Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Chicago Arabs protest Gaza war crimes Friday 3 PM in front of the Tribune building

For more information Contact;
Amanin Ghouleh 708.601.3713

Protest To Stop The Mascare in Gaza

Arab American along with other ethnic, religious and human rights organizations have stepped forward to protest the inhumane killing of Palestinians in Gaza and Israeli war crimes and violation of international rules.

Israel continues to escalate the attacks on Palestinians in Gaza; leaving Gaza civilians bleeding to death, while clinics, mosques, schools and hundreds of home were destroyed. Since Saturday 12/27/08, over 350 Palestinians are dead and more than 1600 injured.

With the siege continuing, there is no where to go and nothing is safe. Skies raining with Israeli missiles created horrific scenes of bodies, many of whom are women, children & elderly. Scenes such as five sisters dead while sleeping and four children with their mother dead while having breakfast, all the result of Israeli missiles strikes.

A peaceful demonstration and rally will take place on:

Date: Friday, January 2, 2009
Time: 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Place: Meet at Tribune Plaza 435 N. Michigan Ave, then March to Israeli Consulate

Sponsored by (list in formation): American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)-Chicago Chapter, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), ANSWER Chicago, Arab American Action Network (AAAN), Comite Anti-Militarizacion (CAMY), Chicago Coalition Against War and Racism (CCAWR), Fight Back! Newspaper, International Solidarity Movement (ISM)-Chicago, Islamic Community Center of Illinois (ICCI), Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)-Chicago, Mosque Foundation, Muslim American Society (MAS) Freedom Foundation, National Boricua Human Rights Network, Palestinian American Community Center, Palestine Solidarity Group (PSG)-Chicago, United States Palestinian Community Network (USPCN)-Chicago

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Nationwide protests organizaed against Israeli war crimes in gaza Strip: Protest Calendar

Stop the Massacre of Palestinians!

Emergency Rally in Chicago
Tomorrow: Sunday, December 28 - 12 Noon to 2 pm
Water Tower Park - 830 N. Michigan Ave, Chicago
For more info call 773-463-0311


Tuesday, December 30: National Day of Action
Emergency Demonstrations on Tuesday, December 30 and other days (listed below)

The ANSWER Coalition, Muslim American Society Freedom, Free Palestine Alliance, National Council of Arab Americans, and Al-Awda, International Palestine Right to Return Coalition are calling for Tuesday, December 30 to be a National Day of Action to show solidarity with the Palestinian people in Gaza and to demand an immediate end to the murderous attacks carried out by the Israeli military against the people of Gaza.

In Washington, D.C., there will be a demonstration at the State Department at 4:30 pm. Demonstrations will also be held in cities around the country. See below for an initial list. If there is a demonstration in your city, email the details to so it can be posted on the ANSWER Coalition website and listed in any future emails.


Hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza have been massacred and wounded today as Israel has launched a massive bombing campaign against the people of Gaza. The bombing rampage took place as thousands of Palestinian children were in the streets on their way home from school. Palestinian parents were running frantically in the streets looking for their children as U.S.-provided F-16s and Apache helicopters rained down more than 100 bombs and missiles on Gaza.

The20U.S.-backed Israeli Occupation Force destroyed every security station in Gaza. AFP reported: "There was no space left in the morgue and bodies were piled up in the emergency room and in the corridors, as many of the wounded screamed in pain."

Because of the U.S.-backed Israeli blockade and strangulation of the people of Gaza for the past 18 months there is little or no medicine to treat the wounded, electricity for hospitals, or food or clean water for much of the population.

An Israeli military spokesperson said, "The operation is ‘only just beginning’." The Israeli Defense Ministry said in a statement: "The action will continue and will widen as much as is demanded according to the evaluation of the situation by the high command of the army."

