Archive for the ‘Solidarity Statements’ Category

NYC Protestors Drink Salt Water In Solidarity With Palestinian Hunger Strikers

May 25, 2017

Donna Nevel

Donna NevelCOMMUNITY CONTRIBUTOR

Donna Nevel is a community psychologist, educator, and founding member of the Facing the Nakba project, Jews Say No!, and the Network Against Islamophobia, and was a co-founder of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice.

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Jews Say No!, an NYC group I am a part of, and the Grannies Peace Brigade recently participated in the salt water challenge in solidarity with more than 1500 Palestinian hunger strikers, who have entered the 38th day of their strike. The Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails began the hunger strike on April 17th, and the salt water challenge, a social media campaign to show solidarity with the strikers, began with a call by the son of imprisoned Palestinian leader, Marwan Barghouti.

Thousands of individuals and groups have taken the salt water challenge across the globe in support of the Palestinian prisoners. Numbers of the mothers of the prisoners have also courageously joined the strike in solidarity with their sons. Palestinians have held rallies and called a general strike across the West Bank in support; South African anti-apartheid leaders went on a solidarity strike; and students in the U.S. called for a one day fast in solidarity with the prisoners. Support for the prisoners is widespread. The Israeli government has not only failed to respond adequately, but prisoners have been subjected to harsh treatment and retaliatory measures. As a result, the strike has continued and numbers of prisoners have been taken to medical facilities because of seriously deteriorating health.

The demands put forth by the prisoners are clear, fundamental rights. They include access to medical care; allowing regular family visits; and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention (imprisonment without charge), flagrant violations of human rights. As Barghouti stated in a recent NY Times op-ed, “Palestinian prisoners and detainees have suffered from torture, inhumane and degrading treatment and medical negligence.” He also wrote that “hunger striking is the most peaceful form of resistance available. It inflicts pain solely on those who participate and on their loved ones, in the hopes that their empty stomachs and their sacrifice will help the message resonate beyond the confines of their dark cells.”

Where is American Jewish community support for the Palestinian prisoners? Where is the call from American Jewish organizations to Israel’s leaders demanding they honor the call from the prisoners for their basic needs and rights. The Israeli government’s appalling treatment of Palestinian prisoners is well-documented. There is simply no rationale for not supporting the rights of the Palestinian prisoners.

The demands of the hunger strikers will hopefully be met soon, but we know that international pressure and support can be critical at moments like this. This is a challenge to the American Jewish community to make our voices heard loud and clear in support of the Palestinian hunger strikers, whose demands are simply a call for dignity and humane treatment.

Read more: http://forward.com/scribe/372922/nyc-protestors-drink-salt-water-in-solidarity-with-palestinian-hunger-strik/

Jews Say No! And Granny Peace Brigade take the #SaltWaterChallenge in solidarity with Palestinian hunger strikers

May 23, 2017

The Salt Water Challenge

Today, there are 6300 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons; this number includes 300 children and 500 administrative detainees (those imprisoned without charge or trial).

Since April 17, Palestinian Prisoners Day, more than 1500 of these political prisoners have engaged in an open-ended hunger strike. Today is Day #37. These prisoners have refused to eat food, only consuming salt water to maintain their health, until the Israeli government meets their demands for basic human rights as stipulated by the Geneva Convention. Freedom and dignity are universal rights inherent in humanity – to be enjoyed by all human beings.

The demands of these hunger strikers include:

  1. An end to administrative detention
  2. An end to solitary confinement
  3. An end to the denial of family visits
  4. Access to proper medical care and treatment, and
  5. The right to access distance higher education

On Monday, May 22,  Jews Say NO! and the Granny Peace Brigade stood in the rain at Broadway and 96th Street in NYC to join a growing, worldwide, social media campaign – #SaltWaterChallenge – to draw attention to the plight of Palestinian political prisoners. As supporters of these hunger-strikers, we drank salt water to stand in solidarity with those who refuse a life of humiliation.

Now, we challenge you to do the same.

