Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee

29Feb/12

Statement on Hunger Strike

We, a collection of members of the Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee, will hold a hunger strike for one day on Thursday, March 1, to proclaim our support for Palestinian victims of Israeli administrative detention and to raise the issue of such illegal practices at Harvard.

Today, 309 Palestinians are held by Israel indefinitely, charged with no crime and with little hope of release. Since 1967, 700,000 Palestinians- or 20% of the population, and 40% of all men in the Occupied Territories- has been detained at some point in their lives, and 95% of these have been subject to torture, according to the Palestine Monitor (link below).

Administrative detention is a practice by the Israeli military to arrest and hold Palestinians without proper trials for indefinite amounts of time. Under administrative detention, an arrested prisoner may be kept without access to legal counsel and without due trial for periods up to four months, which can be renewed without limit by Israeli military authorities. At times, Palestinian prisoners will be detained within Israeli territory and not in Palestinian territory (such as the West Bank), in violation of the Geneva convention ban on imprisoning people within the occupying power's territory. This practice makes it impossible for Palestinian lawyers to travel to see their clients. During this type of detention, Palestinians (including minors) are often subject to torture and abuse.

According to the Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem, 309 Palestinians are currently being held in administrative detention, with at least 60% of them having had their terms extended. Several Palestinians have been detained in this way for over eight years. More information on Palestinian prisoners in Israel can be found here: http://www.palestinemonitor.org/?p=214 and information on torture against these prisoners can be found here: http://www.palestinemonitor.org/?p=216.

In the last few weeks, many activists around the world have engaged in hunger strikes out of solidarity with Palestinian prisoners held in administrative detention. This Wednesday, we add our voices to this global chorus of opposition to Israel's unjust policies and the regime of apartheid it has imposed across the Holy Land. We will be having a joint dinner at 6 PM on Thursday at Casablanca in Harvard Square to end our strike together. We invite all members of good conscience of the Harvard community to join us.

This hunger strike is a part of Harvard Israeli Apartheid Week, a series of events held annually in cities across the world to raise awareness of Israel as an apartheid state and to build support for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns. More info can be found at the global site: http://apartheidweek.org/ as well as on our own website.

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29Feb/12

Statement of solidarity with the assaulted activists at UNM

The Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee, the GSAS Alliance for Justice in the Middle East, and the Harvard Law School Justice for Palestine stand in solidarity with activists who were physically assaulted by a mob at the University of New Mexico (UNM) while peacefully protesting an Islamophobic event.

On Thursday evening, the UNM Israel Alliance hosted a speech by Nonie Darwish, a notorious Islamophobe who has called Islam "a poison to society." Darwish is a member of the speakers' bureau of the extremist Zionist group StandWithUs and a fixture of the right-wing lecture circuit.

In order to draw attention to Darwish's record of racist statements, student activists peacefully disrupted the talk with a "mic check" -- a brief intervention in which audience members stand up to collectively voice their opposition to the speaker. Video footage on Youtube shows that audience members charged at the protesters, and hit, punched, and scratched them before forcibly ejecting them from the room. Most of the attackers were adult males, many of the victims were young or teenaged women. At least one of the victims' phones was also destroyed. According to media reports, no arrests have been made.

While Palestine solidarity activists in the U.S. and U.K. have been the target of harassment and demonization for years, we note an escalating pattern of physical violence against them as well. Last week at the London School of Economics, pro-Israel students threw water balloons at a street theater event demonstrating a checkpoint in Palestine. Last year, a member of the Israeli lobby group AIPAC assaulted a protester disrupting Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu's address to Congress, resulting in her hospitalization.

We condemn all of these attacks and note that while Palestine solidarity activists are consistently demonized as supporters of violence by Zionist organizations, actual violence by defenders of Israel's racist policies remains largely unpunished by authorities.

We also note that attacks on protesters are not simply a problem of mob violence, but have been pursued by the government as well. We reiterate our solidarity with the "Irvine 11" protesters who were unfairly prosecuted for demonstrating at a speech by Israeli ambassador Michael Oren.

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29Feb/12

The Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee & Progressive Jewish Alliance present:

"Tel Aviv Night Clubs & West Bank Checkpoints: The Politics of Being Fabulous in the Holy Land"

Please join us Monday, March 5 at 7:30 pm in Sever 103 for a discussion with Sa'ed Atshan, Harvard doctoral student and member of Al Qaws, a grassroots organization of LGBTQ Palestinians throughout Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories who work collaboratively to break down gendered and hetero-normative barriers.

He will discuss the various ways in which discourses of LGBTQ rights are deployed strategically by Israel and Palestinians as a part of the conflict.

The event will begin at 7:30 PM in Sever 103 on the evening of Monday, March 5.

