Summer University of Palestine, American University of Beirut, Beirut Lebanon, July 23 - 30
Monday, August 1, 2011
Summer University of Palestine, American University of Beirut, Beirut Lebanon, July 23 - 30
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Friday, July 8, 2011
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
On July 8th, hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists from around the world will stage a “fly-in” at Ben Gurion International airport in
Inspired by the sit-ins and freedom rides of the civil rights movement, in the
I will be traveling with a group of US citizens who have accepted an invitation from the Al Rowwad Cultural Centre in Aida Refugee Camp,
I see my participation in this delegation as part of multi-faceted communication and direct action campaign with the
Thursday, March 24, 2011
On March 8th I met with Rep. Jared Polis staff at his Washington DC office in the Cannon Office Building. I submitted four "asks" relating to US policy about Israel's oppression of Palestinians. On Tuesday March 29th I've got an appointment to meet with Staff at the Congressman's Boulder office. We will be discussing Jared's thoughts and response to the asks and especially his views regarding Israel's apartheid of Palestinians.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Rep. Jared Polis – “
1. Amendments to the FY2012 Budget Request for Military Aid to
We ask Members of Congress to offer amendments to the budget/appropriations bill to condition military aid to
- In February President Obama sent his FY2012 budget request to Congress, which included a record-breaking $3.075 billion in military aid to
. The Fy2011 budget, which has not yet been passed by Congress or signed by the President, includes $3 billion in military aid to Israel . Israel
United Statescannot afford military aid to . The website www.aidtoisrael.org documents how much military aid Colorado and the 2nd Congressional District will be providing under the terms of the 2007 agreement between the United States and Israel, and what that money could fund instead to promote affordable housing, green jobs training, education programs, and health care access. Please take a look at the numbers. The research shows that military aid to Israel comes at a price that we cannot afford. Israel
- Military aid to
does not work to promote a just and lasting peace between Palestinians and Israelis. In fact, it does just the opposite, by literally “fueling” the conflict (as documented in a 2009 Amnesty International report). Israel routinely misuses U.S. weapons in violation of the Arms Export Control Act to commit human rights abuses against Palestinians and to maintain its illegal military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip. These weapons were misused by Israel to commit violations of human rights and international law, war crimes, and possible crimes against humanity before, during and after “Operation Cast Lead,” according to the UN-backed Goldstone Report. Since September 2000, Israel Israelhas killed more than 3,000 unarmed Palestinian civilians, according to the Israeli human rights organization B’tselem, often with weapons. U.S.
- Since the
United Statescannot afford military aid to Israel, and since Israelroutinely misuses U.S.weapons in violation of U.S.law, U.S.military aid to should be conditioned. Our proposed amendments to the budget/appropriations bill include: conditioning aid to Israel Israelon its freezing settlements; ending the siege on Gaza; restricting the use of U.S.weapons to within ’s sovereign territory; and investigating prior misuses of weapons (please see enclosed memo for details). Israel
2. Letter to Secretary of State Clinton Requesting AECA Investigation of U.S.-supplied Tear Gas
We ask Members of Congress to send Secretary of State Clinton a letter asking for the State Department to investigate
- Members of Congress have a responsibility to ensure that the laws they pass are followed. When a country misuses
weapons in violation of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), the State Department is obligated by law to open an investigation and report its findings of violations to this law to Congress. U.S.
- The AECA restricts the use of U.S. Weapons to “internal security” or “legitimate self-defense.”
misuses U.S.-supplied tear gas canisters and other “riot control equipment” to crack down on peaceful protests led by Palestinians, and often supported by Israelis and international citizens in solidarity with them. Several Israel citizens have been killed after being hit with the canisters, and a number of Palestinians have been killed after being hit with the canisters or inhaling the gas. Each individual case detailed in the template letter enclosed. U.S.
3. Letter to the Internal Revenue Service Requesting Investigation of 501c3 Organizations
We as Members of Congress to send a letter to the Inspector General of the IRS asking it to investigate organizations that support illegal Israeli settlements.
Israelhas established 150 settlements, populated by a hal-million Jewish Israelis, in the occupied Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalemin contravention of the 4th Geneva Convention, which prohibits the transfer of civilians to occupied territories. The State Department concluded in a 1978 legal memorandum that these settlements are “inconsistent with international law” and the Obama Administration has repeatedly called them “illegitimate.” The continued expansion of ’s illegal settlements cast doubts on the viability of a two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel
- Non-profit organizations registered with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as 501c3 organizations are supposed to be charitable and educational in nature. However, many 501c3 organizations exist to support
’s illegal settlements and operate in ways counter to IRS regulations to finance their distinctly non-charitable purposes. Individuals donating to 501c3 organizations are allowed by law to take a tax-deduction. Therefore, money going to these organizations deprives the Israel Treasury of badly needed tax receipts. U.S.