 

 

 

Letter in Support of Representative Keith Ellison

November 16, 2016

 

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November 16, 2016

We are writing in support of Representative Keith Ellison, one of two Muslims in Congress, whom we know as an ethical individual committed to equal rights and justice for all people.

We are saddened and angered by the campaign against Representative Ellison and the baseless charges of anti-Semitism made against him. We know that he has strong support from Jewish political and community leaders and that the campaign against him is being spearheaded by forces that wrongly equate criticism of Israeli government policies with anti-Semitism and, in many instances, foster anti-Muslim narratives.

During this period of great division in our country, we need more voices like Representative Ellison’s.

Jews Say No!  

New York city

Jews Say No! endorses the Women’s Boat to Gaza

February 24, 2016

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The Women’s Boat to Gaza is an exciting new initiative of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition. Help us highlight the undeniable contributions and indomitable spirit of Palestinian women who have been central within the Palestinian struggle in Gaza, the West Bank, inside the Green Line, and in the Diaspora. Support the women organizers, passengers and crew from around the world to sail to break the siege.

Donate to womensboattogaza.us

Gaza has been under Israeli blockade for the past decade during which time Israel has launched countless attacks against the besieged population, turning life into a nightmare and a continuous struggle. The physical wars have not only invaded the economy, markets and the land of Gaza, but have raided and assaulted homes, families, schools and museums, destroying civilization, heritage, culture, memory and hopes.

 Through Freedom Flotillas and other naval missions we have protested the passivity and complicity of the international community while calling for solidarity of civil society with the Palestinian resistance and a coherent response from western governments.

 The Women’s Boat to Gaza seeks to challenge the Israeli blockade, to show solidarity, and to bring a message of hope to the Palestinian people.  With the support of women, men, non-governmental organizations, civil society, and from women’s collectives and events around the world, we will make this happen.

 The Freedom Flotilla Coalition is composed of civil society organizations and initiatives from many countries. We have been challenging the illegal and inhumane Israeli blockade of Gaza for years and are committed to continue the struggle until the blockade is unconditionally lifted and the Palestinian people everywhere regain their full rights.

We intend to officially launch this exciting project across the world on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2016 and we would like you to join us!

Follow us on the Web www.freedomflotilla.org and womensboattogaza.us

Facebook: Freedom Flotilla Coalition and US Womens Boat to Gaza

Twitter @GazaFFlotilla.

 Contact us at womensailtogaza@gmail.com 

Jews Say No! Stands with the Black Community

December 5, 2014

Black lives matter

Jews Say No! stands with the Black community and with all communities of color across this country that fear for the safety of their sons and daughters at the hands of law enforcement officials and that are leading protests across the country against a U.S. “justice” system that repeatedly (and predictably) fails to hold white people accountable for the killing of Black people.

At a New York City demonstration this week following the refusal of grand juries to indict the police officers who killed Mike Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner on Staten Island, someone held a sign with the words of the African American civil rights leader Ella Baker written on it: “Until the killing of black men, black mothers’ sons, becomes as important to the rest of the country as the killing of a white mother’s son, we who believe in freedom cannot rest until this happens.”

Jews Say No! joins in protest with the Black community and with all those struggling for justice and dignity from NYC to Palestine.

Jews Say No!
December 5, 2014
NYC

October 14, 2014

Jews Against Islamophobia announces a new national network we hope will provide support and resources for organizing against anti-Muslim and anti-Arab racism, and in making the connections between Islamophobia and Israel politics.

The Jvp NETWORK AGAINST ISLAMOPHOBIA page is: JVP.org/JNAI

We hope those watching our video will become inspired to take action together with the many individuals and groups inside and outside the Muslim community organizing against Islamophobia and standing for peace, for justice, and for dignity for all peoples.

Palestinian civil society salutes Presbyterians on divestment resolution

June 25, 2014

 

The Palestinheader4ian BDS National Committee, the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society that is leading the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, warmly welcomes the brave decision of the Presbyterian Church (USA) general assembly in Detroit to divest its holdings from three US corporations – Hewlett Packard (HP), Motorola Solutions and Caterpillar – on the basis of their well-documented record of complicity in the oppression and denial of human rights of Palestinians.

