West Bank

Oppose AIPAC Bills Attacking Iran Deal & Palestinian Human Rights

Lobbyists with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee [AIPAC] are pressing Members of Congress to co-sponsor bills that attack the Iran nuclear agreement by imposing new sanctions on Iran [S.722 & H.R.1698] and attack Palestinian self-determination by promoting Israeli settlements in the West Bank [S.720 & H.R.1697].

Urge your reps. to oppose these bills by signing our petition at MoveOn.

S.722 would designate part of Iran's military as a terrorist organization, which would obstruct contact between the U.S. and Iranian militaries. U.S. military leaders have opposed this move on the grounds that it would undermine the U.S. fight against ISIS in Iraq.

Hillary Clinton: Tell AIPAC that Settlements are not Israel

Hillary Clinton will address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's policy conference in Washington March 20-22.

Urge Hillary to tell AIPAC that settlements are not Israel by signing our petition at MoveOn:

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/hillary-tell-AIPAC-settlements-are-not-Israel

Just because Hillary is speaking at AIPAC, doesn't mean that she has to pander to AIPAC. When President Obama's National Security Advisor Susan Rice spoke at AIPAC last year, she told them things that they didn't want to hear: that their demands that Iran cease all enrichment of uranium were unrealistic, and that their demands that the U.S. walk away from negotiations with Iran and increase sanctions on Iran instead were unrealistic. AIPAC didn't like it, but Susan Rice didn't let that stop her from telling the truth.

Thank Oxfam for cutting ties with Scarlett Johansson over SodaStream

Oxfam has cut ties with celebrity Scarlett Johansson over her refusal to give up her role as a "brand ambassador" for the Israeli company SodaStream, which operates a factory in an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank. As Oxfam stated: [1]

Johansson's role promoting the company SodaStream is incompatible with her role as an Oxfam global ambassador. Oxfam believes that businesses, such as SodaStream, that operate in settlements further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support. Oxfam is opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law.

The campaign against Johansson's partnership with SodaStream has helped raise the profile of the company's association with the occupation. But we have yet another opportunity coming up: SodaStream is airing an ad featuring Johansson during the Super Bowl. People will be talking about the ad on Twitter. So let's show them what SodaStream's really about by publicly thanking Oxfam for parting ways with Johansson during the Super Bowl!

Here are two ways you can participate:

  1. Sign our petition thanking Oxfam: http://justforeignpolicy.org/act/oxfam-sodastream
  2. Join our Thunderclap, which will automatically send a message through your Twitter account during the Super Bowl. You can also sign up using your Facebook account: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/8554-thank-oxfam-for-scarjo-split

Thanks for all you do to promote a just peace in Israel-Palestine,

Megan Iorio, Chelsea Mozen, and Robert Naiman
Just Foreign Policy

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References:

US Equates Palestinian Nonviolent Protest With Israeli Settlement Activity

Time to make yet another entry to the list of US hypocrisies!

Over the weekend, Israeli army and police units forcibly evicted a group of Palestinian activists from Bab al-Shams, a tent village that had been erected on what is reportedly a Palestinian-owned parcel of land in the area of the West Bank known as E1. The village—which included a library, kitchen, media room, and a medical center staffed by two doctors, two nurses, and six other health professionals—was established by the activists as a nonviolent protest against Israeli intentions to build thousands of new settlements in E1, an action which would effectively cut-off Palestinians from Jerusalem, threaten the viability of any future Palestinian state in a two-state solution, and, of course, trounce upon the Palestinians' rights to their own land.

In a statement, UN chief Ban Ki-Moon called Israel out on their impending settlement plans and on disrespecting the Palestinians' right to peaceful protest. But, of course, we can't expect so much from the US.

Bxxxxxt the Sxxxxxxxxxs! Israeli Knesset Bans Free Speech for Jews

Monday, July 11, was a historic day for the movement to abolish the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. The right-wing dominated Israeli Knesset gave the campaign to boycott the Israeli occupation a Good Housekeeping seal of approval - a hechsher, if you will - by passing legislation to punish it.

Of course, the effect of this legislation will be to rejuvenate the Israeli peace movement ["Israeli Left launches public campaign against new law banning boycotts," Haaretz reports] and promote the boycott. It is a sign of the political bankruptcy of the Israeli Right that it is now condemned to take actions which promote the agenda of its opponents.

This month, the right-wing Israeli government shone a spotlight on its illegal blockade of Gaza when it made giving free publicity to the Gaza Freedom Flotilla the top Israeli government priority. Every day, it seemed, there was a new Israeli government statement calling attention to the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, more outrageous than the last: 67-year-old Alice Walker was going to pour sacks of sulfur on Israeli soldiers and light them on fire; journalists who reported on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla were going to be banned from Israel for ten years.

Open Peace Road; Don’t Block Kids from Getting to School in Al Aqaba!

I just got back from meeting with my friends at the Rebuilding Alliance who are walking the halls of Congress this week on behalf of a kindergarten in the West Bank village of Al Aqaba. They are asking members of Congress to press Israel to open and repave the now demolished Peace Road so that 200 children can reach their school in Al Aqaba without delay.

You can help open congressional doors by signing this petition, urging your elected officials to contact the Israeli embassy and ask them to open the road and fix what the Israeli army destroyed.

On April 7th, kindergartners looked out from their school bus to see Israeli soldiers destroying Peace Road, the main road in and out of the West Bank village of Al Aqaba. Al Aqaba’s kindergarten and school hosts children from throughout the area, and the demolition of this road threatens their access to education and the village’s connection to the Jordan Valley.

Last year, I stayed in Al Aqaba and fondly remember strolling down Peace Road with Al Aqaba’s mayor Haj Sami Sadiq and his family. As we would make our way down the road that afternoon, dozens of villagers would run towards us to greet Haj Sami. Haj Sami has been confined to a wheelchair since he was shot during an Israeli military live training exercise at age sixteen. But because the road was well-paved, he could still travel to meet with these villagers living far from his house.

Mr. Netanyahu, Tear Down This Wall

On the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Western leaders are full of self-congratulation. But their paeans to universal freedom ring hollow, when they bear large responsibility for another wall constricting human freedom: the apartheid wall dividing the Palestinian West Bank.

Israeli authorities refer to it as a "separation barrier," but that's misleading. The wall doesn't separate pre-1967 Israel from the West Bank. If that's all it did, it would be an entirely different political object. Instead, the wall cuts deep into the Palestinian West Bank, separating Palestinians from each other and from their land, and signaling to the Palestinians that Israel intends to annex territory that Palestinians want for an independent Palestinian state. The fact that Western countries that support the Israeli government - above all the United States - say nothing about the West Bank wall signals to Palestinians that Western support for Palestinian statehood is merely rhetorical.

Today, AFP reports, Palestinians tore down a chunk of the wall near Ramallah.

AFP notes that 85 percent of the planned wall is inside the West Bank, and it would leave 9.5 percent of the West Bank and 35,000 West Bank Palestinians between the barrier and the Green Line that marks the 1967 border with Israel.

The World Court issued a resolution in 2004 calling for those parts of the barrier that are inside the West Bank to be torn down and for further construction in the territory to cease. Israel and Western countries have ignored the World Court resolution.

Two years ago Israel's own High Court ruled against the route of the wall near the Palestinian village of Bilin, but the Israeli government ignored the ruling of its own highest court.