2014.02.14: Sign: Jews of Conscience Salute the ASA for Boycotting Apartheid Israel

Jews for Palestinian Right of Return

Please sign, repost and share widely:
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Mondoweiss

‘Jews For Palestinian Right of Return’ endorse American Studies Association boycott of Israeli academic institutions

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We salute the American Studies Association’s courageous endorsement of the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israeli academic institutions, which are leading accomplices in more than six decades of ethnic cleansing, colonization, war crimes, and apartheid.

As Jews, we refuse to remain silent as a so-called “Jewish state,” armed by the U.S. and its allies, commits these injustices with impunity in our name.

Contrary to baseless charges of “anti-Semitism,” BDS resembles the boycotts that “singled out” similarly racist regimes in Jim Crow United States and apartheid South Africa.

Applying the same standards to apartheid Israel, BDS demands nothing more — nor less — than freedom and justice throughout…

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2014.02.14: Leslie Daniels (1949-2014)

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Obituary

Leslie Lang Daniels was born in Mobile, Alabama on December 18, 1949 to Raleigh Daniels Sr. and Oralie Lang-Allen; both preceded him in death. Leslie was the sixth child born to this union. As a young boy, he attended Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic School and served as an altar boy for Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church. At the age of twelve, he relocated with his mother and siblings to Los Angeles, CA. From day one, Leslie never met a stranger and was a friend to all. He especially shared a deep and loving bond with each of his brothers and sisters until his untimely death. Leslie was definitely the life of his family; with the biggest heart and gleaming “potato chip” green eyes.

Leslie attended Mount Vernon Jr. High School and graduated from Dorsey Senior High School where he was a star basketball player. His love for basketball would follow him when he joined the U.S. Army in 1967. Serving in Van Berg, Germany during the Vietnam War; Leslie not only served his country, he served opponents on the court. He was “Spud Web” before there was a “Spud Web”. In 1970, he returned home to his family an honorably discharged Veteran. Upon his return to the States, Leslie became a work source recruiter for Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC). As a recruiter, he assisted individuals with acquiring the necessary work ethics and skills needed to gain employment. It was during this time, he met a beautiful woman who caught his eye and ultimately, his heart.

Leslie was a very confident, strong and intelligent man. He loved helping others and had a gift of making people laugh. He was a great cook and had a way about himself that made everyone he encountered feel special. It was these qualities and more that would capture Rhoda Cole’s attention. Leslie courted Rhoda and they were married in a beautiful garden ceremony at Yamashiro Restaurant in 1978. To this union, two daughters were born, Kellie Cole Daniels and his namesake, Leslie Lang Daniels. He was an awesome stepfather to Richard “Richie” Norris and raised him as his own son. Leslie adored his children and grandchildren endlessly and forever professed his undying love for them.

Leslie continued his passion for serving by working almost a decade for the U.S. Post Office as a Postman. He would later work for BNS Technical Institute as their Director until he retired. Upon retiring, Leslie relocated to Las Vegas, NV where he remained until his passing on January 27, 2014. In usual Leslie fashion, he became very popular at The Manor, the senior housing community where he resided. True to his ability to unify and bring neighbors together to have a good time, Leslie was affectionately named, “The Mayor of The Manor”… A position he took seriously.

There are many great things that can be said about Leslie but what he will most be remembered for was his love for his family and friends. He was a sports fanatic, a huge jokester and had a nickname for everyone. He absolutely loved the Dodgers and the Lakers. He had an unbreakable bond with Terry and Glen Gibson and the entire Gibson family. He was a loving father to his children, a best friend to his brothers and sisters; his nieces and nephews’ playmate and protector and lastly, Leslie always had a smile on his face no matter what obstacles life dealt. Leslie has undoubtedly left his family and friends with a void in their hearts; but a lifetime of memories and great laughs.

Leslie leaves to mourn his memory: The love of his life, Rhoda Cole; daughters, Kellie C. Daniels (Victor) and Leslie L. Daniels. His step-son Richard Norris; grandchildren, Kedan, Layla, Xavier and Victoria. His siblings: Beryl Warren, Raleigh Daniels (Joann), Ronald Daniels (Norma), S. John Daniels (Vita), Alexander Daniels and Marian Allen. His nieces and nephews and a host of extended family and friends.

Political Life 

Leslie “Slaus” Daniels was a revolutionary activist at the height of the Black Freedom Movement of the 1960s-1970s. Slaus became a political activist along with his older brother, John Imani Daniels. Starting in 1968-1969, as recalled by Lil Joe Johnson, Imani was a Black student leader at Los Angeles City College, working in alliance with the Black Panther Party and other grassroots activists, and “was among the first intellectually developed and openly Marxist theoretical as well as political leaders in the Black liberation movement in L.A.” As Lil Joe puts it, “We were deeply involved in practical politics from a revolutionary perspective, praxis!” In this he was also joined by joined his brothers Raleigh and Ronald in participation in the revolutionary movement.

