March 15, 2009
1. US Campaign Update: Save the Date: 8th Annual National Organizers’ Conference in Chicago, September 12-13, 2009; National Coalition Against Censorship Covers Gaza Ad
2. Gaza Action: Poetry and Power to Support the Gaza Accountability Project; Members of Congress Visit Gaza
3. Challenging U.S. Policy Update: No Mention of US Military Aid to Israel in FY2010 Budget Outline; Act to End US Military Aid to Israel
4. Standing Against Apartheid Update: Israeli Apartheid Week Events; US Campaign on Africa Now; Israeli Apartheid in the News
5. Boycott & Divestment Update: March is Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Month; Support Hampshire College Divestment; UK Government Boycotts Israeli Tycoon Lev Leviev & other exciting BDS news!
7. Membership Update: New Member Organizations; 6th Annual New Orleans Human Rights Film Festival
8. Resources & Events: World Council of Churches Week for Peace in Palestine Israel; Nadia Hijab Column; New Educational Resources Available
9. Opportunities to Visit Israel and Palestine: Christian Peacemaker Teams, Global Exchange, Middle East Children’s Alliance, Interfaith Peace-Builders and Friends of Sabeel – North America
1. US CAMPAIGN UPDATE:* Save The Date! 8th Annual National Organizers’ Conference in Chicago, IL, September 12-13, 2009
Our 8th Annual National Organizers’ Conference will be held during the weekend of September 12th – 13th, 2009. We will be sending out all necessary information for you to plan and book your flights in the upcoming months.
Click here for more information.
* National Coalition Against Censorship Covers Censored Gaza Ad – The National Coalition Against Censorship posted an article about the US Campaign’s Gaza ad, which was censored by DIRECTV. Please click here to view our ad which was censored by DIRECTV and take action to oppose US military aid to Israel.
Read the NCAC’s coverage of the ad by clicking here.
* How You Can Sustain the US Campaign
* New Book Available for Purchase – The book Occupied Voices: Stories of Everyday Life from the Second Intifada by Wendy Pearlman is now available from the US Campaign.
The stories in this book, ranging from the humorous to the tragic, paint a profile of the Palestinians that is as honest as it is uncommon in the Western media: that of ordinary people who simply want to live ordinary lives.
To view this book and other merchandise available form the US Campaign, click here.
* Follow US Campaign on Twitter & Facebook – Follow the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation on Facebook and Twitter by clicking here:
2. GAZA ACTION: * Come Join us for Poetry & Power! Help Hold Israel and the U.S. Accountable for War Crimes in Gaza
Come hear the powerful Palestinian poet Suheir Hammad and support accountability for war crimes in Gaza.
International Women’s Day — March 8, 2009 — 3:00pm
Busboys and Poets, 14th & V Streets, Washington DC
Join with us to document Israel’s attacks on Gaza that violate international law, and help us expose Israeli officials who may be guilty when they visit the U.S. Join with us to demand that the U.S. government be held accountable for its complicity with Israel, and that it stop providing Israel with the money and weapons and diplomatic protection that made the recent attacks on Gaza possible
Please come and support this fundraiser on March 8, and hear the award-winning poet Suheir Hammad read from her new title: “breaking poems” (Cypher Books 2008). Suheir will also read from her earlier works, including “ZaatarDiva”, “Born Palestinian, Born Black” and “Drops of This Story”.
* Members of Congress Visit Gaza; Pres. Obama to Sanction Israel? Recent visits to Gaza by Sen. John Kerry and Reps. Keith Ellison and Brian Baird and growing indications that the Obama administration might consider sanctioning Israel have created momentum for the effort to hold Israel accountable for its actions in the Gaza Strip.
Click here to learn more about the visits by members of Congress and to keep up the pressure on the Obama administration to hold Israel accountable.
* Take Action
For more action ideas on what you can do end the siege on Gaza and hold Israel accountable, visit our web section “Take Action to End Israel’s War and Siege on Gaza.”
3. CHALLENGING U.S. POLICY: * Take Action: No Mention of Aid to Israel in Budget, Thank Pres. Obama
Last Thursday, President Obama sent his FY2010 budget outline to Congress and we were pleasantly surprised to see that it contained no mention of military aid to Israel.
Does this mean that President Obama will not include $2.775 billion in military aid to Israel when he delivers his actual detailed budget request to Congress in April as expected? That’s highly doubtful. But the absence of any mention of it in the budget outline or the President’s address to Congress does mean that military aid to Israel is becoming a political liability, something that is now downplayed and no longer trumpeted. Click here to read more.
To thank Pres. Obama for not including military aid to Israel in his budget outline, and to act to end U.S. military aid to Israel, click here.
