Showing posts with label jewish voice for peace. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jewish voice for peace. Show all posts

Friday, July 13, 2012

5 Broken Cameras Screening and Discussion

Our member group Jewish Voice for Peace DC Metro Chapter is sponsoring the following event this Sunday in DC.

5 Broken Cameras Screening and Discussion
4:45pm July 15, 2012
E Street Cinema, 555 11th St. NW, Washington, DC 

Buy tickets online.


Featuring discussion after film led by Noura Erakat
Sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace DC Metro Chapter and Busboys and Poets

Join us for a special viewing of the award-winning documentary 5 Broken Cameras with a discussion immediately following the film with Noura Erakat, adjunct professor of international human rights law in the Middle East at Georgetown University, and Legal Advocacy Coordinator for the Badil Center for Palestinian Refugee and Residency Rights.



5 Broken Cameras is a deeply personal, first-hand account of non-violent resistance in Bil'in, a West Bank village threatened by encroaching Israeli settlements. Shot almost entirely by Palestinian farmer Emad Burnat, who bought his first camera in 2005 to record the birth of his youngest son, the footage was later given to Israeli co-director Guy Davidi to edit. Structured around the violent destruction of each one of Burnat's cameras, the filmmakers' collaboration follows one family's evolution over five years of village turmoil.

Co-sponsors of the July 15 film showing and discussion include Sabeel DC Metro Chapter and the Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace (WIAMEP). 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

JVP and Ta'anit Tzedek Call for One Day Fast in Solidarity with Khader Adnan

Jewish Voice for Peace and Ta’anit Tzedek: Jewish Fast for Gaza are calling for a one day fast (from sunrise to sunset) on Friday, February 17, 2012 in solidarity with Khader Adnan, who today is in his 61st day of a hunger strike.

Khader began his hunger strike on December 18th, 2011  after he was arrested  in a nighttime Israeli military raid on his home in the West Bank village of Arraba. Since his arrest, Khader has been held in “administrative detention”--without trial or charges against him.  It has been reported that he is affiliated with Islamic Jihad, but no evidence of that affiliation has been presented.  Regardless of his political beliefs, administrative detention and the interrogations which sparked his hunger strike are entirely unacceptable according to international law.

His hunger strike is intended as a symbolic challenge to the Israeli government and military,
as we learn from a letter from his prison cell in Israel’s Ramleh military hospital: “I hereby assert that I am confronting the occupiers not for my own sake as an individual, but for the sake of thousands of prisoners who are being deprived of their simplest human rights while the world and international community look on.”

Khader, 33, is  a father of two from the village of Arraba in the Jenin district. His wife is pregnant with their third child. Prior to his arrest, Adnan worked as a baker while studying for a master's degree in economics at the Bir Zeit University.

Khader is chained to his hospital bed by Israeli authorities. An Israeli military judge denied his appeal challenging his administrative detention, essentially sentencing him to death.  Israel has ignored the pleas of numerous human rights agencies, including
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, to either “charge or release” Adnan.

K
hader Adnan is but one of thousands of Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli prisons.  According to a January 1, 2012 report by Addameer, a Palestinian prisoner support organization, there are currently 4417 Palestinians held as political prisoners in Israel jails, 310 of whom are being held in administrative detention without trial or formal charge.

This Friday, the people of Bil'in, together with their Israeli and international supporters, will participate in a demonstration marking seven years of resistance to the Wall, settlements and Occupation. The gathering will be dedicated to Khader Adnan.


Jewish Voice for Peace and Ta’anit Tzedek stand with the people of Bil’in and all those who work tirelessly for peace with justice in Israel/Palestine. We are calling on all our friends and colleagues in this movement to join us in a one day fast this Friday in solidarity with Khader Adnan.

May his sacrifice not be in vain. May we all live to see the day in which human rights, civil rights and equality are enjoyed by all inhabitants of Israel/Palestine. May we work to make it so.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Mideast conflict spills onto BART walls


Jewish Voice for Peace is a coalition member of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.


12 January, 2012
San Francisco Examiner

Thousands of miles removed from the political tinderbox of the Middle East, a controversy has broken out between Palestinian and Israeli advocacy groups over dueling advertising campaigns on BART.

Since 2010, a consortium of Christian, Jewish and Muslim groups has sponsored three BART train ad campaigns, each of which feature slogans asking for an end to United States military support for Israel.

