US Must Lift the Travel Ban on Omar Barghouti
APRIL 2019 – Omar Barghouti is a world-renowned human rights defender, co-founder of the BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) for Palestinian rights, and a 2017 recipient of the Gandhi Peace Award. He has lived in the US and has a degree from Columbia University.
Despite holding a valid U.S. visa, on April 10, 2019, Omar was banned from entry by U.S. immigration officials, while attempting to board a flight at Ben Gurion Airport.
The United States barred Barghouti from his much anticipated U.S. speaking tour, meetings with policy makers and journalists, a Passover dialogue at a Chicago synagogue, and his daughter’s wedding.
This is a shameful and dangerous attack on the Palestine freedom movement and social justice organizing on every issue, and we must challenge it.
Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and the Arab American Institute (AAI) will deliver a lettrr to the House FOREIGN AFFAIRS Committee and House JUDICIARY Committee, asking them to:
1. Immediately reinstate Omar Barghouti’s ability to travel to the US.
2. Support the right of Americans to hear directly from one of the world’s leading human rights advocates.
3. Launch an investigation into who made the decision to ban Omar from entry and why.
ADD YOUR NAME TO THE LETTER!
CLICK HERE TO SEE AND SIGN THE LETTER
United Nations, Release the Database!
Justice Delayed is Justice Denied
APRIL 2019 – Join Al Haq’s social media actions to urge the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Human Rights Council, and Member States to abide by their own commitments and publish the database on companies involved in Israel’s illegal settlements.
In 2016, the UN Human Rights Council voted in favour of establishing a database of companies involved in business activities with Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). Israeli settlements are illegal under international law; a database of businesses with activities or relationships in settlements would provide transparency for States, businesses, and the public, and can be used to ensure that companies are not complicit in human rights violations and grave breaches of international humanitarian law.
Almost three years since the resolution calling for the Database, the UN has yet to publish the result of its work; this is reportedly due to political pressure from Israel, the United States and some European states. On 4 March 2019, the High Commissioner issued a letter stating that “further consideration is necessary” to fulfil the mandate, and that her Office will continue to finalize the “mandate in the coming months.”
These delays allow international and Israeli businesses to continue to exploit Palestinian natural resources, and contribute to and profit from Israel’s impunity for its expanding colonial settlement enterprise and human rights violations.
Together we can end corporate complicity in international crimes in the OPT.
Use the sample tweets and meme below with the following hashtags:
.@MBachelet @UNHumanRights: Each delay in publishing the database of companies profiting from Israel’s illegal settlements entrenches corporate involvement in systematic human rights abuses & war crimes. #UNGiveUsTheNamesAlready (Click to Tweet)
.@MBachelet @UNHumanRights: In order to #StandUp4HumanRights we must end corporate complicity. Civil society and states need to know which companies are profiting from Israeli war crimes & prolonged occupation. #UNGiveUstheNamesAlready (Click to Tweet)
It has been three years since @UNHumanRights committed to publishing a list of companies profiting from Israeli war crimes. Enough is enough. Palestinian civil society calls on the UN to #StandUp4HumanRights @MBachelet We demand: #UNGiveUsTheNamesAlready (Click to Tweet)
The @UNHumanRights must live up to its commitments and publish the list of companies operating in settlements. By not doing so it is setting a precedent of capitulating to state pressure and failing to protect Palestinian human rights. #UNGiveUsTheNamesAlready (Click to Tweet)
.@UNHumanRights: Your three-year delay has allowed companies to continue to profit from a situation of prolonged occupation and injustice, while avoiding accountability for complicity in violations & war crimes. #UNGiveUsTheNamesAlready of companies profiting from Israel’s illegal settlements. (Click to Tweet)
YOU CAN ALSO:
1. Make a banner with the hashtag #UNGiveUsTheNamesAlready, THEN
2. Take a photo of yourself or your group holding the sign, THEN
3. Post the photo on social media using the hashtag #UNGiveUsTheNamesAlready tagging @MBachelet and @UNHumanRights
For further information on the UN database of companies engaged in activities related to Israeli settlements:
• Palestinian Civil Society Calls on the UN High Commissioner to Release the UN Database of Businesses Engaged in Activities Related to Israeli Settlements;
• 100 Palestinian, Regional and International Organisations Call on High Commissioner for Human Rights to Publish the UN Database on Business Enterprises with Activities Related to Israeli Settlements in the OPT;
• Palestinian Organisations Support Release of UN Database Report and Call for Third State Action to End Corporate Complicity in Occupation;
• Joint NGO Statement in Support of the UN Human Rights Database on Business Activities related to Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory;
• Unprecedented database to list business enterprises that have, directly and indirectly, enabled, facilitated and profited from the construction and growth of Israeli settlements.
