Who is Open Shuhada Street?
Open Shuhada Street (OSS) is a South African non-profit organisation that aims raise awareness about the lack of freedom of movement in Hebron in the West Bank, and how this reflects some of the worst manifestations of the ongoing Israeli Occupation of Palestinian Territories. We use advocacy, lobbying, research and public education to work towards promoting justice and equality in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
The idea for OSS came about after a trip to Hebron in the West Bank by a delegation of prominent individuals. During that visit, the delegation was shown Shuhada Street and how it has been illegally closed to Palestinians. This website was started by a group of activists in South Africa with the intention of promoting human rights in Israel-Palestine by creating a space where people can engage with these issues by sharing information and participating in solidarity campaigns.
Our vision is for an end to the Occupation and for peace, equality, justice and freedom in Palestine and Israel. We campaign for full civil rights for all Israelis and Palestinians. We recognise that it is Palestinians whose civil rights have been abrogated most, particularly in the West Bank and Gaza. Our organisation unites people from different backgrounds with a wide range of political and religious affiliations.
- We recognise the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all people in Israel and Palestine.
- We respect the right to life of Israelis and Palestinians. Therefore we reject violence, other than in self-defence and where absolutely necessary. We reject violent attacks irrespective of who carries them out.
- We will engage in and support only non-violent forms of political action.
- All people of the Middle East deserve the right to democratic participation and equality regardless of religion, ethnicity, culture, national origin, language, race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, or other status.
- The resolution of the conflict in Israel and Palestine should conform to international law and be concluded through negotiations involving all parties, under the auspices of independent mediation. An acceptable solution will safeguard and advance the rights of all people in the region, and will promote peace.
- We are a non-sectarian movement. We welcome both Jews and Muslims as well as people of all faiths and none.
- We expose and vigorously counter anti-semitism and Islamophobia.
OSS campaigns adopt the strategies used to end South African apartheid. Currently, we are led by a Management Committee comprising Reverend Alan Storey (Chairperson), Jonathan Dockney (Secretary/Coordinator), Shuaib Manjra (Treasurer), Zackie Achmat (legal support) and Bruce Baigrie (volunteer).
- Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu;
- former SA Health Minister Barbara Hogan;
- BDS South Africa;
- Congress of South African Trade Unions;
- Equal Education;
- Kairos Southern Africa;
- Lawyers for Human Rights;
- Social Justice Coalition;
- Southern African Litigation Centre;
- University of Cape Town Palestine Solidarity Forum;
- University of Witwatersrand and University of Johannesburg Palestine Solidarity Committees;
- Popular Struggle Coordinating Committee (Israel/West Bank);
- Boycott National Committee (Israel/West Bank);
- Coalition of Women for Peace (Israel/West Bank);
- Breaking the Silence (Israel/West Bank);
- Boycott Ahava (US); and
- Jewish Voices for Peace (US).