For every one of those campaigns, Stand for Us, an Israeli education group, has countered with its own ads. The latest campaign, which starts Monday, features taglines urging Palestinians leaders to accept Israel as a peaceful neighbor.

Cindy Shamban, a member of Jewish Voices for Peace, one of the groups sponsoring the original ads, said their campaign was intended to spur people’s interest and provide information. She said BART was an ideal option for the campaign since so many people take public transit.

“When we first put these ads up, I really didn’t think they’d elicit any reaction,” Shamban said.

Roz Rothstein, president of Stand With Us, said the group felt compelled to counter the original ads because they were one-sided and placed blame exclusively on Israel. She said her organization would normally not advertise on public transit vehicles such as BART, but since the original campaigns were placed on the trains, they had little choice except to respond with their own ads nearby.

In reviewing Stand With Us’ proposed counterads, BART General Manager Grace Crunican acknowledged that they might provoke comments. However, she said the campaign complied with the agency’s advertising consent guidelines, and she offered her support for the ads in a memo to BART’s board of directors.

BART spokesman Jim Allison said once ads are approved by the agency, they are not taken down early, even if public complaints arise about their content.

SEE ORIGINAL ARTICLE...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Activists Call on Fashion Icon to Sever Ties with Lev Leviev

In November, US Campaign coalition member groups Adalah-NY, CODEPINK, and Jewish Voice for Peace, along with human rights organizations in the UK, called on fashion icon Daphne Guinness and Manhattan’s Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) to sever ties with Israeli settlement builder and conflict diamond purveyor Lev Leviev. Leviev is a principal sponsor of Ms. Guinness’s current fashion exhibition at FIT.

In an open letter to Guinness and FIT, the groups detailed Leviev’s sordid complicity in a multitude of human rights abuses that have led a number organizations and governments to distance themselves from Leviev’s companies. Citing Guinness’s own humanitarian work, the groups implored Guinness to sever all ties with Leviev:

We recognize your strong commitment to supporting women’s rights around the world, to countering AIDS in Africa and to helping the needy in places like Haiti. Therefore, like the organizations, governments and individuals who have sought distance from Leviev, we feel confident that you do not wish to tarnish your name and good works by associating yourself with Leviev’s companies’ human rights violations and questionable business practices. Leviev’s companies undermine the very rights and humanitarian causes that you support. Therefore, we call on you to act swiftly to sever all ties between the exhibit at FIT that bears your name, and Lev Leviev.
Representatives of Guinness and FIT have responded by saying they are taking the groups’ concerns into account, but have thus far failed to elaborate a further course of action. The petition calling on Guinness and FIT to sever ties with Leviev has generated a fair amount of negative publicity for all involved. Online stories detailing Leviev’s sponsorship of the exhibition have been featured on prominent sites like New York magazine, Vogue UK, and Jezebel, the influential feminist blog. The exhibition runs through January 17th, 2012.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Take Action on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People




Above: Activists in Sacramento show solidarity with the Palestinian Freedom Riders.




Above: Click to watch Peter Miller, US Campaign Steering Committee Co-chair, address the U.N. General Assembly this morning (skip to 1 hour and 17 minutes after start).

By Anna Baltzer, National Organizer

In 1976, in commemoration of what is now 63 years of Palestinian dispossession and exile, the United Nations declared November 29 to be the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. This year, Peter Miller, president of Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights and co-chair of the US Campaign's Steering Committee, addressed the U.N. General Assembly. Peter's speech, which took place this morning at the U.N, can be viewed and read here (the speech begins at one hour and 17 minutes into the recording).

Today the Palestinian people's resilience and struggle for freedom continue. Bedouin families of Al-Arakib in the Negev Desert have rebuilt their homes more than 20 times to maintain their presence there. Villagers of Nabi Saleh in the West Bank continue to nonviolently protest settler and army violence and land confiscation, remaining steadfast in the face of the army's intimidation tactics and extreme brutality. Children in Gaza whose schools have been bombed attend makeshift classrooms, persisting to get an education. Survivors of the Nakba, the catastrophe of Palestinian dispossession in the 1947-48 war, continue to preserve and pass down their testimonies and the keys to their homes, refusing to forget or to give up their internationally recognized right to return to the homes and lands from which they were expelled.

Also today, Minnesota citizens from the exciting Minnesota Break the Bonds campaign gathered at the State Attorney General's office to serve a lawsuit on the state's Board of Investment, demanding that it divest from Israel Bonds, based on moral, ethical and legal grounds. 

