American Muslims for Palestine writes, “The federal government has dropped the charges against AMP [American Muslims for Palestine] staffers Taher Herzallah and Kareem El-Hosseiny. Stephen Rickard, Deputy Chief of the misdemeanors section in the U.S. Attorney’s office notified the men’s attorney Ann Wilcox on Friday evening.” Herzallah and El-Hosseiny faced charged for protesting during the Senate confirmation hearing of Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. The two were arrested along with four others who were not charged.
Category Archives: Activism
Nearly 100 Israelis sign onto an open letter endorsing Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike, “We, a group of conscientious Israeli-Jews, would like to express our deep respect and solidarity with you – the 1,500 or more Palestinians who embarked on a collective open ended hunger strike to demand your basic rights.”
Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb interviews advocates for nonviolent peacemaking between Jews and Palestinians in the Holy Land, Israeli Dr. Yoav Litvin and Palestinian Sami Awad. Gottlieb says, “People who resist the systemic violence of Israeli Occupation in Palestine and Israel have a lot to teach us about building nonviolent movements for justice and social change under extremely challenging conditions.”
Monday, April 10, 2017, marked a significant victory for social justice activism in the state of Maryland. After a vigorous and well-organized campaign, legislation targeting the BDS movement was roundly defeated for the third time in four years. Kim Jensen talks to the activists who went up against powerful outspoken anti-BDS advocates like Dennis Ross, Governor Larry Hogan, and Senator Ben Cardin and won.
My poor white friends turned to Trump (“it’s about time we were seen”), my white liberal friends turned to something else (“the world is ending”), my black friends turned to protest (“we have been here before”), and my undocumented students turned to sleeping in my office. But we shouldn’t turn inward, we must build broader communities.
Omar Barghouti, a leader of the BDS movement, will travel to New Haven Sunday April 23 to receive a Gandhi peace award. The trip was in doubt because Barghouti was under a travel ban. A judge suspended that ban to allow him to come.
Taher Herzallah and Kareem El-Hosseiny will come before Superior Court judge Marisa Demeo on Thursday, April 20th to hear potential motions regarding their disruption of David Friedman’s nomination hearing to become US ambassador to Israel. Nadya Raja Tannous interviews them on the eve of the hearing about their case, why they didn’t take a plea deal, and whether they would do it again. “While we are allowed traditional ways to state our views we still were not heard. Sometimes the only way to have a voice is by literally speaking out,” Herzallah explains.
Tema Okun shares a poem reflecting on her taxi ride leaving the Jewish Voice for Peace conference in Chicago where her Jewish Israeli taxi driver shouted at her that she is not a Jew.
Donna Nevel provides an overview of speakers and panels at the Jewish Voice for Peace National Membership Meeting in Chicago last weekend, “Presenters spoke movingly and, at times, quite painfully, about the brutal realities and challenges Palestinians and many other communities are facing at this moment and also located the current moment in the context of a long history of injustice and struggle.”
Students disrupted a Brand Israel conference at New York University, holding a silent protest while former Israeli ambassador Ido Aharoni closed the daylong forum last Friday with a summary of branding techniques applicable to the Jewish state.
After three years of cancellation after cancellation the “International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism” conference finally takes place in Cork Ireland. DeeDee Halleck writes, “For many of the attendees, the timing this spring couldn’t have been better. The ascendancy of the right wing in Europe and the United States and the recent vociferous reactions to the UN report by Richard Falk and Virginia Tilley made the discussions all the more timely and necessary. The warm Irish welcome was such that the first two days were actually held in the atrium auditorium of Cork’s City Hall. The sessions were packed at both City Hall and the Sunday session at the University of Cork. Although there was security hired by conference organizers, there were no violent incidents, nor even any sustained complaints from the audience. The only sustained reactions were the enthusiastic applause outbursts whenever the courage and persistence of the conference organizers was mentioned.”
On Friday, in a partial victory for the American Studies Association, a district court in Washington D.C. dismissed plaintiffs’ claim that the organization operated beyond its corporate charter by passing a resolution endorsing the academic boycott of Israel in 2013.
BDS movement co-founder Omar Barghouti writes a letter to supporters after being arrested by Israeli authorities on charges of tax evasion. Barghouti says the arrest is part of a government-led attack on the BDS movement: “Many of you have asked how best you can support me to face this latest persecution. My answer is, without hesitation … more BDS! We need to expand, mainstream and build on our many inspiring BDS campaigns, academic, cultural and economic, as the most effective way to respond to the new McCarthyism designed by Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid and exported to states where its lobby groups enjoy massive influence. Further growing our movement for freedom, justice and equality is the answer.”
Eman Ghanayem writes, “In light of the rapid growth in the Palestine activism community that is led, administered and predominated by non-Palestinians, the following is a letter of affirmations and requests made to address that community. This letter represents a Palestinian plea and critique that can henceforth improve the language used to address Palestine and Palestinian liberation movements and create better relationships between Palestinians and their allies.”
A “game-changer,” that is how the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), a national coalition of groups that advocates for Palestinian rights, described the decision by six National Football League (NFL) players to boycott an Israeli government-sponsored propaganda trip. Only time will tell if this is truly a game-changer, but it certainly represents a significant boost both for the profile of sports boycotts within BDS and for the Palestinian struggle within the sports world, particularly in the United States.
A necessary and productive debate has been going on in US feminist circles following the International Women’s Strike on March 8, with its openly anti-colonial, pro-Palestine platform. In an Op-Ed, writer Emily Shire questioned whether there was room for Zionists in the feminist movement. This exchange is the latest chapter in a long conversation in activist circles around Palestine as a feminist issue. The question Shire should have asked is “Is there room for Zionists in any justice movement?” The answer is No.
A United Nations agency today labeled Israel an “apartheid regime,” in a report where the country was said to be guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt” of the “grave charge” of operating systematic discrimination and oppression against the Palestinian people.
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) who published the document, “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian, People and the Question of Apartheid,”[PDF] is mandated to review Israeli aggressions.
It used to be that PEP was a safe place: Progressive Except Palestine. But as progressives seek to build an anti-Trump coalition on the left, Zionism is coming under a lot of pressure, so far mostly among feminists.