Communities & Focus Areas :

Made in Palestine – Evening of Comedy, Dance and Music

Online Tickets Available Here for Purchase: https://tickets.tarrytownmusichall.org/eventperformances.asp?evt=2028

Palestinian – what images come to your mind…

A hilarious comic who has been the headliner at shows at both New York’s Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and has performed around the country and internationally to sold-out audiences?

Do you think of  young boys and girls, dressed in elaborate costumes, swirling in precision as they perform the classic Palestinian folk dance of Dabke?

Or maybe, the beautifully intricate and delicate traditional embroidery that has long graced the clothes of Palestinians and has recently become the inspiration for couture and hip fashion alike?

No, this isn’t what immediately pops into your thoughts. We understand. Unfortunately, the long and rich cultural history of Palestine has long been overshadowed by other images portrayed in the media.

We aim to change that and we need your help!

MADE IN PALESTINE, a one- night event planned for Sunday, Nov. 19th at the Tarrytown Music Hall, will showcase the beautiful and light-hearted side of Palestine.

WESPAC Foundation, a leading force for progressive social change in Westchester since 1974, has long advocated for a just and lasting peace to the Israel/Palestine conflict. We are aware that many Americans know little of the multi-faceted cultural heritage of Palestine – the music, the food, the art and the struggle to have their narrative understood. We will highlight aspects of this rich culture and, we hope, leave you hungry to learn more.

We are so excited that comedian and author Amer Zahr will headline MADE IN PALESTINE. Palestinian American Performance Poet Remi Kenazi and a NJ Palestinian folkloric dabke dance troupe will open the show.  Authentic food will be served and fair-trade artisan gifts and products from Palestine will be available for purchase.

We are seeking financial support from the Social Justice and the Arab-Palestinian community and others to underwrite this exciting opportunity.  We hope that you will support this event by choosing one of the sponsorship options listed below. I will call you in a few days to discuss this invitation and share more details about the show and how you might like to become involved.

We hope you will join us in what will surely be a fun and  entertaining evening with important, long-lasting effects.

MADE IN PALESTINE

Sponsorship Opportunities

Benefactor                       $1000

6 VIP tickets and listing in program

Sponsor                            $  500

4 VIP tickets and listing in program

Friend                             $  250

2 VIP tickets and listing in program

Supporter                         $ 100

Listing in Program

PROGRAM Ads

Front inside cover            $ 750

Back outside cover          $ 750

Back inside cover             $ 300

Full-page                            $ 150

Half-page                           $ 100

Quarter-page                   $   75

Business card                   $   50

Name as you would like it to appear in listing:

Please send Black and White Graphic for Ad by November 3rd, 2017

TO:   WESPAC Foundation

     77 Tarrytown Road, 2W

     White Plains, NY 10607

For more information, call the WESPAC office at 914.449.6515 or email [email protected]

Posted in Blogs, Communities & Focus Areas, Director's Blog, Frontpage, Movement Building, Racial Justice

Report Back from Annual NACOLE Conference

Nada will be presenting a report on Thursday, September 28th at 7pm at WESPAC regarding her participation at the Annual NACOLE Conference on behalf of WCPR.  

On September 10th, hundreds of members of law enforcement, community leaders, elected officials, journalists, academics, students and oversight professionals will gather in Spokane, Washington, for the annual four day NACOLE conference (National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement): http://www.nacole.org/2017_annual_conference .

Conference attendees will be able to choose from 31 different concurrent and plenary sessions on a wide range of topics including Building Community Trust, Trauma Informed Policing, Auditing for Accountability, Evaluating Police Use of Force and much more.  Attendees will be part of a learning and networking event that will provide inspiration, ideas and practical knowledge as we work for a vision of implementing best practices and enhanced police legitimacy in our local communities and around the nation.  

Posted in Blogs, Criminal Justice, Director's Blog, Economic and Human Rights, Frontpage, Movement Building, Racial Justice

WESPAC Community Yoga

Posted in Blogs, Director's Blog, Frontpage, Movement Building

Charlottesville Through a Glass Darkly

Charlottesville Through a Glass Darkly
 
 
Richard Falk
Global Justice in the 21st Century (blog)
August 18, 2017
 

I suggest that Zionists fond of smearing critics of Israel as ‘anti-Semites’ take a sobering look at the VICE news clip of the white nationalist torch march through the campus of the University of Virginia the night before the lethal riot in Charlottesville. In this central regard, anti-Semitism, and its links to Naziism and Fascism, and now to Trumpism, are genuinely menacing, and should encourage rational minds to reconsider any willingness to being manipulated for polemic purposes by ultra Zionists. We can also only wonder about the moral, legal, and political compass of ardent Zionists who so irresponsibly label Israel’s critics and activist opponents as anti-Semites, and thus confuse and bewilder the public as to the true nature of anti-Semitism as racial hatred directed at Jews.

There must be less incendiary ways of fashioning responses to the mounting tide of criticism of Israel’s policies and practices than by deliberately distorting and confusing the nature of anti-Semitism. To charge supporters of BDS, however militant, with anti-Semitism dangerously muddies the waters, trivializing hatred of Jews by deploying ‘anti-Semitism’ as an Israeli tactic and propaganda tool of choice in a context of non-violent expressions of free speech and political advocacy, and thus challenging the rights so elemental that they have long been taken for granted by citizens in every funcitioning constitutional democracy. It is worth recalling that despite the criticisms of BDS during the South African anti-apartheid campaign, militant participants were never, ever smeared, despite being regarded as employing a controversial approach often derided as counterproductive in politically conservative circles.

And of course it is not only Zionists who have eaten of this poisonous fruit. As a result of Israel’s own willingness to encourage such tactics, as in organizing initiatives seeking to discredit, and even criminalize, the nonviolent BDS campaign, several leaders of important Western countries who should know better have swallowed this particular cool aid. A recent statement by  President of France, Emmanuel Macron: “Anti-Zionism…is the reinvented form of anti-Semitism,” and implicitly such a statement suggests that to be anti-Zionist is tantamount to criticism of Israel as a Jewish state.

After grasping this tortured reasoning, have a look at the compelling Open Letter to Macron,* written in response by the famed Israeli historian, Shlomo Sand, author of an essential book, The Invention of the Jewish People. In his letter Sand explains why he cannot himself be a Zionist given the demographic realities, historical abuse of the majority population of historic Palestine, and the racist and colonialist overtones of proclaiming a Jewish state in a Palestine that a hundred years ago was a national space containing only 60,000 Jews half of whom were actually opposed to the Zionist project. This meant that the Jewish presence in Palestine represented only about 7% of the total population, the other 700,000 being mostly Muslims and Christian Arabs. The alternative to Zionism for an Israel that abandons apartheid is not collapse but a transformed reality based on the real equality of Jews and Palestinians. Shlomo Sand gives the following substance to this non-Zionist political future for Israel: “..an Israeli republic and not a Jewish communalist state.” This is not the only morally, politically, and legally acceptable solution. A variety of humane and just alternatives to the status quo exist that are capable of embodying the overlapping rights of self-determination of these two long embattled peoples.

To avoid the (mis)impression that Charlottesville was most disturbing because of its manifestations of hatred of Jews it is helpful to take a step backward. Charlottesville was assuredly an ugly display of anti-Semitism, but it only secondarily slammed Jews. Its primary hateful resonance was its exhibition of white supremacy, American nativism, and a virtual declaration of war against Black Lives Matter and the African American and immigrant struggle against racial injustice. Jews are doing better than all right in America by almost every indicator of economic, political, and social success. African Americans, Hispanics, and Muslims are not. Many of their lives are daily jeopardized by various forms of state terror, as well as by this surge of violent populism given sly, yet unmistakable, blessings by an enraged and unrepentant White House in the agonized aftermath of Charlottesville. Jews thankfully have no bereaved victims of excess uses of force by American police as have lethally victimized such African Americans as Treyvon Martin, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice. Jews in America do not fear or face pre-dawn home searches, cruel family disrupting deportations, and the mental anguish of devastating forms of uncertainty that now is the everyday reality for millions of Hispanic citizens and residents.

What Charlottesville now becomes is up to the American people, and to some lesser extent to the reactions and responses throughout the world. The Charlottesville saga has already auditioned Trump and Spence as high profile apprentices of white nationalism. Whether an array of Republican tweets of disgust and disapproval gain any political traction remains to be seen, or as in the past they dissolve as bubbles in the air and soon seem best regarded as empty tropes of political correctness. What counsels skepticism about this current cascade of self-righteous pronouncements is the awareness that many of these same individuals in the past quickly renewed their conniving habits behind closed doors, working overtime to deprive the racially vulnerable in America of affordable health insurance, neighborhood security, and residence rights. As is so often the case in the political domain these days disreputable actions speak far more loudly than pious words.

If the majority of Americans can watch the torch parade and urban riot of white nationalists shouting racist slogans, dressed for combat, and legally carrying assault weapons, in silence we are done for as a nation of decency and promise. If the mainstream does not scream ‘enough’ at the top of its lung it is time to admit ‘game over.’ This undoubtedly means that the political future of this country belongs to the likes of Trump/Spence, and it also means that a national stumble into some kind of fascist reality becomes more and more unavoidable. The prospect of a fascist America can no longer be dismissed as nothing more than a shrill and desperate ploy by the moribund left to gain a bit of attention on the national stage before giving up the ghost of revolutionary progressivism once and for all.

So we must each ask ourselves and each other is this the start of the Second Civil War or just one more bloody walk in the woods?

 
 
  
Richard Falk is a professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University where he taught for forty years. Since 2002 he has lived in Santa Barbara, California, and taught at the local campus of the University of California in Global and International Studies and since 2005 chaired the Board of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. He initiated this blog partly in celebration of his 80th birthday. 
 
Falk is the author or co-author of 20 books and the editor or co-editor of another 20 volumes. In 2008, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) appointed Falk to a six-year term as a United Nations Special Rapporteur on “the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.” He has been variously criticized by U.S. ambassador Susan Rice and Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon for his positions on Israel and the September 11 attacks. [Wikipedia]
Posted in Communities & Focus Areas, Militarism and Foreign Policy

WESPAC Open House!

All are welcome!

WESPAC Open House!

All are welcome to the WESPAC Open House! Come and see our new space in White Plains/Greenburgh, meet old and new friends and hear about plans for this coming year. Wednesday, September 6th from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at 77 Tarrytown Road, Suite 2W in White Plains/Greenburgh, NY 10607. Plenty of free parking on site; drive all the way up to the top parking level behind the building. We look forward to welcoming you then! Light refreshments will be served. Call 914.449.6514 for more information.

Posted in Blogs, Communities & Focus Areas, Director's Blog, Movement Building

After Charlottesville: A Conversation with Local Law Enforcement

After Charlottesville: A Conversation with Local Law Enforcement

Thursday, September 7th at 7pm at the new WESPAC Office location
77 Tarrytown Road, Suite 2W
White Plains/Greenburgh, NY 10607

Join the Westchester Coalition for Police Reform as we speak with Detective Keith Olson, President of the Yonkers Police Benevolent Association and Damon Jones, Blacks in Law Enforcement of America’s NY Representative, about policing, community relations and accountability in an era of emboldened white supremacy.  This community forum is free and open to the public and will be facilitated by WESPAC Director Nada Khader.  There is plenty of free parking on site. Take the driveway all the way to the top behind the building.  For more information, call the WESPAC office at 914.449.6514.

Posted in Blogs, Communities & Focus Areas, Director's Blog, Movement Building, Racial Justice

WESPAC Membership Dues 2017

Dear Members and Friends of WESPAC,

First, we would like to share with you the good news that WESPAC has moved to a new large, spacious location with plenty of free parking on Tarrytown Road in White Plains/Greenburgh, less than half a mile from the White Plains train station. Our open house is scheduled for Wednesday, September 6th from 5:30pm to 7:30pm: 77 Tarrytown Road, Suite 2W in White Plains, NY 10607.

This last year has been extremely challenging for our movements and WESPAC continues to play a crucial role locally and beyond, which is why we ask for your continued financial support. Dues are $100 per person annually, or $50 for students and persons with a fixed income.

Over the past year, we have worked together with the newly formed Westchester Social Justice Community network to stand up for our progressive values, as we experience increased levels of repression from the federal government, as we witness growing threats to the wellbeing of the planet and our communities, as profit is placed over people and land, and corporations, not people, control our democracy. We have worked with community partners to hold “Justice Monday” rallies in downtown White Plains to advocate for public policies that support immigrant rights, public education, worker rights, affordable housing, safe & renewable energy, LGBTQ rights and healthcare for all.

WESPAC was a key part of the organizing team for the recent Westchester Social Forum that took place in May at New Rochelle High School, where hundreds gathered to exchange ideas and information, foster solidarity, and celebrate our work to create a more just and equal society. The current political climate has energized both seasoned and new activists who are working to build alliances to address social justice issues.

We continue to work in coalition to oppose racialized policing, support Black Liberation movements locally and support a transformation of our criminal justice system. WESPAC is also playing a key role in standing up for the civil and constitutional rights of all those who speak out for Palestinian freedom. We have marched and met with elected officials at the local, state and federal level as we witness increasing repression against the non-violent BDS movement for Palestinian human rights.

The only way we can continue our work is with your help. Dues are $100 per person annually, or $50 for students and persons with a fixed income. We are grateful for all levels of support and no one is turned away for lack of funds. Volunteer hours are welcome in lieu of payment and can be arranged with the office. Please make your tax-deductible contribution today via the donate button at wespac.org or by check in the enclosed envelope. We are asking for all dues to be received by September 30th.

We are proud of the role we play as a hub for grassroots organizing with a mission to strengthen movement building in the promotion of human rights and self-determination for all communities. We need your support now more than ever to make this cherished community institution stronger!

For the WESPAC Community,

Teresa Delgado, WESPAC Board Chair and Nada Khader, WESPAC Director

PS. Every tax-deductible donation you make goes directly to our critical work for social justice and peace. Please like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter!

www.wespac.org Facebook: Explore WESPAC Twitter: @WESPAC_NY

Posted in Blogs, Communities & Focus Areas, Director's Blog, Frontpage, Movement Building

Call for all citizens to join in the efforts for inclusion and respect for the human rights in New Rochelle

David is a core trainer with the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond and is the founder/leader of New Rochelle Against Racism

Call for all citizens to join in the efforts for inclusion and respect for the human rights in New Rochelle

The recent violent events in Virginia have surprised many who do not believe that a racist ideology of white supremacy is alive and well in this country. However, it is not a surprise to people of African descent and other people of color. As members of New RoAR (New Rochelle Against Racism), we reject the notion that this ideology is limited to Neo Nazi, KKK or any other overt member of a so-called white nationalist group. We also reject the notion that in the absence of these horrible events, white supremacy doesn’t exist. The consistent historical and current impact of structural and institutional racism is embedded in all of the major institutions of this country.

As a result, for our purposes this statement also applies to New Rochelle, New York.

We believe that only a consistent racial analysis of the current policies and decision making by our city, school and social service providers will provide the level of accountability needed to achieve racial equity. We reject the belief that our demographic diversity alone is an effective lens for evaluating the health of our city.

We call on all citizens to join in the efforts for inclusion and respect for the human rights of those who are most impacted by these racist policies and practices.

Moving forward, we will highlight when and where these concerns need to be addressed. We intend to hold accountable community groups representing those oppressed by these systems and institutions. We will not hide in the shadows or blame people for the conditions in which they live.

We believe that our collective efforts will alter the way power is currently exercised by all of the systems in our city.

David Peters,

New Rochelle Against Racism (New RoAR)

Posted in Blogs, Communities & Focus Areas, Director's Blog, Racial Justice

Rally to Protect Immigrants!

Posted in Blogs, Communities & Focus Areas, Director's Blog, Immigration, Movement Building, Racial Justice

Footage from the May 2017 Westchester Social Forum

Posted in Blogs, Communities & Focus Areas, Director's Blog, Frontpage, Movement Building
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