USC Students for Justice in Palestine

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

Archive for February, 2010

UpComing Events, March 2010

Posted by uscsjp on February 28, 2010

Thanks to Jeff Warner from La Jews for Peace for passing these along

Thursday, March 4, 7:30-9 PM

Phyllis Bennis on Ending the War in Afghanistan

Middle East expert and author Phyllis Bennis will present her latest book (co-authored with David Wildman), Ending the US War in Afghanistan: A Primer, followed by a Q & A,

Levantine Cultural Center, 5998 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90035
street parking and in the CVS underground lot until 10 pm
$10 donation

Co-sponsored by Code Pink

Sunday, March 7, 2010, 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Scholar-in-Residence J.J. Goldberg

Ameinu ( are holding their Annual Spring Seminar

Institute of Jewish Education – 8339 West Third Street, L.A. 90048

Morning Session: Deadlock in the Peace Process — Can Israel Survive?

Afternoon Session: A House Divided: The Lobby, The Community and the Jews

$25 for Ameinu Members / $35 for non-members (includes lunch)

RSVP by Monday, March 1 to    323-655-2842 or

Friday, March 12, 7 or 7:30 PM

Screening of “American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein”

Film website  


Laemmle’s Music Hall 3             310-478-3836
9036 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, 90211
Map & Parking Information

Co-sponsored by LA Jews for Peace

Saturday, April 24, 2010, 6:00 – 9:00 PM

The Rebuilding Alliance 2nd Annual Peacemakers Dinner
at the Red Rock Chateau, Silverado Canyon, Orange County, CA
1   Cindy and Craig Corrie, Parents of Rachel Corrie, Advisory Board members
2   Congressman Brian Baird, Visited Gaza to see for himself, a clear advocate for Palestinian and Israeli human rights
3  Professor Richard Falk, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Palestinian Human Rights

Info and reservations: Mary Bentley Abu-Saba, Rebuilding Alliance Outreach Director
510 205 1469, mabusaba@rebuilding alliance. org

See also this interesting email on the Russell Tribunal

(thanks to whirldpeas for passing this along)

“Dear friends,

I am very pleased and proud to announce that I will soon be producing a web conference on the subject of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine (RTP) (Barcelona, 1 – 3 March, 2010).  The web conference is tentatively scheduled for March 6.  This conference will report on the proceedings and the verdict of the jury in the first session of the RTP and will feature presentations of opinion, analysis and round-table discussions by and between our Host and our Expert Guests regarding the mission of the Tribunal and how the verdict of the jury applies to the U.S. government’s role and responsibilities relative to its relationship with the government of Israel (GOI) (Note: the focus of the Tribunal will be the role, responsibilities and wrongdoing of the European Union, however, most of this also applies to other nations/states and, particularly, the U.S. because the U.S. is, for example, the main supplier of weapons and other military aid to Israel.).

Our host for the conference will be Stephen Lendman (Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization) and our expert guests will include Cynthia McKinney (U.S. Presidential Nominee, Green Party, 2008; former U.S. Democratic Congresswoman, Georgia — if her schedule allows), who will be a member of the Tribunal’s jury.  (Note: we are currently seeking several other experts to be guests in this conference, including organizers and other contributors to the RTP.)

The purpose of this conference is to educate the American public about the Israel-Palestine conflict and our government’s illegal and immoral role in it.

I invite all of you to join Mr. Lendman and Ms. McKinney (and our other guests) in this conference, which will also allow participants to call in with questions for our expert guests (for a Q & A session at the end of the conference, which will make this an interactive learning experience —  especially for any invited friends who may be less informed …  Keep reading …).  I also encourage all of you to take action to help us achieve the goal of this conference – educating the American public – by recruiting at least one person to attend this conference (if we all do this, we can exponentially increase the effectiveness of the message conveyed by this conference to the American public).