MN BBC is asking for your support! Sign this letter telling members of the Minnesota State Board of Investments to stop investing in Israeli apartheid!

These are only two of the many actions by US Campaign member groups over the past two weeks. On November 15, activists in 15 cities across the United States organized actions and educational events in solidarity with the Palestinian Freedom Riders, who challenged the Jim Crow-style segregation inherent in the Israeli occupation. You can find an exciting play-by-play chronology of the Freedom Riders' actions at The Struggle, and a summary of the day's events--in the West Bank and the U.S.--here at Jewish Voice for Peace, a US Campaign member organization.




Above: Click to watch LA activists educate passengers on a Veolia bus as part of a campaign to end the city's Veolia contracts.

Here is just a small sampling of U.S. actions supporting the Palestinian Freedom Riders as part of the growing worldwide campaign to challenge Veolia, a French multinational corporation that profits from the Israeli occupation by operating buses on Israeli-only roads, among other things:

In Los Angeles, activists demonstrated and boarded buses run by Veolia to educate passengers about Israel's apartheid policies as part of a campaign targeting Veolia contracts with the city.

Boston activists launched a campaign challenging the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail Company's contract with Veolia by distributing fliers to educate and mobilize Boston residents.

In Baltimore, activists demonstrated at Penn Station during rush hour, singing a freedom song and drawing connections between the Palestinian and American struggles for equality and human rights, linking Veolia's profiteering from racism and exploitation in Israel/Palestine to the City of Baltimore's unequal government contracts.

There were also more actions in Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, Phoenix, Sacramento, Chico, Oakland, Chicago, New York City, and Washington, D.C.! Check out the photos on Mondoweiss and Flickr, and watch Jewish Voice for Peace's round-up video here.



Above: Click to watch video by Sana Kassem.

Palestinian filmmaker Sana Kassem put together this excellent video drawing parallels between the U.S. Civil Rights Movement and the struggle of the Palestinian Freedom Riders.

Our National Advocacy Director, Josh Ruebner, published this article in Counterpunch supporting the Freedom Riders—just one of dozens of articles published recently worldwide.

Last Saturday, activists in 10 European countries staged more than 60 actions as part of a Day of Action calling on supermarkets and governments to "Take Apartheid off the Menu."

Today, on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, let us celebrate Palestinian steadfastness and renew our commitment to ending U.S. complicity with Israeli occupation and apartheid as part of a growing, exciting, global movement for freedom, justice, and equality.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Is TIAA-CREF backing away from its claim to provide financial services "for the greater good"?

Member group Adalah-NY recently brought to light changes to the TIAA-CREF website, which no longer features the slogan, "For the Greater Good" as prominently as it once did.  For more information about TIAA-CREF click here.

Sometime between March 19 and April 4 2011, the giant financial services organization TIAA-CREFredesigned its website, www.tiaa-cref.org. The new design no longer features the slogan "For the Greater Good" next to its corporate logo in the headline banner.  Now relegated to plain text near the bottom of the page, the slogan had been a prominent component of the site since 2005.


Does this change reflect a reprioritization of the goals of TIAA-CREF, which was started as a philanthropic project? Is it a defensive reaction to the growing We Divest campaign initiated by Jewish Voice for Peace in June 2010, which calls on TIAA-CREF to divest from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and other human rights-based campaigns such as those initiated by Mining Zone Peoples' Solidarity Group and Healthcare-Now?

Adalah-NY hopes that soon TIAA-CREF will recognize that socially responsible investment cannot exclude the rights of Palestinians and other oppressed peoples. Then, it can restore the slogan "For the Greater Good" to a prominent place on its website as a true reflection of its commitment to this principle.

Statement originally posted here.

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Young Jewish Declaration

Following is a great new video by Young Jewish and Proud, the youth wing of Jewish Voice for Peace.  The video also includes members of Earlham BDS and CODEPINK.


