FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Portland Takes First Step Towards Becoming Occupation Free
Portland Human Rights Commission endorses placing companies on a “Do Not Buy” List for human rights abuses in Israel/Palestine
Portland, Oregon - October 12, 2015– Occupation-Free Portland Coalition congratulates the Portland Human Rights Commission (HRC) for their unanimous endorsement of the coalition’s proposal to the City Of Portland Socially Responsible Investments (SRI) Committee to place four companies on the City’s “Do Not Buy List” due to their serious human rights violations in the ongoing illegal and brutal Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. The companies are Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard, G4S, and Motorola Solutions.
The proposal was brought to the HRC by Occupation-Free Portland, a coalition of religious, social justice and human rights groups working for justice for Palestine. The coalition stated: “We applaud the Portland HRC for this action. This endorsement demonstrates that the HRC continues to be a “moral compass” for human rights in our community. They understand that diverse struggles for human rights and dignity are connected and deserve our local attention and commitment to change.”
Read more: Portland Takes First Step Towards Becoming Occupation Free
Dear Senator Wyden,
We, the undersigned organizations, represent Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and secular residents of the state of Oregon who are struggling for peace in the Middle East through justice for Palestinians who have been denied equal rights and the right to self-determination for far too long.
In a recent letter to constituents, you stated that you are both "pro-Israeli" and "pro-Palestinian." Unfortunately, your record shows that you are neither.
For Israelis who hope for peace, you have nothing to offer but the status quo, which you back unequivocally every year by voting for $3 billion in military aid to the Israeli government, ensuring that it will continue its policies of settlement expansion, colonization, and authoritarian military rule over millions of Palestinians. You back the most right-wing government in Israel's history, and you gave its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, 37 standing ovations when he recently addressed Congress. He thanked you by openly supporting Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election.
For Palestinians who hope for justice, you are silent in the face of Israeli massacres that have killed hundreds of children and thousands of civilians in attacks that even an American general has called "absolutely disproportionate," a violation of the Geneva Conventions. You are silent in the face of an apartheid legal system and an apartheid system of roads, housing, and water rights in the West Bank. You are silent about the more than 50 laws that discriminate against Palestinians who make up 20 percent of Israel's population. And you say nothing about the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, even though this right is guaranteed by the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.Senator Wyden, you say you oppose the influence of Big Money in our elections, but you dutifully support every resolution proposed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which has a donor network that rivals Wall Street and the National Rifle Association. AIPAC supports every action of the Israeli government. It pushed for the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and it promotes an aggressive military approach toward Iran. It is a racist, militarist lobby that opposes fundamental human rights for Palestinians simply because they are not Jewish. AIPAC does not speak for the Jewish community. Read more: An Open Letter to U.S. Senator Ron Wyden
Goliath, according to Adam Hochschild, is "brash, gritty, personal and close to the ground...a report from an Israel and a Palestine we seldom see in the mainstream media." Blumenthal takes us on a journey through the badlands and high roads of Israel-Palestine, painting a startling portrait of Israeli society under the siege of increasingly authoritarian politics as the occupation of the Palestinians deepens. The book is already receiving significant attention and has been positively reviewed by Kirkus Reviews: "A rich, roiling examination of 'the State of Israel during a period of deepening political and societal crisis' ... Blumenthal is an enterprising reporter."
In an article for Al-Monitor, Akiva Eldar — a former chief political columnist and editorial writer for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, where he worked for 35 years — writes,
Unlike most Jews — American or Israeli — Blumenthal chose to leave his comfort zone, go into disputed territory and examine the burning questions for himself. In fact, Blumenthal's greatest strength and interest is in events on the ground and the people who live there, far from the 'peace process' and diplomatic salons.
Written in a clear and accessible style by the advocacy director of a national peace organization and former Middle East analyst for the Congressional Research Service, Shattered Hopes offers an informed history of the Obama administration’s policies and maps out a true path forward for the United States to help achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 7, 2015
Oregon Celebrates Diversity and Inclusion and Stands Against Anti-Muslim Rallies and Events
We proudly sign on to this statement in opposition to upcoming anti-Muslim events and in support of and in solidarity with Muslim communities across the State of Oregon.
A group calling itself “Global Rally for Humanity” is organizing anti-Muslim rallies across the country on October 9 and 10, 2015. In some states, the organizers of the events are encouraging attendees to openly carry guns. Their message is one of violence, racism and hate. The events are based on anti-Muslim and anti-refugee narratives.
In Oregon, a rally is planned in Medford in front of the Medford Police Department. Political leaders, human rights groups, diverse religious leaders of every faith, and community organizations condemn these malicious attacks on the Muslim communities. These rallies and events undermine our core values as an inclusive and just society. They threaten human rights, dignity and equality for all. They are contrary to democratic American values.
In addition, we are compelled to speak out against these Islamophobic events for a number of pressing current reasons:
· Oregon and our nation are once again grieving the senseless killing of innocent people following the shooting at Umpqua Community College. Any fueling of the philosophy of violence is unconscionable.
· We are also besieged by images of refugees, many of whom are children, fleeing war-torn nations. We see overcrowded refugee camps where families are starving, dead children washed ashore, and other horrific situations. As a nation with such vast resources, we should be reaching out to re-settle and welcome these individuals, not making them into villains.
Read more: Oregon Celebrates Diversity and Inclusion and Stands Against Anti-Muslim Rallies and Events
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Ilan Pappe's Revealing Book: