MECA is committed to protecting and advocating for the rights of all people, especially children. Our work is rooted in a deep sense of justice and we have a commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international and humanitarian law.
Since 1988 MECA has brought over $8 million of much needed relief to besieged communities in Iraq and Palestine through emergency medical aid and direct aid to families and communities. MECA also supports children’s clinics and family mental health projects in various refugee camps thought the Occupied West Bank and Gaza, and supports community projects for children including, playgrounds, children’s libraries and youth centers. In line with our commitment to fighting for justice, MECA supports Palestinian and Israeli organizations and movements, fighting for political, social and economic equality for the Palestinian people as well as Iraqi and international movements and organizations working to secure justice for the Iraqi people.
Mondoweiss is an independent website devoted to informing readers about developments in Israel/Palestine and related US foreign policy. We provide news and analysis unavailable through the mainstream media regarding the struggle for Palestinian human rights.
Not In My Name, as a predominantly Jewish organization, is deeply committed to a peaceful and just resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, a resolution that will provide safety, security and freedom for Jews, Palestinians, and all others living in this region. We believe that such a peace can only be achieved when Israel withdraws from its settlements in the Palestinian territories and addresses the legitimate national and human rights of the Palestinian people. We do not accept that Jewish survival depends on unconditional support for the Israeli government and its policies. Rather we believe that the future safety and survival of our people rests on our ability to live in peace with our neighbors and to work to ensure justice and security for all people.
The Palestine Children's Relief Fund is a registered non-political, non-profit, 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization that was established in 1991 by concerned people in the U.S. to address the medical and humanitarian crisis facing Palestinian youths in the Middle East. It has since expanded to help suffering children from other Middle Eastern nations, based only on their medical needs. The P.C.R.F. helps to locate free medical care for children from the Middle East who are unable to get the necessary and specialized treatment in their homeland. Over the last 17 years, we have brought over 850 children outside of the West Bank and Gaza for free surgical care, while treating thousands more in Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria with our international medical mission.
[See original story for photos!]
I was fortunate to be at New Seasons in Concordia yesterday and photograph the amazing performance by the flash mob, about 24 members of Portland BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanction) Coalition. What was normally another typical Sunday afternoon shopping at New Seasons turned into a living theatre for a few moments, with an urgent message to persuade New Seasons to stop carrying 19 Israeli products. As stunned shoppers watched, the performers sang and danced their hearts out to the tune of Lady Gaga's "Poker Face."
I was fortunate to be at New Seasons in Concordia yesterday and photograph the amazing performance by the flash mob, about 24 members of Portland BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanction) Coalition. What was normally another typical Sunday afternoon shopping at New Seasons turned into a living theatre for a few moments, with an urgent message to persuade New Seasons to stop carrying 19 Israeli products. As stunned shoppers watched, the performers sang and danced their hearts out to the tune of Lady Gaga's "Poker Face." Many shoppers seemed impressed and took photos with their cell phones. I was glad that the performers were able to finish their song inside the store, and communicate their compelling message so dramatically:
All these products support Israeli Apartheid
At the expense of Palestinian Human Rights
New Seasons, you say you support community
But you sell products that destroy them overseas
No, no, no, no, no, don't buy into it, no
Israeli brands, made on stolen land
New Seasons, New Seasons,
You say you're local but you buy into
Support the boycott!
We want this store to take responsibility
and boycott Israel 'til Palestine is free
B-Be outraged because the US gives away
seven million dollars to Israel everyday!
The activists also waved signs saying "Anti-Occupation is not Anti-Semitic," "Israeli Policies = 1.7 million Palestinian refugees." They gave out leaflets to shoppers, explaining why New Seasons was targeted. The BDS members had submitted a petition to New Seasons with over 500 signatures from their shoppers supporting the boycott, and tried unsuccessfully many times to meet with New Seasons management. Also at issue was New Seasons' recent censorship of a photo exhibit by Stephen Kerpen, a Jewish photographer, at the Southeast Store. He was forced to remove his photographs of Palestinians and Bedouins when one customer complained.
When the song was over, the activists left the store in high spirits, and repeated their performance outside on the sidewalk across from the entrance. New Seasons had apparently called the police—one of them showed up and after a brief exchange, he left, having determined that the activists were not a threat to anyone. The activists even gave him a leaflet explaining the illegal Israeli occupation and oppression of Palestinians.
I thought this was an excellent action, well-planned and performed. We need more direct actions like this, using theatre, music and dance in a creative and innovative way, to get across this urgent demand to end the brutal Israeli occupation of Palestine that has gone on for over 60 years.
For more information, go to http://pdxbds.wordpress.com
The US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR) is a national coalition of hundreds of groups working to advocate for Palestinian rights and a shift in US policy. Founded in 2001 as the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, USCPR has been a leading player in the movement for Palestinian rights in the United States. The coalition is bound by commonly shared principles on Palestine solidarity as well as our anti-racism principles.