November 9, 2017
Kathy Kelly at Edgewood College

 
Anderson Auditorium
Predolin Center
Edgewood College
1000 Edgewood College Dr
Madison, WI
7:00 PM


“Trillions for the Military: Will That Make Us Secure?”
Kathy Kelly, Voices for Creative Nonviolence

Kathy Kelly, a global activist for peace, is one of the founding members of Voices in the Wilderness, and currently a co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence (www.vcnv.org) Believing that “where you stand determines what you see,” Voices activists have stood alongside people in war zones and helped educate U.S. people about the terrible consequences of U.S. wars.

As a guest of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, she has frequently visited Kabul. Experiences there and in other war zones have led her to speak and write about the futility of U.S. militarism and the potential for nonviolent resistance to war and injustice.

Planned by Ecumenical Peace Working Group
Hosted by Edgewood College COR General Education Program
For more information, contact Maureen McDonnell, OP, mowisdom at gmail.com

November 8, 2017
Wisconsin Union Presents Bassem Youssef

Wisconsin Union Theater
800 Langdon Street
UW-Madison
8:00 pm (doors open at 7:30)

Dubbed the “Jon Stewart of Egypt” by The New Yorker, heart-surgeon-turned-satirist Bassem Youssef is now making waves in America for his controversial brand of comedy.

This event is co-presented with Wisconsin Union Directorate’s Performing Arts Committee and Distinguished Lecture Series. Sponsored by the UW-Madison Middle East Studies Program.

Note: this event is free for students; others require paid tickets. For more info see Bassem Yousef in Madison.

November 6, 2017
Jerusalem on the Moving Edge of Colonial Rule


Tom Philip Abowd
Tufts University
206 Ingraham Hall
1155 Observatory Drive
UW-Madison
12 noon – 1:00 pm

This Middle East Studies presentation will analyze how colonialism and colonial urbanism remain a crucial component of contemporary Palestinian and Israeli realities.

It seeks to illuminate everyday life as well as the broader institutional forces that comprise and enable Israeli urban policy in Jerusalem. What kinds of barriers—physical, legal, and discursive—operate to keep Israeli-occupied Jerusalem a city of immense separation and inequality?

The lecture will also address some of the multiple expressions of anti-racism and resistance to colonial and military rule in the city most contested by Palestinians and Israelis since 1948.

State shouldn’t punish boycott movement — Joel Garb

Wisconsin State Journal, 11/3/17

Many Jews, including myself, as well as many others have been inspired by the Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement in dealing with Israel. Israel’s current occupation of the Palestinian people on their traditional land is part of the reason for my discontent.

Last Friday, Wisconsin’s governor signed Executive Order 261, alleging “a robust trading relationship” with Israel. The order said the Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement against Israel is discriminatory and “serves to inflame conflict.” State agencies will not be allowed to do business with entities that engage in a boycott of Israel.

By far the greatest inflammation of conflict runs from Israeli policies toward the Palestinians. This is similar to the boycott of South Africa when a minority community ran the country.

Thirty-five years ago the Supreme Court affirmed that non-violent boycott activities are protected free speech. The Wisconsin Constitution forbids any law that restrains or abridges our liberty of speech. The governor’s order falls short of these requirements.

Joel Garb, Black Earth

© Copyright 2017 Madison.com

Wisconsin 24th State to bar or condemn Israel BDS movement

Jewish News Service, October 29, 2017

(JNS.org) Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker issued an executive order last Friday to ban state agencies from engaging in businesses with ties to the anti-Israel BDS movement. 

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Credit: Michael Vadon via Wikimedia Commons.Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Credit: Michael Vadon via Wikimedia Commons.

“We stand firmly against discrimination in any form and we wholly support our friends in Israel,” said Walker. “I look forward to leading a trade delegation to Israel to foster new trade partnerships between Wisconsin and Israeli businesses.”

With the passing of the order, Wisconsin became the 24th U.S. state to enact official measures condemning BDS or prohibiting government business with entities that boycott Israel. 

“Consistent with existing Wisconsin nondiscrimination provisions and regulations governing purchases…agencies may not execute a contract with a business entity if that entity is engaging in a boycott of Israel,” the order states. “Further, agencies shall reserve the right to terminate any contract with a business entity that engages in a boycott of Israel during the term of the contract.”

The initiative came just before Walker departed on a trip to Israel at the head of a 15-member business delegation. The delegation will be in Israel until Nov. 2.

Also last week, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed an executive order that blocks his state from awarding contracts to companies that support BDS.

©2016 JNS.org

PayPal: Stop Discriminating Against Palestinians

We won’t accept PayPal’s discrimination against Palestinians!

