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September 15 is Democracy Day - Take Action in Your City!

September15.org

We need people in US cities to help get things started on the ground in parallel with protests in NYC, DC, Tel Aviv that are already planned. It's all about the US needing to stay true to its democratic values when it comes to mid-east policy (read the homepage at the attached link for the full explanation).

We would love to have someone step up as a local point person, who can handle a few of the needs listed below individually or as part of a core group:
- choose a place and time for a September 15 rally
- find out if a municipal permit is needed, and if so acquire one
- tell people and spread the word in-person and online
- maybe have a small planning meeting the week before to go over slogans, make signs, review a march route if applicable
- maybe find a good mc or speaker for the event

please message me if interested, or share the site with others!

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Thanks Daniel for this.  Thanks too for taking a key part in co-founding 'September15.org'

 

Thanks to the founder Mya Guarnieri and co-founders include Laura Durkay, Fadi Elsalameen, Patricia Ezratty, Joel Schalit, Malini Schueller, and Sarah Weatherbee.  It is great one of the advisors includes Joseph Dana.

 

For the US Jewish Voices for Peace call for Palestinian Statehood recognition see:

 

http://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/blog/jewish-voice-for-peace-and-un-r...

 

Jewish Voice for Peace and UN Recognition of Palestinian Statehood

For a more in-depth statement by Joel Benin, long-time JVP member and Donald J. Maclachlan Professor of Middle Eastern History at Stanford University, click here or scroll down.

Jewish Voice for Peace supports the Palestinian people’s struggle to fulfill their aspirations and secure their internationally recognized rights to freedom, national self-determination, justice, and equality. We regard any non-violent tactic as a legitimate tool in this struggle. Palestinians have the right to freedom from Israeli occupation, justice for Palestinian refugees, and equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has affirmed that this September, at the United Nations General Assembly, it will seek a vote on international recognition of the State of Palestine on the 1967 border and admission as a full member of the United Nations.

While 100 countries already recognize Palestine as a state, the question of pressing for UN membership remains controversial among Palestinians. Some support the move as historic and others believe such a vote is either purely symbolic or may sacrifice important Palestinian claims.

Jewish Voice for Peace believes that such a vote, even if it were to pass, would not change facts on the ground or suddenly create a Palestinian state. Regardless of what happens at the UN, the lives of ordinary Palestinian people and the ongoing massive violations of their human rights will remain at the forefront of our concerns.

That said, we do believe the campaign for Palestinian statehood has and can catalyze an important global conversation about the fundamental Palestinian right to self-determination, and the United States’ and Israel’s ongoing role in thwarting that right.

The PA’s decision to bring the case for statehood to the United Nations after years of frustration with so-called peace talks has highlighted the fact that the US-brokered “peace process” has actually helped entrench the occupation. It has equally underscored the reality that Israel’s current Prime Minister has absolutely no intention of stopping settlement expansion.
Further, Israeli and US efforts to weaken or stop a UN vote that in no way is anti-Israel, including US Congress’ threat to withhold millions in aid should the PA push for the vote, and the US affirmation that it will veto it if it goes to the UN Security Council, reveal the obstructive role the United States continues to play in the region— contributing to further injustice and bloodshed that threatens both Palestinians and Israelis.

Finally, we believe that the vote, and the conversation it is engendering among those who believe it’s time for Palestinians to finally achieve their freedom, should be understood in the context of a series of milestones that all point towards an acceleration of the decades old movement for justice.
These milestones include the unexpected rise of the Arab Spring, the rapid growth of the Palestinian nonviolent resistant movement inside of the West Bank, and the growing successes of the global nonviolent solidarity actions in the form of the Gaza flotilla and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS). These, coupled with Israel’s increasingly controversial and anti-democratic measures, which are all adding to its sense of isolation and pressure, all mark a hopeful shift in the decades old movement for justice for Palestinians.

Jewish Voice for Peace and UN Recognition of Palestinian Statehood by Joel Beinin

Jewish Voice for Peace supports the Palestinian people’s struggle to fulfill their aspirations and secure their internationally recognized rights to freedom, national self-determination, justice, and equality. We regard any non-violent tactic as a legitimate tool in this struggle. Palestinians have the right to freedom from Israeli occupation, justice for Palestinian refugees, and equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel.

Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and President of the Palestinian Authority (PA), affirmed in a New York Times op-ed on May 17, 2011 that, “This September, at the United Nations General Assembly, we will request international recognition of the State of Palestine on the 1967 border and that our state be admitted as a full member of the United Nations.”

Such a request will be more credible because of the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement signed in May. However, Hamas will not be a direct party to this request since it will be made by the PLO, the internationally recognized representative of the Palestinian people. Hamas is not (yet) a member of the PLO.

The Palestinian state which would seek UN membership does not exercise sovereignty over its territory – the armistice lines (the Green Line) in force from 1949 until June 4, 1967.

Nonetheless, Palestine does fulfill many of the requirements of statehood defined in the 1933 Montevideo Convention. It has a permanent population; a defined territory within the Green Line; and a government in the form of the PA, even though the PA is in most important respects controlled by Israel.

Over 100 countries already recognize Palestine as a state; fifteen others that have diplomatic relations with the PLO. There may even be a larger number of votes in the UN General Assembly in favor of UN membership for Palestine. Recognition by individual states and UN membership are different diplomatic procedures and confer different international rights.

Some diaspora Palestinians are critical of the plan to request UN membership because it limits Palestinian aspirations to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, it does not address the question of Palestinian refugees, and it excludes their voices from Palestinian political decision-making. This is their right. It is not our place to intervene in an internal Palestinian discussion of political strategy.

