ADC Statement on Israeli War Crimes in Gaza

American-Arab Anti-discrimination Committee (ADC), May 9, 2023

Washington, D.C. | May 9, 2023 – The world must stand united and unequivocally condemn the ongoing  brutal attacks by the Israeli Occupation Forces in Gaza, which at the time of release has resulted in the tragic and senseless loss of 15 lives, including many women and children. Immediate action must be taken by the global community to hold Israel accountable and bring an end to its brutality and occupation.

The Israeli government is responsible for these appalling war crimes, violations of human rights and international law. and the United States and others in the global community are complicit. These war crimes are a continuation of Israel’s unrelenting, disproportionate, and excessive use of force, which has intensified over the years, and has drawn little to no action from the global community.

We call on the international community, including the U.S., to take immediate and decisive action to hold Israel accountable for its war crimes and aggression. Immediate measures must be taken to bring an end to the current bombing, and stop Israel from further killing Palestinians. It is crucial for world leaders to stand united against Israel’s occupation, war crimes, hostility, hate and demand an end to their violent aggression.

In addition to holding Israel accountable, Israel must immediately cease its military aggression, and lift the inhumane blockade on Gaza. The blockade has caused immense suffering to the Palestinian people in Gaza, creating what is essentially an open air prison, and its removal is a necessary step towards restoring the basic human rights and dignity of Palestinians.

The ADC stands in unwavering solidarity with the families of the victims and with all Palestinians who face inhumanities daily. We call upon all people of conscience to join us in standing with Palestinians in demanding freedom, accountability, justice, and an end to the aggression and occupation by Israel.

Gaza mourns 13 killed in Israel raid

Israeli military said they knew of ‘collateral’ in their operation to kill three Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) members.

A woman mourns her friend who was killed along with her husband and son in an Israeli airstrike on their building in Gaza city
A woman mourns her friend who was killed along with her husband and son in an Israeli air attack on their building in Gaza City [Abdelhakim Abu Riash/Al Jazeera]

Maram Humaid, Al Jazeera, 9 May 2023

Gaza City – Adeeb al-Rabai had just fallen asleep in his home in Gaza City when he was awakened by the sounds of bombing in the very early hours of Tuesday.

“I thought I was dreaming until I realised that the bombing was on my building,” the 60-year-old lawyer said.

Israel had launched air raids on several areas across the Gaza Strip, killing at least 13 people, including six women and four children, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

Among the dead were three members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) movement.

Several killed in latest Israeli air attacks on Gaza

“It’s a civilian residential building,” al-Rabai said, standing in front of the bombed six-storey building. “Israeli missiles hit the fourth, fifth and sixth floors which were partially destroyed. Civilians live in those apartments, women and children.”

With no warning, al-Rabai said, “[the] Israeli occupation meant to destroy and kill those in the building.”

An Israeli military spokesperson told reporters the attacks had been to target PIJ members, adding, “We’re aware of some collateral and we’ll learn more as the day goes ahead.”

Farewells to those gone too soon

After the dhuhr (noon) prayers, thousands of mourners in a funeral procession through the heart of Gaza City, starting at the Omari Mosque, where they chanted as they lifted the bodies of the victims, promising revenge for the “major crime” committed.

Dania Adass_s finance mourns her body in the mass funeral in Al-Omari mosque
Dania Adass’s finance mourns and prays by her body during the funeral [Abdelhakim Abu Riash/Al Jazeera]

Shaaban Adass was mourning his cousins, sisters Dania, 21, and Iman Alaa Adass, 17, who were killed when an Israeli attack hit near their home in the Tofah neighbourhood east of Gaza City.

“What happened is a heinous crime by the Israeli occupation, which claimed the lives of innocent people who were supposed to be safe in their homes,” he told Al Jazeera.

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UN World Food Programme to suspend aid to Palestinians

Palestinians attend a gathering outside UN offices to protest a decision by World Food Program to suspend aid of around 200,000 people in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, in Gaza City, May 7, 2023. (REUTERS/Mohammed Salem)

Nidal Al-Mughrabi, Reuters, May 7, 2023

GAZA, May 7 (Reuters) – The World Food Programme (WFP) will suspend food aid to over 200,000 Palestinians from next month due to a “severe” shortage of funds, the group’s senior official for the Palestinian territories said on Sunday.

