Dear Friends of MRSCP,
We hope you will consider contributing to our year-end fundraising drive to renovate and repair a family home located in the Tal al Sultan neighborhood of Rafah, where we previously installed a playground. This house is one of 20 that the U.S. organization Rebuilding Alliance has selected for their new Gaza Family Guided Home Construction Project which involves each family as well as local agencies and contractors in design and construction of their particular space.
Help Provide Shelter in Gaza
As you are probably aware, the housing crisis is just one of many afflicting the over 2 million men, women and children trapped in Gaza. The fifteen year-long Israeli-US-Egyptian blockade has made it virtually impossible to keep up with the demand for proper shelter created by population growth, or to recover from the devastation of either massive demolitions along the borders or Israel’s periodic devastating military bombardments.
Rebuilding Alliance has launched this pilot program to implement low-cost housing solutions for 20 families which will (1) improve access to water & sanitation facilities; (2) decrease overcrowding and allow more privacy by adding upstairs rooms; and (3) upgrade heating and ventilation.
The home that MRSCP hopes to renovate is occupied by two parents and three children. The father has become disabled and the mother works to try to keep the family afloat. Their small apartment is desperately in need of roof repairs, interior renovations especially to the main living area and bath, and the addition of another room–especially now that the cold and rains of winter have arrived.
Help Provide Shelter Here in Madison
Once again, we also ask your support for a local project that is related to our campaign in Rafah. Please consider donating to Occupy Madison’s Tiny Houses, addressing the housing crisis right here at home.
Occupy Madison has built two tiny house villages that house 30 formerly homeless individuals and is in the process of buying a third property. Self-governed by the people who live there, the goal is to become self-sustaining by selling goods made in a wood shop, home-grown flowers and plants, crafts and jewelry and soon, a coffee cart! There is a very long waiting list for these houses.
Your donation will help support the current villages and build new houses for another village.
You can donate online to Tiny Houses here. (Please include a note in the comment box that the donation is for the Tiny Houses.)
You can also send a check made out to Occupy Madison marked “Tiny Houses” to Occupy Madison, 304 N. Third Street, Madison 53704.
We hope you are able to help support these two projects. And as always, we thank you for your support! Continue reading
Please join the No Way to Treat a Child campaign for a webinar next week on February 14 at 11 a.m. Central.
We’ll hear how Palestinian children have been impacted by the reign of Israeli aggression across the occupied West Bank this year. Israeli forces have carried out incursions into Palestinian cities and towns almost every night, and eight Palestinian boys have been killed already this year. Join to hear from DCIP staff in Ramallah and learn about our child protection and empowerment work training Palestinian children to know their rights in the face of systematic Israeli military and settler violence.
We’ll also share actions you can work on while we await a new Palestinian rights bill in the U.S. Congress. This is a great time to plan your advocacy strategy and learn how you can center the experiences of Palestinian children.
The webinar will be held on Zoom and instructions for joining will be shared with each person who registers. This event will be recorded, so please register even if you cannot attend live and we will send you the recording afterwards.
Defense for Children International – Palestine
Heritage Minister Eliyahu, a religious ultranationalist now in charge of the Israel Antiquities Authority, denies the existence of a Palestinian people.
A 2,700-year-old ivory incense spoon, displayed at the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Jan. 19, 2023. (AP Photo/ Maya Alleruzzo)
BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) — An ivory spoon dating back 2,700 years that was recently repatriated to the Palestinian Authority from the United States has sparked a dispute with Israel’s new far-right government over the cultural heritage in the occupied West Bank.
The clash brings into focus the political sensitivities surrounding archaeology in the Middle East, where Israelis and Palestinians each use ancient artifacts to support their claims over the land.
Israel’s ultranationalist heritage minister has ordered officials to examine the legality of the U.S. government’s historic repatriation of the artifact to the Palestinians earlier this month, and is calling for annexing archaeology in the occupied West Bank.
The artifact — a cosmetic spoon made of ivory and believed to have been plundered from a site in the West Bank — was seized in late 2021 by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office as part of a deal with the New York billionaire hedge fund manager Michael Steinhardt.
It was one of 180 artifacts illegally looted and purchased by Steinhardt that he surrendered as part of an agreement to avoid prosecution.
American officials handed an artifact over to the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities on Jan. 5 in what the U.S. State Department’s Office of Palestinian Affairs said was “the first event of such repatriation” by the U.S. to the Palestinians.
Dozens of Steinhardt’s surrendered artifacts have already been repatriated to Italy, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Jordan, Libya and Israel. This spoon was the first and only item ever to be repatriated to the Palestinians.
