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Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine
UK architects, planners and other construction industry professionals campaigning for a just peace in Israel/Palestine.

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Wednesday
Jun052013

Urgent Action: Help Bedouin Israelis Stay in Their Homes

To follow up about the Bedouin rights action  this past week.

 The Knesset was supposed to vote on the "Bill on the Arrangement of Bedouin Settlement in the Negev" yesterday, but due to a crowded legislative docket, the bill's first reading was postponed until next Monday, June 10.

 This give us another week to organize our communities to respond, speak out, and write to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Minister of Finance Yair Lapid, and Minister of Labor and Social Welfare Meir Cohen.

 If the Knesset passes this bill, some 30,000 to 40,000 Bedouin Israelis in more than two dozen villages in the Negev will be at risk of being evicted from their homes and having their villages demolished.

 We are close to reaching our goal of collecting at least 1,000 signatures in opposition to this bill before its first reading (in the last four days more than 700 people took the action). Help us surpass our goal by using our "tell-a-friend" page at http://org2.salsalabs.com/o/5149/p/salsa/web/tellafriend/public/?tell_a_friend_KEY=9605 to share the action or by passing along the action link http://www.bit.ly/BEDOUIN to people you know. Hopefully, working together, we will be able to stop this bill.   

 

Sincerely,

Josh Bloom

 

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Joshua Bloom 

Director of Israel Programs 

T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights (formerly Rabbis for Human Rights-North America) 

333 7th Avenue, 13th Floor 

New York, NY 10001 

Phone: 212-845-5205 

E-mail: jbloom@truah.org 

Web: http://www.truah.org 

Twitter: @TruahRabbis  


Wednesday
May152013

A Fair and Just Consideration of Susya’s Master Plan: Action!

An appeal from Rabbis for Human Rights to write to the head of the Civil Administration in the West Bank not to allow further demolition orders. The letters need to be sent urgently -related to the Jewish Festival of Shavuot -but you can modify the letter in a secular way!

Editor APJP

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http://susyablog.wordpress.com/

A request that you take action to help save Susya before the holiday begins this evening.

The military’s Civil Administration in the Occupied Territories is holding a hearing on Sunday that could determine the fate of Susya. As a counter to settler demands to demolish Palestinian Susya, the High Court granted us the opportunity to submit a building and zoning master plan that would allow the residents of Susya to build legally on their lands – a plan that should have existed long ago, but is almost inconceivable when the Israeli army is given the “White man’s burden” of planning for Palestinians.

To refresh your memory about Susya, you may wish to see the lastest chapters our Susya videoblog by award winning filmmaker Ibtisam Mara’ana and/or read more background.

Then, write that letter!

Video #6: Right-wing extremists violent through the eyes of the children in Palestinian Susya

West Bank Palestinians live under an institutionalized military regime of discrimination; they are not citizens, but subjects, and even in the realm of planning, construction and infrastructure investment they are being discriminated. Palestinian Susya is one of the Palestinian villages that never gained recognition by the military administration [even though its present location results from the military expelling the residents from its original site]. Therefore the village is not connected to electricity or water, and has no sewage disposal system, let alone roads or pavements; its residents live in slums of abject poverty and neglect. Directly across from them, in the Jewish settlement of Susya, illegal construction [by Israeli law] is whitewashed and supported by broad government support: infrastructure, parks, educational institutions and environmental development. Such conditions naturally generate continual tension.

An extremist minority among the Susya settlers exacerbates the institutionalized discrimination by invading the Palestinians’ farmlands, and they often commit violence as well. The murder of a Susya settler by a Palestinian from the nearby village of Yata about ten years ago prompted the army to transfer all the residents of Susya by force, backed by violence from some of the settler extremists. Under the cover of that deportation most of the caves that had served as homes for the Palestinians of Susya were destroyed. After a petition to the High Court the Palestinian Susya residents were permitted to return to their farmlands, but in the absence of the caves were forced to built tents and shanties against which demolition orders have been issued. As we can see, the settler violence creates a chain of problems beyond its immediate consequences: a takeover of agricultural land, expulsion from the land and all the attendant legal problems.

Tuesday
Feb262013

In solidarity with Hebron, London shops get a taste of the occupation

http://mondoweiss.net/2013/02/solidarity-london-occupation.html

by  on 25 February , 2013

Tesco 4
Israeli produce removed from a Tesco supermarket. (Photo: Nancy Kiousi)

On Saturday, February 23rd activists in London staged multiple boycott actions and a protest at the Israeli Embassy in support of the Palestinians in Al-Khalil (Hebron). In solidarity with the people in Hebron and the Open Shuhada Street movement, London shops got a taste of the occupation. Activists imposed symbolic closures on shops that sell Israeli produce, made in the occupied West Bank, upholding the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). By recreating Shuhada street the activists raised awareness for Al-Khalil and urged people of conscience to boycott all Israeli products until it complies with international human rights law.

