October 2011 Archives

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Note:   Also see JVP’s website: www.jvp.org….   Peace, Roy

Dear Roy,

When we disrupted Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu’s keynote speech at the Jewish Federations of North America’s annual general meeting last November in New Orleans, we were met with hisses, boos, verbal harassment and even physical attacks from other members of the audience. But criminal charges were never so much as mentioned. Yet just weeks ago, ten students who interrupted Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s speech at UC Irvine in February 2010 were convicted of two misdemeanors for their participation in that protest.

Today is a national day of action to protest those unjust convictions. We’ve started a blog to show our support for the Irvine 11. We also think this day of action is a perfect opportunity to look at the similarities and differences in these two protests. See if you can spot the difference:

In both protests, each person who stood up to bring attention to the Israeli Occupation and other violations of international law committed by the Israeli government acted non-violently, and cooperated fully with security personnel and the police. So why were we not arrested, charged and tried while the Irvine 11 were? Logically, the opposite should have been true: our target was bigger—the Prime Minister of Israel; our venue was bigger—the largest Jewish event in North America; and our protest came later—inspired in part by the brave actions of the Irvine 11. But there is one more difference, and it proved to be the crucial one: we are Jews and the Irvine 11 are Muslims.

With the convictions of the Irvine 11, Orange County’s criminal justice system has sent a message that the Israeli ambassador’s right to speak without interruption is more worthy of protection than the right of American citizens to protest the illegal and unconscionable actions of Israel’s government.

The fact that the Irvine 11 were charged and tried while we were let off without a mark (as were other non-Muslim protesters in Orange County who later interrupted Dick Cheney and George W. Bush) is testament to the influence of Islamophobia, anti-Arab racism and blind support for Israel on contemporary American society and political discourse. This clear targeting of a minority group should set off alarm bells for those of us who abhor racism and strive for the protection of equal rights for all citizens, regardless of religion or ethnicity.

We join the administration of UC Irvine and the dean of UC Irvine’s law school, along with proponents of free speech and human rights throughout the country, in condemning these convictions. This targeting of Muslim students by the Orange County District Attorney’s office will not stand. Everyone has the right to speak out for justice. Join us today in saying: We stand against Islamophobia, for justice, and with the Irvine 11!

In solidarity,
Amirah Mizrahi, Antonia House, and Emily Ratner
members of YJP, the youth wing of Jewish Voice for Peace

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Note:   Joharah’s latest essay is pasted below.  Also see: www.miftah.org….   Peace, Roy

Article by Joharah Baker for MIFTAH.org…. Posted on October 10, 2011.

The tremors of the Arab Spring have spread far and wide, to places as far as Wall Street and as close as Palestine. It is nothing short of amazing to see how people everywhere have taken cue from the hundreds of thousands of Arabs in various countries demanding their rights and freedoms. Today in Palestine, while not an immediate result of the Arab protests but certainly a byproduct of them, Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails have entered their second week of a hunger strike demanding better conditions.

This is hardly the first time Palestinian prisoners have protested their conditions or have gone on hunger strike. In 1970 Abdel Qader Abul Fahem died after 15 days without food, the first Palestinian prisoner to perish in this way.

A decade later, 74 prisoners in the infamous Nafha prison in the Negev desert went on hunger strike and were subsequently force fed by Israeli prison authorities. “A long tube was pushed down their throats into their stomachs while they sat on chairs.

In three cases, the vitamin-and sugar-reinforced milk drink accidentally entered the lungs. As a result, two prisoners died of pneumonia, and a third became critically ill,” reported TIME magazine. As a result, prisoners Rasim Halaweh, Alial-Ja’fari and Ishaq Maragheh died after 32 days of hunger strike.

Today’s prisoners have reached their 18th day with thousands of Palestinians pledging solidarity with them throughout the West Bank and Gaza. Solidarity tents have been set up in different Palestinian cities and even non-Palestinians have joined the movement. The prisoners’ demands are more of the same – protesting solitary confinement, lack of sufficient medical care and sparse family visits, all of which were trimmed down by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as punishment for the continued captivity of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

To continue reading this article click here.

