ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

January 29, 2009

2009.01.29: Gaza Protest Update

Filed under: Antiwar,International Human Rights,Palestine — nyclaw01 @ 12:17 pm

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Thursday, January 29, 2009 12:17 PM
To: ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members
Subject: Gaza Protest Update

Ansam

Ansam Rahel, 10, displays a head injury she sustained when Israeli troops shelled a U.N. school where she and her family had sought refuge from Gaza fighting in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza strip, Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009. (Associated Press)

Anatomy of a War Crime

Video: Gaza Appeal – Banned By The BBC And SKY
Full version of the DEC aid appeal for Gaza which the BBC and Sky broadcasting channels have both refused to air. Many people have accused the BBC of “capitulating” to the Israel lobby. Go to http://www.dec.org.uk to make a donation.

Video: Israeli Army Chief Rabbi Encouraged War Crimes
Three-minute video: The Israeli army’s chief rabbi has been critcised over a controversial booklet distributed to soldiers before the war on Gaza suggesting that they can ignore the rules of war concerning civilians.

Israeli Human Rights Activists: Arrest Olmert, Livni, and Barak for War Crimes
The site, http://www.wanted.org.il, includes “arrest orders,” complete with pictures and personal details, for Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert,Livni, Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai, Public Security Minister Avi Dichter, National Infrastructure Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi and his two predecessors, Dan Halutz and Moshe Ya’alon, former air force commander Eliezer Shkedy and others.
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1057485.html

Israel Wanted a Humanitarian Crisis
Politicians, diplomats and journalists are by and large shying away from the obvious, namely that Israel has been deliberately targeting Palestinian civilians and the very infrastructure of normal life, in order to – in the best colonial style – teach the natives a lesson.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jan/20/gaza-israelandthepalestinians

Israel Has Violated New Ceasefire 7 Times
US media misreports latest Gaza violence.
http://www.ifamericansknew.org/cur_sit/cfv.html

Video: CBS 60 Minutes
Report aired Sunday, about Palestinian life under Zionism, occupation and apartheid.

Protest

International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network: Holocaust Remembrance Day 2009
On January 27th, honoring the memory of our dead is for us inseparable from honoring more than sixty years of Palestinian survival and resistance.
http://www.ijsn.net/282/

Sharpeville 1960, Gaza 2009
Gaza 2009, like Sharpeville 1960, cannot be ignored: it demands a response from all who believe in a common humanity. Now is the time to boycott the apartheid Israeli state, to divest and to impose sanctions against it. This is the only way to ensure the creation of a secular, democratic state for all in historic Palestine.
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10232.shtml

Tonight (Thursday, 6 p.m.): Protest Against AIPAC Dinner
At $1,500-a-plate minimum, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee continues to give monetary and political support to Israeli and U.S. government attacks on the Palestinian people. Marriott Marquis Hotel, Broadway between 45th and 46th, 1/2/3/7/N/B/D/Q/R/W/S to 42nd St.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NYCLAWOrganizers/message/1870
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LaborAgainstWar/message/3230

——————————————————————————–
Union Free Speech Notice
Collective Bargaining Agreement, §§ 3.5 (“The expression of personal religious, political, social or economic beliefs of each and every attorney is fully guaranteed and will never constitute grounds for discharge or relief from an individual assignment unless, in either instance, it can be demonstrated that such expression has, or will, directly interfere(d) with, and detract from, representation of a Society client so as to render said representation less than at the highest level of competence and effectiveness.”) and 1.5 (“The Union will have reasonable use of the Society’s internal communication mechanisms.”).

January 26, 2009

2009.01.26: Two important (and exciting) labor solidarity events next Saturday!

Filed under: Labor Solidarity — nyclaw01 @ 1:26 pm

From: Herschel, Lucy
Sent: Monday, January 26, 2009 1:26 PM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Two important (and exciting) labor solidarity events next Saturday!

Announcements below for events next Saturday, Jan 31:

1) support Stella D’Oro Workers on strike since August!  March & Rally, 11a.m. from 237 & Broadway

2) community forum with workers from the Republic Windows and Door Factory who occupied their factory in December to win the severance pay and benefits due to them by federal law! 3-5pm at Judson Memorial Church

With the growing economic crisis, union solidarity is going to be more important that ever.  Both of these struggles are inspiring examples of workplace solidarity and militancy.  I think we’re going to be seeing a lot more of this kind of thing, but it’s going to take support and organizing to make them successful and for working people to defend ourselves in this economy.

Let me know if you’re interested in meeting up at either of these events.

 

 ****************************

[Please forward this email announcement far and wide for this important solidarity event next weekend]

Support the Stella D’Oro Workers
Company attempts to destroy their union

The 135 workers of Stella D’Oro, the biscuit producers, most of whom are Latina women and immigrants
from Asia and Africa are confronting a cold winter on the streets.  They have been on strike since August
13, 2008. The company, Brynwood Partners, has refused to negotiate and is demanding that the workers
return to work without a contract in an attempt to destroy their union.

The workers have gone on strike because the company wants to:

  •  Slash wages by as much as 25%
  •  Make health insurance unaffordable by imposing crushing premiums
  •  Eliminate holidays, vacations, sick pay & current pension
  •  Eliminate extra pay for working Saturdays


JOIN THE MARCH DOWN BROADWAY!   

JAN. 31 * 11AM * 237 St & Bway
 
RALLY *1PM *
Target Shopping Ctr. 225 St.  & Major Deegan
TELL YOUR GROCERS AND LOCAL STORES:
DON’T STOCK STELLA D’ORO PRODUCTS!
BOYCOTT STELLA D’ORO PRODUCTS

The strikers are represented by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers
International Union (BCTGM) Local 50.  They are on the picket line everyday!
Place: In front of Stella D’Oro plant on 237th Street & Broadway (#1 train to 238th St)

PRODUCED BY:  Committee in Support of the Stella D’Oro Strikers   WEBSITE:  www.stelladorostrik e2008.com
YOUTUBE VIDEO:  http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=lQgv3n- A5Cs   MORE  INFORMATION:  vze2jmhr@verizon. net
917-497-4231         PO Box 20068; NYC 10025

***************************************

Community Forum
Join Sit-in Strikers from Republic Windows & Doors in Chicago
Saturday, January 31 from 3:00 – 5:00 pm

Judson Memorial Church Assembly Hall [directions at bottom -t.]
55 Washington Sq South, New York

In December, 260 workers at Republic Windows occupied their plant for six days–a sit-in strike launched in response to the closing of their plant with only 3 days notice. Jobs with Justice coalitions along with other community, faith and labor activists from across the country mobilized in support of these workers, helping them win a settlement from Bank of America and Republic owners, including severance pay and compensation for unpaid earnings. As the economic crisis deepens, millions of people face jobs loss and foreclosures. Join us in celebrating the successful resistance at Republic, hear from the workers who made it happen, and help us launch a broader campaign for economic recovery that puts Main Street before Wall Street.

Sponsored by UE Local 1110, Jobs with Justice, Domestic Workers United, The Brecht Forum, Teamsters Local 805, Labor Notes, the Professional Staff Congress/ CUNY, the Cornell Labor Programs and New York City Central Labor Council. Co-sponsor list in formation. For more information or to co-sponsor,
email scott {AT} nyjwj.org or call (212) 701-9473.
~~

[Directions added for Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South btw. Thompson and Sullivan Streets.  Office & many events are at the 239 Thompson Street entrance around corner.
= > TRAINS: A, B, C, D, E, F, V to West 4th Street station; R or weekday W or weekend “N local” to 8th Street-NYU; #1 to Christopher Street-Sheridan Square & walk/bike 0.4 mi. east; #6 to Bleecker St. & walk/bike 0.4 mi. NW; PATH train to 9 St. (at 6th Av. & walk 0.4 mi. SE).
= > BUS: M1 via Park Av. So. & Broadway; M5 via 5th Av. & Broadway; M6 via Broadway; M8 via 8th & 9th Sts.; M21 via Ave. C & Houston.
= > NYC suggests BIKING West Broadway/LaGuardia Pl, Broadway, Lafayette, Houston Street, Waverly Place & 9th Street, Hudson River Greenway to Houston St. exit or W. 10th St. exit; East River path to Houston St. exit or W. 10th St. exit.

January 20, 2009

2009.01.20: RE: MLK Jr.was famously Zionist and a strong supporter of Israel

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2009 2:46 PM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: RE: MLK Jr.was famously Zionist and a strong supporter of Israel

For the reasons below, I agree with [K.].

Dr. King’s Principles

Dr. King was an outspoken opponent of war, racism and injustice.

Although a pacifist, he was not neutral between the oppressed and their oppressors, and was an early supporter of the boycott against apartheid South Africa.[1]

Moreover, he refused to blame the victims, explaining during the Vietnam war, “I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today, my own government.”[2]

The day before he was assassinated, he reaffirmed his support for those fighting for their freedom around the world: “The masses of people are rising up. And wherever they are assembled today, whether they are in Johannesburg, South Africa; or Memphis, Tennessee, the cry is always the same: ‘We want to be free.'”[3]

Changing Perceptions of Zionism

Like many of his generation, Dr. King well knew that “Manifest Destiny” meant genocide against Native Americans, the “White Man’s Burden” meant slavery, segregation and colonialism, “Lebensraum” meant extermination of Jews and Slavs; Apartheid meant racist minority rule in South Africa, and the “Free World” meant U.S. genocide in Vietnam.

But in 1968, few in this country understood what “Zionism” really meant for the Palestinians.

The Zionist lobby exploited past Jewish oppression in Europe to foster the false impression that Israel was the underdog, an embattled outpost of enlightenment, a “people without a land for a land without a people.” In 1969, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meier declared that “there is no such thing as the Palestinian people.”[4]

Only after decades of Palestinian resistance — and new generations of Israeli historians — has it become more widely known that:

–Jews and Arabs coexisted in Palestine until, in the late 19th Century, Zionist colonists began to seek dispossession of the Palestinians.

–Israel was founded, with collusion of the colonial powers, through the Nakba (Catastrophe) of 1947-1948, a campaign of state terror in which Zionists killed 13,000 Palestinians, erased 531 towns and villages, eliminated 11 urban neighborhoods, and expelled more than 750,000 (85 percent) from 78 percent of their country.

–Israel soon became the closet ally of apartheid South Africa.

–In 1967, Israel falsely claimed “self-defense” to seize the remaining 22 percent of Palestine — including East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza — which, in violation of UN resolutions, remain under Israeli military rule to this day.

–At least 70 percent of the 10 million Palestinians are refugees — the largest such population in the world, and that despite other UN resolutions, Israel vows they may never return.

