Biden should end support for bombing and starvation of Yemen


People run following an explosion at the airport in Aden, Yemen, shortly after a plane carrying the newly formed Cabinet landed on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020. No one on board the government plane was hurt but initial reports said several people at the airport were killed. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

Madison-Rafah Sister City Project, The Cap Times, January 25, 2021

For over five years, Yemenis have endured a civil war which has already killed nearly a quarter-million people. Roughly half of those who perished died from war-induced malnutrition, disease and lack of basic services.

Intervening on one side, a Saudi-led and U.S.-supported coalition has used overwhelming military force — including laser-guided bombs and other high-tech weapons supported by our tax dollars — to systematically devastate huge areas of Yemen that their rivals control.

The U.S. has supplied combat ships that are vital to the naval and air blockade presently denying millions of people in Yemen essential food and medicine (90% of Yemen’s food supply is imported).

The U.S. has also directly carried out bombing raids against those it labels “terrorists.” Recently, Congress failed to stop the Trump administration from selling F-35s like those the Air Force wants to station at Truax to the United Arab Emirates, one of the countries bombing Yemen.

As was predicted, famine is now widespread. Two-thirds of Yemenis are hungry and many tens of thousands, especially children, are truly bloated-belly-and-stick-limbs starving. Moderate to severe malnutrition afflicts a quarter of the population, including more than 2 million children.

And now COVID-19 has joined cholera and diphtheria in exponentially compounding their misery.

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Pompeo Labels BDS Antisemitic, Threatens Blacklist

This week Pompeo broke with longstanding U.S. policy and visited illegal Israeli settlements. On his trip, he made several announcements, including that the State Department is designating BDS as antisemitic and calling for the U.S. Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism to create what is essentially a blacklist of organizations that support BDS. We will have more on this soon, but for now:

  • Please share the JVP Action statement condemning this widely (this is compliant to share on chapter lists and chapter social media). You can also re-share our petition to the State Department on this issue.
  • Here are other statements you can check out and lift up:
  • November 2020
    Virtual Fair Trade Holiday Festival

    Dear Members and Friends of MRSCP,

    Mark your calendars for the upcoming Madison Fair Trade Holiday Festival, which has gone virtual this year due to the pandemic.

    The sale will be during the month of November. Make this your one stop shop for all your holiday gift giving. Spend your money on products that support your values; give gifts that give twice, once to the producer and once to the recipient.

    You will be able to browse all the participating vendors and order directly from their websites by visiting Madison Fair Trade Holiday Festival.

    You can also follow the Festival on Facebook.

    MRSCP will be participating in the virtual sale via our online store, Madison-Rafah Marketplace. We will carry most of our usual items.

    (The store is currently up and running for olive oil sales; our complete product listings will be available when the Festival opens.)

    Note: MRSCP CANNOT ship or deliver any purchases; they need to be picked up. You will receive instructions and a pickup window following your purchase. In hardship cases, we may be able to provide delivery.

    We hope you will be able to participate in this annual event, and as always, thanks for your support.

    Barb O.
    MRSCP

    UNRWA USA’S Virtual Gaza 5K & Art Auction


    Announcing the First-Ever
    Nationwide Virtual Gaza 5K

    +
    Digital Festival Art Auction!

    Everyone’s mental health is being tested as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but we won’t all suffer the same.

    From the United States to Palestine, no person should have to suffer constant distress.

    And while the global pandemic has caused events, travel, and even people to be canceled, you can join UNRWA USA for an interactive Gaza 5K + Digital Festival on Saturday, September 12, 2020, bringing together community, running, music, and entertainment for a good cause — providing mental health for refugee kids in the Gaza Strip. And now, due to the crisis in Lebanon, a portion of the proceeds from the Gaza 5K will be dedicated to our urgent relief fund for Palestine refugees in Lebanon.

    More on the Gaza 5k!