“In light of the severe funding shortages, WFP is forced to make painful choices to stretch the limited resources,” Samer Abdeljaber, the WFP’s country director, he told Reuters by phone from Jerusalem.

“WFP would have to start suspending assistance to over 200,000 people, which is 60 percent of its current case load, from June.”

The most impacted families are in Gaza, where food insecurity and poverty are the highest, and in the West Bank.

The United Nations agency offers impoverished Palestinians both monthly vouchers with a value of $10.30 per person and food baskets. Both programs will be affected.

Gaza, which has been run by the Islamist Hamas group since 2007, is home to 2.3 million people, of which 45 percent are unemployed and 80 percent depend on international aid, according to Palestinian and U.N. records.

“WFP understands the implications of this unavoidable and hard decision on hundreds of thousands of people who also depend on food assistance for their most basic needs,” said Abdeljaber.

Citing security concerns with the enclave’s Hamas rulers, Israel has led a blockade together with Egypt that has put restrictions on the movement of people and goods for years.

The U.N. agency will continue its aid to 140,000 people in Gaza and the West Bank, said Abdeljaber, who added the suspension decision was taken to save those who are at the highest risk of not being able to afford their food.

Unless funding is received, WFP will be forced to suspend food and cash assistance entirely by August, he said.

Chanting “No to Hunger” dozens of Palestinians staged a protest outside the WFP offices in Gaza City to protest the decision.

“The voucher is life, the message they sent us equals death since there is no other source of income,” said Faraj Al-Masri, a father of two, whose family gets vouchers worth $41.20 per month.

In Jabalia, in the northern Gaza Strip, Jamalat El-Dabour, whose family receives $164.80 worth of vouchers per month, said they will “starve to death” as her husband was sick and unemployed.

Reporting and writing by Nidal Almughrabi; Editing by Mike Harrison
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

A senior correspondent with nearly 25 years’ experience covering the Palestinian-Israeli conflict including several wars and the signing of the first historic peace accord between the two sides. Continue reading

Upcoming Events: May 9-25, 2023

Tuesday, May 9: Online: Nakba 75: Exist, Resist, Return (from UK)
Monday, May 15: Nelson Mandela’s Grandson at Milwaukee Nakba Event
Monday, May 15: WORT Access Hour Show Reflecting on the Nakba
Wednesday, May 17: Online: Knowing the Nakba
Sunday, May 21: WORT Show Her Turn with Cassandra Dixon
Sunday, May 21: Zoom Film & Talk Back: Two Kids a Day
Tuesday, May 23 – Thursday, May 25: Online: Palestine Digital Activism Forum
Thursday, May 25: Rev. Don Wagner discusses his book Glory to God in the Lowest: Journeys to an Unholy Land

Virtual Tour of the Week:
Palestine VR: Masafer Yatta
Take this online tour of 3 villages in Masafer Yatta in the South Hebron Hills. For many years the entire area has been facing demolitions by Israeli authorities as well as constant attacks by Israeli settlers and soldiers. Led by local activist Sami Huraini.

Backgrounder of the Week:
The Nakba and Palestinian Refugees: Questions and Answers
from Institute for Middle East Understanding


Tuesday, May 9:
Nakba 75 – Exist, Resist, Return

Online Event from the UK
12:30 pm CT

On May 15th Palestinians across the globe will mark the 75th anniversary of the Nakba, the process of ethnic cleansing, colonization and dispossession that drove over 750,000 Palestinians into exile and erased more than 500 towns and villages. The Nakba is also marked as a continuing process of ongoing colonization of land, enforcement of apartheid and military occupation.

This online event features Palestinian movement leaders, poets, scholars and activists from across historic Palestine and the diaspora who will share their personal histories and tell how they confront the ongoing Nakba in their life and work. Sponsored by Palestinian Solidarity Campaign.

Details and registration

Monday, May 15:
Nelson Mandela’s Grandson at Milwaukee Nakba 75 Event

First stop on a six-city US tour. To reserve space at the Milwaukee event, register (admission is free, but donations are appreciated). More info

NEW: MRSCP is partnering with Building Unity on a “Care-avan” carpool to this event from Madison and Janesville; if you would like to offer a ride or are in need of a ride, please click here then scroll down and fill out the form at the bottom to RSVP and get updated information 

Monday, May 15:
Access Hour, WORT Radio 89.9 FM

7-8 pm

Reflections on the 75th Anniversary of the 1948 Founding of the State of Israel: the Evolution of Modern Political Zionism, the Expulsion or Subjugation of the Palestinians (the ‘Nakba’), and Ramifications Up to the Present Time. More info

Wednesday, May 17:
Knowing the Nakba from the Methodist Federation for Social Action

12 Noon CT Online

The Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe) of 1948 has been called the poisonous root of all that has plagued the Holy Land since that time, with a never-ending impact that pervades the Middle East and the entire world.

