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Occupation End Notes | December 13, 2007 Volume 5 Number 10

In this issue...

1. US Campaign Update: US Campaign Holiday Party Tonight; US Campaign Conference Call Teach-In on Annapolis Tonight; Get Your Free Copy of the DVD "The World Says NO! to Israeli Occupation!"; Last Chance for Christmas Delivery of Palestinian Fair Trade Olive Oil

2. Member Group Update: Bay-Area Groups Protest AIPAC, Dec. 17; Interfaith Peace-Builders Delegates Bring On-the-Ground Experience to Media Coverage of Annapolis Conference; Adalah-NY Steps Up Protests against LEVIEV New York

3. Resources & Events: Breaking the Silence U.S. Photo Exhibition, February-March 2008; Foreign Policy in Focus "World Beat" Graphic-Art Article on Life in Hebron; Cluster Bomb Holiday Cards from FCNL

4. Opportunities to Visit Israel and Palestine: Interfaith Peace-Builders; Global Exchange; Middle East Children's Alliance


1. US CAMPAIGN UPDATE:

*US Campaign Holiday Party Tonight

For our friends and supporters in the DC area…

You're Invited to Our Annual Holiday Party, Dec. 13

The staff of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation warmly invites you to our Adams Morgan office for our Annual Holiday Party!

Gather round with US Campaign friends from 5-8pm on Thursday, December 13th and join us for a happy hour! Meet local activists and do some shopping for your loved ones! We have Palestinian fair trade, organic olive oil, books, music, videos, and t-shirts that would make the perfect holiday gift!

What: US Campaign's Annual Holiday Party
When: Thursday, December 13th, 2007 5pm-8pm
Where: 1736 Columbia Rd NW, Apt 107, Washington, DC20009

Please RSVP to Omar Masri, office@endtheoccupation.org or call 202-332-0994.

We will be serving light fare and some drinks!

* US Campaign Conference Call Teach-In on Annapolis Tonight

The U.S. Campaign will present a telephone teach-in on Thursday, December 13 at 9pm ET to provide some background on the recent Annapolis Conference and what it claimed to have achieved but in reality, what it really was. We will also shed light on the implications on the Palestinian people.

We will have two presenters, and then opening up for about an hour of Q&A and discussion on the call.

Thursday, December 13th, 2007, 9 PM-10:15 PM ET

Please RSVP to Omar Masri at office@endtheoccupation.org no later than 6PM ET. We will then provide you with the conference call-in number and access code. Please mention the organization you represent, if any.

Presentations will be given by Phyllis Bennis and Samar Assad followed by Q & A.

Agenda:

9:00P-9:15P: Welcome and House-keeping

9:15P-9:30P: Introduction of Phyllis Bennis. What the Conference was meant to be and what it was not in the regional context

9:30P-9:45P: Introduction of Samar Assad. What are the implications of the Conference for the Palestinian people.

9:45P-10:15P: Q&A

10:15P: Closing Remarks from Omar Masri

Phyllis Bennis is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC and also sits on the US Campaign's Steering Committee. She has been a writer, analyst and activist on Middle East and UN issues for many years. In 2001 she helped found and currently co-chairs the U.S. Campaign to End Israeli Occupation. She works closely with the United for Peace and Justice anti-war coalition, and since 2002 has played an active role in the growing global peace movement.

Samar Assad is the Executive Director of the Palestine Center, a Washington, D.C. based think-tank known for its analysis of U.S. policy towards the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Prior to her appointment, Assad served as Senior Analyst at the PalestineCenter for three years.

* Get Your Free Copy of the DVD "The World Says NO! to Israeli Occupation!"

Read our year-end newsletter to find out how to get your free copy of an inspiring 20-minute documentary of our June 10 protest against 40 years of Israel's military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.  Click here to read more.

* Last Chance for Christmas Delivery of Palestinian Fair Trade Olive Oil

We've teamed up with our friends at Canaan Fair Trade to offer you Palestinian fair trade, organic olive oil delivered directly to your door. (Sorry, we can only ship to the 48 contiguous states.)

The US Campaign is now selling four one-liter tins for the low price of just $80+$10 shipping and handling. Or order a whole case (twelve one-liter tins) and save even more.The price of a whole case is $200 with free shipping and handling.

Order your olive oil today by clicking here or call 202-332-0994 to place your order by credit card.


You must order by today, Thursday, December 13, if you'd like delivery before Christmas.


2. MEMBER GROUP UPDATE:

* Bay-Area Groups Protest AIPAC, Dec. 17

Protest AIPAC at their Membership Dinner
Monday, December 17th 6pm
Oakland, CA
· 11th and Broadway -- Outside Marriot Hotel
We Say NO to a Lobby for War!

