Sign on: Jews Say: End the War on Gaza — No Aid to Apartheid Israel!

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Please join 200 initial signers below by signing the statement below HERE

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Jews Say: End the War on Gaza — No Aid to Apartheid Israel!
Jews for Palestinian Right of Return, July 22, 2014

On July 12, 2014, Gaza civil society issued an urgent appeal for solidarity, asking: “How many of our lives are dispensable enough until the world takes action? How much of our blood is sufficient?”

As Jews of conscience, we answer by unequivocally condemning Israel’s ongoing massacre in Gaza, whose victims include hundreds of civilians, children, entire families, the elderly, and the disabled. This latest toll adds to the thousands Israel has killed and maimed since its supposed withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005.

In response to this crisis, we urgently reaffirm our support for a ban on all military and other aid to Israel.

In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. opposed the Vietnam War with his famous declaration: “For the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.”

Today, *we* cannot be silent as the “Jewish state” — armed to the teeth by the U.S. and its allies — wages yet another brutal war on the Palestinian people. Apartheid Israel does not speak for us, and we stand with Gaza as we stand with all of Palestine.

In the face of incessant pro-Israel propaganda, we heed Malcolm X’s warning: “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”

For Israel’s relentless war on Gaza is no more an act of “self-defense” than such infamous massacres as Wounded Knee (1890), Guernica (1937), the Warsaw Ghetto (1943), Deir Yassin (1948), My Lai (1968), Soweto (1976), Sabra and Shatila (1982), or Lebanon (2006).

Rather, it is but the latest chapter in more than a century of Zionist colonialism, dispossession, ethnic cleaning, racism, and genocide — including Israel’s very establishment through the uprooting and displacement of over 750,000 Palestinians during the 1947-1948 Nakba. Indeed, eighty percent of the 1.8 million people sealed into Gaza are refugees.

Like any colonial regime, Israel uses resistance to such policies as an excuse to terrorize and collectively punish the indigenous population for its very existence. But scattered rockets, fired from Gaza into land stolen from Palestinians in the first place, are merely a response to this systemic injustice.

To confront the root cause of this violence, we call for the complete dismantling of Israel’s apartheid regime, throughout historic Palestine — from the River to the Sea. With that in mind, we embrace the 2005 Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which demands:

* An end to Israeli military occupation of the 1967 territories

* Full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel

* Right of return for Palestinian refugees, as affirmed by UN resolution 194

Initial Signers (list in formation; organizations, schools and other affiliations shown for identification only; *Co-founder, Jews for Palestinian Right of Return)

Avigail Abarbanel, Psychotherapist; editor, Beyond Tribal Loyalties: Personal Stories of Jewish Peace Activists (2012, Cambridge Scholars), Inverness, Scotland

Noa Abend, Boycott From Within

Stephen Aberle, Independent Jewish Voices; Vancouver, BC

Lisa Albrecht, Ph.D. Social Justice Program, University of Minnesota

Anya Achtenberg, novelist and poet; teacher; activist; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Mike Alewitz, Associate Professor, Central CT State Unversity; Artistic Director, Labor Art & Mural Project

Zalman Amit, Distinguished Professor Emeritus; Author, Israeli Rejectionism

Anthony Arnove, International Socialist Organization

Gabriel Ash, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Switzerland

Ted Auerbach, Brooklyn for Peace

Anna Baltzer, author and organizer

Ronnie Barkan, Co-founder, Boycott from Within, Tel-Aviv

Judith Bello, Administrative Committee, United National Antiwar Coalition

Lawrence Boxall, Independent Jewish Voices, Canada; Vancouver Ecosocialist Group

Linda Benedikt, writer Munich, Germany

Nora Barrows-Friedman, journalist; Oakland

Jonathan Beller, Humanities and Media Studies Graduate Program in Media Studies, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn

Medea Benjamin, co-founder, CODEPINK

Rica Bird, Joint Founder, Merseyside Jews for Peace and Justice

Audrey Bomse, Co-chair, National Lawyers Guild Palestine Subcommittee

Daniel Boyarin, Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture, UC Berkeley

Lenni Brenner, Author, Zionism In The Age Of The Dictators

Elizabeth Block, Independent Jewish Voices, Toronto ON

Max Blumenthal, Author, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel; and Senior Writer for Alternet.org

Mary P. Buchwald, Jewish Voice for Peace-New York

Monique Buckner, BDS South Africa

Maia Brown, Health and Human Rights Project-Seattle & Stop Veolia Seattle

Estee Chandler, Jewish Voice for Peace, Los Angeles

Rick Chertoff, L..A. Jews for Peace

Marjorie Cohn, Thomas Jefferson School of Law; past president, National Lawyers Guild

Ally Cohen, Ramallah, Palestine; International Solidarity Movement media coordinator

Ruben Rosenberg Colorni, Youth for Palestine, Netherlands

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

Margaretta D’arcy, Irish actress, writer, playwright, and peace-activist

Natalie Zemon Davis, Historian

Warren Davis, labor and political activist, Philadelphia, PA

Eron Davidson, film maker

Judith Deutsch, Independent Jewish Voices Canada; Science for Peace

Roger Dittmann, Professor of Physics, Emeritus California State University, Fullerton; President, Scholars and Scientists without Borders Executive Council, World Federation of Scientific Workers

Gordon Doctorow, Ed.D., Canada

Mark Elf, Jews Sans Frontieres, London, UK

Hedy Epstein, Nazi Holocaust survivor and human rights activist; St. Louis, MO

Marla Erlien, New York NY

Shelley Ettinger, writer/activist, New York, NY

Inge Etzbach, Human Rights Activist, Café Palestina NY

Richard Falk, Professor of International Law, Emeritus, Princeton University; Former UN Special Rapporteur on Occupied Palestine, 2008-2014

Malkah B. Feldman, Jewish Voice for Peace and recent delegate to Palestine with American Jews For A Just Peace

Deborah Fink, Co-Founder, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods UK

Joel Finkel, Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago

Sylvia Finzi, JfjfP; Jüdische Stimme für gerechten Frieden in Nahost, EJJP. Germany)

Maxine Fookson, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner; Jewish Voice for Peace, Portland OR-

Richard Forer, Author, Breakthrough: Transforming Fear Into Compassion – A New Perspective on the Israel-Palestine

Sid Frankel, Associate Professor, University of Manitoba

Cynthia Franklin, Co-Editor, Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly, University of Hawai’i

Racheli Gai, Jewish Voice for Peace

Herb Gamberg, Independent Jewish Voices, Canada

Ruth Gamberg, Independent Jewish Voices, Canada

Lee Gargagliano, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Cheryl Gaster, social justice activist and human right lawyer, Toronto ON

Alisa Gayle-Deutsch, American/Canadian Musician and Anti-Israeli Apartheid Activist

Jack Gegenberg, Professor of Mathematics, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton NB

Terri Ginsberg, film and media scholar, New York

David Glick, psychotherapist; Jewish Voice for Peace

Sherna Berger Gluck, Emerita Professor, CSULB; Israel Divestment Campaign

Neta Golan, Ramallah, Palestine; Jews Against Genocide; Co-founder, International Solidarity Movement.

Tsilli Goldenberg, teacher, Jerusalem, Israel

Steve Goldfield, Ph.D.

Sue Goldstein, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Canada

Marty Goodman, former Executive Board member, Transport Workers Union Local 100; Socialist Action

Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, Freeman Fellow, Fellowship of Reconciliation

Hector Grad, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Spain

Jesse Greener, University of Laval

Cathy Gulkin, Filmmaker, Toronto ON

Ira Grupper, Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY

Jeff Halper, The Israeli Committee Against House demolitions (ICAHD)

Larry Haiven, Independent Jewish Voices Canada, Halifax

Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, publisher, Germany

Stanley Heller, The Struggle Video News TSVN

Shir Hever, Jewish Voice for Just Peace, Germany

Deborah Hrbek, media and civil rights lawyer, NLG-NYC

Tikva Honig-Parnass, Jews for Palestinian Right of Return

Adam Horowitz, Co-Editor, Mondoweiss

Gilad Isaacs, Economist, Wits University.