This is a historic decision that shows, with concrete measures, the deep commitment of the Presbyterian Church to truth and justice. With this move, the Presbyterian church concludes a decade-old process of engagement with these three corporations, where evidence was presented of their role in Israel’s commission of crimes against Palestinians with no sway in their egregious behavior, leaving the Presbyterians with no choice but to divest.

Bisan Mitri of the Palestinian BDS National Committee said: “The Presbyterian Church (USA) divestment decision is inspiring and morally courageous. It is a victory for all peace with justice loving people around the world. It shows that commitment to justice comes with a moral obligation to act: the time has come for other church denominations to follow suit.”

The move comes on the day when the Israeli army killed 15-year old Mohammed Dudeen as it conducts collective punishment sweeps across the West Bank and steps up its incessant and indiscriminate bombings in Gaza. The participation of HP[1], Motorola[2] and Caterpillar[3] in these violations is undeniable and well documented. HP technology is used daily to enforce israel’s navy blockade of Gaza, which has devastated Gaza’s economy and destroyed its once-thriving fishing industry. Motorola Solutions technology is used in Israel’s apartheid wall and Israeli settlements. Caterpillar bulldozers enable Israel’s routine demolition of Palestinian homes. These are just a few examples of how these corporations have knowingly provided material support to Israel’s regime of occupation, colonialism and apartheid against Palestinians. As this decision demonstrates, divestment has become a moral imperative, in addition to a legal requirement, as governments, in particular the US government, have failed to hold Israel accountable for its crimes.

“This groundbreaking decision by the Presbyterian Church (USA) is a warning to HP, Motorola, Cat and other corporations complicit with Israel’s occupation that pressure on them is building and they must withdraw from these damaging contracts in Israel and be held accountable,” said Mitri

The Presbyterian resolution passed by a count of 310 to 303, triggering the Church to instruct divestment of its $21 million holdings in these companies. Earlier this month the US Methodist Church announced a decision to divest from G4S, a corporation complicit in the abuse of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and other violations.

Rifat Kassis, general coordinator of Kairos Palestine, said ”the Presbyterian Church (USA) divestment decision gives hope to Palestinians and sends them a message that they are not alone.” 

 


– See more at: http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/palestinian-civil-society-salutes-presbyterians-on-divestment-resolution-12177#sthash.8waA1ZEJ.dpuf

 

 

Statements of support for our 24-hour protest

February 12, 2009

The fire and phosphorous loosed upon the people that Israel penned in first, in Gaza, has finally, it seems, opened countless eyes to reality; to Israel’s systematic, long time practice of crushing Palestinian lives and Palestinian life on any possible pretext, to the hyper-militarized nature of its policy-making, to its vested interest in—and active repeated choice of—warfare, to its self-approved indiscriminate ‘rules of war’. You, to me, are an element of hope in the wake of the horror perpetrated on Gaza—individuals in growing groups, standing, acting, educating others, resolved to see an end to Israel’s years of impunity. Thank you.

-Rela Mazali, writer, feminist peace activist, and co-founder of the New Profile movement to demilitarize Israeli society.

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Dear friends,
Please allow me to call you friends.
As a Palestinian struggling for years to end the occupation I believe that we have to go back to the simple demand to stop the occupation.
The occupation is the source of all evil that we are witnessing over and over again and we will continue to witness so long as the occupation continues.
It is done in the name of all Jews and in the name of all citizens of Israel.
As a Palestinian citizen of Israel I could join your demand: Not in my name, not with my tax money.
And together with you we can make difference.
After the election in Israel and the fact that the right wing have the majority and the fascist Lieberman has 15 seats, I believe today it is more important than ever to sound your voice.
The voice of the fascist is well heard in Israel and to some degree in the world. We need your voice to stop the development of a racist tendency in Israel.
No people can stay free while occupying another nation.
Stop the occupation Now.

-Nabila, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, long-time feminist peace activist, and director of Al-Tufula Center for Women and Children in Nazareth.

