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NYC Council Members: Don't Go to Apartheid Israel

by Josh Ruebner, Policy Director
January 21st, 2015

Take Action: Call on 15 NYC City Council Members to Cancel Their Trip to Israel

NOTE: This action can be taken only by New Yorkers.

Next month, 15 members of the New York City Council are scheduled to go on an all-expense-paid junket to Israel, sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council and the United Jewish Appeal. Find out which members are participating here.

Protest at City Hall, Jan. 12, 2015. Credit: Eamon Murphy/Mondoweiss.

Will these pro-Israel groups show the city council members one of 531 Palestinian villages depopulated by Israel in 1948? Will they meet with Palestinian citizens of Israel who are not allowed to rent public land from the state because it is administered by the Jewish National Fund for Jewish people only?

Will they tour Israelís apartheid wall in the West Bank, see Israelís dispossession of Palestinians in East Jerusalem, or meet Palestinians trapped under Israelís crushing blockade of the Gaza Strip?

Of course not.  These Potemkin village tours of Israel are designed to shield our policymakers from the brutal reality of Israelís apartheid toward the Palestinians.

Please take a moment right now to send a letter to the 15 city council members urging them to cancel their trip.

A broad-based coalition of more than 60 New York City organizations, including many member groups of the US Campaign, has formed to challenge this trip. Read their open letter to the city council members here

Tomorrow, Thursday, January 22 at noon, Direct Action Front for Palestine is holding a press conference and rally outside of City Hall during the councilís regularly scheduled meeting. RSVP and spread the word on Facebook. The event will most likely take place on the east side of Coty Hall, in the open space by the #4/5/6 train stop.

We hope that you can join this event to protest the trip of the 15 city council members.

These trips are wrong not only because they hide Israelís apartheid from the eyes of our lawmakers. They also violate the Palestinian civil society call for campaigns of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel and institutions complicit in maintaining its oppression of the Palestinians. 

And these trips help to build political support for Israelís partnership with the New York City police department, a relationship which has in the past stripped Muslim-Americans in New York of their constitutional rights. A former official in the departmentís now-defunct Demographics Unit admitted that its surveillance of Muslim-Americans was ďmodeled in part on how Israeli authorities operate in the West Bank.Ē

For all these reasons, weíll hope you join the hundreds of New Yorkers who have already written these city council members to cancel their trip. Join them by taking action today.


Josh Ruebner, 
Policy Director