Events

JEWISH PERSPECTIVES ON THE BOYCOTT/DIVESTMENT/SANCTIONS (BDS) CAMPAIGN  
  Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at 7:30 PM

2504 Broadway, Advent Lutheran Church (entrance on 93rd St.)

Many Jews wish to see Israel end the occupation; abide by international humanitarian law, human rights laws and precepts; and meet its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination.Some believe that an effective way to do so is to adopt and to maintain nonviolent and punitive measures through participating in a campaign to boycott, divest from, and sanction (BDS) Israel.  The movement has grown rapidly since 2005, when a broad coalition of Palestinian civil society groups called on people around the world to join a campaign that involves academic, cultural, consumer, and sports boycotts; encouragement of and pressure on individuals, financial institutions and companies to shed their investments in Israel; and sanctions—ending preferential trade, joint research, and other agreements, local and regional governments ties between municipalities or regional councils and Israel, and military links and support to Israel.  Others believe that this movement uses the tools of boycott, divestment and sanction in a manner that is more blunt than smart and that its strategy may be doing more harm than good, driving the stakeholders further apart, rather than moving them towards a solution. We invite you to a respectful dialogue on BDS—whether you already have a position on it or you want to clarify for yourself the complex issues it raises.  This event will provide an opportunity to hear from people who disagree about whether BDS is an appropriate and effective strategy. We are fortunate to have speakers who have thought deeply about–and been involved–in issues of peace and justice, who have spent a lot of time in Israel/Palestine, and who disagree with each other about BDS. We also have a moderator/respondent who will encourage the speakers and audience to probe more deeply into these issues.    We hope you will join us.    Panelists:J.J. Goldberg–senior columnist for the Forward and former editor-in-chief; author of “Jewish Power: Inside the American Jewish Establishment;” writes articles, does radio and TV shows, and lectures across the country; lived in Israel during the 1970’s—will speak in opposition to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Campaign.Hannah Mermelstein–active member, Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel; co-founder, Birthright Unplugged; co-founder, Students Boycott Apartheid–will speak in support of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Campaign.Kathleen Peratis–member of J Street board; former vice president New Israel Fund; former president NYCLU; columnist The Forward; partner New York law firm Outten & Golden LLP–will speak in opposition to this campaign. Yonatan Shapira–former captain in the Israeli Air Force and initiator of the pilots’ refusal letter; member of “Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within”; co-founder, Combatants for Peace–will speak in support of this campaign. Moderator and respondent:
Esther Kaplan–radio and print journalist; editor of The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute, a nonprofit journalism project; co-host of Beyond the Pale, which covers Jewish culture and politics on WBAI/New York; a former editor at The Nation.  This event is co-sponsored by members of the Jewish community with different views on this issue:  Anita Altman, Renate Bridenthal, Jane Hirschmann, Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz, Gil Kulick, Marilyn Neimark, Donna Nevel, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Alisa Solomon, Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Rabbi Alissa Wise

Saturday evening, Nov. 21st from 7 – 8 P.M.
Please Join Jews Say No!
in front of the 92nd St. Y (92nd St. and Lexington Av.)
Dershowitz at the 92 St. Y

Jews Say No! has been standing on the street in different locations with our signs and leaflets adding another Jewish voice-one that seldom gets reported–in this ongoing discussion about Israel and Palestine.

We intend to continue to make our voices heard saying NO! to the Israeli occupation and brutality; YES! to the Goldstone report and to truth-tellers; NO! to the siege of Gaza; and YES to justice for the Palestinian people.

Please wear black if you can. We will bring our signs and leaflets.
Allies encouraged to join us.
Hope to see you there,
Jews Say No!
jewssayno@gmail.com

If you haven’t already done so, please add your name to our open letter in support of the Goldstone report at:
http://www.petitiononline.com/UNreport/petition.html

November 18, 2009
New Yorkers Tell Baseball Commish: ‘Strike Out Israeli Settlements!’

Protest Comes Day After Obama Spokesperson Says He is ‘Dismayed’ By New Israeli Settlements
New York, NY, November 18 – Over fifty human rights advocates gathered outside the office of Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig in midtown Manhattan at lunch time today to demand that he prevent the New York Mets from hosting a Citi Field fundraiser for a Jewish group that supports violence and racism against Palestinians. The protest came two weeks after eleven organizations sent a letter to the Mets and Commissioner Selig asking them to cancel the event for the Hebron Fund at the Caesars Club, which is located directly above the Jackie Robinson Rotunda at Citi Field. The groups said that the event would “taint” the Mets and Major League Baseball’s commitment to diversity and equality, and insult the memory of Jackie Robinson.

