July Bulletin Draft

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>> Chasque aquí para leer en ESPAÑOL.           >> Cliquez sur ici pour lire en FRANÇAIS.          >> Click here to view as web page.

IJAN logo

April 2009

Email Bulletin

 

 

We have received requests for this bulletin to be in various languages. We look forward to being able to accommodate this request. In the meantime, we will publish articles in the languages they are submitted, and translate in
to other languages as we are able. In this issue, we have articles available in French and Spanish. If you are interested in providing translation or technical (html) support to make versions of this bulletin available in multiple languages, please contact us at ijan@ijsn.net.

 

Hemos recibido pedidos de que este boletín sea publicado en varias lenguas. Esperamos poder hacerlo próximamente. Por el momento, vamos a publicar los artículos en su lengua original; en este número hay artículos en francés y en español. Si puede ofrecer apoyo técnico y con la traducción (html) para poder proveer este boletín en varias lenguas, por favor contáctenos al ijan@ijsn.net.

 

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The bulletin keeps evolving to meet the needs of participants in the network, the needs of anti-Zionist movement and to address feedback from readers. New in this issue is the addition of an “In Focus” section that highlights specific issues in the Palestine liberation and solidarity movement and in anti-Zionist organizing. In this issue, we respond to requests from several organizations and activists for prisoner solidarity – in Israel and the West Bank, and for a prisoner facing Islamophobia in the form of false charges of terrorism in the United States.

 

The rest of this bulletin includes new IJAN activities and on-going campaigns, including the international campaign against the Jewish National Fund and a recent IJAN organizing tour through Europe and to Lebanon and Cairo. We hope that it provides IJAN participants with inspiration from one another’s activities and information on what our counterparts in other parts of the world are up to. We share IJAN’s participation in and reflections on the Israeli Review Conference and Durban Review Conference (World Conference Against Racism) held in Geneva in April. We review an article in Monthly Review that offers an analysis of the growth of Jewish participation in the Palestine solidarity movement in the United States following the attacks on Gaza.  We believe that there is growing interest in and need for the politics and organizing that anti-Zionist Jews bring in solidarity with Palestine and hope to continually increase our usefulness to this growing movement.

 

 

 

 

 

>> INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGNS

 

Campaign to Challenge the Charitable Status of the Jewish National Fund

This campaign will target the Jewish National Fund’s charitable status in over 50 countries across the globe. It was publicly announced at the Israel Review Conference (see Recent Activities) by its organizers: the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee, the Habitat International Coalition, the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Committee, and IJAN.  The web site and listserv is being coordinated by the Palestinian BNC and is currently under construction. 

The JNF was created in 1901 for the purposes of colonizing Palestine through the acquisition of land and its management for the purpose of Jewish settlement. It is now granted special privileges and an on-going role in State function, such as their administrative role in the Israeli Land Administration. In turn, the JNF, as a private institution, can hold in trust land and property for the State of Israel, its Jewish population and Jews living outside of Israel and openly discriminates against Palestinian citizens of Israel — preventing Palestinian leasing of JNF land. Today, 13% of land in ’48 (Israel) is controlled directly by the JNF, most of it seized from Palestinians and transferred to the JNF after May 1948. In total, the JNF and Israeli Lands Administration control, through a joint committee, 93% of the land in Israel. It is currently involved in funding settlement projects across the West Bank and in the Negev — displacing both indigenous Bedouin and Palestinian communities. In addition JNF money is used to finance reservoirs in the West Bank that steals Palestinian water for settler-only use. Internationally, the JNF is active in countries throughout the world and supports a broader network of Zionist institutions and organizations that support the Israeli military and militant Jewish settlements with direct funds.

 

Currently, there are three ways to get involved in the campaign:

  • Use the JNF Call as a basis for organizing actions and demonstrations to confront JNF events and fundraisers.
  • Email us to be added to the JNF campaign listserv if you are interested in being active in campaign.

Coming soon: Help with public education about the JNF using tools that
will be available on the JNF campaign web site in the coming months.

