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Occupation End Notes | November 15, 2007
Volume 5 Number 8

In this issue...

1. US Campaign Update: Join in the 5th Annual International Week Against the Apartheid Wall, Nov. 9-16; Meet with Your Members of Congress during November Recess

2. Member Group Update: Adalah-NY kicks off BDS campaign on NYC developers building Israeli settlements; Interfaith Peace-Builders Tent of Nations event

3. Resources & Events: Dutch "research" group covers for Israeli crimes, violations; Gaza's Humanitarian Crisis: Who's to Blame for What? Institute for Palestine Studies Policy Note No. 22; Institute for Palestine Studies Seeks Editor; 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:

* Join in the 5th Annual International Week against the Apartheid Wall, Nov. 9-16

November 9th marks the beginning of the 5th Annual International Week against the Apartheid Wall, organized by the Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign. For more details, click here.

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation urges its member organizations and individual supporters to take action to protest U.S. support for Israel's illegal Apartheid Wall.

In July 2004, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued an advisory opinion ruling that Israel's Apartheid Wall is illegal, must be dismantled, and compensation paid to those adversely affected by it. The ICJ also ruled that all signatories to the 4th Geneva Convention must not "recognize the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall" nor "render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction."

Despite this ICJ ruling, in May 2005, President Bush signed into law a supplemental spending bill for the war in Iraq, which included $50 million "for assistance for Israel to help ease the movement of Palestinian people and goods in and out of Israel." Israel then used this money to build high-tech "terminals" into the Apartheid Wall, thereby placing the United States in direct violation of the ICJ ruling.

In addition, in August 2007, the United States and Israel signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to increase U.S. military aid to Israel to $30 billion over the next decade. This military aid helps Israel to maintain its illegal Apartheid Wall and military occupation, again in violation of the ICJ ruling.

TAKE ACTION

1.Contact your Members of Congress. To send a letter to your Members of Congress protesting the $30 billion MOU in military aid to Israel, click here.

2. Write a letter to the editor. To look up contact information for your local media, click here.

3.Download and distribute information. To download a US Campaign fact-sheet on the Apartheid Wall, click here.

4.Start a campaign of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS).To get resources and ideas on how to start a BDS campaign, click here.

5.Organize a teach-in or protest. To view a list of global events for the 5th Annual International Week against the Apartheid Wall and to add your event, click here.

* Meet with Your Members of Congress during November Recess

Members of Congress will be adjourning for a two-week recess on Friday, November 16.

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation urges its member organizations and individual supporters to schedule meetings with their Members of Congress during the November recess to discuss policy matters pertaining to Israel/Palestine.

Here are some tips on how to set up a meeting with your Members of Congress:

Setting Up a Meeting with Your Members of Congress

1. Assemble a delegation of constituents. Assemble a delegation of up to 6-8 people to meet with your Members of Congress. Ideally, delegations will be diverse and include people from different organizations and communities.

2. Decide upon the issues you want to discuss. Pick no more than 3-4 legislative and/or policy issues that you'd like to discuss with your Members of Congress. Make sure that the issues are focused and that you are asking your Members of Congress to do something specific that they have the power to do. For a listing of major legislative issues related to Palestine/Israel in the current Congress and the position of your Members of Congress on them, please see the US Campaign's 110th Congressional Report Card by clicking here.

Also, consider discussing with them your opposition to increasing U.S. military aid to Israel to $30 billion over the next decade. In August 2007, the United States and Israel signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to that effect; however, Congress still needs to agree on annual funding to make this MOU operative. For additional details and talking points, click here.

3. Fax a constituent meeting request to the offices of your Members of Congress. To get contact information for the schedulers in the offices of your Members of Congress and a template constituent meeting request fax, click here.

4. Schedule your meeting. This might require several communications between you and the scheduler before a meeting is arranged. Be patient and be flexible with your meeting request. If your group is able to meet with your Members of Congress at any time during the November recess, you're more likely to get a meeting than if you can only meet on a Monday morning at 9:00AM, for example.

5. Tell us how your meeting went. After you meet with your Members of Congress, please send us a report. It's important for us to know what Members of Congress are telling their constituents and it makes it easier for us to work together to change U.S. policy.

For additional tips on meeting with your Members of Congress, click here.

If you're willing to volunteer to set up a meeting with your Members of Congress or would like advice on how to do so, please contact Josh Ruebner, Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator at 202-332-0994 or congress@endtheoccupation.org.

If you'd like to join the US Campaign's Congressional District Coordinator network and volunteer to organize people in your Congressional district to educate your Members of Congress about the need to change U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine to support human rights, international law, and equality for all, please click here.


