Friday, November 18, 2016

We join JVP in opposing Stephen Bannon



We, the undersigned, oppose and condemn in the strongest of terms President-Elect Donald Trump’s appointment of Stephen Bannon as chief strategist and senior counselor. Bannon’s anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, racist, sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic agenda deserves no place in the White House, let alone second-in-command to the most powerful office on the planet.



Friday, October 21, 2016

Hate group invades Vassar College


The Horowitz Freedom Center put up about 30 posters around campus (there are three other versions, all naming individual students and faculty). We removed the names in the interest of privacy. Vassar, to it's credit, immediately took the posters down and contacted the students involved.

This is the level of hate that the Israel Lobby is trying to stir up. How did this hate group put up all these large posters? Where was campus security? Wouldn't video cameras show who was trespassing on the Vassar College campus to sow these seeds of hate?





Saturday, September 24, 2016

Board Votes to Support Free Speech

Woodstock Town Board Adopts Resolution

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
September 21, 2016 

Contact: 
Helaine Meisler
helainemeisler@yahoo.com 845-679-5301 (H); 914-466-0100 (C) 


Woodstock Town Board Adopts Resolution Questioning the Constitutionality of New York Governor’s
Executive Order on BDS

Board Votes to Support Free Speech & the Right to Boycott 

Yesterday evening, the Woodstock Town Board voted unanimously (4-0) to adopt a first-of- its-kind resolution in New York State that questions the Constitutionality of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order 157 (EO 157).  

Widely criticized by human rights organizations, civil rights attorneys, and community groups, EO 157 mandates New York State to create a blacklist of institutions abiding by boycott or divestment campaigns related to Israeli human rights abuses, and further requires State agencies to divest themselves from such entities. 

The newly passed Town Board resolution requires Governor Cuomo to submit the “legal basis or judicial opinion upon which he finds his action to be constitutional” by December 5, 2016. Further stating that “in the absence of a timely, cogent, and acceptable legal and judicial opinion in support of Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 157," the Town Board will "stand in opposition to Executive Order 157 and request that it be rescinded” in addition to encouraging any entity impacted by it to contest in a court of law. 

"Boycotts against injustices are deeply rooted in U.S. history and are a form of collective protest that enjoy full protection under the First Amendment. Penalizing advocates of any such boycott – whether of Israel, North Carolina, grapes, or lettuce – is a flat-out violation of the Constitution,” said Alan Levine, a prominent First Amendment attorney who worked closely on drafting the resolution. ”By passing this resolution, Woodstock Town Board has set an admirable example to other communities, and a clear message to the Governor that we not stay silent when we are being denied our rights.” 

“The Woodstock Town Board has taken a commendable stance on free speech and boycott rights with this resolution,” said Alan Sussman, a Woodstock resident and First Amendment rights attorney. “As Americans we have an obligation, in part stemming from our fierce tradition of freedom, and in greater part by our love of democracy and fairness, to object to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order.”

Woodstock Free Speech is a group of concerned citizens in the Town of Woodstock, NY who are working to educate others about their inalienable right to self-determination and all of the freedoms, liberties, rights and responsibilities that are espoused in the Bill of Rights and successive amendments to the Constitution.

Monday, August 15, 2016

9th Christian Denomination to Take Economic Action for Justice in Palestine


A sea of green as Lutherans vote in favor of an investment screen

Huge news! Moments ago, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) voted overwhelmingly (by an estimated 90%) to create an investment screen that would identify and remove the Church's investments in corporations profiting from Israel's violations of Palestinian rights, and other human rights abuses around the world. The new screen has a broad reach, ensuring that the Church would avoid investments in corporations currently complicit in human rights violations as part of the Israeli occupation, as well as any future corporations that become complicit.

Lutherans vote overwhelmingly to end unconditional U.S. aid to Israel.

Just yesterday, the ELCA voted by a margin of 82% -- 751 to 162 -- calling for an end to unconditional U.S. aid to Israel.