We cannot hope to understand the present turmoil in the Holy Land – let alone achieve a just peace for all those who live there – without knowing where and how the conflict began: with the ethnic cleansing of indigenous people from their homeland.

Join us for this unique educational and thought-provoking presentation, with moving recollections from living Nakba survivors, expert historical analysis, and riveting video clips.


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Jewish doctor denied payment for refusing Israel pledge

Dr. Steve Feldman, pictured on a trip to the West Bank. Feldman was denied payment from the state of Arkansas for refusing to sign a pledge promising not to boycott Israel. (Courtesy of Steve Feldman)


Dr. Steve Feldman, a dermatologist, delivered a Zoom lecture to University of Arkansas at Little Rock medical students in February, for which he was entitled to a $500 honorarium from the state. But Feldman said that the state is withholding payment because he refused to sign a pledge, required for public contractors under Arkansas law since 2017, to commit to not boycotting Israel.

“They have a law in place that makes contracts with Arkansas dependent on your agreement not to boycott Israel, which I think is wrong,” Feldman, who is a professor at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “To me, growing up Jewish, the very strong lesson of the Holocaust that I learned is it’s wrong to mistreat other people.”

Arkansas is one of dozens of states that have passed laws aiming to combat the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel. The laws either bar the state from investing in companies that boycott Israel or, as in Arkansas’ case, mandate that state contractors promise not to boycott the country. Most of those laws have been struck down by courts, but Feldman’s lecture took place the same month the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to Arkansas’ law. His case is the latest example of how such laws are affecting what would otherwise be ordinary state business transactions.

Feldman has close relatives who live in Israel. But he said the pledge conflicted with his religious and moral views. In addition to his medical work, he is a pro-Palestinian activist who created the online-only Jewish Museum of the Palestinian Experience. The website says that the Jewish commitment to fighting injustice should lead Jews to stand up for Palestinian rights. Feldman said he does support boycotting Israel. 

“I think the only thing that will lead to Israel allowing Palestinian families to return to their homes, so that everybody can live together peacefully, will be some kind of boycott,” he said.

While the Arkansas law, passed in 2017, applies only to contractors earning more than $1,000 from the state, Feldman said he was still refused his $500 payment. The justification, he said, was that being added to the state’s vendor system would make him eligible for future assignments that could add up to more than $1,000.

Feldman told JTA he is exploring his legal options and wouldn’t rule out a lawsuit against the state as a means of advocating for Palestinian rights and challenging last year’s federal Eighth Circuit Court ruling that the law was constitutionally protected. “I would love to sue and have the Circuit Court either retract what they said, or go to the Supreme Court in order for people to see things that they didn’t know,” he said.

Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin, a Republican, has said the law combats discrimination on the basis of nationality. Following the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the case, he told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that he works to “ensure that taxpayers aren’t required to pay for anti-Israel and anti-Israeli discrimination.”

Feldman’s story was first reported by the Arkansas Times, a publication that has itself become entangled in the state’s anti-boycott law. The paper’s publisher, Alan Leveritt, challenged the law in court after he was asked to sign the anti-boycott pledge so that the paper could run advertising from a state university. The suit, which is the one that reached the Supreme Court, argued that the law was a violation of the publication’s First Amendment rights and attracted support from progressive Jewish groups, as well as opposition from some pro-Israel groups. Leveritt argued that he doesn’t have strong feelings about Israel boycotts but that his paper does not take political positions in exchange for advertising. 

Since the inception of state-level laws prohibiting Israel boycotts, some state lawmakers have used them as a template for legislation barring other types of divestment campaigns, such as those targeting fossil fuels or the firearms industry. 

Feldman mused that he could have signed the pledge, taken the money and then engaged in an Israel boycott to see how the state would react, but concluded, “I can’t lie on a form. That also goes against my Jewish moral character.”

