Nine Palestinians killed in Israeli raid in Jenin

 

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.

Extreme Israeli group takes root in US with fundraising bid

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.


    ISRAEL

  • Blinken headed to Mideast as US alarm over violence grows

  • Palestinians: Israeli troops kill 10 in West Bank violence

  • Israel’s Herzog urges EU to fight resurgent antisemitism

  • Israel’s high-tech economic engine balks at govt policies

    Continue reading

Virtual Discussion on Corporate BDS Organizing

I am writing to invite you to join Omar Barghouti and me for a virtual discussion on corporate BDS organizing this Thursday, January 26 at 11 am ET/10 am CT/6 pm Palestine. 

Adalah Justice Project has played a key role in campaigns to compel corporations like Ben & Jerry’s to withdraw their complicity from Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people. This webinar gives us an opportunity to reflect with Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the BDS movement, on what these campaigns have accomplished and what more we can do together to advance BDS wins.

This event is hosted by our friends at Al-Shabaka and will be moderated by Al-Shabaka’s Nadim Bawalsa. 

We hope you will be able to join us this Thursday, January 26.

You can register for the webinar here.

Warmly,

Sandra Tamari
Adalah Justice Project

 

Harvard Reverses Course on Advocate Who Criticized Israel

Blocking the former head of Human Rights Watch stirred debate over academic freedom and donor influence


Kenneth Roth, the former director of Human Rights Watch, in New York last April. The Harvard Kennedy School recently reversed its early decision to reject his fellowship application because of his criticisms of Israel. (Todd Heisler/The New York Times)

Jennifer Schuessler and Marc Tracy, New York Times, Jan. 19, 2023

The Harvard Kennedy School reversed course on Thursday and said it would offer a fellowship to a leading human rights advocate it had previously rejected, after news of the decision touched off a public outcry over academic freedom, donor influence and the boundaries of criticism of Israel.

The controversy erupted earlier this month, when The Nation published a lengthy article revealing that last summer, the school’s dean, Douglas Elmendorf, had vetoed a proposal by the school’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy to offer a one-year fellowship to Kenneth Roth, the recently retired executive director of Human Rights Watch. At the time, Elmendorf told colleagues that he was concerned about perceptions that Human Rights Watch had a bias against Israel, according to two faculty members.

The revelation prompted sharp rebukes from prominent free expression groups; a letter signed by more than 1,000 Harvard students, faculty and alumni criticizing what it called “a shameful decision to blacklist Kenneth Roth”; and private complaints from faculty.

In an email to the Kennedy School community on Thursday, Elmendorf said his decision had been an “error” and the school would be extending an invitation to Roth.

Elmendorf, an economist who served as director of the Congressional Budget Office from 2009 to 2015, also pushed back against the charge that donors had influenced his initial decision, which was suggested in the Nation article and reiterated in public statements by Roth.

“Donors do not affect our consideration of academic matters,” he said in the statement. “My decision was also not made to limit debate at the Kennedy School about human rights in any country.”

He did not specify why he had rejected Mr. Roth’s fellowship except to say that it was “based on my evaluation of his potential contributions to the school.”

As for Roth, who after Harvard’s about-face accepted an offer from the University of Pennsylvania, where he is now a fellow at Perry World House, Elmendorf said, “I hope that our community will be able to benefit from his deep experience in a wide range of human rights issues.”

Roth, reached by phone after the reversal was announced, said he was pleased by the decision, which he attributed to “overwhelming” concern from the faculty, and that he would use the fellowship to work on a book about his decades of human rights advocacy. But he also called for more transparency.

“Dean Elmendorf has said he made this decision because of people who ‘mattered’ to him at the university,” Roth said, referring to published accounts by faculty members. “He still refuses to say who those people who mattered to him were.”

And he called on Harvard to make a stronger commitment to academic freedom, including for people who aren’t in a position to mobilize public opinion.

“Penalizing people for criticizing Israel is hardly limited to me,” he continued. “What is the Kennedy School, and Harvard more broadly, going to do to show this episode conveys a renewed commitment to academic freedom, rather than just exceptional treatment for one well-known individual?”


The Harvard Kennedy School, a public policy school in Cambridge, Mass., is home to a dozen research centers, including the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. (Kayana Szymczak)

The incident was the latest flare-up in the ongoing debate about when criticism of Israel shades into antisemitism, and when charges of antisemitism, in turn, are used to shut down criticism.

In interviews (and on Twitter), Roth, a Jew whose father fled Nazi Germany as a child, said that Elmendorf’s initial decision reflected the influence of those who seek to delegitimize Human Rights Watch, which has monitored abuses in more than 100 countries, as an impartial observer on Israel. And he has described it as a case of “donor-driven censorship,” though he said he had no proof.

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Kuffiyeh Contingent at the National March on Madison

Show your support for Palestinian women during the January 22 National Women’s March in Madison! Join the Kuffiyeh Contingent and stand with us in the State Capitol Rotunda.

Madison Rafah Sister City Project plans to be in the Rotunda of the State Capitol near the State Street entrance at 1:00 pm.

Wear your Kuffiyeh (we’ll have some available to buy or borrow) and bring a Palestinian flag and signs that celebrate the strength and resilience of Palestinian women at this important event.

Event info at National Mobilization on Madison – BIGGER THAN ROE

We hope to see you there!

Note: This is a change from the original plan to assemble on the Library Mall.
 

