USC Students for Justice in Palestine

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

Obama’s Simplistic Peace Plan and other news

Posted by uscsjp on May 10, 2010

New Israeli order allows for mass expulsion from West Bank

After finishing his prison sentence, Ahmed Sabah was deported to the Gaza Strip, away from his family in the West Bank. (Wissam Nassar/MaanImages)

RAMALLAH, occupied West Bank (IPS) – Several Palestinians have set up a protest tent in no-man’s land in the northern Gaza Strip, near the Erez border crossing into Israel, as they protest their deportation from the Israeli occupied West Bank into Gaza where Hamas authorities have refused them entry.

Tens of thousands of other Palestinians face a possibly similar predicament in the near future. This follows a sweeping new Israeli military order which allows for the expulsion of Palestinians or foreigners whom Israel considers to be in the West Bank illegally as ‘infiltrators.’

Fadi Azameh, 19, from Hebron in the southern West Bank, was arrested at his place of employment by the Israeli military last week, held briefly at a military base before he was expelled to Gaza.

Azameh was born in Gaza but his family left the coastal territory and settled in the West Bank 12 years ago. He had not been back since.

Ahmed Sabah, a 40-year-old prisoner from the northern West Bank town of Tulkarem was also deported to Gaza after serving a lengthy prison sentence in an Israeli jail.

His wife and son, whom he had not seen since the boy was a baby, were informed that Sabah would not be attending a joyful reunion they had planned after he had already been released in Gaza.

The two Palestinians are refusing to leave the tent and have pleaded for international intervention in their case.

The Hamas authorities for their part have stated that they would not allow them into Gaza as this will encourage Israel to proceed with its policy…”

—Mel Frykberg, The Electronic Intifada, 7 May 2010

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11252.shtml

Also, from The Electronic Intifada

Will Obama adopt a dangerously simplistic peace plan?

“A new conventional wisdom is rapidly taking shape that the United States can resolve the 130-year-old conflict in Palestine by advancing its own peace plan. Former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and former US Congressman Stephen Solarz outlined such a plan in The Washington Post recently, and argued that President Obama could boost its prospects with a ‘bold gesture’ — a trip, to Jerusalem and Ramallah in the company of Arab and other leaders to unveil it (‘To achieve Mideast peace, Obama must make a bold Mideast trip,’ 11 April 2010)…”

–Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 3 May 2010

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11242.shtml

See also Noam Chomsky’s comments from a little less than one year ago…

“…Q: Do you see any difference between the policies of former US President George W. Bush and his successor Barack Obama regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

A: In substance, there is little difference. Obama has reiterated Bush’s positions, in virtually the same words. Like Bush, he has called for a ‘Palestinian state,’ and like Bush, he leaves what he means entirely vague. It can easily be interpreted to be the same as Netanyahu’s position in 1996, when he became the first Israeli prime minister to countenance the establishment of a Palestinian state, a fact that seems to be forgotten. Shimon Peres had just left office declaring forcefully that there would never be a Palestinian state. Netanyahu’s information minister, when asked whether he would adopt the same policy, answered that if Palestinians wanted to call the fragments left to them ‘a state,’ that was fine: Or they could call them ‘fried chicken.’ We do not know whether Obama means ‘fried chicken.’ We do know that he very carefully evaded the core of the Arab Peace Initiative that he praised…”

–Noam Chomsky interviewed by Richard Hall

The Daily Star, June 24, 2009

Also, Some Recent Headlines from Democracy Now!

2 Palestinian Civil Rights Activists Jailed

In Israel and the Occupied Territories, Israeli forces have jailed a leading Palestinian activist who campaigns for the equal treatment for Israel’s Arab citizens. Ameer Makhoul of the Popular Committee for the Defense of Political Freedom inside Israel was arrested at his home in Haifa this week. He has reportedly been jailed for at least six days and has been denied access to an attorney. His arrest follows the detention of another Palestinian activist, Dr. Omar Said, for 12 days…”

Democracy Now!, 7 May, 2010

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/5/7/headlines#12

“Israeli Settlers Accused of Burning West Bank Mosque

In Israel and the Occupied Territories, Palestinians are accusing Israeli settlers of responsibility for a fire that severely damaged a mosque near the West Bank town of Nablus. Worshippers say they arrived for morning prayers to find the mosque on fire. The mosque is located in the village of Libban al-Sharqua, which has been the site of previous settler attacks. The fire comes three weeks after another West Bank mosque was vandalized in a settler attack…”

Democracy Now!, 5 May, 2010


http://www.democracynow.org/2010/5/5/headlines#6

And A Reuters Article Posted by ‘The Angry Arab’:

Gaza tunnelers use torches to cut Egypt’s steel wall
10 May 2010 11:16:17 GMT

Source: Reuters
“By Nidal al-Mughrabi GAZA, May 10 (Reuters) – Palestinian tunnel-diggers are using welding torches to cut through a steel wall Egypt is building to block the smuggling of goods and weapons into the Gaza Strip, a tunnel operator said on Monday. ‘Even if the Egyptians installed 10 walls, we would find ways to cut through them,’ said tunnel builder Abu Nimer…”


Posted in Analysis, Blogroll, News, Opinion/Editorial | 1 Comment »

Successful First Week of IAW at USC!

Posted by uscsjp on April 18, 2010

Fellow Students for Justice in Palestine,

I would like to express my sincerest thanks and appreciation for all the hard work that has been put in over the last week by members of SJP and our supporters in other organizations!

The Apartheid Wall on Trousdale was an unprecedented success- hundreds of students stopped by to read about Israel’s policies against the Palestinians and we passed out hundreds of flyers during the two days it was up. Here is the overwhelmingly positive Daily Trojan article: http://dailytrojan.com/2010/04/12/wall-provokes-discussion-and-for-some-anger/

On Thursday we attempted to protest the Israeli Independence Day Festival on campus by silently holding signs (reading: “Celebrate 62 Years of Ethnic Cleansing” and other similar slogans) and passing out flyers. The president of SCSI reacted by calling 3 DPS vans to come out and force us to leave the perimeter, but luckily this effort was rebuffed after we appealed to USC authorities.

At both of these events, it has become painfully obvious to us that Israel and its supporters are keenly aware of their lack of legitimacy and are becoming more desperate in their attempts to silence us. While we did not react in any way when they protested the Wall earlier in the week, at numerous times they confronted our students (once, for example, an SCSI student yelled at an LGBT-identified SJP student that “he would be hanged” if he went back to his country. Probably one of the first times any of us had ever heard a good LGBT record used to intimidate an LGBT individual…)

But these events remind us of the deep legitimacy and righteousness behind the cause of Palestinian Freedom, and the urgency with which we must pursue it on our campus.

In Solidarity,
alex shams

IAW @ USC Events page here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=106926222679897&index=1

Posted in Activism/Divestment, Articles in USC Newspaper, News | 1 Comment »

Israeli Apartheid Week at SC THIS week!

Posted by uscsjp on April 18, 2010

USC Students for Justice in Palestine proudly presents ISRAELI APARTHEID WEEK, a series of events dedicated to exposing and discussing the Apartheid policies of the Israeli government towards its Palestinian minority inside of Israel as well as inside of the Occupied West Bank and Gaza.

Please join us:

MONDAY-TUESDAY 4/12-3: Israeli Apartheid WALL on Trousdale from 8 AM Monday to 6 PM Tuesday!
Event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=104699626239109&index=1

SATURDAY 4/17: Hookah Night at the Co-op (1438 W. 28th St) at 8 PM: Come meet SJP members and supporters as we hang out and discuss politics.

WEDNESDAY 4/21: “To Exist is To Resist”: A day of Palestinian Culture in Alumni Park from 10-3 PM. We will be having Hookah, Palestinian Food, including Hummus, Za’atar, Mjeddra, Baklava, Baba Ghanough, and tons of other traditional Palestinian treats! We will also pass out information about the destructive effects of Israeli occupation and apartheid on Palestinian culture. Finally, we will silkscreen and sell “USC INTIFADA” shirts on site! Make sure to come out!

WEDNESDAY 4/21: Palestinian Hip-hop group DAM will be performing at UCLA- join us as we carpool over!! More event details here: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#!/event.php?eid=105889032765926&ref=ts

THURSDAY 4/22: What Constitutes Genocide? Academic and Legal Perspectives on Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Join us for a panel discussion with Professor Mohammed Abed and Lawyer Reem Salahi about what constitutes Genocide, what the World should do to prevent it in Palestine, and the impact of the global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement against Israel. Location: THH 114 @ 7 PM
info at: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/event.php?eid=113111442047431&ref=ts

SATURDAY 4/24: Southern California Regional Students for Justice in Palestine Conference at the USC Co-op (1438 W. 28th St). Join us as SJPs from across the region come for a day of workshops and discussions on SJP University Activism. Please RSVP to shams@usc.edu.

What is Israeli Apartheid Week?

Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) is an annual international series of events held in cities and campuses across the globe. The aim of IAW is to educate people about the nature of Israel as an apartheid system and to build Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns as part of a growing global BDS movement.

Last year, Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) took place in more than 40 cities across the globe. IAW 2009 happened in the wake of Israel’s barbaric assault on the people of Gaza. Lectures, films, and actions made the point that these latest massacres further confirm the true nature of Israeli Apartheid.

IAW 2010 takes place following a year of incredible successes for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement on the global level. Lectures, films, and direct actions will highlight some of theses successes along with the many injustices that continue to make BDS so crucial in the battle to end Israeli Apartheid.

Buy a USC Intifada Shirt and support this week’s activities: http://www.facebook.com/events/edit/index.php?eid=103000313075737&step=1#!/event.php?eid=103000313075737

Posted in Activism/Divestment, News | Leave a Comment »

Berkeley Divestment, Finkelstein USC Controversy, etc

Posted by uscsjp on April 12, 2010

Attack on Berkeley divestment bill dishonest and misleading

“A coalition of nearly 20 Jewish groups, ranging from the right-wing David Project and the Jewish National Fund to the liberal J Street, is distributing a misleading statement condemning a Student Senate bill at the University of California, Berkeley (Troubling UC Berkeley Student Senate Bill on Israel, 5 April 2010). The ground-breaking bill calls for divestment from companies that profit from the perpetuation of the Israeli military occupation in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and Gaza. They refer to the bill as ‘dishonest’ and ‘misleading’ and ‘based on contested allegations.’

Yet it is their letter that is both dishonest and misleading.

The bill is based on extensive, footnoted research (see A Bill in Support of UC Divestment from War Crimes).

Yet this coalition of Jewish groups does not contest any of the facts. Without offering any evidence, they dismiss findings by reputable organizations like the Red Cross, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. Instead of condemning these human rights violations, they prefer to misinform the public by suggesting that it is somehow wrong to ‘take sides’ against universally-recognized injustice. In so doing, they effectively defend illegal Israeli settlements and the Israeli military occupation that continues to disrupt everyday features of Palestinian life: education, health care, economic life and art and culture.

Further, they claim that the Berkeley bill calls on the university ‘to divest exclusively from Israel.’ They imply that the bill calls for divestment ‘from any company doing business with Israel.’

But this is simply not true.

The Berkeley bill focuses specifically on the Israeli occupation, not on Israel. While a vibrant and necessary debate on the merits of a total boycott and divestment from Israel continues around the world, it is not at issue here.

In reality, the bill divests only from two American companies that make money by equipping the occupation, General Electric and United Technologies — but no Israeli companies. It also announces an intention to divest from any company — whatever the nationality, and only after further research — that similarly profit from the occupation…”

-Sydney Levy and Yaman Salahi, The Electronic Intifada, 12 April 2010


http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11198.shtml

And From CounterPunch:

The Anat Kamm Affair

The Dark Underbelly of Israel’s Security State

By JONATHAN COOK

in Nazareth.

“Next week 23-year-old Anat Kamm is due to stand trial for her life — or rather the state’s demand that she serve a life sentence for passing secret documents to an Israeli reporter, Uri Blau, of the liberal Haaretz daily. She is charged with spying.

Blau himself is in hiding in London, facing, if not a Mossad hit squad, at least the stringent efforts of Israel’s security services to get him back to Israel over the opposition of his editors, who fear he will be put away too.

This episode has been dragging on behind the scenes for months, since at least December, when Kamm was placed under house arrest pending the trial.

Not a word about the case leaked in Israel until this week when the security services, who had won from the courts a blanket gag order — a gag on the gag, so to speak — were forced to reverse course when foreign bloggers began making the restrictions futile. Hebrew pages on Facebook had already laid out the bare bones of the story.

So, now that much of the case is out in the light, what are the crimes committed by Kamm and Blau?

During her conscription, Kamm copied possibly hundreds of army documents that revealed systematic law-breaking by the Israeli high command operating in the occupied Palestinian territories, including orders to ignore court rulings. She was working at the time in the office of Brig Gen Yair Naveh, who is in charge of operations in the West Bank…

–Jonathan Cook, CounterPunch, 9-11 April, 2010

http://www.counterpunch.org/cook04092010.html

See also The Electronic Intifada:

Israel gags news on extrajudicial killings
Mel Frykberg, The Electronic Intifada, 5 April 2010

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11182.shtml

Also, From The Daily Trojan

Regarding Dr. Finkelstein

“The news article published March 11 in the Daily Trojan under the title, ‘USG-funded speaker event draws criticism,’ was a misleading piece of journalism rife with bias against USG-funded guest speaker Dr. Norman Finkelstein, whom Students for Justice in Palestine hosted for a speech that night…”

–Letter to the Editor, The Daily Trojan, 23 March, 2010


http://dailytrojan.com/2010/03/23/letter-to-the-editor-14/

USG should sponsor both sides of debate

“The university setting is an ideal forum for viewpoints from all political, cultural and ideological arenas; colleges across the country have a storied history of rigorously defending the right to free speech.

Tonight, controversial political scientist Norman Finkelstein will be lecturing at an event co-sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine, the Levantine Cultural Center and the Undergraduate Student Government…”

–From the Editors of Daily Trojan, 10 March, 2010

http://dailytrojan.com/2010/03/10/usg-should-sponsor-both-sides-of-debate/

Finally, a local event from Jeff Warner

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
Speakers:
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@rebuildingalliance.org

Posted in Activism/Divestment, Analysis, Articles in USC Daily, Blogroll, News, Opinion/Editorial | Leave a Comment »

Local LA Area Events

Posted by uscsjp on March 22, 2010

EVENTS (Thanks to Jeff Warner of LA Jews for Peace for passing these along):

Wednesday, March 24, noon to 1 PM

Rick Chertoff (LA Jews for Peace) on

“New Opportunities for Palestine-Israel Justice and Peace”

Loyola Law School, National Lawyer’s Guild

Loyola downtown campus, 919 Albany Street, Los Angeles, California 90015-1211

*Free Admission*

Saturday, March 27 at 8 PM     &      Sunday March 28 at 3 PM

“The Einstein Plan,” an interactive play
An audience-interactive town hall meeting experience starring James Cromwell as “The Exile,” a character who engages the audience directly, inviting them to participate in their own political future.  Based on Einstein’s idea that if as few as 2% of the population engaged in non-violent civil disobedience, the government couldn’t operate as usual.  A different experience each night.

LA Theatre Center, Spring St. downtown.

$30 ($15 seniors)

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

Speakers:
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

Posted in Activism/Divestment, News | Leave a Comment »

The Russell Tribunal Takes Off

Posted by uscsjp on March 16, 2010

Electronic Intifada:

European Union found guilty at first session of Russell Tribunal

“The first session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine (RTP) was heard in Barcelona, Spain earlier this month. The RTP is a peoples’ legal initiative designed to systematically try key actors responsible for the perpetuation of human rights violations in Palestine.

In the frame this time was the European Union (EU). Two days and 21 expert witness testimonies later, the RTP found individual states and the EU as a whole guilty of persistent violations and misconduct with regards to international and internal EU law. These included: assistance in perpetrating the crime of apartheid — deepened in definition as applicable to the violation of the inalienable right of return for refugees and the collective punishment and ghettoization of Gaza; aiding the procurement of war crimes and crimes against humanity particularly with regards to Gaza; and violating the Palestinian right to self-determination, aiding illegal colonization, the annexation of East Jerusalem and theft of natural resources.

