IN PHOTOS ~~ SAYING NO TO BIRTHRIGHT

On Sunday, Jewish Voice for Peace held a demo at the office of the Israeli Birthright Program …. in protest of that program ….

 

In case you don’t know what Birthright is ….. HERE’S a description

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

IN IMAGES ~~ REMEMBERING A PROUD LAND THAT ONCE WAS

Remembering the Nakba

Seventy years on from the Nakba, Palestinians seem to move from one cycle of oppression to another

A Palestinian man walks front of graffiti that reads “Returning” as Palestinians attend “camp of return” to mark refugees’ ties to lands lost in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, during a gathering to mark the 69th anniversary of the “Nakba” (catastrophe). Nakba means “catastrophe” in reference to the birth of the state of Israel 69 years ago in British-mandate Palestine, which led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who either fled or were driven out of their homes during the 1948 war over Israel’s creation.Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash 90

*

I didn’t sell my house they stole it ..

*

69 yrs later, we are still here, all over the world, keeping our keys & hope that every day passes we are getting closer to return

*

*

To our homes in Palestine, we will return!

*

*

69 yrs of dispossession, forced exile and oppression
We still resist & We Will Return

*

Latuff adds the following

Their creation was our Nakba!

*

“al-Nakbah” means “catastrophe”. Nakba Day when more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs were expelled from their homeland

*

Free Palestine!

‘LIBERAL’ ZIONISM IN DEFENSE OF THE BOGEYMAN

Pundit deflects criticism onto bogeyman Israeli right, ignoring racism inherent in his own liberal-flavored variety of Zionism.

Peter Beinart says Palestinians in Israel, like these participants in the March of Return at Hadatha village on 23 April, should not be allowed “full, equal citizenship.” (Oren Ziv / ActiveStills)

Peter Beinart says Palestinians in Israel, like these participants in the March of Return at Hadatha village on 23 April, should not be allowed “full, equal citizenship.” (Oren Ziv / ActiveStills)

Challenging Peter Beinart’s dishonesty about the inequality in Zionism

IN PHOTOS ~~ JEWS IN SOLIDARITY WITH PALESTINIAN RIGHT OF RETURN

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

THE POSTERS

SONY DSC

*

SONY DSC

*

SONY DSC

*

SONY DSC

*

SONY DSC

*

SONY DSC

*

SONY DSC

*

SONY DSC

*

SONY DSC

*

SONY DSC

VIEW OF THE AUDIENCE

SONY DSC

*

SONY DSC

THE PALESTINIAN DREAM IS STILL WAITING TO HAPPEN

Martin Luther King’s dream has turned into a nightmare …. but the Palestinian dream is still waiting to happen.

51 YEARS AGO TODAY

*

AP PHOTOS ~~ PALESTINIAN EXILES DREAM OF RETURN
*

7b7c1a3416cc9b18570f6a706700d938

In this Sunday, June 15, 2014 photo, Palestinian refugee Sabhah Abu Latifah, 85, poses for a picture in front of a wall painted with a mural depicting prisoners jailed in Israel in Kalandia refugee camp between Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Ramallah, were she has lived with her family since they fled during the war over Israel’s 1948 creation. She was 19 years old.(AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

*

788ae8b116c89b18570f6a7067008218

In this Wednesday, June 18, 2014 photo, Palestinian refugee Layla Afaneh, 67, poses for a picture in front of a wall painted with a mural in the Kalandia refugee camp between Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Ramallah. Layla was a year and a half old when she and seven other members of her family were forced to leave their village of Barfeelia, near the central Israeli town of Ramla, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were forced out their homes in the Mideast war over Israel’s 1948 creation.(AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

*

ad56cf9a16c89b18570f6a7067006ae7

In this Wednesday, June 18, 2014 photo, Palestinian refugee Mohammed Emtair, 85, poses for a picture in front of a mural depicting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in the Kalandia refugee camp between Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Ramallah. The United Nations refugee agency says that at the end of last year, more than 50 million people have been forced from their homes worldwide, the highest figure of displaced since World War II. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

*

bc0962ea16c89b18570f6a706700f2c8

In this Tuesday, June 17, 2014 photo, Palestinian refugee Jamilah Shalabi, 70, poses for a picture in front of a wall painted with a mural in the West Bank refugee camp of Jenin, where she has lived since she was 4 years old when she and her parents were forced to leave their home in Zarin village, near the in the northern Israeli town of Beit Shean. More than 700,000 Palestinians fled or were driven out in the 1948 Mideast war, according to U.N. figures. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

**

More photos and AP Report can be seen HERE

 

GAYS YES! ~~ PALESTINIANS NO!!

right-of-return

*

“The gates of Israel will be open to every Jew and his family without any discrimination against his lifestyle.”

*

Still no to this ….

*

The Palestinian right of return (Arabic: حق العودة‎, Ḥaqq al-ʿawda; Hebrew: זְכוּת הַשִׁיבָה, zkhut hashivah) is a political position or principle asserting that Palestinian refugees, both first-generation refugees (c. 30 to 50,000 people as of 2012) and their descendants (c. 5 million people as of 2012), have a right to return, and a right to the property they themselves or their forebears left behind in what is now Israel and the Palestinian territories (both formerly part of the British Mandate of Palestine), as part of the 1948 Palestinian exodus, a result of the 1948 Palestine war and due to the 1967 Six-Day War.

Proponents of the right of return hold that it is a “sacred” right, as well as an inalienable and basic human right, whose applicability both generally and specifically to the Palestinians is protected under international law. This view holds that those who opt not to return or for whom return is not feasible, should receive compensation in lieu. Opponents of the right of return hold that there is no basis for it in international law, and that it is an unrealistic demand.  

The government of Israel regards the claim as a Palestinian ambit claim, and does not view the admission of Palestinian refugees to their former homes in Israel as a right, but rather as a political claim to be resolved as part of a final peace settlement.

Other disputed aspects include the issue of the territorial unit to which Palestinian self-determination would attach, the context (whether primarily humanitarian or political) by which the right is being advanced, and the universality of the principles advocated or established to other (current and former) refugee situations.  (from)

*

BUT this is OK

*

Right of Return Extended to Gay Couples

Interior Minister rules that Jews in same-sex marriages can immigrate to Israel – even with a non-Jewish partner.
*

Israel’s Right of Return also gives citizenship to spouses of the same sex when Jews choose to immigrate to Israel together, Interior Minister Gidon Sa’ar (Likud) decided Tuesday.

According to Sa’ar’s decision, gay and lesbian Jews married abroad wishing to immigrate to Israel could do so – even if one of the partners is not Jewish – and both would receive Israeli citizenship.

“The gates of Israel will be open to every Jew and his family without any discrimination against his lifestyle,” Sa’ar stated, in the precedent-setting decision.

Sa’ar penned a letter to the Ministry of Immigration and Absorption codifying the law, writing that “the business of the Law of Return is an issue of kibbutz galuyot, bringing the Jewish people from exile, and the purpose of the 1970 amendment to Right of Return was to allow the families of Jews to immigrate to Israel as well, as equals, to encourageimmigration in general.”

“I see no basis for distinguishing between heterosexual marriage married Jews, and Jews living abroad in same-sex marriages, according to the law,” he continued. “Both fulfill the purpose of the Right of Return, to ‘bring their children home’ .”

The landmark decision surfaces amid ongoing tension over what defines a “family” in Israel, and as debate rages over whether or not same-sex marriages should be recognized in Israeli law.

Gidon Sa’ar’s Likud has a Mizrahi and traditional voter base, but he and other members of the faction toe an extremely liberal line on family values that is no different from that of Meretz.

Currently, same-sex couples in Israel cannot legally marry, but they have recently started to receive limited recognition.

In June, Education Minister Shai Piron (Yesh Atid) faced immense backlash after stating in an interview with Arutz Sheva that “it was the right of Israel, perhaps even its obligation, to tell same-sex couples that they could not be considered ‘families.’ However, we would grant them full economic rights.”

Piron, himself an ordained Orthodox rabbi, was later forced to backtrack slightly after enduring harsh criticism from liberals, for placing gay couples outside the definition of marriage, and from conservatives, for agreeing to give them full economic rights.

“There is a constant tension between religious belief and liberal society,” he told Channel 10 at the time. “All I said was that it was possible to debate the question of ‘familyhood’ for homosexuals. I will not allow anyone to disqualify anyone for that standing, or for anything else, but that does not mean that the tension is not there.”

When asked what he thought about “gay families,” Piron said that a same-sex couple “is, from a civil, social, economic, and cultural point of view a family for all practical purposes. Religiously there is an issue, and this is a problem that must be solved.

“What most bothers me about this incident are the feelings of the children and adults I have hurt,” Piron said. “I look at them directly and say ‘I am sorry.’ I am conducting an ongoing dialogue with the gay community,” Piron added, “unlike what any other religious leader is doing in Israel today.”

 

Source

AS ISRAEL CELEBRATES ITS INDEPENDENCE, MOTHER PALESTINE RELIVES 66 YEARS OF THE NAKBA

During this tragic period of remembrance, just a reminder that NEVER AGAIN means something, TODAY!
*
Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
nakba-day-2013
*

Sam Bahour سام بحّور – Refugees Waiting

*

Sam Bahour is a Palestinian-American based in Al-Bireh/Ramallah, Palestine. He is a freelance business consultant operating as Applied Information Management (AIM), specializing in business development with a niche focus on the information technology sector and start-ups. Sam was instrumental in the establishment of the Palestine Telecommunications Company and the PLAZA Shopping Center and until recently served as a Board of Trustees member at Birzeit University. He is a Director at the Arab Islamic Bank and serves in various capacities in several community organizations. Sam writes frequently on Palestinian affairs and has been widely published. He is co-editor of HOMELAND: Oral History of Palestine and Palestinians.
*
*
يحمل رجل الأعمال الفلسطيني سام بحور الجنسية الأميركية وهو يسكن في مدينة البيرة في رام الله، فلسطين. ويعمل بشكل مستقل كمستشار ومنسق مشاريع كما يملك شركة لإدارة المعلومات التطبيقية (إيم) وهي تختص في تطوير الأعمال والمشاريع مع تركيز على الشركات الناشئة. ولعب سام دوراً أساسياً في تأسيس شركة الإتصالات الفلسطينية (بالتل)، ومركز بلازا للتسوق. وأصبح مؤخراً عضو فاعل في مجلس الأمناء في جامعة بيرزيت. ويشغل حالياً منصب عضو مجلس إدارة في البنك الإسلامي العربي، كما يشغل عدة مناصب أخرى في منظمات المجتمع المدني. ويركز سام كثيراً في كتاباته على الشؤون الفلسطينية، فتنشر مقالاته على نطاق واسع. ساهم سام في تحرير كتاب “الوطن: التاريخ الشفوي لفلسطين والفلسطينيين” ويمكن معرفة المزيد عنه والاطلاع على مقالاته من خلال تصفح مدونته على الموقع الالكتروني التالي: www.epalestine.com
*
How quickly it was forgotten that the Jews were also victims of a Nakba …
*

Fiddler on the Nakba

A scene from Fiddler on the Roof

Yesterday I listened to Terry Gross interviewing Sheldon Harnick, the lyricist for “Fiddler on the Roof.” As they talked about Russian villages in which Jews were persecuted, and which they fled to come to America– “forced out,” Gross said repeatedly — Gross and Harnick became emotional. Gross is a private person; but she spoke of her parents openly. She and Harnick were telling an ancestral Jewish story, and a moving one.

I could not help thinking about Palestinian remembrances of their villages that they were forced out of during the creation of Israel. “Their only home,” to use Gross’s phrase. They speak with similar attachment about a lost world. They cherish photos and keys and memories. Just look at the movie “When I Saw You.”

And of course I wondered when American culture will commemorate and honor the Nakba, the Palestinian catastrophe, in which 750,000 Palestinians lost their homes.

Excerpts of the interview:

Gross: And “Fiddler on the Roof” is set in 1905 in a Jewish village in Czarist Russia, where the Jews are under attack and eventually forced out. ..

So in the show “Fiddler on the Roof,” there’s a song called “Anatevka,” which the Jews in this small town sing when they are forced out of their village, Anatevka. And it’s a very – the song that’s used in the show is both about well, it’s just a place, it’s not an important place, but it’s also very nostalgic song for the place that they are being forced to leave, the place that is their only home….

You know, when I hear some of the songs from “Fiddler on the Roof,” I get tears in my eyes, in part because my parents had very few albums when I was growing up but they had “Fiddler on the Roof” and they played it over and over and over and over. And it really started to drive me crazy.

But when I hear it now, you know, my parents passed, you know, like several years ago and when I hear it now I think about my parents and I think not only about how good the songs are but I think what those songs meant to them and what it was like for them in the 1960s to go to Broadway and see a show about Jews on a shtetl in Eastern Europe because their parents had been Jews in shtetls in Eastern Europe.

And I’m sure you know how much this musical meant, you know, has meant to so many people.

HARNICK: Yes. One of the things – when Jerome Robbins became our director he told us this story. He said when he was six his parents took him to that part of Poland where their ancestors came from and even at the age of six he remembers it as being a very emotional experience.

Then during World War II as he read about the extermination of these little village by the Nazis he was certain that the village that he had visited when he was six was one of those villages that had been obliterated. So when we gave him the opportunity to direct “Fiddler” he said I want to put that culture back on stage. I want to give it a theatrical life of another 25 years. He was being modest because now it’s almost 50 years and it’s still going strong.

But he was like a man obsessed with restoring that culture.

Some day Palestinian culture will be similarly honored. But it’s a ways off…

*

Palestinians can NOW find their village … thanks to Zochrot

*
Since 2002 Zochrot has been promoting Israeli Jewish society’s acknowledgement of, and accountability for, the ongoing injustices of the Nakba and the reconceptualization of Return as the imperative redress of the Nakba, and a chance for a better life for the entire country’s inhabitants. Zochrot challenges the Israeli Jewish public’s preconceptions, and promotes awareness, political, and cultural change within it to create the conditions for the Return of Palestinian Refugees and a shared life in this country.

iNakba is a trilingual mobile app (Arabic, Hebrew and English) based on GPS Navigation technology. This app allows users to locate and learn about Palestinian localities destroyed during, and as a result of, the Nakba since 1948.

The application provides coordinates and maps of Palestinian localities that were completely ruined, destroyed, obliterated after their capture, partially demolished, or remained standing but were depopulated and their residents expelled. The app also provides historical information and includes video clips and photographs of these localities. The app is interactive; it allows users to add pictures of the destroyed localities, as well as share their comments and follow updates about selected localities.

We Need Your Help!

Not all the destroyed or depopulated localities are represented by video clips or photographs. Some of the coordinates provided may be inaccurate or incomplete. Zochrot is constantly augmenting the information about all the demolished localities, and we invite users to help us by adding photographs, video clips, updates, and/or corrections. Please send comments and audio-visual corrections and additions to: inakba@zochrot.org, or via the app’s “Contact Us” link.

Further Development

The iNakba app is currently only available for iPhones, but we are developing versions for additional devices while updating and expanding the information with the help of iNakba users.

Zochrot is grateful to Netaj company in Nazareth for their professionalism in developing iNakba.

*

WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE IF ALL PALESTINIANS EXERCISED THEIR RIGHT OF RETURN? ~~ VIDEO

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

right-of-return

 

As Amal Obeidi, a young woman from the ethnically-cleansed Palestinian village of Lifta says, “borders are sometimes psychological, imposed on us by the occupation as if we will never return.”

The first step on the road is to shatter those psychological borders. This thought-provoking video helps to do just that.

*

Turning the Palestinian right of return into a practical reality – video

 Ali Abunimah
*
*

Palestinians have fiercely defended their right to return to the lands and villages they were forced to leave between 1947 and 1949 as Israel was created.

This video by refugee rights group BadilIntroduction to Practicalities of Return features interviews with refugees and experts and scenes of the lands from which Palestinians are exiled.

In the video, Eitan Bronstein of Zochrot – an Israeli group that supports the right of return for Palestinians – observes that expulsion was only one part of the Nakba – the ongoing violent dispossession of the Palestinians. The other key element has been Israel’s prevention of return.

Therefore ending the Nakba requires creative and practical thinking and planning for return.

Attempts to return

In the early years after their expulsion Palestinian refugees made many attempts to return home, often just to recover personal property. Many were shot and killed by Israeli forces.

In May 2011, thousands of Palestinian refugees marched toward the borders of their homeland from Lebanon and Syria in a dramatic reassertion of their commitment to return. Then, too, they were met with lethal Israeli fire.

Today, Palestinian refugees and their descendants number 7 million. Israel continues to deny their right to go home solely on the racist basis that these Palestinians are not Jews and thus constitute a “demographic threat” to Jewish political and numerical domination of the country.

But the right of return is recognized by international law.

New movement

Palestinian youths within present-day Israel are leading a renewed movement for return to their parents’ and grandparents’ villages in the Galilee, including Iqrit and Kufr Birim.

A number of Palestinians have now set up permanent camps in the villages.

In the video Nahida Zahra talks about the history of this movement and explains, “The idea was supported by all the families of Kufr Birim, many of us believed in it.

“The idea was that we would return to our village and we didn’t need to wait for a legal decision or political agreement.”

Israel has reacted to this action, handing a demolition order to the return camp.

“This time we are not leaving here,” Zahra says, recalling earlier temporary attempts to come back to the village.

Make return real

To make return a reality for many more people, there’s a need to create and disseminate practical ideas. Part of this process is joint planning between refugees and architects to imagine what rebuilt communities towns would look like.

This is already happening, says BADIL’s Terry Rempel, and it is vital to challenge the idea that return is impossible because homes have been destroyed.

Rempel points to the double standards of international organizations and governments that have actively promoted the right of return for refugees from other countries such as Bosnia, while arguing that it is impractical only in the case of Palestinians.

Yet the approaches taken in Bosnia can also offer practical solutions for restoring Palestinian refugee rights while protecting all stakeholders, Rempel says.

Thinking about return, several speakers argue, must go hand in hand with a process decolonization and de-Zionization.

This, they say, lays the ground for a just and inclusive political solution based on equality and nondiscrimination for all who live in historic Palestine.

As Amal Obeidi, a young woman from the ethnically-cleansed Palestinian village of Lifta says, “borders are sometimes psychological, imposed on us by the occupation as if we will never return.”

The first step on the road is to shatter those psychological borders. This thought-provoking video helps to do just that.

For more information from Badil, visit their website: badil.org

Written FOR

PALESTINIAN YOUTH TAKE BACK THE NIGHT

After watching their land being raped for over 65 years, Palestinian youth are attempting to take back the night …
*
The new wave of movements which have gained prominence this summer can be traced back partly to a group of third generation, internally displaced youth from the village of Iqrit, who in August 2012 decided that they would take matters into their own hands and return to their ancestral village.
*

Palestinian youth assert right of return with direct action

Nadim Nashef*
*

Summer camps aim to reconnect Palestinian youth to their ancestral villages. (Photograph courtesy of Baladna)

*

During the summer of 2013 a new grassroots movement burst onto the scene and announced itself as a major development in the long struggle for the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

Activities occurring throughout the Galilee region of present-day Israel have been held which reaffirm the connection of the younger generation of internally displaced Palestinians to their ancestral villages. Events and projects simultaneously take practical steps to realize this long-denied, fundamental right.

The right of return is one of the most evocative and central issues for Palestinians ever since the Nakba (catastrophe) of 1948, which saw the destruction of more than 530 Arab villages and the displacement of approximately 800,000 Palestinians. The majority of them ended up as refugees in neighboring Arab states, or in those parts of Palestine which initially remained outside of Israeli control, namely the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Between 30,000 and 40,000 managed to remain inside the new state of Israel, however, finding refuge in nearby towns which had survived the ethnic cleansing of the majority of Palestine’s villages.

Brutal Israel

Attempts by the original inhabitants to return to their villages in the immediate aftermath of the Nakba were fought against by the new state, which used all the means at its disposal, often brutally.

Dispersed villagers attempting to return from outside the borders of the new state were often shot dead on sight by the Israeli army. Meanwhile, villagers attempting to return who had managed to remain within the borders of the new state were routinely rounded up and deported as “infiltrators.” Legislation such as the Absentees Property Law enabled the confiscation of property of those Palestinians who had been made into internally displaced persons, while denying their rights to live there or even to enter the site of their ancestral lands.

Between 1948 and 1955, the majority of these villages were destroyed by the Israeli army and covered either with pine forests or new Jewish-only settlements. In many cases, a cemetery, mosque or church was the only remaining evidence of a village’s existence.

The new wave of movements which have gained prominence this summer can be traced back partly to a group of third generation, internally displaced youth from the village of Iqrit, who in August 2012 decided that they would take matters into their own hands and return to their ancestral village.

Iqrit’s residents were originally ordered out of their village for two weeks shortly after the Nakba for so-called security reasons. Exceptionally, three years later they obtained Israeli high court approval to return, and received information that they would be able to return on Christmas Day, especially symbolic for the Christian community.

On that day in 1951, as the villagers waited to return, the Israeli army razed the village to the ground.

Potent symbol

Now living in two small rooms built as extensions of the still-standing church, Iqrit’s youth activists today sleep in the village in shifts in order to maintain a permanent presence there. This summer a small football stadium was also built, a potent symbol of the will and permanence of their return.

Iqrit’s community has been organizing summer camps for its younger members annually since 1996; this year approximately 200 youth between the ages of 8 and 16 attended. The aim of the camp was to help the youth develop their identity by teaching them about their own history, and connecting this to the wider Palestinian history before 1948.

In addition to the summer camp and the newly permanent presence, villagers hold religious celebrations during Easter and Christmas in the local church. The village’s cemetery is also still in use.

The youth-led, grassroots approach of Iqrit is very much indicative of the movement as a whole. Youth took the lead in 2013’s “Summer of Return,” ensuring that demands for the right of return find a renewed voice among the latest generation of the dispossessed.

One village which has adopted Iqrit’s strategy of youth-based return is Kufr Birim. Located close to the boundary between Israel and Lebanon — not far from Iqrit — for the past few years Kufir Birim has played host to summer camps for children.

This summer, people with family connections to Kufir Birim have also decided to maintain a permanent presence in the village, centered around the old community’s surviving church. However, their initiative has not been without obstacles.

Refusing to leave

In August, the Israel Lands Authority told the camp’s members that they had to leave within a week or they would be removed by force (“Authorities threaten displaced community’s return to village,” +972 Magazine, 22 August 2013).

On 28 August, Iqrit also received a visit by inspectors from the Israel Lands Authority, accompanied by border policemen. They came during the morning and confiscated tents and beds, uprooted the small garden, removed signs and destroyed property, including the new football stadium.

However, as in Kufr Birim, the youth are not willing to leave their ancestral land.

This summer has also witnessed a very successful summer camp in the village of Ghabisiya, while Baladna (the Assocation for Arab Youth) and a number of other groups initiated the Udna (Our Return) project with the participation of five ethnically cleansed villages: Saffuriyya, Miar, Maalul, Lajjun and Iqrit, with one youth group in each village.

The project aims to educate the new generation with family connections to these villages of their history and rights, with film screenings and storytelling featuring residents who survived the expulsion. Practical approaches to the issue of return such as town planning and logistics were also explored, while musical events by local artists added a cultural feature.

Iqrit, Kufr Birim, Ghabisiya, Saffuriyya, Miar, Malul, Lajjun. These are just seven of the Palestinians towns and villages which were destroyed and whose inhabitants were displaced during the Nakba.

Yet the combined activities of these villages during the summer of 2013 represent the most significant movement in the struggle for return since the years following the Nakba. Far from forgetting their roots and historical injustices, the latest generation of Palestinians inside Israel are showing their dedication to their right of return.

This, combined with the youth’s energy, enthusiasm and innovative approaches, has resulted in a grassroots, youth-led movement unprecedented in the history of activism for the right to return. Whatever the immediate reaction of Israeli authorities to the return of villagers in Iqrit and Kufr Birim, these movements have captured the imagination of people across historic Palestine, young and old.

And while the future of the movement is full of uncertainty, the determination and energy of our youth alone is reason for optimism.

*Nadim Nashef is is the director of the Haifa-based Association for Arab Youth-Baladna.

 

 

Written FOR

PALESTINIAN REFUGEES ~~ BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE

2011-09-21T163234Z_783637630_GM1E79M01OR01_RTRMADP_3_BELGIUM
*
Half of the almost 500,000 registered Palestine refugees have now been displaced from their homes as shelling and fighting continue to encroach on their areas in Syria, and 44,000 refugee homes have been damaged, UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, said this week.
*

“We have become refugees again,” say Palestinians from Syria now in Gaza

 Ali Abunimah
*
*

As Palestine refugees face an increasingly dire situation in Syria, some have made their way to the Gaza Strip, as Yousef Al-Helou finds in this video report for The Real News.

This route to safety is closed off, at least for now, amid the turmoil in Egypt.

Half of the almost 500,000 registered Palestine refugees have now been displaced from their homes as shelling and fighting continue to encroach on their areas in Syria, and 44,000 refugee homes have been damaged, UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, said this week.

Hundreds of Palestinians have been killed, including six in Yarmouk camp near Damascus over the last week, one of whom was the son of an UNRWA staff member.

From Damascus to Gaza, via Egypt

The number of Palestinians who have made it to Gaza is unknown, but Al-Helou cites estimates of around 800 persons.

“We Palestinian refugees have become refugees another time,” Muhammad al-Sheikh, a Palestinian who lived in Syria for 41 years, told Al-Helou. “We were forced to leave our homes due to the destruction and killing in Syria.”

“We know that Gaza often comes under Israeli attacks, so we know that for us the danger is not yet over. But at least we are in our homeland,” al-Sheikh added.

Though all facing the same dangers and dire situation that caused them to flee, Palestinians have strongly divergent views on the situation in Syria, with some opposing and others supporting the uprising against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Al-Helou reported.

Route to Gaza closed off by Egypt upheaval

Al-Sheikh said that refugees typically fly from Damascus to Cairo and then travel by taxi to the Rafah crossing border with Gaza.

But this route appears to be closed off at least for the time being amid the political turmoil in Egypt following the army’s removal of President Muhammad Morsi last week.

The Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza has been closed since the military takeover.

Egypt deports Palestinians

Egyptian authorities have begun deporting and denying entry to even long-time Palestinian residents of Gaza.

Contributor to The Electronic Intifada Yousef Aljamaldeported to the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, is among dozens of Palestinians refused entry to Egypt as they tried to return home.

Egypt has also instructed international airlines not to allow Palestinian Authority passport holders to board flights for Cairo leaving many Palestinians stranded abroad.

Dozens more Palestinians are reported stranded at Cairo airport in deplorable conditions as efforts are made to persuade Egypt to reopen Rafah.

New measures restricting entry of Syrians

Today, Egypt expanded the tough restrictions to include Syrians, announcing that Syrian citizens would require advance visas in order to enter Egypt.

The measures came to light last night when Egyptian authorities deported 276 Syrians who had arrived at Cairo airport on scheduled flights from Beirut and Damascus, according to Egypt’s Ahram Online.

Rumors targeting Palestinians and Syrians

These measures come amid rumors and unsubstantiated accusations by Egyptian military brassin the media and on social media, that Hamas specifically and Palestinians generally – and now Syrians – are interfering in Egypt or assisting the Muslim Brotherhood movement of the deposed president.

In recent days, Egyptian officials have again claimed, without evidence, that Palestinians are responsible for attacks on Egyptian security forces in Sinai attributed to militant groups in the area.

Palestinians and Syrians in Egypt are particularly vulnerable populations who need safety and protection. Instead, in this atmosphere, many will now be feeling a heightened sense of danger.

Report: Rafah crossing may partially re-open on Wednesday

Breaking reports say that Egypt has agreed to partially re-open on the Rafah crossing on Wednesday. The main land exit from Gaza has been closed by Egyptian authorities for five days.

Gaza residents will be allowed to return, but only those with medical permits will be allowed by Egypt to leave Gaza, Palestinian authorities in Gaza have said.

Ban on entry remains for Palestinians

Notwithstanding the news about Rafah, Egyptian authorities issued a decree on 9 July announcing that no holders of Palestinian Authority passports or Jordanian passports that lack a national number will be allowed to enter Egypt without prior clearance from the security services. This means that Egypt remains effectively closed to Palestinians who fit those categories.

 

 

Written FOR

DERSHOWITZ AND FINKELSTEIN ~~ COMRADES IN ARMS

 th_cohe190
*
Dershowitz is adamantly against any form of right of return for Palestinian refugees. Finkelstein’s pronouncements on the matter have been ambiguous, but there is enough evidence to suggest his ultimate rejection of it.
*

Dershowitz and Finkelstein: comrades at heart?

Steven Salaita 
*

Man walks by mural of hand holding key reading Returning in Arabic

For Palestinian refugees, the result of Finkelstein and Dershowitz’s positions is the same.

 (Abdel Rahim Khatib / APA images)

Over the last decade, one of the more amusing (though least productive) facets of the culture wars around the Israel-Palestine conflict has been the feud between Alan Dershowitz and Norman Finkelstein.

Dershowitz, a tireless advocate for Israel, has incurred Finkelstein’s contempt, which includes claims of misrepresentation, pandering and plagiarism. Finkelstein, a longtime critic of Israel, failed to achieve tenure at DePaul University in part because of a campaignspearheaded by Dershowitz, who wrote damning letters to various university officials (including its president). The two have argued voraciously in print and in person, occasionally directing insults at one another.

It seems intuitive, then, that the mortal enemies have little in common. In reality, though, the substance of their feud doesn’t broach the fundamental issues of Israel and Palestine, about which Dershowitz and Finkelstein have articulated similar, sometimes identical, positions — often enough, anyway — so much so that we can rightly claim the two enemies in fact share profound political affinities. Let’s take a look at the evidence:

Opposing one state

Both Dershowitz and Finkelstein are vigorously opposed to the so-called one-state solution, which assumes various incarnations but at base advances the belief that a binational state for Jews, Muslims and Christians is the most just and realistic outcome of the conflict. Both men have spoken in favor of a two-state solution.

Finkelstein has said, “the near-unanimous consensus for the past three decades has been that the Palestinian people do have a right of self-determination, to be exercised in the ‘occupied Palestinian territory,’ which consists of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip. I see no cracks in this consensus” (“A debate about the two-state solution with Norman Finkelstein,” Mondoweiss, 6 June 2012).

Dershowitz claims to have supported the two-state solution since 1967, though he usually qualifies his position with fantasies of Arab aggression or anxieties about eternally preserving a Jewish majority in Israel (the reason many liberal Zionists desire two states) (“The case against the left and right one-state solution,” The Huffington Post, 21 March 2012).

In 2011, he co-produced a proposal to end the conflict with Chibli Mallat, the conclusions of which sound remarkably like Finkelstein’s, calling for “two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, [to] live side by side, as expressed in Security Council Resolutions 1397 (2002), 1515 (2003) and 1850 (2008)” and a commitment “to the principle of nonviolence as the privileged means to effect democratic change in the region and beyond” (“A joint proposal on the foundations of a two-state solution,” The National, 27 October 2011).

Dershowitz and Finkelstein both emphasize the preeminence of Jewish opinion.

Dershowitz: “The American Jewish community is much more supportive of a two-state solution. And, the Israeli Jewish community is much more supportive of a two-state solution” (“Alan Dershowitz and Caroline Glick clash on two-state solution,” The Algemeiner, 1 May 2013).

Finkelstein: “There are major regional changes — what’s happening now between Israel and Turkey that’s part of an Arab Spring … there is a changed political configuration now. There are changes in public opinion. There are changes in Jewish opinion” (“Finkelstein thinks shift in young Jewish opinion means there will be two (viable states),” Mondoweiss, 19 October 2011).

Denying right of return

Dershowitz is adamantly against any form of right of return for Palestinian refugees. Finkelstein’s pronouncements on the matter have been ambiguous, but there is enough evidence to suggest his ultimate rejection of it.

A colleague, for instance, was present in 2010 at Shatila refugee camp in Lebanon, when Finkelstein gave a lecture urging residents, some of them refugees for more than 60 years, to disavow their right of return. (This fits a pattern of Finkelstein admonishing Palestinians to be more reasonable and realistic, what Asa Wistanley calls “marginalizing Palestinians from their own struggle.”)

Dershowitz: “For peace to be achieved, pragmatism must be balanced with principle. The right of return should be implemented so as to protect Israel against demographic annihilation without denigrating the Palestinian narrative” (“Palestinians and the ‘right of return’,” The Christian Science Monitor, 16 April 2007).

Finklestein: “For now, Israel will not honor a Palestinian right of return; to ‘demand’ it is the emptiest of gestures” (“Two critiques of Norman Finkelstein,”Mondoweiss, 23 December 2011).

Finkelstein: “If we end the occupation and bring back six million Palestinians and we have equal rights for Arabs and Jews,there’s no Israel.”

Finkelstein argues that he supports the right of return in principle, but “in order to achieve a political settlement of the conflict, the right of return will have to be subject to negotiations,” whereas Dershowitz is opposed to the right in principle. For Palestinian refugees the result is identical.

Bickering with boycott activists

Because of his opposition to boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS), Finkelstein has alienated a significant portion of his audience (and gained new fans among Zionist hardliners). This alienation hasn’t resulted merely because of his opposition to BDS, but also because of the condescending way he has articulated that opposition.

Dershowitz: “It may be enough to say: ‘The boycotters are wrong’ and leave it at that. But the boycotters are not just adopting bad politics derived from faulty thinking. There is an edge of malice to their campaign. Their desire to hurt, to punish, outstrips their ability even to identify with any precision their targets — all Israeli universities without exception? All academics within those universities? Israeli academics in non-Israeli universities? They cannot say” (“This boycott is not just wrong; it’s anti-semitic,” The Sunday Times, via alandershowitz.com, 14 June 2007).

Finkelstein: “[BDS advocates] don’t want Israel. They think they’re being very clever. They call it their three tiers … We want the end of the occupation, we want the right of return, and we want equal rights for Arabs in Israel. And they think they are very clever, because they know the result of implementing all three is what? What’s the result? You know and I know what’s the result: there’s no Israel” (“Finkelstein, BDS and the destruction of Israel,” Al Jazeera English, 28 February 2012).

Finkelstein has stated on numerous occasions that BDS is a “cult,” though he has never applied the same term to his utterly sectarian worship of some imaginary “international consensus” that risibly simplifies the complexity of the world’s population.

Disrespect towards Arabs

In communities of decolonization, one’s interactions with the colonized party are as important as the opinions one articulates (indeed, a person’s negative behavior generally foregrounds an insidious agenda). Neither Dershowitz nor Finkelstein practices respect when communicating with Arabs.

For Dershowitz, to whom Arabs are little more than a brown mass of existential danger, unsavory interpersonal behavior is no surprise. We might reasonably hold Finkelstein to a higher standard, however.

I’m thinking of Finkelstein’s tendency to lecture Palestinians about their unrealistic expectations and their need to succumb to the inhibitions of Israeli liberals. In early June at a Left Forum panel, for example, he proclaimed of those unwilling to recognize Israel’s right to exist: “That’s pure unadulterated hypocrisy. And, speaking personally, I don’t want to have anything to do with it. And speaking politically, it won’t go anywhere” (“Norman Finkelstein throws wrench in anti-Israel movement’s claim to a rights-based agenda,” Anti-Defamation League, 21 June 2013).

He also admonished Palestinian attorney Lamis Deek (“Israel is a state. It has the same rights and the same obligations as the 190 other states”) and afterward complained to As’ad Abukhalil for criticizing him on the Angry Arab blog: “It’s useful to think twice before joining in a lynch mob.”

Here Finkelstein sounds a lot like Dershowitz when the latter patronized Palestinian novelist Susan Abulhawa at the 2010 Boston Book Festival (“Trainwreck in Boston: Dershowitz calls a Palestinian novelist a bigot and a Holocaust denier,” Mondoweiss, 17 October 2010). Even the language they use is comparable.

Finkelstein recently went on a bizarre, paranoid rant: “Even lectures have significantly diminished because I’ve had major differences of opinion with elements in the Palestine solidarity movement. And they carry on like a cult, and so when the differences emerged, I was blacklisted, too. That’s just a fact.

“Last year I’d probably say about — I’d say between — about 75 invitations to speak around the United States by what’s called SJP, Students for Justice in Palestine. This year I didn’t receive one. I didn’t receive one. They carry on like a cult. And the guru says, ‘You’re out,’ you’re out” (“Finkelstein disowns ‘silly’ Israel boycott,” The Jewish Chronicle, 16 February 2012).

This sort of behavior is typical of certain members of privileged groups who devote themselves to improving the lot of the oppressed. Anybody who has worked in communities of decolonization knows the type: a person arrives and shows himself ultimately uninterested in achieving liberation, but insists on leading the wretched horde to his vision of an acceptable outcome — one that is invariably “pragmatic” and “realistic,” saturated in the language of objectivity and the common good.

Of course, it is but an unlucky accident that these outcomes always happen to favor the interests of the oppressor. When that person is challenged or marginalized, histrionics ensue.

Finkelstein’s comments about Students for Justice in Palestine reveal a man more interested in nourishing a God-complex than in doing anything to help Palestine.

Patronizing and pedantic

Dershowitz and Finkelstein have differences, too. Finkelstein has never plagiarized or supported torture and Dershowitz has never attempted to lead a march on Gaza he would later deem “sectarian” after the people on whose behalf he purported to march demanded a voice in the planning (“Why I resigned from the Gaza Freedom March coalition,” The Jewish Chronicle, 6 September 2009).

Finkelstein acknowledges evidence of Israel’s brutality in the past and present, whereas Dershowitz more or less blames everything that’s ever gone wrong in the Holy Land on the Arabs. Yet Finkelstein’s positions on the right of return and binationalism indicate an unwillingness to accept moral ownership of the brutality he acknowledges. To say that emphasis on justice isn’t pragmatic is to severely underthink the possibilities of decolonization.

Ultimately, on the issues that matter most, those fundamental to the cessation of the Zionist colonial project, there is little disagreement between Dershowitz and Finkelstein, certainly none of significance. There is also little to distinguish in their patronizing and pedantic tone with Palestinians.

Many advocates of Palestine are rightfully upset with Finkelstein, but if I may offer a suggestion, I would advise that we assign Finkelstein the same status we have long accorded Dershowitz, that of a slightly cogent but mostly curmudgeonly white male who occasionally annoys with outbursts of bluster and disdain.

Just as their feud has taken too much time away from important matters, Finkelstein’s discourse of “international consensus” and “cults” and “pragmatism” is so slovenly that we’re better served challenging more sophisticated opponents of Palestinian aspirations.

Finkelstein can be frustrating because he apparently believes that practicality, realism and reasonableness exist within fixed structures of meaning and have nothing to do with definitional commonplaces and political ethos generated and maintained by the ruling classes. He’s made it clear he’s sticking with that discourse. There’s nothing left to do with Finkelstein but hope he reads the Wikipedia entry on the theory of hegemony.

It’s difficult to say whether the Dershowitz-Finkelstein feud will continue. While the two have much in common politically, they differ in motive, and this difference of motivation will likely keep them at odds. For those who care about Palestinian voices, motivation is less important than actual belief; in this area, Dershowitz and Finkelstein are the PeresNetanyahu tandem of American liberalism.

Let us then leave them to their feuding with the understanding that they have nothing really to resolve beyond the antipathy of competing egos. Passionate interpersonal conflicts, after all, often occur with the people with whom we have most in common.

 

 

Written FOR

SEE ETHNIC CLEANSING LIVE ON THE BIG SCREEN

FirefoxScreenSnapz0011
*

The people of the village of Lifta, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, are affirming that right by returning home regularly, even though they cannot yet move back permanently.

Sons of Lifta, a moving short film, was shot on Land Day, when many of Lifta’s people tended the village cemetery.

*

No abandoned land: Palestinians tend ancestors’ graves in village ethnically cleansed in 1948

 Ali Abunimah
*
*

For millions of Palestinians, exercising the right to return home to the villages from which they, their parents or grandparents were ethnically cleansed during the Nakba to make way for Israel, remains an aspiration.

… our springs, our trees and our stones

The people of the village of Lifta, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, are affirming that right by returning home regularly, even though they cannot yet move back permanently.

Sons of Lifta, a moving short film, was shot on Land Day, when many of Lifta’s people tended the village cemetery.

Yacoub Odeh, a Liftawi, and one of the leaders of the campaign to save the village, explains in the video the significance of this act:

We are here today to clean the cemetery. We must clean it well, so that the graves are visible. Why? So that people can see that this is not abandoned land. No! Anybody who wants to buy or make plans [for our land] must know that these are our graves, our houses, our olive presses, our springs, our trees and our stones.

The Palestinian refugee rights organization, BADIL, which produced the film, says:

Sons of Lifta follows refugees from the village as they return to Lifta on Land Day 2013, more than 65 years after their original forced displacement. Through the eyes and actions of Lifta’s new generations, following in the footsteps of their ancestors, it becomes clear that the Zionist belief that ‘the old will die out and the young will forget’ never accounted for the strength of Palestinian sumoud (steadfastness) or the deep-rooted connection to home.

Lifta under new Israeli threat

Lifta, one of the few ethnically cleansed villages to remain largely intact, is now under threat from Israel plans to turn it into a luxury Jewish colony. Villagers and their supporters have challenged the plan in Israeli courts and have won a temporary reprieve. There are also calls for international protection for Lifta’s unique cultural heritage.

Lifta is my mother’s birthplace, so this video had special significance for me as I watched it with her and she shared her memories of childhood. But any displaced Palestinian can identify with the experience and narrative of Lifta.

Sons of Lifta was produced by BADIL’s Ongoing Nakba Education Center which uses multi-media advocacy tools to document Palestine’s Ongoing Nakba. You can see more films, photo-stories and audio pieces at the project website.

 

Written FOR

POSTERS FOR PALESTINE

 Share these as widely as possible ….
*
JFPROR - Like and Share
*
980276_485226668218675_112223058_o
*
198278_10151699545574772_329595095_n
*
Show your support by signing HERE

PALESTINE SOLD TO HIGHEST BIDDER FOR $4 BILLION

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
mother-palestine-gives-abbas-a-lesson-on-right-of-return (3)
*
The situation has gotten worse since THIS was posted ….
*
It is vital we make things amply clear for our people. The U.S. simply wants to bribe the easy-going easy-coming PA leadership into giving up the paramount right of return for Palestinian refugees, East Jerusalem and accept a deformed state-let on parts of the West Bank, all in order to enable the resumption of the so-called peace process.
*
Kerry bullies Abbas to cede right of return for 4b. dollars
By Khalid Amayreh

During the recently held World-economic Forum in Amman , U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry revealed that the U.S. would offer the Palestinian Authority (PA) $4 billion dollars for reactivating the Palestinian economy.

