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!

Jewish mobs attack Palestinians during Jerusalem rampage


Israeli Jewish extremists marching through the Old City of Jerusalem to celebrate its occupation and colonization, on 29 May 2022. (Mustafa Bader, ZUMA Press Wire)

Tamara Nassar, The Electronic Intifada, 30 May 2022

Tens of thousands of Israeli Jewish ultranationalists marched through Jerusalem on Sunday to demonstrate their hatred towards Palestinians and assert dominance over the militarily occupied city.

Many attacked Palestinians and chanted for genocide.

This was part of the annual “March of the Flags” on Jerusalem Day, a holiday invented by Israel to celebrate its occupation and colonization of the city in 1967.

Over 2,600 extremists entered the al-Aqsa mosque compound on Sunday, an unprecedented number, according to Israeli media.

A large crowd also gathered at the iconic Damascus Gate to Jerusalem’s Old City, waving the flags of Israel and the anti-Palestinian Jewish nationalist group Lehava:

Israeli Jews began their provocations early in the day. Reporters noted that they were more violent and confrontational on Sunday than in previous years.

Footage shared by Haaretz journalist Nir Hasson shows Israelis throwing a chair and other objects at Palestinians, who throw objects back:

A Word from Jeff Halper on “Jerusalem Day”

Jeff Halper, ICAHD, May 29, 2022

Today, Sunday, May 29, the Jewish state of Israel will carry out a government-sponsored pogrom on the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem. “Jerusalem Day,” the annual Israeli celebration of the conquest and illegal annexation of the Old City and “East” Jerusalem, has been called the “national holiday of the settlers.” If Independence Day on May 15 marks the UN vote in 1948 that approved (with no authority) the establishment of the state of Israel on the majority of historic Palestine, then Jerusalem Day, by contrast, marks the displacement of the Palestinians from Palestine — the Judaization of Palestine whose flip-side is de-Arabization, the erasure of the very Palestinian Arab presence in the country. Just two weeks ago the Israeli police attacked the funeral of the murdered Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and tore the Palestinian flag off her casket; it is illegal to display a Palestinian flag in an Arab city in a historically Arab country that still has an Arab majority despite Israel’s massive expulsions and displacement.

It is not enough to displace Palestinians from their lands, homes and communities (more than 530 entire Palestinian villages, towns and urban areas were systematically demolished inside what became Israel in 1948, and 85% of the Palestinian population driven from the country; since 1967, Israel has demolished 60,000 Palestinian homes, schools, mosques, agricultural facilities and community structures). It is not enough to replace the Palestinian population with Israeli settlers. It is not enough to eliminate by force and by law every expression of Palestinian resistance to their own national erasure. Israel must send “the Arabs” – Israelis do not say “Palestinians” – a clear message: You have three choices: submit and accept the fact your country is now a Jewish state and you will never have civil rights, get out, or die.

Jerusalem Day is when Israel annually reaffirms this message, and it uses the religious settlers as its eager messenger. The Russian government and the others of Eastern and Central Europe sponsored hundreds of pogroms against their Jewish communities with exactly the same message, albeit with the emphasis on “get out or die.” Jews were ideally controlled, contained and intimidated into submission by the population rather than by the military or police, populations inculcated with virulent anti-Semitism. Israel uses its religious settler population, including pupils from virtually every Jewish religious school in the country, for the same purpose, supported by governments elected by an Israeli Jewish population inculcated by a virulent hatred of “Arabs,” seen as “terrorists” whose elimination is therefore justified.

Pogroms against Palestinians are daily occurrences, of course. Even the United States has protested against “settler violence,” the euphemism used for progroms. But government-sanctioned pogroms – military attacks on densely-crowded refugee camps or the Gazan concentration camp of 2 million people; the displacement of entire populations such as that of Masafer Yatta, approved by the Supreme Court; massive demolitions of Palestinian homes and confiscation of land; nightly raids on sIeeping families to “demonstrate a presence”; detention of thousands of Palestinian children and teens; a virtual hunting season on Palestinian men; the storming of al-Aqsa mosque – are carried out by official arms of Israeli state terrorism, whether the legal system and the courts, the military or police, or their settler agents.