We encourage you to invite people who have one or more of the following characteristics:

— Do not know much about the Palestine-Israel conflict;

— Or, appear to be somewhat familiar with the conflict, but appear to not have the same perspective as yourself about the issues which are the essence of the conflict (in other words, they are “average Americans” who have been subjected to the pro-Israel bias of the mainstream news media in this country);

— Or, do not seem to know much about the conflict, but seem interested in social justice and/or human rights and/or seem to think that our government is not pursuing peace in the Middle East in the right way, etc.

Please help us educate our fellow citizens by recruiting a friend, associate, family member, etc., and asking them to make a commitment to participate in this conference.  Please also help us make this effort “viral” by forwarding this email to others.

Please refer anyone who may be interested in this conference to our blog:

Please also ensure that you let interested persons know that, because we are a nascent non-profit and are not currently funded, a donation will be required to attend this conference (and also note that the first 150 people to sign up will receive a reduced donation rate).  Also, please note that the donation amount and donation process are not yet finalized, but will be this week – and there is a note in the blog about all of this.

Thank you, friends, and I hope you will be able to join us in this conference!

John French

Coalition for U.N. Commission

(Here is some information about the Coalition: We are launching this non-profit concurrent with the web conference project.  Our goal in this project is the education of the American (U.S.) public regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict and the U.S. government’s illegal and immoral role in it.  Our plan, generally, is to achieve this by using web conferences.  This public education project is subordinate to the main mission of our organization which is to build (via existing U.S. NGO networks) a national coalition to support a grassroots campaign which will demand that President Obama take action in the U.N. to create a (U.N.) commission tasked with facilitating negotiations (symmetrical, in terms of power) between the parties in this conflict in order to determine the optimum resolution to the conflict – one based on justice and, therefore, conducive to a sustainable peace.”

Finally, an important reminder (related to imperialism and therefore indirectly to Palestine):

March 4th: Strike and Day of Action to Defend Public Education


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Netanyahu OKs Murder of Hamas Commander

Posted by uscsjp on February 22, 2010

From today’s Democracy Now! Headlines:

…”The Sunday Times of London reports Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu authorized in early January the assassination of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. Mabhouh was found dead last month in a Dubai hotel room. According to the paper, Netanyahu personally gave Mossad chief Meir Dagan the green light for the Dubai operation. The paper also reported that the Mossad hit squad trained for the Dubai mission by secretly rehearsing in a Tel Aviv hotel. Israel has neither confirmed nor denied its involvement in al-Mabhouh’s death…

…Activists Interrupt Israeli Ballet Performance in Vermont

…Human rights activists interrupted a performance by the Israeli Ballet in Burlington, Vermont on Friday. During the performance, demonstrators held up a sign reading ‘No tutu is big enough to cover up war crimes.’ A coalition of pro-Palestinian groups have called for a boycott of the Israeli ballet and other Israeli cultural and academic institutions. Protesters also rallied over the weekend outside performances of the Israeli Ballet in Worcester, Massachusetts and Brooklyn, New York. A video of the Burlington protest was posted on YouTube by the filmmaker Sam Mayfield, but YouTube removed the video, claiming it was in ‘violation of the YouTube Community Guidelines'”…

–Democracy Now!, 22 February, 2010

Also From Democracy Now!

Israel Accused of Stealing Identities, Using Fake Passports in Killing of Hamas Commander in Dubai

“Israel is under growing international pressure over the assassination of a top Hamas commander in Dubai last month. On Thursday, the international police agency Interpol placed eleven members of an alleged hit squad on its most wanted list. The team of eleven suspects included six holding fake British passports bearing the names of Israeli citizens and three holding Irish passports. At least seven of the names on the passports belong to Israeli residents whose identities had been stolen….”

