TAA Statement on Palestine: “A Call for Palestinian Liberation”

TAA Statement on Palestine: “A Call for Palestinian Liberation”

The following statement was written and approved by the general membership of the TAA on November 15th, 2023.

A Call for Palestinian liberation

WHEREAS The Teaching Assistants’ Association (TAA; AFT [American Federation of Teachers] Local 3220) recognizes that the Zionist Israeli state is a reactionary tool of Western imperialism, funded for their own cynical aims. Israel can accurately be described as an apartheid state, as documented by many human rights experts and organizations, including UN officials, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International agree with this description.

WHEREAS Israel’s response to Hamas’ attack has been indiscriminate and disproportionate violence toward Palestinians. As of November 13, 2023, Israel has murdered over 11,000 Palestinians, nearly half being children. Upon his recent resignation, the Director of the New York Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Craig Mokhiber, stated that Israel’s actions are “a textbook case of genocide.”

WHEREAS Israel’s bombing campaign has been carried out without regard for the lives of hostages, further exposing the cynicism of justifications based on the October 7 attack. Similarly, American liberal and progressive politicians continue to cry crocodile tears for the victims of Hamas and remain silent on the victims of Netanyahu.


WHEREAS Israel’s genocidal attacks are exacerbating the inhumane living conditions and mass unemployment in Gaza. The civilians of Palestine deserve fundamental human rights, including, but not limited to, security, freedom from foreign occupation, access to housing, clean water, healthcare, and employment. 

WHEREAS The October 9 press release from AFT National, titled, “US Education Leaders Condemn Hamas Attack, Stand with Israeli People,” and the resolution recently adopted by [American Federation of Teachers]–Wisconsin (AFT–W) inadequately condemn Israel’s colonialist regime and fail to acknowledge colonialism as the root cause of the current conflict. These statements fail to use the terms, “colonialism,” “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “genocide” to characterize Israel and its actions, which is out of step with several human rights experts/organizations and undermines the severity of Israel’s oppression. Furthermore, these statements fail to call on the US government to halt the sale and funding of arms for Israeli forces. Unless we address the core of this conflict and end our support for the Israeli offensive, the US will remain complicit in the occupation and genocide in Palestine. Given the status quo of US support for Israel’s oppression of Palestine, the shortcomings of AFT’s statements make them pro-Israel and anti-Palestine by default. Therefore, be it;

RESOLVED The TAA considers Israeli and Western imperialism ultimately responsible for the recent violence.

RESOLVED The TAA condemns Israel’s settler colonialism, apartheid, occupation, ethnic cleansing, and genocide in Palestine. We condemn Israel’s indiscriminate bombing of Gaza, which has been a death sentence for thousands of innocent Palestinian civilians and has displaced over a million more. This collective lethal punishment breaks international law and constitutes war crimes.

RESOLVED We call for the collective liberation of the Palestinian people from Israeli oppression. 

RESOLVED We stand in solidarity with the following people:

  1. The people of Palestine, who have suffered at the hands of US, British, and Israeli imperialism for over 100 years;
  2. Palestinian trade unions who have called on the international working class to take action in the face of Israel’s assault on Gaza and the mass killing of the Palestinian people;
  3. Israeli workers and unions who break with their ruling class to stand unconditionally on the side of the oppressed;
  4. The many Jewish workers around the world who condemn Zionism and stand steadfast with Palestinians;
  5. Victims of oppression on the basis of religion or ethnicity around the world including victims of rising islamophobia and antisemitism.

RESOLVED We demand the US government and the Biden administration use all available diplomatic means to end the genocide of Palestinians, including but not limited to ending all funding and arms sales to the Israeli government. We must immediately end our moral and material support for Israel’s human rights abuses and war crimes.

RESOLVED We condemn the US veto of a ceasefire resolution brought forward by Brazil to the UN Security Council to allow humanitarian aid to enter Gaza. We are appalled that the US was the only country to veto the resolution. Although a ceasefire doesn’t go nearly far enough, this is the bare minimum that we expect from the UN.

RESOLVED We call on workers in the US to organize to halt any production and shipment of weapons to Israel. Organized action and the building of mass movements by the international working class will be necessary to end the occupation. We should take inspiration from the two Intifadas, as well as the American workers who have already physically obstructed the shipment of arms to Israel from ports in the Northwest.

RESOLVED We demand that the University of Wisconsin system direct the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) to divest the ~$512 million (as of 2021) that the UW system has invested in BlackRock, the massive US-based asset manager that owns large portions of weapon manufacturers and military contractors such as Boeing ($5.42 billion), Lockheed Martin ($5.13 billion), Northrop Grumman ($3.06 billion), and General Dynamics ($2.47 billion). These US companies manufacture the weapons, jets, and surveillance systems that the Israeli government uses to kill Palestinians.

RESOLVED We demand that AFT retract its endorsement of genocide enabler Joe Biden for US president in 2024 given his administration’s complicity in war crimes. He is a particularly ruthless cheerleader of Israeli war crimes, even among the American ruling class. The same should be done for all endorsements of anti-Palestine politicians.

RESOLVED The TAA action commits to the following actions:

  1. Mobilize our membership to participate in rallies, protests, and marches in support of Palestine, including but not limited to: hosting events, amplifying Palestinian voices (including by supporting SJP events and by supporting the demands of the BDS movement in a reiteration of the TAA’s existing position), and to contact representatives in support of a ceasefire in Gaza and for collective liberation for the Palestinian people.
  2. Continue to recognize that an injury to one is an injury to all, and that the American working class will never be free while Palestine is in chains;
  3. Refuse to support politicians and parties that oppose Palestinian liberation;
  4. Call on the labor movement as a whole to mobilize its resources to fight American imperialism on all fronts.
  5. Protect and support all workers and organizations (such as Students for Justice in Palestine and Madison for Palestine) who face retaliation due to their support for Palestinian liberation.



















