An open letter to Senators and Congressional Representatives nationwide:
On March 3rd, Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu will speak before a joint session of Congress. I’m sure that, you, like every other responsible elected representative in the country, knows what a divisive issue this has become. I wonder if you really understand though, all the messages that your presence at that event will send.
By merely being present in that historic chamber, you will not be making a casual appearance at your workplace. You will be giving credence to, and lending support to, a man who has become a symbol of intransigence and intolerance. You will be taking sides on a long list of highly controversial issues that I frankly doubt you fully understand. Read more: When you stand with Netanyahu… Do you know what messages you are really sending?
Maxine and Ned of Jewish Voice for Peace - Portland are in Gaza
right now as part of a Physicians for Social Responsibility
There are not many organizations able to get into Gaza right now and we wish Maxine and Ned a safe and successful journey.
You can read more on Maxine's blog:
We, the undersigned organizations, commend Oregon’s U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer for asking House Speaker John Boehner to cancel an invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress. Rep. Blumenauer has stated that if the speech is not cancelled, he will refuse to attend. We implore all the members of Congress from Oregon to follow his example.
Our objections to the Netanyahu invitation go beyond the fact that: a.) This invitation is a breach of protocol, b.) It is a stunt timed just prior to a very close Israeli election and c.) It is an attempt by the Republican-controlled Congress to embarrass President Barack Obama.
The most serious objection to the invitation is that Netanyahu is attempting to scuttle negotiations between the United States and Iran regarding Iran’s nuclear program by urging Congress to impose additional sanctions on Iran. As Rep. Blumenauer states, the only solution in the best interests of all countries is a negotiated settlement. Why would Mr. Netanyahu be invited to thwart that effort? World leaders also recognize the danger of his address as interference with the diplomatic process and are also imploring that he not interfere.
Additional sanctions risk an end to the diplomatic path and an increase in tensions between our country and Iran that may lead to war. As a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, Iran is under routine inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which has never documented any evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. Iran has called for the Middle East to be a nuclear weapons-free zone. In contrast, Israel has never signed the Nonproliferation Treaty and is known to possess nuclear weapons.
Inviting Netanyahu to address Congress is also reprehensible in view of Israel’s brutal assault on Gaza this past summer. Three respected human rights organizations—Amnesty International and the Israeli human rights groups B’Tselem and Physicians for Human Rights—have issued reports finding Israel guilty of committing war crimes by deliberately targeting civilians during its 51-day bombardment. Under Netanyahu’s government, Israel has continued unfettered settlement expansion and land confiscation, making a viable Palestinian state impossible. It continues to imprison Palestinians by using administrative detention laws that lack due process. It is unconscionable to invite a leader with such a dismal human rights record to address the U.S. Congress.
In short, Netanyahu’s speech is not in the best interests of the United States or of world peace. We, the undersigned, urge you to boycott the speech and speak out in opposition to any leader of a foreign nation seeking to intervene in the making of U.S. foreign policy.
Americans United for Palestinian
Human Rights, Corvallis/Albany Friends of Middle East Peace, Friends of Sabeel North America, Individuals for Justice, Jewish
Voice for Peace-Portland Chapter, Lutherans
for Justice in the Holy Land, Mission of the Atonement Holy Land Ministry, Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group, Oregon
Fellowship of Reconciliation, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, Tree of Life Educational Fund-
West Coast, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (Corvallis chapter), Veterans for Peace Chapter 72 and Linus Pauling Chapter.
[See original article for links]
For Immediate Release: October 29th, 2014
Activists Welcome SodaStream Decision to Shut Down Settlement Factory
Washington, DC-- Palestinian rights activists are welcoming today's announcement by SodaStream that it will be relocating its factory currently based in an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank.
SodaStream, which manufactures home carbonating devices, has been the target of boycott campaigns worldwide due to the location of its main production site in the Mishor Adumim Industrial Zone and concealing the fact that its products are manufactured in a settlement by using "Made in Israel" labels.
The company has also come under fire for exploiting Palestinian land, resources, and labor, paying its Palestinian workers far less than their Israeli counterparts. In July the company fired 60 of its Palestinian workers over a Ramadan meal dispute.
"We have witnessed a tremendous growth in boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) efforts this year to pressure Israel to ends its denial of Palestinian rights. Today's news is just the latest sign that these global BDS campaigns are having an impact on changing the behavior of companies that profit from Israeli occupation and apartheid," said Ramah Kudaimi of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a national coalition of more than 400 groups.
Read more: Activists Welcome SodaStream Decision to Shut Down Settlement Factory
SodaStream boycott - Your chance to complain and feel great about it!
SodaStream Boycott Advocates,
We’re writing to ask that you stop by a local Kitchen Kaboodle store to request that they stop selling SodaStream products. You won’t be the only one stopping by to register your complaint. We’re asking all SodaStream boycott advocates to join in a Marathon Complaint Session in late October & early November. For three days, we’ll flood Kitchen Kaboodle with personal requests to stop selling SodaStream products. We’re doing this to send the store owners a strong message about the importance of de-shelving SodaStream products, and a strong message about our ability to mount a serious public boycott effort should they continue selling SodaStream products.
The Marathon Complaint Session is scheduled for Friday, October 31st, Saturday, November 1st and Monday, November 3rd.
To participate in the Marathon Complaint Session, simply decide which Kitchen Kaboodle store you wish to visit, then click on the link for that store:
Ø To select the Northeast Portland Store at 1520 N.E. Broadway Street at 16thAvenue, click here: Sign-up sheet for Northeast Portland Store
Ø To select the Northwest Portland Store at 404 N.W. 23rd Avenue at Flanders Street, click here: Sign-up sheet for the Northwest Portland Store
After you register for a time slot at one of these stores, we’ll send you specific instructions for the event, including suggested wording for your verbal complaint.
Read more: SodaStream boycott - Your chance to complain and feel great about it!
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