Palestine Partners at the National Women’s Music Festival


The 46th National Women’s Music Festival
June 30th – July 3rd, 2022
Marriot Madison West, 1313 John Q Hammons Dr, Middleton
Thu 5 pm-9 pm, Fri-Sat 10 am-9 pm, Sun 10 am-3 pm

The Festival Marketplace is open to the public and no tickets are required to shop!

Palestine Partners, a Madison-based organization that supports Women in Hebron and Youth of Samud, will be selling Palestinian crafts in the Music Festival Marketplace.

This four-day musical and cultural extravaganza covers all facets of women’s lives. Choices include workshops, concerts, comedy, theatre, a marketplace, films and videos, silent and live auctions, spirituality and writer’s series, and much more!

JUNE 28, 2022
URGENT CALL TO ACTION

FREE SAMI HURAINI, YOUTH OF SUMUD LEADER ARRESTED BY ISRAEL

As Israel threatens the homes of 1,000+ Palestinians in Masafer Yatta, Israel’s occupying army is trying to silence a leading youth organizer. Speak up!

RAISE YOUR VOICE:
• Uplift Youth of Sumud’s post and their work on Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook.
• Share these posts decrying Sami’s arrest by PIPD & USCPR.
• Share this 2 minute clip of Sami & his sister Sameeha’s demands for justice.

Sami needs your solidarity: Tweet #FreeSamiHuraini now! #DefendMasaferYatta

SAMPLE TWEET:

    URGENT: Israel’s army just arrested prominent Palestinian activist Sami Huraini of Masafer Yatta, known for leading resistance with @YouthOfSumud against Israel’s destruction of Palestinian homes.

For years, Sami Huraini and his community organization Youth of Sumud have defended his community, Masafer Yatta in the South Hebron Hills, from relentless Israeli settler and military violence simply for living in their homeland. For instance, last fall Sami decried an Israeli government-backed pogrom in which settlers fractured the skull of a 3-year old Palestinian child. And last month, Sami Huraini woke up to Israeli soldiers invading his village. Soldiers now bring tanks, guns, military bulldozers, and attack helicopters into their communities daily as part of a deliberate plan, backed by Israel’s colonial court system, to push more than 1,000 Palestinians out of their homes to steal their land for exclusive use by Israeli settlers and the occupying army who enable their invasion of the Palestinian homeland.

Recently, Israel escalated its attacks against Sami and his local community organization: two weeks ago, Israel’s occupying army issued a demolition notice on their Youth of Sumud community center. Then today, June 28, 2022, they arrested Sami. Like every Palestinian, he expects no rights or due process in courts with a more than 99% conviction rate. Israel’s carceral system is extraordinarily cruel, for instance also today denying early release for Ahmad Manasra, who has been incarcerated by Israel since age 13 and endured torture. Justice for Sami depends on international outcry. The fight continues until Sami, Ahmad, and every Palestinian prisoner is freed to their loved ones’ arms.

LEARN MORE:
Instagram live with Sami & Sameeha Huraini
Background on Youth of Sumud
Background on Sami’s organizing

The right to boycott is heading to the Supreme Court

I’m writing with breaking news. Today the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that boycotts are not protected by the First Amendment. The ACLU has confirmed they will take the case to the Supreme Court, with huge implications for free speech and the right to boycott in the US. Our team has been following this case closely as one of the key stories chronicled in our latest film, Boycott.

The case centers around an Arkansas law that requires public contractors to sign a pledge promising that they do not boycott Israel. Versions of this law have been passed in 33 states since 2016. In recent years, several Americans have challenged these laws, suing their respective states for violating their First Amendment rights. In almost every case — from Texas to Arizona to Kansas to Georgia — the plaintiffs won, with courts finding the anti-boycott laws unconstitutional.