Unite now to stop #GazaGenocide and start dismantling Israeli apartheid!

Let’s make November 29th a global day of action to stop #GazaGenocide

Tomorrow, November 29th, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the #BDS movement is calling for an all day social media storm. Our physical and digital actions can be used together to strengthen our demands:
  • Permanent ceasefire and lifting the siege to stop Israel’s genocide in Gaza.
  • Lawful sanctions on Israel, including a #MilitaryEmbargo.
  • Pressure on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue arrest warrants for Israeli leaders.

Click here for prepared messages and images to use for the social media storm.

Millions of you have taken to the streets for the largest protests the world has seen in the last 20 years! We are grateful to each one of you who, through your voices and creative actions, have built up unprecedented grassroots power to end Israel’s genocidal war against 2.3 million Palestinians in the besieged and occupied Gaza Strip. 

You have shown meaningful solidarity with Palestinian rights by pressuring governments to take action and hold those responsible and complicit in Israel’s genocide in Gaza accountable. Across the Global South – from South Africa to Colombia – several states have cut diplomatic ties with Israel or expelled or recalled their ambassadors. Others have referred Israel’s war criminals to the International Criminal Court. 


Yet, Western governments are continuing to arm, fund and provide political cover for Israel’s genocide, promoting a new doctrine of unaccountable, unmasked, and extreme violence  against  those  who  challenge  Western  powers  and  their  interests. Theirs is an alliance of the world’s racist, colonial regimes culminating in the mass murder of Palestinians. 

Time has long run out – we need to turn the scales in favour of people’s power now! 

Ending all state, corporate and institutional complicity with Israel’s genocidal apartheid regime is more urgent than ever. Palestinian lives and livelihoods literally depend on it. To this end, and as time has shown, BDS is the most effective form of solidarity with the Palestinian liberation struggle. 

Under the banner, Unite now to stop #GazaGenocide and start dismantling apartheid!, the Palestinian-led global BDS movement calls for a Global Day of Action on November 29th, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, to end business-as-usual with apartheid Israel. We call for escalating worldwide peaceful mobilizations and expressions of meaningful solidarity to stop the genocide including:

  1. Whenever feasible, organizing peaceful disruptions, sit-ins, occupations, etc. targeting  policymakers, as well as the corporate enablers of genocide and apartheid (arms manufacturers, investment firms), and institutions (media, universities, cultural spaces, etc.).

  2. Disrupting the transport of weapons, or weapon parts, to Israel, including in transit states, by supporting trade unions refusing to handle such shipments, as has been done in Belgium, US, and the Spanish State, and as expressed by trade unions in India, Turkey, Italy and Greece. 

  3. Pressuring parliaments and governments to cancel existing military contracts and agreements with Israel, as Colombia’s president publicly espoused, and as demanded by the BDS movement in Brazil, a demand supported by civil society and more than 60 parliamentarians in the country

  4. Intensifying all strategic economic boycott and divestment campaigns against complicit corporations, and escalating campaigns to cut all ties to apartheid Israel and its complicit academic and cultural institutions as well as sports teams.

  5. Mobilizing your community, trade union, association, church, social network, student government/union, city council, cultural center, or other organization to declare itself an Apartheid Free Zone (AFZ) on November 29th, if it hasn’t already, and organize a solidarity event or action on November 29th.

  6. Pressuring your elected officials, where relevant, through direct communication or collective direct action, to demand real pressure on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to urgently prosecute Netanyahu and all other Israeli officials responsible for genocide, apartheid, and war crimes.

UN Security Council Must Address the Root Causes of the Palestinian Struggle

and Protect the Palestinian People from Retaliatory Israeli Attacks

Date: 8 October 2023

Al-Haq, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights call on the UN Security Council to address root causes and protect the Palestinian people from Israeli attacks. As Member States of the UN Security Council (UNSC) convene to discuss the events unfolding on both sides of the Green Line in Palestine, which started on 7 October 2023, Member States must consider Israel’s 75-year settler-colonial apartheid regime, 56-year illegal occupation, and 16-year unlawful blockade and closure of the Gaza Strip as the root causes of the Palestinian plight. UN Member States hold primary responsibility for the violence in Palestine through their inaction and complicity in Israel’s systematic and widespread violations, and must protect the Palestinian people against Israeli retaliatory attacks.

On 7 October 2023, Palestinian armed groups in the occupied Gaza Strip carried out a number of military operations. Israel has been waging war against the Gaza Strip since its illegal occupation in 1967, and for over 16 years has declared the entire Gaza Strip a “hostile entity”, imposing a land, air and maritime closure, and subjugating Palestinians therein to measures of collective punishment, in violation of international law. In this time, Israel has carried out at least Six massive military offensives since 2008, which have rendered the Gaza Strip uninhabitable. Between 2010 and 2019, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) recorded 3,624 Palestinians and 203 Israelis killed, and 103,207 Palestinians and 4,642 Israelis injured, in the decade.

While third States are fast condemning the military actions of Palestinian armed groups, UNSC Member States need to be reminded of the number of missed occasions they had to prevent the escalation of violence. For decades, since it established its illegal occupation, Israel has failed to uphold its duties as Occupying Power, has entrenched its settler-colonial apartheid regime, prevented the Palestinian people from exercising their right to self-determination and return, and has been committing systematic and widespread human rights violations, amounting to international crimes, against the Palestinian people.


The past two years have been marked as the bloodiest of Israeli violence since the second Intifada. Between January 2022 and 30 September 2023, Israeli occupying forces (IOF) and settlers killed 426 Palestinians, including 89 children from the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT).[1] As of 19 September 2023, Israel arbitrarily arrested 5,200 Palestinians, including 170 children, and 1,264 Palestinians are currently held arbitrarily under administrative detention. Between 2022 and 30 June 2023, OCHA recorded 1,449 settler attacks, while Israeli occupying authorities demolished 436 Palestinian homes, forcibly displacing 1,660 Palestinians, half of whom are children.

