“I’m here to tell you we do exist.”

February 5, 2012

At a recent Republican presidential primary debate, Palestinian American Abraham Hassan said the following to the Republican candidates:

“I’m here to tell you we do exist.”

Abraham Hassan

Hassan is a self-described Palestinian American Republican from  Jacksonville, Florida.  During the debate, he asked the following question:

“How would a Republican Administration help bring peace to Palestine and Israel, when most candidates barely recognize Palestine or its people?”

Former Governor Mitt Romney and Speaker Newt Gingrich both responded with one-sided answers that laid all the blame at the feet of Palestinian leaders.

But the first step is to ask the right question — and we applaud Mr. Hassan for doing so.

Analysis: A US Diplomat Ignores Israel’s Occupation

December 26, 2011

In a speech delivered last month, US diplomat Andrew J. Shapiro revealed the enormous extent of US military aid to Israel — including his goal of increasing that aid and reducing Congressional oversight.

Freedom Forward Analyst Patrick J. Finn, PhD, has written an insightful review of Shapiro’s speech — as well as what Shapiro failed to mention.  While Shapiro spent an awful lot of time talking about the “unwavering commitment to Israel’s security,” he didn’t once mention the word occupation.

In his speech, Shapiro also didn’t mention that the gift of US weapons is what helps Israel maintain that brutal occupation of Palestinian communities.

Shapiro is the Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs — the man whose team is the US State Department’s “principal link to the Department of Defense.”

Click here to read Patrick Finn’s insightful analysis.

Thumbs Down on Netanyahu’s YouTube Speech

December 10, 2011

On the eve of International Human Rights Day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that “Israel will continue to proudly raise the torch of freedom and human rights.”

The YouTube speech was published online the day before International Human Rights Day — Saturday, December 10th.

In that speech, Netanyahu made no mention that the Israeli military uses US taxdollars to force millions of Palestinians to live under a brutal occupation.

Don’t let this blatant misrepresentation of Palestinian suffering go unchallenged.

1.  Click “thumbs down” on YouTube.

2.  Tell Congress that you reject Netanyahu’s latest falsehoods. US taxdollars should not fund Israeli occupation.

If elected US officials or their staff watch this speech, they need to know that voting constituents find it reprehensible.

The Palestinian people deserve freedom.  So long as US tax dollars bankroll the Israeli military, their cause is our moral responsibility.

Thank UNESCO for Recognizing Palestine!

December 4, 2011

Will you support UNESCO’s call to protect Palestinian heritage and culture? 

Your action is especially important because opponents of Palestinian freedom in the US are emailing UNESCO with messages of opposition.

One month back, Palestine was accepted as a full member to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in a landslide vote. Out of 173 total votes, 107 votes supported the move, 52 abstained, and only 14 voted no.

In response, laws written by Congress were immediately triggered that cut off US funding to the UN organization.  US law currently requires a cutoff in aid to any UN organization that recognizes a Palestinian state.  Until the aid cut, US funding for UNESCO accounted for 22% of the agency’s total annual budget — $80 million a year.

Why is UNESCO being punished for recognizing the right to freedom for the Palestinian people?

Please thank UNESCO for its vote.   Palestinians deserve freedom and international recognition.  Congress should stop standing in the way.

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Tell Congress: Stop Blocking Palestinian Freedom

September 20, 2011

This week, Palestinians will ask the United Nations for official recognition of a Palestinian state.  Unfortunately, the US Congress has already voted in overwhelming opposition.

Why are elected US officials trying to block Palestinian freedom?

Please tell your Member of Congress that you oppose their vote.  And if your Member of Congress was among the brave minority who did not oppose Palestinian efforts, please thank them.

Click here to take action.

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Netanyahu visits the US.

May 19, 2011

This week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is coming to Washington DC.  As he makes his rounds in our nation’s capital, there is one sentence worth keeping in mind:

“The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.”

This sentence comes from the official platform of Netanyahu’s political party, Likud.  (PDF version)  Scroll down to the section called “Self-Rule” to see for yourself.

The meaning is simple:  Likud and its political leaders are opposed to a Palestinian state.

Click here to urge the US media to report on Netanyahu’s political platform.

While in Washington, Netanyahu is likely to demand once again that all Palestinian factions recognize Israel.  But what will it take for his own political party to acknowledge the right of Palestinians to live free of Israeli military occupation?

For all the money that US taxpayers are required to give to Israel, isn’t it time that American voters learned about Netanyahu’ political platform?

Click here to urge US media to report on Netanyahu’s platform — not just his rhetoric.

A critic of Israeli policy gets his day.

May 13, 2011

If you haven’t already heard the news, the acclaimed playwright Tony Kushner is going to get his honorary degree after all.  Thanks to the hard work of so many – including youa Jewish American critic of Israeli treatment of Palestinians will not be silenced.

Last week, the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York had voted to deny Mr. Kushner an honorary degree.  A trustee, Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld, had opposed Mr. Kushner’s nomination because Wiesenfeld didn’t like Kushner’s criticisms of Israeli policies towards Palestinians.

Thank you for sending your emails criticizing the Board’s actions.

After a lot of public criticism, the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York has now reversed itself.   As reported in The New York Times:

“In a hastily convened meeting of their executive committee, City University of New York trustees approved an honorary degree for Tony Kushner on Monday night to try to quell widespread criticism over the board’s decision last week to withhold it because of concerns about the playwright’s views on Israel.”

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