Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Apartheid Israel is opposed by Somerville Divestment Committee;

Zionists say: "Turn Tehran into a parking lot." (kill 12 million Iranians)


Photo: Celebration, after 45% of Somerville voted for Palestinian refugees' right to return to their homes, and 31% voted for sanctions against Israel.


_________________________________________

"Anti-Israel group returns to ballot"

SOMERVILLE JOURNAL (Somerville, Massachusetts)

July 29, 2008

On the Web at:
http://somervillenews.typepad.com/the_somerville_news/2008/07/anti-israel-gro.html


By George P. Hassett


The Somerville Divestment Project is back. The polarizing group that has brought hundreds to City Hall to protest and support Israeli policies in the Middle East, is pushing another non-binding ballot question to city voters in November.


The resolution would direct State Rep. Denise provost, D-Somerville, to “vote in favor of a non-binding resolution calling on the federal government to support the right of all people, including non-Jewish Palestinians of Israel, to live free from laws that give more rights to people of one religion than another.” Provost’s district covers roughly two-thirds of the city.


A similar measure calling for the “right of all refugees, including Palestinian refugees to return to their land of origin,” failed with 45 percent of the vote in 2006, according to SDP organizer Ron Francis. Another 2006 question called provost to support “all governmental entities of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to sell any investments they hold either in Israel Bonds or in companies that supply Military equipment to Israel.” That measure failed with 31 percent of the vote.


SDP has divided Somerville citizens over a seemingly far away conflict in another part of the world since 2004. That year, on Nov. 8 hundreds crowded City Hall to support and oppose an SDP resolution that all city investors sell their Israel bonds along with their stock in six companies – including General Electric – that build Israeli weapons. The crowd that night had their backpacks and packages checked by eight city police officers at the front entrance of City Hall.


The measure gave mayor Joseph A. Curtatone the opportunity – in front of a crowd in the Aldermanic Chambers that filled all 90 seats, lined the walls three and four deep and overflowed into the hallway - to weigh in on the foreign conflict.


“Fair and just treatment of the Palestinian people residing in the territories is essential to building peace in the region. However I also support Israel’s right to defend itself and safeguard it’s people,” Curtatone said. “The Retirement Board’s Chief responsibility is to secure the highest rate of return possible for the fund. In rare exceptions, the moral imperative is so clear and unambiguous as to warrant divestment. This is not such a case.”


Curtatone said if passed he would veto the resolution. The public hearing that followed featured a former Israel soldier being hissed at and accusations that opponents of the measure had “the blood of dead Palestinians” on their hands.


Since that meeting, SDP has alienated some of its own members by stepping up their rhetoric and describing the policies of the Israeli government as “apartheid.”


SDP member Bob Cable said this time around, “controversy is inevitable,” and he expects some opposition.



"Comments

"Besides Iraq (thanks to US); Isreal is the only real democracy in that area and a true friend. We need to support them 110%! I would prefer to see these misguided fools at SDP direct Provost to back a resolution to strike Iran immediately. Turn Tehran into a parking lot. We can not allow Islamicfacists like Mr. of Iran to have nukes."

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Obama to AIPAC: Jerusalem "Must Remain Undivided"






Obama to AIPAC: Jerusalem "Must Remain Undivided".

Palestinians Appalled by Obama's Comments.

See video on YouTube, at:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CYg5oRjbnE




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Congressman Dingell: "...during my 50 years in Congress, I have proudly supported more than $300 billion dollars in aid for the State of Israel..."






Congressman John Dingell.


"...during my 50 years in Congress, I have proudly supported more than $300 billion dollars in aid for the State of Israel. ..."

--Congressman John Dingell, at:

http://www.house.gov/dingell/documents/press_releases/109th_Session2/08-02-06.htm



[Click on letter to enlarge it.]



[Click on letter to enlarge it.]



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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"I believe that a Penn State boycott of Israel will cause a cascade effect for other institutions to follow..."




LETTER TO THE EDITOR
"Action is required in Israel as was during Apartheid"

Posted on July 23, 2008
DAILY COLLEGIAN (Pennsylvania State University)

http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/2008/07/23/action_is_required_in_israel_a.aspx



The Palestine-Israel conflict has gone on too long. After more than 60 years of conflict, no end is in sight to the crisis and all military approaches seem to have failed. Therefore, the academic and intellectual communities are probably the only ones that can force a peaceful end to the conflict.


Penn State President Graham Spanier and the Penn State Board of Trustees need to set a precedent and boycott countries that don't adhere to the protection of human rights and international law.


I believe that a Penn State boycott of Israel will cause a cascade effect for other institutions to follow, thus forcing Israel to adhere to human rights and international law. Such actions have already proven to be effective when a world boycott lead to the end of the racist apartheid regime in South Africa.


As long as Israel continues to build illegal settlements, continues to illegally occupy Palestinian land, build an apartheid wall and continues to subjugate the basic rights of Palestinian people, there will never be a peaceful end to the conflict. It is time for Penn State to regard Israel as an apartheid state as we did South Africa.




Shamuel Afani

graduate-electrical engineering


________________________________


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

On YouTube:

"Boycott Israel at People's Food Co-op"


Video on YouTube, at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZRZv34-Vac


"Boycott Israel at People's Food Co-op"


video



______________________________________


The movement to boycott Apartheid Israel has entered its 18th month, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Over 1,000 people have petitioned the People's Food Co-op to boycott Israel.

The Zionists respond by using very bloody language to oppose the boycott.

They openly encourage "more death" of Palestinian children, right at the Co-op.

You will see it, on the YouTube video.


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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Video:
Zionists fight against "Boycott Israel" campaign, at People's Food Co-op.

You will be shocked to see such cold, direct encouragement of death to Palestinians.

You will want to join the campaign to Boycott Apartheid Israel, at the People's Food Co-op.
Almost 1,000 people have petitioned the Co-op to boycott Israel.


* Click on http://tinyurl.com/5zc4pa , to watch the video.

If you see a "Play" symbol, below, click on it. Then turn on your speakers.


video


This video shows direct Zionist denial that Palestinians even exist.
But the Zionists have failed to stop the campaign to Boycott Apartheid Israel.

At the same People's Food Co-op, in Ann Arbor, Michigan:

Almost 1,000 people have petitioned the Co-op to boycott Israel.
For 18 months, the Co-op has faced demands that it boycott the racist State of Israel.

Remember how precious the life of 300 million Arabs is.
Remember how precious the life of 1.6 billion Muslims is.

Remember that Israel has hundreds of atomic bombs, which it is threatening to use against the Muslim world.



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"...Boycott and divestment movement against Israel (due to its occupation of Palestinian territories) will go into overdrive."





"No Attack on Iran!"

By Bill Fletcher Jr.
Former President and chief executive officer of TransAfrica Forum
















-Guest Columnist-
FINAL CALL

July 9, 2008

On the Web at:

http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/article_4944.shtml



It feels like every few months there is a need for an outcry against a possible U.S. or Israeli attack on Iran. For a few moments, the drum beat of war recedes only to emerge again with the same rationale: Iran is allegedly a threat to the U.S.A. and to world peace.

I thought that the matter was settled, at least for a while, when this past fall US intelligence agencies revealed that Iran had no nuclear weapons program and had, in fact, abandoned such plans several years ago.


This seemed to take the wind out of the sails of the Bush administration for a few weeks until they decided to change their tune and focus on alleged Iranian involvement in the Iraq war. Specifically, it was claimed that the Iranians were arming Shiite groups in Iraq.


The situation became downright silly when Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain visited Iraq and kept alleging that Al Qaeda-linked groups were based in Iran.


For someone who supposedly knows so much about world affairs this error either betrayed the early onset of dementia or it was a calculated political manipulation.


Al Qaeda, and its allies, are Sunni-based and have a mutual hostility with the Iranian Shiite regime. In any case, not to let the facts get in the way of provoking a war, Sen. McCain eventually corrected himself but continued to blame the Iranians for all sorts of alleged evils.


It is most interesting, though, to listen to the arguments that are raised against Iran. Whether the Iranians are arming the Iraqi Shiites is actually secondary to something more important: The USA illegally invaded and occupied a sovereign country, plunging that country into chaos.


The bottom line is that it is the U.S.A., before ANYONE else, which should not be in Iraq. Focusing on Iran misses the point entirely, something that is clearly intentional.


The renewed focus on Iran and nuclear power remains very curious. Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It possesses no documented weapons. Israel is not a signatory to the agreement. It possesses, according to former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, 150 such weapons.


Iran has not invaded another country during the 20th (or now 21st century). Iran possesses limited technology for a delivery system. No one has been able to document any effort to develop nuclear weapons. And, even if it is in the minds of some of the Iranian leaders, the construction of such weapons is years off. So, what is going on?


In case you missed it, the Bush administration lied its way into an invasion of Iraq, suggesting that the Hussein regime had all sorts of dastardly intents. Nothing was ever proven, and in fact, it appears that some of Saddam Hussein’s reluctance to discuss his military capabilities derived, quite ironically, from a fear of revealing Iraqi weaknesses to Iran!


So, with the U.S.A. and Israel suggesting that an attack on Iran is inevitable, we the people of the U.S.A. have to ask ourselves two questions: (1)What will we do to prevent an attack? and (2)What should we do if there is an attack?


Preventing an attack necessitates making our elected officials aware that we oppose such a move and we wish them to draw the line. As Congressman John Conyers has pointed out, an attack on Iran without the approval of Congress will be an illegal act. Congress needs to be prepared to make that point clear.


Yet, Israel may become the “sub-contractor” for the U.S.A. in attacking Iran. Israel can and has been restrained by the U.S.A. in the past. Israel must understand that should it attack Iran current global discussions already underway concerning a boycott and divestment movement against Israel (due to its occupation of Palestinian territories) will go into overdrive. There would probably be no way of stopping such a movement even if one wanted to.


So, in that sense, what to do to stop an attack is linked to what to do if an attack takes place. Our elected leaders must understand that we will not sit back.


Oh, one more thing in case you think that this is something that you can ignore: If you are currently concerned about the price of gas, you had better be petrified thinking about what will happen should there be another war and should the Iranians decide to block oil exports from the Persian/Arabian Gulf. Just a friendly reminder....


(Bill Fletcher, Jr. is a Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies and the immediate past president of TransAfrica Forum. He is the co-author of ‘‘Solidarity Divided’’ which analyzes the crisis of organized labor in the USA. He can be reached at papaq54@hotmail.com this column was distributed by the NNPA.)


Related links:


Israel jawboning US into striking Iran (PRESS TV, 12-16-2007)

Nuclear hypocrisy in Iran’s treatment (FCN, 03-12-2006)



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Friday, July 18, 2008

In Occupied Palestine:

"Ninety percent of the children in the ancient neighborhood suffer from anemia and malnutrition"

'Worse than apartheid'

By Gideon Levy

Friday, 07.18.2008, 01:06pm

On the Web at:

http://www.arabamericannews.com/news/index.php?mod=article&cat=Palestine&article=1276


In "Nablus, the most imprisoned city in the West Bank."--

"...Ninety percent of the children in the ancient neighborhood suffer from anemia and malnutrition, the economic situation is dire, the nightly incursions are continuing, and some of the inhabitants are not allowed to leave the city at all...."



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Thursday, July 17, 2008

University Boycott of "Zionist Coffee"


Heather Kere, outgoing Vice President for Education, at the Ryerson Student Union.
Vice President Kere has campaigned for the boycott of Apartheid Israel on campus.

*************************************************************


"RSU VP:
"boycott 'Zionist' coffee"


By Erika Beauchesne | Published 04/2/2008 | Print , Ryersonian , News , Campus news |

RYERSONLINE
(Ryerson University student newspaper)

On the Web at:

http://www.ryersonline.ca/articles/2529/1/RSU-VP-boycott-quotZionistquot-coffee/Page1.html


Kaydi Pyette/Ryersonian Staff
Oakham House recently started serving Starbucks coffee. RSU vice-president of education Heather Kere wants to ban the franchise for allegedly raising money for the Israeli Defence Forces.
Outgoing RSU vice-president of education Heather Kere is spearheading a politically charged and controversial motion to remove Starbucks from Ryerson’s campus to protest the company’s alleged endorsement of Israel.

“The CEO and chairman of Starbucks (Howard Schultz) is a financial supporter of the state of Israel, an oppressive state that violates many UN resolutions, and so by supporting Starbucks, we’re supporting the apartheid system in Israel,” said Kere.

According to Kere, they’re not looking to remove Starbucks products from the entire campus – just yet. For now, they’re focusing only on Oakham House, where the RSU has the means to control what is sold.

She added that there’s already a campaign underway to eliminate all Coca-Cola products from Ryerson, which is more of a long-term endeavour.

Kere said it’s important for the board to take an active stance against the company, even if it means taking away a service some students on campus regularly enjoy.

“Our board is pretty progressive. It’s generally not uncommon for us to isolate companies that violate human rights such as Coke or Starbucks,” Kere said.

But Kere’s motion is controversial as she blatantly states that the RSU opposes Zionism, which she sees as a form of racism.

But this isn’t true, as Kere’s position on Zionism isn’t the RSU’s official stance, said president Nora Loreto.

“We don’t have an explicit position on Zionism,” Loreto said, adding that even if members voted for the motion to remove Starbucks from the SCC, it doesn’t mean they’re supporting Kere’s political opinions.

“The preamble of the motion doesn’t matter — what we vote on are the action clauses.

“In my opinion there hasn’t been enough solid evidence linking Starbucks with the killing of Palestianian people. The biggest issue has been getting enough fair-trade coffee, and if it’s the case that Starbucks isn’t fair trade, we’ll be pushing (for it to be removed).”

