Sunday, May 24, 2015

Nakba commemorations

Here are reports on the Nakba commemorations that took place on May 15 in Beacon and May 16 in Yonkers.  The Beacon event was the far more elaborate and included a march to a community center that began at 5:30p.m., followed by music, food provided by a local Palestinian owner of a restaurant-bakery, and remarks by a number of speakers. Phillip Weiss of Mondoweiss urged participants to make Nakba Day a yearly remembrance in the region. Lillian Rosengarten, who was on the boat dubbed “the Jewish boat to Gaza” that attempted to break the blockade in late September 2010 and was intercepted by the Israeli navy and diverted to an Israeli port, read some of her poetry. The number of attendees reached some seventy-five, and the atmosphere was reportedly warm and family-oriented.
We would welcome observations from other participants in these events. Send your contributions to this email address. westchester@jewishvoiceforpeace.org
Charles Zigmund submitted the following account of the Beacon event.
On Friday, May 15, I participated in Beacon, NY, Nakba Day events representing JVP. There was a rally on Main St and highway 9D, with a surprising number of drivers honking in support of our signs. Then Bennett Weiss, organizer of the events and an outoing and enthusiastic man, led us on a parade through town to a hall made available to us by a local Italian association. In this auditorium we heard folk songs, and both Palestinians and Jews spoke about Nakba and the Palestinian tragedy. I gave a short talk about JVP and our activities and later received three requests from attendees for contact info for our group. 
Particularly moving were two speakers. The first was an elderly veteran of World War II who with his buddies helped liberate the concentration camps. He described his horror at what they found, and how it helped in a later groundswell for the creation of a Jewish state. But when he sees what has happened since, he now asks bitterly, "What did I fight for?"
The second was a man who has worked in social service agencies in Israel and the Occupied Territories for many years. He told a story he heard from a Palestinian who with his family was forced to leave his home in 1948 despite having been told they could stay. He described thousands of people walking on a broiling dusty road without knowing where they were going. After hours of walking, a single well appeared that was surrounded by hundreds of refugees and could not be gotten to. Those lucky enough to be near it were dipping shirts in and sucking the muddy water from them. Israeli soldiers ripped off his friend's wristwatch, causing a wound, and threatened to cut off his finger if he did not quickly give them his ring, with the man begging them to give him time to get it off. I myself have friends who are anti-Netanyahu and think this kind of behavior has only recently begun, when this testimony shows it was there at the very inception. 

This speaker stressed that these stories of Nabka need to be collected, spread,  and re-told and re-told, the way the Holocaust stories were years ago and have been ever since. The Nakba is still largely undiscovered territory for the world and even for activists like ourselves.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Nakba Day in Beacon

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We had over ten Hudson Valley groups supporting this Nakba Day
in Beacon. Over 50 people turned out for the vigil and later for the
panel discussion at St. Rocco's. Philip Weiss (http://mondoweiss.net)
and Lillian Rosengarten (Holocaust survivor and member of the
Jewish boat to Gaza) were our two keynote speakers. Thanks to
Bennett Weiss for organizing the event.




Monday, May 4, 2015

Voices From Gaza


Dear Jo, 
I'm so grateful for your presentation and glad to know that it went
well. 
The film is on our YouTube but not on Vimeo but I believe it is fine to
upload it on Vimeo too. 
How are you? I hope all is going well. Are coming over anytime soon?
Much love and appreciation, 
Iman Aoun
Artistic Director
ASHTAR Theatre
Ramallah Palestine
Facebook : Ashtar for Theatre Productions and Training
www.ashtar-theatre.orgwww.thegazamonologues.com

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Two events for early Spring 2015



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We raised over $800 from a good crowd of 45 people.
Veterans for Peace did much of the organizing, and we
thank Tarak and Ellen for their excellent work.


Friday, March 20, 2015

Dear Friends of Rachel Corrie: We Shall Never Forget

Dear Friends of Rachel Corrie,

In case you have not seen it, attached is this year's tribute to Rachel in The Poughkeepie Journal.

Thanks so much for your help - it would not be what it is without your help.

Greg DeSylva

Tom Shaker



Saturday, March 7, 2015

Screening of film "Newburgh Sting"



Friday, March 6 in Kingston: Films of Palestine Series presents the film "Newburgh Sting"
7:00 - 8:30 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills, 320 Sawkill Road.
"The Newburgh Sting" is a documentary about the FBI’s entrapment of four Muslim men supposedly involved in a 2009 Bronx terrorism plot. It was later brought to light that the four men were coaxed and bribed into participating. The film reveals how the FBI targets Muslim communities in poor neighborhoods and lures believers into planning acts of terrorism.
SPECIAL GUEST: Liz Mc William, mother of David Williams, member of Newburgh Four

Sponsored by: Middle East Crisis Response http://www.mideastcrisis.org and Hudson Valley Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions http://www.hudsonvalleybds.org. Contact: Jane.toby7@gmail.com or 518 291-6808.

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We had a very good turnout, and Liz Mc William's account of her son's trial and incarceration added a good deal to the experience. Thanks to Bennett Weiss from bringing the film to us.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Bethlehem cards on Sunday

Yesterday Pia, Jane, and I gave out between 100 - 150 "Bethlehem" cards to people attending services at ... in Kingston. When people ask about the cards we tell them that they are Christmas cards with a message. The vast majority of people are receptive and even grateful for the cards. 

We were going to give out cards at the ... , but much to our surprise, we were actually invited inside the church. We actually had an opportunity to speak with the Pastor who seemed sympathetic to our cause. Pia suggested that this church might be a good place to show the fillm Steadfast Hope. I will be communicating with the Pastor to explore this possibility. It was a cold day, but overall a warm experience. Thank you Pia and Jane.

Eli