JUNE 28, 2022
URGENT CALL TO ACTION

FREE SAMI HURAINI, YOUTH OF SUMUD LEADER ARRESTED BY ISRAEL

As Israel threatens the homes of 1,000+ Palestinians in Masafer Yatta, Israel’s occupying army is trying to silence a leading youth organizer. Speak up!

RAISE YOUR VOICE:
• Uplift Youth of Sumud’s post and their work on Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook.
• Share these posts decrying Sami’s arrest by PIPD & USCPR.
• Share this 2 minute clip of Sami & his sister Sameeha’s demands for justice.

Sami needs your solidarity: Tweet #FreeSamiHuraini now! #DefendMasaferYatta

SAMPLE TWEET:

    URGENT: Israel’s army just arrested prominent Palestinian activist Sami Huraini of Masafer Yatta, known for leading resistance with @YouthOfSumud against Israel’s destruction of Palestinian homes.

For years, Sami Huraini and his community organization Youth of Sumud have defended his community, Masafer Yatta in the South Hebron Hills, from relentless Israeli settler and military violence simply for living in their homeland. For instance, last fall Sami decried an Israeli government-backed pogrom in which settlers fractured the skull of a 3-year old Palestinian child. And last month, Sami Huraini woke up to Israeli soldiers invading his village. Soldiers now bring tanks, guns, military bulldozers, and attack helicopters into their communities daily as part of a deliberate plan, backed by Israel’s colonial court system, to push more than 1,000 Palestinians out of their homes to steal their land for exclusive use by Israeli settlers and the occupying army who enable their invasion of the Palestinian homeland.

Recently, Israel escalated its attacks against Sami and his local community organization: two weeks ago, Israel’s occupying army issued a demolition notice on their Youth of Sumud community center. Then today, June 28, 2022, they arrested Sami. Like every Palestinian, he expects no rights or due process in courts with a more than 99% conviction rate. Israel’s carceral system is extraordinarily cruel, for instance also today denying early release for Ahmad Manasra, who has been incarcerated by Israel since age 13 and endured torture. Justice for Sami depends on international outcry. The fight continues until Sami, Ahmad, and every Palestinian prisoner is freed to their loved ones’ arms.

LEARN MORE:
Instagram live with Sami & Sameeha Huraini
Background on Youth of Sumud
Background on Sami’s organizing

If Not Now on Masafer Yatta

On Sunday, we saw Jewish supremacists march through the streets of Jerusalem, shouting racist chants like “Death to the Arabs” and “May your village burn.” We saw protesters spit on and pepper spray an elderly Palestinian woman. We saw violence against journalists – by marchers and police alike. From Jerusalem to the West Bank to Gaza, Palestinians face the endless, dehumanizing violence of occupation and apartheid.

It is our moral obligation to condemn this violent system, and to stand in its way wherever we can.

In a few days, I’ll be joining other IfNotNow members on a delegation of 50 diaspora Jews will arrive in the West Bank – to join with Palestinians who are working to save their homes from being demolished.

Masafer Yatta, a region in the West Bank that’s home to thousands of Palestinians, is facing an imminent threat to its existence, as the Israeli government prepares to enact the largest mass expulsion of Palestinians in six decades. Now is the time to get in the way – through co-resistance and disruptive action with Palestinians leading this effort to #SaveMasaferYatta.

What can you do? Amplify the delegation’s co-resistance work.

This trip is taking place through the Center for Jewish Nonviolence, an organization building networks of solidarity and co-resistance with Palestinians.

Sign up for updates and you’ll receive dispatches from the trip that you can share via email or social media.

Across the land, Palestinians are resisting – persevering to stay in their homes and on their land, fighting to live with dignity. They’re calling on us to show up and support their resistance.

We’re heeding the call. Will you?

In solidarity,
Elias Newman
IfNotNow

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.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@ICAHDU)
Email us at: info@icahdusa.org

ICAHD-USA
119 N. Fairfax Avenue, #486
Los Angeles, CA 90036-2110

Why Did Israel Execute Shireen Abu-Akleh?

They attacked the mourners because they weren’t in the casket

Steve Salaita, May 13, 2022

Immediately after Israeli soldiers executed Al-Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu-Akleh and fired at a group of her colleagues, observers began asking how such a horrible thing could happen. Why would Israel murder a journalist well-known throughout the Arab World? A noncombatant wearing appropriate press gear? A high-profile Palestinian with U.S. citizenship? At best, it seemed like a terrible PR move. It didn’t make any sense.

Except it did make sense. In fact, from a certain point of view killing Abu-Akleh was painfully sensible.

It’s natural to seek rational explanations for what appear to be mindless acts of violence. Explanation is contingent on material conditions, though, and so we have to understand the situation in context of Zionist settler colonization. Using the humanistic logic prevalent in most civil societies, Israel’s conduct was baffling. Its soldiers murdered a civilian in full view of people whose job is to report news. Those soldiers had to know that they couldn’t keep their act a secret, that targeting journalists would result in worldwide outrage. And yet they did it anyway.