To the tune of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” the crowd sang:
Mets, please boot the Hebron Fund,
Racism is a shame;
There’s no place for segregationists,
Jackie Rob-in-son would pump his fists
If you don’t eject the Hebron Fund,
Citi Field goes to shame.
And we’ll have to root for the Yanks,
Or a different game.

The protesters chanted:
Don’t rent to racists, it’s an error,
Just say no to settler terror

Protest organizers said that over 2600 individuals have sent the Mets emails and letters asking them to cancel the event, and Jay Horwitz, the Vice President for Media Relations for the team, told one caller that the Mets are being “bombarded” by phone calls. During the protest, two representatives attempted to hand deliver the letter from eleven organizations to the Baseball Commissioner’s Office, along with photos of Hebron settler violence and racism, 40 additional hand-signed letters and a report by two Israeli organizations on human rights abuses by Israeli settlers and soldiers in Hebron, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The representatives were not allowed to go up to the Commissioner’s Office, and were asked by his office to leave the information for delivery via the building’s message center.

“The Mets claim it is a business decision, that they are a private organization that rents out their space to a variety of groups. But they would never rent it out to white supremacists or the KKK,” explained Donna Nevel of Jews Say No! “We are going to keep the pressure on the Mets and Major League Baseball.” The protest was organized by Adalah-NY, CODEPINK Women for Peace, Jews Against the Occupation-NYC, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, Jews Say No!, and Jewish Voice for Peace.

The Hebron Fund’s ties to violent and racist Jewish settlers living in Hebron are well-documented. Noam Arnon, a 2009 Hebron Fund honoree, told the AP when commenting on a 1995 book paying tribute to Baruch Goldstein, who massacred 29 Palestinians praying in a Hebron mosque, that “He was an extraordinary person.” In 1990, Arnon called three Israelis who were convicted of killing three Arabs and maiming two Palestinian mayors in car bombings “heroes.” In a video on the Hebron Fund website, 2008 dinner honoree Myrna Zisman pays tribute to Hebron settler Yifat Alkoby. Alkoby became famous worldwide in 2006 when she was videotaped in Hebron terrorizing and calling a Palestinian woman and girl “whores” who were caged inside their own home as protection from settler attacks. Rabbi Moshe Levinger, a founder of Hebron’s settlements, is among those honored in another video for the 2008 Hebron Fund dinner called “The Next Generation,” though, due to his attacks on Palestinians, Levinger has been charged repeatedly with crimes including manslaughter, assault, rioting, and disturbing the Muslim prayer.

Andrew El-Kadi of Adalah-NY said, “Institutions like the Mets and Major League Baseball should not allow groups like the Hebron Fund to use their facilities, and organizations like the Hebron Fund should not be given tax-exempt status as nonprofits by the US government to carry out settlement activities that contradict US foreign policy, violate international law and destroy any hope for peace in the Middle East.”

Photos of the protest: http://adalahny.org/index.php/photo-galleries/332-hebron-mets-demo

Thursday, November 19, 2009
12:30 – 2:00 p.m.
Fordham Law School
Room 204

The Fordham Law Student Chapters of the National Lawyers Guild and Amnesty International, as well as Jews Say No!, hope you will join us for a discussion with
International Law and Human Rights Experts on the Goldstone Report
Confirmed speakers include:
– Iain Levine, Program Director, Human Rights Watch
– Jeanne Mirer, President, International Association of Democratic Lawyers and Member, National Lawyers Guild International Committee
– Peter Weiss, International Human Rights lawyer and Vice President of the Center for Constitutional Rights

Sponsored by the Fordham Law Student Chapters of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) and Amnesty International (AI) as well as Jews Say No!
Our event was organized in response to another event at Fordham Law the same day (event as advertised copied here):
“Alan Dershowitz vs. The Goldstone Report”
At 4:00 p.m. in the 12th floor lounge of the Lowenstein Building
Alan Dershowitz, Professor of Law at Harvard University, will discuss the accuracy of The Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, also known as The Goldstone Report.

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