Polish border no-go zone will stop tourists as well as migrants, locals fear

Polish border no-go zone will stop tourists as well as migrants, locals fear
Polish border no-go zone will stop tourists as well as migrants, locals fear

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - Third-party US presidential candidate Jill Stein calls for suspension of military aid to Israel

CHICAGO: Jill Stein, who is campaigning to stand as a third-party candidate in the US presidential election in November, said that if elected she would immediately halt military support for Israel’s “apartheid government,” and push Israelis and Palestinians to embrace a “genuine peace.”

In an exclusive interview with Arab News, she said American policy on the Israel-Palestine conflict is driven by lobbyists, and that anyone who challenges the Israeli government over its responsibility for ethnic cleansing in Palestine is denied their constitutional rights.

Stein is a candidate for the Green Party, which advocates on a range of issues, including environmental action and the constitutional rights “of all Americans.” She said she would halt the “police oppression” of students who stage campus protests demanding an end to what many consider a genocide in Gaza, stop the flow of weapons to Israel’s government, and preserve the rights of Arab and Muslim Americans who “continue to be the victims of racism, violence and Islamophobia.”

She added: “Arab and Muslims have been taken for granted in America. They are victims of racial profiling, Islamophobia and the violence against Arabs in this country.

“There is an absolute violation of our constitutional rights, by the government, to shut down our dialogue. People are trying to grapple with this genocide we are seeing in live and real time on our iPhones and on our computer screens.

“We need to talk about it but both the Democrats and the Republicans want to label this discussion as insurrection, as a betrayal and to try to criminalize it,” Stein, a Jewish American physician who grew up during the Vietnam War, said in reference to the police response to the wave of protests by students on hundreds of campuses around the country against the war in Gaza.

“They send in the riot police and bash the heads of protesters who are simply saying what the highest courts in the land are saying, the international Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court: this is a genocide that is taking place in Gaza, this is against the law and it must be stopped.

“It is even against US law to send weapons to Israel, which is violating humanitarian rights, which is interfering in the delivery of humanitarian aid. On all counts, it is actually illegal to provide Israel with military support and weapons right now. The people who are standing up to assert our legal values and our human values are being criminalized and being charged with crimes.”

Stein approached 34-year-old Lebanese American Abdullah Hammoud, the mayor of Dearborn in Michigan, to be her vice presidential running mate, before it was pointed out that candidates must be at least 35 years old when they take office, and he would be three months short of meeting this Constitutional requirement.

“The Arab American community is being dealt an incredible injustice,” Stein said, adding that she believes they deserve a stronger political voice and protections from abuse.

“We need to stand up as Americans on behalf of all of us to assert our rights to a foreign policy that reflects our values. In fact, we need a foreign policy based on international law, human rights and diplomacy. That is what Americans are calling for.

“But we have a system led by political and economic elites who are used to, basically, fighting their way into domination. We have a foreign policy based on the exercise of raw military power.”

Stein said she also opposes the actions of authorities in more than than 28 states that have passed “anti-BDS laws” that target campaigners who criticize Israeli government policies and call for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel over its treatment of Palestinians.

“It is a violation of our basic civil liberties, our freedom of speech, our freedom of political association, our freedom to protest for redress of grievances. This is what democracy depends on,” Stein said.

“In terms of BDS, our government should be leading the charge on BDS. How do we get Israel to comply when Israel has nuclear weapons? We are not going to send in the troops but we can absolutely deny Israel weapons. We can deny Israel funding. We can deny Israel the rockets it depends on. We have the power here.”

In support of her argument, Stein cited the actions of former presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan, who forced Israeli authorities to back down during military conflicts in the Sinai in 1956 and Lebanon in the 1980s, respectively.

Stein denounced the attacks by Hamas against Israel on Oct. 7 last year but said that criticism of the Israeli state and its actions “is not antisemitism” and the world cannot close its eyes to the violence against Palestinians that has been taking place since the founding of the Jewish State in 1948.

“Israel needs to pull back,” she said. “That violence is mostly committed by Israel. No civilian lives should ever be targeted or lost. But that is not just, ‘Stop killing people’ — you have to stop the occupation, you have to stop the ethnic cleansing, you have to stop destroying people’s homes and seizing their homes, you have to stop destroying the farmlands and their olive trees, you have to stop this all-out war against the Palestinian people.

“This has been a longstanding ethnic cleansing that has eventually accelerated into the genocide that exists now. We must take the side of international law. The United States has the power to do this with a simple phone call. Congress has the power to stop the transfer of weapons to Israel while they are violating human rights.”

Stein was in Illinois and Indiana last weekend to organize volunteers who are collecting the signatures she needs to be included on presidential ballots in those states.

To be included on the ballot in a state, a candidate must collect a minimum number of signatures from residents of that state supporting their candidacy, the number of which varies from state to state. If they meet this target, after any challenges that might remove names from their lists, they can appear on the ballot in that state.

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