Occupation End Notes | December 29, 2005
Volume 3 Number 5

In this issue...

1. US Campaign Update: Oregon and California Organizing Tour; Get Your CAT Postcards for 2006; the US Campaign Needs A Copy Machine!!; Ring in the New Year with a 2006 Palestinian art calendar

2. Resources & Education: Trees for Life Campaign; 5th Annual Palestine Solidarity Movement Conference; Congress Weighs in on Palestinian Election; Occupation Magazine

3. Opportunities to Visit Israel and Palestine: Birthright Unplugged; Christian Peacemaker Teams Delegation; Israeli Committee Against House Demolition; Sabeel International Witness for Peace; Fellowship of Reconciliation Interfaith Peace Builders Delegation; Global Exchange Reality Tours; Congressional Accompaniment Project; Ancient Stones, Living Stones; “Meet Palestine” Work Camp; Sabeel International Young Adults’ Conference


* Noura Erakat, the US Campaign’s National Grassroots Organizer and Legal Advocate will be organizing in Portland, OR, and Northern and Southern California in January 2006. Noura will be working to support local grassroots organizations launching CAT Campaigns in their communities and to plug them into nation-wide CAT work. Noura’s complete itinerary will be forthcoming. For more information and to request a meeting with Noura, please contact her at organizing@endtheoccupation.org

* Be sure to start 2006 off with a full stock of CAT postcards! We’ve already distributed nearly 15,000 postcards around the country, but we need your help to distribute more so that we can deliver tens of thousands of them to CAT headquarters during their national shareholders meeting in April. Distributing CAT postcards in your community is an excellent way to build up a local network of support for your grassroots organizing, as well as to plug into the national CAT campaign. To order CAT cards please write to outreach@endtheoccupation.org with your name, mailing address, and the number of cards you would like, and we’ll send them to you free of charge!

***If you have already ordered CAT cards from us and are collecting signed ones, please remember to send them to the US Campaign at 1101 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, Suite 204, Washington, DC, 20003. In order for us to make a spectacle of CAT at their headquarters, it is essential that we get those postcards back!

* As the US Campaign staff and network expands, our needs expand as well. One of our wish list items for the New Year is a functional photocopy machine. With the amount of mail and resources we produce, we simply cannot continue running to Kinkos! If you or your contacts have access to such donations, please be in touch with us at 202-543-1778 or outreach@endtheoccupation.org …we will be most grateful! All in-kind donations made to the US Campaign are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

* The US Campaign has a limited number of beautiful 2006 Palestinian art calendars, featuring the work of Ismail Shammout. The 12 paintings featured in the calendar, entitled “The Exodus & The Odyssey”, narrate the Palestinian experience from the British Mandate to today. Order one today at a discount for $20, or combine a calendar and a union-made, sweatshop-free US Campaign t-shirt for $30. To order, click here and make a note in the order form how many calendars and t-shirts (include size) you’d like. Or call us at 202-543-1778 or email us at outreach@endtheoccupation.org to place an order.


* In partnership with Zatoun-Canada and the Palestine Free Trade Association (PFTA) partners in the United States and Europe, PFTA is launching the Trees for Life Campaign . The campaign goal is to plant tens of thousands of olive trees in Palestine. The campaign is part of PFTA and partners’ efforts to empower Palestinian farmers and enhance their economic and production capacities by providing individual Palestinian farmers with 25 to 50 new olive tree seedlings (3 years old) to plant and nurture in order to renew their decimated groves. Visit the Zatoun and PFTA websites to learn more about this important project and how you can support it!

* The Palestine Solidarity Movement (PSM) will hold its 5th Annual Conference on February 17th through 19th at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. The annual PSM conference is an important venue for Palestine solidarity activists to come together to communicate, strategize, learn from, and speak to each other. The conference is traditionally where new campaigns are adopted, and new tactics and methods are endorsed. It is an opportunity for students, activists, and their organizations from across North America to learn from each others' experiences. To learn more about the PSM and to get involved in the annual conference, visit the conference page here.

* On December 16, the House of Representatives passed H.Res.575, “Asserting that Hamas and other terrorist organizations should not participate in elections held by the Palestinian Authority”, by a vote of 397-17, with 7 Representatives voting “present” (Roll Call No. 650). On December 21, 73 Senators sent the President a similar letter. Both the resolution and the letter threaten a reevaluation of the US relationship with the Palestinian Authority if the Palestinian legislative election is not conducted to the liking of Israel and the United States. More information about both the resolution and letter will be posted shortly at the US Campaign’s Congressional Report Card

* Occupation Magazine is an online resource aiming to provide information and alternative commentary on the ongoing developments in the Occupied Territories - the West Bank and the Gaza Strip - in Hebrew, English and Russian. The need for such information arises since the ongoing devastation of the Palestinian land and people in the Occupied Territories is misrepresented in the Israeli and US media as a "fight against terror" and a "just struggle for Israel's very existence and security". The Editors represent a range of opinions as to the optimal solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Visit Occupation Magazine to view their current features.


