Occupation End Notes | May 18, 2006
Volume 3 Number 13


in this issue...

1. US Campaign Update: Employment Opportunities; Membership Survey; Legislative Update-including ACTION; Voter Information Services Congressional Report Card; Hijab Article in Gulf News; Save the Date-5th National Conference; Olive Branch Club Special Offer; CAT Shareholder Meeting; Legislative Update

3. Resources & Education: 58th Anniversary of Al-Nakba; Church Toolkit on Israel-Palestine; Upcoming British Vote on Israeli Boycott; Life Behind the Wall Website; HRW Statement on Israeli Family Reunification Law; FOSNA DVD Series; FFIPP Faculty Exchange with Palestinian Universities; Wall of Hate Video Clip

4. Special Section!  **Employment Opportunities**
Global Exchange
Council for Arab-British Understanding
Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace
United Palestinian Appeal

5. Opportunities to Visit Israel and Palestine: Middle East Fellowship Summer Encounter; Birthright Unplugged; Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions; Christian Peacemaker Teams; Global Exchange; "Meet Palestine" Voluntary Work Camp; Fellowship of Reconciliation Interfaith Peace Builders; Sabeel International Young Adults Conference; Cycle for Peace; MECA Delegation


1. US CAMPAIGN UPDATE

*The US Campaign is currently receiving applications for a full-time office manager position in our Washington, DC office, as well as for summer internships.  For more information on these positions click here

*This month the US Campaign will be sending an online survey to organizational members who are registered on our website.  The intention of this survey is to learn more about our membership and find out how we can best serve your needs and interests.  Thank you in advance for participating in this project with us.

* HR4681, the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006, is likely to come up for a vote in the House of Representatives next week.

Last week, the House leadership put HR4681 on the voting calendar “under suspension”, meaning that it would come to a vote with limited debate and with no opportunities for amendments.  The bill was then unexpectedly pulled from the calendar so that the Judiciary Committee could exercise its jurisdiction over parts of the bill.  The Judiciary Committee held a “mark-up session” on May 10 and adopted an amendment proposed by Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) that visa restrictions imposed on Palestinian Authority officials explicitly extend as well to the Palestinian Mission to the United Nations. 

On May 15, the Financial Services Committee discharged the bill and waived its jurisdiction over the provision that instructs the US representative to the World Bank to vote against any humanitarian aid projects for the Palestinians.  This set the stage for the bill to be placed on the “union calendar”, meaning that the House leadership can bring it up for a vote at any time.

For an inside look at the legislative process on this bill, see the committee reports by clicking here

It is not yet clear when HR4681 will come up for a vote, or if it will come up under normal procedures that would allow for amendments to be made or if it will be voted on “under suspension”.  However, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is scheduled to address a joint session of Congress on May 24 and some analysts predict that the bill will be voted on before his speech.  The US Campaign will issue an action alert as soon as we confirm if the bill is on next week’s voting calendar.  In the meantime, you can call the Capitol switchboard at 1-800-355-3588, ask for your Representative and tell her/him to vote against HR4681.

* Voter Information Services  (VIS), which produces an online Congressional Report Card generated from more than 80 advocacy groups, uses the US Campaign’s Congressional Report Card in its research!  Click here to view VIS’s Report Card.   

*This month, US Campaign Steering Committee Co-Chair, Nadia Hijab, had an article published in Gulf News entitled “Palestinians can learn from the Latinos.”  Click here to read this article. 

* Save the Date!  The US Campaign’s 5th Annual National Organizers’ Conference will take place over Labor Day weekend, September 1-4, in the Detroit, MI area.  Start making travel plans now to join us!  We will be sending more detailed information on the conference program and logistics in the coming month.

* For a limited time, join the US Campaign’s Olive Branch Club, our monthly giving program, and we’ll plant an olive tree in Palestine in your name.  We’ve teamed up with the Joint Advocacy Institute’s Olive Tree Campaign to offer our supporters a way to help both the US Campaign and the Palestinian economy at the same time.  For every $10 per month that you donate to the US Campaign, we’ll plant one olive tree in your name and send you a certificate of planting.  For example, join the Olive Branch Club with a monthly donation of $50 and we’ll plant five olive trees for you in Palestine.  Please note that you must commit to participating in the Olive Branch Club for at least one year to take advantage of this offer.  Click here to join today!


3. RESOURCES & EDUCATION

* Friday, May 12, 2006 marked the 58th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe).  On May 12, 1948 Israel declared statehood, thereby solidifying the expulsion, dispossession, and exile of Palestinians.  Visit the Palestine Online Calendar for more information about this anniversary and other important dates in Palestinian history.

*Churches for Middle East Peace has produced a Church Toolkit for Israeli-Palestinian Peace.  The Church Toolkit provides resources and guidance on how to effectively approach the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a local church setting. It is arranged by three topic areas or stages around which activities can be planned including: awareness-building, education and engagement in advocacy.  Click here   to view the Church Toolkit online. 