 

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Peace, Roy

 

In a message dated 10/7/2011 8:26:58 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, abusaliba@gmail.com… writes:

THE HOLY LAND CHRISTIAN ECUMENICAL FOUNDATION 13TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE & 1st YOUTH CONFERENCE

All Youth interested in networking and building relationships as Ambassadors of Peace are cordially invited to the 1st Youth Conference
Friday, October 28, 2011
10:00 am – 3:00 pm

And the 13th International Conference Saturday, October 29, 2011

8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Featuring
· Ambassador Maen Areikat Chief Representative, General Delegation of the Palestinain Liberation Organization to the US
· Dr. Hanan M. Ashrawi Keynote Speaker Palestinian Legislative Council
· Professor Shibley Telhami, The Anwar Sadat Chair for Peace and Development, University of Maryland
· Dr. James Zogby, President, Arab American Institute & Recipient of the 2011 Path of Peace Award

At the National Presbyterian Church
4101 Nebraska Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
Click here for more information on the other components of our 13th ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE!
Registration Required!
The first 100 registered youth will receive SCHOLARSHIPS to cover the cost of International Conference events on Friday & Saturday, October 29, 2011.

The 1st Youth Conference is YOUR chance to
· Connect with youth who share your heritage and hopes as Palestinian-Americans
· Build solidarity with Palestinians as Americans
· Expand the Palestinian network
· Discover opportunities to study, intern, work and volunteer in and for Palestine
· Join together as Ambassadors of Peace for justice, dialogue and understanding

Other Youth Conference topics will include:
*The Current Situation in Palestine*Youth Leadership and the Courage to be Involved in Palestine and in a Just Peace* Know Thy Heritage; Visit and Live Palestine* “Telling their story”: The HCEF/KTH Partnership with the Refugees of Aida Camp *Organizing for Positive Change and Community Building in and for Palestine*

Click here to register TODAY!

Contact Chiara Cardone at ccardone@hcef.org…, or (301) 951-9400 ext. 206 for registration or other information.

 


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Note:   Stuart Littlewood plays hardball in the UK.   Peace, Roy

Article Stuart Littlewood posted on www.redress.cc…, October 11, 2011.
Stuart Littlewood challenges his Member of Parliament, Henry Bellingham, to provide a rational and truthful explanation of Britain’s continuing support for the non-existent “peace process” between Israel and the Palestinians in preference to the rule of law – or justice and liberty.

Law, justice, liberty and human rights, we were taught, are non-negotiable. Perhaps Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, David Cameron and William Hague missed that important part of their education.

Restore the Palestinians’ lands, homes and resources, as required by law, by convention and by numerous United Nations resolutions, then see what’s left to negotiate. That is the route to peace.

If Israel digs its heels in, the UN knows what to do. It must resort to sanctions, obviously, like it does against any other delinquent nation. This will be a simple test of the great organization’s high-minded principles, and for its not-so-high-minded members. If it cannot rise to the moral challenge it doesn’t deserve to survive. And the world is doomed.

To continue reading this article click here.

 

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Note: Cynthia McKinney is a woman who does not shrink from controversy.  A person doesn’t have to agree with every word she says in order to understand the way she thinks.  Let’s ask ourselves whether she’s telling the truth. Click here: ‘US lawmakers forced to support Israel’ - YouTube (23:08).  In that video (at about 13:30) McKinney speaks publicly about her first encounter with the Israel Lobby in 1992.  Shortly after she was elected to Congress, AIPAC presented her with a paper to sign, a “pledge”, which would have committed her to support Israel on seven points, including continuing America’s financial aid to Israel … ensuring Israel’s military superiority in the region … and supporting AIPAC’s position that Jerusalem be recognized as ”Israel’s Eternal Capital”.  McKinney declined to sign the pledge, and in the next election she was targeted by AIPAC for defeat.  Some folks claim that The Swarm demonized Cynthia beyond recognition.   Peace, Roy