Balfour Declaration at heart of occupation of Palestine

(CHICAGO 11/02/2015) – The current threats to Al Aqsa mosque sanctuary, the official order to shoot with live ammunition Palestinian children accused of allegedly throwing stones, the siege and attacks on Gaza, thousands of Palestinian political prisoners and the overall de-development of the Palestinian economy and society are all the results of a small document that was signed and sent forth nearly 100 years ago.

The Balfour Declaration, written by Lord Arthur Balfour on behalf of the British Zionist Federation on Nov. 2, 1917, effectively gave consent to Zionists to colonize Palestine. As a result, Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestinians began, with the forcible eviction 750,000 people and the destruction of more than 500 villages.

“His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country," British Foreign Minister Arthur James Balfour wrote to Lord Rothschild on Nov. 2, 1917.

5 ways you can respond to escalating situation in Palestine

ACTION ALERT

al aqsa attack(WASHINGTON DC 10/14/2014) – The American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), a national education and advocacy organization, views with great concern the escalating situation in Palestine and calls on our supporters and people of conscience to take action immediately.

AMP asserts the Israeli occupation of Palestine is at the root of all violence and bloodshed and we call upon President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to hold Israel accountable for its flagrant violations of international laws. We also demand Israel be held accountable for violating the US Arms Export Control Act, which prohibits the use of American weapons or weaponry purchased with American money to be used against civilians. 

Recently, Israeli Prime Minister gave permission to use with impunity live ammunition against Palestinians suspected of throwing stones; and as a result Israeli forces and settlers have killed at least 24 people, including eight children under 18 since Oct. 1. While Israeli violence against Palestinians is a constant factor of daily life, the heightened use of deadly force is being employed to provoke unrest in advance of possible Israeli policies to divide Al Aqsa mosque. 

Israeli officials have provoked the recent violence by threatening to alter the status quo status of Al Aqsa mosque and we ask the White House and State Department to demand Israel retreat from its apartheid plans and allow Palestinians to live and worship on their land freely. 

AMP presses State Department on Al Aqsa; Syrian refugee issues

(WASHINGTON DC 10/06/2015) – The American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), a national education and advocacy organization, along with several other Muslim and policy organizations met today with State Department officials to discuss Israeli threats against Al Aqsa mosque compound and also to request more Syrian refugees be allowed into the United States. AMP organized the meeting. 

AMP also presented Mr. Christopher Henzel, director of the office of Israel and Palestinian affairs, with a statement asking the State Department to ensure Israel abides by international and American law in protecting Palestinian Muslims’ and Christians’ right to worship. The statement was signed by 20 Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Arab organizations. 

“It was important to convey that the Al Aqsa mosque sanctuary is extremely important to American Muslims and that as Americans we want Israel to be held to the same human rights standards as other recipients of our US foreign aid,” said Dr. Osama Abuirshaid, AMP national policy director. “At the same time, we made it clear that when other countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Germany, have opened their borders to Syrian refugees, the US should also admit more than the 10,000 slated to be accepted over the next two years.”

AMP was joined by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR); Muslim American Society (MAS); the Islamic Circle of North American (ICNA) and the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL).

AMP is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about Palestine’s rich cultural, historical and religious heritage. For more information, go to www.ampalestine.org

Interfaith groups call for the protection of Palestinians' freedom of worship in Jerusalem

prayWe, the undersigned, come together in solidarity with Palestinians, especially those who have been prohibited from worshiping in peace and security at the Al Aqsa mosque sanctuary due to the escalation of Israeli settler violence, which is supported by the Israeli police and military.

As a diverse community and as Americans we sincerely believe in freedom of worship for all people. This is not a religious conflict between Muslims and Jews. Nor is this a conflict about access to space to pray as the settler groups have said. This is a struggle between an occupier and an occupied people. The tensions arise because of provocations from the Temple Movement, a loose coalition of several messianic, extremist Jewish groups – backed by Israeli authorities -- intent on seizing control of the Al Aqsa sanctuary for themselves. Palestinian Christians also are prohibited from accessing their churches in Jerusalem and frequently find themselves targets of settler price tag attacks as well.

High-ranking Israeli officials have threatened to take Al Aqsa’s sovereignty from the Jordan-based Islamic Trust. Bills circulating in the Israeli Knesset and Jerusalem Municipality, if successful, effectively would expel Palestinians from portions of the sanctuary, including a large percentage of Al Aqsa mosque itself. This all leads to a climate of fear and great instability, which could spill over into the larger Muslim world if these measures come to fruition.

UN speech step in right direction; words must be strengthened with actions

(WASHINGTON DC 10/01/2015) – The American Muslims for Palestine, a national education and advocacy organization, is heartened by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ comments before the United National General Assembly yesterday for focusing the world’s attention on Israeli breaches of the Oslo Accords and for demanding Israel to take full responsibility for its occupation of Palestine. At the same time, AMP strongly asserts this rhetoric must be supported by concrete actions, which will serve to unite the Palestinian body politic and could help in ending Israel’s colonizing, apartheid enterprise in Palestine and freedom and dignity for the Palestinian people.

While President Abbas did not call for an end to the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords outright, he said Palestinians will no longer abide by the agreement in light of Israel's consistent failure to do so for that last 22 years. Since the Accords were signed, the settler population in the West Bank and East Jerusalem has more than doubled; settlement construction continued unabated; an apartheid wall and checkpoints have prohibited Palestinians' freedom of movement and Israel has enforced a total blockade on Gaza. Palestinians daily are faced with the threat that Israeli authorities will divide Al Aqsa mosque and prohibit Palestinians’ presence from a significant portion of the Al Aqsa sanctuary.

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.

The official positions of AMP are present in official communiqués coming from the national office in the forms of press releases, action alerts, statements and educational emails, as well as from our designated speakers, which include our national leadership and authorized staff, when they are speaking in the capacity of AMP.

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