We say no to a lobby for war.  As the AIPAC lobby celebrates its continued success in pressuring politicians to maintain a militaristic policy in the Middle East, its support of US aid to Israel even as it continues and expands its occupation of Palestinian land, its call for ever more sanctions against Iran that can lead to catastrophic war, we will be outside with a very different agenda.  We call for peace in the Middle East based on international law, global nuclear disarmament, and an end to US aid for occupation --- in Palestine and Iraq

Endorsed by:
Stop AIPAC!Middle East Children's AllianceGlobal ExchangeJewish Voice for PeaceAlameda Party Green PartyBay Area Women in BlackInternational Solidarity Movement - Northern California • Berkeley Women in Black• East Bay Coalition for Self-rule for Iraqis (EB-COSSI).• Middle East Policy Advisory Committee (MEPAC)

For more information, click here.

* IFPB DELEGATES BRING ON-THE-GROUND EXPERIENCE TO MEDIA COVERAGE OF ANNAPOLIS CONFERENCE

December 5, 2007 - Interfaith Peace-Builders' 25th Delegation to Israel/Palestine returned last month. The delegation, co-sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee, explored many aspects of the Israeli-Palesinian conflict and supported Palestinian families in the annual olive harvest (to read reports from the delegation click here).

Participants returned home from the delegation weeks before the US Administration held a hasty Middle East Conference in Annapolis. Returning IFPB delegates were uniquely situated to bring their own analysis of the current situation to local and regional media outlets around the United States and into Canada. Below is a list of the delegates' appearances on television and radio and in print media.

Interfaith Peace-Builders is proud of the delegates' continued activism. These media successes are only the beginning of their education and advocacy as individuals are already planning speaking events and getting involved in other local initiatives to support peace and justice in Israel/Palestine. 

DELEGATES ON TELEVISION

  • Delegates Judy and Mike White were interviewed on WMFD TV local news in Mansfield, Ohio on December 4. Watch the segment online or download it here.
  • Delegation Co-Leader Scott Kennedy was interviewed on SoWatTV in Santa Cruz, California on November, 29 (video not available).

DELEGATES ON RADIO

  • WKSU Radio, an NPR affiliate in Kent Ohio, featured Doug and Mary Ann Kerr with John Tuzcu on November 26. Listen to the segment online or download it here.
  • Kathleen McQuillen and John Tuzcu were featured in an hour interview on WOI's Talk of Iowa in Des Moines and elsewhere in Iowa. Listen to the interview online or download it here.
  • Tom Baskett was featured in a short interview on Vermont Public Radio's Vermont Edition which aired during broadcast of NPR's Morning Edition on December 4. Listen to the interview online or download it here.
  • WLBY Radio's The Lou Perry Show featured Ron Stockton on December 1 (audio not available).
  • Additional radio spots are currently scheduled in Ohio and California.

DELEGATES IN PRINT

  • Doug and Mary Ann Kerr and John Tuzcu were featured in the Cleveland Plain Dealer on November 18. Read the article here.
  • The Wautaga Democrat of Boone, North Carolina interviewed Nancy Benson on November 21. Read the article here.
  • Carlie Numie was featured in this article published by The Daily Local News of West Chester, Pennsylvania on Thanksgiving Day, November 22. Carlie also published an article in her local Friends Meeting Newsletter.
  • The Attleboro SunChronicle of Attleboro, Massachusetts interviewed Martha Yager for this article on November 23.
  • Judy Gilbert was interviewed for two articles in the Orillia Packet and Times on October 23 and November 23 and one article in Orillia Today on November 23. Both newspapers serve Judy's community of Orillia, Ontario. Read one article here.
  • Tom Baskett published this letter to the editor in the Rutland Herald in Rutland, Vermont on November 27.
  • TheAshland Times-Gazette of Ashland, Ohioprofiled Judy and Mike White in this front-page article on December 1.
  • Cathy Deyo Young was the subject of this article in the Grand Rapids Press of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The article ran on December 1.
  • Additional print media is forthcoming in Washington State, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, Vermont, North Carolina and California.

* Adalah-NY Steps Up Protests against LEVIEV New York

Despite NYC Palestinian rights protest, Dershowitz buys jewelry from settlement mogul Leviev

(Video and photo links at end of message)

ADALAH-NY Contact: justiceme@gmail.com

New York, NY, Dec. 8 - Wealthy Madison Avenue holiday shoppers were greeted Saturday afternoon by boisterous music and dancing, as 60 New Yorkers protested in a growing campaign to boycott Israeli diamond magnate Lev Leviev over his settlement construction in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Participants performed a joyous dabke, a traditional Palestinian dance, and chanted to music from the eight-piece Rude Mechanical Orchestra. During the protest, Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz entered LEVIEV New York and emerged to jeers as he displayed a LEVIEV shopping bag to the crowd.