“How do we reach Jewish young people?” has long been one of the central mantras of the organized Jewish community - as those of us who work as Jewish professionals can surely attest. But while we wring our hands over the state of the Jewish future, a remarkable new generation of Jews has been knocking insistently at our door.
Case in point:
Almost one year ago, five young Jews disrupted the keynote speech by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Jewish Federation General Assembly in New Orleans. One by one, at five different points during the speech, the activists stood on their chairs, unfurled banners and shouted out in turn:
Young Jews say the settlements delegitimize Israel!
Young Jews say the Occupation delegitimizes Israel!
Young Jews say the siege of Gaza delegitimizes Israel
Young Jews say the loyalty oath delegitimizes Israel!
Young Jews say silencing dissent delegitimizes Israel!
With each successive interruption the shouts from the crowd grew louder and angrier. As security attempted to safely walk them out, one protester was put in a choke hold by a convention attendee and wrestled to the floor. Another conventioneer grabbed a banner and tore it in half with his teeth.
At the very same moment, “Young, Jewish, Proud” launched its website, featuring the “Young Jewish Declaration” - an astonishing statement of purpose that seemed to come directly from the collective heart, mind and gut of this newly-formed youth movement:



Learn more about Young Jewish and Proud here.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Protest Video and Petitions Delivered! Thousands tell National Building Museum: No Award to Caterpillar Inc.!

US Campaign member group, the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice, along with the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, Jewish Voice for Peace, CODEPINK, and the Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace, celebrated a victory earlier this month when the National Building Museum announced its cancellation of the ceremony to award Caterpillar, Inc. with an award for "innovation in building technology" and "exceptional leadership," following a campaign which gathered more than 7,000 signatures. However, the National Building Museum did not rescind the award itself, prompting protesters to demonstrate outside the museum when Cindy and Craig Corrie delivered the petition, as described below in an account from the Rachel Corrie Foundation... Make sure to check out the video!


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
Petition Delivery and Action at the National Building Museum
Video courtesy of Bill Simonds, JVP - DC Metro Chapter  
We met with Museum Development Events Manager Jessie Cochran. She promised to deliver our petitions to the Museum's Executive Director, Chase Rynd, along with our requests to consider the human rights records of future award candidates and to use the museum's public forums to discuss the built environment during conflict and occupation.

...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.

Flash mob in El Cerrito, CA Bed Bath & Beyond protests Soda Stream

A flash mob in an El Cerrito, CA branch of Bed Bath & Beyond this month protested the store's sales of Soda Stream, a soft drink product made in an illegal settlement with exploited Palestinian labor.


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.

Monday, August 29, 2011

New Ads on San Francisco Cable Cars, Buses, and Bay Area BART!

Friends of Sabeel-North America, American Muslims for Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace, Bay Area Women in Black, and the Middle East Children's Alliance -- five member groups of the US Campaign coalition -- are some of those involved in bringing back Bay Area ads calling for end to U.S. military aid to Israel, this time on BART, Muni, and San Francisco cable cars!

Commuters in Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco stations will see Israeli and Palestinian grandfathers urging aid cut-off for the sake of peace and justice.

Part of a year-old national campaign, the ads depict Israeli and Palestinian grandfathers, each holding a grandchild, calling for an end to the military assistance in the interest of building "peace with equality and justice." They went up today in three of the busiest stations on the Bay Area Rapid Transit system - 12th St. Oakland, Downtown Berkeley, and Civic Center San Francisco - as well as on the Muni level of the Embarcadero station in San Francisco and on a Powell Street cable car. Next week the same ad will be posted in the 16th St./ Mission station in San Francisco...

The ads are part of an initiative launched in October 2010, by a Chicago-area community group called the Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine. NorCal Sabeel followed with ads in several BART stations last December. Since then similar ads have appeared in transit stations, on buses, or on billboards in Washington, DC; Boston, MA; Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ; and Albuquerque, NM. More cities are planning their own campaigns soon.

Jeff Halper and Salim Shawamreh
The previous round of ads in BART stations not only garnered considerable coverage in the local media, but also provoked a series of counter-ads sponsored by an Israel Lobby organization called Stand With Us. In response to complaints about those ads, BART removed them on the grounds that they appeared “disparaging or demeaning to Palestinians as a whole” and violated the district’s advertising standards; they were then replaced with new ads accusing the Palestinian leadership of "teaching hate and violence.”

The new ads now appearing in the Bay Area feature photos of Jeff Halper, a Minnesota-born Israeli professor, and Salim Shawamreh, a Palestinian construction supervisor born in Jerusalem, and a grandchild of each. Halper is co-founder and coordinator of the Israel Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD); Shawamreh's Jerusalem home has been destroyed by Israeli wrecking crews, then rebuilt by volunteers organized by ICAHD, four times since 1998... 

