Occupation End Notes | August 8, 2007 Volume 5 Number 3


Occupation End Notes, August 8, 2007
Volume 5 Number 3

In this issue...

1. US Campaign Update:Join us for our 6th Annual National Organizer’s Conference in Arlington, VA September 7-10, 2007; National CAT Call;

2. Member Group Update: New Member Groups; Join ADC’s Delegation to Lebanon: 25th Commemoration of the Sabra & Shatila Massacre; Tuesdays Open Gaza Campaign, sponsored by the Rebuilding Alliance; A Greener Save Gaza Campaign;

3. Resources & Events: BUSTAN U.S. speaking Tour in October 2007; Cluster Bombs in the Spotlight: Write Your Local Media

4. Opportunities to Visit Israel and Palestine: Interfaith Peace-Builders Delegations; 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.

CONFERENCE UPDATES

RESERVATIONS FOR TABLING NOW BEING ACCEPTED

Reservations are now being accepted for individuals and organizations to table at the conference.  Literature tables are $25 and merchandise tables are $50.  Please note that there is limited tabling space and it is being made available on a first-come, first-serve basis.  For more information and to reserve and pay for a table, click here.

RESERVE A ROOM FOR A CAUCUS OR WORKSHOP

At several different times throughout the conference, the US Campaign will make available break-out rooms for individuals and organizations to hold caucuses and discussions or give presentations and workshops.  Please note that there is a limited amount of space and time available and reservations are taken on a first-come, first-serve basis.  For more information and to reserve a room, click here.

MORE CONFERENCE INFORMATION BELOW

For additional logistical details, information on how to submit a proposal or a Steering Committee nomination, and much more regarding the conference, please see the links below.

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.

* National Conference Call on Recent Action at CAT Shareholder Meeting and Next Steps for CAT Campaign

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

9:00 PM EST

Join us on Tuesday evening, August 14 at 9 PM EST to learn about the phenomenal actions taken at the recent Caterpillar Shareholder Meeting.

We will be joined by two activists, Sydney Levy of Jewish Voice for Peace and Matt Gaines of Chicago Stop CAT, who were instrumental in orchestrating actions that made headlines all over the world.

Following their report, we will discuss our strategy for next steps in the National CAT Campaign.

Please RSVP to attend this call. Space is limited
To register, send an email to outreach@endtheoccupation.org with:

·Name of participant
·
Organization
·
Primary phone number
·
Email address
·
City/State

Click here for more Information about the CAT Campaign.

We look forward to talking with you Tuesday night!


2. MEMBER GROUP UPDATE:

* The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation would like to welcome the following groups to its membership:

·Cincinnati Palestinian Rights Meetup – OH

Cincinnati Palestinian Rights Meetup is a chance for local activists to discuss the plight of the Palestinian people and how to ensure equal human rights in the Middle East regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or sex.

For more information, please click here (http://palestinian.meetup.com/56/)

·Save Gaza – VA

Save Gaza is a diverse organization of private citizens devoted to bringing an end to the social injustices inflicted upon the people of Gaza by instilling a sense of hope and community empowerment for sustainable economic development. 

For more information, please click here (http://www.savegaza.org/index.htm)

·WRITE – VA

WRITE provides a public service by monitoring the US Media and taking action to improve the way that the US media reports news and information about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israel's military occupation of Palestinian territories, and the question of Palestine. Write seeks to promote accurate, balanced and objective reporting on the Middle East in general and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in particular.

For more information, please click here (http://www.geocities.com/writetruth/aboutus.html)

* September 6-14, 2007: Delegation to Lebanon: 25th Commemoration of the Sabra & Shatila Massacre sponsored by American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

I would like to invite you to join me in a delegation to Lebanon to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila massacre. The delegation will include American citizens who will travel to Lebanon on September 6 through Sept. 14 to participate in the 25th Anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila Massacre. Lebanese and Palestinian NGOs in Lebanon plan to host delegations from many countries including France, Italy, Norway, Denmark, England, Germany, Sweden, Canada and the United States to commemorate the anniversary. The one-week long visit and tour will provide the opportunity for deeper understanding of Lebanon, Palestinian refugee camps, meeting survivors of the massacre, and meeting with local Palestinian and Lebanese leaders and activists. 