- Members of Congress have a responsibility to ensure that charitable organizations are not fraudulently taking advantage of the tax code to funnel money to non-charitable purposes that conflict with IRS regulations,
law and policy, an international law. U.S.
4. Support for the Global BDS Movement for
I ask Representative Polis to support the Global Movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions against
- The Palestinians in the
Occupied Territoriescontinue to suffer under 's illegal and immoral regime of military occupation, colonization and apartheid. Israel
invests millions $$$ in companies that support the Israeli apartheid. These companies profit from Universityof Colorado Israel’s occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Some of the companies provide weapons and covert surveillance supplies that support occupation by force. Others take or exploit Palestinian resources, including scarce water and even the land itself. These companies are profiting from ’s violations of international law and international human rights standards. Israel
- There is serious concern among the University community that the University’s investments in these companies violate the
’s commitment to human rights and social justice. Universityof Colorado
- Please send a letter a letter to the Board of Regents,
requesting they initiate a study to evaluate which of the University’s investments support Israeli apartheid and take steps to divest from such investments. (See template attached.) Universityof Colorado
Saturday, March 5, 2011
By Tim Johnson, Free Press Staff Writer • Saturday, March 5, 2011A new divestment proposal, targeting companies that reinforce Israel's foothold in Palestinian territories, has begun making its way through the University of Vermont's lengthy review process.
The proposal calls for the university to withdraw endowment funds from all companies "contractually involved in, and directly profiting from, the occupation of Palestine." Palestine is defined as land that includes the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. The companies in question would be those that supply products or services to the Israeli military or to Israeli settlements in the territories.
Drafted by emeritus research professor Ian Stokes and endorsed by UVM Students for Justice in Palestine, the proposal will be the subject of a March 17 public forum sponsored by UVM's Socially Responsible Investing Work Group. That group -- comprising trustees, faculty, students and staff -- handles the initial screening of all formal recommendations for tailoring UVM investments to social and ethical concerns.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh
Distinguished Palestinian scientist, human rights activist,
and author of the recently published book
Popular Resistance in Palestine:
A History of Hope and Empowerment,
will be presenting 2 events:
On Monday, March 7, 4-6 PM
Lecture, “Popular Resistance in Palestine and the Arab World: Winds of Change,”
CU Boulder, Eaton Humanities, Room 250
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Monday, March 7, 7:30-8:30 PM
Book signing, Boulder Bookstore
1107 Pearl Street (On the Pearl Street Mall)
Sponsored by: The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, Middle East Collective; the CU Peace and Conflict Studies Program; the Center for the Study of Conflict, Collaboration, and Creative Governance; the CU Faculty Federation. For information, contact 303-444-6981, ext 2.
Monday, February 28, 2011
A CU at Boulder alumnus asked the university’s Board of Regents to consider a resolution to divest from companies that support Israel at the regents Tuesday (Feb. 22) meeting.
Boulder resident Michael Rabb, 64, read from a prepared text summarizing the resolution, for his allotted two minutes during the public comment section of the regents meeting.
A rebuttal, also two minutes, was given by Yona Eshkenazi, Colorado director of StandWithUs, whose mission is to ensure that Israel’s side of the story is told in communities, campuses and the media.
“The concept is similar to what happened in the 70s and 80s, where institutions all over the world said, ‘We’re not going to support companies that support aparthed in South Africa,’” Rabb told the IJN.
In the resolution, Rabb asked the university to divest from stocks from those companies that support “Israel’s apartheid policies against Palestinians.”
The resolution also stated, “Arabs in Palestine continue to suffer under Israel’s illegal and immoral regime of military occupation, colonization and apartheid.”
It also noted that CU invests about $1.7 billion through various funds, endowments, gifts, development and pension funds and corporate and business entities, and called on CU to uphold its “proud tradition of non-discrimination and commitment to human rights.”
Amy Stein, director of the Boulder ADL, Jonathan Lev, executive director of the Boulder JCC, and Janet Sherman, director of the Denver-based Jewish Community Relations Council, (representing 37 local and national Jewish community organizations in Boulder and Denver) were included in a group of at least 10 people who opposed the resolution. JCRC submitted a formal letter to the CU Board of Regents in opposition.
“There was a pretty good turnout of community members at the regents hearing,” said Prof. Mark Loewenstein, a CU-Boulder law professor who also attended the meeting.
“What that should indicate to the regents, if they were paying attention, is that it would be a very highly charged issue, and they would find themselves in the middle of a public controversy [if they were to consider the resolution].
