Statement at Rally to Support Rasmea Odeh
14 August 2017, Union Square, NYC
My name is Thomas Cox, representing Brooklyn For Peace.
Brooklyn For Peace is committed to eliminating war and promoting human rights.
Our message today is: We stand with justice, we stand with compassion, and we stand with Rasmea Odeh!
Our founding in 1984 resulted from our disagreement with the US invasion of Grenada. Since then we have objected to many US “regime changes,” interventions and alliances.
We are mistrustful of the reasons behind the 2010 federal subpoena issued to 23 antiwar and Palestinian community organizers in Chicago and Minneapolis, including Rasmea Odeh, just as we are mistrustful of the current efforts to criminalize BDS.
Particularly troublesome to us, has been the uncritical, unquestioning, US alliance with Israel. We object to the billions of dollars going to Israel each year, money used to make and buy weapons to attack the Palestinian people in Gaza and the refugee camps.
We condemn the horrors of the Israeli torture chambers used to force Rasmea to sign a false “confession,” just as we condemn the American judicial system that prevented a jury from being informed of such torture.
If we accept into our legal system, documents supplied by the illegal military occupiers of Palestine, we make a mockery of justice.
If we believe our own government’s claims of who belongs on a list of “terrorists,” without investigating for ourselves, we set ourselves up for believing propaganda.
Israel’s establishment has given preference to Europeans and those claiming Jewish identify, over the indigenous people of Palestine – Muslims, Christians and Jews. We cannot take Israel’s word over the claims of the Palestinians. If we do, we demonstrate our indifference to the plight of the downtrodden, the less powerful.
It makes us both sad and angry to think of our loss in deporting Rasmea Odeh: her skills as a community organizer, a leader for positive change in the community, a role model for girls and women, a person of great personal integrity and compassion.
We support you, Rasmea! We love you! Long live Rasmea! Long live Palestine!
Brooklyn For Peace: Israel-Palestince Committee