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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


What is the US Campaign's main focus?
Does the US Campaign support the Palestinian people’s right of return?
Some of the member groups of the US Campaign do not have a clear position in support of the right of return: can they still be members of the US Campaign?
By advocating for the end of occupation does the US Campaign advocate a two-state solution? Or does it endorse a one-state solution?
What does the US Campaign have to say about accusations of Israeli racism against Palestinian citizens of Israel?

Why did the US Campaign join the leadership of United for Peace and Justice when UFPJ does not have a clear position on Palestinian self determination?
What value-added does the US Campaign bring when so many groups are already active on the issue?
Does the US Campaign endorse selective or comprehensive divestment initiatives?
Who really leads the US Campaign and makes its policy decisions?
Do you have to be part of a member group to serve on the Steering Committee?
Can any organization join the US Campaign or is there a review process?



Q: What is the US Campaign's main focus?

A: The US Campaign focuses on US government, corporations, and other institutions that sustain Israel's domination of the Palestinian people and denial of their human rights. These human rights include an end to the occupation of Palestinian land in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel, and the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

The US Campaign believes that US citizens have a duty to hold their government and corporations accountable. It seeks to educate US citizens on the way that these institutions function to undermine the rights of the Palestinian people and mobilize them in support of human rights. Without justice grounded in human rights, peace will never prevail.


Q: Does the US Campaign support the Palestinian people’s right of return?

A: Yes. The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation works for the application of human rights and international law to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The right of return is part of international law: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Hague Convention, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and several regional conventions all provide for the right for refugees to return and compensation.

Moreover, Palestinians are specifically guaranteed that right by UN Resolution 194 of December 1948, which states that “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return.”

The US Campaign has, from its inception, supported the right of return as a human right. April 2004, US President George Bush exchanged letters with former Israeli Prime Minister Sharon in which he took a position against the right of return. Thereupon, the 2004 Campaign Assembly, the coalition's highest decision making body, established the right of return as one of five priority areas for education and mobilization to end the occupation and realize equal rights for all.


Q: Some of the member groups of the US Campaign do not have a clear position in support of the right of return: can they still be members of the US Campaign?

A: The US Campaign policy is to make its own position clear. Any group that signs onto the Call to Action and its human rights and international law framework can join the US Campaign. If groups take a position that is actively against human rights, including the right of return, then this would become grounds to review their membership with the Campaign.


Q: By advocating for the end of occupation does the US Campaign advocate a two-state solution? Or does it endorse a one-state solution?

A: The US Campaign does not endorse either a one-state or a two-state solution, but rather upholds the Palestinian right to self-determination. We believe the Palestinians must be empowered to exercise this right, and that the international community has a responsibility towards the right of the Palestinian to self-determination. This was reaffirmed by the International Court of Justice in its July 2004 Advisory Opinion on the consequences of the Wall Israel is building illegally on Palestinian land.


Q: What does the US Campaign have to say about accusations of Israeli racism against Palestinian citizens of Israel?

A: The Israeli legal system has 20 laws on its books that discriminate against the Palestinian citizens of Israel, either by singling out the rights of Jewish citizens of Israel or by abridging the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel. These discriminatory laws include: the Law of Return whereby any Jew anywhere in the world can emigrate to Israel whereas Palestinian refugees cannot do so; the Absentee Property Law (1950) which facilitates the confiscation of Palestinian land in Israel; and the Ban on Family Reunification that prohibits Israeli-Palestinians who marry Palestinians from the West Bank or Gaza Strip to bring their spouses to live within Israel.

A number of other regulations and procedures have the effect of stunting the development of Israeli Palestinian towns and villages compared to Israeli Jewish ones in terms of infrastructure, education, health, and other facilities. Thus, Israel’s legal system practices institutional discrimination that structurally makes its Palestinian citizens second-class citizens.

These discriminatory laws violate several international laws including provisions in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The US Campaign works for US policies that comport with international law so that all citizens of Israel, whether Jewish or Palestinian, or belonging to other ethnic or religious groups, enjoy full equality and human rights.


Q: Why did the US Campaign join the leadership of United for Peace and Justice when UFPJ does not have a clear position on Palestinian self determination?

A: United for Peace and Justice was established to mobilize US citizens against the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, which remains its main focus. Due to the engagement of the US Campaign, UFPJ has taken a clear stance on ending the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and supports an end to aid to Israel. Membership of UFPJ enables the US Campaign to educate UPFJ member groups about Palestinian human rights so that they may adopt a more comprehensive position in support of Palestinian human rights, including self-determination and the right of return, and not just an end to the occupation.


Q: What value-added does the US Campaign bring when so many groups are already active on the issue?

A: The US Campaign is an umbrella coalition that provides local groups with a national voice. For example, when there is anti-Palestinian legislation on the Hill, the US Campaign provides its members with talking points and ways to reach out to their elected representatives and educate them on the issues. US Campaign petitions and action alerts mobilize in excess of 250 organizations, maximizing the impact of individual groups. This is possible due to its coordinating role and the investment it has made in the infrastructure and resources necessary for outreach on behalf of its members.

Members bring creative ideas from local or state levels to the US Campaign for a national platform. For example, the campaign against Caterpillar Corporation was the initiative of Campaign member groups in California, Washington DC, Boston, and Chicago, among others, before being adopted as a Campaign priority project at the 2005 Campaign Assembly.


Q: Does the US Campaign endorse selective or comprehensive divestment initiatives?

A: The US Campaign endorses divestment and believes its member groups should adopt the form of divestment that is best suited for their community. We encourage members to adopt comprehensive divestment but acknowledge that those aren’t always possible among certain constituencies.


Q: Who really leads the US Campaign and makes its policy decisions?

A: Policy decisions are made by the Campaign Assembly which, at the Annual Conference, sets overall political direction and priorities for the coming year. In between annual meetings, decisions are made by the elected Steering Committee. The Campaign Assembly is composed of delegates from local, state or regional, or national organizations that sign on to the Campaign Call to Action. The Steering Committee has 12 members. Each year, four members are elected to three-year terms by the Campaign Assembly at the annual Conference, thus providing continuity as well as an influx of new energy and ideas.


Q: Do you have to be part of a member group to serve on the Steering Committee?

A: No. According to the Campaign’s Organization Rules, individuals and representatives of member groups can stand for election to and serve on the Steering Committee.


Q: Can any organization join the US Campaign or is there a review process?

A: A membership committee reviews applications to ensure that member groups uphold the principles and purpose for which the US Campaign was established, as set out in its Call to Action. Organizations must sign on to the Call to Action and contribute to the Campaign’s work on a sliding scale (between $100 and $1,000 or more depending on the organization’s size).