December 6, 2021
Webinar: “Teaching Hard Truths”

Black and Palestinian Perspectives on
the Power of Education and Action

via Zoom

Who: Dr. Ronda Taylor Bullock, Co-Founder and Executive Director of we are (working to extend anti-racist education), and Dr. Iymen Chehade, History professor at Columbia College, Chicago, and human rights activist

When: December 6, 7:00 PM (Eastern Time Zone)

Dr. Chehade and Dr. Bullock, each from their distinctive perspectives, will share insights from their work in educating for a future of liberation and equity. They will explore the critical value of a structural analysis of oppression, whether that be systemic racism in the American context or systematic oppression in Palestine/Israel. In addition to naming what creates injustice, destruction, and death, they also dream and envision creative possibilities of the life that can be. Join us for an enlightening and inspiring conversation!

Register in advance for this meeting

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Escalating surveillance calls for escalated action: #StandWiththe6

News broke today that NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware has been detected on phones of six Palestinian rights defenders, three of whom work for Al-Haq, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, and the Bisan Center for Research and Development, organizations that Israel recently criminalized.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post has uncovered a massive Israeli military facial recognition program threatening the safety of the Palestinian people, with Israeli military units photographing thousands of Palestinians to track and criminalize everyone from the children to the elderly. Read more in this policy memo.

These developments are part of the Israeli regime’s calculated, systematic acts of repression and violence against the Palestinian people.

Pegasus is a tool of repression, weaponized by authoritarian governmentswhich can gain access to essentially everything on a phone, from activating the microphone to tracking the location. An investigative report released by Front Line Defenders, an international human rights organization, reveals the pattern of Israel’s repressive violence while calling for “an immediate global moratorium on the export, sale, transfer and use of surveillance technology until an adequate human rights regulatory framework is in place.” 

Surveillance tech is a threat against all our communitiesThe Israeli regime exports its weapons and surveillance tech, field-tested on Palestinian people, to oppressive regimes around the worldthreatening everyone’s safety while systematically targeting Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities.

In the words of USCPR’s Executive Director, Ahmad Abuznaid, “We know what repression looks like. The Israeli regime is a separate-and-unequal apartheid state employing every last authoritarian tactic at its disposal, but we know the truth: that liberation is coming and Palestine will be free.

Liberation is coming so long as we continue our collective efforts toward justice. You can take action today by asking the White House and Congress to echo international calls to investigate Israel’s acts of surveillance. The U.S. government must take actionable steps toward accountability while divesting from surveillance technologies that erode our shared human rights. 

Contact the White House & Congress Now

This moment calls for collective action in order to protect our collective safety across borders. In defense of Palestinian human rights and human rights everywhere, continue to demand accountability for Israel’s crimes. 

In solidarity,
SANA SIDDIQ
Manager of Policy & Advocacy Campaigns

P.S. Read these statements from the #StandWithThe6 organizations and the Palestinian Digital Rights Coalition, and uplift their demands for immediate action from the international community. Find more resources to share in this social media toolkit.

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Black-Palestine solidarity is making its way to Capitol Hill

Progressive Black Democrats are reviving a radical tradition of Palestine solidarity in Congress, challenging Black leaders in their own party and Washington’s support for Israeli state violence.

Black Lives Matter protest in Century City, California on June 6, 2020. (Brett Morrison/CC BY 2.0)
Black Lives Matter protest in Century City, California on June 6, 2020. (Brett Morrison/CC BY 2.0)

Alex Kane, +972 Magazine, June 16, 2021

On May 13, something remarkable happened on the floor of the U.S. Congress: 11 Democratic representatives delivered blunt speeches criticizing Israel for its military assault on Gaza and its crackdown on Palestinian protests in Jerusalem. Perhaps the most powerful speeches came from two Black Congresswomen — Ayanna Pressley and Cori Bush — who connected the Black freedom struggle in the United States to the Palestinian movement for liberation.

“When Black Lives Matter protesters took to the streets to demand justice, they were met with force,” said Pressley, who represents the Boston area in Massachusetts. “They faced tear gas, rubber bullets, and a militarized police just as our Palestinian brothers and sisters are facing in Jerusalem today.” Her fellow Congresswoman Bush, who represents St. Louis, Missouri, said “When heavily militarized police forces showed up in Ferguson in 2014… our Palestinian siblings showed up too.”

The speeches signaled the growing prominence of a small bloc of Black Democrats — which includes Reps. Jamaal Bowman and Ilhan Omar, in addition to Bush and Pressley — who are drawing on their support for the Black Lives Matter movement to denounce Israel’s human rights abuses against Palestinians. While there have been past Black Democrats who were openly critical of Israel — figures like former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney — the current crop of Black representatives are more robust in numbers and far more influential within the party and its base.

“My heart instinctively goes out to the minority group that’s being harmed by a government that’s made clear its disdain for them, and it’s why I believe the world needs to value Palestinian life the way that we value Israeli life,” Congressman Bowman, who represents parts of the Bronx and Westchester County in New York, told +972. “When I say Palestinian lives matter, much like when I say Black Lives Matter, I’m highlighting an unjust status quo that inflicts disproportionate harm on a specific group of people.”

‘This is about justice, humanity, and equality’

These stances, though, have also highlighted just how new their brand of politics is in Washington. The sentiments of Bush, Pressley, and Omar — shared by many supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement — remain in the minority in Congress, not only among Black Democrats, but the entire Democratic caucus.

Congresswoman Cori Bush delivering a speech, with Rep. Jamaal Bowman in the background (Courtesy of Rep. Bush)

Congresswoman Cori Bush delivering a speech, with Rep. Jamaal Bowman in the background (Courtesy of Rep. Bush)

In June, after Rep. Omar called for “accountability” for “unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban,” a dozen Jewish Democrats responded with outrage, saying that comparing the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban was “offensive” and “misguided.”

