Israel to stop offering end to occupation after five unsuccessful tries

ANN ARBOR, MICH. — After five unsuccessful attempts at ending the occupation, Israel will no longer be offering peace deals to Palestinians.

Israel’s decision came a few hours after comments made by a University of Michigan professor shed light on one of the Middle East’s most complicated issues late Tuesday evening.

“Few may know this but Israel has attempted to put an end to the occupation five separate times. It’s the Palestinians who rejected each of the offers,” spoke Dr. V. Lieberman.

The revelation came as a surprise to many, especially to those who have experienced the toll of the long-running conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

[Read more...]

Students post eviction notices at U of Michigan dorms, draw attention to Palestinian plight

Guest contribution by Students Allied for Freedom & Equality at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

On Tuesday morning, December 10, approximately 1,500 students woke up to mock eviction notices in six University of Michigan residential dormitories.

Inspired by the Rutgers-New Brunswick chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, members of Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE) dispersed the notices in the early morning in order to have students momentarily experience the feeling of receiving an eviction notice upon waking up — a feeling that thousands of indigenous Palestinians have had to face under Israeli occupation.

Although it is impossible to recreate the emotions Palestinians experience from forcible internal displacement and exile, the purpose of this action was to raise much-needed awareness regarding the ongoing forcible expulsion of indigenous Palestinians from their land to clear the way for the construction of illegal Jewish-only settlements in the occupied territories. [Read more...]

SJP Conference 2012: Photos of the first half

The second annual National SJP Conference is hosted at the University of Michigan. Here are some photographs of what we’ve been doing the last day and a half. Special thanks to Danya Mustafa, Sara Jawhari, and Debbie Southorn for collecting and sharing these photographs.

Students at the opening plenary of the National Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) Conference 2012 discuss ways to address and tackle dynamics of oppression within campus solidarity movements. Photo credit: Sara Jawhari

A plush panda, which belongs to an SJP conference organizer, dons a traditional Palestinian kuffiyeh. Photo credit: Sara Jawhari

One conference attendee’s face is illuminated by a computer screen as she excitedly takes notes during Nada Elia’s opening remarks. Elia spoke on the importance of liberating ourselves from within. Photo credit: Sara Jawhari [Read more...]

U of Michigan students to dismantle the myths of Israeli democracy

Guest contribution by Farah Erzouki

This Thursday, January 26, Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE) at the University of Michigan — Ann Arbor will be bringing renown author, journalist, and commentator Ali Abunimah for a groundbreaking lecture discussing, “Colonial Reality: Dismantling the Myths of Israeli Democracy. Abunimah, co-founder of Electronic Intifada and author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse, will address the campus community on the reality of Israel’s claim as the region’s only beacon of light, a terms it regularly assigns to itself. (Editor’s note: Event information can be found at the end of this post.)

Rhetoric surrounding the Israel-Palestine conflict has continuously revolved around the argument that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. Such claims are not only false and biased, but have harsh implications in terms of the public opinion regarding the question of Palestine. These falsehoods propagated by the media and other outlets have lead to the pardoning of Israel for their blatant racist, discriminatory and colonizing practices and have characterized the Israeli government as the only nation in the Middle East that has any promising future because of its democratic ideals. These falsehoods lead to the Israeli exceptionalism that we see so often. Forgetting about the war crimes, violations of international law, illegal occupation and ethnic cleansing of a people, we see figures of power praising Israel for democratic traits they do not truly possess. We hope that this event will shine light on the realities of the that most college-age students at a public university may never hear. This topic is crucial because it will, as the title suggests, dismantle the myths that have been propagating popular opinion. [Read more...]

IDF soldiers speak to an empty room at the University of Michigan

Students gather after protesting Israeli soldiers / YouTube still

One of the more obvious and shameful tactics of the pro-Israel lobby is to target and poison the growing minds of college-age individuals with wild attempts at justifying Israel’s brutal “safety measures” against Palestinians and solidarity activists. Ehud Olmert and Michael Oren, for example, recently embarked on cross-campus speaking tours to publicly highlight the expendability of Palestinian lives in the name of Israeli national security. But in every instance, brave students stand up to the propaganda thrown their way by creatively countering the speaker’s agenda with fact, morality, and passion.

On October 20, 2010, two Israeli soldiers were brought to the University of Michigan in an attempt to dispel any misconceptions the public had about the Israeli Defense Forces that, only years ago, barraged the Gaza Strip with bombs, bullets, and hate. Pro-justice students immediately gathered the support of faculty and community members and together orchestrated the most well-designed college protest I have ever seen. With their mouths taped shut and the names of killed Palestinian children gracing their shirts, the students walked out, leaving the guest soldiers baffled and embarrassed as they faced the five or so people who stayed behind. [Read more...]

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