Exposed: IBSI’s exploitation of African refugees to promote anti-Palestinian agenda

We’d like to take this moment to share with you the latest and one of the most offensive and disingenuous campaigns we have seen in a long while. The image above was one of many shared by Dumisani Washington who, according to his Twitter page, is the Diversity Outreach Coordinator for the right-wing and notably Islamophobic organization Christians United for Israel (CUFI) and the Director of the Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel (IBSI).

We’ve all heard about and discredited CUFI. The organization’s latest annual convention fell during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, and on the thirteenth day of Israel’s assault, attendees applauded at the death and destruction Israel brought to the Gaza Strip. It was as though they sought an encore. CUFI, run by some of the most fanatical pro-Israel Evangelicals this country has ever seen, is ironically more pro-Israel than it is pro-United States.

IBSI, though, is another story. They appear relatively unestablished and very few appear to take them seriously, but that shouldn’t surprise anyone considering the kind of inflammatory, exploitative, and fictitious material they publish. [Read more…]

Stanford students stage civil disobedience, shut down bridge

Students from Stanford University joined forces with community members and shut down the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge earlier this evening to protest police brutality in Ferguson, institutionalized racism against Black Americans, and state-sponsored violence in Palestine and Mexico, which the United States government staunchly supports.

No less than 68 Stanford students were arrested by California Highway Patrol officers. Of the 68, 11 were jailed and the rest were released with citations.

The civil disobedience occurred on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. According to participants, the action intended to ‘reclaim MLK’ and to draw valuable connections between struggles against oppression within the United States and around the world. In the words of recent Stanford graduate Kristian Davis Bailey, who was quoted by The Stanford Daily, “it was time to put my body on the line and use my privilege as a Stanford student to elevate the issues of Black Lives Matter.” [Read more…]

Quote reveals racist criteria guiding Israeli settlement policy

Having just recently begun my first ever text by Edward Said (forgive me — I’ll explain in a later post), I have to pause every few minutes to ruminate about what I’ve just read. The text is so rich and carefully crafted and the message sinks into your mind so sweetly, bringing with it an imagery that feels all to real. Within the first three dozen pages of After the Last Sky: Palestinian Lives, I followed him into the Baddawi refugee camp in 1980s Lebanon and into a lonely home in Haifa not long after. It is a book about Palestinian identity — a topic that stirs my deepest of thoughts — and it is written powerfully and with pain.

On the twentieth page of After the Last Sky, Said introduces a quote that adds weight to the pain and that also quantifiably reaffirms what he calls a Zionist master plan. Quoting ex-deputy mayor of Jerusalem Meron Benvenisti on what dictates Israel’s settlement policy,

“The criteria established to determine priorities of settlement regions are ‘interconnection [havirah] between existing Jewish areas for the creation of [Jewish] settlement continuity’ and ‘separation [hayitz] to restrict uncontrolled Arab settlement and the prevention of Arab settlement blocs'; ‘scarcity [hesech] refers to areas devoid of Jewish settlement.’ In these criteria ‘pure planning and political planning elements are included.'”

(The West Bank Data Project: A Survey of Israeli Policies, 1984)

The quote is pulled from Benvenisti’s published documentation of Israel’s expansionist practices up until the early 1980s. [Read more…]

Our shared duty to Eric Garner and Mike Brown

This post was initially published on our Facebook page on November 26, 2014. We have updated and published it here.

We were recently asked why Sixteen Minutes to Palestine — a Palestine-centric blog — reports outside of its scope on the shooting of Mike Brown, the choking death of Eric Garner, and the nationwide protests these and similar tragedies have sparked. We figured that the best response would be a public one, where we would be able to reiterate our mission statement and our values and show how important it is to connect with allied struggles for justice.

SMP specifically explores the richness and authenticity of the Palestinian identity. We present news, first-person accounts, and visual content related to Palestine as a way of highlighting our vibrant culture and history and maintaining our own narrative.

The Palestinian struggle is unique in many ways, and many have characterized it as the human rights struggle of our time. But it shares many values with other critical social justice struggles around the world. Government corruption in Mexico has turned the police against the citizens and further marginalized those of a lower socioeconomic status. Governments that collaborate with Israel, in Palestine and in neighboring countries, have similarly turned Palestinians into second-class citizens, denying them of their basic rights. Gentrification in urban neighborhoods throughout the United States has forced many minority groups into poverty, limiting their access to schools, hospitals, and fresh produce. Similarly, the Israeli government sponsors settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territories, effectively displacing Palestinians, restricting their access to their own land, and imposing virtually total control of their movement. These are just two of the seemingly infinite connections that exist between struggles. As unique as the Palestinian struggle is, there are things we can learn, teach, and share in order to make each struggle that much more effective. [Read more…]

Highlights from the 2014 National SJP Conference

Last month, more than 500 student organizers representing nearly 120 colleges and universities from all over the country convened at Tufts University in Boston for the fourth ever National Students for Justice in Palestine Conference.

The theme of this year’s conference was “Beyond Solidarity: Resisting Racism and Colonialism from the U.S. to Palestine,” a strikingly fitting theme building on the previous year’s commitment to connecting the Palestinian struggle with other social justice causes, especially those in our backyards here in America.