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Seattle Port Demonstration Against Apartheid

Aisha Mansour‎, The Palestine Solidarity Committee – Seattle, June 13, 2021

Thank you for your readiness to mobilize Seattle! After our successful action yesterday and rally today, we have prevented the ZIM San Diego from unloading for another day!

SSA President Edward DeNike has asked the ZIM San Diego to leave the Port of Seattle but ZIM is refusing. Let’s show apartheid profiteer ZIM what people power can do! Stay tuned for more updates. No mobilization tomorrow morning. Text to subscribe to our alerts (833) 584 – 1948.


BDS Is Gaining Momentum With #BlockTheBoat Actions in Oakland and Seattle, Yoav Litvin, Truthout, June 11, 2021

Update: June 4, 2021
Candle Lit Vigil for Palestine




UW-Madison Students for Justice in Palestine
UW Library Mall
8:30 PM

Join us to mourn the lives lost, show solidarity to the Palestinian people, and condemn U.S military aid to Israel.

  • Meet at Library Mall
  • Candle walk up to the Capitol
  • Speakers & Open Mic
  • Number of candles provided for the number of lives lost.
    Bring your flags, signs, and keffiyehs!

    Free and open to the public.

    Update: May 15, 2021
    Palestine Can’t Breathe Demonstration

     

    Reshaping Madison Together Event

    Occupation is a CRIME!

    Right now, near the 73rd anniversary of the Nakba and during Ramadan (Muslims’ most sacred time of the year), the Palestinian village of Sheikh Jarrah is being forcefully “evicted” by Israel as settlers try to STEAL the Palestinian homes. The government-sanctioned theft-in-progress sparked a Palestinian uprising against their brutal oppressors. Since then, at least an estimated 70 Palestinians, including dozens of children, have been murdered by Israel’s death squad, otherwise known as the IDF.

    Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Our struggles are all connected and none of us are truly liberated until the oppressed are liberated worldwide.

    We can’t breathe in part because Palestine can’t breathe. Did you know that American police are trained to use the very same disgusting, inhumane tactics that IDF (Israeli soldiers) uses to terrorize Palestinians on a daily basis? Police brutality in America is directly linked to our government’s unwavering military, financial, and political support of Israel’s fascist regime — and we can stand for it no longer.

    Join us as we stand with our comrades in Palestine fighting for their right simply to exist and to live free from Israeli tyranny. Bring your Palestinian flags, signs, and banners. Don’t forget to wear your keffiyahs!

    #SaveSheikhJarrah
    #FreePalestine
    #EndTheOccupation
    #Nakba73

    Hosted by Reshaping Madison Together

    Barbara Olson and Tsela Barr: Let’s stop funding Israel’s campaign of oppression


    Smoke rises following Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City, Thursday, May 13, 2021. Weary Palestinians are somberly marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, as Hamas and Israel traded more rockets and airstrikes and Jewish-Arab violence raged across Israel. (AP Photo – Adel Hana)

    TSELA BARR AND BARB OLSON, The Cap Times, May 15, 2021

    For the past few weeks, Israel has intensified a provocative campaign of oppression and ethnic cleansing against Palestinians, focused largely but not exclusively on occupied East Jerusalem.

    You can be forgiven if you are unfamiliar with the details, since most of the mainstream U.S. media has studiously ignored them.

    Among the major provocations were: looming theft of more homes in Sheikh Jarrah, a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem long targeted by Jewish settlers for “demographic change;” bulldozing homes in adjoining Silwan; protecting a mob of far right Jews as they walked through East Jerusalem chanting “Death to Arabs”; and repeatedly, violently and for no good reason driving Palestinians out of public areas surrounding the Al Aqsa mosque during the holy month of Ramadan, several times even invading and damaging the mosque itself while beating and gassing those inside.

    Things got so bad that the Palestinian citizens of Israel marched in the thousands past roadblocks into Jerusalem and rallied in their towns and villages, even launching running urban revolts that very much resemble anti-police violence protests here at home.

    Eventually, the Israelis got the response that they foresaw and many probably wanted: rockets fired from Gaza. Now they can unleash their vastly superior, U.S. funded and supported military upon the citizens of Gaza, inflicting damage and casualties in the hugely disproportionate ratio that they are accustomed to. This practice of assaulting the Gaza inmates in their open-air, blockaded prison every few years is publicly referred to in Israel as “mowing the grass.”

    As soon as the first rocket left Gaza, the mainstream press suddenly discovered that “tensions are increasing” and that the “conflict,” which by the way was just labeled by Human Rights Watch as an apartheid system, calls for “restraint on both sides.”

    And then came the predictable pronouncements from the pundits and politicians of all stripes that Israel has “the right to defend itself.”

    Do the Palestinians have a right to defend themselves? Do they have the right to declare, like Black Lives Matter protesters and all human beings the world over, that they have a right to freedom and dignity? That with no justice, there is no peace?

    Underwriting this injustice is massive U.S. aid to Israel, currently $3.8 billion annually, which doesn’t include, for example, private tax exempt donations to Israeli “charities” that are funding and driving the expropriations from Palestinians like the residents of Sheikh Jarrah.

    Every tax-paying citizen in this country is paying for the military equipment that is used to massacre innocent civilians, illegally detain prisoners without charge, including children; destroy homes, seize land and property, and generally make daily life a living hell for Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem.

    In appreciation of this largesse, the Netanyahu government recently told the State Department to butt out of Jerusalem. After the “sugar high” of the Trump years, even the slightest hint of disapproval was too much; Americans are expected to just support Israel no matter what it does.

    What can you do?

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