Thursday, December 25, 2014

Gaza: One War, One Family. Five Children, Four Dead -- Sarah Helm in Newsweek #FreePalestine #FreeGaza #DamnUS&Israel!


Everyone in Gaza finds themselves entangled in the multiple prongs of what they call the “menacing mechanism”. International aid workers, seeking to improve Gazans’ shattered lives, find their own movements more restricted and their own plans for reconstruction stalled.
“We are all strangled by the mechanism too,” says one senior figure working on aid coordination. “We are all hanging on the words of Major Elrom,” says another, referring the Or Elrom, the Israeli woman major, who implements the mechanism at Erez check point. She says the mechanism will work and is the only way to deal with a “terrorist entity’ – though like most other Israelis she has never been inside Gaza herself. The major now has more power than John Kerry, the US secretary  of state, and certainly more than Tony Blair, who, as middle east peace envoy for the ‘quartet group’ (the US, UN EU and Russia) has not even been to Gaza to see the damage, for security reasons. “He has no balls,” said a senior Palestinian minister. Moreover, grand ideas of peace once dreamt up by statesmen have shrivelled into a “nasty mechanism”. “Everything has to go through the Israeli window. It’s Kafka,” says Raji Sourani, the human rights activist. “It’s the Stasi,” says Avishai Margalit, professor emeritus of philosophy at Hebrew University. “It’s all about control.”

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

@Tweet_Palestine Captures Heart of the Season

from @Tweet_Palestine:  " is about bringing joy to those who need it the most cheers children in the rubble in

Only Way I Want to Hear "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" from Now On!!! via @LeonardPeltier

from Indian Country blog

Sunday, December 21, 2014

At "Messiah" Performance, @Voices4Pals w/Vets for Peace Allies Inform Seattle Concertgoers of the Plight Palestinians in Bethlehem.

Bethlehem is under siege and we let Seattle know why with this card from Banksy via If Americans Knew.

Text on back of card:

The people of Bethlehem are asking for our help.

Towering walls and militarized fences now encircle Bethlehem, turning the 4,000-year-old city into a virtual prison for its Palestinian Christian and Muslim citizens. Bethlehem has only three gates to the outside world, all tightly controlled by Israeli occupation forces.
Israel has confiscated almost all the agricultural land in the area for illegal settlements, making it impossible for many Palestinian farmers to continue tending their land. Outside the town, the fields where shepherds once watched their flocks are being filled by Israeli housing blocs and roads barred to the descendants of those shepherds.
“It is unconscionable that Bethlehem should be allowed to die slowly from strangulation,” says South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Bethlehem’s residents increasingly are fleeing Israel’s confining walls, and soon the city, home to the oldest Christian community in the world, will have little left of its Christian history but the cold stones of empty churches.
Though most Americans don’t know it, we are directly involved in Israel’s strangulation of Bethlehem. Fortune Magazine and other analysts consistently rank the Israel lobby as one of the most effective special interests in Washington; Americans give Israel over $8 million per day. In its just over 60 years of existence, Israel has received more US tax money than any other nation.
As we seek peace and joy for the world, it is time to reconsider an expenditure that perpetuates injustice, tragic violence, and conflict. Please help.
For more information:

Happy Solstice!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Vigil for Bethlehem this Sunday, Dec. 21 at 1:00 pm at Benaroya Hall. This vigil will replace our Saturday Gaza vigil for this weekend only!

Please join us this Sunday to raise awareness about the plight of the Palestinian people. 

Voices for Palestine and VFP92 Greater Seattle Chapter of Veterans For Peace will be distributing "O Little Town of Bethlehem " cards to guests attending a performance of Handel's Messiah at Benaroya Hall.

We are planning to meet in front of Benaroya Hall at 1:00 PM. Please join us! 

What: Vigil for Bethlehem
Where: Benaroya Hall, 200 University Street • Seattle, WA 98101 
When: Sunday Dec. 21 at 1:00 PM
See you there!

Amin Odeh

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Friday, December 12, 2014

From Washington's Blog: "Torture Is 'Not Who We Are.' Which 'We' is This Guy Talking About?" by Robert Barsocchini


If Obama is referring to people living in the US who haven’t tortured anyone and who oppose torture (which is the majority and does not include Obama), then he’s kind of right, except to the extent that these people are still forced to support torture through having their money stolen from them and used for torture, and having zero influence over state policy.
But if by “we” he means the US state/oligarchic apparatus itself – his group – then (gasp) he’s a liar.  Who would’ve thought?
Here Colten Stokes gives a brief overview of US pre 9/11/01 torture (just torture, not things like slowly killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children in the 90s).  It’s only a tiny sample of the endless volumes of documentation that are available, and only covers post WW2 US evil, such as throwing people from helicopters, giving electric shocks, and driving rods into people’s skulls through ear canals.
The US also loves for its proxy forces to torture people, so it sends them torture equipment and teaches classes, including on live victims (homeless people), on such civilized dinner-conversation topics as “how to torture women”.
The US was water-boarding people when it invaded the Philippines in 1899.  Oh, and being “consciously genocidal” (p. 58), as in General J.M. Bell, 1901, stating he would:
…destroy everything I find outside of towns.  All able bodied men will be killed or captured. … These people need a thrashing to teach them some good common sense…
Damn right.
And the Philadelphia Ledger reported:
…our men have been relentless, have killed to exterminate men, women, children, prisoners and captives, active insurgents and suspected people from lads of ten up, the idea prevailing that the Filipino as such was little better than a dog. . . . Our soldiers have pumped salt water into men to make them talk, and have taken prisoners people who held up their hands and peacefully surrendered, and an hour later, without an atom of evidence to show that they were even insurrectos, stood them on a bridge and shot them down one by one, to drop into the water below and float down, as examples to those who found their bullet-loaded corpses.
And a marine noted that he was instructed to “kill and burn … that the more he killed and burned the better pleased [his commander] would be…”
Hey, if this grosses you out, you might not have the stomach to be a member of Obama’s “we”, but it might help to remember what a US general said at the time:
It has been necessary to adopt what in other countries would probably be thought harsh measures.
Breathe that sigh of relief.  The invasion and these tactics were “necessary”.  ‘Cuz that guy, whoever he was, said so, which makes it okay.
This US war of conquest against the Philippines (the US afterwards maintained the most brutal dictatorial control over the Philippines for about 100 years) killed perhaps a million people.  The US locked hundreds of thousands in concentration camps, where they dropped like flies from horrific, perhaps “Salt Pit“-like conditions and neglect.
You know the divinely ordained US and white race was bringing civilization to the Philippines and world, because “It was a time of intense racism in the United States. In the years between 1889 and 1903, on the average, every week, two Negroes were lynched by mobs — hanged, burned, mutilated. The Filipinos were brown-skinned, physically identifiable, strange-speaking and strange-looking to Americans. To the usual indiscriminate brutality of war was thus added the factor of racial hostility.” (Zinn)
Soldiers writing about what they were doing said things like:
“…we all wanted to kill ‘niggers.’ . . . This shooting human beings beats rabbit hunting all to pieces.”
It suuuure does.
Why was the US committing genocide in the Phililppines?  Why was this “necessary”, as the US general informed us?  Ask Senator Albert Beveridge, speaking on January 9, 1900:
The Philippines are ours forever. . . . And just beyond the Philippines are China’s illimitable markets. We will not retreat from either. . . . We will not renounce our part in the mission of our race…
The Pacific is our ocean. . . . Where shall we turn for consumers of our surplus? Geography answers the question. China is our natural customer. . . . The Philippines give us a base at the door of all the East. . . .
No land in America surpasses in fertility the plains and valleys of Luzon. Rice and coffee, sugar and cocoanuts, hemp and tobacco. . . . The wood of the Philippines can supply the furniture of the world for a century to come. At Cebu the best informed man on the island told me that 40 miles of Cebu’s mountain chain are practically mountains of coal. . . .
I have a nugget of pure gold picked up in its present form on the banks of a Philippine creek. . . .
It has been charged that our conduct of the war has been cruel. Senators, it has been the reverse. . . . Senators must remember that we are not dealing with Americans or Europeans. We are dealing with Orientals.
Ahh.  That makes sense.  Same reasons why Europe committed genocide in the Americas.
This type of behavior is uniform back to 1776, when the US was, exactly like the psycho antagonist in Silence of the Lambs, skinning people (the original inhabitants of the continent) and making clothing, horse-reigns, and other useful items for themselves out of human skin.
In response to the recent release of the censored report on the latest US torture war crimes, some Fox News extremist said “America is awesome.”  Well, America (Obama’s “we”) has been “awesome” for a very long time.
“We”, as in the public, oppose torture, as found in this major study of US public opinion polls.  “We” as in the state/oligarchy, are long-time, non-stop, evil torturers, running a fifty-plus country torture regimen.
To say torture is “not who we are” is merely more childish propaganda from the current spokes-head.
The torturing, executing, genocidal “we”, of which the spokes-head is a member, must be separated from the non-torturing “we”.  Let the torturing “we” go do what they want.  See how long they can keep it up without a captive population footing their bills.  Just leave us alone, you monsters.
Robert Barsocchini focuses on global force dynamics and writes professionally for the film industry.  He is a regular contributor to  Washington’s Blog, and is published in Counter Currents, Global Research, State of Globe, Blacklisted News,,, Information Clearing House, Press TV, and other outlets.  Also see: Hillary Clinton’s Record of Support for War and other Depravities.  Follow Robert and UK-based colleague, Dean Robinson, on Twitter.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

