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Archive for the ‘The Americas’ Category

VIDEO OF TROY DAVIS:

http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/99578/jimmy_carter_calls_for_clemency_for_troy_davis/

New York Times


September 13, 2008

Death Penalty Is Upheld in Publicized Georgia Case

ATLANTA — A Georgia parole board on Friday upheld the death sentence of a man convicted of killing a Savannah police officer in 1989, despite a group of witnesses who recanted their testimonies against the convict.

It was the second time in two years that the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles denied clemency for the man, Troy A. Davis, despite his lawyers’ claims of police misconduct.

Mr. Davis, 39, is scheduled to die by lethal injection in Jackson, Ga., on Sept. 23, unless the United States Supreme Court agrees to hear an appeal.

A county jury in 1991 convicted Mr. Davis in the 1989 murder of Mark Allen MacPhail, an off-duty police officer moonlighting as a security guard who was shot to death while responding to a late-night fight at a Burger King in Savannah.

Mr. Davis testified he was at a nearby pool hall and left before Officer MacPhail arrived. The prosecution offered no murder weapon, DNA or fingerprints tying Mr. Davis to the killing but instead relied heavily on testimony from witnesses. Since the trial, seven key witnesses have recanted, saying they were bullied by investigators into lying under oath.

The case has received international publicity; 20,000 people signed petitions asking that Mr. Davis be spared the death penalty.

“Troy’s case represents everything wrong with the death penalty — from procedural obstacles to racial bias to witness mishandling to inadequate counsel,” said Jared Feuer of Amnesty International.

The head of the Southern Center for Human Rights, Stephen B. Bright, a law professor at Yale, called the decision “shocking.”

“For somebody to be executed,” Mr. Bright said, “we really should be sure beyond doubt that the person is guilty.”


“Non of the material on this website has been uploaded for financial profit, but is merely there for education and research purposes under the ‘Fair Use’ laws”.

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There are dead who light up the night

of butterflies,

and the dead who come at dawn

to drink your tea

as peaceful as on the day your

guns mowed them down.

O you who are guests in this place,

leave a few chairs empty

for your hosts to read out

the conditions for peace

in a treaty with the dead.

-Mahmoud Darwish, from Speech of the Red Indian

http://www.thecornerreport.com/index.php?title=speech_of_the_red_indian&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

______________________________________________

* Palestine Aid Society Invites you to a Celebration of the Life and Works

of Palestinian Poet and Hero Mahmoud Darwish

1941 – 2008

*
*Saturday, August 30, 2:00 p.m.
*
*Glendale Public Library Auditorium
222 E. Harvard St., Glendale, CA — 2nd Floor*

*Violin Performance Dr. Nabil Azzam will premier his new composition*
* “Elegy for Mahmoud Darwish”
Comments by:*
* Historian Dr. Mahmood Ibrahim, Cal Poly Pomona*
*Professor Gabriel Piterberg, UCLA*
*Professor Hamoud Salhi, CSUD*
*Professor Bice Harris, Occidental College*
*Rev. Darrel Meyers*
*Donald Bustany of KPFK’s “Middle East In Focus”*
*and many more*

*Poetry Readings by:*
*Egyptian-American actor/activist Nasser Faris*
* Hip-Hop stars Nizar (“Ragtop”) Wattad*
* and Omar (“Offendum”) Chakaki*
**Program in English
*Admission Free*

_______________________________________

The Arab Community in Southern Californi invites you to a community-wide event;

commemorating Mahmoud Darwish as a poetic

treasure to Palestine and the Arab World.

His award winning poetry exemplifies perfectly

his unique ability to not only articulate the

people’s struggle for justice and liberation,

but also contribute to it through his

powerful words.

Mahmoud Darwish published his first book of

poetry at the age of 19. Although he was

widely recognized as Palestine’s national

poet, his work masterfully covers other topics such as love and romance. His work was internationally recognized and celebrated with translations in over 20 languages.

His life, work and legacy stand as a shining example to poets and scholars everywhere of how to contribute, while reflecting on a people, a nation, a culture, a society and it’s struggle for justice and liberation.

“Darwish is the Essential Breath of the Palestinian people, the eloquent witness of exile and belonging….”

Program includes: Comments from family and friends of Mahmoud Darwish from El Birweh, recitals of Darwish’ poetry; and a eulogy to be delivered by renowned Iraqi poet and friend of Mahmoud Darwish, Lamee’a Abbas Amara

When: Sunday, August 31, 2008 – 4 PM

Place: HOLIDAY INN SELECT
14299 Firestone Boulevard
La Mirada, CA 90638

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An Evening to Celebrate the Life of Our

Compañero Don White

PRESENT


Sunday, August 10th

6:00 PM to 9:00 PM


Immanuel Presbyterian Church

3300 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles 90010
(
Corner of Berendo Street, 2 blocks west of Vermont Avenue)


SPEAKERS and MUSICIANS WILL INCLUDE:

Dennis White, Sonali Kolhatkar, Blase & Theresa Bonpane, Margaret Prescod, Jim Lafferty,

Mimi Kennedy, Maria Armoudian, Carlos Escorcia, Angela Sanbrano, Ross Altman,

Aris Anagnos, Carlos Jiménez, Francisco Martinez, Cole Miller, Jose-Luis Orozco,

Frank Dorrel, Sabina Virgo, Dennis Davis, Berny Moto, Mario Avila & others.

¡Compañero!