–The vast majority of Gaza’s population consists of refugees ethnically cleansed by Israel in 1948 and 1967.

–In 1982, Israel slaughtered thousands Palestinian refugees and Lebanese.

–Palestinians who managed to remain within the 1948 areas — today, 1.4 million (or 20 percent of the population in Israel) — remain permanently separated from their families in exile, subject to more than 20 discriminatory laws, treated as a “demographic threat,” and increasingly threatened with mass expulsion.

–In East Jerusalem and the West Bank, 140 illegal, ever-expanding Jewish-only settlements, road systems and pogroms serve to dominate the water resources and control 40 percent of the land.

–Palestinians in those areas today are confined, separated, denied medical treatment, and degraded by an 8-meter-high separation wall, pass laws, curfews and 600 military checkpoints.

–Israel is junior partner in U.S. wars of conquest in Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran.

Gaza Now

If Dr. King — with his profound commitment to the oppressed — had known these things, would he still call Israel a “marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy”?

Or would he recognize that the Palestinians are in bondage, and Israel their Pharaoh? That the Palestinians are David, and Israel — armed by the U.S. — their Goliath?

About Gaza, wouldn’t Dr. King point out that since 2006, Israel and the U.S. have carried out a collective punishment campaign to overthrow the democratically-elected Hamas government.

Wouldn’t he charge that this had turned Gaza into the world’s concentration camp, assassinating activists, and cutting-off essential goods and services to 1.5 million people?

Wouldn’t he show that, during their attacks last year, Israeli authorities threatened Gaza with a “greater Shoah” (Hebrew for Holocaust)?[5]

Wouldn’t he explain that it was Israel which, on November 5, violated the subsequent truce?[6]

Wouldn’t he condemn Israeli attacks that have inflicted thousands of Palestinian casualties in Gaza — and the U.S. for supplying the F-16s, Apache helicopter gunships, artillery, tanks and white phosphorous that made them possible?

Despite his pacifism, wouldn’t he recognize that the Palestinian cause resembles anti-colonial movements of his time in Algeria, South Africa, or Vietnam?

Wouldn’t he explain that, lacking the sophisticated U.S. arms provided to Israel, Palestinians have responded with what weapons they have, against what targets they can reach?

Wouldn’t he demand an immediate end to the siege on Gaza?

Wouldn’t he call for an end to Israeli military occupation?

Wouldn’t he support the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes?

Wouldn’t he embrace a truly democratic state throughout historic Palestine with equal rights for all?

Now, more than ever, wouldn’t join veterans of the South African freedom movement in supporting the nonviolent campaign for Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment against Israel?[7]

Notes

1. Nieuwhof, The legacy of Martin Luther King: Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, Electronic Intifada, March 25, 2007, http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article6723.shtml.

2. King, Beyond Vietnam, April 4, 1967, http://www.aavw.org/special_features/speeches_speech_king01.html.

3. King, I’ve Been To The Mountain Top, April 3, 1968, http://www.drmartinlutherkingjr.com/ivebeentothemountaintop.htm.

4. The wandering Palestinian, The Economist, May 8, 2008, http://www.economist.com/world/mideast-africa/displaystory.cfm?story_id=11332217.

5. Lefkovits, ‘Shoah’ remark sparks uproar, Jerusalem Post, March 3, 2008, http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1204214002068&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull.

6. CNN, December 31, 2008, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDBiycEz12s&feature=related; Rockets fired after Gaza clashes, BBC, November 5, 2008, http://news.bbc.co.uk2/hi/middle_east/7709603.stm.

7. Prominent South Africans, including Ronnie Kasrils, Steven Friedman, Eddie Makue, Condemn the Gaza Massacre MRZine, December 27, 2008, http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/psc271208.html; Paulson, Tutu urges Jews to challenge oppression of Palestinians, Boston Globe, October 28, 2007, http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/10/28/tutu_urges_jews_to_challenge_oppression_of_palestinians/.

————

More Jewish Voices We Haven’t Heard

David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s First Prime Minister
“If I were an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. . . . There has been anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that?”
Ze’ev Derori, Israel’s Reprisal Policy, 1953-1956 (New York: Routledge, 2005), 47.

Gerald Kaufman, Jewish Member of Parliament in the UK
“My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town. . . . A German soldier shot her dead in her bed. My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza.”
http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/VideoPlayer.aspx?meetingId=3131&st=15:04:23.

Israeli Citizens Calling upon International Community to Stop Israel
Please find enclosed a petition signed by about 500 Israeli citizens, calling for urgent international intervention in order to stop Israel from continuing the war it has waged against the Palestinian people in Gaza.
http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/citizens100109.html

Avnery, The Blood-Stained Monster Enters Gaza
From the point of view of the population, the Hamas fighters are not a foreign body, but the sons of every family in the Strip and the other Palestinian regions. They do not “hide behind the population”, the population views them as their only defenders.
http://counterpunch.org/avnery01122009.html

Israeli rights groups blast army over Gaza bloodshed
“The level of harm to the civilian population is unprecedented,” they wrote, accusing troops of “making wanton use of lethal force which has to date caused the deaths of hundreds of uninvolved civilians. . . . This kind of fighting constitutes a blatant violation of the laws of warfare and raises the suspicion . . . of the commission of war crimes,” it said, describing the campaign as “a clear and present danger to the lives and well-being of tens of thousands of civilians.”
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090114/wl_mideast_afp/mideastconflictgazaisraelrights