ABOLISH THE CIA! Torture Report Exhibits Their Zombie Brutality.


"The full horror of the CIA interrogation and detention programmes launched in the wake of the September 11 terror attack was laid bare in the long-awaited Senate report released on Tuesday.
While parts of the programme had been known – and much more will never be revealed – the catalogue of abuse is nightmarish and reads like something invented by the Marquis de Sade or Hieronymous Bosch.
Detainees were forced to stand on broken limbs for hours, kept in complete darkness, deprived of sleep for up to 180 hours, sometimes standing, sometimes with their arms shackled above their heads.
Prisoners were subjected to “rectal feeding” without medical necessity. Rectal exams were conducted with “excessive force”. The report highlights one prisoner later diagnosed with anal fissures, chronic hemorrhoids and “symptomatic rectal prolapse”.
The report mentions mock executions, Russian roulette. US agents threatened to slit the throat of a detainee’s mother, sexually abuse another and threatened prisoners’ children. One prisoner died of hypothermia brought on in part by being forced to sit on a bare concrete floor without pants.

The Dungeon

The CIA began the establishment of a specialised detention centre, codenamed DETENTION SITE COBALT, in April 2002. Although its location is not identified in the report it has been widely identified as being in Afghanistan. Conditions at the site were described in the report as poor “and were especially bleak early in the program”.
The CIA chief of interrogations described COBALT as “a dungeon”. There were 20 cells, with blacked-out windows. Detainees were “kept in complete darkness and constantly shackled in isolated cells with loud music and only a bucket to use for human waste”. It was cold, something the report says likely contributed to the death of a detainee.
Prisoners were walked around naked or were shackled with their hands above their heads for extended periods of time. About five CIA officers would engage in what is described as a “rough takedown”. A detainee would be shouted at, have his clothes cut off, be secured with tape, hooded and dragged up and down a long corridor while being slapped and punched.
A CIA photograph shows a waterboard at the site, surrounded by buckets and a bottle of an unknown pink solution and a watering can resting on the beams of the waterboard. The CIA failed to provide a detailed explanation of the items in the photograph.

