Support Document

Use for things like pictures and articles used to support campaigns.

From: Jakab Orsos
Subject: Message from PEN America
Date: 
March 29, 2016 at 3:21:23 PM EDT

We are writing because, along with some participants in this year's Festival, we have received an e-mail from Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel. The email asks Festival participants to sign an open letter calling upon PEN to refuse sponsorship support from the Israeli government as a contribution to the PEN World Voices Festival (PWVF). As an activist organization dedicated to freedom of expression‎, we respect the right of any group to share and advocate for their views. We want to share our approach to the challenging issues raised by the e-mail.

A week before Valentine’s Day, as couples in many countries prepare to celebrate their love for one another, at our protest at Leviev diamonds in New York City we remembered that Palestinians do not have the freedom to love whomever they choose due to Israel’s apartheid policies. We celebrated through the stories below the many Palestinians who dare to defy apartheid with love. Leviev, by building Israel settlements, contributes to Israel’s apartheid program. For more information see http://www.loveunderapartheid.com/

Ms. Taylor Swift
c/o Ms. Tree Paine & Ms. Dana Lobb
PREMIUM PR

September 29, 2015

Dear Ms. Swift,

You have deservedly earned recognition for lending your name and your financial resources to charitable efforts to help victims of bullying, survivors of environmental disasters, and others in need. In light of your support for humanitarian causes, we wish to call your attention to an instance where your inadvertent action threatens to undermine values you uphold. You are featured wearing diamonds from Leviev in two photos in the September issue of Vanity Fair. We are confident that if you were aware of Lev Leviev’s violations of human rights and international law, and unethical business practices in Palestine, Angola and Namibia, you would not tarnish your good name by associating yourself with his companies.

UNICEF, Oxfam America, the British and Norwegian governments and New Zealand’s pension fund are among many organizations that have severed ties with Leviev’s companies as a result of awareness-raising campaigns by activists about Leviev’s human rights abuses. Major Hollywood stars have also distanced themselves from Leviev. In 2008, the website of Leviev Diamonds featured photos of Salma Hayek, Halle Berry, Drew Barrymore, Brooke Shields, Andie MacDowell, Lucy Liu, Whitney Houston, Sharon Stone and others. However, after human rights activists spoke to and sent letters to representatives for these celebrities, some of these stars issued complaints to Leviev and the entire Celebrity section of his company’s website was taken down.

Click Here for French

September 21, 2015

Dear Mr. Cointreau,

We are human rights activists who are writing with great concern about the partnership of Le Cordon Bleu with SodaStream, the Israeli manufacturer of carbonation devices and soda syrup. We know that Le Cordon Bleu has a longstanding worldwide reputation for its high standards in teaching the finest cooking techniques and in creating the greatest recipes. Surely it would not want to be associated with a company that is complicit in, and profits from, Israel’s violation of Palestinian rights.

Zufim: Tens of Families Have Built Homes they Cannot Sell
Globes
May 29, 2014
Shlomit Tzur
http://m.globes.co.il/news/m/article.aspx?did=1000942426
Translated from Hebrew for Adalah-NY by Ofer Neiman and Udi Pladott   (…  represent parts of the article that were not translated)

Families residing in [the settlement of] Zufim in Samaria, near Kohav Yair, have recently discovered a surprising fact: the plots they had purchased and on which they had built their homes have had a lien against them since the 1990s, with the state being the claimant.

In a lawsuit for damages in the sum of 2.5 million NIS, filed by 10 of these families against the Leader Company, which had sold them the plots, they state that they were astonished to learn of this fact, since the lien had not appeared in the certificate of rights issued to them by the company - and that this was done deliberately and in bad faith. According to these families, they are unable to sell their homes and the threat of the State exercising its rights to the plots, thereby claiming its rightfully due debt, hovers over their heads every single day.

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