PAJU calls for the release of hunger striker Hisham Abou Hawash

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Press release

Montreal, January 3rd, 2022

One of the pillars of Israel’s brutal apartheid system is that of administrative detention. Under this system, Israel can arrest any Palestinian at any time and incarcerate them without formal evidence or charges, and without due process. Administrative detention can be renewed indefinitely every six months without recourse to appeal. Therefore, Palestinians can be imprisoned for years without charge and without trial. This system of arbitrary administrative detention was introduced by Britain during its mandate and subsequently applied by Israel’s apartheid regime.

Hisham Abu Hawash, a victim of administrative detention like hundreds of other Palestinians, a Palestinian hunger striker imprisoned by the apartheid regime in Israel, is on his 138th day of a hunger strike. (more…)

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No to the criminalizing of Human Rights NGOs by apartheid Israel

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PAJU Press Release

Montreal, October 24th, 2021

On Friday, October 22, 2021, the government of Israel announced it has placed six Palestinian civil society organizations defending human rights on the list of terrorist organizations. These are large-scale and internationally recognized organizations: Addameer (rights of political prisoners), Al-Haq (human rights – member of FIDH), DCI-P (Defense for Children International-Palestine), UAWC (the union of agricultural committees), the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, and the Bisan research and development center.

This represents an escalation in a campaign seeking to criminalize Palestinian civil society organizations, formalized by the publication of a report in February 2019 in which Addameer, al-Haq and DCI-P but also Samidoun and the Boycott National Committee (BNC) were already featured as ‘terrorist organizations.’ This targeting of human rights organizations involved in the welfare of Palestinian civilians suffering under Israel’s illegal occupation and stifling apartheid system goes hand-in-hand with the pro-Israel lobby’s campaign of ‘cancel culture’ which aims to silence all criticism of Israeli government policies regarding both the Palestinians and Bedouin. (more…)

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Chabad’s Jewish Racism Connected to the Crime of Apartheid

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When I wrote Chabad’s Supernal Jew: Racism in Contemporary Western Judaism I had not yet come across Jewish Israeli and Palestinians as distinct ‘racial groups’ within the meaning of the crime of apartheid?.  Carola Lingaas notes that “Race is a deeply problematic concept based on an understanding of group hierarchies.  The wording of Art. 7(2)(h) of the Rome Statute of ‘regime of systematic oppression and domination’ implicitly refers to this hierarchical idea.  Importantly, race is real because thoughts, perceptions and behavior are constructed upon it, but it has no biological foundation.”  When I charge Chabad doctrine with fostering a racist set of ideas, I’m referring to Lingaas’ observation that the three hierarchical constructs that make race “real” are foundational in the sect’s doctrine that make the Jewish race and the non-Jewish race—and the domination of the one over the other—“real”.

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Chabad’s Supernal Jews: Racism in Contemporary Western Judaism

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Forward to My Essay

What Makes a Jew ‘Jewish’? is the title of one of my Chabad references in Chabad’s Supernal Jews.  It’s a far cry from ‘What makes a human Jewish?’  Well, human I am.  What makes this human Jewish?  Both my parents were Jewish and were well aware.  My father was German, and I was born in Germany in 1932.  We were lucky.  My mother’s German-born parents were already living in Newark, New Jersey.  We got out of Nazi Germany in 1937 and out of Holland to the U.S. in September 1940.  (I still have visual memories of an air raid shelter, lifeboat drills, and a gas mask too large for my small head.)  We were liberal Reform Jews, celebrated the High Holidays in Temple and at home, skipped Friday prayers, ate everything, and stretched Chanukah into Christmas when the calendar didn’t cooperate.

I can’t think of any other Jew in the private, secular high school I attended (which started every morning with an assembly that included a Christian hymn, an unanticipated benefit that introduced me to formal multiculturalism, so to speak).  In my freshman year at college I joined a Jewish fraternity.  We painted the walls and desegregated the frat house.   It was my first extended experience (outside my family) with Jews my age.  I learned the rest of my life from many of my fraternity brothers: Be a better human and ‘Jew’ will take better care of itself.  Whether or not you’re religious.  I’m not. (more…)

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