A Film about Don in His Own Words ~

By Peter Dudar & Sally Marr

PARKING: Available across the street at the United Teachers Los Angeles Union Hall
PUBLIC TRANSIT:
Vermont & Wilshire Red Line Stop
ORGANIZED BY: El Comité de Companeros de Don ‘Blanco’

Beloved by Everyone in the Peace & Justice Community of Los Angeles ~

April 18th, 1937 ~ June 19th, 2008

More Information Call: 310-838-8131

Don White           Photo by emma rosenthal



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Compañero!
Don White Film Tribute

Don’s contribution to the Human Rights Movement was so far reaching that we are creating a 10-minute film called 
COMPANERO!
For Don’s August 10th Memorial we’re collecting visuals of Don from everyone, editing footage, 
and adding Spanish subtitles.
Could you please donate to the budget for his film?
Don raised so much money for all of us over the years, this tribute is a wonderful way of saying, “THANK YOU!”
Your name will be listed in the credits under COMPANEROS!

Peace!
Peter Dudar & Sally Marr 
ARLINGTON WEST Film
Email: mail@arlingtonwestfilm.com Phone: (323) 650-8166

Please make checks payable to:
Peter Dudar
1302 N. Sweetzer Ave. Flat 203
Los Angeles, CA 90069

Donations over $100 can be tax deductible. Write check to: IDA (Int. Documentary Assoc.)
Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PLEASE SAVE THE DATE AND SPREAD THE WORD!

An Evening to Celebrate the Life of Our

Companero Don White
Presente

SUNDAY, AUGUST 10th ~ 6:00 PM

Immanuel Presbyterian Church
3300 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90010
(@Berendo Street, 2 blocks west of Vermont Ave.)


MC’s Will Be
Theresa Bonpane, Jim Lafferty, Sonali Kolhatkar,
Angela Sanbrano, Mimi Kennedy & Carlos Escorcia
PARKING:  Available across the street at the United Teachers Los Angeles Union Hall
PUBLIC TRANSIT: Vermont & Wilshire Red Line Stop
ORGANIZIED BY: El Comité de Companeros de Don ‘Blanco’

Our Beloved DON WHITE ~ Has Passed On ~ PRESENTE

Senor Don Blanco



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¡Don White Presenté!

We were shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Don White, revolutionary dreamer and activist. He seemed imortal. What a hole he has left in the Los Angeles Peace and Justice movement. Don was a tireless activist and advocate, an internationalist who understood the connections between racism, imperialism, sexism, and militarism. He was courageous, fearless, and willing to take on all just cause, regardless of the controversy.

So many people love Don, who was admired and adored for his integrity, passion and grace. So often those who are so popular gain favor through people pleasing and "chosing one's battles." Not Don. He was unwavering in his understanding of solidarity and alliance, speaking truth to power regardless of who might not approve. His was a rare grace.

Personally, we are forever in his debt for defending activists who support Palestinian human rights, and Cafe Intifada when we came under attack from the Zionist establishment in collusion with some of the more "progessive" members of United Teachers' Los Angeles, of which he was a charter member. Don's most recent work has been in the most controversial area of boycott, sanctions and divestiture of Israeli Apartheid, an issue many activists have shied away from, and others have been destroyed over. (But not Don!)

He also became an ally in the struggle for disability rights, setting a policy of only allowing meetings on the first floor of the Peace Center, so that all activists could be included in all events.

Don's tireless work on behalf of CISPES is his most powerful legacy; an organization (and whose activists) were subject to death threats from death squads, and surveilance by the FBI and the ADL (liberal dollars at work!)

Don was always available, in solidarity, in support. He was the pitch guy at almost every fundraiser or event. When Don White got to the podium, checkbooks came out.

Today is the last day of the KPFK fund drive. Sherna Berger Gluck of Radio Intifada (no relation to Cafe Intifada) suggests making a donation in Don's name.

We will. We hope you will too!

Emma Rosenthal
Andy Griggs

Cafe Intifada
The WE Project
The Los Angeles Palestine Labor Solidarity Committee

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~~~ Confront the President of El Salvador!~~~~
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URGENT!  YOUR SOLIDARITY IS NEEDED!
The Salvadoran Community of Southern California &
International Solidarity and
The Los Angeles Progressive Movement make the following urgent request for your solidarity and collaboration:
Join us in a protest demonstration to confront the right-wing President of El Salvador, Antonio “Tony” Saca and the presidential candidate of the ARENA party, Rodrigo Avila, who is also the former Director of the violent National Civil Police.
 ==================================================================================
Sunday, April 6, 2008  — Assemble at 3:00 p.m.
Wilshire Ebell Theater   4400 Wilshire Blvd near Crenshaw and Wilshire
===============================================
= Event is concert by ARENA supporter and singer Alvaro Torres which Saca and Avila will attend=
Wilshire Blvd. going East to Lucerne Blvd.  Turn right on Lucerne Blvd.
The theatre is located one block south of Wilshire on the corner of 8th Street
and Lucerne Blvd.  (4 blocks west of Crenshaw Blvd.)
A map to the Wilshire Ebell is available at www.mapquest.com by entering the address and
zip code 90005-3707
Bring banners and picket signs addressing the issues below!
Protest:
  * The corrupt ARENA government which has, in the last five years, “governed” over the collapse of the health care system of El Salvador and
the impoverishment of the working families of El Salvador.
  * The escalating human rights abuses and military and police repression of the civil population of El Salvador, and their visit to Los Angeles, seeking collaboration from the LAPD and the City of Los Angeles in this systematic, violent abuse of activists and community people.
   *  El Salvador’s role as the only Latin American country to capitulate to President Bush and send military troops to Iraq, where young Salvadorans have died in combat.
   *  The nomination of Rodrigo Avila, former chief of the Salvadoran police and often nicknamed “Rambo” in the Salvadoran press, as the ARENA candidate to
continue the Saca policies which are imposing horrendous suffering on the people of El Salvador.
  * ARENA support for CAFTA and other trade agreements plunging the Salvadoran people into great poverty.
  * ARENA support for the ILEA [International Law Enforcement Agency] now training police in El Salvador the way the School of the Americas trains the military of Latin America…since the opening of the Academy, police repression has escalated.
  * Policies of privatization, exploitation, repression and corruption… the Salvadoran  people have suffered enough!  Help say “NO” to five more years of ARENA government.
==================================================================
This demonstration is endorsed and sponsored by a broad collection of labor, human rights and community groups from both the Salvadoran community, the North American solidarity movement and communities representing Central American countries and Latin American activists.  All members of our community who honor and love social and economic justice, respect for the poor and for working families, peace and civil and human rights endorse this event.  Temporarily, inquiries can be made to:
======================================


