Jews in Solidarity with Palestine

Stop the U.S.-backed genocidal Israeli war on Gaza!

•    Nearly a thousand women, men and children killed by U.S.-made Israeli bombs
•    Thousands more wounded
•    1.5 million under siege for the past 18 months, without food, water, medicine, fuel
•    Collective punishment for resisting occupation; emergency aid blocked
•    Massive violations of international law
•    Apartheid wall
•    Racist oppression
•    Homes and land stolen
•    Forced into refugee camps
•    60 years of occupation, from the river to the sea

We Say Enough!

We Are
Jews in Solidarity with Palestine

No to Israel! Yes To Self-Determination, Democracy & Freedom!
Stop U.S. Funding of the War on Palestine!

Free Palestine

The whole world is horrified by the murderous Israeli assault against the suffering people of Gaza. From Seoul to Caracas, from Johannesburg to Amman to London, millions of people have poured into the streets to demand an end to this genocidal campaign, which is funded by the United States and carried out with U.S.-supplied weaponry.

There have also been protests in U.S. cities. While most of those marching are Arab-Americans, many African Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans and whites have joined in. Many Jewish people, outraged at Israel’s war crimes and anguished that they are carried out in their name, are speaking out.

It’s good that Jewish people of conscience are disassociating themselves from the Gaza aggression. But it’s not enough. This atrocity is only the latest, and it’s no aberration. It reflects the program of the Israeli settler state—which is based on the theft of Palestine, the ouster and suppression of the Palestinian people, and the racist ideology of Zionism—and of its primary sponsor, the Pentagon and U.S. business establishment.

It’s not enough to oppose the bombing. It’s not enough to demand an end to the 41-year occupation of Gaza and the West Bank. We stand in complete and unconditional support for the self-determination of the Palestinian people. This includes the right to return to Palestine, from the river to the sea, and the right to democratically determine the form and the future of the Palestinian state.

Nothing less will undo the historic crime of al Nakba—the 1948 catastrophe of the establishment of the state of Israel based on the ouster of the Palestinian people from their homeland,  oppression and inequality.

That crime betrayed the whole history of the Jewish people. From helping topple the czar in Russia and build the unions in New York, to resisting pogroms and fighting to the last breath in the Warsaw Ghetto, opposition to persecution, oppression and racism was central to the Jewish heritage.

We call on Jewish people around the world, including those inside Israel, to join us in reclaiming that heritage. Reject racism and genocide. Reject the Zionist state, the very concept of which is racist to the core. Take the hand of our Palestinian sisters and brothers. Defend their righteous struggle to restore their stolen land and build a democratic Palestine.

This is not an impossible quest. Remember how mighty the settler state in South Africa seemed, only a little over two decades ago? The racist regime there was buttressed by U.S.—and Israeli—support. But it was battered by the unstoppable political and military struggle against apartheid, which gained worldwide support. Apartheid fell, replaced by a new state based on legal equality.

A future of equality for all is possible in Palestine too. Until this future is won, the Palestinian struggle will go on. We stand with that struggle.

Initial list of signers:

Toni Arenstein, NY
Dave Axelrod, NJ
Tibby Brooks, NY
Ellen Catalinotto, NY
Sara Catalinotto, NY
Hillel Cohen, Doctor of Public Health, NY
Naomi Cohen, NY
Heather Cottin, Long Island Troops Out Now Coalition, NY
Barbara Dorritie, Teacher, MA
Ellie Dorritie, ret., APWU*, WNY
Rachel Duell, prof., NJ
K. E. Durkin, NY
Sharon Eolis, nurse-practitioner, ret., NY
Shelley Ettinger, NY
Leslie Feinberg, Co-founder, Rainbow Flags for Mumia, NY
Irving Fierstein, artist, NY
Laurie Fierstein, NY
Michele Finkelman, AFSCME L. 215*, NY
Sherry Finkelman, UFT L. 2*, NY
Julie Fry, V-P., Assn. of Legal Aid Attorneys*, NY
Gavrielle Gemma, NJ
Michael Gimbel, del., NYC Central Labor Council*
Carl Glenn, NJ
Jerome Goldberg, attorney. MI
Marsha Goldberg, NY
Fred Goldstein. NY
Lila Goldstein, Students for Justice for Palestine*, MA
Judy Greenspan, CA
Sue Harris, Ph.D., NY
Joyce Kanowitz, NY
Stevan Kirschbaum, chair, Grievance Comm., USW L. 8751*, MA
Tova Klein, CA
Michael Kramer, I.D.F. veteran, Veterans for Peace, Chap. 021*, NJ
Donna Lazarus, UFT*, NJ
Milt Neidenberg, ret., Teamsters L. 840*, NJ
Frank Neisser, CWA L. 1701, ret.*, MA
Cornelia Rakow, NY
Arthur Rosen, NY
Anita Rosenblithe, AFT*, NY
Malcolm Sacks, Montreal
William Sacks, attorney, NY
Karina Mellos-Schechter. NY
Dave Schechter, NY
Susan Schnur, Transit Union L. 268*, OH
J.R. Singer, Ph.D., NY
David Sole, Pres., UAW L. 2334*, MA
Al Strasburger, NJ
Paul Teitelbaum, International Action Center, AZ
Jill White, EdD, IL
Eddie Yood, NY

