IN PHOTOS ~~ RUNNING FOR GAZA IN BROOKLYN

On March 25th, for the 3rd year in a row, UNRWA held a 5K run in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.  The sky was threatening, the temperature was moderate after a week of winter cold, and the rain never arrived.  At 8AM people started arriving to pick up their numbers, tee shirts, and have something to eat.  At 9AM about 1400 runners took off – they included babies and grandparents, some ran, some walked, some were pushed in carriages and some were in wheelchairs, one used a scooter and many were carried.  It was truly a joyful family event.  The Brooklyn event raised approximately $200,000 for mental health services for the children of Gaza.  The people of Gaza will see photos and videos of the event – they will see that good people are thinking of them and trying to help.  There will be 4 more 5K runs in other U.S. cities.  The people of Gaza will not be forgotten!

Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Report by Chippy Dee

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JEWS AGAINST AIPAC ~~ ‘IF NOT NOW, WHEN?’

Activists from the IfNotNow group entered a conference held by the America Israel Public Affairs Committee Sunday, demanding that American Jews stop supporting what they say are Israeli abuses toward the Palestinians.

IfNotNow Protesters At AIPAC Conference

Security at the AIPAC conference, the largest pro-Israel conference of the year, was extremely strict and according to IfNotNow members, the four activists purchased tickets as AIPAC delegates in order to gain access to the building. The IfNotNow activists dropped banners from the center’s third floor stating that their group “reject AIPAC and the occupation” before security guards removed them.

AIPAC delegates watching the from the hallways booed the protestors as they were taken out. Most participants, however, were spread out in conference rooms and were not aware of the protest taking place.

About 15,000 participants are expected to attend the three-day AIPAC conference that began Sunday, where top Israeli and American leaders are discussing Middle East policy in the first major meeting since the November elections.

 

RELATED ….. (Click on link)

AIPAC Revoked Credentials Of IfNotNow Activists Registered To Conference

Meanwhile ….. outside the conference

And a LiveStream from yesterday …

IN PHOTOS ~~ WAR IN IRAQ, 14 YEARS AND COUNTING

“ MONEY FOR JOBS AND EDUCATION                             

  NO MONEY FOR WAR AND OCCUPATION”  

On March 19th, these words were the  chant which resounded from about two hundred people gathered on the steps of the main NYC public library, and their march from the library to the  U.S. military recruiting station surrounded by a massive electronic American flag at Times Square.  This event took place on the anniversary of the 14th year of the American attack on Iraq and its continuing war.  

Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Report by Chippy Dee

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IN PHOTOS ~~ WOMEN’S DAY IN NEW YORK

International Woman’s Day at Washington Square Park NYC, 3/8/17. Thousands of people joined to militantly celebrate this day proclaiming they will resist attempts to turn  back the clock on the gains women have won over the years. The thousands were young and old, men as well as women. There was a militant SJP contingent with Palestinian flags flapping in the wind adding color to the event. Events like this took place throughout the United States. This was the first time  International Woman’s Day received national publicity in America.

Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Report by Chippy Dee

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ISRAEL’S BDS BAN IS PROOF THAT WE ARE WINNING

A new law denying entry to foreigners who call for a boycott of Israel or the settlements shows the BDS movement is gaining strength — and Israel is “panicking.”

Cornel West Says Israel’s BDS Ban Shows Boycott Push Is Winning

Cornel West says a new law denying entry to foreigners who call for a boycott of Israel or the settlements shows the BDS movement is gaining strength — and Israel is “panicking.”

“lt’s a sign of panic, a sign of hysteria, a very sad response to an intense situation,” the African-American philosopher said. “Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel would turn in his grave thinking about the spiritual blackout that is occurring in Israel.”

West has publicly supported BDS for years, and as such, is one of the prominent public figures who could be denied entry under the new law.

West, who supported Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primaries, says he’s worried about Israeli democracy.

The law “shows that BDS is getting stronger but it also shows that any critique of the settlements, any critique of the ugly occupation is grounds for excluding people from the country,” he says.

“What about the people inside the country?,” he asks. “People who live right there, in Tel Aviv, are you going to say they don’t have the right to be inside their own country? That is what authoritarian regimes do. It’s just sad to see Israel move more and more in that authoritarian direction.”

 

AMERICAN MUSLIMS ONCE AGAIN HELP JEWS REST IN PEACE

‘Whatever extremists try to destroy, we’ll rebuild,’ Muslim American activist says after Philadelphia cemetery vandalized, vowing to try to divert funds raised for St. Louis to help.

Muslim Activists Vow to Help After Second Act of Vandalism at Jewish Cemetery

Muslim American activist Tarek El-Messidi teamed up with fellow activist Linda Sarsour last week to raise funds to rebuild the Jewish cemetery in St. Louis, where hundreds of headstones were desecrated. On Sunday, the attack hit much closer to home, as a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia, his home town, became the target of a similar attack, with up to 500 tombstones being hit.

Speaking to Haaretz on his way to the Mt. Carmel Jewish cemetery, El-Messidi, 36, says he wants to see how some of the funds raised last week can be diverted to help rebuild the Mt. Carmel cemetery in Philadelphia.

Full report and video HERE
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Meanwhile …..

The shoe is on the other foot, so to speak, in Israel …..

Israel accused of destroying Muslim graves in East Jerusalem to make way for park

‘The Israeli Nature Authority – backed by large numbers of Israeli forces – stormed the historical cemetery and knocked down eight graves,’ says Islamic preservation committee head

Click HERE to see video

Israeli authorities have demolished several graves in occupied east Jerusalem’s historical Bab al-Rahmeh cemetery next to a long fought-over mosque, a Palestinian official has said.

Parts of the ancient cemetery were confiscated in September 2015 by Israeli authorities to make way for a national park according to local sources.

More HERE

Do you remember reading about zionist activists trying to stop this? I don’t!

SCHOLARS FOR ACADEMIC FREEDOM ~~ “YOU LEFT OUR NAMES OFF YOUR LIST”

We, the undersigned faculty in various universities and colleges in California, write to request that you place our names, all of them, on Professor Watchlist.

We make this request because we note that you currently list on your site several of our California colleagues, such as Professors Bettina Aptheker, Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Melina Abdullah, Hatem Bazian and some 20 others, whose work is distinguished by its commitment to reasoned, fact-based civil discourse examining questions of tolerance, equality, and justice.

Logo: Professors Watchlist, a project of Turning Point USA

Logo: Professors Watchlist, a project of Turning Point USA

Scholars ask to have their names added to ‘Professor Watchlist’

California Scholars for Academic Freedom  FROM

The newly inaugurated U.S. administration has created an atmosphere of violence, racism, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism. A less discussed aspect of these attacks is on academic freedom. The 2016 election has taken to new extremes the threats to academic freedom. We can see a preview of what this administration intends in their response to the recent cancellations of “talks” by professional provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, who engages in public, cruel harassment of students who are critical of his extremist views, from the lectern through trigger cameras that project students’ images without their consent. He then proceeds to taunt them and incite actions against them on the basis of their physical appearance, race, sexuality, and gender. Instead of condemning this kind of incitement, President Trump has threatened to withhold federal funding from UC Berkeley after Yiannopoulos’ “talk” was cancelled at UC Berkeley and other UC campuses. 

We can also see indications of things to come in the lack of condemnation – hence tacit permission – of attacks by the [David] Horowitz so-called Freedom Center on certain University of California campuses for considering establishing themselves as a set of sanctuary campuses. The recent Executive Order in the form of a travel ban on people coming from seven Muslim majority countries (blocked by an appeals court) has ensnared students, faculty and visiting scholars who have had their academic lives and careers put into jeopardy as a result of the proposed ban. The absence of international scholars from large parts of the Middle East would severely affect the quality and reach of our educational institutions. Similarly, the anti-immigration bashing and the threat to build a wall with Mexico puts the important DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) in jeopardy, directly threatening our undocumented college studentsThe politically motivated attacks on research scientists working on climate change and fetal tissue research are further indications of a political climate intent on thoroughly trampling over academic freedom.

Furthermore, with regard to academic freedom and free speech, a legislator in the state of Arizona proposed a bill that would prohibit state institutions from offering any classes or activities that “advocate solidarity” or “promotes division, resentment or social justice toward a race, gender, religion, political affiliation, social class or other class of people.” In other words, discussion of social justice should not be part of the educational curriculum. While this bill died before it reached a vote, Arizona already bans the teaching of ethnic studies in K-12 education, a law that is being challenged in court. We can expect to see more of these attempts to limit academic freedom in the coming four years. These initiatives are important for us to know and attempt to counteract. These are very direct interventions in our campus lives, potentially putting a chill on our educational atmosphere and affecting academic freedom.

A recently formed “Professor Watchlist” purports to alert students about professors they claim “advance a radical agenda in lecture halls.” This watchlist echoes Horowitz’s project, Campus Watch and the insidious, anonymously sponsored Canary Mission. The latter lists both faculty and students, threatening the latter with slanderous public information for use by prospective employers and the former with threats of violence. The Professor Watchlist names numerous professors from California institutions of higher learning. In response to the Professor Watchlist, faculty from throughout California, at public and private universities, have followed the lead of faculty at the University of Notre Dame, in sending the Professor Watchlist our names to be added to their list. We refuse to be intimidated by such harassment tactics.

Below is a letter we are sending to Professor Watchlist:

We, the undersigned faculty in various universities and colleges in California, write to request that you place our names, all of them, on Professor Watchlist.

We make this request because we note that you currently list on your site several of our California colleagues, such as Professors Bettina Aptheker, Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Melina Abdullah, Hatem Bazian and some 20 others, whose work is distinguished by its commitment to reasoned, fact-based civil discourse examining questions of tolerance, equality, and justice. We further note that nearly all faculty colleagues at other institutions listed on your site, the philosophers, historians, theologians, ethicists, feminists, rhetoricians, and others, have similarly devoted their professional lives to the unyielding pursuit of truth, to the critical examination of assumptions that underlie social and political policy, and to honoring this country’s commitments to the premise that all people are created equal and deserving of respect.

This is the sort of company we wish to keep.

We surmise that the purpose of your list is to shame and silence faculty who espouse ideas you reject. But your list has had a different effect upon us. We are coming forward to stand with the professors you have called “dangerous,” reaffirming our values and recommitting ourselves to the work of teaching students to think clearly, independently, and fearlessly. So please add our names, the undersigned faculty from California institutions, many of whom belong to California Scholars for Academic Freedom, to the Professor Watchlist. We wish to be counted among those you are watching.

Most sincerely,

Ece Algan
Director, Center for Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies Associate Professor, Department of Communication Studies California State University at San Bernardino

Richard P. Appelbaum
Distinguished Research Professor
Sociology and Global Studies
University of California, Santa Barbara

Paola Bacchetta
Department of Gender and Women’s Studies
University of California, Berkeley

Carole H. Browner
Distinguished Research Professor
Departments of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Anthropology, and Gender Studies
University of California, Los Angeles

Edmund Burke, III
Professor Department of History
University of California, Santa Cruz

Lara Deeb
Anthropology
Scripps College

Julia Elyachar,
Anthropology and Economics
University of California, Irvine

Richard Falk,
Fellow, Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies
University of California, Santa Barbara
Former Special Rapporteur, UN Human Rights Council

Aranye Fradenburg
Professor, Department of English
University of California, Santa Barbara

Margaret Ferguson,
Distinguished Professor of English,
University of California at Davis

Mayanthi L. Fernando
Associate Professor of Anthropology
Department of Anthropology
University of California, Santa Cruz

Gary Fields
Associate Professor
Department of Communications
University of California, San Diego

Prof. Claudio Fogu
Associate Professor of Italian Studies,
Department of French and Italian
University of California Santa Barbara

Manzar Foroohar
History Professor
Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

Nancy Gallagher
Professor, History Department
University of California, Santa Barbara

Jess Ghannam
Department of Psychiatry, and
Global Health Sciences
University of California, San Francisco
School of Medicine

Bishnupriya Ghosh
Department of English
University of California, Santa Barbara

Huma Ahmed-Ghosh, Professor
Department of Women’s Studies
Advisory Board: Center for Islamic and Arabic Studies Center for Asia and Pacific Studies
Institute for Security and Conflict Resolution
San Diego State University

Deborah Gould
Associate Professor of Sociology
University of California, Santa Cruz

Larry Gross
Professor
School of Communication
Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Sondra Hale
Anthropology and Gender Studies
University of California, Los Angeles

Gail Hershatter
Distinguished Professor of History
History Department
University of California, Santa Cruz

Ivan Huber, PhD
Professor Emeritus of Biology
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Madison, NJ
Member, California Scholars for Academic Freedom

Suad Joseph
Distinguished Research Professor
Anthropology Department
University of California, Davis

Zayn Kassam
John Knox McLean Professor of Religious Studies
Pomona College

Katherine King
Professor, Comparative Literature
University of California, Los Angeles

David Klein
Professor of Mathematics
California State University Northridge

Dennis Kortheuer
Dept. of History, emeritus
Cal State Long Beach

Mark LeVine
History Department
University of California, Irvine

Esther Lezra
Associate Professor Global Studies
Feminist Studies and Comparative Literature Affiliate University of California, Santa Barbara

David Lloyd
Distinguished Professor of English
Department of English
University of California, Riverside

Pardis Mahdavi, PhD
Dean of Women
Associate Professor and Chair of Anthropology
Pomona College

Amina Mama
Professor, Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies University of California, Davis

Andrew Mathews
Anthropology Department
University of California, Santa Cruz

Flagg Miller
Professor of Religious Studies
The University of California, Davis

Minoo Moallem
Professor, Department of Gender and Women’s Studies University of California, Berkeley

Helene Moglen,
Professor, Literature
University of California Santa Cruz

Kathleen Moore,
Professor and Chair,
Department of Religious Studies
University of California, Santa Barbara

Patricia Morton
Editor, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians Associate Professor, Art History Department
University of California, Riverside

David Palumbo-Liu
Louise Hewlett Nixon Professor,Comparative Literature Stanford University

David Naguib Pellow
Dehlsen Chair and Professor of Environmental Studies University of California, Santa Barbara

Noam Perry
Department of Justice Studies
San Jose State University

Ismail Poonawala
Professor of Arabic & Islamic Studies
University of California, Los Angeles

James Quesada
Professor & Chair
Department of Anthropology
San Francisco State University

Nasrin Rahimieh
Howard Baskerville Professor in Humanities
Chair, Department of Comparative Literature
University of California, Irvine

Rush Rehm
Professor, Theater and Performance Studies, and Classics Artistic Director, Stanford Repertory Theater (SRT) Stanford University

Craig Reinarman
Research Professor and Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Legal Studies
University of California, Santa Cruz

Dwight Reynolds
Professor, Dept of Religious Studies
University of California, Santa Barbara

William I. Robinson
Professor of Sociology and
Global and International Studies
University of California, Santa Barbara

Robyn Magalit Rodriguez
Associate Professor, Asian American Studies
University of California, Davis

Lisa Rofel
Professor, Department of Anthropology
University of California, Santa Cruz

Parama Roy
Professor of English
University of California, Davis

Danilyn Rutherford
Professor, Anthropology Department
University of California, Santa Cruz

Jeffrey Sacks
Associate Professor
Department of Comparative Literature
University of California, Riverside

Sang Hea Kil
Ph.D. Associate Professor
Department of Justice Studies
San José State University

Vida Samiian
Professor of Linguistics
California State University, Fresno

Bhaskar Sarkar
Film and Media Studies
University of California, Santa Barbara

Susan Slyomovics
Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Near Eastern Languages & Cultures
University of California, Los Angeles

Elizabeth Stephens
Art Department
University of California, Santa Cruz

Judith Stevenson
Emerita, Ph.D Anthropology
Peace and Social Justice Program
Department of Human Development
California State University, Long Beach

Baki Tezcan,
Associate Professor of History
University of California, Davis

Howard Winant
Distinguished Professor of Sociology
University of California, Santa Barbara

Stephen Zunes
Professor of Politics
University of San Francisco

IN PHOTOS ~~ NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION

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On the NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION, February 15th, at Grand Central Station NYC, 300 people met to protest the meeting of Trump And Netanyahu and what it portends. Participants held posters and gave out leaflets to commuters. Many stopped to take photos.There was chanting & singing. Then the protesters marched out of GCS going through NYC’s over crowded streets to Trump Towers. When they got there the police had cordoned off several blocks to keep the demonstrators from protesting in front of the building. The marchers were not deterred and continued around the police fences till they met up with the Palestinian protesters who were waiting for the main group to appear. Between them there was a mass vocal outburst and, with a flurry of many Palestinian flags, the marchers moved on to Columbus Circle in front of Trump’s International Hotel where they continued the protest.  

Photos © by Bud Korotzer, Report by Chippy Dee

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STRANGE PRIORITY UNITES THE ‘LEFT’ AND ‘RIGHT’ IN ISRAEL

The ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ in Israel is finally united in what seems to be their greatest priority ….  Considering the mess the whole world is in today it seems very strange to me.  See for yourselves ….

Thousands of Israelis, including two lawmakers, demonstrated Saturday night for the full legalization of cannabis, urging the government to go beyond the recently announced measures to decriminalize use of the drug.

Will this soon be the new flag of Israel?

Will this soon be the new flag of Israel?

Thousands call for full weed legalization at Tel Aviv rally

Knesset members join others urging public security minister to go beyond decriminalizing cannabis use

STUART WINER

Thousands of Israelis, including two lawmakers, demonstrated Saturday night for the full legalization of cannabis, urging the government to go beyond the recently announced measures to decriminalize use of the drug.

Among the estimated 3,000–5,000 people who gathered in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square were MKs Sharren Haskel of the ruling Likud party and MK Tamar Zandberg from the opposition Meretz party.

Protesters urged Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan to enshrine in law recent changes he approved to hand out fines to offenders rather than prosecute them, and asked him to go further by fully legalizing the use of cannabis. Some called on the government to regulate the marijuana market to prevent sky-high prices.

“At first they laughed at us, then they belittled us, and in the end we won,” Haskel told the crowd, referring to the changes in regulations that Erdan said last month he would adopt. “As long as I am in the Knesset I will continue to push the matter until there is complete decriminalization.”

“This is a health campaign, a campaign for quality of life,” Zandberg declared.

“I call on the government to recognize that using cannabis is not a criminal or administrative offense,” said Oren Leibovich, editor of the Israeli online magazine “Cannabis.”

“There is tobacco everywhere, and Ritalin in every classroom, yet no one considers preventing their use,” he said.

Leibovich called for regulation of the market, which, he suggested, could then be taxed, pulling in billions of shekels to state coffers compared to the millions the state would make from fining users.

In his announcement last month, Erdan said he would be adopting proposals put forward by the Anti-Drug Authority to endorse the “Portugal Model,” in which possession and use of the drug would be decriminalized and treated largely as a health issue.

The new tack will need to clear the cabinet, but with many lawmakers backing decriminalization, the move is seen as likely to gain ministerial approval.

Under the proposal, home use and possession of marijuana would carry no punishment but those caught smoking in public could be subject to a series of punitive measures.

First-time offenders would be charged a NIS 1,000 ($265) fine but would not have a criminal case filed against them. That sum would be doubled on the second offense.

Those caught for a third time could still escape prosecution on condition they accept a number of possible measures, including loss of their gun or driving license and participation in a rehabilitation program. Only those caught smoking in public on a fourth occasion would be subject to automatic indictment.

Erdan also said that minors under the age of 18 would only be prosecuted if they refused a rehabilitation program.

Erdan did not specify the amount of marijuana that would be subject to sanctions but the Anti-Drug Authority has in the past recommended that fines apply only for possession of more than 15 grams of marijuana.

Among Western countries, Israel already has one of the highest per capita rates of legal marijuana use, with over 21,000 people medically licensed to use the drug.

Israel is well-known as a pioneer in medical cannabis. Last summer, the government approved a plan initiated by Health Minister Yaakov Litzman to relax some of the medical cannabis requirements. The plan aims to expand the number of doctors who can issue cannabis prescriptions, remove limits on the number of marijuana growers, make cannabis available at approved pharmacies, and possibly eliminate the requirement for a permit from the Health Ministry so that just a doctor’s prescription will be sufficient.

ANTI-TRUMP DEMOS COME TO ISRAEL ~~ IN VIDEO AND PHOTOS

Scores of  left-wing demonstrators in Israel gathered outside of the US Embassy in Tel Aviv and the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem to protest against President Donald Trump’s executive action ordering a temporarily halt to the entry of asylum seekers into the United States.

Photos by Tomer Neuberg & Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90

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CHILDREN OF PEACE ~~ A DIALOGUE

In the following our interview with Richard Martin, President and Founder of Children of Peace. The organisation struggles for children to be safe from criminality and terrorism in the Middle East, in particular in Palestine. Richard talked to us about the history of his organisation, about how to work for peace by challenging all kind of racism, discrimination of all monotheistic religions, by personal contact and dialogue. Dialogue is the magic word to promote peace. Richard told us: “Children of Peace is a UK based non-partisan, conflict resolution organisation, that aims to protect children and build friendship, trust and reconciliation between Israeli and Palestinian children, aged 4 -17 through arts, education, healthcare and sports projects and programmes, so that a future generation and their communities might live in peace, side-by-side.” 

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Richard Martin of Children of Peace – peace needs contact and face-to-face dialogue

By Denise Nanni and Milena Rampoldi

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How do you identify the organizations you cooperate with?
When I founded Children of Peace in 2004, we sent a delegation from the UK to Israel and Palestine on a fact find. We discovered – to our incredulity – that there were over 50,000 NGOs in Israel & Palestine. This is a huge industry and since the early 1950s we estimate that 7 trillion dollars has reached the region from world organisations and donors.

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Yet, despite all this funding, almost nothing has changed. Only six organisations actually made contact with each other. We wanted to change the culture and focus on dialogue – on making contact, of listening to each community’s narrative, respecting each other’s heritage and those things that we all share – a yearning to protect our children, to build a better life, to be in a safe and hopeful place.

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That’s why we established the Coalition of Peace.

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Essentially all groups – CBOs or NGOs – must apply to join us as affiliates or partners. Most groups approach us or are researched by our team. The application is scrutinised by our Compliance Committee to check the group’s track record and connections to protect the children and our work from criminal or terrorist fronts. If accepted, groups go through a monitoring process for two years before applying for funding.

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Today, the Coalition of Peace is now the single, largest peace network across the Middle East with affiliates in Bahrain, Egypt, Gaza, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Turkey and the West Bank.

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Since 2005 we have helped over 120,000 children in Israel and Palestine.

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How has civil society been responsive so far? 
Right from the get-go our position has been to welcome a diverse range of religious, secular and political supporters who shared our non-partisan position. As a conflict-resolution organisation we focus on reconciliation, simply refuse to take sides or bring our own agendas into the region. We take our cue from the communities themselves. We are proud of the support we receive from Christians, Jews and Muslims both in the region and worldwide.

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Taking sides says more about you. It does not advance peace one jot.
As part of our backstory – although we are not a religious organisation nor have any connection with faith based groups – we challenge Christianophobia, Antisemitism and Islamophobia – now on the rise throughout Europe right now – often used as a cover to take sides in this conflict.

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Across the region Children of Peace enjoys the respect of communities in Gaza, Israel and the West Bank. We are the go-to organisation if contacts need to be made. We act as a conduit or peace channel for groups or communities who wish to connect across the divide but cannot do so through direct means.

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Our projects and programmes focus on alleviating poverty within disadvantaged communities, bringing children together from Israel and Palestine through the arts, sports, healthcare and education.
Every year – with Israeli affiliate Humans Without Borders – we help bring dozens of sick or disadvantaged Palestinian children and their families to the seaside in Israel from towns and villages in the West Bank. This is one of the cherished dreams of many landlocked West Bank children – just to see the sea.

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We just funded the refurbishment of the Leir Peace Pre-School in Jerusalem where Christian, Jewish and Muslim children learn and play together. Through another affiliate Rabbis for Human Rights we have provided grants to assist the resource centre for the Negev Bedouin. In Gaza, we work with various groups funding clinics, hospitals and education facilities.

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A few months ago, for example Celtic FC contacted us days before playing a match in Israel. As part of their commitment to diversity in soccer they wanted our help in linking them up with Israeli and Palestinian youth sports groups and within hours the Chairman of Celtic FC Foundation met up with three groups in Israel and Palestine in Jerusalem to gift them football kit and other resources.

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None of this would be possible without the commitment of our extraordinary team at Children of Peace from the Board of Trustees to the Regional Representatives to the volunteers.

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This trust is reflected by the support we receive from world leaders including Pope Francis, former US Vice President Biden, French President Hollande, the Palestinian Envoys to the UK and Washington and the last four British Prime Ministers including Theresa May.

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What are, according your experience, the most effective strategies in order to promote tolerance and democratic values among children? 
It’s simple……contact, contact, contact. And dialogue. Meeting people face-to-face and developing a relationship with a real person from a “group” or “community” that you have been brought up to distrust or be suspicious of….changes everything.

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I recall a magic moment when some young Palestinians who were staying here in the UK as our guests were busy texting their Jewish friends in Israel, following an incident….concerned for their safety.
Once you break bread together, everything changes.

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Can you tell me more about the researches on children health issues? What were their findings and conclusions?
Richard: In 2007, Israeli-Palestinian Kassim Baddarni and myself completed a huge research study on the impact of conflict and the presence of violence on Israeli and Palestinian children. We looked at the effects of stress and tension on the physical and mental health of children – on their educational attainment, on family life, on relationships, on their own sense of well-being and adjustment. It is too complex to spell out here but the findings confirm that children from all communities are seriously and adversely affected by the dire situation.

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Israeli children have excellent healthcare but suffer from worrying levels of morbidity whilst Palestinian children have poorer healthcare – they have the highest levels of childhood diabetes, for instance – they too suffer from fear and anxiety. Too many children know of someone in their lives who has died or been injured or negatively affected by sudden and unexpected acts of violence.

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Do you cooperate with any local authority or institution? If yes, how?
Children of Peace is a UK based non-partisan, conflict resolution organisation, that aims to protect children and build friendship, trust and reconciliation between Israeli and Palestinian children, aged 4 -17 through arts, education, healthcare and sports projects and programmes, so that a future generation and their communities might live in peace, side-by-side.
As an entirely independent organisation we will cooperate with local government or national governments to further our aims in helping the children, promoting tolerance and building a better place for the next generation.

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Israeli and Palestinian supporters talk about the ‘Children of Peace family’. I like that.

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Original source and more photos HERE

#NotMyPresident ~~ FIGHTBACK CONTINUES

ABOUT 500+ PEOPLE SHOWED UP IN A DRENCHING RAIN TO DEMAND NYS U.S. SENATORS VOTE DOWN TRUMP’S PROJECTED CABINET

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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Later today ….

Action Alert:

The moment we’ve been bracing for is here. Multiple news outlets are reporting that President Trump will sign an executive order tomorrow (Wednesday), restricting entry to the US from  majority Muslim countries.  As a city of immigrants, we cannot stay silent in the face of such hate. We ask you to gather tomorrow(Wednesday) night, to show President Trump that all New Yorkers stand with our Muslim neighbors.  Together, we will form a beacon of light against the coming darkness

WHAT: CAIR-NY Holds Rally to Oppose Executive Orders on Muslim Immigration
WHEN: Wednesday, January 25, 5 p.m.
WHERE: Washington Square Park Arch

IN PHOTOS ~~ FREEDOM DENIED TO STUDENTS AT FORDHAM UNIVERSITY

Fordham flunks a free speech test

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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Fordham flunks a free speech test 

BY AHMAD AWAD

This month, Fordham University, my alma mater, denied students on campus the chance to form a student group to support Palestinian rights.

We thought we’d go through the same application process as any other student group. Instead, we were subject to a protracted 13-month review process.

We were eventually approved by the student government and started preparing for our inaugural event — only to learn that Dean of Students Keith Eldredge implemented a rarely used veto power to ban the group from campus

I was still a student when the application to form the group, Students for Justice in Palestine, was first submitted. The process included repeated meetings with administrators; questioning around Gov. Cuomo’s widely criticized executive order against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement; and numerous administrative hurdles.

All of this drained my time and energy and had a serious impact on my studies. I graduated and was never given a chance to advocate for what I believe in on my campus. Now, current and future students won’t have that chance, either.

Advocating for the basic rights of Palestinians is more than just a conviction for me, it is an integral part of my identity. My mother’s father was a Polish survivor of Nazi labor camps, and my father’s parents were born in Palestine prior to the establishment of Israel in 1948. These two histories of oppression taught me to value human dignity and to fight injustice wherever I see it.

My relatives in the West Bank have been forced to live under Israeli military rule for decades now, with no ability to control even the most basic aspects of their lives. The Israeli government controls the borders, which means that even though my grandparents — one of whom is a U.S. veteran — were born there, they are now prohibited from living in their birthplace. They can only obtain a visitor’s visa for three months a year, if they’re lucky.

When I travel to Palestine to visit my relatives, I am routinely discriminated against and threatened by Israeli soldiers at checkpoints simply because I am Palestinian.

It’s only natural that I wanted to establish Students for Justice in Palestine — an organization that exists on over 170 campuses nationwide — at Fordham.

I was devastated to discover that Fordham would prohibit SJP — and, even worse, do so not because of any bad behavior, but simply because of what it represents on paper. This decision violates the free speech and academic freedom the university guarantees under Title VI of the federal Civil Rights Act in addition to its own values as an institution “committed to research and education that assist in the alleviation of poverty, the promotion of justice, the protection of human rights and respect for the environment.”

This experience has underscored how difficult it is to talk about Palestinian freedom in America without facing serious suppression. In recent years, students and faculty who choose to speak critically of Israeli policies have faced increasing pushback, a problem that has been widely documented by constitutional and civil rights attorneys. In the first half of 2016 alone, there were 171 such incidents of suppression across the country.

Despite these obstacles, support for Palestinian rights has grown over the years as more Americans have become aware of the oppression facing Palestinians. Recent polls found that 60% of Democrats and 46% of all Americans support sanctions or stronger action against Israel for building settlements on Palestinian land, and that sympathy for Palestinians among millennials has tripled since 2006.

Fordham and other institutions can try to shut down this growing social justice movement, but they won’t succeed in silencing people who feel a moral imperative to create a better world.

The great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who called on the U.S. government and consumers to boycott and divest from the apartheid regime in South Africa, once said, “A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right. A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice. A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true.” Despite Fordham’s wishes otherwise, I won’t give up this fight. I will continue to stand up for what is right until freedom rings. I will not die.

My request of Fordham is a very modest one: Let Students for Justice in Palestine live.

Awad is a recent Fordham graduate.

