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Targeting the sponsors of genocide.

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More than 100,000 “Uncommitted” votes were cast on Tuesday in the Michigan Democratic primary, a clear message to the Biden campaign that voters in November will not ignore his support for the Israeli government’s genocide of Palestinians. 

As Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib pointed out, 74% of Democrats in Michigan support a ceasefire. Why would they vote for someone who is using their tax dollars to fund the mass murder and displacement of Palestinians?

Michigan is a critical swing state for Biden in November’s election. Arab and Muslim organizers in Michigan hoped at least 10,000 Uncommitted votes would be cast in Tuesday’s primary — a result exceeded more than ten times over.

This campaign is not only another point of pressure to push for a ceasefire, but also a way to ring the alarm bells, proving to the Biden campaign that his support for genocide is an unforgiveable position among Michigan voters. In 2016, Trump won Michigan by less than 11,000 votes.

Former Michigan Democratic representative Andy Levin said of the Biden campaign: “I’m trying to scream from the rooftops. You’re not going to win unless you change course.

Instead of heeding this warning and demanding a ceasefire, DMFI, a Democratic organization allied with AIPAC, sought to emotionally blackmail Michiganders away from standing up for justice. A text message campaign went out across Michigan, comparing “uncommitted” votes to helping Donald Trump.

This campaign is making plain what the White House and Biden campaign already know: The President’s ongoing support and funding of the Israeli government has led to his lowest approval rating yet. And his continued refusal to call for a ceasefire is already seriously threatening his chances of reelection in November.

“We don’t need a gun, we need a fire extinguisher.”

On Sunday, Aaron Bushnell lit himself on fire in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C., in protest of the U.S.’s support of the Israeli government’s ongoing genocide of Palestinians. Bushnell, a 25-year-old serving in the United States Air Force, died on Sunday night. 

As he walked to the embassy, he spoke plainly: “I am an active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force, and I will no longer be complicit in genocide. I’m about to engage in an extreme act of protest, but compared to what people have been experiencing in Palestine at the hands of their colonizers, it’s not extreme at all.” Flicking a lighter at his clothes, he yelled “free Palestine.”

Self-immolation has a long history as the most extreme level of political protest — an act taken only in the most dire moments, out of the deepest urgency and desperation for change. Incredibly, a policeman first on the scene drew his gun at Aaron. A first responder on the scene yelled in disbelief, “we don’t need a gun, we need a fire extinguisher.” May Aaron’s memory be a blessing, and may these words guide us all as a metaphor in the coming days.

The President is not welcome in New York City.

Jewish New Yorkers are taking to the streets to make it clear that Biden is not welcome in New York for as long as he refuses to call for a ceasefire. Biden was in town for a series of elite private fundraisers and an appearance on the Seth Meyers show: Both events were shut down by JVP-NYC direct actions. 50 protesters were arrested at NBC’s headquarters, and dozens more after blocking the Presidential motorcade outside an exclusive fundraiser on the Upper East Side.

The pressure isn’t just on Biden: JVP-NYC is putting every lawmaker taking AIPAC money on notice. We know that AIPAC is not only complicit in Israeli genocidal violence — they are actively enabling it by pressuring lawmakers to oppose a ceasefire. 

Over the last two years, AIPAC gave $348,818 to Senator Gillibrand and $101,570 to Senator Schumer. So JVP members shut down their offices, with 18 people arrested for calling out the fact that New York elected officials are answering to a far-right lobby group instead of the people they were elected to serve.

The people are taking D.C.

As long as Biden is complicit in genocide, there can be no business as usual — especially not at his State of the Union speech.

Join us on March 7 in Washington, D.C. for the People’s State of the Union, a mass rally where we will bring the will of the majority of the American people, who want an immediate ceasefire, to the streets and the halls of power.

Tell Meta: Don’t censor justice for Palestine.

One of the world’s biggest social media companies is trying to further silence Palestinians and anyone critical of the Israeli government. 

Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, is considering a policy that would shut down free speech by increasingly treating the word “Zionist” as a proxy for “Jew” or “Jewish,” and censoring conversations that use the word. 

Conflating criticism of Zionism with anti-Semitism forces Palestinians and all people of conscience standing up for Palestinian rights, including non-Zionist and anti-Zionist Jews, to choose between acquiescing to injustice or being labeled a bigot.

What we’re reading

“It is not easy to start life again away from a homeland that you love,” writes JVP member Alison Glick of devastation and home in Gaza for Mondoweiss.  

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