Saturday's event was the third and largest protest outside LEVIEV New York since the store's November 13 gala opening. The protesters highlighted Leviev's abuse of marginalized communities in Palestine, Angola and New York. In the West Bank companies owned by Leviev have built homes in at least five Israeli settlements. These settlements carve the West Bank into disconnected bantustans, seize valuable Palestinian agricultural and water resources, and isolate Palestinian East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank, rendering the creation of a viable Palestinian state impossible. All Israeli settlements violate international law. Yesterday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned Israel against its plans to build new homes in Har Homa, one of the settlements where Leviev's company Danya Cebus is building.

Midway through Saturday's protest Alan Dershowitz suddenly appeared in front of LEVIEV New York. "Just before he entered the store, I told Mr. Dershowitz, "you claim to be for peace, but you are deliberately putting money in the pockets of a man who builds settlements and prevents peace," explained Issa Mikel of Adalah-NY. "Dershowitz responded, 'Thank you for telling me about this place. I'm going to shop here from now on.' It's not surprising that Dershowitz is proud to support Israeli settlements, despite their illegality and immorality. Dershowitz is also a defender of torture, and has proposed that Israel destroy entire Palestinian villages."  As Dershowitz emerged from the store holding high his LEVIEV shopping bag, he was met by loud chants of, "Alan, Alan, you can't hide, your support for Apartheid."

New Yorkers were joined by members of the New Jersey Star dance troupe for likely the first ever Madison Avenue performance of the Palestinian folk dance dabke. Riham Barghouti of Adalah-NY explained, "Our dabke performance at Leviev's store was an affirmation of our identity as Palestinians, and of our refusal to accept Israel's efforts to cleanse us from our land and destroy our culture."

Participants were reminded of the breadth of Leviev's abuses when a stream of cars decorated with Burmese flags and "Free Burma" banners drove by the protest honking their horns in support. In September, 2007 The Sunday Times in London reported that its undercover journalist was shown Burmese rubies for sale, allegedly "blood rubies" used to finance Myanmar's military junta. UPI reported in October that Leviev was warned by the EU to stop doing business with Myanmar or face sanctions.

Protesters held signs saying, "Latkes not land theft", and "Dreidels not demolition and "Candles not confiscation." Ethan Heitner of Adalah-NY explained, "I can think of no better way to celebrate Hanukah than to shine a light on the abuses Leviev is committing around the world."

Leviev mines diamonds in close partnership with Angola's repressive Dos Santos regime, and the security company Leviev employs in Angola has been accused of serious human rights abuses. In New York City, Shaya Boymelgreen, Leviev's US partner until this summer, has been the target of a campaign by local groups for employing underpaid, non-union workers in hazardous conditions, and violating housing codes to construct luxury apartments that threaten to displace lower-income residents.

Video of Alan Dershowitz at LEVIEV New York: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bq-carFCQbQ

Video of protesters performing dabke: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-1c9xN8BBU

Downloadable photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/JusticeME/Leviev12807

For more on Adalah-NY: www.mideastjustice.org


3. RESOURCES AND EVENTS

* Breaking the Silence U.S. Photo Exhibition, February-March 2008

Dear supporter of the refuser movements,

From the moment of its first showing in Israel in the summer of 2004, the Breaking the Silence exhibition -- an exhibition of photographs and video testimonies provided by over 60 current and former IDF soldiers documenting their experiences in the Occupied Territories -- has established itself as one of the most influential and important efforts to bring greater awareness of the depths of the conflict and its impact on the people of all sides. As an organization, Breaking the Silence, has continued to be a respected voice among those working each day to bring an end to the conflict.

The Refuser Solidarity Network has learned that Breaking the Silence will bring its photo exhibition to the U.S. for the first time in early 2008. In February, the exhibition will premiere in Philadelphia, at a venue in West Philadelphia called the Rotunda (http://www.therotunda.org/foundation.html).

In March, the exhibition will travel to Cambridge, MA, where it will be shown at Harvard's Center for Government and International Studies (http://cgis.fas.harvard.edu/). The exhibition consists of over 100 photographs, and several video testimonies. To maximize its impact, several members of Breaking the Silence will be present in Philadelphia and Cambridge, to explain, challenge, and engage the public on the content and meaning of the exhibit.

* Foreign Policy in Focus "World Beat" Graphic-Art Article on Life in Hebron

Foreign Policy in Focus' "World Beat" ezine has published a graphic-art article on life in occupied Hebron by artist Ellen O'Grady.

To read and distribute the article, entitled "Visiting Hani's House", click here.

* Cluster Bomb Holiday Cards from FCNL

Last month, the US Campaign joined with the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) and other human rights organizations for a global day of action against cluster bombs.Below is a note from FCNL with suggested follow-up ideas.

