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Occupation End Notes | November 1, 2007
Volume 5 Number 7

In this issue...

1. US Campaign Update:Global Day of Action against Cluster Bombs; Report Card for 110th Congress, 1st Session is Online! ; US Campaign Looking for National Organizer

2. Member Group Update: New Digital Media Educational Tool from MECA

3. Resources & Events: Judge Throws Out Charges against LA8 ; Institute for Palestine Studies Seeks Editor; Journal for Palestine Studies No 144; DC Book Event; Discover the True Taste of Olive Oil and Experience Palestine

4. Opportunities to Visit Israel and Palestine: Interfaith Peace-Builders; Global Exchange; Middle East Children's Alliance


1. US CAMPAIGN UPDATE:

* November 5: Global Day of Action Against Cluster Bombs

The US Campaign is joining the Friends Committee on National Legislation, Amnesty International, and other organizations on Monday, November 5 in a global day of action against cluster bombs.  Take action by calling your Members of Congress and urging them to cosponsor the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act (S.594/H.R.1755).

During its war on Lebanon last summer, Israel dropped 130,000 cluster bombs containing 1.2 million cluster bomblets in 498 locations in villages throughout the south of the country.   Unexploded cluster bomblets subsequently have injured and killed civilians.

For more information on how to take part in the global day of action against cluster bombs, click here.

* Report Card for 110th Congress, 1st Session is Out!

Find out if your Members of Congress support restricting the sale of cluster munitions, a renewed U.S. role in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking, Israel's illegal annexation of East Jerusalem, condemning the UN for highlighting Israel's human rights violations, and much more.

Click here to read more!

* Are You Our Next National Organizer?

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is looking for a dynamic, articulate, creative, and passionate social justice advocate to work as a full-time National Organizer in its Washington, DC office.

The National Organizer will be responsible for working with staff, Steering Committee, Advisory Board, and member organizations of the US Campaign to implement the US Campaign's main programmatic priorities in 2008, including:

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

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

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

The 7th Annual National Organizers' Conference and Grassroots Training Institute

The deadline for applying is Friday, November 9.For more details, click here.


2. MEMBER GROUP UPDATE:

* New Educational Tool about Palestine from Middle East Children's Alliance! Digital Resistance: Palestinian Youth Media

In January 2007, twelve youth living in Aida, Azza, and Dheisheh refugee camps in the Bethlehem area of the occupied West Bank created digital stories as part of the US-Palestine Youth Solidarity Network (YSN). Their pieces offer previously unheard perspectives on Palestinian history, culture, life under occupation and visions for justice.

These powerful pieces are now posted on-line and have been subtitled in English and compiled into the newly released Digital Resistance. The DVD also includes a 10-minute context piece that gives important background information about Palestinian refugees.

The youth created their digital stories with the help of US volunteers who traveled to Palestine to facilitate digital storytelling workshops with Ibdaa and Lajee, two youth centers in the Bethlehem area of the occupied West Bank. The workshops brought new media arts technology and skills to support the existing oral history and youth development work of both organizations. It also gave YSN members the opportunity to develop joint programming and create educational tools about Palestine created by Palestinians for use in the US.

You can watch them online or order the DVD compilation here: http://www.mecaforpeace.org/article.php?id=226
Read more about the digital storytelling workshops here: http://www.mecaforpeace.org/digitalresistance

Please spread the word about these youth pieces and help make their voices heard!


3. RESOURCES AND EVENTS

* Judge Throws Out Charges in "Los Angeles Eight" Case: Charged Dropped in 20-Year Old Deportation Case against Palestinian Activists

Los Angeles - In a decision received today [October 31], Los Angeles Immigration Judge Bruce J. Einhorn ordered an end to deportation proceedings against Khader Hamide and Michel Shehadeh, members of the "Los Angeles Eight" (LA8).

In his decision, Einhorn said that the proceedings must be terminated because of the government's refusal to disclose evidence favorable to the immigrants in compliance with his orders.

Hamide and Shehadeh have been in deportation proceedings for 20 years, and their case has reached every level of federal court, including the U.S. Supreme Court. The government has been seeking to deport Hamide and Shehadeh since January 1987 based on their alleged support for the Popular Liberation Front for Palestine ("PFLP"), a group within the Palestinian Liberation Organization. The decision comes just after the January 26, 2007 20th anniversary of the arrest of the Los Angeles Eight.

Click here to read more!

* Institute for Palestine Studies Seeks Editor

The
Institute for Palestine Studies has an opening for a mid-to-senior-level editor to join the team of its flagship Journal of Palestine Studies.  

The successful candidate will have solid, in-depth knowledge of Palestine and the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict up to the present time, and will be able to use this knowledge to assess the quality and relevance of submissions to JPS. S/he will have demonstrated organizational and multi-tasking skills to manage work and manuscript flows, and be able to work well and accurately under pressure to meet changing deadlines.  S/he will also have a proven capacity to establish and maintain good working relations with writers and scholars in the field, and to manage networks of contributors across the U.S. and internationally.

Advanced degree preferred; knowledge of Arabic an advantage. Salary commensurate with experience; excellent benefits package. Submit letter of application, resume, and references to
ipsdc@palestine-studies.orgApplications would ideally be received by November 30, 2007. No phone calls, please.