Anita Bromberg, director of Jewish rights group B’nai Brith’s legal department, said the political assertion behind Kere’s motion is “despicable and inappropriate.

“This is not what one hopes happens on a university campus,” she said.
The situation in the Middle East is a complicated issue and “hopefully, right-thinking people will be striving for peace instead of singling out one side,” she said.

Bromberg said, “We first butted heads with Ms. Kere last year when she was bringing (Malik Zulu) Shabazz onto campus — an American anti-Semite.

Since then, she said, Kere has been “involved with other anti-Israeli propaganda on campus.”

Kere said this is an untrue statement, adding that Shabazz was a guest speaker who was invited by other organizers of a campaign to recognize the contributions of young African-Americans.

"That’s what the RSU endorsed,” she said. “CFS were also sponsoring it and so were other student unions. We did not invite that individual.”

But Kere isn’t shy about voicing her anti-Israel views. Last November, Kere failed in getting the CFS to vote on an academic boycott of Israeli universities and professors. Her motion was removed from the agenda without debate.

This past February, Kere was also the face of Israeli Apartheid Week...


*****************************************************

"...the Apartheid-era South African clique and the government of Zionist Israel were in bed together. "


Israel and the Apartheid-era South Africa regime have a lot in common, said William Fletcher.

They are both “settler states,” who created myths that God had given them “the land,” and that the land “was unoccupied upon arrival.” They also both portrayed themselves as “victims” and their aggressions as a “defensive act.” Fletcher said: “Israel is a rabid state,” which is capable of a maniacal act, like “unleashing a nuclear weapon."

“’Imprisonment Wall’ is more descriptive than ‘Security Fence.’” - Jimmy Carter, former U.S. President, in writing about Israel's notorious Apartheid Wall. (1)

Washington, D.C. - "The logic of both Israel and Apartheid-era South Africa can be found in their common origins as settler states," said Professor William Fletcher. On Dec. 1, 2006, he gave a talk at the Palestine Center, entitled, "Two Walled Cities: Jerusalem and Johannesburg, Apartheid and Palestine." Fletcher emphasized: "In both cases the settlers created myths, semi-religious or explicitly religious, including that God had provided the land for them and that the land was unoccupied upon arrival...In both cases, the settlers portrayed themselves to be victims against the natives, who were described as semi-barbaric and/or intolerant. Given the permanent state of siege, every settler state's aggression came to be described as a defensive act." (2)

Fletcher, a native of New York City, was a former assistant to President John Sweeney of the AFL-CIO and the ex-CEO of the TransAfrica Forum. He is presently the Belle Zeller Visiting Professor at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. A graduate of Harvard, in 1976, with a B.A. degree in Government, he now lives in Maryland with his family. In his youth, Fletcher dabbled in the politics of the Black Panther Party and helped to form a "Black Student Alliance" on his high school campus. (3)

Continuing, Fletcher said: "For the settler state, [Israel and Apartheid-era South Africa], there is a zero sum calculation when it comes to the natives. This does not necessarily mean that the natives necessarily must be annihilated, but it does mean the natives can never be allowed to prevail. In this context, one can look at Jerusalem and Apartheid-era Johannesburg as emblematic of settlers' strategy and of the settler state as a whole. Though there are significant differences between Israel and Apartheid-era South Africa, e. g. the religious significance of Jerusalem, the settlers' approach in both cases in these cities shares much in common. In the case of Jerusalem, the entire city has been seized by the settlers, who have no intention of sharing it with the Palestinians. The settler plan is one of driving out the Palestinians through a combination of intimidation and inconvenience, otherwise known as psychological warfare. That is the painful difficulty encountered by Palestinians living in occupied East Jerusalem. Johannesburg, however, was constructed to be for whites only." (2)

More tie-ins between the duo regimes:

While Nelson Mandela, later the first President of a free South Africa, languished in a prison cell for close to 27 years, mostly on Robben Island, the Apartheid-era South African clique and the government of Zionist Israel were in bed together. The authors, Edward Herman and Gerry O'Sullivan, experts on state terrorism, wrote: "[They] had a de facto military alliance for many years, and Israel had given support to all of South Africa's terrorist clients, including UNITA and RENAMO." (4) In 1979, there was even media speculation that Israel-South Africa had jointly tested "a nuclear weapon" in the Indian Ocean. Both governments denied that charge. (5)

Fletcher underscored: "Each settler state has handled its indigenous population somewhat differently...In South Africa...the premium was placed on the removal of the natives from the land and their sociopolitical marginalization. In the case of Palestine, I would argue a bit of both seems to be underway. Though the emphasis seems to be on the removal from land.

In both the Occupied Territories and Apartheid-era South Africa, the settler state wishes to make the situation so inhospitable that the indigenous people leave on their own. It combines violent coercion with what can be described as...psychological warfare...Just as the Apartheid-era South African regime presented itself to the world as visonary...creating those fictitious Homelands...with limited resources...[for the natives]...so too, do the Israelis when it comes to their vision of a Palestinian state or statelet." (2)

A question was raised by an audience member about ex-President Jimmy Carter's new book and about Rep. John Conyers' (D-MI) criticism of the use of the word "Apartheid" in its title. (1) Fletcher responded: "I think [Conyers] should have just kept his mouth shut...I was very troubled by that. And, I have to say to some extent, I was surprised...He needs to hear from his friends...This was really off-the-wall. This was wrong."

Relevant to Fletcher's theme, former President Jimmy Carter put the nub of the Israel-Palestine question this way in his latest best selling book: “The overriding problem is that, for more than a quarter century, the actions of some Israeli leaders have been in direct conflict with the official policies of the United States, the international community, and their own negotiated agreements. Israel's continued control and colonization of Palestinian land have been the primary obstacles to a comprehensive peace agreement in the Holy Land. In order to perpetuate the occupation, Israeli forces have deprived their unwilling subjects of basic human rights. No objective person could personally observe existing conditions in the West Bank and dispute these statements.” (1)

If the above didn’t hit home hard enough, President Carter added this mega zinger: “The 'Wall' ravages many places along its devious route that are important to Christians. In addition to enclosing Bethlehem in one of its most notable intrusions, an especially heartbreaking division is on the southern slope of the Mount of Olives, a favorite place for Jesus and his disciples, and very near Bethany, where they often visited Mary, Martha, and their brother, Lazarus. There is a church named for one of the sisters, Santa Marta Monastery, where Israel's thirty-foot concrete wall cuts through the property. The house of worship is now on the Jerusalem side, and its parishioners are separated from it because they cannot get permits to enter Jerusalem. Its priest, Father Claudio Ghilardi, says, ‘For nine hundred years we have lived here under Turkish, British, Jordanian, and Israeli governments, and no one has ever stopped people coming to pray. It is scandalous. This is not about a barrier. It is a border. Why don't they speak the truth?’