Khader Adnan’s Death

A Wake-Up Call for the World’s Conscience

May 2, 2023

This morning, Palestinian leader Khader Adnan died in an Israeli dungeon after 86 days of hunger strike, protesting his unjust detention by the Israeli government without charge or trial. He left behind a wife and nine children. A medic from Physicians for Human Rights Israel had warned Israeli authorities that Adnan was facing “imminent death,” but that did not dissuade the Israeli government from keeping him in shackles and denying his freedom.

Adnan is a renowned symbol of the Palestinian prisoners’ struggle for freedom, having been arrested 12 times and spending nearly eight years in Israeli prisons, mostly in “administrative detention,” an obscene Israeli practice of holding Palestinians indefinitely without charge or trial. Currently, more than 1000 Palestinians are held in Israeli prisons under this practice.

Israel’s regime of mass arrests and imprisonment of Palestinians is a systematic effort to entrench its illegal occupation and apartheid over Palestinian life. This regime doesn’t even spare children, who are systematically abused and brutalized in Israeli military detention. Israel is the only country that processes children through a military court system, where thousands of Palestinian children have experienced this abuse. Some, like Adnan, would rather find freedom in death than be imprisoned in life by the shackles of Israel’s brutal occupation.

Adnan has died, but his life of resistance will not be forgotten. His death should serve as a wake-up call for those that remain silent as  Israel destroys Palestinian lives and continues denying them freedom as they have for decades, not just in the dungeons of indefinite detention but in the far bigger prison of military occupation and apartheid. On April 25th, President Biden said in a statement celebrating 75 years of the apartheid state, “As a life-long friend and supporter of the State of Israel, I have worked my entire career to deepen and strengthen our partnership.” This partnership has done nothing but enable a full-fledged ethnic cleansing campaign against the Palestinian people. It is well past time for the world, and the U.S. government in particular as the biggest supporter of Israel’s apartheid government, to raise its voice and demand an end to Israel’s ongoing crimes against Palestinians via viable action and accountability.

We at AMP will continue to fight for a fundamental change in U.S. policy toward Palestine and Israel. We do so in solidarity with all the Palestinian prisoners held in the occupation’s prisons, and we will continue this fight until every last Palestinian is free.

Facial Recognition Powers ‘Automated Apartheid’ by Israel

“These databases and tools exclusively record the data of Palestinians”

An Israeli soldier under a surveillance camera at a checkpoint in Hebron in 2021.
An Israeli soldier under a surveillance camera at a checkpoint in Hebron in 2021. (Hazem Bader/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images)

Adam Satariano and Paul Mozur, New York Times, May 2, 2023

Israel is increasingly relying on facial recognition in the occupied West Bank to track Palestinians and restrict their passage through key checkpoints, according to a new report, a sign of how artificial-intelligence-powered surveillance can be used against an ethnic group.

At high-fenced checkpoints in Hebron, Palestinians stand in front of facial recognition cameras before being allowed to cross. As their faces are scanned, the software — known as Red Wolf — uses a color-coded system of green, yellow and red to guide soldiers on whether to let the person go, stop them for questioning or arrest them, according to the report by Amnesty International. When the technology fails to identify someone, soldiers train the system by adding their personal information to the database.

Israel has long restricted the freedom of movement of Palestinians, but technological advances are giving the authorities powerful new tools. It is the latest example of the global spread of mass surveillance systems, which rely on A.I. to learn to identify the faces of people based on large stores of images.

In Hebron and East Jerusalem, the technology focuses almost entirely on Palestinians, according to Amnesty’s report, marking a new way to automate the control of interior boundaries that separate the lives of Palestinians and Israelis. Amnesty called the process “automated apartheid.” Israel has strongly denied that it operates an apartheid regime.

“These databases and tools exclusively record the data of Palestinians,” said the report, which is based on accounts by former Israeli soldiers and Palestinians who live in the surveilled areas, as well as field visits to observe the technology’s use in affected territories.

The Israel Defense Forces, which plays a central role in the occupied territories of the West Bank, said in a statement that it carries out “necessary security and intelligence operations, while making significant efforts to minimize harm to the Palestinian population’s routine activity.”

On facial recognition, it added, “Naturally, we cannot refer to operational and intelligence capabilities.”

Government use of facial recognition technology to so explicitly target a single ethnic group is rare. In China, companies have made algorithms that sought to identify minorities as they passed by the country’s ubiquitous cameras. China’s government has also used facial recognition checkpoints to control and track the movements of Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other ethnic minorities.