For more information about the overall campaign, visit www.TwoPeoplesOneFuture.org
For more on the Bay Area campaign, see www.BuildPeace.org


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Jewish Voice for Peace and UN Recognition of Palestinian Statehood

Jewish Voice for Peace is a coalition member of the US Campaign. Learn more here about our coalition's actions and positions on Palestinian UN membership and statehood.


From Jesse Bacon's blog at jewishvoiceforpeace.org

Joel Beinin
For a more in-depth statement by Joel Benin, a long-time JVP member who is the Donald J. Maclachlan Professor of Middle Eastern History at Stanford University, click here.

Jewish Voice for Peace supports the Palestinian people’s struggle to fulfill their aspirations and secure their internationally recognized rights to freedom, national self-determination, justice, and equality. We regard any non-violent tactic as a legitimate tool in this struggle. Palestinians have the right to freedom from Israeli occupation, justice for Palestinian refugees, and equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has affirmed that this September, at the United Nations General Assembly, it will seek a vote on international recognition of the State of Palestine on the 1967 border and admission as a full member of the United Nations.

While 100 countries already recognize Palestine as a state, the question of pressing for UN membership remains controversial among Palestinians. Some support the move as historic and others believe such a vote is either purely symbolic or may sacrifice important Palestinian claims.

Jewish Voice for Peace believes that such a vote, even if it were to pass, would not change facts on the ground or suddenly create a Palestinian state. Regardless of what happens at the UN, the lives of ordinary Palestinian people and the ongoing massive violations of their human rights will remain at the forefront of our concerns.

That said, we do believe the campaign for Palestinian statehood has and can catalyze an important global conversation about the fundamental Palestinian right to self-determination, and the United States’ and Israel’s ongoing role in thwarting that right.

The PA’s decision to bring the case for statehood to the United Nations after years of frustration with so-called peace talks has highlighted the fact that the US-brokered “peace process” has actually helped entrench the occupation. It has equally underscored the reality that Israel’s current Prime Minister has absolutely no intention of stopping settlement expansion.

Further, Israeli and US efforts to weaken or stop a UN vote that in no way is anti-Israel, including US Congress’ threat to withhold millions in aid should the PA push for the vote, and the US affirmation that it will veto it if it goes to the UN Security Council, reveal the obstructive role the United States continues to play in the region— contributing to further injustice and bloodshed that threatens both Palestinians and Israelis.

Finally, we believe that the vote, and the conversation it is engendering among those who believe it’s time for Palestinians to finally achieve their freedom, should be understood in the context of a series of milestones that all point towards an acceleration of the decades old movement for justice.
These milestones include the unexpected rise of the Arab Spring, the rapid growth of the Palestinian nonviolent resistant movement inside of the West Bank, and the growing successes of the global nonviolent solidarity actions in the form of the Gaza flotilla and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS). These, coupled with Israel’s increasingly controversial and anti-democratic measures, which are all adding to its sense of isolation and pressure, all mark a hopeful shift in the decades old movement for justice for Palestinians.

ARTICLE CONTINUES...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Media Release: 125+ Groups & 25,000+ Individuals: "Don't Veto Palestinian UN Membership"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 5, 2011

Washington, DC -- The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation delivered today to the State Department an open letter signed by more than 125 groups, including 30 national organizations, and petitions signed by more than 25,000 people urging the Obama Administration not to veto Palestinian UN membership if the issue arises in the Security Council.

National organizations Code Pink, Grassroots International, Jewish Voice for Peace, and Just Foreign Policy contributed petition signatures to the overall count. 

The open letter reads in part:

"Palestinians have been prevented from exercising their rights to freedom and self-determination on even a portion of their historic homeland due to Israel's historic and ongoing policies of ethnic cleansing, apartheid, military occupation, and colonization... Palestinians have waited more than 63 years for their human rights. We urge you—do not set a timetable for Palestinian freedom by vetoing Palestinian membership in the United Nations."

Josh Ruebner, National Advocacy Director of the US Campaign, stated that:

"The American people are ahead of the administration in recognizing that our policy towards the region has failed. Even though the State Department has been unwilling to meet with us yet, we have made clear to the Obama Administration that thousands of people across this country, and a diverse and growing coalition of organizations representing hundreds of thousands more will continue to organize until we end unconditional U.S. support for Israel's illegal military occupation and apartheid policies toward Palestinians. Through our efforts, the U.S. government will realize what so many people already know: that the way to achieve a just and lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace is to base our country's policies on human rights, international law, and equality, and not to deny Palestinians freedom and self-determination."