Countering Israeli arguments that the wall is to keep Palestinian suicide bombers from Israel, Father Claudio adds a comment that describes the path of the entire barrier: ‘The Wall is not separating Palestinians from Jews; rather Palestinians from Palestinians.’ Nearby are three convents that will also be cut off from the people they serve. The 2,000 Palestinian Christians have lost their place of worship and their spiritual center.” (1)

Getting back to Fletcher. He said: "The Carter's book offers a really great opportunity for people to say, 'The guy is right.' Even if that is all we say, it starts to have an impact. I'm convinced, particularly that when I look at the poll numbers in response to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon...that we actually can shift opinion." Throughout his talk, Fletcher also gave vivid examples of the evils of colonialism, with regard to the massive crimes of the British in Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania and in Ireland. (6)

Fletcher mentioned, too, the defeat in the Democratic Primary of Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) in the last election and how she was targeted by the Zionists for daring to speak out for human rights for the Palestinians. He said, "Zionist elements wanted her out!" Fletcher said she was an "apparition that floated behind every member of the Congressional Black Caucus." He added, people who support a free and democratic Palestine need to learn how to organize and "to mobilize" politically around that issue. That can mean, he argued, giving candidates who are under attack, like McKinney, money for their campaign and volunteers. "There is no room for lethargy. Wishful thinking," the idea that if a candidate does the right thing, people will rush in to support the politico, "is the problem."

Finally, Fletcher made this chilling statement, with regard to Israel-Palestine, he said: "Clearly, there are economic objectives that are there, in terms of seizing the land-- getting the best land... But, the Israeli state is a rabid state. And, I don't think that we should ever assume that they wouldn't do something maniacal. You know, like unleashing a nuclear weapon, if they felt that they had to, regardless of the consequences. And, I think that they would do so with the assumption that the U.S. would support them."

Notes:

1. “Palestine Peace Not Apartheid” by Jimmy Carter.
See also, www.stopthewall.org/activistresources/792.shtml
www.adamnieman.co.uk/wall/index.html
www.vtjp.org/background/Separation_Wall_Report.htm
2. www.youtube.com/watch
3. www.thehistorymakers.com/biography/biography.asp
4. "The Terrorism Industry: The Experts and Institutions that Shape our View of Terrorism" by Edward Herman and Gerry O'Sullivan.
5. www.fas.org/nuke/guide/israel/nuke/farr.htm
6. www.artbabyart.com/article/ethniccleansing.htm


© William Hughes 2006.

William Hughes is the author of “Saying ‘No’ to the War Party” (Amazon.com). He can be reached at liamhughes-AT-comcast.net.


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"Since 1967, Israel has arrested some 750,000 Palestinians..."

July 17, 2008


"Since 1967, Israel has arrested some 750,000 Palestinians, or some 25% of all Palestinians.

"There are now more than 10,000 Palestinian prisoners (including women, children and elderly) in Israeli jails. 360 of the prisoners are children, including a 6 months old child, who is the youngest prisoner in the world. Some 6.18% of prisoners are ill.

"Israel has arrested 10,000 Palestinian women since 1967. Four Palestinian women have delivered while in Israeli jails. "


--from As-Safir newspaper, translated at:

http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2008/07/this-is-zionism_17.html


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Friday, July 11, 2008

"Arab and other workers walked off the job as two afternoon shifts were shut down to protest the UAW purchase of Israeli bonds."


"The League of Revolutionary Black Workers, Arab Americans and Palestine Solidarity"

Published in "Palestine Solidarity Review", Fall 2003

On the Web at:
http://psreview.org/content/view/18/70/

by Lauren Ray


Palestine solidarity activists face intimidation. If we are talented at what we do, organizing and educating about the nature of Israel’s white supremacy and colonialism, it is a real risk that we may lose our jobs or get thrown out of school. That the media, the twin managers of corporate capital and trade union bureaucracy, and even so-called defenders of intellectual freedom are liable to turn against us is an occupational hazard. John Watson, member of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers, and student editor of the South End, the campus newspaper of Wayne State University in Detroit, confronted these obstacles in 1968.The paper published an article/editorial favorable toward Palestinian guerrilla operations against Israel. The reaction far outstripped anything before thrown at the South End and set off a series of events that would lead to Watson being pushed out as editor.

Meanwhile in the auto plants of Detroit, thousands of Arab immigrants were laboring, like their African American co-workers, under difficult conditions and represented by a United Auto Workers (UAW) union that was, when not openly hostile, showed willful neglect. By 1973 the number of Arab auto workers had grown significantly. As a sign of increasing militancy, they organized against Leonard Woodcock, then president of the UAW, for accepting an award from B’nai B’rith and against Local 600 for buying Israeli bonds. As well, whereas in the past they had often crossed the picket lines, these Arab auto workers participated in the wildcat strikes called by the League of Revolutionary Black Workers.

Racial and class subordination at home, along with imperialism abroad, produced important and significant activity among Black and Arab workers in the Detroit area. Looking at such a confluence can bring historical weight to the vital strategic importance of a principled and consistent anti-racist democratic perspective which is independent and antagonistic to the permanent hypocrisy of the politicians, local officials, administrators and the union bosses.

The League of Revolutionary Black Workers

The League of Revolutionary Black Workers arose out of the growing militancy of the Black Freedom Movement during the 1960s.[1] The struggle for black autonomy, that found its form in both non-violent direct action and armed uprisings across the U.S., was being unrelentingly repressed by the forces of coercion protecting white supremacy. The so-called progressive moves by the state to expand public welfare and civil rights legislation were finally implemented to subdue rebellious masses (not forge a “Great Society” as the state pretended). Out of continued frustration, anger, and the hopeless limitations of these progressive moves, Black communities exploded from Watts to Newark to Detroit.

The Detroit rebellion of July 1967 was one of the largest Black insurrections this country has seen. It lasted about five days, and during that time African Americans responded to years of police brutality and oppression in the workplace by taking to the streets and battling all the forces of coercion that the U.S. state had to offer—the Detroit police, the National Guard and the U.S. army were called out to suppress the uprising.

Out of the ashes of the city wide rebellion, Black workers brought militant rebellion directly to their capitalist managers. In May of 1968, while the world was watching an epic uprising in France of workers and students which nearly toppled the French rulers, between three and four thousand workers participated in a wildcat strike at the Dodge Main auto plant. This strike was a protest against two main factors. First, black workers were being stifled in the factory by racist policies that kept them in the most back-breaking jobs with no chance of promotion or pay increase. At a time when intellectuals were theorizing about automation making workers obsolete, black workers at another plant were beginning to refer with ironic humor to the conditions of labor they faced as “n*****rmation.”

Second, Black workers faced racism in the unions, particularly the United Auto Workers (UAW), which the League renamed “U Ain’t White” for its policies of discrimination and exclusion towards black folks. This fact has not always been clear in the historical record because the major leader of the UAW, Walter Reuther, while doing nothing to fight racism where he had the power to do so inside his own union, has been written up more as a symbol of unity between civil rights and organized labor than for his actual substance.[2]

Several of the Black workers decided to organize the Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement (DRUM). A number of other RUMs were soon established at other factories in Detroit including the famous and huge Ford River Rouge Plant, and Chrysler’s Eldon Avenue Gear and Axle plant, but also with spinoffs nationally.[3] With increasing success and popularity of RUM wildcat strikes and popular associations among black workers, an umbrella organization, named the League of Revolutionary Black Workers (LRBW), was created in 1969 to centralize the organizing efforts.

