Welcome to the 12th Annual Open Shuhada Street Campaign

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On this page, you will find information about the Open Shuhada Street campaign in 2021. Please go to our calendar page for events.

Join the international campaign led by local Palestinian volunteers to call for an end to the restrictions in the city of Hebron — call for the reopening of Hebron’s main street, an end to the segregation in Hebron, an end to the human rights violations, and an end to the Israeli occupation.

Please follow the campaign on Youth Against Settlements’ Facebook and Twitter.

Book a speaker: [email protected]

MATERIALS HERE

Every year since 2010, local Palestinian volunteers with the Hebron-based Youth Against Settlements (YAS) group have been launching a campaign calling for an end to the closures in the city and an end to the Israeli military occupation of Palestine. Please follow the campaign on YAS’s Facebook and Twitter.

This year, due to COVID-19, we will be conducting the campaign virtually. We need your participation and solidarity. Please join the events and post on social media. Please go to our calendar page to RVSP and read more about our events.

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March 10, 2021
Introduction to Palestinian Tatreez Embroidery Online

Folklore Village, Dodgeville, WI

$20.00

  • An online embroidery workshop with textile artist Wafa Ghnaim
  • Wednesday, March 10
  • 5-7 PM Central Time
  • Hosted over Zoom videoconferencing
  • Register for Online Class

Supplies are listed here: https://www.tatreezandtea.com/supplies under “Aida Cloth”.

After you pay, you will receive an automated email with all the information you need to get connected to the Zoom call. If you prefer to pay by mail or over the phone, please call (608) 924-4000 or email programs@folklorevillage.org to make arrangements.

For Zoom troubleshooting questions, click here.

Join textile artist Wafa Ghnaim for a two-hour introduction into the beautiful and ancient art of Palestinian tatreez embroidery! Tatreez is often used to decorate the traditional Palestinian dress, called a thobe, but also adorns many other kinds of household and decorative objects. Different villages and regions within Palestine have their own traditional patterns, and Wafa has a wealth of knowledge to share about this history! In this 2-hour virtual class, students will learn how to embroider the Beyout (Houses) motif from el-Khalil (Hebron) to create a bookmark. Learning objectives include:

  1. How to thread a needle.
  2. The meaning and history of the pattern in focus.
  3. How to start a tatreez sampler. Instructions are listed here
  4. Color selection and strategy.
  5. The basics of traditional Palestinian embroidery cross-stitch, including two different methods of stitching and the principals of successful Palestinian embroidery execution.
  6. Stitching strategy to execute the cleanest motif on fabric.
  7. Tips & tricks unique to the motif.

Patterns are sent 24-48 hours in advance of the class. No experience is required. This class will be recorded and made available after the live session. Please contact Wafa at wafa@tatreezandtea.com with any questions.

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February 27 – March 5, 2021
International Festival Online

Opens 10 am Saturday, February 27

The International Festival usually takes place throughout Overture Center. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 International Festival is a virtual event. Shake the February doldrums with a free celebration of our international community in Dane County—all from the comfort of your home. Enjoy cultural arts performances, cooking demonstrations, visual arts galleries, discussions and more at Overture’s 2021 International Festival.

As in the past, the Festival will feature an international marketplace. You will be able to browse and purchase items, including those from MRSCP, online.

More information and free registration

February 21, 2021
Palestine on a Plate!

Middle East Children’s Alliance Webinar, 10 am CT

Only $10 donation, REGISTER NOW!

Join the Middle East Children’s Alliance in this unique opportunity to hear nationally-acclaimed chef/activist REEM ASSIL interview bestselling cookbook author/chef JOUDIE KALLA – a benefit for sending food parcels to Palestine & Lebanon, in response to the COVID-19 crisis. You’ll also get to see a short video of each of them cooking!

Joudie Kalla is the author of bestselling books Palestine on a Plate: Memories from My Mother’s Kitchen and Baladi: A Celebration of Food from Land and Sea. Working as a chef for over 23 years, she also runs cooking classes, catering events, regular sold-out supper clubs, hosts Palestine-themed dinners for charity, and consults on food projects.

Reem Assil is owner of Reem’s California, a nationally acclaimed restaurant, inspired by Arab street corner bakeries and the vibrant communities that surround them. Previously a community and labor organizer, Reem sits at the intersection of her three passions: food, community, and social justice. She uses food to invoke the central virtue of her Arab culture, hospitality, to build strong, resilient, and connected community.

REGISTER TODAY!
Space is Limited

This event is a benefit for food parcels for Palestine & Lebanon, in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

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The Eighth Circuit’s Narrow Decision About Arkansas BDS

One provision has been invalidated, but the general ban on boycotts of Israel by most state government contractors still stands.

An Arkansas statute generally bans the government from contracting with companies that are boycotting Israel. It defines such boycotts as

  • “engaging in refusals to deal,
  • terminating business activities,
  • or other actions that are intended to limit commercial relations with Israel, or persons or entities doing business in Israel or in Israeli-controlled territories, in a discriminatory manner” (bullets added).

District Court Judge Brian S. Miller refused to issue a preliminary injunction against the statute, and granted the state’s motion to dismiss the challenge. The court concluded that “other actions …” should be read as dealing with other commercial behavior, and not, say, speech urging boycotts:

While the statute also defines a boycott to include “other actions that are intended to limit commercial relations with Israel,” this restriction does not include criticism of Act 710 or Israel, calls to boycott Israel, or other types of speech. Familiar canons of statutory interpretation, such as constitutional avoidance and [ejusdem] generis [“[w]here general words follow specific words in a statutory enumeration, the general words are construed to embrace only objects similar in nature to those objects enumerated by the preceding specific words”], counsel in favor of interpreting “other actions” to mean commercial conduct similar to the listed items.