–Democracy Now!, 19 February, 2010

See Also this recent Piece from CounterPunch:

The Decade of the Victory for Freedom and Justice in Palestine


“Two decades after Nelson Mandela was released from prison on February 11, 1990, this fighter for freedom and justice has become a living example of the fact that those who become immortal are freedom fighters not their jailers.  Who remembers today the names of those who imprisoned and tortured Mandela?   Who remembers even the names of the rulers who imprisoned him and his comrades?  Those rulers thought they were victorious because they were unable to see the torch of freedom and right Mandela and his people were holding.  They did not realize that that torch will send them to oblivion while writing with letters of light the names of those fighting for justice and freedom.

The Algerian freedom fighter Jamila Bouhired told me that when she was sentenced to death by the French occupiers of Algeria, her mother visited her in prison and said to her: ‘Die, my daughter, because your death will light the future of Algeria.  Don’t be sad or afraid, because we have no other way but death to gain our freedom and the freedom of our country’.  When the mother left her 18 year old daughter waiting to be executed, the woman jailer started to cry.  Jamila asked her: ‘Why are you crying?  Have the Algerian freedom fighters killed your husband; or have you heard something to this effect?’  The jailer said: ‘No, I am crying because I realize that a people which has women like you and your mother will win this war, and we will have to leave Algeria one day’.

After the liberation of Algeria and the fall of the racist regime in South Africa, the cause of Palestine remained the most important cause of justice for all conscientious people of the world.  At the time that the Israelis have used massacres, home demolishing, land expropriation, building segregation walls, imposing brutal blockades, launching wars against civilians, and shelling them with phosphorus and cluster bombs in order to subjugate the Palestinian people and breaking their will, the Palestinian cause has won new supporters all over the world…”

–Bouthaina Shaaban, CounterPunch, 18 February, 2010

Also from CounterPunch:

Arab Despise Thyself …


“Is the Experience of Being an Arab Being Lost in America?…”

–CounterPunch, 17 February, 2010

And this Disturbing Piece from The Electronic Intifada:

Harvard Fellow calls for genocidal measure to curb Palestinian births

A fellow at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Martin Kramer, has called for ‘the West’ to take measures to curb the births of Palestinians, a proposal that appears to meet the international legal definition of a call for genocide…”

–Report, The Electronic Intifada, 22 February 2010

And Finally, Some Actions:

From an Email by Alex Shams, 02/22/2010:

“A heads up about some events going on at UCLA this week:

Tuesday (10-2): Wall and Checkpoint at Bruin Plaza
Wednesday (10-2): Art Walk at Bruin Plaza- showcasing art from Palestine and other areas affected by genocide
Thursday (10-2): Remembering the dead with coffins and pictures from Gaza Massacres at Meirhoff Park
Friday (10-2): SOLIDARITY Protest with Palestine at Bruin Plaza”

And a General US Foreign Policy Event from the IAC/Bail Out the People Movement

Forum & Discussion:
From Afghanistan to Mumia
Stopping the War at Home & War Abroad

Come hear the latest updates on war and repression at home and join the discussion where we’ll find out what the war in Afghanistan has to do with record unemployment here in California, or fighting for justice for Mumia Abu-Jamal or Oscar Grant?

When: Wednesday, Feb. 24th at 7 PM sharp

Where: IAC/BOPM office: 5274 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles – Suite 205

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Israel to Build New Museum of Tolerance by Desecrating Historic Muslim Cemetery

Posted by uscsjp on February 17, 2010

Palestinian Families Appeal to UN Over Israeli Construction of “Museum of Tolerance” on Jerusalem’s Historic Mamilla Cemetery

“Palestinian families have filed a petition with the United Nations over the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s plans to build a “Museum of Tolerance” over the historic Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem. Opponents of the project have long questioned how a monument to tolerance can be built on the remains of the graves of generations of Palestinian Muslims. We speak to Columbia University professor and author Rashid Khalidi, a petitioner whose ancestors were buried at the Mamilla Cemetery; and Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which is representing the families in their petition…”

–Democracy Now!, 10 February, 2010

See also:

Palestinian and Foreign Protesters Dress as Na’vi from Avatar

“(AP) JERUSALEM — Palestinian protesters have added a colorful twist to demonstrations against Israel’s separation barrier, painting themselves blue and posing as characters from the hit film ‘Avatar.’

