DNC Delegates Demand Apology from the Biden Campaign

Attacks on Palestinian-American Delegate Linda Sarsour

After DNC delegate and Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour spoke at an official DNC event of the Muslim Delegates and Allies Assembly on August 18th, 2020, Andrew Bates, a spokesperson for the Joe Biden campaign, issued a statement saying,

“Joe Biden has been a strong supporter of Israel and a vehement opponent of anti-Semitism his entire life, and he obviously condemns her views and opposes BDS, as does the Democratic platform. She has no role in the Biden campaign whatsoever.”

As Palestinian-American delegates and allies, we stand by our fellow Palestinian-American delegate Linda Sarsour and condemn any effort to exclude elected national DNC delegates from official DNC events. We reject efforts to marginalize and demonize the Palestinian narrative. We also call upon the Democratic National Committee to renew its commitment to its own core principles of equality and justice for all.

The DNC seeks to represent an inclusive and diverse population and should not discriminate against any segment on the basis of ethnicity, religion or political dissent. The vast majority of Democratic voters are calling for accountability, including BDS as a nonviolent form of curbing Israeli violations and challenging Israel’s impunity. The statement by the Biden campaign has willfully dropped the reference to freedom of speech from its platform language quote in the rush to malign, condemn and exclude Sarsour. Such an attack goes against the principles of the Democratic Party and the 2020 Democratic Party Platform to end systemic racism and to build a coalition.

While we recognize the prevalence of anti-Semitism, criticism of Israel must not be conflated with anti-Semitism. Israel has repeatedly violated international humanitarian law and human rights as well as American international aid conditionality. Moreover, Jake Tapper of CNN has a history of singling out Palestinian-Americans, Muslim-Americans and anyone who stands behind Palestinian human rights or criticizes the Israeli occupation.

This disavowal of Linda Sarsour reeks of misogyny, anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian bigotry. It provides a false shield for Israel’s human rights abuses. The Biden campaign must not follow the lead of the Trump administration and should rise above these attacks and make a concerted effort to be inclusive and represent the collective vision for a truly democratic Party.

Palestinian-American delegates and allies demand an immediate retraction and apology from the Biden campaign that smeared a prominent Palestinian-American activist, undermined her constitutional right to free speech, and weaponized anti-Semitism to silence the just critique of Israeli oppression of Palestinians.

