ADC Statement On The Assassination Of Shireen Abu Akleh

Washington, D.C. | www.adc.org | May 11, 2022 – Early this morning in Jenin, Occupied Palestine, revered Palestinian voice Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian American journalist for Al Jazeera, was assassinated by Israeli Occupation Forces snipers. Her brutal murder was caught on video by other journalists accompanying her as they covered Israeli forces attacking Jenin. This is a war crime by international law, and just another instance of Israel using American tax dollars to further censor and oppress Palestinian voices.

Shireen was an iconic voice that covered the occupation for over 20 years. Her name resonates in every Palestinian home, globally. Those in the diaspora looked to her for news of our homeland. An inspiration for women looking to become journalists themselves, she paved the way for so many to follow in her footsteps, leaving behind a legacy that will continue to outshine the occupation which killed her.

On World Kuffiyah Day, we remember Shireen and the many other Palestinian journalists that put their lives on the line to combat the censorship western media routinely propagates when covering the occupation. We remember the millions of Palestinians living under Israeli apartheid, suffering from forced evictions, ethnic cleansing, and lack of basic human rights.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) calls on the President Biden, Secretary Blinken, and the entirety of the Biden Administration for a full, independent, and international investigation into the assassination of Shireen. Complete transparency and full accountability for this war crime against an American citizen is necessary. Additionally, as Americans we call on the U.S. Government to stop all military aid to Israel, who uses our tax dollars to perpetrate these atrocities. Now is the time to put pressure on the Israeli government and stand up for Palestinian human rights.

Palestinian-American journalist killed by Israel

CODEPINK, May 11, 2022

On Wednesday, May 11, 2022, Israeli soldiers shot and killed 51-year-old Palestinian-American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Shireen Abu Akleh. U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides and State Department spokesperson Ned Price called for a thorough and immediate investigation and for those responsible to be held accountable. But, the U.S., including the Biden administration, doesn’t have a record of holding Israel accountable.

U.S. military aid to Israel should be immediately suspended and Israel must not be allowed to investigate itself.

Sign This Petition

Dear Ambassador Tom Nides and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken,

We the undersigned are horrified, saddened, and outraged at the killing of Palestinian-American veteran journalist  Shireen Abu Akleh by the Israeli military. We call for a thorough investigation — not by Israel — and the immediate suspension of U.S. military aid to Israel. 

Shireen Abu Akleh was covering an Israeli military raid in the Jenin refugee camp when she was shot in the face and killed. She was wearing a blue protective vest and helmet, both clearly marking her as press.

In a video showing the immediate aftermath of Shireen being shot, a man can be heard yelling, “injured! Shireen, Shireen, oh man, Shireen! Ambulance!” Al Jazeera journalist Shatha Hanaysha, also wearing a helmet and vest marked as press, can be seen crouching down trying to reach Shireen but being forced back by Israeli gunfire. The soldiers “did not stop firing even after she collapsed,” Hanaysha said. “I couldn’t even extend my arm to pull her because of the shots. The army was adamant on shooting to kill.”

Following Shireen’s death at their hands, the Israeli military said on Twitter that they were investigating the possibility that Shireen had been killed “by Palestinian armed gunfire.” However, documentation by Israel’s largest human rights organization B’tselem, shows that this was not the case. Israeli military spokesperson Kochav Ran on Army radio accused Shireen and her colleagues of being “ armed with cameras” and Israel’s Foreign Ministry offered to conduct a joint investigation with the Palestinian Authority into Shireen’s “sad death.”

We know all too well from previous times the Israeli military has “investigated themselves” that such actions are a farce. We call for the immediate suspension of U.S. military aid to Israel and a thorough and impartial investigation of Shireen’s murder.

Please see that justice is obtained for Shireen Abu Akleh. 

Sincerely,

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US Rabbis Call for End to Jewish Funding of Israeli Extremism


Extremist Jewish settlers, escorted by Israeli police, march in Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem. (File Photo: via ActiveStills.org)

The Palestine Chronicle, April 8, 2022

19 influential rabbis in New York City have signed a letter accusing a major American Jewish charity of indirectly funding right-wing extremists in Israel, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported on Thursday.

The rabbis called on the $2.4 billion Jewish Communal Fund (JCF) to cease funding to the Central Fund of Israel (CFI), part of a network that funnels donations to Lehava and other violent Israeli groups.

The JCF receives thousands of donations a year and distributes funding according to donor recommendations – including $23 million in “general support donations” to CFI.

During Ramadan in 2021, the extremist group Lehava organized a march through occupied Jerusalem where hundreds chanted “Death to Arabs”, “their villages will burn”, and wounded more than 100 Palestinians without intervention from the Israeli police.

“Lehava, which bases itself in the genocidal philosophy of Meir Kahane, is known for violence against both Palestinians and Israeli Jewish progressive activists,” said the letter from the rabbis, most of whom come from largely progressive Jewish denominations, according to the JTA.

