Samidoun

Profile

Country/TerritoryCanada
Websitehttps://samidoun.net/
Founded2011
In their own words“Samidoun seeks to achieve justice for Palestinian prisoners through events, activities, resources, delegations, research and information-sharing, as well as building bridges with the prisoners’ movement in Palestine.”

Funding

  • Samidoun does not publish financial information, reflecting a lack of transparency and accountability.
  • Samidoun is not registered as an official legal entity in the US, Europe, or Canada.
  • According to its website, “Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network is a grassroots, unfunded organization. We rely on the support of people like you to make our work possible.”

Activities

Samidoun Ties to PFLP

  • In May 2019, PayPal, DonorBox, and Plaid shut down online donations to Samidoun due to its alleged links to the PFLP.
  • According to an article published by Pelest, an “independent political, social and cultural news website,” Khaled Barakat, coordinator of Samidoun, is the head of the PFLP’s Foreign Operations Department. In April 2018, Fatah referred to Barakat as a “member in the central committee of the PFLP.”
  • Samidoun events celebrate key milestones for the PFLP, such as its New York event for 50 years of the PFLP, and include former PFLP terrorists. Samidoun events usually include the display of PFLP flag. (See Appendix 1 below for screenshots of Samidoun’s ties to the PFLP.)
  • In June 2016, the PFLP issued an official statement of gratitude to Samidoun for its support to PFLP prisoners.
  • In June 2020, Samidoun condemned the arrest of Ubai Aboudi and stated “We will not rest until we bring an end to these systems and structures of injustice, occupation, apartheid and oppression, in occupied Palestine, in the U.S. and everywhere around the world.”
    • Aboudi, Bisan’s Executive Director, was sentenced in June 2020 to 12-months in prison. According to his conviction, Aboudi “was convicted of being a member and an activist of the Popular Front organization during the period starting from 2016 and ending in July 2019.” Specifically, Aboudi “was responsible for recruiting additional activists to the organization from young people and students, as well as strengthening the organization’s infrastructure in the area” (on file with NGO Monitor).
  • On November 1, 2018, Samidoun held a press conference in Gaza to “announce[] [a] series of events and actions to demand freedom for Khalida Jarrar.” The press conference included the display of PFLP flags.
  • On October 22, 2018, Samidoun participated in a Gaza demonstration organized by the PFLP in solidarity with “imprisoned Arab Communist revolutionary and struggler for Palestine Georges Ibrahim Abdallah.” During the demonstration Samidoun’s flag hung next to the PFLP flag.
    • Abdallah was convicted and sentenced by a French court to life in prison for “’complicity in the assassinations” of Charles R. Ray in 1982, a US military attaché serving in Paris, and Yacov Bar-Simantov, a second counsellor at the Israeli embassy in Paris.
  • On January 5, 2018, as part of the 50th anniversary of the PFLP, Samidoun launched a poster campaign in France calling for people to “support the historic program of the Palestinian Resistance…as well as the exit of the PFLP from the list of terrorist organizations of Europe.”
  • On December 20, 2017, Samidoun organized an event in Athens, Greece to mark the “50th anniversary of the Palestinian revolutionary left, including the founding of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.” Mohammed Khatib, Samidoun’s coordinator in Europe and a PFLP member, attended the event which featured PFLP flags.
  • In October 2017, Samidoun, alongside Addameer and the BDS Movement, hosted a conference in the European Parliament on the “role of women in the Palestinian popular struggle. The event featured Leila Khaled, a PFLP terrorist and airline hijacker.
  • In September 2017, Samidoun participated in a festival in Belgium “highlight[ing] calls for freedom for Palestinian prisoners.” At the festival, Samidoun had a booth decorated with PFLP flags that included information and posters about Palestinian political prisoners.