Sincerely,

Palestinian American Delegates
Huwaida Arraf, MI Delegate (CD-10)
Zeina Ashrawi Hutchison, VA Delegate (CD-10)
Samia Assed, NM At-Large Alternate (CD-1)
Summer Awad, TN Delegate (CD-2)
Sam Hindi, CA Delegate (CD-14)
Hatem Natsheh, TX Delegate (SD-25)
Emad Salem, TX Delegate (SD-10)
Murad Sarama, CA Delegate (CD-6)
Ibraheem Samirah, VA At-Large Delegate (CD-11)
Endorsed by the following delegates to the 2020 Democratic National Convention:
Abdul-Khabir, Kareema – CA Delegate, CD-8
Ahmad, Nadia – FL Delegate, CD-7
Alexander, Cory – ID Delegate, CD-1
Ali, Faiza – NY Delegate, CD-10
Alvarez, Roberto – CA Delegate, CD-38
Aszterbaum, Joey – CA Delegate, At-Large
Bagheri, Aaron – CA Delegate, CD-24
Baker, Dana – CA Delegate, CD-4
Beall, Elise – CO At-Large Delegate
Beichler, Amber – VA Delegate, At Large
Bellanca, Jay – NY At-Large Delegate
Bernal, Karen – CA PLEO Delegate, CD-6
Beyer, Timothy – CA Delegate, CD-43
Bignell, Mark – MI Delegate, CD-4
Bishop, Heather – OR Delegate, CD-4
Blochowiak, Patricia – OH Delegate, CD-11
Bonge, Sam – AZ Delegate, CD-8
Britto, Lisa – FL Delegate, CD-10
Brown, Michele – FL Delegate, CD-18
Caballero, Josie – CA Delegate, CD-53
Cea, Sergio – PA PLEO Delegate
Choudhury, Leila – VA Delegate, CD-5
Chrisliquori@gmail.com
Chu de León, Chris – TX Delegate, SD-13
Corley, Troy – CA Delegate, CD-26
Cramer, Gina – TX Delegate, SD-26
Culver, Jon – WA Delegate, CD-1
Davis, Mina – TX Delegate, SD 5
De Delva, Namcy – NY Delegate, CD-5
Dean, Amy – VA Delegate, CD-7
Derton, Robin – TX Delegate, PLEO Delegate, SD-5
Dinkin, Leah – CO Delegate, CD-2
Dlugosz, Anne – Delegate, Democrats Abroad
Dominguez, Silvia – MA Delegate, CD-05
Dunbar, Melissa – WA Delegate, CD-6
Dupont, Aimee – MA Delegate, CD-2
East, Shana – IL Delegate,
Enriquez, Ivan – CA Delegate, At-Large CD-46
Espinosa, Giancarlo – FL Delegate, At Large
Ester, Lesley – CA Delegate, CD-2
Evans, Stevevonna – CA Delegate, CD-33
Farokhia, Sudi – CA Delegate, CD-45
Farokhnia, Sudi – CA Delegate, CD-45
Fleming, Joanne – WA Delegate, CD-5
Foley, Linda – TX Delegate, SD-12
Garcia Centeno, Krystal – IL Delegate, CD-11
Garcia, Brandon – TX PLEO Delegate, SD-19
Giardinelli, Bryan – CA Delegate, CD-42
Gibson, Emily – OR Delegate, CD-2
Gloria, Ernesto – TX Delegate, SD-9
Gonzalez, Ana – CA Delegate, CD-35
Gonzalez, Elizabeth – CA Delegate, CD-46
Gordon, Patrick – IL Delegate, CD-8
Hassan, Syed – TX Delegate, SD-22
Hastings, Erika – TN Delegate, CD-8
Hernandez, Thomas – WA Delegate, CD-3
Hicks, Jared – MA Delegate, CD-7
Hill, Lauren – NC At-Large Delegate
Hoyt, Margie – CA Delegate, CD-43
Huntley, Paul – CA Delegate, CD-19
Huynh, Katherine – CA Delegate, CD-43
Ibarra, Antonio – IL Delegate, CD-11
Isak, Barbara “Babs” – UT Delegate, CD-3
Jiang, Zhenzhen – CA Delegate, CD-14
Johnson, Cavla – FL Delegate, CD-15
Johnson, Heather – CA Delegate, CD-31
Johnson, Valerie – TX Delegate, SD-9
Hanieh Jodat Barnes – CA Delegate, CD-45
Joyce, Rommy – CA Delegate, CD-19
Jun Nawabi, Aleena – CA Delegate, SD-52
Kain, Matthew – MI Delegate, CD-14
Kang, Mani – CA Delegate, CD-46
Kaur, Gurdeep – CA Delegate, CD-40
Kessel, Michelle – TX Delegate, SD-25
Khan, Varisha – WA Delegate, CD-1
Khoury, Kari – CA Delegate, CD-9
Klemmer, Isabel – WI Delegate, CD-6
Knight, Mary Ann – TX Delegate, SD-10
Langford, James – FL Delegate, CD-7
Larranaga, Chris – NM Delegate, CD-1
Lee, Briana – MN Delegate, CD-5
