WESPAC (Westchester Peace Action Committee Foundation)

Profile

Country/TerritoryUnited States
Websitehttps://wespac.org/
Founded1974
In their own words“WESPAC Foundation has been the leading force in Westchester County (NY) for peace and justice work for over three decades… provides outreach and community to individuals, groups and leaders in civic and religious organizations… who find themselves without a voice or support system for their progressive positions… purpose is to give a human face to those who would otherwise be unrecognized victims of war, injustice...”

Funding

Activities

  • Refers to US-funded “atrocities” in “our homeland” and demands the US “end all aid to Israel, diplomatic, economic, military… to this apartheid, racist state.”
  • Seeks to “place AIPAC and the neo-cons squarely in the camp of the warmongers… [and] halt billions of dollars of military aid.”
  • Rejects “futile negotiations,” which “present a threat to Palestinian rights, including the right of return, and that the Palestinian Authority leadership has not represented the Palestinian people, especially the seven million Palestinians living in exile and throughout the diaspora.”

Campaigning for Terrorists

  • WESPAC is a campaign supporter for the Campaign to Free Ahmad Saadat. Saadat, the PFLP’s Secretary-General, was sentenced to thirty years in prison for heading an “illegal terrorist organization,” as well as for his involvement in planning many of the group’s attacks including the assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi.
  • In October 2018, WESPAC demanded the release of Khalida Jarrar and “pledge[d] to struggle for justice through protests, actions, organizing and escalating boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) actions against Israel, in Khalida’s own spirit of resistance.”

Political Advocacy

  • WESPAC rhetoric includes accusing Israel of “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” “collective punishment,” and “war crimes,” as well as supporting a Palestinian “right of return.”
  • In June 2020, WESPAC was a signatory on a letter to presidential candidate Biden calling for “conditioning U.S. military funding to Israel on an end to Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights” as well as “support for H.R. 2407, the “Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act,” sponsored by Representative Betty McCollum, to ensure that no U.S. dollars contribute to Israel’s a military detention, interrogation, abuse and/or other ill-treatment of Palestinian children.”
  • In November 2019, WESPAC signed a letter to Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda, calling to open “an official, full-scale investigation into the ‘situation in Palestine’” and the “possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed” as the “absence of an official investigation…has fuelled the already existing culture of impunity.”
  • In November 2019, WESPAC was a signatory on a call to support “A World Without Walls,” a campaign started in 2017 that has drawn comparisons between “Israel’s apartheid wall on Palestinian land to the US wall of Shame on indigenous land at the border with Mexico.” According to the 2019 campaign, “Israeli apartheid is the ideological model for the rising right, which in turn sustains Israeli occupation through growing military and trade ties.”
  • Promotes a Palestinian narrative of victimhood, claiming that“military occupation is a cause of violence and terrorism not vice versa.”
  • WESPAC CEO Nada Khader was a panelist at an event at Pace University’s March 2015 “Israel Apartheid Week.” The goal of the panel was to “introduce SJP [Students for Justice in Palestine] to campus…There will be a strong focus on the non-violent Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign.”
  • Khader also participated in “Israel Apartheid Week” events at New York University (NYU) in 2010 in an event titled “The Indigenous Struggle: A Call for the Boycott of Israel,” where she compared Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto: “How can I eat while my people are being bombed by this fascist militia that our tax dollars are supporting? This is the Warsaw ghetto all over again.”
  • In 2014, Khader signed a call to “End the Gaza Massacre, Boycott Israel.” The statement condemned the “current acts of Israeli brutality, while also recognizing the deeply rooted and ongoing violence that Palestinians are forced to endure,” as well as condemning the “flagrant injustices of the current Israeli massacre against the Palestinians of Gaza.”
  • Following the 2008 Gaza war, WESPAC published a statement calling for Israel to “immediately and unconditionally end its assault on Gaza, end the occupation of the West Bank, and abandon all claims to possess or control territory beyond its 1967 borders.” The statement supports the Palestinian “right to resist” as the “goal of this war has never changed: to use overwhelming military power to eradicate the Palestinians as a political force, one capable of resisting Israel’s ongoing appropriation of their land and resources.”
  • In 2011, WESPAC endorsed a “Rally for Palestine and the Right of Return,” marching to the UN to demand “Sovereignty, Equality, and the Right of Return for Palestinians NOW!” The rally called for the “implementation of Right of Return for Palestinian refugees to their homeland, and for the UN and the associated global community to live up to their responsibilities.”
  • In 2011, WESPAC created an anti-Israel billboard campaign calling to “End U.S military aid to Israel.”
  • In 2010, WESPAC signed on a statement titled “Palestine is Not for Sale!” advocating the “right to resist occupation, the right to self-determination, and the right to return home.”
  • In 2010, WESPAC declared their commitment to the Palestinian people by signing a statement titled, “Palestine is Not for Sale!” The statement called for “International isolation of Israel, boycott, divestment and sanctions, international prosecution of Israeli war criminals are necessary, as is clear support for our rights, including the right to resist occupation, the right to self-determination, and the right to return home.”
  • In a speech given at Binghamton University in 2009, Khader stated, “They [the Palestinians] have not been allowed to live lives of dignity and that was the cause of the rockets [fired by Hamas on Israeli citizens] by the way.”