Other national organizations endorsing the open letter include: the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, American Educational Trust, American Federation of Ramallah, Palestine, American Jews for a Just Peace, American Muslims for Palestine, Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, Episcopal Peace Fellowship Palestine-Israel Network, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Friends of Sabeel—North America ,Global Exchange, Interfaith Peace-Builders, Intersect Worldwide, Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church, (U.S.A.), Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD)—USA, Middle East Children's Alliance, Paulist Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Peace Action, Presbyterian Peace Fellowship,  Progressive Democrats of America, Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice , Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East, United for Peace and Justice,  United Methodist General Board of Church and Society, U.S. Peace Council, and War Resisters League.

For the complete text of the open letter and the complete list of organizational endorsements, click here.

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is a national coalition of more than 350 organizations working to change U.S. policy toward Palestine/Israel to support human rights, international law, and equality. For more information see www.endtheoccupation.org.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Coalition member JVP receives nod in Jewish mainstream press

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is a coalition member of the US Campaign, and the leader of several US Campaign-sponsored initiatives. The following JTA.org article excerpt gives JVP some credit for offering many members of the Jewish Left in the United States an irresistible alternative to J Street and the Jewish political establishment. Read the full article on JTA.org.

J Street, the book—expect more controversy

By Ami Eden, JTA.org
July 19, 2011

If there’s one thing J Street is good at, it’s getting attention.

Supporters, critics and relatively neutral observers all have conspired -- with plenty of prodding from J Street’s own aggressive communications operation -- to shine an intense media spotlight on the self-described “pro-Israel, pro-peace” organization. The result has been waves of positive attention and tough scrutiny, often out of proportion with any actual accomplishment or misdeed.

...

It is true, as [J Street founder and president Jeremy] Ben-Ami asserts in his book, that some right-wing and centrist critics of his organization have launched vitriolic and distortion-filled attacks against J Street and its leaders, often working to blackball them from various forums.

And he’s also right in arguing that many of J Street’s main policy positions -- a Jewish state in Israel, a demilitarized Palestinian state, borders based on the 1967 lines with land swaps, no Palestinian right of return, a compromise on Jerusalem -- fall well within the Israeli and Jewish mainstream. To boot, J Street has criticized Palestinian incitement and worked with other Jewish organizations to head off anti-Israel boycott campaigns."

"...in the end the organization’s biggest challenge could well come from the left.

During the past year, one could make the argument that the upstart Jewish Voice for Peace has emerged as the main challenger for the hearts and minds of Jews on the left who feel alienated from Israel and the Jewish establishment. That’s bad news if you count yourself as a pro-Israel activist.
You don’t like J Street’s policies? Jewish Voice for Peace supports some boycotts and divestment measures targeting Israel and takes no position on whether it backs a two-state solution.
You don’t like J Street’s tactics? JVP activists heckled Israel’s prime minister at another Jewish organization’s conference.
By comparison, Ben-Ami’s talk about Zionism, support for U.S. aid to Israel and opposition to the BDS movement sound downright establishment. And if JVP's influence and popularity grow, it might not be long before establishment folks start telling themselves that maybe J Street wasn’t so bad after all.

SEE ORIGINAL ARTICLE...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

AFSC Joins Jewish Voice for Peace on Divestment Campaign

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) are two of our coalition members, along with six of AFSC's U.S. regional chapters. Spearheaded by JVP, the "We Divest" Campaign targeting TIAA-CREF is a US Campaign-sponsored initiative. AFSC has distributed the following press release.

In its meeting on June 12, 2011, the Board of Directors of the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker peace organization, united in support of joining the divestment campaign led by Jewish Voice for Peace.  The campaign calls on the financial services organization TIAA-CREF to divest from companies that:


  • Directly profit from or contribute to the Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem;
  • Provide products or services that contribute to the construction and maintenance of Israeli settlements and/or the Separation Wall, both of which are illegal under international law; or
  • Provide products or services that contribute to or enable violent acts that target civilians.
The campaign also calls on TIAA-CREF to establish investment criteria to exclude any such companies in the future.  The TIAA-CREF campaign does not target the government of Israel or Israeli companies for divestment; it is directed at divesting from all corporations that profit from the Israeli occupation.

The AFSC Board affirmed that the decision to join this campaign is “rooted in our Quaker beliefs that we speak with love to ‘that of God’ in every person, that we ‘utterly deny all outward wars and strife and fighting with outward weapons for any end or under any pretense whatsoever’, and that we testify to this by removing the ‘seeds of conflict’ - including economic seeds - from our own lives.”