					

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This image comes from Jewish World Review, along with the article. Had Cafe Intifada published or developed the image, it would be attacked for being anti-Semitic and anti-Israel.

“Should Rosenthal and her ilk be treated as legitimate Jewish voices?”

“As Union rolls here in the United States swell with members of minority communities, anti-Israel forces waste no time forging alliances with those groups. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, self-appointed visionary of a new socialist Latin America and bosom buddy of Iran’s Ahmadinejad, blatantly tries to drive a wedge between working-class Americans and others by offering Citgo heating oil at reduced prices in Boston and the Bronx. When the Latino Congresso — a national umbrella for Latino organizations — met in Los Angeles, Chavez’ representatives were highly visible on the program and in the crowd. We know that part of the declared strategy of anti-Israel groups is to infiltrate labor unions across America in an attempt to target Israeli goods.”

The quotes above, come from the following article, published months after a Zionist victory against union democracy at UTLA.  Cafe Intifada and Emma Rosenthal were specifically targeted during that campaign, resulting in shutting down the web page and the list serve of the Human Rights Committee, erasing the entire archive, and silencing dissent and discourse within the Committee.  Rosenthal had developed both the web page and the list serve, constantly seeking out guidance and input from the Committee, careful to make sure that the public image of the Committee, the public statements of the Committee represented the Committee as a whole, and not her particular point of view.  Even during the contentious period leading up to the decision to destroy anything affiliated with her or moderated with her (the listserve was also moderated by Committee Chair, Steve Seal, and former Chair Andy Griggs,) She was careful to make sure that public comments of hers not be attributed to the group as a whole, clarifying to the press and in her own statements that she spoke only for herself as a committee member, not for the group.

The article that follows is an outstanding example of the dual role that Zionist “human rights” organizations play in promoting Israeli hegemony in historic Palestine, and U.S. empire around the globe.

By manipulating the fears of the Jewish public (exploiting the trauma of the Shoah for the purpose of empire,) groups such as the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the ADL perpetuate the collective trauma of the Jewish community, and the collective guilt (at the expense of the Palestinian community) of the West.  Doomsday scenarios and constant reminders of what may happen, suggestions that former allies are no longer friends, constant linking critique of Israel, Zionism and U.S. policy to the memory of the shoah mobilize fear and hysteria, not dialogue and discourse.  Case in point was the modest meeting that the Wiesenthal Center, the ADL etc.  effectively shut down, arguing that such a meeting would be biased and unbalanced.  Had they simply ATTENDED the meeting, they would have been free to inject their own bigotry into the discourse.  It was their insistence that the meeting not be held, that the union determine the scope and nature of discourse of union members and their associated organizations.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center constantly baits progressive international leaders, such as Hugo Chavez, with anti-Semitism, and distorts the statements of others.

For example, they  state:   Rosenthal also believes that antisemitism “is not much more than a century old, in reaction to the imperialist intentions of Zionists such as Herzl and Jabotinsky, and the terrorist activities of Jewish groups.”

The statement comes from a response to hate mail in which a Jewish man addresses  Rosenthal as “Jew Bitch.”  The accurate quote is:

…it was in Europe where our people met the greatest persecution; it was in Europe where we were subjected to crusades, inquisitions, pogroms, humiliation, ghettos, discrimination, rape, slave labor and genocide. It was in the United States, an extension of European hegemony, and now, the empirical force in the world, where we were subjected to immigration restrictions, discrimination, witch hunts, red scares, executions, klan violence and false imprisonment. In this country, Jews fleeing Nazi persecution were turned back to Germany, to face certain death, while British children, and even British dogs (yes, some British sent their dogs) were given safe harbor to escape the bombings imposed on them during the war. During times of great repression in Europe, many Jews found it safer to escape to the Middle East where we never suffered in the way that we suffered in Europe, where we lived, for the most part in peaceful co-existence with Christians and Moslems. Animosity against the Jews in whole or in part, coming from the Middle East is not much more than a century old, in reaction to the imperialist intentions of Zionists such as Hertzl and Jabotinsky and the terrorist activities of Jewish groups such as the Urgun and the Stern Gang, who made clear their desire, not to simply resettle as immigrants or refugees, but to conquer. Opposition to Zionist hegemony, is not genocidal, it is reasonable. (emphasis, cafe itifada)  (http://emmarosenthal.wordpress.com/category/jew-bitch/)”

So, where she clearly state that animosity to the Jews, in the Middle East is not much more than a century old, they quote her as saying that anti-semitism (anywhere) is not much more than a century old.  Why the need for such brazen dishonesty? If their arguments are just and found, why do they have to resort to distortions and lies to attack her?”