 

 

 

>> UPCOMING EVENTS

From Warsaw to Gaza: International Day of Resistance to Genocide

Thursday April 16, at 6pm
Location TBA

IJAN UK will hold a public meeting to launch of a campaign challenging how Zionism has exceptionalised the Nazi genocide of Jewish people, and hidden the tragedies that other populations have endured. This use of the death of millions, most of them Jewish, to justify domination and ethnic cleansing of Palestinian people and the theft of their land must be exposed.

We are asking others whose communities have suffered in similar ways to relate their communities’ experience and the forms of resistance to it. We honour Jewish people who died resisting the Nazis by honouring others who have and are today resisting genocide including in Gaza and in Palestine generally.

Are there people you can suggest we invite to speak and/or other areas you think should be covered?

We are looking for organisations to endorse this event and would appreciate your suggestions and help with this.

We are planning to introduce an Early Day Motion (EDM) in Parliament to welcome this campaign. For last year’s EDM welcoming the launch of the IJAN Charter, click here.

To make suggestions or for more information contact uk@ijsn.net.

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United Against Apartheid, Colonialism and Occupation – Dignity & Justice for the Palestinian People

 

Israel Review Conference

 

Geneva, 18-19 April 2009

Israel Review Conference logo

Visit: http://israelreview.bdsmovement.net

United Against Racism, Dignity & Justice for All – is the slogan of the United Nations’ Durban Review Conference to be held in Geneva between 20 and 24 April 2009.

United Against Apartheid, Colonialism and Occupation, Dignity & Justice for the Palestinian People – is the slogan of those who believe that international law can and should become relevant for the people and governments in the Middle East.

 

The Israel Review Conference

The Israel Review Conference will take place in Geneva on 18 – 19 April, two days before the United Nations’ Durban Review Conference will examine the progress made in implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA) adopted by the World Conference Against Racism (2001) and strengthen its
recommendations.

The Israel Review Conference will bring together internationally
renowned experts and actors for social and political justice who will:

  • examine how the UN anti-racism instruments apply to Israel’s policies and practices regarding the Palestinian people; and,
  • develop practical recommendations on how to make Israel accountable to international law and protect the rights of the Palestinian people.

The second day of the conference will be reserved for self-organized workshops and planning meetings of the global Campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law.

IJAN will be organizing a panel on the Jewish National Fund campaign with Habitat International Coalition, the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Committee and the Palestinian BNC as well as a panel with United Against Racism on building joint struggle across grassroots movements and Palestine liberation in the United States.

The Israel Review Conference is open to the public. It will be held at the Hotel Le Grenil, Avenue Sainte-Clotilde 7, 1205 Geneva.

For more information, updates, and a detailed program of the conference, please visit:
http://israelreview.bdsmovement.net

The Israel-Review Conference is sponsored by the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC)
in cooperation with the:

  • European Coordinating Committee on Palestine (ECCP)
  • International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN)
  • International Coordinating Network on Palestine (ICNP)

To contact the organizers, please write to: info@bdsmovement.net

To register online, visit: http://israelreview.bdsmovement.net/node/29

Note: The Israel Review Conference is open to the general public. The purpose of this registration is to help the organizers in planning for the conference.

To contact the organizers, please write to: outreach@bdsmovement.net

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From Warsaw to Gaza: Memory and Responsibility

Monday 20 April 2009, 7pm
Uni Mail Salle MS150
Geneva

Presentations by and discussion with Eric Hazan and Marc Ellis

April 19 is the date commemorating the uprising of the Warsaw ghetto in 1943; on April 20, the World Conference Against Racism begins. In conjunction with these two events, we are organizing this public discussion in order to encourage, with the help of our panelists, a reflection on the exploitation of those Jews who were murdered in the Nazi genocide in service of the continued colonization of Palestine. This discussion will include reflections on our r
esponsibilities towards this memory as well as to Palestinian resistance to the ethnic cleansing that is justified in the name of this memory.

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Germany and Benelux

IJAN introductory meetings will take place in Benelux and Germany in April. For more information, please contact ijan@ijsn.net.