Frozen to death

Gul Rahman
 Gul Rahman died in the early hours of 20 November 2002, after being shackled to a cold concrete wall in a secret CIA prison. Photograph: AP
At COBALT, the CIA interrogated in 2002 Gul Rahman, described as a suspected Islamic extremist. He was subjected to “48 hours of sleep deprivation, auditory overload, total darkness, isolation, a cold shower and rough treatment”.
CIA headquarters suggested “enhanced measures” might be needed to get him to comply. A CIA officer at COBALT ordered Rahman be “shackled to the wall of his cell in a position that required the detainee to rest on the bare concrete floor”.
He was only wearing a sweatshirt as a CIA officer has ordered his clothes to be removed earlier after judging him to be uncooperative during an interrogation.
The next day, guards found Rahman dead. An internal CIA review and autopsy assessed he likely died from hypothermia – “in part from having been forced to sit on the bare concrete floor without pants”. An initial CIA review and cable sent to CIA headquarters after his death included a number of misstatements and omissions."

Monday, December 08, 2014

Rasmea Odeh Coming Home! Judge Allows Bail!

Rasmea Defense Committee

Press inquiries: Hatem Abudayyeh,

Judge rules that Rasmea can be released pending sentencing

We are pleased to announce that Judge Gershwin Drain just filed his ruling granting Rasmea's motion for reconsideration of his November 10th order revoking her bond.  RASMEA IS COMING HOME!

The defense committee is working now to secure the money for her release.  Please help us raise it by donating HERE now!
We also thank you all for your passionate work to help restore her freedom!  We believe that the hundreds of letters to the judge, and the incredible response to the county jail's punitive measure of placing Rasmea in solitary confinement, played a major role in making this happen.  In the ruling, the judge wrote: "Defendant's dedication to her community work and the people that such work assists, as well as the presence of relatives in Chicago, demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that she is not as significant a flight risk as originally believed."
In addition, all your letters to Rasmea helped keep her spirits up, and strengthened her resolve to continue challenging the unjust ruling, detention, and treatment in jail. 

Of course, we are going to appeal the conviction, and there is still a ton of organizing work to be done, but today we celebrate and prepare to bring Rasmea home.  Thank you all for your support!
Rasmea Defense Committee

Azadeh N. Shahshahani 
National Lawyers Guild 


Thanks to Nima Shirazi for reminding me.  For Rog.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Friday, December 05, 2014

We Check the ER Services at Virginia Mason -- Ivy volunteered to be the guinea pig ...

But don't be fooled, you 1% evil doers who are determined to smash all of us down here.  Ivy and Dorli, heroines of the 99%,  are hale and hearty and on the case!  They and their loyal hench people shall not fail to lay waste your scurrilous skullduggery!  Viva Ivy!  Viva Dorli!  El pueblo unido jamas sera vencido!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

"Ferguson isn’t about black rage against cops. It’s white rage against progress." -- Carol Anderson

Carol Anderson is an associate professor of African American studies and history at Emory University and a public voices fellow with the Op-Ed Project. She is the author of “Bourgeois Radicals: The NAACP and the Struggle for Colonial Liberation, 1941-1960.”
When we look back on what happened in Ferguson, Mo., during the summer of 2014, it will be easy to think of it as yet one more episode of black rage ignited by yet another police killing of an unarmed African American male. But that has it precisely backward. What we’ve actually seen is the latest outbreak of white rage. Sure, it is cloaked in the niceties of law and order, but it is rage nonetheless.
Protests and looting naturally capture attention. But the real rage smolders in meetings where officials redraw precincts to dilute African American voting strength or seek to slash the government payrolls that have long served as sources of black employment. It goes virtually unnoticed, however, because white rage doesn’t have to take to the streets and face rubber bullets to be heard. Instead, white rage carries an aura of respectability and has access to the courts, police, legislatures and governors, who cast its efforts as noble, though they are actually driven by the most ignoble motivations.
White rage recurs in American history. It exploded after the Civil War, erupted again to undermine the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision and took on its latest incarnation with Barack Obama’s ascent to the White House. For every action of African American advancement, there’s a reaction, a backlash.

