Occupation End Notes | February 7, 2008
Volume 5 Number 14


Occupation End Notes, February 7, 2008
Volume 5 Number 14

In this issue...

1. US Campaign Update: Come out to support Israeli Apartheid Week 2008 in your cities; US Campaign Launches Expressions of Nakba Competition; US Campaign's February Book Club Selection; While Supplies Last, Get Your Palestinian Fair Trade Olive Oil; Apply for a Spring Internship with the US Campaign

2. Legislative Update: Thank YOU for sending over 2,200 Thank You's to Each Representative thanking them for Demanding End against Gaza Blockade

3. Boycott & Divestment News: United Methodists Explore Divestment Proposals;MethodistChurch Renews Drive for Divestment from Israel

4. Resources & Events: Reclaiming Equality and the Possibility of Political Action, with Todd May; Anna Baltzer presents: Life in Occupied Palestine: Eyewitness Stories & Photos; Boston Palestine Film Festival (BPFF) now accepting entries for its 2nd annual festival

5. Opportunities to Visit Israel and Palestine: Interfaith Peace-Builders; Global Exchange; Middle East Children's Alliance; Christian Peacemaker Teams; NEW Delegations from Middle East Fellowship


1. US CAMPAIGN UPDATE:

* Israeli Apartheid Week February 3-10, 2008:

The US Campaign has endorsed Israeli Apartheid Week, February 3-10, 2008.  In the United States, events will be taking place in New York, Washington, Chicago, Berkeley, and Philadelphia. 

To find out more and how to get involved, click here.

* US Campaign Launches Expressions of Nakba Competition:

The year 2008 marks the 60th anniversary of the Nakba ("the catastrophe"): the expulsion and dispossession of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes and land in 1948.

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is soliciting entries for a commemoration of the Nakba through personal expressions in the form of visual arts, essays, poetry, music, video, and digital media.

Learn more about the competition and how you can participate by clicking here!

* US Campaign's February Book of the Month Club Selection: The War on Lebanon: A Reader



Our book selection for February is "The War on Lebanon: A Reader", a compelling set of essays on Israel's 2006 war on Lebanon.  From the publisher:


"Israel's 34-day bombardment of Lebanon in the summer of 2006—in which more than 1000 Lebanese civilians lost their lives—is one of the most tragic events to take place in the Middle East this century. It was unleashed in the context of the continued Israeli assault on the Palestinians, particularly in Gaza, as well as the US effort to 'bring democracy' and redraw the map of the Middle East from Afghanistan to Iraq and perhaps to Iran".

You can order this book today from the US Campaign for $20 (plus $3 shipping and handling) by clicking here.

* While Supplies Last, Get Your Palestinian Fair Trade Olive Oil

Enjoy Palestinian fair trade olive oil. Help Palestinian farmers in the West Bank to non-violently resist Israeli military occupation by purchasing certified fair trade, organic olive oil. Purchase yours today to give to family and friends. Or order a whole case at a discount and have your group sell it in your community. To order, click here. (Sorry, we can only ship to the 48 contiguous states.)Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery.


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.

* Apply for a Spring Internship with the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation!

ABOUT THE US CAMPAIGN:  The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is a six year-old coalition of more than 250 member organizations.  The US Campaign is working to change U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine to support peace, justice, human rights, and international law rather than military occupation.

ABOUT THE INTERNSHIP:  The US Campaign is currently looking to fill two intern positions for the spring 2008 semester.  Interns will be expected to work 10-15 hours per week under supervision of the US Campaign staff in its Washington, DC office.

Interns will be expected to help implement the US Campaign's main programmatic priorities in 2008, including:

ØA high-profile "anti-apartheid" speaking and organizing tour

ØEducational resources and days of action to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Nakba (Palestinian dispossession)

ØCorporate accountability campaigns against Motorola and Caterpillar for profiting from Israel's human rights abuses of Palestinians

ØOngoing legislative and policy work on Capitol Hill

All interns also will be responsible for a reasonable amount of administrative work, including database entry, filing, letter-writing, etc.

The ideal candidates for the position:

§       Will have experience with social justice movements and grassroots activism

§       Will have knowledge of U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East in general and toward Palestine/Israel in particular

§       Will have strong interpersonal and writing skills

§       Will be self-started and motivated individuals

§       Will be able to juggle multiple projects at the same time

§       Will have working ability to use Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and other Microsoft Applications

Interns are an integral part of the US Campaign—these positions offer substantive work experiences and hands-on opportunities for professional and personal development.  The US Campaign is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to a diversified workplace.** 

Please note that this is an unpaid internship.  The US Campaign is able to work with colleges and universities so that interns can credit for the internship.