Why?

To arrive at an answer, we have to discern the colonizer’s psyche. We’re not dealing with normal civil society standards, first of all. The relevant context is military occupation. In such a context, gratuitous state violence is normal. Obviously, killing Abu-Akleh has the immediate benefit of silencing a prominent voice of Palestinian resistance, one that had long exposed Israeli crimes of aggression.

There is more to the story, however.

We also have to explore the assumptions underlying a desire for simple explanations. By asking for reasons over and over again, observers seek answers to incongruous questions. In so doing they’re apt to tacitly implicate the victims in their own suffering. The journalists must have done something. There had to be a provocation. Israeli soldiers don’t just shoot innocent people for the hell of it.

But that’s exactly what Israeli soldiers do. Israel has murdered around fifty journalists over the past two decades. One or two might be an aberration. Fifty is a policy.

We needn’t turn to the victim’s behavior for answers to the colonizer’s violence. He is violent because of colonization.

So there’s no need to seek legible reasons for Abu-Akleh’s murder according the rationale of civic decency. The settler doesn’t need a “reason” to kill the native. The settler kills because deracinating the native is a precondition of his social identity. It is a function of his legal status and class position. Israeli forces viciously attacked a crowd carrying Abu-Akleh’s coffin—abusing our beloved martyr even in death—which only affirms the fact that the settler kills precisely when confronted by the native’s vulnerability. There is a higher purpose to his violence. The settler doesn’t kill simply to produce death; he kills to negate the native’s existence.

Israeli forces attacked Abu-Akleh’s corpse because killing her wasn’t enough. They needed to expunge her from a land they claim by divine mandate. Her body impedes a mythological birthright underlying the settler’s entire sense of self. She has to be rendered nonexistent in order for the settler to survive. Such is the logic of desecrating ancient Muslim cemeteries and planting flora over the ruins of ethnically cleansed Palestinian villages.

The same forces attacked hundreds of mourners not because they were unruly, but because they weren’t also in the casket.

The settler’s violence, in short, is endless. It is the only way he knows how to be a good citizen. And it is the only way, in the end, he can imagine a meaningful existence.

Steve Salaita is a scholar, author and public speaker born in Bluefield, West Virginia.

US Rabbis Call for End to Jewish Funding of Israeli Extremism


Extremist Jewish settlers, escorted by Israeli police, march in Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem. (File Photo: via ActiveStills.org)

The Palestine Chronicle, April 8, 2022

19 influential rabbis in New York City have signed a letter accusing a major American Jewish charity of indirectly funding right-wing extremists in Israel, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported on Thursday.

The rabbis called on the $2.4 billion Jewish Communal Fund (JCF) to cease funding to the Central Fund of Israel (CFI), part of a network that funnels donations to Lehava and other violent Israeli groups.

The JCF receives thousands of donations a year and distributes funding according to donor recommendations – including $23 million in “general support donations” to CFI.

During Ramadan in 2021, the extremist group Lehava organized a march through occupied Jerusalem where hundreds chanted “Death to Arabs”, “their villages will burn”, and wounded more than 100 Palestinians without intervention from the Israeli police.

“Lehava, which bases itself in the genocidal philosophy of Meir Kahane, is known for violence against both Palestinians and Israeli Jewish progressive activists,” said the letter from the rabbis, most of whom come from largely progressive Jewish denominations, according to the JTA.

Lehava – a Hebrew acronym that stands for the Prevention of Assimilation in the Holy Land – was founded by followers of the banned Kach movement, a racist group designated as a terrorist organization in Israel, the US and the EU.

The letter was published in response to an escalation in violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, and fears that Ramadan may bring a repeat of Israel’s assault on the besieged Gaza Strip last year, in which more than 250 Palestinians were killed.

Continue reading

Israeli settlers and police seize part of historic hotel

Petra hotel in East Jerusalem’s Old City is the subject of an 18-year legal battle between the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate and the powerful settler group Ateret Cohanim


An Orthodox Jewish man raises his hand as he walks past the Petra hostel in the Old City of Jerusalem near the Jaffa Gate, 11 June 2019 (AFP)

Mustafa Abu Sneineh, Middle East Eye, 28 March 2022

Israeli police and settlers have taken control part of the historic Petra hotel, the subject of a years-long legal challenge between the Greek Orthodox Patriarch and settler group Ateret Cohanim, in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem.

On Sunday evening, dozens of Israeli policemen and members of Ateret Cohanim moved into the first floor of the hotel, near Jerusalem’s Jaffa Gate.

