Home   »  Our Coalition  »  Member Groups  »  Occupation End Notes

Occupation End Notes | July 26, 2007
Volume 5 Number 2

Occupation End Notes, July 26, 2007

Volume 5 Number 2

In this issue...

1. US Campaign Update:Join us for our 6th Annual National Organizer’s Conference in Arlington, VA September 7-10, 2007 ; REMINDER: July 30, US Policy & Crisis in Palestine Teach-In

2. Boycott, Divestment, & Sanctions: U.S. Unions Organize Against British Boycott; Protest at CAT Annual Shareholder Meeting a Huge Success!

3. Member Group Update: US Campaign’s Steering Committee Phyllis Bennis on Bush’s New Middle East Plan; Institute for Palestine Studies Policy Notes No. 18 Why Does Bush Talk About Israel’s Negev and Galilee?; Tuesdays Open Gaza Campaign, sponsored by the Rebuilding Alliance

4. Opportunities to Visit Israel and Palestine: Interfaith Peace-Builders Delegations; Join Middle East Fellowship for Palestine Summer Encounter; Birthright Unplugged Delegations in July/August 2007;Global Exchange Delegations; MECA Delegations in August 2007

1. US CAMPAIGN UPDATE

* Join us for our 6thAnnual National Organizers’ Conference in Washington, DC September 7-10, 2007!

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is excited to announce its 6th Annual National Organizers' Conference, September 7-10 in Arlington, Virginia.  The conference is being sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine at GeorgeMasonUniversity and will take place at the Arlington Campus of George Mason University.

Each year, delegates of member organizations of the US Campaign come together to network, strategize, decide upon priorities for the upcoming year, and elect a new Steering Committee to guide the work of the coalition.

It's not too early to start making your plans to attend this year's conference.  For conference FAQ's, logistical details, registration, a draft agenda, a list of member organizations in good standing, and a form for Steering Committee nominations, please click here.

DRAFT AGENDA

This year's annual conference will be extremely important! All member groups of the US Campaign should start making plans to send delegates today.  We'll be discussing the political situation and its implications for our work in the United States, next steps forward on the Anti-Apartheid Framework and Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions work, the 60th anniversary of al-Nakba, the functioning of the coalition and much more.  For a complete draft agenda, click here.

VOTING & MEMBER GROUPS IN GOOD STANDING

Please note that while individuals and member groups of the US Campaign are encouraged to attend the conference, only delegates of member groups in good standing are allowed to submit proposals and vote at the conference.  "In good standing" means that your group has paid its membership dues for 2007.  Annual membership dues are set at between $100-$1,000 or more depending on the size and budget of the group.  To check to see if your group is in good standing and will be able to submit proposals and vote, click here.  To check to see if your group has joined the US Campaign, click here.  If your group would like to join the US Campaign, click here.  If your group needs to pay membership dues to be in good standing, please contact Omar Masri, Office Manager, at 202-332-0994 or office@endtheoccupation.org to make payment arrangements.  

STEERING COMMITTEE NOMINATIONS

At each National Organizers' Conference, voting delegates elect four new members to the US Campaign's 12-person Steering Committee for a three-year term.  The Steering Committee is the highest decision-making body of the US Campaign in between conferences. 

To read more about the responsibilities of being a member of the Steering Committee and to submit a nomination, please click here.

LOGISTICS

As you make your plans to attend the 6th Annual National Organizers' Conference, be sure to check out the logistical pages that we've posted to our web site.  To read our Frequently Asked Questions about the conference, click here.  You can also find directions for how to get to the conference by clicking here.  We've reserved a bloc of motel rooms across the street from the conference at a special group rate.  For more details, click here.  Also, if you'd like to share housing or a ride to the conference, be sure to post your information to our housing board and ride board.

REGISTRATION

Registration for the US Campaign 6th Annual National Organizers' Conference is now open.  To register, click here.

We look forward to seeing you in Arlington, Virginia in September!  For additional conference information, please click here.

* REMINDER:National Conference Call on U.S. Policy and the Crisis in Palestine Teach-In
Monday, July 30

9:00 pm EST

NOTE: If you have already registered, please do NOT register again. The US Campaign will be sending out the call-in number along with the access code to those who registered tomorrow.

The U.S. Campaign will present a telephone teach-in on Monday, July 30 at 9:00PM EST to provide some basic background on the political crisis going on in Gaza and the West Bank, and within the broader Palestinian national movement, with a special focus on the role of the U.S. in fomenting and exacerbating that crisis.

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

NADIA HIJAB, from the Institute for Palestine Studies, will provide an overview on the Palestinian dimensions of the crisis. Hijab serves on the US Campaign Advisory Board;

PHYLLIS BENNIS, from the Institute for Policy Studies and the US Campaign Steering Committee, will look at the role U.S. policy is playing in the crisis as well as the international ramifications.