TO APPLY: Please send a resume and a one-page statement outlining:

a) Your goals and motivations for working with the US Campaign
b) What makes you an ideal candidate for the spring intern position?

Send your resume and statement to office@endtheoccupation.org no later than February 21, 2008.  The US Campaign will respond to your application within one week after the deadline.  For questions, please call Omar Masri at 202-332-0994.

**The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to a diversified workplace.  Women, LGBTQ and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply.


2. LEGISLATIVE UPDATE:

Thank YOU for sending over 2,200 Thank You's to Each Representative thanking them for Demanding End against Gaza Blockade!

Last week, thousands of people responded to calls to end Israel's siege of Gaza by contacting their Members of Congress and the White House.  Over the weekend, dozens of protests, vigils, and interfaith services took place all over the United States demanding an end to Israel's collective punishment of Palestinians in Gaza.

Your solidarity with the people of Gaza is making a difference.  Some Members of Congress have joined the chorus of voices demanding the United States pressure Israel to end the siege on Gaza and the humanitarian crisis that it is causing.

In a sharply-worded letter initiated by Rep. Dennis Kucinich and sent to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on January 23, eleven Members of Congress called on the United States to exert its "influence to urge Israel to end its blockade of Gaza."

Click here to read more about how you can thank the representatives!


3. BOYCOTT & DIVESTMENT NEWS:

* United Methodists explore divestment proposals

By Linda Bloom
Jan. 29, 2008 | FORT WORTH, Texas (UMNS)

Would divestment from companies connected to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land help bring about change in the Middle East?

Four United Methodist speakers explored that question during a Jan. 25 panel discussion on "Divestment, the Middle East and Sudan" during the Pre-General Conference News Briefing sponsored by United Methodist Communications.

General Conference, which meets every four years, is the denomination's top legislative body. The 2008 assembly will be April 23-May 2 in Fort Worth.

The Rev. Steve Sprecher, a director of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, called divestment "a time-honored policy" within The United Methodist Church.

Sprecher was part of the committee of the Board of Church and Society that led the social action agency to send a petition to General Conference recommending divestment from Caterpillar Inc., the heavy equipment manufacturer based in Peoria, Ill.

Click here to read more.

*MethodistChurch Renews Drive For Divestment From Israel

By Nathan Guttman
The Jewish Daily Forward
January 30, 2008

Tensions are re-emerging between Jewish organizations and some mainline Protestant churches in the wake of a renewed drive for churches to divest from companies doing business with Israel.

The divestment campaign, thought by many in the Jewish community to be dormant, is still active among mainline Protestant churches and is re-emerging as a main issue on the agenda of Jewish groups. Attempts to block the divestment drive, which began four years ago, have proved only partially successful. Interreligious dialogue efforts and public pressure managed to mute some church-wide calls for divestment, but other initiatives are still gaining support.

The Methodist meeting, held on January 25 in Fort Worth, Texas, was an initial orientation meeting for delegation heads who will lead their groups at the church's quadrennial conference in April. Delegation leaders were presented with speakers both supportive and opposed to the draft divestment resolution, which calls for removing all Methodist pension fund holdings from Caterpillar.

Click here to read more from this article.

Click here to read more about Divestment work within the United States and how you can get involved.


3. RESOURCES AND EVENTS

* Reclaiming Equality and the Possibility of Political Action, with Todd May

Saturday, Feb. 9th ~ 7:30pm
New Community Church, 614 S St. NW Washington, DC
(directly across from the Howard Univ. exit of the Shaw/Howard Metro)

It's been a real trial getting this set up, but the
Institute for Anarchist Studies and the National Conference on Organized Resistance are (indeed!) celebrating a second year of collaboration on our Radical Theory Track;  as a teaser, we're hosting Todd May at the New Community Church in Shaw, this Saturday at 7:30pm.  Bring your friends, lovers, family, fellow workers to support the work of the IAS and NCOR, and get your learn on while you're at it.

How might we think about politics and political action in this period of political despair? One way is to consider political action--at least democratic political action--as collective action out of the presupposition of equality. We'll discuss what this means, how it works, and where we find it in our world.

For those unfamiliar, Todd is probably best known (in our circles) for his text The Political Philosophy of Poststructuralist Anarchism, but is also widely known for works on the philosophy of Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, and more recently Jaques Ranciere. This weekend's discussion will be focused on what Ranciere offers in the way of reclaiming equality from the liberal tradition; in favor of a more radical application in collective political action, and what that might look like on the ground, in ongoing social movements.

