Friday, September 30, 2011
Learn more about Young Jewish and Proud here.
Mouin Rabbani is a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Institute for Palestine Studies (IPS) in Washington DC. He is an independent Middle East-based analyst specializing on Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict
Thursday, September 29, 2011
The following excerpt is from an editorial on page A10 of today's edition of the New York Times. It comes under the headline "Israelis Happy at Home but Glum About Peace," and it sounds surprisingly agreeable -- given Ethan Bronner's usual point of view -- to what the US Campaign has been insisting for weeks in our efforts to mobilize grassroots opposition against the Obama Administration's obstruction of Palestinian UN membership...
"...The sense over the past two years that President Obama was growing angry with Israel and steering American policy away from its interests subsided last week. The parts of Mr. Obama’s United Nations speech about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could have been written by any official here. It said nothing about Israeli settlements, the 1967 lines, occupation or Palestinian suffering, focusing instead on Israel’s defense needs.SEE FULL ARTICLE...
Avigdor Lieberman, the hawkish foreign minister, said afterward that he would be happy to sign Mr. Obama’s speech “with both hands.”
"Ordinarily, a person leaving a courtroom with a conviction behind him
would wear a somber face. But I left with a smile. I knew that I was a
convicted criminal, but I was proud of my crime. It was the crime of joining
my people in a nonviolent protest against injustice."
-Martin Luther King, Jr. (Case No. 7399, convicted of violating the state
of Alabama's anti-boycott law, March 22, 1956, from "Stride Toward
Freedom: the Montgomery Story".)
We join our voices with the unjustly charged and convicted Irvine 11, who
dared to draw attention to Israel‚s war crimes. Orange County District
Attorney, Tony Rackauckus, has punished students who care about the world
enough to try to change it. The 11 students refused to remain silent when
Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren spoke at the University of California,
Irvine in February 2010. Their brief outbursts, at best representing
protected First Amendment speech and at worst harmless civil disobedience,
have led to McCarthyistic misdemeanor charges. On September 23, 2011, an
Orange Country jury found them guilty.
We unequivocally condemn these charges, which unfairly single out and
criminalize Muslim students who chose to exercise their First Amendment
right to speak out against Israel’s human rights abuses. Had the speaker not
been Israeli, had the issue not been Palestine, had the students not been
Muslim, these charges never would have been pursued. Rather, these charges
reflect a climate of Islamophobia and an irrational exceptionalism for
Israel when it comes to free speech. The charges chill the free exchange of
ideas and students‚ right to protest at universities nationwide.
Protest Video and Petitions Delivered! Thousands tell National Building Museum: No Award to Caterpillar Inc.!
Earlier this month we convinced the National Building Museum (NBM) in Washington DC to cancel its September 14th public ceremony to award its prestigious Henry C. Turner Prize to Caterpillar Inc. Then last week, acting on behalf of the Rachel Corrie Foundation, we and representatives of Jewish Voice for Peace, Code Pink, the Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace, and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (a coalition of more than 350 organizations) held a protest outside the F Street museum entrance. We sang, chanted, flyered, and chatted with the public. We then entered the Museum's lofty Great Hall to deliver the call from 150 regional, national, and international organizations and more than 7000 individuals to rescind the prize to Caterpillar Inc. completely.
|Petition Delivery and Action at the National Building Museum|
Video courtesy of Bill Simonds, JVP - DC Metro Chapter
...This small but public victory is just one indicator of how together we are bringing Palestinian human rights front and center and making a difference. Once again, we have exposed the complicity of Caterpillar Inc. in the ongoing violations of these rights by the Israeli military and government in Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel.
Continue reading here...
Click here to find out more about the BDS Campaign against Caterpillar.
The approximately two dozen protesters wore shirts emblazoned with ""Boycott Israel 'til Palestine is Free," and sang and chanted in the Bed Bath & Beyond before moving outside to march and hand out fliers. The store called the police, who declined to interfere, saying the protesters would leave soon without causing harm. The flash mob included several members of US Campaign ember groups such as NorCal Friends of Sabeel, Bay Area Jewish Voice for Peace and CODEPINK.
A video of the Bed Bath & Beyond flash mob can be seen here:
Read about other activities of our member groups here.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
The BDS movement celebrates another victory this week as the Israeli cosmetics company Ahava is forced to move its London location. Read more about the boycott of Ahava here.
Visit www.bdsmovement.net for more information.
Print email Get breaking news text alerts Suit aimed at ending Olympia co-op's year-old ban on selling Israeli goods
Five people have filed a civil lawsuit alleging that the Olympia Food Co-op’s boycott of Israeli products at its two stores in July 2010 was unfair and violated its own rules and bylaws.
CONTINUE READING HERE
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
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Our September phone conference will be on Thursday, September 22 at 12 noon Eastern Time (Call in number: 800-920-7487 Code: 92247763# ) with Josh Ruebner and we hope you will join us. There is a lot of misinformation about the Palestinian U.N. initiative. The call will be an opportunity to discuss the meaning of the U.N. initiative, to explore its implications, and also to find out more about the U.S. Campaign's position on this and other related issues.
Ruebner is a former Analyst in Middle East Affairs at Congressional Research Service, a federal government agency providing Members of Congress with policy analysis. His analysis and commentary on U.S. policy toward the Middle East appear frequently in media such as NBC, ABC Nightline, CSPAN, Al Jazeera, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, The Hill, Detroit Free Press, Huffington Post, Middle East Report, and more. You can read articles by Ruebner and related articles on the U.N. initiative on our website.
We hope you will join us for this important conversation. There will be time for questions and answers.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
For the past two weeks, billboards in 18 subway stations have carried posters calling on the United States to end its military assistance to Israel, which comes to about $3 billion a year. The advertisements, sponsored by a group called Two Peoples One Future, show Israelis and Palestinians beneath these words: “Be on our side — we are on the side of peace and justice.”Haberman notes that various political advertisements have been censored in the NYC subway before, but states:
At least with these subway posters, the transportation authority dug in its heels. “It’s a First Amendment issue, obviously,” said Kevin Ortiz, an authority spokesman. Obviously.Add your comment to the blog entry. You can note that according to our website www.aidtoisrael.org, NYC residents are being asked to fork over $1.75 billion of federal taxes in weapons to Israel between 2009 and 2018. Learn more about how to bring this ad to your city by visiting "Be On Our Side," a project of US Campaign member group the Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
At its meeting on September 9, the Committee on Mission Responsibility Through Investment (MRTI) approved its report to the 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on its engagement with corporations doing business in Israel-Palestine. As part of its regular process of corporate engagement, and based on directives given to it by each General Assembly since 2004, the committee recommended that three companies be added to the General Assembly divestment list: Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola Solutions.
Monday, September 12, 2011
By Shane Goldmacher, Los Angeles Times
By Shane Goldmacher, Los Angeles TimesReporting from Sacramento -- Its aisles brimming with a rainbow of ripe organic produce, bins of grains and refrigerators stocked with soy everything, the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op has long been an oasis of civility in this combative city.
Democrats and Republicans may quarrel at the Capitol a few miles away, but here they break gluten-free bread, munch on kale chips and sip acai juice in blissful bipartisan harmony: "Peace, love and granola," said Republican strategist Donna Lucas, a proud co-op member.
But now politics has intruded on their sanctuary.
A small band of members pushed the co-op board to strip store shelves of Israeli-made items, arguing that Israelrepresses its Palestinian population and the co-op should take a stand. They collected signatures and demanded a referendum on the issue, but the board said no. So the activists launched a campaign to take over some board seats. Votes will be tallied Saturday.
Susan Bush, one of the rebel board candidates, says the battle is about more than Israel. The co-op is suppressing voices, acting corporate, she says. Soon it could be "selling Coca-Cola, for God's sake."
The co-op's political elite has responded in rare bipartisan form and with all the trappings of a full-on electoral fight: membership drives, a get-out-the-vote operation, a Facebookpage, even phone banks.
"We know how to do elections," said Barry Broad, a Democrat and blue-chip union lobbyist by day, socks-and-sandals co-op member by night.
The brick-walled cooperative, with more than 12,000 member-owners, traces its roots back nearly four decades. It twice outgrew its confines and then landed in a quiet east Sacramento neighborhood in 1989. But with only about 50 parking spaces and $26 million in annual sales, it's almost bursting at the seams again.
Inside are floor-to-ceiling collections of rice cakes and vegan fare. The poultry comes fattened onvegetarian feed. The stuff can be pricey, but people aren't here looking for bargains.
Standing in the wellness aisle, general manager Paul Cultrera couldn't remember which Dead Sea bath salts were which. Some are evaporated in Jordan, he explains. Those aren't troublesome. The ones dredged on the Israeli side are.
Cultrera said revenue from Israeli-produced goods is a relatively meager $15,000 annually. The products include ice cream cones (gluten-free, organic and vegan), two types of matzo and, during the Jewish holidays, some kosher wine.
Outside, the protesters and the political pros have been squaring off for months. On a warm summer day, protesters lined the sidewalk, tambourines in tow, making their case to the tune of "This Land Is Your Land."
"This is my co-op, this is your co-op, we are member ow-ners, our voices ma-tter," they sang. "This co-op belongs to you and me."
Maggie Coulter, a state retiree and organic gardener, spearheaded the call for a boycott. The financial stake may be small, Coulter said, but the symbolism is huge. It could even, she said, push Israel to change its policies, one American food cooperative at a time.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Jill Tucker, Chronicle Staff Writer
Saturday, September 10, 2011
SAN FRANCISCO -- An Oakland children's museum, citing pressure from the community, canceled a planned exhibit of artwork by Palestinian youth that depicted the Israeli assault during the 2008-09 Gaza conflict.
The Museum of Children's Art was scheduled to display the art from Sept. 24 to Nov. 13. The exhibit had been in the works for several months, with an opening reception to feature poetry and special art activities for children.
The drawings in the exhibit were created by children ranging in age from about 9 to 11 and included bombs dropping, tanks and people getting shot.