Meanwhile, while stationed in West Germany, Slaus helped organize GI protests against the Vietnam War and widespread racism in the military. In the early-mid Seventies, he joined Imani, Joe and others to organize the Socialist Collective, a South Central-based Marxist group.

The SC and its predecessors organized grassroots campaigns around the war (1969-1973); LAPD brutality in the community during that time period, the American Indian Movement’s occupation of Wounded Knee (1973), the CIA-sponsored coup in Chile (1973), LAPD assassination of the Symbionese Liberation Army (1974), defense of the “Attica Brothers” (1974), solidarity with the Portuguese Revolution (1974) and numerous other issues of the time. Les was selected to be on the International Socialists “central committee” and moved briefly to the Midwest to fulfill that role.

Throughout, Slaus was particularly focused on treating young activists as equals, and helped build close ties between the Socialist Collective and the Red Tide, a multiracial Marxist youth organization in L.A. As he wrote in 1974: “The youth of this country, and of the world, have been the most revolutionary elements of the movement. The time for their development is now.”

2013.08.19: Updated: Sign on: Call for U.S. accountability in Egypt

Updated: Sign on: Call for U.S. accountability in Egypt

The Ad-Hoc Committee for U.S. Accountability in the Middle East and North Africa is an initiative of social justice lawyers, activists and academics who have participated in first hand investigations of U.S. complicity in political and structural state violence throughout the MENA region. We are seeking individual and organizational endorsements for the following statement. Sign on: international@nlg.org or use the online form

Condemnation of U.S.-Backed Egyptian State Repression
Ad Hoc Committee for U.S. Accountability in the Middle East and North Africa
August 19, 2013

The Ad Hoc Committee for U.S. Accountability in the Middle East and North Africa condemns the August massacre of hundreds of protesters and prisoners by the U.S.-backed Egyptian military. While currently directed at the Muslim Brotherhood, this dramatic escalation of state repression is designed to liquidate the Egyptian Revolution and restore the military-police state of the Mubarak regime. We also condemn all assaults on Egypt’s Christians, Shiites and other minorities. The sectarian campaign only serves to block revolutionary momentum and, as in the past, further the interests of the repressive state.

The US-backed Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) continues today to wield both undue political and economic power. The State “security” apparatuses continue to be used to repress all forms of political dissent, resulting in the death, arrest, imprisonment and torture of Egyptian revolutionary activists. The week of August 12, 2013 saw the murder of over one thousand Egyptian civilians, protestors and pedestrians, including the slaughter of over 50 Muslim Brotherhood prisoners held in detention on August 18, 2013. 

Equally alarming is the resurgence, over the past few weeks, of the intelligence apparatus that was removed from domestic Egyptian life and affairs after — and as a result of — the January 25th revolution. 

The remobilization of Islamophobia and the rhetoric of “war on terror” as a means of justifying the recent slaughter of those opposed to Military rule or Mubarak-era remnants threatens the Egyptian struggle for justice and accountability for all victims of state violence at the hands of the military, from Tahrir, Maspero, Mohamed Mahmoud, Port Said, the Presidential Palace battles, to the massacres at the Republican Guard. 

We are further concerned that the Sissi-SCAF justification of state violence under the rhetoric of “fighting terrorism” will serve as a pretext for the expansion and legitimization of the U.S.-led global “war on terror” that has victimized millions around the world, including the people of the United States. 

We condemn all forms of U.S. complicity in Egyptian state repression and continue to support popular Egyptian demands for an end to U.S. military aid that has for decades financed illegal killing, torture, and imprisonment under the regimes of Sadat, Mubarak and SCAF. While we do not equate the Mursi presidency with the regimes of Mubarak, Sissi and SCAF, we acknowledge and condemn all crimes committed against the Egyptian people under the elected Mursi administration as well, including but not limited to the imprisonment, threats, and incitement of sectarian violence against the opposition. This does not however justify the gross crimes committed by the Sissi-SCAF regime. 

• We condemn the illegal use of lethal violence against protesters using U.S. financed ammunition and teargas, which has left hundreds dead in recent weeks. 

• We condemn all unjustified arrests and round-ups of individuals suspected of being members of the Muslim Brotherhood. 

• We condemn the arrests and threats made against human rights workers, attorneys and all activists seeking to expose state crimes. 

• We condemn Egyptian military collaboration with the U.S. and Israel in targeting the Palestinian people. 

• We stand in solidarity with those opposed to the reimplementation of Emergency Law and the National Security Police, pillars of the Mubarak regime, under the dangerous pretext of “fighting terrorism.” 

• We call for solidarity against all human rights infractions. 

• We support the Egyptian call for an immediate transfer of power to a popularly supported civilian government. 