Email:
joshua@anarchiststudies.org for more info.

* Anna Baltzer presents: Life in Occupied Palestine: Eyewitness Stories & Photos

Anna Baltzer, a Jewish American Columbia graduate, Fulbright scholar, author, and acclaimed presenter, is touring the United States with a presentation and book describing her experiences documenting human rights abuses and supporting Palestinian-led nonviolent resistance to the Israeli Occupation with the International Women's Peace Service.

The purpose of the tour is to provide critical information and documentation that can be difficult to obtain through mainstream US media sources, and to encourage taking action on the issue. The presentation and book offer a thoughtful perspective from the granddaughter of Holocaust refugees. Baltzer sees it as her responsibility to "expose the injustices of today in light of those of the past."

Northern California:Feb 5-13

Southern California:Feb 15-19

Atlanta, GA:Feb 28-Mar 4

Birmingham, AL:Mar 4-7

Huntsville, AL:Mar 8-9

Indiana:Apr 6-12

Chicago or North Carolina (TBA):Mid-April

Yuma, AZ:Apr 30

Southern California:May 1-17

Columbus, OH:Late May

Baltzer will also be selling and signing copies of her newly updated book, Witness in Palestine: A Jewish American Woman in the OccupiedTerritories.

For more information about Baltzer's book, DVD, and tour details, visit www.AnnaInTheMiddleEast.com

* The BostonPalestine Film Festival (BPFF) is now accepting entries for its 2nd annual festival to be held in October 2008

BPFF seeks to present the extraordinary narrative of a dispossessed people living in exile or under Israeli occupation. Palestinian cinema represents a powerful means for visually interpreting the collective identity, historic struggle and emotional expression of Palestinians today.

The festival will showcase the diverse and creative work of all filmmakers (any nationality) exploring both historic and contemporary themes related to Palestinian culture, experience, and narrative.

BPFF accepts films, videos and digital media in the following categories:

ØFeature Films

ØDocumentaries

ØShorts (including animated or experimental works)

ØYouth Work (created by filmmakers under the age of 18)

This year the festival particularly encourages submissions related to the Palestinian refugee issue and themes of exile, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Nakba in 2008.

The early submission deadline is February 15, 2008, with an extended submission deadline of March 20, 2008. There is no entry fee for International Submissions or Youth Work.

Festival Website: http://www.bostonpalestinefilmfest.org
BPFF Submission Form: http://bostonpalestinefilmfest.org/cfe2008/BPFF-CFE2008.pdf
Please direct all questions to: submissions@bostonpalestinefilmfest.org


3. 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
May 24 - June 7
July 26 - August 9
November 8 - November 22

Apply Today:  http://www.ifpbdel.org/upcoming.html

* 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
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

* NEW Christian Peacemaker Teams Delegations to PALESTINE/ISRAEL:

Upcoming 2008 Delegations:
March 4-17
May 27-June 9
July 22-August 4
October 14-27
November 19-December 2

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.Then they will travel to the tensely divided city of Hebron, where CPT has been based since June 1995, and to the village of At-Tuwani in the South Hebron Hills, where CPT has had a team since 2004. They will 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 and challenge the structural violence of the Occupation through nonviolent public witness.Delegates raise $2100 US ($2500 Cdn) to cover costs.

For more information or to apply, contact CPT, (PO Box 6508, Chicago, IL60680; phone 773-277-0253; fax 773-277-0291; e-mail delegations@cpt.org <mailto:delegations@cpt.org> ) or see CPT's website at: http://www.cpt.org/.

* NEW Middle East Fellowship Delegations to Israel/Palestine

DISCOVERY DELEGATIONS IN 2008:

June 2-12, 2008: open delegation to the Holy Land
[Other options available throughout 2008, including Northwest Churches tripOctober 3-18]

Meet the indigenous churches of the Holy Land, tour all the key sights in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron, Jericho, Nazareth, Jaffa, etc; enjoy home stays with local families in Bethlehem; learn from Palestinian and Israel peace, justice and nonviolence practioners; and much much more!Cost: $1800 plus airfare.

PALESTINE SUMMER ENCOUNTER - 5th year!

Now entering its 5th year, PSE offers three sequential 1-month sessions that can be combined for one, two or three month stays. Session One: May 22-June 19; Session Two: June 19-July 17; Session Three: July 17-August 14.PSE includes Home Stays, Arabic Study, volunteer Service-Learning and meeting with a wide variety of Palestinian and Israeli nonviolence, peace-with-justice and reconciliation groups.

PSE WESBSITE: www.palestinesummer.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.