Saturday, August 23, 2008

More Fair of Shame News

Here are some Fair of Shame articles not included in my post yesterday:
Updated: 8/31/08

Friday, August 22, 2008

8/21 Protest Report--Jalut Nervous

It was a classic Dawud vs. Jalut--i.e. David vs. Goliath--confrontation at the Michigan State Fairgrounds yesterday as 60-70 spirited human rights activists faced off against thousands of racists and their friends coming to celebrate sixty years of Jewish supremacism in apartheid Israel. The Nakba celebrants showed their gleeful allegiance to the country that brutally occupies Palestine and has repeatedly invaded or attacked Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, and Jordan.

Jalut was backed by a substantial uniformed and undercover police presence and they were kept in check by courageous legal observers from the National Lawyers Guild. While Dawud held his ground, Jalut was clearly rattled as evidenced by the glum demeanor, frequent middle finger salutes and other obscene gestures and shouts of the fairgoers. These frightened, angry folks know that while Zionist power seems invincible to some, Israel's days are numbered. Israel's ignominious retreat from Gaza, the humiliating defeat of the IDF by Hizbullah in Lebanon in 2006, the growing BDS movement, and the caterwauling about the "demographic threat" all signal the coming demise of the violent racist project that is Israel. The Jewish Federation's "Fair to Remember" yesterday is reminiscent of the South Africa's apartheid supporters partying at Sun City while their brutal regime goes down the toilet.

Below is the text from "Demonstrators protest apartheid at State fairgrounds" in today's Arab American News.
DETROIT — Dozens of pro-Palestinian, anti-occupation activists demonstrated outside the Michigan State fairgrounds on Thursday.

They protested a celebration of the 60th year since the creation of the state of Israel, put on by the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit (JFMD). Invitees of the JFMD had access to all the rides and other features of the State Fair one day before it opens to the public.

Activist Michelle J. Kinnucan organized the protest, enraged at the idea of holding a celebration of what she calls the "violent ethnic cleansing and colonization of Palestine in 1948," in a poor neighborhood in Detroit.

She said attendees seemed surprised by the demonstration, and hopes their presence will help to get people thinking about the plight of Palestinians.

"They weren't expecting it," she said. "You never know what's going to be effective. You have to do what you can. One of the things that we can do is stand out here and let them know that a celebration of the Naqba is not going to go unchallenged."

Protester Emilio Louchino, 16, an Ann Arbor high school student, said he became conscious of the conflict through reading about it online and hearing anecdotes about West Bank checkpoints from friends who serve in Jordan as members of the Peace Corps.

"I'm just here to speak my mind," he said. "It will maybe make people think about this."

He said the group got some hostile responses from passersby, but that they didn't let it discourage them from trying to raise consciousness of the issue.

"People don't realize that the biggest money in the entire world budget for foreign aid goes to Israel," said Thomas Olechowski, of Detroit. "And most of it goes to arms. It's being done in our name... The exploitation of the Palestinians is the same as the exploitation of the people in the community I live in in Detroit."

Demonstrator Elaine Rumman, 78, a Palestinian American from Ann Arbor who has family living in Bethlehem, said watching hundreds of people enter the State fairgrounds for the event made her intensely sad, but that her pain was eased by the presence of as many as 70 mostly non-Arab protesters outside the event.

"It makes me proud of them. These are the people who have conscience," she said. "Always, justice will rise up, whatever will happen."
See also:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

AAN Article Online; Zionists Outraged

The Arab American News published Michelle J. Kinnucan's article "Detroit Jewish Federation: Celebrating Racism and Making Money At It" online. Predictably, its online publication has infuriated Zionist cyberwarriors. Their comments display three staples of Zionist rhetoric or hasbara: 1) Diversion by subject changing 2) Ad hominem attacks and 3) Outright falsehoods.

The article appears in the 8/9-8/15 print edition of the Arab American News on pages 14-15. For the annotated version of the article go to the Palestine Chronicle here.