Additionally, they ask the question:  “Should Rosenthal and her ilk be treated as legitimate Jewish voices?” Is it their $36 million a year budget, their self appointed role of spokes organization for the shoah, that gives them the hubris to determine who is a legitimate Jewish voice.  They state:

Every Palestinian agitprop presentation trots out a Jewish activist who hates Israel. The message they wish to convey is clear: American Jews are divided about Israel…We must let America know that this is not true. Jewish Israel-haters are entitled to speak, but not for us. We should not let America think that they are anything but a small minority, swimming against the current of the overwhelming majority of American Jews. They must be moved to where they belong — at the margins and fringes of the community, but not within our mainstream.

And here it is!!!  The absolute and total control of the narrative in the hands of those who have wealthy donors and important  connections to the seats of power.  This is the Jewish establishment, not to be confused with  the rest of the Jewish people.  Of course Rosenthal is a legitimate Jewish voice, She’s Jewish. Jews are an astoundingly diverse population, so much so, that they defy definition. No one can claim, including the Wiesenthal Center, to speak for all Jews, or even most Jews.  On the other hand, can the Wiesenthal Center be considered, as they claim, to be a human rights organization, when they attempt to marginalize and silence those with whom they don’t agree, while all the time, demanding “balance” of  those who would criticize Israeli brutality and hegemony?  Israel claims to be a nation for all the Jews of the world.  As such, how can the voice of any Jew, not be legitimate?  These are their definitions, and their contradictions, bound in their privilege and the hegemonies and empires they defend.  While most Jews don’t have the same nuanced understanding of zionism, Rosenthal possesses, most disagree with and are silenced, intimidated and ignored by the Jewish establishment whose real purpose is to support the power elites, either regionally in Israel, or globally in defense of  U.S. empire.

-Cafe Intifada

___________________________

Jewish World Review Jan. 4, 2007 / 14 Teves, 5767

Israel’s Next Battle: Labor unions

By Abraham Cooper and Yitzchok Adlerstein

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Life-saving medical equipment, standing in crates in Galveston, undelivered to waiting hospitals, because truckers refuse to handle Israeli cargo. Tons of Jaffa oranges, dumped into the waters off Long Beach, California, as a labor action against the Israeli ‘occupation’ gets out of hand.

 

These events have not occurred yet, but they are not merely part of a speculative doomsday scenario either. There are groups committed to make them happen, as a new front opens up in the war against the Jewish state. The shock troops have already taken their positions, in unions overseas and across America.

Labor unions were once among Israel’s most important allies. In the spring of 1948, President Truman sustained intense pressure to vote against the United Nations partition plan that ultimately created the State of Israel. Having originally voted for partition in November 1947, Truman reversed US policy in March of 1948, after intense lobbying by British and Arab interests, and announced to the UN that it supported a trusteeship instead. On April 14th, fifty thousand garment workers packed Yankee Stadium to rally against the shift. Clark Clifford, Truman’s advisor, produced a list of interest groups whose support was crucial to his presidential campaign. Jews ranked eighth, but labor placed second. Labor’s support for the Jewish state was a force that Truman could not and did not ignore, turning a deaf ear to the entreaties of the Arabists in the State Department.

Labor’s partnership with Israel began much earlier, with the American labor movement purchasing land in Palestine for Jewish workers, building trade schools, and lobbying the British to lift barriers against the emerging Jewish State through its clout with the British Labor Party. Jews at the helm of unions – Max Zaritsky, David Dubinsky, Sidney Hillman – agitated on behalf of the Jewish homeland succeeding in bringing non-Jewish colleagues on board, all the way to the top echelons of the AFL and CIO. In 1944, the CIO convention passed a resolution endorsing “the ultimate establishment of a Palestinian Jewish Commonwealth.” The contribution of Organized Labor continued after the establishment of the State in May 1948, with the construction of housing and cultural centers in Israel funded by the AFL and CIO. United Auto Workers founder Walter Reuther was close with Golda Meir; at one point, the UAW may have been the largest institutional purchaser of Israel Bonds.

Naturally, the face of the Unions changed over the next decades, as the social and economic makeup of the labor force changed. To be sure, there is strong and steady support for Israel in many unions today, and the Jewish Labor Committee works to maintain that support. The makeup of both the rank and file as well as the politics of the unions has shifted, however. Other minorities have taken the places of Jewish laborers. Union political orientations always had progressive and socialist leanings, which today are bolstered by alliances with left-leaning and third world groups around the globe, many of whom regularly demonize Israel and the United States. Indeed, unions played a prominent role in the single largest hate-fest against Israel at the United Nations’ World Conference Against Racism at Durban in August 2001.

The anti-Israel chants hardly stopped with Durban. Recently, the Ontario division of Canada’s largest union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, voted overwhelmingly to support an international campaign boycotting Israel. After the Danish General Workers Union (SiD) voted for a boycott of Israeli goods, Norway’s largest labor organization, the Federation of Trade Unions (LO), called for a boycott of all Israeli products, despite the fact that LO has been a long-time supporter of Israel, and has ties with Israel’s Labor Party. Calling Israel an “apartheid state” the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) demanded in July that the South African government drop diplomatic ties with Israel, and participate in a program of boycott and sanctions.