During its short lifetime, the LRBW was to become a radical beacon of light in the struggle for Black autonomy in a turbulent time of political assassinations, state repression, and growing imperialist aggression at the hands of the U.S. state. The founding leaders of the LRBW along with John Watson were Ken Cockrel, Luke Tripp, Mike Hamlin, General Baker, and Chuck Wooten. Ernest Allen and James Forman would play prominent roles subsequently. They would be inspired by such precursors as the Afro-American Student Movement, the ideas of CLR James and James and Grace Lee Boggs, Pan-Africanism, and Third World Marxist ideas associated with China and Cuba. There would be a permanent tension between race and class as a prism for maintaining the direction of the LRBW’s political philosophy which would lead ultimately to its collapse.

On one hand the LRBW with its initial dual unionism approach was not advocating for a progressive ruling class, where folks of color would replace the colonial or white rulers to whom they were currently enslaved. On the other, their dual unionism did not maintain ideals of working class self-management but contributed to the compromise of affirmative action in both union and managerial leadership. However, in keeping focus on their international outlook, they did maintain that the key to worldwide liberation lie in the dismantling of white supremacy and empire, and the creation of societies based on the self-determination of all people. Elements from the DRUM constitution demonstrate this aspect of internationalism within the LRBW. The organizers wrote:

We recognize our struggle is not an isolated one and that we have common cause with the black workers in this racist nation and throughout the world…By being in the forefront of this revolutionary struggle we must act swiftly to help organize DRUM-type organizations…be it in Lynn Townsend’s kitchen, the White House, White Castle, Ford Rouge, the Mississippi Delta, the plains of Wyoming, the tin mines of Bolivia, the rubber plantation of Indonesia, the oil fields of Biafra, or the Chrysler plants in South Africa.[4]

The LRBW’s solidarity with international struggles found its way into many of the organization’s writings. Every organization needs its mouthpiece, and for some time the messenger for DRUM, and later the League, was the Inner City Voice (ICV). A publication distributed mostly among Black workers in the various Detroit auto factories, it was originally published in 1967. When funding began to run out for the ICV a year later, the DRUM organizers sought another outlet through which they could continue to advocate autonomous organization of the Black workers and denounce institutionalized oppressions.

John Watson soon found that opportunity when, as a student at Wayne State University, he ran for editor of the student newspaper and won. The South End was turned into an important outlet for LRBW perspectives and a mass circulation paper. Watson sought to distribute the paper off-campus as well. It would become a platform for which it advocated support for a number of national liberation and guerilla warfare struggles in Mexico, Guatemala, Vietnam, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), South Africa as well as Palestine, making systematic connections between conditions at home and struggles abroad.[5] Making these connections was to lead the League of Revolutionary Black Workers to cultivate links with Arab groups and showing films on the Palestinian struggle. Finally, in 1973, Watson went to the Middle East and met with Palestinian guerrilla organizations.

“Pandora’s Box”[6]

After Watson published the editorial statement on Palestinian resistance to Israel in Wayne State’s student paper, President Keast of the university—already eager to remove Watson because of the publishing of articles on Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Marxism and the struggle in Greece, as well as local controversies such as attacking the United Auto Workers leadership—attacked the paper saying it was “reminiscent of Hitler’s Germany.”[7] City, state, union officials, local papers and television shortly followed suit, culminating in an arson attack on South End offices. The alumni group and state legislature threatened to cut off funding and even the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) made a censuring statement. A Pandora’s Box was opened.

Watson’s response cut to the heart of the matter. If all of these people were so horrified by racism then why did all of the critics of the editorial say nothing about the institutional racism against Black and Arab workers in the auto plants or in the city. Official society protested criticism of the abuses committed by the Zionist state, and yet remained silent about the abuses being suffered by Black and Arab workers in Detroit, even though the facts and figures displayed these abuses for all to see. Watson also asked why some critics of the editorial belonged to the exclusive Detroit Athletic Club, which discriminated against Jews, or lived in the exclusive suburb Gross Pointe, known to discriminate against Blacks. For Watson the South End, like the League, took a stand against all forms of racism but the critics only selectively and disingenuously responded to racism when it benefited them. Further, Detroit had the largest Arab population in the United States and he wondered why they were so dangerous that their points of view had to be kept in the closet at all costs.

Considering Watson’s response from a contemporary point of view is rewarding. While today’s politicians, union officials, alumni groups and newspapers piously celebrate jumbled and falsified versions of the African and African American freedom struggles, the Arab struggle is designated still as a major enemy. The discontents and battles fought by Arab Americans are silenced as the state attempts to mold them into another “model minority,” when convenient, leaving suppressed a rich history of resistance, especially surrounding Palestine solidarity. On the other hand, when Palestinians and Arabs do not comply, the state, politicians, experts and “responsible” leaders mobilize the rainbow-colored coalition against the “bad races.” This reflects the structural relations in the Middle East where the Palestinian struggle is in the forefront of fighting imperialism and colonialism. The “Pandora’s Box” is indicative of this important point. The greater the oppression the greater the hysteria over the racial threat found in the Arab peoples and, in particular Palestinians.

We are told that Palestine solidarity arose in the states during the 1980s by white college kids. This historical account offered to us, like most accounts of U.S. history we receive in school and elsewhere, ignores not only the more radical grassroots elements of Palestine solidarity among Arab Americans, but likewise the essential multi-racial alliances forged by Arab Americans with African Americans, among other groups. White supremacy and imperialism cross all racial, ethnic, and geographic boundaries and have been the tools facilitating the oppression of peoples in Detroit and around the globe. As one radical group operating out of the Dodge Main plant put it, “Chrysler figures that no one will try to help an Arab worker when Chrysler attacks him. So now Chrysler is attacking…It’s the same kind of shit they have pulled with black people.”[8]

Many Arab workers in turn honored wildcat strikes called by the League and when their numbers increased they became more organized, like Black workers, independently within the union. The confluence of fighting white supremacy in the union and the auto plant and in Israel/Palestine took shape in organizational form during this period in Detroit. Arab workers like African American workers got the worst jobs and the least pay – something the union facilitated for the management. Union leadership, had since just after the Second World War, worked with capitalist management to discipline workers from any further advance toward control of the union and ultimately production. Further, union bureaucracy worked with management to use people of color workers as strike breaking leverage, while at the same time tried to keep them out of the union or from forming their own organizations.