Take Action:
- Demonstrations Across the Country
- Send a letter to the State Department and Congress

Washington, D.C.
Tuesday, December 30
4:30 pm
State Department: 22nd St & C St NW
Contact: 202-544-3389,

San Francisco
Tuesday, December 30
5:00 pm
Israeli Consulate:456 Montgomery St.
Contact: 415-821-6545,

Los Angeles
Tuesday, December 30
4:30 pm
Israeli Consulate: 6380 Wilshire Blvd.
Contact: 213-251-1025,
* * * * *
In Anaheim, CA (Orange County):
Sunday, December 28
2:00 pm
512 S. Brookhurst St. (between Orange Ave. & Broadway)
Initiated by a coalition with a large number of groups

New York City
Tuesday, December 30
5:00 pm
Israeli Consulate: 800 2nd Ave (b/w 42nd and 43rd Sts)
Contact: 212-694-8720,
* * * * *
Sunday, December 28
2:00-4:00 pm
Gather at Rockefeller Center
March to the Israeli Consulate: 800 2nd Ave (b/w 42nd and 43rd Sts)
Initiated by Al-Awda New York

Fort Lauderdale, FL
Tuesday, December 30
5:00 pm
Federal Building: 299 E. Broward Blvd.
Contact: 954-707-0155,

Emergency Rally in Chicago
Sunday, December 28 - 12 Noon to 2 pm
Water Tower Park - 830 N. Michigan Ave, Chicago
For more info call 773-463-0311

Other actions to be announced
Contact: 773-463-0311,

Details to be announced
Contact: 857-334-5084,

Saturday, January 3
12:00 noon - 2:00 pm
Westlake Park: 4th and Pine
Initiated by Voices of Palestine

Sunday, December 28
2:00 pm
Israeli Embassy Consulate: 180 Bloor St. West
Initiated by a number of local organizations

If there is a demonstration in your city, email the details to so it can be posted on the ANSWER Coalition website and listed in any future emails.

Send a letter to the State Department and Congress: Join with people around the country and around the world who are demanding an end to U.S. aid to Israel. This is an urgent situation and we must all act now. You can send a letter with our easy click and send system demanding an end to U.S. aid to Israel. Without U.S. aid, the Israeli military attacks, siege and blockade of Gaza could not be continued. Click this link now to send a letter to the State Department and elected officials in Congress.

You can help to support this important organizing effort by making a financial contribution today. Click here to donate online, where you can also find information on how to contribute by check.

Free Palestine Alliance Statement: To read a statement from the Free Palestine Alliance, click here.


A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
National Office in Washington DC: 202-544-3389
New Yor k City: 212-694-8720
Los Angeles: 213-251-1025
San Francisco: 415-821-6545
Chicago: 773-463-0311

Arab American Institute Statement of Israel's Gaza assault

AAI Statement on Gaza Crisis

Israel's massive bombardment of Gaza must end immediately.

The Bush Administration must demand that the bombing stop, that Gaza's borders be reopened under UN supervision, and that negotiations resume toward reinstating an effective cross-border ceasefire.

Again, as in the past, Israel's overwhelming and disproportionate violence in retaliation puts innocent civilians in the firing line, thereby inflaming Palestinian and regional passions. Indeed, this is the third such devastating assault launched by Israel with the Bush Administration's acquiescence (remember the re-conquest of the West Bank in 2003, and the wars on Gaza and Lebanon in 2006). And to what end? All these attacks on Gaza bring massive civilian deaths, destruction of property, and deepening bitterness toward Israel and the United States. The conditions in Gaza are already deplorable; what hope can Gaza cling to in its darkest hour of need? A nation without hope has nothing to lose, and already, factions are calling for a renewed intifada against Israel.

One cannot view this tragic episode outside the context of Israel's long and cruel history in Gaza which has been criminal, by any measure of international law and conventions.

Should the White House once again fail to act to restrain Israel and to provide real leadership in the search for peace, this tragedy will continue to grow: Palestinian suffering and bitterness will deepen, Israelis will remain insecure, and extremism will be further fueled by anti-American anger.