British Jews Call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel
We the undersigned are all of Jewish origin. When we see the dead and bloodied bodies of young children, the cutting off of water, electricity and food, we are reminded of the siege of the Warsaw Ghetto.
http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/letter140109.html

Amira Hass, History did not begin with the Qassams
The siege of Gaza did not begin when Hamas seized control of the Strip’s security organs, or when Gilad Shalit was taken captive, or when Hamas was elected in democratic elections. The siege began in 1991 – before the suicide bombings. And since then, it has only become more sophisticated, reaching its peak in 2005.
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1055241.html

Leading Israeli Scholar Avi Shlaim: Israel Committing “State Terror” in Gaza Attack, Preventing Peace
Israel was doubly guilty of sabotaging the ceasefire, A, by launching a military attack, and B, by maintaining its very cruel siege of the people of Gaza.
http://www.democracynow.org/2009/1/14/leading_israeli_scholar_avi_shlaim_israelTens of Thousands Demonstrate Globally Against Israeli Actions,

Jewish Women Among Those Leading Protests
And we have to do it as Jews, because the social justice thread of our tradition, it says that this is a violation. We are the people who jumped out of the windows at the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, and we’re the ones who organized the unions, and we’re the ones who went to Spain to fight and in the Second World War. And if anything we have learned, you cannot stand by and do nothing. So, we as Jews have to say to this country that claims to represent us, “Stop. Stop. This is a humanitarian disaster.”
http://www.democracynow.org/2009/1/12/tens_of_thousands_demonstrate_globally_against

Former Amb. Martin Indyk vs. Author Norman Finkelstein: A Debate on Israel’s Assault on Gaza and the US Role in the Conflict
The record is clear: Israel broke the ceasefire by going into the Gaza and killing six or seven Palestinian militants. At that point — and now I’m quoting the official Israeli website — Hamas retaliated or, in retaliation for the Israeli attack, then launched the missiles.
http://www.democracynow.org/2009/1/8/former_amb_martin_indyk_vs_author

Klein, Israel: Boycott, Divest, Sanction
Every day that Israel pounds Gaza brings more converts to the BDS cause, and talk of cease-fires is doing little to slow the momentum. Support is even emerging among Israeli Jews.
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090126/klein?rel=hpbox

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From: [K.]
Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2009 10:15 AM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: RE: MLK Jr.was famously Zionist and a strong supporter of Israel

What are you talking about? The picture of MLK is placed above a poets fundraiser and a vigil/march for justice. Where are you getting that this is somehow a support for Hamas? MLK was “famously zionist”? Martin Luther King Jr. was famously peaceful and supportive of oppressed, marginalized, and disenfranchised people. Period. AND he absolutely believed in and practiced civil disobediance. Please do not be so presumptious as to believe that you know what MLK would say or think about what is happening today. MLK was a critical and nuanced thinker, and I am sure that there is nothing that you could come up with that would be close to the advice and thoughts he would have for us all if he were still alive. Clearly you have a limited knowledge of the struggle and FIGHT for African Americans rights in this country and how Dr. King navigated and worked with other black movements and organizations that employed very different tactics than his own.

On the eve. of MLK day and the historic inaguaration of the first black president, you should be careful about impulsively whipping out an email and annoiting yourself spokeman for the politics of the most historically significant and revered figure for us black folks. You have the right to say what you want,

——————————————————————————–
From: R.
Sent: Friday, January 16, 2009 4:54 PM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: MLK Jr.was famously Zionist and a strong supporter of Israel
MLK, Jr. would have been sickened by Hamas and what it stands for. See the clips below re MLK and a second one re how Jewish children are victims of Hamas, and why Israel must defend itself. Using King’s image to represent one side of this war, and to demonize Israel is exploitive and morally wrong, not to mention factually incorrect. At best, one could cite him for non-violence practice that both sides should consider, but suggesting he would be only anti-Israel and not anti-Hamas is intellectually bankrupt and unworthy of any modest skimming of King’s legacy. What’s next? Will this emailing lawyer next week deny the Holocaust occurred, and cite MLK as the authority? There is no place for this garbage at our work place, or anyplace where honesty and integrity are valued.

——————————————————————————–
From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Friday, January 16, 2009 2:55 PM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Gaza Protest Update

Palestinian Casualty Count (Since December 27)
>5,000 (including >300 dead children)

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Buttons
To purchase ($2/ea.), reply to this email.

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Growing U.S. Jewish Protest of Israeli Massacres
NYC Press Conference (video): http://laborforpalestine.wordpress.com/2009/01/05/nyc-jewish-press-conference-against-israeli-massacres/
LA Consulate (video): http://www.jewishjournal.com/articles/item/protesters_block_entrances_to_israeli_consulate_20090114/
SF Consulate (video): http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news%2Flocal%2Fsan_francisco&id=6606245
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Petition to Barack Obama, AFL-CIO and Change to Win
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/LaborforPalestine1/

Final LAS Union Members’ Statement (44 Signers)
http://laborforpalestine.wordpress.com/2009/01/13/legal-aid-nyc-union-members-stop-israel%e2%80%99s-massacre-in-gaza-and-end-the-siege-now/
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Upcoming Protest Schedule

Tonight, 7 p.m.
Poets For Gaza Fundraiser
Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square Park, S.

Monday, January 19, 4:30 p.m.
In Honor of Martin Luther King Jr.:
Vigil and March for Justice in Gaza
Rally at Union Square 14th St., March to Washington Square Park
http://www.bsg-ny.com

——————————————————————————–
Union Free Speech Notice
Collective Bargaining Agreement, §§ 3.5 (“The expression of personal religious, political, social or economic beliefs of each and every attorney is fully guaranteed and will never constitute grounds for discharge or relief from an individual assignment unless, in either instance, it can be demonstrated that such expression has, or will, directly interfere(d) with, and detract from, representation of a Society client so as to render said representation less than at the highest level of competence and effectiveness.”) and 1.5 (“The Union will have reasonable use of the Society’s internal communication mechanisms.”).

January 16, 2009

2009.01.16: Gaza Protest Update

Filed under: Antiwar,International Human Rights,Palestine — nyclaw01 @ 2:55 pm

 

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Friday, January 16, 2009 2:55 PM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Gaza Protest Update

Palestinian Casualty Count (Since December 27)
>5,000 (including >300 dead children)

——————————————————————————–

Buttons
To purchase ($2/ea.), reply to this email.

——————————————————————————–

Growing U.S. Jewish Protest of Israeli Massacres
NYC Press Conference (video): http://laborforpalestine.wordpress.com/2009/01/05/nyc-jewish-press-conference-against-israeli-massacres/
LA Consulate (video): http://www.jewishjournal.com/articles/item/protesters_block_entrances_to_israeli_consulate_20090114/
SF Consulate (video): http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news%2Flocal%2Fsan_francisco&id=6606245

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Petition to Barack Obama, AFL-CIO and Change to Win
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/LaborforPalestine1/

Final LAS Union Members’ Statement (44 Signers)
http://laborforpalestine.wordpress.com/2009/01/13/legal-aid-nyc-union-members-stop-israel%e2%80%99s-massacre-in-gaza-and-end-the-siege-now/
——————————————————————————–

Upcoming Protest Schedule

Tonight, 7 p.m.
Poets For Gaza Fundraiser
Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square Park, S.

Monday, January 19, 4:30 p.m.
In Honor of Martin Luther King Jr.:
Vigil and March for Justice in Gaza
Rally at Union Square 14th St., March to Washington Square Park
http://www.bsg-ny.com

——————————————————————————–
Union Free Speech Notice
Collective Bargaining Agreement, §§ 3.5 (“The expression of personal religious, political, social or economic beliefs of each and every attorney is fully guaranteed and will never constitute grounds for discharge or relief from an individual assignment unless, in either instance, it can be demonstrated that such expression has, or will, directly interfere(d) with, and detract from, representation of a Society client so as to render said representation less than at the highest level of competence and effectiveness.”) and 1.5 (“The Union will have reasonable use of the Society’s internal communication mechanisms.”).

January 13, 2009

2009.01.13: Legal Aid NYC Union Members: Stop Israel’s Massacre in Gaza and End the Siege Now

By 44 Union Members at the Legal Aid Society in New York City*

“For the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.” -Martin Luther King Jr., Beyond Vietnam (April 4, 1967)

The undersigned members of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW Local 2325 and 1199SEIU join millions around the world – many of whom are Jewish – to condemn, in the strongest possible terms, Israel’s ongoing massacre of hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza.

Already, the Palestinian death toll is nearly 1000; thousands more have been injured. Under international law, the vast majority are civilians.

Israel’s massacres are carried out with F-16s, Apache helicopters and other advanced U.S. weapons – part of $30 billion in military funding for Israel that will be paid for by our tax dollars over the next ten years.

We cannot turn a blind eye.

We ask all who agree with this statement to participate in upcoming protests.

*Signers (list in formation; affiliations listed for identification only)
–Noha Arafa (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn; ALAA Alt. Vice-President)
–Julie Fry (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn; ALAA Vice-President)
–Michael Letwin (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn; former ALAA Pres.)
–Azalia Torres (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn; former member, ALAA Executive Bd.)
–Bahar Mirhosseini (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
–Mimi Rosenberg (Civil-Brooklyn)
–Patrick Langhenry (Civil-Brooklyn)
–Antonia Codling (Criminal Defense-Bronx; former member, ALAA Executive Bd.)
–Lucy Herschel (Criminal Defense-Queens; 1199 delegate)
–Steve Terry (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
–Rebecca Kurti (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn; 1199 delegate)
–Kate Fitzer (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
–Andrea Ibrahim (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
–Roslyn Morrison (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
–Jamie Kauget (Juvenile Rights-Queens)
–Daniella Korotzer (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn; former member, ALAA Executive Bd.)
–Bharati Narumanchi (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
–Tajuana B. Johnson (Juvenile Rights-Bronx)
–Steven Wasserman (Criminal Defense-Special Litigation; ALAA Executive Bd.)
–Richard Blum (Civil-ELU)
–Laurie Dick (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
–Sigmund Israel (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
–Clarissa M. Gomez (Harlem Community Law Office)
–Mia Eisner-Grynberg (Criminal Defense-Bronx)
–Reda Woodcock (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
–Jessica Goldthwaite (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
–Ellen S. Sacks (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
–Joseph Lavine (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
–Teresa Engst (Civil-HLU)
–Hollis Pfitsch (Civil-ELU)
–Warren Deans (Criminal Defense-Central Admin.)
–Susan Olivia Morris (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn; ALAA Executive Bd.)
–Janet Forrester (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
–Aida Ferrer Leisenring (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
–Claire Nicolay (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
–Marisa Benton (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
–Helene Busby (Harlem Community Law Office; former ALAA Vice-President)
–Eric Meggett (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
–Ivan Pantoja (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn; ALAA Executive Bd.)
–Aisha Mohamedi Richard (Criminal Defense-Queens; ALAA Alt. Vice-President)
–Lisa Pitts (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
–Magda Rosa-Rios (Harlem Community Law Office; Attorneys of Color Rep. to ALAA Executive Bd.)
–Lisa Edwards (Harlem Community Law Office; former member, ALAA Executive Bd.)
–Florence Morgan (Criminal Defense-Queens)