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When Jews, especially American Jews, say NO to what the Israeli government is doing, it is a beacon of hope for the Israelis, Jews and Palestinians who oppose Israel’s war mongering policy. It is saying NO to the Israeli government’s lies about its efforts to achieve peace, while doing whatever they can to maintain the war between Israel and the Palestinians and to continue the occupation. It is saying NO to the horrible violation of human rights while claiming to be just and moral. It is saying NO to the huge social injustice within Israel and the Occupied Territories.

We, the Israelis, Jews and Palestinians need your voice that says NO clearly and loudly for our moral support and hopefully as a practical tool for creating a change in Israeli as well as American policy.

Thank you for that. Keep your NO struggle until this change is a reality.

-Ruchama Marton, President and Founder of Physicians for Human Rights, Israel

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Salute from Syria

For all of you who are gathering today standing for what’s right:

I wish I was with you to express all my respect for you all. I am writing to you from Syria, a country that is described as a “terror sponsor’, and I am writing as a Syrian who refuses to be stereotyped just because some other powerful country thinks that this is the way things should look, that this is what the world should believe. I am one of many other Syrians who feel the same way.

Last month, a friend of mine, who is American-Jewish, came to Syria for a visit. She stayed with me and my family for two days. Here in Syria, you can’t tell everyone that you are Jewish, for people don’t really distinguish between being Jewish and being Israeli. For many people here the two concepts are the same, for them if you are not a Jewish Israeli, then you are a Jewish American who is supporting Israel in every possible way.

As my family was trying to explain to her that Arabs and Muslims are good people, and they are not as they are pictured in the United States, I was thinking, why can’t she just tell them: Jews are good people, and they are not as they are pictured in the Arab world? My family loved that friend of mine so much and they all agreed about many things like justice for Palestinians and opposing the occupation, the wall, and the killing of civilians , but I was upset all the time, wondering, why can’t we just tell them she is Jewish? Would it change anything?

But here, I have to say: I can’t blame people in the Arab world for what they think of Jews. I am not saying they are right, but it is the way Israel makes things look. It’s having so close to us a country which you must be Jewish to be part of, a Jewish state that occupied our land, kicked the Palestinians out of their homes, is now building a hateful wall and practicing all kinds of discrimination against Arabs. Let alone the many massacres and genocides that have happened since 1948.

But of all the crimes Israel has committed through history; I think the most painful and hideous crime is what they did to Jews, making people think that all Jews are part of Israel. Making them look like killers, making it look like Zionism and Judaism are the same, while Judaism is just another religion, like Islam and Christianity, we believe in one God, and have many things in common in our religions. Here in Syria, Jews, Muslims and Christians used to live together in peace for centuries, before Zionism existed. So it is incorrect to say that Arabs and Israelis, or Muslim, Jews and Christians hate each other on a religious basis, and it is shameful to use religion to promote a specific policy.

During the war on Gaza people in many places of the world protested against the killing machine. One good thing Al Jazeera did was show protests of Jews in the United States against the war on Gaza. Every time I heard people in Syria wondering about it I found myself explaining again and again how Zionism and Judaism are not the same. It is a pity that a high percentage of people here don’t know that fact. Having three best friends who are Jewish gave me the feeling that it is my duty to talk to people and let them know that there are many Jews in the world who are, like us, stereotyped too.

Some people here might know the truth, but it is your responsibility as Jewish people to stop those people in Israel from using your name, religion, history and suffering to cause the same suffering for other people. And for those who say Jews suffered a lot through history and they must have a Jewish state to be protected, I say: How can you feel safe and protected between all those people who consider you an enemy? And it’s not being Jews that made you enemies; it is Israel, the occupation, the killing, the stolen lands, shattered families and the wall.

Here I am asking all of you again, look for the truth.

Not in your name.

You must not be silent.

SAY NO TO THE MASSACRE
SAY NO TO THE BLOCKADE
SAY NO TO THE OCCUPATION
SAY YES TO JUSTICE FOR THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

-Noor from Damascus


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