Whole Foods
Protest at Whole Foods (Photo: Nancy Kiousi)

Israeli products were removed from the shelves, leaving behind a notice to inform shoppers and staff that ‘this product was removed because it was made on stolen land’. At the same time, a checkpoint was set up at the entrances of the shops, and hundreds of leaflets were given to passers by.

Amongst the shops that were targeted was Whole Foods, a brand that boasts of its ethical sourcing, but recently started selling SodaStream products, which are made in one of the fastest growing illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Ma’ale Adumim. Activists asked Whole Foods to remove SodaStream from their shop and encouraged shoppers to express their concern about the store’s ethical standards. Tesco and Argos were also targeted for selling Israeli produce which finances the illegal occupation of Palestine.

Israeli embassy 4
Protest outside the Israeli embassy (Photo: Nancy Kiousi)

Later in the afternoon a protest was held outside the Israeli embassy in London, calling for an end to the occupation, and system of apartheid, as well as the opening of Shuhada Street in Al-Khalil. Protesters set up a replica of the wall that Israel has built in the West Bank in front of the embassy and raised Palestinian flags.

Israeli embassy 2
At the Israeli embassy (Photo: Nancy Kiousi)

Al-Khalil is a city located in the south of the West Bank which has witnessed an extreme escalation of violence and oppression during the last two decades. In 1994 an armed Jewish settler, Baruch Goldstein, entered the Ibrahimi Mosque and opened fire on Palestinians during the Friday prayers, killing 29 people and injuring more that 120. Since then the city has seen dramatic increase of aggression by Israeli extremists, including violent attacks, destruction of Palestinian property and forced evictions of families whose property is then taken over by illegal settlers.

Following the massacre at the Mosque, the Israeli military closed the center of the city for allPalestinians, notably closing down Shuhada Street, which used to be the center of the Old City and a lively market. More than 600 Palestinian shops were forced to close by the Israeli military in Shuhada St, which remains a ghost street to this day. Palestinians are now prohibited from using a number of streets in Al-Khalil and a number of military checkpoints are established to control their access to the old city, making ordinary tasks, such as daily shopping, extremely difficult. Palestinian residents must travel extremely long distances on foot in order to use permitted routes and they are routinely delayed, harassed and refused entry at checkpoints.

Every year, in commemoration of the massacre at the mosque, Palestinians hold their big demonstration against the occupation, demanding the opening of Shuhada Street and the end of the Israeli apartheid. This year they held a big demonstration on Friday, 22 February, which was met with violent oppression. The Israeli occupying forces attacked the protesters with huge quantities of tear gas, skunk water, stunt grenades, rubber-coated-bullets and live ammunition, leading to a number of injuries, including one person who was shot in the leg with a live round and had to be admitted to hospital.

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Tuesday
Jan222013

New Yorkers Against the Cornell-Technion Partnership

For immediate release
For more information: Terri Ginsberg, NYACT@riseup.net
January 22, 2013
 
Protesters outnumbered students on a blustery Martin Luther King Day as the New York Cornell-Technion Partnership held its first day of classes at Google’s Chelsea offices in Manhattan.


Cornell University always holds classes on this holiday, and the annual insult to Dr. King’s memory is sadly fitting with the support for racism the school is showing by pairing with The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Israel’s foremost research and develop institution for weapons (including drones), surveillance systems, and other instruments of death and destruction used to maintain an apartheid system against Palestinians and for use in wars against Israel’s Arab neighbors.


The 25 New Yorkers leafleting against the Cornell-Technion Partnership (contrasting the eight students inside, according to the New York Times), denounced Google’s gift of free office space to the Partnership, as well as the $100 million in funds and $300 million in real estate given by the City of New York to the questionably fast-tracked venture.

Protesters also gathered signatures on a petition demanding an end to private and public support for the Partnership (online at: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/no-to-technion-in-nyc.html).

The campaign against the Cornell-Technion Partnership is part of a global effort in support of the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against institutions doing business with apartheid Israel.


Regular classes will be held at the Google offices until the main campus opens on Roosevelt Island in 2017. Among those handing out flyers and talking to workers and students from the Google building as well as Chelsea residents were several Cornell University students outraged at the Partnership’s violation of Cornell’s own rules for consulting staff and faculty over such business deals.


What’s more, Cornell, its partners, and the media have failed to report that Technion is complicit in Israel’s violations of international law and the rights of Palestinians, specifically by designing military weapons and developing technologies that are used to drive Palestinians off their land, suppress demonstrations for their rights, and carry out attacks against people in Lebanon, Gaza, and elsewhere. For these reasons, Technion is directly implicated in war crimes.  Furthermore, Technion practices institutional discrimination against Palestinian students by severely restricting their freedom of speech and assembly, and rewarding Jewish students who, unlike most Palestinians, perform compulsory military service in Israel. This is in direct contrast to Cornell University’s founding values of universalism and inclusion embodied in the university’s motto “any person any study.”