The repatriation coincided with the first weeks of Israel’s new government, which is composed of ultranationalists who see the West Bank as the biblical heartland of the Jewish people and inextricably linked to the state of Israel.
Heritage Minister Amihai Eliyahu’s office said last week that the legality of the repatriation “is being examined by the archaeology staff officer with the legal counsel, which will examine all aspects of the matter, including the Oslo Accords that the U.S. has signed.”
The case underscores how archaeology and cultural heritage are intertwined with the competing claims of the Israelis and Palestinians in the decades-long conflict.
“Any artifact that we know that it comes out illegally from Palestine, we have the right to have it back,” said Jihad Yassin, director general of excavations and museums in the Palestinian Tourism and Antiquities Ministry. “Each artifact says a story from the history of this land.”
The ministry is part of the Palestinian Authority, the government established as part of the Oslo Accords in the 1990s that exercises limited autonomy in parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Those agreements between Israel and the Palestinians were supposed to include coordination on a raft of issues, including archaeology and cultural heritage.
But the agreements have largely unraveled. Yassin said that the archaeology committee has not met in around two decades, and that there is virtually zero coordination between Israel and the Palestinians concerning antiquities theft prevention in the West Bank.
“We try to do our best to protect these archaeological sites, but we face difficulties,” he said.
160 organizations representing Palestinian communities, Palestinian solidarity organizations, and the racial justice movement have signed on to the new joint statement “Stop Funding Israel’s Massacres,” calling out the U.S. government’s complicity and racist dehumanization of Palestinian life. Read the statement below:
Israel’s horrific murder of 10 Palestinians in Jenin, unprecedented for two decades in the West Bank, demands action
After Israeli forces massacred at least 10 Palestinian people in Jenin refugee camp on Thursday, Jan. 26, leaving dozens of injuries and destruction in their wake, Palestinian journalist Mariam Barghouti called the Palestinian reality under Israeli military occupation a “slaughterhouse.”
While most U.S. politicians and media focused attention on a shooting by a Palestinian individual in an illegal Israeli settlement in East Jerusalem that followed, they remained silent on Israeli forces killing Palestinians in the Jenin massacre. This silence continued following the Israeli government’s moves to institutionalize their collective punishment and retribution responses to the shooting, including expediting gun permits for Israelis and punishing family members of Palestinian attackers by demolishing their homes and revoking social security benefits. This dehumanizing disparity reinforces the racist devaluation of Palestinian life. Peace is not possible without justice, which begins with an end to Israel’s military occupation, theft of Palestinian land, and attacks on Palestinian lives.
When this context is explained, it is clear all this violence is rooted in Israel’s brutality against the Palestinian people. The Jenin massacre was the bloodiest in the West Bank in about two decades, in one of the deadliest months: Israeli forces killed 35 Palestinians in the West Bank in 2023 so far, killing on average at least one Palestinian person each day. This Israeli violence marks an acceleration since 2022, when Israel killed 146 Palestinians in the West Bank, including killing Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh while she was reporting in Jenin. And in Gaza, Palestinians living trapped under Israeli blockade endure structural violence each day, and have endured multiple Israeli bombing massacres over the last two decades, which have killed thousands of Palestinians including 49 people in August 2022.
This week, Secretary of State Blinken is meeting with the new increasingly fascist, far-right Israeli government. Blinken’s statements said nothing about the Israeli government’s plan to entrench illegal settlements, reaffirming the U.S. refusal to even recognize the context of Israel’s military occupation. We will not accept his politics-as-usual of words of concern without U.S. policy change, which gives Israel a free pass to keep massacring the Palestinian people. The images coming out of Jenin—an elderly woman killed by Israeli sniper bullets, hospital patients suffocating with Israeli tear gas, and ambulances denied access to the wounded by Israeli forces—are part of apartheid Israel’s greater systematic violence, which our government has chosen to fund with $3.8+ billion of U.S. taxpayer dollars a year.
The Palestinian people’s ongoing demands for freedom in their homeland and basic human rights must be met by people around the world rising up with them. We demand Members of Congress take immediate policy action towards accountability: Stop arming Israel’s massacres against the Palestinian people by ending U.S. military funding to Israel. Real justice will not begin until we do.