January 12, 2009

2009.01.12: Defend Gaza Marchers Attacked by NYPD on Sunday

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Monday, January 12, 2009 11:54 AM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Defend Gaza Marchers Attacked by NYPD on Sunday

Break the Siege on Gaza Coalition
http://www.bsg-ny.org
info@bsg-ny.org

15,000 March Against Israel’s Crimes in Gaza
Police provoke and arrest protesters

Urgent: Call the NYPD NOW! Demand the release of all protesters!

NYPD Switchboard:
(646) 610-5000

7th Precinct:
(212) 477-7311
Pack the Court Today!
9 am
100 Centre St. in Manhattan

January 11–Today, more than 15,000 people rallied in Times Square to protest Israel’s ongoing assault against the people of Palestine .  The demonstration stretched from 42nd Street south to 38 Street, along 7th Ave , and was followed by a spirited march past the New York Times building to the Time Warner building on 58th Street where CNN’s New York office is located.

Organizers reported provocative and hostile police behavior throughout the event.   Police massed at the end of the march route began cursing, taunting and attacking protesters.  One uniformed cop was reported as yelling, “Why don’t you all blow yourselves up?”

Eyewitnesses reported that the police used pepper spray in an unprovoked assault on the protesters including teenagers and children as young as ten years old.  Others were pushed and struck by police.

At least 30 people were arrested during the day, and everyone who was arrested was beaten by police, some severely.  Most were arrested while simply trying to leave at the end of the march, when police charged and began arresting and beating people.

One provocateur grabbed a Palestinian flag and began trampling on it.  When onlookers attempted to retrieve the flag, they were attacked and nine were arrested.

Organizers are reporting that the attacks and arrests clearly targeted Arab youth.  Lamis Deek, human rights attorney and co-chair of Al-Awda New York, said, “The systematic pattern of attacks and provocations and the sudden appearance of police amass at the end of the march were clearly a message from City Hall.  This police riot was clearly on orders from Mayor Bloomberg, who just returned from Israel where he cheered on the attacks against the people of Gaza , and who is clearly trying to intimidate the mass protests that have taken place here, and will continue to take place.  But these tactics will not keep us off the streets.  We outnumbered the rally in support of Israel ‘s crimes by a hundred to one.”

***As this is being written, we have received reports that an undetermined number of people, including children, are still being held by the NYPD.  Please call the NYPD and demand the release of all who were arrested at the protest today!

We have been informed that some of those arrested will be arraigned tomorrow [Monday] morning – please pack the court at 100 Centre Street in Manhattan at 9 am!
NYPD Switchboard:
(646) 610-5000

7th Precinct:
(212) 477-7311

January 8, 2009

2009.01.08: RE: photos the media will never show…

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2009 1:25 PM
To: ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members
Subject: RE: photos the media will never show…

What the U.S. and Israeli media won’t show about Gaza: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5wrwZlwAq8
WARNING : This page contains pictures of children killed in Israel’s attack on Gaza
________________________________________
From: [M.]
Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2009 12:56 PM
To: ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members
Subject: RE: photos the media will never show…

With all due respect [H.],
Please check your sources before forwarding emails. The photo credits are not accurate and neither are the captions that accompany them. A quick web search turned up the following:

According to http://www.gettyimages.com,
Photo#6 does NOT depict IDF soldiers taking care of a Palestinian “that was just shooting towards them.” Here is the actual caption:
“Israeli Soldiers Rescue Palestinians Weapons Smugglers From Collapsed Tunnel
RAFAH, GAZA STRIP – NOVEMBER 18: In this photo made available by the IDF, a Palestinian man receives first aid from Israeli army medics after they were rescued by Israeli soldiers from a collapsed weapons smuggling tunnel they were digging November 18, 2004 in the Palestinian town of Rafah in the Gaza Strip. The three, all from the same family, were trapped in the rubble after the tunnel collapsed as a result of heavy rain in the area overnight, and were arrested by the Israeli army after their rescue. (Photo by Tal Naveh/IDF via Getty Images)”
http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/51762105/Getty-Images-News?axd=DetailPaging.Generic|1&axs=0|77620091%2c77620094%2c77620129%2c72213980%2c72213974%2c72213983%2c72213982%2c56412181%2c56412180%2c56412187%2c56412186%2c53108188%2c53107661%2c53108192%2c53108190%2c52591444%2c52036946%2c52036947%2c51762101%2c51762087%2c51762103%2c51762105%2c51762104%2c51256897%2c51256899%2c51256900%2c51141428%2c51141429%2c51141430%2c2845569%2c2845573%2c1941532%2c1941533%2c1941534|0

