USC Students for Justice in Palestine

history, analysis, news, and event updates on the struggle for justice in palestine

Archive for August, 2008

Jimmy Carter Conspicuously Absent From Podium

Posted by uscsjp on August 30, 2008

“Denver — Former president Jimmy Carter’s controversial views on Israel cost him a place on the podium at the Democratic Party convention in late August, senior Democratic operatives acknowledged to the Forward.

Breaking with the tradition of giving speech time to living former presidents, convention organizers honored Carter with only a short video clip highlighting his work with Hurricane Katrina victims and a brief walk across the Pepsi Center stage.

The sidelining of Carter was driven by recognition in the Obama camp and among Democratic leaders that giving the former president a prominent convention spot might alienate Jewish voters.

‘What more could we do to diss Jimmy Carter?’ said a Democratic official who was involved in deliberations on how to handle the former president’s presence at the convention. The treatment Carter received, the official added, ‘reflects the bare minimum that could be done for a former president.’

Although Carter says limiting his presence at the convention was his idea, denying him a speaking opportunity ends a two-year struggle for the party over how to deal with the controversial former president. Since Carter published a book in November 2006 accusing Israel of practicing apartheid against the Palestinians, Democrats have been trying to distance themselves from the former president and to convince Jewish activists that he does not represent the party line…”

, The Jewish Daily Forward, Thursday,  Aug 28, 2008

http://www.forward.com/articles/14110/

Posted in Analysis, News, Opinion/Editorial | Leave a Comment »

Free Gaza Boats Arrive in Gaza with Humanitarian Aid

Posted by uscsjp on August 25, 2008

Israel’s siege on the Gaza Strip has impacted every aspect of life there — including access to employment, food and healthcare. (Wissam Nassar/MaanImages; photo courtesy of The Electronic Intifada)

Democracy Now Updates:

“Two boats carrying dozens of human rights activists and humanitarian aid arrived in the Gaza Strip on Saturday despite an Israeli naval blockade. Israel had earlier said the Free Gaza boats would not be allowed in. Passengers on board included Lauren Booth, sister-in-law of former British premier Tony Blair. The activists said they hoped their trip would help bring an end to the siege on Gaza.

Free Gaza Activist: ‘What can I say? We are so glad to be here. We are so happy to be here to be able to stand with you against the occupation. We have longed for so many, many months to arrive, and now it’s like a dream for us to meet you.’

Israel has imposed a strict blockade on Gaza for the past fourteen months. The Free Gaza group plans to spend ten days in Gaza and then, on its return voyage, bring ten Palestinian students to Cyprus. Israel has prevented the students from leaving Gaza to study abroad…”

… “The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports the US and Israel have agreed on the deployment of a high-powered early-warning missile radar system in southern Israel. The Joint Tactical Ground Station will be staffed by US military personnel. Haaretz reports the missile radar system is widely seen as a kind of parting gift from Washington to Jerusalem as President George W. Bush prepares to leave office…”

–Democracy Now, Monday, August 25, 2008

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/8/25/headlines#7

See also

“Free Gaza” Boats Set Sail from Cyprus to Break Israeli Blockade

“Two converted fishing boats set sail from Cyprus today carrying more than forty activists and humanitarian workers who are part of the Free Gaza movement that is trying to break the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip. The Israeli foreign ministry said in an open letter to the participants, ‘We assume that your intentions are good but, in fact, the result of your action is that you are supporting the regime of a terrorist organization in Gaza.’ We speak with three of the activists at sea: Huwaida Arraf, co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement; Lauren Booth, a journalist and sister-in-law of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair; and Israeli anthropology professor Jeff Halper of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions…”
–Democracy Now, August 22, 2008

Standing up for justice in the Middle East
Ramzi Kysia, The Electronic Intifada, 20 August 2008

The Free Gaza Movement, a diverse group of international human rights activists from 17 different countries, will soon set sail from Cyprus to Gaza in order to challenge the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip. I’m proud to stand with them. Over 170 prominent individuals and organizations have endorsed our efforts, including the Carter Center, former British Cabinet member Clare Short, and Nobel Peace Prize laureates Mairead Maguire and Desmond Tutu…”


http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9776.shtml

Visit the Free Gaza Website for news, updates, and more

http://www.freegaza.org/

Posted in Activism/Divestment, Analysis, Blogroll, News, Opinion/Editorial | 2 Comments »

Electronic Intifada Recent News

Posted by uscsjp on August 25, 2008

Israeli soldiers guard Jewish settlers at an evacuated Israeli military camp at the edge of Beit Sahour near the West Bank city of Bethlehem, August 2008. Settlers intend to build a settlement on the site where Palestinians planned to build a hospital. (Luay Sababa/MaanImages; posted on The Electronic Intifada)


Creating a fact on the ground

Jonathan Cook, The Electronic Intifada, 25 August 2008

“Yehudit Genud hardly feels she is on the frontier of Israel’s settlement project, although the huddle of mobile homes on a wind-swept West Bank hilltop she calls home is controversial even by Israeli standards.

Despite the size and isolation of Migron, a settlement of about 45 religious families on a ridge next to the Palestinian city of Ramallah, Genud’s job as a social worker in West Jerusalem is a 25-minute drive away on a well-paved road.

Genud, 28, pregnant with her first child, points out that Migron has parks, children’s playgrounds, a kindergarten, a daycare center and a synagogue, all paid for by the government — even if the buildings are enclosed by a razor-wire fence, and her husband, Roni, has to put in overtime as the settlement’s security guard.

From her trailer, she also has panoramic views not only of Ramallah but of the many communities hugging the slopes that gently fall away to the Jordan Valley.

Long-established Palestinian villages are instantly identifiable by their homes’ flat roofs and the prominence of the tall minarets of the local mosques. Interspersed among them, however, are a growing number of much newer, fortified communities of luxury villas topped by distinctive red-tiled roofs.

These are the Jewish settlements that now form an almost complete ring around Palestinian East Jerusalem, cutting it off from the rest of the West Bank and destroying any hope that the city will one day become the capital of a Palestinian state.

‘These settlements are supposed to be the nail in the coffin of any future peace agreement with the Palestinians,’ said Dror Etkes, a veteran observer of the settlements who works for the Israeli human rights group Yesh Din. ‘Their purpose is to make a Palestinian state unviable’…”

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9779.shtml


Other recent updates from EI:

EI study refutes CAMERA media bias accusation
Shervan Sardar, The Electronic Intifada, 18 August 2008

“The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) is a media monitoring organization with a large database of supporters known for its staunch support for Israeli policies and its ability to influence media coverage. While CAMERA claims to be objective and interested in holding the media accountable to its own ‘self-professed standards,’ [1] the terminology and views of the organization are largely consistent with those of the Israeli government itself. [2]…”


http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9711.shtml

Fulbright or McCarthy for Palestinian students?
Fidaa Abed, The Electronic Intifada, 17 August 2008

“Last week, I landed in Washington, DC, brimming with optimism. Upon arrival, I was whisked into a separate room. An American official informed me that he had just received information about me that he could not reveal. However, it required him to put me on the next plane home. I was shocked. And I was taken aback at the cruelty of snatching away my educational dreams at the last possible moment…”

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9771.shtml
Unity has ensured low HIV and AIDS infection rates
Mel Frykberg, The Electronic Intifada, 12 August 2008

“EAST JERUSALEM, West Bank (IPS) – Palestinians from all ranks of society have pulled together to tackle the issue of AIDS, despite the increasing factional violence and chaos in the Palestinian territories…”

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9759.shtml

Tel Aviv to Tbilisi: Israel’s role in the Russia-Georgia war
Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 12 August 2008