*For purposes of identification only.


Ismail Haniyeh: My message to the West – Israel must stop the slaughter

http://www.independ ent.co.uk/ opinion/commenta tors/ismail- haniyeh-my- message-to- the-west- ndash-israel- must-stop- the-slaughter- 1366726.html
The Independent Thursday, 15 January 2009

I write this article to Western readers across the social and
political spectrum as the Israeli war machine continues to massacre my
people in Gaza. To date, almost 1,000 have been killed, nearly half of
whom are women and children. Last week’s bombing of the UNRWA (UN
Relief Works Agency) school in the Jabalya refugee camp was one of the
most despicable crimes imaginable, as hundreds of civilians had
abandoned their homes and sought refuge with the international agency
only to be mercilessly shelled and bombed by Israel. Forty-six children
and women were killed in that heinous attack while scores were injured.

Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005 did not end its
occupation nor, as a result, its international obligations as an
occupying power. It continued to control and dominate our borders by
land, sea and air. Indeed the UN has confirmed that between 2005 and
2008, the Israeli army killed nearly 1,250 Palestinians in Gaza,
including 222 children. For most of that period the border crossings
have remained effectively closed, with only limited quantities of food,
industrial fuel, animal feed and a few other essential items, allowed
in. Despite its frantic efforts to conceal it, the root cause
of Israel’s criminal war on Gaza is the elections of January 2006,
which saw Hamas win by a substantial majority. What occurred next was
that Israel alongside the United States and the European Union joined
forces in an attempt to quash the democratic will of the Palestinian
people. They set about reversing the decision first by obstructing the
formation of a national unity government and then by making a living
hell for the Palestinian people through economic strangulation. The
abject failure of all these machinations finally led to this vicious
war. Israel’s objective is to silence all voices that express the will
of the Palestinian; thereafter it would impose its own terms for a
final settlement depriving us of our land, our right to Jerusalem as
the rightful capital of our future state and the Palestinian refugees’
right to return to their homes. Ultimately, the comprehensive
siege on Gaza, which manifestly violated the Fourth Geneva Convention,
prohibited the most basic medical supplies to our hospitals. It
disallowed the delivery of fuel and supply of electricity to our
population. And on top of all of this inhumanity, it denied them food
and the freedom of movement, even to seek treatment. This led to the
avoidable death of hundreds of patients and the spiralling rise of
malnutrition among our children. Palestinians are appalled that
the members of the European Union do not view this obscene siege as a
form of aggression. Despite the overwhelming evidence, they shamelessly
assert that Hamas brought this catastrophe upon the Palestinian people
because it did not renew the truce. Yet we ask, did Israel honour the
terms of the ceasefire mediated by Egypt in June? It did not. The
agreement stipulated a lifting of the siege and an end to attacks in
the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Despite our full compliance, the
Israelis persisted in murdering Palestinians in Gaza as well as the
West Bank during what became known as the year of the Annapolis peace. None
of the atrocities committed against our schools, universities, mosques,
ministries and civil infra-structure would deter us in the pursuit of
our national rights. Undoubtedly, Israel could demolish every building
in the Gaza Strip but it would never shatter our determination or
steadfastness to live in dignity on our land. Surely, if the gathering
of civilians in a building only to then bomb it or the use of
phosphorous bombs and missiles are not war crimes, then what is? How
many more international treaties and conventions must Zionist Israel
breach before it is held accountable? There is not a capital in the
world today where free and decent people are not outraged by this
brutal oppression. Neither Palestine nor the world would be the same
after these crimes. There is only one way forward and no other.
Our condition for a new ceasefire is clear and simple. Israel must end
its criminal war and slaughter of our people, lift completely and
unconditionally its illegal siege of the Gaza Strip, open all our
border crossings and completely withdraw from Gaza. After this we would
consider future options. Ultimately, the Palestinians are a people
struggling for freedom from occupation and the establishment of an
independent state with Jerusalem as its capital and the return of
refugees to their villages from which they were expelled. Whatever the
cost, the continuation of Israel’s massacres will neither break our
will nor our aspiration for freedom and independence. The writer is the Prime Minister of Gaza

