Boycott israHell!

Boycott israHell!
Бойкот на израел и печелещите от окупацията! Boycott israHell and those who profit from occupation!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Rally-goers put jobs ahead of military aid

Belafonte at One Nation March
Above: Harry Belafonte speaking at "One Nation Working Together" rally
The principles were spot-on; the objectives had merit; the values didn't differ from those driving the international movement to end the Israeli occupation.

At last Saturday's "One Nation Working Together" march on Washington, multitudes of progressive causes arrayed across the National Mall. Whether or not rally-goers noticed the connection, their resounding themes, including "justice," "jobs," "peace" and "quality education," constitute an essential wish-list for Palestinians too.

While the US Campaign leafletted a stream of marchers in one shady corner of the Mall, tens of thousands stood in the sun before the Lincoln Memorial, where musician-activist Harry Belafonte, Jr., passionately denounced militarism (watch video here).

"This is America's wake-up call," Belafonte said. "All Americans will soon come to the realization that the wars that we wage today in faraway lands are immoral, unconscionable, and unwinnable."

The crowd replied in affirmative thunder. Talking with hundreds of other activists and visitors throughout the day, US Campaign staff and volunteers were heartened by a positive reception too – at our calls for help to end military aid to Israel (video here).

The crowd applauded when he said "the giant called democracy is at last stirring again." We encouraged marchers to ask why democracy for Palestinian citizens of Israel is being dismantled, as seen in the recent censure of Haneen Zoabi, a Palestinian Member of the Israeli Knesset.
Belafonte championed "jobs, jobs, jobs." We found some people already aware of the lines of unemployed workers in the West Bank, their mobility restricted by checkpoints, and their farms fenced off and guarded by Israeli troops.
In principle, a civil society disgusted with militarism and wasteful policy should be able to mobilize against the flow of $30 billion from U.S. taxpayers into Israeli military projects, which President Obama has affirmed for the fiscal decade 2009-2018.
That remains OUR daily focus, not only for the US Campaign and many of its member groups, but other initiatives around the nation:
This week in Chicago, the Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine (a U.S. Campaign member) succeeded in placing bright, persuasive ads throughout the transit system, calling explicitly for stopping that military aid. Passengers on Chicago's "El" trains will see the ads for a full month. In Georgia, legislators received an eloquent petition for divestment from Israel by the state's Green Party. Tonight, documentarian Simone Bitton's film "Rachel" will open in New York City, telling the story of Rachel Corrie.
If these calls reached President Obama with enough intensity, he would have to do as our National Advocacy Director recently wrote in the Huffington Post, and "cut off military aid to Israel ... until a time that Israel was prepared to negotiate in good faith with Palestinians on the basis of human rights, international law, and UN resolutions."
In the meantime, our campaign keeps growing, joined by more Americans who know that this can be done!

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