Above Photo: Marching through Brooklyn. (Jehad Dawoud)
The whole world recoiled at the May media footage of racist Israeli settlers threatening to kill and beating up Palestinian people in order to steal their homes in the Sheik Jarrah and Silwan neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. The press, however, did not point out many of these arch-racist settlers are actually Americans with dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship, whose real “home” is Long Island. Nor was it explained that the U.S. and state governments are complicit in these crimes because they allow, and even give tax exempt status to organizations which mobilize these home-grown racists for ethnic cleansing and genocide in occupied Palestine.
On July 27, Palestinian, Jewish, human rights and other groups called attention to both these facts.
In the morning they picketed the Long Island home of Justin “Yaacov” Fauci, who moved from New York to invade and steal Palestinian lands including the Al-Kurd family home. He became notorious in a video that went viral of him publicly admitting his crime when he stated, “If I don’t steal it, someone else is gonna,” as he invaded the Palestinian home.
In the afternoon, the advocates marched in Brooklyn, NY and picketed the offices of New York Attorney General Letitia James to draw attention to New York-based Zionist nonprofits helping settlers – like Long Island-born Fauci – to participate in the ethnic cleansing and genocide of Palestinians.
They urged her to shut down and revoke the non-profit, tax-exempt status of groups which are funding war crimes and crimes against humanity in Palestine. Among these funders and promoters of genocide against Palestinians are the Central Fund of Israel, Friends of Ateret Cohanim, the Hebron Fund and Friends of IR David.
The groups are also demanded an end to New York-based Zionist extremism, and calling on New York communities and government officials to stop aiding and normalizing war criminals operating in the state.
Participating in the actions this week were Al-Awda New York: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition with the NY4Palestine Coalition, which includes American Muslims for Palestine – New Jersey Chapter, Existence Is Resistance, Within Our Lifetime: United for Palestine, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network and Jews for Palestinian Right of Return, and allied groups such as Jewish Voice for Peace – New York City.
Israeli settlements are war crimes
“The U.N. Human Rights Commission Rapporteur recently decried settlements as war crimes, and New York private and government actors are actively abetting war crimes, violence and genocide in Palestine with wholesale impunity. This must end if Palestine and the region can ever see peace,” said attorney Audrey Bomse, a member of Al-Awda New York and the National Lawyers Guild.
“It is a violation of U.S. federal law for Americans to engage in war crimes and genocide, it is shocking that there is impunity for such open acts of violence, and it is outrageous that New York State actively shelters, promotes and celebrates such violence, which is itself also a crime,” said attorney Lamis Deek.
“Our government should be working to keep our communities safe and not exhorting them to export violence, or to break U.S. laws and codify anti-Palestinian racism into law. This has to end, and these actors and organizations must be held accountable,” said Suzanne Adely, president-elect of the National Lawyers Guild.
“It’s appalling that government officials like DeBlasio are denouncing an ice cream company for partially withdrawing from Israeli-invaded lands while sheltering war criminal organizations right here in New York,” added Daniel Teehan, a member of Al-Awda New York.
Deek closed by saying, “This will be the first of many actions to demand the closure and prosecution of Israeli apartheid and war crime perpetrators. New Yorkers want our taxes to be used to support our communities here instead of being used to destroy communities and commit high crimes in Palestine.”