From Egypt Solidarity: Mass death sentences handed down by a court in Egypt’s Minya province to 529 alleged supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood were reached in a trial which lasted only three days without hearing a case for the defense. According to Ahram Online, defense lawyers’ request for a new panel of judges after raising… Read more »
Posts Categorized: Uncategorized
Something incredibly important just happened at a small college in Pennsylvania.
In response to Harvard Hillel barring an Israeli speaker because the university’s Palestine Solidarity Committee had cosponsored the event atwhich he was to present, the Hillel at Swarthmore College issued a sweeping declaration -that it would allow multiple points of view on Zionism and Palestine within its chapter. In their words,Swarthmore Hillel would be "a religious and cultural group whose purpose is not to advocate for one single political view." It would "host and partner withany speaker at the discretion of itstudent board, regardless of Hillel International’s Israel guidelines," and would do so in the full knowledge that "Hillel International’s Israel guidelines privilege only one perspective on Zionism, and make others unwelcome."
We at the International Jewish anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) welcome this brave and principled declaration from the students of Swarthmore’s Hillel. The Hillel organization has long claimed to represent all Jews on campus. And it has long been a strong supporter of Israel. Through these two positions, it has sought to collapse Jewish identity into Zionism – a maneuver we reject. And so we stand strongly behind these young people’s decision to decouple Jewish communal life from monotone support for Israeli policies, and to make space within their chapterfor the true diversity of opinions on Zionism and the Israeli colonization and occupation of Palestine.
At IJAN, we are inescapably aware of the way Zionist forces have taken over Jewish communal institutions over the past 50 years, thereby welding support for Israeli colonialism onto Jewish community centers, synagogues, and indeed, nearly everywhere Jews come together. We, too, are aware of how Zionists have used the history of Jews and the brutal history of European antisemitism – a history inseparable from European colonial brutality – to shield that outpost of European colonialism fromscrutiny by cloaking it in the shroud of Jewish victimhood. In the process, they wrench and deform a Jewish history of working class, anti-colonial, anti-racist, and indeed anti-Zionist struggle, reshaping, erasing, or instrumentalizing that history to strengthen this sustained settler-colonial project.
by Nora Barrows-Friedman http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/nora/prisoner-solidarity-palestine-pelican-bay Persons incarcerated in Pelican Bay prison in northern California are preparing to go on a mass hunger strike starting today, 8 July, demanding the end of human rights violations including long-term solitary confinement. Palestine activism groups are also launching days of action in support of the US hunger strikers in California, strengthening… Read more »
IJAN Spain protests the clear racism of the Spanish Government against Muslims and its attempt to curry favor with Israel for economic reasons. On January 2, 1492, Catholic Spain defeated the Moors, and shortly thereafter expelled all those who would not convert to Catholicism; many converted. A couple of months later, the Spanish Monarchy demanded that all Jews in Spain (perhaps as many as800,000 at the time) either convert to Catholicism or leave the country. A little over a hundred years later even the descendants of those who converted were expelled – illustrating that this was clearly a question of race, not of religion.
Now Spain is in the process of offering the descendants of those Spanish Jews the right of return no matter where in the world they live. Meanwhile no such offer is being madeto the descendents of the Moors. IJAN Spain declares, "we demand that the rights of the Moorish are equated with those of the Sephardim, and that the full diversity of the Spanish state is recognized, in a symbolic gesture of reparation for damages suffered in the past."
This will send a clear and strong message to Europe and to the southern shores of the Mediterranean, to break down the walls of discrimination, racism and inequality, making the present-day Spanish state an example worthy of the shining legacy of Al-Andalus."
The Conference, held at the School of Oriental andAfrican Studies (SOAS) in London, was hosted by the SOAS Palestinian Societyand drew close to 200 academics and activists from around the world. While allthe presentations were useful, talks by Adam Hanieh and Jamal Juma stand out.Hanieh laid out how some sectors of Palestinian society had in fact actuallybenefited from Oslo (getting jobs and money) and therefore had a vestedinterest in continuing the partnership with Zionism at the expense of theoverwhelming majority of Palestinians. Two presentations by Stop the Wall‘sJamal Juma, a grassroots activist from the West Bank, offered a detaileddescription of resistance on the ground both in the lead up to the Oslo Accordsand continued resistance to fight against the monster that the Oslo Accordshave created.
IJAN’s contributionincluded laying out in detail why we organize as Jews against Zionism, and adescription of our strategy of Joint Struggle against Zionism as part ofbroader movements for justice and using the grass-roots Palestinian resistanceas our point of reference. Otherspeakers explained how in the aftermath of Oslo utilities in the West Bank havebeen integrated into Israeli and settlement distribution systems making itpossible to cut off electricity and water to Palestinians while leaving thesettlements untouched. You can see a video of much of the conference here.
Recently AMCHAInitiative launched false accusations of anti-Semitism at the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS) and the Arab and Muslim Ethnicitiesand Disasporas Initiative (AMED) and is campaigning to have the above groups sanctioned by the SF State University. Below is a letter sent to President Wong by IJAN. Please support GUPS and AMED:
2. Support GUPS statement by signing the petition https://www.change.org/petitions/president-leslie-wong-condemn-baseless-attack-against-gups-and-amed
3. Organize events to educate and publicize the struggle for justice in/for Palestine as an indivisible part of justice for all and insist on our right to academic freedom and campus activism.
(See IJAN’s letter to President Wong and the full statement from AMED and GUPS below)
A standing room only crowd of approximately 150 inOakland, California attended IJAN’s 5th anniversary celebration there to hearspokespeople from several grassroots organizations talk about theirunderstanding and experience of Joint Struggle. While Joint Struggle was thefocus of the meeting, the backdrop was lessons from the prisoner hunger strikesaround the world including in Palestine, Guantanamo Bay and the recently-suspendedprisoners’ hunger strike in California of some 30,000 inmates many of whom arein solitary confinement. As one speakernoted, with the California prisoner statement on ending racial hostilities,"they have organized us!"
Sara Kershnar from IJAN said in the introductionthat Joint Struggle "reflects how we aim to organize and what our commitmentsare." Speaker after speaker made it clear that too often solidarity has beeneither lip-service or pity, not actually working on the basis that struggles ofothers for justice and self-determination are "inextricably linked" andintegral to our own, starting with prisoners around the globe.
The groups who spokefrom the platform included the Palestinian Youth Movement, All of Us or None,the California Coalition of Women Prisoners, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement,the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, the Haiti International SolidarityCommittee, and the Global Women’s Strike. It is important to point out that atleast two of the speakers were formerly incarcerated people themselves, whohave come out the other end, more determined than ever to tear down all thewalls that separate us.
IJAN congratulates Studentsfor Justice in Palestine on an extremely successful context. We wereinspired by all of the incredible work that students across the US are doing. IJANwas honored to speak with the Palestinian Youth Movement and the Malcolm X GrassrootsMovement on the closing panel of the National Students for Justice in PalestineConference, "Beyond Solidarity with Palestine: The Case for Joint Struggle."
The closing session was kicked off by a speaker from Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de AztlánMEChA powerfully articulating themeaning of joint struggle through sharing its commitment to the struggle forPalestine in the context of its broader work. Nadia Barhoum and Mira Nabulsiof PYM, Sanyika Bryant of MXGM and Sara Kershnar of IJAN spoke to theimportance of organizing in support of Palestinian self-determination in acontext that builds the power of all of our movements to confront our sharedenemies. The well received panel featured a detailed discussion of what joint struggle is and is not and offered studentsand other organizers questions to ask themselves as they are doing their work.
We look forward to working closely with student organizersin the future and left the conference heartened and inspired by the powerfulwork happening inside a climate of intimidation and the targeting of students.
While part of this year’s Stop the JNF Campaign’s Plant-a-Tree inPalestine delegation, Alex Safron gathered tens of hours of film footage. Heused that footage to create a documentary exposing the ongoing role of the JNFin the colonization of Palestine and also the growing resistance to it. Creatinga documentary presents an opportunity for the rest of the world to see thereality of what is taking place and experience the importance of supporting onthe ground resistance to continuing village destruction and environmentaldestruction in Palestine. Planting Resistance to the Jewish National Fund:112 Years will premiere at the Nakba and Return International Film Festival hosted by Zochrot in Tel Aviv November 28-30.
IJAN offers congratulations to the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupationon the new direction their 12th Annual National Organizers’ Conference inArlington, VA decided to take! The conference focused on Joint Strugglefor a free Palestine and was attended by more than 200 people representing 60member groups. A crucial plenary session entitled "JointStruggle Against Israel’s Role in Repression" included the speakersSara Kershnar of IJAN, Hatem Bazian of American Muslims for Palestine (AMP),Fahd Ahmed of Desis Rising up and Moving (DRUM), and Maria LaHood of Center forConstitutional Rights (CCR). The plenary was very well attended and laidout a clear and compelling case the stake that many movements and communitieshave in ending Zionism – understanding the central role Israel is playingglobally in the realms of surveillance and political repression, prisons andpolicing, militarized borders, detention and deportation. IJAN also presented two workshops – one onanti-Zionism and anti-Racism and another on the Stop the JNF campaign. IJANcongratulates the US Campaign on new board member Hatem Abudayyah from the USPalestinian Communities Network.