The International Court of Justice, in its Advisory Opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (2004), called on third States to uphold their international obligations, including through non-recognition of Israel’s wrongful acts, including the obligation to not contribute to the internationally wrongful acts and the obligation to cooperate to bring the illegal acts to an end. Two decades later, the Wall not only still stands, it has been expanded to appropriate more Palestinian land, creating facts on the ground which have become a fait accompli, de facto annexation. Meanwhile, third States have largely turned a blind eye to their obligations to bring to an end any impediment resulting from the construction of the wall, as well as other violations, which operate to deny the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable right to self-determination.

The failure by third States to uphold the ICJ’s advisory opinion, as well as the numerous UN resolutions, has resulted in Israel’s aggressive and unrestrained construction of illegal settlements, its entrenchment of a discriminatory apartheid regime underpinned by impunity for international crimes. For decades, Palestinians have been calling on the international community to take concrete and meaningful actions, beyond statements of condemnation, to put an end to these violations, including imposing sanctions, arms embargoes and countermeasures against Israel. The international community’s lack of political will to hold Israel to account only emboldens Israel to continue committing crimes against the Palestinian people as a whole.

The ‘Question of Palestine’ remains the permanent responsibility of the UN. As previously reaffirmed by the UN General Assembly (UNGA), “the United Nations has a permanent responsibility towards the question of Palestine until the question is resolved in all its aspects in a satisfactory manner in accordance with international legitimacy”. Notably, the UN General Assembly decision to partition Palestine under Resolution 181 (II) into an ‘Arab’ and a ‘Jewish’ state completely disregarded the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination. When Israel sought membership in the UN in 1949, it promised to respect all relevant UN resolutions. However, Israel has failed to implement every relevant UN resolution, including UNGA Resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, which requires Israel to fulfill the right of return of Palestinian refugees, displaced persons, and exiles, UNSC Resolution 478 of 1980 prohibiting Israel from altering the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and UNSC Resolution 2334 of 2016 demanding Israel to immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.

We remind UNSC Member States of their obligation to protect the two million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, who are at risk of retaliatory Israeli violence. So far, Israel has launched airstrikes, killing hundreds of Palestinians and wounding thousands, bombing residential buildings, has cut off electricity and asked Gaza residents to leave the besieged Strip, which, given the practical impossibility of such, may amount to threats to commit war crimes against civilians. We once more reiterate our call to the UN Security Council to refer Israel’s continuing acts of aggression, including its illegal occupation of the Gaza Strip for investigation to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.

Sixteen consecutive years of Israeli closure and repeated military attacks have driven Gaza into the brink of collapse and produced disastrous socio-economic conditions. Given the current status of Gaza’s crippled infrastructure, that does not allow it to cope with long periods of hostilities, Netanyahu’s reprisals will have far reaching and grave consequences for the medical response, and may arise in grave breaches including willfully causing great suffering to the civilian population. Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Palestinians who hold Israeli citizenship are also at risk of retaliatory Israeli Police and settler violence, and punitive mass arrests.

Given Israel’s decades-long illegal occupation and apartheid, the Palestinian people as a colonized people have a recognized right to exercise full external self-determination and independence from colonial, foreign domination and alien subjugation, as reaffirmed in UNGA Resolution 1514 of 1960 and Resolution 3246 of 1974.

Accordingly, Al-Haq, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights call on the Member States of the UNSC to:

  1. Recognize and condemn Israel’s illegal occupation, settler-colonialism, and apartheid regime as the root causes underpinning the continuous waves of conflict in the territory;
  2. Demand Israel’s immediate, unconditional and total withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territory, as required in UN resolutions since 1967;
  3. Call for the dismantling of Israel’s settler colonial apartheid regime on both sides of the Green Line;
  4. Take concrete steps to ensure the protection of the Palestinian people, particularly in the Gaza Strip, facing retaliatory Israeli attacks;
  5. Sanction Israel’s illegal occupation, apartheid and acts of aggression through the application of an arms embargo, economic sanctions and countermeasures against Israel.

[1] According to Al-Haq’s documentation.
[1] According to Al-Haq’s documentation.


Statement from UK Palestine Solidarity Campaign

I know that like me, you’ve been shocked by events of the past few days and are deeply fearful about what’s yet to come. Israel is preparing to escalate its already intense assault on Palestinians, threatening a ferocity that we have not seen before.

In times like these, the Palestinian people need us, the solidarity movement, to stand shoulder to shoulder with them. Join us as we take to the streets of London tomorrow.

Despite what British political leaders and press may be presenting, the events of the past few days did not come out of nowhere. Palestinians have endured decades of colonial violence and control, mass expulsion, military occupation and apartheid. Generations of Palestinian children have been born into occupation and/or exile.


They have been subjected to constant Israeli military assaults, whether it’s the daily invasions, arrest raids and killings in the occupied West Bank, the mass bombardments of the Gaza Strip, or the indiscriminate violence against Palestinians in the ’48 territory.

Against this backdrop of extreme systematic oppression and deprivation, of course Palestinians will resist, as they always have, in a variety of ways. Over decades they have done this through protests, petitions, and marches; they’ve appealed to the United Nations, the International Court of Justice, and other international bodies; they’ve coordinated and called for BDS campaigns along with their international supporters like us. And yes, over the decades, they’ve sometimes resorted to armed resistance, which is their right, within the framework of international law, as a people under occupation.

International law prohibits attacks on civilians. But those who only condemn such attacks when carried out by Palestinians whilst remaining silent over Israel’s violent imposition of military occupation, which includes the routine killing of civilians, have no moral standing to make such condemnations.  

