ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

November 11, 2012

2012.11.16: RE: 5 p.m. Today (Friday): Protest Escalating Israeli Attack on Gaza

Filed under: Free Speech,International Human Rights,Palestine — nyclaw01 @ 2:26 pm

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2012 2:26 PM
To: Kitay, Emily; Korn, Joyce; Arafa, Noha
Cc: Davidson, Terence; Finkel, Oscar; 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: RE: 5 p.m. Today (Friday): Protest Escalating Israeli Attack on Gaza

Actually, as Noha shows below, the “legal support” for free speech (including yours) is our Collective Bargaining Agreement.

It has been there for more than three decades not because Management “happily tries to give us much broader latitude than most employers,” but because we demanded, fought for, and won it.Despite the effort of some members to belittle or abolish them in regard to Palestinians, those rights remain in full effect.

And the days are long gone when people could be silenced for exercising them.

From: Kitay, Emily
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2012 1:24 PM
To: Korn, Joyce; Arafa, Noha
Cc: Davidson, Terence; Finkel, Oscar; Letwin, Michael; 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: RE: 5 p.m. Today (Friday): Protest Escalating Israeli Attack on Gaza

It is not necessary since there is an agreement to such an effect from 2009 when management threatened to end all of our emails relating a broad range of topics if we did not self-police so to speak.

Contrary to what Michael says, there is little legal support for “free speech” in the work place although our organization

happily tries to give us much broader latitude than most employers.

From: Korn, Joyce
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2012 1:19 PM
To: Arafa, Noha
Cc: Kitay, Emily; Davidson, Terence; Finkel, Oscar; Letwin, Michael; 1199 Members; ALAAMEMBERS
Subject: Re: 5 p.m. Today (Friday): Protest Escalating Israeli Attack on Gaza

You need to take into account that this issue is very different than a request to support a candidate. Many of my faith were raised to believe silence equals death, as it led to the killings if millions. I find emails on this subject very troubling given if I just delete, it’s the equivalent of silence.  For me, this conflict I conscience is creating a hostile work environment.  I believe that Alaa could ask each of it’s members whether they wish to receive these emails and generate a list of those who do.

Sent from my iPhone
On Nov 16, 2012, at 1:06 PM, “Arafa, Noha” <NMArafa@legal-aid.org> wrote:

Emily,

 

Must I remind you of this clause in our union contract:§ 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.”

I haven’t heard you complain about any union emails on behalf of phone-banking for Obama, voting WFP, Occupy Sandy, or any other political emails that are sent out over our union list-serve.  It seems that the only issue you and others who opposeMichael’s email, is that it is in support of Palestine.  “Free speech” does not mean protecting only the speech you agree with.

Another point,  isn’t Israel the only “democracy” in the Middle East. I am sure since Israel is a “democracy,” that it believes in and upholds free speech. If you support Israel and its democracy, then it seems to me you should be in support of free speech.

I understand Israel facing violence as well.  I condemn violence on both sides.  Should you care to send an email on behalf of Israel, I would whole heartedly support your right to do so.  I would not silence your speech because I do not agree with you.  This is a sensitive subject for me as well.  My family happens to have land in Gaza.   So please, I encourage you to open the debate.  Send us an e-mail on behalf of Israel.  I would love to hear your side of things.  I promise you I will be the last person to try to silence your speech.

From: Kitay, Emily
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2012 12:34 PM
To: Davidson, Terence; Finkel, Oscar
Cc: Letwin, Michael; 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: RE: 5 p.m. Today (Friday): Protest Escalating Israeli Attack on Gaza

None of this conversation is supposed to occur on ALAA email site, this has been discussed ad nauseum.

It is obviously a very sensitive topic and complicate issue but it is  not directly relevant to our practice.

I respectfully request that this topic and all emails concernig the middle east cease and desist.

For those who are new to  legal aid, their is an understanding that these emails will only go to certain discussion groups that people sign up for.

So please respect the existing agreement from years ago and just post this stuff in the discussion group or sign up for the groups.

Thank you.

From: Davidson, Terence
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2012 12:28 PM
To: Finkel, Oscar
Cc: Letwin, Michael; 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Re: 5 p.m. Today (Friday): Protest Escalating Israeli Attack on Gaza

Do you mean if we did a drone strike on  Mexico or Canada and killed babies too?

Sent from my iPhone
On Nov 16, 2012, at 12:07 PM, “Finkel, Oscar” <OFinkel@legal-aid.org> wrote:

they have been shelling israel for several weeks now, although it was not broadly publicized. how long would you want our govt. to tolerate rockets and missiles coming down on new york?

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2012 11:09 AM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: 5 p.m. Today (Friday): Protest Escalating Israeli Attack on Gaza

–Please post and forward widely

 

 

<553939_10151155939003577_578817961_n.jpg>

“The front page photo on Thursday’s Washington Post tells, in
a single frame, a very personal story from Wednesday’s Israeli
airstrikes on the Gaza Strip. Jihad Misharawi, a BBC Arabic
journalist who lives in Gaza, carries the body of his 11-month
old son, Omar, through  al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City.”
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2012/11/15/the-story-behind-the-photo-journalists-11-month-old-son-killed-in-gaza-strikes/

5 p.m. Today: Friday, November 16, 2012
NYC — Protest Israeli Attack on Gaza
Nearly 1000 people came out last night — let’s come back again and be louder and bigger than before!
Join, Share, Re-post, Invite: https://www.facebook.com/events/374254042661536/
Photos of last night’s protest: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4857024353800.2186729.1542848808&type=3

Background

 

Legal Aid NYC Union Members: Stop Israel’s Massacre in Gaza and End the Siege Now
(January 13, 2009)
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. . . . We cannot turn a blind eye.
https://alaa2325.wordpress.com/2009/01/13/legal-aid-nyc-union-members-stop-israel%E2%80%99s-massacre-in-gaza-and-end-the-siege-now/
TIMELINE: Israel’s Latest Escalation in Gaza

(November 14, 2012)
Following a two-week lull in violence, Israeli soldiers invade Gaza. In the resulting exchange of gunfire with Palestinian fighters, a 12-year-old boy is killed by an Israeli bullet while he plays soccer.
http://imeu.net/news/article0023227.shtml

U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel (Congressional Research Service)
(March 12, 2012)
Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II. To date, the United States has provided Israel $115 billion in bilateral assistance. Almost all U.S. bilateral aid to Israel is in the form of military assistance,
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33222.pdf

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