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27Feb/12

Please Join Us the week of Feb 29-March 5 for Harvard’s 1st annual Israeli Apartheid Week!

Israeli Apartheid Week is a series of events held annually in cities across the world to raise awareness of Israel as an apartheid state and to build support for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns. http://apartheidweek.org/

For the most updated schedule, please check out the Harvard Israeli Apartheid Week's facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/events/367312553293116/

As part of Harvard's first annual Israeli Apartheid Week this year, Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee is hosting:

WED FEB 29: 7 PM:
FILM SCREENING of "Slingshot Hip Hop," a movie which braids together the stories of young Palestinians living in Gaza, the West Bank and inside Israel as they discover Hip Hop and employ it as a tool to surmount divisions imposed by occupation and poverty. From internal checkpoints and Separation Walls to gender norms and generational differences, this is the story of young people crossing the borders that separate them. Location TBD

THURSDAY MARCH 1:
Day-Long Hunger Strike in Solidarity with all Palestinian prisoners in Administrative Detention. Today, 279 Palestinians are held by Israel indefinitely, charged with no crime and no hope of release.

Members of PSC will hold a day-long hunger strike in solidarity with these prisoners, and we will hold a joint dinner at 6 PM at Casablanca in Harvard Square.

MONDAY MARCH 5:
"Tel Aviv Night Clubs & West Bank Checkpoints: The Politics of Being Fabulous in the Holy Land":

Please join us for a discussion with Sa'ed Atshan, member of
Palestinian LGBTQ activist group Al Qaws. He will discuss the various ways in which discourses of LGBTQ rights are deployed strategically by Israel and Palestinians as a part of the conflict. Event link is here: http://www.facebook.com/events/260404430703888/

Other events we are co-sponsoring but that are not part of IAW:

SAT & SUN MARCH 3 & 4:
THE ONE STATE CONFERENCE: The Israel/Palestine and the One-State Solution conference seeks to begin the process of defining what that could actually mean. The series of panel discussions will help to answer questions about the contours of and obstacles to the one-state solution. FEATURING: ALI ABUNIMAH, DIANA BUTTU, DALIT BAUM, ILAN PAPPE, NIMER SULTANY
www.onestateconference.org

More info:

The crime of apartheid, a crime against humanity, is defined by the 2002 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court as inhumane acts of a character similar to other crimes against humanity "committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime." For an explanation of the application of the crime "Apartheid" to Israel, click here:http://icahdusa.org/2010/03/is-israel-an-apartheid-state/

For a complete listing of events worldwide and to learn more about IAW, please visithttp://www.apartheidweek.org/

For a more complete listing of other Boston area universities' Israeli Apartheid Weeks, check out this event: http://www.facebook.com/events/335351193176290/

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19Feb/12

The One State Conference: Israel/Palestine and the One-State Solution March 3-4 at Harvard

To date, the only Israel/Palestine solution that has received a fair rehearsal in mainstream forums has been the two-state solution. This conference will push the envelope by questioning the status quo and bringing forward the idea of a one state solution. What is the "one-state solution?" What happened to the two-state solution? What are the obstacles to the one-state solutions implementation?

By countering current stagnancy, The One State Conference will expand the range of academic debate on the issue. The main goal is to educate ourselves and others about the possible contours of a one-state solution and the challenges that stand in the way of its realization.

The conference is being sponsored by several student groups - namely, Justice for Palestine (HLS), the Palestine Caucus (HKS), the Arab Caucus (HKS), the Progressive Caucus (HKS), Association for Justice in the Middle East (GSAS), and the Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee.

Also, we are looking for volunteers to help with the conference itself, so if you are interested please join the email list, contact us on facebook, or tweet at us!

For more information, please visit the website: www.onestateconference.org

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19Feb/12

The Fourth Annual Faculty Debate: Can Israel be Both Jewish and Democratic?


Featuring:
Duncan Kennedy, Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence
Noah Feldman, Bemis Professor of Law

Moderator:
Frank Michelman, Robert Walmsley University Professor

March 1st, 6-7:30 pm at Ames Courtroom, Austin Hall, Harvard Law School

Ronald Dworkin has recently argued that Israel is a “flawed democracy” because only secular states can be democracies. He further argued that Israel’s Jewish character designates an unequal status for the Palestinian citizens of Israel (18 percent of the citizenry).

In this debate Professors Kennedy and Feldman examine these claims and other recent developments in Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian citizens of Israel in the context of regional processes of democratization.

Professor Dworkin’s lecture is available on youtube (discussion of Israel starts on min 28).
Presented by: Harvard Law School Justice for Palestine, and the Human Rights Program, International Legal Studies, Unbound, Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee and NLG at Harvard Law School.

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