#NotMyPresident ~~ THEY CAME AND THEY CAME AND THEY CAME

They came and they came and they came!

by Mike Luckovich / Atlanta Journal Constitution

by Mike Luckovich / Atlanta Journal Constitution

THEY CAME

© By Tom Karlson

they came from the east

they came from the west

they came from the north

thet came from the south

all sizes, all ages, all colors

in numbers incomprehensible

 

they came by foot

they came by rail

they came by subway

they came by plane

taxi, bus, car

pushing babies, held up by walkers, canes

wearing hats of protest

singing songs of their parents, grandparents

given with grace and love to these new protesters

 

they came with messages

of patriotism

of love

in peace

of resistance

to the call NO JUSTICE NO PEACE

 

they came with signs

solidarity with

immigrants

Muslims

LGBTQIA

native people

hands off women’s bodies

black folks-Black Lives Matter

people with disabilities

mother earth matters

 

they came in glorious diversity

by the 10’s the 100’s, the 1000’s

on six continents 600 towns millions strong

they came and they came and they came

by Mike Keefe / Colorado Independent

by Mike Keefe / Colorado Independent

 

#NotMyPresident ~~ WOMEN UNITED FOR JUSTICE (PHOTO ESSAY)

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Demos in New York and Washington D.C.

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

Lots of women are wearing pink hats they are calling "pussy hats" because Trump has referred to women as pussies - kind of an 'in your face' gesture.

Lots of women are wearing pink hats they are calling “pussy hats” because Trump has referred to women as pussies – kind of an ‘in your face’ gesture.

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The statue of Eleanore Roosevelt on Riverside Drive was given a 'pussy hat' - a recognition that she would be marching with us if she could.

The statue of Eleanor Roosevelt on Riverside Drive was given a ‘pussy hat’ – a recognition that she would be marching with us if she could.

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Washington - love having Harriet Tubman in there (she is going on the $20 bill)

Washington – love having Harriet Tubman in there (she is going on the $20 bill)

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More Photos © by Matt Weinstein HERE

AMERICA WELCOMES TRUMP (NOT) ~~ IN TOONS AND PHOTOS

Surely NOT my President!

Images by Carlos Latuff

The Inaugural Speech

The Inaugural Speech

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Changing of the guard

Changing of the guard

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Fair thee well!

Fair thee well!

SOME PICTURES FROM THE FT. WORTH WOMEN’S MARCH

Photos © by Jim Rivers

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And in the Big Apple ….

On January 19th Inauguration Day Eve, 25,000 NYC citizens gathered at an anti-Trump rally near his International Hotel at Columbus Circle. The mass of people stretched for blocks along Central Park West. There were many speakers from the entertainment industry (Robert DeNiro,Michael Moore, Cher, Alec Baldwin, Sally Field, Cynthia Nixon, Mark Ruffalo,and many others).  Mayor DeBlasio of NYC declared NY an Immigrants Sanctuary City. All the speeches were very militant stressing that working together there would be total resistance to Trump’s hate filled policies against so many groups in society.  All present took an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution. The evening ended with 25,000 people singing This Land Is Your Land.

Photos and commentary © by Bud Korotzer

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Photos of the Big March in Washington to follow soon ….

ECO PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST

EcoPeace Middle East is a unique organization that brings together Jordanian, Palestinian, and Israeli environmentalists. Our primary objective is the promotion of cooperative efforts to protect our shared environmental heritage. In so doing, we seek to advance both sustainable regional development and the creation of necessary conditions for lasting peace in our region. EcoPeace has offices in Amman, Bethlehem, and Tel-Aviv.

Big jump in the River Jordan

Big jump in the River Jordan

Eco Peace Middle East – environmentalists for peace in the region

By Denise Nanni and Milena Rampoldi

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How was Eco Peace Middle East founded and with which aims?
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“EcoPeace” was  founded on December 7, 1994 at an historic meeting held in Taba, Egypt.  We came about as environmental non-governmental organizations from the Middle East met with the common goal of furthering sustainable development and peace in their region. For the first time ever, Egyptian, Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian environmentalists agreed to join forces in an effort to promote the integration of environmental considerations into the regional development agenda.
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How do you advocate environmental issues at a political level?
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EcoPeace’s “top-down” (advocacy) programs are based on research, on the publication of policy briefs, and on the holding of events that highlight the national self-interest of each side in advancing our policy recommendations.  Mutual gain is the focus and goal of our advocacy work vis-a-vis decision makers at the regional and international levels.
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What  bottom-up strategies do you undertake?
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Our bottom-up approach is about educating local constituencies to call for, and lead, necessary cross-border solutions to regional water issues. Despite the ongoing conflict, bottom-up programing facilitates the advancement of community interests in cross-border environmental solutions

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How has civil society been responsive so far to your initiatives?
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Yes, very much so, and that is due to our “bottom up” approach, where we work with community members in our “Good Water Neighbors” (GWN) project.  This is what an external evaluator said about this project: “The GWN’s strategy of long-term deep work in the communities, sustaining a cross-border communication network, and insisting on addressing practical tangible results and interests, rather than just peace or cooperation in general, bears fruits.  It changes the discourse of those involved with the project and many have adopted the narrative of environmental peacebuilding / cross-border cooperation that the GWN project advances into their professional and personal lives.”

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Do you cooperate with local authorities and institutions? If yes, how?
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Yes.  Again, local authorities and institutions are all part of our community project “Good Water Neighbors”.  We convene meetings with mayors and municipal representatives from both sides of the border, Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian, to discuss shared environmental challenges and work with them to develop and propose solutions that would benefit them both (all).  Sometimes these meetings are small, if it’s about a more local (but still cross border) problem, but we also have annual regional meetings, much larger, that focus on the larger issue of water in the region.

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EXPOSING THE TRUTH IS LIFE THREATENING IN ISRAEL

So true in Israel today

So true in Israel today

The greatest threat to the extreme right in Israel is not terrorism, it is TRUTH.

After the conviction of the soldier terrorist Elor Azaria, the right launched a campaign to free him. The mouthpiece of the right, our local Psycho Gal has been the most vocal, which came as no surprise to anyone.

As stated above, the TRUTH is their greatest threat.

Not necessarily so in Israel

Not necessarily so in Israel

Here is the result of the anti-Truth campaign ….. FROM

Harassment and attacks against activist who filmed Hebron shooting continue

Israeli settlers attempted to break into the Hebron home of activist Imad Abu Shamsiyya and threw stones at the house Saturday evening, as he has continued to be the target of death threats and harassment after he filmed an Israeli soldier shoot a Palestinian to death last year.

In a rare move move, the soldier was convicted of manslaughter earlier this week, in large part due to the damning footage captured by Abu Shamsiyya, amid a backdrop of what critics have called a culture of impunity for Israeli soldiers who are not held accountable for similar cases of apparent “extrajudicial executions” of Palestinians.

On Wednesday, the day of conviction, Abu Shamsiyya said he “feared for his life.”

Since his footage went viral the day of the shooting back in March 2015, Abu Shamsiyya has been the target of violent settler incursions on his home and has received hundreds of death threats online.

Leading up to the announcement of the verdict, Abu Shamsiyya said that members of Elor Azarya’s family — the soldier who was ultimately convicted for the shooting — broke into his home and “asked me to go to court and change my testimony.” He said he had video footage proving the incursion took place.

Israel settlers returned to his home Saturday evening, he told Ma’an, and attempted to break into his home.

Abu Shamsiya told Ma’an that settlers gathered around his house, and when they failed to break in, they hurled stones, causing minor damages.

He highlighted that large numbers of Israeli forces were present when the settlers attacked the house and soldiers intervened and drove away the attackers.

Abu Shamsiyya added that in March he had asked the Israeli army to provide him protection from settlers, as death threats began pouring in on Facebook while others attempted to bribe him to change his witness testimony.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an they were looking into the reports of Saturday nights attack.

The United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner last month condemned the “daily violations” of human rights and international law faced by activists and human rights defenders in the occupied Palestinian territory.

A “worrying number of complaints” have been filed by human rights activists to the UN in recent months, which have highlighted in particular the Israeli government practice of arbitrarily detaining Palestinian activists “as a direct result of their important work in their communities.”

“The right of all those who are seeking hope and participation in concrete, nonviolent action must be protected, particularly as we are seeing the deepening entrenchment of the Israeli occupation and the accompanying human rights violations,” the report said.

Amnesty International released a statement Wednesday saying that the conviction of Elor Azarya “must pave the way for justice for unlawful killings.”

“Today’s conviction of a member of the Israeli forces is a rare occurrence in a country with a long record of using excessive and unwarranted force, and where soldiers who may have committed crimes under international law very seldom face prosecution. The verdict is a small step in the right direction and offers a glimmer of hope that soldiers who commit unlawful killings may no longer go unpunished,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

“Sadly, this case is just the tip of the iceberg. Time and again we have witnessed cases where Israeli forces appear to have carried out unlawful killings, displaying an appalling disregard for human life. The authorities’ repeated failure to hold anyone accountable for flagrant violations has fostered a culture in which unlawful killings have become acceptable,” said Philip Luther.

Amnesty international said that they sent a memorandum to Israeli authorities in Sep. 2016, citing at least 20 cases of apparently unlawful killings of Palestinians by Israeli forces, of which at least 15 of those killed were deliberately shot dead, despite posing no imminent threat to life.

The video that helped get the conviction ….

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And the man behind the camera ….

 Imad Abu Shamsiyya

Imad Abu Shamsiyya

WORSE THAN A KAPO?

In my many years of pro Palestinian activism I have personally been called an anti Semite and a self hating Jew. Considering the anti zionist implications of these labels, they are both worn proudly.

BUT

When a new label, ‘kapo‘ is added, that is truly a hit below the belt. Not being a fan of J Street, I still find this term offensive and stand with them as they are smeared in such a way.

“They are far worse than kapos – Jews who turned in their fellow Jews in the Nazi death camps.” 

Image by Carlos Latuff

David Friedman, a fierce Zionist, is Trump's choice for US ambassador to Israel

David Friedman, a fierce Zionist, is Trump’s choice for US ambassador to Israel

Trump pick for ambassador to Israel supports Israeli annexation of West Bank and calls liberal Jews ‘kapos

Donald Trump has nominated 57-year-old Long Island native David Friedman to serve as U.S ambassador to Israel. Friedman served as Trump’s Israel adviser during the election campaign and has worked as Trump’s bankruptcy lawyer. He is a vociferous pro-settler advocate who openly advocates for the annexation of the West Bank, and serves as president of American Friends of Bet El Institutions, a settlement advocacy group. Friedman will join an administration that has continually promised to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and has made clear its opposition to the two-state solution. In announcing the pick Trump called Friedman “a longtime friend and trusted adviser.”

Friedman is a writer for the Israeli settler news service Arutz Sheva, and his columns demonstrate strong right wing views concerning the occupation, U.S. politicians, and the Middle East. Friedman has called for ending “the two-state narrative”, describing it as “an illusion that serves the worst intentions of both the United States and the Palestinian Arabs.” Friedman has also referred to the recognition of Jerusalem as “the indisputable capital of the Jewish people” as a holy battle, one that will be won by those who acknowledge Jerusalem as being “the holy capital of the Jewish people—and only the Jewish people”.

In 2015, Friedman wrote an article praising the pre-war sentiment expressed by Mike Huckabee, evangelical Trump-supporter and former Governor of Arkansas, who “referred to war as “killing people and breaking things” until the loser gives up or is destroyed.” Friedman writes that the Obama administration, which is waging countless military operations around the world, has been too docile and light-headed when it comes to “terrorists”.

“The United States has the largest and most powerful military in the world. Under the Obama Doctrine, however, it is no longer in the business of fighting to win,” he argues.

In another stunning column for Arutz Sheva, Friedman accuses Obama of being an anti-Semite, and characterized the centrist Zionist organization J Street as being “worse than kapos”.

“They are far worse than kapos – Jews who turned in their fellow Jews in the Nazi death camps,” he wrote.

Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, tells Mondoweiss that the appointment of David Friedman as Ambassador to Israel “is but the latest suggestion of what a Trump administration’s policy toward Palestine/Israel will be and that is a full, unapologetic embrace of Israeli Apartheid. Trump has railed against political correctness throughout his campaign and in many ways he seems to be doing the same thing with shaping his policy on this issue.”

Munayyer explains that “for decades the US has done a sort of “politically correct” dance where they have consistently supported Israel as it colonizes what is left of Palestinian territory while saying they support a Palestinian state.” The nomination of Friedman signals that the U.S. will do away with this farce, and  “just own what they have done for years which is support the apartheid reality on the ground.” Munayyer contends that a Trump administration will treat Israel with light-headedness, which means that “the civil society effort to impose costs on Israel through boycott, divestment and sanctions tactics [BDS] has never been more important.”

Mouin Rabbani, co-editor of Jadaliyya, was straightforward in his reaction to Friedman’s nomination, telling Mondoweiss that he “hopes the appointment of such an avowed extremist to the position of US Ambassador to Israel, selected precisely because of his extremist positions, will disabuse Palestinians of any remaining illusions the the United States has anything positive to contribute to their struggle for self-determination.”

Jewish Voice For Peace released a statement from executive director Rebecca Vilkomerson condemning Friedman’s nomination as U.S. Ambassador to Israel, arguing that it “indicates that the Trump Administration has aligned itself with the farthest right elements of the Israeli government”, and warning that this signals that the incoming administration will give the Israeli government a free pass to further its abusive control of Palestinian land, and to continue infringing upon Palestinian rights.

Writing on Twitter, London Review of Books writer Adam Shatz put it succinctly: “Let’s call the Friedman appointment by its name: a declaration of war on the Palestinian people.”

Both Trump and Friedman share the intention of rejecting the two-state solution and abiding by the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which calls for recognizing Jerusalem and Israel’s capital and moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The bill was passed in 1995 but left unsigned under Bill Clinton and subsequently suspended on 22 occasions—thanks to the presidential waiver authority—mostly due to alleged national security concerns. Israeli education minister Naftali Bennett was euphoric after Donald Trump’s electoral win, calling his election an “opportunity for Israel to immediately retract the notion of a Palestinian state in the center of the country”. He said, “The era of a Palestinian state is over.”

For this reason, advocates of the two-state solution are troubled by Friedman’s nomination. A press release from the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) president Rabbi Rick Jacobs notes that while URJ supports Friedman’s goal of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and its designation as Israel’s capital, the organization is “greatly concerned” that Friedman is against a two-state solution. The Reform group maintains “that only a two-state solution will allow Israel to remain both Jewish and democratic while also addressing the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinians.”

Americans for Peace Now also announced its opposition to Friedman saying, “Friedman opposes the very essence of APN’s values and mission.” The organization added, “Trump repeatedly declared that he would like to broker a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians, but coupled with the President-elect’s statements about his intention to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, Friedman’s nomination is a destabilizing move, which only adds fuel to the Israeli-Palestinian fire.”

Chemi Shalev, U.S. editor and correspondent for Haaretz, recently published an article arguing that due to Friedman’s right-wing inclinations, “[h]e makes Benjamin Netanyahu seem like a left-wing defeatist”. Shalev contends that Friedman will satisfy Evangelicals, Jewish settlers “and bring pleasure to Land of Israel zealots far and wide”. While the Obama administration may have offered Palestinians some semblance of even-handedness, Shalev writes, Friedman and the Trump administration will likely offer them no such thing.

SOLIDARITY FOR STANDING ROCK CONTINUES TO GROW

As the crisis in Standing Rock continues, so does the support  both internationally and nationally.

Solidarity has always been a thing of beauty in our hands.

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Cuba-Trained Doctors Head to Standing Rock

A delegation of doctors trained at the Latin American School of Medicine in Cuba announced they will head to Standing Rock to “serve in solidarity.”

In a late Thursday Facebook post, a group of U.S.-based medical professionals trained at Cuba’s famous Latin American School of Medicine, or ELAM, announced they will head to Standing Rock “to humbly serve in solidarity with the Sacred Water Protectors on the front lines of the current human rights and ecological crisis occurring right now in North Dakota.”

Dr. Revery P. Barnes, a graduate of ELAM, said in a post on Facebook, “We answer the call to serve in alignment with the mission and core principles of our alma mater and dedication to our commitment to serve underserved communities in our HOME country.” The delegation will work in collaboration with the Standing Rock Medic and Healer Council.

“While Cuba instilled in us an unwavering commitment to internationalism, with the acceptance of a full scholarship to medical school at ELAM, we made the moral commitment to respond to the needs of our most vulnerable communities here at home in the U.S.,” the statement continued.

On Wednesday, the Standing Rock Medic and Healer Council – which has been providing emergency and chronic health care services to the thousands of water protectors gathered at Standing Rock – issued a warning about the grave health and safety threats posed by escalating use of violence by Morton County Sheriff’s Department and Dakota Access Pipeline security personnel, whom they described as creating “war-like conditions.”

While the Facebook statement did not give details about the size of the delegation or when it is expected to arrive, the announcement comes as thousands of U.S. Army veterans are expected to arrive at the Oceti Sakowin camp this weekend in anticipation of the Dec. 5 eviction notice given to the camp by the Army Corps of Engineers and North Dakota Governor, Jack Dalrymple.

Health and safety concerns for the thousands of Water Protectors, who are asserting their Indigenous sovereignty in attempts to block the multi-billion dollar Dakota Access Pipeline project, are also on the rise as harsh winter conditions have been exacerbated by state law enforcement threats to cut off supplies and access to emergency services.

The Latin American School of Medicine was created in 1999 by the Cuban government and is one of the largest medical schools in the world, with approximately 19,550 students from 110 countries. All students receive a full scholarship, including room and board, and preferential treatment is given to applicants from marginalized groups who intend to return and practice in their own communities. The school plays a key part in Cuba’s widely-hailed medical internationalism, which has seen the socialist country send over 80,000 health care workers to over 94 countries to provide treatment and assistance to impoverished or underprivileged populations.

And from within ….

Family & Friends of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade

Jim Williams is taking our flags to Standing Rock! He left Friday morning with a busload of veterans who plan to join 2,000 or more other veterans in protecting the indigenous peoples rights to their lands. He is the son-in-law of Lincoln vet Matti Mattson. Jim remembered helping Matti carry the VALB flag as well as the FFALB banner, and he wanted to take ours to Standing Rock.  As we waited for the bus in Manhattan early Friday morning, we had a chance to explain the significance of the Brigade and the flags. There were tons of supplies and food — and excitement. I felt as if I were sending them off to Spain!

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And the best news of the day …..

(Click on link)

Alternate Route for Dakota Pipeline to Be Explored

  • The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe won a major victory in a battle that has become a global flash point for environmental and indigenous activism.
  • The Army Corps of Engineers said that it would not approve permits for the Dakota Access Pipeline at a site that the tribe said would threaten a water source and sacred sites.

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