December 2011 Archives

Note:   Please scroll down to my highlight in Alison’s mailing.   Peace, Roy

In a message dated 12/1/2011 9:08:15 A.M. Pacific Standard Time,… writes:
Trouble viewing this email? Read it online

Dear Friends,

We’re writing to remind you about our campaign to distribute “Bethlehem Cards” — informational cards designed for people to spread awareness about Bethlehem and Palestine during a season dedicated to “peace on earth and good will towards men.”

We know many of you give out these cards at cafes and farmers’ markets, shopping malls and carol sings, to Nutcracker crowds and church attendees, in Christmas cards and on windshields…

If you haven’t gotten your cards yet, you can use the files we’ve created to make your own (download front | download back), or place your order online or by email (instructions below).

We ask a donation to cover the printing costs — $3 per 50 cards, minimum order, plus postage, which starts at $4.75 (the USPS charges by weight). If you can’t afford this donation, we’ll still do our best to help you out in getting this information to your community.

Please note these informational cards don’t have room for a personal message and can’t be mailed on their own, though we encourage enclosing them with other cards.

Front of the card:

(4×6-inch double-sided postcard-sized card — does not fold)

Text on Back:

The people of Bethlehem are asking for our help.

Towering walls and militarized fences now encircle Bethlehem, turning the 4,000-year-old city into a virtual prison for its Palestinian Christian and Muslim citizens. Bethlehem has only three gates to the outside world, all tightly controlled by Israeli occupation forces.

Israel has confiscated almost all the agricultural land in the area for illegal settlements, making it impossible for many Palestinian farmers to continue tending their land. Outside the town, the fields where shepherds once watched their flocks are being filled by Israeli housing blocs and roads barred to the descendants of those shepherds.

“It is unconscionable that Bethlehem should be allowed to die slowly from strangulation,” says South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Bethlehem’s residents increasingly are fleeing Israel’s confining walls, and soon the city, home to the oldest Christian community in the world, will have little left of its Christian history but the cold stones of empty churches.

Though most Americans don’t know it, we are directly involved in Israel’s strangulation of Bethlehem. Fortune Magazine and other analysts consistently rank the Israel lobby as one of the most effective special interests in Washington; Americans give Israel about $7 million per day. In its just over 60 years of existence, Israel has received more US tax money than any other nation.

As we seek peace and joy for the world, it is time to reconsider an expenditure that perpetuates injustice, tragic violence, and conflict. Please help.

For more information:…

To order:

Order Online Now

Or email your order to…. Tell us your mailing address and the quantity you wish to receive. You can then mail a check, money order or donate online.

*A note on the suggested donation: We offer our published materials free, as supplies allow, though we request donations whenever possible to cover the printing and shipping costs. The “suggested donations” listed are designed to cover only the cost of printing the materials. We incur many other costs in creating, updating, and packaging them, and gladly accept donations towards those expenses from those who can afford it.

**A note on shipping: We generally ship materials using U.S. Post Office Priority Mail envelopes and boxes. These offer a flat rate rather than charging for the weight of the materials included and we have found them to be generally more economical than other methods (remember, printed materials are very heavy, and the Post Office usually charges by weight). They have the added advantage of arriving in two to three days and being very quick and easy for us to send. Current rates (subject to change by the Post Office) are: $4.75 for a large envelope, $10.50 for a medium box and $14.20 for a large box.

Thank you, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Alison Weir, Executive Director

If Americans Knew
3020 El Cerrito Plaza #157
El Cerrito, CA 94530
(202) 631-4060

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Note:   Please see my highlight in JVP’s latest mailing.   Peace, Roy


In a message dated 12/1/2011 8:53:37 A.M. Pacific Standard Time,… writes:

Dear Roy ,

What an amazing year it’s been.

I’m so proud of what Jewish Voice for Peace has done this year. I’m really proud that no matter what or who we go up against—how big their titles or budgets, our members and friends and allies are never afraid to speak out. We’re not afraid to hold them accountable or to make them uncomfortable if that’s what it takes for the truth to come out.

