Occupy Oakland demonstrators plan to hold a major "unwelcoming" of Israeli President Shimon Peres Tuesday during his visit to a San Francisco synagogue.
"Israeli President Shimon Peres will come to Temple Emanu-El in San Francisco to give a talk titled 'Israel and the Jewish People: A Vision of Tomorrow,'" Occupy Oakland announced in a post on its website Sunday. "In light of this theme, we want to show Peres what our vision of tomorrow would look like by warmly greeting him with a mass protest against apartheid outside of the temple."
Peres, Occupy Oakland charges, has "signed into law racist and colonialist legislation" and "a series of laws and amendments disenfranchising and ethnically cleansing Palestinians from their land" The group also blasts him for including former President George W. Bush, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Ruport Murdoch and Henry Kissinger in his annual Israeli Presidential Conference, calling them "guilty of collaboration with the apartheid regime":
Shimon Peres serves the wealthy colonial elite and the settler state of Israel. Peres tours the world speaking on behalf of Jewish people, co-opting the history of the Holocaust. At the same time, he has on his conscience a massive arms trade and racist laws which advance the ethnic cleansing and genocide of Palestinian peoples. His very presence at a synagogue in San Francisco normalizes settler colonialism here and in Israel, connecting two settler states in the name of Judaism and an imperial and colonial “vision of tomorrow.”
To contest the normalization and cultural violence of this event, a number of Bay Area activists, including the proposers, are organizing a protest outside of the synagogue on March 6, 2012 at 6:30 PM. This proposal does not seek to create a formal Occupy Oakland working group, but does not oppose this, and will participate if one is formed. We ask Occupy Oakland to take a stand against apartheid and settler colonialism by endorsing, participating in, and helping plan this action. We hope Occupy Oakland will help think up and enact creative ways for us to show Peres that he is not welcome to promote apartheid and colonialism in the already colonized Bay Area.
The group's announcement ended with a note of caution, saying: "organizers of this demonstration are committed to anti-oppression principles and will not be represented by any oppressive language or behavior at the demonstration, which includes anti-Jewish racism."