Community View Piece

The Myth of Energy Independence

For decades, WESPAC members have been advocating for a clean energy agenda and have been exposing the harms of Indian Point, fossil fuels and hydraulic fracturing. 

The definition of “energy independence” is evolving.  Up to recently, it has meant the U.S. producing enough of our own oil so that we were not dependent on other nations for our energy needs.  But now we’re in a world of oil interdependence.  Oil markets know no national allegiance. Globalization and profit motives are altering a once patriotic concept into this:  Producing enough oil and gas so that we export more to our trading partners than we import.   While this new energy independence framework may help some companies’ profits, it stands to hurt many Americans’ pocketbooks, water supply and overall health.

Fracking is an unregulated process that uses dozens of harmful, undisclosed chemicals and millions of gallons of fresh water injected into horizontal drilled wellheads.  This process has pushed the domestic price of natural gas so low that producers are looking to foreign markets to boost profit margins.  Companies are rushing to use this new definition of energy independence to justify exploitation of large shale-gas and shale-oil reserves in the US.  Before we embrace this notion, we need to examine more closely the potential for harm to health and the environment and the dragging impact rising energy costs for both consumers and manufacturers will have on our economy. 

What does the pursuit of this new definition of energy independence mean for everyday Americans? 

It means continued use of billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas and the water resources, which are destined to diminish from overuse and climate change, necessary to extract them.  It means potentially devastating impacts on local economies and resources from fracking operations in the form of more air and water pollution and public health and infrastructure costs.  It means priming the pump of climate change more so than we’ve already managed, which is apparent in our current weather patterns of late. 

The train wreck emerging here in this business-as-usual approach is the tradeoff between energy, agriculture, manufacturing and human need of our scarce water resources.  We must carefully balance the demand for our limited water supplies to ensure all our needs are met, and our current energy system is extremely water intensive and wasteful, pulling water away from competing interests.

Rather than trot down this road blindly and assume that technologies can be developed, perhaps we should pursue more sound policies that address the energy challenges before us in a financially sound, effective manner.   The American Clean Energy Agenda (ACEA), proposed by over 100 grassroots organizations with a total of two million members provides such a framework.  These criteria establish a clear preference for technology-based solutions. 

The ACEA envisions an electric generation mix comprised of technologies that:

1.     Are affordable and have the greatest potential to come down in cost;

2.     Use and consume the least amount of water;

3.     Generate the least pollution;

4.     Effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and,

5.     Maintain grid reliability.

These criteria represent a public interest standard that takes into account not only up front costs but also the hidden costs of electric generation technology such as public health-related costs of fracking, burning coal, or climate change.  These hidden costs can be severe and if ignored can exact significant damage to our economy and well being over time. 

Applying these criteria will result in a diversified and decentralized electric grid that is much more efficient, clean, and affordable than our current system.  Decentralization, such as rooftop solar panels, moves us toward achieving our other priority: energy system resilience. We can move toward a much healthier population with homegrown industries supplying our needs and the world’s needs.  We must prioritize and incentivize carbon-free renewables, storage and energy efficient technologies.