The North’s victory in the Civil War did not bring peace. Instead, emancipation brought white resentment that the good ol’ days of black subjugation were over. Legislatures throughout the South scrambled to reinscribe white supremacy and restore the aura of legitimacy that the anti-slavery campaign had tarnished. Lawmakers in several states created the Black Codes, which effectively criminalized blackness, sanctioned forced labor and undermined every tenet of democracy. Even the federal authorities’ promise of 40 acres — land seized from traitors who had tried to destroy the United States of America — crumbled like dust.
Influential white legislators such as Rep. Thaddeus Stevens (R-Pa.) and Sen. Charles Sumner (R-Mass.)tried to make this nation live its creed, but they were no match for the swelling resentment that neutralized the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments, and welcomed the Supreme Court’s 1876 United States vs. Cruikshank decision, which undercut a law aimed at stopping the terror of the Ku Klux Klan.
Nearly 80years later, Brown v. Board of Education seemed like another moment of triumph — with the ruling on the unconstitutionality of separate public schools for black and white students affirming African Americans’ rights as citizens. But black children, hungry for quality education, ran headlong into more white rage. Bricks and mobs at school doors were only the most obvious signs. In March 1956, 101members of Congress issued the Southern Manifesto, declaring war on the Brown decision. Governors in Virginia, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia and elsewhere then launched “massive resistance.” They created a legal doctrine, interposition, that supposedly nullified any federal law or court decision with which a state disagreed. They passed legislation to withhold public funding from any school that abided by Brown. They shut down public school systems and used tax dollars to ensure that whites could continue their education at racially exclusive private academies. Black children were left to rot with no viable option.
A little more than half a century after Brown, the election of Obama gave hope to the country and the world that a new racial climate had emerged in America, or that it would. But such audacious hopes would be short-lived. A rash of voter-suppression legislation, a series of unfathomable Supreme Court decisions, the rise of stand-your-ground laws and continuing police brutality make clear that Obama’s election and reelection have unleashed yet another wave of fear and anger.

It’s more subtle — less overtly racist — than in 1865 or even 1954. It’s a remake of the Southern Strategy, crafted in the wake of the civil rights movement to exploit white resentment against African Americans, and deployed with precision by Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. As Reagan’s key political strategist, Lee Atwater, explained in a 1981 interview: “You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘N-----, n-----, n-----.’ By 1968 you can’t say ‘n-----’ — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like ‘forced busing,’ ‘states’ rights’ and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things, and a byproduct of them is blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that.” (The interview was originally published anonymously, and only years later did it emerge that Atwater was the subject.)
Now, under the guise of protecting the sanctity of the ballot box, conservatives have devised measures — such as photo ID requirements — to block African Americans’ access to the polls. A joint report by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the NAACP emphasized that the ID requirements would adversely affect more than 6 million African American voters. (Twenty-five percent of black Americans lack a government-issued photo ID, the report noted, compared with only 8 percent of white Americans.) The Supreme Court sanctioned this discrimination in Shelby County v. Holder , which gutted the Voting Rights Act and opened the door to 21st-century versions of 19th-century literacy tests and poll taxes.
The economic devastation of the Great Recession also shows African Americans under siege. The foreclosure crisis hit black Americans harder than any other group in the United States. A 2013report by researchers at Brandeis University calculated that “half the collective wealth of African-American families was stripped away during the Great Recession,” in large part because of the impact on home equity. In the process, the wealth gap between blacks and whites grew: Right before the recession, white Americans had four times more wealth than black Americans, on average; by 2010, the gap had increased to six times. This was a targeted hit. Communities of color were far more likely to have riskier, higher-interest-rate loans than white communities, with good credit scores often making no difference.
Add to this the tea party movement’s assault on so-called Big Government, which despite the sanitized language of fiscal responsibility constitutes an attack on African American jobs. Public-sector employment, where there is less discrimination in hiring and pay, has traditionally been an important venue for creating a black middle class.