Selma James, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Jake Javanshir, Independent Jewish Voices, Toronto

Riva Joffe, Jews Against Zionism

Val Jonas, attorney, Miami Beach

Sima Kahn, MD; President of the board, Kadima Reconstructionist Community

Yael Kahn, Israeli anti-apartheid activist

Michael Kalmanovitz, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (UK)

Dan Kaplan, AFT Local 1493

Susan Kaplan, J.D. National Lawyers Guild

Danny Katch, activist and author

Bruce Katz, President, Palestinian and Jewish Unity (PAJU), Montreal, Canada

Lynn Kessler, Ph.D., MPH, psychologist/social justice activist

Janet Klecker, Sonomans for Justice & Peace for Palestine, Sonoma CA

David Klein, California State University, Northridge; USACBI

Emma Klein, Jewish Voice for Peace, Seattle WA

Sara Kershnar, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Harry Kopyto, Legal activist Toronto ON

Richard Koritz, veteran postal trade unionist and former member of North Carolina Human Relations Commission

Yael Korin, PhD., Scientist at UCLA; Campaign to End IsraelI Apartheid, Southern California

Dennis Kortheuer, CSULB, Israel Divestment Campaign

Steve Kowit, Professor Emeritus, Jewish Voice for Peace

Toby Kramer, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Jason Kunin, Independent Jewish Voices Canada

David Landy, Trinity College, Dublin

Jean Léger, Coalition pour la Justice et la Paix en Palestine, membre de la Coalition BDS Québec et de Palestiniens et Juifs Unis

Lynda Lemberg, Educators for Peace and Justice, Independent Jewish Voices, Toronto ON

David Letwin,* activist and teacher, Al-Awda NY

Michael Letwin,* former President, Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW Local 2325; USACBI; Al-Awda NY

Les Levidow, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (J-BIG), UK

Corey Levine, Human Rights Activist, Writer; National Steering Committee, Independent Jewish Voices Canada

Joseph Levine, Professor of Philosophy, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Lesley Levy, Independent Jewish Voices, Montreal

Mich Levy, teacher, Oakland CA

Abby Lippman, Professor Emerita; activist; Montreal

Brooke Lober, PhD candidate, University of Arizona, Gender and Women’s Studies Department

Antony Loewenstein, journalist, author and Guardian columnist

Jennifer Loewenstein, Professor of Middle Eastern Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Alex Lubin, Professor of American Studies, University of New Meixco

Andrew Lugg, Professor Emeritus, University of Ottawa, Canada

David Makofsky, Jewish Voice for Peace, Research Anthropologist

Harriet Malinowitz, Professor of English, Long Island University, Brooklyn

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

Miriam Marton, JD

Richard Matthews. independent scholar, London ON

Daniel L. Meyers, Former President National Lawyers Guild-NYC

Linda Milazzo, Writer/Activist/Educator, Los Angeles

Eva Steiner Moseley, Holocaust refugee, Massachusetts Peace Action board member and Palestine/Israel Working Group

Dorothy Naor, retired teacher, Herzliah, Israel

Marcy Newman, independent scholar; Author; The Politics of Teaching Palestine to Americans

Alex Nissen, Women in Black

Judith Norman, San Antonio, TX

Henry Norr, retired journalist, Berkeley CA

Michael Novick, Anti-Racist Action-Los Angeles/People Against Racist Terror

Bertell Ollman, NYU

Karin Pally, Santa Monica, CA

Ilan Pappé, Israeli historian and socialist activist

Karen Platt, Jewish Voice for Peace, Albany CA

Susan Pashkoff, Jews Against Zionism, London UK

Miko Peled, writer, activist; Author, The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine

Gabriel Piterberg, UCLA

Mitch Podolak, Founder, Winnipeg Folk Festival and Vancouver Folk Music Festival

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

Lenny Potash, Los Angeles CA

Fabienne Presentey, Independent Jewish Voices, Montréal

Diana Ralph, Independent Jewish Voices Canada

Roland Rance, Jews Against Zionism, London

Karen Ranucci, Independent Journalist, Democracy Now!