The reality is that no matter how Palestinians resist, they are demonised and vilified, and Israel will continue to try to isolate them as a way to weaken their resolve. That’s why we must stand with Palestinians as the attacks increase.

We are working in overdrive to respond to this rapidly evolving situation. We’ll be ramping up our Stop Arming Israel campaign, to bring attention to British complicity in Israel’s armed attacks and to build our campaigns to end it. We’ll be holding events at the Labour Party conference to make sure support for Palestinian justice is on the agenda. And we’ll be mobilising for demonstrations and protests over the next few weeks.

The pressure on Palestinians right now is immense—and they need to know they can count on us, the solidarity movement, to be visible, firm in our commitment, and principled in our unwavering support for their freedom.

Please join us at the demonstration on Monday outside the Israeli embassy at 6PM and if you’re able to contribute to the cost of the demonstrations, please chip in here.


We need you on board now as we gear up for what will surely be a horrendous period for our Palestinian comrades.

In Solidarity,



Washington, DC – September 27, 2023: Civil society organizations representing tens of thousands of Palestinian Americans, Arab Americans, Muslim Americans, and allied communities are expressing deep concern and outrage regarding the United States’ decision to admit Israel into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP) despite Israel not fully meeting the requirements outlined by the law.

Israel’s admission to the Visa Waiver Program starkly contradicts the principles of the program itself. Despite being given an answer key to the program’s requirements, Israel has yet to fulfill its obligations. And it has had no incentive to do so. Instead of requiring Israel to comply with the statutory requirement of reciprocity, the agreement signed between the U.S. and Israel completely flouts this principle by allowing Israel to implement different entry procedures that distinguish between U.S. citizens based on ethnicity, the IDs they hold, and various other factors. Compounding this, the U.S. government’s truncated evaluation period provided no real opportunity for assessment. To be clear, adherence to this agreement is not adherence to reciprocity.

We have no faith that Israel will fully abide by the rules and regulations set forth by the Visa Waiver Program, especially after being officially admitted. Many crucial questions about the decision’s ethical implications have been raised, given Israel’s long history of discriminatory actions against U.S. citizens and Palestinians in contravention of the program’s requirements and international law. These ethical concerns underscore the importance of not disregarding a country’s past behavior when considering such privileges.

We call upon the U.S. government to reconsider its decision and prioritize the reciprocity, security, and international cooperation principles underpinning the Visa Waiver Program. The admission of any country into this program must be based on precise adherence to the established criteria and a demonstrated commitment to the program’s core values.

The Biden administration must remember that reciprocity cannot be negotiated or compromised. Concessions that allow Israel to pick and choose which points of entry U.S. citizens can access and implement different entry processes for some Americans not only diminish the integrity of the VWP itself but enshrine discrimination against U.S. citizens into law.


Executive Director of Americans for Justice in Palestine Action (AJP Action) & American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), Dr. Osama Abu Irshaid, said, “This announcement encapsulates the imbalance in the American-Israeli relationship. While Israel continues to violate its obligations under international law and undermine U.S. efforts to attain some kind of a peaceful settlement in the Middle East, which ironically favors Israel, successive American administrations continue to reward Israel for its bad behavior. The Biden administration is no exception in this context. Despite the administration’s repeated condemnation of Jewish settlement expansionist policies in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, Israel has never suffered political consequences.

Israel’s admission into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP) falls in the same context. It cements the conventional wisdom that Israel enjoys the right to and immunity from ignoring America’s demands and damaging its standing in the world. The prevailing view is that the U.S. always backs down in the face of Israel’s arrogance.

In the face of Israel’s intransigence, the Biden administration yielded to its racism, which implemented a discriminatory two-tiered system of entry, especially for U.S. citizens residing in the West Bank and Gaza, contradicting the U.S. principles of reciprocity. This humiliating American concession makes it appear that Israel is doing the U.S. a favor by accepting to join the VWP, not vice versa.”

Nihad Awad, Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) National, said, “It is clear that Israel is not currently in compliance with the Visa Waiver Program admission requirements, and the Biden administration must not rush to admit Israel into the program at the expense of the requirement of reciprocity for all U.S. citizens. CAIR and human rights organizations strongly urge Secretary Blinken and the Biden administration to heed the concerns raised by Palestinian and Muslim Americans and to deny Israel’s admission into the Visa Waiver Program until it can fully comply with all of the requirements and not harass and discriminate against American travelers.”

Abed Ayoub, Executive Director of ADC National, said, “By endorsing a tiered system for U.S. citizens, our government has given its tacit approval to Israel’s prejudiced policies and apartheid actions. This decision broadcasts a stark message: not all American passport holders are viewed equally. ADC does not accept that message and will be using every available option to fight it.”

Hanna Hanania, Government Affairs Committee Co-Chair and Past President of the American Federation of Ramallah, Palestine (AFRP), said, “Although we were repeatedly assured that the core principle of the U.S. VWP is ‘blue is blue’, today’s announcement says otherwise. By admitting Israel into the VWP despite its clear disregard for the program requirements of reciprocity and equal treatment, the Biden administration has compromised both the integrity of the VWP and our rights as Americans. This is unacceptable and should raise alarms not just for Palestinian Americans – but for all Americans who believe that our government should prioritize safeguarding our rights as U.S. citizens. We are disappointed, but not defeated. Now is the time for us to hold our government accountable and make it clear that we will not accept anything less than full reciprocity for all Americans, no matter their ethnicity, religion, or politics.”

Stefanie Fox, Executive Director of Jewish Voice for Peace Action, said, “The Biden administration’s decision to allow Israel’s entry into the Visa Waiver Program is an outrageous endorsement of the Israeli government’s systematic discrimination against Palestinian Americans and a reward to the most extremist, racist government in Israel’s history. Once again, the U.S. is singling out Israel for special and exceptionalized treatment at the expense of the rights of Palestinian Americans. Jewish Voice for Peace Action calls for the immediate reversal of this decision.”