By the late 1960’s and early 1970’s Arab workers were experiencing this same dynamic. Not only did they get low pay, the worst jobs, and were the first to be fired. But when the local union boss, Leonard Woodcock accepted a Humanitarian Award from B’nai B’rith, Arab and other workers walked off the job as two afternoon shifts were shut down to protest the UAW purchase of Israeli bonds. When Ford local 600 union bought Israeli bonds, only adding to its three-quarters of a million in bonds it already held, Arab workers decided to organize against union leadership. Arab workers made the argument that the Union should not be invested in the Zionist state just like it should not be invested in the Afrikaaner or Rhodesian regime. 3,000 marched to the union’s offices.[9]

The ignoring and coercion of Arab workers by the union bureaucrats and the management was part of a long history of racism and class warfare against the rank and file that is still with us today.

This Pandora’s Box in America, its explosive potential for fundamental change, suggests two lessons on some of the key struggles of this period for our own time. The first was in the contradictions within the union between discipline from above and rank-and-file control of the union and, ultimately, moving out into control of production in the plant. The second was the contradictions between two forces. While all along the state and official society talked about democracy and freedom, there was racism directed against Black and Arab workers and students at home along with U.S. support abroad for the racist war in Zimbabwe, Vietnam and the Portuguese colonies, and Apartheid under the Afrikaaner and Zionist regimes. On the other was the struggle by ordinary people against this systematic racial oppression. These two diametrically opposed traditions of democracy still hold their explosive force today – one seeking to enforce racial and class discipline from above in the name of democracy and freedom, and the other the struggle and implementation of self-government towards the abolishment of class and white supremacy from below.

Conclusion

Arab and African American workers never formed an organization coming out of this period of ferment in early 1970’s Detroit. However, what is important is that Black and Arab workers, while coming from different cultural histories, found themselves together under white supremacy and capitalism in the U.S., and African and Arab nations attacked and subordinated by imperialism and settler colonialism abroad. Facing this they began to move in the same direction. The explosiveness of the Palestine/Israel situation was indicative of this. Nowhere in the world are the contradictions of imperialism and liberal and social democracy so sharp and clear than in the oppression of the Palestinians. Watson and the LRBW’s experience shows how the officials who said they support civil rights could say so little about the exploitation of Black people and workers in Detroit and elsewhere, or about the oppression of the Palestinian people. At this point the state had assimilated the civil rights agenda and used it as a way to beat back more fundamental change suggested by aspects of the Black Power movement, including efforts towards an end to imperialism and colonialism abroad, such as that which the Palestinians live under in the Jewish state. We are witnessing a similar trend today, as rulers, politicians and bureaucrats in the U.S. and Palestine/Israel pay lip service to the desire for peace and justice, while blatantly working to destroy any such hopes by denying return of refugees, equal access for Palestinians to land and water resources, open travel, and the support of Arab-only zones, both financially and militarily.

The League of Revolutionary Black Workers was not the only Black radical organization of its era to express support for Palestine’s freedom; numerous groups, from SNCC to the Black Panther Party, likewise expressed solidarity with Palestinians. At the same time the League’s solidarity was unique in several ways that we can draw lessons from today. The organization of workers, both in Palestine/Israel and here in the U.S., will be essential to a successful fight against the institutions, such as white supremacy, which oppress us. This is especially instrumental for divestment campaigns; we cannot organize, isolated on our campuses from the outside world, but must actively incorporate the local communities and the thousands of workers who are involved with and give support to our universities. Likewise, the struggle for a free Palestine is not an Arab or Arab American battle, but must be a multi-racial, multi-ethnic struggle of all justice seeking peoples who are opposed to imperialist and racist agendas. And finally, our struggle must be against all forces which desire to block the self-activity of the Palestinians to liberate themselves—from Arafat and his lackeys, to Western imperialists, to Zionists (leftist, liberal or right-wing). As the League wrote so many years ago, we must continue to battle those enemies “who would further impoverish the poor, exploit the exploited, and take advantage of the powerless.”

Thanks to Aaron Michael Love and Matthew Quest for their assistance with this article.

Footnotes

1. The definitive study of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers is Dan Georgakas and Marvin Surkin’s Detroit: I Do Mind Dying, 2nd ed. Boston: South End Press, 1998.

--The other major full length account is James Geschwender’s Class, Race and Worker’s Insurgency: The League of Revolutionary Black Workers. Cambridge University Press, 1977.

--The following are two other important accounts:

* Ernest Allen. “Dying for the Inside: the Decline of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers.” -- in They Should Have Served that Cup of Coffee, Dick Cluster ed. Boston: South End Press, 1979.;
* Akbar Muhammad Ahmad. “The League of Revolutionary Black Workers: A Historical Study.” Circa 1979. Collective Action Notes. 13 October, 2003, www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Lobby/2379//lrbw.htm .

2. Walter Reuther was the major representative speaker for organized labor at the Dr. Martin Luther King led March on Washington of 1963 – one of the many reasons Malcolm X’s assessment of it as “The Farce on Washington” needs to be remembered.
For a vision of Walter Reuther seen at his most progressive see Nelson Lictensstein’s The Most Dangerous Man in Detroit: Walter Reuther and the Fate of American Labor. New York: Basic Books, 1995.
For a critique of this study see “Walter Reuther and the Decline of the American Labor Movement.” In Martin Glaberman’s Punching Out and Other Writings. Staughton Lynd, ed. Chicago: Charles H. Kerr, 2002. 64-92.

3. These national spin offs included RUMS in the steel mills of Birmingham, Alabama, and auto plants in Fremont, California, Baltimore, Maryland, and Mahwah, New Jersey.
For insight on the latter see “Wilbur Haddock on the United Black Brothers.” Souls. 2.2 (Spring 2000): 27-33.

4. DRUM Constitution (1968) quoted in “Black revolutionary union Movement: Drum, The League, BWC.” EBlack Studies. 1 September, 2003 http://www.eblackstudies.org/intro/chapter7.htm .
Lynn Townsend was the corporate chairman of Chrysler at that time. Biafra was predominately Igbo republic breaking away from the nation-state in the Nigeria Civil War which began in 1967.

5. John Watson (Sept. 26, 1968) quoted by Nicole Lanctot in “Revolution at Wayne State’s Student Newspaper from 1968-1969.” In South End. 13, November, 2002. 1 September.
http://www.southend.wayne.edu/days/2002/nov//11132002/news/revolution/revolution.html

6. Quoted in Georgakas and Surkin, p. 51. The phrase was used by a comrade of Watson’s, Nick Medvecky, at the South End:
“When John Watson and myself, as the Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor of last year’s South End, came out with a front page news/editorial statement on Al Fatah, little did we realize at the time what a Pandora’s Box had been opened.” Inner City Voice, November 1969.

7. Ibid.; pg. 51-52.

8. Ibid.; pg. 30.

9. Ibid.; pg. 65.



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"Student lobbying organization votes to boycott 'apartheid' Israel"




"Student lobbying organization votes to boycott 'apartheid' Israel"

By Joey Coleman | July 11th, 2008

MACLEANS (Canada)

On the Web at:

http://oncampus.macleans.ca/education/2008/07/11/student-lobbying-organization-votes-to-boycott-apartheid-israel/


Nearly two months ago, Quebec’s L’Association pour une Solidarité Syndicale Étudiante (ASSÉ) voted to boycott Isreali goods and called for sanctions against Israel.

