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Cadence engineer fired for activism

By Elise Ackerman and Lisa Fernandez
Mercury News (Bayarea)
May 29, 2002



James Hanna never imagined his Middle East vacation would cost him his job.

Disturbed by televised images of Israeli military forces invading Palestinian cities and towns, the 24-year-old computer engineer hired as a contract employee took a 10-day leave from his job at the Munich office of Cadence Design Systems in late April to do humanitarian work with the International Solidarity Movement, a group of pro-Palestinian activists who believe in non-violent resistance to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

``For me, it was the injustice, the fact that nobody really seemed to care,'' said Hanna, who is a U.S. citizen.

Hanna was detained by the Israeli army May 2 after he participated in an attempt to deliver food to armed gunmen and others hiding in Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity. Israel, which viewed many of the Palestinians in the church as suspected terrorists, deported Hanna on May 4.

When Hanna returned to work the following week, he was fired. ``Due to unacceptable conduct and political actions in a geographical area where Cadence does business (Israel), we hereby terminate your work contract,'' his dismissal letter stated.

A spokesman for the San Jose company, which is a leading provider of software used to design chips and electronic devices, confirmed that Hanna's employment contract had been terminated but declined to elaborate. ``There was an appropriate and justifiable reason,'' said spokesman Kevin Kimball.

Amir Segez-Sayag, a spokesman for the Israeli Consulate in San Francisco, said the solidarity group's attempt to storm the church by rushing past Israeli soldiers was not a benign act of peaceful protesters. ``This is not any kind of humanitarian group that breaks into a church and makes provocation,'' he said.

Dean Fryer, a spokesman for the California Department of Industrial Relations, said firing an employee for political activity is illegal in California. However, the state law generally does not apply to contractors like Hanna or to employees of foreign subsidiaries.

Students dropped

Hanna isn't the only person with California connections to face negative consequences for involvement in the Bethlehem incident. Two students who joined Hanna in the action at the church were punished by their universities.

Robert O'Neill, a 21-year-old student at the University of California-Berkeley, and Nauman Zaidi, a 26-year-old from UC-Riverside, were dropped from their overseas program at the American University in Cairo for violating an agreement they signed with the university that prohibited them from traveling to dangerous places and war zones, university officials said.

O'Neill and Zaidi returned to the United States on Monday after spending more than two weeks in Israeli custody attempting to fight deportation orders.

``In the Middle East, students are not allowed to go to the West Bank and Gaza, where they put themselves and others in danger,'' said UC spokesman Hanan Eisenman.

Eisenman said the rule is consistent throughout the system's overseas program. ``In India, there are hot spots in Kashmir that are just `no go' zones.''

Alan Schlosser, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, said that if Cadence fired Hanna for his political activities, it raises serious civil liberties questions.

``Free speech and political activities would be seriously hampered if a private employer were able to retaliate for political actions,'' Schlosser said.

Sharing details

Hanna said he is still at a loss to explain what happened to him. ``I went to Israel on my personal time and did not affiliate myself with my company while I was there. I didn't associate with any militant or radical groups, and I conducted what I thought were thoroughly humanitarian acts,'' he said.

Hanna said he was happy to talk to his manager about his experience in Israel and voluntarily informed him of the details of the trip, including his work at a school and the two days he spent in a refugee camp outside of Bethlehem.

``I stressed the non-violent and humanitarian aspect of what I had done,'' Hanna said.

But according to Hanna, his boss told him that higher-ups in San Jose were concerned about his connections to Palestinian militants. ``He said they were worried I might do this kind of thing in the future,'' Hanna recalled.

Hanna said he would never align with militants, in part because his family, many of whom live in Egypt, have been persecuted by Muslims there for holding fast to their Christian beliefs.

``I want people to be aware of what happened to me, so they can understand what corporate America is thinking and doing in regards to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,'' he said. ``People who speak out or act on behalf of the Palestinian people are being punished, both in the corporate and academic spheres.''

