White House warns Israel on settlements

Trump was reportedly blindsided by Israel’s announcement of 5,500 new housing units to be built in the West Bank

Jordan Fabian, The Hill, 02/02/17

The White House on Thursday warned Israel to stop settlement announcements that could undermine peace with the Palestinians, according to the Jerusalem Post. 

The surprising statement comes as President Trump signaled he would depart from former President Obama’s Israel policy and forge a close relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a strong proponent of settlements. 

But Trump was reportedly blindsided by Israel’s announcement of 5,500 new housing units to be built in the West Bank, which would have been the first new settlement in around 20 years. 

Continue reading

David Friedman Is Unfit to Be Ambassador to Israel

, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, 31 Jan 2017

DavidFriedman

Donald Trump’s first ten days in office have resulted in a whirlwind of policies that have led to major protests, from blocking refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, to ordering a wall built on the US-Mexico border, to moving forward with the Keystone and the Dakota Access Pipelines, to name just a few.

Amid his flurry of Executive Orders, you may have missed the fact that on Inauguration Day, Trump formally submitted to the Senate his nomination of David Friedman to be US Ambassador to Israel.

In case you haven’t heard of Friedman, here’s what you need to know:

Continue reading

Open Doors for Refugees Response to Trump’s Ban

Today President Trump signed an executive order banning all refugees from entering the U.S. for the next four months, prohibiting all people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days, barring all Syrian refugees indefinitely, and, when the refugee program resumes (presumably at half the current rate), giving preferential treatment to non-Muslims.
 
This blatantly anti-Muslim edict mocks the freedom of religion protection of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  It’s also bereft of human compassion or moral compass.  Finally, given the extreme vetting already in place, it’s also bereft of cause.
 
In a sad juxtaposition, today is the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, reminding us of the six million Jews who were murdered by the Nazis.  It’s distressing to realize and to acknowledge that a great many Jews perished because the world would not give them refuge – a state of affairs chillingly similar to today.
 
We urge you to contact your U.S. Senators and Representative to register your strong opposition to this order and to send a strong message to the White House.  This is an excellent site to help you do so: Refugee Council USA

Open Doors for Refugees continues to stand by its mission of helping refugees make a home in Madison. With that we also wish to integrate refugees into being thriving members of the community and thereby increase our city’s richness in culture and diversity. We want Madison to be a welcoming city where all feel safe and valued. We encourage our volunteers and supporters to remain informed of current events in this regard and to be engaged citizens and to embrace ideas of welcoming, inclusion and humanitarian aid to all.

Our goal remains to support those refugees who have already arrived to our community and to be ready for when more refugees are allowed to come. We are proud of America’s history of welcoming immigrants and refugees. The U.S. refugee resettlement program reflects the United States’ highest values and aspirations to compassion, generosity and leadership. Since 1975, Americans have welcomed over 3 million refugees from all over the world. Refugees have built new lives, homes and communities in towns and cities in all 50 states. We cannot let this tradition end.

Our work is not done. In fact, we have more work than ever as we begin to rebuild trust that the current refugee screening process is rigorous and that refugees in our community do not pose threat. We now have to speak out with even greater conviction that refugee resettlement in our country is the right thing to do.  Our engagement with community leaders to build greater trust, understanding and support of the refugee crisis and how our community can rise to the challenge are integral components of our next steps.  We at Open Doors are proud and grateful to have the strong support of so many in the Madison area.

Continue reading

February 7, 2017
Trump’s Policy on Palestine and the Middle East

The Palestine Center
Washington, DC
12-1 pm CST

As we begin 2017 with a new presidential administration, so we begin a critical year of major markers in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There are many questions about the foreign policy positions president-elect Donald Trump will assume and take with regard to the Middle East and Palestine. Our panelists will discuss these issues and more, while examining the widespread regional and global effects these shifts will bring. 

For more information see: http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/events/upcoming/panel-trumps-foreign-policy-positions-palestine-middle-east

This event may be livestreamed at http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/livestream

February 6, 2017
Fighting Islamophobia

A Panel Discussion by the UW-Madison Middle East Studies Program and the Center for the Humanities

Institute for Discovery, DeLuca Forum
University of Wisconsin – Madison
330 N. Orchard Street, Madison WI 53715
4:00-6:00 pm

Islamophobia is increasingly rising to the front of national attention, whether through politicians, presidential campaign rhetoric, newspaper headlines, or tweets. In a time when Islam is the subject of much discussion and controversy, the Middle East Studies Program and the Center for the Humanities at UW-Madison invites you to a unique panel discussion tackling causes, manifestations, dangers of Islamophobia, constitutional rights and protections offered by federal civil rights/hate crimes statutes. An intersectional approach will be taken to explore how Islamophobic violence impacts not only Muslims, but every American who cares about freedom and democracy. Islamophobia mirrors other types of oppression and exclusion that create walls and barriers among people. The panel hopes to enable an ongoing open dialogue, in a safe environment for debate through education, participation and engagement.
 
Panelists include: 

    John W. Vaudreuil. As US Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, Vaudreuil leads an office committed to the fair and equal enforcement of federal law, including civil rights laws, both in civil and criminal cases.  His office has aggressively pursued civil housing discrimination cases and cases involving violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. As the chief federal law enforcement officer, Vaudreuil has also tirelessly worked to build relationships of trust and understanding with communities that might be targets of civil rights crimes.
     
    Nasra Wehelie, “Remedy for Islamophobia.” Nasra is the Development Director for Madison-Area Urban Ministry.
     
    Safi Kaskas, “Fighting Islamophobia, a holistic approach.” Safi has studied Abrahamic religions and lectured throughout the US and Saudi Arabia on subjects related to Islam, interfaith and reconciliation between Evangelicals and American Muslims. Dr. Kaskas translated and published the Qur’an into simple easy to understand English in January 2015 and published The Qur’an with references to the Bible in January 2016. 
     
    Imam Alhagie Jallow became the Imam of the Masjid Us-Sunnah shortly after his visit to Madison in 2009. 

    Golnar Nikpour, “The Iran Hostage Crisis and the Recent History of American Islamophobia.” A.W. Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities and Humanistic Social Sciences at UW-Madison.

Continue reading

January 29, 2017
Citywide Forum to Bring Marginalized Communities Together

“United We Stand: A Community Gathering in Support of Our Neighbors Subject to Deportation or Discrimination”

Monona Terrace Conference Center
1 John Nolen Dr., Madison
2:00 – 5:00 pm
City of Madison Facebook Event

David Dahmer, Madison365, January 19, 2017

As President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office on Friday, it has left many people asking questions about their futures in this country. What will happen if a Muslim registry is created? What will happen if massive amounts of Latinos are deported and families are broken up? What does a Trump presidency mean for the black, gay, and Hmong communities? What is needed to protect the most vulnerable? How can we help each other?

Continue reading