Hundreds rallied in front of the State House in Montpelier – Saturday December 2nd, 2023.
The crowd and the speakers represented people who share the sense of outrage at the genocide in Palestine, enabled and funded by our government.
It was a convergence of Palestinians, First Nation People, Migrant Workers, Union members, Artists – a whole spectrum of American people.
All demanding Free Palestine! End the Occupation! Stop Funding Genocide!
VT Digger report here
Peter Schumann (Bread and Puppet Theater) – recording:
“We – who are not dead yet.
But are born into a civilization that routinely produces large quantities of death!
As part of its mechandise…”
Three young Palestinian men shot in Burlington
o US shooting of Palestinian students sparks climate of fear. Communities are on edge after a number of violent attacks against Arab Americans and supporters of Palestine.
Podcast, The Take. December 4th, 2012. With Abed A Ayoub, National Executive Director, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee; Wafic Faour, Member, Vermonters for Justice in Palestine; Beshara Doumani, Professor of Palestinian Studies, Brown University.
o Resumed Bombing of Gaza Will Be Crushing to Palestinian Students Shot in Vermont, Says Victim’s Mother. Democracy Now! December 01, 2023
o “Atmosphere of Hate”: AFSC Leader & Palestinian Vermonter on Shooting of 3 College Students Democracy Now – November 28, 2023. With Guests Wafic Faour (Palestinian refugee from Lebanon and a member of Vermonters for Justice in Palestine, and Joyce Ajlouny (former director of the Ramallah Friends School and now the general secretary of the American Friends Service Committee.)
o Vermont for Justice in Palestine holds vigil for 3 shot in Burlington WCAX TV. by Calvin Cutler. Nov. 27, 2023.
o Vermont Conversation: ‘This hideous crime did not happen in a vacuum’ After three Palestinian American students were shot in Burlington, the uncle of one of the victims discusses the challenges facing Palestinians — here and abroad. VT Digger – by David Goodman November 29, 2023.
o PERSPECTIVES: Palestinians will not be safe anywhere until we have justice everywhere I call my family members in Palestine every single day to make sure they are safe. When three Palestinian college students were shot just 15 miles from my home, I started receiving calls from them. They wanted to know: Was I safe in Vermont? By Wafic Faour as told to Reckon. November 29, 2023.
o Palestinian Shooting Victim Says Violence He Faced Is “Part of a Larger Story” “This hideous crime did not happen in a vacuum,” said 20-year-old Hisham Awartani. Truthout,by Chris Walker, November 29, 2023.
Saturday December 2nd
State House Lawn
Sunday December 3rd, 10 am – 3pm
Scan the QR code to register and receive information about the location in the Montpelier/Barre area.
Statement by Vermonters for Justice in Palestine
GENOCIDE BEFORE OUR EYES
The Palestinian people in Gaza are undergoing a campaign of violence by Israel, denied access to all food, water, electricity and medicine, and suffering unrelieved bombing attacks, including attacks targeted precisely on hospitals, schools, and other “safe zones”, and the routes to them. Israel’s behavior precisely fits the UN definition of genocide: “the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group as such.”
In the first two weeks, Israel had already dropped more bombs on Gaza than the US dropped in Afghanistan in a year, killing thousands, a third of them children. Refugees have no safe haven toward which to flee, or in which to take shelter. We are watching the destruction of a people, a campaign to liquidate any form of resistance so that Israel may extend its apartheid regime “from the River to the Sea”.
We, citizens of Vermont, with our state motto, “Freedom and Unity”, must be in solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza, and throughout historic Palestine.
We demand that our government
— pressure Israel for an immediate ceasefire
— immediately stop all funding to Israel, an act which will slow the Israeli military attack on Gaza
— and force Israel to allow the delivery of immediate humanitarian aid.
Beyond that, we demand our government require the end of Israeli colonization & apartheid as a condition for any further financial aid or political backing in international organizations such as the UN.
IN SOLIDARITY FOR PALESTINIAN FREEDOM!
Please call/write you representative immediately to take action.
Senator Bernie Sanders
1 Church St.,3rd Floor,
Burlington, VT 05401
DC: (202) 224-5141
Sanders Voted for this Resolution Against SJP organizations
Senator Peter Welch
124 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4242; 888-605-7270
Chief of Staff email
Rep. Becca Balint,
159 Bank Street, Suite 204
Burlington, VT 05401
phone: (802) 652-2450
Here is a collection of Statements
about Hamas action and Israeli retaliation posted at “The Struggle Video News”
by Stanley Heller.
Statement: The Black Alliance for Peace Condemns the Murderous Assault on Occupied Palestine
Bernie Sanders is failing this moment.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders refuses to even meet with constituents demanding a ceasefire in Gaza, and many have given up on him. “How many thousands of more lives lost will it require for you to take a stand?” Mondoweiss, December 4, 202. By Anthony Apodaca and Kellie Kuenzle.
