MRSCP Supports the UW Associated Students of Madison

MRSCP asks you to contact University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank and Vice Provost Patrick Sims in support of the recent resolution by the Associated Students of Madison (ASM) calling for divestment and investment transparency.

Because this broad social justice resolution included support for Palestinian lives affected by the Israeli occupation, it was immediately repudiated by Chancellor Blank and is the target of a pressure campaign by supporters of Israel. UW-Madison Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace-Madison have asked people to support the resolution.

More information

We especially need UW-Madison students, parents of students, and alumni to contact them. Be sure to mention if you fall into these categories.

Please contact
    Chancellor Rebecca Blank: 608-269-9946
    chancellor@news.wisc.edu

    Vice Provost Patrick Sims: 608-265-5228
    pjsims@wisc.edu
    patrick.sims@wisc.edu

and please report your call or e-mail to RafahSisterCity@yahoo.com.

Finally, please add your name to the online petition that we will give to both UW officials below.


May 5, 2017
Rebecca Blank , Chancellor, UW-Madison
Patrick Sims, Vice Provost for Diversity and Climate, UW-Madison

Dear Chancellor Blank and Vice Provost Sims:

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Is It True That Not a Single Senator – Including Progressive Dems – Cares About Palestine?

The pro-Israel letter 100 U.S. senators sent to the U.N. fails to mention Israel's illegal occupation or settlements

Ben Norton & Adam Johnson, AlterNet, May 2, 2017

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr

All 100 members of the U.S. Senate sent a letter to the United Nations on April 27 that spread misleading pro-Israel myths. Included as signatories were the Senate’s two progressive leaders, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

AlterNet repeatedly contacted the offices of Sanders and Warren with a request for comment. Neither replied.

The 725-word letter does not mention Israel’s illegal military occupation of Palestinian land, which marks its 50th anniversary this June. Nor does it acknowledge Israel’s illegal colonization of Palestinian territory through ever-expanding settlements.

Even the U.S., Israel’s closest ally, has agreed at the U.N. that Israel’s occupation and settlements are flagrant violations of international law. The senators’ letter glosses over this elementary fact, and does not even acknowledge the existence of the Palestinian people.

The bipartisan senatorial campaign against the U.N. was led by hard-right neoconservative Republican Marco Rubio and Reagan-Republican-turned-Democrat Christopher Coons.

“Although, as Republicans and Democrats, we disagree on many issues, we are united in our desire to see the United Nations improve its treatment of Israel,” the senators wrote in the letter, which also demonizes the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

They claimed “member states and agencies are using the U.N.’s privileged platform to advance an anti-Israel agenda.”

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May 6, 2017
WNPJ’s Spring Assembly – La Farge

 

9 AM – 4:30 PM
Kickapoo Valley Reserve
3661 State Hwy 131
La Farge, WI 54639

Join the CONVERSATION
Build COMMUNITY
Take ACTION

Join the Wisconsin Network for Peace & Justice (WNPJ) and WNPJ member groups for our annual Spring Assembly Meeting. This year’s meeting will focus on Divesting & Investing on core issues impacting our communities.

More details at the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice.

ASM unanimously approves contentious divestment proposal to mixed reactions from campus

Student council also approved resolution calling for community control of police

, The Badger Herald, Apr 27, 2017

Peyton David/The Badger Herald

After five hours of debate and nearly 50 people appearing before open forum, the University of Wisconsin Associated Students of Madison unanimously approved the contentious divestment proposal.

The heated resolution resulted in a 24-0-2 vote Wednesday evening.

Originally introduced in a March 29 meeting, the proposal was tabled indefinitely after six hours of debate and more than 60 people appearing before an open forum.

In the original resolution, Jewish students expressed in the March 29 open forum that they felt targeted since the legislation called to divest from several Israeli companies. To reflect the need of divesting from corporations and to keep from alienating Jewish students, ASM later amended the new legislation to focus on ending UW’s support of corporations that profit from human rights violations.

The amended resolution highlights divesting from banks and private prisons that profit off of minority oppression and rebuke corporations that engage in resource extraction from indigenous lands without consent, harming indigenous people’s way of life, divesting from fossil corporations, border walls and arms manufacturers.

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Leaked report highlights Israel lobby’s failures

No such thing as a “Jewish and democratic state” without violations of Palestinian rights

Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 28 April 2017

The Reut Institute, founded by former government advisor Gidi Grinstein, has conceded in a secret report jointly prepared with the ADL that Israel’s efforts to thwart the Palestine solidarity movement have failed. (via Facebook)

Key Israel lobby groups have conceded that they have failed to counter the Palestine solidarity movement, despite vastly increasing their spending. The admission is contained in a secret report that The Electronic Intifada has obtained.