Lefebvre, Lyndsey – CA Delegate, CD-39
Lim, Cheng-Sim – CA Delegate, CD-28
Liu, Melanie – CA Delegate, CD-18
Ly, Ricky – FL Delegate, At Large
Lynch, Nita – CO Delegate, CD-1
MacLeod, Duncan – MI Delegate, CD-3
Manos, Michelle – CA Delegate, CD-29
Mansoor, Nabila – TX Delegate, SD-18
Maro, Anthony – CO Delegate, CO-5
Martin, Beth – WA Delegate, CD-9
Martin, Grayson – CA Delegate, CD-52
Martinez, Eduardo – CA Delegate, CD-11
McClain, Christopher – CA Delegate, CD-31
McCord, Kathleen – NM Delegate, CD-1
McGrath, Bob – CO Delegate, CD-7
McLain, Brian – IA Delegate, CD-3
Merritt, Madeline – CA At-Large Delegate
Meyer, Katie – CA Delegate, CD-53
Moffa, Jamie – MO Delegate, CD-1
Mohammed, Sabina – TX At Large Delegate, SD-22
Moran, Kate – WA Delegate, CD-46
Moreno, Gabriel – MD Active Alternate Delegate, CD-2
Moxley, Kyle – MI Delegate, CD-8
Nasrullah, Mohammed – TX Delegate, SD-11
Nguyen, Lisa – OH Delegate, At Large
Nygard, Dorothy – CA Delegate, CD-10
O’Hea, Justin – NJ Delegate, CD-12
Ocampo, Christina – CA Delegate, CD-8
Okuzumi, Margaret – CA Delegate, CD-17
Omeish, Abrar – VA PLEO Delegate, CD-11
Orgel-Olson, Shawn – CA Delegate, CD-20
Palma, Dayja – TX Delegate, SD-22
Parr, Andrew – VA Delegate, CD-8
Patterson, Kevin – TX Delegate, SD-30
Perkel, Leah – WA Delegate, CD-3
Pfeiffer, Mindy – CA Delegate, CD-27
Phillips, Gregory – FL At-Large Delegate
Pierce, Eric – CA Delegate, CD-28
Ramos Rios, Virginia – NY Delegate, CD-7
Ramos, Stacey – CA Delegate, CD-35
Rawson, Katherine – UT Alternate Delegate
Recendez, Denis P. – CA Delegate, CD-32
Rehmani, Tasneem – CA Delegate,
Reynolds, Samantha – CO Delegate, CD-2
Rizvi, Maha – CA Delegate, CD-42
Rodriguez, Maya – CA Delegate, CD-41
Rodriguez, Tisa – CA Delegate, CD-41
Roemer, Katy – CA Delegate, CD-13
Saines, Koran T. – VA PLEO Delegate, CD-10
Scoville, Carrie – CA PLEO Delegate, CD-44
Shaughnessy, Christian – CA Delegate, At-Large
Shepherd, Jeri – CO Delegate,
Shergill, Amar – CA Delegate, CD-7
Shimizu, Christine – CA Delegate, CD-30
Siddiqui, Aftab – TX Delegate, CD-6
Siddiqui, Zahid – CA Delegate,
Smith, Benjamin – TN Delegate, CD-02
Smith, Megan – ME Delegate, CD-2
Solomon, Norman – CA Delegate, CD2
Sondahl, Birrion – CO Delegate, CD-2
Stevens, Karen – CA Delegate, CD-26
Sukaton, Samuel – CA Delegate, At-Large
Sullivan, Maureen – IL Delegate, CD-3
Summervillle, William Moses – CA Delegate, CD-48
Talevski, Susie – IN Delegate, CD-1
Tatlock, Nina – FL PLEO Delegate,
Taylor, Tarah – TX Delegate, SD-15
Terpening, Stephanie – MI Delegate, CD-4
Terrazas, Stephanie – CA Delegate, CD-39
Thompson, Victoria – CA Delegate, CD-7
Torres, Nelly – PA Delegate, CD-11
Touati, Khalid – TX Delegate, SD-16
Toy, Shirley – CA Delegate, CD-6
Ty, Yaddi – WA Delegate, CD-2
Uddin, Nazim – NC Delegate, At-Large
Usman, Sameena – CA Delegate, CD-17
Valladares, Victor – CA Delegate, CD-48
Vazquez, Juan – CA Delegate, CD-10
Verhey, Molly – WA Delegate, CD-08
Wang, Anlin – PA Delegate, CD-3
Ward, Kenneth – ID Delegate, CD-2
Weekley, Dakin – FL Delegate, CD-26
Wells, Marley – FL Delegate, CD-1
Williams, Susana – CA Delegate, CD-9
Winograd, Marcy – CA Delegate, CD-24
Wong, Audrey – CA Delegate, CD-33
Woodhall, Adam- FL Delegate, At Large
Wright, Lissette – Delegate, Democrats Abroad
Wunderly, Maggie – IL Delegate, At Large
Youngblood, Brandon – CA Delegate, CD-9
Zaman, Rubina – TX Delegate, SD-11
Zeisel, Jodi – OR Delegate, CD-3