Most importantly, we would drastically reduce or eliminate the tradeoffs between competing interests for scarce water resources.  And we would become a world leader in meeting the challenge of climate change. This should be a goal and policy of utmost national importance.

Calls for energy independence appeal to Americans’ deeply held values of freedom and security.  It is time for a forthright public discussion about what energy independence means and how to enact an energy policy that will free us from foreign entanglements and safeguard our health, water and environment.

Nada Khader is the Executive Director of WESPAC Foundation and supports the America Clean Energy Agenda.

A ‘terrible disease of the mind’

By Zaid Nabulsi   14 January 2009

I lost my gloves one day in a coffee shop in Geneva , and I tell you, it’s difficult to ride a motorcycle without them when it’s really cold. So as I was paying for a new pair with a credit card, the salesman – who I knew was from Israel – asked me what my family name means. I told him that it relates to the city of Nablus where my family is originally from. Suddenly, the most bewildered look got plastered on his face.

“Where is Nablus ?” he asked, “I’ve never heard of it”. Then he pretended to remember. “Ah, Shkheim you mean?”

With my insistence not to learn these ugly sounding names that the Zionists have dug up from oblivion to erase our identity, that name certainly didn’t ring a bell.

Now it was my turn. Although I knew where he was from, I asked: “And you’re… from?”

As he smiled, I replicated the look on his face moments ago. “ Israel ? Where is that?”

Then after a brief pause: “Ah, the land of Canaan you mean. Palestine .”

You see, if you want to get biblical, there was never such a thing as Israel , and I made that very clear to this gentleman with obnoxious chutzpah.

So here we were all of a sudden; my family descended from a place called Shkheim, and this guy became a Palestinian. God does work in mysterious ways, but I still thanked Him for His small mercies; that at least my name was not Zaid Shkheimy.

While the gloves warmed up my grip on the bike, my heart was still frozen. I just cannot stand thieves who steal your gloves, or any other kind of thieves.

Then it finally dawned on me. Zionism is a sickness, for it takes much more than just a twisted ideology to make people think like that. It requires a profound leap of immorality of a higher order to instill this mentality in your followers. Zionism is not merely a political movement, but in its essence represents a deeply disturbed view of the world, resulting from a terrible affliction of the mind.

Indeed, to deny the existence of a vibrant community such as the Palestinian society in the early 20th century and describe Palestine as “a land without a people for a people without a land” is a serious blinding ailment.

To assert property claims over real estate after thousands of years with the same certainty of title as if one resided there yesterday is the essence of arrogance.

To describe the colonial immigration to Palestine of a European people with no proven historical link to the ancient Israelites – and whose great, great recorded ancestors have never set foot there – as some kind of a “return” to that land is a distorted misapplication of the verb to “return”.

To blame the Palestinians for being unreasonable in rejecting a partition plan in 1947 which gave the Jews, who only owned 7 per cent of the land, an astounding half of Palestine, is an arithmetical impairment.

To eventually grab 78 per cent of Palestine through war, evict the population through massacres and then live in their same houses is unashamed theft.

To deny the orchestrated eradications of hundreds of Palestinian villages in 1948 and then denounce the Israeli historians who later exposed this truth as self-hating Jews is compulsive forgery.

To claim that having escaped the horrors of the Nazis is a justification for the murder, expulsion and occupation of another, guiltless, people is moral incapacity.

To legislate that any resident of Poland, New York or Brazil, who happens to be blessed with a Jewish mother (yet cannot point to Palestine on the map), has a right to “return” and settle in Palestine, unlike someone who has been expelled from his own land, confined to a squalid refugee camp and still holds the keys to his house, is racism.

To blame God for the theft and occupation of someone else’s land by claiming that it was He who had pledged this land exclusively to the Jews, and to seriously promote the myth of a land promised by the Almighty to His favourite children as an excuse for this crime, is insanity.

To milk the pockets of the entire world for the atrocities of the Nazis, while stubbornly refusing a simple admission of guilt, let alone compensation or repatriation, for the catastrophe that befell the Palestinian people, is perverted conceit.

To keep blackmailing the world with expensive museums and endless movies of the plight of the Jews under Hitler 70 years ago, while at the same time inflicting on the Palestinians today the fate of the Jews of the Warsaw ghetto, is acute schizophrenia.

To impose collective guilt on the Western civilisation for the Holocaust and to criminalise all legitimate historical debate of the nature and extent of that horrific event is thuggery.

To incarcerate the Palestinian people inside degrading cages, destroy their livelihoods, confiscate their lands, steal their water and uproot their trees, and then to condemn their legitimate resistance as terrorism, and to exact vengeance on the innocent families of suicide bombers by punishing them with the dynamiting of their homes is sadistic cruelty.

To describe the offer of giving the Palestinians 80 per cent of 22 per cent of 100 per cent of what is originally their own land as a “generous” offer is macabre Shylockian humour.

To believe that you have the God-given right to continue to humiliate the Palestinians at gunpoint by making them queue for hours to move between their villages, forcing their mothers to give birth at checkpoints, is a predisposition to bestiality.

To flatten the camp of Jenin on its inhabitants’ heads and deny any wrongdoing is a severe delusional disorder.

To build a huge separation wall which disconnects farmers from their farms and children from their schools, while stealing even more territory as the wall freely zigzags and encroaches on Palestinian land is unrepentant immorality.

To leave behind, in the last 10 days of a losing war in Lebanon , more than one million cluster bombs which have no purpose except to murder and maim unsuspecting civilians is murderous depravity.

To believe that the entire world is out to get you, and to denounce any critic of the racist policies of the state of Israel as an anti-Semite, the latest victim being none other than peace-making Jimmy Carter, is hysterical mass paranoia.

To possess, in the midst of a non-nuclear Arab world, more than 200 nuclear warheads capable of incinerating the whole planet, in addition to having the most lethal arsenal of weaponry on earth, while continuing to demand sympathy, is the ultimate false victimisation syndrome.

And today, to blockade the world’s most densely populated strip of land for 18 months, suffocate its already displaced and miserable inhabitants by asking them to die a slow death, and then punish them for refusing to die silently by deliberately bombing their schools, mosques, hospitals and ambulances with internationally prohibited weapons and poisonous gasses in the ugliest televised massacre of children in modern history, all the while looking the world in the eyes and claiming that this is an act of self-defense, is a critical stage of dangerous psychosis, and is pure, unadulterated madness.

Yes, and for that salesman in peaceful Geneva to be as insecure as a common thief to refuse to acknowledge the name of the largest West Bank city under his country’s brutal military occupation is, sadly, more of the same infectious and ultimately fatal disease of the mind.

The writer is an attorney, partner in Nabulsi & Associates law firm. He contributed this article to The Jordan Times.



To the Editor:

When the Suburbanite published my letter in the Jan 14 issue a line was
edited out, and this line was extremely important to the integrity of the

“The Suburbanite might also consider that publishing such an
article at all at a time when Israel is committing mass murder in Gaza is in
extremely bad taste.”

I think it’s time to stop tip-toeing around Zionist sensibilities.  I think
that now as people of conscience everywhere are watching helplessly as the
survivors of the holocaust are perpetrating a holocaust on another
population it is time to stop worrying about offending those who support
this slaughter.  Three years ago Jewish Israeli scholar Ilan Pappe wrote a
book entitled “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine”.  In it he carefully
documented the Palestinian nakba- the catastrophe- of 1948.  He, and other
historians like him, many of them Jews, have put to rest forever the
hallucination of Israeli innocence that we Jews like to cling to.  And yet,
unable to admit our original sins, we compound them with crime after crime,
year after year, decade after decade, and now we are incinerating babies in
Gaza with chemical weapons.

And while this is going on, The Suburbanite publishes an article about women
who meet to contribute to the Jewish “victims” who were removed from illegal
Gaza settlements by the Israeli government.  There is something about this
that is more than just bad taste.  I would call it obscene.

-Rich Siegel


Fashion Show Tickets



Afghanistan. ..Iraq… Lebanon.. .Gaza.

The definition of insanity being, according to Einstein, repeating the same behaviors over and over expecting a different result, one wonders whether Americans and Israelis alike will ever recognize that the knee-jerk use of military force does not solve problems but only antagonizes people and often creates allies amongst ones opponents where none had existed.