Tomorrow’s pogrom will see thousands of religious Israelis (primarily kids, the ones still in need of indoctrination) carrying Israeli flags through the Damascus Gate and down the main street of the Muslim Quarter shouting “Death to Arabs!”, damaging stores, businesses and homes, and attacking any Palestinian they find in their way. True, there will not be mass murders tomorrow as there were in European pogroms, but there will be mass murders, simply spread out over the mini-pogroms carried out daily. Diluted rather than concentrated killings. Israel killed 319 Palestinians in the Occupied Territory in 2021, 71 of them children, according to the Israeli human rights organization, B’tselem.

Your media may or may not cover the “March of Flags” on tomorrow’s Jerusalem Day. But a state-sponsored pogrom is about to happen.

Thank you for your continuing support.

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Zoom with Congressional Staff to keep Masafer Yatta and Al Aqaba Standing

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Heartbreak to happiness: the difference is YOU!

I invite you to join a 30-minute Zoom Briefing with your Congressperson or Senator’s office to safeguard

  • 14 Palestinian Massafer Yatta communities in Firing Zone 918 in the West Bank’s South Hebron Hills, and
  • 33 families in Al Aqaba village in Firing Zone 900 in the north, Jordan Valley.

To reserve your place on the Zoom briefing call, please

Email Congress Now.

So far, over 50 Congressional offices have written back to schedule. On the Zoom call,

  • Local experts from the region will join us
  • I’ll be calling in from the West Bank where Rebuilding Alliance is hosting a Congressional Staff Delegation in the coming weeks

You as their constituent are the most important person on the call because House and Senate offices only take action when constituents ask.

The largest forced relocation of Palestinians in recent years may soon be underway, but it doesn’t have to be like this. In Firing Zone 900, Al Aqaba Village pioneered a remarkable model of community development with no demolition orders for 12 years — it’s time to grow their model throughout the region. Actual evacuation is subject to the discretion of the Israeli military commander, so

Email now to press Congress to intervene.

Thank you for all that you’re doing.
Sincerely,

Founder and Executive Director

P.S. The clock ran out on the 96-hour appeal deadline for Nedah and his family in their new home, the family in the photo above. Technically, the Israeli Army can demolish any time after the deadline, but because Adv. Netta Amar filed their appeal in time, the Army must wait.

I was there with the family on Friday. If the Israeli Army unit had appeared, I would have been the one to present the appeal docs and explain that Americans are funding this home, along with the family.

Nedal’s family moved-in fast to save their home. It is cold and windy — they still need doors and windows: Please Give Now

ENSURE ISRAEL NO LONGER DISCRIMINATES AGAINST AMERICAN CITIZENS

AJP Action calls on Secretary Blinken to demand Israel end the disparate treatment of American travelers as a non-negotiable condition in the bilateral relations between the two countries.

The United States has consistently provided unlimited and unconditional political, economic, and military support to Israel, in violation of international law, international humanitarian law, and the laws of the United States. No country, let alone a beneficiary of American taxpayer dollars, should get a free pass for discriminating against American citizens based on their origins and political views. This, alone, MUST immediately and unequivocally disqualify Israel from being admitted to the US Visa Waiver program.

Join us in making this demand by signing our petition!
TAKE ACTION NOW

AJP Action’s stance on Israel’s admittance to the US Visa Waiver program is clear: states that engage in egregious human rights abuses, uphold apartheid, and maintain an occupation cannot and should not participate.

In February 2022, Israel’s Coordinating Office for Government Affairs in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli Defense Ministry’s military administration responsible for issuing orders and policies concerning the entry of foreign nationals to the occupied Palestinian territories, published a 97-page mandate called “Procedure for Entry and Residence for Foreigners in Judea and Samaria Area.

Effective May 22, 2022, the mandate complicates and formalizes previous written and unwritten restrictions for entry and requirements for foreigners wanting to visit, do business, reunite and reside with their Palestinian families, work or volunteer in those parts of the occupied West Bank under Palestinian Authority (PA) civil and security administration, or study or teach at Palestinian academic institutions.

