|In their own words||“Grassroots Jerusalem is a platform for Palestinian community-based mobilisation, leadership and advocacy that helps Palestinian communities in Jerusalem strategically address the humanitarian, developmental and political issues which systematically disempower and dispossess Palestinians across the city.”|
- According to its website, in 2018, Grassroots Jerusalem adjusted its funding model to exclude “conditional funding which dictates agendas and visions with which we disagree,” relying instead on “unconditional core funds from donors” and self-generated income. Grassroots Jerusalem does not list its donors, reflecting a lack of transparency.
- According to Grassroots Jerusalem, “Our funding model focuses on income generation from selling our ‘products’: our book Wujood, our maps and our Jerusalem guided tours; in addition it includes targeting core funds and other types of private funds, crowdfunding campaigns and private donations.”
- In 2017-2024, Grassroots Jerusalem received $450,000 from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund for “general support.”
- In 2022, Grassroots Jerusalem is listed as receiving funding from the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP). The amount is not provided.
- Grassroots Jerusalem official Fayrouz Sharqawi claimed in April 2016: “We currently have no donors. We had an EU grant 2011-2014 and they wanted to give us more money but we refused. They wanted partnerships between Israeli and Palestinian groups and we’re against normalisation. We rejected the money which is rare here. The US, EU and UN all give out so much money but what are they really achieving? Grassroots funding is to be independent. Ideology is dictated by foreign agencies. The hierarchy is very up down and not down up. It’s short-term funding, project based and against long-term strategy.”
- Features a BDS [boycotts, divestment and sanctions] section on its website, stating, “Grassroots Jerusalem strongly supports the global BDS call as a strategic tool to hold ‘Israel’ accountable for its oppression of the Palestinian people” (scare quotes in original), and calling on “every single person” to take “action and call on your respective governments and the companies benefitting from the occupation to end the countless violations of international and humanitarian law that they either perpetuate or passively support by standing idly by as the human rights of Palestinians are violated.”
- Promotes the Palestinian narrative of a “right of return,” which, if implemented, would effectually mean the elimination of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people; refers to the founding of the State of Israel as a “Nakba” (Arabic for “catastrophe”) and the outcome of the Six Day War as the “Naksa” (Arabic for “Setback”); and to the Israeli army as the “Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF)”.
- Falsely claims that the “Israeli authorities began early on to implement strategic policies of land confiscation, displacement, and colonization in order to re-engineer Jerusalem’s demographic and geographic character.”
- In June 2021, in response to calls to boycott Pilsbury, Grassroots Jerusalem’s Advocacy Coordinator Fayrouz Sharqawi stated that Israel giving jobs to Palestinians is akin to “Drug lords provid[ing] jobs to drug dealers. That doesn’t mean that it’s a good thing.”
- In April 2021, Grassroots Jerusalem was a signatory on a joint statement welcoming the decision of the International Criminal Court to launch a formal investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Israel in the “State of Palestine.” According to the statement, “This is a long-awaited and a critically important step towards ensuring the rule of law and ending impunity, while ensuring accountability for Israel’s crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court.”
- In August 2020, Grassroots Jerusalem held a webinar to discuss “the relationship between tourism and colonialism in Jerusalem” and “how the occupation employs tourism projects to achieve colonial goals.”
- In June 2020, Grassroots Jerusalem’s Advocacy Coordinator Fayrouz Sharqawi participated in a webinar titled “End Complicity with Israeli Apartheid in Palestine,” discussing “How to put an end to AXA and other types of international complicity with the Israeli apartheid regime.”
- In 2019, Grassroots Jerusalem published a map titled “Where to Shop in Jerusalem.” According to Grassroots Jerusalem, “Boycotting the occupation is one of the effective methods to resist its policies of colonisation and displacement of Palestinians from their lands. The other side of the coin is investing in Jerusalem Palestinian economy in order to help it become vibrant and sustainable. This map shows you where you can invest in Palestinian ecoomy in Jerusalem and contribute to the Palestine steadfastness in Jerusalem.”
- In July 2019, Grassroots Jerusalem published Wujood, a “grassroots guidebook” that “contains the story of an aggressive and systematic ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian Jerusalemites.” The book launch was accompanied by a speaking tour of 11 European cities.
- In February 2019, Sharqawi participated in a webinar with Jewish Voice for Peace discussing “colonization, Judaization and Zionization of Jerusalem” and calling for “boycott of Israel, but also for a boycott against corporations that participate in these projects.”
- In May 2018, Grassroots Jerusalem denounced the US Embassy’s move to Jerusalem as “dangerous,” reflecting “an attempt to force a Zionist identity on the city.”
- In 2018, Grassroots Jerusalem encouraged Palestinians to boycott municipal elections, as their participation would serve “an Israeli interest to appear as an inclusive democracy.”
- Amany Khalifa, one of Grassroots Jerusalem’s leaders, has stated her support for armed resistance: “We have a right to resist Israeli occupation… It’s not our right to judge Palestinian resistance…There has been Palestinian resistance since the occupation of 1948. In the 1970s, planes were hijacked to raise the Palestinian cause.” (Emphasis added.)
- Another official, Fayrouz Sharqawi, claimed, “The Palestinian Authority is the number one traitor, collaborator. [President Mahmoud] Abbas speaks against the will of the people, saying he wants peace.”
- Calling for boycotts of Israel, Sharqawi also stated, “We ask tourists to boycott Israeli businesses and support Palestinian tourism. We encourage foreigners who want to come and volunteer in Palestine to not to go to West Jerusalem and have fun in Israeli bars.”
- Refers to Jewish communities in the West Bank as “Israeli colonies” and claims that “the problem is not simply the hundreds of ‘settlements’ now scattered across the region; they are only one aspect of the larger colonialist regime that has dismantled their communities and devastated their families.” [emphasis in original]
- Runs a “Legal Clinic,” which aims “to support and protect the human rights of the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem and reinforce the capacities of the human rights defenders to provide legal services and undertake advocacy work at a local and international level in order to counteract the most egregious forms of oppression.”
- Organizes a “Kite Campaign,” which seeks to unite the best of experiential tourism, advocacy, economic development and community work. It amplifies the voices of Palestinians in Jerusalem regarding the challenges of the occupation such as violations of human rights, intentional underdevelopment of Palestinian neighbourhoods, and policies of displacement designed to limit size of the Palestinian population.”
- Network Coordinator Micha Kurz, also a co-founder of Breaking the Silence, said in a 2012 interview:
- “Israel has too much to profit from to end the occupation. This isn’t about peace or co-existence, or dialogue; this is about profit, occupation and population control.”
- Support for anti-Israel boycotts: “There are two things that inspire me about the BDS movement. For the first time, there is a grassroots movement that has managed to unify all the Palestinian factions. It’s a non-violent, grassroots movement to end the occupation. I find it inspiring.”
- “It is a democracy for Jews…But in Palestine, if people got involved to help stop the ethnic cleansing of indigenous people, we might just have time.”
- “Israel is wiping out the millennia-old Palestinian stewardship of Jerusalem, and erasing a culture. The world needs to get involved before it’s too late.”
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