Ana Ratner, Artist, Puppeteer, Activist.

Michael Ratner, President Emeritus, Center for Constitutional Rights

Dr. Fanny-Michaela Reisin, Jewish Voice Germany

Diana M.A. Relke, Professor Emerita, University of Saskatchewan

Bruce Robbins, Columbia University

Stewart M. Robinson, retired Prof of Mathematics

Professor Lisa Rofel, University of California, Santa Cruz

Mimi Rosenberg, Producer & Host, Building Bridges and Wednesday Edition, WBAI 99.5 FM; Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW Local 2325

Lillian Rosengarten, Author, From The Shadows Of Nazi Germany To The Jewish Boat To Gaza

Jonathan Rosenhead, British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP)

Yehoahua Rosin, Israel

Ilana Rossoff, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Martha Roth, Independent Jewish Voices; Vancouver BC

Marty Roth, Emeritus professor of English, University of Minnesota

Ruben Roth, Assistant Professor, Labour Studies, Laurentian University; Independent Jewish Voices Canada

Emma Rubin, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Cheryl A. Rubenberg, Middle East Scholar; Editor, Encyclopedia of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict; Author, The Palestinians in Search of a Just Peace

Josh Ruebner, Author, Shattered Hopes: Obama’s Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace

Mark Rudd, retired teacher, Albuquerque NM

Ben Saifer, Independent Jewish Voices Canada

Evalyn Segal, Rossmoor Senior Community

Sylvia Schwarz, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Yossi Schwartz, Internationalist Socialist League; Haifa

Carole Seligman, co-editor, Socialist Viewpoint magazine

Yom Shamash, Independent Jewish Voices, Vancouver, Canada

Tali Shapiro, Boycott from Within; Israel

Karen Shenfeld, Poet, Toronto ON

Sid Shniad, National Steering Committee, Independent Jewish Voices Canada

William Shookhoff, Independent Jewish Voices, Toronto ON

Melinda Smith, Jewish Voice for Peace, Albuquerque NM

Kobi Snitz, Tel Aviv

Marsha Steinberg, BDS-LA for Justice in Palestine, Los Angeles

Lotta Strandberg, Visiting Scholar, NYU

Carol Stone, Independent Jewish Voices, Vancouver BC

Miriam (Cherkes-Julkowski) Swenson, Ph.D.

Matthew Taylor, author

Laura Tillem, Peace and Social Justice Center of South Central Kansas

Peter Trainor, Independent Jewish Voices, Toronto

Rebecca Tumposky, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Darlene Wallach, Justice for Palestinians, San Jose CA

Abraham Weizfeld, JPLO

Bonnie Weinstein, Co-Editor of Socialist Viewpoint magazine; Publisher, Bay Area United Against War Newsletter

Sam Weinstein, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network-Labor; former President, UWUA Local 132

Judith Weisman, Independent Jewish Voices; Not in Our Name (NION); Toronto ON

Paul Werner, PhD, DSFS Editor, WOID, a journal of visual language

Noga Wizansky, Ph.D., artist, instructor, and researcher; Administrator, Institute of European Studies, UC Berkeley

Marcy Winograd, public school teacher, former congressional peace candidate

Bekah Wolf, UC Hastings College of Law Student; Co-founder, Palestine Solidarity Project

Sherry Wolf, International Socialist Organization

Dave Zirin, Author, Game Over: How Politics Have Turned the Sports World Upside Down

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CHRGJ Co-Hosts Conference on The Palestinian Right of Return: A Legal and Political Analysis

CHRGJ Co-Hosts Conference on The Palestinian Right of Return: A Legal and Political Analysis

 

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On Friday, April 1st, the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, together with NYU Law Students for Justice in Palestine and Palestine Works, co-hosted a panel discussion on The Palestinian Right of Return. The event brought together lawyers, activists and human rights practitioners who engaged in a political and legal analysis of the contested ‘right of return’, by addressing its grounding in international law, as well as its meaning and connotations in public and political  discourse.