The only exception has been Arkansas, where Alan Leveritt, publisher of the Arkansas Times, is the plaintiff. Alan originally lost in District Court but when he appealed to a three-judge panel at the Eighth Circuit, he won. The State of Arkansas was then granted a re-hearing. Today, the final ruling came out against Alan with the court deciding that boycotts, even when politically motivated, are strictly economic activity and not a form of expression. Brian Hauss, the ACLU’s chief litigator in the case has said that the decision “misreads Supreme Court precedent and departs from this nation’s long standing traditions.” He expressed hope that the Supreme Court “will set things right and reaffirm the nation’s historic commitment to providing robust protection to political boycotts.”

Alan believes that as a news publisher, he has a special duty to stand up for free speech rights. As he wrote in a New York Times Op-Ed: “We don’t take political positions in return for advertising. If we signed the pledge, I believe, we’d be signing away our right to freedom of conscience. And as journalists, we would be unworthy of the protections granted us under the First Amendment.”

When we started filming Boycott, we understood there was a risk that the anti-boycott legislation vis-a-vis Israel could be used as a template. By the time we finished the film, this was already becoming a reality. There are now copycat bills targeting boycotts of fossil fuels, firearms, and other industries. As Alan’s case heads to the Supreme Court, it is not only advocacy for Palestinian rights, the environment or gun safety that stands on the line — but our very right to protest, and to band together for collective political action.

With the stakes increasingly high, we remain committed to sounding the alarm on this story, and you can help us. Share the news on social media, ask your go-to news outlet to cover this story, and get in touch to organize a screening of Boycott in your community. These laws have been able to pass with such ease in large part due to the lack of public scrutiny around its origins and implications. The time to change that is now.

Onwards,
Julia Bacha
Creative Director, Just Vision
Director, Boycott

Montgomery Bus Boycott, December 5, 1955 to December 20, 1956


Rosa Parks sitting on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, 1956. (Encyclopedia Britannica)


The boycott was organized by local ministers, including Martin Luther King, Jr. (PBS)

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute

Sparked by the arrest of Rosa Parks on 1 December 1955, the Montgomery bus boycott was a 13-month mass protest that ended with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that segregation on public buses is unconstitutional.

How a pro-Israel lobby spent millions to sway Democratic primaries

Dark money groups like AIPAC have spent millions of dollars on misinformation ads to take down progressive Democratic candidates. Democratic leadership has yet to condemn this anti-democratic meddling in our primaries.

After AIPAC spent nearly $2 million in dark-money attacks on progressive congressional candidate Jessica Cisneros in TX-28, she came up 289 votes short last night against Henry Cuellar — the only anti-choice Democrat in the House.

Sign our coalition petition to Nancy Pelosi and other House Democratic leaders: Take a stand and make clear that anyone who is part of corporate dark-money misinformation ads are persona non grata with Democrats in Congress and the DCCC.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes is calling out AIPAC and other corporate-funded groups spending millions on misinformation campaigns against progressive candidates like Summer Lee and Jessica Cisneros.


These groups don’t run ads on the issues they purport to care about — such as Israel, low corporate taxes, and slashing business regulations. Instead, they falsely accuse popular progressive candidates of being bad Democrats. This is a rich accusation from corporate-funded groups like AIPAC that “went Full Trump” and endorsed over 30 pro-insurrection Republican members of Congress.

Here’s Chris Hayes in his segment this week:

“But there’s also something else I find insidious about this particular use of big money. The issue they care about is whether the US is strong and unflinching in its support of Israel. But here’s the thing, crucially: that is not the issue that this PAC is engaging in when it gets involved in these races. They recognize Israel is not the top issue for the voters and Pennsylvania’s 12th district. So what they did instead was launch an almost comically disingenuous attack, claiming Lee is not a real Democrat.

So here’s this group you’ve never heard of, and they’re saying, like, ‘Summer Lee is bad because she’s not a real Democrat. We want authentic Democrats.’ But they don’t care who a real Democrat is. Their spokesperson was exceedingly clear about their motivations in a recent statement to the Washington Post, saying “Our goal is to build the biggest bipartisan coalition in Congress for the US Israel relationship.” Again, that’s their stated goal. That’s what they care about. They care about that, over everything else, to the point where they have endorsed over 100 Republican candidates who voted to overturn the 2020 election results after the insurrection.”

