Two reports sent to the April 2018 meeting

From the Meeting Agenda:

Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine - contact person: Sara Driscoll
The Alliance is focusing its attention on federal legislation. We are just in process of strategizing, with a phone call helping us with that today with the US Campaign; in MA, the same legislator who initiated the anti-BDS bill that was killed in committee has attached it as an amendment to the budget that is up for tote, so we have work to do to get it killed there, as well; we held a demo re: Gaza at the Israeli consulate, which included a die-in. There are images on our FB page and the website. We had a stand-out and forum on World Water Day, March 22nd. The forum was really great with people from Standing Rock, Gaza, Nidal Al-Azraq from, Deeper than Water, and Grassroots International. The next event is the Walk for Water on April 28 in Boston.

Palestine Education Network (PEN) – contact person: Carolyn Cicciu
Much work being done on writing and publishing in the on-line magazine Connector (on Ahed Tamimi), in The NH Gazette (on Sen. Hassan's "secret"trip to Israel), and in the Concord Monitor (on condemnation of Israeli violence). We responded with rebuttals to negative comments that were posted in response. Members continued to post articles and photos on Facebook. We wrote a letter to the Platform Committee of the NH Democratic Party asking that they protect the right to free speech and not allow bills in the legislature that curtails that right. We are sponsoring Norman Finkelstein's presentation in Brattleboro, VT, and promoting/sponsoring the Combatants for Peace tour in New England; the representatives from that group will present at three locations in NH. We have written emails and called Congressional offices about the Israeli military's attack on peaceful protesters and their lack of courage in not signing on to resolutions and statements that criticize Israeli actions and not initiating an engagement of the Leahy Law after Israel bombed Syrian targets and open fire on the people of Gaza. We are asking people to support lyad Burnat's appeal for help with fines assessed against three teens in Bil'in. One member made presentations at Concord Friends Meeting and UCC Women's Conference. The next event is a vigil for water justice in Palestine, in solidarity with Boston's Walk for Water. We will be asking passersby for their reaction to the percentages of water: World Health Org recommends 100 litres/day/.  Israel used 240-300 liters/ Palestine is allowed 73 liters.



Updates from JVP Boston


Pat emailed in the following report on activities:

-  give people a "heads up" regarding an event that's being planned in Boston to acknowledge  Nakba Day on Saturday afternoon, May 12. More information for the calendar soon;

- raise a discussion of holding "stand outs" in cities and towns across our states, where any size group can gather with signs and information about Gaza, about Ahed and Abdul Burnat, about moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, about recent home and school demolitions, etc. Having articles available on these subjects to inform people who stop to talk, and, of course, providing handouts specifying actions people can take - such as signing a letter to their Reps to the House, asking them to co-sponsor H.R. 4391, Betty McCollum's bill, asking them to call their Congressional offices and ask their elected officials to  take specific actions, informing people about police chief trips to Israel - are some ways to increase numbers of allies and build momentum;

- post photos of every sign and people at stand-outs, demonstrations, or selfies, of solidarity with people in Gaza, or elsewhere, so that the people in Gaza see how many people are paying attention and working to support them - i plan to write to a couple of contacts to find out where we can send these photos and words of solidarity - suggestions?

- encourage everyone to meet with staffers or members of Congress to inform them about what's happening in several fronts in Israel and Palestine and ask them to take action. A group of us met with staffers in Senator Markey's and Warren's offices last week - we asked for an emergency meeting to talk with them about Gaza. We wanted them to make a public statement before last Friday, in an effort to get more pressure on the Israeli government to stop shooting protestors in Gaza (and everywhere). They "got" that every Friday Israeli soldiers are shooting more people and that meeting with us before the next Friday could help them take a step that might save lives. Did everyone sign Rebuilding Alliance letters to Congress - if 3 people from a CD sign, R.A. will try to set up a conference call with the foreign policy  member for that member of the House and someone on the ground in Gaza and those constituents who signed the R.A. letter.

Both VT-er's senators are already aware of what's happening in Gaza and have already made satements - perhaps they can take other actions, next steps - introducing a bill to apply the Leahy Act to Israel?

First Palestinian-themed museum in the US to open doors on Sunday April 22nd 2018

NEW HAVEN (WAFA) 21 Apr – A museum dedicated to Palestinian art and culture is set to open its doors on Sunday, April 22, becoming the first-ever of its kind to open in the United States. The “Palestinian Museum U.S.” will include artworks, films and other work of art made by Palestinian artists all over the world, in celebration of Palestinian diversity, culture and history. Faisal Saleh, executive director of Palestine Museum U.S., told reporters that he believes the museum will offer a fuller and more intricate picture of the Palestinian land and people than Americans see in mainstream media. "There are so many Palestinian artists in Palestine, the West Bank and Gaza, and they have little avenues for exhibiting their work," said Saleh. "This museum will provide a channel for them to get their work out so people can see it and appreciate it." Saleh, who hails from al-Bireh city in the occupied West Bank, had earlier said that while there are similar Palestinian museums elsewhere, including in Birzeit in the West Bank and Bristol in England, this museum will be the first of its kind in the United States....