Here in the United States, union leadership has shifted its focus. Where they previously took an internationalist stance – and valued ties with union-friendly countries like Israel – they now often hunker down against the threat of globalism, and worry about basic survival on the local level. Today, individual union members are often disconnected from political posturing of their organizations about non-economic issues, half way around the world. These changes have left room for highly motivated, agendized extremists to fill the vacuum in committee positions, and assume disproportionate prominence. For many years, the progressive wing of the Democratic Party helped keep anti-Israel union extremists in check, but in recent years they have shown an unwillingness or inability to take a stand-up position.

We therefore shouldn’t be surprised or view as an isolated incident when the Human Rights Committee of the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) agreed to host the launch of a campaign of boycott, divestment, and sanctions directed against Israel. The goal of this agenda – known as BDS, and the kingpin of the enunciated strategy of dozens of pro-Palestinian groups working in concert – is to cripple Israel’s economy while propagandizing people to treat Israel as a racist, colonialist, apartheid state. The Los Angeles program was sponsored by the Movement for a Democratic Society (where former SDS members go when they are too old to be students any longer) and Caf� Intifada. Only the public outcry from Jewish organizations in Los Angeles forced the union to move the meeting off-site from its headquarters.

As Union rolls here in the United States swell with members of minority communities, anti-Israel forces waste no time forging alliances with those groups. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, self-appointed visionary of a new socialist Latin America and bosom buddy of Iran’s Ahmadinejad, blatantly tries to drive a wedge between working-class Americans and others by offering Citgo heating oil at reduced prices in Boston and the Bronx. When the Latino Congresso — a national umbrella for Latino organizations — met in Los Angeles, Chavez’ representatives were highly visible on the program and in the crowd. We know that part of the declared strategy of anti-Israel groups is to infiltrate labor unions across America in an attempt to target Israeli goods.

All of these developments should serve as a wakeup call for supporters of Israel.

  • First, if you are a member of any union, be informed about its human rights agenda. Find out what positions they take at the bully pulpit that your dues are funding. Don’t allow well-organized extremists to speak in your union’s name. When the UTLA story broke, union members sent a tidal wave of email — overwhelmingly critical of the union hosting an anti-Israel event. Only active participation in the Union can prevent extremists from acting in stealth.
  • Take union leaders to Israel. A well-planned trip to Israel – one in which visitors meet ordinary, dues-paying working Israelis- continues to be the single most effective way to get people to understand Israel’s predicament and value her democracy.
  • Communicate. So many Americans have simply never heard Israel’s take on the events in the news. Nor do they understand the scope and depth of American Jewish commitment to Israel. We can’t expect them to respect Israel’s integrity and interests if we do not let them know how important they are to us.
  • Not in our name. Every Palestinian agitprop presentation trots out a Jewish activist who hates Israel. The message they wish to convey is clear: American Jews are divided about Israel; taking a stance against her will not lead to undesirable consequences from the Jewish community. We must let America know that this is not true. Jewish Israel-haters are entitled to speak, but not for us. We should not let America think that they are anything but a small minority, swimming against the current of the overwhelming majority of American Jews. They must be moved to where they belong — at the margins and fringes of the community, but not within our mainstream.
  • As a case in point, consider Caf� Intifada, one of the sponsors of the event hosted by the UTLA Human Rights Committee. It is headed by Emma Rosenthal who is also a member of that committee. Rosenthal endorses the infamous International Solidarity Movement – which has refused to condemn “armed struggle” against Israel, and has aided terrorists on the group. Rosenthal also believes that antisemitism “is not much more than a century old, in reaction to the imperialist intentions of Zionists such as Herzl and Jabotinsky, and the terrorist activities of Jewish groups.” Should Rosenthal and her ilk be treated as legitimate Jewish voices?


We must never concede that this piece’s opening scenario as inevitable. We need not give up on the historic alliance between Unions and the Middle East’s only democracy. Ultimately, however, which way the Unions go will depend on how well advocates for Israel connect her core values with those of Organized Labors’ card-carrying constituency.


Rabbi Abraham Cooper is the Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein serves as its Director of Interfaith Affairs.

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This ADL report, taken from their web page, delineates their role in furthering neo-liberalism and neo-colonialism.  It is published here to expose this trend, of an alleged human rights organization fronting for U.S. empire.  -Cafe Intifada

 

The Chavez Regime: Fostering Anti-Semitism and Supporting Radical IslamRULEIntroduction 

Posted: November 6, 2006


This report details a number of troubling trends observable in the government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Chavez and his government-affiliated institutions have elevated their anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic rhetoric – under the guise of anti-imperialism and anti-Americanism – to dangerous new levels.

 

At the same time, a proliferation of anti-Jewish statements and actions by government officials, university faculty and government-sponsored media outlets has created a spillover effect into mainstream society in Venezuela, where anti-Israel rallies, anti-Semitic vandalism and vicious anti-Jewish caricatures have become all-too commonplace.

 

This is taking place as Chavez has taken an aggressively hostile foreign policy stance against America and the West and, by extension, the State of Israel.  Indeed, the Chavez regime has aligned itself with countries and radical Islamic movements that are a verifiable threat to Israel and world Jewry, among them Iran and the Lebanon-based terrorist group, Hezbollah.

