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Israeli activists to Ayanna Pressley – Palestinians are equally deserving of your solidarity

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Editor’s Note: The following is a statement  from the organization Boycott from Within. Mondoweiss occasionally publishes press releases and statements from organizations in an effort to draw attention to overlooked issues.

Dear Representative Pressley,

We are a group of over 1000 Israeli citizens, most of us Jewish-Israeli, who are active against decades-long Israeli government policies of racism, occupation and apartheid towards the Palestinian people. Many of us have been active for years to attain justice and equality in human rights for all in Palestine/Israel. Our long years of activism on the ground here have taught us that a global campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) is required if we are to bring about this change, as was the case in apartheid South Africa.

We were disappointed to learn of your recent vote in favor of HR 246. Your condemnation of the BDS movement – a global, grassroots-based, non-violent campaign for equality in human rights does not do justice to your relentless work for human rights and human dignity for marginalized populations.

We would like to make it absolutely clear that BDS is not antisemitic. Palestinian leaders of civil society and the BDS movement have reiterated over the years that this campaign is anti-racist in nature, and have spoken out against Jew-haters who have tried to exploit the Palestinian cause for the promotion of antisemitism.

Your vote contradicts the spirit of your visit to the US-Mexican border, along with other members of the so-called ‘squad’, to counter a horrific attack on human rights and human dignity by a callous administration. Your vote contradicts the spirit of your courageous vote in Congress to oppose the border funding bill at a time when refugee families are being torn apart by the US government and children are being locked up in horrific conditions.

Moreover, your vote contradicts your courageous support of H.R.2407 – the Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act, introduced by Rep. Betty McCollum in April 2019.

Millions of Palestinians are subjected to a brutal system of racism, occupation, and apartheid. People of color and colonized people of the world can easily recognize the resemblance between colonial systems. And the ongoing careless US support for Israel’s racist control of millions of human beings is threatening the future of us all in Palestine/Israel.

We believe that any conscientious person dedicated to peace and justice should reject the immoral and cynical unwavering impunity provided by the US government to any and all human rights violations against Palestinians. The Palestinian campaign for BDS is the best tool to bring about this change.

We invite you to visit Palestine/Israel in the near future and witness the reality on the ground. We would gladly meet you to discuss all this.

Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within (aka Boycott from Within)

Boycott from Within

BOYCOTT! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within, commonly known as Boycott from Within, is an association of Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel who support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Founded in 2008, it describes itself as following the guiding principles and sharing the goals of the Palestinian BDS movement, as delineated by Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI).

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3 Responses

  1. CigarGod on August 14, 2019, 7:23 pm

    She can’t say she didn’t know.

  2. Misterioso on August 15, 2019, 9:49 am

    For the record:

    Letter to The Guardian newspaper, August 13/19

    “Freedom of expression on Palestine is being suppressed”

    “Kamel Hawwash of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and 22 other signatories say that a council’s refusal to host a charity event has vindicated concerns raised about the IHRA working definition of antisemitism.”

    “Tower Hamlets council in London last month prevented a bike ride raising awareness of the plight of the Palestinian people from using space in one of its parks. We now know that the council feared that this advocacy for Palestine would violate the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism (UK council refused to host Palestinian event over antisemitism fears, 3 August). This use of the IHRA definition demonstrates the real threat to freedom of expression that it represents, ignoring its protection in our national rights legislation.

    “Palestinian groups, eminent lawyers, academic experts on antisemitism, prominent British Jews and bodies such as the Institute for Race Relations previously raised these concerns publicly. The rights of all British citizens to accurately describe, inform and convey the reality of ongoing Palestinian dispossession, and to call for action to resist these illegalities, belongs in the public space. All public bodies have an obligation to protect and defend these rights, to maintain democracy.

    “Tower Hamlets council’s decision dramatically demonstrates that freedom of expression on Palestine in this country is now being suppressed. This is exactly what we and many others have repeatedly warned of. This dangerous silencing now under way must stop.”

    Prof Kamel Hawwash Chair, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Ben Jamal Director, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Salma Karmi Ayyoub Barrister and member of British Palestinian Policy Council, Geoffrey Bindman QC, solicitor and visiting professor of law at University College London, Zaher Birawi Chairman, Europal Forum, Prof Izzat Darwazeh University College London, Lindsey German Convener, Stop the War Coalition, Nadia Hijab Author and human rights advocate, Kate Hudson General secretary, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Dr Ghada Karmi Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, Mike Leigh Film writer and director, Leah Levane Co-chair, Jewish Voice for Labour, Jenny Manson Co-chair, Jewish Voice for Labour, Kika Markham Actor, Dr Dina Matar Soas University of London, Prof Karma Nabulsi University of Oxford, Prof Jonathan Rosenhead London School of Economics, Adnan Sabah Lawyer, Clare Short Former Labour MP, Dr Nimer Sultany Senior lecturer in public law, Soas University of London, Norman Warner Crossbencher, House of Lords, Mark Serwotka General secretary, Public and Commercial Services Union.

  3. JoeSmack on August 16, 2019, 11:56 am

    If they were equally deserving, then Ayanna wouldn’t need to hear from an Israeli group limited to Israelis and Palestinians who have been granted Israeli citizenship by their oppressors. This is a form vs. content contradiction. The letter itself, regardless of its content, reaffirms that Palestinians don’t really count as people and are really more like flora and fauna who need Israeli interlocutors.

    Also, Ayanna didn’t listen to her own Squad members, her constituents, the party, DSA, anyone. You really think she’s going to listen to this crap from a group of self-appointed and unrepresentative Israelis?

    No wonder she ignored us.

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