We may all know this, but knowing exactly how and through which laws and mechanisms allows for a water-tight case for justice for Palestine and the denormalization of Israel’s occupation…”

–The Electronic Intifada, 15 March, 2010

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11135.shtml

And from Democracy Now!:

Noam Chomsky on Obama’s Foreign Policy, His Own History of Activism, and the Importance of Speaking Out

“…In a wide-ranging public conversation at the Harvard Memorial Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Chomsky talks about President Obama’s foreign and national security policies, the lessons of Vietnam, and his own activism. ‘You just can’t become involved part-time in these things,’ Chomsky says. ‘It’s either serious and you’re seriously involved, or you go to a demonstration and go home and forget about it and go back to work, and nothing happens. Things only happen by really dedicated, diligent work’…”

–Democracy Now!, 15 March 2010

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/3/15/noam_chomsky_on_obamas_foreign_policy

Also, from Democracy Now!:

7 Years After Killing, Family of Slain US Peace Activist Rachel Corrie Heads to Israel for Wrongful Death Suit Against Israeli Gov’t

“Rachel Corrie, a twenty-three-year-old student from Evergreen College in Olympia, Washington, was crushed to death by an Israeli army bulldozer in Gaza seven years ago as she stood before a Palestinian home facing demolition. Today, a trial opens in Israel in a lawsuit brought by Corrie’s family against the Israeli government. The eyewitness testimony is expected to challenge Israel’s version of events with evidence that she was clearly visible to the soldiers, standing before the bulldozer in her florescent orange jacket. We spend the hour with Rachel Corrie’s family: her father Craig, her mother Cindy, and her sister Sarah…”

–Democracy Now!, 10 March, 2010

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/3/10/family_of_slain_us_peace_activist

And Finally, Upcoming Events

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

Norman Finkelstein At USC, Thursday, March 11th

Posted by uscsjp on March 1, 2010

Also, details for March 4th:

STATE WIDE EDUCATION DAY OF ACTION!

March 4, 2010 @ 3:00pm Pershing Square
532 South Olive Street Los Angeles, CA 90013

Come rally with the International Socialist Organization of Los Angeles as we join educators, students, parents, and community members in denouncing the budget cuts, fee hikes, school closures, service cuts, and school takeovers by corporate charter privatizers!

Schedule — Los Angeles Regional Rally
• 3 pm Rally @ Pershing Square (5th & Hill) in downtown L.A.
• 4 pm March from Pershing Square to the Governor’s office
• 5 pm Rally @ Governor’s office (300 Spring St.)

http://socialistworker.org/2010/03/01/march-4-in-california

Posted in Activism/Divestment, History | 1 Comment »

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 (www.ameinu.net) 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 LZinLA@aol.com.

Friday, March 12, 7 or 7:30 PM

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

Film website            http://www.americanradicalthefilm.com/

Trailer       http://www.americanradicalthefilm.com/trailer.html

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
Speakers:
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: http://russelltribunalpalestine.blogspot.com/2010/02/russell-tribunal-palestine-web.html

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

Posted in Activism/Divestment | Leave a Comment »

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

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/2/22/headlines#6

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

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/2/19/killing_of_hamas_leader_in_dubai

See Also this recent Piece from CounterPunch:

The Decade of the Victory for Freedom and Justice in Palestine

By BOUTHAINA SHAABAN

“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

http://www.counterpunch.org/shaaban02182010.html

Also from CounterPunch:

Arab Despise Thyself …

By NOURI GANA

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

–CounterPunch, 17 February, 2010

http://www.counterpunch.org/gana02172010.html

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

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11091.shtml

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

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/2/10/palestinian_families_appeal_to_un_over

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

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/12/palestinian-protesters-po_n_460560.html

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: msuuci.com

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    http://www.dpsfv.com/node/552

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
Speakers:
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

Veneremos”

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

defendcapubliceducation.wordpress.com/

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