Last revised: 9/4/2008

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Arab American News Covers Zionist Fair of Shame in Detroit--Support Still Needed


The organizers of the August 21 Fair of Shame protest got a boost yesterday when the Arab American News published Michelle J. Kinnucan's article "Detroit Jewish Federation: Celebrating Racism and Making Money At It" and the protest flyer in its 8/9-8/15 print edition on pages 14-15. Look for the article on the AAN web site in the next few days. In the meantime, you can find it online at the Palestine Chronicle (here) and Media Mouse (here).

There are less than two weeks to go until the Fair of Shame, please help make this a protest that Zionists and anti-Zionists alike will remember for a long time.

What you can do:
1. Publicize the 8/21 Fair of Shame protest.
2. Get organizations you support and work with to publicly endorse the 8/21 Fair of Shame protest.
3. Help organize and plan the 8/21 Fair of Shame protest (next meeting is Friday 8/15).
4. Attend the 8/21 Fair of Shame protest--bring friends, signs, and banners.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Protest 8/21--No Celebrations of Racism in Detroit--Call for Support


No Celebrations of Racism in Detroit--Call for Support
Protest the Fair of Shame and "Israelization" in Detroit

When: Thursday, August 21, 2008, Time: 5 PM to 7 PM
Where: Michigan State Fairgrounds, 1120 W. State Fair Ave. (at Woodward) in Detroit. Meet in the grassy area just north of the SmartBus State Fair Transit Center off Woodward Ave.

In 1975, the United Nations affirmed that "zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination" (UN GA Res. 3379). Resolutions can be revoked but the truth cannot and what was true in 1948 and in 1975 is true today--Zionism is racism. Just as all humanity is interconnected, all forms of oppression are interconnected and so on August 21, 2008, a diverse group of advocates for peace and justice are expected to protest when the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit stages its "Fair to Remember" at the Michigan State Fairgrounds on that date. We will protest the exclusive, no-risk sweetheart deal granted by a state agency to a largely affluent community to stage a celebration of racism in a largely economically disenfranchised city. The celebration of 60 years of Israeli apartheid in Palestine is a slap in the face to those oppressed by centuries of de jure and de facto American apartheid. We will protest a triumphalist celebration of ethnic cleansing, robbery, and anti-Arab racism in Palestine--a celebration of what its victims call the Nakba, Arabic for "catastrophe"--just a few miles from one of the largest Arab communities outside the Middle East. We will protest the Jewish Federation's "Fair to Remember" because we know it is, in reality, a "Fair of Shame" made possible by the hijacking of US foreign policy realized in the form of inordinate American diplomatic, financial, and military support for the Apartheid State of Israel.

We call upon supporters of justice and peace to help nonviolently protest the "Israelization," as the Jewish Federation puts it, of the Michigan State Fairgrounds.

What you can do:
1. Publicize this call and the 8/21 Fair of Shame protest.
2. Get organizations you support and work with to publicly endorse the 8/21 Fair of Shame protest.
3. Help organize and plan the 8/21 Fair of Shame protest (next meeting is Friday 8/8).
4. Attend the 8/21 Fair of Shame protest--bring friends, signs, and banners.

Sponsored by Middle East Task Force. Endorsed by Michigan Peace Team, Ann Arbor Middle East Film Society, Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends, Huron Valley Greens, Green Party of Michigan

See also "Detroit Jewish Federation: Celebrating Racism and Making Money At It" in the Arab American News or "Celebrating the Nakba and Making Money At It" in the Palestine Chronicle.

Updated: 8/17/08

Thanks to Ron Scott, MECAWI, & Media Mouse

Thanks to Ron Scott for publicizing the Fair of Shame protest on his radio show, "Fighting for Justice" on WDTW, 1310 AM.

Thanks to the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice (MECAWI) for publicizing the Fair of Shame protest on their web site.

