Proposal: Unify Pro-Palestine NJ Organizations in Opposition to the New Jersey – Israel Commission

Members of NJ’s Asian-American community on Monday February 12 confronted Gov. Murphy and his wife Tammy at a Lunar Year celebration at the Governor’s mansion in Princeton. Tammy Murphy is seeking Democratic Nomination to run for US Senate in 2024. The activists eloquently challenged Governor Phil over NJ’s profiting directly from genocide through the New Jersey – Israel Commission and Tammy over her apparent support for genocide by refusing to get the words “cease fire” out of her mouth – meaning on the most pressing issue of New Jersey, the USA and the world, Tammy Murphy is siding with genocide. She would be a Menendez rerun in this regard apparently.

In a press release, the group that called for accountability from NJ’s first couple had this to say about the commission specifically.

“As members of the Asian diaspora – many of whom were forcibly/coercively displaced – we are living on Occupied Lenape land in an illegal settlement that is funding the occupation of an Indigenous people in Western Asia. It is because of the shared, living histories of colonization, imperialism, and displacement evoked by a radical understanding of Asian American identity that we reject the normalization of all kinds of occupation and genocide. Governor Murphy proudly claims New Jersey as the sister state to Israel, as seen in the continued and unchecked work of the New Jersey-Israel Commission. According to the Commission’s most recent annual report, the bilateral trade volume rose to $1.72B in 2022 between NJ and Israel. The Commission is one of the many formal avenues through which NJ legally profits from genocide and death through the maintenance of the state of Israel. “

They also compiled as part of their press packet a set of links with additional information about the NJ – Israel Commission – please research this list – for starters see below.

As editor of I agree with the concerns of these Asian American activists and while the rest of the media has yet to even mention the very effective challenge they posed at the Governor’s mansion (story has since broke but is paywalled at this link) – we can make sure that their act was not in vein by picking up the baton and getting the state united behind the demand to disband the New Jersey – Israel Commission.

For now I would like to invite organizations to drop an endorsement of this position and we will create an insta page directory of those who agree and figure out what to do next.

So far aside from our reporting of this incident at the Governor’s mansion, the rest of the NJ media has been silent about it and they have been notified. While we at say “Palestine” every day, apparently some other of NJ media has trouble hearing Palestine even when succinctly enunciated as at this so far mostly untold incident at the Governor’s Princeton Mansion. (Story has since broke but is paywalled at this link.)

There are likely efforts that might have already been dedicated to this objective to disband the commission and might have the plan in motion – like the Asian American activists – and if so – we can join with them. This would not be a new group – just a commitment of an association for collective effort on this specific purpose.

Who is in? You can use our contact page, e-mail, @fightbackbetter on insta, or contact me in whatever other ways you know (Bob WItanek). I do not have a plan of what to do next but minimally we can associate around this objective as a first step.

Here is the video capture of the situation – and you can tell how sharp these activists were to keep the whole situation pinned to the issue – to actually get Phil to answer the question about shutting down New Jersey Israel Commission – to so directly challenge both of them and get them to show themselves unmasked before the NJ people! It shows how this whole crisis over Palestine is bringing out the best in the collaborative response – we – opponents of genocide are a force to be reckoned with and we are far from done!

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ADDENDUM Info on the New Jersey-Israel Commission

1989 Brochure when the NJ-Israel Commission was first founded

6/12/23 Press Release from Governor’s office celebrating Israel’s 75th anniversary at the State House

Commission Website on New Jersey-Israel Relations

“In 2019, the value of bilateral trade between New Jersey and Israel was valued at $1.27B and Israel has continued to be a notable source of job creation and foreign direct investment into New Jersey.”
According to U.S. Census data, New Jersey retains the fourth largest populations of people born in Israel and those having Israeli ancestry in the United States.

2022-2023 Public Annual Report from Commission

2021-2022 Public Annual Report from Commission

New Jersey opens office in Israel in 2018