Italy Is Staying Home, but Solidarity Isn't. Israeli Apartheid Free Zone Network Grows to 200.
As Italy and most of the world face a health crisis that brings suffering, anxiety and insecurity, solidarity actions have anything but stopped.
The growing number of acts of concrete solidarity, especially toward those already living with insecurity, suffering and oppression, come from an awareness that it will be the most vulnerable among us to be hit hardest by this pandemic. In the Gaza Strip, for example, 13 years of Israeli siege and multiple bombings have devastated the health infrastructure.
It is this sense of commonality and solidarity that has led to another important milestone for the network of Israeli Apartheid Free Zones (AFZ) in Italy. There are now more than 200 commercial activities, cultural and sports centers, and associations throughout Italy that have declared themselves free of Israeli apartheid.
It is the core values of the AFZ campaign that have led to its continuous growth: the spaces that endorse the campaign take a public position in favor of human rights and against all forms of discrimination, and stand firmly with the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality.
These are the values that we must strive to uphold now more than ever, to ensure that no one is left behind. From the simple act of staying home to working to ensure everyone has a home, from the superhuman efforts of healthcare workers to those organizing for the right to healthcare for all, from those guaranteeing essential services to those standing up for workers’ rights, from those working to ensure that in the emergency our rights are not dismantled to those defending the rights of oppressed peoples around the world, we all have a responsibility to sustain these necessary acts of solidarity.
We are all part of a large solidarity network that can help determine how we come out of the current emergency. We are currently distant, isolated from each other, but we are together and we are close to those affected by the pandemic.
We are staying home, but we will not remain silent.
For more information on the Italian AFZ campaign Spazi Liberi dall’Apartheid Israeliana (SPLAI): bdsitalia.org/splai