Event: Un-Apologetically US: Building Muslim power for 2020 & beyond

Cair event3

Please join our brothers and sisters from Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) – WA for a Ramadan fundraiser and evening of conversation, inspiration and strategizing with Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN), Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell (PA) and local leaders Dr. Anisa Ibrahim and Ed Masih Fouladi.
Date: Saturday, May 25, 2019
Time: 6:00 – 10:00 pm
Location: Meydenbauer Center, Bellevue WA
Information: Event information here →
Tickets: $30.00
Event Details

The coming year will be pivotal for our community and for the nation as a whole. There are many challenges from violent Islamophobia to xenophobic policies, but there’s also hope. American Muslims have seen political representation like never before, including the election of Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American and one of two American Muslim women elected to Congress. Born in Somalia, Ilhan and her family fled the country’s civil war for the United States when she was 8 years old. Ilhan’s interest in politics began at the age of 14 when she was as an interpreter for her grandfather at local DFL caucuses. Through her advocacy work, she’s advanced important issues, including support for working families, access to education, environmental protection, and racial equity.

Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell is the first Muslim woman in the Pennsylvania State Legislature. An activist whose life has been impacted by gun violence, Johnson-Harrell became the first Muslim woman to be elected to the Pennsylvania state legislature earlier this year.

More information here →

“Endless trip to hell” — Israel jails hundreds of Palestinian boys each year

Israeli forces detain Palestinian Fevzi El-Junidi, 14, following clashes in the West Bank city Hebron, Dec 2017. (photo: Wisam Hashlamoun / Anadolu Agency)
Every year Israel arrests almost 1,000 Palestinian youngsters, some of them not yet 13. They’re seized in the dead of night, blindfolded and cuffed, abused and manipulated to confess to crimes they didn’t commit.

By Netta Ahituv | Haaretz | Mar 16, 2019

‘[Israeli soldiers] enter the village at night and arrest [the youths]. And whether these youths are the ones who threw the stones or not, you have already put a scare into the whole village.’
— Gerard Horton, a lawyer with the British-Palestinian Military Court Watch

It was a gloomy, typically chilly late-February afternoon in the West Bank village of Beit Ummar, between Bethlehem and Hebron. The weather didn’t deter the children of the Abu-Ayyash family from playing and frolicking outside. One of them, in a Spiderman costume, acted the part by jumping lithely from place to place. Suddenly they noticed a group of Israeli soldiers trudging along the dirt trail across the way. Instantly their expressions turned from joy to dread, and they rushed into the house. It’s not the first time they reacted like that, says their father. In fact, it’s become a pattern ever since 10-year-old Omar was arrested by troops this past December.

The 10-year-old is one of many hundreds of Palestinian children whom Israel arrests every year: The estimates range between 800 and 1,000. Some are under the age of 15; some are even preteens. A mapping of the locales where these detentions take place reveals a certain pattern: The closer a Palestinian village is to a settlement, the more likely it is that the minors residing there will find themselves in Israeli custody. For example, in the town of Azzun, west of the Karnei Shomron settlement, there’s hardly a household that hasn’t experienced an arrest. Residents say that in the past five years, more than 150 pupils from the town’s only high school have been arrested.

At any given moment, there are about 270 Palestinian teens in Israeli prisons. The most widespread reason for their arrest — throwing stones — does not tell the full story. Conversations with many of the youths, as well as with lawyers and human rights activists, including those from the B’Tselem human-rights organization, reveal a certain pattern, even as they leave many questions open: For example, why does the occupation require that arrests be violent and why is it necessary to threaten young people. . . .

Continue reading ““Endless trip to hell” — Israel jails hundreds of Palestinian boys each year”

Australian, Canadian firms pull out of Israeli settler railway

Youths throw stones at a tram
The Jerusalem light rail which links Israel’s illegal West Bank colonies is a symbol of oppression to Palestinians. (photo: Faiz Abu Rmeleh / ActiveStills)
There is a growing acknowledgement that doing business with Israel’s settlements makes companies complicit in human rights violations.
By Ali Abunimah | The Electric Intifada | May 8, 2019

Palestinian campaigners see the latest withdrawals as victories for their efforts to hold companies complicit in Israel’s occupation and colonization accountable.

The Electronic Intifada can exclusively reveal that Canadian engineering giant Bombardier has pulled out of a bid to expand and operate an Israeli tramway linking settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Bombardier is one of several global firms – two others being Australia’s Macquarie and Germany’s Siemens – to drop out of the tender to build the next phase of the Jerusalem light rail.