Breaking! Fordham University is still trying to silence Students for Justice in Palestine


July 27, 2020

July 27, 2020, New York –  Students asked New York’s Appellate Court on Friday to reject an effort by Fordham University to overturn a decision ordering the school to recognize the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) club. The students are represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights, Palestine Legal, and cooperating counsel Alan Levine. 

“It’s ridiculous to us that our university is still trying to censor us now,” said Veer Shetty, vice president of SJP at Fordham. “We’ve already been active for a year, and appealing the court’s ruling feels especially cruel.”

The original case stems from a fall 2015 effort by Fordham University students to start a Students for Justice in Palestine club on campus. Administrators dragged out the application process for a year – including multiple meetings, questioning students on their political views, and amendments to SJP’s constitution.

In November 2016, Fordham’s undergraduate student government approved SJP as a student club. One month later, Fordham University Dean of Students Keith Eldredge took the unprecedented step of vetoing the student government’s approval based on SJP’s “political goals” and the possibility it would lead to “polarization.” 

The Center for Constitutional Rights, Palestine Legal, and Alan Levine sued Fordham on behalf of four students in April 2017, winning the case in August 2019 when a New York court annulled Fordham’s decision, mandating that the university recognize SJP as an official club. 

Fordham appealed the ruling in January 2020. Oral argument is expected in the Court’s September term.  

While all of the original students who wanted to form SJP have since graduated, petitioner Veer Shetty was successfully added to the suit in 2019 as a sophomore who wanted to join SJP.   Shetty has served as SJP’s vice president during the 2019-2020 school year following the legal victory. Fordham is also challenging the ruling accepting Shetty as a petitioner. 

“Last August, the court found that Fordham acted irrationally in banning SJP and ordered Fordham to recognize the club,” said Maria LaHood, deputy legal director at the Center for Constitutional Rights. “Now, even after SJP has been active on campus for a year, Fordham is still shamelessly trying to stop them – for what?”

The brief filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights, Palestine Legal, and Alan Levine argues that the lower court properly found that Fordham violated its own rules in denying SJP club status and that Fordham’s focus on the reported conduct of SJPs at other schools in denying club status to SJP at Fordham was irrational. 

“Fordham should never have vetoed SJP in the first place,” said Palestine Legal senior staff attorney Radhika Sainath. “The fact that the school is still trying to stop students from speaking out for Palestinian freedom, now, with annexation and in the middle of a pandemic, is beyond belief.” 

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Release Palestinian bodies for burial

Even in death, we are not free – we are held hostage in a frozen medical lab in Israel.

The Israeli military murdered Ahmed Erekat, a deeply loved 27-year-old son, brother, and fiancé, on June 23rd. He was shot and killed as he was running errands for his sister on her wedding day. His body is currently being held hostage at the Greenberg National Institute of Forensic Medicine, which is part of Tel Aviv University. His mother and father simply want to say goodbye to their child and lay their son to rest, but the Israeli government is refusing to return him to his family unless they promise not to bring a legal case against the Israeli soldier who murdered their boy.

The L. Greenberg National Institute of Forensic Medicine is part of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler School of Medicine, which has a New York State/American program that is registered and accredited as a New York State medical school.

The Greenberg Institute is complicit in this crime, when they could instead force the Israeli government to return this body to the family by refusing to cooperate in holding it hostage.

This is an urgent call to faculty, universities, and all honourable people around the world to boycott and cut ties with Tel Aviv University & the Greenberg Institute until they end their complicity in this crime, and Ahmed and other detained Palestinian bodies are freed, without stipulation, to their families and loved ones for burial.

Please sign this petition, then share it on your social media profile tagging your academic institution and insisting that they cut all ties with the Greenberg National Institute and Tel Aviv University until they return the corpses of all detained Palestinians to their families for a proper burial and to cease the practice of withholding corpses of Palestinians immediately.