Lehava – a Hebrew acronym that stands for the Prevention of Assimilation in the Holy Land – was founded by followers of the banned Kach movement, a racist group designated as a terrorist organization in Israel, the US and the EU.

The letter was published in response to an escalation in violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, and fears that Ramadan may bring a repeat of Israel’s assault on the besieged Gaza Strip last year, in which more than 250 Palestinians were killed.

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Israeli settlers and police seize part of historic hotel

Petra hotel in East Jerusalem’s Old City is the subject of an 18-year legal battle between the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate and the powerful settler group Ateret Cohanim


An Orthodox Jewish man raises his hand as he walks past the Petra hostel in the Old City of Jerusalem near the Jaffa Gate, 11 June 2019 (AFP)

Mustafa Abu Sneineh, Middle East Eye, 28 March 2022

Israeli police and settlers have taken control part of the historic Petra hotel, the subject of a years-long legal challenge between the Greek Orthodox Patriarch and settler group Ateret Cohanim, in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem.

On Sunday evening, dozens of Israeli policemen and members of Ateret Cohanim moved into the first floor of the hotel, near Jerusalem’s Jaffa Gate.

‘The settlers’ intrusion came without any right and without any legal justification. We are the owners of the right to protect the hotel, which will remain an Arab property’ — Basma Qirresh, owner

The area is part of the Christian quarter in Jerusalem and is located strategically near the western walls of the city, which is thriving with tourists and pilgrims visiting the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Petra has been the subject of an 18-year legal battle between the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate and Ateret Cohanim, a powerful and active settler group that pushes for increased Jewish presence in East Jerusalem neighbourhoods.

In 2004, Ateret Cohanim bought the leases to Petra’s first floor and two other properties owned by the patriarchate in the Old City through three foreign private companies. 

The patriarchate controls the top floor of the Petra which it leases to the Qirresh Palestinian family.

The buildings are highly sought after due to their strategic position in both the Christian and Muslim quarters of the Old City.

On Sunday evening, the Israeli police arrested three Palestinians and prevented the hotel’s tenants, Palestinians and lawyers from entering the building, Wafa news agency reported.

Some Palestinians gathered outside the hotel and performed the evening prayer in protest.

The Qirresh family, who rent the building from the patriarchate and run the hotel, said that the Israeli police and settlers were trespassing on their property.

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We call hypocrisy on PUMA

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), April 6, 2022

PUMA enacted swift measures to hold Russia accountable for its illegal weeks-long military invasion of Ukraine. Yet PUMA has been hiding behind the flimsy excuse of not getting involved in politics for years now to justify its ongoing support for Israel’s decades-long apartheid regime. Take action now to call out PUMA’s hypocrisy. 

Hypocrisy.

That’s the only way to describe PUMA’s actions.

PUMA enacted swift measures to hold Russia accountable for its illegal weeks-long military invasion of Ukraine. PUMA first ended a sponsorship contract with the Russian Basketball Federation and subsequently suspended its operations in Russia.

Yet PUMA has been hiding behind the flimsy excuse of not getting involved in politics for years now to justify its ongoing support for Israel’s decades-long apartheid regime.

Never has PUMA’s “we don’t do politics” excuse fallen flatter. Never has its hypocrisy been more exposed.

Tell PUMA: No more hypocrisy. End support for Israeli apartheid now. 
    

Puma continues to maintain its sponsorship contract with the Israel Football Association, which governs and advocates on behalf of teams in illegal settlements forcing Indigenous Palestinians off their land in the occupied Palestinian territory.

More than 200 Palestinian sports teams have called on PUMA to end its support for Israel’s military occupation. According to a leaked PUMA memo, an increasing number of PUMA’s own business partners and ambassadors are raising ethical concerns.

Take action now to call out PUMA’s hypocrisy.

Hey PUMA, now that you “do politics,” stop supporting illegal Israeli settlements
  

PUMA should take action now to end its complicity in oppression and suffering everywhere. Selective action is just another stain on its tarnished image.

In solidarity,
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)

ps: We’re planning actions ahead of the PUMA shareholders meeting in early May. Mark your calendars and please get in touch if your group would like to join.

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April 12, 2022
Webinar: The Israeli Military Detention System

    11 am Central

Palestinian Prisoners Day is April 17 and this month’s No Way to Treat a Child webinar will discuss the current and historical practices used by Israeli forces to detain and imprison Palestinian children. We will also share ways to build support in Congress for Palestinian human rights. 

Joint project of Defense for Children International-Palestine and the American Friends Service Committee.

April 8, 2022
Film: Jenin, Jenin

    6-7:30 pm
    Room 4281, Helen C. White Library

UW-Madison Students for Justice in Palestine presents the documentary film “Jenin Jenin” about Israel’s massive 2002 assault on the Palestinian camp of Jenin in the West Bank.

Directed by the prominent Palestinian actor (and Israeli citizen) Mohammed Bakri, this classic film has been shown around the world and was banned in Israel.

