Chloe Steele, email@example.com, 210-529-4449
Pat Westwater-Jong, firstname.lastname@example.org, 978-621-4153
Louise Coleman, 617-817-670
Over 30 activists gathered outside Senator Warren’s and Senator Markey’s office at the JFK Federal Building on Tuesday, May 9th. The goal, was to “Stand with the six” Palestinian Human Rights Organizations that have been targeted and designated as “terrorists” by the Israeli governemnt.
This is an undemocratic action, done by a “democracy and is an apparent attempt to defund and shut down these organizations and imprison the staff. Palestinians rely on these organizations to report Israeli government crimes against them. We rely upon them to know how the Israeli government is using the weapons we buy them.
Massachusetts Peace Action activists initiated a petition, that with the help of allied groups in MA over 900 Massachusetts organizations and residents have signed. The petition demands that President Biden and Secretary Blinken condem this designation and pressure Israel to rescind it. We asked our MA Senators to take significant action to pressure Israel to drop their false and undemocratic designation, including:
- make a public statement condeming this “terroist” designation;
- introduce a resolution or write a letter for their collegues in the Senate to sign; and
- ask our President and State Department to make similar statements and to pressure the Israeli government to revoke this designation.
And if words fail to impact the Israeli government, initiate and take actions to show the Israeli government the US is serious about this.
On Tuesday, outside the offices of Senator Markey and Senator Warren, the petition was read, statements from Ubai Al-Aboudi (Executive Director of The Bisen Center for Research and Development; one of the 6 organizations) from Sahar Francis (Director of Addameer; one of the 6 organizations) were read by Amahl Bishara (a Palestinian author and anthropologist with conections to Palestinian communities in Boston, Tarshiha, Aida Camp, Bethlemhem, and the West Bank, and a professor at Tufts University) and Hayat Imam (a Massachuessts Peace Action Acitivst). Important to note, Ubai planned to join us on Tuesday, but his exit visa to the US was denied by the Israeli government. Sahar was planned to go to the 2022 World Social Forum in Mexico City, but, in her words, “I arrived at Ben Gurion Airport on my way to take part in the 2022 World Social Forum in Mexico City. Despite holding an Israeli passport with a U.S. visa valid through April 2023, I was prohibited from checking into the first leg of my flight, which transited through Miami, Florida. I was told that I would not be allowed through U.S. Customs and Border Protection screening upon arrival in Miami and, thus, would not be allowed to board the flight.”
The petition was delivered to President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken in early May, and Massachusetts Peace Action and Jewish Voice for Peace Boston are organizing standouts to deliver the petition to Massachusetts Representatives. The petition will be delivered to Represenative Auchincloss on May 13th, Representative Trahan on May 16th, Representative Lynch on May 19th, and was delivered to Representative Clark on May 2nd. More scheduled standouts are to come.