US Campaign for Palestinian Rights
Adalah Justice Project
American Federation of Ramallah, Palestine (AFRP)
American Muslim Bar Association
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
Americans for Justice in Palestine Action (AJP Action)
Center for Constitutional Rights
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
Episcopal Peace Fellowship – Palestine Israel Network
Fellowship of Reconciliation USA
Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA)
Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
Health Advisory Council of Jewish Voice for Peace
Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions-USA (ICAHD-USA)
Jetpac Resource Center
Jewish Voice for Peace Action (JVP Action)
Media Education Foundation
Methodist Federation for Social Action
Middle East Children’s Alliance
Movement for Black Lives
Muslim Peace Fellowship
Muslims for Just Futures
National Arab American Women’s Association (NAAWA)
National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP)
Palestinian American Organizations Network (PAON)
Promoting Enduring Peace
Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice
Rethinking Foreign Policy
Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)
Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East
United Church of Christ Palestine Israel Network
United Methodists for Kairos Response (UMKR)
US Boats to Gaza
US Palestinian Community Network (USPCN)
USA Palestine Mental Health Network
Veterans for Peace
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, US
Local or State-Based Organizations:
Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine
Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights
Arab American Caucus of California Democratic Party
Arab American Civic Council
Arab Jewish Partnership for Peace and Justice in the Middle East
Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC)
Brooklyn For Peace
Bryn Mawr Peace Coalition
California Scholars for Academic Freedom
Chicago Faith Coalition on Middle East Policy
Christian-Jewish Allies for a Just Peace in Israel/Palestine
Corvallis Palestine Solidarity
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) – Washington
Dallas Palestine Coalition
DC Statehood Green Party
Delawareans for Palestinians Human Rights
Episcopal Bishop’s Committee for Justice and Peace in the Holy Land, Diocese of Olympia
Friends of Palestine Wisconsin
Friends of Sabeel – Colorado
Greater Lansing Peace Education Center
Green Mountain Solidarity With Palestine
Historians for Peace and Democracy
Human Rights Awareness: Palestine Israel/MA 3rd CD (HRA:PI/CD3)
Indiana Center for Middle East Peace
Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) – Bay Area
Jewish Voice for Peace – Austin
Jewish Voice for Peace – Bay Area
Jewish Voice for Peace – Boston
Jewish Voice for Peace – Central Ohio
Jewish Voice for Peace – Chicago
Jewish Voice for Peace – Cleveland
Jewish Voice for Peace – Detroit
Jewish Voice for Peace – Hudson Valley
Jewish Voice for Peace – Los Angeles
Jewish Voice for Peace – New Haven
Jewish Voice for Peace – New York City
Jewish Voice for Peace – Pittsburgh
Jewish Voice for Peace – Sacramento
Jewish Voice for Peace – Seattle
Jewish Voice for Peace – South Bay
Jewish Voice for Peace – Tacoma Washington
Jewish Voice for Peace – Tucson
Jewish Voice for Peace – UCLA
Jews Say No!
Justice for Palestine – Syracuse
Kairos Puget Sound Coalition
LA Jews for Peace
Lutherans for Justice in the Holy Land
Madison-Rafah Sister City Project
Marin for Palestine
Massachusetts Peace Action
Mid-Missouri Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR)
Mid-Missourians for Justice in Palestine
Middle East Crisis Committee – Connecticut
Middle East Crisis Response
Minnesota BDS Community
Monterey Peace and Justice Center
Muslim Students’ Association at University of Michigan
Nevada Green Party USA
No Rights/No Aid
Northfielders for Justice in Palestine/Israel
Olive Branch Fair Trade Inc.
Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace
Pacific Green Party
Palestine Solidarity Committee at University of San Diego
Palestinian American Community Center of New Jersey (PACC NJ)
Palestinian Rights Committee of New York’s Capital Region
Partners for Palestine
Peace & Justice Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago
Peace & Planet News
Peace Action New York State
Peace Action of San Mateo County
Peace Education Center
People for Palestinian-Israeli Justice – Long Beach, CA
Pittsburgh Palestine Solidarity Committee
Progressive Jews of St. Louis (ProJoSTL)
Quakers Palestine Israel Network
Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism (QUIT!)
Rochester Witness for Palestine
Sacramento Regional Coalition for Palestinian Rights
San Antonio for Justice in Palestine
Social Justice at Trinity Episcopal Church Asbury Park
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Social Justice Committee
Students for Justice in Palestine – Berkeley Law
Students for Justice in Palestine – Butler University
Students for Justice in Palestine – Rutgers New Brunswick (SJP-NB)
Students for Justice in Palestine – UVA
Texas Arab American Democrats
The Whatcom Peace and Justice Center
Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East – Ann Arbor
Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East MA Chapter
Utahns for a Just Peace in the Holy Land
Valley View Church
Vancouver for Peace and Justice – Vancouver, WA
Vermonters for Justice in Palestine
Veterans For Peace – Linus Pauling Chapter 132
Veterans for Peace – New Hampshire Chapter
Veterans For Peace – NYC
Veterans for Peace – Rachel Corrie Chapter
Veterans For Peace – Santa Fe Chapter
Veterans For Peace – Spokane Chapter #35
Virginia Coalition for Human Rights
Voices for Middle East Peace
Washington Advocates for Palestinian Rights
Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice, and the Environment
Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club
WESPAC Foundation, Inc.
Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom – St. Louis chaper
Yemeni Liberation Movement
This past week, nine Palestinians were murdered in the West Bank city of Jenin by Israeli forces. I went to one of WNPJ’s member groups, Madison–Rafah Sister City Project, to learn more about the massacre in Jenin and the current plight of the Palestinian People.
“2022 was the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank in nearly 20 years, with the most deaths since the United Nations began recording fatalities in 2005. The new, far-right Israeli government and its forces remain adamant about continuing, if not increasing, their brutality. We're only 26 days into 2023, and Israel has already killed 30 Palestinians, including five children—setting a pace to double the murder of Palestinians in 2022.”
The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project is a wonderful website, full of good endeavors like creating housing, playgrounds, providing fresh food and clean water as well as hosting educational events and providing well-written articles on BDS and more. How to Help will bring you additional information and offer ways for you to be involved.
I have deep appreciation for the efforts of our member groups that keep us informed and inspired. May Peace Prevail.
Shooting follows a deadly Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank’s Jenin refugee camp that killed nine Palestinians.
A gunman has killed at least seven people near a synagogue in an Israeli settlement in occupied East Jerusalem before being fatally shot, in an escalation of violence following a deadly Israeli military raid in the West Bank a day earlier.
After Friday’s shooting, the Magen David Adom emergency service said it was treating 10 wounded, some in critical condition.
“What we understand happened was a car pulled up at the front of a synagogue, a gunman got out and opened fire,” Al Jazeera’s James Bays reported from the scene of the attack in the illegal Israeli settlement of Neve Yaakov.
“The figures we have now are seven people dead,” said Bays, adding that police said the suspect had no previous “security record”.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. The emergency response agency reported a total of 10 gunshot victims, including a 70-year-old man and a 14-year-old boy.
TV footage showed several victims lying on the road outside the synagogue being tended to by emergency workers.
“I heard a lot of bullets,” Matanel Almalem, an 18-year-old student who lives near the synagogue, told the AFP news agency.
An earlier police statement said there was a “terror attack in a synagogue in Jerusalem” and that “the shooting terrorist was neutralised [killed]”. Police later said the suspect was a 21-year-old resident of East Jerusalem.
The attack comes a day after a deadly Israeli raid in the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. Nine Palestinians were killed, including an elderly woman, after dozens of Israeli soldiers attacked a house the army said contained suspected fighters, leading to several hours of intense confrontations.
A 22-year-old Palestinian man also was shot by Israeli forces in the town of al-Ram, north of Jerusalem, on Thursday.
Gaza fighters then fired rockets and Israel carried out air raids overnight, but the exchange was limited.
‘A natural response’
Hazem Qassem, a spokesperson for Hamas, the Palestinian faction that controls the Gaza Strip, told the Reuters news agency that Friday’s attack was “a response to the crime conducted by the occupation in Jenin and a natural response to the occupation’s criminal actions”.
Qassam did not claim the shooting. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad also praised but did not take responsibility for the attack.
Israeli military raids in the occupied West Bank have become an almost daily occurrence over the last year with at least 200 Palestinians — fighters and civilians — killed. Israeli civilians and troops also have been killed in attacks by Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territory.
Seven people have been shot dead at a synagogue in East Jerusalem, the most killed in an attack of this kind for years. At least three more people were injured.
The incident happened in the city's Neve Yaakov neighbourhood at about 20:15 local time (18:15 GMT).
Police described the attacker as a "terrorist" and said he had been "neutralised".
Local media identified him as a Palestinian man from East Jerusalem.
Speaking at the scene, Israeli police commissioner Kobi Shabtai called it "one of the worst attacks we have encountered in recent years".
Israeli worshippers had gathered for prayers at the start of the Jewish Sabbath in a synagogue in the Jewish settlement and were leaving when the gunman opened fire. Police say that officers then shot him dead.
Forensic teams are investigating a white car that appears to have been driven by the gunman.
Palestinian militant groups praised the attack, but did not say one of their members was responsible.
The attack was celebrated by Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with rallies and the handing out of sweets.
