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 Is the National Lawyers Guild Racist?

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 Is the National Lawyers Guild Racist?

The National Lawyers Guild  is circulating a resolution "condemning Zionism as Racism." The National Lawyers Guild bills itself as a  "Association of progressive lawyers, legal workers, law students and jailhouse lawyers.."

The people signed on this resolution are known for holding opinions such as Zionists are taking over the grocery industry in the United states.

The resolution, which passed their convention by nearly a 2/3 majority, has now been sent to members to ratify it. Let's hope that real progressives in the rank and file refuse this resolution. "Zionism is racism" resolutions are OK in Afghanistan or the Sudan. Respectable progressives and pro-Palestinians have condemned such actions.  John Strawson has written:

While there are honorable Anti-Zionist positions they are few. On the whole Anti-Zionism is close to, or a mask for, Anti-Semitism.. MORE

This lawyer joke is not so funny.


Zionism and Race 

Strawson on anti-Zionism

Forum Discussion: Lawyers Guild "Zionism is Racism" resolution


National Lawyers Guild (U.S.A.): Resolution Condemning Zionism As A Form Of Racism
Posted by: Admin on Nov 07, 2005 - 08:14 PM

At the 2005 National Lawyers Guild convention held in Portland, OR., a group of anti-Zionist NLG members put forth a resolution " Condemning Zionism As A Form Of Racism."

The resolution commanded a significant majority of NLG convention members, despite attempts to dilute it.

By supporting the resolution with an overwhelming majority vote of 100 in favor, 47 against, and 10 abstentions, the NLG convention members sent a loud and clear message where they stand. The result was a clear 2/3 rd majority vote required for the resolution to pass at the convention.

However, due to a lack of procedural clarity on whether "abstentions" count as "votes," the resolution will now be sent to the entire NLG membership by mail ballot.

It is critical that our community actively mobilize support for this resolution--every vote counts. Let us find NLG members and urge them to vote. Let us strongly encourage them to join the courageous majority of the NLG members who voted in favor of this resolution in the convention by:

  1. Voting in favor of it on their mail ballot while also making sure to cast their mail ballot; and


  2. Encouraging other NLG members to vote support this resolution as well.

Together we can make it happen. Please see resolution below

Michael Shahin, NLG Member



WHEREAS, the National Lawyers Guild has a long and proud history of fighting racism.

WHEREAS, the National Lawyers Guild has passed numerous resolutions in support of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the

  • Resolution to Divest, in Principle and Practice, from Israel (2004);
  • the Resolution to Stop and Dismantle the (Apartheid) Wall (2003);
  • and the Resolution Affirming the Individual and Collective Palestinian Right of Return (2003).

WHEREAS, from 1975 to 1991 United Nations Resolution 3379 determined "Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination," citing several resolutions by various states, including resolution 77 (XII) adopted by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity at its twelfth ordinary session, 28 July to 1 August 1975, which noted

    "that the racist regime in occupied Palestine and the racist regime in Zimbabwe and South Africa have a common imperialist origin, forming a whole and having the same racist structure and being organically linked in their policy aimed at repression of the dignity and integrity of the human being"

WHEREAS, a review by the United Nations of the performance of Israel under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) in May of 2003 raises serious concerns regarding continuing institutionalized and systematic racism directed by Israel against Palestinians:

"The Committee is deeply concerned about the continuing difference in treatment between Jews and non-Jews….and "reiterate[d] its concern that the excessive emphasis upon the state as a "Jewish state' encourages discrimination and accords a second-class status to its non-Jewish citizens."

WHEREAS, the United Nations recognizes that such institutionalized and systematic racism is intimately connected to Israel and its persistent denial of the right of Palestinian refugees to return, stating:

    "The Committee is particularly concerned about the status of 'Jewish Nationality' which is a ground for exclusive preferential treatment for persons of Jewish nationality under the Israeli Law of Return, granting them automatic citizenship and financial government benefits, thus resulting in practice in discriminatory treatment against non-Jews, in particular Palestinian refugees."

WHEREAS , the very establishment of Israel in 1948 was based on racist violence aimed at expelling the Palestinian presence from the land, when Zionist occupation forces razed over 450 Palestinian villages, expelled at least 800,000 Palestinians from their cities and villages, and massacred countless other Palestinians.

WHEREAS, the ongoing war crimes of Israel against the Palestinian people are a continuation of this institutionalized and systematic violence.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the National Lawyers Guild:

  1. Reaffirms United Nations Resolution 3379 declaring, "Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination."
  2. Condemns all manifestations of this institutionalized and systematic racism by Israel stemming from 1948 through today's present denial of the right to return and perpetuation of ongoing war crimes against Palestinians.
  3. Resolves to integrate its policy against Zionist racism in practice by partnering with Palestinian communities and prioritizing the voice of Palestinians in their struggle to challenge occupation, oppression, and racism.

IMPLEMENTATION: By the Guild's anti-racism committee and the NEC.


Submitted by:

  • Merrilyn Onisko , Co-Chair Middle East Subcommittee*
  • Nancy Hormachea, Co-Chair Middle East Subcommittee*
  • Michael Shahin, NLG Member, LA Chapter*
  • James Lafferty , Executive Director, NLG/LA*
  • Ranya Ghuma, Co-Chair , The United People of Color Caucus (TUPOCC)*
  • Renee Q. Sanchez , Co-Chair, The United People of Color Caucus (TUPOCC)*
  • Lynne Stewart , Lynne Stewart Defense Committee*
  • Ralph Poynter , New Abolitionist Movement*
  • Mara Verheyden-Hilliard , Co-Chair, NLG Mass Defense Committee*
  • Maunica Sthanki , Co-National Student Vice President
  • Paul Wright , Co-Jailhouse Lawyer Vice President*
  • Ian Thompson, Executive Board, NLG-LA*
  • Carol Smith , Member, NLG Mid-East Committee*
  • Michael Smith , NLG/NYC Board Member*
  • Bernhard Rohrbacher, NLG/LA Board Member*
  • Leon Goldin, CA State Bar Commissioner (Ret.), NLG/LA Board Member*
  • Richard L. Solomon, NLG/LA Board Member*
  • Ban Al-Wardi , NLG Member, LA Chapter; Executive Board Member Palestinian American Women's Association*
  • Saja Raoof , NLG Member, NLG-MI*
  • Sammar Hasan Miqbel, NLG Member*
  • John Wheat Gibson , Immigration Lawyer, past president Baylor University Law School NLG Student Chapter; past co-chair Texas-Oklahoma Chapter, NLG; vice president, Texas United for Peace and Justice; Admiral for Yellow Submarine Warfare, Peace Movement Army, 1968-72*

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Forum Discussion: Lawyers Guild "Zionism is Racism" resolution



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