ELCA marks the ninth denomination to engage in economic acts of conscience to support justice for Palestinians, following the Quakers, Mennonite Central Committee, United Methodists, Presbyterians, United Church of Christ, Unitarian Universalists, Catholic Conference of Major Superiors of Men, and the Alliance of Baptists -- many of those in 2016 alone!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Sign the Woodstock Free Speech petition on BDS

Petition: In Support of a Resolution Protecting the First Amendment in the Town of Woodstock, NY
We the People, of the Town of Woodstock, Ulster County, New York, are in support of a resolution protecting the First Amendment Rights of the citizens of the Town of Woodstock as it is presented here... 
PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION at

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Tell Gov. Cuomo: We will continue to stand for justice

Tell Gov. Cuomo: We will proudly continue to stand for justice and boycott Israel until it complies with international law and respects Palestinian human rights! 

State-sanctioned backlash against the movement for Palestinian human rights has reached a new low: Gov. Cuomo just signed a McCarthyite executive order requiring state agencies to divest from organizations that support the Palestinian call to boycott companies profiting from, or cultural institutions complicit in, Israel's oppression of the Palestinian people. Furthermore, the order requires the creation of a publicly available blacklist of all companies and institutions that support the movement. 

Boycott is a time-honored tool of communities across the globe. Cuomo’s move is blatantly unconstitutional and is shamelessly designed to attack the movement for Palestinian human rights.

Please join us! Tell Gov. Cuomo: We will continue to stand for justice and boycott Israel until the Palestinian people achieve freedom, justice, and equality. We will continue to boycott Israel because it is the right thing to do. 


*********************************************

Share Right to Boycott petition: As part of the response to Governor Cuomo’s executive order on Sunday, the Freedom to Boycott in NY campaign decided to initiate an online petition calling on him to rescind that order. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

#StolenHomes campaign, tell Airbnb to stop hawking rentals in illegal settlements.

Friday, May 20, 2016

An affront as well to the First Amendment

On May 9, 2016, the New Jersey State Senate approved by a vote of 39-0 S1923, a bill prohibiting the investment of state pension and annuity funds in companies that boycott Israel or Israeli businesses. One of the bill’s sponsors was liberal stalwart and Democratic Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg. Among the co-sponsors were Democratic Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Republican Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. There is a similar bill in the Assembly, A925, still in committee. Both bills are an affront to basic principles of human rights that many NJ liberals seem to support everywhere else in the world except when it comes to Israel-Palestine.  And both bills are an affront as well to the First Amendment. ...

- See more at http://mondoweiss.net

Monday, April 18, 2016

PROTECT YOUR RIGHT TO BOYCOTT

Anti-BDS Legislation by State

A wave of bills aimed at punishing or suppressing boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns for Palestinian freedom have been introduced in state legislatures across the country. Click on a state below for more information about specific anti-BDS legislation and to take action to protect your #RightToBoycott.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Support boycott as a form of free speech

We are writing to strongly oppose A.9036, currently in the Governmental Operations Committee of the NY Assembly, as well as any similar legislation that creates unconstitutional blacklists. We share deep concerns about unconstitutional attacks on boycotts, a form of protected political speech. We call on you to stop this legislation, and oppose any similar efforts.

This legislation mandates that New York State create a blacklist of individuals and entities that exercise their constitutional right to utilize boycott as a form of free speech. Under this bill, individuals and entities that boycott a country (or companies based in that country) from a selective list of “allied nations” will be ineligible to contract with the state. The legislation also calls for the state to divest its holdings from any corporation that boycotts an “allied nation*.”

The proposed legislation runs counter to the US Supreme Court decision in NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co., which concluded that boycotts constitute a political form of expression that “occupies the highest rung of the hierarchy of First Amendment values.”

Join organizations across NY state opposing legislation that creates unconstitutional blacklists. Add your organization to the growing list of co-sponsors by following the link below.