Really, and this is a student issue how?

(It’s worth noting the disconnect between French and English Canada here. Had this occurred at any English Canadian students’ union, we (the media horde) would have been all over the story.)



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There Is 1 Response So Far. »

1.

Comment by EvaSK on 11 July 2008:

It is not student issue, it is whole humanity issue.

This is a excerpt from article called “Worse than Apartheid” published by leading Israeli newpaper, Haareth, on 10th of July 2008:

Quote:

She was deputy defense minister from 1999 to 2004; in 1987 she served time in prison. Later, I asked her in what ways the situation here is worse than apartheid. “The absolute control of people’s lives, the lack of freedom of movement, the army presence everywhere, the total separation and the extensive destruction we saw.”

Madlala-Routledge thinks that the struggle against the occupation is not succeeding here because of U.S. support for Israel - not the case with apartheid, which international sanctions helped destroy. Here, the racist ideology is also reinforced by religion, which was not the case in South Africa. “Talk about the ‘promised land’ and the ‘chosen people’ adds a religious dimension to racism which we did not have.”

Equally harsh are the remarks of the editor-in-chief of the Sunday Times of South Africa, Mondli Makhanya, 38. “When you observe from afar you know that things are bad, but you do not know how bad. Nothing can prepare you for the evil we have seen here. In a certain sense, it is worse, worse, worse than everything we endured. The level of the apartheid, the racism and the brutality are worse than the worst period of apartheid.

“The apartheid regime viewed the blacks as inferior; I do not think the Israelis see the Palestinians as human beings at all. How can a human brain engineer this total separation, the separate roads, the checkpoints? What we went through was terrible, terrible, terrible - and yet there is no comparison. Here it is more terrible. We also knew that it would end one day; here there is no end in sight. The end of the tunnel is blacker than black.

“Under apartheid, whites and blacks met in certain places. The Israelis and the Palestinians do not meet any longer at all. The separation is total. It seems to me that the Israelis would like the Palestinians to disappear. There was never anything like that in our case. The whites did not want the blacks to disappear. I saw the settlers in Silwan [in East Jerusalem] - people who want to expel other people from their place.”


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"Boycott Israel"

Detroit News, July 11, 2008



In the "Detroit News", July 11, 2008, at:

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080711/OPINION01/807110316/1008



"Boycott Israel"



"It is high time The Detroit News denounced Islamophobia. As Israel turns Gaza into a modern replica of the Warsaw ghetto, trying to starve a million Palestinians into submission, The News should join the call for a humanitarian boycott against Israel before Palestine is starved to death."



Blaine Coleman


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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Ask Dearborn City Council to boycott the Racist State of Israel


The ongoing effort to boycott the Apartheid state of Israel, at Dearborn City Council:

Just click, to make the picture larger.

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Seattle movement to divest from War on Palestine, War on Iraq, War on Iran:

In Seattle, thousands have already petitioned to stop investing in the occupation of Palestine, the occupation of Iraq, and any war on Iran:


"Activists seek divestment linked to Iraq"

April 10, 2008, 10:13 PM

Full article on the Web at:


http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/358686_divest11.html


"...In a stance against apartheid, the city and the University of Washington had policies years ago against owning stock in companies that did business in South Africa.


"The latest proposal would prohibit the city from investing employees' retirement funds in corporations that participate in or profit from the U.S. occupation of Iraq or the Israeli government's activities within the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.


"Also disqualified would be corporations with a presence in Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. Finally, the measure would require the city to divest from Israeli government bonds should Israel launch a military attack on Iran..."


_____________________________________


The divestment petition, as of May 16, 2008, is below, and is on the Web at:

http://divestfromwar.org/materials/signature-form-05-16-2008.pdf


Just click to make the picture larger.
Just click to make the picture larger.


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Almost 1,000 petitioners demand total boycott of Israel, at People's Food Co-op



(Click on image to enlarge it.)


"Pushing in Ann Arbor for boycott of Israel"

The Arab American News
Dearborn, Michigan
August 18, 2007

Page 21.

On the Internet at:
http://arabamericannews.com/newsarticle.php?articleid=9529


ANN ARBOR — The People’s Food Co-op is no longer just a grocery store. It is now where a historic vote will take place to boycott all Israeli products.

Horrified by the Israeli army’s destruction of Palestine and Lebanon, nearly 1,000 Ann Arbor residents petitioned the local grocery store to boycott Israel.

The voting will take place inside the store, starting September 1. The boycott ballot box will close on September 30.

With $900 million in annual sales, the Co-op has been an institution in Ann Arbor for over 30 years; it is proud to be one of the few stores in town promoting fair trade in business and advocating for the protection of all life on earth. The Co-op has boycotted dolphin-unsafe tuna and has supported the United Farm Workers’ grape boycott, but never supported the world-wide boycott of apartheid South Africa.

The campaign to boycott Israel was initiated when a product called "Israeli Couscous" was spotted on the co-op shelves. Openly selling products from a racist state? That seemed unthinkable, for a co-op dedicated to workers' rights and even dolphins' rights. So Ann Arbor human rights activists contacted the co-op managers, and quickly met with the co-op Board to request a humanitarian boycott against apartheid Israel.

Almost 1,000 petition signatures urging a boycott of Israel were gathered. As a result, the co-op board was compelled to schedule a Boycott-Israel Referendum. Thousands of flyers have already been handed out in front of the co-op calling for the boycott and highlighting Israel's long alliance with apartheid South Africa. The upcoming boycott vote has panicked a handful of local Zionists, who rushed to "join" the co-op so as to obstruct the referendum.

City Councilmember Joan Lowenstein complained, in co-op president Linda Feldt's blog — "…Linda, you are right: this does not bring people together but tears them apart. I hope the co-op will not single out Israel or Israeli products…"

Last summer, the Lebanese people shattered the myth of invincible Zionist power; the myth was shattered again in Ann Arbor on August 9, 2007, by an unprecedented series of public speakers addressing the food co-op's Board at their monthly meeting.

In the basement of the co-op, Israel was effectively put on trial for starving Palestinians, stealing their top-soil and making Gaza into a living hell. One after another, members of the co-op spoke with conviction against Israeli and U.S. crimes in Palestine and Iraq.

Speaking with passion, they vividly portrayed the "filthy boots of occupiers on prayer rugs" as marks of inhumanity and shame in Fallujah and Jenin.

Outrage against Israel's savage racism rose to a unified voice, with seven speakers demanding an immediate boycott of the apartheid state.

The three Zionist representatives, stunned with disbelief and in anguish, were obviously shocked at any public demands against Israel. Public action against Israeli brutality is a new thing, in Ann Arbor and in the U.S.

The legitimacy and legality of grassroots human rights boycotts were fully confirmed at the meeting.