“From the moment Georgia launched a surprise attack on the tiny breakaway region of South Ossetia last week, prompting a fierce Russian counterattack, Israel has been trying to distance itself from the conflict. This is understandable: with Georgian forces on the retreat, large numbers of civilians killed and injured, and Russia’s fury unabated, Israel’s deep involvement is severely embarrassing…”

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9756.shtml

Posted in Analysis, News, Opinion/Editorial | Leave a Comment »

Mahmoud Darwish: The New Yorker and Other Tributes

Posted by uscsjp on August 25, 2008

A young Mahmoud Darwish in Cairo. (Al Akhbar)
“The Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish died Saturday from complications of major heart surgery, in Houston, Texas. Darwish, born in 1941, was also a newspaperman, an activist, and a drafter of the 1988 Palestinian Declaration of Independence. Darwish spent much of his life in exile, but he remained stubbornly attached to his homeland. In his poetry, he used its landscape to describe the struggles of his people and his feelings on life, love, and death. Though a polyglot, he wrote in Arabic; his work quickly became popular, and has been translated into twenty languages. In 2000, the Israeli education minister proposed that Darwish be taught in schools, but Prime Minister Ehud Barak declared the country ‘not ready.’ If not then, perhaps now. In 2007, we published Darwish’s poem ‘Remainder of a Life,’ which begins: ‘If I were told: / By evening you will die, / so what will you do until then?” The poet lists a variety of tasks, some quotidian (bathing, shaving), some pleasurable (drinking wine, reading), all described with a rebellious glee. The poem ends:

Then I’d comb my hair and throw away the poem… this poem, in the trash, and put on the latest fashion in Italian shirts, parade myself in an entourage of Spanish violins, and walk to the grave!

That final exclamation point is a salute to an extraordinary life.”
–Jenna Krajeski, The New Yorker, August 11, 2008
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2008/08/mahmoud-darwish.html
See also:
Here the Birds’ Journey Ends
by Mahmoud Darwish English Translation Published in The New Yorker on August 25, 2008
http://www.newyorker.com/fiction/poetry/2008/08/25/080825po_poem_darwish
More Darwish Tributes:
Mahmoud Darwish: Palestine’s prophet of humanism
Saifedean Ammous, The Electronic Intifada, 12 August 2008
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9758.shtml
A guest of eternity: Mahmoud Darwish in memoriam
Raymond Deane, The Electronic Intifada, 13 August 2008
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9761.shtml
The poetics of Palestinian resistance
As’ad AbuKhalil, The Electronic Intifada, 18 August 2008
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9772.shtml
Failing Darwish’s legacy Sumia Ibrahim, The Electronic Intifada, 19 August 2008 http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9774.shtml
Farewell Mahmoud Darwish Sinan Antoon, Al-Ahram Weekly, 14 – 20 August 2008 http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2008/910/fr1.htm
…and finally, a piece from The Economist, which, in spite of some questionable statements, remains informative:
Obituary: Mahmoud Darwish Aug 21st 2008 From The Economist print edition http://www.economist.com/obituary/displaystory.cfm?story_id=11959317

Posted in Culture, History, News, Opinion/Editorial | Leave a Comment »

Sami al Arian Updates

Posted by uscsjp on August 24, 2008

“August 9, 2008 / Alexandria, VA – On Friday, in a pre-trial hearing which witnessed one of the single most dramatic clashes between Dr. Sami Al-Arian’s attorneys and the government, a federal judge unexpectedly postponed Dr. Al-Arian’s trial on criminal contempt. The trial, originally scheduled for this upcoming Wednesday (August 13th), will now be delayed until the Supreme Court addresses the appeal submitted by Dr. Al-Arian’s attorneys on the lawfulness of the federal subpoena which led to the contempt charges, a process which could take several months…”

http://www.freesamialarian.com/home.htm

Also, see

Stand Up for Sami al Arian

“LOS ANGELES–A small but spirited group of activists and students organized a protest in front of the downtown Federal Building on August 13, demanding that the government immediately free Dr. Sami Al-Arian and for an end to the racist attacks against Muslims and Arabs in the U.S.