The new rules represent a clear Israeli intention to restrict, track, and trace the travel of foreign nationals to the occupied Palestinian territories, control Palestinian population growth, and keep data on the land claims of Palestinians holding foreign nationality. They blatantly differentiate between Americans of Palestinian origin, those with roots in the occupied Palestinian territories, and other Americans. In addition, they differentiate between travelers visiting Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and those visiting Jewish residents of Israeli illegal settlements there. Most notably, the new rules no longer treat the occupied West Bank as a separate geographic unit from Israel.

Israel’s record of human rights abuses, illegal annexation of lands, and the institutionalization of a system of apartheid are all contrary to the most basic of American values, let alone international law.

Take action now.
Sign AJP Action’s petition
and pass it on!

Speak Out Against Forced Displacement in Masafer Yatta

Americans for Justice in Palestine Action (AJP Action) firmly condemns Israel’s plans to ethnically cleanse the city of Masafer Yatta in the West Bank. We call on Congress to demand the State Department rebuke Israel for the forced displacement of over 1000 Palestinians, a clear and reprehensible violation of international and human rights law.

YOUR VOICE MATTERS. TAKE ACTION!

Capping off a 20-year-long legal battle between Palestinians and Israeli occupation courts, Israel’s high court announced that over 1000 Palestinians can be forcibly displaced from Masafer Yatta, a city in the West Bank. These Palestinians are victims of Israel’s ethnic cleansing, displaced from their homes in order for their land to be repurposed for Israeli military use.

The Israeli high court’s decision is one of the biggest forced expulsion rulings since Israel began occupying Palestinian territories in 1967.

Israel’s demolition of Palestinian homes and businesses constitutes a “grave breach” of international humanitarian law, specifically the Fourth Geneva Convention which cites “extensive destruction and appropriation of property” and “unlawful deportation or transfer” as grave breaches of international law. As a result, Israel’s actions are subject to criminal liability. Moreover, the legal concept of universal jurisdiction obligates State Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to arrest and prosecute those responsible for grave breaches of the Convention.

Thank you for taking action against injustice and standing for Palestine; we won’t stop until it’s free.

Contact Congress Here!

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.

High Court Justices Know Israel Won’t Face Sanctions Over Masafer Yatta Evictions

The decision was released on the eve of Independence Day, when the Jews celebrate the founding of the State of Israel and Palestinians grieve for the loss of their homeland


Protesters against the evictions at the High Court building in Jerusalem, March. Credit: Emil Salman

Amira Hass, Haaretz, May 5 2022

Starting this morning, at any given moment, the Civil Administration, the Israel Defense Forces, the Border Police and the regular police are allowed to send dozens – and if they need to, even more – of soldiers and police officers into eight villages in Masafer Yatta and with their guns trained on them, put on trucks and buses hundreds of their residents – the elderly, the young, women and infants. And this will be done with a seal of approval from Israel’s High Court of Justice.

From today, subcontractors working for the Civil Administration, accompanied by civil servants and soldiers, are free to destroy not just an odd small hut or animal pen, but dozens of homes, including caves that were hewn out of rock to serve as residences long before the establishment of the State of Israel. All this is made possible under a decision by Justices David Mintz, Isaac Amit and Ofer Grosskopf to reject the petitions filed by the residents of Masafer Yatta against thir permanent displacement.

Starting this morning, at any given moment, the Civil Administration, the Israel Defense Forces, the Border Police and the regular police are allowed to send dozens – and if they need to, even more – of soldiers and police officers into eight villages in Masafer Yatta and with their guns trained on them, put on trucks and buses hundreds of their residents – the elderly, the young, women and infants. And this will be done with a seal of approval from Israel’s High Court of Justice.

From today, subcontractors working for the Civil Administration, accompanied by civil servants and soldiers, are free to destroy not just an odd small hut or animal pen, but dozens of homes, including caves that were hewn out of rock to serve as residences long before the establishment of the State of Israel. All this is made possible under a decision by Justices David Mintz, Isaac Amit and Ofer Grosskopf to reject the petitions filed by the residents of Masafer Yatta against thir permanent displacement.

The decision was released on the Supreme Court website on Memorial Day, the eve of Independence Day, when the Jews celebrate the founding of the State of Israel and Palestinians grieve for the loss of their homeland, their expulsion and being made refugees. The High Court justices couldn’t have timed any better the release of their ruling countenancing an expulsion and ending a way of life for these Palestinians – one that developed over more than 100 years and is characterized by family, economic, social and cultural interconnections and dependencies among the villages and between them and the nearest urban center. The destruction of eight of some 14 villages will destroy the historic and geographical fabric of life in the area.