* Help Influence the Obama Administration: Yes We Can…End Military Aid to Israel! Find out how you can take steps to influence the Obama Administration to end weapons transfers to Israel by clicking here.
4. STANDING AGAINST APARTHEID UPDATE: * Educate Your Community and Organize around Israeli Apartheid Week
US Campaign member groups are joining activists around the world to commemorate Israeli Apartheid Week.
To find an event near you, click here.
* Listen to US Campaign Advisory Board member, Bill Fletcher, Jr, and National Organizer, Katherine Fuchs, on Pacifica’s Africa Now – The February 18th edition of Africa Now focused on the role of South African unions in the Global BDS movement and the connections between South African apartheid and apartheid policies in Israel/Palestine. Click here to listen.
* US Considers Boycotting World Conference on Racism – March 3, 2009-The Obama administration is considering a boycott of the second World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Geneva next April due in part to the conference’s criticism of racism and apartheid in Israel. Click here to read more.
* Israeli Apartheid Week in the news – March 3, 2009-Israeli Apartheid Week and “Durban II” World Conference Against Racism gains attention as BDS movement grows.
5. BOYCOTT & DIVESTMENT UPDATE: * March is Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Month
Learn about opportunities for action on boycott, divestment, and sanctions this month, including supporting Hampshire College divestment, Israeli Apartheid Week, Rachel Corrie Day, and the Global BDS Day of Action, by clicking here.
* Hang Up On Motorola Resources Sign up to be a local organizer for our Motorola boycott. Get organizing tools such as postcards for the Hang Up On Motorola pledge, factsheets about Motorola’s support for Israeli apartheid policies, and tips on how to involve retailers in the campaign.
Or click here to donate to support the ongoing Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions work of the US Campaign.
* UK Government Boycotts Israeli Tycoon Lev Leviev over Settlement Construction
Decision a Victory for Coordinated Campaign in Palestine, US, UK and Israel
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York, NY, March 4 – The government of the United Kingdom has decided to boycott Israeli diamond and real estate mogul Lev Leviev over his companies’ construction of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land in the Occupied West Bank, the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz Daily reported today. The decision by the UK government followed a coordinated advocacy campaign by human rights advocates in New York, the UK, Palestine and Israel demanding that the UK government end plans to rent the new UK Embassy in Tel Aviv from Leviev’s company Africa-Israel.
* Support Hampshire College Divestment
In early February, Hampshire College announced that it was divesting from a mutual fund that included from six corporations supporting Israel’s military occupation – including Motorola and Caterpillar.
Now, after attack from Alan Dershowitz and other Zionist activists, Hampshire’s administration has announced that its divestment had nothing to do with the Israeli Occupation but rather with a general socially responsible investment policy AND is considering the possibility of reinvesting in Motorola and Terex Corp. Call on Hampshire College president, Ralph Hexter, to stand with Hampshire College Students for Justice in Palestine by clicking here.
* Caterpillar Debated by Pulaski County, Arkansas, Justices of the Peace (Country Legislature)
A Pulaski County justice of the peace recently used a county resolution supporting tax incentives for a planned Caterpillar plant in North Little Rock as a forum to oppose the company’s sale of bulldozers to Israel. Read more here: http://www2.arkansasonline.com/news/2009/feb/24/jp-fights-tractor-sales-caterpillar-israe-20090224/
* Brooklyn Coop May Boycott Israeli Products
February 20, 2009-A 15,000 member food co-op in Park Slope is considering a boycott of Israeli products. Click here to read more.
* Sports Boycott Growing – Swedish officials have recently announced that spectators will not be allowed into the stadium to watch the Israeli and Swedish tennis players compete in the first round of the Davis Cup to be held in Malmo in March. This decision was encouraged by two Swedish political parties and the promise of 10,000 demonstrators protesting Israel’s recent war and continuing siege of the Gaza Strip. Sweden has taken action like this twice before, when the Swedish and Chilean teams played before an empty house in protest of dictator Augusto Pinochet and when a match against the Rhodesian team was cancelled in protest of that state’s apartheid policies. In similar news, Israeli tennis player, Shahar Peer was recently denied a visa to compete in Dubai.
* Join the Cultural Boycott Movement – The Batsheva Dance Company is currently touring North America. Click here to learn how to get involved with boycotting Israel’s cultural ambassadors.
* Support the Academic Boycott of Israel – The international academic boycott of institutions and individuals supporting Israel’s occupation has spread from Europe to Canada and now to the United States. Click here to get involved in the U.S. academic boycott movement.
* Great BDS website – The Israeli Coalition of Women for Peace exposes corporations profiting from the occupation of Palestinian territory and people. Click here to check out WhoProfits.org.