Currently, there are frozen corpses of 63 Palestinians withheld in the Greenberg Forensic Institute or other Israeli police morgues, without any promise for return.

This is not the first time the Greenberg National Institute is complicit in holding the detained dead bodies of killed Palestinians, often dissecting them without the family’s permission. The Institute admits a history of unauthorized removal of organs, bone and tissue from Palestinians’ bodies. And similarly, this is not the first time Israel withholds a murder victim to blackmail their families before allowing them to bury their loved ones.

Israel uses the Palestinian dead as ransom. Since the 1960s, Israel has killed and confiscated hundreds of Palestinian bodies and withheld them in clandestine cemeteries within closed military zones, refusing to return them. In September 2019, the Israeli High Court re-affirmed that the state has the right to withhold Palestinian bodies as a political bargaining chip.

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Letter to Biden (and Trump) Campaigns Regarding Israel and Palestinian Rights

This letter, signed by more than 100 progressive, anti-war, and faith-based U.S. organizations, urges presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden (and Donald Trump) to adopt a principled foreign policy towards Israel and the Palestinian people based on justice, freedom, equality, and human dignity. 

Endorsers of the letter include American Friends Service Committee, American Muslims for Palestine, CODEPINK, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Demand Progress, If Not Now, Jewish Voice for Peace, Just Foreign Policy, Kairos USA, PAX Christi USA, Peace Action, and Win Without War.

The letter comes in the context of the 2020 Democratic primaries having experienced a monumental shift in leadership positions towards the state of Israel and the Palestinian struggle for freedom. Despite this, on May 19, the Biden campaign released a revolting statement of support for Israel and Jewish Americans. The letter began by conflating American Jewry with support for Israel. It promised to continue attacking the nonviolent boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement, bragged about having increased military assistance to Israel at the end Obama’s term, and referred to Palestinian “choices” to commit violence. 

Within days of the May 19 Biden campaign statement being released, so much backlash had accumulated that the degrading language of Palestinian “choices” had been removed. This signals an opportunity for us as progressives to influence and shift policy positions regarding Palestinians and Israel. We hope that this letter representing millions of Americans helps do that. See the letter to Trump here

Add your organization here! 


Palestinians stand in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en nation

The TransCanada Coastal Gaslink pipeline aims to steal Wet’suwet’en land, use resource extraction to solidify control over Indigenous territories, destroy the environment and violate Indigenous laws.

Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), February 13, 2020

From the occupied Palestinian territory, we stand in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en nation and land defenders at the Unist’ot’en Camp and Gidimt’en who continue to resist Canada’s colonial incursions of their unceded territories.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society that leads the global BDS movement, sends a message of support to your struggle.

We call on the Palestine solidarity movement in Turtle Island and elsewhere to stand with the Wet’suwet’en nation.

As Palestinians, we have firsthand experience with a colonial power, Israel’s regime of occupation, colonization and apartheid, that systemically works to dispossess, divide and strip us of our lands and resources.

We know too well, from our own experience, that the TransCanada Coastal Gaslink pipeline aims to steal Wet’suwet’en land, use resource extraction to solidify control over Indigenous territories, destroy the environment and violate Indigenous laws. We also know that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) attacks, sanctioned by the Trudeau government, against the Hereditary Wet’suwet’en leadership, matriarchs and land defenders, are used to violate Indigenous sovereignty. The RCMP is employing tactics and equipment similar to Israel’s government, including Caterpillar bulldozers, to seize indigenous lands.

We are deeply grateful for the Wet’suwet’en people for their indomitable spirit, and their tireless defence of the land and water resources. We stand firmly with you in your struggle for your land and ancestral rights.

Palestinians owe the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island a great debt for teaching us how to resist settler colonialism generation after generation through your powerful resistance, grace and indomitable spirit.

The BNC is committed to building stronger ties of solidarity between our peoples and movements, and we will work with our partners in Turtle Island to make this a reality.