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    Update: June 27 – 30, 2020
    Upcoming Online Events


    Saturday, June 27
    Local Letter Campaign to End Violence Against Black People
    6:00 PM – 8:00 PM CDT

    Damita Brown, Restorative Justice Director for the Dane County Time Bank’s Restorative Justice Program, will lead this action opportunity via Zoom.

    Sponsored by Building Unity, Dane County Time Bank, Freedom Inc. and Wisconsin Network for Peace, Justice, Sustainability (WNPJS). For more information see the Facebook page or register here.

    NOTE: The sponsors are looking for people or groups to host similar sessions. You can get a Co-conspirator Toolkit that shows you step by step how to host your own letter writing party for friends, neighbors, colleagues, family, co-workers and others. For more information, write to Damita Brown: damita at danecountytimebank.org



    Sunday, June 28
    Counter CUFI with FOSNA
    6 PM CDT

    Christian Israeli lobbies like Christians United For Israel (CUFI) leverage their political power to ensure the US gives moral and political cover to Israeli colonization, war crimes, and ethnic cleansing.

    This Sunday, June 28th, Friends of Sabeel-North America (FOSNA) is launching a nationwide effort to counter this deadly lobby and challenge its undue influence on American politics. Join us for a powerful day of action as we raise our voices in opposition to CUFI’s annual summit!

    Registration and event details



    Sunday, June 28
    Livestream: Singing Out for Refugees with Peter Mulvey
    7:00 PM – 9:00 PM CDT

    Peter Mulvey returns to the Threshold stage, this time virtually, to share his music, his insights, and his generosity with Open Doors for Refugees, an all volunteer not-for-profit organization that welcomes and supports refugees coming to the greater Madison area.

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    June 15 – 21, 2020
    Fundraising for Mrs. Najah’s Kitchen & Gaza Emergency Meals

    Rebuilding Alliance

    GlobalGiving’s World Refugee Week Campaign is starting Monday, June 15th, at 9am Eastern / 6am Pacific time and Palestinian refugees are included in the competition this year. I’m delighted to tell you that our newest project, Mrs. Najah’s Kitchen – Gaza Emergency Meals, is part of this campaign and competing for big bonuses!

    Mrs. Najah’s emergency food program is a lifeline to keep the most impacted families in Rafah, Gaza safe and fed during the pandemic with the goal of delivering 200 meals a day, 1400 meals a week.

    Just $10 can feed a family of 5. Will you help?

    PLEASE DONATE

    During World Refugee Week, which starts this Monday, this project can win an extra $5,000 and $10,000 if we get the highest number of unique donors and the most total donations, respectively. Additionally, the first $750 of contributions will be matched dollar-for-dollar by GlobalGiving. You and your donation may be the one that helps this important project win the bonuses!

    Mrs. Najah, a refugee herself and the head of Women’s Programs Center-Rafah for over 18 years says,

      “Hot meals delivered to homes make all the difference in this time of distress because we connect, safely and directly, with women and families who are sheltering in place under the direst of circumstances. We’re also providing jobs to our all-women chefs assisted by community volunteers at the professional kitchen of the Women’s Programs Center (WPC). Working together, we will ramp-up to reach our goal of delivering 200 meals or more a day.”

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    May 14-15, 2020
    Key to Justice: Ending the ongoing Palestinian Nakba

    Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), 5/11/20

    #KeyToJustice Webinar – May 14, 4 PM Palestine time: Rafeef Ziadah, Marta Ill and Rey Perez Asis will discuss the connections between the Palestinian struggle to end the ongoing Nakba and the struggles of millions of refugees, migrants and those struggling for adequate housing worldwide, particularly during the pandemic.

    #KeyToJustice Global Action – May 15: Share a photo of yourself on social media holding a key, and tag your post with #KeyToJustice. Learn how to make a key at home with this do-it-yourself video. The key symbolizes not just Palestinian refugees’ return, but the connectedness of our struggles for equality, dignity and freedom, for all those without homes, facing brutality and resisting erasure.

    Online Nakba Day Rally – May 15, 9 PM Palestine time: With speakers and performers including DAM, Janna Jihad, Diana Buttu, Roger Waters and Ken Loach. Organized by Palestine Solidarity Campaign (UK), Jewish Voice for Peace (US), South African BDS Coalition, and the BDS Movement.

    Our collective mobilisations will help turn the #KeyToJustice.

    Help Palestinians in Gaza survive Coronavirus

    If Not Now, March 20,2020

    We have an opportunity to save thousands of lives — if we act now.

    As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps our country and the world, I am watching everyday people do what is necessary — in the vacuum left by our government’s failure — to help their communities. My friends are joining mutual aid networks and others are fundraising so the most vulnerable are financially stable.

    But our obligation to one another does not stop at the border.

    If we do not act now, Palestinians living under blockade in Gaza will suffer incredible losses from COVID-19. For 15 years, the Israeli government has blockaded 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza, restricting their access to crucial resources, including medical supplies. And Israel’s regular military assaults have decimated much of Gaza’s public infrastructure.

    That is why I’m asking you to demand that the Israeli government live up to its legal and moral obligation as the occupying party and protect Palestinians in Gaza by lifting the blockade on Gaza and immediately delivering medical supplies — such as Coronavirus test kits, ventilation equipment, and medical masks — to Gaza.

    Currently, 1.8 million Palestinians live in the 141 square miles that comprise the Gaza Strip (roughly the size of Detroit). Though Hamas governs Gaza internally, Israel is still the effective occupying power because Israel’s military controls the land, sea, and air of Gaza. The blockade on Gaza has been inhumane for over a decade, but to refuse to lift it during a global health pandemic is immoral, outrageous, and unforgettable.

    And, with one of the highest population densities in the world and few medical resources, Gaza is one step away from a public health disaster. Those 1.8 million people only have access to enough COVID-19 test kits for 190 people, meaning only 1 in every 9473 Palestinians there can be tested. Additionally, there are just 20 available ventilation devices in all of Gaza — just 1 ventilation device for every 90,000 Palestinians there.

    Palestinians in Gaza must now weather the coronavirus in addition to the punishing, 15-year-long Israeli blockade of the coastal enclave. The international community has ignored the humanitarian crisis facing Palestinians in Gaza for too long. Rather than waiting to react to the coronavirus hitting Gaza, we must be proactive.

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    Oppose the Israeli Annexation of Palestinian Land

    This is a new group in the LaCrosse area that is becoming more active on Palestinian issues. Please consider signing and circulating this petition.

    COULEE REGION COALITION FOR PALESTINIAN RIGHTS, 3/6/20

    To: Our elected officials
    From: [Your Name]

    We urgently oppose the threatened annexation by Israel of Palestinian land in the West Bank.

    Israel has militarily occupied the West Bank since 1967, and has since built an extensive network of illegal Jewish settlements and connecting roads. There are now over 600,000 Jewish settlers in the West Bank.

    Netanyahu and Gantz, leaders of the two largest Israeli political parties, have been emboldened to ​break international law through annexation ​of this territory by the release of the Trump administration’s ‘Deal of the Century’ on January 20, 2020.

    The annexation envisioned in that plan includes the fertile Jordan Valley in addition to those settlements and roads. Palestinian land is already fragmented into enclaves of villages, farms and a handful of densely populated cities – comparable to the Bantustans of Apartheid South Africa.

    Annexation would extend, legalize and attempt to make permanent this theft of Palestinian land by making it part of Israel.

    The US provides $3.8 billion of military aid to Israel each year. These are our tax dollars being used to prop up an Israeli state that violently suppresses Palestinian human rights and now plans to steal their land.

    We call on you, as our elected official, to announce publicly that you will support legislation withdrawing all military funding to Israel if it proceeds with this illegal annexation of Palestinian land.