- Written by Peter Miller Peter Miller
- Published: 17 February 2017 17 February 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 17, 2017
RALLY IN PORTLAND OPPOSING TRUMP-NETANYAHU AGENDAS
On Wednesday people of good faith stood at Pioneer Courthouse Square joining a National Day of Action to Say NO to U.S. Policy on Israel and NO to the Trump Racist Agenda
Standing in a steady rain, over 60 people held a vigil Wednesday evening at Pioneer Courthouse Square to protest Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Trump’s agendas of shared racism, Islamophobia, denial of human rights and ongoing occupation. While Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Trump met in Washington, the protesters here at the Portland rally chanted, “No Walls No Ban No Building on Stolen Land”, “Hey Hey Ho Ho David Friedman’s got to go”, and “From Palestine to Mexico All the walls have got to go.”
One of the protest organizers, Ned Rosch, of Jewish Voice for Peace-PDX, read from a statement published yesterday by Jewish Voice for Peace, “Netanyahu and Trump share a vision of the world which paints aspirations for freedom and dignity as security threats and falsely and intentionally pits Islam against the West and democracy. In response to their joint agenda, we will continue to grow the resistance to their anti-refugee, anti-immigrant, and anti-Muslim policies here in the U.S. and in Israel and put forward a vision of true dignity, equality, and justice for all.“
We stand in protest of the agendas of the Trump-Netanyahu alliance that is so harmful and destructive of the rights of Americans and Palestinians through its targeting of vulnerable communities such as Muslims, immigrants, refugees, people of color and Palestinians. In addition, both administrations are dangerous for America’s Jewish community. In the interests of an extremist agenda on Israel, the Trump administration has appointed high level advisors who are known anti-Semites and racists. There is an alarming increase in anti-Semitism fueled by Trump’s rise, including bomb threats at 48 U.S. Jewish community centers in the last month. The White House omitted any mention of Jews from its statement commemorating the Holocaust. Netanyahu and his government have remained shamefully silent in the face of this disturbing resurgence of anti-Semitism, even defending members of Trump’s administration such as Steve Bannon, who though promoting white supremacy and anti-Semitism, is a strong and unquestioning supporter of Israel. In this White House, unwavering support for Israel Trumps equality for all.
Building walls to keep out people seeking to return to their homes and reunite with families, discriminating against people of color and minorities, cracking down on human rights defenders and keeping them under surveillance, and religiously profiling people at borders, are all hallmarks of Israeli policies that Trump has embraced. We expect to see an acceleration of these policies in both the U.S. and Israel.
The hardline, xenophobic right in Israel and the U.S. are uniting and learning from each other. As the rally on Wednesday and other protests show, those who believe in justice and equality for all people will continue to resist and call for:
· Opposition to the appointment of David Friedman as U.S. Ambassador to Israel. Friedman is a bankruptcy lawyer with no diplomatic experience. He is a funder and strong supporter of the Illegal Israeli settlements. His appointment is opposed by a large segment of the American Jewish community as he represents the most extreme right-wing and racist views on Israeli policy with regard to Palestine. He opposes a two-state solution, has called progressive Jews “Nazi sympathizers” , supports the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, in full contradiction to International law, and is also a supporter of Trump’s Islamophobic Muslim travel ban in this country.
· A permanent reversal of the racist Trump travel ban that targets Muslims.
· Opposition to moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Organizations co-sponsoring Wednesday’s rally included: Jewish Voice for Peace-PDX, Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights (AUPHR), Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA), Holy Land Ministry at Spirit of Grace, Central Lutheran Church-Lutherans for Justice in the Holy Land, Portland Chapter Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East (UUJME), Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights (SUPER), International Socialist Organization (ISO), KBOO Community Radio, and Occupation-Free Portland.