* New from Institute for Palestine Studies! Journal for Palestine Studies No. 144

This issue of JPS introduces new discourses, new looks at past events, and a new section. The aim, as always, is to challenge habitual ways of thinking about Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict. A few pious truths, for instance, seem to be at the center of the conventional discourse on Palestine. One is that the establishment of a Palestinian state is and should be the Palestinians' chief goal; another is that this first supposed truth has been accepted by the Israeli state. Beshara Doumani argues that in spite of occasional lip service to the contrary, neither the Zionist movement nor the Israeli state nor their great-power backers have ever truly accepted the Palestinians' right to viable statehood. In view of the obstacles that these powers have systematically erected over the course of nearly a century, Doumani suggests these presumed truths would benefit from critical reexamination by the Palestinians themselves.

The current crisis in Palestinian politics has roots in the refusal of great powers to accept genuine self-determination, and it has home-grown roots as well. Some of these lay in the nature of the personal, charismatic system of rule established by Yasir Arafat and the manifest inability of his successor, Mahmud Abbas, to fill his shoes. Ali Jarbawi and Wendy Pearlman use Abbas's succession dilemma to help explain his weakness not only in the face of Hamas, but also of the Fatah movement he nominally leads, and of Israel and the United States.

Click here to read more. (http://palestine-studies.org/final/en/journals/issue.php?iid=144&jid=1&vid=XXXVI&vol=203)

* November 3, 2007: Important Book Event in DC

What: Academic Freedom, Middle East conflict/s, Poetry and more!

The University of Michigan Press recently came under enormous pressure to cancel its distribution contract with Pluto Press following objections to the distribution of Joel Kovel's path-breaking work Overcoming Zionism.  The UM Press stood its ground - see announcements below. Come and meet Kovel and talk about his book.

The poet Kathy Engel and US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation Advisory Board member and artist Kamal Boullata published a powerful collection - Poetry of Palestine and Lebanon - inspired by the 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon and crisis in Palestine. The two artists had previously collaborated following the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, reprised in this book. Come and meet Engel and talk about poetry.

Where: The National Lawyers Guild Annual Convention, Holiday Inn on the Hill
When: Saturday 3 November at 9am.
Why: Celebrate a victory for freedom of speech and take a moment to salute those willing to speak out and to work for justice. The significance is clear!

Pluto Press Retain US Distribution

The University of Michigan Press have released a statement announcing their decision to continue its distribution contract with Pluto Press following two months of uncertainty. Pluto Press are delighted that the University board unanimously agreed to maintain the agreement - which was thrown into jeopardy following objections to the distribution of Overcoming Zionism by Joel Kovel -as part of their commitment to the principle of freedom of expression.

Pluto Press is highly regarded for its prolific and provocative output tackling issues relating to the Middle East both in the UK and the US. Overcoming Zionism argues that a single secular state is the only tenable solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict and the Michigan chapter of pro-Israel group Stand With Us objected vociferously to UMP's involvement in its distribution. UMP responded by briefly withdrawing the book from the US market followed by a decision to reinstate the book and to review the feasibility of its ongoing contract with Pluto Press.

Despite considerable pressure from Stand With US and numerous other pro-Israel groups in the US, the University has struck a blow for free speech and decided to continue its commercial agreement with Pluto Press. Anne Beech, Managing Director of Pluto Press, is thrilled by the outcome and has praised the Executive Board's 'brave' decision: 'the university has been resolute on this issue and we admire them and are pleased to receive their ongoing support.' Please contact heleng@plutobooks.com for more information

University of Michigan Press Statement in full

Executive Board of the University of Michigan Press:
Statement on the status of the Pluto Press contract

October 22, 2007

The University of Michigan Press Executive Board unanimously agreed to continue the distribution contract between the University of Michigan Press and Pluto Press under existing contract terms.

Distribution agreements are undertaken strictly as business relationships and have historically been a small part of the UM Press's business. Currently, the Press distributes for five publishers. As is the case with all such commercial arrangements, books distributed on behalf of clients are not edited, reviewed, or produced by the UM Press, and they do not bear the imprimatur of the Press or of the University of Michigan.

University presses typically do not have stated guidelines for distribution agreements, but the recent controversy surrounding the contract with Pluto Press has underscored the need for them. In the coming year, Executive Board members will develop policy guidelines for distribution agreements. Underlying its deliberations will be the principle of freedom of expression, which is both fundamental to the University of Michigan's educational mission and integral to the UM Press's goals.

* Discover the true taste of olive oil and experience Palestine!

A pleasure to give and treat to receive; Zatoun, Fair Trade extra virgin olive oil from Palestine, is available for holiday gift giving via web ordering -
www.zatoun.com.

Zatoun fulfills 2 of the 4 key recommendations for a future Palestine as outlined by Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, its foremost independent and democratic voice for non-violence and peace in the Holy Land.  One, the sale of Zatoun enables Palestinians to live and remain in Palestine and two, it helps to build international awareness and solidarity for a just peace and resolution.

Zatoun is a registered, volunteer-run, and non-profit.  Sales proceeds are used to plant over 12,000 olive trees in occupied Palestine and to support expressive arts programs for 1000's of youth in Nablus refugee camps.  In 2007, Zatoun expects to contribute over $400,000 to the livelihoods of Palestinians in Palestine.

Please join the effort with your purchase.  To order or to learn more:
www.zatoun.com.


4. 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.

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.

* 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



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.