The demonstrators also donned long hair and loincloths Friday for the weekly protest against the barrier near the village of Bilin.

They equated their struggle to the intergalactic one portrayed in the film.

Israel says the barrier is needed for its security. Palestinians consider it a land grab.

The protests have become a symbol of opposition. They often end in clashes with Israeli security forces involving stones and tear gas.

The ‘Avatar’ protest comes a day after the Israeli government began rerouting the enclosure to eat up less of the Palestinian village…”

–The Huffington Post, February 12, 2010

And from a recent email by Alex Shams:

Urgent Action Needed! Please Distribute Widely

You may have heard of the recent event at UC Irvine with Michael Oren, the ambassador of Israel to the US.

While he was invited by a student organization to speak on US-Israeli relations, the UCI Law School and the Political Science Department cosponsored the speech by Oren, a public figure who represents a state that continues to commit more human rights violations than any other country. See the MSU’s statement regarding his presence on campus for more details:

At the event, 11 students who chose to protest by making clear and organized statements were arrested and held in a room until after the event. The school is also currently threatening to punish the students, aiming to send a political message by selective enforcement of university policies.

Contact UCI Chancellor Michael Drake NOW to declare that it is unjust to arrest these students. Supporters of the arrests are contacting administration in large numbers, and your support is needed desperately!

Ask to speak with Chancellor Drake or leave a message at: (949) 824 – 5011 and email him at: chancellor@uci. edu

Speak to the Dean of Students office, who are determining the punishment at: (949) 824-5181 and email them at: deanstu@uci. edu

Here are some important points to bring up:
· It was unjust to arrest students for simply having the courage to stand up and speak out against a man responsible for propagating the deaths of thousands of innocent people.
· Civil disobedience has historically played an instrumental role in the
civil rights movement in America the eventually ensured equality and human rights for all minorities.
· Michael Oren is a representative of a state that is condemned by more UN Human Rights Council resolutions than all other countries in the world, and he should not be honored at UC Irvine.
· As concerned community members, we will not support an educational
institution that threatens to punish its’ students with suspension and expulsion for
standing up for their principles.

Thank you for your support.”

Also, Local Upcoming Actions (Thanks, as always, to Jeff Warner of LA Jews for Peace)

Thursday, February 18, 2010 – 7:00pm

How A Muslim and a Jew View the Middle East

Speakers: Dr Nazir Khaja and Rabbi Steven B. Jacobs

State Building Auditorium, 6150 Van Nuys Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91401

1/2 block north of Van Nuys Orange Line Station
Metered street parking available (bring quarters)
Light refreshments served

Sponsored:  Valley Grassroots for Democracy
Click to RSVP

Saturday, April 24, 2010, 6:00 – 9:00 PM

The Rebuilding Alliance 2nd Annual Peacemakers Dinner
at the Red Rock Chateau, Silverado Canyon, Orange County, CA
1   Cindy and Craig Corrie, Parents of Rachel Corrie, Advisory Board members of the Rebuilding Alliance
2   Congressman Brian Baird, Visited Gaza to see for himself, a clear advocate for Palestinian and Israeli human rights
3  Professor Richard Falk, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Palestinian Human Rights

Info and reservations: Mary Bentley Abu-Saba, Rebuilding Alliance Outreach Director
510 205 1469, mabusaba@rebuilding alliance. org

And Finally:

Although this topic is only very indirectly related to Palestinian issues, I feel compelled to post it, due both to my involvement in the movement and to the fact that USC SJP is a university group in California.

–Omar Hussein

“On March 4th, cities across California and throughout the nation will engage in strikes, work stoppages, occupations, and rallies for public education. From Humboldt to MexiCali we will be demanding Free Education on all levels and organizing a fight back against attempts to privitize education.

