Endorse the 3rd North American Conference of the Palestine Solidarity Movement -- Register Now (fwd)

PANKAJ MEHTA pankay at physics.rutgers.edu
Mon Aug 4 10:21:48 MDT 2003

Dear Yoshie and others,
	I have been working with New Jersey Solidarity for the past three
months. The events described in the email you forwarded occurred about one
month prior to my joining the organization. In my estimation, New Jersey
Solidarity is a completely democratic organization. Though I am new, I
have always been given an equal say. I am good friends with Jamal Al
Talib, the last name in the letter you forwarded,  and though he does not
agree with the  political line of the  organization, I have never heard
him call it  undemocratic. I think that it  is unfair of you to internal
organizational  matters  without first hand knowledge of what  transpired.
This is  irresponsible and divisive. You are spreading rumors and half
truths. For  example, Jamal is not an Arab but a white male who converted
to Islam.  If you had even remotely investigated the situation before
posting this to  two list serves, you would know that account you
present is incorrect.

I think the the Third National  Student Conference on the Palestinian
Solidarity Movement is well worth endorsing. In spite portrayals that it is
some small event, we expect close to 500 people to attend with 40% of that
number already registering. A broad spectrum of view will
be presented, including those that differ from New Jersey Solidarity. If
people have  questions about New Jersey Solidarity, please ask directly by
emailing info at njsolidarity.org.

-Pankaj Mehta.

On Sun, 3 Aug 2003, Yoshie Furuhashi wrote:

> In response to my request that UFPJ endorse the Third National
> Student Conference on the Palestinian Solidarity Movement, Nadia
> Hijab of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (@
> <http://www.endtheoccupation.org/>) has brought to my attention that
> at least seven Arab NJ Solidarity steering committee members resigned
> in protest of the practice of the other steering committee members
> and issued a public statement indicting their unwise choices and
> undemocratic means -- see below for both Nadia's postings and the
> public statement in question.  Given the problems in NJ Solidarity, I
> put my request for endorsement on hold, pending a major change in NJ
> Solidarity's practice.
> >Date: Sun, 03 Aug 2003 07:45:33 -0400
> >From: Nadia Hijab
> >Subject: Re: [ufpj-pal] Endorse the 3rd North American Conference of
> >the Palestine Solidarity Movement
> >
> >Thanks Yoshie for all your hard work on the draft and on keeping
> >members of this group informed about different events. I look
> >forward to seeing the draft after Rania and Josh have had a chance
> >to go over it.
> >
> >Re the upcoming conference at Rutgers below, I would not support
> >recommending it for SC endorsement because New Jersey Solidarity is
> >now a splinter group of the original.
> >
> >The remaining members reportedly used non-democratic means to push a
> >platform that divided the group (pasting a new statement on the
> >website and locking out the other members), and the Arab and
> >Palestinian members had no option but to leave the group.   We at
> >the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation have removed NJ
> >Solidarity from our list.  My understanding is that ISM has also
> >done so.
> >
> >I'm pasting below the public statement by the members who left the
> >group. Best, Nadia
> >
> >>Public Statement from former NJ Solidarity Steering Committee Members
> >>
> >>We the undersigned, former steering committee members of NJ
> >>Solidarity, would like to publicly and officially sever any and all
> >>ties with the current leadership of NJ Solidarity.
> >>
> >>Recently, NJ Solidarity has taken a very radical turn towards
> >>something akin to militancy. We, the majority of its steering
> >>committee, have resigned to protect ourselves from what we have
> >>been advising others to avoid.
> >>
> >>The NJS Mission Statement was originally crafted to provide a safe
> >>environment for activism and dialogue on issues affecting Palestine
> >>and its people. The few members which remain with NJS have far
> >>different visions for the organization.
> >>
> >>NJS members have recently been involved in actions that have been
> >>thoughtless and immoral with regards to administrative matters. A
> >>window on this pattern of incident shows that the foundation of
> >>NJS, its mission statement, remains in theory but has been cast
> >>aside in practice by a number of its members.  Those who prefer
> >>reckless rhetoric have tried amending the Mission Statement to
> >>include "Israel has no right to exist" and have openly welcomed the
> >>idea of inviting Hamas to events. We have had debates against
> >>Steering Committee persons who hold tight to the idea that there
> >>are no Israeli civilians and when confronted with "even the kids?"
> >>the  reply was "yes, everyone's fair game". This has been
> >>escalating for a number of months now.  It has gone well past the
> >>point of return.
> >>
> >>After a final week of attempted dialogue with the aforementioned,
> >>we have been received with an  increased pattern of deception. A
> >>series of deception now aimed at Steering Committee members, who
> >>held tight to upholding the Mission Statement, has forced us to
> >>resign our services to the organization for our own safety and for
> >>fear of the future principles of this organization.
> >>
> >>We expect those who remain on the NJS Steering Committee to
> >>displace blame for these incidents, or perhaps deny they ever
> >>occurred. Hopefully this will not be the case as we are all here to
> >>work for truth and justice. But if this comes to light we remind
> >>people that under the original NJS policy of complete transparency,
> >>we are comfortable in knowing that those who scrutinize our
> >>position will find it thoroughly upheld with quality materials.
> >>
> >>We are passionate about Palestine and its people and dedicated to
> >>truth and empowerment, but we realize that there is a right and
> >>just way or a wrong and treacherous way to do things. We have
> >>chosen not to follow the latter. We will, however, continue to work
> >>within our communities and with one another to build similar
> >>mechanisms to continue to educate and empower our communities on
> >>issues of relevance.
> >>
> >>Mona Abdallah
> >>Basem Hassan
> >>Iman Mohammed
> >>Abeer Mustafa
> >>Enam Saadeh
> >>Summer Sharaf
> >>Jamal Al Din Talib
> >Date: Sun, 03 Aug 2003 10:30:51 -0400
> >From: Nadia Hijab
> >Subject: Re: [ufpj-pal] Endorse the 3rd North American Conference of
> >the Palestine Solidarity Movement
> >
> >Yoshie, I agree that it is important for the information to get out
> >as widely as possible.
> >
> >Just for a bit more background: when we were discussing this on the
> >US Campaign Steering Committee, I checked the NJ Solidarity website
> >and it contained language that said the Palestinians had the right
> >to resist using any means possible.  The right to resist occupation
> >is recognized under international law, but attacks on civilians
> >violate international law.
> >
> >I had been invited to speak at Rutgers last November (before the
> >split) and met both Charlotte Kates and Summer Sharaf, who had
> >organized my talk. After we removed NJ Solidarity from the Campaign
> >list, I sent an email to Charlotte Kates explaining our decision on
> >the basis that their positions violated international law, and
> >invited her to call me if she wanted to discuss this further, but
> >she did not do so.
> >
> >If you do forward my message, please remove my email address as I
> >don't want to get on to any listservs - I have enough problems
> >dealing with my Inbox as is!
> >
> >All the best, Nadia
> --
> Yoshie
> * Bring Them Home Now! <http://www.bringthemhomenow.org/>
> * Calendars of Events in Columbus:
> <http://www.osu.edu/students/sif/calendar.html>,
> <http://www.freepress.org/calendar.php>, & <http://www.cpanews.org/>
> * Student International Forum: <http://www.osu.edu/students/sif/>
> * Committee for Justice in Palestine: <http://www.osudivest.org/>
> * Al-Awda-Ohio: <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Al-Awda-Ohio>
> * Solidarity: <http://solidarity.igc.org/>

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