Accordingly, 

1. We demand Egyptian authorities immediately end all state violence and ensure the protection of the human rights of all Egyptians, including all prisoners. 

2. We demand the U.S. government account for its role in and be held accountable for its complicity and/or collaboration in political and structural violence committed by the Egyptian State apparatus.

3. We demand an end to U.S. Aid to the Egyptian Military. 

4. We demand the release of all Political Prisoners. 

5. We demand an end to all sectarian attacks. 

We believe that revolutionary mobilization around the principles of the Jan 25th Egyptian Revolution — “Bread, Freedom, Social Justice, and Human Dignity” — is ongoing, and represented by the continuing struggle of workers and other activists throughout the country. U.S.-financed state repression under SCAF seeks to undermine the continuation of the true revolutionary process. 

Ad-Hoc Committee for U.S. Accountability in the Middle East North Africa 

Suzanne Adely, National Lawyers Guild, Int. Committee Co-Chair, 2012 NLG Egypt Delegation, 2013 IADL Turkey Delegation

Audrey Bomse, National Lawyers Guild, Member of NLG 2011 Tunisia Egypt Delegation

Lamis Deek, National Lawyers Guild, Human Rights Lawyer, NLG Egypt Delegation Palestine Delegation for Political Prisoners

Michael Letwin, Former President, Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW Local 2325, NLG Egypt Delegation Palestine Delegation for Political Prisoners

Corinna Mullin, Activist and Academic, NLG Tunisia Egypt Delegation

Charlotte Kates, National Lawyers Guild, Palestine Delegation for Political Prisoners

Signatories 

Atef Said, Human Rights Activist Sociologist, Egypt-USA

Azadeh Shahshahani, President, National Lawyers Guild, NLG Tunisia Egypt Delegations

Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi, PhD, Ass. Professor, Race and Resistance Studies, Senior Scholar: Arab Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative (AMED)

Monami Maulik, Migrant/Human Rights Organizer

Immanuel Ness, Professor, Brooklyn College, City University of New York.

Noha Arafa, Esq., Delegate, Assoc. Legal Aid Attorneys

Green Shadow Cabinet of the United States

International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN)

Campaign for Peace and Democracy

Devorah Hill, author and educator

Kiana Karim, M.A. Candidate, Gallatin School, New York University

Rogers Turrentine

Wayne Heimbach

Manijeh Nasrabadi, activist, writer, scholar

Selma James, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network UK

Sara Kershnar

Jill Stein, Green Party Presidential Nominee, 2012

Tom McVitie

Dick Reilly, Hammerhard Media Works

Ben Manski, President, Liberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic Revolution

Andrew Ross, New York University

Dianne Post, Attorney

James Marc Leas, National Lawyers Guild, Co-chair Free Palestine Subcommittee, member 2009 and 2012 Gaza Delegations

Pham Binh, The North Star Website

Dennis Kortheuer, PhD, California State University, Long Beach

B. Ross Ashley, NDP Socialist Caucus, reproclaimed Fourth International

Dr. Stephen Oren

Sherry Wolf, International Socialist Review

David Letwin, Gaza Freedom March, Jews for Palestinian Right of Return

Jose Palazon, CC. OO.

Bernadette Ellorin, Chair, Bayan USA

Dr. Sarah Marusek, amiddleeastblog.wordpress.com

Joe Catron, International Solidarity Activist, Gaza, Palestine

Richard Greve

Julio Vernia

Tikva Honig-Parnass, author

Roger Dittmann, US Federation of Scholars and Scientists

Joanne Landy, Co-Director, Campaign for Peace and Democracy 

Sign on here to endorse the statement: http://knowyourhumanrights.org/2013/08/12/sign-on-call-for-u-s-accountability-in-egypt/#form

2013.06.14: Lamis Deek: Fierce Movement Lawyer

Lamis Deek of Al-Awda honored for legal accomplishments by National Lawyers Guild NYC

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Lamis Deek, Al-Awda co-founder and longtime activist, was honored by the National Lawyers Guild – NYC chapter at its annual Spring Fling benefit, which every year honors accomplished and ground-breaking legal work in service of the people. The event took place this year on June 14, 2013, and honored Lamis Deek, Lennox Hinds,  Abdeen Jabara, Jeanne Mirer, Robert Van Lierop and law student Jean Stevens. The following article appeared in the Spring Fling journal, saluting Lamis’ legal and activist work in service of people’s movements and the liberation of Palestine:

LAMIS DEEK: Fierce Movement Lawyer
by Michael Letwin, Charlotte Kates, Fahd Ahmad

Lamis Deek in Palestine near her childhood home, watching the occupation. 2008.

Lamis Deek in Palestine near her childhood home, watching the occupation. 2008.