Please RSVP to attend this call. Space is limited!

To register, send an email to office@endtheoccupation.org with:

·Name of participant

·Organization

·Primary phone number

·Email address

·City/State

For background information on the Palestine crisis, visit

http://www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org/publish/article_863.shtml
http://palestine-studies.org/final/en/bn/viewbndetails.php?bnid=30

GROUNDRULES

1. If you are not speaking or asking to speak, please mute yourself. On many phones you can mute by pressing 6 or the mute feature. Just before it is your turn to speak, unmute yourself by pressing 6 or the mute feature again.

2. Stack: When we begin the Question & Answer section, the facilitator will ask who would like to be on the stack. That's conference call lingo for "who has a question?" Since she/he can't see you raise your hand, please call out your name (e.g. "James, stack"). The facilitator will make a list of people who want to speak, then she/he will call off names from the list. When your name is called, it is your turn to speak. When all the people on the list (stack) have had a chance to speak, the facilitator will ask if she/he should start another stack (if there is time), and we repeat the process. The facilitator may decide to take several questions at a time before asking panelists to respond. To ensure that a range of voices are heard (race, gender, geography, organization, etc.), the facilitator will use her judgment as to whether to change the order of the stack or ask people to step back.

3. Questions: To give the widest number of people the chance to ask questions, please limit your question to 30 seconds maximum. Also, if it is your turn to ask a question, please do ask a question rather than make a comment or launch a polemic (we've all been in meetings where that's happened!). The facilitator reserves the right to ask for conversations better suited for another forum to be moved to US Campaign's discussion list.

4. Help your facilitator: Facilitating a conference call with tens of unseen people is not an easy task. Please support your facilitator by respecting his/her judgment as to how to proceed. If the facilitator needs help and you have a suggestion as to how to proceed, please call out your name (e.g. "James, procedural suggestion").

Talk to you Monday, July 30!

2. BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT, & SANCTIONS

* U.S. Unions Organize Against British Boycott

Leaders of some of America’s most powerful unions are said to be considering whether to pull support for a top British union official, Keith Sonnet, in his bid to lead a major international service workers union, Public Services International. The American union leaders are responding to last month’s passage of a resolution proposing a sweeping boycott of Israeli goods by Sonnet’s union, Unison, which represents 1.3 million public service workers.

Click here to read more. (http://www.forward.com/articles/11251/)

Click here to read more about how your union can held end Israeli Apartheid! (http://www.endtheoccupation.org/downloads/AAF%20Unions%20.pdf)

Click here to read more about how to get involved in the Boycott campaigns around the U.S. as well as the world! (http://www.stopthewall.org/boycott/theird/getinvolvedpage.htm)

* Protest at CAT Annual Shareholder Meeting a Huge Success!

Protesters gathered this year inside and outside the Annual Caterpillar Shareholder Meeting on June 13 in St. Charles, IL.  Though the meeting took place in a remote location with high security, activists shut down the meeting inside and made a strong showing outside with their clarion call: 'Take Responsibility and Do the Right Thing!'

Click here for full story recounted by activist, Joe Carr

Click here for full text of Sydney Levy's speech 

3. MEMBER GROUP UPDATE:

* July 24th, 2007: Bush Launches a New Middle East Initiative. Middle East Peace is at Hand. Again

By Phyllis Bennis, Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies. Her newest book is Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer available at http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?list=type&type=142

The New York Times' senior correspondent Steven Erlanger immediately acknowledged that Bush's latest "vision," a U.S.-Israeli-Fatah alliance creating a model Palestine in the West Bank designed to snub the isolated "Hamastan" in Gaza, is not a "vision shared by other American allies or other members of the so-called quartet - Russia, the European Union and the United Nations." (Yes even the Times said "so-called" quartet.)  It is also "doubtful that the Saudis share Mr. Bush's analysis, since they have been urging Hamas and Fatah to get back together again?"  A different Times article included a succinct headline identifying the real reason for the latest initiative: "Mired in Iraq, U.S. Seeks to BeginBuilding a PalestinianState."

Click here to read more! (http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=22&ItemID=13369)

* July 27th, 2007: Institute for Palestine Studies Policy Notes No. 18

Why Does Bush Talk About Israel’s Negev and Galilee?

By Nadia Hijab, Senior Fellow

It is unusual for the president of one country to take an interest in regional development in another country. Yet United States president George W. Bush talks about Israel’s Negev and Galilee regions as well as about America’s commitment to Israel as a “Jewish state.” Why does he do so? What’s going on in the Negev and Galilee? And what should be done about it?

Click here to read more! (http://palestine-studies.org/final/en/bn/viewbndetails.php?bnid=32)

* Tuesdays Open Gaza Campaign, sponsored by the Rebuilding Alliance

Dear End the Occupation Members,

It has been over month since the historic rally in Washington DC and one of the speakers, Mr. Husam El Nounou, cannot yet go home.  He is stranded in Egypt at the Gaza border with 5000 Palestinians, all waiting for the border to open so that they can return to their families.  There is a heat wave. 28 people have died; others are on hunger strike.  We need your help to contact Congress and to press on with a new building project in Gaza as a symbol of hope.

