So many people travel, take tours, and make pilgrimages to the “Holy Land” each year. What are the ethical, political, and personal implications of a journey to holy sites surrounded by 30-foot-high concrete walls, where soldiers patrol the streets and residents live under military occupation?
Three recent, short documentaries present a variety of perspectives through the eyes of people living there today. Post-film discussion features Rifat Kassis of Kairos Palestine, Palestinian-American Sam Bahour, and Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon of Churches for Middle East Peace.
9:00 AM – 12:00 Noon
Memorial United Church of Christ
5705 Lacy Rd, Fitchburg
This will be the 18th year of selling crafts and cookies to support a full-year scholarship to a student at Dar Al Kalima University of Arts and Culture in Bethlehem. We sell hand-made crafts made by the congregation, and Christmas cookies by the pound, too!
For more info contact Nancy Baumgardner at 608-320-0977.
Esty Dinur on A Public Affair this Friday has guests Iman Abid of US Campaign for Palestinian Rights and Haggai Matar of +972 Magazine.
Iman Abid is the Director of Advocacy and Organizing at the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR). Prior to joining USCPR, Iman was the Regional Director at the American Civil Liberties Union of New York (ACLU of NY) for six years.
Haggai Matar is an award-winning Israeli journalist and political activist, and serves as executive director of the nonprofit that publishes +972 Magazine.
A Public Affair is WORT’s daily hour long call-in talk program. It aims to engage listeners in a conversation on social, cultural, and political issues of importance. The guests range from local activists and scholars to notable national and international figures.
Join The Conversation! Listeners may call (608) 256-2001, extension 9 and ask questions of the guests. You can join us on Facebook and Twitter as well!
We are writing as Jewish members of the UW-Madison community in response tothe recent anti-Zionist chalkings on our campus, and especially to the reactions from your offices, UW-Madison Hillel and other campus organizations, and media on and off campus.
We understand that past experiences may have inclined you to seek those responsible for this incident among UW student groups. In the recent past, Jews on campus have been upset, justifiably, when members of UW-Madison student groups — including leaders of the undergraduate student government — have not acted with respect for Jewish religious practice when it comes to campus actions on Israel and Palestine.
We agree that “education and accountability” are critical in such situations. The statements from your offices, however, provided neither. Instead, they impatiently and inaptly condemned the small and only recently reconstituted UW-Madison chapter of SJP for actions its members deny conducting — contributing to their scapegoatingin the media. Those students deserved more from you.
We agree that it is antisemitic to hold all Jews accountable for the acts of the Israeli government, regardless of their connection or lack thereof to Israel. That treats Jews as a monolith and conflates Jewish identity with blanket support for Israel. But here we must ask: who in this situation truly conflated Jewishness with the political ideology of Zionism?
Two of the organizations called out in the chalkings, the UW-Madison chapters of Hillel and Chabad, are indeed Jewish organizations. The primary function of both is to support the religious life of Jewish students on campus. Simply attending the religious services at those two organizations — the only ones that offer them on campus — does not justify attacking Jewish students, and we urge those carrying out pro-Palestinian actions to respect such religious events and spaces.
At the same time, both the Hillel and Chabad chapters have identified themselves as explicitly pro-Israel. This combination of Zionist politics with Jewish religious practice has become the norm for Jews on campus and across the country. Yet many Jews do not consider support for Israel to be essential to their Jewish identity. On the contrary, for some Jewish students, the perception of being “required” to espouse pro-Israel positions as a precondition for participating in Jewish life on campus dissuades them from participating at all. In fact, Hillel has so constrained Jewish student speech and organizing on Israel and Palestine that Jewish students who felt alienated from Jewish life on campus as a resultformed an “Open Hillel” movement, and in particular Open Hillel’sJudaism on Our Own Terms initiative, to try to create more space on campus for diverse Jewish viewpoints.
When organizations explicitly prohibit participation of organizations, groups, or speakers — including Jewish ones — on the basis of their political stance, they can no longer claim that they are apolitical, “big tent” Jewish organizations that define themselves primarily around Jewish identity. To insist that their critics strictly separate the religious and the political, then, is disingenuous and hypocritical.
What’s more, three of the organizations the chalkings criticized (J Street U at Wisconsin, TAMID, and Badgers for Israel) do not self-describe as Jewish organizations. (In fact, the last of the trio explicitly describes itself as “nonreligious.”) Their primary function is to support Israel. And while criticizing such organizations for being Zionist might be controversial, it is not antisemitic. Nor is it antisemitic to claim that Zionist organizations should be held accountable for Zionism’s ills, or that racist and genocidal acts have been committed in the name of Zionism.