The bottom line, here, is that, while the stupidity of Hamas' reckless behavior cannot be excused because of the continued danger such ill-considered actions pose to the security and well-being of its own constituents, there can be no justification for Israel's massive and brutal assault.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Palestinian Christians under Israeli Occupation commemorate Christmas in Shepherd's Field near Bethlehem

Press Release: Wednesday and Thursday Events in the Lands of the Shepherds

Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh: Tel 0598939532
George Rishmawi Tel 0599833888

The Palestinian Centre for Rapprochement between People, and the Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) and Siraj Center for Holy Land Studies are honored to invite you to join the Shepherds' Nights, a two-day festival and series of activities which will be held in Beit Sahour, the Shepherds Field.

Wednesday Dec 24, Artistic and cultural evening at the YMCA football field (famous artists, children activities and more). A Christmas service at 5 PM, and program starts at 6 PM for Children, and at 7 PM for adults.

Christmas Thursday Dec 25, Candle Procession titled “Light a Candle for the Land of the Shepherds” starting from the Greek Orthodox Shepherds' Field at 4 PM and ends at Ush Ghrab (Note: Transportation from Ush Ghrab after the march will be available). Bethlehem area is now surrounded on three sides by Israeli settlements and by the segregation wall. The only remaining side to the East at Ush Ghrab has been targeted by settlers who “visit” it every two weeks to insist on building yet another colonial settlement on Palestinian land contrary to International law.

This will be the 41st year that citizens of area of Bethlehem (including Beit Sahour) celebrate these holidays under Israeli occupation. We are reminded that when Jesus was born, this land of the shepherds was also occupied by a foreign army. That came to an end and this occupation will come to an end. Join us as we pray and work for peace and celebrate the birth of the prince of peace.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Mornings with Ray Hanania Radio, guest lineup for this week Dec. 22-26, 2008

Mon, Dec. 22:
8:05 Joe Boyle on Sports. The Editor of the Southwest News-Herald Newspaper discusses the week's sports news.
8:15 Neheda Jablonski, challenges facing families with disabled children in the Southwest Suburbs
8:35 Elaine Soloway, former media aid to former Mayor Jane M. Byrne remember the past administration

Tues, Dec. 23:
8:05 Rev. David Baillie of the First Church of the Nazarene discusses the meaning of Christmas, and the popular athletic and sports programs his church offers to young people throughout the Southwest and West suburbs

Wed, Dec. 24:
8:05 Are you a last minute shopper? Share your secrets, trials and tribulations of this Holiday season. All call-in show today from listeners.

Thurs, Dec. 25:

Fri, Dec. 26:
8 Guest host Chuck Salvatore of the Southwest News-Herald Newspaper substitutes for Ray Hanania from 8 until 9 am.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Focal Point -- Public TV goes online at WNET.ORG



On Wednesday, December 17, public media provider WNET.ORG launches a new online exclusive series of documentary shorts as part of the PBS award-winning world affairs series, Wide Angle In its first weeks, FOCAL POINT will bring viewers to polling stations in Pakistan, breadlines in Zimbabwe, and demonstrations in Greece, where the children of immigrants are fighting for the right to citizenship.

Like Wide Angle, FOCAL POINT offers a deeper understanding of forces shaping the world today through online-exclusive documentary shorts, an increasingly popular medium. This exciting new series will showcase the work of emerging and established independent filmmakers from around the world. Each episode is accompanied by multimedia components including audio interviews, filmmaker notes, and user-generated content.

The first episode of FOCAL POINT, From Jihad to Rehab, takes us inside a rehabilitation center in Saudi Arabia, where art therapy and religious re-education are being used to reform militant jihadists.
FOCAL POINT is produced by Wide Angle Senior Producer Nina Chaudry and Web Producer Lauren Feeney. From Jihad to Rehab is directed by Canadian journalist Nancy Durham.
For more information:

Press inquiries:
Nina Chaudry

Lauren Feeney

Monday, December 15, 2008

Protest President Bush by mailing your shoes to the White House

I just came back from the post office and mailed an old pair of shoes to President Bush at the White House in protest of his policies.