U.S. Palestinian Rights Group in Federal Appeals Court 

Confronts Challenge to Human Rights Advocacy

  

Last week a U.S.-based Palestinian rights organization asked the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by the Jewish National Fund and several U.S. citizens who live in Israel. Citing the speech and expressive activities of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, including its support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, the lawsuit  had argued that the group provided “material support” for terrorism. 

In dismissing the suit in March 2021, the lower court said the arguments were, “to say the least, not persuasive.” The suit is part of a broader effort to criminalize and silence the political activities of supporters of Palestinian rights, advocates say. 

“The worldwide movement for Palestinian freedom is growing,” said Ahmad Abuznaid, Executive Director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights. “USCPR’s work to advocate for Palestinian human rights is a critical part of that freedom struggle, or else right-wing forces allied with the Israeli government would not be repeatedly trying to silence us. All the more reason to keep up our work to build toward justice for all.”

Visit our website to learn more.

Distorted Definition: Redefining Antisemitism to Silence Advocacy for Palestinian Rights

One of the primary tactics opponents of the movement for Palestinian freedom have used to silence political debate is the branding of all support for Palestinian rights as anti-Jewish. Roughly half of the incidents of suppression Palestine Legal responds to each year include false accusations of antisemitism, totaling 895 incidents from 2014 to 2020.   

In an effort to add legitimacy to this tactic, Israel lobby groups have employed distorted definition of antisemitism that encompasses virtually all criticism of Israel and have attempted to entrench this definition through policy changes and legislation. 

This page tracks the evolution of the cynical ways Israel lobby groups have abused the definition and the definition’s impact on advocates for Palestinian rights.

We invite you to explore the following components:

 
2004 – 2008

Origins of a Politicized Redefinition

After decades of attempting to smear Palestine advocacy with false antisemitism accusations, Israel lobby groups develop a new Israel-centered definition of antisemitism. It is adopted by an EU body, and the U.S. State Department cites it in a report.

  • The European Union Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) begins working with the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and other Jewish and Israel advocacy groups to expand the definition of antisemitism. The AJC encourages inclusion of criticism of Israel in this redefinition.

    At the same time, Israeli politician Natan Sharansky creates the “3Ds Test” which defines “delegitimizing,” “demonizing” or “applying double standards” to Israel as examples of antisemitism.

  • Continue reading

Join the Kuffiya Contingent at the National March on Madison

    January 22, 2023
    Rally on Library Mall 12:00-12:45
    March to the Capitol Building 1:00-1:45
    Speakout at the Capitol 1:45-4:00

Show your support for Palestinian women during the January 22 National Womens March in Madison! Join the Kuffiya Contingent and walk with us as the March moves to the Capitol.

Madison Rafah Sister City Project will be on the steps of The UW Library facing Library Mall at Noon. Wear your Kuffiya (we’ll have some available to buy or borrow) and bring a Palestinian flag and signs that celebrate the strength and resilience of Palestinian women at this important event.

Event info
National March on Madison
Kuffiya Contingent at the Madison Womens March
Patti Smith and Over 600 artists worldwide sign #MusiciansForPalestine letter
 

Zoom: Dilemmas of Rebuilding Gaza

A Conversation between Sara Roy and Salem Al Qudwa

Thursday, January 12, 11 a.m. CT

AFSC will host regular webinar conversations with Palestinian writers from our anthology Light in Gaza: Writings Born of Fire in 2023.

In our first webinar in January, Dr. Sara Roy and Salem Al Qudwa will discuss development and rebuilding in Gaza. The webinar will focus largely on Al Qudwa’s work as an architect, and his chapter “Ethical Implications of Environmental Design on Affected Communities in the Gaza Strip,” in Light in Gaza: Writings Born of Fire. They will address what recovery and rebuilding has looked like in Gaza after Israeli bombing campaigns. What are the challenges and obstacles rebuilding Gaza? What are the opportunities? 

Salem Al Qudwa is an award-winning architect and university lecturer, exploring everyday architecture as a resource for positive social transformation. He is a Fellow in Conflict and Peace at the Harvard Divinity School, and contributor to the book Open Gaza: Architectures of Hope (American University in Cairo Press, 2021). 

Sara Roy is a senior research scholar at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. A distinguished political economist, she is the author of numerous books on Gaza, including Unsilencing Gaza: Reflections on Resistance (Pluto Press, 2021), and The Gaza Strip: The Political Economy of De-development (1995). 

Accommodations: This webinar will take place on Zoom from 12 to 1 PM EST. To request accommodations such as captioning, please contact our meeting support team at events@afsc.org.
 

Masafer Yatta Instagram Live!

Tune in to learn how you can stand in solidarity with Palestinian people as they defend Masafer Yatta from Israel’s violence. We’ll be joined by Sami Huraini, a Palestinian activist and co-founder of Youth Of Sumud / شباب صمود, based in Masafer Yatta.

Since June of 2022, the Israeli regime has been demolishing multiple homes and an elementary school for Palestinian children in Masafer Yatta. The Palestinian people in Masafer Yatta have existed and tended to their land for generations. Now, within a matter of minutes, Israeli forces could uproot the lives of nearly 1,000 Palestinian people in Masafer Yatta through demolitions, arrests, and constant attacks on their lives.

Please be sure to join us on Monday at 7:00 PM Palestine time/12:00 Noon ET to learn how you can help defend Masafer Yatta. Our collective action can and will make a difference, and it is up to us to show up for Palestinian people now and for future generations.

#DefendMasaferYatta