From Palestine to Wet’suwet’en, we stand united with you in the struggle against settler colonialism, racism, corporate criminality and your inalienable rights for justice and self-determination.

We would be honoured to welcome you in Palestine, when the time is right.

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BDS Victory: Liverpool FC reject Puma sponsorship

Palestine Solidarity Campaign, 1/13/20

Thank you to the hundreds of supporters who wrote to Liverpool FC about our #BoycottPuma campaign!

Amidst growing international pressure for sports teams to boycott Puma over their complicity with Israeli war crimes, we’re delighted that Liverpool FC have rejected Puma’s kit sponsorship offer. Please join the campaign and help get other clubs to #BoycottPuma.

Join the #BoycottPuma campaign

Take action and demand UK football clubs ditch Puma. Use our template letter to send a message to football clubs calling on them to end sponsorship deals with Puma. Just follow this link.

Boycott Puma

Puma is the main sponsor of the Israel Football Association (IFA), which includes football clubs based in illegal Israeli settlements on stolen Palestinian land. All Israeli settlements are considered war crimes under international law.

As one of the world’s top athletic apparel makers, Puma’s sponsorship brings international legitimacy to the IFA and helps maintain its direct involvement with violations of human rights and international law off the field.

More than 200 Palestinian teams have called on Puma to end its support for Israel’s military occupation by terminating its sponsorship deal with the IFA.

BOYCOTT Puma until they end their sponsorship of Israeli Apartheid.

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BDS impact in 2019

Mahmoud Nawajaa, BDSMovement.net

The anti-Palestinian Trump Administration and Boris Johnson government are more than ever directly engaged in Israel’s desperate war of repression on advocacy for Palestinian rights and the BDS movement in particular. Thanks to your support, our BDS movement for freedom, justice and equality continued to grow in scale and impact in 2019.

Here are just a few highlights of BDS impact in 2019:

    South Africa, whose citizens brought apartheid to an end through protests and boycotts, officially downgraded its relations with Israel.

    Leading European trade unions – the European Federation of Public Services Unions, representing eight million people, and the UK’s Trades Union Congress, representing six million people – called for suspending the EU-Israel free trade agreement or ending arms sales to Israel.

    Major international companies – Australia’s Macquarie, Canada’s Bombardier, France’s Alstom, and Germany’s Siemens – withdrew from bidding to build Israel’s illegal settlement railway on stolen Palestinian land in occupied East Jerusalem.

    Support grew among US progressives and liberals for BDS and the right to boycott. Polls show 44% of Democratic voters supporting BDS. 80% of Democrats oppose laws penalizing people boycotting Israel, and 72% of all Americans oppose such laws. Democratic lawmakers introduced a historic House resolution affirming the right to boycott, and the Democratic Socialists of America committed to national BDS organizing.

    More artists – authors, actors, musicians and visual artists– cancelled performances and/or stated their support for the cultural boycott of apartheid Israel. More than 150,000 people, hundreds of artists and over 100 LGBT+ organizations joined our calls to boycott Eurovision 2019 in Tel Aviv. Only 10% of the expected tourists showed up.

    Campaigns for a military embargo against Israel grew and won victories. The French insurance giant AXA partially divested from Israeli arms company Elbit Systems. 200 organizations and individuals representing the Global South united in a call for a military embargo against Israel.

    2019’s annual Israeli Apartheid Week featured more than 200 events, across 30 countries, on five continents.

    In Europe, more progress was made towards banning goods and services produced in Israel’s illegal settlements. Oslo’s City Council banned procurement of settlement products. The European Court of Justice ruled that settlement goods must be accurately labeled. Ireland’s Parliament passed a bill to ban settlement goods, moving the ban closer to becoming law.

    Support grew for the academic boycott of Israel and for campus divestment. An NYU department and the Pitzer College Council in the US, New Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University and The British Society for Middle Eastern Studies all adopted boycott measures. A Brown University corporate responsibility advisory committee recommended the university divest from companies complicit in Israel’s oppression.

    The US Episcopal Church, with 1.7 million members, voted to divest from Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions and Israel Discount Bank over involvement in Israel’s human rights violations.

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