So we must rejectUW Hillel’s charges that the chalkings were antisemitic because they were “targeting student organizations because of their connection to Israel” and thus constituted “an attack on the identity of Jewish students.” Similarly, we must rejectyour offices’ claims that the chalkings were antisemitic because they “attribute broad actions or beliefs to Jewish student groups.” In both cases, it was Hillel’s and the university administration’s statements, not the original chalkings, which conflated Jewish identity and practice with support for Zionism within and beyond Jewish communities.
We call on you to apologize to the campus chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine for scapegoating them for this incident without evidence that they were responsible for it. We call on you to refrain from conflating Zionist viewpoints with Jewish identity — a move that exacerbates the exclusion of non-Zionist Jews from Jewish life on campus, and normalizes the suppression of free speech about Israel and Palestine within campus or campus-adjacent organizations,including Hillel. We also ask you to educate yourselves about the distinction between antisemitism and anti-Zionism more generally. TheJerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism, which was signed by about 200 scholars of antisemitism and related studies from around the world, including Israel, is a good place to start.
Finally, we call on Jewish individuals and organizations on and off campus who share our perspective to express support by signing on to this letter.
Ri J. Turner, graduate student, History
Joshua Garoon, Assistant Professor, Community and Environmental Sociology
Tsela Barr, staff, International Division
Annie Sommer Kaufman, alumna, ’01
Stepha Velednitsky, graduate student, Geography
Additional Signatories, UW-Madison-affiliated:
Susan Nossal, UW-Madison academic staff
Zayne Chrysanthemum, student
Cora Segal, graduate student, Gender & Women’s Studies
Jacqueline Krass, graduate student, English
Daniel Levitin, graduate student
Melissa Marver, PhD Candidate and alumna, Population Health
Heather Rosenfeld, Smith College (PhD from UW, 2019)
Asher Bruskin, alum, ’08
Jeffrey Schiffman, former employee
Esty Dinur, retiree
Elizabeth Conn, alumna, ’07
Ace Lynn-Miller, alum ’08
Paul Cotton, graduate school alum ’73
Lynne Kavin, alum ’89, member of JVP Chicago
Lynne Joyrich, former professor in the UW System
Elaine J. Cohen, daughter of alum
Judith Laitman, alum
Betsy Buczakowski, alum ’19
Liza DiPrima, alum (BS in Elementary Education)
Marc Rosenthal, UW alum, BS in Nursing
Additional Signatories, Organizations:
Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions-USA
Jewish Voice for Peace-Los Angeles
Jewish Voice for Peace-Milwaukee
Ithaca Committee for Justice in Palestine/Jewish Voice for Peace
Jewish Voice for Peace at UCLA
Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago
Additional Signatories, Individuals:
Rabbi Salem Pearce
Elizabeth Bolton, Reconstructionist Rabbi (RRC ’96)
Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, JVP Rabbinic Council
Rabbi Noam Lerman, UW-Milwaukee alum
Rabbi Ariana Katz
Rabbi Jessica Rosenberg
Rabbi Brant Rosen
Dr. Benay Blend, retired professor (PhD University of New Mexico)
Sarah Combellick-Bidney, Augsburg University
Elsa Auerbach, University of Massachusetts-Boston
Merry Maisel, UC San Diego
Daniel Segal, Professor at Pitzer College
Alice Rothchild, MD, Harvard University
Mark LeVine, UC Irvine, Dept of History, Global Middle East Studies
Benjamin Kersten, graduate student, UCLA Department of Art History
Charles Manekin, Professor Emeritus, University of Maryland
Ivan Huber, Fairleigh Dickinson Univ, Madison, NJ
Emmaia Gelman, Sarah Lawrence College
Hassan Melehy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Jodi melamex, Marquette University
freygl gertsovski, Jewish cultural worker
Ari Pollack, Madison native
Benjamin Ben-Baruch, Retired Jewish educator
Alan Levien, civil rights lawyer
Elizabeth Ingenthron, Jewish scholar and activist
Judith Utevsky, Jewish resident of Madison
Barbara Parmet, JVP member
Eve Hershcopf, Member of JVP – Bay Area
Rick Chetoff, JVP Los Angeles member
Bob Herbst, JVP member
Beth Harris, member of Ithaca JVP
Burton Steck, UVP
Rachel Rubin, JVP, Health Advisory Council
Jena doolas, member of JVP Chicago
Carol Muskin, member of JVP Chicago
Jon Moscow, member of Northern New Jersey JVP
Cinda Rubinstein, member of JVP
Shelley Cohen Fudge, member of JVP-DC Metro Chapter
Nicole Cohen, member of JVP NYC
Munk Munk, member of JVP
Alice Golin, member of Northern New Jersey JVP