But disingenuous as they are, their misinformation campaigns have a devastating impact. Summer Lee had a 25-point lead just weeks before the primary this past Tuesday. Then, a dark-money campaign spent millions spreading misinformation and turned the race into a nail-biter. Two progressives in North Carolina lost races after corporate dark money groups spent $7 million on misinformation campaigns against them.

Many Democratic leaders, consultants, and agencies have cozy relationships with the groups spending these millions of dollars of dark money trying to stop progressive candidates.

Ask Speaker Pelosi and other House Democratic leaders to take a stand.

BREAKING: 200+ Palestinians, Israelis, and American Jews protest to #SaveMasaferYatta


Growing up, I was told over and over: “You need to take responsibility for Israel. It’s your responsibility as a Jew.”

Now, I would say: “It’s unconscionable what’s happening in my name in Israel/Palestine, and as an American Jew, I am uniquely positioned to do something about it.”

That’s why I’ve spent the past week in the West Bank, meeting and working with Palestinians who are persevering to stay on their land and in their homes. I’m on a delegation with the Center for Jewish Nonviolence, an organization building networks of solidarity and co-resistance with Palestinians.

We’ve been working with community leaders in Masafer Yatta, a region south of Hebron where more than 1,500 Palestinians are facing expulsion from their homes. This would be the largest mass expulsion of Palestinians in sixty years.

Click for more via Instagram or Email

As I’ve traveled from community to community, alongside our Palestinian partners, I’ve heard two things over and over again:

One: Work with us. A young Palestinian organizer, Tariq, told me this:

“The fact that Palestinians and Jews are working together – that scares them. It threatens the forces that maintain occupation.”

Two: Share our stories. As one community leader put it:

“We need you to come here to hear our stories, and we need you to go home to share them.”

Today, I saw firsthand how Jews and Palestinians working together threatens this violent system.

But before I tell you what happened today, I need you to take one step to help Palestinians struggling to stay on their land. If enough of us are paying attention and speaking out, 1,500 people could remain in their homes.

If you have Instagram, follow the fight to #SaveMasaferYatta here via Instagram, or here via email.

This morning, I joined a Palestinian led-protest of over 200 Palestinians, Israelis, and diaspora Jews – including IfNotNow members – working together to re-open a road illegally blocked by settlers. The plan was to roll aside the massive boulders that settlers had put in place, which had cut Palestinians off from vital travel.

When settlers harassed us, the soldiers stood by and watched. They even detained Israeli activists and released them next to the settlers, who threw stones at them, broke their car window, and injured the activists inside.

When our group of nonviolent protesters tried to clear the road, the army responded with tear gas & stun grenades.

Now, I need you to spread this story. Follow along on Instagram, or sign up for email updates about what’s happening in Masafer Yatta.

Onwards,
Ari

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June 14, 2022
No Way to Treat a Child Webinar

Please join the #nowaytotreatachild campaign co-leaders from Defense for Children International – Palestine and American Friends Service Committee for a webinar on June 14 at 8 p.m. Eastern / 5 p.m. Pacific time.

The webinar will share updates on Palestinian children’s human rights, including updates on Palestinian children who have been detained, killed, used as human shields, and had their homes demolished by Israeli authorities. We’ll also discuss how to approach our advocacy work in the long term to ensure it is sustainable while keeping grassroots supporters and elected officials engaged.

Background

Approximately 2.9 million Palestinians live in the occupied West Bank, of which around 45 percent are children under the age of 18.

Palestinian children in the West Bank, like adults, face arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment under an Israeli military detention system that denies them basic rights.

Since 1967, Israel has operated two separate legal systems in the same territory. In the occupied West Bank, Israeli settlers are subject to the civilian and criminal legal system whereas Palestinians live under military law.

Israel applies civilian criminal law to Palestinian children in East Jerusalem. No Israeli child comes into contact with the military courts.

