by Shelly Altman, JVP New Haven
In this time of rising Islamophobia and racism, Jewish community members will gather at 5:30 p.m. on the Green at the corner of College and Chapel streets to publicly rekindle their commitment to justice during the Jewish holiday of Chanukah, Dec 21. Activists of all faiths will gather holding nine signs listing commitments to fighting injustice in the shape of a Chanukah menorah.
This action is organized by the Network Against Islamophobia, a project of Jewish Voice for Peace, inspired by the Jewish tradition to work for the freedom, equality, and dignity of all the people. JVP chapters across the country will be participating on Dec. 21.
The election of Donald Trump has contributed to the already rising Islamophobia and racism in the United States, both on interpersonal and systemic levels. Hate crimes against Muslims were already on the rise and have been accelerating in the wake of the election. Existing policies of heightened surveillance and policing of Muslims and other communities of color as well as U.S. state violence against communities of color both domestically and internationally, will soon be augmented by the even more blatantly racist policies proposed by President-elect Donald Trump.These include banning Muslim immigrants and limiting immigration from largely Muslim and/or Arab countries.
The members of Jewish Voice for Peace New Haven believe that challenging Islamophobia and fighting against racism are part of our obligation within our communities and as partners in the broader struggle for justice and dignity for all peoples.
- We refuse to be silent about anti-Muslim and racist hate speech and hate crimes
- We condemn state surveillance of the Muslim community
- We protest the use of Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism to justify Israel’s repressive policies against Palestinians
- We fully stand with the Vision for Black Lives Platform
- We welcome Syrian refugees and stand strong for immigrants’ rights and refugees’ rights
- We honor indigenous rights and support the courageous resistance led by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to protect their land and water.
Email: email@example.com Online: http://www.jvpnh.org.
by Stanley Heller, Administrator, PEP
Promoting Enduring Peace has set up a “Freedom to Travel” committee to pressure the Israeli government to allow one of its Gandhi Peace Award winners to travel to the United States. At a telephone press conference the 64-year-old peace and environmental group announced the Gandhi Peace Award will be given jointly to Ralph Nader (pictured on the left) and Omar Barghouti (right) at a ceremony in New Haven in April 2017.
Ralph Nader is known for over five decades for his consumer and civic activism and for being among the first nationally known figures to criticize Israeli abuses and to speak up in support of the Israeli peace movement. Omar Barghouti is one of the best-known leaders of the BDS (Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions) movement which calls for economic pressure against Israel until it withdraws from the land it occupies, gives full civic equality to Palestinians citizens inside Israel and allows Palestinian refugee families their right to return to their homeland and homes.
Yousef Munayyer, Executive Director of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, talked about Omar Barghouti. He said the Palestinian was a “central player in the Palestinian campaign for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.” And “Omar’s voice has been a crucial one in the past several years and one that should be increasingly amplified to all those asking about Palestinian non-violence.”
Rebecca Vilkomerson, Executive Director of Jewish Voice for Peace, said she first met Barghouti in 2009 and that’s when Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP) starting working on BDS issues. She hailed Barghouti’s leadership and “impeccable ethical framework” and his continued work “at great cost and risk to himself.”
The Israeli government has refused to renew Barghouti’s travel document and he is effectively banned from leaving Palestine/Israel. Vilkomerson said JVP would be working with PEP and other groups to restore Barghouti’s ability to travel and to come to the U.S. to accept the award.
Those interested in working on the “Freedom to Travel” committee should write to firstname.lastname@example.org. A recent TSVN You Tube interview with Barghouti can be heard by going to http://www.pepeace.org.