Occupation End Notes | August 4, 2005
Volume 2 Number 20

In this issue...

1. US Campaign Update: US Campaign 4th Annual Organizers’ Conference a Huge Success!; US Campaign Co-Sponsors the Peace Alliance’s Department of Peace Conference; US Campaign Endorses UFPJ Anti-War Mobilization

2. Special Feature on the Gaza "Disengagement" Plan

3. Events: Conference: Wheels of Justice Tour; Stop the Wall Tour; Bereaved Families Speaking Tour

4. Opportunities to Visit Israel and Palestine: ISM Freedom Summer; Middle East Children’s Alliance Delegation; Palestine Summer Camp;  Bethlehem University Educators’ Conference; Holy Land Trust Summer Activist Camp; Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions Summer Work Camp; F.O.R. Interfaith Peacebuilders; Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions Fall Study Tour; American Friends Service Committee Faces of Hope Olive Harvest Delegation


*The US Campaign just completed its 4th Annual Organizers Conference in Atlanta, GA from July 29 – August 1. It was an exciting weekend during which participants worked hard to set the national agenda for the US Campaign coalition in the upcoming year. The members voted to adopt the Caterpillar campaign as the coalition’s national focus, and work has already begun on implementing plans for mobilizing around the country to end Caterpillar sales to the Israeli military. Thank you to everyone who participated in the Organizers’ Conference. We are in the process of producing a comprehensive conference report that will be available online in the next few weeks.

Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) accepted the 1st Annual Edward Said Human Rights Award. At the conference, she became the first Member of Congress to publicly pledge not to take money from the Caterpillar corporation because of the human rights violations against Palestinians committed with CAT bulldozers by the Israeli army

* WE HAVE A WINNER! On Sunday, July 31 we closed our July raffle for the free Global Exchange Reality Tour and the signed books by prominent authors. And the winners are…

Global Exchange Palestine/Israel Reality Tour – Richard Toll

Signed books – Manal Milhem, Mary Williams, Frederick Hadeed, and Thomas Rowan.

Congratulations to all of the winners, and thanks to everyone who contributed to our July fundraiser. You contributions make our work possible!

*On Sunday, August 14th in Chicago, IL the US Campaign will host a benefit concert and organizing meeting featuring Palestinian American rapper the Iron Sheik and Sephardic Jewish folk singer Elena Rubin. For more information visit click here

* Kymberlie Quong Charles, the US Campaign’s Membership Outreach Coordinator, will lead Global Exchange’s upcoming Palestine/Israel Reality Tour from August 21-31. Tour participants will have the opportunity to meet with Israeli and Palestinians, to learn about organizations that are working for peace and justice for both people, and to travel around the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Israel. For more information about Global Exchange Palestine/Israel Reality Tours click here

* The US Campaign is co-sponsoring the Peace Alliance’s Department of Peace Conference, Sept. 10-12. Join the US Campaign in Washington, DC for a great conference to advocate for the creation of a US Department of Peace. For more information, click here

2. SPEACIAL FEATURE: The Gaza "Disengagement" Plan

In mid-August Israel will begin implementing its plan to "disengage" from the Gaza Strip. There has been a lot of global debate about whether the plan is a sound first step toward peace between Palestinians and Israelis, or whether this plan will be used by the Sharon government to absolve itself of its responsibilities as an occupying power. There is also much speculation about how the disengagement from Gaza relates to Sharon’s plan for the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

We’re including the following articles as resources for you to use in your educational efforts around the Gaza disengagement. We hope to be able to make these resources and many more available on our website shortly.

Palestinian Technical Team on Israel's Evacuation
Israel's Unilateral "Disengagement",
by Dianna Buttu

The Gaza "Disengagement", by Phyllis Bennis

The Reconfigured Occupation: Gaza Disengagement Will Not Ease Suffering for Palestinian Women and Families, Produced by MADRE


*Ongoing: Wheels of Justice Tour
Members of Voices in the Wilderness, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, the Middle East Children's Alliance, and affiliates of the International Solidarity Movement take to the road in a colorfully decorated full-size school bus for nonviolent education and action against war and occupation in Iraq and Palestine and for justice and universal human rights.  For more information and to view the Wheels of Justice itinerary click here

*Ongoing: Stop the Wall Tour
The Stop the Wall Campaign and Tour traveled to 45 cities last summer and fall.  The Wall trailer and full scale models, together with films, Power Point presentations and lots of handouts and maps had a remarkable impact on those who saw them.  View the new tour schedule here

* August 26: New York City

Screening of new film, Wall, by Simone Bitton. For more information click here


*June 25 - August 21, 2005: International Solidarity Movement Freedom Summer. Freedom Summer Palestine 2005 is a Palestinian nonviolent campaign against Israeli occupation. This summer, with the participation of international supporters, Palestinians will continue their long-standing mobilization for nonviolent direct action against the Israeli occupation and draw the world's attention to what is really happening in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Two-day training sessions will be conducted by ISM trainers every Sunday and Monday of Freedom Summer in Ramallah. On completion of training, groups of internationals will be dispatched to various regions to join local nonviolent resistance activities. For more information write: info@palsolidarity.org

* July 30-August 13: Fellowship of Reconciliation Interfaith Peace Builders
Interfaith Peace-Builder 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.  For more information click here

ICAHD is pleased to announce that it will again be working in conjunction with an English company in arranging a study tour to Israel and Palestine that will take place over nine days in October 2005.  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.  Visit people from villages divided by the Wall and others that are under threat. Travel south to Hebron and north to Baca in what is known as the Triangle area in the Galilee. See the Judean Desert and the Mediterranean Sea.  For information email tours@icahduk.org

*October 8-17: American Friends Service Committee Faces of Hope Olive Harvest Delegation

This delegation is an excellent opportunity to observe and participate in the nonviolent resistance movement to the Israeli occupation. This movement brings together Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals to support the Palestinian olive harvest. The olive harvest season in the West Bank is generally a time of great community activism, where people of all ages work together to pick olives and join farmers as they reap their harvest. Application deadline is July 22, 2005. For more information click here

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