Arab journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi, the Kanye West of the Arab World, has started a trend that I think is great. Let's face it, he didn't go there and blow himself up. That's progress in a region where violencebecomes the protest form of choice.

But al-Zaidi, who was brutalized by guards (one reportedly yelling not to kick him in the face"), is a hero. Instead of violence, he used a cultural form of protest that is popular in the Arab World, and that one many American came to know when American soldiers during the invasion of Iraq, pulled down the statue of Saddam Hussein in front of one of the dictator's palaces in Baghdad, (trying to make it look like the "people" did it) and then those civilians who were brought there by the military started to express their disdain for Saddam Hussein in the way they knew best, by throwing their shoes at the statue.

How ironic that more than five years later, Iraqis are now throwing their shoes at President Bush?

And I want to help, as a fellow Arab American journalist who believes that violence is NEVER the right choice, NEVER a good choice, and NEVER a strategy for success, the symbolic throwing of my shoes at Bush (courtesy of the US Postal Service) is the most powerful expression of free speech today against the Iraq war possible.

I hope you will join me and others.

Here is the information on the White House, where to mail your packages:

The White House
President Bush
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington DC., 20500

-- Ray Hanania

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Amnesty International urges release of dissidents in Tunisia

Amnesty International Press Release
Friday, Dec. 12, 2008

Trial of Tunisian Trade Union Leaders a Travesty of Justice, Charges Amnesty International

Contact: AIUSA media office, 202-544-0200 x302,

(Washington) -- Amnesty International is calling on the Tunisian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all those arrested and tried for exercising peacefully their right to freedom of expression and assembly. Others should be retried in fair proceedings in line with Tunisia’s international obligations.

The human rights organization issued its appeal after yesterday’s prison sentences handed down to 38 trade union leaders and protesters in unfair trial proceedings for their involvement in demonstrations in the Gafsa area.

“The verdict and sentences have been a subversion of justice and they should not be allowed to stand,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Middle East and North Africa deputy program director at Amnesty International.

A Gafsa Court handed down prison terms of up to 10 years against 33 trade union activists and protesters who were accused of leading the unrest against unemployment and high living costs in the first half of this year in the phosphate-rich Gafsa region in southeast Tunisia. Four were tried in absentia.

Charges included “forming a criminal group with the aim of destroying public and private property” and “armed rebellion and assault on officials during the exercise of their duties.” They were among the hundreds arrested after a wave of protests against unemployment and high living costs that wracked the phosphate-rich Gafsa region in south-east Tunisia in the first half of this year.

“The Tunisian authorities must immediately stop criminalizing social protest. Instead of trying peaceful protesters and trade unionists, the authorities should investigate the allegations of torture previously raised by the defendants,” added Sahraoui.

Amnesty International is concerned that serious violations of fair trial standards have been committed, including that the defense lawyers were not able to present the case of their clients; the defendants were not interrogated in court and the demands of the lawyers that their clients be medically examined for trace of possible torture and to call and cross-examine witnesses were rejected by the court.

Yesterday’s verdict came amid reports of a heavy security presence. Security forces were deployed along the roads leading to the court as well as in main access roads to the city of Gafsa. The roads leading to the court were said to have been barred by the security forces who prevented a number of human rights activists from reaching the court.

“The trial raises yet again questions as to the independence of the judiciary in Tunisia and shows the Tunisian authorities’ determination to quell any independent voices inside the country,” said Sahraoui.