A broad coalition of forces, including al-Awda, the American Friends Service Committee, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the International Socialist Organization, the Students for Justice for Palestine at the University of Southern California (USC) and many others, came together in front of the downtown Immigration and Customs Enforcement building.

Protesters vowed not to rest until Dr. Al-Arian is finally freed from five years of brutal and unjust imprisonment by the U.S. “war on terror” machine.

‘The Al-Arian case concerns all Americans because it is part of the current administration’s accelerating scale-back of civil rights and civil liberties, not only for Arabs in America but for many other people as well,’ said USC student Omar Hussein. ‘The unlawful detainment of Dr. Al-Arian and countless other detainees with similar stories is in step with these policies.’

‘ICE has been terrorizing our immigrant communities here in Los Angeles as well as targeting Arabs and Muslims,’ said another speaker. ‘We must continue to unite our fights in this struggle. An injury to one is an injury to all and we must not rest until all victims of the government’s “war on terror” are released.’

Protesters plan to will continue local organizing to free Sami Al-Arian, including regular protests.”

Socialist Worker,  August 21, 2008

http://socialistworker.org/2008/08/21/stand-up-for-al-arian

Posted in News | Leave a Comment »

Poets for Palestine Anthology Published

Posted by uscsjp on August 23, 2008


Poets For Palestine was published to unite a diverse range of poets, spoken word artists, and hip-hop artists who have used their words to elevate the consciousness of humanity. Sixty years after the dispossession of the Palestinian people, this anthology presents forty-eight poems alongside original works by Palestinian artists. All proceeds from the sale of this collection will go toward funding future cultural projects that highlight Arab artistry in the United States…”

http://www.poetsforpalestine.com/index.html

Posted in Activism/Divestment, Culture | 1 Comment »

Democracy Now Recent News

Posted by uscsjp on August 18, 2008

Exoneration of Israeli Troops in Fatal Shootings Raises Fears of Further Attacks

“In Israel and the Occupied Territories, Palestinian journalists and Israeli human rights groups are joining to condemn an Israeli decision not to prosecute soldiers involved in the death of Reuters cameraman Fadel Shana and eight Palestinian youths. The twenty-four-year-old Shana died on April 16th in Gaza when an Israeli tank shelled his vehicle clearly marked ‘press.’ Shana’s final piece of footage shows the tank firing a shell just before the camera went black. The other eight victims were aged between twelve and twenty years old. Reuters correspondent Nidal al-Mughrabi said the decision is being feared as an endorsement of future attacks.

Nidal al-Mughrabi: ‘The Israeli report on the killing of Fadel has grown fears among Palestinian journalists covering the conflict with Israel in the Gaza…between the Palestinians and the Israelis in the Gaza Strip, about the mission, you know, the mission to cover and to film. And we have been hearing from all other colleagues that they are not certain, they are not sure, about their lives anymore after such a report, which makes clear that the mere raising of a camera in the street, in a refugee camp or near the border can put someone’s life in danger.’

Meanwhile, in Israel, Jessica Montell, director of the Israeli human rights group B’tselem, said Israel had used illegal weapons in the attack.

Jessica Montell: ‘In this incident on April 16th, six civilians were killed by flechette darts, a weapon that is illegal, that should not be being used in these conditions in the Gaza Strip, and one of the six was a journalist. For all of these reasons, I would have expected the army to have opened and conducted a very thorough investigation into this case, and they chose not to do so. The lack of accountability in this case is reflected in the lack of accountability for thousands of Palestinians who have been killed in the
Occupied Territories.'”

–Democracy Now, August 15, 2008

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/8/15/headlines#6

Israel Clears Soldiers in Killing of Palestinian Journalist, Youths

“.. the Israeli government has announced it won’t prosecute soldiers involved in the death of Reuters cameraman Fadel Shana and eight Palestinian youths. The twenty-four-year-old Palestinian died on April 16th in Gaza when an Israeli tank shelled his vehicle clearly marked ‘press.’ Shana’s final piece of footage shows the tank firing a shell just before the camera went black. The other eight victims were aged between twelve and twenty years old. Israel says it won’t prosecute, because the soldiers were justified in opening fire. Reuters bureau chief Alastair Macdonald criticized the decision.