This Holiday Season Urge Congress to Protect Civilians from Cluster Bombs!

More than 130 governments are gathering today (5-7 December) to continue working toward a global treaty to ban cluster bombs—weapons which leave behind deadly landmine fields and have a record of killing more civilians than combatants. The U.S. will be conspicuously absent from the talks. Congress can help bring the U.S. in line with the emerging global consensus by supporting the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act (S.594/HR1755).

In November, a call in day to the Senate helped gain four new cosponsors—Ben Cardin (MD), John Kerry (MA), Ron Wyden (OR), and Robert Casey (PA). Thank you.

Keep the momentum going!  Activate your network to write their Senators this holiday season, urging them to prevent further harm to civilians from cluster bombs. It's simple.Here's how they do it:

1.Print out this holiday postcard (front and back) on cardstock, which you can find at any copy shop. Cut the cards apart; there are 4 to a sheet.

2.Sign the postcard, including a return address. Add a sentence or two to personalize the message.

3.Find the district office addresses of Senators using an online congressional directory.

4.Distribute the remaining cards to family, friends, faith community, and co-workers and ask them to write their Senators as well! (Here's a flyer to educate people about the issue if needed.)

Fine Print

  • Do you live in California, Maryland, Massachusetts, or Vermont? Both your Senators are already supporting this bill. Folks could send them a thank you note on the postcard, or send it to their Representative and urge her or him to cosponsor the companion bill in the House.
  • Do you live in Iowa, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington, or Wisconsin? One of your Senators has already cosponsored the bill. The Senators who need to hear from you are Charles Grassley (IA), Pete Domenici (NM), George Voinovich (OH), Gordon Smith (OR), Arlen Specter (PA), Jack Reed (RI), Patty Murray (WA), and Herb Kohl (WI).
  • Do you live in any other state? You should send a postcard to both your senators asking them to cosponsor the bill.

Please do let us know if you do activate your network and/or if you have any questions.

Happy holidays!


4. OPPORTUNITIES TO VISIT ISRAEL AND PALESTINE

* Interfaith Peace-BuildersDelegations to Israel/Palestine

Interfaith Peace-Builders (IFPB) sends delegations to Israel and Palestine so that US citizens can see the conflict with their own eyes. Participants have the opportunity to learn directly from Israeli and Palestinian nonviolent peace/human-rights activists, to spend time in Palestinian and Israeli homes, and to experience the situation of Palestinians living under military occupation. For more information, contact the IFPB office directly by phone (202-244-0821) or email office@ifpbdel.org.

Upcoming Delegations in 2008:

March 29 - April 12, 2008

October/November, 2008 (exact dates TBD)

* Fall 2007 Schedule: December 2nd - 12th: Global Exchange's Delegations to Palestine & Israel


As the Israeli military continues to place Palestinian towns, villages and refugee camps under siege, Palestinians continue to resist the 40 year Occupation of their land. GX's delegations to Palestine/Israel strive to further the US public's understanding of the region's history and realities by giving participants first-hand exposure to the aspirations and frustrations of Palestinians living under Occupation, the dimensions of the human rights crisis under Israeli rule, as well as the perspectives of Palestinians and Israelis who are working for a just peace and end to the occupation.

For additional information, review our Palestine resources.

For a selection of recent news items compiled by Global Exchange, review our Palestine News Updates.
Prospects for Peace with Justice

December 02, 2007 - December 12, 2007

April 05, 2008 - April 15, 2008

December 06, 2008 - December 16, 2008

For more information you can contact Global Exchange (800-497-1994 x. 251) or email palestine@globalexchange.org.

*July 1-12, 2008: Middle East Children's Alliance Delegation to Palestine/Israel

On MECA's twelve-day delegation you will be taken on a geographic, political, historical and cultural tour of Palestine/Israel by two MECA staff people, and Yacoub Odeh, refugee, former political prisoner, and human rights worker. We will travel by van to witness the impact of the Israeli occupation and visit organizations working for justice and equality. You will learn about refugees, land confiscation, political prisoners, women's initiatives, mental and physical health issues, civil rights in Israel, and the lives of children.

The group of eight to twelve people will stay at the guesthouse of MECA's long-time partner IbdaaCulturalCenter in Dheisheh Refugee Camp, near Bethlehem. Ibdaa is a lively place in the heart of the community with great food and comfortable accommodations.

Cost: $1,800 not including airfare.

More info: www.mecaforpeace.org/delegation

Contact: Deborah Agre at 510-548-0542 or Deborah@mecaforpeace.org


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 office@endtheoccupation.org.

The US Campaign aims to change U.S. policies that sustain Israel's 40-year occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, and that deny equal rights for all.