Occupation End Notes | September 27, 2007
Volume 5 Number 5


In this issue...

1. US Campaign Update:US Campaign Adopts Proposals on Apartheid, Motorola, and Nakba at 6th Annual National Organizers’ Conference; Caterpillar update

2. Member Group Update: New Member Groups; Friends of Sabeel National Conference on Apartheid

3. Resources & Events: Gaza Action Alerts; Institute for Palestine Studies Policy Note No. 20;Boston Palestine Film Festival; UFPJ October 27 Regional Mobilizations

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


1. US CAMPAIGN UPDATE:

* US Campaign Adopts Three Proposals

More than 100 delegates from more than 50 member organizations of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation met during the weekend of September 7-9 at the Arlington Campus of George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia for the US Campaign's 6th Annual National Organizers' Conference.

Delegates to the conference amended and then passed by consensus all three proposals submitted for consideration.  The proposals, which will guide the work of the US Campaign for the next year, call for the US Campaign to:

·Organize a national Anti-Apartheid speaking and organizing tour;

·Launch a national boycott campaign against Motorola for profiting from Israeli occupation; and

·Commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Nakba through educational campaigns and days of action

To read the proposals as amended and adopted by consensus, please click here.

*Caterpillar Update!

Just three days following the 9th Circuit Court’s dismissal of the Corrie v. Caterpillar case, 19-year old Mahmoud Al Khafafi was brutally murdered by a bulldozer near Al Bureji Camp in central Gaza. Caterpillar bulldozers demolished 13 homes and razed agricultural land in the area the same day.

Last night the US Campaign hosted a conference call with Cindy Corrie to discuss strategic next steps in the CAT Campaign.With great energy on the call from individuals and from our member groups, the US Campaign will launch a Call To Action next week for calls to Congresspersons and the State Department.

As well, the US Campaign is calling for a National Day of Action on October 19 in major cities across the United States.We are preparing resources and materials for this event.Groups are already gearing up for action in Boston, Chicago, DC, Los Angeles, Olympia, Portland, Seattle and Wisconsin.The Day of Action will be decentralized – the US Campaign will provide the resources, and individuals and member groups on the ground will do the organizing.If you would like to get involved, please contact Ashley at outreach@endtheoccupation.org

BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THE CALL TO ACTION, COMING NEXT WEEK!


2. MEMBER GROUP UPDATE:

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

ØAdalah – NY: Coalition for Justice in the Middle East [New York]

The Ad-Hoc Coalition for Justice in the Middle East began organizing actions in response to the escalation of Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip at the end of June and subsequent Israeli attacks and incursions into Lebanon in July 2006. 

To read more, please click here.

ØAnn Arbor Boycott Israeli Goods (BIG) [Michigan]

AA-BIG emphasizes Israel's flagrant violations of Palestinian human rights and the humanitarian crisis they have created in the West Bank and Gaza. They state, "A growing number of Americans believe what much of the world already sees, that Israel is pursuing a deliberate policy of expansion and ethnic cleansing which is creating an Apartheid-like situation, and that it will reverse this policy only if it is persuaded by outside pressure.''

Click here to get in contact with Ann Arbor BIG!

ØAnti-War Anti-Racism Effort (AWARE) [Illinois]

AWARE, the Anti-War Anti-Racism Effort, works to oppose aggressive wars and to end racism. Our concerns also include the militarization of society, inequalities of wealth and opportunity, the concentration and uniformity of news sources, the global extension of American power, the demise of internationally agreed norms of behavior, the threat of corporate globalization to the common welfare, and the erosion of civil liberties. We come together to coordinate our efforts individually and with other organizations to share resources and ideas and to make large scale actions possible as we work towards peace and justice.

Click here to read more.

ØFront Range Coalition for Mideast Justice & Peace [Colorado]

Front Range Coalition is an activist coalition based out of Denver that protests military actions in Gaza, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan.

Click here to read more.

ØIdaho Campaign to End Israeli Apartheid [Idaho]

ØIndianapolis Code Pink [Indiana]

If your group would like to join our coalition of 250 organizations, please contact our Office Manager/Membership Outreach Coordinator by emailing him at office@endtheoccupation.org!