Harry Soloway, member of JVP Westchester
Rachel Ida Buff, UWM/Milwaukee JVP
Martin Levine, member of JVP – Chicago
Mara Horowitz, member of JVP Westchester
Lawrence R. Wolf, member of JVP Westchester
Laura Myerson, Educator, member of JVP
Steve Golin, member of JVP
Wendy Fisher, member of Northern New Jersey JVP
Lesley Williams, JVP member
Trude Bennett, JVP member
Sue Saunders, member of JVP – Sacramento, CA
Elizabeth G. Lent, Episcopal Peace & Justice
David H Slavin, PhD
Zackary Sholem Berger
Stephen R. Shalom
A fundraiser by the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project
Our goal is to raise $10,064 to renovate a family apartment in the Tal al Sultan neighborhood of Rafah, where in 2005 we funded a playground for local children.
This family consists of a father, mother and three children. The father has become disabled and the mother works to try to keep the family afloat. Their small apartment is desperately in need of roof repairs, interior renovations to the main living area and bath, and the addition of another room — especially now that the cold and rains of winter have arrived.
The building condition directly affects the family’s health and well being. The family covers the roof panels with cloths to try to keep out the rain, but that’s not enough to keep the rooms dry. They cannot afford to repair the concrete ceiling.
The family was nominated by the Al Amal Society for Rehabilitation, a Palestinian Non-Government Organization in Gaza that has partnered with Rebuilding Alliance since 2017. Our grant will be transferred to and administered by this partner organization. Rebuilding Alliance’s Site Engineer, Heba El Khozondar, will supervise the project to sign-off for each phase.
The project will have three construction phases, each commencing as soon as enough funds have been donated:
▪ Phase 1: $3,080 Poured concrete roof repair
▪ Phase 2: $3,555 Main Living Space
▪ Phase 3: $3,429 Adjacent new room $10,064 Total
The Shahin family sits happily in a circle in their home, located in the Shuja’iyya neighborhood east of Gaza City. The house is warm and lively, and the smell of the meal inside the oven fills the whole room. Everyone can barely contain their excitement at tasting the season’s new olive oil. On the menu is musakhan, a traditional Palestinian dish utilizing the freshly harvested olive oil to make a layered dish of taboon bread, onions cooked in copious olive oil and sumac, and often topped with chicken.
Widely regarded as the most blessed time of the year, Palestinian families in Gaza wait all year for the olive harvest season. Starting in October, families prepare harvest tools, mats, plastic rolls, high ladders, and pails, venturing out in the early morning to visit their lands, finally able to pick the olives after an entire year tending to the trees.
Everyone in the Shahin family participates in the harvest, considered the most important season of the year. They spend weeks on end together, enjoying the olives, and the resulting fresh and thick green oil, as an accompaniment to their meals. “When I dip the first piece of bread into the oil we made, I feel all the effort we put into harvesting melting away,” Amr Shahin, 13, says from his family farm.
He is part of a group of teenagers participating in the harvest. As they continue to pick up olives from the ground, Hassan, 12, points his finger to his cousin Mahmoud, a year older.
“Take Mahmoud for instance,” says Hassan. “If he doesn’t have olive oil for a week, he will die!” They all snicker, coming down from their ladders to participate in the interview.
The olives go through a short process to be ready for consumption, either as pickled olives or as fresh-pressed oil. The family all joins together under the tree to carry out a designated task within the division of labor necessary for olive picking.
Picking as a family tradition
The Shahin family owns eleven acres of land, home to three hundred olive trees. They work daily, from afternoon to sunset, taking advantage of the presence of the young boys after they get off from school to climb up the tall ladders and pick the olives from the top of the trees.
Their mothers wait for them to get back from school. They have their lunch at home quickly, then get to work. Mothers sit under the tree while the boys are up on the ladders, picking the olives and letting them fall down amid their mothers and sisters, who pick it up and separate the olives, dividing the green and black olives into separate bags. After harvesting, the olives are taken home in plastic bags. The family sells a few bags to their neighbors when they get back home.
