Showing posts with label refugees. Show all posts
Showing posts with label refugees. Show all posts

Friday, June 14, 2013

Ask the State Department about Palestinian Refugees!

Anne C. Richard, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population,
Refugees, and Migration, will be interviewed by Cheryl Benton, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, to discuss "Refugee Assistance, the Human Face of Foreign Policy" in recognition of  World Refugee Day, which is on June 20. The conversation is meant to highlight refugee assistance, U.S. refugee assistance policies and the concept of humanitarian diplomacy. 

They are asking people submit questions via Twitter to @EngageState using #RefugeeDay2013. This is an opportunity to pose questions about U.S. policy toward Palestinian refugees

You can use the sample tweets below and/or come up with your own. The discussion will be taped on Tuesday, June 18 so make sure to submit your questions before then! 

Note: If you do not use Twitter, you can submit questions via the State Department's blog ( in the Comments section. 

  • Palestinians are largest refugee population in the world @EngageState What will U.S. do to ensure their right of return? #RefugeeDay2013 (Tweet Now)

  • UNRWA estimates there are 5 million Palestinian refugees @EngageState What will U.S. do to ensure their right of return? #RefugeeDay2013 (Tweet Now)

  • Palestinians made refugees by Israeli ethnic cleansing in '48 @EngageState What will US do to ensure their right of return? #RefugeeDay2013 (Tweet Now)

  • Israel agreed to Palestinian refugees' right of return when joining UN. Shouldn't Israel have to implement it? @EngageState #RefugeeDay2013 (Tweet Now)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

More cities join SeaMAC’s Equal Rights bus ad campaign, while Seattle protests the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians

Check out US Campaign member group SeaMAC's growing ad campaign in the Seattle area calling for equal rights for Palestinians, along with its commemoration of the Nakba. 

May 7, 2013
Contact: Edward Mast, 

More cities join SeaMAC’s Equal Rights bus ad campaign, while Seattle protests the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians

Palestine: Stolen Homeland
Sunday May 12, 2013
12:00 - 5:00 pm
Westlake Plaza, 4th & Pine downtown Seattle

Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC) has started running its bus ad campaign EQUAL RIGHTS FOR PALESTINIANS: THE WAY TO PEACE in Bellevue, Redmond, and Kirkland this week.  Those ads began on May 1 and will run on six buses for four weeks, along with ads on six buses in Seattle at the same time.  The Equal Rights ads are also running on buses in Port Angeles and Clallam County, and have appeared in buses and newspapers in Tacoma and Olympia.

Photos available on request; also at

SeaMAC will also cosponsor Palestine: Stolen Homeland, a theatrical installation of over 100 small tents inscribed with the names of Palestinian villages destroyed in 1948.  The display will commemorate and protest the events of 1947-9, when two-thirds of the Palestinian people were forcibly displaced and over 400 Palestinian villages were destroyed.  The new state of Israel created laws to prevent the return of those Palestinians after the war, and now Palestinians are one of the largest and longest-suffering refugee populations in the world.  To describe these events, Palestinians use the word “Nakba” which means “catastrophe.”  

In his book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, Israeli historian Ilan Pappe has described the events of 1947-9 as "a crime against humanity that Israel has wanted to deny and cause the world to forget."  Pappe also observes that Palestinians in the West Bank and Greater Jerusalem are undergoing ethnic cleansing today, as Israel continues to drive them out to make room for more Israeli settlers.

PALESTINE: STOLEN HOMELAND is organized by Palestine Solidarity Committee, Voices of Palestine, and Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign.   

To observe Mothers Day -- originally an anti-war holiday -- PALESTINE: STOLEN HOMELAND will also include a booth for MOTHERS AGAINST ETHNIC CLEANSING.

For more information about Palestine: Stolen Homeland, contact

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Josh Ruebner on Negotiating Peace and Redefining Refugees

Last Wednesday, US Campaign National Advocacy Director Josh Ruebner spoke on the Palestine Center's panel of "Negotiating Peace" regarding President Obama's strategy toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. According to Mr. Ruebner, despite changed rhetoric, Obama's actual efforts at promoting peace have been no different than those under previous presidents.  Ruebner argues that Obama has continued to try to “sell” Israeli ideas to Palestinians, promoted negotiations for the sake of negotiations, and held that the U.S.-led "peace process" is the sole means to conflict resolution with alternatives shoved aside.  Ruebner also suggests that the continued inability to the United States to provide Palestinians with fair negotiations under Obama has led to a Palestinian effort to bring the conflict back to an international stage for mediation.  

On Monday, Mr. Ruebner was interviewed by the Institute for Palestine Studies regarding a recent U.S. Senate motion seeking to redefine Palestinian refugees. The Senate unanimously passed an amendment to an appropriations bill asking that the State Department determine how many Palestinian refugees were born before the Nakba in 1948 and how many were born after. The State Department argued, in Ruebner's words, that such a definitive status could “prejudice who is considered a Palestinian refugee," which in turn "Would affect final status negotiations,” and refused to make this distinction.  In itself, Mr. Ruebner says, this amendment is insignificant.   But he believes that it is part of a larger “deliberate campaign to undermine the status and rights of Palestinian refugees,” which includes an eventual right of return to their homeland.  According to Mr. Ruebner, the Israel lobby and Members of Congress seek to undermine the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), the international body tasked with caring for displaced Palestinians, despite its apolitical mandate.