Alastair Macdonald: ‘We’re extremely disappointed. This report appears to condone the use of deadly force in a situation where the soldiers could not be, and admit they were not, certain of what they were looking at. We believe that there were grounds for them to realize that they were looking at a journalist. This puts us in the position where journalists cannot raise a camera in the presence of Israeli soldiers without the risk of being fired on. And we find that unacceptable, and we’re going to be discussing with the Israeli officials how we can improve the safety of our journalists in the future.'”

–Democracy Now, August 14, 2008

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/8/14/headlines#5

Report: US Rejects Israeli Aid Request for Iran Attack

“The Bush administration has reportedly turned down an Israeli request for military assistance with a strike on nuclear sites in Iran. According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Israeli officials asked President Bush for specific military equipment and other backup during Bush’s visit to Israel in May. White House officials are said to have refused the request and insisted Israel give prior notice before planning any attack on Iran. Israel reportedly rejected the request and said it reserves the right to attack Iran if nuclear talks fail.”

–Democracy Now, August 13, 2008

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/8/13/headlines#2

Humanitarian Activists to Sail Boats to Gaza

“Two boats carrying humanitarian activists are scheduled to leave Cyprus today and are heading to the Gaza Strip in a bid to break Israel’s blockade and raise awareness for Palestinian human rights. Members of the Free Gaza Movement include three European parliamentarians and Lauren Booth, the sister-in-law of ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Lauren Booth: ‘What is going on there is so far beyond what the general public around the world is allowed to see. You can not not react with compassion and pity for what the individuals of Gaza is going through. I want to reach there. All of us desperately hope that there will be humanitarian aid increase and a port opened for these people to be able to go in and out of this giant, open-air prison.'”

–Democracy Now, August 12, 2008

Posted in News | 1 Comment »

Mahmoud Darwish: 15 March 1941 – 9 August 2008

Posted by uscsjp on August 11, 2008

(Photo: Mustafa Abu Dayeh/MaanImages, posted on Electronic Intifada)

Electronic Intifada: Remembering Mahmoud Darwish

“Mahmoud Darwish, the iconic Palestinian poet passed away on 9 August in Houston, Texas at the age of 67 following unsuccessful heart bypass surgery. The Electronic Intifada editorial team share the sadness of the Palestinian and world literary communities and express their condolences to his family.

Over the next few days, EI will be publishing a number of tributes to Darwish. We begin with his own words, his 1964 poem ‘Identity Card,’ from his first collection, Leaves of Olives. The verses express the spirit resistance of Palestinians in the face exile and dispossession. Among his best known poems, it has lost none of its power a generation after it was first written.

‘Identity card’

Write down!
I am an Arab
And my identity card number is fifty thousand
I have eight children
And the ninth will come after a summer
Will you be angry?

Write down!
I am an Arab
Employed with fellow workers at a quarry
I have eight children
I get them bread
Garments and books
from the rocks …
I do not supplicate charity at your doors
Nor do I belittle myself at the footsteps of your chamber
So will you be angry?

Write down!
I am an Arab
I have a name without a title
Patient in a country
Where people are enraged
My roots
Were entrenched before the birth of time
And before the opening of the eras
Before the pines, and the olive trees
And before the grass grew

My father … descends from the family of the plow
Not from a privileged class
And my grandfather … was a farmer
Neither well-bred, nor well-born!
Teaches me the pride of the sun
Before teaching me how to read
And my house is like a watchman’s hut
Made of branches and cane
Are you satisfied with my status?
I have a name without a title!

Write down!
I am an Arab
You have stolen the orchards of my ancestors
And the land which I cultivated
Along with my children
And you left nothing for us
Except for these rocks …
So will the State take them
As it has been said?!

