For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Rania Qawasma | raniaqawasma@gmail.com | 206 351 3009

Huwaida Arraf | huwaida.arraf@gmail.com | 917 588 3482

Over 50 Organizations/Groups to Protest the UAE and Bahrain Normalization with Israel During Deal Signing at the White House

What: Activists to protest UAE and Bahrain Normalization Deals with Israel 

When: Tuesday, September 15, 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM 

12:00 PM Press Conference

Where: Outside the White House at BLM Plaza

See Facebook event page for updates

WASHINGTON - On Tuesday, September 15, Donald Trump will host a ceremonial signing of deals to normalize relations between Israel and the UAE and Israel and Bahrain. Activists will gather to protest these deals which are not about peace but about furthering Israel’s systems of occupation and apartheid. The protest will be led by a coalition of over 50 Palestinian rights organizations and groups, many of which are led by Palestinian Americans and Arab Americans. 

The U.S.-brokered deal which will be signed at the White House by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan is an underhanded way to maintain Israel’s status quo of land theft and apartheid and should be seen in the context of over three years of Trump administration policies that have supported Israel’s war on the Palestinians: moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognizing the illegally occupied Golan Heights as Israeli territory, and creating a so-called peace plan with no Palestinian participation or input. Supposedly, the UAE-Israel normalization deal, which is part of the Trump administration’s fake peace plan, would benefit Palestinians by halting de jure annexation of the West Bank, but not only is de facto annexation a daily reality for Palestinians, but Netanyahu, in his Israeli press conference announcing the deal, said that de jure annexation was "still on the table" and that it was something he is "committed to."

Within a week of the deal’s announcement, a secret clause within the deal to sell tens of billions of dollars in weapons to the UAE was revealed. On September 11, 2020, it was announced that Bahrain—another repressive Gulf country involved in the brutal war in Yemen—will also sign a deal to normalize relations with Israel, also without any concessions for Palestinians. It is understood that Bahrain would not be able to make such an agreement without the tacit approval of Saudi Arabia, the leader of the war in Yemen. 

The normalization of relations between the UAE and Bahrain and Israel, facilitated by the U.S., serves to prop up repressive leaders—US President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, UAE King Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (MBZ), Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman al-Khalifa—guilty of gross human rights abuses and war crimes.


National Coalition Demands 

No Normalization with Occupation and Colonization

On Tuesday, September 15th, 2020, the United States will host a ceremony to consummate the normalization agreements between the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, and Israel. Absent from this debacle of White House theatrics will be any Palestinians to represent the indigenous people of the land upon which Israel has created and violently maintains its colonial state. 

In international arenas, this farce has been touted as a “peace initiative,” even though the countries were not previously in conflict with one another. In Arab countries, there are official campaigns aiming to sell the agreements to the public as an advancement for Palestinians, in complete disregard of the position and agency of the Palestinian people. While governments and corporations talk of business opportunity, tourism, and energy deals, the sidelined Palestinians continue to exist in apartheid conditions-under brutal Israeli military occupation where home demolitions, night raids, arbitrary arrests, and unspeakable harassment, humiliation, and violence against them are daily realities. 

Euphemistically coined the “Abraham Accord”, the details of the plan unveil little more than a calculated semantics ploy to represent the anti-colonial struggle of the indigenous Palestinians as a religious and fratricidal fight between "the children of Abraham." Meanwhile, this month the UAE welcomed to its capital, Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi—two of nine Israeli banks listed by the United Nations Human Rights Council as financiers of illegal settlements—making the UAE now complicit in Israel’s ongoing theft, colonization, and annexation of Palestinian land. Rather than benefit Palestinians, these deals put an Arab seal of approval on what is one of the world’s worst, most enduring, and well-documented records of human rights abuses and grave breaches of international law. In doing so, they reward lawlessness, theft, and impunity, in addition to violating all relevant resolutions of the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Far from advancing peace, the plan reveals arms deals and cyber-spying contracts that promote militarism, endanger civilians, threaten human rights activists, and delay the potential for true peace in the region--based on ideals of justice and universal human dignity.

While we condemn the actions of the UAE and Bahrain governments, we know that the Arab people of the UAE and Bahrain remain firm in their support for Palestine. Likewise, while we condemn the long role of the US government in pushing normalization while underwriting Israel’s violent occupation and settler-colonial project, we know that our fellow Americans want the US government to promote justice. The American people want their tax dollars spent on our crumbling education system, compromised infrastructure, and healthcare, not to prop up human rights abusers nor to fatten the bank accounts of weapons contractors.

As a coalition of over 50 US-based religious, political, cultural, and human rights organizations, representing tens of thousands of Americans, we stand firmly with the Palestinian people in their fight for freedom, self-determination and to demand that Israel be held accountable. We stand united in sending a loud and clear message of vehement opposition to any and all efforts to normalize with Israel at the expense of Palestine and the Palestinian people. We declare that Palestinian self-determination and human rights are non-negotiable and not for sale; and finally and most importantly we demand an end to Zionist Colonization of Arab/Palestinian land.  


Organizations co-sponsoring the protest include (to see the most current list of cosponsors, go to the Facebook event page for the protest): 

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)

ADC - Georgia Chapter

Al-Awda NY

Al-Awda Palestinian Right to Return Coalition

American Palestinian Club- VA

American Muslims for Palestine

Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)

Coalition of Palestinian American Organizations

CODEPINK

Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine

Daarna

Dallas Palestine Coalition

Eyewitness Palestine

Free Democratic Palestine Movement

Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA)

Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF)

International Solidarity Movement

Internationalism WG (Metro DC DSA)

Jerusalem Center

Jews for Palestinian Right of Return

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)

JVP - NYC

Labor for Palestine

Metroplex Palestine Coalition

NAAP

National Lawyers Guild, Palestine Subcommittee

National Union Of Palestinian Youth Representative/ Boston

Network for Democratic Palestine

New Generation for Palestine - NGP

NY4Palestine

Our Revolution Northern VA (ORNOVA)

Palestinain American Council - Chicago

Palestine Aid Society - Detroit

Palestine American League

Palestinian American Center

Palestinian American Club- Chicago

Palestinian American Council - Dallas

Palestinian American Council - Louisiana

Palestinian American Women’s Association

Palestinian American Youth League

Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace

Palestinian Youth Movement - PYM

Sacramento Regional Coalition for Palestinian Rights

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoners Solidarity Network

Students for Justice in Palestine - Chicago

Students for Justice in Palestine - GW Law School

Students for Justice in Palestine - Tufts

US Campaign for Palestinian Rights - USPCR

US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI)

US Palestinian Community Network - USPCN

US Palestinian Council - USPC

USA-Palestine Mental Health Network

Virginia Coalition for Human Rights

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CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities. CODEPINK rejects foreign policies based on domination and aggression, and instead calls for policies based on diplomacy, compassion and a commitment to international law. With an emphasis on joy and humor, CODEPINK women and men seek to activate, amplify and inspire a community of peacemakers through creative campaigns and a commitment to non-violence.

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