Thursday, November 06, 2008

Cambridge MA Reaffirms Palestanian rights.

These are stories from the Somerville Divestment Project and Indy Media. Another Power to the People moment.

Palestinian Rights Win on Question #4

In Somerville and Cambridge, a little-talked about ballot question supporting the right of Palestinians to "live free from laws that give more rights to people of one religion than another" passed in both cities.

This was an effort launched by the Somerville Divestment Project (SDP) last year who have worked in coalition with organizations such as, Cambridge Residents for Human Rights (CRHR) and Jamaica Plain Residents for Human Rights (JPRHR), to highlight the needs of Palestinians to live free of intimidation on their lands.
Ballot question #4 called for the local government to vote on a non-binding resolution against apartheid in the Jewish state and occupied territories in the West Bank and Gaza. It's a first step to educate people and to show that there is a growing movement in the United States in favor of the plight of Palestinians.

According to the unofficial numbers 62 % of people in Somerville and 73 % of people in Cambridge voted YES on question #4.

In a statement released by SDP last month seeking for volunteers, they said, "Both Obama and McCain offer uncritical praise and support for Israel and don't even mention Palestinians; it is as if Palestinians did not exist and are not subject to gross human rights violations. Frankly, it is very dehumanizing and wrong."

The ballot question did no go without resistance. The Massachusetts Attorney General ruled in favor of its inclusion after challenges were posed by attorney William A. McDermott, Jr, representing local Zionists and Zionist organizations this past September.

Unofficial results:
Somerville, MA: 62% of Voters for YES
YES 9100 NO: 5542

Cambridge, MA: 73 % of Voters for YES
YES 9637 NO: 3650

These results come after the pro-apartheid side attempted legal maneuvers to block the question from being on the ballot (failing in September), and over the opposition of mayor, all local elected officials in Somerville and a main newspaper in Somerville. The mayor of Somerville, two years ago, went on a trip to Isreal sponsored by the pro-apartheid government of Isreal.

In 2006, 45% of Somerville voters supported the Palestinian peoples' Right of Return - a fundamental human right, despite the opposition from the pro-apartheid governor, congressman and mayor... all of whom opposed the fundamental human right of return.