And thanks, finally, to Media Mouse for publishing "Detroit Jewish Federation: Celebrating Racism and Making Money At It."

Poster Quotes on Israel & Zionism

Here are the quotes that appear on the Fair of Shame protest posters:

Here in Palestine Jesus is again walking the via dolorosa. Jesus is the powerless Palestinian humiliated at a checkpoint, the woman trying to get through to the hospital for treatment, the young man whose dignity is trampled, the young student who cannot get to the university to study, the unemployed father who needs to find bread to feed his family; the list is tragically getting longer, and Jesus is there in their midst suffering with them. He is with them when their homes are shelled by tanks and helicopter gunships. He is with them in their towns and villages, in their pains and sorrows.

In this season of Lent, it seems to many of us that Jesus is on the cross again with thousands of crucified Palestinians around him. It only takes people of insight to see the hundreds of thousands of crosses throughout the land, Palestinian men, women, and children being crucified. Palestine has become one huge golgotha. The Israeli government crucifixion system is operating daily. Palestine has become the place of the skull.
Naim Ateek, Lent, 2001

My sympathies are all with the Jews…But my sympathy does not blind me to the requirements of justice. The cry for the national home for the Jews does not make much appeal to me. The sanction for it is sought in the Bible and the tenacity with which the Jews have hankered after return to Palestine. Why should they not, like other peoples of the earth, make that country their home where they are born and where they earn their livelihood?

Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and in-human to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct. The mandates have no sanction but that of the last war. Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home.
Mohandas K. Gandhi, November 20, 1938

… I have come to join you today to add our own voice to the universal call for Palestinian self-determination and statehood.

We would be beneath our own reason for existence as a government and as a nation, if the resolution of the problems of the Middle East did not feature prominently on our agenda.

When in 1977, the United Nations passed the resolution inaugurating the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, it was asserting the recognition that injustice and gross human rights violations were being perpetrated in Palestine. In the same period, the UN took a strong stand against apartheid; and over the years, an international consensus was built, which helped to bring an end to this iniquitous system.

But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians …
Nelson Mandela, Dec. 4, 1997

… the Israeli government is placed on a pedestal [in the U.S.], and to criticize it is to be immediately dubbed anti-Semitic, as if the Palestinians were not Semitic. …

People are scared in this country [the U.S.] to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful – very powerful. Well, so what? This is God’s world. For goodness sake, this is God’s world! We live in a moral universe. The apartheid government was very powerful, but today it no longer exists. Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Pinochet, Milosovic, and Idi Amin were all powerful, but in the end they bit the dust.

Injustice and oppression will never prevail. Those who are powerful have to remember the litmus test that God gives to the powerful: What is your treatment of the poor, the hungry, the voiceless? And on the basis of that, God passes judgment.
Desmond Tutu, April 13, 2002

Did the Zionists have the legal or moral right to invade Arab Palestine, uproot its Arab citizens from their homes and seize all Arab property for themselves just based on the "religious" claim that their forefathers lived there thousands of years ago? Only a thousand years ago the Moors lived in Spain. Would this give the Moors of today the legal and moral right to invade the Iberian Peninsula, drive out its Spanish citizens, and then set up a new Moroccan nation ... where Spain used to be, as the European zionists have done to our Arab brothers and sisters in Palestine? ...

In short the Zionist argument to justify Israel's present occupation of Arab Palestine has no intelligent or legal basis in history ... not even in their own religion. Where is their Messiah?
Malcolm X a.k.a. Al-Hajj Malik al-Shabazz, Sept. 17, 1964

Complete Fair of Shame Schedule

From the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit web site:

Complete Fair Schedule

All rides, food and attractions at the Michigan State Fair will be open to our attendees. In addition, there will be Israel-focused activities and exhibits as well as musical entertainment. You will not want to miss the All-Star Musical Tribute to Israel, held in the band shell, which will be sure to provide an unforgettable moment for our community.