“Justice for Palestinians and Security for Israel”. By Bernie Sanders.
New York Times, Nov. 22, 2023. Includes: “Let’s be clear: this is not going to happen on its own. Mr. Netanyahu’s Likud party was explicitly formed on the premise that “between the Sea and the Jordan [River] there will only be Israeli sovereignty,”
An Open Letter to Burlington Vermont’s Jewish Community.
From Ze’eva L. Chasan. December 3rd, 2023
Interview with Wafic Faour
What’s Going On?: Gaza, Palestine/Israel Today CCTV, Burlington, VT
Powerful appearance on Democracy Now by Hanan Ashwari
Mohammed El-Kurd highly recommended that we listen to Ilan Pappé’s talk (October 2023) as filling in the history we need to understand here
. It traces the roots of what’s going on to racism, more than to colonialism.
Historians For Peace and Democracy.
Their recommended reading on Palestine and Israel (October 2023)
A Practical Appraisal of Palestinian Violence.
– Steve Salaita , October 2023.
This speech by Noura Erakat
, Palestinian lawyer and activist, is very powerful. Watch it for inspiration and fortitude.
‘I will not be silenced’
: Rashida Tlaib won’t stop fighting for Palestinian rights. The Guardian, by Robert Tait and Lauren Gambino, 12 Nov 2023.
Likud Party: in its original party platform: “Between the sea and the Jordan there will be only Israeli sovereignty.”
Joy Reid challenges a congressman on the place of “from the sea to the river” language and the double standard in the way it’s used and criticized. It starts at 13.2 minutes. Joy Reid – the ReidOut (MSNBC)
We are witnessing the largest U.S. anti-war protests in 20 years
Mondoweiss; By Michael Arria, October 28, 2023.
Beyond the two States Solution
Jonathan Kuttab. Get a Copy
Palestinian Children in Gaza hold a Press Conference
and another information from the Good Shepherd Collective.
Calendar of Resistance Events
Around the World, from Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.
Anti-Defamation League Maps Jewish Peace Rallies With Antisemitic Attacks
– American Jews have mobilized several thousand Jews across the U.S. to call for a ceasefire in Gaza. ADL calls these Jewish organizations “hate groups.” The Intercept, by Micah Lee. November 11 2023.
Why Does The United States Support Israel?
Resistance Report. By Ben Norton, Geopolitical Economy. November 13, 2023
Vermont voices on the Israel-Hamas war.
This conflict has reverberated around the world and throughout the Green Mountains of Vermont. Rallies, marches and vigils have taken place around the state. VtDigger, by David Goodman, November 15, 2023. Including interviews with Rabbi David Edleson of Temple Sinai; Wafic Faour, a Palestinian member of Vermonters for Justice in Palestine; Grace Oedel, a rabbinical student who works with the American Jewish organization IfNotNow; and Faud Al-Amoody, vice president of the Islamic Society of Vermont.
Mistrust of West defines Global South attitudes to Palestine.
The Electronic Intifada, by Vijay Prashad, 15 November 2023.
The International Labor Movement Is Mobilizing for a Free Palestine
Global labor unions are responding to Palestinian workers’ calls for solidarity and demanding an immediate ceasefire. Truthout – By Shane Burley, November 29, 2023.
Next Step – Get involved!
VTJP News and Updates
Subscribe to our newsletter and stay updated. We do not spam and will only send news important for VTJP or our related campaigns.
Sign up to our mailing list
IF YOU ARE A REGISTERED VOTER IN THE CITY OF BURLINGTON VT
• Download and print This form
• Complete a line on the form *And have it witnessed by the named person*
• Get your friends to sign *and witness signature*
• Send the original of the form to VTJP, c/o Peace and Justice Center, 239 S. Union Street, Suite 3, Burlington, VT, 05401
Details of the campaign here
Apartheid Free Burlington Petition
Registered voters in the City of Burlington can sign a petition to create Burliington as an Apartheid Free Community!
Help us reach our goal of 1,500 signatures by January 18, 2024.
The right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.
– Basic Law passed by Israel’s Knesset in 2018
Resources about Israeli Apartheid
– Amnesty International about the Crime of Apartheid
– Amnesty international Youtube Video “Is This Apartheid?”
– B’Tselem. The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories. This is Apartheid
– A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution Human Rights Watch, April 27, 2021
Apartheid Free Campaign
– Human Rights Watch report (January 2016)
– Israeli Apartheid Week: Israeli Apartheid Week
– Article in Consortium News: Israel Cannot Rebut Apartheid Vijay Prashad, in Consortium News, June 30, 2023.