The fastest way to prepare the olives for eating is to smash them with the flat side of a rock, without breaking the pits. Then the olives are mixed with salt and red pepper, and stored in containers for a week. After the curing period, the olives are ready.
And when the family judges the quantity it harvests to be enough, they send it over for pressing.
Olives into oil
Extracting the oil from the olives is a long process, entailing taking the olives through several stages in the ancient olive press factories in the Gaza Strip.
Located among the farms east of al-Shuja’iyya, the Kishko Olive Press receives hundreds of people, who bring olives from their land in plump bags.
“This year the olive harvest is good, and when trees hold an extra amount of olives, the oil extracted becomes less than usual,” Salah Kishko, the owner of the press, tells Mondoweiss.
According to Kishko, this year a gallon of olive oil — containing sixteen liters — would require over 150 kg worth of olives. During the previous season, it would only require 120 kg. The amount varies each year, says Kishko, depending on the season’s prevailing climate. The amount of olives that his press goes through daily numbers over three hundred tons, which explains the good season.
The first step of this process is dumping the olives into a steam machine, in which the olives are moved through a tiny steel conveyor belt to be cleaned as the steam drags the tree leaves and other impurities.
The olives are cleaned and washed by water, and then transferred to another machine for mashing. The olives then are pressed, turning the olive into wet mush.
This renders the green olives soft and ready for oil extraction. At the end of the machine, two young boys received the olive paste mixed with the pits on a canvas, who transfer it to the pressure machine.
Dozens of burlap sacks loaded with the smashed olives are lined up between the jaws of the press. The pressing continues for over an hour, during which time the pure oil leaks into a metal basin and then into a filter tube. When the pressing ends, the cores remain inside the ceramic circles, while the pure oil goes to purification.
In the last stage of this process, the pressed oil is fed into the purification machine, splitting the unclear oil into a long pipe, while the clear oil is refined by water. The pipe carrying the oil has two faucets, one for impurities, and the other for the clear olive oil.
At this stage, people fill the fresh oil into gallon containers and take them home, to distribute among their family members or take to market to sell.
This season, the price of a 16-liter tank is 450 NIS (about $127 USD).
The oil is now ready, not only for consumption in the typical seasonal meals, but also for daily use, like in manakish za’atar pastries, musakhan, or just on the side, dipped with bread.
From farm to table
The olives and the olive oil are essential components of any Palestinian table. Palestinians in Gaza believe that as long as a family has olive oil at home, they will never go hungry.
Another important part of the season, especially for those who buy oil on the market, is the search for the best olive oil. If you have a neighbor who owns land with olive trees, you would usually ask them to keep you a tank — usually enough to last a family for a year.
And as the new oil flows in, people start to find ways to use up the leftover oil for last year. Weeks before the harvest season, most families start to use up their stores, using the old oil in several cooked meals.
Samera Al-Astal, 52, lights her traditional handmade clay oven to bake bread. Her daughter, Nidaa, prepares the bread dough in between mixing olive oil with zaatar — a blend of sumac, sesame, salt, and Palestinian thyme.
The rest of the family helps out, preparing one of the best breakfasts you can have — zaatar manakeesh with fresh olive oil. The smaller children are already seated, anxiously anticipating the food.
The wild thyme and oil mixture is spread across the flattened dough, which is then placed in the oven for fifteen minutes, until it comes out bubbling and green.
“Oil, olives, and thyme have been produced by this land for thousands of years,” says Samera. “Palestinians understood their land and used its bounties for their survival.”
And they continue to use it to this day.
Nidaa, Samera’s daughter, is 28 years old and has a family of her own. She happily prepares Friday lunch for them, which usually includes chicken or meat. With the olive season, most families tend to make Musakhan, which as a dish makes heavy use of olive oil.
Nidaa’s family gathers ahead of lunch, while she prepares the meal.
Musakhan, perhaps the quintessential Palestinian dish, consists mainly of chicken, onions, and Taboon bread. A kind of rough flatbread, the “taboon” loaf is derived from the traditional oven of the same name, when the dough is laid over hot rocks inside the taboon, leading to the flatbread’s characteristic dimples and uneven pockets — ideal for catching and soaking up the season’s olive oil.
