support to pressure your government and influence your media to insist on the freedom to visit Palestine and show solidarity with an occupied people under siege. Even prisoners have a right to a visit.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1i8jzmnKBhQ Brief excerpt from the Press Conference
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gb2l-utHEt8 The voices of 3 women travelling from Greater Manchester travelling to Tel Aviv as part of the Welcome to Palestine global Direct Action event
Welcome to Palestine 2012 Campaign websites