– May 2009. Middle East Project of the Democracy and Governance Programme, Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa: Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid? A re-assessment of Israel’s practices in the occupied Palestinian territories under international law.
o Executive Summary (16 pages): here
o Full Report (302 pages): here
– The Episcopal Church in Vermont Resolution Regarding Israeli Occupation of Palestinian Lands and Israel’s Apartheid Policies toward Palestinian People
Nelson Mandela: I have been to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing that reminded me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under the racist system of Apartheid
Rally on Burlington’s Church Street on Thursday Nov 9th
A brilliantly organized (by JVP) Rally in Burlington November 9th supported by numerous organizations. Hundreds of people
started at the steps of City Hall, then the Rally re-located to a fund-raiser for Rep. Becca Ballint to demand our Washington Congressional delegation call for ending US-funded genocide, and:
- an immediate Ceasefire;
- humanitarian aid to Gaza;
- no more military aid to Israel
Media reports below – ‘The Rake Vermont’ and ‘VT Digger’ have a lot more detail.
WCAX TV By WCAX News Team
“Protesters in Burlington call for ceasefire in Israel-Hamas war”
VT Digger “U.S. Rep. Becca Balint. They demanded that the first-term representative meet with them in person.” by Patrick Crowley, November 9, 2023.
The Rake Vermont “Protesters Disrupt Rep. Balint Fundraiser, Demand Ceasefire and End to Military Aid to Israel.” November 9, 2023, by Patrick St. John.
Including video of the Rally and Rep. Ballint speaking about her options.
Not Canceled! Just banned by UVM
YouTube Recording Here (Program starts at about minute 12)
Will Miller Social Justice Lecture:
“Palestine Women & Children & the Politics of Appeal”
10/26/23, 7pm (Eastern)
Major thanks for last-minute help by Haymarket Books and CCTV.
Urgent! On the weekend before the event, the lecture series received an unsigned message from the UVM Division of Safety and Compliance saying that “the event will not be held on UVM’s campus” on the grounds of safety.
This is the statement by the Will Miller Lecture Series.
Letter writing campaign here
Digger article here
About Bernie: From Mohammed El-Kurd
7 pm Thursday October 26, Davis Center 417/419 Livak Ballroom
Mohammed El-Kurd is a Palestinian poet, writer, journalist, and organizer from Jerusalem.
In the United States, Palestinians are both demonized and made invisible in mainstream culture and politics. Palestinians who try to counteract these misrepresentations are constrained by impossibly narrow and ethnocentric expectations. This talk explores the limitations of the “politics of appeal” and suggests alternative approaches.
Mohammed El-Kurd is an award-winning poet, writer, journalist, and organizer from Jerusalem, occupied Palestine. He is the Palestine correspondent for The Nation and a Civic Media Fellow at the University of Southern California. He will talk about representation and misrepresentation of Palestinians in the U.S.
Rally on Burlington’s Church Street
5 pm, Friday Nov 17th
Previous Rallies, Vigils and Events.
Vigil: Friday November 24th – 3:45pm
Burlington City Hall
For Black Friday, and Christmas tree lighting
RALLY IN SUPPORT
OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
In collaboration with the National March on Washington: Free Palestine!
Saturday, November 4th, 2023
Battery Park, Burlington
Israel has declared total war against the people of Gaza
. It has also carried out attacks in the West Bank and into the surrounding region. With the full military, economic, and diplomatic support of the U.S., the Israeli military is killing thousands of Palestinians, destroying schools, hospitals, mosques, churches, and houses, and forcing hundreds of thousands of people from their homes. We must stand with Palestinians in Gaza, historic Palestine, and throughout the world.
•Stop Israel’s Genocidal War
•End the Siege of Gaza
•Provide Immediate Humanitarian Aid to Gaza
•Defend the Civil Rights of Palestinians and Palestine Solidarity Activists
•Stop All Aid to Israel
•Enforce Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel
Vermonters for Justice in Palestine, UVM Students for Justice in Palestine, Tempest Collective, Migrant Justice, FreeHer Vermont, Champlain Valley Democratic Socialists of America, UVM Democratic Socialists of America, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Will Miller Social Justice Lecture Series, People’s Kitchen
Despite apparent news black-out in main stream media, here is a report of actions around the globe: From The Guardian
Montreal “Thousands in Montreal demonstrated in support of people in Gaza on Saturday, drawing attention to the humanitarian crisis and demanding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau call for an immediate ceasefire.”
Local coverage here from The Rake
Media Advisory – Report to Media.
November 9th in Middlebury – “Open to Middlebury College Community Only”
Organized by UVM Students
Vigil at UVM – October 19th, 2023
Emergency Demonstration – Burlington’s City Hall Park – Saturday October 14th
Hundreds of people gathered at City Hall Park to support the people of Palestine and to protest the genocide and dispossession of the people ‘From the River to the Sea’ and the coordinated and concerted efforts of the colonial powers to perpetuate their own crimes.
People also spoke passionately about their fears for the Jewish people everywhere because of the actions of Zionist Israel supposedly in their name.