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Michigan Daily:
"Dearborn student gov't demands divestment"

See the article below, published today in the University of Michigan's daily student newspaper:
________________________________________________________________________

"Dearborn student gov't demands divestment:
"Bill passes unanimously; regents almost certainly won't vote to divest"


By Kelly Fraser
10/4/06
MICHIGAN DAILY (Ann Arbor)

On the Web at:
http://media.www.michigandaily.com/media/storage/paper851/news/2006/10/04/UAdministration/Dearborn.Student.Govt.Demands.Divestment-2330327.shtml?sourcedomain=www.michigandaily.com&MIIHost=media.collegepublisher.com

"The student government at the University's Dearborn campus last week unanimously passed a resolution calling for the University's Board of Regents to vote to divest from Israel.


"The student government passed similar resolutions in 2004 and 2005.

"This year's resolution reads, 'We demand that the University cease all investment in companies that financially benefit from the actions of the Israeli military in illegally occupied territories.'

"Bilal Dabaja, Dearborn's student government's senate speaker, said the resolution is stronger than the previous two because of this summer's war between Israel and Hezbollah.

"Dearborn Student Government President Tarek Baydoun said the resolution has broad support on campus. It is unlikely, however, that the resolution will be meet with the same level of support in Ann Arbor or by the regents, who would ultimately decide whether the University divests.

"As a branch of the University, the Dearborn campus cannot independently divest.

"The resolution asks the regents to form an advisory committee of administrators and students to examine the University's financial ties with Israel. This request follows procedure created by a resolution adopted by the board in 1978 to consider divestment cases.

"The 1978 resolution reads, 'If the Regents shall determine that a particular issue involves serious moral or ethical questions which are of concern to many members of the University community, an advisory committee consisting of members of the University Senate, students, administration and alumni will be appointed to gather information and formulate recommendations for the Regents' consideration.'

"Divestment is rare. The University has only divested twice in its history. First, in 1978, the board voted to divest from apartheid South Africa. In 2000, it divested from the tobacco industry.

"Baydoun said the student government hopes to increase the influence of the divestment resolution with a University-wide petition drive.

"Dabaja said the goal of the petition is to collect "as many signatures as possible" to convince the regents to take up the matter.

"Dabaja acknowledged that the regents have historically not been receptive to the idea but said the resolution is necessary.

" 'We understand that in the past the regents have not agreed with us, but we will continue to bring this issue to their attention,' he said. 'If we cannot stop the tragedy, it is our duty to speak out against the injustice in our capacity as students.'

"Last March, University Regent Larry Deitch (D-Bingham Farms) told the Daily the regents would not support divestment and that a resolution from student government would not change this.

"In an e-mail yesterday, Deitch reaffirmed his position.

"When asked if there were any circumstances under which the University should divest or if last week's resolution changed his position, Deitch replied only, "NO."

"Josh Berman, chair of the American Movement for Israel, said divestment would be counterproductive.

" 'Divestment is a divisive tactic focused on one-sided finger pointing towards Israel in a way that kills dialogue,' Breman said. 'Those who care about initiating positive change should insist in dialogue as well as a solution that benefits Palestinians, Israelis and Lebanese alike.'

"In 2005, the Michigan Student Assembly, the student government at the Ann Arbor campus, voted down a resolution calling for the creation of a committee to investigate University investments in Israel.

"Although the vote was expected to be close, the measure failed 25-11.

"MSA President Nicole Stallings said she would not rule out the possibility of taking up a vote for divestment if 'there was a huge outcry from students' but said 'there are more effective ways of exploring the issue.'

"Instead, Stallings said the focus should be on 'taking that dialogue and turning it into something positive.'


"MSA on divestment

"The Dearborn campus's student government has passed three resolutions to divest from Israel in the past three years.

"The Michigan Student Assembly has not taken up the issue since the spring of 2005, when a resolution requesting that the University Board of Regents form a committee to examine the University's investments linked to Israel was defeated by a 25-11 vote.

"Hundreds of students crowded the scheduled room, anxious to hear the results. MSA was forced to relocate the meeting to the Michigan Union Ballroom to accommodate the crowd. At times, the tension erupted and crowd members interrupted speakers with passionate outbursts..."


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The Wayne State University Student Council voted for total divestment from Israel.

The Wayne State University Student Council voted for total divestment from Israel.
That means: Invest nothing in the racist state of Israel.

It was front-page news, in the campus and community press:



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1988--
Palestinian Peace Activist Calls for Divestment from Israel



Dr. Mubarak Awad, deported from his home in Palestine, in June 1988.

Israel deported Dr. Awad for organizing nonviolent resistance to the Israeli Occupation.


You can find Dr. Awad's scholarly study, "Non-Violent Resistance: A Strategy for the Occupied Territories", in the Winter 1984 issue of the "Journal of Palestine Studies".

Or you can read the full study, 15 pages, by clicking here:

http://www.why-war.com/files/nonviolentpalestine.pdf

Dr. Awad's study explains how Palestinains have resisted occupation since the early 1930's, using many peaceful and non-peaceful means of resistance. He cites the 1936 Palestinian Revolt, as an example of both kinds of resistance.
______________________________________________________________


“Touring Awad Calls for Unity On Palestine”

“The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution”
October 20, 1988

Page E/1

by Thonnia Lee
Staff Writer

“Since Mubarak Awad returned to the United States after being deported from Israel in June because of his connection to Palestinian uprisings, the Jerusalem-born U.S. citizen hasn't spent more than three days at home.
"Mr. Awad and his wife Nancy have been traveling through the United States trying to encourage American support and understanding in the Palestinian uprisings.

"Last week, the American Friends Service Committee hosted the couple during three days of conferences, workshops and interviews in Atlanta.

“…Almost 300 Palestinians have been killed since the uprising began Dec. 8 against Israeli rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip….”

“…Mr. Awad, who was born in Jerusalem, became a United States citizen in 1978. He is founder of the Palestinian Center for the Study of Nonviolence in Jerusalem and author of "Nonviolent Resistance: A Strategy for the Occupied Territories."

“Mr. Awad said there will be a self-governing Palestinian nation. What is unknown, he said, is just how soon and how many will have to die.

“ ‘Palestinians are human beings who need justice and peace too,’ Mr. Awad said. ‘Now they are showing it by protesting. A million and a half are protesting in the street that we don't want to stay under occupation and we are willing to die for that.’

"Mr. Awad is trying to encourage citizens of the United States is to contact Congressmen and other political representatives to try to get some action. One suggestion is through financial divestiture.

“ ‘We have to put the responsibility back on the Americans because they are supporting Israel financially. And if they are supporting it financially, they are supporting the oppression of the Palestinians because the gas is coming from the United States. The guns are coming from the United States. The ammunition is coming from the United States. The economy of Israel is coming from the United States,’ said Mr. Awad.

“ ‘The United States has a responsibility to say no to Israel, not only by words, but also by deeds....”


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