‘The settlers’ intrusion came without any right and without any legal justification. We are the owners of the right to protect the hotel, which will remain an Arab property’ — Basma Qirresh, owner

The area is part of the Christian quarter in Jerusalem and is located strategically near the western walls of the city, which is thriving with tourists and pilgrims visiting the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Petra has been the subject of an 18-year legal battle between the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate and Ateret Cohanim, a powerful and active settler group that pushes for increased Jewish presence in East Jerusalem neighbourhoods.

In 2004, Ateret Cohanim bought the leases to Petra’s first floor and two other properties owned by the patriarchate in the Old City through three foreign private companies. 

The patriarchate controls the top floor of the Petra which it leases to the Qirresh Palestinian family.

The buildings are highly sought after due to their strategic position in both the Christian and Muslim quarters of the Old City.

On Sunday evening, the Israeli police arrested three Palestinians and prevented the hotel’s tenants, Palestinians and lawyers from entering the building, Wafa news agency reported.

Some Palestinians gathered outside the hotel and performed the evening prayer in protest.

The Qirresh family, who rent the building from the patriarchate and run the hotel, said that the Israeli police and settlers were trespassing on their property.

A settler attacked Medhat Deeba, a lawyer for the family, with pepper spray. Deeba was later detained for questioning for six hours.

Deeba told local media that “the settlers stormed the hotel by force without any decision enabling them to do so. The case has been in the courts for 20 years to protect the property from danger.”

He was in the area with lawyer Maher Hanna to provide legal advice to the Qirresh family. Israeli police installed a gate on Sunday between Petra and the adjacent Little Petra hotel. 

Ateret Cohanim has filed another lawsuit to evict the Qirresh family from the entire building. 

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March is a month of resilience and bravery for the Palestinian people

As Americans Muslims for Palestine commemorates Land Day on March 30th, we concurrently remember the brave and resilient people of Gaza’s Great March of Return, and their defiance amidst the infamous Israeli Operation Defensive Shield.  

This Land Day, AMP joined several groups in a global coalition for Palestine, signing a joint statement calling for sanctions on apartheid Israel. Read the statement here.

Land Day

On March 30th, 1976, the National Committee for the Defense of Arab Lands declared ‘Land Day’ in response to the Israeli government’s decision to confiscate 5,000 acres of Palestinian land. This confiscation of land was required for the expansion of Israel’s illegal settlement project, and more specifically, an effort to Judaize the Galilee. On that day in 1976, 6 unarmed Palestinians were killed, close to 100 were wounded, and hundreds of others were arrested. Almost every year on Land Day commemorations, Palestinians are subject to murder, harassment, and imprisonment.

Great March of Return

In March of 2018, the Great March of Return began, a series of Palestinian protests in the Gaza Strip demanding the right of refugees expelled during the Nakba to return to their homes. The protesters also demanded an end to the Israeli blockade, described by the United Nations as collective punishment. The Israeli regime cracked down on the demonstrations, killing almost 300 Palestinian men, women, and children, and injuring almost 30,000 others in one year, according to Gaza’s health ministry. The Great March of Return would come to an end in December of 2019.

Operation Defensive Shield

On March 29, 2002, at the height of the Second Intifada, Israel launched Operation Defensive Shield, a devastating military assault that killed nearly 500 Palestinians, wounded over 1400, and left over 17,000 Palestinians homeless.

Though these events all happened years apart, they serve as a great representation of the realities of ongoing Israeli settler-colonialism, ethnic cleansing, occupation, and apartheid today. Whether it be 46, 20, or 4 years ago – it has all been and continues to be, the same colonialism, the same occupation, and the same apartheid.

Want to continue resisting settler colonialism and Israeli apartheid? Join this webinar led by Stop The Wall and organized by a global Palestinian coalition on April 1, 2022, at 12 PM Eastern Time.


March 28, 2022
Land Day Event by the Palestinian Feminist Collective

Palestinian Feminist Collective

Online Monday, March 28th at 4PM Pacific, 6PM Central and 7PM Eastern

This event features PFC members Lila Sharif, Ayah Hamdan, Sherene Seikaly, and Noura Erakat, moderated by Selma Al-Aswad, discussing what we are fighting for — Land, Life, Love and Liberation.

Held during International Women’s Month, with this event we also commemorate Palestinian Land Day, the one-year anniversary of our release of the “Pledge that Palestine is a Feminist Issue” and our work and growth over the past year.

Demonstration on the anniversary of the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre

Human Rights Defenders تجمع المدافعين عن حقوق الانسان, February 25, 2022

Hebron, Palestine — The Israeli occupation army brutally suppresses the peaceful demonstration of the ghetto in commemoration of the 28-year anniversary of the Hebron massacre. The demonstration began in front of the Sheikh Ali Baka Mosque in the Sheikh neighborhood, towards the military checkpoint in front of Al-Shuhada Street in the center of Hebron.