We came to meet Lamis Deek when she was a law student. Now almost ten years into legal practice, Lamis remains a people’s lawyer — connected to the communities and the movements she defends. We have been proud to struggle alongside her whether on the streets, in the community, or in the courts.

From fighting surveillance and predatory prosecutions, to protecting religious freedoms and the right to protest, to exposing repression abroad, Lamis’ deep commitment to justice and clarity of vision have been a great source of strength to besieged communities. Lamis has led the way in formulating a comprehensive understanding of attacks on Arab, Palestinian and Muslim communities, and continually develops forceful defense strategies. Her extraordinary synthesis of legal work, political analysis, and activism have inspired numerous lawyers, legal workers, and grassroots activists.

Bill Doares, a lifelong activist, says, “Lamis plunged into the often thankless fight to defend the innocents victimized by the ‘war on terror.’ For nearly a decade I have watched her in the ‘halls of justice,’ defending the poor and powerless against the cruel machine of state repression, abetted by a lying media. I have seen her comfort the families of the accused while fighting merciless state agents. And amazingly, in spite of all those odds, she has often prevailed. This same passion also makes her an effective organizer.”

Her commitment came from a life of struggle which she challenged through political analysis, grassroots activism and legal advocacy. A proud daughter of Palestine, Lamis was born near Nablus, a renowned center of anti-colonial resistance. Like other Palestinian children, confronting armed Zionist settlers and soldiers who occupied her nation since 1948, she learned the importance of community and courage in the fight against injustice. In the US, her family remained deeply connected to the homeland. Lamis’ father, Jamal Deek, an educator, organizer, farmer and father of twelve — persecuted by Israeli Occupation Forces for teaching — remained the elder of their community. As a young Palestinian exile, facing racism and poverty, she related her experiences to others’, realizing that all oppression stemmed from systems which sought to maintain artificial elitist constructs — that poverty, racism and imperialism stemmed from the same malcontents. This organic political development would lead her to forge principled alliances between Arab, Black, Latino and Asian struggles, and inspired her to use the law as a mechanism of resistance and a tool for radical and structural change.

During law school, Lamis joined the global ferment among Palestinian communities leading up to the 2000 Intifada against the Zionist oppression in Palestine. From the refugee camps in Lebanon to cities across the world, a global movement for Palestinian return and liberation emerged. In New York Lamis, as part of Al-Awda, was at the center of the Arab- Palestinian movement: flyering, organizing youth and elders, convening countless events, organizing rallies, speaking with a powerful voice from the platform, and building alliances with organizations like Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Puerto Rican independentistas, CAAAV, Nodutdol, Desis Rising Up and Moving, BAYAN, Gabriela, and countless others. All while she studied full-time, worked part-time, founded the Brooklyn Law School Muslim Law Students Association, and withstood attacks from law students and faculty.

Her work would reach new heights in the aftermath of 9-11, which had a devastating impact on this burgeoning movement and the community that built it. Special registration, roundups, mass surveillance, arrests, dubious immigration and “terror” charges destroyed lives and gutted Arab communities in the U.S. — and shaped Lamis’ legal career. In her early years of practice, prior to the formation of defensive legal committees, the community came to depend on Lamis’ work to stave off government attempts to disempower Arab-Muslim New Yorkers. While groups felt compelled to host events for government agents, Lamis was called to counter the government narrative at those same events and to empower the community to ward off government infiltration — to say what many were too afraid to say.

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With Ahmed Ferhani, 2013.

Alongside comrades in social justice movements across New York, she engaged in legal triage for Arab and Muslim migrants. By 2005, she opened her office in Bay Ridge so as to provide trustworthy and accessible legal services while organizing that same community to defend itself.

It says everything about Lamis’ legal and political practice that she co-led rallies, co-organized security marshals, engaged NLG legal observers for those rallies, helped ward off NYPD attacks, and then defended victims of NYPD brutality and false arrest for having attended those rallies — from the “Palestine Nine” to the defense of Michael Williams, she inspiringly refused to divorce the legal struggle from the political one.

Within one year of her admission, Lamis became co-counsel to Sheikh Moayad, an ill elder abducted from Yemen and charged with “material support” through false evidence and Israeli witnesses unrelated to the case. Lamis, though a young attorney, was sought because the clients believed she would deconstruct and challenge the political underpinnings of the case, stave off attempts to manipulate the jury, and provide a zealous defense that challenged not only the government, but her co-counsel as well. Although the convictions were finally overturned and Lamis accompanied Moayad on his triumphant return to Yemen — not leaving until her client’s safety and health was secured — this case would shape her work for years to come, and would give Lamis her own experiences of government harassment.