Specific trends documented in this report include: 

 

  • Promoting Anti-Semitism: Chavez and his government have resorted to implicit and explicit anti-Semitic displays by rehashing the ancient canard of Jews as power-hungry and conspiratorial, blaming Israel and the Jews for the world’s problems, and adopting anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jewish financial influence and control.   

  • Allying with Extremists and Radical Islamists: Chavez has strengthened and formed new alliances with extreme leaders in the Middle East, includingIranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.  Chavez also has fostered relationships with convicted guerrilla terrorist Illich Ramirez Sanchez (a.k.a. Carlos The Jackal) and Holocaust denier Norberto Ceresole of Argentina.  
  • Support for Hezbollah: The Venezuelan government has openly expressed support for the terrorist organization Hezbollah and solidarity with Iran, whose leaders questionIsrael’s right to exist, deny the Holocaust, and continue to defy calls by the international community to halt nuclear production. During the 2006 conflict in Lebanon, the Venezuelan National Assembly and various Venezuelan states issued a number of one-sided declarations against Israel.  Chavez himself was very aggressive in condemning Israel’s actions against Hezbollah, recalling his charge d’affaires from Israel and threatening to sever diplomatic relations.  
  • Israel Bashing: The government’s rhetoric has become increasingly anti-Zionist, comparing Israel and Zionism to Nazi Germany.  These views are frequently expressed in various Venezuelan government-sponsored media outlets, in radio and TV broadcasts, newspaper articles and political cartoons.  Israel is the target of Venezuelan government officials and faculty of public universities who have received an implicit “green light” from Chavez to promote classical anti-Zionist and increasingly anti-Semitic views.  Following Chavez’s provocative September 2006 speech to the U.N., reports in the government-sponsored media suggested that the CIA and Mossad were plotting his assassination.  
  • Intimidation and Vandalism: Government sponsored anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism may have an impact on the well-being of the Jewish community in Venezuela.  The frequency of intimidation, vandalism and physical attacks against Jewish institutions in Venezuela is on the rise.Anti-Semitic graffiti and leaflets have appeared near synagogues and densely populated Jewish neighborhoods with statements including “Jews Assassins,” “Jews Dogs,” “Go Away Zionists,” “Jewish Zionist Assassins Leave,” and Stars of David equated with swastikas. 

 

There are a reported 25,000-plus Jews living in Venezuela today.  For years, Venezuelan Jews lived peacefully with their non-Jewish neighbors; anti-Semitism was in fact negligible before Chavez rose to power. Jewish communal activities started in the 1920s and 1930s when immigration from Northern Africa and Europe began. In the 1940s, Holocaust survivors were warmly welcomed in Venezuela as were Sephardic Jews emigrating from Arab countries in the 1950s and 60s.

The Jewish community, as represented by its umbrella organization the Confederacion de Asociaciones Israelitas de Venezuela (CAIV), has actively denounced recent anti-Semitism and issued statements articulating their Zionism and declaring their concern regarding the one-sided government stance against Israel.


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1. Steve Seal’s OFFICIAL public statement, posted to the UTLA web page, regarding the controversy at UTLA- October 11, 2006.

2. Steve Seal’s email to the Human Rights Committee internal list serve, posted on October 6, 2006.

3. The original email Steve Seal sent to the list serve on September 14, 2006, along with SDS/MDS’s request for a meeting space.

 

Please note, my commentary, in italics, bold and parenthesis.

-Emma Rosenthal Café Intifada

_________________________

1. Steve’s Public  “Clarification”, posted to the UTLA Web Page.

HRC Clarification

As Chairperson of the UTLA Human Rights Committee, I am writing to clarify the matter of a meeting of the Movement for a Democratic Society. That group placed a request to a member of the committee for a meeting venue. (It has been the custom of committees to request space for student groups who need a meeting place). The HRC did not provide space for a “Rally”, nor take a position on any anti-Israel action.

(By not stating who the” member of the committee” is, he leaves it up to the imagination of the readers. The actual chronology of events is that Larry Lambert of SDS/MDS, contacted Steve Seal with a request for a meeting place, and Steve was the member of the Committee who posted the request to the HRC list. -Cafe Intifada)

  Our secretary has affirmed that there is nothing in the minutes of the Human Rights Committee giving support, endorsement, co-hosting or any other permission to the MDS. The issue is not reflected in any minutes over the past few months. An email was sent to members on our list, asking them if they wished to provide space for that group to meet. Six people responded, three of them requesting more information. On the basis of this slim response, a room seating no more than 30 persons at the UTLA building, was requested for the group.

(The committee has frequently made decision via its listserve, otherwise, why have a listserve? Only two HRC members declined to be on the listserve, while often HRC meetings fail to obtain even 50% attendance. Information provided via listserve makes HRC decisions accessible to a greater number of members. When the original inquiry went out, there were no votes in opposition, and the decision to hold the meeting was affirmed by Steve, as Chair.  -Cafe Intifada)

  The reference in the LA Times that “the Human Rights Committee of UTLA had announced it would be a co-host of the rally (!)….and support a boycott against Israel” is totally false, and apparently based on a flier issued by the MDS.