Others spoke of the intimidation of Palestinian people at UVM, and urged us to rise up and continue the struggle against racism and all struggles for liberation and freedom from exploitation. Representatives from local organizations spoke, including Central Vermont Jewish Voice for Peace, Burlington Tenants United, Vermonters for Justice in Palestine, Vermont Peace Antiwar Coalition, and the Party for Socialism and Liberation, the primary sponsor of the event. .
Israel, Gaza, and the Struggle for Palestine
Tuesday October 17th at 7pm
Room 218, O.N.E. Community Center, 20 Allen Street, Burlington
Early on Saturday, October 7th, Palestinian resistance fighters broke through Israel’s siege of Gaza. In response, Israel has declared total war against the people of Gaza, completely cutting off access to food, water, and electricity, while bombing the Strip and killing entire families.
This panel, featuring Wafic Faour (Vermonters for Justice in Palestine), Debra Stoleroff (Vermonters for Justice in Palestine and Central Vermont Jews in Solidarity with Palestine), and Nolan Rampy (Tempest Collective), will discuss how to understand the current situation in Palestine, the 17-year siege of Gaza, and questions of resistance, colonialism, the role of Biden and US imperialism, and mass struggle.
Sponsored by Burlington Tempest Collective, Vermonters for Justice in Palestine. List in formation. Please contact the Tempest Collective if you would like to co-sponsor. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We support the Campaign: Be Bold Bernie
Join us in sending a letter to Bernie today! Ask him to be a bold advocate for Palestinian rights in Congress.
Palestinian struggle becomes mainstream struggle in US capital,
Independence Day Parade in Montpelier, July 3rd 2023
People from all these groups marched together in solidarity, calling for Free Palestine!: Vermonters for Justice in Palestine; Central Vermont Jews for Palestinian Liberation; Party for Socialism and Liberation, Champlain Valley Amnesty Interntational; Education Justice Coalition, Free Her.
As usual, we received a great reception from the huge crowd lining the street.
We counted 35 people in our group – then 36 when a person from the crowd joined us!
Solidarity Vigil for Palestinian Liberation, Montpelier, April 18th 2023
(Holocaust Remembrance Day and Tax Day)
VTJP joined Central Vermont Jews for Palestinian Liberation – Solidarity Vigil for Palestinian Liberation, Montpelier Tuesday, April 18 (Holocaust Remembrance Day and Tax Day)
A vigil to mourn those lost in recent violence, honor the everyday actions of Palestians and allies in resistance, and demand the end the flow of US tax dollars to Israel.
TV News Report here
Allegation: University of Vermont is infested with antisemitism
But apparently not.
Rally at UVM – September 21st, 2022
Rally at UVM – September 21st, 2022
Contents: (Scroll down, or use these links):
What is VTJP’s position?
UVM has done its Part
Reports and Links
Antisemitism – Various Definitions
Anti-Semitism and the Department of Education
April 2023 – UVM settles with OCR over the Brandeis Complaint
Here’s a report from WCAX:
The text of the “RESOLUTION AGREEMENT”: It mentions antisemitism 9 times in the context of ‘prohibition on discrimination based on national origin, including shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics, including antisemitism’. However, I could find no attempt to define antisemitism, as Brandeis had demanded adopting the IHRA definition. No other examples of groups that might experience discrimination or harassment.
UVM’s web page about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (Includes AntiSemitism 101: The Basics & How they Relate to Life at UVM, 1:00pm – 3:00pm UVM Interfaith Center Facilitator: Rabbi David Edleson, D. Div., Rabbi at Temple Sinai in South Burlington and instructor of religion, ethics, and literature at the college level for over twenty years.
The complainers won’t let it go. VT Digger May 17th 2023. UVM faculty, staff seek apology for administration’s handling of federal antisemitism investigation. By Peter D’Auria.
In October 2021, a complaint was presented by the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law and Jewish On Campus to the Department of Education claiming that the University of Vermont (UVM) has violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The complaint is based on documentation of alleged incidents and social messaging on campus. It claims that “Jewish students at the University of Vermont (“UVM”) have been subjected to a campaign of intimidation, harassment and discrimination targeting them on the basis of their Jewish ethnic identity – This has created a hostile environment on campus in which Jewish students are being excluded from clubs and support groups”. The complaint details alleged vandalism of UVM’s Hillel building, online harassment of Jewish students by an unnamed teaching assistant and exclusion of Jewish students supporting Israel from a sexual assault survivors’ group. Further, it is claimed that UVM has not adequately addressed the alleged campaign of intimidation.
The complaint implies that criticism of Israel is antisemitic and asserts that “for many Jewish students at UVM, Zionism is an integral component of their Jewish identity”.
On Sept. 13, 2022, The Vermont Digger reported that the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights has opened an investigation into this complaint. On September 15th 2022 UVM’s President Suresh Garimella issued a statement contesting the veracity of the alleged antisemitic occurrences, and defending UVM’s response.