To show your disgust at Cadence's action, here is their contact details:



Sales information
Phone: 800.746.6223

Corporate headquaters
2655 Seely Avenue
San Jose, CA 95134
Phone: 408.943.1234

Southwest Business Center
4500 S. Lakeshore Drive,
Suite 695
Tempe, AZ 85282
Phone: 602.413.9550
Fax: 602.413.9553

1960 E. Grand Avenue,
Suite 1070
El Segundo, CA 90245
Phone: 310.414.1300
Fax: 310.414.3401

16279 Laguna Canyon Road
Irvine, CA 92618
Phone: 949.788.6080
Fax: 949.788.6099

6700 Koll Center Parkway,
Suite 160
Pleasanton, CA 94566
Phone: 408.895.3202
Fax: 925.461.5341

1130 Morrison Drive,
Suite 240
Ottawa, Ontario K2H-9N6
Phone: 613.828.5626
Fax: 613.828.8793

Denver West Office Complex
360 Interlocken Blvd.,
Suite 101
Broomfield, CO 80021-3440
Phone: 303.464.6500
Fax: 303.464.5019
Sales Fax: 303.464.5001

3307 South College Ave.
Suite 211
Fort Collins, CO 80525
Phone: 970.282.4443
Fax: 970.282.8046

100 Rialto Place, Suite 600
Melbourne, FL 32901
Phone: 407.674.2400
Fax: 407.951.2673

390 North Orange Ave.,
Suite 625
Orlando, FL 32801
Phone: 407.650.3500
Fax: 407.648.9229

Three Woodfield Lakes
900 N. National Parkway,
Suite 200
Schaumburg, IL 60173
Phone: 847.619.6600
Fax: 847.619.6675

6210 Old Dobbin Lane
Columbia, MD 21045
Phone: 410.290.1999
Fax: 410.290.0353

270 Billerica Road
Chelmsford, MA 01824
Phone: 978.667.8811
Fax: 978.262.6606

6 Pine Tree Drive,
Suite 300
Arden Hills, MN 55112
Phone: 651.483.6358
Fax: 651.766.3290

New Jersey
230 Half Mile Road,
2nd Floor
Red Bank, NJ 07701
Phone: 732.450.0901
Fax: 732.450.9392

35 Spring Street
Murray Hill Technology Center
New Providence, NJ 07974
Phone: 908.898.2400
Fax: 908.898.1435

New York
300 Westage Business Center,
Suite 355
Fishkill, NY 12524
Phone: 914.897.2738
Fax: 914.897.2739

North Carolina
Cadence & Quickturn
200 Regency Forest Drive,
Suite 260
Cary, NC 27511
Phone: 919.481.6800
Fax: 919.469.2219

7535 Windsor Drive,
Suite A200
Iron Run Corporate Center
Allentown, PA 18195
Phone: 610.398.6300
Fax: 610.530.7985

20450 NW Amberwood Drive,
Suite 130
Beaverton, OR 97006
Phone: 503.439.3100
Analog fax: 503.439.1544
Sales fax: 503.439.1285

13221 SW 68th Parkway,
Suite 200
Portland OR 97223
Phone: 503.671.9500
Analog fax: 503.671.9501
IC sales phone: 503.968.4874
Sales fax: 503.968.5001

4516 Seton Center Parkway,
Suite 300
Austin, Texas 78759
Phone: 512.349.1100
Fax: 512.349.7130

14135 Midway Road,
Suite 300
Dallas, TX 75244
Phone: 972.233.4900
Fax: 972.720.5901

Ridgewood Corporate Square
320 120th Avenue NE,
Suite B-103
Bellevue, WA 98005
Phone: 425.451.2360
Fax: 425.451.1871


European headquarters
United Kingdom
Bagshot Road
RG12 0PH, UK
Phone: +44.1344.360333
Fax: +44.1344.360324

Äyritie 12 A
FIN-01510 Vantaa
Tel: +358.10.218.2220
Fax: +358.10.218.2222

Batiment Avenir
18 Grange Dame Rose
BP 128, Velizy-Cedex,
Paris 78140, France
Phone: +
Fax: +

Mozartstrasse 2
D-85622 Feldkirchen
Phone: +49.89.4563.0
Fax: +49.89.4563.1800

Filenet House
Ground Floor, Block U
Eastpoint Business Park
Fairview, Dublin 3
Phone: +353.1.805.4300
Fax: +353.1.805.4310

85 Medinat Hayehudim St
Fifth Floor
Herzelia 46766
Phone: +972.99511799
Fax: +972.99511796

Milanofiori - Strada 7
Palazzo R/3
20089 Rossano (Milan)
Phone: +39.02.57558-1
Fax: +39.02.8254187

Isafjordsgatan 30 C
SE 164 40 Kista
Phone: +46.856612300
Fax: +46.87520250

United Kingdom
Bagshot Road
RG12 0PH, UK
Phone: +44.1344.360333
Fax: +44.1344.360324