Israel’s use of facial recognition at checkpoints builds on other surveillance systems deployed in recent years. Since protests in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah over the eviction of Palestinian families in 2021, the presence of cameras has increased in the area, most likely supporting an Israeli government video surveillance system capable of facial recognition known as Mabat 2000, according to Amnesty.

In one walk through the area, Amnesty researchers reported finding one to two cameras every 15 feet. Some were made by Hikvision, the Chinese surveillance camera maker, and others by TKH Security, a Dutch manufacturer.

TKH Security declined to comment. Hikvision did not respond to a request for comment.

A surveillance camera at a checkpoint in Hebron. “My whole life is watched. I don’t have any privacy,” a Palestinian activist said. (Hazem Bader/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images)

Government forces also use the cameras on their phones. Israeli authorities have a facial recognition app, Blue Wolf, to identify Palestinians, according to Breaking the Silence, an organization that assisted Amnesty and collects testimonials from Israeli soldiers who have worked in occupied territories.

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May Day Milwaukee: A Day Without Latinx and Immigrants


May 1st has long been recognized as a day of solidarity and action around immigrant rights. This year, our partners at Voces de la Frontera are hosting their annual May 1st action, strike, and mass march: “May Day: A Day Without Latinx and Immigrants.”

Together, we must stand up for immigrant families and support Voces de la Frontera in demanding
(1) WI conservatives stop blocking drivers licenses for all and in-state tuition for all,
2) U.S. Congress pass immigration reform, and
3) our federal leaders deliver permanent protections for DACA recipients and extend Temporary Protected Status for immigrants. 

Our asks of you 👇

  1. Show up and get involved! Voces de la Frontera is hosting their “May Day: A Day Without Latinx and Immigrants” mass march on May 1st in Milwaukee. Find more information on their May Day page and RSVP to their event on Facebook. There will also be a rally in Madison at the State Capitol on May 2nd starting at 11:30am.
  2. Get educated on the issues and challenges facing immigrant families in Wisconsin. Learn more about Voces de la Frontera’s priority issues and campaigns on their website.
  3. Follow Voces de la Frontera on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and amplify their work and content.

May 25, 2023
Dr. Don Wagner on Palestinian Rights

Leopold’s Books Bar Caffè
1301 Regent Street, Madison
7 – 9 pm

Join us for an intimate interview and book talk about Dr. Wagner’s latest memoir, which details his personal, political, and religious journey from Evangelical Christian faith and conservative politics to solidarity with the poor and advocacy for anti-war, anti-racism, and Palestinian rights.

Desserts will be served; drinks available for purchase. Signed books for purchase will be available at the conclusion of the event.

Admission is free. Reservations are available.

May 15, 2023
Mandela Nakba Day Tour – Milwaukee

NEW: MRSCP is partnering with Building Unity on a “Care-avan” carpool to this event from Madison and Janesville; if you would like to offer a ride or are in need of a ride, please click here then scroll down and fill out the form at the bottom to RSVP and get updated information 

U.S. Palestinian Community Network (USPCN) and the
National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (NAARPR)

Turner Hall
1034 Vel R. Phillips Ave
Milwaukee, WI
6:30 PM – 09:00 PM

2023 marks the 75th anniversary of the Nakba (“Catastrophe” in English), when over 750,000 Palestinians were banished from their homes upon the formation of the settler-colonial state of Israel. Today, there are close to five million Palestinian refugees who continue to demand their Right to Return to the homes and lands from which they were exiled.

To commemorate the Nakba, the U.S. Palestinian Community Network (USPCN) and the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (NAARPR) have arranged a brief U.S. Nakba Day 75 tour, to take place from May 15th – May 20th, featuring Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela, elected member of the South African National Assembly representing the African National Congress – and grandson of the late Nelson Mandela – as the tour’s keynote speaker.

Mr. Mandela, also the tribal chief of the Mvezo Traditional Council, holds a degree and a post-graduate diploma in Political Science and International Studies from Rhodes University. Unabashed in his support for the Palestinian people, just like his grandfather, he speaks regularly about Palestinian liberation at conferences, rallies, and other events across the world.

Join us at Turner Hall in Milwaukee on the evening of Monday, May 15th, for this historic event!

Be sure to follow USPCN (@uspcn) on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and @uspcnmke for updates!

*Please note: We are not charging for admission, but instead asking if our communities would help us support this historic tour with a donation!*