Throughout the trial and thereafter, the government sought to scare Lamis into retreat: from claiming she posed a security risk, to harassment in and outside of court, to proxy threats and even by making grossly false accusations against Lamis hoping to shake her commitment to secure the release of the Sheikh. Yet, she did not retreat. From that time on, Lamis’ legal work would defend against the myriad manifestations of racism and attacks against her — governmental and civil — which she’d come to leverage for her clients’ benefit.

Lamis would also come to represent hundreds of community leaders against militant government surveillance, abusive investigations and false charges. Consequently, in 2011 she played a pivotal role in helping media outlets further expose the NYPD “demographics unit,” established with help from the Israeli government for the wholesale surveillance of Muslim communities, many of whom had been her clients. At the same time she helped Muslim leaders devise a comprehensive plan to fight against the unlawful unit and convene a working group.

This was only a few months into Lamis’ representation of Ahmed Ferhani, targeted in an NYPD “sting operation” which lured marginalized men into manufactured plots of conspiracy to commit terrorism. This operation was particularly extraordinary — the undercover officer who targeted Ferhani had previously posed as a member of Al-Awda. Lamis and Al-Awda had been targets, and before the investigation led to an arrest, the undercover attempted to conflict Lamis off the case, causing her to unknowingly represent him in a staged altercation with another officer — an effort that failed. Despite this, Ferhani requested Lamis represent him and she did. In People v. Ferhani, Lamis’ penetrating investigation of the undercover officer, his bungled prior investigations, her persistent demands for discovery and challenges to prosecutorial misconduct — including attempts to intimidate and breach the defense camp — exposed significant weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and chipped away decades from the plea bargain.

In the Rye Park Playland case, a community holiday celebration turned into terror as a group of Arab boys and men were brutalized, arrested and charged after being attacked by the local police department. Through the gathering of testimonies, videos, and other evidence, Lamis demonstrated that the arrests were the result of police violence and demonization, successfully resolving the charges.

At a Palestinian rally, New York, 2012.

At a Palestinian rally, New York, 2012.

The practice of overcharging defendants, a growing tactic of the legal system, is combined with demonization in cases involving Muslims. In 2011 a group of Muslim teenage girls were attacked by a racist. When Michael Williams intervened to defend them, he was physically attacked and charged with first-degree assault, among many other counts. At trial, the prosecution demonized not only Mr. Williams, but the teenage girls, claiming they were motivated to lie by “terrorist” sympathies and by their religion. Lamis built a defense that exposed the prosecution’s gross misconduct, and secured the most favorable disposition under the circumstances.

It was thus that she founded the NLG’s Muslim Defense Project, which was built from her legal and organizing experience and grew through her service to community groups which would later support and engage the MDP.

Lamis also played a key role in defending the rights of Muslim communities to establish houses of worship. In Bay People v. MAS, et al, Lamis defended the Muslim community from attempts to halt the construction of a local mosque, by defeating the empty claims and countersuing the right-wing racist formation, before the Court, the Board, and on appeal. The success was due not only to Lamis’ legal acumen, but also her role in empowering the community to mobilize in its own defense.

While organizing and defending New Yorkers, Lamis did not take her eye off the victims of the wars abroad, especially the war for imperialist expansion in the Arab world. She led a lawyer’s delegation to Palestine in 2007 for political prisoners in conjunction with Addameer, a Palestinian political prisoner advocacy organization. The delegation observed an Israeli military trial of Palestinian leader and Legislative Council member Ahmad Sa’adat — and the arbitrary use of dubious “evidence,” coerced testimony, and a militarized kangaroo court. She co-launched the U.S. “Viva Palestina” Convoy to Gaza in 2009, and responded to a call in 2010 from the survivors of the Mavi Marmara by devising the legal and organizing strategy they would follow in seeking justice for those murdered by Israeli Occupation Forces’ attacks on the convoy. At the beginning of the revolution in Egypt, she responded to calls for the release of political prisoners, mobilizing an emergency network which helped secure the prisoners’ release, and joined the NLG’s 2012 delegation to investigate U.S. crimes in Egypt.

Lamis continues to serve the people and expand the Guild. She is now leading efforts to convene a Legal Committee for U.S. Accountability in Egypt and Palestine, and is working to convene an NLG-NYC committee of lawyers and legal workers who are embedded in grassroots social justice movements.

Lamis Deek is a true lawyer-activist in the best tradition of Arthur Kinoy, Ann Fagan Ginger, and her fellow co-honorees tonight. Her work has crossed borders and defied the most brazen government attacks to defend those in greatest need. She is an inspiration to all who advocate for justice.

2013.03.26: AMP gratified by New York support for ad campaign; Addresses ADL charge

ad for webAMP gratified by New York support for ad campaign; Addresses ADL charge

(NEW YORK CITY 03/26/2013) — The American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) thanks supporters and people of New York for their generous support of its new Israeli Apartheid ad campaign, launched today during a press conference at the Harlem-125th Metro North station.

