Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


January 8, 2013

December 5, 2012



 Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren spoke at the Jewish Community Center on the Upper West Side last night, and more than a dozen protesters organized by Jews Say No! stood out on Amsterdam Avenue to protest his appearance and talk to passersby.

The group told the JCC administration that it wanted their voices heard inside the community center, and the voices of others who support Boycott, divestment and sanctions.

November 28, 2012




 New York, NY, November 26, 2012: This morning, 50 New Yorkers braved the chilly rain for a solemn march in front of the iconic General Electric Building at the heart of Rockefeller Plaza in commemoration of those killed by the assault on Gaza that ended in a cease fire on November 21st.  Surrounded by preparations for the holiday season, the protesters, accompanied by the haunting music of the Rude Mechanical Orchestra, read the names and ages of all the people killed in the assault in the mic check style popularized by the Occupy Movement.  The protesters called for divestment from General Electric, which provides the Israeli military with the engines for the F-16s and Apache helicopters used in the recent aerial bombardments of Gaza.

Riham Barghouti from Adalah-NY, explains: “Our protest against General Electric is a direct response to the call by Palestinian civil society to redouble our boycott, divestment and sanctions efforts in response to Israel’s latest attack on Gaza.  GE, and a number of other United States companies, are complicit in Israeli violations of international law and Palestinian human rights and as such must be held accountable by people of conscience.”

General Electric is also in the portfolio of pension-fund provider TIAA-CREF, which the growing national We Divest campaign is calling on to divest from companies that profit from Israel’s occupation.

Rebecca Vilkomerson, the director of Jewish Voice for Peace, said, “It was very moving to read the name of each person killed in the assault on Gaza and thus highlight the human cost of Israel’s policies.”

“GE engines have been used in Israeli Helicopters and F16s to inflict indiscriminate violence against Palestinians in Gaza, resulting in death and destruction. As American Jews, we believe it is critically important to participate in the movement for justice in Palestine/Israel and join in the boycott of all GE products,” asserted Ray Wofsy of Jews Say No!

 Israel still controls the air space, commerce, and water and electricity supplies in Gaza, as well as outlets to the Mediterranean Sea.  This siege of Gaza is condemned by a majority of the world’s nations. Notwithstanding that the U.S. is obliged to uphold principles of international law, it contributes $3 billion from our tax money every year to support the Israeli military and to perpetuate the unlawful siege of Gaza.

The latest Israeli assault on Gaza left at least 170 Palestinians dead and 1000 injured, and six Israelis dead and dozens injured. Gaza’s infrastructure was extensively damaged.

The protest was cosponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace-NY, Adalah-NY, Jews Say No!, NYU Students for Justice in Palestine, Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine, Granny Peace Brigade, Women In Black Union Square, Peace Action of New York State.


June 13, 2012

June 13, 2012—We are Jewish New Yorkers who are angered by the growing list of New York Police Department abuses of civil liberties, and by its militarization and lack of ac-countability and transparency. Mayor Bloomberg has famously described it as “my own army,” calling it the “seventh biggest army in the world.”

The NYPD engages in broad surveillance of Muslim communities, in a massive stop-and-frisk campaign aimed at Black and Latino young men, and LGBT communities of color, and in unprovoked violence against peaceful demonstrators. A police undercover agent accompanies Muslim students on a white-water rafting trip and reports how many times they pray. Worshippers at a mosque find that their license plates have been secretly recorded. The NYPD shows the inflammatory video The Third Jihad to hundreds of police trainees and then denies it. The NYPD spies on Muslim communities well beyond city limits. The NYPD stops and frisks over 685,000 men of color each year, many repeatedly; in 90% of the cases, the police do not even find grounds for a summons. The NYPD pepper sprays and arbitrarily arrests Occupy Wall Street demonstrators, who are beaten by “white shirts”—high-ranking NYPD officers—for no action other than protesting.

The policing patterns that have become public are based on racial, ethnic, religious, sexual orientation/gender, and political profiling, not on reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing. They are systemic policies, not the rogue activities of a “few bad apples.” They violate civil liberties, traumatize the victims, and threaten the very essence of a democratic society.

