Take Action! Call the White House Today and Boycott SodaStream on Black Friday!
Today, Israel launched a major offensive in the Gaza Strip, killing the Hamas leader nearby civilians, including two girls under the age of five. The death toll continues to rise. The US Campaign strongly condemns these brutal attacks, carried out with U.S. weapons given to Israel as military aid and paid for by U.S. taxpayers, and Israel's ongoing, illegal siege of Gaza. You can follow updates from Gaza here.
Please act now and call on the Obama administration to exert diplomatic pressure on Israel to bring about an immediate cease-fire and to initiate an investigation of Israel's misuse of U.S. weapons against Palestinians in this and previous attacks.
White House: 202-456-1111
State Department: 202-647-6575
As Israeli attacks on Palestinians in Gaza heighten, activists in the United States are taking action. Yesterday, the Associated Students of the University of California at Irvine voted unanimously in support of divestment from companies that profit from Israeli occupation and apartheid. The US Campaign congratulates Irvine Divest for its hard work on this principled action, in line with a tradition of campus campaigns leading the way in social justice struggles throughout history.
Among the companies mentioned in the resolution were Caterpillar and Hewlett Packard -- targets of multiple, recent faith-based initiatives and victories following years of work by US Campaign member groups, including the Palestine Israel Action Group of the Ann Arbor Friends Meeting, United Methodist Kairos Response, and the Israel-Palestine Mission Network.
In two historic resolutions this year, the United Methodist and Presbyterian churches voted to boycott products produced in Israeli settlements, including SodaStream, a device that makes carbonated water and soda from tap water, made primarily in the illegal Israeli settlement of Mishor Adumin. SodaStream's illegal activities were also highlighted in this week's UC Irvine resolution.
SodaStream is being promoted widely this holiday season at such outlets as Costco, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Macy's. In response, many US Campaign member groups -- both faith-based and non-faith-based -- are supporting a Boycott SodaStream Day of Action on "Black Friday," the day after Thanksgiving and the biggest shopping day of the year.
There are many ways to take action on NEXT FRIDAY, November 23rd (Black Friday):
1. Write or call. Generate letters/petitions or calls from individuals, congregations, or groups to one or more stores and their corporate offices. Reference any ethics/responsible business practice policies they may have. Click here for sample letters, store contacts, and links to ethics policies.
2. Store visits. Go in groups or individually to selected stores to talk to management about not carrying SodaStream. Fill out comment cards to that effect. Most store managers have no information at all about the occupation of Palestine. A visit is a good way to share information. Click here for sample handouts and other materials.
3. Hold a vigil, prayer vigil, informational leafleting, etc. at a local mall or in front of a chain or chain stores that sell SodaStream. This can be effective even with a few people (though be aware that store security guards and local authorities have been known to approach, antagonize, and even arrest vigilers). Click here for sample signs and leaflets.
4. Tweet! Use the hashtags #SodaStream and #BDS to generate interest in your Tweets. Post information on your own or your group's Facebook page.
Please send photos and report-backs to the US Campaign by clicking here so we know what you did!
Students in Gaza, in spite of everything, remain steadfast, recently launching Gaza's first campus-based boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign. In solidarity with the students and people of Gaza, and inspired by UC Irvine's recent divestment decision involving SodaStream, member groups are planning actions from Sacramento (building on the recent de-shelving of SodaStream from a major local store) to Washington, D.C. Join them in taking action next Friday in your local community!
P.S. -- On Friday, we will be delivering our open letter and petition to the State Department calling on the United States to investigate Israelís killing of Rachel Corrie in the Gaza Strip and its injuring and killing of additional U.S. human rights defenders. You can still have your signature delivered to the State Department if you sign before 4pm Eastern tomorrow.