UN membership alone will not halt the escalating pace of Israeli settlement in East Jerusalem, especially in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan, and elsewhere in the West Bank. Nor will it halt the destruction of the Muslim cemetery in West Jerusalem where a so-called “Center for Human Dignity/Museum of Tolerance” is being constructed on graves, some of which date to the eleventh century. It would not protect Palestinians in the South Hebron Hills from the continuing rampages of violent settlers. It will not restore the lands of the West Bankers confiscated to construct the “separation barrier” which the International court of Justice declared illegal in 2004, or the rest of the lands in the West Bank Israel has confiscated from Palestinians to construct illegal settlements or military bases. And it will not give Palestinians control of their underground water resources so that they might enjoy a minimally adequate daily water supply. Whatever happens at the UN, the lives of ordinary Palestinian people and the ongoing massive violations of their human rights should be kept at the forefront of our concerns.

It is manifestly unjust and harmful to the security and stability of the United States and the entire Middle East for the governments of the United States or Israel to attempt to block UN recognition of a Palestinian state. Both Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Obama have made entirely spurious claims that seeking Palestinian statehood through international channels is tantamount to “delegitimizing Israel.” Netanyahu’s relentless expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the horrific 2008-09 assault on the Gaza Strip, the armed attack on the Mavi Marmara, and the spate of undemocratic laws recently adopted by the Knesset have done far more to delegitimize Israel than a request for Palestinian membership in the UN could possibly do.

President Obama has said that Palestinian rights could better be achieved by negotiations. The United States has not been an honest broker in Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. Wikileaks documents and the Palestine Papers publicized by Al Jazeera demonstrate that the United States has coordinated positions with Israel in negotiations and then pressured the Palestinians to accept Israel’s demands.

The United States side with Israel, even when Israel’s positions do not agree with publicly declared U.S. positions. President Obama has demonstrated a perplexing incapacity to persuade or pressure the Netanyahu government to abide by his own declared policy that Israel should freeze settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as a means of restarting negotiations. In February 2011 the U.S. vetoed a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories that was written precisely in the language of declared U.S. policy.

This was the 29th UN Security Council vote since 1983 in which the United States was the sole negative vote on a resolution critical of Israel. Israel often complains that it is being unfairly “singled out” for criticism in global forums. Whether or not we accept this claim, it is unreasonable to argue that Israel can never be held to account for its violations of human rights. Yet this has been the policy of the United States for decades.

By vetoing a Security Council resolution whose substance it claimed to agree with, the Obama administration revealed that, like its predecessors, it is far more interested in controlling the Israeli-Palestinian arena than achieving peace. This strategy was invented by Henry Kissinger following the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. Consequently, the United States has lost all credibility as a peace broker and simultaneously discredited the very notion of a “peace process.” Had this not been the case, the Palestinian Authority would have felt no need to seek recognition of statehood from the United Nations.

The twenty-year-long history of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations demonstrates that no Israeli government has been prepared to recognize a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital and anything approaching sovereignty over its territory, its underground water resources, its borders, and its airspace. The 1993 Oslo Accords did not stipulate the establishment of a Palestinian state. Israel’s Labor Party introduced a plank in its platform accepting a Palestinian state only on the eve of its electoral defeat in 1996. The subsequent Likud government was too intransigent even for President Clinton.

At the January 2001 Taba talks, the two sides came “agonizingly close to reaching an agreement” including Jerusalem and refugees, as the lead negotiators for both sides – Yossi Beilin and Yasir Abed Rabbo – wrote in a New York Times op-ed (Aug. 1, 2001). Prime Minister Ehud Barak cut those negotiations off ten day before an Israeli election that ousted him from power, claiming that he did not want to obligate the incoming government. Since opinion polls correctly predicted an overwhelming defeat for Barak and Labor, why didn’t he let the negotiators finish their job and turn the election into a plebiscite on the agreement? It isn’t necessary to discuss the entrenched opposition of Prime Ministers Sharon and Netanyahu to a Palestinian state. Netanyahu vehemently opposed a Palestinian state until June 2009. His settlement expansion policy since then has rendered his words even more deceitful than usual.

UN recognition of Palestinian statehood, if it occurs, will not change the situation on the ground. Israeli military might backed by the United States will prevent the Palestinians from realizing their rights, even though they may be in a better legal position to do so. Regardless of its ultimate success or failure, the campaign to secure recognition of Palestinian statehood has already enhanced global opposition to Israel’s policies toward Palestinians and undermined popular support for those policies in the U.S. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak understood these consequences when he referred to the Palestinian initiative as a “diplomatic tsunami.”
Whatever happens at the UN in the fall, the policy of Jewish Voice for Peace will not change. We will continue seek an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem; security and self-determination for Israelis and Palestinians; a just solution for Palestinian refugees based on principles established in international law; an end to violence against civilians; and peace and justice for all peoples of the Middle East. The United States has been a (the?) major obstacle to the realization of these goals. Therefore, as U.S. citizens, we will continue to demand that our government pursue a foreign policy based on promoting peace, democracy, human rights, and respect for international law.

 

For an Australian petition for Palestinian recognition see:

http://israelandpalestinediary.blogspot.com/2011/07/petition-for-pa...

 

Reasons for Statehood

http://israelandpalestinediary.blogspot.com/2011/07/australias-obli...

 

 

 

 

http://jewishpeaceactivists.blogspot.com/

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