Wheels of Justice coming to Boise

Having seen and lived with war, terror and occupation in Iraq and Palestine, participants in the Wheels of Justice offer first-hand experience irrespective of partisan politics and sound bite sloganeering. The Wheels of Justice Tour canvasses the United States with education, outreach, training, active non-violent resistance, and network/community-building.

Here is their schedule in Boise:

Wednesday, March 12 12:30 PM-3 PM: Anser Junior High School
Sunday, March 16 2PM: Islamic Center of Boise
Monday, March 17 8:45 AM-3 PM: Bishop Kelley High School
Monday, March 17 4-5 Idaho Peace Coalition potluck
Monday, March 17 7PM: Boise State University, Student Union Building, Bishop Barnwell Room
Tuesday, March 18 11:30-12:30 PM: College of Idaho
Tuesday, March 18 7-9 PM: Veterans for Peace
Wednesday, March 19, 7:30-8:30 AM: Koelsch Elementary School

Wednesday, March 19 12-1 PM: Idaho Peace Coalition Rally Against the War, Statehouse Annex, downtown Boise

More dates/times to come. If you want to invite them to your church, community center, or school please let us know.

Here is what Mazin Quimsiyeh has said about /on their recent tour:

Here we are on the road again with the very colorful Wheels of Justice bus tour. The prominent slogan on the side of the bus is the most appropriate message for this week of violence. In big letters we have “Nonviolence or Nonexistence” visible for the thousands who saw the bus in the past few days. In addition to our usual talks, we pass generic strip malls with the usual burger joints, shoppers of made-in-China trinkets and cloths, and residents of motels named Cozy Inn, Snoozy Inn and Comfort Inn. Here and there colleges and universities pop-up and we table in front of student center and quads everywhere. Here and there church and school goers see us. People in sprawling housing developments as well as farmers and ranchers greet us. Along the way we get lots of thumbs up, honkings of approval, and peace signs. When we stop at diners or in parking lots of universities, colleges and schools, many rush to give us words of encouragement and an occasional donation to keep us going. We had over 20 talks in one week (at three churches, two community colleges, four universities, five high school classes, three demonstrations, one hour live TV program, a radio program, and informal gatherings at places like a Multicultural Center and a Catholic Worker house). We dined at Arabic restaurants owned by Palestinian Americans (including one whose brother was of the LA8 group recently cleared after nearly 20-year legal ordeal). We stayed at homes of activists and got inspired by those who do great work (ranging from daily demonstration in Corvallis to regular letter writing to the editor by an activist in Albany, OR). We post some of our public events at http://justicewheels.org and we hope you will join us or organize events for us. We like to stay busy and do 5-7 events a day (we can also split our team in case there is a conflict as we did yesterday when Mike Miles spoke in Portland colleges while I spoke in a high school and a Mennonite Church nearby). In all events, we bring eyewitness accounts to occupations, colonizations, and oppression highlighting the need to address these root causes of violence. Here is a 50 minute video of the Women in Black demonstration in Portland, Oregon where the bus was featured and both Mike Miles and I spoke:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2675207947729912526

I wanted to write more about the tour with a blog of all the great things we did and saw this past week (e.g. the great questions from hundreds of students in WA and OR). However, it is worthwhile to focus on this issue of violence and existence in more detail considering the news from occupied Palestine in this weekly message and add relevant good articles. While we are never shocked by the distorted US media coverage of what is going on, we are sometimes surprised by the audacity of editors and journalists. For example, compare the coverage of the killing of 8 Israelis in Jerusalem with the coverage of the killing of 126 Palestinians in Gaza in the seven days before that; including many children (four playing soccer, babies in mother’s arms, etc). BTW, only Israeli papers like Ha’aretz explained the history of the “school” that the Israelis were killed at (a training school for terrorist Rabbis). It might be worthwhile to put out some quotes on the so-called “cycle of violence” between the occupier/colonizer and the occupied/colonized (and people forget this aspect,the etiology of the disease when they focus on the symptom of the violence):