NYACT has also denounced the callous disregard for the health, safety and housing needs of Roosevelt Island residents. As construction begins for the eventual permanent Partnership site on the Island, homes are being torn down, and patients are being kicked out of the City hospital system’s Coler-Goldwater long-term care facilities. New Yorkers with serious disabilities and life-threatening medical conditions are being displaced by the City in deference to the Partnership. NYACT has attended several Roosevelt Island community meetings to forge an alliance with residents, patients and healthcare workers whose lives are being disrupted or even jeopardized by Cornell and Technion.

  NYACT and supporters will host a regular leafleting vigil every other Tuesday starting January 29th, from 5-7pm, at the Google offices,  111 Eighth Ave (at 15th St), New York City


For more information:
www.NYACT.net
<http://www.nyact.net/>
NYACT@riseup.net <http://webmailbb.juno.com/webmail/new/21?folder=Inbox&amp;msgNum=0009VSG0:001Gy9JL00002yV5&amp;count=1358860019&amp;randid=305776959&amp;attachId=0&amp;isUnDisplayableMail=yes&amp;blockImages=0&amp;randid=305776959>
New Yorkers Against the Cornell-Technion Partnership (NYACT)

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Saturday
Dec012012

Sign the Petition against the E-1 Plan for which Israel has announced the Go-Ahead!

Israel’s settlements are illegal under international law and the Geneva Convention, and Maale Adumim, its largest settler city stands out as the key factor in Israel’s colonial expansion as far west as possible from Jerusalem towards Jericho. Most of Maale Adumim (87%) is built on Palestinian-owned land. Maale Adumim was planned by the Thomas Leitersdorf (AA dipl) and designed by Elioar Barzacchi (the Mother of Maale Adumim) in the 1980s as the chief architect for the Jerusalem district at the Construction and Housing Ministry which created and is still creating facts on the ground that thwart negotiations on the city's future and is causing infringements of the rights of Palestinians in East Jerusalem and implementing a policy of occupation and annexation, land confiscation, discrimination and expulsion. The "empty" hills of Ma'aleh Adumim were not empty and "Mohammed" was indeed told to get up and go, like all the members of the Jahalin tribe that is now forced to live in the area of the Abu Dis garbage dump, as journalist Gideon Levy earlier wrote.

E1 is the hilly area between East Jerusalem and Maale Adumim that Israel is intending to annex, to form a continuous urban development. Currently Israel is confiscating lands on the northern and western side of the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim just outside of Jerusalem . These confiscations (without compensation) are taking place from the Palestinian villages of Anata, Al-Izariyyah, Abu Dis and A-Zayim. The intention of this action is to expand the municipal area of Ma’ale Adumim westward to join up with Jerusalem . But as ‘Ir-Amim’, the Israeli website on Jerusalem has stated, E1 is not Maale Adumim and cannot be considered as expansion of that town, which is in any case illegal. Currently, Ma’ale Adumim houses some 30,000 settlers. Under the E1 project an additional 5,600 more settlement homes for approximately 25,000 new residents will be added to its municipal area. Additionally, some 1,600 dunums of land are being confiscated to erect Israel ’s Apartheid wall for Ma’ale Adumim.

The police station for E1 has already been built despite its land confiscation and illegality, and the road network and street lights have also been built in readiness for the new housing near that land.

This action is not only in contravention of the US sponsored road map agreement, but it would effectively destroy any future possibility of a contiguous Palestinian state by cutting off east Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank, and by cutting of the northern part of the West Bank from the southern part..It is a deliberate violation of the Road Map, Oslo , and any basis for negotiating land for peace. When complete the total land area of Ma’ale Adumim and E1 will be 65,000 dunums, an area larger than Tel Aviv, in the heart of what would have been a Palestinian state.

We call on Israeli architects and planners to end their indifference and blindness to the political implications of their professional work and ethics. They should recognize their complicity in the injustices resulting from their participation in consolidating the Occupation, and the terrible suffering being inflicted on the Palestinians in the Occupied West Bank. We call on all parties to halt this illegal project forthwith , as required by the International Court of Justice in its ruling on the Wall in 1994.

We also call on the Israeli government to end all settlement expansion which are against international law and are serious breaches of the 4th Geneva Convention, and thus constitute a war crime.

We call on the high contracting parties of the Quartet to impose immediate sanctions on Israel if it pursues the development of E1 and all other settlement expansion throughout the occupied West Bank and E.Jerusalem.

Click here to add your name to this petition. 

The E1-Lifta-Silwan Petition