These policies impact the targets’ lives in very direct ways and they shape our city. Not only do they strip people of their dignity, but they destroy the trust needed for legitimate law enforcement. People who have been abused and humiliated by the police will hesitate to seek them out to report potential evidence of real danger. Contrary to what Mayor Bloomberg and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly tell the public, NYPD infringements of civil liberties are actually making New York City less safe and wasting valuable resources that should be used for effective law policing.

We support the City Council bill establishing an Inspector General (IG) to oversee the NYPD in order to protect civil liberties. The bill, introduced by Brad Lander and Jumaane Williams, joins three other bills in a package to require NYPD public accountability and transparency. These bills, called the Community Safety Act, and the IG bill are reasonable and important responses to abuses of power; they should create a safer city and improve the operation the NYPD. A broad coalition of advocates is mobilizing to support these bills.

The Inspector General would have independent authority to investigate and audit NYPD programs and operations and to recommend policies to promote civil liberties and prevent abuses and deficiencies. The Inspector General would keep the Police Commissioner, the Mayor, the City Council, Congress and the public informed about how the NYPD’s operations impact civil liberties and any abuses or deficiencies within the NYPD: recommending corrective action and tracking its implementation. The bill also provides a means for the public and whistle blowers to report abuses without retaliation.

Because the Inspector General, appointed by the Mayor, would have a seven-year term, the Inspector General would not be tied to a particular mayor.

An Inspector General for the NYPD supports good governance. Inspectors General are a standard and often effective feature of government agencies–including all federal agencies and most city agencies. While there are agencies (such as the Civilian Complaints Review Board) that investigate individual cases, there is currently no mechanism to provide for independent investigations of NYPD policies and procedures to ensure that it is operating effectively and consistently with the law.

We encourage the City Council to adopt this bill and its three companion bills (Intros 799, 800, 801) that would prohibit profiling by the NYPD, protect New Yorkers against unlawful searches, and require officers to identify themselves and explain themselves to the public.

Although these bills are not a panacea, they are an important step forward. They will only pass if New Yorkers mobilize to demand them, and they will only be effective if New Yorkers remain mobilized to enforce them. Many of the abuses addressed by these bills are not new in concept. They are reminiscent of the notorious COINTELPRO program of the 1960’s and ‘70s and include practices that were banned under the Handschu guidelines of 1985 that followed disclosures about NYPD infiltration and surveillance of political activists. The Handschu restrictions were abrogated at the NYPD’s request post 9/11.

A new and broad-based movement is emerging to defend civil liberties, oppose militarization of the police, and demand police accountability and transparency.

Please join us.

What you can do: 

1) Attend the mass rally to end racial profiling and stop and frisk on Fathers Day June 17, 3:00 p.m. at 110 Street between 5th and Lenox in Harlem.

2) Call and visit your councilmember.

3) Host an event about the bills and the defense of civil liberties in your organization or congregation.

4) Contact Jews Against Islamophobia (JAI).

Jews Against Islamophobia ( is a coalition of Jewish Voice for Peace, (www.jewishvoiceforpeace), Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (, and Jews Say No! (


March 22, 2012

On the Occasion of the 2012 Gala of the
Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of NYC





Jews Say No!, Jewish Voice for Peace, and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (Jews Against Islamophobia) speak for many Jewish New Yorkers in condemning the Jewish Community Relations Council’s (JCRC’s) support for Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. The president, executive vice president and CEO, and associate executive director of the JCRC of New York recently published a statement in The New York Jewish Week called “The Case for Ray Kelly.”  They have nothing but praise for Commissioner Kelly.

As the JCRC is having its gala dinner this evening, Jews Say No!, Jewish Voice for Peace, and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (Jews Against Islamophobia) want to know where the JCRC’s outrage is


•   about an NYPD programunder Commissioner Kelly’s watch—that targets people based on their religion and ethnicity?

•   about the NYPD’s spying on mosques and Muslim-owned restaurants and other businesses?

•   about the NYPD’s violating the civil rights of the Muslim community?

•   about the NYPD’s infiltrating and surveilling Muslim student groups at colleges in five Northeast states?

•   about a Mayor and a Police Commissioner who insist that they have not wronged New York City’s Muslim community?