During the first panel, Jamil Dakwar, Emilio Dabed and Michael Letwin addressed the political controversy surrounding the grassroots invocation of the Palestinian right of return. Dakwar discussed the struggle of internally displaced Palestinian communities, both from an activist and a legal viewpoint. A range of political and diplomatic strategies of the Israeli state, such as the declaration of a state of emergency, he argued, as well as the passing of laws like the Absentee Property Law (1950) and Prevention of Infiltration Law (1954) acted to systematically deny Palestinian refugees – including those who have gained Israeli citizenship – from returning to their homes and reclaiming their confiscated property. He underlined the importance of the concept of a ‘right of return’ -both morally and legally -as an inspiration in the struggle of Palestinian refugees including those who are considered internally displaced within the borders of 1948 Palestine. Dabed complemented this point by adding that, in his view, the Palestinian Authority’s investment in a two-state paradigm undermines a strategy of refugee return and effectively dissociates Palestinians from their national struggle. Letwin, speaking on behalf of Jews for Palestinian Right of Return, linked this discussion to the struggle that grassroots groups in the United States are engaging in, and outlined various strategies employed by various social justice movements in the U.S. that work on this issue.

The second panel zoomed in on the legal aspects of the ‘right of return’ and examined its place within an international law framework. Omar Shehabi, director and founder of Palestine Works, and Susan Akram of Boston University School of Law, discussed whether and how International Humanitarian Law, Nationality and State Succession Law, and Human Rights Law can be considered legal basis for this contested right. Akram also highlighted the rights of refugees under International Law including the legality of the right of return, the right to compensation, as well as the right to third party resettlement. She explained how the existence of the latter two rights do not negate the existence of a ‘right of return’, which she understood to be primary and durable as both an individual right, and obligation on the state. She concluded her argument by underlining the importance of a deep understanding of how law can be used as a mobilizing tool that effectively empowers activists and rights-holders.

2015.10.16: Local’s Family Caught in Middle East Violence (NBC 7 San Diego)

Michael Letwin

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Local’s Family Caught in Middle East Violence

Hatem Mohtasab says he came to San Diego to study construction engineering so he can have a better future. Now he’s concerned about the future of his family in Jerusalem after his father suffered a gun shot wound from the ongoing conflict. NBC 7’s Omari Fleming reports.

Source: http://www.nbcsandiego.com/on-air/as-seen-on/omari11PM1015_San-Diego-333197331.html#ixzz3qkNOcCxb

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JFPROR IAW Message to Gaza: We Do Have Brothers and Sisters Beyond This Horizon

Message from David Letwin of Jews for Palestinian Right of Return, at 4:50:

“To our Palestinian brothers and sisters in Gaza: Greetings and solidarity from Jews for Palestinian Right of Return. Your courageous resistance to over a century of Zionist colonialism, dispossession, racism, apartheid and genocide inspires all those around the world committed to justice. On the occasion of Israeli Apartheid Week 2015, we say: From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free.”