Students, teachers, education workers, parents and other community will be converging at Pershing Square at 3pm and having rallies at UCLA, Cal State Long Beach and Cal State Northridge.

We are an independent movement and are not run or controlled by the union leadership, Democrats, Republicans or non-profits. We are however dedicated to building a grassroots, militant worker student united movement for education.

PLEASE COME Every Saturday unil March 4th @1pm at the UTLA Building 3303 W. Wilshire Blvd Room 812


–Julia Wallace
LA March 4th Committee
(310) 404-6729

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Upcoming Local Events

Posted by uscsjp on February 6, 2010

From a recent Email by Alex Shams

“Dear friends,

We invite you to participate in a fast approaching, urgent action called “Take Back Our Voices.” On Monday, February 8th at 4:30pm the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations, UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies, UCLA Israel Studies Program, and UCLA School of Law International Human Rights Program will be closing their 3-part lecture series on the UN Goldstone report with Principle Deputy Legal Adviser, Daniel Taub.

As the Principal Deputy Legal Adviser of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Taub’s role is to serve both as Israel’s legal defender and public relations mouthpiece. He defended Israel’s construction of the apartheid wall or ‘separation barrier’ before the International Court of Justice, which condemned Israel’s construction of the Wall for its clear breach of various international human rights and humanitarian law conventions. In his lectures in the United States Mr. Taub has regularly disparaged Palestinians as ‘requiring a new culture’ and defended Israel’s targeting of civilians in Gaza. Mr. Taub’s message will serve to further legitimize state violence against a population that has been under military occupation for more than forty years.

Not only is his presence incredibly disturbing because it denies the human rights of Palestinians, but this event silences the Palestinian perspective on international law. We aim to reinsert that neglected perspective.

Please join us at 4:30pm in the UCLA Law school courtyard where we will be actively protesting Daniel Taub’s talk by picketing, handing flyers to attendees and most importantly holding our own forum and free space for discussion on our vision of a just international legal system that ensures Palestinians rights. We hope to have some local MC’s and spoken word artists grace us with their talent as well.

Also, we are attaching a petition that we are planning to send to centers that are in support of this talk. If you are a representative of a student organization we would appreciate your endorsement of this event so we can add your student group name as a signatory of the petition. We will be holding a meeting Sunday, February 7th to assemble picket signs and go over final details so please let us know if you are interested and would will be able to attend and we will send you the info.

Please distribute widely to all those that are committed to the struggle against Zionism…”

Also, from [CEIA-SC]

For Immediate Release
January 28, 2010
Educating, Advocating, and Organizing For The Return
Fifth Al-Awda West Coast Regional Conference
Hosted by Students for Justice in Palestine @ SDSU
co-hosted by SJP @ UCSD and USD
and Al-Awda San Diego, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
LEARN about the refugee crisis and what is happening right here on the West Coast and elsewhere in the U.S.
SHARE IDEAS with fellow activists and help empower the right to return movement at large
ACT NOW! your participation is urgently needed in the months ahead! This is your chance to get involved!
One-Day Conference

Saturday February 13, 2010 @ The San Diego State University, San Diego

Where: Council Chambers, Aztec Center, 5198 College Ave, San Diego CA 92115
When: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Followed by:
Arabic Dinner – Celebrating 10 Years of Al-Awda
Includes Keynote Address
Plus Second West Coast Regional Dabke Competition
Where: Montezuma Hall, Aztec Center, SDSU, 5198 College Ave, San Diego CA 92115
When:  5:30 pm – 9:00 pm (doors open 5:00 pm)
Delicious Arabic Food (all Halal)
Conference is free of charge!!
Dinner: General $25.00; Student $15.00; Children under 5 free
To get your tickets, please go to http://al-awdacal. org/dinner. html or
contact 760-918-9441 Monday to Friday 9 AM to 5 PM.

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