Tag Archives: Resistance

US Jews to Hollywood stars: Boycott Israel celebration!

The following has been sent as an open letter to Jason Alexander, Heidi Klum, Debi Mazar, Kevin Spacey, Oliver Stone, Kiefer Sutherland, and all other confirmed attendees of the September 18 celebration of Israel at Paramount Studios.

It has also been sent to unconfirmed guests Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, and Adam Sandler.

Stay tuned for any updates or action announcements!


Update: We received an email from Ixtlan Productions — Oliver Stone’s management — who confirmed that Oliver Stone did not, and was not planning to, attend the September 18 event.  The email did not state a reason or respond to the call for boycott.


September 12, 2008

We write to you with sadness and outrage as we learn that you plan to attend the September 18 event “From Vision to Reality,” a Hollywood celebration of sixty years since the establishment of the state of
Israel. The vision that led to the reality of the Israeli state is one of systematic and ongoing ethnic and religious discrimination against the Palestinian people. This does not deserve to be celebrated.

Sixty years ago, Zionist groups destroyed over 500 Palestinian villages and made more than 800,000 Palestinian people refugees in order to create a Jewish state in a land where the majority was not Jewish. This has come to be known by Palestinians as the Nakba, or “catastrophe,” and this Nakba continues today. Inside of the 1948 borders of Israel, Palestinian citizens are denied equal rights to Jews under the law. Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem are denied access to land,  water, healthcare, and other basic resources. Today there are more than 7 million Palestinian refugees throughout the world, all of whom are denied their internationally recognized right to return to their homes and land simply because they are not Jewish.

As Jewish North Americans, we are outraged at the policies the state of Israel has implemented in our names and with our government’s financial support for more than sixty years.  At the same time, we are inspired by the ongoing creative resistance of the Palestinian people, and most recently the unified civil society call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel until it complies with international law.  We ask you to heed this call.  Boycott is a nonviolent tool that has been used by ordinary people  countless times to hold countries responsible for atrocities when our governments fail to do so.  In South Africa, the boycott movement helped bring about an end to the apartheid system.  In the case of Israel/Palestine, it can do the same.

Whether you attend or not, you are making a statement.  If you attend, you indicate that you support the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people (now millions) and ongoing policies of ethnic cleansing of an indigenous population from their land.  If you cancel your attendance, you indicate that you will not turn a blind eye to both the suffering and the call to action of millions of Palestinian people.

With stature comes responsibility, and we hope you do not take yours lightly.

Sincerely,

The No Time To Celebrate Campaign
a campaign organized and implemented by thousands of Jewish people in the US and Canada this year to protest Israeli Independence Day activities, to commemorate the Nakba, and to honor the Palestinian
call for boycott against Israel

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Filed under Los Angeles, statements

San Francisco: 20 Jews Arrested in protest of 60th Anniversary Event

Yesterday 20 of us were arrested in the lobby of the San Francisco Jewish Community Center at an event organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council’s “Israel @ 60” Educational Symposium. Many other Jews and allies joined us inside as well as outside to voice our opposition to an organization that continually claims to speak in our name as it supports the continued project of Israeli colonialism. By staging the action inside the lobby, we hoped to move our action from a binary of Jews/inside and protestors/outside, to recognize that indeed we are dissent from within the Jewish community

Below is our press release (click here to download PDF), as well as some links to photos and media gathered so far. Check back for more.

20 Jewish Activists Arrested, Disrupting Jewish Community Relations Council’s (JCRC) 60th Anniversary of Israel Celebration
Jewish Activists Draw Attention to 60 years of Palestinian Forced Exile and Dispossession

San Francisco—In response to Israel’s 60th anniversary celebrations, 20 Jewish activists were arrested, demonstrating Jewish opposition to Israel’s 60-year-old policy of dispossession, and highlighting the often-silenced struggle of Palestinian refugees. For over two hours, 30 Jewish activists and supporters disrupted San Francisco’s anniversary event, bunkering against the main atrium of the Jewish Community Center (JCC). In conjunction, over thirty Jewish and Palestinian supporters held a rally outside the center to call attention to ongoing Israeli policy of apartheid against the Palestinian population. With banners reading, “Jews in Solidarity with 60+ years of Palestinian Resistance,” activists declared anniversary, “No Time to Celebrate.”

“As Jews of conscience, acting in solidarity with 60-plus years of Palestinian resistance, we’re here today to promote an “Independence” that does not depend on an ethnically or religiously exclusive state or on the displacement of indigenous people,” said Eric Romann, International Jewish Solidarity Network (IJSN) organizer. “We want is joint liberation, not isolation.”

The action in San Francisco, organized by the local IJSN, is part of “No Time to Celebrate,” a national Jewish campaign opposing Israel’s 60th Anniversary celebrations, while simultaneously amplifying the American Jewish community’s critique of Israeli policy. The Israeli Consulate and the Jewish Community and Relations Council (JCRC), who have attempted to silence any and all criticism of Israeli policy, were the sponsors of this event.

The activists presented the JCRC with a statement, with the following demands:

  • To stop the targeting of non-Jewish organizations, particularly of organizations serving communities of color in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond, that criticize Israel and/or express solidarity with Palestine
  • To stop claiming that anti-Zionism and criticism of Israel are anti-Semitic
  • To acknowledge that they do not speak for the full organized Jewish community—that Jewish voices that criticize Israel and Zionism are legitimate voices of dissent within Jewish communities
  • To criticize Israeli Deputy Defense Minister, Matan Vilnai threat of a “shoah” against the people of Gaza and demand a public apology for the exploitation of the Nazi genocide against the Jewish people for the continued ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

Click here to download the complete statement and demands!

Some coverage generated so far (support our work by leaving comments!):

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Filed under local actions, media coverage, San Francisco Bay Area