* Friends of Sabeel Conference: The Apartheid Paradigm in Palestine-Israel: Issues of Justice and Equality
October 26 & 27, 2007

Friends of Sabeel - New England Chapter are organizing a historic conference, The Apartheid Paradigm in Palestine-Israel: Issues of Justice and Equality, sponsored by Friends of Sabeel - North America and hosted in Boston by Friends of Sabeel - New England, October 26 and 27, 2007.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu will give the keynote address and many other international, national, and local scholars and activists including US Campaign's Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies, David Wildman of the UnitedMethodistChurch, and Nancy Murray of the Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights will speak!

Join activists from all over the world and share your commitment to peace!

For more information, please click here. 


3. RESOURCES AND EVENTS

* GAZA Action Alerts

·Jewish Voice for Peace: Do Not Withhold Electricity, Water, and Goods from the People of Gaza!

Send a letter of protest condemning the decision of the Israeli government to begin withholding electricity, water and goods from the Gaza Strip. These actions are inhumane and illegal under international law.

U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, refused to condemn the Israeli move, despite her pronouncement that the U.S. "will not abandon the innocent Palestinians in Gaza, and indeed will make every effort to deal with their humanitarian needs." Remind her that cutting the utilities to the whole civilian population in the Gaza Strip makes a mockery of her promise.
Remind Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, that these measures amount to collective punishment, and instead of making the citizens of southern Israel safer, will only increase the frequency of the firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel.

·Carter Center: Israeli Actions in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank: Prospects Dim for Middle East Peace

CONTACTS:
In Ramallah, Scott Custer 9722 240 5240
In Atlanta, Deborah Hakes, 404-420-5124

In a statement issued September 21, 2007 (see below):  The Carter Center deplores the decision taken Wednesday by Israel to declare the Gaza Strip a hostile territory and its threat to cut off provision of essential services such as electricity and fuel to the civilian population. The Center strongly believes that such actions would defy Israel's obligations toward the civilian population under international humanitarian and human rights laws, and urges Israel to rescind this decision.

Click here to read more.

·Amnesty International: Amnesty International calls for triple action on behalf of Gaza

Amnesty International is concerned that the implementation of the Israeli government decision of 19 September that Additional sanctions will be placed on the Hamas regime in order to restrict the passage of various goods to the Gaza Strip and reduce the supply of fuel and electricity. Restrictions will also be placed on the movement of people to and from the Gaza Strip would cause a further deterioration of the already dire humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and adversely affect the 1.5 million Palestinians who live there.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in English, Hebrew, or your own language:

- expressing concern that further restrictions on the supply of electricity and fuel and on the passage of persons and goods into and out of the Gaza Strip would cause a further deterioration of already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza and would constitute collective punishment which is forbidden under international law;

- calling for the decision of the government to be rescinded;

- reminding the Israeli government of its obligation as the occupying power under international humanitarian and human rights law to ensure the welfare of the Palestinians population in the Gaza Strip, notably their obligation to ensure the supply of essential necessities and to allow the movement of people and goods;

- expressing concern for the residents of Gaza currently in the Strip who are unable to leave, including patients in need of medical care not available in the Gaza Strip;

Send appeals to:

Tzipi Livni (Ms)
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel
Ministry of Foreign Affairs

9 Yitzhak Rabin Boulevard, Kiryat Ben-Gurion
Jerusalem91035, Israel
Fax: + 972 2 530 3367
email: sar@mfa.gov.il
Salutation: Dear Minister

Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in English, Arabic, or your own language:

- urging the Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip to prevent the launching of Qassam rockets into Israel by all Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip;

- urging the President of the Palestinian Authority to call on Fatah’s armed wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, in the Gaza Strip to put an immediate end to the launching of Qassam rockets into Israel;

Send appeals to:

Mr Ismail Haniyeh and Dr Mahmoud Zahar
Hamas leadership in Gaza
Fax: + 970 8 282 2159/ 284 5040/ 286 8971
Email: ihaniyyeh@hotmail.com
Salutation: Dear Mr Haniyeh and Dr Zahar

Mahmoud Abbas
President of the Palestinian Authority
Fax: +972 2 296 1370/ 2 298 1370/ 2 296 3179
Salutation: Dear President

* September 11, 2007: Institute for Palestine Studies Policy Note No. 20

The Fall Meeting & the Trend to Focus on Aid Rather than Rights

By Nadia Hijab and Diana Buttu

The timing and substance of the international meeting called by US President George Bush in his 16 July 2007 speech on the Middle East may end up focusing on aid at the expense of a political solution. This moves further away from the 1991 Madrid international conference and the bilateral Oslo 1993-2000 negotiations and reinforces the trend that was so visible at the 2005 London meeting. This approach has not worked before and is unlikely to work today. 