The light rail system links settlements to each other and to Jerusalem, helping to entrench and facilitate Israel’s colonial expansion in the occupied territory – a war crime.

The tramway is a symbol of oppression for Palestinians.

Continue reading “Australian, Canadian firms pull out of Israeli settler railway”

US denies visa to Palestinian peace activist

Nir Kafri / Haaretz)
Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO executive committee, has travelled to the US frequently for decades and has family here. No reason was given for the denial.

By Amir Tibon, Jack Khoury and Reuters | Haaretz | May 13, 2019

I’ve met (and even negotiated with) every Sec. of State since Shultz, and every President since George H. W. Bush (present administration excluded) . . .
— Hanan Ashrawi via Twitter (@DrHananAshrawi)

Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, a PLO Executive Committee member and a senior figure in the Palestinian public relations arena, announced Monday evening that her US visa application has been rejected.

“It is official! My US visa application has been rejected. No reason given,” she wrote in the first of a series of tweets, providing a list of reasons for her visa’s refusal, which she told Haaretz was given without a reason.

“Choose any of the following: I’m over 70 & a grandmother; I’ve been an activist for Palestine since the late 1960’s; I’ve always been an ardent supporter of nonviolent resistance,” Ashrawi wrote.

Continue reading “US denies visa to Palestinian peace activist”

Reps. Omar and Schakowsky: We must confront threat of white nationalism — together

Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) call on Jews and Muslims to stand united against white nationalism, in new op-ed
Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) call on Jews and Muslims to stand united against white nationalism, in new op-ed. (photo credit: Alex Wong / Getty Images)
An appeal to a shared concern to unify against anti-Semitic and Islamphobic violence.

By Ilhan Omar and Jan Schakowsky | CNN | May 14, 2019

White nationalists win when our two communities are divided.

Just over two weeks ago, we watched in horror after a man walked into Chabad of Poway synagogue in California and opened fire on worshippers, killing 60-year-old Lori Gilbert Kaye and injuring three others. The attack on the synagogue took place on Shabbat, the holiest day of the week, and Acharon Shel Pesach — the final day of Passover.

As information about the attack came in, we learned more shocking details. The same terrorist who attacked the Chabad Synagogue allegedly set fire to a nearby mosque, Dar-ul-Arqam, just weeks earlier. Evidence also suggests that the suspected Poway shooter was inspired by the Christchurch mosque massacre in New Zealand, which took the lives of 50 Muslim worshippers in New Zealand in March.

As a Muslim American and a Jewish American elected to the United States Congress, we can no longer sit silently as terror strikes our communities. We cannot allow those who seek to divide and intimidate us to succeed. Whatever our differences, our two communities, Muslim and Jewish, must come together to confront the twin evils of anti-Semitic and Islamophobic violence.

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EVENT: Israel, Zionism and the Jewish Community in 2019 (May 23)

Peter Beinart. (photo: Center for American Progress Action Fund / Flickr)
Please join our brothers and sisters for this exciting evening with Peter Beinart.
Date: Thursday, May 23, 2019
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Location: Temple de Hirsch Sinai
1511 E Pike St
Seattle, WA 98122
Information & Registration: Event information here →
Event Details

Join us for a discussion with Peter Beinart, a prominent columnist for The Atlantic and the Forward. He will share his thoughts on anti-semitism, the changing conversation on Israel in the Jewish community, the results of the Israeli election and more.

Peter Beinart is Associate Professor of Journalism and Political Science at the City University of New York. He is also a contributor to The Atlantic, a Senior Columnist at The Forward, a CNN Political Commentator and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Foundation for Middle East Peace. He has written three books, The Good Fight, The Icarus Syndrome and The Crisis of Zionism.

Beinart has written for The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, the Boston Globe and other prominent publications. Beinart became The New Republic’s managing editor in 1995. He became the magazine’s Senior Editor in 1997, and from 1999 to 2006 served as its Editor.

This event is co-sponsored by J Street, Kavana Cooperative, Temple Beth Am, Temple de Hirsch Sinai and Congregation Beth Shalom.

