Tuesday, September 15, 2015

With Regard to Alison Weir: Letter from Ann Arbor Friends Meeting Palestine Israel Action Group to U.S. Campaign to End Israeli Occupation & Jewish Voice for Peace

Palestine Israel Action Group    
A Subcommittee of the Peace and Social Concerns Committee of Ann Arbor Friends Meeting 
1420 Hill Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48104-3106

                                                                                                            August 4, 2015

To:       Yousef Munayyer, Director, US Campaign 
Anna Baltzer, National Organizer, US Campaign  
Josh Ruebner, Policy Director, US Campaign
            Felicia Eaves, US Campaign Steering Committee Co-Chair
            Andrew Kadi, US Campaign Steering Committee Co-Chair
            Rebecca Vilkomerson, Executive Director, Jewish Voice for Peace
            Alison Weir, If Americans Knew

Dear Friends,
We Ann Arbor Quakers in the Palestine-Israel Action Group (PIAG) support the pro-Palestinian work of the US Campaign, Jewish Voice for Peace, and If Americans Knew. Their quest for Palestinian human rights and freedom is our quest, as well. We hope to remain working within all three organizations for that good cause – in solidarity, rather than in perfect agreement.  

We fully agree with USC’s Common Principles, standing “opposed to Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, all forms of racism, and any other expressions of bigotry directed at any person or group."  We are troubled, however, when pro-Palestinian organizations spend time and energy investigating their coalition members for possible instances of deviation from these principles. This effort can be divisive and diversionary, undermining our movement's ability to achieve the goal of Palestinian human rights and freedom.

We urge that USC and JVP’s investigations of coalition members will end. Can you give us assurance in this regard?

In peace,

Helen Fox, PIAG Convener
Marilyn Churchill
Karen Deslierres
Ed Morin
Anne Remley
Ruth Zweifler

PIAG is sad to report that US Campaign is unable to give the assurance they requested in the final line above.  Policy Director Josh Ruebner stated in a conference call with PIAG that if any further group were to request the ousting of another member, US Campaign’s standard procedures would mandate that such a request be duly considered.

As someone who has signed a defense of Alison Weir 
(SIGN HERE https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1oyHWpfZtMvDez5XThztcbRMbgzQqMnCibkVk4Rjh3Hw/viewform
along with many other Palestine solidarity activists, I applaud the efforts of the Ann Arbor Friends Pal/Israel group to bring a halt to this witch hunt.  I echo their concern that this habit the solidarity community has of picking fights with those in the movement who do not share the same tactics will inevitably hobble our work unnecessarily by fear-mongering people interested in supporting Palestine liberation.  I urge the U.S. Campaign and JVP to reconsider their exile of Alison Weir (and If Americans Knew).
Linda Jansen, Seattle, WA

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