I think what I—and all of us at JVP—are experiencing is a reflection of events all over the world in this landmark year. All year long, people everywhere have been rediscovering how much power we really have—even in the face of armed governments and billionaire banks. Whether in the Arab world or on Wall Street, we’re getting in the streets, saying the things that must be said, and challenging power. is how JVP does our best work.

Earlier this month, when a team of breathtakingly courageous Palestinian Freedom Riders went up against massive systemic discrimination and made news around the world when they integrated a settler bus line from Ramallah to East Jerusalem, they asked JVP to be one of the main U.S. supporters of their action. And we said yes—we organized street demonstrations and actions across the United States and worked with you to get thousands of support letters to the U.S. State Department.

When the first day of rides was done, they wrote to us “..all the Freedom Riders want to send you and JVP a very warm thank you… the fact that young Palestinians and Jews put their energy together to make this act of civil disobedience and direct-action successful is ground breaking….together, with a lot of hard work and resilience, we will alter the course of history in this region.”

This is what solidarity looks like.

Meanwhile, here in the U.S., a bunch of big Jewish national groups like Hillel and the Jewish Federations of North America are trying to ban any discussion at all of the nonviolent Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement. But despite their best efforts, we have been able to bring the debate into synagogues and other major Jewish spaces all up and down the East Coast this year. of my other personal highlights, just in the last month: supporting the New York JVP youth members known as “Young, Jewish and Proud”, who used the tools of Occupy Wall Street to fearlessly take the stage in the middle of a “Wall Street” event for Birthright, the propaganda program that brings hundreds of thousands of young Jews to Israel but shows them only one side of the story. Before our young members were removed by security (photo at right), they called out the disproportionate influence over Jewish communal institutional agendas by a small handful of wealthy philanthropists with pro-settler politics.

And: reading Congressman Gary Ackerman’s press statement slamming NYU professors and students for supporting our campaign to ask retirement giant TIAA-CREF to divest from the occupation. It simply makes us redouble our efforts.

I was so proud when our Los Angeles chapter secured national media attention for Jewish support for Muslim students being unfairly criminalized for protesting the Israeli ambassador. Now chapters in cities like Detroit and Olympia are hosting the students as they go on tour to tell their story.

And, finally, I had to laugh this week when we found ourselves on the pages of gossip and fashion media outlets because of our work in coalition with Adalah-NY and their ongoing successful challenges to billionaire diamond magnate and settlement financier Lev Leviev.

So, this year. It’s been crazy indeed. But this is the kind of crazy we like. This year has been full of boldness. Inspiration. Progress. And plenty—PLENTY—of challenges. Attacks by mainstream groups have occupied too much of our time. Keeping our organization afloat, financially, hasn’t been easy. It never is. And, we can never forget that as we fight for change here in the U.S., conditions on the ground worsen every day, in Israel where democracy is daily deteriorating, and in the occupied Palestinian territories, where the web of human rights abuses and inequality continues to grow, even as non-violent resistance grows bolder and more inspiring by the day. 

But, even with these challenges, it is stunning to reflect on what we’ve accomplished in 2011. And, for that, I thank you. Thank you for placing your trust in us. For investing in our work with your time and money. For speaking up at your dinner table. And for making sure that we know, every day, that you have our back.

There’s really no place I’d rather be than here, with this organization, today. I hope you feel the same.

Thank you again, on behalf of all of us,
Rebecca Vilkomerson, Executive Director
Jewish Voice for Peace

P.S. If our work inspires you, you can support us now by going

The New Evolutionary Movement

The N.E.M.




      Scroll down for a story worth following.  One might say that it’s a very large story being told live and in microcosm.  If you read the whole article you’ll understand what I mean.  You’ll notice that I did no highlighting at all.




Click here: Paul Flynn MP in anti-semitic row – Wales News – News – WalesOnline

Dec 2 2011

A Welsh MP has been accused of anti-semitism after questioning whether a jew ought to be Britain’s ambassador to Israel.

Paul Flynn, who represents Newport West, made the remarks while questioning Sir Gus O’Donnell during an inquiry by the Public Administration Select Committee into the role of the head of the civil service. The present civil service chief was being questioned about his investigation into Adam Werritty, the controversial friend of former Defence Secretary Liam Fox.