Ahmad Abuznaid, Executive Director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, said, ​​”We learned from the civil rights movement the fallacy of ‘separate but equal.’ Today we are obligated to reject Israel’s inclusion into the Visa Waiver Program because separate is never equal. Palestinian Americans’ tax dollars are just as green, our passports are just as blue, and our rights are just as precious as any other American.”

Salam Al-Marayati, President of MPAC, said, “Israel is not in compliance with the law as it relates to reciprocal treatment for all U.S. citizens, as evidenced by their continued targeting of Americans of Arab descent through travel bans with the absence of due process, seizure of property, harassment, interrogation, and detention at border crossings upon entry and exit. There remains no indication that any policy changes will be implemented to change this status quo. This decision will serve to embolden the Israeli government in its ongoing efforts to target American Muslims, Arab Americans, and Palestinian Americans and exploit the rules in the name of security. It also further damages our credibility as a country that values human rights and equality on the world stage.”

Sandra Tamari, Executive Director of Adalah Justice Project, said, “It is shameful that the U.S. continues to grant Israel not only unfettered impunity for violations of international law and human rights abuses, but also rewards it for its discriminatory policies. The U.S. has admitted Israel into the visa waiver program despite Israel’s continued discrimination against U.S. citizens who are Palestinian. Israel’s discrimination is especially egregious against Palestinian Americans with ties to Gaza, making reunification of families torn apart by Israel’s siege and blockade of Gaza near impossible. Apartheid is not only Israeli policy, it is U.S. policy too.”’

Jehad Abusalim, Executive Director of The Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development, said, “Israel’s designation in the VWP is an endorsement of the actions and rhetoric of its right-wing government, especially given the ongoing challenges and brutal repression faced by Palestinians. Instead of rewards, it’s essential for Israel to be held accountable for its actions and crimes.”

Adam Shapiro, Director of Advocacy for Israel/Palestine at DAWN, said, “Separate can never be equal, as was determined decades ago in the fight for civil rights in this country. Forty countries participate in the VWP, and none have formal arrangements to discriminate against American citizens; only Israel has demanded and been granted this unconscionable favor by the U.S. government.”


Adalah Justice Project (AJP)
Americans for Justice in Palestine Action (AJP Action)
American Muslims for Palestine (AMP)
Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)
Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN)
Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA)
Jewish Voice for Peace Action (JVP Action)
Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC)
Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace (PCAP)
The Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development
US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR)

Statement: The Biden Administration Must Remove Israel from the Visa Waiver Program


Black and white protest graphic reading "STATEMENT: The Biden administration must remove Israel from the Visa Waiver Program," with USCPR logo

Press Contact: Submit a media inquiry here.

WASHINGTON, DC, SEPTEMBER 27, 2023—Since the beginning of the process to admit Israel into the Visa Waiver Program, the Israeli government has continuously violated the rights of U.S. citizens while acting with impunity. Israel’s human rights violations have included murdering two U.S. citizens (Shireen Abu Akleh and Omar Assad), discriminating against U.S. citizens based on their identity, and maintaining dozens of laws that deny equal treatment and full reciprocity to millions of Palestinian people under Israeli military occupation and U.S. citizens from several racial, ethnic, and religious identities.

“We learned from the civil rights movement the fallacy of ‘separate but equal,’” said Ahmad Abuznaid, Executive Director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR). “Today we are obligated to reject Israel’s inclusion into the Visa Waiver Program because separate is never equal. Palestinian Americans’ tax dollars are just as green, our passports are just as blue, and our rights are just as precious as any other American.”

“My family has been discriminated against each time we’ve tried to cross into apartheid Israel to visit our Palestinian homeland,” said Iman Abid, USCPR Organizing & Advocacy Director. “My mother was most recently held at the Israeli airport for eight hours for interrogation, only to deny her boarding. I was also held at the airport for 10+ hours to be interrogated, shamed, and name-called by Israeli soldiers for simply being Palestinian.”

The U.S. government is providing more resources and privileges to an occupying power that consistently violates the rights of U.S. citizens, sells arms and other capabilities to authoritarian nations like Azerbaijan and Myanmar responsible for acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing, and commits atrocities against Palestinians.

“The Biden Administration’s designation of Israel to be admitted into the Visa Waiver Program is a heinous lapse of oversight that relegates U.S. law below Israeli law and exchanges the rights of U.S. citizens for closer ties with an apartheid state that arms authoritarian governments abroad,” said Mohammed Khader, Manager of Policy and Advocacy Campaigns for the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights. “Lawmakers must ensure all snapback measures are triggered toward Israel, as it continues to show a clear and consistent pattern of unequal treatment of U.S. citizens in violation of U.S. law.”

The Biden Administration’s decision to admit Israel into the Visa Waiver Program without fully demonstrating compliance or eligibility was performed in an accelerated period, inconsistent with the Administrative Procedures Act and without appropriate oversight from Congress. This shameful decision emboldens Israel’s institution of apartheid and decades-long military occupation. USCPR urges the Biden Administration to remove Israel from the Visa Waiver Program, and for lawmakers to hold the administration accountable based on relevant precedents.

About the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights

The US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR) is a national network of activists and organizations who are committed to freedom, justice, and equality for the Palestinian people and who work to end U.S. complicity in their oppression. USCPR is a political home for all who believe that freedom for the Palestinian people is an integral part of achieving our collective liberation. USCPR provides resources and strategic support to the U.S.-based Palestine solidarity movement, channeling grassroots power into positive change in U.S. policy and public opinion. USCPR works with local organizers and activists, policymakers, movement leaders, media, and advocacy organizations to advance a rights-based, accountability and justice-oriented framework from the U.S. to Palestine.

