We were waiting for the flames to go down, but unfortunately the fire has only intensified. Therefore we would like to share with you some thoughts and updates about our situation. Please feel free to share it with your customers and friends.
In this dark time of violence and hatred that sweeps our country, the Arab and Jewish women of Sindyanna are committed to our unity and are resolved more than ever to fight for humanity and sisterhood beyond national and religious borders. We feel stronger in this position with your friendship, the solidarity of our Fair Trade movement, and the support of our partners and friends around the globe.
Indeed, we face a cruel reality. Israeli provocations against Palestinians in East Jerusalem have finally let the genie of pent-up resentment out of the bottle, while awarding Hamas the false glory of defending al-Aqsa. Hundreds of rockets launched into Israeli cities have so far killed ten people on the Israeli side, injuring dozens. Massive bombings by the Israeli Air Force have killed hundreds of people in Gaza and injured thousands in just a few days, destroying infrastructure and countless homes. In the West Bank, IDF repressed with force demonstrations and killed dozens, at least 9 of them in one day on Friday May 14.
But what makes things more complicated and worrying is the level of internal violence by both Arab and Jewish extremists. Haifa, my home city, and a model of peaceful coexistence between Arab and Jewish communities, has become the focus of riots against civilians. The Jewish gangs are organized, supported by Netanyahu government and protected by the police; while the Arab rioters are not organized, seeming to be made up of groups of young people without clear aim who play into the hands of the fascists and Jewish supremacists.
On Friday May 14 the Israeli police clashed with hundreds of Kfar Kanna residents when large armed police forces arrived to the village to arrest an Islamic leader. No one from Sindyanna's staff was hurt. Our warehouse in the industrial area of the village is also safe, although the situation in the village is very tense.
Faced with this wave of violence and hate, Sindyanna's board, management and staff call for a halt of the war and all military actions on both sides. We join the call of growing number of civil organizations, community leaders, medical staff (like the one of Haifa’s Rambam Hospital) and many others – Jews and Arabs - who have gone out to demonstrate, opposing incitement and calling for better relations between Jews and Arabs.
Religious fanaticism, nationalism, and racism on either side, will drag us all into oblivion. We must not let that happen! Stop the War! Stop the violence and hatred between Jews and Arabs!