Israel has the dubious distinction of being the only country in the world that automatically and systematically prosecutes children in military courts that lack fundamental fair trial rights and protections. Israel prosecutes between 500 and 700 Palestinian children in military courts each year.

Ill-treatment in the Israeli military detention system remains “widespread, systematic, and institutionalized throughout the process,” according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report Children in Israeli Military Detention Observations and Recommendations.

Children typically arrive to interrogation bound, blindfolded, frightened, and sleep deprived.

Children often give confessions after verbal abuse, threats, physical and psychological violence that in some cases amounts to torture.

Israeli military law provides no right to legal counsel during interrogation, and Israeli military court judges seldom exclude confessions obtained by coercion or torture.

    ABOUT #NOWAYTOTREATACHILD’S WEBINARS AND ZOOM:
    For this webinar, we will be using the Zoom platform. Additional instructions and details for joining the webinar will be shared by email with individuals that have registered.

    WHEN
    June 14, 2022 at 8:00pm – 9pm
    WHERE
    Online via Zoom
    CONTACT
    Brad Parker · info@nowaytotreatachild.org

    Register for the Webinar

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Rashida Tlaib’s historic resolution to recognize the Nakba

Please read this letter to North Carolina’s US Congressional Representatives from VJP leadership urging them to co-sign.

May 23, 2022

Dear Representative,

We are Voices for Justice in Palestine, a North Carolina-based nonprofit working for a just and lasting peace in Israel-Palestine. We are a nonpartisan 501c3 working with interfaith and diverse social justice partners. Our membership consists of citizen-activists, scholars, scientists, pastors, theologians, and professionals who have studied this issue extensively and traveled widely in the region. We focus on education, legislative advocacy, and media presence in order to raise awareness of issues and perspectives largely absent from the public conversation in American society.

We are writing to you to ask you to co-sponsor Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan)’s historic resolution recognizing “The Nakba” (“catastrophe” in Arabic), commemorating the 750,000 Palestinian men, women, and children who were driven from their homes and their land in 1947-1949.

The resolution calls for:

  • Congressional recognition of the Nakba and to commemorate the Nakba through official recognition and remembrance,
  • Reject efforts to enlist, engage, or otherwise associate the US government with denial of the Nakba,
  • Encourage education and public understanding of the facts of the Nakba,
  • Continuation of the support for the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA), the refugee aid society dedicated to helping the 6 million Palestinian refugees,
  • Support the implementation of Palestinian refugees’ rights as enshrined in the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

We strongly support this resolution because it has significant educational value. Our research indicates that a great many North Carolinians are poorly informed about Palestinian history. They know little or nothing about the catastrophe that befell the Palestinian people in the Nakba. Those who have heard of it have been misled by myths and disinformation that obscure the truth. We view Rep. Tlaib’s resolution as an important public service that will lead to better understanding of this tragedy. The more knowledgeable our citizens are about this history, the more likely we are to progress toward a just and lasting peace in Israel-Palestine.

It would also establish a stronger basis for Congress to support humanitarian assistance programs for Palestinian refugees, which are desperately needed.

We are sending this letter to all of your colleagues in the North Carolina congressional delegation, both Republicans and Democrats. This is not a partisan issue. A just and lasting peace in this conflicted land that three major religions call holy transcends politics and demands our most compassionate and well-informed response.

Thank you for your consideration.

Respectfully yours,
The Governing Board of Voices for Justice in Palestine

AIPAC’s new tactic to unseat Rashida Tlaib

A new Super PAC aligned with AIPAC looks to undercut the only Palestinian Democrat ever elected to Congress, and diminish the growing support between Palestinians and African-Americans.


REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (PHOTO: TLAIB.HOUSE.GOV)

MITCHELL PLITNICK, Mondoweiss, MAY 31, 2022

A new Super PAC has reared its head and it’s made no secret of its first target: Rashida Tlaib. 

It comes as no surprise that Tlaib, the only Palestinian-American woman and the only Palestinian Democrat ever in Congress, is coming under severe attack ahead of her primary two months from now. But the nature of that attack is a particularly dangerous and pernicious one, and its nature is one that constitutes a unique and serious threat to not only advocates of Palestinian rights and freedom, but to progressives across the board.