See this alert at the website of Al Haq:
The Palestinian Prisoner’s Hunger Strike, 2017
See it here
Faith Leaders Denounce Israeli Travel Ban
Add your support to an ecumenical and interfaith statement that opposes Israel’s denial of entry to some advocates for justice in Israel/Palestine, as well as political discrimination within the U.S.
Read the statement and take action
Stop legislation to criminalize boycotts, from AFSC
See Palestine Portal’s comprehensive page on Anti-BDS Legislation, including action alerts from several organizations, news articles, commentary, educational resources, videos, and more
Congress is seeking to criminalize people who support the Palestinian-initiated Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and we need your help to stop them.
Draft bills in the Senate and the House (S. 720 and H.R. 1697) known as the “Israel Anti-Boycott Act” are gaining traction. The bills – sponsored by 45 senators and 237 representatives respectively – would make supporting some boycott actions targeting Israel or Israeli settlements a felony punishable by up to a $1 million fine and 20 years in prison.
Both versions of the bill also include clauses making it illegal for companies or individuals to boycott illegal Israeli settlements based on calls made by bodies at the United Nations, European Union, or other international institutions.
The Israel Anti-Boycott Act is part of a growing effort to outlaw BDS. Since 2014 dozens of anti-BDS measures have been introduced in states across the U.S., and 19 states have enacted anti-BDS laws.
Despite millions of dollars of investment to counter BDS campaigns, the BDS movement has been succeeding. In just the last month the United Church of Christ voted in support of targeted sanctions in the form of cuts in military aid to Israel, and the Mennonite Church took steps to support institutional divestment from companies complicit in Israel’s occupation and human rights violations. Because they have been unable to stop this grassroots momentum, those opposed to BDS are moving to change the laws to make BDS illegal
Should the “Israel Anti-Boycott Act” become law, it would chill and deter constitutionally protected speech by intimidating people from engaging in political actions for fear of being criminally sanctioned.
This law and others like it would be dangerous and likely unconstitutional. No legislation should restrict people’s rights to engage in efforts to end human rights abuses. That’s why such a diverse coalition of organizations have come together in opposition, including groups strongly opposed to BDS, such as J-Street; neutral advocates of civil rights such as the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights; and Palestine activist networks.
Regardless of your personal position regarding the use of boycott, divestment, and sanctions tactics in the context of Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, we ask you to act now to ensure the protection of the First Amendment to the Constitution by defending free speech and the rights of U.S. citizens to engage in peaceful efforts to change policies.
Petition the UN: Free Issa Amro!
“Palestinian activist Issa Amro, who has been recognized as a Human Rights Defender by the European Union and the United Nations, is undergoing Israeli military trial1 on 18 charges dating all the way back to 2010.
Mr. Amro’s case is an example of widespread targeting of human rights activists using old and exaggerated charges in a military court system whose conviction rate for Palestinians is over 99%2.
As civil and human rights advocates and faith groups, we ask that you call on the Israeli government to drop the politically-motivated charges against Issa Amro and allow him to continue his important work of protecting human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”
Sign the petition! Go to: https://freeissa.org/
East Jerusalem Hospitals Need Assistance
From Peace Not Walls, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
Ask your US elected officials to protect funding for East Jerusalem hospitals such as the Augusta Victoria, which provides vital medical care Palestinians cannot get elsewhere.
Read more, take action
Protect the right to boycott! Two Dangerous Bills in Congress
From the Faith Forum on Middle East Policy, via United Methodists for Kairos Response
Contact your members of Congress! Urge them to oppose two dangerous bills that seek to limit Americans’ right to engage in boycotts – protected free speech according to the Supreme Court – that support human rights and international law in Israel/Palestine. Send a message to your legislators.