From:   shaista husain <>
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 <> wrote:

> I am happy to help with a teach-in.


> On Oct 12, 2011, at 3:49 AM, Layan Fuleihan <> 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.

> Thanks,

> Layan


> On Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 9:41 PM, <>

> wrote:



>> 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:








>> eparation-principle/#more-2195