The Urban Empowerment Action PAC (UEA) says its “supporters include a broad coalition of African American business, political and civic leaders, working alongside peers in the Jewish community.” Its stated mission is to “narrow the wealth gap between Black and white Americans.”

They explicitly stated that ousting Tlaib was their focus, and they planned to spend over $1 million to support Janice Winfrey, a centrist African-American and the Detroit City Clerk since 2005, against Tlaib. 

UEA squares its thin anti-racist rhetoric with targeting one of the most progressive members of Congress by implicitly accusing Tlaib of ignoring the needs of the Black community. To carry that case, UEA is employing activist and CNN commentator Bakari Sellers, who has long been one of the leading spokespeople for AIPAC in the Black community. 

In 2016, Sellers was a key figure in the fight between the Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders camps over how to address Israel and the Palestinians in the Democratic Party platform. Sanders’ camp led an effort to draft wording that called for “an end to occupation and illegal settlements,” which clearly aligned with stated U.S. policy in 2016. 

Sellers wrote a letter opposing the mention of occupation or settlements and got dozens of other African-American leaders to sign on. A compromise was eventually reached where the Democratic platform expressed some sympathy for the Palestinians for the first time, but there was no mention of occupation or settlements. There is little doubt that Sellers’ efforts were an important factor in staving off what was a popular proposal during the 2016 race. 

A photo posted to Twitter by Bakaki Sellers of him meeting Sheldon and Miriam Adelson.

Sellers was hardly subtle in his attacks on Tlaib. “Congresswoman Tlaib, I’m sure, serves admirably,” he told POLITICO. “However, we were hoping that we can have a candidate that doesn’t have varying distractions…we want someone, particularly in these Black communities, that does not get distracted by shiny things or media opportunities but is focused on the uplift of our communities and does right by them.

“I don’t have a beef with her directly,” Sellers continued. “I just think that there are individuals who will have the interest of their district, first and foremost, and not their brand. And will do things in the interest of uplift of that community. It’s not as much of a knock on her as it is that somebody else can do the job better because they’re focused on these particular issues.”

Sellers characterizes Tlaib as being self-centered, an odd charge considering that her politics are not well-suited to upward mobility and she has remained closely connected to the grassroots in her district. He makes no secret of what he means by “distractions,” noting that her criticisms of Israel are “high on the list” of his concerns about Tlaib.

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San Francisco Library Censors Palestine

Demand the Reinstatement of the Wall + Response Exhibit Now!

After four months of planning, the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) decided to cancel a mural exhibition because of its inclusion of the local Clarion Alley Arab Liberation Mural.

SF Public Library informed the Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP) that it would not allow the exhibition Wall + Response to open without censoring an image of the project’s Arab Liberation Mural. In partnership with the Arab Resource & Organizing Center’s (AROC) Arab Youth Organizing, the mural was created by a diverse team of community organizations, artists and allies to honor Arab, Muslim and migrant histories and struggles against racism and xenophobia, as well as the experiences of resilience and resistance in the Bay Area. This Mural has been a landmark for the community for over four years.

Recently, the SF Library decided to censor the Wall + Response exhibition because the Mural included the phrase “Zionism is Racism”. Zionism is the official ideology of Israeli apartheid. This phrase captures the experiences of Palestinians and others struggling against apartheid and Israel’s settler-colonial violence. Human rights organizations Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Yesh Din, and B’Tselem, as well as the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia and Harvard Law School have all determined Israel is an apartheid state. It is the height of irony that an art project designed to highlight and resist repression being faced by racial justice movements would be the subject of racist censorship. All the artists, poets, and community-based organizations who were part of the planned Wall + Response exhibition responded with a letter expressing their concerns of structural racism and asking the library to reinstate the exhibition in its entirety.

We are calling on communities to email the SFPL Commission and administration using our one-click tool to demand that the Wall + Response exhibition moves forward, free of censorship.

Take action now!