Itinerary Highlights will include:

·Attending a presentation by the Arab NGO Network for Development

·Meeting with representatives from Lebanese and Palestinian NGOs

·Visiting Palestinian Refugee camps, including Sabra and Shatila

·Meetings with Mayors of major Lebanese cities and towns

·Participating in a cultural evening at the UNESCOPalace in Beirut. The event will include Palestinian and Lebanese singers, Folk dances and dabke performed by Palestinian children

·Meeting with Lebanese government officials

·Meeting with Palestinian popular committees and activists

·Joining the commemoration ceremony at the mass Graveyard in Shatila Camp. Followed by meetings with survivors of the massacre

·Visiting women’s cooperative centers in the camps


Each participant will be responsible for all expenses including round trip ticket to Beirut, room and board, and transportation in Lebanon.  The total cost would be under $2000. If you are interested in joining the delegation, please fill up the enclosed form and e-mail back to <nmohamad@adc.org> along with brief introduction of yourself and why you would be interested in joining the delegation.  If you have any question regarding logistics, costs, and travel arrangements, please e-mail me at <nmohamad@adc.org>. 

* 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

* Save Gaza’s Home Gardens

Save Gaza is proud to announce the first of a series of gardening projects initiating the promotion of agricultural sustainability.Reintroducing traditional gardens, combined with the raising of small farm animals will provide a solution to the food shortage and overall economic deterioration of the Gaza Strip.

Small-scale gardens tailored to the available resources of Gaza will supply basic nutritional needs for a family in the short term, while laying the foundation for poverty reduction in the long term.Even a very minimal garden with low maintenance once a week can sustain up to 5 years worth of output.Organic gardening with the use of small farm animals such as chickens will serve as another variable in overcoming economic distress in exchange for economic sustainability.The production of both vegetables and chickens in one environment will provide a fully nutritional meal to families.

Low input, high output organic gardening techniques will encourage the alleviation of health deficiencies, ease the economic burden of daily costs, and ultimately empower a community, a people, and a nation.

For more information please visit www.savegaza.org or check out our blog www.gazagardens.blogspot.com for updates or contact us at info@savegaza.org


3. RESOURCES AND EVENTS

*BUSTAN U.S. speaking Tour in October 2007: Rooting and Uprooting: Cultural and Political Landscapes

When: October 1st-15th, 2007
Who: Outgoing BUSTAN Director, Devorah Brous and New BUSTAN Director, Ra'ed Al-Mickawi

Devorah and Ra'ed will discuss the political ecology of the Negev, and help us recognize what is 'unrecognized' this marginalized part of Israel - an area populated by Jews and Bedouin. How are "environmentally-conscious" development projects to remap the blueprint of the Israel's "Last Frontier" irreversibly impacting landscape and ancient desert cultures? What can we do to catalyze and steward a healthy and sustainable connection with the Land, and its entire people? Come and learn about BUSTAN, engaged as a vanguard of small-scale, local efforts to root social change.  

If you can offer any help---in reaching out to possible venues, raising funds to cover the costs of the trip, can help publicize the tour, or any other ideas about how to make it a success, please see the info flier below, and contact BUSTAN at info@bustan.org or www.bustan.org.

BUSTAN is an organization that confronts social and environmental issues in the Negev with an innovative, solution-oriented edge. We are a partnership of Jewish and Arab eco-builders, architects, academics, and farmers promoting social and environmental justice in Israel, promoting sustainable resource use by cultivating models that combine advocacy and in-depth political analysis with strategic action. We utilize the principles of permaculture and non-violent direct action across ethnic divides in all of our work.

* Friends Committee on National Legislation: Cluster Bombs in the Spotlight: Write Your Local Media

FCNL’s network has sent more than 50,000 messages to Congress supporting legislation to ban the use of cluster bombs in or near civilian populated areas. Due in part to this lobbying, last month a U.S. cluster bomb ban moved one step closer to reality when a key Senate committee voted to effectively ban the export of these weapons.

Take Action

Now it's time to build on this success. You can influence your senators and others in your community by writing a letter to the editor of one of your local newspapers. Congressional staff tells FCNL that most senators read every letter to the editor in the local papers in their state -- especially if the letter mentions her or his name.

Use FCNL's website to find out if your senators have cosponsored this legislation . Then you can pick one local newspaper or other publication and send your letter today. Enter your zip code to find a sample letter, but the most effective letters are the ones that you personalize to say something about yourself and your perspective on this issue.

Find more tips for writing a letter to the editor.

Click here to read more! (http://capwiz.com/fconl/issues/alert/?alertid=10136481)


4. OPPORTUNITIES TO VISIT ISRAEL AND PALESTINE

*Spring - Fall 2007 Schedule: 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.

* 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.org510-548-0542


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 40-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

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