Political Advocacy

  • Samidoun endorses the Deadly Exchange campaign led by Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) that aims to “end police exchange programs between the US and Israel.” JVP claims that American Jewish organizations and programs are to blame for police violence against minorities in America. The campaign also invoked antisemitic tropes.
    • The initial “Deadly Exchange” video labeled AIPAC, ADL, Birthright and other Jewish organizations as being responsible for these exchanges, and urged viewers to “Hold accountable the Jewish institutions who run and fund the deadly exchange.”
  • Samidoun organizes an annual “Day of Solidarity with Palestinian Political Prisoners,” which features “rallies, events and action and distributing news and alerts about actions around the world.” Many of these prisoners have ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization designated as such by the U.S.EUCanada, and Israel.
  • In September 2020, following Israel signing a peace deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Samidoun signed a call stating that “While governments and corporations talk of business opportunity, tourism, and energy deals, the sidelined Palestinians continue to exist in apartheid conditions, under brutal Israeli military occupation.” The call further “demand[ed] an end to Zionist Colonization of Arab/Palestinian land.”
  • In August 2020, to mark the 48th anniversary of the death of Ghassan Kanafani, Samidoun held “Days of Resistance” in major cities around the world to “remind the world that the Palestinian people will continue to rise and confront all attempts of liquidation and destruction of the cause of Palestine and resist dispossession, exile and genocide.”
  • In November 2019, Samidoun signed a letter to Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda calling to open “an official, full-scale investigation into the ‘situation in Palestine’” and the “possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed” as the “absence of an official investigation…has fuelled the already existing culture of impunity.”
  •  In November 2018, Samidoun publicized a rally in Berlin for “101 Years of the Colonial Balfour Declaration” stating that “the Declaration of shame must not be forgotten! Balfour’s promised has created over 7 million refugees, justifying ethnic cleansing and land theft. Protest!”
  • In October 2018, Samidoun participated in a series of events in Denmark, co-organized by Boykot Israel, “highlight[ing] Palestinian prisoners and the struggle for liberation” and displaying the PFLP flag. During the events, Samidoun’s coordinator Khaled Barakat addressed the “need for more action to boycott Israel. Israel is a racist and colonialist state that is doomed to dissolve. I believe that at one point Israel is going to become a burden for imperialism, as we have seen elsewhere in world history, such as in South Africa.” Charlotte Kates, Samidoun’s international coordinator, also “urged the boycott of Israeli academic institutions, including study abroad programs, in protest of the violation of Palestinians’ right to education.”
  • In May 2018, during the violence on the Gaza border, Samidoun urged its supporters to “take to the streets. Silence is unacceptable in the face of massacres, colonization and complicity. The Palestinians whose lives were taken today and the thousands more wounded must be honored with struggle and commitment to the liberation of all of Palestine and its people, from the river to the sea, the dismantling of Zionist colonialism, and the return of the Palestinian refugees.”
  • On May 13, 2017, Samidoun co-sponsored a rally in New York to commemorate “the 69th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba,” describing the “ethnic cleansing of 1948.” Other organizers included Al-Awda, American Muslims for Palestine, and NYC Students for Justice in Palestine.
  • In September 2017, Samidoun was a signatory on a call to restaurant chefs to “Take Apartheid off the Menu” and cancel their participation in the Tel Aviv “Round Tables Tour” as it “uses the time-honored tradition of sharing culinary experiences as a means for whitewashing widespread violation of Palestinian fundamental rights, including the right to food.”
  • Samidoun works closely with number of Palestinian NGOs leading delegitimization campaigns against the State of Israel. According to NGO Monitor’s research, some of those NGOs are affiliated also with the PFLP.

BDS Activities

  • Many of Samidoun’s activists are also members and leaders of pro-BDS organizations in the United States.
    • Khaled Barakat, coordinator of Samidoun, is also a member of the Al-Awda Palestine Right to Return Coalition, an organization that supports BDS.
    • Charlotte Kates, co-manager of Samidoun, is a member of the “Organizing Collective” of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) and was previously an activist with New Jersey Solidarity Activists for the Liberation of Palestine (NJS), an organization that called for the destruction of Israel.
  • In September 2020, on the 27th anniversary of the Oslo Accords, Samidoun published a statement calling to “escalate the boycott campaign against Israeli products, cultural institutions, academic institutions and complicit corporations, and fight back against the recognition and normalization of a racist settler-colonial project in occupied Palestine. The boycott of Israel is antithetical to the Oslo process.”
  • In September 2020, Samidoun held a “Day of action” calling to “take action to boycott Israel and complicit corporations like HP, G4S and Teva – and the boycott of the “Israel- Start Up Nation” propaganda team in the Tour de France,” and “escalate boycott campaigns in your university, union or other institution.”
  • On June 19, 2018, Kates, along with co-founder of CODEPINK Medea Benjamin, Canadian BDS Coalition, Toronto BDS Action, and others, called for the leader of the Social Democratic political party in Canada and other MPs to immediately “disassociate themselves” from the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group, as “Israel has been as unjust towards Palestinians as the white-ruled apartheid state was to Black South Africans.”
  • On March 3, 2018, Samidoun and BDS Berlin co-organized a protest in front of SATURN Alexanderplatz against the sale of Hewlett Packard (HP) products, “as the HP corporation provides services and equipment to the Israeli occupation directly for the suppression of Palestinian people in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and profits from this oppression.”
  • On November 22, 2017, the PFLP published an article by Barakat in which Barakat stressed that “What our people want and aspire to is a movement that priorities the unity of our people and concentrate its forces behind the legitimate national right within the framework of the popular and armed resistance in all its forms, and in expanding the boycott and isolation of the Zionist entity…and  struggle against normalization…with the Zionist enemy”(emphasis added).
  • In May 2017, Samidoun co-organized a demonstration in New York in support of the Palestinian prisoner’s hunger strike in Israeli prisons along with the BDS group American Muslims for Palestine. Participants “distributed flyers and materials highlighting the involvement of Hewlett-Packard corporation in profiting from Israeli apartheid, including maintaining the database system of the Israel Prison Service as well as HP’s contracts with the Israeli military and involvement with the apartheid system of checkpoints and ID cards. Participants called on customers to boycott HP and demand the corporation end its business with Israeli occupation and apartheid.”

Staff

Appendix- Samidoun Ties to the PFLP

All Articles about Samidoun