The complaint proposes several “Suggested Remedies” including:
– UVM must adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Working Definition of Anti-Semitism and its contemporary examples
(Note: the examples in the IHRA definition are problematic)
– UVM must issue a statement denouncing anti-Semitism in all its forms and recognizing that Zionism is a key component of Jewish identity for many students at UVM.
– The University must conduct mandatory training for the University community regarding its revised Policy that includes a specific focus on the different manifestation of anti-Semitism including anti-Zionism and national origin-based discrimination.
What is VTJP’s position?
VTJP is concerned that the complaint is part of a larger-scale, bad-faith attempt to weaponize the reality of antisemitism in order to advance a goal of silencing a conversation about justice for Palestinians.
There is a pervasive atmosphere of fear and surveillance surrounding those who speak out for justice for Palestinians. Groups such as Canary Mission seek specifically to target students, faculty, and staff at colleges and universities, as witnessed nationally, at UVM previously and at peer institutions including Middlebury College. McGill University has been sued because 71% of undergraduate students voted for a policy committing the Student Society to actions favorable to Palestinian people. The stakes are already incredibly high for pro-Palestinian activists, and adopting definitions of antisemitism that paint any criticism of Israel and Zionism as antisemitic raises those stakes and risks seriously encroaching on the free speech rights of any individual. These smear campaigns are simply intended to distract from the ongoing suffering of Palestinians.
Speech on UVM campus, read by John Heermans, September 21st 2022 here
UVM has done its part
UVM investigated the complaints and determined either that antisemitism was not part of the reported actions, or acted within its control to resolve the situation. This should be the end of the story. Instead, the complainants are following their strategy: they are attempting to use any allegation of antisemitism to scares universities into adopting a highly-contested and condemned definition of antisemitism that is being used to target Palestinians and their allies–not to keep Jews safe.
Students who speak up and organize for the rights of Palestinian people put themselves at risk of being labeled as antisemitic; meanwhile those who feel intimidated by anti-Zionist sentiment are adequately protected by University policies and procedures and can seek redress.
Pressure is being applied to the Education Justice Coalition of Vermont to identify anti-semitism specifically and to adopt the IHRA definition. The Coalition is advising the State on developing and promoting Ethnic studies, Disability studies, Native American Studies, and LGBTQIA+ curriculum and pedagogy.
Reports and links
– Vermont Digger article (September 13th, 2022)
– Link to the Brandeis complaint (link from the Digger article) October 2021
– UVM President Garimella statement (September 15, 2022)
– UVM Provost Prelock statement “Supporting Jewish students in our community” (September 22, 2022)
– Local advocacy group hosts rally on campus in support of Palestine Vermont Cynic (UVM Student Newspaper). by Andrew Gould, September 26, 2022.
– Vermont Palestinian Activists Push Back Against Antisemitism Allegations at UVM
The Rake Vermont, 23-Spt-2022 by Matt Moore.
– American Jewish Committee Criticizes University of Vermont Response to Antisemitism Complaints September 16, 2022.
– Wikipedia – about revocation of UN Resolution identifying Zionism as racist
– Kenneth Marcus: UVM’s president is making a bad problem worse VTDigger Commentary Sep 25 2022.
– Felicia Kornbluh: On UVM President’s response to charges of antisemitism VTDigger, Commentary Sep 26 2022.
– UVM president rejects antisemitism charges, but university remains target of pro-Israel groups. Pro-Israel groups claim that recent incidents at the University of Vermont constitute antisemitism because for some Jewish students, “Zionism is integral to their Jewish ethnic identity.” Mondoweiss, By Michael Arria, September 30, 2022.
– Jewish sexual assault survivors rejected by NY campus support group, complaint says 2 students request US Department of Education investigation of New York’s university at New Paltz, saying they were discriminated against with the administration’s knowledge. The Times of Israel, By Luke Tress, 18 August 2022.
– Antisemitism Graduates With America’s Students Newsweek, Scott Shay, September 29th 2022.
starts “Anti-Jewish hatred on campus is off to a quick start this academic year. At the University of Michigan, Rutgers University, and American University anti-Jewish hatred manifested itself during the two days of Rosh Hashanah. The assaults ranged from to the distribution of hate packages to pelting Jewish fraternities with eggs to painting swastikas.”
– UVM faculty union: United Academics condemns antisemitism in all its forms VT Digger, commentary from United Academics Union submitted by Eleanor Miller, president of the faculty union. Oct 12 2022.
– Israel lobby fabricates anti-Semitism crisis at Berkeley The Electronic Intifada, by Nora Barrows-Friedman. 16-Oct-2022.
– Jules Older: Slogging through bigotry — an open letter to UVM VT Digger Oct-14-2022.
Antisemitism – Various Definitions
– Intenational Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) ‘Definition’ (pay attention to examples).
– The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism and why people are fighting over it, explained. Jewish Telegraphic Agency, by Ben Sales, January 15, 2021.
– The Jerusalem Declaration On Antisemitism
– A Palestinian civil society critique of the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism March 25, 2021. Palestinian BDS National Committee.