Photo#8 does NOT depict “IDF soldiers saving Palestinians through a tunnel opening that they have recently blown up” ,the actual caption reads:
Israeli Soldiers Rescue Palestinians Weapons Smugglers From Collapsed Tunnel
RAFAH, GAZA STRIP – NOVEMBER 18: In this photo made available by the IDF, Israeli soldiers rescue 3 Palestinians from a collapsed weapons smuggling tunnel they were digging November 18, 2004 in the Palestinian town of Rafah in the Gaza Strip. The three, all from the same family, were trapped in the rubble after the tunnel collapsed as a result of heavy rain in the area overnight, and were arrested by the Israeli army after their rescue. (Photo by Tal Naveh/IDF via Getty Images) ”
http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/51762087/Getty-Images-News?axd=DetailPaging.Generic|1&axs=0|51762087%2c51762101|0

If you can’t verify something’s authenticity, please check it out before you disseminate it…
Thanks,
[M.]
________________________________________
From: [H.]
Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2009 11:57 AM
To: ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members
Subject: FW: photos the media will never show…
________________________________________
From: [H.]
Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2009 11:49 AM
To: [H.]
Subject: Fw: photos the media will never show…
— On Thu, 1/8/09, Dov Zmood <zmoody@verizon.net> wrote:
From: Dov Zmood <zmoody@verizon.net>
Subject: photos the media will never show…
To: [H.]
Date: Thursday, January 8, 2009, 11:07 AM

Israeli soldier giving a hand to a Palestinian boy

IDF officer & Palestinian child

Israeli soldier giving a hand to a Palestninan elderly

IDF soldier shaking hands with Palestinian girl

IDF soldiers taking care of a Palestinian that was just shooting towards them a few moments earlier- and surrendered.

Cooperation between IDF soldiers and P.A. troops

IDF soldiers saving Palestinians through a tunnel opening that they have recently blown up- since the guys inside used it to smuggle weapons.

IDF soldiers taking care of a Palestinians that were hiding in a weapons tunnel to fight the IDF.
Photos by Nimrod Nir

2009.01.08: What You Don’t Know About Gaza

Filed under: Antiwar,International Human Rights,Palestine — nyclaw01 @ 1:12 pm

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2009 1:12 PM
To: ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members
Subject: What You Don’t Know About Gaza

The following article in this morning’s NYT is a rarity in the official U.S. media. It debunks the myths that:

(1) Israel’s massacres since December 27 (current Palestinian casualties at about 4000) are “self-defense”; and/or

(2) “Both sides are to blame.”

———

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/08/opinion/08khalidi.html?ref=opinion

January 8, 2009

Op-Ed Contributor

What You Don’t Know About Gaza

By RASHID KHALIDI

NEARLY everything you’ve been led to believe about Gaza is wrong. Below are a few essential points that seem to be missing from the conversation, much of which has taken place in the press, about Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip.

THE GAZANS Most of the people living in Gaza are not there by choice. The majority of the 1.5 million people crammed into the roughly 140 square miles of the Gaza Strip belong to families that came from towns and villages outside Gaza like Ashkelon and Beersheba. They were driven to Gaza by the Israeli Army in 1948.

THE OCCUPATION The Gazans have lived under Israeli occupation since the Six-Day War in 1967. Israel is still widely considered to be an occupying power, even though it removed its troops and settlers from the strip in 2005. Israel still controls access to the area, imports and exports, and the movement of people in and out. Israel has control over Gaza’s air space and sea coast, and its forces enter the area at will. As the occupying power, Israel has the responsibility under the Fourth Geneva Convention to see to the welfare of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip.

THE BLOCKADE Israel’s blockade of the strip, with the support of the United States and the European Union, has grown increasingly stringent since Hamas won the Palestinian Legislative Council elections in January 2006. Fuel, electricity, imports, exports and the movement of people in and out of the Strip have been slowly choked off, leading to life-threatening problems of sanitation, health, water supply and transportation.

The blockade has subjected many to unemployment, penury and malnutrition. This amounts to the collective punishment — with the tacit support of the United States — of a civilian population for exercising its democratic rights.

THE CEASE-FIRE Lifting the blockade, along with a cessation of rocket fire, was one of the key terms of the June cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. This accord led to a reduction in rockets fired from Gaza from hundreds in May and June to a total of less than 20 in the subsequent four months (according to Israeli government figures). The cease-fire broke down when Israeli forces launched major air and ground attacks in early November; six Hamas operatives were reported killed.

WAR CRIMES The targeting of civilians, whether by Hamas or by Israel, is potentially a war crime. Every human life is precious. But the numbers speak for themselves: Nearly 700 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed since the conflict broke out at the end of last year. In contrast, there have been around a dozen Israelis killed, many of them soldiers. Negotiation is a much more effective way to deal with rockets and other forms of violence. This might have been able to happen had Israel fulfilled the terms of the June cease-fire and lifted its blockade of the Gaza Strip.

This war on the people of Gaza isn’t really about rockets. Nor is it about “restoring Israel’s deterrence,” as the Israeli press might have you believe. Far more revealing are the words of Moshe Yaalon, then the Israeli Defense Forces chief of staff, in 2002: “The Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people.”

Rashid Khalidi, a professor of Arab studies at Columbia, is the author of the forthcoming “Sowing Crisis: The Cold War and American Dominance in the Middle East.”

