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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 on Monday September 13th 2021

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.
Livestream recording of the Resolution hearing, September 13th – on YouTube (5 hours!)
ο Opponents of the the Resolution mounted a fierce opposition fueled by an article from four Burlington Rabbis in the Vermont Digger, followed by a here (See excellent response by Marc Estrin: here ) and by Ashley Smith in the VT Digger. here
ο and the Rabbi’s position echoed in some respects by Mayor Miro Weinberger:here

Media Reports

ο Grace Elletson stayed up until 2:20 am to write a report: here
She is VTDigger’s government accountability reporter, covering politics, state agencies and the Legislature.
ο City Council Resolution to Support BDS Movement Fails in Burlington, VT Counterpunch, September 20, 2021 by Ron Jacobs
ο By Rachel Mann Published: Sep. 14, 2021 WCAX TV: Following nearly five hours of discussion, Burlington City councilors voted to withdraw a pro-Palestinian resolution early Tuesday morning. The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Resolution has been in the works since early summer.
ο Burlington Free Press: Burlington City Council withdraws resolution endorsing Israel boycotts
ο Seven Days article posted By Courtney Lamdin on Tue, Sep 14, 2021 – At Heated Meeting, Burlington City Council Withdraws BDS Resolution here
ο Islamic Society of Vermont Statement of Support here
ο Analysis of the Burlington City Resolution offered by Richard Silverstein in his blog Tikun Olam: here
and by Ashley Smith in the VT Digger here
ο Mondoweiss report here
ο AlJazeera report here
ο The Palestinian Struggle in Vermont with Wafic Faour Anthony Apodaca’s AbcCafé

VTJP put forward several points to emphasize when discussing the issues around BDS and justice for Palestinian people.

And Burlington’s Fletcher Free Library hosted a Webinar about the Resolution with panelists Wafic Faour and Ali Dieng.

Opponents of the the Resolution mounted a fierce opposition fueled by an article by four Burlington rabbis in the Vermont Digger, followed by a response by Marc Estrin. The Rabbis’ position was echoed in some respects by Mayor Miro Weinberger.

The Resolution was offered by Councilor Ali Dieng and sponsored by Vermonters for Justice in Palestine, and 18 endorsing organizations.
There were passionate statements for and against at the Council meeting on September 13th and it was eventually withdrawn by Councilor Dieng.
Here is a detailed analysis of the Resolution offered by Richard Silverstein in his blog Tikun Olam.

July 19th 2021 – Ben & Jerry’s announces 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!

Our Statement here about vile charges of anti-Semitism and death threats against Anuradha Mittal, chair of Ben & Jerry’s Independent Board of Directors.

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
VTJP statement about the July 19th 2021 announcement from Ben & Jerry’s

Official Statements and Media Coverage Links
(Work in Progress) here

Can’t they do better than this? Extremist Zionists make wild accusations of anti-Semitism and terrorism, instead of confronting the real issues: A sampling:
Anti-Semite of the Week: Anuradha Mittal – The Bigot Behind Ben & Jerry’s Boycott here
Exposing Anuradha Mittal, the Jew-Hater Who Pushed Ben & Jerry’s to Boycott Israel here
Meet Ben & Jerry’s Board Chair: Vicious Jew-Hater Who Has Published Defenses of Islamic Terrorist Groups Hezbollah, Hamas 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 join 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).
Speakers included:
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

Co-Sponsors:
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

 

Does this look familiar?

 

As explained here and 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.

Recordings of Talks/Discussions organized by VTJP and JVP (VT-NH)

 

More information here

 

ThruWall
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.

RashidKhalidi
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.

 

Occupation American MindAlso, 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/

 

 

In 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:

 

No Way

No Way to Treat a Child (With a Vermont Connection)

 


What’s Happening? (Full Reports here)

OHRC

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.)
Read More.

 

Meeting

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.

 

Indep Day

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.

 

Deadly Ex

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.

 


UVM SJP Flag

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.

 


GazaVoices

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.

 


Razan

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.

 


Shufersal December 2107

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.
Read More

 


What we do


BDS

Boycott

Boycott companies that are complicit in the occupation of Palestine


UVM SJP

Collaborate with other Local and National Groups

 


Salaam Shalom

Salaam/Shalom

See the archive of videos we’ve produced

 


Speaker

Video of Public Events We’ve Organized

 

 

Action and Events


Two Lines

Get Ready for Free Cone Day April 2020

Ice Cream is Free – But Palestinian People are not!

 


VT Poster

balfour’s legacy

100 years after the Balfour Declaration, the Zionist threat to Palestinians continues

 


Defend BDS

Defend Free Speech

Your right to defend Palestinian Rights

 


Apartheid Week

Join Israeli Apartheid Week Actions

On Facebook

 



Boycott Ben & Jerry's

Peace, love & occupation don’t mix.

Boycott of Ben & Jerry’s!

 

 

Sponsored Art Projects

NajawaNajawa Street Art

Darwish
Think of Others
ArtHop 2017
Art Hop 2017

 


Cantastoria

Cantastoria

Cantastoria performed on Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry’s scoop shop: Burlington, VT

 


Violin Shop

Palestinian Violin Project

Featuring the violin made by Shehada Shalalda at his workshop in Ramallah Tahta.

 

 

Get Involved & Stay Informed


Location of Peace and Justice Center

Come to the Meetings

Peace and Justice Center, Lake Street, Burlington VT

 


What If Israel Occupied VT

Talk to people!

What if Vermont were Conquered, Occupied and Colonized by Israel?

 


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