* The National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE), the largest union of university and college lecturers in Britain, will vote on a resolution for its 67,000 members to boycott Israeli lecturers and academic institutions that do not publicly declare their opposition to Israeli policy in the territories.  The vote will take place at NATFHE’s annual conference held May 27-29, 2006.  Just over a year ago the British Association of University Teachers (AUT) voted to impose an academic boycott on Bar-Ilan and Haifa Universities.  The vote was subsequently reversed due to pressure on AUT. 

*10th graders at Ramallah Friends School, in partnership with teenagers in an American high school, have created Life Behind the Wall, an exciting new website dedicated to telling the stories of Palestinian teenagers living behind Israel’s Annexation Wall.  Life Behind the Wall includes news updates, Palestinian student responses to a variety of political issues, as well as articles about Palestinian food, music, clothing, and more!  

*Human Rights Watch (HRW) recently published a statement opposing Israel’s decision to uphold a law barring Israeli citizens and their Palestinian spouses from the Occupied Palestinian Territories from living together in Israel.  HRW states that the law constitutes unlawful discrimination.  Click here to read the HRW statement.

* Friends of Sabeel - North America is distributing a DVD set of presentations, plenary sessions, and keynoted address from the March 2006 Sabeel Conference in Washington, DC.  Footage includes Ambassador Afif Safieh, Reverend Canon Naim Ateek, Jean Zaru, Jeff Halper and Sara Roy.  For more information and to place orders call 503.653.6625.

* Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace  is cooperating with Palestinian universities in the occupied West Bank and Gaza to place international faculty in Palestinian universities to teach in the summer semester in occupied Palestine. Faculty will be paid for their work.  Faculty are especially needed to teach courses in agriculture, administration and science. Participating universities include the Arab American University in Jenin, Hebron University and universities in Gaza.

* The Wall of Hate has produced a new, seven minute film about Israel’s Annexation Wall, now available online at http://www.thewallofhate.org/film/thewall.wmv.


4. EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

*Global Exchange’s Reality Tours department is looking for a full time Middle East program coordinator. Global Exchange's Reality Tours program seeks to educate citizens of the north about realities of foreign countries by creating people-to-people ties with communities in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, with a strong emphasis on mobilizing citizens to be active upon their return in changing US foreign policy towards the region visited.  Click here  for more information and to apply. 

*The Council for Arab-British Understanding (CAABU) is now accepting applications for a fundraiser, a new role which will offer significant scope for input to the development of our strategy and to our fundraising activities.  Candidates should have a strong interest in the Arab world and its culture and should preferably have had fundraising experience in an Arab environment.  Click here  for more information and instructions on how to apply.

 * FFIPP Summer Internships in Palestine/Israel. Students will be placed in art, culture and research centers in the occupied territories, such as, ARIJ, the Freedom Theatre in Jenin, UNESCO Chair on Human Rights, Democracy and Peace at An Najah National University in Nablus. Students will also be placed in summer camps for children and with peace and justice organizations in Palestine/ Israel such as Machsom Watch and B’Tselem.


* United Palestinian Appeal  invites college and graduate students to apply for part-time and full-time summer internship positions at our Washington, D.C. office, located in the heart of DuPont Circle. Our internship program offers valuable non-profit work experience in humanitarian relief and infrastructural development in the areas of employment, education, and health care. Internship positions include an array of responsibilities including: researching current Palestinian needs, writing campaigns, translating Arabic/English correspondence (if fluent), expanding outreach, and more.  The UPA internship program allows students to work with several organizations in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Lebanon. This experience will enable them to expand their network of contacts domestically and abroad. Our internship program offers a reciprocated learning experience, as we encourage interns to be active members and offer new approaches to projects.  For more information contact Mary Kate Chaat at contact@helpupa.com or 202.659.5007


5. OPPORTUNITIES TO VISIT ISRAEL AND PALESTINE

*Middle East Fellowship Palestine Summer Encounter

Middle East fellowship, in partnership with Holy Land Trust , invites you to participate in Palestine Summer Encounter, a two month Arabic-training and volunteer program, starting on May 27th, 2006.  The purpose of the program is to create a dialogue between Palestinians and members of the global community. During the program, participants will learn beginner or intermediate conversational Arabic through language immersion and class, partner with Palestinian non-profit organizations as a volunteer and have the opportunity to participate in 8 separate weekend excursions to visit Hebron, Nazareth, Jerusalem, Haifa and Jericho, the Dead Sea and other important sites throughout the region.  For more information click here

*International Solidarity Movement Freedom Summer offers internationals an opportunity to stand in solidarity with Palestinian communities resisting the occupation, to act as human rights monitors, and to work in the media office.  Freedom Summer will run from July 2-August 5th with volunteer training sessions each weekend.  Click here for more information. 

* Birthright Unplugged is a new project that exposes young Jewish people to the realities of Palestinian life through encounters with a variety of Palestinian people. In six days, they visit Palestinian cities, villages, and refugee camps, and help participants develop an understanding of daily life under occupation. The deadline for winter trips has already passed, but planning for a spring trip is underway! For more information visit http://www.birthrightunplugged.org/index.html or contact info@birthrightunplugged.org . (Please note: Birthright Unplugged is in no way affiliated with Birthright Israel).