In the historiographical debate about whether Israel is in its essence and character a colonial-settler entity, the justices have expressed a firm stance: Most certainly, it is. Because the essence of settler colonialism is the taking over of land by an immigrant population while expelling its indigenous (in the most extreme case by committing genocide), denying their linkage to the land and totally excluding them from the new political order that the immigrants have created. In this order, in which the indigenous population has no say or any rights, it’s natural for the new rulers to decide that a particular piece of land is needed for its army. Or maybe more settlers. Or maybe both. Masafer Yatta’s transformation into Firing Zone 918 is but another tier in a process that has been going on between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean for more than a century, and serves as an illustration of the continuity of Israeli policy.

The justices dismissed disparagingly the evidence provided by the residents – oral testimony, documents and physical evidence from the actual area – attesting to their connection to the place, past and present. And indeed, rejection of the historical and family memory of the indigenous population is an essential part of a settler-colonial political order, in which no consideration is given to its voice or past. The justices adopted with enthusiasm the position of the state, which held that the residents of Masafer Yatta had invaded the area only after the army declared it a training zone in 1980. In other words, according to the State Prosecutor’s Office and the High Court, a population of farmers and herders, who lead very simple lives, plotted in bad faith to prevent the area from being turned into a military training ground, choosing to live in a place without running water, electricity or paved access roads, without the right to build.

The justices chose to ignore the ways in which Palestinian villages and hamlets have sprung up and been created over the centuries. When the population grows and the number of sheep and goats multiplies, some of the residents of a village will move to other pastures and water sources, and gradually expand the lands they work, known and accepted to be their village’s. Caves might initially serve as homes and over time, as the population increases in those extensions, and as the needs change, more simple constructions are built – including public ones, such as schools and access roads. The original village becomes a town, or even a city.

After 1967, Israel acted determinedly to put a stop to these evolutionary processes in the West Bank. Declaring areas firing zones was one way to achieve this. Establishing settlements and the grab of more land and water resources was another. The High Court chose to feign ignorance and belittle the historical significance of a document submitted by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel: a recommendation by Ariel Sharon, when he was agriculture minister in 1981 and chairman of the ministerial settlements committee, that the army sought to expand the firing zone declared in Masafer Yatta in order to prevent “the spread of the rural Arabs of the mountain down the side of the mountain facing the desert … and to keep these area in our hands.”

The attorneys representing the villages – Shlomo Lecker and the lawyers for ACRI, Dan Yakir and Roni Pelli – relied on Article 49 of the Geneva Convention: “Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.”

The justices rejected the claims of the plaintiffs that the court must honor this clause. Justice Mintz even asserted that Section 49 applied by “agreement” and not by “custom” – in other words, that it was the result of an agreement between countries and not one that a court inside any one state must necessarily honor. Attorneys Michael Sfard and Netta Amar-Shiff (whose amicus curiae brief she filed at the behest of the Masafer Yatta community council, was rejected by the court) said on Thursday that Mintz’s arguments were unfounded; as Sfard said, “This is nothing less than an embarrassing basic legal error.”

The original petitions submitted by Lecker and ACRI attorneys in the year 2000 followed the mass eviction by the army in November 1999, including razing homes, pens, wells, and caves used as homes. These expulsions occurred when the prime minister and defense minister was Ehud Barak, a Labor Party man, and at a time when Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization were in negotiations in what the world then called a peace process. The dissonance between a “peace process” and mass eviction didn’t bother the Israeli society. .

The High Court, as usual, missed in the 2000s the opportunity to issue a principled decision against the evictions and to demand the state to act according to international law. It settled then for an interim injunction that allowed the residents to return but barred them from rebuilding the structures that were destroyed or building new housing to meet the needs of a growing population.

Meanwhile, the High Court generously allowed the state to repeatedly postpone submitting its response to the original petitions. During those years, the European Union made clear it opposed any form of forced displacement.. Concurrently, illegal settler outposts multiplied in the area, the land controlled by the settlers expanded, and so did the methods used by the Civil Administration and the settlers to deprive Palestinians of accessing their land.