PayPal refuses to offer its services to Palestinians living in the occupied Palestinian territories, while Israelis next door in illegal settlements have full access to PayPal’s international transactions. Join us today and tell PayPal to stop discriminating against Palestinians!

ActionAid has been raising our concerns with the CEO of PayPal since January 2017, but so far he hasn’t responded. PayPal hasn’t listened to the call of thousands of Palestinians to open up the company’s services to Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.

ActionAid has been raising our concerns with the CEO of PayPal since January 2017, but so far he hasn’t responded. PayPal hasn’t listened to the call of thousands of Palestinians to open up the company’s services to Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.

We need your help to amplify our message. Here are two things you can do right now:

  • Tell PayPal to stop discriminating against Palestinians. Sign our petition!
  • Add your voice to the hundreds of thousands already calling for PayPal to make its services available to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, and stop servicing companies and individuals in illegal Israeli settlements in Palestine. Amplify our message on social media using the hashtag #PayPal4Palestine.

Why Do We Want #PayPal4Palestine?

PayPal has become the default method of online payment for many people living in the 200+ jurisdictions where it does business. Among those is Israel – which PayPal considers to include the illegal Israeli settlements on the occupied Palestinian territories.

PayPal’s discriminatory practices prevent Palestinian businesses and individuals from processing payments through one of the most common payment methods, limiting their opportunities for economic growth. PayPal’s failure to provide services to Palestinians living under the occupation is having serious repercussions for Palestinian businesses and graduates looking for jobs.

Palestine has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the world, and the tech sector is one of the few industries that is growing, even under Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. But the industry’s growth is being obstructed, with Palestinian tech companies struggling to make or receive international online payments.

This puts the tech sector at a substantial disadvantage, leaving it unable to absorb the thousands of young Palestinian “techies” who graduate from university every year.

At the heart of this campaign, we want PayPal to respect the rights of Palestinians. Over 38% of people in Palestine are living in poverty, while prosperous Israeli settlements lie just meters from those struggling to survive. These settlements, built on stolen Palestinian land, are illegal under international law. They breach the fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits an occupying power from moving its civilian population into a territory it occupies. This illegal status was reconfirmed in UN Security Council Resolution 2334 of December 23, 2016.

PayPal has a responsibility to respect human rights. It must address any adverse human rights impacts linked to their business practices in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP). PayPal shouldn’t be knowingly complicit in violations of international humanitarian law by servicing companies and individuals in the illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

PayPal has done the right thing in the past – and together we can push the company do the right thing again. In North Carolina, PayPal scrapped plans for a major operations center in protest of an unjust law that took away protections for the LGBTQ+ community. If we come together now, we can show PayPal that it can expand its market, help the 2,000 IT graduates Palestine produces every year to find work, and end the growing backlash among politicians, tech companies and concerned PayPal users like us.

Trump taps head of anti-Palestinian group for Education Civil Rights

Nora Barrows-Friedman, The Electronic Intifada, 27 October 2017

Growing waves of legislation intend to silence and punish boycott activists in the US. (Stephen Melkisethian, Flickr)

In a troubling move for students and Palestine rights activists, the Trump administration has tapped Kenneth Marcus as the top civil rights enforcer at the US Department of Education.

He will lead the department’s Office of Civil Rights.

Marcus is the head of the Brandeis Center for Human Rights, an Israel advocacy group that has for years worked to smear Palestine solidarity activism as anti-Semitism. It has no affiliation with the better known Brandeis University.

Since 2010, Marcus’ key strategy has been to file civil rights complaints with the Office of Civil Rights claiming that universities were failing to protect Jewish students by not cracking down on the Palestine solidarity movement, especially the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights.

The tactic was unsuccessful. But now, Marcus himself will be in charge of investigating such complaints.

Marcus’ appointment comes just weeks after Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos rolled back regulations aimed at protecting victims of campus sexual assault.

Abuse of civil rights law

Marcus previously served as the Office of Civil Rights’ top enforcement officer from 2002-2004, under President George W. Bush, and has held other government jobs.

He is author of the strategy Israel advocacy groups have used to instigate federal crackdowns on Palestine solidarity activism by filing complaints under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

The act obligates administrators to ensure that there is no discrimination based on race or national origin in institutions that receive federal funding.

In 2010, the Obama administration expanded its interpretation of the law to include religion, opening the way for complaints alleging that Palestine advocacy harms Jewish students.

In 2013, the Office of Civil Rights threw out Title VI complaints filed against the University of California campuses at Berkeley, Santa Cruz and Irvine.

The previous year the department threw out a similar complaint against Barnard College.