2. MEMBER GROUP UPDATE:

* Adalah-NY kicks off BDS campaign on NYC developers building Israeli settlements
Glitterati at Leviev's New York Gala Stunned by Encounter with Palestinian Rights Protest

November 13, 2007

Adalah-NY: The Coalition for Justice in the Middle East

Over 100 well-dressed, well-heeled New Yorkers attending the invitation-only opening of diamond mogul Lev Leviev's Madison Avenue jewelry store this evening appeared stunned and aghast to find their evening derailed by a noisy protest against Leviev's construction of illegal West Bank settlements. Gala attendees set down their champagne glasses and gathered by windows to view the signs and Palestinian flags, and hear protesters' chants.

30 New York City human rights activists chanted, "You're glitz, you're glam, you're stealing Palestinian land", and "All your diamonds cannot hide, your support for Apartheid." Protesters called on New York City's upscale residents to boycott Leviev's diamonds. Disconcerted attendees hastily exited to their limousines to loud chants of, "Occupation is a drag, just say no to your gift bag."

Click here to read more about the protest.

Adalah-NY will hold a second protest at Leviev's 700 Madison Avenue jewelry store on Tuesday November 20 from 4:30 - 6:00 PM.

For more info: Adalah-NY: The Coalition for Justice in the Middle East: www.mideastjustice.org
Email: justiceme@gmail.com

* Interfaith Peace-Builders: Tent of Nations: One Palestinian Family Struggles to Save their Land and Heritage

When: Monday, November 26, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
Where: The Peace Café at Busboys and Poets
2021 14th Street, Washington, DC 20009

A Presentation by
Daoud Nassar

Suggested Donation of $15 or above benefits Tent of Nations
Light fare provided
Space is limited so please arrive early!

Speaker Bios:

Daoud Nassar, a Palestinian farmer from Bethlehem, speaks about the struggle to defend his family's land and heritage. The Nassar farm stands alone, ringed by Israeli settlements and the encroaching Separation Wall, the last holdout in a region marked for annexation by Israel. "The land is our mother," says Daoud Nassar. "Our mother is not for sale." Under his leadership, the family has taken the case to establish the family's land rights to the Israeli Supreme Court. Mr. Nassar and his family have also formed the Tent of Nations, a grassroots organization which runs educational programs for youth, women and international visitors. The Nassars seek peaceful coexistence with Israel in a shared Palestine and are committed to nonviolence. Through the Tent of Nations, they teach young Palestinians the importance of land and identity in their struggle for self-determination. For more on Tent of Nations see: www.tentofnations.org

Ray McGovern was a CIA analyst from the administration of John F. Kennedy to that of George H. W. Bush.  McGovern chaired National Intelligence Estimates in the 70s, and in the 80s conducted daily briefings of the most senior Reagan administration officials.  In 2003 he co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) to expose the corruption of intelligence to "justify" war on Iraq.  From 1998 to 2003 he was co-director of the ServantLeadershipSchool and now works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC.  Mr. McGovern recently returned from an Interfaith Peace-Builders delegation to Israel/Palestine.  He believes that bringing Justice into the Israeli-Palestinian equation is the key to lasting peace in the region.  He points out that "they say the opposite of love is fear; or is it indifference - 'standing aside.'  Fear can prompt people to do evil to others.  This trip confirmed that the challenge is to nurture the personal contacts that can allay fear, and thwart the evil stemming from it."


3. RESOURCES AND EVENTS

*Dutch "research" group covers for Israeli crimes, violations
Stan van Houcke, The Electronic Intifada, 5 November 2007

Doron Livnat is co-owner of Riwal, a Dutch company involved in the illegal construction of the separation Wall in occupied Palestinian territory. In 2004 the Wall was confirmed by the International Court of Justice as being in violation of international law. Livnat is also a member of the board of the Centre for Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI), a pro-Zionist political lobby group based in Amsterdam.

CIDI does not seem to have a problem with the judgment of the International Court of Justice, nor Livnat's company's involvement in this illegal activity. And yet CIDI still has the audacity to condemn United Civilians for Peace (UCP), a broad-based Dutch human rights platform. In a recent "research" report containing wild allegations, CIDI shamelessly attempted to smear the organization for daring to call for dialogue and to present a perspective critical of Israel, calling for an end to its subsidy.

Click here to read more.

* Institute for Palestine Studies' Policy Note No. 22: Gaza's Humanitarian Crisis: Who's to Blame for What? 

By Nadia Hijab

While all eyes are fixed on the potential and pitfalls of the Annapolis meeting the United States is convening, the Gaza Strip is suffering a humanitarian crisis and ongoing violence from Israeli attacks and intra-Palestinian clashes. Who's to blame? Fingers are pointed at Hamas for having taken over Gaza by force in June 2007; at Israel for its boycott and siege; and at militant groups in Gaza for rockets fired at Israel. None of this saves the civilian population from disaster, or explains how the situation in Gaza deteriorated so quickly.

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.

* 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.