Mr Flynn questioned the appointment of ambasador Matthew Gould, who took up the post in Israel last year. It has been alleged by conspiracy theorists that Mr Gould, Dr Fox and Mr Werritty all met with Mossad, the Israeli secret service, in order to discuss a possible strike on Iran.

“I do not normally fall for conspiracy theories, but the ambassador has proclaimed himself to be a Zionist and he has previously served in Iran, in the service,” said Mr Flynn.

Referring to two of his constituants who had been imprisoned after participating in “flytilla” demonstration against the Gaza blockade in July, he added: “When they were briefly imprisoned in Israel, they met the ambassador, and they strongly believe… that he was serving the interest of the Israeli government, and not the interests of two British citizens.”

Robert Halfon, MP for Harlow, who also serves on the committee immediately refuted the accusation: “Mr Flynn is implying that the British ambassador to Israel is working for a foreign power, which is out of order.”

It was later reported that Chief Whip Rosie Winterton called Mr Flynn in for a meeting to discuss his comments.

On his blog, Mr Flynn elucidated on his earlier comments.

“In appointing Gould, a British Jew, to the ambassadorship in Israel in September last year, the foreign office broke with long-standing policy.

“No Jewish diplomat has held the post before because of concerns that it might lead to a conflict of interest, or at the very least create the impression of dual loyalty.

“Given these traditional concerns, Gould was a strange choice. He is a self-declared Zionist who has cultivated an image that led the Forward, the most prominent Jewish newspaper in the US, to describe him recently as ‘not just an ambassador’.”

Fellow MP’s appeared to distance themselves from Flynn in the wake of his remarks. Louise Ellman, Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside, said: “I am astounded by these unfounded insinuations. Matthew Gould has a high reputation as an outstanding representative of the UK government.”

The Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council released a joint statement which said: “It is deeply disturbing to suggest that certain parts of public service are out of bounds for British Jews and a slur on the professionalism of a British ambassador who is widely recognised for effectively representing Britain’s interests.”

Flynn later released a statement which attempted to clarify these remarks.

“Today’s accusation that I have made an anti-Semitic remark is ludicrous. I have been a lifelong friend of Israel and Jewish causes.I have visited Israel on four occasions including a private family holiday.

“Never before in my long political life has such an accusation been made. But I have been accused of being too friendly to Israel on many occasions.

“ True. I am strongly prejudiced against a war in Iran and in favour of Israel. That is why I am demanded a legitimate inquiry into the Liam Fox/ Werrity affair by Phillip Mawer to include a full probe into the USA anti Neo-con groups influence in advancing their agenda.

“The issue is the possibility of the UK stumbling into a war with Iran.

“It is a disappointing Labour Party colleagues joined in the hysteria without any of them first contacting me. It’s the Ian Gibson syndrome. Attack on the basis of the publicity not on the truth of the issue.”

Read More…

Note:  The US does not have a veto in the UN General Assembly as it does in the UN Security Council.  Resolutions passed by the Security Council are the only ones that are “binding”.   Peace, Roy

UN assembly passes 6 resolutions on Mideast conflict


Published today (updated) 02/12/2011 10:06
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The UN General Assembly passed six resolutions on Wednesday it says will
“re-energize efforts to resolve old regional conflicts,” between Israel and the
Middle East. (MaanImages/File)

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The UN General Assembly passed a series on resolutions on Wednesday it says will address core issues in the conflict between Israel and the Arab World.

Delegates hope the votes will “re-energize efforts to resolve old regional conflicts,” a UN press statement said.

The resolutions criticize Israeli settlement building on occupied Palestinian land, back a return to negotiations, and support for UN bodies working on the issue.

Other texts say Israeli decisions to “impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration” on Jerusalem and Syria’s Golan Heights, both captured in a 1967 war, are illegal.

Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, and United States voted against each of the resolutions.

The US delegate said the assembly “repeatedly singled out Israel without fully acknowledging the responsibility of both sides.”

Welcoming the votes, the Palestinian representative called the resolutions a “loud assertion of truth,” which would not obstruct any peace talks.

In a year, he hopes to be sitting in the seat of the State of Palestine, the UN statement quoted him saying.