AMP thanks the following speakers: Raja Abulhaq, president of AMP-NY; Lamis Deek, director of Al Awda-NY; Abi Hassan of the National Lawyers Guild; Felice Gillman of Wespac Foundation and Michael Letwin of Jews for the Palestinian Right of Return.

AMP, an American organization whose mission is to educate the public about Palestine and its rich cultural and historical heritage, launched its “End Apartheid Now” ad campaign to coincide with President Barack Obama’s trip to the Middle East as a means to raise awareness about US political, diplomatic and financial support of Israel’s ongoing occupation of Palestinian land and its continued violations of international law and the human rights of Palestinians.

“The US foreign policy vis a vis Israel really runs counter to our American values of liberty, justice and democracy,” said AMP Chairman Dr. Hatem Bazian. “Our foreign policy and more than $3 billion per year in foreign aid is aiding and abetting Israel’s institutionalized racist policies toward the Palestinians.”

These include implementing apartheid tactics of a separate legal system on Palestinians, dividing and separating them into small Bantustans and prohibiting their freedom of movement, Dr. Bazian added. Random arrests and detentions, extrajudicial killings, and home demolitions are more tactics of the occupation.

The ads, which will appear on 25 Metro North stations for the next four weeks, came after months of planning and preparation and their placement this week had nothing to do with the Jewish liberation holiday of Passover, as some Zionist organizations are contending.

Michael Letwin of Jews for Palestinian Right of Return said though he knew the launch of the ad campaign and the start of Passover was a coincidence, he nonetheless said he was happy the two events coincided because Passover is a celebration of liberation. 

“The campaign against U.S. aid for Israel targets neither Jews nor Passover, but rather Israeli apartheid and injustice. And the best way to honor Passover, which celebrates Jewish liberation from ancient oppression, is to champion Palestinian human rights today,” he said. 

The American Muslims for Palestine is a national grassroots organization whose mission is to educate the American public about issues pertaining to Palestine and its rich cultural and historical heritage. For more information, go tohttp://www.ampalestine.org.

(Source / 26.03.2013)

2013.01.01: Jews For Palestinian Right of Return

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Jews For Palestinian Right of Return
January 1, 2013

“For Palestinians, the right to return home and the right to live in dignity and equality in their own land are not any less important than the right to live free of military occupation.”
–Prof. Saree Makdisi[1]

For more than a century, Zionists have sought to construct a “Jewish state” through forced removal of the indigenous Palestinian people.

In 1948, this state was established through the Nakba (Catastrophe): erasure and occupation of more than 500 Palestinian towns and villages, dispossession of over 750,000 Palestinians, and a terror campaign of which the massacre at Deir Yassin is but the most infamous example.

Since 1967, Israel has also occupied and colonized the remainder of historic Palestine. Today, this relentless ethnic cleansing continues — armed and financed by the U.S. and its allies — on both sides of the 1948 “Green Line.”

As a cumulative result, seventy percent of Palestinians are in exile, the world’s largest refugee population.

Nowhere is this clearer than in Gaza, where Israel inflicts particularly brutal collective punishment on 1.7 million people — most of them refugees — for defiantly resisting expulsion from their homes throughout historic Palestine.

“Pick a point, any point, along [Gaza’s] 25-mile coastline,” writes Gaza City resident Lara Aburamadan, “and you’re seven or so miles — never more — from the other side. The other side is where my grandparents were born, in a village that has since become someone else’s country, off limits to me. You call it Israel. I call it the place where the bombs come from.”[2]

To hide these crimes and shield itself from their consequences, the Zionist regime officially denies the Nakba, the ethical equivalent of Holocaust denial. It has even authorized legislation to penalize those who memorialize the Nakba — a step toward criminalizing its observance altogether.

As it is for all colonized peoples, liberation means reversing dispossession. “The Palestinian cause,” writes Dr. Haidar Eid in Gaza, “is the right of return for all refugees and nothing less.”[3]

Return — one of the key demands of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign — is affirmed in U.N. resolution 194, but derives from the principle of universal human rights and, as such, cannot be renounced or abandoned by any body or representative; it inalienably attaches to Palestinians, both individually and collectively.

Despite this, even some who criticize Israel’s 1967 occupation claim that Palestinian return is “unrealistic.”

However, solidarity means unconditional support for the just aims of those resisting oppression. As Palestinian journalist-activist Maath Musleh explains: “If you think that [return] is not possible, then you are really not in solidarity with the Palestinian cause.”[4]

Some also object that refugees’ return would mean an end to the “Jewish state.” But supporters of social justice must ask themselves how they can defend a state whose very existence depends on structural denial of Palestinian rights.