Beijing Cadence Electronics Technology Company Ltd.
Cadence China Ltd. Beijing Representative Office
Room 301-304, Floor 3,Tower A, Raycom Infotech Park, # 2 Science Institute South Road,
Zhong Guan Cun, Haidian District,
Beijing, P.R.China 100080
Phone: 86.10.8287.2200
Fax: 86.10.6250.9241

Cadence China Ltd. Chengdu Representative Office
Unit D, F31, First City Plaza, # 308 Shun Cheng Street,
Chengdu, P.R.China 610017
Phone: 86.28.86527.996
Fax: 86.28.86527.991

Beijing Cadence Electronics Technology Company Ltd. Shanghai Branch
Cadence China Ltd. Shanghai Representative Office
Room 4601-4603, Floor 46, Plaza 66,
No.1266, Nanjing Road West,
Jingan District, Shanghai, P.R. China 200040
Phone: 86.21.6288.2600
Fax: 86.21.6288.2601

Cadence China Ltd. Shenzhen Representative Office
B1, F22, C Building, Electronics Science & Technology Bldg., # 2070 Shennan Zhong Road,
Shenzhen, P.R. China 518031
Phone: 86.755.3273.750
Fax: 86.755.3273.426

Hong Kong
Cadence Design Systems, Asia, Ltd.
Suites 03-07, 23A Floor, Tower 2
The Gateway, 25 Canton Road
Tsimshatsui, Kowloon,
Hong Kong
Phone: 852.2377.7111
Fax: 852.2377.2802

Cadence Design Systems (S) Pte Ltd.
1 International Business Park
Suite 04-11/12 The Synergy
Singapore 609917
Phone: 65.567.8600
Fax: 65.569.0688

Cadence Design Systems III B.V., Taiwan Branch
Suite 1, 9th Floor,
No. 188, Sec. 5
Nanking E. Road
Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C.
Phone: 886.2.2769.8250
Fax: 886.2.2747.9218

Cadence Design Systems III B.V., Taiwan Branch
2nd Floor No 7,
R&D 2nd Road
Science Based Industrial Park,
Hsinchu, Taiwan, R.O.C.
Phone: 886.3.577.8951
Fax: 886.3.578.0422

Cadence Design Systems (India) PVT Ltd.
First Floor, "Embassy Classic"
No. 11, Vittal Mallya Road
Bangalore 560001 India

Cadence Korea, Ltd.
6Fl., KPS Building. 196
Keumgok-Dong, Bundang-Gu
Sungnam-Si, Kyunggi-Do
463-726 Korea
Phone: 82.31.728.3114
Fax: 82.31.728.3115


Cadence Design Systems, Japan
3-17-6 Shin-Yokohama
Kohoku-ku, Yokohama
222.0033, Japan
Phone: 81.45.475.2221
Fax: 81.45.475.2451



Action Alert:

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful


US company fires activist for aiding Palestinians - Action Requested

Alhamdulillah, we were all relieved at the release of American humanitarians Dr. Riad Abdelkarim and Ms. Dallel Mohmed from Israeli jail recently. The combined efforts of their families, civic organizations, select members of Congress and mobilized community members undoubtedly helped secure their return home.

But the fight is not over. Another American was just penalized for working to provide humanitarian assistance to besieged Palestinians. Unless we continue to respond to incidents like this, the campaign of intimidation will succeed.


James Hanna, a 24-year-old computer engineer hired as a contract employee at the Munich office of Cadence Design Systems took a 10-day leave from his job in late April to do humanitarian work with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). ISM is a group of activists from across the world working to provide humanitarian aid to Palestinians and joining with Palestinians in non-violent resistance to the Israeli occupation.

Hanna was arrested by the Israeli army May 2 after he participated in an attempt to deliver food to Palestinians trapped in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Israel deported Hanna on May 4. When Hanna returned to work the following week, he was fired. “Due to unacceptable conduct and political actions in a geographical area where Cadence does business (Israel), we hereby terminate your work contract,'' his dismissal letter stated.

Cadence spokesman Kevin Kimball confirmed that Hanna's employment contract had been terminated, saying “there was an appropriate and justifiable reason.'' Cadence, based in San Jose, California, is a leading provider of software used to design chips and electronic devices.


Call Cadence at (408) 943-1234. Ask to speak with Kevin Kimball.

You will most likely be transferred to his voicemail. Leave a polite message telling him how disappointed you are with the company's actions. An American company should not penalize its employees for providing humanitarian assistance to needy people anywhere in the world. This type of volunteer humanitarian work should be encouraged and applauded by socially responsible corporations.