After the bread is made, Nidaa chops up a hefty amount of onions, and mixes them with a large quantity of olive oil and sumac. Marinated chicken bakes in the oven, with the oil and onions underneath it, catching the chicken juices that mix with the copious amounts of oil.
Once the chicken is cooked and the oil-and-onion mixture underneath is tender, it’s time for assembly.
The taboon bread is covered — in fact, soaked — with the onion, sumac, and olive oil. Once they’re all assembled, the flatbreads are layered on top of each other, and then finally topped with the roasted chicken. When they pick up the bread, it is dripping in oil.
After a heavy lunch, dinner is comparatively light, but no less replete with the season’s olive oil. Nidaa’s family gets ready for dinner at a leisurely pace, cutting vegetables for a light salad — fattoush.
It is a favorite meal for the elderly in Palestine, as it is soft and smooth. Small diced pieces of crisped bread are added to oven-roasted eggplants, fresh tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, and green pepper, seasoned with salt and dressed generously in olive oil.
This meal can be head for breakfast or dinner, and is served alongside the prepared olives.
The Palestinian relationship with olive trees has been millenia in the making. Palestinians in Gaza consider the olive as their symbol and their most prized property.
Reflecting on how vital olive trees are for Palestinian survival, Amr Shahin said: “When we feel hungry, we eat the olive. When we get tired, we rest in the shade under the trees. And when we are cold in winter, we use the wood for warmth.”
Tareq S. Hajjaj Tareq S. Hajjaj is the Mondoweiss Gaza Correspondent, and a member of Palestinian Writers Union. He studied English Literature at Al-Azhar university in Gaza. He started his career in journalism in 2015 working as news writer/translator at the local newspaper Donia al-Watan. He has reported for Elbadi, Middle East Eye, and Al Monitor. Follow him on Twitter at @Tareqshajjaj.
11/17/22 update: WORT’s Gil Halsted talks with Yousef Aljamal and Asmaa Abu Mezeid, two of the Light in Gaza authors now on tour in the U.S.
Light in Gaza: Writings Born of Fire brings together sixteen essays and poems by twelve Palestinian writers. The book includes political essays, personal narratives, economic analysis, and poetry. The book is edited by American Friends Service Committee staff Jehad Abusalim, Jennifer Bing, and Mike Merryman-Lotze and published by Haymarket Books. Read the full press release here.
AFSC is excited to host a speaking tour featuring Asmaa Abu Mezied and Yousef Aljamal, contributors to the Light in Gaza anthology.
Join us for a discussion of this new literary anthology featuring two of the book’s co-authors: Asmaa Abu Mezied and Yousef Aljamal.
This book imagines what the future of Gaza could be, while reaffirming the critical role of Gaza in the struggle for Palestinian liberation.
“This is a different view than most Americans see in the news. Usually we see people in Gaza being killed or living without electricity. So they are either victims or superhumans. You miss the everyday family gatherings, the importance of nature. We hope this book inspires people to want to learn more,” said Jennifer Bing, director of the AFSC Palestine Activism Program in Chicago and editor for the Light in Gaza book project.
We will talk with the authors about their contributions to the book, and discuss the current conditions in Gaza. We will also be discussing the role that we here in Turtle Island can play in support the struggle for Palestinian liberation.
This event is co-sponsored by: Milwaukee 4 Palestine (firstname.lastname@example.org); Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition, Party for Socialism and Liberation (Milwaukee), Jewish Voice for Peace (Milwaukee), Students for Justice in Palestine (UWM), Students for Justice in Palestine (Marquette University).
About the speakers:
Asmaa Abu Mezied is economic development and gender expert working to address issues of gender, development, and climate change. Her main area of focus is women’s economic justice through gendered economic policies, women’s rights in economic sectors, unpaid care and domestic work campaigning, inclusive markets, and feminist economics in fragile and conflict areas. Asmaa is a beginner gardener in the Gaza Strip and is interested in the intersection of Palestinian political, agricultural, and environmental identities. Asmaa is a policy member and a current fellow at Al Shabaka, a Palestinian think tank. She was an Atlas Corps Fellow with U.S. President Obama’s Emerging Global Leaders, a Gaza Hub-Global Shaper Alumna in the initiative of the World Economic Forum, and a 2021 Mozilla Foundation Wrangler at “Tech for Social Activism” space.