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We do have Brothers and Sisters beyond this horizon لنا أخوة خلف هذا المدى

تليه العربية
“We do have brothers and sisters beyond this horizon” Mahmoud Darwish, A State of Siege

Messages of support to the Israeli Apartheid Week 2015 in Gaza – Palestine from renowned cultural figures, artists, anti-Apartheid activists, and BDS activists:
Marcel Khalifah
Samah Sabawi
AbdelKareem Sabawi
David Letwin
Michael Deas
Omar Barghouti
Omaima Khalil
Susan Abulhawa
Mick Napier
Adie Mormech
Ramzy Baroud
Samah Idriss
Heidi Grunebaum
Ali Abunimah
Mustafa Barghouti
Tariq Ali
Ronnie Kasrils

“لنا أخوة خلف هذا المدى”
– محمود درويش، حالة حصار

رسائل دعم وتضامن إلى أسبوع مقاومة الأبارتهايد الإسرائيلي 2015 في غزة المحاصرة – فلسطين المحتلة من شخصيات ثقافية بارزة وفنانين/ات ومناضلين ضد نظام الأبارتهيد الجنوب أفريقي ونشطاء في حركة المقاطعة :
مرسيل خليفة
سماح السبعاوي
عبد الكريم السبعاوي
ديفيد ليتون
مايكل ديس
عمر البرغوثي
أميمة الخليل
سوزان أبو الهوى
ميك نابيير
أيدي مورموش
رمزي بارود
سماح إدريس
هايدي جرنباوم
علي أبو نعمة
مصطفى البرغوثي
طارق علي
روني كسرلز

facebook.com/IsraeliApartheidWeekGazaStrip

In Photos — Jews in Solidarity With Palestinian Right of Return

IN PHOTOS ~~ JEWS IN SOLIDARITY WITH PALESTINIAN RIGHT OF RETURN

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

THE POSTERS


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Sign-On: Netanyahu’s Apartheid Israel Does Not Speak For Us

To sign this statement, please go here.

jBVeIrlwTheypjS-556x313-noPadNetanyahu’s Apartheid Israel Does Not Speak For Us

Jews for Palestinian Right of Return, March 10, 2015

As Jews of conscience, we condemn not only Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent visit to the United States, but the entire apartheid state he represents.

That regime is guilty of:

*Mass ethnic cleansing and dispossession of Palestinians to make way for the creation of the “Jewish state” in 1947-1948 (Al Nakba, or “The Catastrophe”);

*Discriminatory laws against Palestinian citizens of Israel in order to maintain the state’s “ethnic purity”;

*Denial of Palestinian refugee right of return to their homeland throughout historic Palestine;

*Occupation of, and denial of basic human rights in, the 1967 territories of historic Palestine;

*Ongoing siege of and terror against the people of Gaza, including repeated massacres of civilians.

Like any other people, Palestinians have the inherent human right to resist such crimes. Netanyahu, on the other hand, is a war criminal who belongs in the dock.

Instead, he is lauded with bipartisan standing ovations in Congress and showered with billions in annual military aid to defend U.S. imperial domination of the Middle East. As Secretary of State Alexander Haig once said, “Israel is the largest American aircraft carrier in the world that cannot be sunk.”

Netanyahu has also exploited recent violence in Europe to encourage Jews around the world to move to Israel for their supposed “safety.” But the solution to anti-Semitism, real or perceived, can never be a state based on racist oppression of others.

For these reasons, we reaffirm our support for the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS), which demands that Israel recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with international law by:

1) Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;
2) Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
3) Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

To those who say these demands spell the end of the “Jewish state,” we echo Miko Peled, Jewish anti-Zionist and son of Israeli general Matti Peled:

“We should demand recognition that Israel is occupied Palestine, that all Israeli towns and cities are illegal settlements, and that it is time to free Palestine and its people from the illegal colonialist regime known as Israel.”

Justice and lasting peace demand no less.

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Sign-On: New York City Council Members: Protesting Apartheid Is Not Anti-Semitic!

Sign the statement below here

jBVeIrlwTheypjS-556x313-noPad

New York City Council Members: Protesting Apartheid is Not Anti-Semitic!

On January 22, Direct Action Front for Palestine unfurled a banner at a meeting of the New York City Council to silently protest an upcoming, all-expense-paid trip to Israel by fifteen Council members.

