|From:||shaista husain <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|Sent time:||Wednesday, October 12, 2011 5:32:53 AM|
|Subject:||Re: [september17discuss] Zionist speaker at OWS outreach training|
Can we have a teach in in front of UN? The NYU speak out was
successful. Perhaps a UN speak out will also be just as successful to
bring attention to the failed policies.
On Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 7:06 AM, Amin Husain <email@example.com> wrote:
> I am happy to help with a teach-in.
> On Oct 12, 2011, at 3:49 AM, Layan Fuleihan <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> I agree wholeheartedly. As an arab-american with Palestinian roots, I've
> been encouraged by the amount of support and inclusion so far in the square.
> This is definitely not something I'm used to seeing, and it is really
> heartwarming and encouraging. There are of course differences of opinion,
> and while I personally do not see any reason at all to support a zionist
> political agenda, I will respect the right of anyone involved with OWS to
> have their own opinions regarding this issue.
> However, there is a difference between having personal opinions and being
> afraid to hear all sides. What it sounds like happened (and I wasn't there,
> so I apologize if this is inaccurate) is, with the downward finger signs and
> general disapproval, and unwillingness to face an uncomfortable truth. If
> this isn't then time, then when?
> OWS is not about being comfortable. Isn't this supposed to be a place where
> voices that are usually oppressed to finally be heard? If anyone has any
> critique about anything that goes on in the square, it must be fairly
> considered. The specific context of the J-14 protests is specifically
> concerning: yes, the J-14 protests might have been similar to ours in form
> and style and subject, but the real housing crisis in Israel happened half a
> century ago with the mass expulsion of Palestinians from their homes and
> continues today with settlement expansion and an institutionalized policy of
> racism and apartheid. These are facts that are, at this point, impossible
> to ignore and undeniable, there is more than enough human and material
> evidence so that this becomes larger than politics, it is an issue of basic
> human rights. To speak of the J14 protests without at least acknowledging
> this reality goes against what I understand is one of the main central
> productive abilities of OWS that gives it such credibility: a drive to
> unmask the forms of oppression the national and global system currently
> creates. Further, it is our responsibility to face these facts: the
> disproportionately large U.S. financial and political support of Israel
> makes this issue urgently relevant to our protests.
> I second Andy's suggestion for a teach in and discussion between different
> groups to start coming to an understanding on this topic. I truly believe
> that OWS is the space for this sort of productive discussion to happen, I've
> seen it happen, and I'm very optimistic that it can occur again.
> On Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 9:41 PM, email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>> Tonight (Tuesday) was the first Occupy Wall Street outreach training. I
>> was shocked to hear that the first speaker after the introduction would be
>> an activist from the Israeli "tent protests," the racist movement which was
>> fighting for cheaper rents and mortgages for stolen homes on stolen land.
>> OWS has responded to criticisms of
>> inadequate leadership and participation and addressing of issues by and
>> regarding people of color by fostering discussion and restructuring. The
>> racist "tent protest" movement responded to equivalent challenges from
>> Palestinians by telling them, "shut
>> up, leave us alone, don't divide the movement."
>> I waited to hear what the speaker (Ezra something) had to say, and it was
>> as bad as I feared. It was all about the technical issues of outreach and
>> democracy, and not one word about outreach to Palestinians or inclusion of
>> their issues.
>> When he finished I got the floor (even though there hadn't been discussion
>> time planned for that agenda point) and made some of the above points.
>> Almost as soon as I began speaking murmurs of disagreement and calls of
>> "this isn't the time" and downward "twinkling" hand motions began. One of
>> the facilitators asked the
>> speaker to respond, and he said "it's a question of outreach. I did
>> outreach to Palestinians in Israel who were leery of joining the movement.
>> You'll have to do the same in the Bronx. The issue of Palestinians in the
>> movement won't be settled here."
>> Well, yes, Mr. Zionist, it will be settled here. There is a huge
>> Palestinian exile community in the US, with that in NY being one of the
>> biggest components. They want their land back, they want their homes back,
>> and they want the right to return. They have no
>> interest in a movement which haggles over the rent paid by Jews to Jews
>> for stolen property. They can't even return to visit because of exclusionary
>> laws passed by your racist state.
>> I have been having a hell of a great time building OWS, especially its
>> labor component, and encouraging Palestinians and other Arabs to join in.
>> That will cease until there is some clarification of exactly where OWS
>> stands on these issues.
>> I can't continue to encourage Palestinians to come to OWS events for fear
>> that they might be surprised, as I was tonight, by the promotion of a racist
>> Zionist speaker. When 30,000 Bedouins are being driven out of their homes,
>> when settlers are escalating murderous attacks and destroying thousands of
>> olive trees, how can I recruit people to a movement which promotes a speaker
>> who thinks this is all irrelevant?
>> I don't presume to know what the opinions of the rest of the leadership of
>> OWS is on this question, and I would be happy to help organize a discussion
>> -- preferably with Palestinian activists, the OWS People of Color committee,
>> and a representative group from
>> the OWS leadership -- to resolve this.
>> How can OWS promote the great revolutionary speech by Mohammed Ezzeldin on
>> Saturday and then promote this racist tonight?
>> The REAL movement OWS can learn from in the region is that of the refugees
>> in May and June who tried to reoccupy their homes in historic Palestine by
>> crossing the borders, some of whom were mercilessly gunned down.
>> Photos have begun to surface in stories about the current Palestinian
>> hunger strike in which at solidarity demonstrations for the prisoners,
>> Palestinians are holding up signs reading "Occupy Wall Street, Not
>> Palestine!" How can we let them down?
>> Until such time I will be devoting my organizing efforts to where they
>> were overwhelmingly before OWS erupted: the Palestine solidarity movement.
>> In solidarity (I hope),
>> Andy Pollack
>> Al-Awda NY: the Palestine Right to Return Coalition
>> For background and context:
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