Monday, August 13, 2012
Friday, August 10, 2012
There have been several great responses highlighting Romney's racism. Sam Bahour, a Palestinian-American business development consultant, wrote in The Washington Post:
Over the years, not only has Israel prohibited the emergence of a new Palestinian economy — it has structurally and systematically made certain that even the buds of such a productive economy would never see the light of day. Anyone who scratches the surface of all the political spin can see for themselves what the World Bank now repeats: that Israel’s “apparatus of control” has “become more sophisticated and effective in its ability to interfere in and affect every aspect of Palestinian life, including job opportunities, work, and earnings ... (turning) the West Bank into a fragmented set of social and economic islands or enclaves cut off from one another.”Our member group Jewish Voice for Peace collected and delivered over 17,000 signatures to Romney's campaign headquarters in Boston asking that he apologize for his remarks.
Another Palestinian-American businessman, Zahi Khouri, published a piece in The Washington Post entitled: "The Palestine Romney doesn’t know." He writes:
Israel did not make the desert bloom. Instead, thanks to a deal struck with the British viceroys of Mandate Palestine, it made away with a land, a set of institutions and, indeed, a culture that was not its own.
It did so at the expense of my people. Like more than three-quarters of Palestine’s population, my family was forced to leave this land after Israel’s creation in 1948. Even though we had to abandon our successful businesses and centuries-old homes, however, we did not become the “uncultured” victims that Romney’s caricature suggests.
Most of us went to other Arab countries, where Palestinians became known for our business acumen and management know-how, and helped to build nascent private and public sectors. Ask our fellow Arabs in Lebanon, Jordan or elsewhere in the Persian Gulf region and they will tell you: Palestinian culture, with its premium on education and hard work, has been a force for hope, development and prosperity.Khouri's piece has generated an intense online response. It's critical that supporters of Palestinian rights submit their letters to the editor. Letters should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. For verification purposes, please include your name, phone numbers, and address. Keep your letter to under 200 words.
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Monday, June 25, 2012
"We are extremely shocked and alarmed to see a mainstream Jewish organization associating itself with one of the nation's leading Islamophobes who doesn't hesitate to share the podium with European racists and whose admirers apparently include Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivik. Religious leaders and institutions have an increased and urgent responsibility to promote tolerance and mutual understanding among all Americans, instead of giving aid and comfort to fear-mongers like Geller. Imagine how hurt Jewish community members would be, and rightly so, if they discovered American Muslims hosting an anti-Semitic speaker."The Jewish Federation canceled the event hours before it was set to take place and this decision was commended by the coalition.
"We commend the Jewish Federation for taking action to dissociate from Pamela Geller's bigoted views. It is also encouraging to see that when interfaith communities work together, we can help promote tolerance and reject misinformation that only serves to confuse and promote hate. Americans must continue to stand up and ensure that voices of hate and bigotry stay on the margins of our society, where they belong. We further ask people to take a moment to send a note of thanks to the Federation's leadership."
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Please keep your letter to under 200 words and use this online form: http://www2.timesdispatch.com/forms/letters-editor/.
Alternatively, you can email your letter to email@example.com along with your name, city, and contact information (for verification purposes).
The op-ed can be read in full by clicking on the link below.
Monday, December 12, 2011
"Invented People" or Invented History?
ADC rejects Gingrich's offensive comments. Download our letter
Washington, DC | www.adc.org | December 12, 2011 - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is stunned and appalled at Newt Gingrich’s simplistic and strange assertion that the Palestinian people are an "invented people", which offends hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Americans and millions of Arab Americans. At the same time, ADC dismisses Mr. Gingrich's assertion, and urges him to acquaint himself with the basic concept of nationhood to spare his campaign further embarrassment and ridicule. Nations are not defined by the existence of states, as Mr. Gingrich, who is not a specialist in Middle Eastern history and has not held an academic post since 1978, incorrectly suggests. The modern states of Israel, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Libya and dozens of others around the world did not exist at the turn of the twentieth century. These historical circumstances do not negate their inhabitants' national identities or fundamental human rights; the same is true of Palestinians.
ADC President Warren David stated, "I am appalled that a former Speaker of the House of Representatives and a candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States could make such insulting statements about the Palestinian people. Our members are outraged by Mr. Gingrich's remarks. Rather than attempt to negate the Palestinian people's national identity with irrelevant and antiquated pseudo-arguments and collectively defame Palestinians as "terrorists", Mr. Gingrich should insist that the United States of America defend their legitimate rights to (a) freedom from 44 years of oppressive Israeli military rule and (b) equality in the face of institutionalized Israeli discrimination.”
Finally, on Saturday night, Mr. Gingrich stated, “It's fundamentally time for somebody to have the guts to stand up and say, enough lying about the Middle East.” We couldn’t agree more. So, please, Mr. Gingrich, enough lying about the Middle East.
NOTE TO EDITORS: The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), which is non-profit, non-sectarian and non-partisan, is the largest grassroots Arab-American civil rights and civil liberties organization in the United States. It was founded in 1980 by former Senator James Abourezk. ADC has a national network of chapters and members in all 50 states.
Monday, March 28, 2011
By Uri Avnery
March 27, 2011
In a rare late-night session, the Knesset has finally adopted two obnoxious racist laws. Both are clearly directed against Israel’s Arab citizens, a fifth of the population.