[list in formation]

Center for Constitutional Rights
Palestine Legal
National Lawyers Guild - NYC,
Peace Action New York State
Peace Action of Staten Island
NY State Council of Churches
United Church of Christ Palestine Israel Network
Presbyterian Peace Fellowship
Israel Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
American Friends Service Committee Northeast Region
New York Conference, United Church of Christ
Kairos: The Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice
Stony Point Center, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
United Methodist Upper NY Task Force on Peace with Justice in Palestine/Israel
Park Slope United Methodist Church, Social Action Committee
Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East, New York Chapter
Ithaca Area Episcopal Peace Fellowship
Christians Witnessing for Palestine (Rochester)
Task Force on Israel-Palestine at St. Michael's Church
Maryknoll Sisters
Jewish Voice for Peace - National
Jewish Voice for Peace - New York City Chapter
Jewish Voice for Peace - Ithaca Chapter
Jewish Voice for Peace - Albany Chapter
Jewish Voice for Peace - Westchester Chapter
Jewish Voice for Peace - Rochester Chapter
JEWS SAY NO!
Jews for Palestinian Right of Return
Jews for Racial & Economic Justice
Council on American Islamic Relations, New York (CAIR-NY)
American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) NY
North American Climate,Conservation and Environment
Rainforest Relief
MADRE
US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
US Palestinian Community Network
MENA Solidarity Network-US
Al-Awda New York, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
American Studies Association
American Association of University Professors - NYU Chapter
Queers Against Israeli Apartheid
Adalah-NY: the New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel
U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Labor for Palestine
Saoirse Palestine
Brooklyn For Peace
Genesee Valley Citizens for Peace
North Manhattan Neighbors for Peace and Justice
Peace Action at Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Peace Action & Education (Rochester)
Peace Action Geneseo
Western New York Peace Center
War Resisters League
CODEPINK New York
Concerned Families of Westchester
WESPAC Foundation
Committee for Open Discussion of Zionism
Park Slope Food Coop for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions
Syracuse Peace Council
Democratizing Knowledge Collective
Elias Foundation
Ithaca Democratic Socialists of America
Ithaca Showing Up for Racial Justice
Middle East Crisis Response (MECR)
Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine
Hunter College Students for Justice in Palestine
Students for Justice in Palestine at the College of Staten Island
Saint Joseph's College Students for Justice in Palestine
New School Students for Justice in Palestine
NYC Students for Justice in Palestine
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
International Socialist Organization
Green Party, U.S.
Granny Peace Brigade
Women of a Certain Age
Women in Black, Union Square
Women In Black, Washington Heights
Women in Black, New Paltz

Go to the link below to add your organization:

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

After seven years of hard work

CODEPINK is thrilled to share with you the wonderful news that after seven years of hard work on the Stolen Beauty Ahava boycott campaign, Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories announced on Thursday that they plan to move their factory from the occupied West Bank to within Israel’s internationally recognized pre-1967 borders. This win would not have been possible without the sustained work of dedicated human rights activists around the world.
In a second BDS win, also on Thursday, global security giant G4S announced that in order to extract themselves from “reputationally damaging work,” they will be selling their entire Israeli subsidiary in the next 12-24 months.

Both the Ahava and G4S wins were achieved through  coordinated work by  human rights groups across the globe. Now CODEPINK, Jewish Voice for Peace, and others are leading the Stolen Homes campaign to ask worldwide accommodations leader Airbnb to cease listing homes in illegal Israeli settlements. The Stolen Homes campaign was launched in January 2016 with a petition and a CODEPINK-led protest outside of Airbnb headquarters in San Francisco. Last week, activists returned to Airbnb offices in San Francisco, Portland, Paris, and London to deliver over 140,000 signatures pressing Airbnb to stop profiting from and contributing to Israel’s violations of international law. The Stolen Homes campaign has also created a parody website where you can leave a comment to protest Airbnb's practices.