T-shirts bearing the logo design for the 2014 National SJP Conference are prepared for distribution on the opening day of the gathering. Photo credit: S. Damra

Boston-based hip hop group Foundation Movement performs at Saturday’s cultural Night of Freedom at Tuft University’s Cohen Auditorium. Opti Browne, far right, drapes a Palestinian flag around his neck. Photo credit: Christopher Hazou

A conference attendee looks at the weekend’s program after checking into registration. Photo credit: S. Damra [Read more…]

Footage: Racially-charged exchange on Israeli bus further contextualizes hanging of Palestinian bus driver

On Sunday night, Yusuf Hassan Al-Ramouni’s body was found hanging inside of a transit bus in Jerusalem. The 32-year-old Palestinian father of two worked for Egged, an Israeli transit bus company, and his shift was set to begin at 9:20 pm. But his bus never left the depot, and in the middle of it hung his body by a thin cord.

Despite initial reports that Yusuf had been attacked and lynched, the Israeli police ruled the death a suicide. The police later issued another statement saying that an autopsy report revealed no evidence of foul play.

However, a medical expert speaking anonymously told Ma’an News that the autopsy suggested Yusuf was the victim of “an organized murder”. Aside from his intact first verebtra, which would have likely been dislocated in the case of a sucide by hanging, Yusuf’s body also showed that livor mortis was found in the buttocks of the body, indicating that he was sitting rather than hanging when he died.

Additionally, photographs circulating the internet purport to show extensive bruising on Yusuf’s body.

Several of Yusuf’s colleagues have spoken up about the abuse faced by Palestinian bus drivers on Israeli transit services. But Palestinian drivers are not the only individuals at the receiving end of racially-charged abuse.

Footage published online just days before Yusuf’s death shows a group of Israeli passengers ganging up against a Palestinian citizen of Israel. The Israeli passengers demand that the Palestinian give up her bag to be checked. There appears to be no reason why she is being targeted except for the fact that she is Arab. It is not clear which city the bus is driving through.

Toward the end of the exchange, one of the two armed Israeli soldiers on the bus attempts to be a voice of reason and says that because he has studied “a lot about Islam and Qur’an,” he can “identify” with Arab culture and, presumably, with the Palestinian passenger. He goes on to say that “Israelis are in a very tense situation now,” as if to reassure her that there is justification behind the intimidation. [Read more…]

Photo of the Day: Racism wears the face of death

Note: Due to the sheer amount of evocative and telling photography coming out of Palestine, we have transitioned our weekly photograph features into daily photograph features and will continue uploading images on a daily basis until further notice.

Photo credit: Khalil Hamra
Date taken: August 5, 2014
Location: Rafah, Gaza Strip, Palestine

The Abu Louli family returned to their home in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah where they were greeted by a drawing of a menacing skull left by Israeli soldiers who had used their home as a base for many nights. Israel pulled its soldiers out of many areas in Gaza earlier in the week but has resumed its aerial bombardment of the coastal enclave. [Read more…]

When those who justify state-sponsored terrorism complain about a Palestine map on a team jersey

A Chilean team’s newest kits have put the squad under pressure following accusations that the shirts, which feature a map of historic Palestine, “foment terrorist intent”.

Yes, you read that correctly. A club football team is being accused of promoting violence and terrorism because of a map on the back of its jerseys.

Club Deportivo Palestino is one of Chile’s oldest club teams. Founded in 1920 by Palestinian immigrants, the club has had a steady presence in Chile’s top tier league. The team is based in Santiago, Chile’s capital, where it draws much of its support from the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian immigrants who fled to Chile to escape violence and colonialism as far back as the mid- to late-1800s and especially during the Nakba of the late 1940s. Today, Santiago is widely regarded as home to the largest Palestinian community in the West.

Proud of the team’s history, the team’s front office does what it can to preserve the vision and the culture of the organization’s founding members. The crest and the team’s strip boldly feature the colors of the Palestinian flag. The Bank of Palestine was at one point the team’s main shirt sponsor.

CD Palestino players, past and present, have embraced the very same vision and culture. Team captain Filipe Nuñez recently spent time visiting families and children in the Aida Refugee Camp in Bethlehem to strengthen ties between Chilean and Palestinian football fans. The team has been known to hold moments of silence and reflection during major Israeli military offensives in the occupied Gaza Strip. CD Palestino also regularly starts players of Palestinian descent. [Read more…]

How to make a StandWithUs video in 10 easy steps

Guest contribution by Ilias S.

Things not going your way? StandWithUs knows how you feel. Lucky for you, they’ve given us a model for how to cope. So if you ever find yourself coming up short like all the time, follow these ten simple steps!

Step 1: Accept the fact that you are losing

… and come up with the fully thought-out idea of announcing it on YouTube.

Step 2: Visit thesaurus.com

… and come up with as many dramatic ways of saying the same thing as possible. [Read more…]

Here’s a comment that is so ridiculous you just want to keep a physical copy of it as a souvenir

It’s the internet. We’ve all faced our share of offensive, racist, or outright genocidal comments and we know better than to give an ounce of thought. But every once in a while, we’ll come across a comment so absurd that you feel the need to print it out in big, bold block letters on resume paper and archive it as evidence of a time when someone’s IQ dipped far below zero.

This is one of those comments.

To mark the beginning of Eid Al-Adha, BuzzFeed published a listicle containing 38 photographs of Muslims celebrating the festival from all over the world.

One photograph in particular appears to have drawn the ire of a frequent BuzzFeed contributor who goes by the name of ‘Spam Of God’.

[Read more…]

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