Recently, more than a hundred leading Palestinian activists reaffirmed their opposition “to all forms of racism and bigotry, including, but not limited to, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Zionism, and other forms of bigotry directed at anyone, and in particular people of color and indigenous peoples everywhere.”[5]

Such racism and bigotry is reflected precisely in Zionism’s attempt to erase the Palestinian people, a century long campaign that dishonors the memory of Jewish suffering and resistance in Europe.

The moral response is clear: “There is one geopolitical entity in historic Palestine,” writes Palestinian journalist Ali Abunimah. “Israel must not be allowed to continue to entrench its apartheid, racist and colonial rule throughout that land.”[6]

As Jews of conscience, we call on all supporters of social justice to stand up for Palestinian Right of Return and a democratic state throughout historic Palestine — “From the River to the Sea” — with equal rights for all.

The full measure of justice, upon which the hopes of all humanity depends, requires no less.

Initial signers
List in formation; affiliations listed for identification only
To sign as an individual or organization, e-mail jfpror@gmail.com

Max Ajl, Writer and activist; Cornell Students for Justice in Palestine

Gabriel Ash, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network Switzerland

Max Blumenthal, Journalist and author

Prof. Haim Bresheeth, Filmmaker, photographer and film studies scholar

Lenni Brenner, Author and anti-war activist

Mike Cushman, Convenor, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (UK)

Sonia Fayman, French Jewish Union for Peace; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network France

Sherna Berger Gluck, Founding member US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel; Israel Divestment Campaign

Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, Coordinator, Fellowship of Reconciliation Peacewalks, Mural Arts in Palestine and Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence

Hector Grad, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (Spain)

Abraham Greenhouse, Blogger, Electronic Intifada

Tony Greenstein, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (UK)

Jeff Halper, Director, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD)

Stanley Heller, Host of “The Struggle” TV News

Tikva Honig-Parnass, Former member of the Zionist armed forces (1948); author of False Prophets of Peace: Liberal Zionism and the Struggle for Palestine

Adam Horowitz, Co-Editor, Mondoweiss.net

Selma James, Global Women’s Strike; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network UK

David Klein, Organizing Committee, US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel

Dennis Kortheuer, Organizing Committee, US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel; Israel Divestment Campaign; Dump Veolia LA

David Letwin, Activist and writer; Gaza Freedom March

Michael Letwin, Co-Founder, Labor for Palestine; Organizing Committee, US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel; Al-Awda NY: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition

Antony Loewenstein, Australian journalist and author

Barbara Lubin, Executive Director, Middle East Children’s Alliance

Mike Marqusee, Author If I Am Not for Myself: Journey of an Anti-Zionist Jew

Hajo Meyer, Auschwitz survivor; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Linda Milazzo, Participatory journalist and educator

Prof. Ilan Pappé, Israeli historian and socialist activist

Miko Peled, Author of The General’s Son

Karen Pomer, Granddaughter of Henri B. van Leeuwen, Dutch anti-Zionist leader and Bergen-Belsen survivor

Diana Ralph, Assistant Coordinator, Independent Jewish Voices-Canada

Dorothy Reik, Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains

Prof. Dr. Fanny-Michaela Reisin, President, International League for Human Rights (German Section FIDH); Founding member of Jewish Voice for a Just Peace – EJJP Germany

Rachel Roberts, Civil rights attorney and writer

Ilana Rossoff, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Carol K. Smith, Activist and civil rights attorney

Lia Tarachansky, Director, Seven Deadly Myths

Hadas Thier, Contributing author of The Struggle for Palestine; Israeli-born daughter and grand-daughter of Nazi Holocaust survivors

Dr. Abraham Weizfeld, Montréal; Jewish People’s Liberation Organization

Sherry Wolf, Author and public speaker; International Socialist Organization; Adalah-NY

Marcy Winograd, Former Congressional Peace Candidate; public school teacher

Dr. Roger van Zwanenberg, Non-Executive Director, Pluto Books Ltd.

—————-
Notes

[1] Saree Makdisi, “If Not Two States, Then One,” N.Y. Times, December 5, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/06/opinion/global/if-not-two-states-then-one.html?_r=0

[2] Lara Aburamadan, “Trapped in Gaza,” N.Y. Times, November 16, 2012,http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/17/opinion/trapped-in-gaza.html

[3] Haidar Eid, “The Palestinian Left and RoR,” ZMag, October 8, 2012,http://www.zcommunications.org/the-palestinian-left-and-ror-by-haidar-eid

[4] Maath Musleh, “Communique: Palestine #4 Brief Thoughts on International Solidarity With Our Struggle in Palestine,” September 8, 2012,  http://internationalsocialist.org.uk/index.php/blog/brief-thoughts-on-international-solidarity-with-our-struggle-in-palestine/

[5] “The struggle for Palestinian rights is incompatible with any form of racism or bigotry: a statement by Palestinians,” Electronic Intifada, October 23, 2012,  http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/struggle-palestinian-rights-incompatible-any-form-racism-or-bigotry-statement

