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Solidarity Conference Moving

August 29, 2003

There have been a number of significant developments withthe International Solidarity Movement’s national conference,originally scheduled to meet at Rutgers in October. See thebackground information at the end of this message for moredetails.

The most important development — and a significant victoryfor us — is the planned move of the main conference to OhioState University. There is an unusual window of opportunityhere since while the Solidarity Movement has announced itsintention to meet at Ohio State, the University has not yetapproved the use of meeting space. Please innundate Ohiowith letters of protest now, while it is far easier topersuade the University to forbid this meeting than it willbe after it is officially scheduled.

ACTIONS——-

There are several effective actions that you can undertakeimmediately.

1. Write to Ohio Governor Bob Taft asking him to block this conference.

2. Write to University President Karen Holbrook asking her to block this conference.

3. Write a “Letter to the Editor” at the following two Ohio newspapers: The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) and The Dispatch (Columbus). Remember that letters to the editor in all forms generally must include your full name, street address, and daytime telephone number for verification.

4. Residents of Ohio can sign and circulate the Ohio resident’s petition to Governor Taft sponsored by AMCHA:

http://www.petitiononline.com/amcha803/petition.html

CONTACT INFO————

Ohio Governor Bob Taft

email: Governor.Taft@das.state.oh.us hotlink: mailto:Governor.Taft@das.state.oh.us

phone: 614-466-3555

mail: Governor Bob Taft 30th Floor 77 South High Street Columbus, OH 43215-6117

Ohio State University President Karen Holbrook

phone: 614-292-2424 fax: 614-292-1231

mail: Karen A. Holbrook Office of the President The Ohio State University 205 Bricker Hall 190 North Oval Mall Columbus, OH 43210-1357

or send email in care of her assistant, Pearl Bigfeather:

email: bigfeather.1@osu.edu hotlink: mailto:bigfeather.1@osu.edu

Editor of The Plain Dealer

email: Letters@plaind.com hotlink: mailto:Letters@plaind.com

Editor of The Dispatch:

See the following Web page for guidelines:

http://www.dispatch.com/indexes/editorialsindex.php

email: letters@dispatch.com hotlink: mailto:letters@dispatch.com

fax: 614-461-8793

mail: Letters to the Editor The Dispatch 34 S. 3rd St. Columbus, OH 43215

SAMPLE LETTERS————–

Try to use these as samples and to rephrase the ideas inyour own words. If you don’t have time to compose a uniqueletter, introduce at least some variation. For example, thisfirst sample letter is rather long, and you could omit someof the material to personalize your letter. Remember, it isless important exactly WHAT you say than it is that you saySOMETHING that makes your views known.

1. Sample letters to President Holbrook and/or Governor Taft:

Dear President Holbrook:Dear Governor Taft:

I am outraged that Ohio State University is scheduled tohost a national conference of the Palestinian SolidarityMovement in November. This is an organization that campaignsfor the abolition of the State of Israel and is explicit inits support for Palestinian terrorism. This support extendsto deeds as well as words, and its members have activelyabetted terrorists by hiding them to prevent their arrest.

While I recognize the importance of allowing and evenencouraging universities to act as forums for controversialideas, when a university extends the use of its facilitiesto those who sponsor and support terrorism, it goes too far.We may acknowledge their right to say that blowing upbusloads of schoolchildren is a good thing, but we assuredlydo not have to allow them to say so on the Ohio Statecampus.

Surely the Ku Klux Klan would not be offered the use ofuniversity property, nor would an organization thatadvocated the bombing of gay bars. The same should apply,for the same reasons, to the Palestinian SolidarityMovement.

You are probably aware that this conference was originallyscheduled to be held at Rutgers in October but that theindignation of the citizens of New Jersey was so great thatthe conference organizers felt compelled to move the meetingto Ohio. I urge you to move swiftly and decisively to insurethat this conference of supporters of terrorism who were notwelcome at Rutgers are also not welcome at Ohio State.

Sincerely yours,

2. Sample letter to newspapers in Ohio:

To the Editor

Sir,

I am writing to express my outrage that Ohio StateUniversity is allowing its campus to be used by the NationalConference of Palestinian Solidarity. At last year’sconference at the University of Michigan, delegates chanted”Kill the Jews.” And they really mean it. PalestinianSolidarity has endorsed both the terror bombing of Jews andthe destruction of the State of Israel by violent means.Members regularly travel to Israel where they defendterrorists and attempt to hide them from the police. This isnot the sort of group that ought to be granted the privilegeof meeting at one of our state univeristies.

Sincerely yours,

BACKGROUND———-

First, Rutgers University has moved the original meeting offcampus, to the remote Louis Brown Athletic Center inPiscataway. Conference organizers are furious: “We’ll holdthe conference in the park before we’ll hold it in the(athletic center),” Charlotte Kates, a Rutgers law student,told The Star-Ledger of Newark for Tuesday’s editions. “It’sin the middle of nowhere in Livingston. It’s completelyinaccessible … I think they’re trying to make (theconference) invisible.”

This is a genuine victory in the effort to delegitimize theSolidarity Movement, which endorses the targeted use ofterrorism to kill Israelis and advocates the violentdestruction of Israel. Our efforts have induced the RutgersAdministration to distance itself by moving thisreprehensible group to a location far from the main, NewBrunswick campus.

While we were protesting the Rutgers meeting, thePalestinian Solidarity Movement split in two. One group,affiliated with the International Solidarity Movement, isnow attempting to hold a National Conference at Ohio StateUniversity in Columbus. The other, more radical group,affiliated with Al Awda, the Palestinain Right to ReturnCoalition, is apparently still planning to meet at Rutgersin October.

The difference between these groups is slight. The ISM/OhioState group endorses terrorism by means of coded language,they speak of a Palestinain right to use “any meansnecessary.” The al Awda/Rutgers group endorses terrorsim inplain English. Both groups favor the elimination of thestate of Israel “by any means necessary,” but, again, alAwda uses plainer, more violent language.

Organizers of the larger ISM/Columbus conference say thatthey were forced to move the meeting from New Jersey becauseof the political controversey that the meeting aroused.Coming from such a souce, this is high praise indeed and weshould all feel very proud of the success of our efforts.

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

“The Palestine Solidarity Movement was scheduled to hold the conference at Rutgers in October, but decided to switch sites after politicians and others protested.

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