Israel Has Managed to Lose Again

By Gilad Atzmon • Jan 14th, 2009 at 23:55 •

Haaretz reported today that IDF Senior officials “believe that Israel should strive to reach an immediate cease-fire with Hamas, and not expand its offensive against the Palestinian Islamist group in Gaza.”

This shouldn’t take us by great surprise. Though Israel has proved beyond doubt that it is rather capable of conducting large-scale genocide, it also proved that its military forces do not have the answer to Islamic resistance.  The Israeli chief military officials admitted as well that “Israel achieved several days ago all that it possibly could in Gaza.”  The IDF, so it seems, finished its role in Gaza. It turned its neighbourhoods into piles of rubble. Relentlessly, it even murdered the civilian population in broad daylight by means of air raids and attacks from warships. Images of white phosphorus artillery shells bursting over schools and hospitals are now part of our collective memory.  Tanks firing into schools loaded with evacuees seeking refuge from the bombing of their buildings is now the image associated with the Hebraic soldier and yet, the Israelis failed to achieve any of their objectives. I must admit that it must take a special talent to be an Israeli general.  As much as they are good in committing war crimes, they somehow fail in everything else.

The Israeli politicians initially swore to destroy Hamas, they then lowered their expectations, they promised just to destroy Hamas’ rocket launching capabilities, all the while reassuring their excited Israeli voters that this time the Jewish State will fight till the bitter end. Seemingly, their promises fell too short once again.

Hamas is still there; its support within the Palestinian street is stronger than ever. But it is not only the Palestinian street.  Hamas’ message of defiance is spreading all over the Muslim world and beyond. Last week I was marching in London together with another 100,000 protesters. The support for Hamas was all around. It was on placards, flags, headbands and loudspeakers.  Not only is Hamas far from being defeated, its rocket launching capability seems to be unaffected. Day after day Hamas combatants manage to remind Israelis in Ashdod, Ashkelon and Sderot that they actually live on stolen Palestinian land. Give Hamas the necessary time and the ballistic message will be carried to every corner of stolen Palestine.

Israel is desperate for an exit strategy. I learned today that Defence Minister Barak is looking for a week long humanitarian ceasefire. Please do not hold your breath, the notorious mass murderer didn’t change his spots all of a sudden. Being a veteran general, Barak realises very well that his soldiers on the ground need a break and they need it now.  Being that they are gathered together in a few scattered open areas, they are currently exposed to Hamas’ snipers and mortar fire. In the last few days, Israeli forces started to suffer a growing number of causalities. The attempt to step up the battle into Gaza’s neighbourhood met with some severe resistance. The Israeli army is stuck once again.

If this is not enough, within a few days Obama is going to reside in the White House and the Israelis are not totally convinced that the new American president will blindly support their murderous strategy. Defence Minister Barak realizes that his window of opportunity might be closing down. He realises that IDF soldiers may have to dig in Gaza city outskirts without achieving any of the war’s military objectives. Barak needs a few days of ceasefire to create a new reality on the ground. He obviously prefers to hide behind a humanitarian effort. This is far easier than admitting that once again the IDF was caught unprepared. Olmert aids, however were stupid enough to admit the lie. Apparently one of them slammed Barak earlier on today suggesting that “Hamas sees the scenes and hears the voices, these comments are a shot in the arm for Hamas and its leaders.”

As things stand, IDF soldiers are now stranded in Gaza. Don’t misinterpret me, they are still capable of spreading death and inflicting carnage, yet they cannot win this war. The IAF ran out of ˜military” targets a week ago and the artillery is probably facing the same situation. As news floods in it becomes evident that once Israeli soldiers leave their armoured vehicles and Merkava tanks they are subject to the mercy of Hamas. I have read today on Ynet that some IDF soldiers reported that they “don’t really see the enemy”, “we get hit and we do not know by who and how.”

As things stand, Hamas is becoming a symbol of heroic persistence. Its combatants on the ground fight almost with bare hands against America’s most lethal technology. Similarly, Hamas’political leadership has managed to set itself as the key to any possible resolution of the current conflict. The hope that Hamas would be toppled or discredited proved to be just another Jewish wet dream.  Hamas is now becoming a widely accepted entity by the international community. It is regarded as an elementary ingredient in any possible solution. Israel, on the other hand, is seen for what it is for real, a murderous criminal state involved in genocidal war crimes of the worst order.

However, there is a new reality that we have to bear in mind. The damage Israel is leaving behind in Gaza is horrific.  It has flattened neighbourhoods, it has spread white phosphorus in populated areas. As if this is not enough, the many tons of bunker buster bombs which Israel was using day and night have shaken the foundations of every building in Gaza and the question looms large as to whether Gazan houses that are still standing will be safe to live in. EU officials raised the question today wondering who is going to pay for the reconstruction of these eradicated towns, camps and villages.

In an ideal ethical world, Israel would have let the Gazans go back to their land. But ethics and Israel are very much like parallel lines. They somehow never meet. As much as it is clear that Palestinians will come back to their land, it won’t be Israel that that will welcome the inevitable returning Palestinians.

Someone will have to rebuild Gaza, and the only name that comes to mind is the democratically elected Hamas. Such a huge project maintained by Hamas will be the right answer to Israel’s criminal war and its murderous objectives.

Thank you for your interest in and help with the Compassionate Care Act (Assembly Bill 7347-B / Senate. 7283-A), which would establish a carefully regulated medical marijuana program to relieve the suffering of thousands of seriously ill New Yorkers. 

This is the first in a series of monthly email updates about the bill and the Compassionate Care NY (CCNY) campaign. 

We are also holding monthly calls to keep everyone up to date on the bill and campaign activities. Our next conference call is January 17th at 6 PM; to RSVP, please contact Alexis Posey at [email protected] or 212-613-8027 or click on this link to register: CCNY Conference Call Registration.

Quick Summary of the Campaign

With your help, Compassionate Care NY – a group of patients, healthcare providers, family members, and organizations – has reached thousands of everyday New Yorkers and dozens of elected officials across the state with our message that now is the time for New York to join eighteen other states and the District of Columbia in making access to medical marijuana legal.

Last session, the bill was reintroduced by Assembly Member Dick Gottfried and Senator Diane Savino. It passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. This legislative session started January 9th,and Assm. Gottfried and Sen. Savino plan to reintroduce the measure.

What can you do right now to pass the Compassionate Care Act?

  • “Like” and “share” the Compassionate Care NY Facebook page.
  • Arrange for CCNY to come speak to a group you are involved with (e.g., professional association, church or synagogue, employees group, etc…).
  • Visit your state Senator and Assembly Member and tell them why you think it’s important for patients to have legal access to medical marijuana. CCNY can help you schedule and prepare for the meeting and can attend with you if you want.
  • Join our monthly calls to get the latest information about the bill and how to move it forward.  RSVP for our next call, January 17th from 6-7 PM.
  • Collect signatures of people who support medical marijuana in New York using the attached letter.
  • Distribute CCNY materials (contact us for fact sheets, stickers, rally signs).
  • Sign up for a Lobby Day in Albany (date TDB). 

To get involved in any of the activities – or for assistance with any of the above, contact me at [email protected] or 347-781-5435 or post a message on our Facebook page.

CCNY Advocates in the News
Compassionate Care NY advocates have been hard at work making sure their stories get in the news.

Dr. Julie Holland just published a powerful op-ed about marijuana as medicine.

In September, the fierce advocates at MS Resources of Central New York (MSRCNY) held a town hall on medical marijuana attended by over 170 MS patients, family members and healthcare providers. Panelist at the MSRCNY Town Hall: Dr. Sunil Aggarwal, Lisa Ellis, and Susan Rusinko.  News coverage of MSRCNY’s town hall included:

Susan Rusinko was also profiled in another story on the Syracuse Post Standard, and the piece explains how all the great advocacy in Syracuse has softened the position of a key Republican Senator, DeFrancisco:

Before the end of the year, Margaret Hart, an advocate living with MS in central New York, had a great op-ed published in the Syracuse Post Standard.  Read it here:

Dr. Sunil Aggarwal had a letter to the editor published in the New York Daily News.  Read it here:

Let us know what you’ve been doing to support the passage of the Compassionate Care Act, and if you have questions or suggestions for CCNY, please contact us. 

Together we can make 2013 the year that patients in New York get the relief they deserve!

Julie Netherland and the Compassionate Care NY Team