•   about a Police Commissioner who is a featured interviewee in a rabidly Islamophobic film, The Third Jihad—a fact he conveniently “forgot?”

•   about an NYPD that showed this anti-Muslim propaganda film to nearly 1,500 police officers during their training? 

We stand with the Muslim community and with a wide range of Muslim and other community leaders who have condemned the NYPD for its targeting and surveillance of the Muslim community and called for Ray Kelly’s resignation.


November 15, 2011

 Glenn Beck and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) are guest speakers at the annual award dinner of the Zionist Organization of America


Please join Jews Say No!,  Jewish Voice for Peace, CODEPINK NYC, Adalah-NY,  WESPAC, and others outside the ZOA dinner as we raise our voices FOR justice for Palestine and AGAINST racism, hatred, and crimes against humanity. We will provide signs.

Meet outside the Grand Hyatt Hotel 109 East 42nd at Grand Central Station


 Zionist Organization of America (ZOA)  114th Anniversary Louis D. Brandeis Award Dinner

 Glenn Beck is the TV/Radio Host/Commentator

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) is the Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee

Freedom’s Riding! Join Us! Whether Birmingham or Jerusalem: SEPARATE is NOT EQUAL

November 13, 2011

 November 15, 5:30 PM

 96th Street and Broadway in Manhattan

In solidarity with the Freedom Riders of Palestine

 On the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides that helped de-segregate the Jim Crow South, activists in Palestine are planning to board segregated buses that serve only Jewish settlers in the Occupied West Bank. From Mississippi to Ramallah, join us in saying “Separate will never be equal!”

 Our demonstration of solidarity will be part of Jews Say No!’s monthly street action, and we will be joined by our allies from Jewish Voice for Peace-NY, CODEPINK NYC, WESPAC, and Adalah-NY.

 This is part of a nationwide day of solidarity with the Freedom Riders coordinated by Jewish Voice for Peace.

Panel at Kolot Chayeinu on Cultural Boycott of Israel

October 2, 2011

On September 15, 2011, Brooklyn For Peace, Kolot Chayeinu, and Jews Say No! presented an open conversation on the Cultural Boycott of Israel.

Panelists were: Filmmaker Udi Aloni, currently working with the Jenin Freedom Theatre, Professor Dalit Baum of Who Profits from the Occupation, Jethro Eisenstein, Board Member of Jewish Voice for Peace, , Roy Nathanson, Jazz  Musician, Lynne Sachs, Documentary Film Maker, and Ron Skolnik, Executive director of Meritz USA.  The Moderator was Esther Kaplan, investigative editor at The Nation Institute.

Rabbi Ellen Lippman was host

Jews are dishonored by a blind defense of Israel ‘Two Jews, three opinions,’ is the old adage. On ‘everything but Israel,’ is the present reality. By Alan Levine

September 25, 2011

Haaretz   May 5, 2011

Now that the City University of New York board of trustees has reversed course and approved an honorary degree for Tony Kushner, it is time for the Jewish establishment to reflect upon its failure to speak out. Jewish history tells us that silence is complicity. While individual Jews and progressive Jewish organizations, such as Jews Say No!, Jewish Voice for Peace, Jews Against Islamophobia, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, the Shalom Center, and J Street joined those protesting CUNY’s earlier decision to withdraw its initial offer of an honorary degree to Kushner, not one of the mainstream Jewish organizations seemed to think the trustees did anything wrong in punishing someone for his dissenting views on Israel. Neither the American Jewish Committee nor Congress, not the Anti-Defamation League, not the Jewish Community Relations Council, not Hillel. Read the article in Haaretz

Philip Weiss on cultural boycott panel at Kolot

September 17, 2011


Last night in Brooklyn, the most progressive Jewish congregation in New York, Kolot Chayeinu, held an “open conversation” about cultural boycott of Israel featuring six panelists, all of them Jewish. It was a first for New York in that this was the first time that such a debate was held in a synagogue. I found it thrilling in the way that I used to find the Harlem Globetrotters games thrilling– one side ran circles round the other– though like the Globetrotters victories, I am not entirely sure what was achieved. The best answer is that in a borough in which Jews had helped vote in a Republican congressman two nights before out of parochial fears, a handful of very good Jews are trying to wake other Jews up.


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