January 7, 2009

2009.01.07: Final Signers (43) of Gaza Statement & Protests This Week Importance: High

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Wednesday, January 07, 2009 1:46 PM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Final Signers (43) of Gaza Statement & Protests This Week
Importance: High

As the massacres continue: Protests today (4:30-6:30 at City Hall) and this week listed below*
________________________________________
Stop Israel’s Massacre in Gaza and End the Siege Now
By Undersigned Union Members at the Legal Aid Society in New York City*
December 31, 2008

“For the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.”
–Martin Luther King Jr., Beyond Vietnam (April 4, 1967)

The undersigned members of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW Local 2325 and 1199SEIU join millions around the world — many of whom are Jewish — to condemn, in the strongest possible terms, Israel’s ongoing massacre of hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza.

Already, more than 600 Palestinians have been killed and thousands injured. Under international law, the vast majority are civilians.

Israel’s massacres are carried out with F-16s, Apache helicopters and other advanced U.S. weapons — part of $30 billion in military funding for Israel that will be paid for by our tax dollars over the next ten years.

We cannot turn a blind eye.

We ask all who agree with this statement to participate in upcoming protests.

*Signers (list in formation; affiliations listed for identification only)
Noha Arafa (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn; ALAA Alt. Vice-President)
Julie Fry (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn; ALAA Vice-President)
Michael Letwin (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn; former ALAA Pres.)
Azalia Torres (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn; former member, ALAA Executive Bd.)
Bahar Mirhosseini (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
Mimi Rosenberg (Civil-Brooklyn)
Patrick Langhenry (Civil-Brooklyn)
Antonia Codling (Criminal Defense-Bronx; former member, ALAA Executive Bd.)
Lucy Herschel (Criminal Defense-Queens)
Steve Terry (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
Rebecca Kurti (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn; 1199 delegate)
Kate Fitzer (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
Andrea Ibrahim (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
Roslyn Morrison (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
Jamie Kauget (Juvenile Rights-Queens)
Daniella Korotzer (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn; former member, ALAA Executive Bd.)
Bharati Narumanchi (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
Tajuana B. Johnson (Juvenile Rights-Bronx)
Steven Wasserman (Criminal Defense-Special Litigation; ALAA Executive Bd.)
Richard Blum (Civil-ELU)
Laurie Dick (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
Sigmund Israel (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
Clarissa M. Gomez (Civil-Harlem)
Mia Eisner-Grynberg (Criminal Defense-Bronx)
Reda Woodcock (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
Jessica Goldthwaite (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
Ellen S. Sacks (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
Joseph Lavine (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
Teresa Engst (Civil-ELU)
Hollis Pfitsch (Civil-ELU)
Warren Deans (Criminal Defense-Cenrtral Admin.)
Susan Olivia Morris (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn; ALAA Executive Bd.)
Janet Forrester (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
Aida Ferrer Leisenring (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
Claire Nicolay (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
Marisa Benton (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
Helene Busby (Civil-Harlem; ALAA Vice-President)
Eric Meggett (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
Ivan Pantoja (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn; ALAA Executive Bd.)
Aisha Mohamedi Richard (Criminal Defense-Queens; ALAA Alt. Vice-President)
Lisa Pitts (Criminal Defense-Brooklyn)
Magda Rosa-Rios (Civil-Harlem; Attorneys of Color Rep. to ALAA Executive Bd.)
Lisa Edwards (Civil-Harlem; former member, ALAA Executive Bd.)

*Protests This Week

Today: Wednesday Jan. 7, 4-6 p.m., City Hall
Protest Mayor Bloomberg’s support for Israel’s massacre in Gaza
A/C/E to Chambers St., N/R to City Hall, 2/3 to Park Place, 4/5 to Brooklyn Bridge
http://www.bsg-ny.org

Friday, Jan. 9, 1 p.m.
March from Al-Farouq Mosque (Atlantic & 4 Ave.) to Brooklyn Borough President’s Office, Boro Hall
N/R/2/3/4/5 to Atlantic/Pacific
http://www.bsg-ny.org

Saturday, Jan. 10, D.C.
NYC Buses for Let Gaza Live! National March in DC to Stop the U.S./Israeli War Against the Palestinian People
N/Q/R/S/W/1/2/3/7 to Times Square, B/D to 42 St
http://www.masnet.org

Sunday Jan. 11, 1 p.m. Times Square
Mass Rally: Stop Massacres in Gaza and Break the Siege
http://www.bsg-ny.org
________________________________________
Union Free Speech Notice
Collective Bargaining Agreement, §§ 3.5 (“The expression of personal religious, political, social or economic beliefs of each and every attorney is fully guaranteed and will never constitute grounds for discharge or relief from an individual assignment unless, in either instance, it can be demonstrated that such expression has, or will, directly interfere(d) with, and detract from, representation of a Society client so as to render said representation less than at the highest level of competence and effectiveness.”) and 1.5 (“The Union will have reasonable use of the Society’s internal communication mechanisms.”).

2009.01.07: “We will not be silent” Plaintiff Wins Lawsuit

From: Morris, Susan
Sent: Wednesday, January 07, 2009 12:16 PM
To: ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members
Subject: “We will not be silent” Plaintiff Wins Lawsuit

One of our (ALAA) members was recently advised that he needed to remove his “We will not be silent” and “Free Palestine” posters from his office door.  I thought this was an interesting result in a related case.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090106/ts_alt_afp/ustransportairsecuritymuslimsrights_090106002219

FYI – the complaint about his door was “subsumed” into the grievance we’ve filed against management regarding curtailment of our freedom of speech on emails and office door postings.

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