– The Politics of a Definition: How the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism Is Being Misrepresented Jamie Stern-Weiner, PhD candidate, Wolfson College, University of Oxford.
– U.S. State Dept. Doubles Down on Embrace of IHRA Antisemitism Definition Haaretz, by Ben Samuels, Jun 25, 2021.
– How anti-Semitism smears impact Palestine activists. Nora Barrows-Friedman. The Electronic Intifada Podcast. 13-Oct-2022.
– University of Aberdeen votes against using IHRA definition of anti-Semitism. The National Scot. By Billy Briggs, 9th October 2022.
– American Association of University Professors Legislative Threats to Academic Freedom: Redefinitions of Antisemitism and Racism. PDF Version Here
– Letter to Co-Sponsors of Proposed American Bar Association Resolution 514 on Antisemitism. January 18th 2023.
– Letter from Palestine Legal and Center for Constitutional Rights to Co-Sponsors of Proposed ABA Resolution 514 on Antisemitism , “Re: Opposing Reference to IHRA in Proposed ABA Resolution 514” January 20, 2023
Includes an Appendix: IHRA Definition in Action – Case Examples with 15 cases of harassment of students and professors at US universities.
Anti-Semitism and the Department of Education
– Combating Discrimination Against Jewish Students U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights.
– Questions and Answers on Executive Order 13899 (Combating Anti-Semitism) United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights – Enforcement of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
– “US Dept of Education rebuffs Israel lobby demands” Electronic Intifada. by Nora Barrows-Friedman, 16th January 2023.
– Amnesty International about the Crime of Apartheid
– This is Apartheid B’Tselem. The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories.
– Israel Cannot Rebut Apartheid Vijay Prashad, in Consortium News, June 30, 2023.
A Commentary in the Digger by VTJP people here
Anthony Apodaca: Why support boycott and sanctions for Ukraine, but not Palestine?
On Land Day, March 30th 2022,Vermonters for Justice in Palestine hosted a special presentation by Alison Weir
“The world’s longest occupation: Palestine”
Recording can be viewed here
Land Day commemorates the events of March 30, 1976, when a general strike took place in response to the Israeli government’s announcement of a plan to expropriate lands in the Galilee for official use. Protests took place throughout the Arab settlements in Israel, Gaza Strip, West Bank, and refugee camps for Palestinians in Lebanon. The riots were suppressed by the Israeli Defense Forces and Police. Six Arab citizens were killed, and about 100 were injured.
Alison Weir guided us through the history of the “Longest Occupation”. Palestine has been occupied since Roman days at least, and Palestinian people have always resisted. Alison saw that resistance first-hand by traveling alone throughout the West Bank and Gaza as a freelance journalist at the height of the Second Intifada. Since then she has committed her life and energies to showing Americans how we have been complicit in the invasion, occupation, and colonial settlement of Palestinian land, and more importantly the oppression, yes, and killing of Palestinian people.
In the recording, there are three videos (from Alison Weir’s Youtube channel). The recording was not able to capture the videos properly (sound OK, but video doesn’t ‘flow’ properly)
So those three videos can be viewed at these links:
Video 3 (You have to confirm your age for this one)
Materials from If Americans Knew
The YouTube Channel
YouTube: How Pro-Israel Neocons Pushed Iraq War (Alison Weir)
Youtube: Pro-Israel officials in the U.S. government pushed war against Iraq – Dahlia Wasfi
Book: The Road to Iraq: The Making of a Neoconservative War
Book: The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel
Article: About US interests, and the Israel Lobby Organizations.
Article: Israel loyalists embedded in U.S. government pushed U.S. into Iraq War
Article: Israel escalates efforts to get US to attack Iran, as it did Iraq
Article: Pentagon officer described how Israelists manufactured anti-Iraq disinfo that led to war
Open Letter to Burlington Mayor, City Councilors, and Burlington Rabbis
In September 2021, VTJP and seventeen other organizational sponsors brought a Resolution in solidarity with the Palestinian people to the Burlington City Council – and they held a hearing on September 13th 2021. Opponents of the the Resolution mounted a fierce opposition fueled by an article by four Burlington rabbis in the Vermont Digger. The Rabbis’ position was echoed in some respects by Mayor Miro Weinberger. This letter
addressed to Mayor Weinberger, the twelve City Councilors and the Rabbis addresses the diversionary issues raised by the opponents of the Resolution.
The resolution was withdrawn by the Councilors, apparently the result of public and private emotional response and harassment by supporters of Israeli policies, and diversionary accusations of divisiveness by Mayor Weinberger, and rabbis from Vermont and elsewhere. AT the hearing opponents attacked the resolution using every justification possible to oppose BDS, including arguments evoking the horror of the Holocaust, antisemitism, and blanket condemnation of Palestinian missiles launched by Hamas, largely in self-defense. It is deeply disturbing to see the history of antisemitism in Europe used by the rabbis as justification for their opposition to BDS, and in support of Jews inflicting violence and terror on Palestinians.