“The curse of Gaza is as powerful as death: if the entire occupation is a tragedy, the occupation of Gaza is its essence: 360 square kilometers, some 1.5 million people, 1 million refugees, and the responsibility is all ours. From the beginning there were those who warned us of the curse, and not only Sapir; even Moshe Dayan used words of caution. It did no good. The euphoria is contagious, the war rolls on, and a wise people is a foolish one. In the Zionist enterprise’s march of folly, Gaza stands out as a major milestone, a signpost of weeping. The foundation stone of our tears.” Yossi Sarid

“Many westerners justify Israel’s actions because they believe that Israel, as a sovereign country, has the right to defend itself. The truth is, so long as the government of Israel is occupying the Palestinian territories, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip and denying the people their freedom, dignity, and human as well as political rights, international law gives them the right to resist and to defend themselves. ” Sabeel Ecuminical Liberation Theology Center

The United Nations Human Rights Council today labeled Israel’s response to recent rocket attacks from Gaza a war crime and ‘collective punishment against the civilian population’

“As long as there is occupation and the brutality and violence it entails, we will mourn Israeli and Palestinian lives. In this context, media coverage that portrays violence as part of a short-term cycle of attack and retaliation obscures the facts, including the role the US has played, through covert action, in fomenting civil war in Gaza, as recently revealed by a groundbreaking report in Vanity Fair. As long as the United States continues to support Israel’s decades-long practice of illegally appropriating land, destroying homes, and using disproportionate force–a policy which has proven to be both morally bankrupt and self-destructive for Israel–neither Palestinians nor Israelis will ever know peace.” Jewish Voice For Peace

“The murderers [Palestinians] are the Amalek of our day, coming to remind us that Amalek has not disappeared, just changed its appearance.” Settler Rabbi Ya’akov Shapira, head of the center that trained the “students” in hate at this extremist “seminar/Yeshiva” that created so many extremist colonial settlers.(For those who do not know what Amalek is they should read the part of the old testament were God gets to give the orders for the genocide of men, women and children of the Amalkites, Canaanite native inhabitants of the land to be conquered).

“Compared with the international silence that surrounded Israel’s recent massacres of Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Gaza Strip, condemnation and condolences for the victims of the shooting attack that killed eight students at the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva in Jerusalem has been swift…The day before the Jerusalem attack, Amira Abu ‘Aser was buried in Gaza. She had lived just 20 days on this earth before being shot in the head by Israeli occupation forces who attacked the house of friends she and her family were visiting. Needless to say, she had not been firing rockets at Sderot when she was killed. One of the house’s inhabitants was found the next day, shot dead and his head crushed by an army jeep, an apparent victim of an extrajudicial murder by Israeli forces.” Ali Abunimah in the Electronic Intifada

“We need to find a legal and legitimate way to kick those few Palestinian Arabs in east Jerusalem who make it their choice to aid and take part in terrorism back to Ramallah,” Israel’s “Public Security” Minister Avi Dichter

“We at Tikkun feel equally grieving for the people killed by vicious and immoral terrorists at the Yeshiva Mercaz HaRav (the ultra-nationalist religious center that developed the ideology which inspired religious Zionists to believe that they had a God-given right to settle and hold on to the territories without regard to the consequences for the Palestinian people already living there) as we do for the victims of Israeli terror (which in the past week killed 120 people, many of them children, many of them sitting in their homes when Israeli troops randomly fire-bombed and murdered them, as documented by the same international human rights organizations that today condemned the attack in Jerusalem by terrorists).” Rabbi Michael Lerner of Tikkun

“Condemning the ongoing Palestinian rocket attacks on Israeli civilians by Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist organizations, and for other purposes…” US House Resolution 951