Gaza’s borders have been sealed shut since June 13th with 1.4 million hungry people inside.  Aside from minimal humanitarian aid, the government of Israel has imposed a blockade on import of goods to the impoverished territory, forcing many factories to shut down. Unemployment, already over 60% before the blockade, has shot up as tens of thousands of workers face layoffs.  U.N. agencies are cancelling all building projects for lack of cement and materials.

Husam El Nounou came to the U.S. to raise funds to rebuild the next home in the Rachel Corrie Rebuilding Campaign in Gaza, as part of a Rebuilding Alliance speaking tour.  Our projects are symbols of hope that help rebuild shattered communities and offer people around the world immediate ways to make peace, starting with the tangible support of a family's right to a home.

We need your help to end the blockade of Gaza and bring Husam, and 5000 stranded Palestinians home.  Please do two things:
(1)  Call Congress on Tuesday, and every Tuesday until the blockade is lifted, to open Gaza's borders;
(2)  Help Gazans show the world their determination to build, not destroy.  Donate now to rebuild the next home in the Rachel Corrie Rebuilding Campaign in Gaza.


Click here for more info about the “Tuesdays Open Gaza Campaign” sponsored by The Rebuilding Alliance.Starting tomorrow, join a weekly planning meeting via teleconference, every Friday at Noon pacific, 3pm Eastern.   Sign-up here for the toll-free number.

Sincerely,
Donna Baranski-Walker
Executive Director, The Rebuilding Alliance

4. OPPORTUNITIES TO VISIT ISRAEL AND PALESTINE

*Spring - Fall 2007 Schedule: July 28th-August 11th; October 27th – November 10th: 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.

* May 24th – August 16th, 2007: Join Middle East Fellowship for Palestine Summer Encounter 2007

Middle East fellowship, in partnership with Holy Land Trust invites you to participate in the fourth annual Palestine Summer Encounter, a two month Arabic-training and volunteer program, starting on May 24th, 2007.

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 and partner with Palestinian non-profit organizations as a volunteer. Click here for more detailed information.

* August 20th-25th, 2007: Birthright Unplugged Delegations to Israel/Palestine

Are you thinking of going to Palestine/Israel this summer?

Are you interested in meeting Palestinian families, activists, community leaders, and political figures, and learning about life under occupation? Are you committed to turning education into action and working for justice?

Then BIRTHRIGHT UNPLUGGED is for you!

Join us for a 6-day educational trip through the West Bank to visit Palestinian cities, villages, and refugee camps.The trip is designed to put you in conversation with people who you may not otherwise have the opportunity to meet and equip you to return to your community and work for change.

Birthright Unplugged trips will run from JULY 20-25, 2007 and AUGUST 20-25, 2007.Dates are subject to change.

The application deadline is Tuesday, MAY 15, 2007.Trips run every summer and winter.

While Birthright Unplugged is designed primarily for Jewish people, we welcome people of all backgrounds on our trips.We also welcome individuals of all ages, and have traveled with people ages 9-70.

For more information about the itinerary, costs, trip leaders, and application materials, visit www.birthrightunplugged.org.

* Summer – Fall 2007 Schedule: August 12th – 22nd, December 2nd – 12th: Global Exchange’s Delegations to Palestine & Israel

Global Exchange’s delegations to Palestine & Israel provide first-hand exposure to the daily struggles and realities of Palestinians living under Occupation.  The delegations strive to further the US public's understanding of the conflict by listening to the aspirations and frustrations of Palestinians, by examining the dimensions of the human rights crisis under Israeli rule, as well as learning from Palestinians and Israelis who are working for a just peace and an end to the Occupation.

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

August 12 – 22, 2007
<http://www.globalexchange.org/tours/803.html>
December 2 – 12, 2007

* MECA Delegation August 2007: Come with MECA to Palestine/Israel!

For seventeen years, MECA has taken small groups to the West Bank, Gaza and Israel.MECA staff and local guides introduce you to activists, journalists, aid workers, teachers, social workers and others living under occupation. We’ll stay with our “Ibdaa family” in Dheisheh refugee camp, and visit other MECA partners and friends throughout Palestine/ Israel.

For information, please contact:

Deborah Agre or Josie Shields-Stromsness deborah@mecaforpeace.org, josie@mecaforpeace.org

510-548-0542

*****

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 409-year occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, and that deny equal rights for all.

US Campaign toEndthe Israeli Occupation PO Box 21539Washington, DC20009 202-332-0994 http://www.endtheoccupation.org

To donate,click hereTo subscribe,click hereTo unsubscribe,click here