Housing rights and land allocation – the case of Jaffa’s Palestinian community
The identified problem we sought to deal with was twofold. On the one hand, we intended to confront the fact that society as a whole, and the educational system in particular, generally silences the impact of the conflict and related issues (such as land allocation) on our lives. No real in depth analysis of the origins, the causes and the history of these issues are carried out, even less with youth, and consequently they lack the necessary information in order to take educated positions on these subjects. On the other hand, the social impacts of this situation are grave, many times destructive, even more so when we are dealing with the issue of housing and land allocation. Here, it is very clear that basic civil rights are being disregarded, mostly in all that concerns the Arab minority, citizen of Israel.
Some 50 youth participated in the 7 day campaign – between the 20th and the 26th of July.
The first day was dedicated to getting to know each other and do a few ice-breaking games. The second and third days were given to learning the issue of land allocation in Israel in general, and then focusing on the city of Jaffa as a site for struggle. The third and forth days focused on the acquiring of tools for activism. The fifth and sixth days, the youth carried out their actions on the streets of Jaffa and Tel Aviv. The event against house demolitions and for a just solution to the housing problem in Jaffa took place on the day before last, and the youth also presented there the products of their group actions.
The youth were divided into different groups, each using a different tool for social change in order to do public outreach on the issue of land and housing. The media group produced one issue of a youth newspaper on Jaffa – mixing between an analysis of Jaffa as a mixed city, information on the issue of house demolitions and also focus on the work of organizations such as Sadaka Reut in the city. The activism group put up a moving performance with music and theatre depicting the clash between values such as justice, respect, tolerance and partnership in front of the reality we know of inequality and disrespect for basic civil rights. For the event, they also prepared a visual presentation with pictures of Jaffa past and Jaffa present (including pictures of houses being demolished), while they read a poem they had written as a group. The community outreach and the leadership groups decided to work on the play-word that can be made in Hebrew with the word ‘court order’ (Tsav) and the word turtle (also Tsav) – seeing that turtles at least always have a house. They therefore disguised themselves as turtles and walked in the streets of Jaffa and Tel Aviv, handing out fake demolition orders they had made and signing people up on a petition against the gentrification of Jaffa.
For a more in depth analysis of the issue of land allocation, click here
For a more in depth analysis of the issue of housing rights in Jaffa, click here