* Spring 2006: The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) is working in conjunction with an English company to arrange a study tour to Israel and the Occupied Territories that will take place over ten days in spring 2006. Participants will be based in hotels in Jerusalem and Bethlehem and will have unique opportunities to hear analysis from key leaders on both sides of the divide while traveling in Israel, Jerusalem and the West Bank. For information, e-mail studytours80@hotmail.com .

* Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) Delegations to Israel/Palestine

May 24-June 5, July 26-August 7, October 7-19 (Franciscans), and November 19-December 1, 2006.

During the first several days, delegates will meet with representatives of Israeli and Palestinian peace and human rights groups in Jerusalem and Bethlehem to gain perspective on the conflict. They will tour the "security wall" separating Israel from the West Bank and visit Palestinian families whose homes and livelihoods are threatened by expanding Israeli settlements. They will experience firsthand CPT's work of violence-deterrence and human rights documentation in the city of Hebron and surrounding areas, and challenge the structural violence of the Occupation through nonviolent public witness. Delegates raise $2000 U.S. to cover costs. For more information and to apply, visit CPT's website


*Global Exchange Palestine & Israel Reality Tours

2006 Tour Schedule: June 18-28; August 13-23; December 3-13

Global Exchange delegations to Palestine and Israel strive to further the U.S. public's understanding of the region's realities by giving people first hand experiences of what life under Occupation is like. By meeting with people from various sectors of Palestinian and Israeli society, you hear the most recent and direct accounts of current events and explore the historical and political perspectives that divide the two peoples. Join a delegation to become a more effective media spokesperson for a just U.S. foreign policy in the region, to become a better informed community or student advocate, or to more effectively speak to your members of Congress with first-hand testimonials.  For a detailed delegation itinerary and an application contact ceanna@globalexchange.org .

*July 12-30, 2006: "Meet Palestine" International Voluntary Work Camp.

The international summer work camp will bring together 20 young people from around the globe who are interested in creating a better world. We are specifically targeting people who are working with organizations led by young people that address issues concerning humanity and social justice. We strongly encourage highly motivated and serious young men and women to apply. For more information contact Info@zajel.org  or visit http://youth.zajel.org/summer_camps/camp2006/announcing.htm

*Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace
FFIPP next delegation of faculty and students to Palestine/Israel is planned for July 15 – 27, 2006.  For application and invitations from FFIPP’s leadership and from Noam Chomsky please visit the FFIPP web site, http://www.ffipp.org

*Fellowship of Reconciliation Interfaith Peace-Builders Delegations

July 15-29: Led by Maia Hallward & Don Christensen
November 4-18: Led by Scott Kennedy

Fellowship of Reconciliation's Interfaith Peace-Builders sends delegations to Israel and Palestine so that U.S. 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, visit http://www.forusa.org/programs/ipb/default.html .

*July 28-August 5: Sabeel International Young Adults Conference.

The goals of this conference are to provide an opportunity for Palestinian and International young adults, including Palestinians raised abroad, to meet, to share stories, and to learn about Palestinian culture; to provide an opportunity for International young adults to know about the lives of Palestinian young people and to become more aware of the political realities; to help Palestinian young adults from different communities meet each other; to encourage Christian young adults to become more active for justice in their communities when they return home. The target age for this conference is 18-26 year olds. For more information visit Friends of Sabeel North America.

*August-September, 2006: Cycle for Peace

In August 2006, cyclists from all over the world will leave central London and embark on an amazing journey across Europe to the Middle East, on the second historic Peace Cycle to Jerusalem! Cycling through 12 different countries they will meet with politicians and public to raise awareness of the 38 year occupation and call for justice and peace in Israel and Palestine. After touring parts of Israel and the West Bank, the cyclists will finally ride into Jerusalem in September 2006. Peace Cycle is calling for individuals, charities, peace groups & faith organizations to support this unique event! Start planning your contingent today! For more information visit http://www.thepeacecycle.org/

*Middle East Children's Alliance Delegation to Palestine/Israel

For 17 years, MECA has taken small groups of North Americans to Palestine/Israel. Long time friends and partners of MECA are our local guides and MECA staff, with a combined experience of over 20 years working and leading delegations to Palestine/Israel, accompany every delegation.

This June get a better  understanding of what the Hamas vote means from the Palestinian perspective, what a possible regime of economic sanctions would mean for the various social services agencies and communities they serve, and further understand the geo-political shift from military occupation to Apartheid that is occurring. You will also
be able to meet with various Palestinian and Jewish activists and NGO's who have called for an international campaign for boycotts of and divestment from Israel. You will also learn about the historical and political roots of the Israeli-Palestinian "Conflict."
For more information visit MECA online , call 510-548-0542, or email uda@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 outreach@endtheoccupation.org.

The US Campaign aims to change U.S. policies that sustain Israel's 38-year occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, and that deny equal rights for all.

To donate to the US Campaign click here.