Monday, March 7, 2016

BDS win on Vassar Campus

On Sunday Mar. 6, the Vassar Student Association (VSA) voted to pass the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) resolution, which needed only a simple majority, by a vote of 15 in favor and 7 opposed. The resolution calls for the VSA’s political statement of support of the BDS movement. The organization did not pass the concurrently submitted BDS amendment, which would have required the VSA to restrict funding from the Vassar Student Activities Fund. The amendment needed a 2/3 majority but failed by a vote of 12 in favor to 10 opposed.

To bring the resolution to student referendum, the VSA needs to be presented with 120 signatures (5% of student body). To bring the amendment to referendum it would need 360 signatures (15% of student body).

Friday, February 19, 2016

Attack on Vassar College and Department of Jewish Studies

Wall Street Journal attacks Vassar College:

"Majoring in Anti-Semitism at Vassar A number of events over the past two years have transformed a prestigious institution into a parody ripe for ridicule."


Please read the Wall Street Journal article, and then write or call President Hill with your message.

==== Contact Vassar President Catharine Hill ===

Call Office of the President:
845 437-7200

Send an email:
presidentsoffice@vassar.edu

Write a Letter:
President Catharine Hill
Vassar College, Box 1
124 Raymond Avenue
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604

Possible talking points:
1. Local resident and former Vassar College administrator, Fred Nagel, attended the presentation and refutes the WSJ charges.

2. Charges based on unsubstantiated claims of anti Semitism are presented as the truth but without a recording or transcript of the presentation.

3. Dr. Puar was brought to Vassar by the Jewish Studies as well as several other department. It was supported by Vassar Jewish Voice for Peace on campus.

4. Authors of the WSJ article both work for Academic Engagement Network. From Haaretz: "NEW YORK – Enlisting faculty members at American colleges and universities as allies in the fraught battle against the BDS (boycotts, divestment and sanctions) movement is the main objective of a new organization that is being launched on Wednesday." In effect, the authors are being paid to shut down debate on college campuses.

5. The Academic Engagement Network has received tens of millions from from Sheldon Adelson, billionaire ally of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

6. The WSJ has become a typical Rupert Murdock publication, with writers being paid to distribute pro Israel propaganda, and articles full of rightwing, unsubstantiated charges.

7. A world class college like Vassar cannot afford being intimidated by these tactics.

==== Comment on Academic Engagement Network website ===

https://www.facebook.com/academicengagement/

Monday, February 15, 2016

Code Pink Call to Action


No Open House on Stolen Land!  

While RE/MAX International is holding its annual convention in Las Vegas, its Israeli franchise, RE/MAX Israel, is continuing to sell homes in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. RE/MAX’s profiteering and complicity have drawn condemnation from human rights activists around the world. A recent report from Human Rights Watch entitled “Occupation, Inc.”: How Settlement Businesses Contribute to Israel’s Violations of Palestinian Rights” directly indicting RE/MAX LLC, states that:
By advertising, selling and renting homes in settlements, both the Israeli franchise of RE/MAX and RE/MAX LLC, the owner of the global franchise network, facilitate and benefit from the transfer of Israeli civilians into occupied territory and the associated human rights abuses, contravening their rights responsibilities.

Think this is outrageous? Sign the letter to Dave Liniger, CEO, Chairman of the Board, and Co-Founder, Re/Max International, telling him to stop RE/MAX Israel's illegal sales of settlement homes on Palestinian land.



Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Airbnb rentals in the illegal settlements

Airbnb is coming under criticism for listing vacation rentals in West Bank settlements on their website without identifying their location in the West Bank. 

In a recent report, Human Rights Watch said businesses should stop operating in West Bank settlements because they violate the rights of Palestinian civilians. 