"They are pictures of what these children experienced. It's their experience," said Barbara Lubin, executive director of the Middle East Children's Alliance, which was organizing the exhibition.
Museum officials notified Lubin on Thursday that they were pulling the plug on what had become a controversial exhibit that was pulling the children's museum into the long-standing conflict between Palestinians and Israelis.
|Barbara Lubin, founder of Middle East Children's Alliance |
(MECA) displays artwork by Palestinian youths on Friday,
Sept. 9, 2011, in Berkeley, Calif. The Museum of Children's
Art (MOCHA) in Oakland cancelled an exhibit that would
have featured the artwork. Photo: Noah Berger / Special
to The Chronicle
"The pressure was ... well, we were getting calls from constituents that were concerned about the situation," Bell said. "We don't have any political stake in this thing. It just became apparent that we needed to rethink this."
The complaints came from Jewish groups as well as others in the community, board members said.
Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol 40, no. 4 (Summer 2011), p. 98
The Statehood of Palestine: International Law in the Middle East Conflict, by John Quigley. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010. vii + 252 pages. Notes to p. 307. Bibliography to p. 319. Index to p. 326. $27.99 paper.
Reviewed by Diana Buttu
For years, the Palestinian Authority has clung to the idea of a “Palestinian state/dawla filastiniyya,” often repeating the slogan of a “Palestinian state on the 1967 borders,” or the “two-state solution,” as the proposed means of securing freedom for Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. On 16 May 2011, in an op-ed in the New York Times, PLO chairman Mahmud Abbas affirmed his intention to declare statehood in September 2011 and seek full admission to the UN as a member state, following the same plan as laid out by his predecessor, Yasir Arafat, in 2000.
Abbas’s announcement does not come as a surprise: for over two years, acting prime minister Salam Fayyad has been pushing his plan, titled “Ending the Occupation—Establishing the State,” while the PA has undertaken a diplomatic offensive to get states and international bodies to lend their support to the idea. The Fayyad/Abbas plan seems to be working, with over one hundred states now recognizing Palestine as a “state.” It is in this context that John Quigley’s latest book, The Statehood of Palestine: International Law in the Middle East Conflict, emerges.
The book is the most recent in a relatively new line of academic research on Palestine that aims to use the framework of law, and in particular international law, to highlight the injustices perpetrated against Palestinians by Zionist and other imperialist forces. Quigley is not a newcomer to this field, and his past titles include The Case for Palestine: An International Law Perspective (Duke, 2005) and Palestine and Israel: A Challenge to Justice (Duke, 1990).
Divided into four parts and spanning twenty chapters, Quigley begins by tracing the Palestinian Arab quest for independence and the impact of the British Mandate system on Palestine. In the first two parts, the author methodically points out that like other Class A Mandates, “Palestine had relations with other states that required the conclusion of treaties. Palestine’s citizens had connections with other states and required for that purpose a nationality. Palestine’s status came up as an issue in a variety of ways during the time of Britain’s administration. In all of these interactions, the states of the international community dealt with Palestine as a state” (pp. 52-3). But unlike other Class A Mandates, Palestine did not gain its independence; rather, it soon fell subject to endless proposals and plans—including for trusteeship—to accommodate a Jewish minority and its nationalist aspirations at the expense of the rights of Palestinian Arab majority.
AIEF recently paid expenses for more than 80 members of Congress to travel to Israel during recess, but does not disclose planned activities or educational curriculum. Rabbi Bruce Warshal called AIEF "an amazing organization of which no one has ever heard...It's amazing that someone hasn't filed suit to stop this charade."
According to the 29 page IRmep Center for Policy and Law Enforcement filing, AIEF meets the IRS definition of an AIPAC "sham corporation" because:
AIEF is completely controlled by AIPAC, 66% of AIEF board members are AIPAC directors. 47% of AIPAC's board are also AIEF directors;
AIEF lacks sufficient staff. According to IRS and Congressional Research Service benchmarks, a bona fide educational organization would have at least 271 employees. AIEF has none;
AIEF's "educational" content and audiences are determined by AIPAC lobbying objectives. AIEF has no website. No AIEF funded material is made directly available to the public;
AIEF files deceptive IRS Form 990 reports. Although AIEF has multiple foundation donors such as the Saban Family Foundation ($1 million), The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc. ($150,000) and The Marcus Foundation, Inc. ($500,000), it does not properly and individually report such large donors and amounts on its publicly auditable Schedule B. This deceptive practice was pioneered by AIPAC to hide the narrowing funding base of both organizations.
AIEF makes improper transfers of tax-deductible funds to AIPAC. In 2009, AIEF transferred $13.5 million in tax deductible funding to AIPAC;
AIEF Near East Research merger. Founded in 1957, the Near East Report laundered overseas funding to AIPAC's founder to publish disinformation about Israeli nuclear weapons and US peace initiatives.
This IRmep Center for Policy and Law Enforcement filing, which urges revocation retroactive to 1990, is available at: http://irmep.org/09092011AIEF.pdf .
SOURCE Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy