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Wednesday, February 15, 2017
“No ban, no wall, Jerusalem for all!” Interfaith march and rally against Trump - Netanyahu Islamophobic and racist agendas
New York City, New York – While President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in Washington D.C. today, interfaith leaders and community members in New York City marched to express opposition to the racist and Islamophobic agendas of both leaders. Organized by American Muslims for Palestine New York, Jewish Voice for Peace New York, and the Muslim Jewish Anti-Fascist Front, over 500 people marched through the streets from Grand Central Terminal to Trump Tower, chanting “No Ban! No Wall! Jerusalem for All!”
The meeting between the two leaders takes place in the context of President Trump’s controversial proposal to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, a move many see as cementing Israel’s unilateral annexation and policies aimed at displacing Palestinians from the holy city. This comes following weeks of protests against President Trump’s discriminatory, anti-Muslim immigration restrictions, which echo Israel’s own religious profiling and restrictive immigration policies.
A coalition of national faith-based organizations, including Jewish Voice for Peace, Friends of Sabeel North America and American Muslims for Palestine, organized rallies in more than a dozen cities nationwide on Wednesday to protest the “shared values” of racism & discrimination being exchanged during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting Wednesday with President Trump.
Demonstrators pointed to the ‘shared values’ of President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu, including religious profiling and discrimination and a penchant for wall-building. “Israel has long profiled Muslims at the border, and denied entry to and banned Palestinians, tearing apart families and keeping millions of refugees from returning home,” said Brandon Davis of Jewish Voice for Peace New York. “Trump says the wall he wants to build on the US-Mexico border is modeled on the walls Israel has built to keep out African asylum seekers and Palestinians.”
"In a political climate dominated by hatred and an administration that is against the true essence of liberty and democracy at home, I can only imagine the plight of the Palestinians and how much they are going to suffer under the hands of not one, but two dictators," said Hebh Jamal of American Muslims for Palestine New York. “Trump and Netanyahu’s racist and Islamophobic agendas go hand in hand. So too must our resistance.”
Emboldened by Trump’s election, Israel has announced a flurry of new settlement construction, including the first entirely new settlement in over a decade and legalizing the seizure of private Palestinian land. The Trump Administration is aligning the US with the policies of annexation and apartheid advocated by the extreme right in Israel, setting the stage for provocative moves including moving the embassy and endorsing indefinite occupation.
Organizers are planning ongoing actions, Senate call-ins and meetings aimed at blocking the nomination of David Friedman, a settlement funder whose Senate confirmation hearing for the position of ambassador to Israel is due to begin Thursday morning.
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