October – November 2020
Can you spare a few minutes to support Palestinians harvesting their olives under threat of human rights abuses?
October and November is the olive harvest season in Palestine. Families and community members, young and old, gather in olive groves for days and weeks of hard work. Their trees, some of them several hundred years old, tell stories of continuity, of rootedness and of resilience. Laughter and food are shared under the trees. It is a time of joy, but also a time of struggle and suffering for many Palestinians living under the Israeli occupation.
Restrictions on movement, denial of access to land, demolitions of agricultural buildings, the building of settlements and violent attacks and harassment by extremist settlers harm Palestinian farmers and their families.
In 2020, Covid-19 has left many communities more vulnerable than ever to human rights abuses, since many Israeli and international peace activists who would usually provide protection during the harvest are unable to be present.
Here’s how you can help…
- Watch our launch webinar
The Olive Harvest Initiative was launched on Wednesday 21 October. Watch the launch webinar to learn about the human rights impact of the occupation and the spiritual, economic and cultural importance of the olive harvest for Palestinian communities.
- Join on social media
We will be sharing regular posts with updates from the field and opportunities for action throughout the olive harvest. You can help!
• Follow us on @eappiukireland (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram)
• Share/retweet others’ posts which use the #PeacefulHarvest hashtag
• Post saying why you call for a #PeacefulHarvest. You can use our resource gallery, which contains photos and graphics for social media and will be updated as we receive information from the ground during the olive harvest. To download from the gallery, click on the item and then click on the icon with an arrow pointing down in the lower right-hand corner of your screen.
- Contact your MP/TD
We need our politicians to speak out about the ongoing human rights abuses of the occupation. Please contact them ask them to do this. You can use our template emails:
• UK – email for MPs (find your MP’s details)
• Ireland – email for TDs (find your TD’s details)
If you can, please edit the email to explain why you are concerned about this issue. Including your own voice will make your email much more powerful and effective. Make sure to include your home address in your email so that your MP/TD knows that you are one of their constituents.
- Contact your church leader
We are asking church leaders to speak out for a #PeacefulHarvest in the Holy Land. If you are a member of a church, please contact your church leader to ask them to support the Olive Harvest Initiative and work for a just peace. You can use our template email:
• UK & Ireland – email for church leaders
Thank you for joining us and our colleagues around the world in this special initiative organised by the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (WCC-EAPPI). Look out on our social media channels throughout October and November 2020 for reflections on the economic, cultural and spiritual meaning of the season and up-to-date testimonies about the situation on the ground.