However, Kerry made it unmistakably clear that the implementation of the American inducement package was dependent on the resumption of the stalled peace process between an imperial Israel, armed to the teeth and in tight control of the American government. And the PA, a vanquished supplicant whose very survival depends on Israeli good will as well as western handouts.

Some gullible observers have hailed the American “gesture,” ignoring the poisoned chalice the Palestinians are being urged to drink as part of the deal. The PA has denied that it would sacrifice Palestinian rights in return for some transient economic benefits. However, from early Palestinian reactions it is noticed that a majority of Palestinians have deep suspicions as to whether Abbas will be able to withstand and resist America’s bullying.

It is vital we make things amply clear for our people. The U.S. simply wants to bribe the easy-going easy-coming PA leadership into giving up the paramount right of return for Palestinian refugees, East Jerusalem and accept a deformed state-let on parts of the West Bank, all in order to enable the resumption of the so-called peace process.

In other words, Kerry wants to get Abbas, et al, to agree to liquidate the essence of the Palestinian national cause in return for some financial inducements. They just want to reproduce the same false optimism and euphoria that accompanied all peace conferences ever since the Oslo Accords. And as we all know, all these conferences ended up in a gigantic fiasco, with the main reason being Israel’s adamant refusal to give up the spoils of the 1967 war and allow for the repatriation of the refugees to their homes and villages from which they were expelled at gunpoint when Israel was created 65 years ago.

It would be a huge disaster if the Palestinian leadership were to relate seriously to the American proposal. It would amount to a kind of committing an act of lewdness with the enduring national cause, something the Palestinian people would never allow to happen.

In fact, one could claim that the very American offer carries with it a great deal of naivety if only because everyone knows that economic prosperity is impossible under a sinister foreign military occupation. Indeed, one doesn’t have to be a great economic expert to realize that in the absence of sovereignty and freedom of movement, there is a little chance for sustained economic development. It would be lamentable if the PA failed to realize this point after all the lessons of the past 20 years.

Peres: notorious liar, war criminal

During the economic conference mentioned above, the elderly Israeli President Shimon Peres, a certified war criminal par excellance, tried to cajole Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas into coming to terms with the fait accompli which Israel created ever since 1967.

Peres, a figurehead head of state, delivered a “moving speech” urging the Palestinians to return to the peace table without conditions. He claimed that a majority of Israelis wanted peace. However, Peres didn’t say why Israel was building dozens of colonies in the West Bank and transferring hundreds of thousands of fanatical settlers to live on land that belongs to another people,

Abbas, notoriously known for his complacency, seemed overly eager to respond positively to Peres’ tricks and deception. He told reporters in Jordan that there was still a chance for the two state solution.

The Palestinian leader simply didn’t know what he was taking about. Well, in order to give Abbas the benefit of the doubt, one would have to disbelieve one’s eyes and up all his mental faculties.

This is so because Israel has killed any remaining possibility for the establishment of a viable Palestinian state as dozens of Jewish settlements have been created in and around East Jerusalem, the contemplated capital of the contemplated Palestinian state.

This is not to mention the estimated 150-200 other settlements and settlement outposts which Israel built all over the occupied territories.

In short, the Palestinian people must not be duped into being bitten by the same snake again. Some people learn from other people’s mistakes, others learn only from their own mistakes. Unfortunately, there are certain people with the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah who learn neither from their nor from other people’s mistake. This is really a disaster.

 

 

ISRAEL IS THE BIRTHRIGHT OF PALESTINIAN REFUGEES, NOT JEWS FROM BROOKLYN

We are non-Israeli Jews who oppose the program because it promotes and supports Israel’s ongoing colonialism and apartheid policies, and marginalizes Jewish experiences in the diaspora. We are calling for the end of the Birthright program, and encourage individuals to boycott the trips.
*
Unfair
**

As Jews we say “Birthright” trips must end

Aviva Stahl
Sarah Woolf and 
Sam Elliott Bick
*
Elderly woman sits in refugee camp

Israel claims all Jews have a “birthright” to the country, while Palestinian refugees are barred from return.

 (Ashraf Amra / APA images)

*

As the summer months approach, thousands of young Jews from more than 60 countries prepare to participate in the Taglit-Birthright program. Since 1999, Birthright has brought 340,000 young Jews to Israel on free ten-day trips. In the midst of the fervor to sign up for this bi-annual program, we have launched the website Renounce Birthright (renouncebirthright.org) with the aim of providing a space for potential participants to engage with critiques of Birthright and of Zionism.

We are non-Israeli Jews who oppose the program because it promotes and supports Israel’s ongoing colonialism and apartheid policies, and marginalizes Jewish experiences in the diaspora. We are calling for the end of the Birthright program, and encourage individuals to boycott the trips.

Birthright was created in response to concerns over increasing rates of intermarriage, the perceived “crisis of continuity” and the weakening of Jewish communal ties. Over the course of the last decade, the program has worked to create and maintain commitment to Zionism and Israel on the part of non-Israeli Jews.

Exclusive ideology

Birthright’s mission, according to the organization, is to “diminish the growing division between Israel and Jewish communities around the world; strengthen the sense of solidarity among world Jewry; and strengthen participants’ personal Jewish identity and connection to the Jewish people.”

The idea of strengthening “solidarity among world Jewry,” “personal Jewish identity,” and Israel’s “connection to the Jewish people” through trips to Israel is based on a conflation ofJudaism with Zionism. Judaism is a religion. Political Zionism is a movement based on the belief that Jews have a right to settle in modern-day Israel, to the exclusion of the indigenous Palestinians.

The term “Birthright” itself is telling. Like its American counterpart, the ideology of manifest destiny, it operates under the premise that all Jewish people have an exclusive “right” to Palestinian land. In both the American and Israeli contexts, the only way to secure that “right” is through violence, land theft and displacement.

Settler-colonialism must be opposed, no matter where it takes place. For non-Israeli Jews living in other settler-colonial countries, we must also be accountable to other processes of de-colonization. No group of people have the right to live anywhere that mandates the explicit exclusion of anyone else.

The establishment of the Israeli state, and the alleged Jewish “birthright,” involved the violent displacement of several hundred thousand indigenous Palestinians, and the destruction of hundreds of Palestinian villages. A Palestinian refugee population of nearly 7 million people is to this day excluded from returning to their lands by Israeli state discrimination.

In contemporary Israel — where approximately one-fifth of the population is Palestinian — the rights of citizenship (ezrahut) and nationality (le’um) are intentionally distinct. Palestinians born within the 1949 armistice line are considered citizens (and not nationals). Meanwhile a Jew born and raised in New York has a “birthright” to the Israeli state in Palestine, is considered a national, and can almost immediately become a citizen upon emigrating.

Maintaining a myth

Birthright in particular — as a part of the Zionist project — relies on the belief that non-Israeli Jews are national-citizens-in-waiting, a reality from which Palestinian refugees are forever excluded.

We would have no “Birthright” without Israeli occupation and apartheid — it is how Zionism sustains the myth of “a land without a people, for a people without a land.”

Birthright has spent more than $600 million since its inception in 1999. The organization has three major sources of funding: the Israeli government (which committed another $100 million to Birthright in 2011), wealthy donors such as Charles Bronfman, and Jewish federations across North America (“The romance of Birthright Israel,” The Nation, 15 June 2011).

In a 2012 speech delivered to Birthright participants, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “So when you go out and people tell you things about Israel, tell them about what you saw. Make sure when you go back home, tell them about the real Israel” (“PM Netanyahu’s speech at Taglit-Birthright Israel mega-event”).

Convincing non-Israeli Jews to defend Netanyahu’s “real Israel” is an integral part of Birthright, and helps explain the government’s investment in the program.

The program’s largest financial supporter, billionaire Sheldon Adelson — who has provided $140 million to the program — was described in The New York Times last year as having “disgust for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” (“What Sheldon Adelson wants,” 23 June 2012).

Beyond individual donors, non-Israeli Jewish community organizations and institutions — such as the Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Agency for Israel — support Birthright economically and politically.

Apolitical?

In the name of diasporic Jewish communities, these organizations invest millions of dollars into the promotion of Birthright’s political Zionism, rather than in local projects.

Despite all this, Birthright claims to be apolitical. In 2006, Birthright Director of Marketing Gidi Mark said: “I don’t think it’s political for Jews to support Israel” (“Come, see Palestine!” Salon.com, 5 June 2006).

However, the establishment and maintenance of an exclusively Jewish Israel — through forcible displacement, land theft, occupation, segregation, institutionalized racism and systemic discrimination — is political at its core, and is both supported and reinforced by the Birthright program.

For instance, during the trip, approximately 10,000 Birthright participants visit the Ahavacosmetics factory each year; Ahava is located in the illegally-occupied West Banksettlement of Mitzpe Shalem. Ahava directly profits from the exploitation of Palestinian Dead Sea resources.

Moreover, disturbing accounts of explicit racism have arisen in recent years; former participants often recount how the language used by Birthright personnel demonizes Palestinians. One past attendee said her Birthright tour guide told her group that “Arabs have wanted to kill Jews forever, that they are ‘like mosquitoes’ we must swat away” (“So you’re thinking of Birthright,” Mondoweiss, 20 December 2012).

Zionism is a political project, and Birthright is perhaps the most tangible manifestation of that political project outside Israel. As such, we must recognize our engagements with Birthright as a question of politics, and not just “a free vacation.”

Narrow confines

In reinforcing the belief that what it means to be Jewish is to be Zionist (particularly for non-Israeli Jewish youth), Birthright perpetuates a single narrative about what it means to be Jewish outside of Israel, and who can be a Jew.

Jewish people speak and have spoken an array of languages, live and have lived across the world, and possess different histories that extend beyond the narrow confines of political Zionism and the nation-state of Israel.

It is contemporary political Zionism that has “othered” Mizrahi/Arab-Jews, as New York University professor Ella Shohat explains, by urging Arab Jews “to see their only real identity as Jewish,” such that their “Arabness, the product of millennial cohabitation, is merely a diasporic stain to be ‘cleansed’ through assimilation” (“The invention of the Mizhahim,” Journal of Palestine Studies, Volume 29, No. 1, Autumn 1999).

Further, Israel’s policy towards Ethiopian Jews in recent years demonstrates how the limits of Jewishness are often defined through Zionism. There is a clear tension between Birthright’s claim to promote diasporic life, and the fact that it the program is so deeply rooted in Zionism, an ideology that homogenizes the experiences and identities of Jews.

Our alleged Birthright can only exist through the suppression and erasure of many Jewish identities, histories and experiences.

Liberation in Palestine is a question of land, colonialism and apartheid — not religion. The work of Jewish and Israeli organizations and collectives such as Zochrot, Boycott from Within, the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, and Israeli Queers Against Apartheid attests to this fact.

As scholar Judith Butler has explained: “there have always been Jewish traditions that oppose state violence, that affirm multi-cultural co-habitation, and defend principles of equality, and this vital ethical tradition is forgotten or sidelined when any of us accept Israel as the basis of Jewish identification or values” (“Judith Butler responds to attack,” Mondoweiss, 27 August 2012).

No right to apartheid

We have founded Renounce Birthright because Birthright demands our complicity in two intersecting (but distinct) forms of violence: first, the occupation of Palestine and the Israeli government’s brutal regime of apartheid and second, the erasure and suppression of diverse Jewish experiences and communities across the world.

In organizing for Palestinian liberation, we are deeply committed to the belief that Jewish experiences and narratives — particularly North American Jewish experiences, including our own — should not be centered.

As Mezna Qato and Kareem Rabie explained in their recent article for Jacobin magazine: “the left often neglects these anti-colonial principles and seeks out Jewish voices to validate Palestinian claims. In turn, it privileges Jewish discourse, anxieties, and histories in ways that marginalize Palestinians in their own struggle” (“Against the Law,” Spring 2013).

We recognize that our struggles are greatly distinct yet related, and are engaged in this project first and foremost from a position of solidarity.

We call on non-Israeli Jews across the diaspora to join us in renouncing Birthright— and our privileged legal relationship to the Israeli state — because we have no right to apartheid and colonialism.

Aviva Stahl grew up in New Jersey and now lives in London; she is the US researcher for CagePrisoners and a collective member of Bent Bars. She can be followed on Twitter@stahlidarity.

Sarah Woolf is an editorial intern at The Nation magazine. Hailing from Montréal, she currently lives in New York City.

Sam Elliott Bick is from Montreal, Québec. He is a member of the Tadamon! collective, and organizes at the Immigrant Workers Center. He can be followed on Twitter@sam_Bick.

Source

*
Also see THIS relevant post

IS YOUR NAME ON THE LIST?

JFPROR tinyurl

To support the Jews for Palestinian Right of Return statement below, please:

**Sign as an individual or organization at: http://bit.ly/JewsForRoR

**Join, invite friends to, and repost the Facebook event page at: https://www.facebook.com/events/123495234483983/

**Repost widely on websites and blogs

———
Praise for JFPROR

Ali Abunimah (Electronic Intifada): “Beautiful!”

Mezna Qato (US Palestinian Community Network): “Absolutely beautiful.”

Dr. Ghada Karmi, M.D.: “An excellent statement which gets at the heart of the Palestinian cause. All people of conscience must sign it.”

Fatin Jarara (Al Awda-NY: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition): “Thank you, JFPROR, for your support of the right of return for Palestinian refugees to all of Historic Palestine and for the call for a single democratic state, a point that must never be compromised by Palestinians, first and foremost, or their allies.”

Max Blumenthal: ”I was proud to join so many outstanding people in signing.”

Stuart Bramhall (Daily Censored): “Profoundly moving.”

Kevin Ovenden (Palestine solidarity activist, London): “Well done – forwards to peace and justice, without which there can be no peace.”

————-
Jews For Palestinian Right of Return
January 1, 2013

“For Palestinians, the right to return home and the right to live in dignity and equality in their own land are not any less important than the right to live free of military occupation.”
Prof. Saree Makdisi

For more than a century, Zionists have sought to construct a “Jewish state” through forced removal of the indigenous Palestinian people.

In 1948, this state was established through the Nakba (Catastrophe): erasure and occupation of more than 500 Palestinian towns and villages, dispossession of over 750,000 Palestinians, and a terror campaign of which the massacre at Deir Yassin is but the most infamous example.

