Friday, December 23, 2016

Standing against racism in Kingston, NY

MECR was privileged to join Hudson Valley Jewish Voice For Peace
in Kingston, NY. We had about 75 participants and got great
coverage in the Kingston Freeman.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

“Two Blue Lines” at the Woodstock Town Hall

-Friday, Nov. 4 from 7 to 9 pm: showing of “Two Blue Lines” at the Woodstock Town Hall, 76 Tinker St. This award winning new documentary explores the passionate dispute among Israeli citizens about their government’s Occupation of Palestine. The movie debates competing views of Judaism: a religious entitlement to land versus a spiritual commitment to freeing the oppressed. This free movie is cosponsored by: Middle East Crisis Response, Hudson Valley Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions and Hudson Valley Jewish Voice for Peace. Contact: or 518 291-6808

About 35 people attended this film showing, with many new faces since we moved the venue to Woodstock. We also showed the movie in conjunction with Hudson Valley Jewish Voice for Peace.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The War Around Us

-Friday, Oct 7 from 7 to 9 pm: showing of “The War Around Us” at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills, 320 Sawkill Road, Kingston (access to UU is from Rt. 209/Sawkill Road). In 2008, two best friends found themselves trapped in one of the most dangerous places on earth as the only western journalists in the Gaza Strip. The free film tells their true story as they witness and cover one of the most disturbing wars of our time. Sponsored by: Middle East Crisis Response Hudson Valley Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Contact: or 518 291-6808

We only had 18 people at this film showing, although the film and discussion afterwards was very good. There is a bridge out to the north and another one to the south. People may have had trouble getting to the UU.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Woodstock Town Board Adopts Resolution

September 21, 2016

Helaine Meisler 845-679-5301 (H); 914-466-0100 (C)

Woodstock Town Board Adopts Resolution Questioning the Constitutionality of New York Governor’s
Executive Order on BDS

Board Votes to Support Free Speech & the Right to Boycott

Yesterday evening, the Woodstock Town Board voted unanimously (4-0) to adopt a first-of- its-kind resolution in New York State that questions the Constitutionality of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order 157 (EO 157).
Widely criticized by human rights organizations, civil rights attorneys, and community groups, EO 157 mandates New York State to create a blacklist of institutions abiding by boycott or divestment campaigns related to Israeli human rights abuses, and further requires State agencies to divest themselves from such entities.

The newly passed Town Board resolution requires Governor Cuomo to submit the “legal basis or judicial opinion upon which he finds his action to be constitutional” by December 5, 2016. Further stating that “in the absence of a timely, cogent, and acceptable legal and judicial opinion in support of Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 157," the Town Board will "stand in opposition to Executive Order 157 and request that it be rescinded” in addition to encouraging any entity impacted by it to contest in a court of law.

"Boycotts against injustices are deeply rooted in U.S. history and are a form of collective protest that enjoy full protection under the First Amendment. Penalizing advocates of any such boycott – whether of Israel, North Carolina, grapes, or lettuce – is a flat-out violation of the Constitution,” said Alan Levine, a prominent First Amendment attorney who worked closely on drafting the resolution. ”By passing this resolution, Woodstock Town Board has set an admirable example to other communities, and a clear message to the Governor that we not stay silent when we are being denied our rights.”

“The Woodstock Town Board has taken a commendable stance on free speech and boycott rights with this resolution,” said Alan Sussman, a Woodstock resident and First Amendment rights attorney. “As Americans we have an obligation, in part stemming from our fierce tradition of freedom, and in greater part by our love of democracy and fairness, to object to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order.”

Woodstock Free Speech is a group of concerned citizens in the Town of Woodstock, NY who are working to educate others about their inalienable right to self-determination and all of the freedoms, liberties, rights and responsibilities that are espoused in the Bill of Rights and successive amendments to the Constitution.

Woodstock Reformed Church hosts young Palestinian

Salam Qumsiyeh at the Woodstock Reformed Church

-Thu, Sep 8 at the Woodstock Town Library. Salam Qumsiyeh will come to the first part of theMiddle East Crisis meeting to get to know local activists working for human rights in Palestine. Meeting starts at 7 pm and is open to the public.

-Sun, Sep 11 starting at 11:30 am after Woodstock Reformed Church services: A Conversation Salam Qumsiyeh, a young Christian Palestinian living in the West Bank. Salam Qumsiyeh is being hosted by the Woodstock Reformed Church, 16 Tinker Street. Potluck; bring a dish to pass. Open to the public. Contact: or 518 291-6808

-Wed, Sep 14 from 7 to 9 pm. "My Life as a Christian Palestinian in the West Bank," a talk by Salam Qumsiyeh, will be presented at the Woodstock Reformed Church, 16 Tinker Street. Middle East Crisis Response is cosponsoring the event, which will include refreshments and is open to the public. Contact: or 518 291-6808

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

“Je ne suis pas Charlie”

We had over 45 people at this film, with a very good discussion afterwards.
We had recorded a special Skype interview with Max Blumenthal talking
about the Woodstock Free Speech Campaign and played that before his film.