The first makes it possible to annul the citizenship of persons found guilty of offences against the security of the state. Israel prides itself on having a great variety of such laws. Annulling citizenship on such grounds is contrary to international law and conventions.
The second is more sophisticated. It allows communities of less than 400 families to appoint "admission committees" which can prevent unsuitable persons from living there. Very shrewdly, it specifically forbids the rejection of candidates because of race, religion etc. - but that paragraph is tantamount to a wink. An Arab applicant will simply be rejected because of his many children or lack of military service.
But far worse is a third law that is certain to pass its final stages within a few weeks: the law to outlaw the boycott of the settlements.
As it stands now, the law will punish any person or association publicly calling for a boycott of Israel - economic, academic or cultural. "Israel", according to this law, means any Israeli enterprise or person, in Israel or in any territory controlled by Israel. Simply put: it is all about the settlements. And not only about the boycott of the products of the settlements, which was initiated by Gush Shalom some 13 years ago, but also about the recent refusal of actors to perform in the settlement of Ariel and the call by academics not to support the so-called University Center there. It also applies, of course, to any call for the boycott of an Israeli university or an Israeli commercial enterprise.
This is a fundamentally flawed piece of legislation: it is anti-democratic, discriminatory, annexationist, and altogether unconstitutional.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Tell me if this sounds familiar:
A new order allows enforcement officials to stop anyone who "looks illegal" (read: has brown skin) and demand that they produce documents proving their right to be in a place they call home. Failure to produce such documents can lead to fines, jail time, or deportation. Widely seen as a violation of basic rights, this new order leads to widespread calls for boycott.
I'm speaking, of course, about Arizona's new racist law, SB1070--but I could just as easily be talking about Palestine.
If you haven't heard, SB1070 effectively mandates racial profiling by giving local police officers the right to demand immigration documentation from anyone they think might be in the country without documents. Here's the Washington Post summarizing the new law (and insisting on calling human beings "illegal"):
"The law gives local police broad authority to stop and request documents from anyone they reasonably suspect is an illegal immigrant. It calls for aggressive prosecution of illegal immigrants, and officers can be sued if they do not enforce the law."SB 1070 is so racist and over the top that it has led to a wave of outrage around the country, including condemnation from a wide spectrum of faith leaders and President Barack Obama. Many organizations and individuals have called for a boycott of Arizona, including Arizona Member of Congress Raul Grijalva and Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney.
I support these calls, just as I support efforts to oppose so-called "Secure Communities" initiatives that would require local law enforcement to work with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in a manner sure to promote racial profiling and ruin community policing efforts.
I have to wonder, though, how calls to boycott Arizona--including sports boycotts and boycotts on travel to the state--are so easily endorsed in the Washington Post (McCartney: "I like the idea of a boycott because it's so all-American"), while calls to boycott Israel for its consistent violations of Palestinian human rights and international law are deemed "controversial."
The connections are eerie: earlier this month, a new Israeli military order came into effect in the Palestinian West Bank, which would allow the military to demand that any Palestinian, anytime, produce proof of their right to be in a place they call home. According to the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz:
"A new military order will take effect this week, enabling the army to deport tens of thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank and prosecute them on infiltration charges, which carry long prison terms....The order's vague language will allow army officers to exploit it arbitrarily to carry out mass expulsions, in accordance with military orders which were issued under unclear circumstances. The first candidates for expulsion will be people whose ID cards bear addresses in the Gaza Strip, including children born in the West Bank and Palestinians living in the West Bank who have lost their residency status for various reasons."Sound familiar? And yet where was the Washington Post call for boycott?
There's more: The Palestinian civil society call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israeli violations of international law came one year after the International Court of Justice ruled against the Israel's "Separation Barrier," which annexes massive sections of East Jerusalem and the West Bank. That "Barrier" (read: apartheid Wall) is being built, in part, by Elbit, an Israeli military contractor that also has half of the contract on the U.S./Mexico Border Wall.
And SB1070 is likely to lead to the type of checkpoints and arbitrary "searches" and arrests that have been daily reality for West Bank Palestinians for decades. The West Bank currently has over 500 checkpoints, roadblocks, and closures--in an area the size of Delaware, not Arizona.
Of course, in Arizona and in Palestine/Israel, many of the people affected by racist laws and policies can trace their ancestral connection to the place back well before the current (predominantly white-skinned) regimes making such racist laws came into power. That's how colonialism and occupation works. And as Jewish Israeli Assaf Oron writes at DailyKos, racial profiling linked to ID documents is a fact of life for Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel as well.
So here's what I'm saying: all those calling for boycotting Arizona because of a racist "documentation and deportation" law--I'm with you. And everyone who supports the Palestinian BDS call should be with you too. But we're asking you to support boycotts targeting such racist laws, mandating displacement and ethnic cleansing, that are supported by U.S. policy and U.S. corporations, no matter where these "laws" are being made.
And yes, that includes you, faith leaders who have rightfully condemned SB1070. The Palestinian Christian community is asking you for your support, too.
Now is the time. It's the right thing to do. And it just makes sense.
For more information on how you can get involved with boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS), check out the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation's BDS resources.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Targeted Citizen - English from Adalah on Vimeo.
At the US Campaign, we stand for equality for all. Racism and apartheid need to be opposed wherever they are found. Check out resources on our website for standing against apartheid, and take action in your community for justice and equality.