Launched in 2002, the JAI Olive Tree Campaign distributes olive saplings, sponsored by people from around the world, among farmers as an act of solidarity and support to help ‘Keep Hope Alive’. This is to help compensate the loss of some one million olive trees that have been uprooted by the Israeli occupation since 1976. The farmers supported by the Olive Tree Campaign are those who suffer from the various Israeli policies and measures that put their land and property under the threat of confiscation. Cultivating the land usually minimizes the threat of confiscation and consequently it helps people access their personal land properties.
The JAI Olive Tree Campaign has partners in many countries around the world to help promote the campaign and manage the process of sponsorships in their national contexts.
The JAI widely shares farmers and lands stories and reports on the Israeli attacks on Palestinian lands, or farmers, or even the olive trees to educate people about the difficulties the Palestinian farmers go through, hoping that people will move and advocate over the end of the Israeli occupation, colonization of the Palestinian land and violations of international Law.
Partners, sponsors and JAI friends are regularly informed about the Israeli violations related to the olive trees and ask them to act accordingly. The Campaign is an educational, lobbying, and advocacy tool that helps promote awareness of the Israeli occupation and oppression of the Palestinian farmers and people at large. It also targets policies that support the ongoing land confiscation and colonization of the Palestinian Land. The Campaign is also a development tool which helps to stabilize the Palestinian farmers’ economic situation by allowing them to keep maintaining their land that provides them with livelihood.
The JAI organizes an Olive Planting Program in February and Olive Picking Program in October every year. Each program lasts for 10 days, where people of different ages, nationalities and backgrounds join together to do physical work in the fields and then learn more about life under a military occupation and colonization. The participants in these programs provide a protective civil international presence for Palestinian families which helps them overcome the restrictions imposed by the Israeli military occupation and settlers during the planting and picking seasons. These programs were always meant to be a show of support and solidarity with the farmers that help enhance their steadfastness and resilience.
During these two programs the participants have tours in the main Palestinian cities to have exposures to the geopolitical, religious, historic and cultural context, as well as having enjoyment. They are expected to share their personal stories and the stories of the Palestinian back home and encourage people to join future programs and work for a just peace.
To know more about the upcoming programs and how to participate in this initiative, you may visit www.jai-pal.org for more details.