Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement
New Voices of Conscience: Zvi Benninga
Zvi Benninga, 25, is the campus coordinator of the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement. He raises awareness about the cause and mobilizes student activists across the country. Zvi was born and raised in Jerusalem and studies Medicine at the Hebrew University there. As a Jerusalemite, social justice in Sheikh Jarrah is deeply important to him, since it represents an Israel in which he would want to live and raise his children. Zvi is pictured here with his friend Mohammed El Kurd, whose family was evicted from their home in Sheikh Jarrah (see his story below, photo courtesy of Just Vision).
The Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement: Following the forced evictions of four Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah in 2009, the Solidarity Movement was born to protest the evictions and the fact that the homes were being turned into Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem. The Solidarity Movement, which has grown from weekly protests in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, is a grassroots organization working towards civil equality within Israel and an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. With hundreds of activists, and a record of consistent, principled resistance to violations of democratic values, Solidarity is the Israeli left’s new voice.
Here's an interview with Zvi Benninga:
For a deeper understanding of the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement, watch these portraits, from Just Vision's Home Front series:
Mohammed El Kurd, a Palestinian teenager whose family is forced to give up part of their home and live under the same roof as a family of settlers. He comes of age in the face of unrelenting tension with his neighbors and unexpected cooperation with Israeli allies in his backyard.
Terry Benninga (Zvi's mom), an American-born Israeli mother who to her own surprise becomes involved in the demonstrations after her children are arrested for protesting.