44th UN-declared “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” November 29th 2021
Reading a letter
addressed to Vermont’s Senators and Congressman to recognize the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People and to demand an end to US military funding for dispossession, oppression and killing of Palestinian people. The letter provides several ways that the money could be used instead to help Vermonters by funding 76 elementary school teachers, or 4,085 people receiving food assistance, or 1,057 students receiving a Pell grant, or 2,593 children receiving healthcare, or 83 clean energy jobs. (From uscpr.org/militaryfunding
).Read the letter to VT Delegation here.
Rural VT Statement of Solidarity with Palestine & Support for Actions by Ben & Jerry’s Inc. October 2021
“Rural Vermont stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people and condemns the Israeli State’s systemic human rights violations, discrimination, and the illegal occupation and blockade of Palestine which has now affected generations of Palestinians and the lands of Palestine.”
Read the full statement here.
Burlington City Council’s Resolution in Solidarity with Palestine
Photo: Luke Awtry for Seven Days
The Burlington City Council held a hearing on September 13th 2021 about the Resolution in solidarity with the Palestinian people.
Vermonters for Justice in Palestine (VTJP) and seventeen other organizational sponsors brought the Resolution proposal to Burlington City Council and it was approved by the Racial Equity Committee.
Read more here
July 19th 2021 – Ben & Jerry’s announce that they will end sales of their ice cream in illegal settlements, and and terminate the contract with their license holder when it expires in 2022!
VTJP statement about the July 19th 2021 announcement from Ben & Jerry’s here
Combined Statement (August 12th, 2021) “Where We Stand on Ben & Jerry’s” by Adalah Justice Project, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, Movement for Black Lives (M4BL), Vermonters for Justice in Palestine, Palestine Legal, American Friends Service Committee, BDS Movement, Jewish Voice for Peace.
Official Statements and Media Coverage Links
(Work in Progress) here
Our Statement here
about vile charges of anti-Semitism and death threats against Anuradha Mittal, chair of Ben & Jerry’s Independent Board of Directors.
And can’t they do better than this?
Extremist Zionists make wild accusations of anti-Semitism and terrorism, instead of confronting the real issues: Samples: here and here and here
Frequently asked Questions here
Ben & Jerry’s has been under Renewed Pressure
to Stop Doing Business in Palestine/Israel
An Instagram posting by Decolonize Burlington promoting the boycott of Ben & Jerry’s received thousands of ‘likes’, and prompted this coverage in the Burlington Free Press.
A new Press Release by VTJP about Ben & Jerry’s complicity in Israeli Apartheid sent to local and national news outlets.
In response to a new Petition drive about Ben & Jerry’s business in Palestine/Israel 614 people have sent emails to CEO Matthew McCarthy, and Global Social Mission Officer Dave Rapaport, and 204 people signed at the Rally/March in Burlington, May 15th 2021. See the letter to Ben & Jerry’s here.
Rally and March for Palestine Nakba Day May 15th, 2021
As the March passed Ben & Jerry’s, people stopped and chanted “Shame on You!” because of their ice cream business in Palestine/Israel
Speakers at Burlington’s City Hall – representing the participating organizations.
Hundreds of people in Vermont joined the international outcry against the violence in Palestine and Israel, routed in 73 years of oppression, occupation and Apartheid.
The rally/march in Burlington VT started at Battery Park and proceeded to City Hall.
It was an amazing experience – a huge coalition of mostly young people many of whom have experienced discrimination and being marginalized (Women, non-white, immigrants and others).
Wafic Faour – VTJP; Hannah Rose – Decolonize Burlington; Asma Elhuni – RAD; Mark Hage – VTJP; Sara Brooks – VTJP and PSL; Rajni; Amanda Garces – Education Justice Coalition of Vermont; Zanevia Wilcox – The Battery Park movement; Rick (Spontaneous speaker); Mohsen Mahdawi; Dima; Marita Canedo (Migrant justice); Ashley Smith – DSA
Press Release Prior to the event
“Burlington rallies for Palestine” A short report by local media
Vermonters for Justice in Palestine; Decolonize Burlington; Jewish Voice for Peace, Vermont-New Hampshire; Community Voices for Immigrant Rights; Red Banner Anti-Imperialist Collective; Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL); Party of Communists USA; Rise Upper Valley; Education Justice Coalition of Vermont; Vermont Workers’ Center; The Battery Park Movement; Will Miller Social Justice Lecture Series; The Peoples Kitchen; The Center for Grassroots Organizing; VT National Lawyers Guild
US Police train with the Israeli occupation forces
Israeli knee on Palestinian neck
Israeli knee on Palestinian neck
Israeli knee on Palestinian neck
Does this look familiar?