Statement on Gaza Bill by Rep. Ron Paul March 5, 2008 (Paul was the only one who voted Nay!):
I rise in opposition to H. Res. 951. As one who is consistently against war and violence, I obviously do not support the firing of rockets indiscriminately into civilian populations. I believe it is appalling that Palestinians are firing rockets that harm innocent Israelis, just as I believe it is appalling that Israel fires missiles into Palestinian areas where children and other non-combatants are killed and injured. Unfortunately, legislation such as this is more likely to perpetuate violence in the Middle East than contribute to its abatement. It is our continued involvement and intervention – particularly when it appears to be one-sided – that reduces the incentive for opposing sides to reach a lasting peace agreement. Additionally, this bill will continue the march toward war with Iran and Syria , as it contains provocative language targeting these countries. The legislation oversimplifies the Israel/Palestine conflict and the larger unrest in the Middle East by simply pointing the finger at Iran and Syria . This is another piece in a steady series of legislation passed in the House that intensifies enmity between the United States and Iran and Syria . My colleagues will recall that we saw a similar steady stream of provocative legislation against Iraq in the years before the US attack on that country. I strongly believe that we must cease making proclamations involving conflicts that have nothing to do with the United States . We incur the wrath of those who feel slighted while doing very little to slow or stop the violence.

(ACTION: Write and/or call to your congressman/women and ask them why they voted in support of Apartheid Israel aggression. Phone numbers for reps here http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/mcapdir.html ).

But perhaps the most poignant comment on violence in Palestine/Israel is these statements from Nurit Peled-Elhanan whose daughter was killed by a Palestinian suicide bomber:
http://www.qumsiyeh.org/nuritpeledelhanan/

(Must Read) The Day the Earth and Sky Traded Places: Gazan Holocaust By JENNIFER LOEWENSTEIN
http://www.counterpunch.org/loewenstein03042008.html

An Interview with Aharon Shabtaï “Israel’s most acclaimed Hebrew poet.” He explains need for cultural boycott of Israel: “Israel, ‘Guest Of Honour’ In Paris And Turin, Does Not Deserve To Be Invited,” By Silvia Cattori & Aharon Shabtaï, 26 February, 2008, Countercurrents.org. http://www.countercurrents.org/cattori260208.htm

Racism in Israel on the rise: Association for Civil Rights in Israel publishes annual report; reveals country overwhelmed by racism, restriction of personal freedoms, discrimination, especially towards Israeli-Arabs. Report not surprising, say Arab MKs, By Aviram Zino
http://www.ynet.co.il/english/articles/0,7340,L-3480345,00.html

Vanity Fair: The Gaza Bombshell
After failing to anticipate Hamas’s victory over Fatah in the 2006 Palestinian election, the White House cooked up yet another scandalously covert and self-defeating Middle East debacle: part Iran-contra, part Bay of Pigs. With confidential documents, corroborated by outraged former and current U.S. officials, David Rose reveals how President Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and Deputy National-Security Adviser Elliott Abrams backed an armed force under Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan, touching off a bloody civil war in Gaza and leaving Hamas stronger than ever. READ MORE…..
http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2008/04/gaza200804

Analytic Report “REVEALED: THE US PLAN TO START A PALESTINIAN CIVIL WAR, The Electronic Intifada, 4 March 2008
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9366.shtml

GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES http://www.gp.org

For Immediate Release:
Monday, March 3, 2008

Contacts:
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, cell 202-904-7614, mclarty[at]greens.org
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805, starlene[at]gp.org

Greens urge economic pressure and cutoff of all military aid to Israel as Gaza situation worsens

• Demanding an end to illegal occupation of Palestinian lands, Greens urge widespread grassroots support for the Palestine BDS (Boycott,
Divestment, Sanctions) Campaign
• Greens blast Clinton, Obama, and McCain for uncritical support of Israel despite mounting crimes

WASHINGTON, DC — Calling the Siege of Gaza an international emergency, the Green Party is urging Congress to reject President Bush’s FY2009 budget request for $2.55 billion in Foreign Military Financing for Israel, and reiterated the call for a cut-off of all US military aid to Israel.