[6] Ali Abunimah, “Mahmoud Abbas’ real ‘accomplishment’ was not the UN vote on Palestine,” Aljazeera, December 2, 2012,  http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/12/2012122165114321474.html. See also, “The Way Forward for Palestine Solidarity, June 23, 2010,  http://al-awdany.org/2010/07/statement-the-way-forward-for-palestine-solidarity-please-endorse/

2012.07.11: Video: Report Back From Egypt

Report back from National Lawyers Guild fact-finding mission to Egypt by Suzanne Adely, Baher Azmy, Michael Letwin, and Lamis Deek, moderated by Hoda Mitwally with Ali Issa of War Resistors League also speaking about a new campaign against US manufactured Tear Gas. Sponsored by Coalition to Defend the Egyptian Revolution – NYC

US activists, lawyers, and scholars took part in a fact-finding mission to Egypt aimed at studying the ongoing revolution, investigating the role and responsibility of the US government and corporations in human rights abuses against the Egyptian People, and documenting the ways in which more than thirty years of US military and economic intervention has violated Egypt’s popular sovereignty and locked the country in a web of international debt.

camera: Joe Friendly

Endorsed by National Lawyers Guild-International Committee, OWS Global Justice Working Group, Havaar: Iranian Initiative Against War, Sanctions, and State Repression, Desis Rising Up and Moving, Labor for Palestine, NYC Labor Against the War, United Nations Antiwar Coalition-NYC, International Socialist Organization, International Action Center, Socialist Action, Pakistan USA Freedom Forum.

2012.06.30: Video: Defend the Egyptian Revolution at Socialism 2012 Conference

Suzanne Adely, Lamis Deek and Michael Letwin explain why the National Lawyers Guild Delegation went to Egypt, their findings and future plans

Interview conducted by Sherry Wolf

2012.06.28: Audio: Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions and the Struggle for Justice in Palestine

http://wearemany.org/a/2012/06/boycott-divestment-and-sanctions-and-struggle-for-justice-in-palestine

Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions and the Struggle for Justice in Palestine

Socialism 2012

June 28, 2012

2011.11.10: Remembering The Red Tide: ‘Young People Who Make Revolutions’ (Wildcat)

http://myhsj.org/472215

Wildcat (University High School)

Remembering The Red Tide: ‘Young People Who Make Revolutions’
11/10/2011 5:56:37 PM
By Jonathan Zavaleta

The awkward girl from Canada shuffled into her first “Red Tide” meeting. Her name was Susie Bright, and she didn’t know too many people, but it was evident that the room she sat in was filled with about 15 bright, young, idealists with a sophisticated vocabulary and a better understanding of politics than most adults.

“The Red Tide” was an underground newspaper started at University High School that challenged everything from school policy to the war in Vietnam. By the time the first issue came out in November 1971, exactly forty years ago, the war-hating, commie-sympathizing, civil rights activists had hell to pay.

The Uni High administration suspended and expelled students caught selling or distributing “The Red Tide” in any way. Even the official school paper, at the time known as the “Warrior,” despised “The Red Tide,” perhaps because they were jealous that “Red Tide” staffers, as Bright puts it “got to say whatever we wanted to.” And they did. So came Bright’s daring first article. When the police disguised as seniors to bust students selling drugs, Bright photographed them and published their pictures. The “Tide” was far ahead of its time when they challenged the name “Warrior” as racist. Only 25 years later was the school mascot changed to the “Wildcat.” “The Red Tide” was a grass roots movement; students met in unofficial ring-leader Michael Letwin’s garage and compiled the newspaper, publishing sporadically but consistently. It was all done the old-fashioned way: with hot wax, a pasteboard, a little money, and a lot of passion. By the second issue, published in March of 1972, more students, including Letwin, were suspended. But this time, the students resisted, staging a sit-in in the Administration building. Nearly 700 students turned up and occupied the building for hours. Administration refused to budge, and seeking their right to free speech, the Red Tide writers unsuccessfully attempted to appeal to the school board. Backed by her parents at the ACLU, Bright sued the Los Angeles Unified School District in the Supreme Court and won. The Red Tide didn’t stop at Uni.

Some students from out of the area began returning to their home schools, and hence the waves of the “Tide” were hitting many shores. To prevent the paper’s demise after the original members graduated, recruitment was stepped up, and some students followed the Tide post-high school. The headquarters of the Red Tide moved all the way to Detroit, and Susie Bright, instead of graduating, followed it there.

Anywhere there were enough young, progressive-minded people with a passion to change the way business as usual was run, Red Tide factions would pop up, and soon there were small groups all over the nation. Even 40 years later, the moral of the Red Tide is still relevant. Their hard work proves, as Bright says “…how a small group of passionate people can change the world.”