Therefore!
Write down on the top of the first page:
I do not hate poeple
Nor do I encroach
But if I become hungry
The usurper’s flesh will be my food
Beware …
Beware …
Of my hunger
And my anger!”

Tribute, The Electronic Intifada, 11 August 2008

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9754.shtml

Also,

Democracy Now: Mahmoud Darwish, Poet Laureate of the Palestinians, 1941-2008

“Three days of mourning have been declared in the West Bank and Gaza to mark the death of Mahmoud Darwish, the Poet Laureate of the Palestinians. Darwish was considered one of the most important Arab poets, a towering literary figure for over four decades. The poetry of Mahmoud Darwish is well known and loved across the Arab world by people from all walks of life…

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/8/11/mahmoud_darwish_poet_laureate_of_the

The Official Site:

http://www.mahmouddarwish.com/english/

Posted in Culture, News | Leave a Comment »

U.S. revokes 3 Gaza students’ visas

Posted by uscsjp on August 7, 2008

3 Fulbright Winners in Gaza Again Told They Can’t Travel

“JERUSALEM — The State Department has, for a second time in two months, reneged on its offer to three Palestinians in Gaza to study in the United States on Fulbright grants, this time citing unspecified security concerns.

The three were part of a group of seven Fulbright winners whose grants were first withdrawn at the end of May when the State Department feared it would be unable to get them out of Gaza because of Israel’s closing of the coastal strip, which the Israelis say is aimed at isolating the Hamas leadership there.

When Secretary of State Condoleezza Rica heard about the withdrawals, she declared Fulbright grants to be an important part of American foreign policy and the scholarships were reinstated. The students needed to undergo individual Israeli security checks in order to leave Gaza and travel first to the American Consulate in Jerusalem for a visa interview and then to fly out.

Four of the seven were cleared but three were told by Israel that they were security risks and could not enter the country. Skeptical American officials asked for details but said they only got broad accusations of links to Hamas; the officials still wanted to offer the grants. The consulate brought from Washington high-priced mobile fingerprinting equipment and sent several officials to the Israel-Gaza border to interview the three Palestinians on July 10.

Three weeks later, on July 30, all three were informed that they had cleared the security screening and were granted their visas.

Two days later, the visas were revoked although not before Israel allowed one of the grantees, Fidaa Abed, to leave Gaza to fly to Washington unaware of his changed status. He was informed at the airport that his visa was no longer valid, flown back to Amman, Jordan, and instructed to return to Gaza. He remains in Amman.

On Monday, the American Consulate in Jerusalem sent letters to Mr. Abed and the two other grantees still in Gaza saying ‘information has come to light that you may be inadmissible to the United States,’ and therefore their visas were being revoked. In Washington, Gonzalo Gallegos, a State Department spokesman, declined to get into specifics, but said that the visas were revoked because ‘we got more information’ about the grantees.

A senior State Department official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that Ms. Rice was very unhappy about how these cases had been handled and that a thorough review had been ordered to prevent a recurrence. The official added that the latest information about the three Palestinians was enough to give pause but that ‘we really have to scrub it and are now going to take a good look to see if it holds.’

Israeli officials, who had insisted that the three posed a risk, expressed satisfaction that their message had gotten through.

A senior Israeli official said that after the United States had granted the visas, ‘the process of Israeli-American contacts on the matter did not cease, and more specific information was provided.’

Of the four Gaza Fulbright winners who were permitted to leave, three are in the United States already; one dropped out of the program the night before her departure because she did not want to give up her current lectureship in Gaza.

Taghreed El-Khodary contributed reporting from Gaza, and Helene Cooper from Washington.”

–Ethan Bronner, The New York Times, August 5, 2008

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/05/world/middleeast/05fulbright.html?ref=middleeast

Also,

Ha’aretz: Why did the U.S. turn away Gaza Fulbright scholars?