This decision is a response to ongoing Israeli violations of human rights and international law and is a rejection of any actions that might support these violations. Consistent with AFSC’s investment screen, this campaign seeks to change Israeli government actions and to end its continued occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza.

AFSC’s work is shaped by its recognition of Israelis’ and Palestinians’ shared humanity and the importance of working with both peoples to end the conflict based on the principles of equality, rights and justice. As the Board said, “In joining this campaign, Friends reaffirmed our commitment to approach it with a loving spirit and openness to hearing all sides in a conflict. In communicating with Jewish Voice for Peace and others we will hold up our broader concerns for the resolution of all conflict and violation of human rights in the region.”

For more information about AFSC’s joining the Jewish Voice for Peace campaign, see our frequently asked questions.

SEE ORIGINAL...

Friday, June 17, 2011

JVP Rabbinical Council's Brant Rosen on Tamimi case

Jewish Voice for Peace is a US Campaign member group.

More than 5,000 people have contacted the US State Department asking for Naji and Bassem's release: join them!

International residents click here to participate in Popular Struggle's
action alert.

(L to R: Rabbi Brant Rosen, Bassem Tamimi, Ayed Morrar)
Dear Supporter,

I'm writing to ask for your help in getting two Palestinians out of jail. Their only crime is organizing unarmed protests against the occupation. They need your help.

This past December I took a trip to Israel/Palestine with twenty members of my congregation. Among our many stops was a morning visit to a coffee house in Ramallah where we had arranged to meet with Ayed Morrar, a grassroots nonviolent organizer from the West Bank village of Budrus (whose struggle was recently featured in the documentary film of the same name.) When we arrived to meet Ayed, we found that he had brought along a fellow leader in the Palestinian nonviolence movement, Bassem Tamimi, who comes from the village of Nabi Saleh.

With integrity, humor and sense of quiet resolve, Bassem told us the story of his village’s struggle for justice. Since 1977, Nabi Saleh has been besieged by a nearby Jewish settlement which was constructed on land privately owned by Nabi Saleh’s residents. Although an Israeli court awarded some land in Nabi Saleh back to its residents, settlers have been routinely uprooting hundreds of the village’s olive trees and attacking farmers to prevent them from working their land.

In response, Bassem and other villagers organized weekly nonviolent demonstrations, which have been systematically and brutally suppressed by the IDF. The Israeli army has raided the village of 500 residents by day and by night, causing hundreds of injuries and carrying out 75 protest-related arrests. Currently, more than 10% of the village has been arrested, including women and many children.

When we spoke with Bassem last December, he explained that the military was targeting the movement’s leadership. Since demonstrations began, Bassem’s house has been raided and ransacked numerous times, his wife was arrested twice and two of his sons were injured. Wa’ed, 14, was hospitalized for five days after a rubber-coated bullet penetrated his leg and Mohammed, 8, was injured by a tear-gas projectile that was shot directly at him and hit him in the shoulder. It seemed clear to us that his arrest was quite likely, if not imminent.

Last March, we learned the news: three weeks after the arrest of his cousin Naji Tamimi (a fellow member of the Nabi Saleh Popular Committee) Bassem himself was arrested. The arrests of both men were based on confessions from teenagers who were themselves seized in midnight raids, denied legal counsel, and beaten. Help us get them out of prison.

Now that Bassem’s case is coming to trial, I am asking you to stand together with me and thousands of people around the world, to say that no one should be jailed for organizing peaceful protests against the theft of their land. If you believe in grassroots, unarmed organizing against the Israeli occupation, please stand by Bassem and Naji Tamimi.

In solidarity,

Rabbi Brant Rosen
Co-Chair, Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council

Monday, June 13, 2011

Free Bassem and Naji Tamimi


Jewish Voice for Peace is a coalition member of the US Campaign.

By Rabbi Brant Rosen
Co-Chair, Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council
June 10, 2011

I'm writing to ask for your help in getting two Palestinians out of jail. Their only crime is organizing unarmed protests against the occupation. They need your help in spreading the word.

This past December I took a trip to Israel/Palestine with twenty members of my congregation. Among our many stops was a morning visit to a coffee house in Ramallah where we had arranged to meet with Ayed Morrar, a grassroots nonviolent organizer from the West Bank village of Budrus (whose struggle was recently featured in the documentary film of the same name.) When we arrived to meet Ayed, we found that he had brought along a fellow leader in the Palestinian nonviolence movement, Bassem Tamimi, who comes from the village of Nabi Saleh.

