Presbyterian divestment passes!

Photo/Omar Bseileh, AMP-Detroit

The plenary of the 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA has voted 310 to 303 to divest from three US companies that profit from Israel's military occupation of Palestinian lands on Friday, June 20, 2014, by a vote of 310-303. After a long afternoon of respectful debate -- and 10 years' worth of effort on this issue -- commissioners passed a resolution to divest from Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions. Two years ago, the divestment resolution was defeated by two votes. 

"We at the American Muslims for Palestine were so honored to be a part of the interfaith coalition supporting the Presbyterian Israel Palestine Mission Network's divestment efforts," said Krsistin Szremski, AMP national director of media and communications. "Members of AMP Detroit helped flyer, attended the interfaith vigil in the rain, submitted presonal stories and also gave videotaped testimony as part of a large coalition that supported the divestment effort."

AMP also submitted a position paper to the IPMN to offer a Palestinian perspective on the facts on the ground in Palestine and on BDS. Jewish Voice for Peace, Friends of Sabeel North Amerrica, IPMN and Talat Othman also submitted papers. The large coalition included AMP, IPMN, Friends of Sabeel North America, Jewish Voice for Peace, the US Palestine Community Network and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. 

"After a decade of corporate engagement with Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola Solutions, these companies have failed to modify their behavior and continue to profit from Israeli human rights abuses and non-peaceful pursuits," said IPMN member Rev. Dr. Walt Davis, Professor Emeritus, San Francisco Theological Seminary. “This is a historic vote and the culmination of a long and deliberate internal process within the church."

Read the full IPMN press release

AMP supports Presbyterian efforts to divest

Archbishop Desmond Tutu Urges Presbyterians to Adopt Divestment

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This button is the symbol of the interfaith coalition that has come together to support Presbyterian divestment.

The American Muslims for Palestine has been working with a large interfaith coalition to support the efforts of Presbyterians who are asking the Presbyterian Church USA General Assembly this week to divest from companies that conduct business in Israel. Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions and Hewlitt Packard all are complicit in Israel's occupation of Palestine and its abuses of Palestinian human rights. AMP National Director of Media and Communications Kristin Szremski gave a lecture Friday night at the Islamic Center of Detroit to discuss how and why she converted to Islam and began working for the Palestinian cause. Earlier in the day, community leader Rafeeq Jaber delivered the sermon at two Friday prayers, also with the goal of stressing the importance of legitimate interfaith work and why Muslims should be supporting Presbyterians working for justice in Palestine. More than 50 volunteers from AMP-Detroit signed up to volunteer with the interfaith coalition.

The Presbyterian Church USA is one of the largest Protestant denominations, with 3 million members, in the United States. A successful divestment vote would be an historical event that could forever change the boycott, divestment and sacntions movement here. Two years ago, the Presbyterian General Assembly narrowly defeated the divestmenet effort by a vote of 333-331, with two abstentions. On Monday, AMP, long with other coalition volunteers, engaged with Presbyterian delegates after they left a lobbying breakfast arranged by pro-Israel lobby groups, who are working to stop the divestment vote.

Overcoming the Six-Day War with BDS

Boycott Israeli Dates!
 flyer

(CHICAGO 06/05/2014) -- Thursday, June 5, marked the 47th year since Israel launched its Six Day War of aggression, occupying what was left of historic Palestine. During that fateful period from June 5 to 12, 1967, Jerusalem came under attack and Al Aqsa was threatened with obliteration.
 
The Six Day War, when Israel displaced an additional 350,000 Palestinians from their homes, was not the end of the Zionist enterprise. It is still continuing today.
 
Consider these statistics: Since 1967, Israel has:

  • Demolished 27,000 Palestinian homes and structures
  • Incarcerated nearly 800,000 Palestinians as political prisoners – 40 percent of the male population.
  • Erected the Apartheid Wall and more than 600 checkpoints and closures, prohibiting freedom of movement for Palestinians 

 

National Day of Action Tuesday for Hunger-Striking Palestinian prisoners

Urge the State Department to intervene

prisoner(CHICAGO 06/12/2014) – The American Muslims for Palestine, a national education and advocacy organization, today expresses grave concern over Israel’s treatment -- including a pending bill that would permit force feeding -- of nearly 125 Palestinian political prisoners, who are being incarcerated indefinitely without charge or trial, a procedure known as administrative detention. This is the longest lasting mass prisoner hunger strike in Palestinian history. The prisoners began their fast on April 24. One, Ayman Itbeish, 34, passed his 100th day of hunger striking on Saturday, June 7. His health is considered to be at "high risk."

Administrative Detention
Administrative detention contravenes international law. It allows the Israeli military to hold prisoners indefinitely on secret evidence without charge or trial. It is renewable indefinitely for repeated periods of up to six months. Palestinians have been subjected to administrative detention since the beginning of the Israeli occupation and before that time, under the British Mandate. Both adults and children are subject to this unjust incarceration.

There are currently 192 Palestinians under administrative detention, eight of them members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, as of May 1, 2014, according to prisoner rights group, Addameer.

The prisoners are protesting Israel’s failure to comply with promises made in 2012 in response to a massive action when 50 percent of the political prisoner population waged a hunger strike to force changes in administrative detention, lack of exercise and access to medical treatment, and prohibition of family visits.

As punishment for the current hunger strike, Israeli prison authorities have been withholding salt, which is necessary to sustain life. A decreased sodium intake can hasten death. Administrative detention and withholding salt both are against international humanitarian law.

Choose Occupation-Free Dates this Ramadan!

Did you know Israel exports more than half the world's Medjool dates? And that Israeli date imports in the US are valued at $51 million per year, according to the USDA? Almost all dates grown in the Jordan Valley are grown in Israeli settlements grown on stolen Palestinian land. Profits from those dates support the settlement industry, while Palestinians are forced by harsh economic conditions created by the occupation to work on these date farms for substandard wages and in hazardous conditions? This Ramadan, choose occupation-free dates. Buy American! Boycott Israeli dates for the sake of our brothers and sisters in Palestine.

Boycott Jordan River, Jordan River Bio-Tops, King Solomon and any brands marketed by Hadiklaim! Purchase California dates instead. Two brands to try are Medjooldates.com and Oasisdate.com. 

hadiklaim date people date brochure
Read more about Hadilklaim, settlements
and BDS
Read "Dates of Infamy,"
about exploitation of Palestinian workers on date farms
Download full date brochu

Empowerment Through Education and Action

The American Muslims for Palestine firmly believes that educating the American public is key to bringing about change in the Middle East. Because once Americans know what is truly happening on the ground in Palestine, they will no longer allow their tax dollars to be used to support Israel's military occupation of Palestine, the world's last and longest-lasting occupation. We are all empowered to act for justice when we know the truth.

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