So when you think of Ferguson, don’t just think of black resentment at a criminal justice system that allows a white police officer to put six bullets into an unarmed black teen. Consider the economic dislocation of black America. Remember a Florida judge instructing a jury to focus only on the moment when George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin interacted, thus transforming a 17-year-old, unarmed kid into a big, scary black guy, while the grown man who stalked him through the neighborhood with a loaded gun becomes a victim. Remember the assault on the Voting Rights Act. Look at Connick v. Thompson, a partisan 5-4 Supreme Court decision in 2011 that ruled it was legal for a city prosecutor’s staff to hide evidence that exonerated a black man who was rotting on death row for 14years. And think of a recent study by Stanford University psychology researchers concluding that, when white people were told that black Americans are incarcerated in numbers far beyond their proportion of the population, “they reported being more afraid of crime and more likely to support the kinds of punitive policies that exacerbate the racial disparities,” such as three-strikes or stop-and-frisk laws.
Only then does Ferguson make sense. It’s about white rage.

Monday, November 24, 2014

#Ferguson Solidarity March in Seattle

Our thoughts were with Mike Brown's family.  His killer will go free.

A U.S. black man is killed every 28 hours by police or vigilantes.

Did you know that there are strong ties between our local police, Ferguson's police and the Israeli military?  Each one teach one sort of thing.  Funded by pro-Israel supporters in the U.S.

It's a global threat to the 99%, especially those who are black and brown.  STAND WITH YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS OR WE ALL GO DOWN TOGETHER!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

West Bank Protesters Cross Separation Wall in Effort to Get into Jerusalem -- Mondoweiss

“Jerusalem is here, it is not away from us,” said Ahmad Nasser, 27, a medic who was watching the clash from higher ground. Nasser pointed to the settlement beyond the army vehicles, indicating Pisgat Ze’ev, which stands between the West Bank and the Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. Without it, and an army road and fence that line the bypass, Nasser said the walk from Beitunya to Jerusalem takes ten minutes.
“In Qalandia it’s not that strong. It finished fast so people came to Ofer because it’s special to be in Ofer,” continued Nasser. “The prisoners are for sure watching us,” he said, “If they don’t see us, than they hear us. When they hear the army shooting they know that there are people standing in front of the prison. So it gives them some hope that people are still moving, doing things outside.”

#BDS -- We Protest Israel's "Musical Ambassador" Idan Raichel at University of Washington's Meany Hall

Updated to include new pic.

Israeli musician Idan Raichel is an enthusiastic ambassador for the Israeli government, especially the inaccurately named Israel Defense Force (IDF), for whom he has performed benefit concerts.  Last night, Voices for Palestine, Women in Black, Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights-UW (SUPER) and other allies demonstrated at his Meany Hall concert, which was part of the UW World Series of Music concert series. 

A world music performer, Raichel is the perfect foil.  His music projects a peaceful image,  allowing Israel to chauffeur him around the world, attempting to distract with his hipster gloss, from the atrocities Israel's army is committing against Palestinians. 

For more background on the slick propagandist cum musician, here is an article in Electronic Intifada. 

We educated a lot of series subscribers who had no idea about Raichel's chosen role as propagandist.  It was clear that our banners and signs (pictured here) raised the ire of some attendees.  But many more welcomed our flyers and one family (that we know of) told us they weren't going to attend as a result.  Other individuals stated they would contact the series office objecting to Raichel's inclusion in the program.  It felt great to challenge the whitewashing of Israeli war crimes.   It is clear the world cannot afford to be lulled by the siren song of  Raichel's "peaceful music."  

If you would like information on events like this one in Seattle, please contact

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Was Convicted Palestinian-American Rasmea Yousef Odeh Allowed a Fair Defense? @TheRealNews Report w/Charlotte Silver

WHAT YOU CAN DO (from her Defense Committee):

Participate in the week of action:
Wednesday, November 12-18!

  1. Write to Judge Drain and urge him to send Rasmea home.
    Click here for sample letter
  2. Organize a protest at your local federal building or on your campus.
    • The SJP National Ad-Hoc Steering Committee calls on all SJP chapters to participate by organizing actions on your campuses on November 14, 2014.
    • Please send in the details of your protest plans so we can share -
  3.  Write letters of support to Rasmea.
        Rasmieh Odeh #144979
        St. Clair County Jail
        1170 Michigan
        Port Huron, MI. 48060
  4. Organize a fundraiser to help fund Rasmea’s defense.
    • NSJP also calls on all those who are able to donate money to Rasmea’s legal defense fund, so that they can continue to zealously represent her and prepare for an appeal.


