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The 21st Year

From the Covenant for the Struggle Against the Occupation (1988):
“The 40th year of the independence of Israel is the 21st year of its occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. For more than half of its years of statehood, Israel has been an occupying power… The Occupation is not only a deplorable situation affecting the lives of the Palestinians, it has an equally pernicious effect on the very political and spiritual substance of Israeli society."

The 21st Year held that expressions of protest against the Occupation are circumscribed by the national consensus, and protests do not transgress the boundaries deemed permissible by the Occupation regime. The Israeli of good conscience expresses his or her anguish, remonstrates and demonstrates, but by accepting the terms and norms of conduct set by the regime implicitly collaborates with the Occupation. It formulated this principle in the following sentence: “The presence of the Occupation is total. Our struggle against the occupation must therefore be total.”

Against the all-embracing presence of the Occupation, The 21st Year presented a new framework, for thought, for critical debate and for political action. They called for opening a new field of alternatives for both personal and public conduct vis-a-vis the Occupation.

They saw refusal as the only morally and politically sound form of participation in Israeli society during the Occupation. Refusal was a way out, a source of hope for Israel’s moral integrity. They refused to collaborate with the Occupation and pledged to do either part or all of the following: never enter the occupied territories without an invitation from their Arab inhabitants, not allow their children to be exposed to the racist bias of the school system, boycott institutions and products of companies whose Palestinian employees are denied human dignity and decent working conditions, boycott goods produced by Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, never confuse acts of protest and resistance by Palestinians with acts of terror, refuse any military command ordering them to take part in acts of repression or policing in the occupied territories and protest every act of violence and injustice committed by the Israeli regime in the occupied territories.

Technicalities

This collection contains about 50 items. The material includes press clippings and photographs, material authored by The 21st Year - including pamphlets, leaflets and internal documents.
The archive language is English, while the items may be in Hebrew or English.

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