READ MORE: “Civil Society Organizations United in Opposition to Israel’s Admission into the Visa Waiver Program”

Bruno Mars: Don’t play apartheid Israel

Top-selling artist Bruno Mars just announced a concert in apartheid Tel Aviv. JVP and numerous movement partners are calling on him to stand with the Palestinian people and cancel his show. 

Countless artists have joined the cultural boycott of Israel, recognizing that the Israeli government uses these concerts to cover up its crimes against Palestinians. 

Together, let’s push Bruno Mars to follow the lead of these artists and stand up for justice. 

Tell Bruno Mars: Don’t play apartheid Israel.

Mars is set to play at Yarkon Park, which was built on the lands of the ethnically cleansed Palestinian village of Al-Shaykh Muwannis. This ethnic cleansing continues today, as the Israeli government escalates its brutality and openly supports the dispossession and killing of Palestinians.

The South African apartheid government also invited big-name musical acts to distract from its abuses. Conscientious artists, then and now, knew that playing a concert in an apartheid state would be used by the government to whitewash its violence. 

Inspired by this history, over 1,500 musicians have joined #MusiciansforPalestine in recent years, refusing to perform in Israel while the state carries out a system of segregation, oppression, and war crimes against Palestinians. 

Let’s push Bruno Mars to add his name to that list.

In solidarity,

Jason Farbman
Digital Director

Tell Bruno Mars to stand for justice and cancel his show in apartheid Israel

Israel is committing apartheid in West Bank, former Mossad chief claims

“In a territory where two people are judged under two legal systems, that is an apartheid state.”

Tell Google: #NoTechForApartheid

Backed by hundreds of community members, Google workers protested yesterday outside Google’s biggest cloud conference of the year to demand that their bosses stop doing business with Israel’s apartheid regime.

Activists from JVP-Bay Area, the Palestinian Youth Movement, and the Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC) chained themselves to the street and pedestrian walkway, calling on Google to drop its contract with the Israeli military and government. Will you sign this petition to stand in solidarity with Google workers and local organizers?

Tell Google: #NoTechForApartheid

This year, Google Cloud is celebrating its first year of profitability — but Google workers and the Bay Area community made it clear yesterday that there is nothing to celebrate as long as Google is profiting off of the destruction of Palestinian lives.

Yesterday’s rally comes a month after Amazon workers and community members rallied at the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Summit in New York City, demanding an end to Project Nimbus, Google and Amazon’s billion-dollar contract to provide the Israeli military with the AI and surveillance technology it uses to oppress Palestinians. 

One thing is clear: Tech workers and community activists will only ramp up their organizing against Big Tech as long as companies like Google continue to power and profit off of Israeli apartheid.

Google and Amazon workers need to know that we have their backs — and we need to show their bosses that we won’t let up as long as U.S.-based tech companies remain complicit in anti-Palestinian violence.

Will you take 30 seconds to tell Google: #NoTechForApartheid?

Dani Noble
Senior Campaigns Organizer

New Masafer Yatta Project: Planting Olive Trees

Dear Friends,

I wanted to let you know that I will be returning to Palestine soon for the September 6th  trial of the settler who assaulted me and fractured my skull this spring.   I also wanted to let you know about an exciting new olive planting project in the village of Tuba.

I am so grateful to everyone who helped me recover – to all of you who helped me pay for medical care, for the excellent care I received in Palestine, and the friends who cared for me so well after the attack.

Now, as I return to Palestine, I am asking once again for your help, encouragement and support — not only for myself, but more importantly for the people there who I’ve grown to love and admire. All too often as I check Instagram and Facebook, I see the faces of  people dear to me — not celebrating births or weddings, but being viciously attacked by settlers living illegally on stolen land, or violently arrested by the Israeli army just for farming and  going about their daily life ON THEIR OWN LAND.

Just days after I was assaulted,  settlers from the same Illegal outpost of Havat Ma’on attacked a shepherd from Tuba village as he grazed his sheep, beating him as he lay on the ground and spraying pepper spray directly into his eyes and face. Over the summer settlers have stolen sheep, crops and land, broken, burned  and uprooted olive trees, forced their way into homes, broken up furniture, destroyed personal belongings, destroyed the village’s well, assaulted shepherds and generally waged a campaign of terror aimed at forcing residents to abandon their village.

None have faced legal consequences, making it abundantly clear that it is only my US citizenship (and your pressure on our elected officials to make that citizenship mean anything) that has resulted in any charges at all against the settler who hit me.

It is especially painful for me to see that in the many online images, in the background or even holding the camera, are the children I have watched grow up and the new generation that has followed.

CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO: Israeli settlers and soldiers prevent Palestinians from using their water well, located on privately owned land in the village of Tuba.

As I head back to Palestine, the new school year is about to begin in Masafer Yatta. Once again what should be a source of joy for children from Tuba and Maghyer al Abeed  will instead mean a terrifying daily walk through lands newly stolen and colonized  by the same settlers who have violently attacked their families throughout the summer, watched by the same soldiers who have repeatedly invaded their homes and arrested their fathers.

Students in Sfai and Jinbah will likely attend class without a school.  Last spring the children of Sfai watched  Israeli bulldozers destroy their school and then the tent put up to replace it. As I write this, Israeli authorities have announced that the Jinbah school could be demolished any day. Indeed, all of the villages within Masafer Yatta are facing complete demolition to make way for Israeli Firing Zone 918 and  Israeli settlers who are moving so aggressively to establish new outposts.

These children need to know they and their families are not alone.  As I get ready to go back, I’m inviting you to help me send that message by sponsoring an olive tree to be planted in Masafer Yatta in the coming growing season, as a practical act of solidarity, and a means of helping families to hold onto their land.

Along with friends from Tuba, I’ve partnered with the Dutch organization Plant An Olive Tree (Plant een Olijfboom) to plant a grove of trees on these lands. In this short video you can see the trees, and hear from my friend Ali on the importance of keeping the olive trees on the land.

CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO (Text is in Dutch, but audio is in English)

Israeli law allows for the seizure of land as “state land” if the landowner cannot prove the agricultural use of it for three years.  The planting of these trees, with international involvement, both replaces  trees destroyed by settlers, and creates proof of cultivation that can help private landowners keep their land in court. Plant An Olive Tree has been working with families in Palestine for decades to replace some of the one million olive trees destroyed by Israeli settlers and soldiers since 2001. I’m grateful to them for helping us to create the Madison-Masafer Yatta Grove and send a living message of support for nonviolent resistance. 

Sponsoring a tree costs 20 euros or about $24 US Dollars. You can use PayPal or a credit card.  Plant an Olive Tree will send a lovely printable certificate of sponsorship by email so you can gift your tree to honor a friend or relative who cares for both freedom and the planet. If you prefer, you can send a check made payable to Palestine Partners or Cassandra Dixon and marked “Olive Grove” to 3579 County Road G, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965. You can also donate through Palestine Partners online HERE .

Finally, I also plan to visit the talented women of Women in Hebron Cooperative, and my dear friend Laila while I am there. WIH provides women in the Hebron area with a way to earn money for their families through the sale of handmade jewelry and traditional Palestinian embroidery. I’m happy to invite you to purchase their lovely products in the US HERE, or click the link below to shop for wonderful gifts for yourself or a friend, and support these hardworking and talented Palestinian women. If you’d like to offer their handmade products at an event, please contact me and I would be thrilled to bring them.

Laila looks on from the entrance to Women in Hebron’s shop as Israeli soldiers fill the streets of Hebron’s Old City market. Photo by amer_shallodi #شاهد_صور

Thank you so much for your care, support and solidarity, and for caring about these people who have become so dear to me,


PS: If you would like to donate towards the cost of travel to Palestine, you can use this go-fund-me link, make a tax deductible donation to Palestine Partners HERE, or use the links below. If you prefer, you can mail a check, made out to either Palestine Partners or Cassandra Dixon, to Palestine Partners, PO Box 8414, Madison, WI 53708.

Will this band play on the ruins of a Palestinian village?

May be a doodle of poster and text
Art by @/majdalrafie on Instagram
On August 29, Imagine Dragons is scheduled to perform in apartheid Israel. The venue the band is set to play at stands on the ethnically cleansed Palestinian village of Jarisha. Jarisha was once a vibrant Palestinian community. After over 200 residents of Jarisha were forced from their homes by Jewish militia in 1948, the land is now a concert hall.
Thousands of artists have refused complicity in Israeli colonialism by canceling their concerts in occupied Palestine. Tell Imagine Dragons to join them in taking a stand by refusing to play on stolen Palestinian land!
Imagine Dragons has used its music to support human rights in the past, advocating for refugees and the LGBTQIA+ community. Right now, the band has the opportunity to stand on the right side of history by supporting Palestinian human rights.
Palestinian civil society has long been calling on artists to skip performing in apartheid Israel, just as conscientious artists refused to perform in apartheid South Africa. The Israeli government uses such concerts to cover up its human rights violations, making artists complicit in their apartheid regime.
Take action now! Ask Imagine Dragons to #ImagineEndingApartheid and advocate for a world where Palestinians are free.
Sign the petition and send an email demanding they cancel their apartheid concert!


The violent lies of Israel’s president

When members of Congress applaud falsehoods about Israel being a vibrant democracy, they are aiding and abetting further oppression of Palestinians.


Israeli President Isaac Herzog at the Federation of Local Authorities conference in Tel Aviv, December 6, 2022. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
Israeli President Isaac Herzog at the Federation of Local Authorities conference in Tel Aviv, December 6, 2022. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Israel’s president stood before a joint session of the U.S. Congress earlier this month and told a story — one the American lawmakers in attendance dearly wished to believe. The sound of their applause filled the room as he described Israel as a “strong and resilient” democracy that “stand[s] for liberty, equality, and freedom.” But wanting to believe a story doesn’t make it true. 

The deception and falsehoods in Isaac Herzog’s story are easily detectable these days. Everyone can see that it is absurd to speak of Israel as a thriving democracy even as hundreds of thousands of Israelis flood the streets to defend their rights and freedoms, fearful of a government that is pushing a racist, conservative, authoritarian, and violent worldview. But Herzog’s story is a lie not because Israel is suddenly in danger of no longer being a democracy, or because of the moves being carried out by extremist ministers in the current government, but because Israel has maintained a racist and discriminatory regime for as long as it has existed. 

To deflect criticism that might expose this lie, Israel raises the false flag of antisemitism to attack Senator Sanders, Congresswomen Jayapal, Tlaib, Omar, Ocasio-Cortez, and anyone else who insists on describing Israeli reality as it truly is: a reality of oppression and ongoing human rights abuses. A reality of apartheid

Over the years, Israel has developed various tools to help it maintain Jewish supremacy. While, as Jewish citizens, we can exercise our rights anywhere in the area Israel controls — whether we live in Tel Aviv or in a settlement in the West Bank — Palestinians’ rights hinge on where they live in the geographical divide-and-rule system Israel imposes and maintains: within the Green Line, in East Jerusalem, in the West Bank, or in the Gaza Strip. 

While Israel allows any Jew anywhere in the world to become a citizen, millions of Palestinians in the diaspora and in their homeland are denied citizenship, even if their parents were born here. Correspondingly, every Jewish citizen gets the right to vote for the Israeli parliament, while over five million Palestinians who live in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip cannot vote in the general elections as they are not considered citizens. 