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Presentations in Europe

IJAN will make presentations to build relationships in Germany (Berlin, Frankfurt) Switzerland (Basil), Scotland (Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow), and The Netherlands (Amsterdam) in April. For more information contact ijan@ijsn.net

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>> Recent Activities

 

Canada

demonstration photo

In early February, IJAN Canada joined with local activists from Toronto and Ottawa, including Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) and Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) to publicly read the names of Palestinian children murdered in Israel’s brutal assault on Gaza. Activists walked in a silent procession and stood in front of the Canadian Parliament building, where the names were read. A banner proclaiming “Canada Has Blood On Its Hands” was held along with a SAIA banner and placards that screamed “Let Gaza Live.” The group then marched through a pedestrian mall area, passing out fliers and collecting signatures on a petition from IJV and the Canadian Arab Federation (CAF), asking the Canadian Government to hold Israel accountable for its actions. Watch video of the action.

IJAN Toronto members, working with other local Jewish activists in Toronto, put together and op-ed piece and collected 161 names of Jewish Canadians within a week, debunking the myth that criticism of the Israeli state is antisemitic, or that Israel acts out of self-defense. It also decries recent attacks on Israeli Apartheid week at several Canadian Universities. The statement, “Jewish Canadians Concerned About Suppression of Criticism of Israel” speaks about the current climate as analogous to the Red Scare of the 1950s. Both the Toronto Star and the national Globe and Mail refused to publish it. The piece was then placed as an “advertisement” in one of the free weekly papers in Toronto, NOW Magazine. It is currently circulating on various lists and websites on the Internet, and may eventually be placed as an advertisement in either the Globe and Mail or the Ottawa Citizen, if more money can be raised. And names keep coming in.

On 24 February, IJAN helped organize and sponsor a presentation by Shachaf Polakow of Anarchists Against the Wall. There were almost 70 people in attendance, and the event raised close to $3,000 for the legal fund to help Palestinians and AATW folks who have numerous court cases from protests against the Annexation Wall. A lively Q&A followed.

IJAN members attending Israeli Apartheid Week helped to counter the presence of the JDL, who were present on the opening night, which was filled to capacity.

IJAN Toronto continues to collect signatures on a petition at the weekly vigils in front of the Israeli consulate building. The plan is to have the petition presented and read in the Canadian Parliament by one of the members.

Finally, IJAN Canada will be working on a Canadian-based cultural boycott of Israeli government-sponsored cultural events. More on that hopefully in the next bulletin.

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Europe

France:

demonstration photo

The boycott action documented in this video was initiated by Europalestine. The action occurred at Carrefour supermarkets in Saint Denis, a popular neighborhood on the outskirts of Paris. Since then, similar actions have occurred at Carrefour locations in Gennevilliers, Aulnay sous Bois, and Drancy, all in the outskirts of Paris. At the event in St. Denis, the police came and closed the store for some time. Carrefour was chosen because it is one of the largest chain stores with locations across France and in other countries. They sell both products made by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territories as well as products that are unlabeled, so it is impossible to know where they are produced. IJAN is announced at the end of the video. IJAN in France participates in all BDS actions that are organized according to the recommendations of the Palestinian BNC, Boycott National Committee. IJAN activists are regularly invited to speak on BDS, for example to the trade union and other activities organized by the Palestine solidarity movement.

Statement in Support of Global BDS Day
Click here to read the complete statement.

 

Speaking Engagements:

IJAN member Liliane Cordova-Kaczerginski spoke on Sunday, March 22, at an event about “What can we do” in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle? She spoke about both sanctions and boycott.

On Saturday, 21 March, Rudolf Bkouche, from French Jewish Union for Peace (UJFP) and IJAN, and Nabil El Haggar, a Palestinian academic, spoke on Israeli refusal, the Gaza massacre and why was it was permitted by the West.

Spain: On January 11, during Israel’s heinous attacks on Gaza, Galicia’s official radio station interviewed a Palestinian and an IJAN participant about the situation in Gaza and their perspectives on it.

