February 15, 2004
from the INTERNATIONAL
SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT IN
PALESTINE IN THE WEST BANK
Greetings Family, Friends and Fellow Activists
This is Tracie De Angelis of the INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT and I write to you once again from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. While much has changed since my last appeal forfunds, much has also stayed the same. Many of you know that I have been in a small WEST BANK village called Jayyous. (www.jayyousonline.org) since July 2003. Jayyous is located in the Qalkilya District in the West Bank and has been occupied since the 1967 war. I am writing to you to ask you to support me financially. First, let me offer my gratitude for those of you who have already supported me in the past; it has been really nice to know that my work is appreciated. I have been a volunteer here for over 7 months now and have been able to survive by the generosity of people such as you. While it is becoming more difficult to stay (in the West Bank) for any international, I will attempt again in the month of April to renew my visa. In order for me to continue and expand on some of the work I am doing, I will need monetary assistance.
The last time I wrote to you was early November 2003. At that time,
of us working with ISM (International Solidarity Movement) were at the tail end of the Olive Harvest Campaign. Following that, the ISM went into a restructuring phase that continues to the present time. This does not
mean that the work or the efforts(of both the ISM and others)to highlight
and report on the brutalities of the Israeli Military Occupation has ended. Not in any sense. Presently, I am volunteering in the village as an independent activist with guidance from the local community. Through my writings you have learned that in late November 2003, one of the two gates for the farmers in this village was closed permanently. This has had disastrous consequences for the inhabitants of Jayyous. 25 families whose land is located behind the wall to the south of the village can no longer go to their land. In addition, the permit system imposed by the IOF (Israeli Occupation Forces) has also had dire consequences and it has become close to impossible for most farmers to be
granted access to their fields, trees and crops. The larger implication
of this is near total loss of income for a huge percentage of the people
in Jayyous. Recently, it was reported to me that a full 90% of the income
for this village has come from agriculture.
Because the ISM has been in a restructure phase, very few ISM (or other)
internationals have joined me here in Jayyous. I have been fortunate to
work with the Ecumenical Accompanier Group from Great Britain. Together, we have maintained a presence/observation "Gate Watch" on a daily basis.
Recently, on January 29, 2004, we were able to present our consolidated
report with back up data (on our Gate Watch observations) to a group of
Israeli Human Rights Advocates via Jamal Juma from
PENGON (www.pengon.org). Following this, Jamal reported to me that he will deliver them to The Hague. Also, during the week of February 8, 2004, the village is conducting a week long study of the gates, following a request from another Human Rights Organization for more information. The IOF recently gave new "hours of operation" for the gate in Jayyous.
On January 14, 2004, Jayyous was honored to host Representative Lois
from the 23rd Congressional District from California. She was part of a group of Lutheran Bishops who came with the specific intent of seeing the "Separation Wall."
On February 14, 2004, we will host a man named Kondo Yasuo from Japan.
is with an organization called Altertrade and we will discuss olive oil
exportation for the olive harvesters from Jayyous.
I have been working with the Jayyous Charitable Society with fundraising
efforts. We have raised
money for the prisoners (for phone cards) of Jayyous and for the families
of the children who attend
pre-school in the village who have been unable to make the $10.00 per
month tuition fee. Both of these fundraising efforts will be ongoing.
There is also talk of forming a "Friends of Jayyous." This would be
internationals and villagers working together on different projects to
There are many other projects that are in the visionary phases. Some
them I spoke of in my last fundraising request. It has taken me many
hours of inner reflection to make the decision to stay at this time.
Simply put.. I cannot leave with what feels like unfinished business. I
will promise each of you to continue visioning with the people of and
around the village of Jayyous to manifest some of the other projects that
we have talked about.
Living in a small village has taught me many things. One of the most
important elements to this education has been my daily interaction with
the people. It has been through dialogue, sometimes inspiring, sometimes
painful, and all of the time appreciated, that the single issue that is
most important to the people is that their story be told. Beyond this, it
is the international community standing with them as they suffer day to
Clearly, it is getting closer to the time for me to return to the states
and continue and/or begin my work there. However, as of right now, I am
committed to trying to extend my time here through the spring and into the
summer. I hope you will support me.
And so, it is necessary for me to request monetary donations. If you
donate $50.00 or more, it can be a tax-write off to you if you wish. Your
donation/contribution to my fund will be greatly appreciated, not only by
me, but also by the village of Jayyous who has asked me to stay if I can
make this possible. The money is necessary to pay for rent, food, water
and electricity, communication (telephone and Internet) and travel within
the West Bank. I am also asking for assistance in my return ticket to the
states; the ticket that I had purchased will either need a $200.00 change
fee, or I may need to purchase a new one-way ticket altogether. This alone could cost me $700.00.
Please make a check payable to MICHELLE HUDSON and put my name in the memo section. My promise to each of you is that when I return, I will continue y work from home. I will share the stories that I have been a part of since my arrival in Jayyous. You can mail the checks in care of Michelle Hudson to 4508 West Street, Oakland, CA 94608.