Despite the fact that the mass expulsion and demolition of entire villages the High Court has now approved go against the stance of the EU and probably of some officials in the U.S. government, the High Court justices know very well that Israel isn’t in danger of being sanctioned over their decision. They also know that forced displacement of between 1,200 and 1,800 Palestinians from their homes does not diverge from any of the standards that now prevail in Israel.

Rights groups slam Israeli ruling that allows razing of villages

Israel’s top court rejects the petition against the expulsion of Palestinian residents from villages in the West Bank.


A demonstrator holding a Palestinian flag gestures as he stands next to Israeli forces [File: Mussa Qawasma/Reuters]

Al Jazeera, 5 May 2022

Rights groups have decried a decision by an Israeli court that paves the way for Israeli forces to forcibly expel Palestinian Bedouin communities in Masafer Yatta, an area in the southern occupied West Bank.

Israeli human rights group B’Tselem called on the international community on Thursday to prevent the transfer from happening, in what would be one of the largest single displacements of Palestinians in decades.

The call came a day after Israel’s high court rejected a petition against the forcible displacement of more than 1,000 Palestinians who reside in the area.

“The justices have thus proved once again that the occupied cannot expect justice from the occupier’s court,” the group said in a statement.

“The decision, weaving baseless legal interpretation with decontextualised facts, makes it clear that there is no crime which the high court justices will not find a way to legitimise.”

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has described the development as “dangerous”.

“The damage this decision will inflict on people’s homes and source of livelihoods is irredeemable. People could be made homeless overnight with nowhere for them to go,” Caroline Ort, NRC’s country director for Palestine, said in a statement on Thursday.

“This is a dangerous step that must be reversed. If followed through, it would constitute a violation of international law which prohibits Israel as an occupying power from transferring members of the occupied population from their existing communities against their will,” Ort added.

Masafer Yatta spans some 36km (22 miles) and is comprised of 19 Palestinian villages that are home to more than 2,000 people.

The Israeli military designated part of the area a closed military zone for training in the 1980s, and “they have sought to remove the communities on this basis”, according to the United Nations.

The court said in its ruling that the Palestinian residents had not been permanent residents of the area when the Israeli military first declared it a firing zone.

Masafer Yatta’s Mayor Nidal Younes was quoted by Palestinian news agency Wafa as saying that the court ignored all evidence provided by the families in the area that shows they resided there prior to the 1980s.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) said the verdict would have “unprecedented consequences“.

Call to international community

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PUMA says it’s “complicated.” Palestinians say it’s apartheid.

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), April 13, 2022

Take action to thank Dua Lipa for standing up for Palestinian rights and urge her, as a prominent PUMA ambassador, to help convince PUMA to end complicity in Israel’s regime of apartheid.

    “These are the lives and homes of innocent people – the world needs to intervene and put a stop to this. No more ethnic cleansing!!!!!” — @dualipa

That’s what global star Dua Lipa posted to her 80M followers on Instagram last May following apartheid Israel’s escalation of violence against Indigenous Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem and elsewhere.

When smeared by right-wing, racist extremist Shmuley Boteach in a full-page ad in the New York Times, she didn’t back down.  She tweeted:

    “I stand in solidarity with all oppressed people and reject all forms of racism.” — @dualipa

Dua Lipa is a prominent PUMA ambassador. PUMA must listen to her.

As Israel once again escalates its violence against Palestinians, thank Dua Lipa for her stand and urge her to help convince PUMA to end complicity in Israel’s regime of apartheid.

Dua Lipa, help us push PUMA over to the right side of history.

PUMA is the main sponsor of the Israel Football Association, which governs and advocates for teams in illegal Israeli settlements dispossessing Palestinians. 

PUMA’s own internal memo shows its ambassadors are alarmed over its role in Israeli apartheid. But PUMA says it’s “complicated.”

Urge Dua Lipa to join Palestinians, Amnesty International and a growing consensus globally. 

Dua Lipa, Palestinians know it’s not complicated.
PUMA supports Israeli apartheid.

Dua Lipa is a vocal supporter of justice for all.

Fans at Dua Lipa’s concerts in Manchester and Dublin have urged her to take her principled stand to PUMA. 

Join them by taking action online today.

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