The attack happened on Holocaust Memorial Day, which commemorates the six million Jews and other victims who were killed in the Holocaust by the Nazi regime in Germany.
"To attack worshippers at a synagogue on Holocaust Memorial Day, and during Shabbat, is horrific. We stand with our Israeli friends," British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly wrote on Twitter.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said: "The United States condemns in the strongest terms the horrific terrorist attack."
President Joe Biden talked with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and offered all "appropriate means of support", the White House said.
Shortly after the incident, Mr Netanyahu visited the site, as did the controversial far-right National Security Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir.
Mr Ben-Gvir promised to bring safety back to Israel's streets but there is rising anger that he has not yet done so, says the BBC's Yolande Knell in Jerusalem.
Tensions have been high since nine Palestinians – both militants and civilians – were killed during an Israeli military raid in Jenin in the occupied West Bank on Thursday.
This was followed by rocket fire into Israel from Gaza, to which Israel responded with air strikes.
January 26, 2023
This morning, Israeli forces murdered at least 9 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin. They bombed homes, tear-gassed a hospital children's ward, shot at residents, and prevented access to medical aid. This unhinged massacre is the most violent Israeli invasion of the Jenin Refugee camp since 2002.
This Sunday, Secretary Blinken is going to Palestine to meet with the new Israeli government. Rather than another photo op with empty political slogans, it’s incumbent upon him to use this trip to announce a shift in US policy toward Israel.
We demand President Biden and Secretary Blinken make a clear public statement that the actions of the Israeli government will not be tolerated or funded by our tax dollars. It’s time for the U.S. to stop its foreign aid to Israel.
2022 was the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank in nearly 20 years, with the most deaths since the United Nations began recording fatalities in 2005. The new, far-right Israeli government and its forces remain adamant about continuing, if not increasing, their brutality. We're only 26 days into 2023, and Israel has already killed 30 Palestinians, including five children—setting a pace to double the murder of Palestinians in 2022.
While the brutal invasion of Jenin’s refugee camp is not an exception to the new Israeli Knesset, its outward, right-wing extremism, and determination to violence against Palestinians should be an immediate trigger for the United States to finally take a firm stand against the apartheid government.
AMP unequivocally condemns the United States’ absurd and tone-deaf call to Palestinians to continue security coordination instead of condemning Israel’s crime and massacre. If the Israeli government expects this massacre to pave the way for annexations within the West Bank, they must rest assured that it will not be accepted by the Palestinian people, by Americans, and nor should it be accepted or enabled by the U.S. government. It’s overdue for the United States to stop enabling Israel's violence against the Palestinian people, and put an immediate end to Israel's settler-colonial, apartheid system.
Jenin & London — Nine Palestinians have been killed during an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank – the deadliest in years – Palestinian officials say.
A woman aged 61 was reported among the dead in the flashpoint town of Jenin.
The Israeli military said its troops went in to arrest Islamic Jihad militants planning “major attacks”.
The Palestinian presidency accused Israel of a “massacre” and later announced it had ended co-ordination with Israel on security matters.
A 10th Palestinian was meanwhile shot and killed during a confrontation with Israeli troops in the town of al-Ram, near Jerusalem, as residents protested against the Jenin raid, Palestinian officials said.
Jewish radicals convicted of hate crimes are collecting tax-exempt donations from Americans
Yosef Haim Ben David, center, arrives at court in Jerusalem on March 22, 2016, during his murder trial in the death of a 16-year-old Palestinian boy. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean, File)
JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli group raising funds for Jewish extremists convicted in some of the country’s most notorious hate crimes is collecting tax-exempt donations from Americans, according to findings by The Associated Press and the Israeli investigative platform Shomrim.
The records in the case suggest that Israel’s far right is gaining a new foothold in the United States.
The amount of money raised through a U.S. nonprofit is not known. But the AP and Shomrim have documented the money trail from New Jersey to imprisoned Israeli radicals who include Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin and people convicted in deadly attacks on Palestinians.
This overseas fundraising arrangement has made it easier for the Israeli group, Shlom Asiraich, to collect money from Americans, who can make their contributions through the U.S. nonprofit with a credit card and claim a tax deduction.
Many Israeli causes, from hospitals to universities to charities, raise money through U.S.-based arms. But having the strategy adopted by a group assisting Jewish radicals raises legal and moral questions.
It also comes against the backdrop of a new, far-right government in Israel led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, where ultranationalists and extremist lawmakers have gained unprecedented power.
Blinken headed to Mideast as US alarm over violence grows
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