Urge Airbnb to stop listing vacation rentals in West Bank settlements on their website, or identify them as being in the West Bank, by signing our petition at MoveOn:

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/airbnb-no-vacation-rentals-west-bank-settlements


Thanks for all you do for justice,

Robert Naiman, Avram Reisman, and Sarah Burns
Just Foreign Policy

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Defending freedom of speech in NYS

Electronic Intifada:

New York bill would create official blacklist of Israel boycott supporters.

A law being proposed in New York would create an official blacklist of supporters of the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

Legal experts and activists say the measure is reminiscent of the McCarthy era and could have drastic consequences for individuals, organizations or firms who engage with the campaign to pressure Israel to respect Palestinian rights.

Anti-BDS legislation was also introduced this week in California. Two New York bills — one introduced in the state senate and another in the assembly — would require the state government to “develop, using credible information available to the public, a list of persons it determines boycotts [sic] Israel.”

Individuals or entities included on the state’s blacklist would be barred from partnering with state agencies unless they can demonstrate in a written statement that they are “not engaged in boycotting Israel.” State pension funds would also be prohibited from investing in institutions that have divested from Israel.

Activists with the Palestine Solidarity Collective in New York are collecting signatures for a petition to lawmakers against the bill. Nearly two dozen North America-based activist organizations are opposing the legislation.

The New York bills are “the most egregious, most McCarthyite, most obvious violations of people’s First Amendment rights,” Josh Ruebner, policy director for the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, told The Electronic Intifada.

If passed into law, the measure could hit local organizations that provide essential community services. Church groups, for example, that may belong to denominations which have passed boycott or divestment resolutions, often receive state funds to provide social programs such as homeless shelters and soup kitchens. “Does that mean that all these churches will become ineligible to feed the hungry?” Ruebner asked.

A separate resolution pending in New York, HR-567, would condemn the European Union’s decision to accurately label goods produced in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and Golan Heights.

Visit our website http://www.freedom2boycott.com

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Law to make BDS a criminal act in NY

Law to make support of BDS a criminal act in NY

There is a law under consideration in New York State to make support for BDS and, actually, any public dissent against Israel, a crime.  This is ridiculous, but it sets a terrible precedent and everyone should sign the petition against it and forward widely.  There is a link to the actual bills on the website

Say No to Anti BDS Legislation in NY http://palestinesolidaritycollective.net/2015/12/13/anti-bds-legislation-in-new-york/
The legislation would create “A LIST OF PERSONS IT DETERMINES BOYCOTTS ISRAEL,” and defines boycotting Israel  as 

“ENGAGING IN ACTIONS THAT ARE POLITICALLY MOTIVATED AND ARE INTENDED TO  PENALIZE, INFLICT ECONOMIC HARM ON, OR OTHERWISE LIMIT COMMERCIAL   RELATIONS  WITH THE  STATE  OF  ISRAEL  OR   COMPANIES BASED IN THE STATE OF ISRAEL OR IN TERRITORIES CONTROLLED BY THE  STATE OF ISRAEL.”

Who will it affect?
  • Individuals or Community groups that support Palestinian human  rights by supporting a boycott of Israel.   
  • Contractors and other businesses seeking partnerships with New York  State.  
  • Non-profit organizations that receive New York State grants. 
Say No to Anti BDS Legislation in NY
http://palestinesolidaritycollective.net/2015/12/13/anti-bds-legislation-in-new-york/

Monday, January 4, 2016

Protest in front of a closed Leviev diamond store

New York, NY, December 21, 2015 – On Saturday, for the second year running, 50 New York human rights advocates held a celebratory protest in front of a closed Leviev diamond store on Madison Avenue on one of the biggest holiday shopping days. Days before the protest, staff working for Israeli diamond mogul Lev Leviev had insisted his store would be open, per their publicized business hours. The Leviev store was also mysteriously closed the day of the December 2014 anti-apartheid caroling protest. This is the ninth consecutive year New Yorkers have gathered in front of Leviev’s store singing holiday anti-apartheid carols critical of Leviev’s construction of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land and human rights abuses in the diamond industry in Angola.

 

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