(The use of the word “apparently” is extremely misleading. While we were all surprised by the L.A. Times headline, there is no evidence that SDS/MDS ever issued any leaflet; the only publicity they circulated was via email, clearly calling for meeting, not a rally, to discuss BDS. Despite repeated assertions by some UTLA activists, to the contrary, no leaflet, was ever produced. The word ‘rally” either came from the imagination of the LA Times or the UTLA leadership. No one holds a rally indoors in a room for 30 people. No one needs permission from UTLA to hold one outside on the sidewalk, where rallies are consistently held. -Cafe Intifada)

When the purpose of the meeting came to light, both UTLA and the Human Rights Committee cancelled permission to meet at UTLA. (The Human Rights Committee NEVER voted to cancel the meeting. The decision to cancel the meeting was made by President Duffy, who consulted with selected HRC members. The purpose of the meeting was never obscured. It was always clearly to discuss BDS.) The Human Rights Committee has never participated in a meeting or action without the approval of a majority of the HRC or on an issue not presented to the House Governing Body of UTLA.

(The role of committees within the union is essentially to bring new ideas to the house governing body. The only way to do that with the support of the majority of a committee is by meeting, either in person or via phone, letter or email. This statement is not only misleading but totally misrepresents the relationship between committees and the UTLA House or Reps.-Cafe Intifada)

The Human Rights Committee is proud of its unblemished record of over 25 years holding conferences and engaging in educational activities that support the human rights of our students and community. It would never be our policy to tackle an issue that has not been previously discussed by the House of UTLA and the membership of the Human Rights Committee, nor would we touch a controversial issue without advance planning and making certain that all sides of the issue are presented in a secure environment.

(This is patently untrue. The HRC does not bring in captains of industry to counter opposition to educational privatization, never invited Coca Cola executives to defend their position in Colombia, to counter the assertion by the committee that the union boycott Coca Cola products. The Human Rights Committee never hosted a speaker from the Salvadoran embassy or the U.S. State Department to counter the work of the Committee against U.S. intervention in Central America, including two conferences, and at least two publications. The Human Rights Committee never invited members of the armed services to argue the merits of militarizing the schools. Nor did the committee ever offer a place at the table for opponents to Fidel Castro or the current Cuban regime. In fact the only area of study in which we have provided broader debate has been the issue of Palestinian human rights, by including a member of the Jewish Labor Committee on a panel at one conference, as well as the showing of the film, Crossing the Line, Voices of Palestinians and Israelis, which provided voices of Israelis and Palestinians, across a spectrum of ideas.-Cafe Intifada)

We will not back away from important issues, but we certainly intend to take control of determining our issues, any support to outside groups, and how this is decided in the future.

Sincerely, Steve Seal,

Chairperson Human Rights Committee

______________________________________________________

2. Steve’s email to the Committee listserve:

——– Original Message ——–

Subject: [utla-hrc-discussion] re: developments

Date: Fri, 6 Oct 2006 19:44:30 -0700

From: steve seal

Reply-To: hrc-disc@lists.riseup.net,

“steve seal” To: hrc-disc

Well it has been a busy couple of days! Duffy contacted me this week about the controversies surrounding this meeting and he had also been in contact with others on this committee. On Thursday there was an urgent push to pull the meeting from UTLA grounds and I supported this move. I had already contacted Larry Lambert so that he knew that he might have to start to look for a new venue as a courtesy. The reason that I supported this was stated in my last e-mail about picking our battles. I want to just go over the timeline so all know what occurred regarding this meeting that has caused so much attention and how we got involved. We got an e-mail from the group who wanted to use the building to have a meeting and I sent out a call on our list if this was anything we could get behind. Some members responded that it was and Andy knew some of the members from other organizations we work with so it seemed solid. I made it clear that I would not be able to take part in this due to other constraints and told others to go ahead and look into a room. The committee did so and it was advertised and here we are today. I just wanted to let everyone know how we got involved in the first place. This was not to be something that we were going to be fully involved in from the start. We were just allowing a group with ties to our committee a place–as we have done with many other community groups and will do in the future. I think that it is very unfortunate that this has been blown out of proportion and that there has been undue pressure placed on all involved. I think we need to move beyond this situation and place our energy behind our conference with CAMS in November. This meeting was not going to be a major focus of our work, nor was it being run by anyone in our committee directly–we just got a room. I hope I stop getting the hate mail soon and that we can learn from this that we need to have direct association with groups and our committee for future events.

With great respect for you all,

  Steve

 

___________________________

3. Steve’s email, posted to the listserve, with the SDS/MDS request for a meeting space.

From: “steve seal”

To: “hrc-disc”

Subject: Fw: [Al-Awda-Los-Angeles] Fw: BDS CAMPAIGN IN LOS ANGELES AREA

Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2006 21:03:16 -0700

Hello all, Does this look like something we should do for the group? Let me know what you think.

Steve

—– Original Message —–

From:larrylambert

Cc: Steve Seal Sent:

Thursday, September 14, 2006 8:24 PM Subject: Re: [Al-Awda-Los-Angeles]

Fw: BDS CAMPAIGN IN LOS ANGELES AREA

Hi, Steve —–

I’m a member of the Los Angeles chapter of Movement for a Democratic Society (MDS) , the non-student affiliate of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). We are looking for a venue for a meeting we are having to plan a Boycott, Divestment , Sanctions campaign against Israel anytime between Oct 2- 6th or Oct 9-13th( in the evening from 8 -9:30 PM ) or at 1 or 2 PM to 4 PM on Saturday, Oct 7th or Saturday, Oct 14th. Please let me know if you could donate the use of a meeting room at UTLA headquarters to accommodate 20-30 persons on one of the above dates. Of course, should you be willing to donate meeting space to us, we will specify in our publicity and announcements that our meeting is not endorsed or sponsored by your organization. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