“The Siege of Gaza is an ongoing atrocity, with mounting civilian casualties, especially children, killed and maimed by Israeli Defense Forces,” said Holly Hart, secretary of the Green Party of the United States and member of People for Justice in Palestine, responding to the mass killing of Palestinians during the past weekend. “Greens are demanding an end to the siege and to the occupation of Palestinian lands, to Israel’s collective punishment of Palestinians, and to targeted assassinations, all of which violate international law.”

Greens noted that the death toll of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces has doubled since the Annapolis peace talks sponsored by the US in November 2007. In some areas of the West Bank, home invasions by IDF since January 1 have resulted in the kidnapping and detention without charges of nearly 400 civilians, including children. 1.5 million Gazans, mostly refugees from Israel in 1948, live in an open-air prison, unable to exit, and with electricity, fuel, and water under Israeli control.

“Peace talks are a sham as long as Israel refuses to discuss the construction of new housing units for Jewish settlers throughout
occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank,” said David J. Kalbfleisch, a Green congressional candidate in Illinois’ 10th
district <http://www.electdave.org>. “Israel must meet its obligations under U.N. security council resolution 242.”

The Green Party has already called for an economic boycott and divestment of Israel until the occupation is ended and full human
rights and equality are realized throughout historic Palestine, including Israel <http://www.gp.org/press/pr_2005_11_28.shtml>, and
recognition of the right of return.

Green leaders, emphasizing the need for popular pressure on the US government similar to the campaign against South African apartheid two decades ago, have supported the efforts of Palestinian and Israeli peace groups to seek negotiation and a halt to violence, and are urging participation in the Palestine BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) Campaign <http://www.bds-palestine.net>.

The President’s FY2009 request would enact a 9% increase over 2007 spending, and would be the first installment of a ten-year agreement between the US and Israel, signed in August 2007, to increase military aid by 25%, totaling $30 billion by FY2018.

The arms purchased through Foreign Military Financing are being used to enforce Israel’s 40-year military occupation and siege of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, and for violation of human rights in the Occupied Territories and against civilians in Lebanon. Such use of weapons purchased with US money violates of the Arms Export Control Act and Foreign Assistance Act.

“The Green Party has repeatedly called for an end to Israel’s illegal occupation, for enforcement of human rights laws consistently violated by Israel, and for an end to all attacks against unarmed civilians by either side,” said Justine McCabe, co-chair of the party’s International Committee.

“Under the influence of AIPAC and other pro-Israel lobbies, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama have bent over backwards to support the Israel government and avoid criticism — even as Israel warns that it may invade and Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai threatens Palestinians in the Gaza Strip with a ‘holocaust.’ If the national debate on the Middle East is restricted to Democratic and Republican positions in 2008, the crisis and the atrocities will continue regardless of who wins the White House,” Dr. McCabe added.

MORE INFORMATION

Green Party of the United States http://www.gp.org 202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN Fax 202-319-7193
• Video of Green presidential candidates http://www.gp.org/2008-elections/presidential-videos.php
• Green candidate database for 2007 and other campaign information: http://www.gp.org/elections.shtml
• Green Party News Center http://www.gp.org/newscenter.shtml
• Green Party Speakers Bureau http://www.gp.org/speakers
• Green Party ballot access page http://www.gp.org/2008-elections
• 2008 Green National Convention: Live Green, Vote Green http://www.gp.org/2008-elections/index.shtml
• Media credentialing http://www.gp.or<a href=”g/committees/media/kit.shtml“>g/committees/media/kit.shtml
Green Party International Committee http://www.gp.org/committees/intl/
Green Party Peace Action Committee (GPAX) http://www.gp.org/committees/peace/
———————–

The One Candidate Worth Our Vote: Nader the Best Antidote to American Imperialism
By KATHLEEN and BILL CHRISTISON
http://www.counterpunch.org/christison03012008.html

============================
Mazin Qumsiyeh
Wheels of Justice Tour: Nonviolent education and action against war
and occupation in Iraq and Palestine for justice and universal human
rights http://justicewheels.org
http://qumsiyeh.org

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