Some people have put together a powerful petition calling for an end to the attacks on people working for justice in Palestine.
We feel this is an extremely important project and hope a great many people will sign it. In our view it is crucial to demonstrate that those who care about peace and justice wish these damaging and divisive campaigns to come to an end, and that groups instead focus on their real missions.
The signatories include many highly respected and committed individuals, including:
Richard Falk, Professor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University, and former Special Rapporteur on Occupied Palestine, UN Human Rights Council.
Samia Khoury, founding member of the board of Trustees of Birzeit University and Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Centre, author, “Reflections from Palestine: A Journey of Hope” (descendant of Birzeit University founders).
Ann Wright, retired US Army Colonel and former US diplomat turned peace activist; passenger on 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla; co-organizer and passenger on Gaza Freedom Flotillas 2011 & 2015; co-organizer of 2009 Gaza Freedom March.
Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh, Professor, Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities, Co-Founder Al-Awda-Palestine Right to Return Coalition.
Hedy Epstein, Holocaust survivor; St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee*; Jewish Voice for Peace - St. Louis**
Ray McGovern, Retired CIA officer turned peace activist. Co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.
Dr. Samir Abed-Rabbo, author and editor, former Dean of The Jerusalem School of Economics and Diplomacy.
Rita Giacaman, Professor, Research & Program Coordinator and founder, Institute of Community and Public Health, Birzeit University; active in 1980s Palestinian social action movement.
Edward Peck, Americans for Middle East Understanding, Former US Ambassador to Iraq & Mauritania, Participant in the 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla
Abbas Hamideh, National Board Vice Chair, Al-Awda Palestine Right to Return Coalition, son of one of the few survivors of the massacre at Deir Yassin Palestine on April 9th 1948
James Abourezk, former Senator, South Dakota
Philip Giraldi, Former CIA Officer turned anti-war activist & journalist; Executive Director, Council for the National Interest*, member, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Joe Meadors, USS Liberty Survivor, Past President, USS Liberty Veterans Association, Participant in three Gaza Freedom Flotillas, Free Palestine Movement*.
The Rev. David W. Good, Minister Emeritus for The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, President: Tree of Life Educational Fund
The Reverend Canon Richard K. Toll, Founder & former Director, Friends of Sabeel*, Retired Episcopal Priest
Ernest Gallo, President, USS Liberty Veterans Association
Cindy Sheehan, anti-war activist and former presidential candidate, Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox
James Petras, Professor Emeritus, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY
Lawrence Davidson, Professor Emeritus, West Chester University
John Erickson, NorCal Friends of Sabeel* — Co-Chair
...and many more.
Below is the petition. You can sign it here.
An open letter to the U.S. Campaign and other Activists for Justice in Palestine.
As active participants in the struggle for justice for Palestinians, coming from a variety of ethnic, religious, and political backgrounds, we call for an end to internal attacks on fellow activists and organizations. These only impede the work for justice.
We appreciate the important contributions to that cause made over many years by If Americans Knew, Jewish Voice for Peace, and the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.
In that light, we are dismayed by the recent unfounded attacks on one of the top organizations working on this issue, If Americans Knew, and its dedicated leader, Alison Weir, by the leadership of Jewish Voice for Peace and the U.S. Campaign. Many of us are members of these groups and are unhappy at these significant actions made in our name but without consulting us.
We recognize that important differences among these organizations exist – each has its own constituencies, approach, and style, as is the case with the scores of other organizations that together make up the solidarity movement. Some may disapprove of taking the Palestinian case to people who don’t define themselves as “liberals” or “progressives.” Others may disapprove of working with Zionist groups and failure to state that Zionism is racism, etc. We have no problem with any group articulating such differences and even making principled criticisms of another’s work – that is part of the life of any healthy democratic movement.
But we believe strongly that secret dossiers, ideological inquisitions, double standards, misrepresentations, spreading innuendo, and attempting to excommunicate groups or individuals one disagrees with from the ranks of the movement sow unnecessary divisions and distract from what must remain our primary focus: building the broad united front that’s necessary to change United States policy in the Middle East and to help Palestinians obtain justice in their homeland.
We also believe that the vitriolic, ADL-like accusations that Alison Weir is “anti-Semitic” and/or racist are scurrilous and without foundation. They are based on guilt-by-association arguments through which numerous committed activists – including the leadership of the US Campaign and JVP – could equally, and also incorrectly, be called “anti-Semitic” and/or racist.
We are painfully aware that there are well funded opponents who spare no effort to undermine and divide this movement for justice and human rights in Palestine. We therefore expect those who sincerely share our goals to be mindful of the potential to fracture the movement and be judicious and principled in their critique of groups and individuals who make significant contributions to the movement.
We call for these attacks to cease and for those initiating them to return to their main task, working for justice in Palestine.