Adalah NY & Jews Against the Occupation-NYC
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Town Hall Meeting Under Threat of Violence
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, New York, NY - Adam Shapiro, a human rights activist and documentary filmmaker, who is scheduled to speak tonight at a public Town Hall Meeting hosted by Revolution Books, has had death threats issued against him by the Jewish Defense Organization. In the threats, which were pasted to the Revolution Books window, Shapiro is named specifically as an enemy who should be eliminated. Tonight’s Town Hall Meeting focusing on Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip will be held at the New York Society for Ethical Culture in Manhattan at 7 PM.
In 2002 the JDO also targeted Shapiro and his family, leading to their temporary evacuation from New York. The human rights groups Adalah-NY and Jews Against the Occupation-NYC strongly condemned today such threats of violence against Shapiro who has received numerous awards for his activism and human rights work. He has been recognized in New York by Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, and the national organization Veterans for Peace. Additionally, the International Solidarity Movement, of which Shapiro is a co-founder, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Shapiro speaks frequently on Palestinian rights. His wife, Huwaida Arraf, is currently on a boat in Cyprus with the group Free Gaza that is attempting to break Israel's siege and carry emergency supplies to Gaza.
Since the beginning of the crisis in Gaza, many of New York's elected officials have spoken out in strong support of Israel. Mayor Bloomberg made a 24-hour trip to Israel where he defended Israeli actions, and Governor Paterson and Senator Schumer spoke on Sunday at a pro-Israel rally in midtown.
Riham Barghouti of Adalah-NY explained, "We fear that this uncritical support by New York's politicians for Israel's assault on the Palestinian people risks creating an environment of impunity among Israel's supporters in the US as well. When New Yorkers are told by their political leadership that it's fine for Israel to kill hundreds of Palestinian civilians in Gaza, we shouldn't be surprised if that translates into threats of violence and actual violence against Palestinians, Arab-Americans and human rights activists who support Palestinian rights. We urge New York politicians to refrain from providing unmitigated support for Israeli attacks against Palestinians in Gaza. This one-sided support is creating unnecessary tension and further isolation for Palestinian solidarity groups and individuals."