Since 1967, Israel has also occupied and colonized the remainder of historic Palestine. Today, this relentless ethnic cleansing continues — armed and financed by the U.S. and its allies — on both sides of the 1948 “Green Line.”

As a cumulative result, seventy percent of Palestinians are in exile, the world’s largest refugee population.

Nowhere is this clearer than in Gaza, where Israel inflicts particularly brutal collective punishment on 1.7 million people — most of them refugees — for defiantly resisting expulsion from their homes throughout historic Palestine.

“Pick a point, any point, along [Gaza’s] 25-mile coastline,” writes Gaza City resident Lara Aburamadan, “and you’re seven or so miles — never more — from the other side. The other side is where my grandparents were born, in a village that has since become someone else’s country, off limits to me. You call it Israel. I call it the place where the bombs come from.”

To hide these crimes and shield itself from their consequences, the Zionist regime officially denies the Nakba, the ethical equivalent of Holocaust denial. It has even authorized legislation to penalize those who memorialize the Nakba — a step toward criminalizing its observance altogether.

As it is for all colonized peoples, liberation means reversing dispossession. “The Palestinian cause,” writes Dr. Haidar Eid in Gaza, “is the right of return for all refugees and nothing less.”

Return — one of the key demands of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign — is affirmed in U.N. resolution 194, but derives from the principle of universal human rights and, as such, cannot be renounced or abandoned by any body or representative; it inalienably attaches to Palestinians, both individually and collectively.

Despite this, even some who criticize Israel’s 1967 occupation claim that Palestinian return is “unrealistic.”

However, solidarity means unconditional support for the just aims of those resisting oppression. As Palestinian journalist-activist Maath Musleh explains: “If you think that [return] is not possible, then you are really not in solidarity with the Palestinian cause.”

Some also object that refugees’ return would mean an end to the “Jewish state.” But supporters of social justice must ask themselves how they can defend a state whose very existence depends on structural denial of Palestinian rights.

Recently, more than a hundred leading Palestinian activists reaffirmed their opposition “to all forms of racism and bigotry, including, but not limited to, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Zionism, and other forms of bigotry directed at anyone, and in particular people of color and indigenous peoples everywhere.”

Such racism and bigotry is reflected precisely in Zionism’s attempt to erase the Palestinian people, a century long campaign that dishonors the memory of Jewish suffering and resistance in Europe.

The moral response is clear: “There is one geopolitical entity in historic Palestine,” writes Palestinian journalist Ali Abunimah. “Israel must not be allowed to continue to entrench its apartheid, racist and colonial rule throughout that land.”

As Jews of conscience, we call on all supporters of social justice to stand up for Palestinian Right of Return and a democratic state throughout historic Palestine — “From the River to the Sea” — with equal rights for all.

The full measure of justice, upon which the hopes of all humanity depends, requires no less.

(Except where marked as organizational endorsements,* affiliations below are listed for identification only.)

Initial Signers
Max Ajl, Writer and activist; Cornell Students for Justice in Palestine
Gabriel Ash, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network Switzerland
Max Blumenthal, Journalist and author
Prof. Haim Bresheeth, Filmmaker, photographer and film studies scholar
Lenni Brenner, Author and antiwar activist
Mike Cushman, Convenor, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (UK)
Sonia Fayman, French Jewish Union for Peace; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network France
Sherna Berger Gluck, Founding member, U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel; Israel Divestment Campaign
Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, Coordinator, Fellowship of Reconciliation Peacewalks, Mural Arts in Palestine and Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence
Hector Grad, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network Spain
Abraham Greenhouse, Blogger, Electronic Intifada
Tony Greenstein, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (UK)
Jeff Halper, Director, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD)
Stanley Heller, Host of “The Struggle” TV News
Tikva Honig-Parnass, Former member of the Zionist armed forces (1948); author of False Prophets of Peace: Liberal Zionism and the Struggle for Palestine
Adam Horowitz, Co-Editor, Mondoweiss.net
Selma James, Global Women’s Strike; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network UK
David Klein, Organizing Committee, U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Dennis Kortheuer, Organizing Committee, U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel; Israel Divestment Campaign; Dump Veolia LA
David Letwin, Activist and writer; Gaza Freedom March
Michael Letwin, Co-Founder, Labor for Palestine; Organizing Committee, U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel; Al-Awda NY: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
Antony Loewenstein, Australian journalist and author
Barbara Lubin, Executive Director, Middle East Children’s Alliance
Mike Marqusee, Author of If I Am Not for Myself: Journey of an Anti-Zionist Jew
Hajo Meyer, Auschwitz survivor; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
Linda Milazzo, Participatory journalist and educator
Prof. IlanPappé, Israeli historian and socialist activist
MikoPeled, Author of The General’s Son
Karen Pomer, Granddaughter of Henri B. van Leeuwen, Dutch anti-Zionist leader and Bergen-Belsen survivor
Diana Ralph, Assistant Coordinator, Independent Jewish Voices-Canada
Dorothy Reik, Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains
Prof. Dr. Fanny-Michaela Reisin, President, International League for Human Rights (German Section FIDH); Founding member, Jewish Voice for a Just Peace – EJJP Germany
Rachel Roberts, Civil rights attorney and writer
Ilana Rossoff, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
Carol K. Smith, Activist and civil rights attorney
Lia Tarachansky, Director, Seven Deadly Myths
Hadas Thier, Contributing author of The Struggle for Palestine; Israeli-born daughter and granddaughter of Nazi Holocaust survivors
Dr. Abraham Weizfeld, Jewish People’s Liberation Organization (Montréal)
Sherry Wolf, Author and public speaker; International Socialist Organization; Adalah-NY
Marcy Winograd, Former Congressional peace candidate; public school teacher
Dr. Roger van Zwanenberg, Non-Executive Director, Pluto Books Ltd. 

Additional Signers
Dr. Liz Aaronsohn, New Britain, CT
Stephen Aberle, Independent Jewish Voices; Vancouver, BC

Deborah Agre
, Middle East Children’s Alliance; Berkeley, CA
Seymour Alexander
, Jews for Justice for Palestinians; Slough, UK
*American Jews For A Just Peace (ajjp.org)
Steve Amsel
, Jerusalem
Jeremy Appel, Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) York; Toronto, ON

Ruth Bader
German-Jewish/Australian daughter of Holocaust survivors
Adam Balsam, Independent Jewish Voices Canada
Miri Barak, Israel
Elifelet Sara Der Barambdiker, Jerusalem
Moran Barir, Human rights activist; Jerusalem
Ronnie Barkan, Boycott from Within; Tel-Aviv
Nora Barrows-Friedman, Journalist
Dalit Baum, Israeli feminist teacher and activist
Medea Benjamin, Codirector, Codepink
Ray Bergmann, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Craig Berman
, Kampala, Uganda
Mark Berman, Playwright
Rima Berns-McGown, Writer and Adjunct Faculty, University of Toronto at Mississauga
Frances Bernstein, Leeds, UK

Professor Naomi Binder Wall
, Toronto, ON
Councillor Jonathan Bloch, London, UK

Elizabeth Block
, Independent Jewish Voices; Toronto, ON
Audrey Bomse, National Lawyers Guild, Free Gaza
Lawrence Boxall, Independent Jewish Voices; Vancouver, BC
Professor Dennis Brasky, Rutgers University
Monique Buckner, BDS South Africa; Cassington, Oxfordshire, UK
Estee Chandler, Founding Member, Jewish Voice for Peace, L.A. Chapter
Linda Clair, Manchester Palestine Solidarity Campaign, UK
Jonathan Cohen, College Park
Robert A. H. Cohen, Kendal, Cumbria, UK
Richard Colbath-Hess, Jewish Voices for Peace; Cambridge, MA
David Comedi, Tucumán, Argentina
Prof. Stuart Cryer, Gatineau, QC
Prof. Roger Dittmann, Scientists Without Borders; CSU Fullerton
Gordon Doctorow, Toronto, ON
Amy Druker, Toronto, ON

Sarah Ducker
, Leeds, UK
Mark Elf
, Jews sans frontiers
Arlene Eisen, San Francisco, CA
Marc Etlin, NYC
Prof. Sam Farber, NYC
PnIna Feiler, Yad Hanna, Israel
Marian Feinberg, Environmental and social justice activist; Bronx, NY
Harry Feldman, Blogger
Keith Fine, Birmingham, AL

Deborah Fink
, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods; UK
Julius Fisher, Vancouver, BC
Alexei Folger, Jewish Voice for Peace; Bay Area
Maxine Fookson, Jewish Voice for Peace; Portland, OR
Racheli Gai, Tucson Women in Black; Jewish Voice for Peace
Prof. Roni Gechtman, PhD, Mount Saint Vincent University; Halifax, NS
Nicole Gevirtz, Voorhees, NJ
Amit Gilutz, Ithaca, NY
Dr. Terri Ginsberg, film scholar; Committee for Open Discussion of Zionism; NYC
Christoph Glanz, Oldenburg, Germany
Neta Golan, ISM, Palestinian Territories
Nathan Goldbaum, International Socialist Organization; Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators, Chicago Teachers Union
Sharon Goldberg, Surrey, BC
Michael Golden, Ashland, OR
Steve Goldfield, PhD, Former chair, Palestine Solidarity Committee; former editor, Palestine Focus; Oakland, CA
Jean R. Goldman, Women in Black; Miami Beach
Rachel Goldstein, Lakewood, CO
Sue Goldstein, Women in Solidarity with Palestine; Toronto, ON
Arifa Goodman, San Cristobal, NM
Kathryn Goodman, Paekakariki, Kapiti Coast, Wellington, NZ
Marty Goodman, Former Executive Board member, Transport Workers Union Local 100, NYC
Allen Greenberg, NYC
Terry Greenberg, Vancouver, BC

Shaina Greiff
, Researcher/writer; London, UK
Jennifer Grossbard
Heidi Grunebaum, Cape Town
Cathy Gulkin, Independent Jewish Voices; Queers Against Israeli Apartheid; Toronto, ON
Georges Gumpel, Union Juive Française pour la Paix
Freda Guttman, Tadamon!; Montreal
Boris Hammerschlag, Internationalist Socialist League, grandson of holocaust survivors and victims (Dachau); Israel/Occupied Palestine
Shaul Hanuka, Mitzpe Ramon
Benjamin Hecht, Germany
Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, Author and journalist; Germany
Elliot Helman, Jewish Voices for Peace; San Francisco, CA
Annette Herskovits, Holocaust survivor, writer, and activist; Berkeley, CA
Louis Hirsch, Chicago, IL
Rebecca Hom, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network-U.S.
Bec Hynek, Socialist Alternative; Sydney, NSW
Naomi Isaacs, Munich, Bavaria
*Jews Opposing Zionism, Not In Our Name – NION (Canada)
Riva Joffe
, Jews Against Zionism; London, UK
Bette Jones, Jews for Justice for Palestinians; Network of Oxford Women (NOW) for Justice & Peace; UK
Ramsey Judah, Activist and immigration rights attorney; Los Angeles, CA
Elena Judensnaider, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
Alex Kane, Assistant Editor, Mondoweiss.net; World Editor, AlterNet
Dan Kaplan, Executive Secretary, AFT Local 1493, San Mateo, CA Community College Federation of Teachers
Jenny Kastner, Cambridge, MA
Louis Katz, Longmeadow, MA
Martha H. Katz, Youngstown, OH
Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta, Author, Refusing to be Enemies: Palestinian and Israeli Nonviolent Resistance to the Israeli Occupation; Independent Jewish Voices–Canada; Burnaby, BC
Asaf Kedar, Zochrot
Alice Diane Kisch, Jewish Voice for Peace; Emeryville, CA
Elena Klaver, Niwot, CO

Janet Klecker
, Sonoma Valley Peace & Justice
Mark Klein, Toronto, ON
Dr. Irena Klepfisz
Jacob Klippenstein, Chicago, IL
Harris Kornstein, Graduate student, UC Santa Cruz
Bud Korotzer, Brooklyn, NY
Francine Korotzer, Brooklyn, NY
Yael Korin, Campaign to End Israeli Apartheid; Southern California
Al Kovnat, Vietnam Vets Against the War; OSS; Veterans for Peace; Bensalem, PA
Prof. Emeritus Steve Kowit, American poet, Southwestern College
*L.A. Jews for Peace
Rosa Kurshan-Emmer, public school teacher; Oakland, CA

Micha Kurz
, Grassroots Jerusalem; Al-Quds
Sylvia Laale
, Ottawa, ON
Stephen Landau, Translator and publisher; White Plains, NY
David Landy, Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Lenny Lapon, Springfield, MA
Valerie Lasciak, WILPF Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom; Santa Cruz, CA
Lillian Laskin, L.A. Jews for Peace
Prof. Barbara Laslett, Seattle, WA
Albert Meyer, Gainesville, FL
Alan Myerson, Culver City, CA
Pauline Laurance
Chuck Scurich
, Oakland, CA

Melanie Lazarow
, University of Melbourne, Australia
Rachel Lederman, Attorney; San Francisco, CA
Howard Lenow, Union Attorney, Founder, American Jews For A Just Peace;
Sudbury, MA
Aaron Lerner, Senior, University of Washington-Seattle
Leah Levane, Jews for Justice for Palestinians; London, UK
Adam Levenstein
Michael Levin
, Musician; Chicago, IL
Rebekah Levin, Steering Committee, Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine; Oak Park, IL
Daniel Levyne, Union juive française pour la paix, France
Brenda Lewis, Child of Holocaust survivor; Guelph, ON
Mark Lickerman, Chicago, IL
Molly Lidz, Labor organizer; Philadelphia, PA
Daniella Liebling, Brooklyn, NY
Prof. Emerita Abby Lippman, McGill University, Montreal
Dave Lippman, NYC
Michael Locker, NYC
Stephanie Locker, NYC
Jennifer Loewenstein, Faculty & Programming Assistant, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Henry Lowi
Prof. Alex Lubin, American University of Beirut
David Makofsky, Research anthropologist; Oakland, CA/Beijing, PRC

Helga Mankovitz
, Independent Jewish Voices; Kingston, ON
Eli Marcus, Occupied Palestine
Richard Marcuse, Independent Jewish Voices; West Vancouver, BC
Katrina Mayer, Jewish socialist & anti-Zionist; Leeds, UK
Hilda Meers, Scottish Jews For a Just Peace
Helaine Meisler, Jews Say No!, Middle East Crisis Response
Chloe Meltzer
Peter Melvyn, Critical Jewish Voice; Vienna
Abraham Melzer, Publisher and Journalist; Neu Isenburg, Germany
Waldo Mermelstein, Sao Paulo, Brasil
Karen Meshkov, Philadelphia, PA
Gail Miller, Passenger, U.S. Boat to Gaza-The Audacity of Hope; NY
Prof. David Moshman, Lincoln, NB

Susannah Nachenberg
, Oakland, CA
Dorothy Naor
, Herzliah, Israel
Ofer Neiman
, Jerusalem, Israel
Sheryl Nestel
, Independent Jewish Voices Canada; Toronto, ON
Prof. Hilton Obenzinger, Palo Alto, CA

Orna Neumann
, London, UK
Marlene Newesri, NYC
Hiam Tabbarah Odds, Spain
Paula Orloff, Nevada City, CA
Norah Orlow, Jerusalem

Akiva Orr 
(1931-2013), Matzpen
Dr. Susan Pashkoff, London, UK
Ibrahim Paul, Sweden
Sharon Pavlovich, Teacher, NYC

Yael Petretti
, Southampton, MA
Karen Platt, Jewish Voice for Peace; Albany, CA
Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, Postdoctoral Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Peter Purich, Ottawa, ON

Prof. Peter Rachleff
, Macalester College; Saint Paul, MN
Dr. Marco Ramazzotti Stockel, Ebrei Contro l’Occupazione; Roma
Roland Rance, Jews Against Zionism; London, UK
Zohar Chamberlain Regev, Dúrcal; Granada, Spain
Fanny-Michaela Reisin, Jewish Voice for a Just Peace-EJJP Germany
Renen, Boycott From Within; Tel Aviv
Ernest Rodker, Jews for Justice for Palestinians; UK
Barbara Rosenbaum, Co-editor, Patterns of Prejudice; London, UK
Ernesto Rosenberg, Gynecologist; Neuquén, Argentina
Prof. Jonathan Rosenhead, Chair, British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP)
Emma Rosenthal, Director, Cafe Intifada; Los Angeles, CA
Yehoshua Rosin, Gush-Shalom; Rehovot, Israel
Martha Roth, Independent Jewish Voices; Vancouver, BC
Peter Roth, Stockholm, Sweden
Reuben Roth, Laurentian University, Oshawa, ON
Gerald Rozner, Monroe, MI
Prof. Cheyl A. Rubenberg, Boca Raton, FL
Rachel Rubin, Chicago, IL
Sandra Ruch, Toronto, ON
Michael Sackin, Leicester, UK
Leslie Safran, London, UK
Margot Salom, Just Peace for Palestine; Brisbane, Australia
Marlena Santoyo, Jewish Quaker, Germantown Friends Meeting, Philadelphia, PA
Prof. Christiane Schomblond (Ret.), University of Brussels
Ralph Schoenman, Author: Hidden History of Zionism; Vallejo, CA
Abraham Schultz,  Mexico City
Chuck Scurich, Oakland, CA
Susan Schwartz, Thousand Oaks, CA
Sylvia Schwarz, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network; Saint Paul, MN

Yossi Schwartz
, Internationalist Socialist League; Haifa
Amanda Sebestyen, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network UK, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods, Independent Jewish Voices
Carole Seligman, Co-editor, Socialist Viewpoint; San Francisco, CA

Noa Shaindlinger
, PhD candidate, Department of Near and Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto
Stephen Shenfield, Researcher and translator; Providence, RI
Ur Shlonsky, Geneva, Switzerland
Sid Shniad, National Steering Committee, Independent Jewish Voices; Vancouver, BC
Mya Shone, Author, The Hidden History of Zionism
Benjamin Silverman, Student and writer; New Jersey
Inbal Sinai, Tel-Aviv, Israel/Occupied Palestine
John Sigler, Jewish Friends of Palestine, Colorado Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Judy Slosser, Los Angeles, CA

Erica Smith
, New Rochelle, NY
Kobi Snitz, Tel Aviv

Abba A. Solomon
, Author of The Speech, and Its Context
Peter Sporn, Arab Jewish Partnership for Peace and Justice in the Middle East; Oak Park, IL
Lyn Stein, San Francisco, CA
Marsha Steinberg, BDS LA for Justice in Palestine
Alan Stolzer, NYC
Bilha Suendermann Golan, Human rights activist; Beit She’arim, Israel
Rhonda Sussman
Cy Swartz, Grandparents for Peace in the Middle East; Philadelphia, PA
Lois Swartz, Grandparents for Peace in the Middle East; Philadelphia, PA
Len Szajko, Israel
Marta Szedlak, Australia
Joshua Tartakovsky, Jerusalem
Prof. Barry Trachtenberg, Historian; Albany, NY
Matthew Taylor, Founding member, Young Jewish and Proud group within Jewish Voice for Peace; Berkeley, CA
Steve Terry, Criminal defense attorney; Brooklyn, NY
Sara Traub, Toronto, ON
Michael Treiger, Palestine

Lily van den Bergh
, Documentary filmmaker & organizer; Women in Black; NL
Dominique Ventre, French Jewish Union for Peace; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network France
Richard Wagman, Honorary Chairman, French Jewish Peace Union (UJFP), Paris
Donna Wallach, Founder, Justice for Palestinians
Judith Weisman, Independent Jewish Voices; Not in Our Name (NION); Toronto, ON
Jeff Warner, La Habra Heights, CA
Suzanne Weiss, Not In Our Name (NION); Toronto, ON
Barry Weisleder, Federal Secretary, Socialist Action/Ligue pour l’Actionsocialiste; Toronto, ON
Devra Wiseman
Adrienne Weller
, Freedom Socialist Party; Seattle, WA
Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, Founder member, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods; UK
Bekah Wolf, Co-Founder, Palestine Solidarity Project
Tamar Yaron, Founder & moderator: Encounter-EMEM for International Israel-Palestine peace activities; Kibbutz Hazorea, Israel
Myk Zeitlin, London, UK
Helen Holt Zuckerman, Philadelphia, PA
Larry Zweig, Solidarität International e.V.; Fürth, Germany

Allies
*Al Awda NY: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
Avigail Abarbanel
, Psychotherapist, activist and writer; Inverness, UK
Medhat Abbas, Bioinformatician, Director, Egyptiske KulturSenter I Norge
Lamia Abbas, Atlanta
Ramy Abdeljabbar, Paterson, NJ
Milagros Ahmad, Clermont
Jane Alexander, Oxford, UK

Faisal Algahtani
, Saudi Arabia
Elaine Algrain, Luxembourg
Tony Ali, Vancouver, BC
Jackie Alsaid, Academic lawyer in international law; Fareham, UK
Nawal Annab
Don Anderson, Vietnam Veteran; Lebanon, OR
Muhammad Haris Ansari, Medical student; Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan

Marshall Ansell
, Sweden
Larry C. Anthony, Richardson
Enzo Apicella, FCSD/Cartoonist; London, UK
Rita Appleby, Grays, Essex, UK

B. Ross Ashley
, Steering Committee, NDP Socialist Caucus; Toronto, ON
Captain Wajkih Asi, Los Angeles, CA
Muna Assaf, Ramallah, Palestine
Rev. Rene August, Cape Town, South Africa
Prof. Silvio Augusto de Carvalho, Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Ahmed Azeddine, Retired didactic engineering specialist, Teknologist Institut, Frederiksberg, Denmark

Belal Bahader, Writer/activist, Seton Hall University; South Orange, NJ
William Bailey, Kaneohe HI
Maggie Bagon, Florence, OR
Samar Barakat, London, UK

Benjamin Baker
, Doctoral candidate, University of Pennsylvania
Prof. Mona Baker, Translation Studies, University of Manchester, UK

Julien Ball
, International Socialist Organization; San Francisco, CA
John Banks, Care Africa; Las Vegas, NV
Pier Luigi Barberini, Civitella San Paolo, Italy
Brenda Barnard, Brighton, UK
Julia Barnett, Toronto, ON
Faye Bartlett, United Methodist; Bellingham, WA
Bonita Behun, Sebastopol, CA

Nancy J. Bell
, US Student Ambassador for Peace to Israel (1978); Rossville, GA
Linda Benedikt, Writer; München, Deutschland
Ray Bergmann, Just Peace for Palestine; Brisbane, QLD
S. Bergsma, Zwinderen, NL

Joshua Beth

Ada Bilu, Jerusalem
Nils Bjørkelo, Fredrikstad, Norge
Paul Bouwmeester, Elgin, IL
Anne Bowers, Women in Black; NYC
Sallye Steiner Bowyer
Soraya Boyd, Facilitate Global; London, UK
Eamon Bradley, Derry, Ireland
David Bragin, USA

J
ed Brandt, Occupied Media; Brooklyn, NY
Nadine Brennan, Santa Cruz, CA
Tibby Brooks, NYC
Jean Brown, Oakland, CA
Pauline Brown, Oakland, CA
Regina Brown, MD, Anochi; San Francisco, CA

Tom Brown
, Oakland, CA
Rick Burgess, Bangor & Ynys Mon Peace and Justice Group, Anglesey, Wales
Dr. Clint Le Bruyns, Director & Senior Lecturer of Theology & Development Programme, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

Francisco Caballos
, Sefarad Al Andalus, Rojo, Seville, Spain
Edith Cacciatore, Novato, CA
Maria Cal, Vigo, España
Paola Canarutto, Italy
Jen Carlo, Staten Island, NY
Smadar Carmon, Human rights activist; Toronto, ON
Daniel Carnie, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP)-UCLA
Vittorio Caroselli, Blogger; Palermo, Italy

Eva Carter
, Pittsburgh, PA
Eric Carwardine
, Thornlie, Western Australia
Teresa Castillo, Madera, CA
Carolyn Cicciu, Palestine Education Network (NH) and New Englanders for Justice in Palestine; Goffstown, NH
Ben Collins, International HIV Partnerships; London, UK
Margot Connolly, Charleville, Co. Cork, Ireland
Ismael Cordeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Sue Cosgrave, Cork, Ireland
Aquila Coulibaly, Occupy The Hood; Philadelphia, PA

Armand Crispin
, Staten Island, NY
Prof. Susan Curtiss, PhD, UCLA
Ian Cuthbertson, UK
Michelle Dalnoky, RN; Florida

Jamal Daoud
, Viva Palestina Australia; Sydney, NSW
Susan Daum, MD, NYC
Walter Daum, League for the Revolutionary Party; NYC
Howard Davidson, Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid; Toronto, ON

Rebeca Dawson
, MD; Houston, TX
Jean Day, Seattle, WA
Langlois Dominique, Hainaut, Belgium
Elsie Dean, Burnaby, BC
Pucci Dellanno, Public speaker, music manager; Porterville, CA
Alexander R. DeSantiago, Stockton, CA

Dr. Sheila Delany
, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC
Stany Dembour, Belgium
David DePoe, Teacher, Rank and File Education Workers of Toronto, Greater Toronto Workers’ Assembly
Merav Devere, Brighton, UK
Gustav Draijer, Amsterdam, NL
Francine Dumas, Gatineau, Quebec
Shane Duran, Brisbane, QLD
Juan De Santiago, San Jose, CA
Mannie De Saxe, Lesbian & Gay Solidarity; Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Sarah Ebady
David Ehrens, Dartmouth, MA
Prof. Nada Elia, Antioch University, Seattle WA
Hilde Kristin Ellingsund, Norway
James A. Everett, President, Ark of the Covenant Foundation

Shaban Mahamoud El-Hellou
, Gaza, Palestine
Ramzy Elian
Liz Elkind
, Scotland

Philip Englehard
, Macclesfield, UK
Sydda Essop, Cape Town

Unni Evang
, Norway
David Evans, Rochester, NY
Prof. Faramarz Farbod, Moravian College, Nazareth, PA

Kathy Felgran
, Watertown, MA
Daniel Fernandes, Curitiba, PR, Brazil

Prof. Gary Fields, 
University of California, San Diego
Michael J. Fitzgerald, Klamath Falls, OR

Steven Flowers
, Chicago Cuba Coalition
Richard Forer, Author, Breakthrough: Transforming Fear into Compassion–A New Perspective on the Israel-Palestine Conflict; Trenton, NJ
Heather Formaini, Italy
Sadie Fourie, Pretoria, South Africa

Prof. Cynthia Franklin
, Univ. of Hawaii
Carl Freeman
, France
Joseph Freeman, Toronto, ON

Craig Fulton
, UK
Patricia Furlough, Conway SC
Maria Galan, Spain
Alisa Gayle-Deutsch, Toronto, ON
Daniel Geery, Salt Lake City, UT

Gumpel Georges
, Union Juive Française pour la Paix, France
Ihsan Ghadieh, Michigan
Kamran Ghasri, CA Green Party Israel Divestment Campaign
Bilal Billy Gibbons, London, UK
W. Gifford, Leesburg
Christoph Glanz, Oldenburg, Germany
Veronica Golos, Poet, Taos, NM
Alicia Fdez Gómez, Asturias
Neil Gordon, Author; Paris
Alice Graner, Minneapolis, MN
Shaina Greiff, Researcher and writer; London, UK
Elsa Guerra, San Francisco, CA
Leticia Guerra, San Antonio, TX
Mitchell Gumbley
Marilyn Hacker
, Poet, translator and editor; Paris
Ismail Hammad, Fairfield, CA
Khaled Hamam, Qatra, Palestine
Cliff G. Hanley
Marcus Christain Hansen, Alstead, NH
Jane Harries, UK
Leora Harris, Brooklyn, NY
Wendy Hartley, Palestine-Israel Working Group of Nevada County, CA
Kamal Hassan, Grants Pass, OR
Abe Hayeem, Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine, UK

Dietrich Heißenbüttel
, Esslingen, Germany
Detlef Heier, Watamu, Coast, Kenya
Amy Helfant, Activist and worker
Philippe de Henau, ingénieur civil member of ABP, INTAL; Belgium

Elise Hendrick
, Cincinnati, OH
George Henry, Bellevue
Shir Hever, Goettingen, Germany
Pat Hewett, Friends of Sabeel; USA
Guy St. Hialie, Canada

Martin Hijmans
, Journalist & blogger, Amsterdam, NL
Sally Hinshaw, Columbus, OH
Reverend Andy Hird, Santa Fe, NM
Guus Hoelen, Leusden, NL
David Howard, Ojai, CA
Michael V. Hugo, Youth and Young Adult Minister; Clinical Social Worker; Mundelein, IL
Thami Hukwe, Socialist Party of Azania

Tony Iltis
Green Left Weekly, Melbourne, Australia
John A. Imani, Los Angeles, CA
Jane Jackman, Researcher, UK
Mohammed Jaradat, Torrance, CA
Jake Javanshir, Toronto, ON

Patrick Jay
, Occupy Colorado Springs
Lee Jenkins, Deputy General Counsel, Howard University; Sterling, VA
Michael Jerome, NYC
Roland James Jesperson, Attorney, Taylor, ND

Nicholas Jewitt
, Bangor, Wales, UK
Linea Johansen, Social-and healthcare helper; Denmark
Susan Kadray, London, ON
Ghada Karmi, UK Research Fellow, University of Exeter

Adah Kay

Asaf Kedar, Zochrot
Warren Keller, Clearwater, FL
Kieran Kelly, Aotearoa
June Forsyth Kenagy, Albany, NY

Stephen Kerpen
, Portland, OR
Dr. Israr Khan, UK
Migna Khan, Advocates for Peace and Social Justice; West New York, NJ
Dr. Nasir Khan, Historian and peace activist; Oslo, Norway
Samira Khoury, Lebanon
Mark Kilian, Internationale Socialisten NL, Alkmaar, Nederland
John King, NYC
Orang Kiyani, London, UK
Kim Klausner, San Francisco, CA
Susie Kneedler, USA
Gill Knight
Margaret Knight
, Santa Cruz, CA
Terri Knoll, Tampa, FL
Kostas Kounenidakis, Athens, Greece
Robert Krikourian
Larry Kronen
, Albuquerque, NM

Elfriede Krutsch
, Berlin, Germany
Jurgen P. Kuhl, Burnaby, BC

*Labor for Palestine
Scott Lafferty
, Brighton, UK
Mika Laiho
, Ex-peacekeeper, UNIFIL, UNPROFOR, IFOR; Pori, Finland
David Landy, Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign; Dublin
David K. Langstaff, Bay Area, CA

Marian Larsen
, Odense, Denmark
Pam Laurance, London, UK
Larry Lawson, Tignish, PEI, Canada

Rachel Lea

Arthur Leahy, Ireland
William Leavy
Lucien Legrand
, Président, Comité pour unePaixJuste au Proche-Orient (CPJPO)–Luxembourg

Margaret Leicester
, Albuquerque, NM
Paola Leonardini, Livorno, Italy
Kathy Lessuck, Providence, RI
Benji de Levie, NL Palestina Komitee, Rotterdam

Jeremy Levinger
, University of Wisconsin-Madison; St. Paul, MN
Carol Frances Likins, ICUJP (Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace); Los Angeles, CA

Scott Linder
, Fremont, CA
Brittney Little, Students for Liberty; Toms River, NJ
Brooke Lober, PhD Student, Gender and Women’s Studies, University of Arizona, Tucson
Tristan Lohendrin, Amsterdam, NL
Ben Lorber, Journalist and activist; Chicago, IL
Leila J. Louis
Rhonda Lumley, Pensacola, FL
Prof. Andrew Lyons, PhD; Toronto, ON
Prof. Emerita Harriet Lyons, University of Waterloo, Toronto, ON
Michael McAllister, Founder of Ché scholarship Bethlehem University; Belfast, Ireland
Ellen McGovern, Buderim, QLD
Dr. William F. McIver II, PhD; Eugene, OR
Paula McPheeters
Dorothy Macedo

Savdah Manjra, Toronto, ON
David Marchesi, Bournemouth, Dorset, UK

Daniel Marlin
Eugene Marner
, Franklin, NY
Robby Martin, Dublin
Marita Mayer
Marijke Merel, Utrecht, NL
Katherine M. Metres, Writer entrepreneur; Silver Spring, MD

Cecily Michaels
, Blaxland, NSW
Salem Mikdadi, China
Julia Miranda, Montreal, QC
Mirna Miranda, U.S. Campaign to End Israeli Occupation; LaPorte, CO

Sean Mohsin, Chicago, IL
Jeffrey Monheit, Fresh Meadows, NY
Liron Mor, Cornell Students for Justice in Palestine
Margrit Moser, Berne, Switzerland
Marie Mouradi, East Greenwich, RI
Neil Mulholland, Ireland
Mariyam Mulla, London, UK
Sean Mulligan, Alpharetta, GA
Haroon Munir, Watford, UK
A. Munshi, Toronto, ON

Maarten Muskens
, PK NL; Germany
Prof. Rima Najjar, Al Quds University, Occupied Palestinian Territory; Bloomington, IN
Taghreed Najjar, Amman, Jordan

Yahya Nana
, Lenasia, South Africa
Jeff Neff, Los Angeles, CA

Mical Nelken
, London, UK
Diana Neslen, Ilford, UK
Si Neumann, Artist, Cairo
Cindy Newman, Los Angeles, CA
Hayley Newman
*New York City Labor Against the War
Tony Nicholas, Sydney, NSW
Rael Nidess, MD; Marshall, TX
Kathy Nitsan, Berkeley, CA

Dagmar Noble
, Weston-super-Mare, Avon, UK
Devon Nola, Political and social justice activist
Judith Norman, San Antonio, TX
Henry Norr, Berkeley, CA
*North Pyget Sound Israel-Palestine Mission Network, Everett, WA
Adam Nuchtern, Houston, TX
Cornelius O’Brien, London, UK
Dr. John O’Brien, Sydney, NSW
Margaret O’Bryan, Australia
Gerry Ohannessian, London, UK

Annika Ohlson
, Teacher; Bjärred, Sweden
KajOhrnberg, Historian; Helsinki, Finland
Roberta Olimpi
Vaneide Olmo
, São Paulo, Brazil

Cristina L
ópez Ortiz, Barcelona, Spain
Sot Otter, Scotland
Kevin Ovenden, Palestine solidarity activist and Respect Party; London, UK
*Palestine Poster Archives
Pauline Pan
, Toronto Students for Justice in Palestine
Dr. Kathy Panama, London, UK
Meredith Pass, Louisville, KY
Judith Pecho, RN; Educator; Corrales

Grahame Perkins
, Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Deutschland
Ursula Peters, Germany
Mr. Blair M. Phillips, St. Catharines, ON
P.G. Phippen, New London, NH

Caroline Picker
, Phoenix, AZ
Daniel Pines, Rochester, NY
Sophia Ponders, Interfaith worker; Los Angeles, CA
Sylvia Posadas, Blogger, Kadaitcha; Noosa, QLD
Jenean Qaddura, SMU; Dallas, TX
*Queensland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Australia
Ezyño Ezygual Quemasda, Madrid, Spain
Steve Quester, Teacher; Brooklyn, NY
Attia Rajab, Palestine Solidarity Committee; Stuttgart, Germany
Najah Rammouni, Dearborn Heights, MI
Boris Ran, Dallas, TX

Sterling Rand
, Eugene OR
Naomi Rankin, Edmonton, AB
Ismaeel Abdur-Rasheed, Vietnam-era veteran; NYC

Dan Read
, Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK
Peter Reid
, Abbotsford, BC
Dick Reilly, Chicago Coalition Against War and Racism

Michael Richter
, München, Deutschland
David Rider
, Washington
Rosalie Riegle, Neighbors For Peace; Evanston, IL
Bill Risebero, Palestine Solidarity Committee; Friend of Alrowwad; London, UK
William Roberts, Redwood City, CA
Liz Roberts, War Resisters League; Brooklyn, NY
Stewart Robinson, Cleveland Hts., OH
Joan F. Rodriguez, San Mateo, CA
Linda Rogers, Bangor and Ynys Mon Peace and Justice Group; Llangoed, Ynys Mon, Wales
Ned Rosch
Rudy Ruddell
, Castro Valley, CA
Michael Ryan, Lacoste, France
Sara Saba, Esq., Attorney and human rights activist; Princeton, NJ
Katherine Salahi, Oxford, UK
Joe Salameh, Brentwood, CA
Julieta Salgado, Organizer, New York Students Rising; Brooklyn, NY
Herbert Salit, Los Angeles, CA

Yasmina Samahy
, Houston, TX
Dr. Ian Saville, Lecturer, Middlesex University, London, UK

Michael Schembri
, Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine; Allawah, NSW
Gabriel M. Schivone, Ad Hoc Steering Committee, National Students for Justice in Palestine; Tucson, AZ
Fred Schloessinger, Nanaimo, BC
Margot Schlösser, Malmedy, France

Angelika Schneider
, German Branch Fellowship of Reconciliation; Lilienthal
Björn Schneider, Frankfurt, Germany
Prof. Christiane Schomblond (Ret.), Brussels, Belgium
*Scientists Without Borders
Neil Scott, Auckland, NZ
Chuck Scurich, Oakland, CA
Prof. Sako Sefiani, Glendale, CA
Mehrdad Shahabi, Tehran, Iran
Mehraz Shahabi, Bristol, UK

Jennifer Selwyn
, PhD
Mona Seredin, Delray Beach, FL
Ellen Shatter, Providence, RI
Glenn Shelton, Southeast Michigan Jobs with Justice; Detroit, MI
Anouche Sherman, London, UK

Amanda Joy Sidell
, Chicago, IL
Damon Simonetti, ACLU, F&AM; Greenfield, MA
Sam Simpson, Cork, Ireland
Inbal Sinai, Tel-Aviv, Israel/Occupied Palestine
Diego Siragusa, Author of “Il terrorismoimpunito”; Biella, IT
Melinda Smith, International peace education consultant; Albuquerque, NM 

*Socialist Party of Azania
Rebecca Anshell Song
, Redmond, WA
Dan Sockrider, Indianapolis, IN
Isabelle Spreafico
Prof. Carol Strauss Sotiropoulos, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, MI
John Spritzler, Editor, 
www.NewDemocracyWorld.org
Aviva Stahl, US researcher, CagePrisoners; London, UK
Rick Staggenborg, MD
, Board President, Take Back America for the People; Coos Bay, OR
Burton Steck, Chicago, IL
Ron Strand, Vancouver, BC
Mary-Alice Strom, USA
Deena Stryker, Philadelphia, PA
Beverly Stuart, Seattle, WA
Dr. Dwyer Sullivvan, Organization Director, Camp Micah: Leadership for Peace and Justice; Kitchener, ON
Liz Taha, London, UK
Mohamed Taha, London, UK

John Taulbee
, Fort Wayne, IN
H. Kelly Taylor, University City, MO
Nadya Tannous
Barbara Thiessen, Kansas City
Laura Tillem, Wichita, KS
Maxime Touzel, Sept-Iles, QC

Roger Tucker
, Publisher, One Democratic State; Eronga, Michoacan, Mexico
Beth Tupper, Allston
Rogers Turrentine, WGAwest; Encinitas, CA
Samir Twair, Journalist; Los Angeles, CA

Willi Uebelherr
, Halle/Westfalen, Germany
Katie Unger, NYC
*US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI)
Lily van den Bergh, Documentary filmmaker & organizer; Women in Black; Amsterdam, NL
Rev. Johan A. van der Merwe, Dutch Reformed Church; George, West Cape, South Africa
Dottie Villesvik, North Pyget Sound Israel-Palestine Mission Network; Everett, WA
Johan Viljoen, South Africa
Maria Vittoria, Italy
Viva Palestina Australia
Fay Waddington
, Founding member, Queensland Palestine Solidarity Campaign; Brisbane, Australia

Bonnie Walker
, Portland, OR
Dan Walsh, Palestine Poster Project Archives
Sharron Ward, London, UK
Stuart Ward, Chairperson, Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) Thailand;
Bangkok
Nadia Warrayat, Washington, DC
Kathy Wazana, Director, They Were Promised the Sea; Toronto, ON

Terry Weber
, NYC
Lilian Wehbe
Alison Weir
, Executive Director, If Americans Knew, USA

Pim Wiersinga
, Rotterdam, NL
Barbara B. Wilhelm, Brookline, MA

Samantha Wischnia
, NYU Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP
Vincent Calvetti-Wolf
, TESC Divest!; Oakland, CA
Naomi Woodspring, Palestine Solidarity Committee; UK
Elizabeth Woolever, Lay Delegate, United Methodist Upper NY Conference; Rochester

Efa Wulle
, Wales
Rhona Wyer, Bangor & Abglesey Peace & Justice Group; Upper Bangor, Wales
Rev. Darrell Yeaney, Santa Cruz, CA
Sue Yeaney, Santa Cruz, CA
Samar Yunis, Florida
Ben Young, London, UK

Errol Young
, Toronto, ON
Frances Yule, Mt. Barker, Western Australia

Giuseppe Zambon
, Grankfurt am Main, Deutschland
Elizabeth Zoob, CSW; Boston

NO LAW OF RETURN FOR PALESTINIANS BECAUSE THERE AREN’T ANY

anna-baltzer-and-haithem-el-zabri
*
“There was no Palestinian people.” So said American hedge fund manager Michael Steinhardt one of the biggest donors to Birthright Israel, a program that doles out free 10-day trips to Israel in an attempt to entice Jews to leave their homelands around the world and settle in Israel and the 1967 occupied territories.
*
Under Israel’s racist “Law of Return,” Jews, as defined by Israel, from anywhere in the world are instantly given citizenship, while Palestinian refugees, born in historic Palestine, or directly descended from parents who were, are not allowed to return home solely because they are not Jews.
*

 “There was no Palestinian people,” big donor to Birthright Israel tells Max Blumenthal

Submitted by Ali Abunimah
*
*

“There was no Palestinian people.” So said American hedge fund manager Michael Steinhardt one of the biggest donors to Birthright Israel, a program that doles out free 10-day trips to Israel in an attempt to entice Jews to leave their homelands around the world and settle in Israel and the 1967 occupied territories.

Steinhardt spoke to journalist Max Blumenthal at a Birthright Israel rally and dance rave that was addressed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu told the international gathering of youth that “Israel” was their “birthright” and “homeland.”

Blumenthal’s video report, with Lia Tarachansky, for The Real News, said that the Israeli government has pledged $100 million to support the program. This means – since Israel receives so much aid from the US – that US taxpayer funds could indirectly be subsidizing a blatantly discriminatory and sectarian program. Birthright Israel targets American youth in particular, but only Jews.

A more or less open, but often unspoken goal of Birthright Israel, is to encourage young Jews to marry and increase the Jewish birthrate, something Steinhardt acknowledges.

Under Israel’s racist “Law of Return,” Jews, as defined by Israel, from anywhere in the world are instantly given citizenship, while Palestinian refugees, born in historic Palestine, or directly descended from parents who were, are not allowed to return home solely because they are not Jews.

Easier to be a Zionist in Manhattan than in Tel Aviv

But while Steinhardt is eager for young Americans to leave home and join a foreign state and army, he’s not so keen on doing so himself. Steinhardt said of Israel in 2010:

“Its politicians are, writ large, awful; its businessmen are of less than glorious quality; and when you walk down Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv and you look around at these people and you say, ‘This is who you admire?’ I often say it’s easier to be a Zionist in Manhattan than it is in Tel Aviv.”

Other big donors to Birthright Israel include Israel firster and Casino-billionaire Sheldon Adelson who bankrolled the Republican campaign in the 2012 US elections.

“High on Zion”

As the youth dance, they tell Blumenthal about their impressions, one young American speaking of his excitement to join the Israeli army. Another speaks of being “high on Zion.” When Blumenthal suggests “Ziocaine,” the young man responds, “Zionjuana.”

As young women bop, they tell Blumenthal they want to see the “real Israel” meaning the settlements in the occupied West Bank.

This ultra-nationalist and sectarian rally, aimed at enticing American teens to leave their country, has to be seen against the cold, hard reality of millions of young Palestinians who cannot even enter their homeland just because they are not Jews, and of those who are there, like Muhammad al-Salaymeh, who can be shot dead walking in their own streets, with total impunity.

 

Written FOR

PALESTINIANS RESPOND TO ABBASYAHU’S LATEST BID FOR A GREATER ISRAEL ….

 As does Carlos Latuff
*
Mother Palestine gives Abbas a lesson on the Right of Return
*

One hour later, this cartoon became a CNN trend

 *
*
See and hear Abbasyahu in his own words …
*
*

Despite Abbas and Balfour, we will return to our homes in Palestine

Submitted by Shahd Abusalama 

My latest drawing that comes as a response to any who said of Palestinians that the old would die and the young would forget. (Shahd Abusalama)

Today, I look back in anger to a gloomy day in the Palestinian history. It happened 95 years ago, long before I could have witnessed it, but I still live its impact daily. Without even a shred of legitimacy, on 2 November 1917, the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary, Arthur James Balfour, promised the leaders of the Zionist movement they could establish their national homeland in Palestine, violating my people’s right to self-determination.

Balfour laid the groundwork for the conspiracy launched against the people of Palestine which led to our Nakba, the mass killing, dispossession, and systematic ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people at the hands of Zionists gangs.

Great Britain is responsible for this atrocity against my people that the Balfour Declaration triggered, for the expulsion of three quarters of a million Palestinians, who with their descendants now number many millions more. It is also responsible for the Palestinians who survived the violence and mass expulsion, and were forced into ghettos within occupied Palestine under a military regime for decades.

An everlasting hope that has no remedy

Last night, I was reading Revolutionaries Never Die, the biography of George Habash,one of the Palestinian leaders who founded the Arab Nationalists Movement, and in 1967, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. In his book, he vividly describes the terror he saw inflicted on the people of his town, Lydda in 1948.

He wrote, “June 11, 1948 was the darkest day I ever witnessed in my life. Zionists arrived and ordered us to evacuate our homes … We were forced out of our homes, leaving everything behind under the threat of their weapons. I saw the neighbors fleeing their houses while being watched and threatened with violence. We didn’t know the reason for our mass expulsion. We thought that they planned to gather us in one of the fields to search our houses without having any witness, and then let us go back home. We never imagined that they were actually uprooting us, and that we would never return. Indeed, everything was organized to lead us outside Lydda as soon as possible.”

Not only George Habash thought that the Nakba was the darkest period in Palestine’s history. All the victims of the ethnic cleansing of more than 500 cities, towns and villages shared the same sentiments. I heard my grandparents repeatedly say them. They were expelled from Beit Jerja to the Gaza Strip, and they grasped the dream of return until their last breaths.

I recall my grandmother’s affectionate words when my siblings and I surrounded her once. “I lost my father amidst the panic of that gloomy day,” she said. “I never saw him again, so I realized that he was buried at home. But at the same day I lost him, I gave birth to your uncle Khader. This incident, with all its harshness, symbolized for me the Palestinian struggle, which will end only when we return.”

My illiterate grandmother couldn’t have been more right. The Palestinian struggle will only end when justice prevails, and no one will ever manage to distort this glorious struggle for justice. According to Mahmoud Darwish, “To be a Palestinian means suffering an everlasting hope that has no remedy.” After more than six decades of the Nakba, refugees have never given up hope to return, and they never will. There are those who thought that the elderly will die and the young will forget. We haven’t forgotten. We are still here, the young and the old, suffering the Israeli occupation’s terror and continuing our struggle for justice. 

Whoever surrenders their right to return is no longer a Palestinian. To be a Palestinian is to be a revolutionary, born to struggle for all our grandparents possessed, their keys and their faith in our just cause. To be a Palestinian is to love and constantly feel attached to a homeland you never saw.

To be a Palestinian is to live maturely at a very young age, to grow up breathing politics, and to observe how others trade with your life and your rights. To be a Palestinian is to keep cultivating the national principles in your children and grandchildren, and to warn them never to digress or lead the cause in a different direction. To be a Palestinian is to never stop raising revolutionaries who will get what you couldn’t live long enough to accomplish. This is the cycle of the Palestinian life and struggle.

Abbas’ Balfour Declaration

On the anniversary of Balfour Declaration, Mahmoud Abbas came with another declaration competing with Balfour’s.

I felt sick when I first read an article about it. I could imagine Abbas saying this. At the same time, I wished that it could be fabricated news that he had renounced his — and our — right to return to our homes and villages. Then I saw the interview when he uttered those shameful statements, and I couldn’t believe what I heard. I am sure that the majority of Palestinian people and people of conscience worldwide were as frustrated as me.

“As far as I am here in this office, there will be no armed third intifada,” Abbas promised, stressing “never.”

Abbas, you are foolish if you think you can prevent the dignified Palestinian people from expressing their anger at ongoing attacks and violations of their most basic rights, and the ongoing expansion of Israeli settlements? You can’t stop them from practicing their legitimate struggle, through all legitimate means, to attain their justice, freedom, and independence.

Did Abbas forget that the first intifada was a nonviolent struggle, and that Israel is the party that turned to brutal violence, especially against children, to crush it? Did he forget that when the second intifada began, Israel fired a million bullets in the first days and weeks to try to crush it and dozens of unarmed civilians were killed in those first days?

Carlus Lattuf’s reflective catroon on Abbas’s latest declarations (Carlos Latuff)

The right to resist is legitimate

Abbas said, “We don’t want to use terror. We don’t want to use force. We don’t want to use weapons. We want to use diplomacy. We want to use politics. We want to use negotiations. We want to use peaceful resistance. That’s it.”

With such a statement, Abbas is ignoring all the sacrifices Palestinians made in their legitimate struggle. Thousands of our people who never carried a weapon were cruelly shot dead or injured, tortured or imprisoned by the occupier. Who then are the “terrorists”?

And of course nobody supports “terrorism” or harming innocent people regardless of who they are. But with such a statement, does Abbas really mean to suggest that all those who used arm struggle to fight for the dignity and freedom of the land and people, are “terrorists,” as the Israelis claim? Was Dad a terrorist? Is this the “president” of Palestine talking, or an agent of Israel? Mr. Collaborator, we will never allow you to defile the names of our martyrs, who paid with their lives as the price for freedom. 

I have always been proud to be the daughter of a freedom fighter. I believed Ghassan Kanafani when he said, “The road to Palestine is neither far or near. It’s the distance of revolution.” Kanafani was one of the most accomplished young Palestinian patriots and intellectuals. At the same time as his pen commemorated the glories of martyrs, awakening people to their national rights, he joined the PFLP’s popular resistance. Kanafani was murdered by Israel’s Mossad.

Couldn’t Abbas grasp how insulting it was to Palestinians for him to use “terror” to describe their struggle? Or did the United States dictate to him to say so? Being ‘nice’ while addressing the ‘democratic regimes’ doesn’t mean giving up your people’s most basic rights guaranteed by UN resolutions.

I feel bad when forced to use UN resolutions and international agreements to justify our right to return and legitimate right to resist occupation and ethnic cleansing and to defend ourselves. Why should Palestinians, as oppressed people, have to use these resolutions to prove the legitimacy of our rights? They were issued only to absorb our anger, as evidence of supposed objectivity, not to be implemented. We, the Palestinian people, don’t want resolutions, we want actions! We want real justice, not just words tossed into the air!

Regardless, UN resolutions guarantee the right to use force in the struggle for “liberation from colonial and foreign domination.” General Assembly Resolution A/RES/33/24 of 29 November 1978:

Reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, particularly armed struggle.

It is up to Palestinians to decide if they use that right, or pursue their struggle by other means, but how strange that Palestinians must defend their right to defend themselves, while, Israel, the invader, occupier and colonizer is always granted the right to “self-defense” against its victims! What Abbas seems to be saying is that Palestinians neverhave the right to resist or defend themselves as Israel continues to violently steal what is left of their land. That can never be true.

Giving up the right of return

Abbas crossed another red line, the right to return, also guaranteed by a UN resolution (194). “I am from Safed,” he said. “I want to see Safed. It’s my right to see it, but not to live there. Palestine now for me is the ’67 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. This is now and forever … This is Palestine for me. I am [a] refugee, but I am living in Ramallah. I believe that [the] West Bank and Gaza is Palestine, and the other parts (are) Israel.”

He didn’t only surrender his people’s right to return, he also surrendered his people. He couldn’t have had in mind Palestinians who steadfastly remained in their lands, torn between their Palestinian identity and their cursed Israeli passports, enduring daily harassment and discrimination. He also forgot the millions of Palestinian refugees outside Palestine, many still enduring horrible conditions in their refugee camps in the diaspora.

After hearing Abbas, I allow myself to speak on their behalf to reaffirm that Abbas doesn’t represent us. His declaration ignores the majority of Palestinian people, who still embrace their right to return. It is an individual and collective sacred right, which no one can surrender. Abbas also ignored the historical fact that Israel was established on the ruins of ethnically-cleansed Palestinians villages.

Abbas, I hang the map of historic Palestine around my neck, like it hangs on every wall of many Palestinian houses. Not a day passes without me pointing at my original village, Beit Jerja, while uttering the title of Mahmoud Darwish’s poem, “I came from there,” with a slight smile. It’s the last thought I enjoy every night as I close my eyes, recalling my grandmother’s vivid description of the green fields of grapevines and olive and citrus trees. We’ll never stop dreaming of a dawn when the Israeli apartheid regime no longer exists, and we return to both see and live there, walking freely through Haifa, Yaffa, Al-Lod, Nablus, Jerusalem, Gaza, Bethlehem, and every inch of historic Palestine.

Written FOR
Ali Abunimah’s take on the situation
*

There’s nothing new in Mahmoud Abbas’ and the PLO’s renunciation of Palestinian refugee rights

ABBAS DENOUNCED (AGAIN) FOR GIVING UP RIGHT TO RETURN

Palestinian activists have denounced their President, Mahmoud Abbas, for saying he would ensure there was “never” be a third intifada, or uprising, against Israel – and for giving up his “right of return” to his Israeli birthplace.

*

Palestinians furious with Abbas for giving up refugees’ right to return

By Matthew Kalman
*
*
Palestinian activists have denounced their President, Mahmoud Abbas, for saying he would ensure there was “never” be a third intifada, or uprising, against Israel – and for giving up his “right of return” to his Israeli birthplace.

Asked on Israel’s Channel 2 News whether he expected to return to Safed, the hill town in the northern region of Galilee, where he was born in 1935, Mr Abbas said: “It’s my right to see it but not to live there. Palestine for me is [the 1967] borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. This is now and for ever … I believe West Bank and Gaza is Palestine and the [rest] Israel.”

Izzat Rishek, a member of the Hamas politburo, said: “This statement [does not] express the opinion of the Palestinian people … the Palestinian refugees’ right to return to their cities, villages and homes from where they were forcibly expelled is holy … it is not a bargaining chip.”

He added: “The Palestinian people will never drop even one particle of the soil of Palestine… Mr Abbas’ statement doesn’t shock only Palestinians but all Arab peoples.”

Official Palestinian Authority media refrained from comment, but Kuffiya Press, a website associated with the disgraced former security chief, Mohammed Dahlan, said: “[Mr] Abbas has offered Israel a rare and symbolic compromise.”

Ali Abunimah, founder of the Electronic Intifada website, denounced Mr Abbas’s “filthy words”. Azzam Tamimi, a London-based commentator, said: “If Abbas believes he has no right to his birth place in Palestine, can he claim to be Palestinian?”

Source

CITIZENS OF NOWHERE

*

REVISITING SABRA AND SHATILLA 30 YEARS LATER
*
This past Monday evening the Hunter College branch of Students for Justice in Palestine held a commemorative gathering, to recall the horrors of the massacre at Sabra and Shatilla. The meeting was addressed by Hunter College student volunteers who spoke about their experiences with Palestinian children in Shatilla. They took part in a Leap Programme, Summer 2011. They are planning on returning this coming summer and hope other students will join them.
 *
*
Commentary by Chippy Dee, Photos © by Bud Korotzer
*
The speakers…
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
A view of the audience…
*
*
We were shown a film with one of the young men living at Shatila giving a guided tour.  It is a horrible, ugly, dirty place with many problems, social and physical.  However people there, including the very young, are dedicated to moving back to Palestine, “home”.  The kids are like all kids, they laugh and play.  The young Americans participating in the program as teachers are very enthusiastic and dedicated.
*
In the video that was shown, the sense of Palestine was displayed when the oldest of the young people explained that even though they had never lived in Palestine, but born in Lebanon, the sense of being Palestinian was passed on through the generations, directly from the grandparents and parents. As one participant said; “Lebanon was a second home, but Palestine was the first home”.
*
There was a scene in the video: on Nakba Day, various generations of the refugees went to the border of Lebanon/Palestine and looked across the fields towards Palestine while an older person explained the lay of the land where Palestine began.
*
They made it perfectly clear that ‘The Right of Return’ was not being abandoned, rather it was the hope that keeps them going.
*
From the video …
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Letters from the child refugees…
*
*
*
*
*
Infrastructure of the camps…
*
*
*
*
Organised by…
*
*
*

« Older entries