With integrity, humor and sense of quiet resolve, Bassem told us the story of his village’s struggle for justice. Since 1977, Nabi Saleh has been besieged by a nearby Jewish settlement which was constructed on land privately owned by Nabi Saleh’s residents. Although an Israeli court awarded some land in Nabi Saleh back to its residents, settlers have been routinely uprooting hundreds of the village’s olive trees and attacking farmers to prevent them from working their land.


In response, Bassem and other villagers organized weekly nonviolent demonstrations, which have been systematically and brutally suppressed by the IDF. The Israeli army has raided the village of 500 residents by day and by night, causing hundreds of injuries and carrying out 75 protest-related arrests. Currently, more than 10% of the village has been arrested, including women and many children.

When we spoke with Bassem last December, he explained that the military was targeting the movement’s leadership. Since demonstrations began, Bassem’s house has been raided and ransacked numerous times, his wife was arrested twice and two of his sons were injured. Wa’ed, 14, was hospitalized for five days after a rubber-coated bullet penetrated his leg and Mohammed, 8, was injured by a tear-gas projectile that was shot directly at him and hit him in the shoulder. It seemed clear to us that his arrest was quite likely, if not imminent.

Last March, we learned the news: three weeks after the arrest of his cousin Naji Tamimi (a fellow member of the Nabi Saleh Popular Committee) Bassem himself was arrested. The arrests of both men were based on confessions from teenagers who were themselves seized in midnight raids, denied legal counsel, and beaten. Tell friends how they can help us get them out of prison.

Now that Bassem’s case is coming to trial, I am asking you to stand together with me and thousands of people around the world, to say that no one should be jailed for organizing peaceful protests against the theft of their land. If you believe in grassroots, unarmed organizing against the Israeli occupation, please stand by Bassem and Naji Tamimi. Please tell your friends to send an email to the U.S. State Department to ask them to call for the Tamimi's release.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

CAT shareholders meet: Speak out!

The United Nations is reporting a two-fold increase in the rate of Palestinian home demolitions by the Israeli authorities this year. (1) These demolitions have razed entire villages again and again. The Bedouin village of Al-Arakib in the Negev has already been destroyed by Caterpillar bulldozers 21 times. I visited the razed village and saw myself the Caterpillar destruction machines parked in a fenced off area, ready to demolish the village once more.

If you are troubled by this, please write to Caterpillar's Board of Directors today and ask them why they are allowing their products to be used in this way.

On Wednesday at 1.30 pm Central Time, the Caterpillar Board of Directors will hold the company's annual shareholder meeting, and they've asked to receive questions in advance of that meeting. Please ask them about the use of their bulldozers by the Israeli Army.

Since 2004, Jewish Voice for Peace has been attending the Caterpillar shareholder meetings in the Chicago area to hold the company accountable for their bulldozers being used to demolish Palestinian homes. This year Caterpillar hopes to draw less attention to its human rights record. They've moved the shareholder meeting to a less accessible location-Little Rock, AK.   But you don't have to go to Little Rock to make your voice heard. You can ask your question and bring your concern online today. At the meeting, Caterpillar plans on alternating online questions with questions from the floor, so please send your question to Caterpillar today. We want to make sure that concerns about Palestinian human rights become the number one issue Caterpillar has to deal with at the meeting.

Email Caterpillar's Board  of Directors to say,
"Stop selling bulldozers for Israel's
demolition of Palestinian homes!"
Whether or not you own Caterpillar stock, click here to write Caterpillar and tell them of your concerns that a prominent U.S. company, one that even is listed in some "socially responsible" investment funds, is supplying the equipment to destroy Palestinian homes, punishing whole families and communities, and making a just peace even more difficult to achieve. Stop enabling Israel's human rights abuses! Permanently halting all sales to Israel until a just peace is reached is the right thing to do. And with the rise of the global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement, it's good business sense too.

Thanks!
Sydney Levy,
Jewish Voice for Peace

PS: There's another way to pressure Caterpillar: by asking one of the largest pension funds in the US to divest from it. If you have not yet signed our petition to retirement giant TIAA-CREF, go here and sign: wedivest.org



(1) UNRWA, March 21, 2011:  Worrying increase in home demolitions