And as thus limited to commercial behavior, the court held, the statute likely didn’t violate the First Amendment. (Michael Dorf, Andrew Koppelman, and I filed an amicus brief on appeal agreeing that the law is constitutional if read as limited to commercial refusals to deal.)

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Egypt ‘indefinitely’ opens Rafah border crossing with Gaza Strip

Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas agree to ‘respect and accept’ upcoming polls at Cairo talks


A girl looks on through the window of a vehicle while waiting at the Rafah border crossing’s departure area to travel from the Gaza Strip into Egypt [Said Khatib/AFP]

Al Jazeera, 10 Feb 2021

For the first time in years, Egypt has “indefinitely” opened its Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip, the only passage to the outside world for the residents of the coastal enclave that is not controlled by Israel.

The move on Tuesday came as Palestinian factions concluded a two-day meeting in Egypt’s capital in which they agreed to “respect and accept” the results of long-delayed legislative and presidential elections – set for May 22 and July 31, respectively.

The Palestinian embassy in Cairo said Egypt had decided to open the crossing as a result of “intensive and bilateral talks between the Palestinian and Egyptian leaderships to facilitate the passage of Palestinians to and from the Gaza Strip”.

Palestinian sources attending the talks said they had been told by Egyptian intelligence officials that the move was designed to create a better atmosphere at the negotiations.

Reporting from Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, Al Jazeera’s Nida Ibrahim said some were linking it to the Cairo summit and suspected it was “a gesture from the Egyptians”.

“Thousands have already been registering their names with the interior ministry in Gaza, hoping they can make their way into Egypt – it’s their only lifeline to the outside world,” Ibrahim said.

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February 10, 2021
Jim Zogby Talks with Human Rights Advocate Issa Amro


Wednesday, February 10, 2021 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m CT

In the months we have been gathering weekly for Coffee & a Column, I have welcomed our substantive conversations each week. I’ve also been thinking about how to expand our community and it is with that in mind that I am excited to share with you the special format for this Wednesday.

We will begin at 2:00 PM with discussion of the two violent acts in the past 20 years that have shaken American democracy: the terrorist attacks on 9/11/01 and the Capitol insurrection on 1/6/21. In “Our Democracy Was at Risk,” I speak about the weaknesses each event exposed in our democracy and the differing actions our leaders took after each, and why.

At 2:30, Issa Amro will join us to discuss the ongoing non-violent protests he is helping lead in opposition to the occupation and Israel’s politically motivated prosecution against him.

An Israeli military judge was set to rule against Issa and as Issa recently said, “we have no choice but to resort to civil disobedience until we win our right to freedom, justice, equality and a life of dignity.” Issa is a critical voice in Palestine and he will be with us to provide the latest on his case and the broader work being done in support of Palestinian human rights.

Please register here to receive the dial-in information for the Zoom call Wednesday, February 10, 2021 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m ET sharp. After you register, you will automatically get the dial-in information for the call.

Regards,

Jim Zogby

US Congressman: Respecting Palestinian Rights is Key to Defeating Antisemitism


US Congressman Andy Levin

US Congressman Andy Levin has warned that anti-Semitism cannot be properly defeated without addressing Israel’s human rights abuses against Palestinians.

Speaking earlier this week during an online discussion hosted by the progressive Jewish movement IfNotNow on how the Biden administration can combat anti-Jewish racism, the Michigan Democrat lawmaker mentioned his long track record of urging the US to oppose Israel’s occupation.

“Over 30 years ago, I was part of a little group of Jews and Christians and Muslims who organized an interfaith delegation to Israel and Palestine from Metro Detroit,” explained Levin. “We went to Gaza, we went to the West Bank, and I wrote a piece in the Detroit Jewish News saying ‘There’s no time left’,” He added that he “took a lot of c**p in my community. “And now it is 30 years later and we have to change things right now. We have to find the language to talk about this in a grounded way.”

He drew a comparison to the recent coup in Myanmar. “The Burmese military just conducted a coup and ended Burma’s fragile, 10-year experiment with democratic self-governance. During those 10 years, the rights of the Rohingya and the Karen and other minority peoples of Burma were never recognized at all.” The suggestion seemed to be that Myanmar could not be considered a democracy even while it held elections because of its failure to respect the rights of its minorities.

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February 13, 2021
Love in the Time of Apartheid

10:00 am CST

 

How will many Palestinians be spending their Valentine’s Day?

For a lot of us in the UK, Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate love and romance; to show our affection through gifts, cards, and flowers. Or we may choose to avoid the hyper-consumerism in the Hallmark holiday, shun the ritualistic exchange of commodities, and simply spend time with those we hold dear.

For Palestinians, however, February 14th comes as a reminder of Israel’s suffocating restrictions on their movement, cutting them off from their loved ones. A coercive matrix of ID cards, blockades, borders and prisons means many Palestinians are separated from their Valentines, simply because they are Palestinian, and live under a discriminatory system of rule amounting to the crime of apartheid.

For those living under Israel’s brutal military occupation of their land, even the act of buying a gift is fraught with difficulty. Segregated roads, soldiers and checkpoints can make going to the shop a difficult affair.

Don’t miss this fascinating free online talk and film screening to learn more about how many Palestinians will be spending Valentine’s Day. We’ll be joined by Palestinian journalist and filmmaker Elia Ghorbiah, as well as more speakers to be announced.

Film: The Present by Farah Nabulsi (2020, 24′) 
Yusef and his daughter, Yasmine, set out in the West Bank to buy his wife a gift. Between the soldiers, segregated roads and checkpoints, how easy would it be to go shopping?

Register here to join us on Saturday 13th February, 10 am Central!

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