From Baltimore to Palestine: Connecting the Dots with Rev. Graylan Hagler, senior minister, Plymouth United Church of Christ, Washington, DC

 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016, 5:30-7:15pm

GIAC gymnasium, 301 W. Court St., Ithaca

For information and interviews: Beth Harris, beth55harris@gmail.com

Rev. Hagler headshot“From Baltimore to Palestine: Connecting the Dots” will address the links between the struggles for racial justice, equality and freedom in the U.S. and Palestine/Israel.  The event is free and open to the public, and snacks will be provided.

Rev. Graylan Hagler speaks out against U.S. “law enforcement’s long tradition in dehumanizing Blacks,” the police treatment of Black neighborhoods as “occupied territories,” and the role of Israel in the militarization of police in the U.S.  Born and raised in Baltimore, Rev. Hagler has praised young people from Baltimore to Palestine who protest police and military brutality and occupation, and denounce their political leaders’ failure to address institutional barriers to economic opportunities and political empowerment.  Rev. Hagler is a co-signer of the 2015 Black Solidarity Statement with Palestine.

Known for leading a courageous, social justice oriented ministry, Rev. Hagler has always “connected the dots” between struggles against oppression within and outside the United States, for example taking a leading role in struggles against segregation of public housing in South Boston and against apartheid in South Africa. He served on the Steering Committee of United for Peace and Justice, which works to end war and oppression and to shift resources towards human needs. He is now involved in a campaign to support Washington National Airport workers in their struggle for a living wage.

Short videos depicting solidarity between Black Americans and Palestinians, including When I See Them, I See Us, will be shown, and the international and local campaigns against the British private security company G4S will be discussed.  G4S, which is the largest security company in the world, provides technologies for prisons in the United States and Palestine/Israel.

Co-sponsors for “From Baltimore to Palestine: Connecting the Dots” at GIAC include Ithaca Jewish Voice for Peace, the Multicultural Resource Center, the Ithaca Committee for Justice in Palestine, the Ithaca Democratic Socialists of America and Cornell Students for Justice in Palestine, and the Congo Square Market.

Rev. Hagler will also speak on Tuesday, March 1, 4:30pm at the Cornell Africana Studies and Research Center, 310 Triphammer Rd.

This event is free and open to the public.

 

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Take Action: Protest Netanyahu’s US Visit

On November 9-10th, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will visit Washington DC to meet with President Barack Obama.  They will discuss the US providing up to $45 billion in more in taxpayer funded weapons over the next decade.  Israel frequently uses the weapons to o injure and kill Palestinian civilians and destroy their homes, agriculture and infrastructure.

Help us Tell Center for American Progress… Netanyahu Is #NotProgressive. Also, please sign the petition at NoWeaponsForIsrael.org

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Letter to Ithaca City School District Superintendent Luvelle Brown

Dear Superintendent Brown:

We are writing in response to the September 25, 2015 (ICSD) press release you issued apologizing for the visit of the internationally known Palestinian non-violent human rights activist Bassem Tamimi to a third grade class at the Beverly J. Martin Elementary School. As you know Mr. Tamimi was accompanied by local human rights advocates Ariel Gold and Mary Anne Grady Flores.

You claimed that Mr. Tamimi made “inflammatory” remarks. You charged that he presented a short video in which a Palestinian girl mentioned Israelis killing Palestinians and “egregious” statements, such as “Israel has broken UN ‘laws’ and “Israel controls all of the resources of the geographic area.”

Your statement ignores several important facts and factors.

  1. Bassem Tamimi is a victim of extreme human rights abuses by the Israeli government. He has been imprisoned 11 times in Israel and spent approximately 3 years in administrative detention without any charges.
  1. Mr. Tamimi was designated a “prisoner of conscience” by Amnesty International (AI), one of the foremost international human rights organizations, for what AI calls “peacefully exercising his rights to freedom of expression and assembly.”
  1. Mary Anne Grady Flores, a respected local human rights activist and grandparent of a BJM student, was present during the entire class. She reports that Mr. Tamimi linked his presentation directly to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which the children were studying. She explained that he identified the specific ways that the Israeli occupation was violating the rights of Palestinian children. “I am a witness to the gentle way the discussion happened,” she wrote on her Facebook page.

Numerous human rights organizations have documented the Israeli government’s violation of international laws by controlling “all of the resources” in Palestinian territories. Human Rights Watch, the American Friends Service Committee, B’Tselem (an Israeli human rights organization), Amnesty International and the World Bank have published meticulously documented reports confirming the Israeli government’s deprivation of resources to Palestinians — and other human rights abuses against Palestinians in the occupied territories. Sharing this information should not be considered “egregious” in a classroom studying human rights.

Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in the occupied territories has been condemned by many prominent international and American human rights activists, including South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu. During Israel’s invasion of Gaza in 2014, over 2000 Palestinians were killed, including 551 children. In this operation 67 Israeli soldiers and 6 Israeli civilians were killed. Five Latin American countries withdrew their ambassadors to Israel in protest. In September 2015 1,100 African-American organizations and individuals signed a statement criticizing Israeli human rights violations and expressing solidarity with Palestinians.

It is hard to understand why you were so quick to condemn this event rather than welcoming this eyewitness account of contemporary human rights issues.

Barbara H. Chasin, Ph. D., Professor Emerita of Sociology, Montclair State University

Richard W. Franke, Ph. D., Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, Montclair State University

Members of Ithaca Jewish Voice for Peace

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To the Supporters of Ithaca Committee for Justice in Palestine (CJP): Report on GreenStar Council Meeting to Decide on Referendum – – May 12, 2015

The Ithaca Committee for Justice in Palestine has been encouraged by the widespread support we received from GreenStar member-owners and shoppers while working on our Food Justice campaign, petitioning for a referendum at GreenStar on boycotting products from Israel. Even though we had two months to gather required signatures, we were able to get them within one week. Continue reading

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