More information here →

Film: Wajib (Jun 7)

Please join our brothers and sisters at the Mideast Focus Ministry for their First Friday Film series.
Date: Friday, May 3, 2019
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Location: St. Mark’s Cathedral
Bloedel Hall
1245 10th Ave E
Seattle, WA 98102
Information: Event information here →
Tickets: Free Admission
Event Details

There’s a quiet warmth that runs like a current through ‘Wajib,’ a new film from the Palestinian director and writer Annemarie Jacir. The title is Arabic for “duty,’ and here the obligation is shared by father and son. Abu Shadi, an aging divorcee living in a Christian Palestinian community in Nazareth, is driving around his neighborhood and its outskirts all day at the beginning of the Christmas season — he’s got ‘Jingle Bells’ as his phone’s ringtone — hand-delivering invitations to his daughter’s wedding. With him is his son, Shadi, an architect who now makes his home in Rome.
— Glenn Kenny, The New York Times

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End the Nakba: 71 years of Palestinian disposession 1948-2019

Please join our brothers and sisters from Voices for Palestine and Palestine Solidarity Committee to remember the Nakba (Arabic for “catastrophe”) of 1948, when Zionists forces destroyed over 400 villages and drove over 700,000 Palestinians out of historic Palestine to create what is now called Israel.
Date: Friday, May 10, 2019
Time: 4:00 – 6:00 pm
Location: Westlake Park
4th & Pine Street
Information: Event information here →
Tickets: Free
Event Details

The ongoing Nakba of ethnic cleansing and apartheid still continues as Palestinians are attacked, besieged, and driven out of their homes by the Israeli military, and as the Great March of Return continues and Israel shoots down unarmed Palestinian protestors.

This year’s Nakba remembrance will include the call to Boycott of Israel on the arches at Westlake Park, and we will reach out to commuters during Friday rush hour. We will also evoke the ongoing Palestine refugee experience with PALESTINE: STOLEN HOMELAND, a display of more than 100 white tents inscribed with the names of over 400 of the destroyed villages from 1948 Palestine.

More information here →

Ethical travel to Palestine & challenging apartheid tourism

concrete stairs in between walls
Old City, Jerusalem. (photo:  Dan Gold / Unsplash)
Considerations to be aware of when planning travel that is ethical, responsible and sensitive to the land and culture.

By US Campaign for Palestinian Rights

And always, keep in mind that the privilege of non-Palestinians to travel to Palestine is, by design, premised on the denial of Palestinians to travel freely—and return—to their homeland.

A crucial component to challenging Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people is examining the harmful role of tourism in Israel. Palestinians, wherever they are, are denied the freedom to move freely to and within their homeland by Israel. At the same time, Israel cultivates a tourism industry that quite literally erases Palestinians from the landscape and history, appropriates Palestinian culture and cuisine, and whitewashes the reality of Israel’s state violence.

Whether in Palestine, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or New Orleans, typical travel and tourism enable ongoing colonization, gentrification, appropriation of native culture. Native lands and gentrifying neighborhoods are packaged and sold as tourist destinations, often featuring local culture as exotic entertainment while reinforcing negative and patronizing stereotypes of those communities. Many tourists travel effortlessly across borders and in places where oppressive governments are erecting walls, militarizing borders, dividing families, and denying freedom of movement to local communities. From Palestine to Mexico, from the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights to New Orleans, resisting racism means listening to the voices of those impacted by these systems of harm rather than normalizing and contributing to those systems through tourism.

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A pipeline protest in Amman


Demonstration against pipeline from Israel outside Jordanian Parliament. March 2019. (photo: S. Komarovsky)
A 3rd in series of reports from Dr. Alice Rothchild in Amman, Jordan after attending the Lancet Palestinian Health Alliance Annual conference.

By Alice Rothchild | Mondoweiss | May 2, 2019

Demonstrators hold red signs translated as: ‘The gas of our enemy [Israel] is occupation.’

I find traveling in a foreign country is a strange mix of exhilaration and confusion, a humbling struggle to understand and decode what I am seeing, along with a regular dose of bewildering frustration. Like the nightly ritual of searching for an adequate number of electrical outlets to recharge our assortment of computers, phones, and cameras. We managed to break two adapters in the sockets last night, leaving an exposed arm of the adapter sticking out ready to electrocute me when I get up in the middle of the night, disoriented, and try to remember, where am I now and where did they put the bathroom?

Today we learn that for the past few weeks, once a week people from distant municipalities have been marching to Amman’s city hall to demand better employment opportunities, increased wages, and better working conditions in the field of education. We come upon a demonstration outside of the Ministry of Education. We see a crowd of men, chanting, holding signs and flags, flanked by rows of police who appear armed with billy clubs. When a van of riot police pulls up and starts emptying into the street we decide it is time to leave.

Continue reading “A pipeline protest in Amman”