The report, published here in full for the first time, outlines Israel’s failure to stem the “impressive growth” and “significant successes” of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights.

It also sets out strategies, endorsed by the Israeli government, aimed at reversing the deterioration in Israel’s position.

But while calling for harsher measures against the Palestine solidarity movement, the report offers no new ideas to deal with how Israel is beset not by an image problem but a reality problem: its regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid is increasingly viewed around the world as reprehensible and unsustainable, even by many of Israel’s defenders.

The report nevertheless identifies key concerns and likely targets of Israel’s propaganda planners.

Even while attempting to come up with a formula to defeat it, the report admits that the movement for Palestinian rights is based on “appealing and sophisticated” arguments which Israel has so far failed to match.

The “20X question”

The report is spurred by what it calls the “20X question” – the fact that pro-Israel groups have increased their spending to combat the Palestine solidarity movement twenty-fold over the last six years and yet despite these tens of millions of dollars, “results remain elusive.”

The existence of the report had been revealed in February by The Jewish Daily Forward.

It was prepared by the Anti-Defamation League and the Reut Institute, an Israeli think tank founded by former government adviser Gidi Grinstein, with the help of “experts” from Israel lobby groups and the Israeli goverment.

According to the Forward, Reut and the ADL were “only circulating print copies of the report” among selected pro-Israel operatives, and the newspaper had received it on condition that it not be published in its entirety.

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Netanyahu Cancels Meeting After German Official Visits Protest Group

Israel has come under increasing criticism for seeking to silence groups that are critical of the 50-year military occupation of the West Bank. The Israeli Parliament passed a law in March barring entry to Israel for foreigners supporting a boycott of the country.

IAN FISHER, The New York Times, APRIL 25, 2017

Sigmar Gabriel, the German foreign minister, in Jerusalem on Tuesday. Mr. Gabriel’s meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was canceled because Mr. Gabriel met with members of Breaking the Silence, a group opposed to the occupation of Palestinian territories. (Abir Sultan/European Pressphoto Agency)

JERUSALEM — It was hardly the first time a top-level meeting had been canceled over hard feelings. But when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel called off a session with the German foreign minister here on Tuesday, it seemed a particularly sharp reflection of the tension within Israel, and with its allies, these days.

Israeli and German officials said the cancellation of the top-level meeting planned for later in the day came after the German minister of foreign affairs, Sigmar Gabriel, met with the group Breaking the Silence, which opposes the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. Mr. Netanyahu has accused the group of “slandering” Israeli soldiers.

The tension began when the Israeli news media addressed the possibility that Mr. Gabriel would visit with the group and reported that Israeli officials — and probably Mr. Netanyahu himself — were threatening that the visit would be a deal-breaker for the planned top-level meeting ahead.

Perhaps predictably, Mr. Gabriel, who is also Germany’s vice chancellor, did not take it well.

“It simply can’t be,” Mr. Gabriel told reporters in Israel. “Imagine if we would invite Mr. Netanyahu to Germany and he wants to meet with NGOs that are critical of the government and we say, ‘If you do that we’ll break off the visit.’ People would tell us we’re crazy.”

He refused to speculate on whether the cancellation was a tit-for-tat move after the German leadership postponed a governmental exchange with Israel, originally planned for May, citing scheduling conflicts. “The whole situation has to cool down,” Mr. Gabriel said.

After the meeting of the two leaders was called off, an Israeli official in Mr. Netanyahu’s office, speaking on customary condition of anonymity, said that Mr. Gabriel refused to take a phone call from the Israeli prime minister. German officials could not immediately be reached to comment.

“Diplomats are welcome to meet with representatives of civil society,” Mr. Netanyahu’s office said, “but Prime Minister Netanyahu will not meet with those who lend legitimacy to organizations that call for the criminalization of Israeli soldiers.”

Breaking the Silence, which includes Israeli combat veterans, declined to comment.

Germany is one of Israel’s strongest allies in Europe, but it has often been critical of Israeli policies. The tension increased recently after Germany criticized an Israeli law that would retroactively legalize thousands of homes in a settlement built on private Palestinian land.

Mr. Gabriel’s visit to Israel came the same week as Holocaust Remembrance Day. He visited Yad Vashem, the museum and memorial to the six million Jews killed by the Nazi regime in World War II.

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