“WASHINGTON – ‘This is one of the oddest things we have encountered in recent years,’ an Israeli official said of a long sequence of events that began with intense American pressure to allow two young Palestinian students to leave Gaza to study in the United States and ended with the U.S. barring their entry and canceling the visas it had granted them.

It all started around two and a half months ago, when Israel turned down an American request to allow seven Palestinian academics, who had received scholarships sponsored by the State Department, to leave the Gaza Strip to attend a visa interview that would enable them to leave for the U.S. The whole matter turned into a mini-crisis between the State Department and Israel’s Foreign Ministry. At its height, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice contacted Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni with a request to allow the students’ departure…”

–Barak Ravid, Ha’aretz, July 6, 2008

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1008866.html

And, from the Electronic Intifada,

Gaza students still waiting and losing hope

“These days Rami Abdo’s duties include gardening, teaching and caring for his 10-year-old nephew. Abdo, a 30-year-old student from Gaza City, is still waiting along with hundreds of others to attend universities abroad. Yet, their waiting has lasted for more than a year now as Israel has closed all of Gaza’s border crossings…”

–Rami Almeghari Live from Palestine, 28 July, 2008

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9718.shtml

Posted in News | 1 Comment »

Los Angeles Activists: Protest to Free Sami al-Arian, Aug 13, 5pm, Downtown

Posted by uscsjp on August 6, 2008

Free Dr. Sami al-Arian
Protest & Vigil

Wednesday, August 13th, 5pm
(Press Conference @ 4:30pm)

Downtown Federal Building
300 North Los Angeles Street
Los Angeles, CA

Please join us for a press conference and protest/vigil in demanding
that the Federal Government immediately free Dr. Sami Al-Arian. We
will also be calling for a stop to the racist attacks against Muslims
and Arabs by the US Government.

Dr. Sami Al-Arian, one of the earliest victims of the “war on terror”
within the U.S. itself, continues to languish in jail for 5 years,
where he has been since his February 2003 arrest for the “crime” of
speaking out on behalf of the Palestinian struggle against Israel’s
apartheid.

Recently granted bond by a federal judge, Sami Al-Arian is still
being held in prison. In fact, Dr. Al-Arian is now being subjected to
the worst treatment by prison officials since his stay in Coleman
Federal Penitentiary in Florida three years ago.

On July 12th, a Federal judge pronounced that Dr. Al-Arian is not a
danger to the community nor a flight risk, and accordingly granted
him bail before his scheduled August 13th trial.

However, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), continues to hold
him.

Not content to merely keep Dr. Al-Arian from enjoying even a very
limited stint of freedom, the government is using all available means
to try to psychologically break him. Instead of keeping him in a
prison close to the Washington DC area where his two oldest children
live, the ICE has moved him to Pamunkey Regional Jail in Hanover, VA,
more than one hundred miles from the capital. He is being kept under
a 23-hour isolated lock-down and his children have been denied
visitation requests.

More critically, this distance makes it extremely difficult for Dr.
Al-Arian to meet with his attorneys in the final weeks before his
upcoming trial.

Please join us for a press conference and protest/vigil in demanding
that the Federal Government immediately free Dr. Sami Al-Arian!! We
will also be calling for a stop to the racist attacks against Muslims
and Arabs by the US Government!!

For more information or to co-sponsor call Katie Miller @ (323) 691-
5283.

Also,

Latest news on the Sami al-Arian case from Electronic Intifada:

Despite no conviction, Sami al-Arian remains in US prison

“WASHINGTON (IPS) – Nearly three years after the US government failed to convict Palestinian activist and former college professor Sami al-Arian of any charges in one of the most high-profile terrorism trials following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, he continues to be held in federal prison — where, if convicted in an upcoming trial on criminal contempt charges, he faces the prospect of remaining for decades…”

–Charles Davis, The Electronic Intifada, 5 August 2008

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9742.shtml

Posted in Activism/Divestment, News | 1 Comment »