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There will never be real peace in the Middle East until the problem of the Israeli occupation of Palestine is resolved. The current administration with full support from a bipartisan US Senate vote has announced plans to relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem, a dangerous US escalation of its involvement in the conflict there which was condemned by the overwhelming majority of the United Nations General Assembly. There has been widespread repression of protests and renewed bombings of Gaza since.
To oppose US involvement in this conflict on the side of the Israeli occupation, antiwar activists should consider supporting the following:
* rescinding of the plan to move the embassy to Jerusalem and an immediate halt to the US supported bombing of Gaza and other repressive measures.
* suspension of all US military aid and support for the Isreali occupation.
* a US statement to Israel warning it against military activities in Lebanon, Iran and Syria.* An antiwar movement needs to be able to have the right to talk about and address the Palestinian issue and oppose US policy in that regard. These rights are under attack on the national, state and local level as laws are being advanced outlawing the right to boycott Israel as a tactic to pressure it and the US to change policies.
The following excerpts a statement from Maplewood community members that effectively blocked anti-democratic rights and anti-freedom resolution that was considered by Maplewood Township that would have supported silencing of any criticism of Israel and its repressive treatment of the Palestinian people. Measures like the one that had been proposed in Maplewood have actually been passed in Caldwell, Millburn and Livingston, NJ. Be encouraged to borrow from this letter if it is helpful to oposing similar measures in other NJ towns.
Excerpting from the letter: "We, the undersigned SOMA residents, are writing to express our adamant opposition to a resolution submitted on November 21 to the Maplewood Township Council condemning the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israel (BDS) by three non Maplewood residents. This resolution is part of a campaign to effectively deny American BDS supporters their constitutionally protected right to boycott. At the federal, state, and local level, a coordinated anti-BDS campaign is seeking to prevent Americans from employing their protected right to engage in political speech and action, including criticizing and boycotting foreign governments.
The resolution, which condemns the non-violent, Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice, and equality for the Palestinian people, also attempts to obscure the crimes and abuses perpetrated by Israel and to mischaracterize and suppress the Palestinian struggle for justice.
Modeled on the principled movement that brought down apartheid South Africa, the Palestinian BDS movement is a rapidly growing international movement made up of unions, academic associations, churches, and grassroots movements across the world. The BDS movement has garnered the respect and support of Black Lives Matter, as well as the United Nations, Amnesty International, and the ACLU, and many other people of conscience. In its commitment to freedom, justice, and equality for all, the BDS movement is part of the shared struggle of people of color against racial and economic injustice.
The Palestinian BDS call urges nonviolent pressure of Israel until it complies with international law by meeting three demands:
1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Palestinian land
2. Providing full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel
3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties"
The letter continues: "At a time when the right to dissent and protest in this country is increasingly under attack, we call on the Maplewood Township Council to categorically reject the campaign attempting to smear BDS, deny its supporters their constitutional protections, and provide cover for settler colonialism and apartheid.:
Palestine Support and South Orange / Maplewood Letter Thwarts Local Effort Against Speech Rights