Yousef M. Aljamal is a Palestinian refugee from Al-Nusierat refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. He has obtained an MA degree from the Department of International and Strategic Studies Department at the University of Malaya. He is now a PhD Candidate at the Middle East Institute at Sakarya University in Turkey. Aljamal, besides his research interests in diaspora, security, and indigenous studies, has contributed to a number of books which highlight the Palestinian narrative. He translated two books on Palestinian prisoners entitled The Prisoners’ Diaries: Palestinian Voices from the Israeli Gulag (2013) and Dreaming of Freedom: Palestinian Child Prisoners Speak (2016). He also co-edited the book A Shared Struggle Stories of Palestinian and Irish Hunger Strikers (2021). Aljamal has published a number of journal articles on topics that include Palestinians in the diaspora, travel restrictions imposed on Palestinians, and struggles for liberation. Over the years, he has spoken at various forums and platforms to highlight the plight of Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation.
The world will turn its attention to the largest sporting event on the planet.
Major sporting events, organized by corrupt sports governing bodies and fed with dirty sponsorship money, are often used in an attempt to mask human rights abuses or push through unpopular policies.
Let’s turn that on its head.
As social movements across the world take advantage of the visibility of the men’s World Cup to call for justice for all, let’s shine a spotlight on Palestinian rights and on companies complicit in Israeli apartheid.
Score a #Goal4Palestine!
Throughout the men’s World Cup, let’s keep the attention on Palestinian rights and call out the complicity of sporting bodies and companies like FIFA and PUMA in Israeli apartheid.
Make sure the Palestinian flag is flying high. Hang it alongside the flags of teams you support and share it on social media.
Remind fans to #BoycottPUMA over its sponsorship of the Israel Football Association, which governs over and advocates to maintain teams in illegal Israeli settlements on stolen Palestinian land.
The cultural impact of Marvel Studios films can’t be overstated. Marvel movies are seen in huge numbers — over 100 million people worldwide saw Avengers: Endgame.
If Marvel goes ahead with its plan to feature a murderous, pro-apartheid “superhero” named Sabra in its next Captain America movie, over 100 million viewers stand poised to see Palestinians dehumanized and vilified on screen.
The character Sabra has a long, disturbing history in Marvel Comics.² As written in the comics, the character Sabra is an agent of the real-world Israeli spy agency Mossad, who have an infamous track record of assassinations, torture, and numerous other egregious human rights violations.
The land theft and violent suppression of multiple popular Palestinian uprisings against Israel’s occupation have led to real tipping points in U.S. discourse. According to recent Gallup polling, progressives have now “fully crossed the threshold and now sympathize more with Palestinians” than with Israelis.³
The backlash against Marvel has already begun. But we need your help to ramp up the pressure.
A growing chorus of international human rights groups, from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to Israel’s B’tselem are finally echoing what Palestinians have said for decades: Israel is an apartheid regime.
Americans for Justice in Palestine (AJP Action) welcomes the U.S. Justice Department’s announcement that the FBI will be conducting an independent investigation into the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by the Israeli military.
AJP Action, along with our partners and supporters, has spent considerable energy in recent months lobbying Congress and the State Department, as well as petitioning the White House, to launch this investigation instead of taking Israel’s self-exoneration at face value, and we are glad that the Biden administration has finally come around to doing the right thing.
“While we applaud this critical step to investigate Shireen’s killing, justice will not be served until her killers are held accountable and face the consequences of their murderous actions,” said AJP Action Executive Director Osama Abuirshaid.
“We hope that the Biden administration is committed to seeing this process all the way through. This is critical for Shireen’s family, but also for the sake of all journalists who are targeted by oppressive governments to know they won’t be allowed to get away with it.”
Shortly after the FBI investigation was announced, the Israeli government indicated that it will not cooperate with this investigation. Israel has a lengthy history of refusing cooperation in investigations of its crimes by independent actors–a practice aimed at covering up the atrocities that have become routine against Palestinians.
“It is simply unacceptable that Israel gets billions of our tax dollars every year and then refuses to cooperate with U.S. investigations into the killing of American citizens,” said AJP Action Advocacy Director Ayah Ziyadeh, adding: “It is time to end U.S. funding for the Israeli military until Israel complies with U.S. and international law and respects the basic human rights of Palestinians.”
The announcement of an FBI-led investigation is a step in the right direction, however, our work doesn’t end here. We are deeply committed to continuing to pressure our government until Israel is held responsible for its crime and justice is served.
Sincerely, Americans for Justice in Palestine Action
AJP Action, an affiliate of American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization lobbying for legislation that supports the human rights of the Palestinian people.