Larry Lambert SoCal MDS

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“By perpetrating the insidious lie that Israel, where all citizens have equal rights, is no different from the former apartheid regime in South Africa, these activists seek to delegitimize and demonize the Jewish State. In fact, Israel is a democracy that encourages vibrant debate, has a flourishing free press, and is one of the United States’ closest allies.”
-ADL Statement (see below) 

The ADL: Privatized Espionage: 
What cynical words, given the ADL’s history of espionage of organizations fighting South African Apartheid and U.S. intervention in Central America, along with the San Francisco Labor Council, ILWU Local 10, and the Oakland Educational Association,  NAACP, Irish Northern Aid, International Indian Treaty Council and the Asian Law Caucus.  Yet another example of the ADL as a tool of imperialism and oppression, wrapped up in the garment of human rights.  
see:

Anti-Defamation League Accused of Spying, New York Times, October 24, 1993

The ADL Spying Case is Over.  The Struggle Continues.  Counterpunch, February 25, 2002.  http://www.counterpunch.org/adlspying2.html
Attacking the mission statement of the Human Rights Committee:
In the statement that follows, which was posted to the web page of the ADL, the HRC is accused of straying from its mission:

“The mission statement of the UTLA Human Rights Committee, as posted on its Web site, promotes “social justice and the peaceful resolution of conflict for its members, other office staff, students, parents, the community, the nation, and the global community.””
The full UNEDITED mission statement of the Human Rights Committee reads as follows: 

The Human Rights Committee of United Teachers Los Angeles promotes social justice and the peaceful resolution of conflict for its members, other office staff, students, parents, the community, the nation, and the global community. It advocates that UTLA and its state and national affiliates work for public policies that reduce violence, promote diversity, increase awareness of basic human and civil rights, support the rights of all workers, protect the environment, oppose the privatization and militarization of schools and society, reduce the military budget, and increase funding for education and other social programs.

All of the typical rhetoric: “Israel is a democracy”….”All citizens have equal rights”…”the HRC is singling out Israel”…etc. 

But the Human Rights Committee hasn’t singled out Israel.  Over the years the Committee has addressed human rights issues on every continent on the earth where there is a human population.  To not include Israel in raising issues of militarism or privitization, the environment, workers rights or basic human and civil rights would be SINGLING OUT ISRAEL. 

IT IS THE ADL THAT WISHES TO SINGLE OUT ISRAEL, TO HOLD IT ABOVE ALL SCRUTINY.

The statement ends with a quote from Amanda Suskind, Regional Director of the Southern California branch of the ADL:

  “While the ADL is a strong supporter of everyone’s right to free speech, we are concerned that hateful rhetoric will not be productive for anyone during these troubled times.”

When is free speech supportable?  When it matches the agenda of the ADL?  Does it have to be productive to be free speech?  As Noam Chomsky asserted; “If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.”

Emma Rosenthal
-Cafe Intifada
________________________________________

ADL Denounces UTLA Human Rights Committee For Hosting Anti-Israel Meeting      

Update:  After hearing from concerned Jewish groups, The United Teachers Los Angeles cancelled plans by one of its committees to host a pro-Palestinian rally at union headquarters.  Union President A.J. Duffy said in a statement: “While as educators and union members we encourage a respectful debate on the important issues of the day, this event has provoked very sharp feelings among our members and concerns that this meeting is inappropriate.”  The new location has not yet been announced.

Los Angeles, CA, October 5, 2006 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today denounced as “deplorable and offensive” a campaign to promote a strategy of boycott, divestment and sanctions against the State of Israel.  The campaign is the subject of an anti-Israel meeting being hosted by the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) Human Rights Committee and being held at UTLA headquarters on October 14.

According to a flier about the meeting and a posting on the Human Rights Committee Web site, the subject of the meeting is a “local boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign in support of the Palestinian people.”

“This labor union committee is providing a forum to launch a deplorable and offensive campaign to isolate and vilify the State of Israel,” said Amanda Susskind, ADL Los Angeles Regional Director.  “The flier takes a strongly one-sided view of the conflict, is full of anti-Israel propaganda, and makes no effort to reflect the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

According to ADL, the so-called “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” strategy is really a campaign for the elimination of the State of Israel, spearheaded by extremist groups who use the same hateful rhetoric as states like Iran and terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.

By perpetrating the insidious lie that Israel, where all citizens have equal rights, is no different from the former apartheid regime in South Africa, these activists seek to delegitimize and demonize the Jewish State. In fact, Israel is a democracy that encourages vibrant debate, has a flourishing free press, and is one of the United States’ closest allies.

“These campaigns are anti-Semitic for two reasons: first, they single out Israel for this treatment, while ignoring human rights abusers from Sudan to North Korea; second, these campaigns seek to deny only the Jewish people the right of national self-determination,” said Susskind.

The mission statement of the UTLA Human Rights Committee, as posted on its Web site, promotes “social justice and the peaceful resolution of conflict for its members, other office staff, students, parents, the community, the nation, and the global community.”

“It is ironic that a committee with such a noble mission, and that represents educators, would use its platform for misguided attempts to condemn the only country in the Middle East where scholarship and debate are permitted to flourish,” said Susskind.  “While the ADL is a strong supporter of everyone’s right to free speech, we are concerned that hateful rhetoric will not be productive for anyone during these troubled times.”

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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