A billboard by anti-occupation group B'Tselem in Bethlehem, ahead of the arrival of U.S. President Joe Biden's visit to the country, on July 14, 2022. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)

A billboard by anti-occupation group B’Tselem in Bethlehem, ahead of the arrival of U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit to the country, on July 14, 2022. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)

The state has almost total control over land within the Green Line (over 90 percent of it is under state control), and since 1948, it has built hundreds of communities for Jews and almost none for Palestinians. In the West Bank, Israel built more than 200 settlements for Jews and allowed land use to serve the needs of Jews alone. Palestinians, on the other hand, are denied almost any sort of construction and development. 

The Israeli regime’s logic is realized in its most brutal form in the territories it has been occupying since 1967. In the West Bank, the killing of Palestinians is a daily affair, while entire communities are forced to leave their homes due to intolerable living conditions produced by the army’s restrictions and violence on the one hand, and on the other, an increasingly emboldened settler population that descends upon Palestinian villages to carry out pogroms with impunity. Meanwhile, in the Gaza Strip, more than two million people live in inhumane conditions, unable to leave or escape the world’s largest open-air prison

These are not stories, narratives. or opinions. These are facts.

As painful as it may be to admit, it is undeniable that Jewish supremacy is the Israeli regime’s guiding logic, and this isn’t being suppressed or hidden: five years ago, Israel enshrined it as a constitutional principle in Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People. The current government’s founding guidelines are even more explicit: “The Jewish people have an exclusive, indisputable right to the entire expanse of the Land of Israel,” the term used to refer to the whole area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. 

Israeli soldiers shoot tear gas at Palestinian protesters during a protest following Friday prayers at the main entrance to the West Bank town of Dura, south of Hebron, August 4, 2017. (Wisam Hashlamoun/FLASH90)

Israeli soldiers shoot tear gas at Palestinian protesters during a protest following Friday prayers at the main entrance to the West Bank town of Dura, south of Hebron, August 4, 2017. (Wisam Hashlamoun/FLASH90)

An apartheid regime is characterized by one group perpetuating its supremacy and control over another through government practices, laws, and organized violence. The Israeli regime is just that. We pride ourselves on being “the only democracy in the Middle East”; citizens of Apartheid South Africa, a country similarly divided into areas on the basis of race, told themselves and the world that they were “the only democracy in Africa.” They, too, had free and “democratic” elections — for whites only. But again, telling yourself a lie does not make it true. 

When members of Congress stand and cheer falsehoods about Israel being a vibrant democracy, they are not helping us move toward a different future, one based on equality, democracy, and human rights. They are aiding and abetting more oppression and more violence. They are upholding a lie that is turning us into a scared, broken, and cruel society. 

To change reality, you must first recognize it. Instead of applauding fairy tales, the world must recognize reality and help us dismantle the apartheid regime. Because everyone living between the river and the sea deserves to live in a true democracy.

Leading liberal Zionist voices call for ending U.S. aid to Israel

A New York Times Op-Ed featuring liberal Zionist leaders calls to end military aid to Israel as the country passes a law gutting its judiciary. This is the moment people working to end U.S. aid to Israel have been waiting for.

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Gaza Americans Urge Washington To Include Them In Israel Visa Deal

Palestinian Americans Hani Almadhoun and his daughter Zayna sit in their home in Beit Lahiya, in the northern Gaza Strip August 2, 2023. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Wisconsin Muslim Journal, Aug 11, 2023

GAZA, Aug 3 (Reuters) – U.S. passport holders with Palestinian papers and families in Gaza are urging Washington to ensure they are treated equally under a reciprocal deal with Israel intended to insure visa-free travel for American and Israeli citizens.

Israel, facing a Sept. 30 deadline to qualify its citizens for visa-free admission to the United States, said it has loosened access through its main airport and at the occupied West Bank’s boundary for Palestinian Americans, allowing more than 2,000 people to cross into or through Israel.

U.S. State Department officials have said the Visa Waiver Program must apply to all American citizens, including those in Gaza, but a number of Palestinian Americans with Gaza identity papers have said they have been prevented from entering Israel.

Palestinian Americans Hani Almadhoun and his daughter Zayna sit in their home in Beit Lahiya, in the northern Gaza Strip August 2, 2023. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

“As a Palestinian with a Gaza ID I was disappointed it discriminates against people like me. We are specifically excluded from benefiting from this program,” Hani Almadhoun, a Palestinian American visiting family in Gaza, told Reuters.

The severe restrictions imposed by Israel on Palestinians have made qualification for the visa waiver a test for prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, which must show it treats all U.S. passport holders exactly the same, regardless of any other nationality they may hold.

Sitting at his family house in the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya, Madhoun said authorities rejected his request to return home through the Israeli Ben Gurion airport to Northern Virginia, where he lives with his wife and two American-born daughters.

“As an American I think we should have those benefits because Israelis now, even those Israelis who live in illegal settlements are able to come to America without harassment,” he said.

On Thursday, COGAT, the Israeli Defence Ministry agency for liaising with the Palestinians, said on its official website only U.S. citizens holding Palestinian identity card registered in the “Judea and Samaria area”, a term used by the Israeli administration to refer to the West Bank, may enter through any of the international border crossings.

The website said that, by Sept. 15, additional procedures relevant to Gaza strip residents would be published.

Palestinian American Hani Almadhoun holds his U.S. passport as he sits at home in Beit Lahiya, in the northern Gaza Strip August 2, 2023. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

“In these very days, Israel is working on examining an outline for Americans who hold a Palestinian identity card, to enter and leave the Gaza Strip,” a source from COGAT told Reuters. “More details on the subject will be published in an orderly manner in September.”

Speaking to Reuters in Dubai, a Palestinian-American lawyer of Gaza origin said Israeli authorities denied him entry at Ben Gurion, forcing him to return to Dubai, though he had confirmed with the Israeli Embassy in Dubai that he was allowed to fly into Israel though he had a Gaza ID.

“This really shows unfortunately Israeli continuously persistent intentional discrimination and dehumanization of U.S citizens who are Palestinians,” he added.