Bay Area activists have chained themselves to fed courthouse in Oakland to protest Rasmea's conviction and detention pending sentencing. Amazing.

Folks--this is happening right now...please forward to all your networks. 
Bay Area activists have chained themselves to the oakland federal building. 

For Immediate Release – November 12, 2014


Oakland Rallies Against Conviction of Palestinian Organizer

Press Contact: Lara Kiswani: 530.220.2842 (Oakland), Hatem Abudayyeh 773.301.4108 (Detroit)
Where: Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building
When: 7am - Wednesday, Nov 12

Oakland – Activists with the Bay Area Rasmea Defense Committee have chained themselves to doors of the federal courthouse in Oakland to protest the conviction and imprisonment of 67 year-old Palestinian community organizer, Rasmea Odeh. Supporters are also rallying in front of the federal building, condemning what they call a politically motivated trial targeting Odeh because of her role as an outspoken Palestinian leader and activist. Odeh was convicted on Monday, November 10th in a Detroit federal court of knowingly lying on her immigration application, even though she maintains that she did not understand the questions on the application.

The main basis for Odeh’s conviction was that she had allegedly falsely answered “No” to a question asking whether she had ever been arrested or imprisoned. The government claimed that Odeh failed to disclose that she had been convicted by the Israeli government of participating in “terrorism,” even though this conviction in a military court lacked due process and was the result of a forced confession made after she was repeatedly tortured and raped by Israeli military authorities. 

"The only reason Rasmea was imprisoned in Israel was because she was tortured, sexually assaulted, threatened with death and ultimately forced to confess to charges she didn't commit," says Hatem Abudayyeh, spokesman for the Rasmea Defense Committee. "Now, more than 40 years later, and after 9 years of living here with US citizenship, she's being made to re-live her trauma and is wrongly imprisoned once again." Although the judge in the case allowed the Israeli conviction of Odeh to be used as evidence against her, the torture and rape she suffered – which the judge admitted was credible – was not allowed as evidence, a move that brought widespread condemnation from supporters and human rights activist alike. 

"The targeting of Rasmea is purely to criminalize Palestinians who are outspoken and critical of Israel’s oppression and occupation of Palestine," says Lara Kiswani, Executive Director of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center. The case against Odeh was originally part of a larger federal investigation in Chicago and Minneapolis where the government has to this day unsuccessfully tried to convict 23 anti-war and Palestinian activists on trumped up terrorism charges.

Hundreds were present in court to support Odeh over the course of her trial in Detroit, and many more across the country have held solidarity demonstrations demanding that she be freed. Activists in the Bay Area will continue to protest, and vow to intensify their efforts until Odeh is released.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Seattle, Come Out to Protest IDF Serenader & Supporter, Idan Raichel! Saturday at Meany Hall, UW, 7pm

            Protest Israeli musician on tour to whitewash Israel's War Crimes

Please join Voices for Palestine and Women in Black this Saturday Nov.15 at 7pm to protest an Israeli Government-funded concert at Meany Hall. 
Idan Raichel -- the musician on tour in the U.S. this month -- has strong links with the Israeli military and is a leading endorser of the right-wing US organization [Thank Israeli Soldiers]. "Our army is a basic ingredient of Israeliness," Raichel says, proudly.

Raichel performed for the army before, during, and after its August 2014 attack on Gaza, which killed over 2100 Palestinians, including 500 children.
According to Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, sending Israeli artists and musicians abroad "show[s]  Israel's prettier face, so we are not thought of purely in the context of war." This intentionally misleading use of art and music serves to obscure Israel's military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as Israel's overall history of grave human rights abuses. 

What:     Protest Israeli musician on tour to whitewash Israel's War Crimes
Where:  Meany Hall-UW Campus
*we will be standing at the entrance of the underground parking garage on 41st & 15th Ave NE and also inside the garage near the elevators.
When:   Saturday Nov. 15th, 7-8pm 

Thanks for all your support!

  Amin Odeh