The international meeting called for by US President Bush George Bush in his 16 July 2007 speech is expected to convene in November to "provide decisive support to Palestinian leaders working for peace;" review progress "toward building Palestinian institutions;" and "support further reform." The emphasis on internal Palestinian matters rather than the 40-year-long Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories dashes hopes for an end to that occupation. The still pending issue of who will participate has repercussions for Palestinian Authority (PA) relations with and support from the Arab world, and for a comprehensive resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Moreover, the meeting, if it takes place as planned, will be sandwiched between two donor conferences on Palestine, one slated for late September the other mooted for December.

Click here to read more.

*September 29 – October 2, 2007:BostonPalestine Film Festival (BPFF)

The first ever Boston Palestine Film Festival will be taking place through the end of September and October. For full information about the event go to http://www.bostonpalestinefilmfest.org

This festival features a range of compelling and thought-provoking documentaries, dramatic features, rare early works (1969 to 1980), and new films by emerging artists. These films from international directors bring an honest, self-described, and independent view of Palestine and its diasporic society, culture, and political travails.

The nine days of screenings take place at five major venues across Boston/Cambridge: the Museum of Fine Arts, Coolidge Corner Theatre, Kendall Square Cinema, HarvardUniversity, and BostonCollege. The festival encompasses over 40 films; Q&A with visiting directors; opening and closing receptions with international directors, actors, and academics; and the US premiere of many acclaimed films like Hardball and Driving to Zigzigland, among others.

For a list of the events, please click here.

* October 27: UFPJ Regional Mobilizations!

Later this fall, people from all walks of life will gather at sites around the country for 11 regional demonstrations.

People everywhere want the war to end, but Washington has failed to take decisive action. With each passing month, nearly 100 service-people and countless more Iraqis are killed, some 12 billion of our tax dollars are spent, and the death and destruction continue. Our communities – from New Orleans to Minneapolis – are neglected and suffer the consequences.

From Boston to Los Angeles, from New York to New Orleans, on October 27th the people will speak: We want this war to end, and we want it to end now!

For more information about these Regional Mobilizations can be found by clicking here.

The US Campaign has endorsed this event and we encourage our member groups to do the same by clicking here!

Coordinate any action on Palestine on October 27th with the cities that are organizing these Regional Mobilizations. The contacts for the Regional Mobilizations are:

New England/Boston
Joseph Gainza
AFSC - Vermont
802-229-2340
jgainza@afsc.org

New York and Northern New Jersey/ New York City
Leslie Kielson
UFPJ/NYC
212-856-5545
lrk44@earthlink.net

Mid-Atlantic/Philadelphia
Jody Dodd
Women's International League for Peace & Freedom
215-563-7110
jdodd@wilpf.org

John Braxton
US Labor Against the War
215-751-8555
jbraxton@ccp.edu

David Kalkstein
South Jersey Coalition for Peace and Justice
856-482-2054
brownmayola@comcast.net

South - eastern part/Jonesborough, TN
Linda Modica
First TN Progressives
423-676-2925
Linda.c.modica@mac.com

Florida/Orlando
Matt Devlieger
954-536-7461
actlikematt@gmail.com

Mid-West/Chicago
Carl Davidson
Chicagoans Against War & Injustice (CAWI)
773-384-8827
carld717@aol.com

George Martin
Milwaukee Coalition for a Just Peace
414-964-5158
george@peaceactionwi.org

Northwest/Seattle
Kelly Campbell
September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
503-230-9427 x2
kelly@peacefultomorrows.org

Northern California/San Francisco
Siri Margerin
United for Peace & Justice - Bay Area
415-305-5749
sirism@mac.com

Southern California/Los Angeles
Don White
Comm in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador
323-556-1932 
donwhite4justice@hotmail.com

Mountain States/Salt Lake City
Kim Spangrude
Utah MFSO
801-718-0863
kimspangrude@mac.com
utahvoices@lists.riseup.net

Please add your organization’s event to our calendar by clicking here!


4. OPPORTUNITIES TO VISIT ISRAEL AND PALESTINE

*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.

2008 dates:
March 29 - April 12
May 24 - June 7
July 26 - August 9
October/November (exact dates TBD)

* Fall 2007 Schedule: 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.


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.