70 year old Palestinian beaten in the village of A Tuwani

On Thursday Mar 31, 2022 a large Israeli force entered the tiny village of A Tuwani in the South Hebron Hills. They were confiscating a legally registered tractor parked in the privately owned yard of the Raba’i family. A simple machine used by the villagers to traverse the rocky terrain. Mufaddi Raba’i, a 72 year old village elder, protested the confiscation nonviolently with other elders, women, and children.

Raba’i was restrained, thrown to the ground, and beaten in order to facilitate the confiscation. He was taken by ambulance to the nearest hospital. The tractor was confiscated, and will be impounded for weeks until the family can pay the enormous fines to reclaim it. It’s an economic punishment that the village can barely sustain.

We ask – what is the purpose and what is the cost? What can Israel gain by confiscating a tractor, and what price must a 72 year old man pay?

Please watch this video. Please re-tweet or share it on Facebook.

South Hebron Hills Watch is a group of Israeli American volunteers who forged a strong connection with Palestinian residents of the South Hebron Hills and Jewish activists who are providing witness and physical support to these communities. We are not affiliated with any political party or organization but partner with like-minded people and organizations that support nonviolent activity on the ground and amplify the plight of these Palestinian families in the face of a broader effort to remove them from their lands. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

March 30, 2022
Caging Childhood: Palestinian Children in Israeli Detention

8:30 pm Central Online

Hosted by Defense for Children International-Palestine; Amnesty International; Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East/Okanagan.

An online screening of the film Caging Childhood: Palestinian Children in Israel’s Military Detention System followed by a debriefing and question and answer with Shaina Low, the Advocacy Officer with Defense for Children International-Palestine.

Registration and More Info

Navigating our Humanity: Ilan Pappé on the Four Lessons from Ukraine


Israeli warplanes attacked hundreds of towers and civilian ‘targets’ in the Gaza Strip. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

Ilan Pappe, The Palestine Chronicle, March 4, 2022

The USA Today reported that a photo that went viral about a high-rise in the Ukraine being hit by Russian bombing turned out to be a high-rise from the Gaza Strip, demolished by the Israeli Air Force in May 2021. A few days before that, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister complained to the Israeli ambassador in Kiev that “you’re treating us like Gaza”; he was furious that Israel did not condemn the Russian invasion and was only interested in evicting Israeli citizens from the state (Haaretz, February 17, 2022). It was a mixture of reference to the Ukrainian evacuation of Ukrainian spouses of Palestinian men from the Gaza Strip in May 2021, as well as a reminder to Israel of the Ukrainian president’s full support for Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip in that month (I will return to that support towards the end of this piece).

Israel’s assaults on Gaza should, indeed, be mentioned and considered when evaluating the present crisis in the Ukraine. It is not a coincidence that photos are being confused – there are not many high-rises that were toppled in the Ukraine, but there is an abundance of ruined high-rises in the Gaza Strip. However, it is not only the hypocrisy about Palestine that emerges when we consider the Ukraine crisis in a wider context; it is the overall Western double standards that should be scrutinized, without, for one moment, being indifferent to news and images coming to us from the war zone in the Ukraine: traumatized children, streams of refugees, sights of buildings ruined by bombing and the looming danger that this is only the beginning of a human catastrophe at the heart of Europe.

At the same time, those of us experiencing, reporting and digesting the human catastrophes in Palestine cannot escape the hypocrisy of the West and we can point to it without belittling, for a moment, our human solidarity and empathy with victims of any war. We need to do this, since the moral dishonesty underwriting the deceitful agenda set by the Western political elites and media will once more allow them to hide their own racism and impunity as it will continue to provide immunity for Israel and its oppression of the Palestinians. I detected four false assumptions which are at the heart of the Western elite’s engagement with the Ukraine crisis, so far, and have framed them as four lessons.

Lesson One: White Refugees are Welcome; Others Less So

The unprecedented collective EU decision to open up its borders to the Ukrainian refugees, followed by a more guarded policy by Britain, cannot go unnoticed in comparison to the closure of most of the European gates to the refugees coming from the Arab world and Africa since 2015.  The clear racist prioritization, distinguishing between life seekers on the basis of color, religion and ethnicity is abhorrent, but unlikely to change very soon. Some European leaders are not even ashamed to broadcast their racism publicly as does the Bulgarian Prime Minister, Kiril Petkov:

“These [the Ukrainian refugees] are not the refugees we are used to … these people are Europeans. These people are intelligent, they are educated people. … This is not the refugee wave we have been used to, people we were not sure about their identity, people with unclear pasts, who could have been even terrorists…”

He is not alone. The Western media talks about “our kind of refugees” all the time, and this racism is manifested clearly on the border crossings between the Ukraine and its European neighbours. This racist attitude, with strong Islamophobic undertones, is not going to change, since the European leadership is still denying the multi-ethnic and multicultural fabric of societies all over the continent. A human reality created by years of European colonialism and imperialism that the current European governments deny and ignore and, at the same time, these governments pursue immigration policies that are based on the very same racism that permeated the colonialism and imperialism of the past. 

Lesson Two: You Can Invade Iraq but not the Ukraine

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