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100 years after Balfour: Jacksonville supports Palestinian resistance

By staff |
December 9, 2017
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Panel hosted by the Jacksonville Palestine Solidarity Network
Panel hosted by the Jacksonville Palestine Solidarity Network (Fight Back! News/staff)

Jacksonville, FL - On Dec. 2, over 45 people gathered at the University of North Florida in the Student Union Building for a panel hosted by the Jacksonville Palestine Solidarity Network (JPSN). The panel was focused on explaining the Balfour declaration and its ramifications. The Balfour declaration was a statement the British government issued in 1917 announcing support for building a Zionist state in Palestine.

Sara Haj-Yahia, co-founder of JPSN and member of Freedom Road Socialist Organization, moderated the event. Haj-Yahia stated, “This event was vital with the current political climate regarding the colonization of Palestine. Attendance was great and shows that the community here is ready and capable of furthering the fight for Palestinian liberation.”

Haj-Yahia continued, “Ahead of the current administration's plans to recognize Palestinian Al-Quds [Jerusalem] as the capital of the colonial state of Israel, it’s really important for there to be local efforts working against normalization.”

There were three other panelists along with Haj-Yahia. They included Fernando Figueroa, a leading member of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization who helped in the defense of Palestinian freedom fighter Rasmea Odeh; Monique Williamson, president of UNF Students for a Democratic Society (SDS); and a representative of the Palestinian Youth Movement USA chapter.

A banner hung at the front of the room reading “Free Palestine - end the occupation.” There was a wide variety of tasty food, much of it prepared and donated by local Palestinian and Arab community members. At the end of the panel, the JPSN announced that monthly meetings would begin early next year to develop further solidarity with Palestine.

“The time is now to educate ourselves and organize for Palestinian liberation. Zionism is a pathetic giant that crumbles with every blow we strike,” said Figueroa regarding the panel, “Whether we are discussing the Balfour declaration from 100 years ago or Trump’s recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, we know that the Palestinian cause grows stronger daily by an increasing base of support for liberation - a base that we’ve begun developing in Jacksonville.”