The banner was dropped as the Council was voting on a batch of resolutions, including one commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Although interruption of that resolution was entirely coincidental, the protesters were widely smeared in the media as “anti-Semitic” for “disrupting Auschwitz liberation commemoration.”

Jews for Palestinian Right of Return rejects this absurd slander and applauds DAFP and others who courageously spoke truth to power at the City Council.

In fact, the Council’s shameful support of Israel — not the protest — is the real insult to the memory of Holocaust victims. In the words of survivor Lillian Rosengarten: “I too am a refugee from Nazi Germany, and I am a Jew who must say no to apartheid, occupation, check points, stolen land, racism and a desire for a Jewish state only obtained through the suffering and blood of Palestinians.”

Israel’s massacre of more than 2200 Palestinians (500 of them, children) last summer in Gaza only adds to the list of atrocities committed to perpetuate that state.

We the undersigned call on the City Council and the media to stop defaming supporters of Palestinian rights with false accusations of anti-Semitism, and to cease their complicity with apartheid Israel.

Please Sign: Defend Palestine Supporters from “Anti-Semitism” Slander

John JayTo add your name, please go to: https://www.change.org/p/jeremy-travis-president-john-jay-college-of-criminal-justice-cuny-defend-palestine-supporters-from-anti-semitism-slander

This petition will be delivered to:
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY

Jeremy Travis, President, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY
Student Life Coordinator

John Leebens

DEFEND PALESTINE SUPPORTERS FROM “ANTI-SEMITISM” SLANDER

On 21 October, 2014, Jeremy Travis, President of John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, issued a statement to the “John Jay College community” implying that the college’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter (SJP) is part of a world-wide “rise in anti-Semitism” (read his letter here).

The letter offers no evidence to support this charge. Rather, it alludes to “reports” that “instances on our campus” have left Jewish students feeling “intimidated and harassed.” Who filed these reports, on whose behalf, and the details of these “instances” — not to mention why all this left the president “deeply troubled” — are never explained.

It is clear, however, that the president was responding to an 8 October SJP “Die-In/Vigil from Ferguson to Gaza” protest, and it was John Jay Administration, not SJP, that harassed and intimidated.

Student Life Coordinator John Leebens attempted to censor the event in advance, then actively discouraged students from attending. In doing so, he denied SJP’s constitutional right to free speech. For full details on the college’s violations — defended on the basis that the protest might make others feel “uncomfortable” — see this statement from Palestine Solidarity Legal Support and the Center for Constitutional Rights.

Unfounded accusations of anti-Semitism directed at Palestine supporters — many of them Jewish — are nothing new. Today, these attacks are a desperate response to escalating support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which demands an end to the 1967 Occupation, right of return for Palestinian refugees, and full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel. This campaign explicitly condemns all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism.

Those Jewish students who close their eyes to Israel’s ongoing crimes against the Palestinian people will inevitably be made “uncomfortable” by such protests, no matter what form they take. Supporters of apartheid South Africa or Jim Crow no doubt felt the same when confronted by protest against those regimes. Indeed, the right to protest was attacked on similarly unconstitutional grounds during earlier civil rights, antiwar, and anti-apartheid movements.

We reject the administration’s attempts to silence Students for Justice in Palestine, and call on President Travis to:

• Publicly retract his groundless accusations of anti-Semitism

• Stop violating student free speech rights

Signed,

Al Awda NY: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
Jews for Palestinian Right of Return
Jews Say No!
Jewish Voice for Peace – NY
International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
International Socialist Organization
Labor for Palestine
New York City Labor Against the War
NYC Solidarity With Palestine
Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee
Students for Justice in Palestine at Brooklyn College
Students for Justice in Palestine at City College
Students for Justice in Palestine at College of Staten Island
US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel

Please sign on! To add your name, please go to: https://www.change.org/p/jeremy-travis-president-john-jay-college-of-criminal-justice-cuny-defend-palestine-supporters-from-anti-semitism-slander