Rides, games, and fair vendors will be open from 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Other special events are as follows:

3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Israel-themed interactive activities open

3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Kosher Food Vendors open

4:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.

Family Entertainment in the Family Grove

7:00 p.m.

Pre-show, including musical performances, video, and light show

8:00 p.m.

Multi-Media Concert, emceed by Peter Himmelman

9:15 p.m.


9:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Young Adult Concert/After-Show featuring Moshav Band

All children upon entry to the State Fair will receive an Israeli ID card. For each Israeli-themed activity completed throughout the day, they will receive a stamp on their ID cards. When children have acquired 6 stamps, they will be invited to make an Israeli Flag out of Sandy Candy to then wave proudly at the evening concert.

Israel-themed activities

Picnic Grove

  • Shalom Street’s “All Shuk Up” Exhibit
  • HaKovah Sheli Paper Hat-Making by the Rad Hatter
  • Exploring Israel
  • Tziporri - Archeological Dig
  • Eilate of Sugar - Sandy Candy Israeli Flag-Making
  • Tree Planting presented by Jewish National Fund (JNF)
  • Candle-Making presented by Tamarack Camps
  • Magen David Adom Ambulance
  • Teen2Teen Interviews presented by the Jewish News
  • IsraelSixty sale merchandise and other Judaica
  • Israel Ministry of Tourism

Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

  • “Gefilte” Fishing in the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee)

Family Entertainment at the Caesarea Stage (Family Grove Stage)

4:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.

Peter Himmelman

5:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Corinne Stavish

5:45 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.

Kidz Klez

6:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.

Israeli Dance Spectacular

Friday, August 1, 2008

Fair of Shame Featured in Palestine Chronicle Article

Below are the first four paragraphs of an article by Michelle J. Kinnucan and published online by the Palestine Chronicle on Wednesday. The article is entitled "Celebrating the Nakba and Making Money At It."
On Thursday, August 21, 2008, one of the country's wealthiest communities will celebrate the Nakba--the violent ethnic cleansing and colonization of Palestine in 1948--in a poor neighborhood in Detroit. And if all goes well, a large group of folks, representing metro Detroit's large Black and Arab communities and other Palestinian solidarity activists, will be on hand to nonviolently send the message that triumphal celebrations of racism and genocide will not go unchallenged in Detroit.

Detroit's State Fair neighborhood is named after the entity that dominates its landscape--the state-owned Michigan State Fair and Exposition Center (MSFEC). Last year, the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit (JFMD) finalized a contract with the State of Michigan for the use of the fairgrounds. The contract was memorialized in a letter, a copy of which was obtained through the Michigan Freedom of Information Act.[1]

The Jewish Federation was granted a no risk sweetheart deal for its "Fair to Remember," part of its year-long "IsraelSixty" campaign celebrating the creation of Israel in 1948. The contract provides that "All of the normal operations of the Fair shall be available for use by the patrons of the JFMD including games, rides, and exhibitions." If no one shows up for the Federation's event, the Federation pays nothing, no deposit is forfeited, no cancellation fee is lost, and the MSFEC earns nothing while incurring all of the costs associated with running the fair. All the risk is assumed by the MSFEC, a state body.

And no other fair-goers will pick up any part of the tab because the contract provides "that the use of the Fair by JFMD shall be exclusive and that no individuals that are not the invitees of JFMD ... shall be allowed access to the Fair." As the Jewish Federation brags on its web site: "We will have exclusive use of the State Fairgrounds (including rides and attractions) the day before it opens to the general public, which allows us to 'Israelize' the State Fair."[2] The JFMD encourages people to contact their "Israelization team" with ideas about how to transform the fairgrounds. Palestinians and their friends know what loss and suffering the "Israelization" of Palestine in 1948 and 1967 has meant for the "people of the land" (Ezra 9:1-2).