USC Students for Justice in Palestine

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

Educating Congress and other recent updates

Posted by uscsjp on November 28, 2009

US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation:

Join Our Congressional District Coordinator (CDC) Network

You can help us move this debate forward and help create momentum for real policy change by joining our re-launched Congressional District Coordinator (CDC) network .

“Since re-launching this network last month, activists in about 50 Congressional districts have signed up to become CDC’s.  It’s a good start, but we’re only a little more than 10% of the way toward creating a coordinated nationwide network of activists who are committed to educating their Members of Congress about Palestine/Israel issues from the perspective of human rights, international law, and equality.  Learn more about what’s involved in becoming a CDC and sign up today…

And in recent news (thanks to Gary Yeritsian for drawing my attention to this):

Israeli forces racially profile, deny entry to former Black Panther leader from US

“Along with Washington DC based independent journalist Naji Mujahid, bin Wahad was detained at the Allenby bridge that crosses the River Jordan and marks the main border terminal between Jordan and the West Bank. Contrary to past signed agreements, however, Israeli forces control the border terminal, and arbitrarily detained the two men for over 11 hours before refusing them entry and forcing them to return to Jordan.

Mujahid told an IMEMC reporter, ‘As soon as we got off the bus, we were immediately singled out by the Israeli Defense Force soldiers that were there. There was a bus full of people, and this was before they even know who we were, our history, what we were there for, or anything. We believe they saw two black men and decided to single us out. They confiscated our cell phones, and took my media equipment and cameras.’

He then described a grueling 11-hour interrogation in which the two men were separated from each other and strip searched, all of their luggage examined piece by piece. Both were separately asked the same questions about their religious and political beliefs, including whether they were Muslim, what type of Muslim, if they had been on a pilgrimage to Mecca, how they felt about the government of Saudi Arabia, and many more questions about their lives and political beliefs.

The two Americans had never been to the Palestinian Territories before, and were on their way to attend a conference in Jericho convened by the Palestinian Authority on the status of political detainees in Israel.

Israel’s denial of entry to certain internationals based on their race, religion or political beliefs has become extremely commonplace since 2006. Although such racial and religious profiling is a direct violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, no foreign government has taken Israel to the International Criminal Court for its actions.”

— Saed Bannoura, IMEMC News, 27 November, 2009

And also, on recent campus organizing:

Horowitz event spurs walkouts and protests

“A private event hosted by the USC College Republicans featuring conservative speaker David Horowitz prompted protests and a walkout Wednesday night.

The event came a day after a number of students complained about being denied entrance to the speech. Earlier this week, USC College Republicans said they would bar some individuals affiliated with Students for Justice in Palestine to prevent any disruption…”

–By Christianna Kyriacou, Daily Trojan, 5 November, 2009

And the following response from Alex Shams of USC SJP:

“Fellow Students for Justice in Palestine,

Our campaign to not allow racist Horowitz to speak at our University unopposed has succeeded! The event, which was covered in the DT, the Socialist Worker, Horowitz’s blog and a few other right-wing sites, began with a number of vicious smears (among them, that SJP gives money to the Taliban), after which 10-15 SJP Members and supporters stood up and turned their backs on Horowitz! After this, DPS evicted them from the event and a rally was held outside with some 30 people.

Hate Speech spreads ignorance and racism, and with that discrimination and violence. In the last few years, hate crimes against Muslim-Americans have skyrocketed across the country, and there have been violent attacks against Muslim students on our own campus. This hatred is encouraged by the Islamophobia spewing from Horowitz’s mouth- and it is in the name of preventing the spread of violence that we stood up and refused to offer Horowitz a podium in one of the best academic institutions in the world. This is OUR University, not his, and we will defend our rights and safety.

The USC College Republicans, aware of our anger at their decision to bring a racist to campus to speak, blocked many from attending the event. But it was not just SJP students- only SJP students with Muslim-sounding names were blocked! This racial discrimination is unacceptable at a USC event, and we are currently filing complaints. If you RSVPed to the event, and were either allowed or refused entry, please send me a message with the date and time of your RSVP.

In addition, if you are a student please contact an RA and ask them to file an official complaint on your behalf to Heather Larabee regarding the Islamophobic nature of the event. No matter if you RSVPed or not, if she receives many complaints she will be more inclined to listen to us.

In Solidarity with anti-racism all over the world!

alex shams”

And an interesting perspective on media disinformation from Laurence Krauss writing  in Scientific American:

War Is Peace: Can Science Fight Media Disinformation?

“When I saw the statement repeated online that theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking of the University of Cambridge would be dead by now if he lived in the U.K. and had to depend on the National Health Service (he, of course, is alive and working in the U.K., where he always has), I reflected on something I had written a dozen years ago, in one of my first published commentaries:

‘The increasingly blatant nature of the nonsense uttered with impunity in public discourse is chilling. Our democratic society is imperiled as much by this as any other single threat, regardless of whether the origins of the nonsense are religious fanaticism, simple ignorance or personal gain’…”

–Laurence Krauss, Scientific American, December, 2009

For an even more radical critique of the media, see this excellent essay by Edward Herman:

The Propaganda Model: A Retrospective

“In Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, Noam Chomsky and I put forward a ‘propaganda model’ as a framework for analysing and understanding how the mainstream U.S. media work and why they perform as they do (Herman and Chomsky 1988). We had long been impressed with the regularity with which the media operate on the basis of a set of ideological premises, depend heavily and uncritically on elite information sources, and participate in propaganda campaigns helpful to elite interests. In trying to explain why they do this we looked to structural factors as the only possible root of the systematic patterns of behavior and performance. 

Because the propaganda model challenges basic premises and suggests that the media serve antidemocratic ends, it is commonly excluded from mainstream debates on media bias….”

–Edward S. Herman, Against All Reason, December 9, 2003

And finally, Thanks to Jeff  Warner for the following list of Upcoming LA Area Events

Saturday, Dec. 12

Israel-Palestine and American Empire

By Richard Becker (ANSWER)

Unitarian Universalist Church, 511 SOUTH HARBOR BLVD, ANAHEIM, CA

Sunday, Dec. 20, 10 AM

Report on Viva Palestina USA July Humanitarian Mission to Gaza

Speakers:  Jeff Warner (LA Jews for Peace) and Tony Litwinko (Friends of Sabeel)

All Saints Church, Pasadena


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