As explained here
about 100 Minnesota law enforcement officers attended a counter-terrorism training conference in Minneapolis put on by the Israeli consulate in Chicago, the FBI and Minnetonka police in 2012.
There they learned the violent techniques that Israeli forces have been seen to use as they terrorize people in the occupied Palestinian territories under the guise of security operations.
A rebuke to the Israeli NE Consulate
Migrant Justice responded Dec 7, 2020 to Israel in Boston when they tried to create a PR event by offering Migrant Justice free hand sanitizers to “help communities most impacted by the pandemic.” Migrant Justice wrote: “If the Israeli government were sincere in that goal it would begin in Gaza, where cases had doubled in the last two weeks while the population suffers from blockade-imposed shortages of ventilators, PPE, and medicine.”
See Migrant Justice email to the Israeli Consulate:
Watch the documentary film “The Occupation of the American Mind”
The documentary film “The Occupation of the American Mind” can now be watched for free, via the link here. The link offers shorter, abridged versions of the film as alternatives, but the full 84-minute film is considered a MUST VIEW.
The film is narrated by Roger Waters and includes interviews with Phyllis Bennis, Noam Chomsky, Amira Hass, Rashid Khalidi, Youssef Munayyer, Henry Siegman and Stephen Walt.
More information: https://www.occupationmovie.org/
Recordings of Talks/Discussions organized by VTJP and JVP (VT-NH)
Through the Wall
View the recording of the online discussion held on Sunday, March 21,2021 with film director Anne Macksoud, Rabbi Dov Taylor, who is featured in the film and Moshen Mehdawi, a young Palestinian who grew up in the West Bank, now living in Vermont.
Talk by Rashid Khalidi and and subsequent discussion.
Professor Khalidi discussed the history of British and American initiatives to transform Palestine into a Jewish State and his most recent book, The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917- 2017 (2020).Rashid Khalidi is the Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University, the author of many books, and an esteemed scholar and activist. He was President of the Middle East Studies Association, and an advisor to the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid and Washington Arab-Israeli peace negotiations from October 1991 until June 1993.
What’s Happening? (Full Reports here)
Ben & Jerry’s in Israel implicated in Human Rights Abuses
They sell their ice cream through Shufersal supermarkets “that profit from Israel’s illegal settlement activity”
(From UN Human Rights Commission that reported on 112 major companies identified as operating in Israeli settlements in ways that violate human rights.)
Coalition Meeting with Senator Bernie Sanders’ Staff
A local coalition of VT/NH JVP Chapter, VTJP and others met with Senator Bernie Sander’s staff at his Burlington office on January 17, 2020. They thanked the Senator for supporting Palestinian rights in Gaza and the occupied territories and presented requests Read More.
VTJP and Migrant Justice walked together in Montpelier, July 3rd 2019.
Our Declaration was for hope and freedom, human rights and No Walls. The enthusiastic reception by the crowds lining the parade route was inspiring! Read More.
VTJP helps prevent Deadly Exchange training of VT Police
After a coordinated campaign with the JVP organization Deadly Exchange VT State Police canceling a trip to Israel to learn “counter-terrorism tactics”. Read More.
Palestinian flag flies at University of Vermont
On the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, UVM SJP raised the Palestinian flag outside the Student Center and held a candlelight vigil in solidarity with Palestine. Read More.
A remarkable video giving a voice to Palestinian people by Vermont’s own Bernie.
While Israel’s narrative dominates Congress, the White House and the media, Bernie stated: “The voices of the Palestinians are rarely heard. “ Read More.
The Short Life of Razan Al-Najjar, Paramedic: Human Shield or Human Being?
Razan al-Najjar, 21 was killed June 1st 2018 at the Gaza fence by Israeli sniper fire. She was clearly identified as a medic by her white uniform with a red cross. Read More.
Still selling in illegal settlements
In December 2017 these containers of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream were photographed by an Israeli citizen at the Shufersal Store at Moshe Dayan Street in the illegal settlement of Pisgat Zeev.
What we do
Boycott companies that are complicit in the occupation of Palestine
Collaborate with other Local and National Groups
See the archive of videos we’ve produced
Video of Public Events We’ve Organized
Action and Events
Get Ready for Free Cone Day April 2020
Ice Cream is Free – But Palestinian People are not!
100 years after the Balfour Declaration, the Zionist threat to Palestinians continues
Defend Free Speech
Your right to defend Palestinian Rights
Peace, love & occupation don’t mix.
Ben & Jerry’s wanted to stop sales in illegal settlements – Unilever considered that antisemitic!
Cantastoria performed on Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry’s scoop shop: Burlington, VT
Palestinian Violin Project
Featuring the violin made by Shehada Shalalda at his workshop in Ramallah Tahta.
Get Involved & Stay Informed
Come to the Meetings
Peace and Justice Center, 239 S. Union Street, Suite 3, Burlington, VT, 05401
Talk to people!
What if Vermont were Conquered, Occupied and Colonized by Israel?
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