* Morally Responsible Investment Resources for Churches – Friends of Sabeel North America now has a website devoted to resources on morally responsible investment activism. View their resources by clicking here.
6. EXPRESSIONS OF NAKBA UPDATE: * See Expressions of Nakba in Your City this Spring:
March 10-17, 2009: Jeannette Rankin Peace Center (Missoula, MT)
March 26-April 5, 2009: New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival (New Orleans, LA),
April 8-15, 2009: William & Mary Students for Justice in Palestine (Williamsburg, VA),
May 1-15, 2009: United States Palestine Community Network-Chicago (Chicago, IL).
7. MEMBERSHIP UPDATE: In an effort to better help our coalition members network and for us to better gauge the coalition’s regional diversity, we have put together a map with all 270 coalition members represented by state:
If you don’t see your state represented within the US Campaign: Join us!
Please welcome the following group(s) to our coalition:
American Friends Service Committee Connecticut – Hartford, CT
Academy for Learning Islamic Faith (ALIF) – McKinney, TX
* PATOIS: The 6th Annual New Orleans International Human Rights Festival
March 26th – April 5th, 2009
This April, US Campaign member organization, New Orleans Palestine Solidarity will present the fifth annual New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival. This festival, started by and guided by their group, has been an incredible project for bridging Palestine solidarity and other movements.
The US Campaign is a proud sponsor of this film festival and we encourage all our supporters to attend.
Click here for information.
8. RESOURCES AND EVENTS:
* Ann Arbor Palestine Film Festival
March 11th -14th, 2009
The Ann Arbor Palestine Film Festival brings you an array of comedy, drama, fiction, non-fiction, features, shorts, and experimental films, which all showcase the diversity and strength of Palestinian cinema. These films represent the true nature of Palestinians and the Palestinian narrative, in stark contrast to the bias and stereotypes that mainstream news and media present. The breadth of the stories and the emotions expressed in these films know no bounds. The Ann Arbor Palestine Film Festival will take place in Ann Arbor, Michigan, from March 11th-14th, 2009.
More information can be found at: www.a2palestinefilmfest.org
* 2nd Annual Houston Palestine Film Festival
April 16th-25th , 2009
The second annual Houston Palestine Film Festival brings an honest and independent view of Palestine and its Diasporas society, culture, and political travails through the art of film. This group of groundbreaking cinematic texts rises above the degrading stereotypes or reductively politicized depictions that are so familiar to Houstonians. A major goal of the Festival is to directly expose our local community to the perspective of artists as a first step toward circumventing the many government and media filters that pollute our understanding of Palestine and the wider region.
More information can be found at: http://hpff.org/about.php
* World Council of Churches Announces World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel
The World Council of Churches is inviting member churches and related organizations to join a week of advocacy and action for a just peace in Palestine and Israel from June4-10, 2009. Click here to learn more about the World Week for Peace and how you can get involved through prayer, education, and advocacy.
* Nadia Hijab column: The Wishful and the Realistic – Click here to read the column by US Campaign Advisory Board member Nadia Hijab of the Institute for Palestine Studies. For a list of Ms. Hijab’s recent articles, click here.
*Job Vacancy – Legal Researcher for Al-Haq – Al-Haq, the West Bank affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists, Geneva, is currently seeking to fill a one-year fixed-term contract position for a Legal Researcher. The position is full-time (40 hours/week) and is based in Ramallah. For more information, click here.
* Order Palestinian Loss of Land Map Cards – Educate in your community using these postcard sized maps, which show Palestinian loss of land from 1946 through the current day. Click here to order from Friends of Sabeel North America and here for Quakers with a Concern for Palestine Israel.
9. DELEGATIONS TO ISRAEL/PALESTINE:* Global Exchange’s Delegations to Palestine & Israel
* Middle East Children’s Alliance Upcoming Delegations to Palestine/Israel in 2009
* Interfaith Peace-Builders Delegations to Israel/Palestine
March 8th-21st, 2009
May 23rd-June 5th, 2009
July 25th-August 7th, 2009
October 24th – November 6th, 2009
* Sabeel/Friends of Sabeel North America Delegations to Israel/Palestine
Friends of Sabeel North America maintains a list of alternative travel opportunities to Israel/Palestine. To view the list, click here.
Occupation End Notes is the US Campaign bi-monthly newsletter, designed as a tool for activists. For this newsletter to be successful, we need your participation. Use us to promote events, give feedback on recent actions, recommend resources, or just learn from other activists in the movement. If you or your organization are planning an event aimed at ending the occupation, or you have information for the Newsletter, please contact the US Campaign at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The US Campaign aims to change U.S. policies that sustain Israel’s 41-year occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, and that deny equal rights for all.
US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation