NYAGRA statement on the NYC Council trip to Israel
The New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy (NYAGRA) is proud to join with other members of the Don’t Go Coalition in protesting the New York City Council’s February 2015 trip to Israel and in calling on those Council members to withdraw from a propaganda tour intended to increase American support for the illegal Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and the illegal Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip.
Shamefully, 15 members of the City Council — including members of the LGBT Caucus — are going on what is for all practical purposes a junket paid for by the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) and the United Jewish Appeal (UJA). Shockingly, these Council members are participating in a tour that in previous years has taken elected officials to visit illegal Israeli settlements . Even the United States, Israel’s closest ally, which subsidizes Israel with approximately $3 billion in aid each year, does not recognize its illegal occupation of the occupied Palestinian territories (OPT) ; in participating in this tour, the 15 Council members are implicitly endorsing Israel’s war crimes and contravention of international law.
NYAGRA was founded to pursue transgender rights, which members of the board of directors see as inextricably linked with human rights for marginalized and oppressed groups both in the United States and abroad. NYAGRA’s chair, Pauline Park, participated in the first US LGBTQ delegation tour to Palestine, in which she represented NYAGRA, part of the organization’s commitment to human rights in occupied Palestine, where transgendered and gender-variant Palestinians suffer under the illegal Israeli occupation just as non-transgendered Palestinians do.
Among the many other members of the Don’t Go Coalition are Adalah-New York, Jewish Voice for Peace-New York, New York City Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (NYC QAIA), CodePink/NY, Direct Action Front for Palestine and a host of other organizations.
For more information, contact:
New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy (NYAGRA)