BDS Activities

  • Participates in anti-Israeli BDS (Boycott, divestment and sanctions)
  • WESPAC’s website discloses its support for BDS: “WESPAC supports the call by over 200 Palestinian civil society organizations for punitive measures including boycotts, divestment, and sanctions to be maintained until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian People’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law.”
  • Supports the pro-BDS “Palestine Freedom Project,” “dedicated to providing resources and logistical support to grassroots Palestine solidarity activists everywhere.”
  • According to WESPAC, “Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions are appropriate and legitimate weapons to wage peace” and the NGO campaigns for boycotting and divesting from Caterpillar.
  • WESPAC is named as a “fiscal sponsor” for Students in Justice in Palestine. It has provided funds for SJP members to travel to national SJP conferences, and SJP directs those interested in donating to its organization to send money to WESPAC.
    • WESPAC was the fiscal sponsor for the 2016 Students for Justice in Palestine conference titled, “Critical Mass: With Our Roots in Resistance, Forging a Just Future.” One of the goals of the conference was to “explore ways of working alongside and after BDS initiatives to capitalize on the diverse experiences and skills of our campus groups and to evolve as a movement.”
  • In 2019, WESPAC lobbied in support of the discriminatory UN database of businesses operating across the 1949 Armistice line, aimed at bolstering BDS campaigns against Israel.
  • In January 2017, WESPAC was a signatory on a letter to the Batsheva Dance Company stating that “we urge you to take a stand against the Israeli government’s violations of Palestinian rights. Until you do so, we will not welcome you in our cities and we will support a boycott of your performances due to your collaboration with the Israeli state.”
  • In July 2016, in response to New York State’s “executive order attacking the grassroots boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement for Palestinian rights,” Nada Khader stated that “we are appalled at Governor Cuomo’s blatant disregard for both freedom of speech and expression, and for silencing voices advocating for Palestinian human rights and freedoms through their support of BDS. Governor Cuomo’s unconstitutional action functions as part of a larger right wing and anti-democratic agenda in the United States to hinder support of the growing BDS movement. He should rescind his order immediately.”
  • In May 2016, was a signatory to a letter to members of the New York Legislature, “urging lawmakers to oppose bills that would effectively create blacklists of individuals and entities that boycott companies based in Israel or the occupied Palestinian territory.”
  • In September 2015, WESPAC was a signatory on a letter to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon urging the UN to “end its relationship with G4S” as “G4S is complicit with Israel’s human rights violations.”
  • WESPAC Foundation signed a letter sent by Adalah-NY on March 5, 2015 calling on the Beacon Theatre in New York to “not co-sign the atrocities that the Israeli government is committing by hosting Israeli musician Idan Raichel.” Other signatories included Al-Awda New YorkStudents for Justice in Palestine, and CODEPINK NYC.
  • In August 2014, Nada Khader was a signatory to a statement in solidarity with “Palestinian people of Gaza and with seekers of freedom and justice world-wide” urging support for the BDS movement and calling for “Israel to end its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantle the Wall.”
  • In July 2014, WESPAC was an endorser for the “9th Anniversary of the 2005 Palestinian Call for BDS against Israel.” The event called on individuals to “Come out to mark 9 years of successful global boycott and divestment initiatives being carried out to end Israeli apartheid, occupation, and colonization.” Other endorsers included Jewish Voice for Peace and SJP.

Partners

  • Provides funding and support for Students for Justice in Palestine and Adalah-NY.
  • Member organization of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (formerly known as US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation).
    • Accuses Israel of maintaining a “matrix of control” over the Palestinian population and enacting “laws that discriminate against [Palestinians], much as Black Americans had been treated during the Jim Crow era.”

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