Wednesday, August 26, 2015

An Open Letter to the U.S. Campaign & Other Activists for Justice in Palestine [Petition in Support of Alison Weir]


http://tinyurl.com/StopDivisiveAttacksPDF
As active participants in the struggle for justice for Palestinians, coming from a variety of ethnic, religious, and political backgrounds, we call for an end to internal attacks on fellow activists and organizations. These only impede the work for justice.
We appreciate the important contributions to that cause made over many years by If Americans Knew, Jewish Voice for Peace, and the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.
In that light, we are dismayed by the recent unfounded attacks on one of the top organizations working on this issue, If Americans Knew, and its dedicated leader, Alison Weir, by the leadership of Jewish Voice for Peace and the U.S. Campaign. Many of us are members of these groups and are unhappy at these significant actions made in our name but without consulting us.
We recognize that important differences among these organizations exist – each has its own constituencies, approach, and style, as is the case with the scores of other organizations that together make up the solidarity movement. Some may disapprove of taking the Palestinian case to people who don't define themselves as "liberals" or "progressives." Others may disapprove of working with Zionist groups and failure to state that Zionism is racism, etc. We have no problem with any group articulating such differences and even making principled criticisms of another's work – that is part of the life of any healthy democratic movement.
But we believe strongly that secret dossiers, ideological inquisitions, double standards, misrepresentations, spreading innuendo, and attempting to excommunicate groups or individuals one disagrees with from the ranks of the movement sow unnecessary divisions and distract from what must remain our primary focus: building the broad united front that's necessary to change United States policy in the Middle East and to help Palestinians obtain justice in their homeland.
We also believe that the vitriolic, ADL-like accusations that Alison Weir is "anti-Semitic" and/or racist are scurrilous and without foundation. They are based on guilt-by-association arguments through which numerous committed activists – including the leadership of the US Campaign and JVP – could equally, and also incorrectly, be called "anti-Semitic" and/or racist.
We are painfully aware that there are well funded opponents who spare no effort to undermine and divide this movement for justice and human rights in Palestine. We therefore expect those who sincerely share our goals to be mindful of the potential to fracture the movement and be judicious and principled in their critique of groups and individuals who make significant contributions to the movement.
We call for these attacks to cease and for those initiating them to return to their main task, working for justice in Palestine.
Sincerely,
[The Undersigned]
TO SIGN scroll down below the signatures to add your name. Full list of signatories to be added here periodically, and at http://tinyurl.com/StopDivisiveAttacksPDF

More Information:
Accusations against If Americans Knew: http://www.ifamericansknew.org/about_us/accusations.html
Messages of support for If Americans Knew:
http://www.ifamericansknew.org/about_us/accusations.html#five
http://ifamericansknew.org/about_us/accusations.html#seven

Analysis of Attacks on If Americans Knew:
http://louisproyect.org/2015/06/25/the-jewish-voice-for-peace-attack-on-alison-weir-jvp-loses-its-balance-2/
SIGNATORIES (last updated 2.30 pm Wednesday August 19. 2015. Total number of signatories: over 1,935) identification purposes.
* = US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation Member Organization
** = Chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace


Richard Falk, Professor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University, and former Special Rapporteur on Occupied Palestine, UN Human Rights Council.
Samia Khoury, founding member of the board of Trustees of Birzeit University and Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Centre, author, "Reflections from Palestine: A Journey of Hope" (descendant of Birzeit University founders).
Ann Wright, retired US Army Colonel and former US diplomat turned peace activist; passenger on 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla; co-organizer and passenger on Gaza Freedom Flotillas 2011 & 2015; co-organizer of 2009 Gaza Freedom March.
Bassem Tamimi, Palestinian Popular Resistance Movement, Nabi Saleh
Iyad Burnat, Palestinian grassroots activist, Bil'in Popular Committee
Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh, Professor, Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities, Co-Founder Al-Awda-Palestine Right to Return Coalition.
Hedy Epstein, Holocaust survivor; St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee*; Jewish Voice for Peace - St. Louis** , Free Gaza Movement
Paul Findley, former US Congressman, Illinois, author of "They Dare to Speak Out," the first book on the Israel lobby
James Abourezk, former Senator, South Dakota, founder of American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
Pete McCloskey, former Member of Congress (R..Calif. 1967-83) and Co-Founder, with Paul Findley, of the Council for the National Interest; and Helen McCloskey
Arun Gandhi, Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute
Dr. Khalil Nakhleh, author of "Globalized Palestine: The National Sell-Out of a Homeland"
George N. Rishmawi, Director, The Palestinian Center for Rapprochement between People, Beit Sahour, Palestine
Ray McGovern, Retired CIA officer turned peace activist. Co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.
Rita Giacaman, Professor, Research & Program Coordinator and founder, Institute of Community and Public Health, Birzeit University; active in 1980s Palestinian social action movement.
John Whitbeck, Director, Council for the National Interest
Edward Peck, Americans for Middle East Understanding, Former US Ambassador to Iraq & Mauritania, Participant in the 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla
Abbas Hamideh, National Board Vice Chair, Al-Awda Palestine Right to Return Coalition, son of one of the few survivors of the massacre at Deir Yassin Palestine on April 9th 1948
Philip Giraldi, Former CIA Officer turned anti-war activist & journalist; Executive Director, Council for the National Interest*, member, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Cindy Sheehan, anti-war activist and former presidential candidate, Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox
Joe Meadors, USS Liberty Survivor, Past President, USS Liberty Veterans Association, Participant in three Gaza Freedom Flotillas, Free Palestine Movement*.
The Rev. David W. Good, Minister Emeritus for The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, President: Tree of Life Educational Fund
John Erickson, NorCal Friends of Sabeel* -- Co-Chair
Sunaina Maira, Professor of Asian American Studies at UC Davis, USACBI
The Reverend Canon Richard K. Toll, former Director, Friends of Sabeel* , Retired Episcopal Priest
Dr. Samir Abed-Rabbo, Professor Emeritus of International Law, Director of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies
Donald A. Kruse, Retired Foreign Services Officer, Consul, Consulate General, Jerusalem 1976-1980
Lawrence Davidson, Professor Emeritus, West Chester University
Elizabeth Murray, former Deputy Intellignece Officer for the Near East, National Intelligence Council
James Petras, Professor Emeritus, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY
Joel Kovel, author of "Overcoming Zionism," "White Racism," "Red Hunting inn the Promised Land," and other books; editor; former psychiatrist; Bard College professor emeritus
Ernest Gallo, President, USS Liberty Veterans Association
Ronald Kukal, USS Liberty Survivor: Petty Officer in Charge of the Body Recovery and Identification after June 8, 1967 attack
David Rovics, Folk Musician, American Federation of Musicians Local 1000
Mary Ratcliff, San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper - Editor
Abdallah Omeish, award-winning documentary filmmaker of "Occupation 101" and "The War Around Us"
Andrew Killgore, former Ambassador, publisher, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, providing facts on Palestine for over 30 years.
Janet McMahon, Managing Editor, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, author, "Seeing the Light: Personal Encounters With the Middle East and Islam"
Kathleen Christison, Author, "Perceptions of Palestine" and "The Wound of Dispossession"; Co-author "Palestine in Pieces"
Jerry Levin, former CNN network journalist. Christian Peacemaker Teams. Writes on nonviolence. Recognized by the Dalai Lama as one of 2009's "Unsung Heroes of Compassion."  
TO SEE ALL SIGNATURES, PLEASE GO TO LINK AT TOP OF PAGE.

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