-Friday, August 5, 7-9 PM in Woodstock. Film screening of “Je ne suis pas Charlie” by Max Blumenthal and James Kleinfeld at the Woodstock Town Hall, 76 Tinker St. The two filmmakers explore the post-Hebdo climate in France to find out what happens when the state tries to regulate what political expressions are acceptable in a free society. The film is part of, the campaign to roll back Governor Cuomo’s executive order forbidding the boycott of Israel. Sponsored by: Middle East Crisis Response, Hudson Valley Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions and Catskill Mt. Veterans for Peace. Contact: or 518 291-6808

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Panel Discussion on Governor Cuomo’s executive order

We had about 30 people in the Woodstock Town Hall for this event. Wonderful speakers
and plenty of questions at the end. It seems like some people had even changed their minds.
The panel was filmed and put on Woodstock Public Television, and will be
played this coming Thursday on Activist Radio

-Friday, July 22, 7-9 PM in Woodstock. Panel Discussion on Governor Cuomo’s executive order attacking citizens’ right to boycott Israel. Alan Levine, Constitutional lawyer and Donna Nevel, National Board member for Jewish Voice for Peace, will discuss both the First Amendment and moral arguments against Cuomo’s order that would create a blacklist of organizations and groups working for peace and justice in the Middle East. The panel, part of the campaign, will take place at the Woodstock Town Hall, 76 Tinker St. Sponsored by: Middle East Crisis Response, Hudson Valley Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions and Catskill Mt. Veterans for Peace. Contact: or (845) 679-5301

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Salt of the Sea

-Friday, July 1, from 7 - 9 in Kingston. Film screening of “Salt of This Sea" at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills, 320 Sawkill Road (access to UU is from Rt. 209/Sawkill Road). The film is a stirring drama about the experiences of a young woman from the States in her efforts to reclaim her family roots in Palestine. Official Selection of the Cannes International Film Festival. Sponsored by: Middle East Crisis Response and Hudson Valley Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Contact: or 518 291-6808

We had a nice turnout, over 30 people and a good many new faces. There was a lively discussion at the end about the role of art in opposing apartheid Israel. We also talked about the upcoming Woodstock Free Speech initiative:

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States

-Friday, June 3, from 7 - 9 in Kingston. Film screening of "The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States." at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills, 320 Sawkill Road (access to UU is from Rt. 209/Sawkill Road). Crucial to Israeli illegal occupation of Palestine is its acceptance in the U.S. news media. This film offers a sophisticated analysis of Zionist strategy to keep both policymakers and the public in the United States on their side. Sponsored by: Middle East Crisis Response and Hudson Valley Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Contact: or 518 291-6808

We had 35 people at this event, and the discussion was intense. No pro Zionists comments at all.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Two events for the beginning of May

Both of these events went very well. We had a small crowd for Yasmin Yablonko and
Khaled Farrag at a private residence in Woodstock. The movie, "Valentino's Ghost"
showed at the UU in Kingston and we had about 30 people who attended.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Taha attends vigil in Woodstock

Our friend, Taha, attends a vigil for Palestine in Woodstock on Apr 17, 2016.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Boycott! The Art of Economic Activism in POUGHKEEPSIE.

Mon, Feb. 1-15, Boycott! The Art of Economic Activism in POUGHKEEPSIE. Exhibit open to the public between Feb 1 and Mar 7 at the Retreat and Second floor of the College Center, Vassar College, Raymond Ave. Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) co-host this exhibition highlighting diverse historical boycott movements from the 1950s to the present. Contact 845 876-7906

This show was extended two weeks and was very popular. The following month, the Vassar Student Association passed a resolution supporting BDS of Israeli products.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Over 40 people came out to hear Lillian Rosengarten

Talk and book signing by Lillian Rosengarten, author of
Survival and Conscience: From the Shadows of Nazi Germany
to the Jewish Boat to Gaza, from 7-8:30 at the Inquiring
Mind Bookstore, 200 Main St, Saugerties.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Wed, Feb. 3, at 6 pm, Inhumanist Biopolitics: How Palestine Matters

Rockefeller Hall 200-Auditorium
This lecture theorizes oscillating relations between disciplinary, pre-emptive, and increasingly prehensive forms of power that shape human and non-human materialities in Palestine. Calculation, computing, informational technologies, surveillance, and militarization are all facets of prehensive control. Further, the saturation of spatial and temporal stratum in Palestine demonstrates the use of technologies of measure to manufacture a "remote control" occupation, one that produces a different version of Israeli "home invasions" through the maiming and stunting of population. If Gaza, for example, is indeed the world's largest "open air prison" and an experimental lab for Israeli military apparatuses, infrastructural chaos, and metric manipulation, what kinds of fantasies (about power, about bodies, about resistance, about politics) are driving this project?

Jasbir K. Puar is Associate Professor of Women’s & Gender Studies at Rutgers University. She received her Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California at Berkeley in 1999 and an M.A. from the University of York, England, in Women’s Studies in 1993. She has written widely on South Asian disaporic cultural production in the U.S., U.K., and Trinidad; gay and lesbian tourism; terrorist studies; surveillance studies; bio and necropolitics; queer theory; disability and debilitation; theories of intersectionality, affect, and assemblage; animal studies and posthumanism; homonationalism, pinkwashing, and the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Puar’s forthcoming monograph, States of Debility and Capacity (Duke University Press, 2016) takes up the relations between biopolitics, disability, and forms of active debilitation pivotal to the operations of war machines and racial capitalism. The book will be among the first to appear in a new book series, ANIMA, which she co-edits with Mel Chen (author of Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect, Duke University Press, 2012).