“It wouldn’t benefit the university in any way. It’s almost inconceivable to me that they would consider this resolution.”
Rabb said his only supporter at the meeting was his wife.
Loewenstein added that he believed the resolution violated the Board of Regents adoption of the principle of “institutional neutrality,” in section 2.1 of the board’s policy.
This principle states that CU will maintain “institutional neutrality in social and political matters, unless it determines that the issue directly affects the university, is detrimental to the achievement of the university’s mission and purposes, and/or threatens academic freedom.”
THE proposed divestment resolution was first brought to the attention of pro-Israel students when they saw Rabb handing out anti-Israel flyers on Feb. 22 on the CU campus, said Zach Silverman, 19, a CU-Boulder sophomore and the co-president of Students for Israel.
The flyers called for interested students to meet with Rabb on the following night and to join a group he is calling CU-Divest.
In response, Jewish students quickly printed rebuttal flyers, although by that time the number of students who were passing through the UMC fountain area had dwindled, and Rabb left a half hour later, Silverman said.
“We decided we needed to battle him with information that was truth and fact,” Silverman said.
“It was just one guy handing out flyers for this divestment meeting, but one guy is too many for us.”
Tuesday night (Feb. 22) about 25 CU students gathered to re-start the Students for Israel organization, which last met early in the fall semester, Silverman said.
Some members of Students for Israel were planning to attend the CU-Divest meeting, but they were told to “listen” and “not be disrespectful,” he said.
“We are not trying to engage in any kind of opposition,” Silverman said. “We are not trying to initiate any conflict. We are simply here to advocate, educate and encourage intelligent discussion about the situation.”
RABB, who said he graduated in 1983 from CU-Boulder with a master’s degree in telecom, said he thought “a few” students would show up to the his meeting to support the divestment cause.
“There is a significant number of faculty, professors and otherwise within the university community who are very interested in this issue and concerned about the investment policies that support Israel’s apartheid,” Rabb said.
“I expect a few, not many, of the faculty to show up, although this is a student (organization) that we are trying to get started, but it’s open to the public.”
Rabb did not name the faculty members.
Rabb said he is a member of Global Boycott Divestment Sanction Movement, whose local group, Denver BDS, will sponsor an “Israel Apartheid week” in March.
The group’s Facebook page lists 32 fans, and says it is planning a “series of flashdances for Israel Apartheid Week” on Feb. 26 from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. and lists the location as 1660 Ogden St. in Denver.
Rabbi Adam Naftalin-Kelman, the executive director of University of California Berkeley Hillel and a former rabbi at CU-Boulder’s Hillel, said he didn’t think Rabb was representative of the climate on the CU campus.
“While I was at CU, I found the administration incredibly supportive of Jewish studies, Hillel and Chabad,” he said.
“From my understanding this was not a student-initiated movement of any sort.”
Last spring, Berkeley’s Student Senate failed to overide its President Will Smelko’s veto of a bill calling for the university to divest from companies that profit from Israel’s engagement in the West Bank and Gaza.
If passed, the bill would have required divestment of students’ association assets from weapons manufacturers General Electric and United Technologies.
“I don’t take this guy (Rabb) too seriously,” Rabbi Yisroel Wilhelm of Chabad at CU said.
“If it becomes a serious issue, and if the regents do seriously consider this, then both Chabad and Hillel will come together to get student and faculty support to make sure this doesn’t happen.”
Copyright © 2011 by the Intermountain Jewish News
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
2-minute Public Comment, Michael Rabb, 22 Feb 2011, Board of Regents Meeting,
Good Afternoon, My name is Michael Rabb, I’m alum of CU Boulder, graduate school, MS Telecom, 1983, and a local
I wanted to take advantage of public comment today to address the Board of Regents to communicate a serious concern among the University community, that investments held by the
You know there is a global campaign of BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) for
As a first step in this campaign, I have drafted a resolution for action by the Board of Regents. This draft resolution essentially requests that the University state unequivocally that it abhors apartheid and will do all it can to show its position on apartheid within its business practices by ending its investments that support the oppression of the Palestinian people,
It also requests the Board of Regents immediately commission an examination of its investments including all funds, endowments and pension funds with an objective of identifying investments in companies, institutions and investment funds that directly and indirectly support Israel’s apartheid policies,
And finally, the resolution requests the Board of Regents commit to act on the recommendations of the study to actually divest of its holdings in such companies and funds.
I request the Board of Regents consider this draft resolution and adopt the resolution. I hope we can meet with the Board of Regents in the future to develop this action.
For more information and the full text of the resolution please go to cu-divest.blogspot.com.
Thank you for your time.