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Jewish Voice for Peace denounces Israeli blacklist
Letter from Jewish Voice for Peace Executive Director Rebecca Vilkomerson:
I’m equal parts furious and sad: The Israeli Strategic Affairs Ministry put Jewish Voice for Peace on the list of organizations now officially banned from entering the state of Israel. We’re racing to figure out what this means and it will take some time to play out. We will be reaching out with more information as we get it.
So I’m writing to ask you to help us grow JVP – right now. We need to prove that these repressive tactics are not only morally wrong, but that they actually have the opposite of their intended effect. They will grow the movement for justice in Palestine.
Many JVP members, including me, have family and friends in Israel/Palestine. And now, contrary to any democratic norm, there’s to be a political litmus test for entering the country. Yet as we at JVP are now feeling the pain of exclusion, we are very aware that Palestinians have always faced profiling and bans on entry to Israel. From the right of return for refugees to the simple ability to travel from one town to another, travel restrictions are a core feature of the Israeli apartheid state.
The Israeli government sees the same thing you and I do: increasing numbers of Jews and all people worldwide supporting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, and supporting Palestinian human rights. And it terrifies them.
This ban is a desperate attempt to hold onto a repressive status quo. But it will not work. Give the gift of JVP membership today to tell Israel: Blacklists won’t intimidate us into silence.
I have to believe that the public naming of JVP on this list signals the fundamental weakness of the repressive, right-wing movement in Israel. They see the global BDS movement gaining momentumand they’re pulling out all the stops.
JVP members will continue fighting for justice, equality, and freedom for all people in Israel/Palestine, and we are confident about the legitimacy and efficacy of the BDS movement. We won’t back down.
This is going to be one of those “ah-ha!” moments for people – and we have to be there, inviting them to take strategic action with us.
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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