The leader of trade union and spokesperson for the Movement of Social Protest in Gafsa, Adnan Hajji was sentenced, along with six others, to 10 years’ imprisonment in the trial. The rest received prison sentences ranging from two to six years, including at least eight suspended sentences. Journalist Fahem Boukadous and France-based human rights activist Mouheiddine Cherbib, received, respectively, six and two years in absentia.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.2 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

# # #

For more information, please visit:

Friday, December 12, 2008

American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Chicago establishes Discrimination Watch List



(Chicago, IL Thurs. Dec. 11, 2008) -- The Chicago Chapter of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) elected Fadi Zanayed, a Chicago area attorney since 1985, as its President. The elections were held December 7, 2008, at the Aqsa School in Bridgeview , Illinois . Immediately after taking office, Mr. Zanayed, along with the Board of Directors, quickly formed a Discriminatory Watch List Committee with a Rapid Response Team ready to take on discriminatory actions against the Arab-American community.

Shafic M. Budron , a national ADC Board Member, took on the responsibility of Vice-President. Budron, also a former President of the local organization, adds continuity to the newly elected Executive Committee and Board of Directors.

Ms. Fatima Akrabawi was re-elected as Secretary of ADC. Mahmoud Badawi was elected as Treasurer. All Executive Committee members (President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer) are elected for a one year term.

Mr. Zanayed is not new to ADC. He was President of the organization during the first Gulf War, from 1988-1990. Citing the need to renew the efforts of the organization in fighting the recent wave of discriminatory acts against the American-Arab community, Mr. Zanayed said, “Our community thought that the discriminatory acts against us had dissipated in the late 1990’s, only to be revived by biased acts like the recent on-air statement by an ESPN sportscaster who slandered Palestinians in an unrelated conversation about recruiting college football players for the NFL. Those parents, the sportscaster stated, were like Palestinian parents who pushed their kids to be suicide bombers. We will not stand for these slanderous comments and we will not stand to be disrespected like in the incident involving the woman who falsified a report that she was raped by an “Arab-looking” man. Our community will not allow individuals, organizations, media outlets or anyone else to malign the reputation of productive and hardworking American men, woman and children of the Arab & Muslim heritage. We will confront discrimination against our community head on."

Individuals and organizations that are found by the ADC Board of Directors to have committed an act of discrimination against the Arab-American community will be put on a Discriminatory Watch List.

To implement this task, award winning Arab American columnist and radio talk show host Ray Hanania, former National President of the Palestinian American Congress, was named Coordinator of the ADC-Chicago “Rapid Response Team” which has been organized to respond to acts of discrimination directed at the Arab-American community at large, and individuals because they are Arab-American in particular.

Board of Directors are elected on staggered terms to serve for 3 years. Elected on December 7, 2008 were the following individuals: Vivian Khalaf , Ray Hanania, Fadi Zanayed, Mark Yowakim, Ibtisam Tartir and Audrey Nadia Galal.

Members of the Board of Directors whose terms are still active are Afaf Issa, Hatem Galal , Faysal Mohamed , Hareth Raddawi , Amjad Hamdan , Suleiman Mohamad and Abdelwahab Tartir.

The Chicago ADC Board approved a resolution congratulating outgoing President Ibtisam Tartir for her work during the past year. The Board further welcomed her continued efforts of service to the ADC Board and the community at large.

Commenting on the make-up of the Board, Mr. Zanayed said, “We have a diverse group of individuals that I am proud to work with. We have professionals from all fields. We have doctors, lawyers, professors, engineers, writers, newspaper editors, students and entrepreneurs. With the commitment that has been pledged by all the Board members, ADC Chicago will multiply its efforts in the service of the people.”

In its first public policy act, the ADC Chicago Board of Directors also called upon President Barrack Obama to make a just and lasting peace between Israel and Palestine a priority of his administration.

Fadi Zanayed, Attorney, 708-257-7755 - Fax 708-221-6668
8855 S. Roberts Road, Hickory Hills, IL 60457

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

ADC to release national report on hate crimes


Lieutenant Colonel Koury, US Army National Guard, To Describe Ongoing Discrimination, Hostile and Abusive Work Environment For First Time

Washington, DC December 1, 2008 The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) will hold a press conference to release its “Report on Hate Crimes and Discrimination Against Arab Americans” on Thursday, December 4, 2008 at its Washington, DC headquarters and you are invited to join us. This event is free and open to the public, please RSVP to .

