Our meeting with AOC

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Dear Friend, 

Yesterday, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told me straight up that she will not be a PEP, “Progressive Except on Palestine.” 

I’m still feeling moved after my meeting with AOC. I was joined by representatives of the Institute for Middle East Understanding and Jewish Voice for Peace. We were not sure what to expect from the Congresswoman. For so long and rightly so, Palestinians have been cynical of US power brokers and lawmakers who have left us outside their definitions of humanity and have supported time and time again any opportunity to further our oppression. But AOC made clear from the outset that she understands that Palestinian aspirations for justice must be part of her progressive agenda. In her, I believe we have a partner in organizing for our liberation. 

Let’s be clear. She doesn’t know everything about our issues. She acknowledged that she’s new to the question of Palestine and that she still has a lot to learn. The important message I heard is that she is  open to learning from Palestinians. She understands that Palestine is interconnected with efforts to end mass incarceration, reduce the impact of militarism and end colonialism here and abroad. 

Adalah Justice Project recognizes that we’ve won the progressive left and a few progressive members of Congress to our side. Our work now is to provide these allies with the political education, messaging and backing to speak up for Palestinian rights with deep analysis, confidence and strength. Adalah Justice Project is committed to amplifying Palestinian framing and demands that can be used by our allies. We are shaping the conversation and making sure it is Palestinians that are centered. 

My meeting with AOC was remarkable! I want you to know that your support of our work is making a difference. I’m more confident than ever that we will all get free!

Much love,

Izzy Mustafa
Communications Strategist

Demanding Palestinian Freedom In a New Era

We are certain you are also feeling the major shifts that are taking place before our eyes. In this last week, we have witnessed conversations around the right to enter into our homeland as Palestinians in the diaspora take center stage. 

Since Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar were denied entry into Palestine by Israel a week ago, both lawmakers have unapologetically followed up by calling out Israel’s systematic racism.  This has opened up space for Palestinians, like us, to publicly take control of our own narrative and talk about the uncertainty of being able to see our land and our families again. Far too many have already been barred from doing so. The Palestinian issue is centered on the right of return for the millions of Palestinians who have no opportunity to even attempt to travel to their homeland.

The hashtag #MyPalestinianSitty was one way that we were able to take control of our own story. It was a pivotal point in how we talk about family separation and our rootedness in our peoplehood and our homeland. For Sandra and I, our grandmothers have always been a pinnacle of strength and steadfastness. They are the legacy that has been passed down to us to carry the torch to our people's freedom. We carry the the spirit of these women with us as we continue on this fight for Palestinian freedom into a new era.

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For Palestinians who have been barred from freely entering into Palestine, like Rep. Rashida Tlaib, this is a moment to highlight the heartbreaking but all too common experience of being stripped away from the physical connection to our land and our family. An experience our own very own Sandra knows too well. Some Palestinians, like Lana Barkawi, who spoke at a press conference this week sponsored by Reps. Tlaib and Omar, recounted her exile story about not ever going to Palestine because of the deep trauma and pain of having an Israeli soldier make the decision on whether to accept you to return to land that is yours.

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The weight of our stories are creating the waves we need to change U.S. public opinion. In the midst of this swell of change, we saw presidential candidates, like Bernie Sanders, talk about conditioning U.S. military funding to Israel. And we have seen influential figures chime in and question racist Israel’s treatment of Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar. Once again, Israel has overstepped in showing its racism to the world -- and there is no turning back.

This moment is a culmination of the grassroots organizing and power we as a movement have struggled for over the last decade and more. Let’s seize this opportunity. The discourse is shifting, and it’s on us to ensure that this period leading up to the 2020 elections is a time of serious shifts in public discourse on Palestinian rights. Palestinian freedom is inevitable and we are closer today than ever before. We will continue to hold our heads up high and forge ahead in this fight for freedom.

Much love,
Izzy Mustafa

P.S. Through engagement on our social media platforms, we see that Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib find the necessity in our voice. We hope you do too! By donating $5, $20, $100, or even $500-- you can help sustain our crucial work in bringing the voice of Palestinians to the forefront of our movement.P.S. We need your support during this time to help keep the vision of Adalah Justice Project going!

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Adalah brings vision of equality to Congress

Adalah brings vision of equality to Congress

Adalah Justice Project brings vision of equality to US Congress

Adalah Justice Project arranged a delegation to DC in September 2018 with Chairman of the Joint List group in the Israeli Knesset, MK Jamal Zahalka, and Hassan Jabareen, General Director of Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel. They met with members of Congress, including Senator Bernie Sanders, to urge them to support a progressive vision for Israel/Palestine rooted in justice and equality for all – regardless of race or religion.