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United Kingdom

Anti-JNF organising

Representatives from IJAN, the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Legal Action for Women met last month with movement lawyer Daniel Machover to discuss a legal campaign to challenge the charity status of the Jewish National Fund, as part of an international campaign in collaboration with the Palestinian Boycott National Committee.

Daniel Machover acted as attorney for the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights when he issued a warrant fo
r the arrest of Israeli General Almog for war crimes when he came to the UK in 2005.

 

panel photo

1 February: The struggle against poverty, war & occupation

At a series of international meetings organized by the Global Women’s Strike, Sara Kershnar spoke in front of packed and enthusiastic audience. Her well-received speech placed IJAN in the anti-racist, anti-colonial and social justice movements and gave clear direction on the work of anti-Zionist organising (soon available online).

 

4 February: Meet the Founders of Matzpen and IJAN

The meeting heard from the distinguished Professor Moshé Machover, co-founder of Matzpen the socialist organization in Israel, and Sara Kershnar who gave an overview of IJAN. The lively discussion that followed focused on the role of anti-Zionist Jewish organising and how to work together across initiatives and organizations.

 

Meetings where IJAN was invited:

10 Feb, University College London (UCL): IJAN from London and San Francisco spoke about our work to UCL students. Earlier that day students had hoisted the Palestinian flag over the university portico, and raised £4000 in a cake sale for medical aid for Palestine.

21 Feb, What Malcolm X told us about Israel and Why we support the Palestinians: IJAN was invited by AJAMU (A Just African Movement for Unity). The event included information about the Zionist role in Africa.

4 March, Israeli Apartheid Week (organised by SOAS Palestine Society): Mike Marqusee spoke about Zionism, Jews and History, notably about the Zionist undermining of the Jewish-led boycott of Nazi Germany. Nimer Sultany in speaking about Between oppression and empowerment: The Palestinian Citizens of Israel described something of the daily life of Palestinian people under occupation. Selma James for IJAN chaired.

 

Meetings IJAN attended:

Ronnie Kasrils, until recently of the South African government, spoke in an Israeli Apartheid Week event, about campaigning against Israeli apartheid and for boycott, divestment and sanctions in support of Palestinian people.

Sir Gerald Kaufman MP spoke in the House of Commons about the fact that Irgun, the organisation of Tzipi Livni’s father, had killed more Jewish people in one bombing (the King David Hotel) than all the rockets from Gaza aimed at Sdorot!!

Ilan Pappe promoted the boycott movement, especially in relation to the academic boycott and its affect on Israeli academia, which he characterized as being complicit in weapons production, including white phosphorus.

A press conference/picket outside the High Court where movement lawyer Phil Shiner spoke about the legal challenge that Al-Haq are making against the UK sale of arms to Israel.

Picket of the Science Museum against a Zionist Federation sponsored event. Despite police harassment over 2000 leaflets were distributed and well-received by people going into the museum.

And we met one of the Shministim, Tamara Katz, who has now won her right to refuse to serve in the Israeli army.

 

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United States

Chicago

In Chicago, we are in the process of forming a local chapter of IJAN. Currently we are getting to know one another, building relationships with local organizers, and brainstorming exciting plans for future work. We are enthusiastic about plugging in to the Network.

 

Los Angeles

LA IJAN held an open house meeting where 22 people attended to learn about the work of IJAN and how to get involved. The response was quite positive with potential new members in attendance, sharing ideas and building toward future actions.

Members also co-sponsored a protest of the Batsheva dance troop, organized by the U.S. Academic and Cultural Boycott Against Israel Campaign.

Members organized a team of 10 people from diverse backgrounds to work on the Obama campaign. As a committee, we are reaching out to over 25 community organizations around the city to sign on to this letter. We have created a power point and fact sheet to be used in this process.

On Sunday, March 8th – members of LA IJAN helped to organize a protest (with an ad hoc group of Palestine activists), outside AIPAC’s San Fernando Valley fundraiser. Media coverage refers to "peace activists" and AIPAC was condemend for its lack of response.

On March 10th, the American Association for Palestinian Equal Rights hosted speaker Noura Erakat who discussed her findings from a recent lawyer delegation team that went toGaza. IJAN members were in attendance and collected information to share about the new national group that will focus solely on moving Congress.

On March 14th members attended a fundraiser for the Palestine American Womens Association of Southern California. Meetings were set up for future solidarity work with members of PAWA, in addition to a meeting with Cynthia McKinney, the keynote speaker, where IJAN’s current work was shared.

The next general chapter meeting of IJAN will be on March 28, 2009.

 

San Francisco Bay Area

BACEIA logo

Bay Area IJAN’s 40 members meet monthly, with workgroups such as education, action planning, and media/arts, meeting independently.

In our recent meetings, we have invested time into deepening our understanding of IJAN’s strategic role and goals in relation to our location in the Bay Area, as well as our national and international network.

We will begin a second round of IJAN’s "Study to Action" groups at the end of March with a revised curriculum.

Our current activity also includes continuing support of the Bay Area Coalition to End Israeli Apartheid (BACEIA). BACEIA is publicly launching a boycott campaign during Israeli Apartheid Week, and IJAN will be joining Break the Siege and other groups and individuals–we’ll be tabling in front of stores, doing outreach and education about boycotting Israeli products.

In April, we will a host a Passover Liberation Seder, which will raise money to send to Gaza and to support our local organizing work. Last year 150 people atte
nded our Seder, and we hope to exceed that number this year.

 

Twin Cities, MN

IJAN TC was integral in pulling together post-Gaza emergency response organizing which brought together a MN Gaza Coalition. Through that, we have participated in numerous events and teach-ins. A couple of those highlights include;

  • Gaza:The Real Story (a teach-in organized by the Coalition for Palestinian Rights and Al Madinah Cultural Center)
  • The Road Less Traveled: Twin Cities Jews talk about their journeys to anti-Zionism (organized by IJAN TC)
  • Batsheva Dance company boycott and protest

IJAN TC is also the convener of an ongoing Jewish anti-Zionist study group. The study group is an open, ongoing circle that focuses on Zionism; its historical context and current role in politics.

IJAN TC is also creating and will present a workshop at an upcoming Minnesota focused divestment conference. The workshop, entitled "JEWISHNESS does not equal ZIONISM", is an interactive situation that for this specific conference will be geared toward a non-Jewish, Palestine solidarity audience. IJAN TC’s intent for the future of the workshop is create a "grab bag" of sorts that can allow a similar workshop for a myriad of audiences.

United Against Racism Coalition

A diverse group of grassroots organizations came together on March 7th and 8th to discuss a proposal for building a united front against racism and Zionism in the United States and in solidarity with the call for BDS from Palestine. This call came out of the US Palestinian Popular Conference and a workshop that IJAN co-organized with the national coordinator of the US Palestinian Community Network (USPCN), which emerged out of the conference.

The meeting was extremely successful in aligning on an analysis of the joint struggle we are in across grassroots movements in the US and the liberation of Palestine and region from US imperialism. We came out with three concrete goals for the long-term work of this formation:

1. End US aid to Israel

2. Support the call for BDS from Palestine

3. Confront Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism

We looked for goals that reflected the actual material as well as ideological connection between these struggles. Without a redirection of resources into communities most impacted by racism in the United States, these struggles cannot win their demands—BDS and ending US aid to Israel are part of redirecting these funds. The third goal recognizes the centrality of Islamophobia as a justification for repressive immigrant rights struggles and pushes for Palestinian and broader Arab and Muslim communities to see their struggle as intimately connected with those of other immigrants and visa versa. In these ways, the basis for joint struggle is moral, political, and material.

UAR’s first initiative can be found here.

 

 

 

>> Network Updates

 

New Chapter in Switzerland

One of the outcomes of IJAN’s presence in Geneva during the Palestine BNC’s Israel Review Conference (see Recent Activities) is that IJAN now has a small but active group in Switzerland.  This group organized an anti-Zionist Jewish presence in Geneva during the WCAR.

 

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Growing interest in Europe

On IJAN’s European speaking tour (see Recent Activities), we spoke with people from the Netherlands, Germany, and Austria who are interested in finding ways to participate in and/or partner with the network.

 

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