The report spans four years and examines: hate crimes and discrimination; civil liberties concerns; discrimination and bias in primary and secondary educational institutions; discrimination and political harassment campaigns in higher education; defamation in the media; communication and cooperation between community organizations and government agencies; and recommendations for the future. This report was made possible by The Ford Foundation and The Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Included at the press conference will be the story of Lieutenant Colonel
(LTC) Lance Koury, a long-time member of the Alabama National Guard who for years has been subjected to a hostile and abusive work environment.
LTC Koury will be telling his story and taking questions in public for the first-time during the press conference.

WHAT: Press Conference to Discuss Report Findings
WHEN: Thursday, December 4 at 10 am
WHO: ADC and LTC Lance Koury, US Army National Guard
WHERE: ADC, 1732 Wisconsin Ave., NW Washington, DC 20007
HOW: Send RSVP to

Christian leaders urge Obama to make Israeli-Palestinian peace a priority

Broad Coalition of Christian Leaders Call on Obama
To Make Israeli-Palestinian Peace an Immediate Priority

CONTACT: Warren Clark/Carolyn Danckaert
Churches for Middle East Peace*

(Washington, DC, December 2, 2008) A broad spectrum of American Christian leaders - from Catholic and Orthodox traditions to mainline Protestant, Evangelical and historic African American churches and institutions - have appealed to President-elect Barack Obama to make Israeli- Palestinian peace an immediate priority during his first year in office.

In a December 1 letter sent to President-elect Obama as well as key members of his transition team and newly unveiled national security team, the leaders urged the incoming Obama Administration to "provide sustained, high-level diplomatic leadership toward the clear goal of a final status agreement" that will establish a viable Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel.

The letter notes that a durable peace agreement will help "strengthen U.S. security and improve stability and relationships through the Middle East." Without active U.S. engagement, the leaders warned that "political inertia and perpetuation of the unbearable status quo will make achievement of a two-state solution increasingly difficult." The leaders are also concerned about the "negative impact a further delay will have on the Christian community in the Holy Land, whose numbers continue to decline."

Sending the letter during Advent, a season of hope and expectation in the Christian calendar, the leaders expressed their belief that "Jerusalem - home to two peoples and three religions - has the potential to become a powerful symbol of hope and coexistence for people across the region and the world."

The leaders called on all Christians to support "vigorous U.S. diplomatic efforts to secure Middle East peace." The letter is being followed by a broad grassroots campaign aimed at mobilizing American Christian church members nationwide. The final letter signed by both Christian leaders and congregants will be delivered to President Obama during the time of inauguration.
The Rev. Mark S. Hanson, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, said today, "This letter speaks to the need for the incoming Obama administration to help bring about a peace agreement quickly between Israelis and Palestinians. The opportunity for achieving a two- state solution is narrowing and must be seized now. Further delays will make reaching an agreement much harder and undermine long-term security for both Israelis and Palestinians."

Bishop Howard Hubbard, Chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said, "This conflict continues to undermine the social, economic and spiritual fabric of the lives of all persons in the region, including Christians who have lived in the Holy Land since the earliest days of our faith. With majorities of both Israelis and Palestinians supporting a durable peace, it is incumbent on their political leaders and our own to do everything possible to help bring about a just peace."

Dr. Joel C. Hunter, Senior Pastor of Northland Church said, "Our faith calls on us to work and pray for peace. It's not about taking one side over the other, it's about seeking justice for both parties. The President- elect can be assured that there are many American Christians who stand ready to support his efforts when it comes to seeking a lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace."
The full text of the letter and list of signers is available at:


* Churches for Middle East Peace is a coalition of 22 national church bodies, all of which are represented on the ecumenical letter, and is the point of contact for any press inquiries.

phone: 202-543-1222