Repressive bill

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Madison’s Sister Cities

A PUBLIC AFFAIR, WORT 89.9FM, OCTOBER 24, 2017
Today we’re talking about Madison’s Sister Cities. Host Bert Zipperer speaks with Madison businessman, activist, and former City Council member Ricardo Gonzalez. You might know him as the owner of the much-beloved The Cardinal Bar, or from his work with the Madison-Camaguey Sister City Association. Later in the hour [at 33:50], we also speak with Barb Olson of the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project.

Thousands Of Israelis Take To The Streets Calling For Palestinian Genocide

A reporter at the scene remarked that it seemed “more like a celebration of murder than anything.”

Whitney Webb, MintPress News, October 6, 2016

The Tel Aviv rally—organized to support an Israeli soldier who murdered a wounded Palestinian by shooting him in the head as the victim lay on his back—was marked by chants and banners calling for mass murder.The Tel Aviv rally — organized to support an Israeli soldier who murdered a wounded Palestinian by shooting him in the head as the victim lay on his back — was marked by chants and banners calling for mass murder.

Massive rallies and Facebook campaigns calling for Palestinian genocide are ignored by Western mainstream media and Facebook despite concerns and collaborations aimed at stopping “calls to violence”.

Since last October, the Israeli government has accused Palestinians and their allies of “inciting violence” against Israelis, despite the fact that only 34 Israelis have died in that time frame compared to 230 Palestinians. The uptick in violence has been attributed to an internationally condemned Israeli encroachment of Palestinian lands in the contested West Bank.

Israeli government concern over recent violence has led them to arrest Palestinians for social media content that could potentially lead to crimes. So far, 145 Palestinians have been arrested this year for “pre-crime” via social media “incitement.” This practice eventually led to a collaboration between Facebook and the Israeli government, whose joint effort to curb social media “incitement” has led to the banning of several Facebook accounts of Palestinian journalists and news agencies.

However, social media, as well as mainstream Western media, have failed to condemn Israeli “incitement” against Palestinians, a practice that is surprisingly common considering the little to no attention it receives. Often these anti-Palestinian posts, pictures, and rallies are rife with calls for genocide, with cries of “Death to the whole Arab nation” and “Kill them all” surprisingly common.

Even the Times of Israel ran an op-ed article about “When Genocide is Permissible” in reference to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Though the post was eventually taken down, it points to an all-too-common and dangerous mentality that social media, the Israeli government, and Western media “conveniently” ignore.

An Israeli news agency even put the then-suspected preferential treatment to the test and found that Facebook and the Israeli authorities treated calls for revenge from Palestinians and Israelis very differently.

Even massive rallies calling for Palestinian genocide have been ignored entirely by social media and the corporate press. Earlier this year in April, a massive anti-Palestinian rally took place in Tel Aviv where thousands called for the death of all Arabs. The rally was organized to support an Israeli soldier who killed an already-wounded Palestinian by shooting him execution-style in the head.

The soldier, Elor Azaria, was charged with manslaughter for the killing, which occurred deep within Palestinian sovereign territory in the city of Hebron. Hebron contains an illegal Jewish settlement, but despite its illegality is protected by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) all the same. This has led to frequent clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in the area.

The Tel-Aviv rally was attended by an estimated 2,000 people and several Israeli pop icons entertained attendees including singer Maor Edri, Moshik Afia, and Amos Elgali, along with rapper Subliminal. Chants of “Elor [the soldier] is a hero” and calls to release the soldier were common. One woman was photographed holding a sign reading “Kill them all.”

A Jewish reporter at the scene remarked that it seemed “more like a celebration of murder than anything.” Despite the obvious animosity and incitement made evident at the rally, it isn’t difficult to imagine what the response would have been if this has been a pro-Palestinian rally calling for the deaths of Jews. The stark divide between what is permissible for Palestinians and what is permissible for Israelis should concern us all as the widespread bias of social media, the press, and many governments threaten to blind us from the realities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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Last Month for Gaza Lights!

Our campaign to provide 50 “Gaza Lights” systems to families in Rafah is into its last month. We have almost raised the $4700 cost of the project. Thanks to those who have given so far. Details on the campaign here:

If you are looking for a good Halloween decoration, we are offering special Halloween-themed “Spooky Luci” Lights for sale again this year. (Luci Lights are a bright solar-powered light that in the past we have helped the Rebuilding Alliance send to Gaza children.) We have about 20 of the Halloween version left and all proceeds from any that we sell before Halloween this year will go to the Gaza Lights campaign.

“Spooky Luci” lights (3 styles)

The prices are $15 for one, $25 for two or $35 for three. Right now all three patterns are available, but that may not last, so if you are interested you need to hurry!

If you would like to purchase any of these lights, please send an e-mail to Kathy Walsh, madderhorn17 at outlook.com, or call her at 608-278-0483. She can arrange for pickup or delivery in the Madison area.

As always, thanks for your support!