*Birthright Unplugged is a new project that exposes young Jewish people to the realities of Palestinian life through encounters with a variety of Palestinian people. In six days, we visit Palestinian cities, villages, and refugee camps, and help participants develop an understanding of daily life under occupation. The deadline for winter trips has already passed, but planning for a spring trip is underway! For more information click hereor contactinfo@birthrightunplugged.org (Please, note Birthright Unplugged is in no way affiliated with Birthright Israel).

*Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) Delegations to Israel/Palestine

January 12-24, March 30-April 11 (United Church of Canada), May 24-June 5,
July 26-August 7, October 7-19 (Franciscans), and November 19-December 1,

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 and 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 in the city of Hebron and surrounding areas, and challenge the structural violence of the Occupation through nonviolent public witness. Delegates raise $2000 U.S. to cover costs. For more information and to apply visit CPT’s website http://www.cpt.org

*Spring 2006: The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD)

ICAHD is working in conjunction with an English company to arrange a study tour to Israel and the Occupied Territories that will take place over ten days in spring 2006. Participants will be based in hotels in Jerusalem and Bethlehem and will have unique opportunities to hear analysis from key leaders on both sides of the divide while traveling in Israel, Jerusalem and the West Bank. For information email studytours80@hotmail.com

*March 24-31, 2006: Sabeel International Witness for Peace Visit

Sabeel is a justice and peace project of Palestinian Christians in the Holy Land. The spring tour will include visits to all major cities in the occupied West Bank, as well as visits to Jerusalem, the Golan, and Nazareth. For more information and to register visit Friends of Sabeel North America

*March 24-April 8, 2006 and May 27 – June 10, 2006: Fellowship of Reconciliation Interfaith Peace-Builders Delegation

Fellowship of Reconciliation's Interfaith Peace-Builders sends delegations to Israel and Palestine so that U.S. 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. Visit the Fellowship of Reconciliation for more information.

*Global Exchange Palestine & Israel Reality Tours

2006 Tour Schedule: April 1-11; June 18-28; August 13-23; December 3-13

Global Exchange delegations to Palestine and Israel strive to further the U.S. public’s understanding of the region’s realities by giving people first hand experiences of what life under Occupation is like. By meeting with people from various sectors of Palestinian and Israeli society, you hear the most recent and direct accounts of current events and explore the historical and political perspectives that divide the two peoples. Join one of our delegations to become a more effective spokesperson in the media for a just U.S. foreign policy in the region, to become a better informed community or student advocate, or to more effectively speak to your members of Congress with first-hand testimonials. For a detailed delegation itinerary and an application contact ceanna@globalexchange.org

*April 8-17: Congressional Accompaniment Project

A hands-on educational experience for members of Congress, their Foreign Policy Aides and their local constituents

The Congressional Accompaniment Project is an program by which Americans, concerned for a just peace in Israel/Palestine, can assist their Congressional representatives and/or their foreign policy Aides to be more informed regarding the “facts on the ground” in Israel/Palestine.

The Congressional Accompaniment Tour includes meetings with both Israeli and Palestinian governmental officials, American Consulate staff, as well as non-governmental professionals, educators and people in all walks of life. It will include travel in Israel and within the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza Occupied Territories to visit areas of conflict and dispute –refugee camps, the “Wall,” housing demolitions, “settlements,” security checkpoints, sacred sites, etc.

Contact East Iowa Presbytery Peacemaking at (319) 354-7877 or email for further information. The 2006 tour, open to all, is scheduled for the congressional spring break, April 8 - 17, 2006.

*April 29-20, 2006: Ancient Stones, Living Stones: A Cross-Cultural Encounter
in the Holy Land

Join Tour Leader Gordon Matties, Associate Professor of Biblical Studies & Theology, on a journey through time to the land of Joshua and Jesus! Through the 21-day tour you will walk into the world of the biblical texts, visit the ancient stones, the important biblical/archaeological sites and pilgrimage locations, meet the living stones, the many and varied people-groups living in present-day Israel/Palestine (Jews, Christians, and Muslims), and discover the complexity of conflict and the prospects for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. For more information and to register click here

*July 12-30, 2006: “Meet Palestine” International Voluntary Work Camp

The international summer work camp will bring together 20 young people from around the globe who are interested in creating a better world. We are specifically targeting people who are working with organizations led by young people that address issues concerning humanity and social justice. We strongly encourage highly motivated and serious young men and women to apply. For more information contact Info@zajel.org

*July 28-August 5: Sabeel International Young Adults Conference

The goals of this conference are to provide an opportunity for Palestinian and International young adults, including Palestinians raised abroad, to meet, to share stories, and to learn about Palestinian culture; to provide an opportunity for International young adults to know about the lives of Palestinian young people and to become more aware of the political realities; to help Palestinian young adults from different communities meet each other; to encourage Christian young adults to become more active for justice in their communities when they return home. The target age for this conference is 18-26 year olds. For more information visit Friends of Sabeel North America

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 outreach@endtheoccupation.org

The US Campaign aims to change US policies that sustain Israel’s 38-year occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, and that deny equal rights for all.

To donate to the US Campaign click here