Occupation End Notes | July 7, 2005
Volume 2 Number 18


In this issue...

1. REGISTER NOW for the US Campaign’s 4th Annual National Organizers’ Conference – July 29-August 1, 2005 in Atlanta, GA

2. US Campaign Update: Action Alert – One-year Anniversary of ICJ Ruling on the Wall; Win a FREE Trip on a Global Exchange Palestine/Israel Reality Tour; Report Back – Upper Midwest Regional Conference


3. Resources & Education: Anglican Church Votes on Divestment; United Church of Christ 25th General Synod Votes on Divestment; Thank New England United Methodist Church for Resolution on Divestment; New Human Rights Watch Report; New Passia Resource on the Wall and Settlements; Participate in Upcoming Tour of Palestinian Health Professionals


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

5. 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


1. REGISTER NOW – US Campaign 4th Annual Regional Organizers’ Conference , Atlanta, GA

The US Campaign’s 4th National Organizers’ Conference will take place on the weekend of July 29- August 1, 2005 in Atlanta, GA.  The National Organizers’ Conference is an opportunity for activists from around the United States to network, strategize, and share skills.  It is also the time when our membership elects a new steering committee and votes to set the agenda for the upcoming year.

DON’T MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY!

If you haven’t made travel plans yet, you might want to check out AirTran and Delta, which both have hubs in Atlanta and are running sale fares right now.

Drawing on input from our membership, and from our experience with developing the last two national organizers’ conferences, we have created a conference agenda that gives you more opportunities to strategize and network with each other with minimal lectures and panel presentations. Our goals for this conference are:

  • To deepen and broaden our national movement by contributing some of our skills and resources to one of the Campaign’s priority areas (which were voted on by members at the ’03 and ’04 national conferences) so that we can win that goal, establishing strategies with targets and indicators to show us we’re on track.
  • To promote networking and sharing of experience and resources among member groups through skills-building and member-led workshops.
  • To draw on each other’s knowledge, expertise, and creativity to develop medium and long term strategies for US-based organizing to handle the changing political situation in Palestine.

We will also have special performances by Dave Lippman performing Star of Goliath, plus poetry and hip hop by the Philistines, Joe Carr  and more!!!

For information on the agenda and logistics in Atlanta click here

If you intend to submit campaign proposals, workshop proposals, or online steering committee nominations, be sure to submit before the deadlines!

July 15, 2005: Last day to submit Campaign and Workshop Proposals

July 25, 2005: Last day to submit online Steering Committee Nominations

July 27, 2005: Last day to request Vendor and Display Tables




2. US CAMPAIGN UPDATE

*July 9, 2005 marks the one-year anniversary of the International Court of Justice’s ruling on the illegality of Israel’s wall in the West Bank. Join the international community in commemorating this important day by holding educational events in your community about the Wall. For more information and to download the Stop the Wall Campaign’s new resource entitled Do-it-yourself Apartheid in Palestine: Israel, the World Bank, and "Sustainable Development" of Palestinian Ghettos, click here. To send a message to your elected representatives protesting new US funding for Israel’s illegal wall, click here

* From now until July 31, for each $100 that you donate to the US Campaign, you will be entered once in a raffle to win a FREE trip (valued at $1,750) on a Global Exchange Palestine/Israel Reality Tour  (this offer does not include airfare, which is the responsibility of the winner).  Donate $500, for example, and you will be entered 5 times in the raffle. A donation of $50 or more will also get you a raffle ticket to win a personalized, autographed copy of a book by famous authors such as Phyllis Bennis, Rashid Khalidi, and Naseer Aruri. For raffle details and to make an online contribution click here

* From June 24-26 the US Campaign, in partnership with the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project in Madison, WI, conducted an Upper Midwest Regional Organizers’ Conference. Representatives from more than 20 grassroots groups in the upper Midwest gathered to share skills and to strategize to end US support for Israel’s illegal occupation. For a full conference report click here




3. EDUCATION & RESOURCES

*On June 24, 2005 the Anglican Church's international advisory body voted to urge the church to consider withdrawing its investments in companies that support the occupation of Palestinian territories. By voting to support the divestment measure, the Anglican Consultative Council, the church's most representative advisory group, recommended to its 38 provinces that they support a September 2004 report by the council's Peace and Justice Network, which condemns Israel's treatment of Palestinians, and calls on the 75-million-member church to challenge and exert moral pressure on companies in its investment portfolio that support the occupation.

* On July 5, 2005 the 25th General Synod of the United Church of Christ USA passed a resolution entitled Concerning Use of Economic Leverage in Promoting Peace in the Middle East. The resolution calls upon "the Covenanted Ministries, Pension Boards, United Church Foundation, Conferences, local churches and members to use economic leverage, including, but not limited to: advocating the reallocation of U.S. foreign aid so that the militarization of the Middle East is constrained; making positive contributions to groups and partners committed to the non-violent resolution of the conflict; challenging the practices of corporations that gain from the continuation of the conflict; and divesting from those companies that refuse to change their practices of gain from the perpetuation of violence, including the Occupation..." For the United Church of Christ’s report on this important decision click here

*Human Rights Watch has published a new report entitled Promoting Impunity: The Israeli Army’s Failure to Investigate Wrongdoing. This extensive report takes a close look at the acts of the Israeli Army, with special attention to civilian deaths by the IDF, and how these acts measure up to International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law. A summary of the report can be found here, and the full report can be found here

* PASSIA, the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs has made Settlements and the Wall--an excellent, 16-page booklet detailing the path of the Wall, how it makes way for settlement expansion, and the ultimate impact on Palestinian land and communities--available online. Click here to download a PDF version of the booklet.

* In the last issue of Occupation End Notes we announced that the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church passed a resolution to create a committee to research companies that support the Israeli occupation, and for New England churches to examine their own corporate investments against the list of companies. We encourage you to contact Bishop Peter Weaver of the New England Conference and thank him for his conference's vote for selective divestment in companies that profit from the Israeli occupation.

Bishop Peter Weaver

276 Essex Street, Lawrence, MA 01840
PO Box 249, Lawrence, MA 01842-0449

978-682-9555

email: BishopsOffice@neumc.org

* Seeking sponsors, hosts and funding for the Upcoming Tour of Two Health Professionals from the Ibdaa Cultural Center’s Health Committee at Dheisheh Refugee Camp. Tentative Dates: March 21st-April 17th, 2006. The aim of the tour is to educate the public on the health and psychological consequences of the Israeli Military Occupation on Palestinian Civil Society and projects and services provided by the Health Committee in response to the resulting humanitarian crisis. The Ibdaa Health Committee at Dheisheh Refugee camp is comprised of volunteer Health and Mental Health professionals, including nurses, physicians, social workers, psychologists, sociologists and other interested volunteers. Members of the committee have pioneered numerous programs and activities that promote the welfare of both children and adultsin response to the urgent needs of the population. If interested in participating in this tour please contact Lori Rudolph: Telephone: (505) 243-470 or email: lorir@unm.edu.




4.  EVENTS

*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 spring tour schedule at http://www.localendar.com/public/stopthewall?style=M0

* July 23: Chicago

Just before the AFL-CIO convenes in Chicago, its delegates will have a rare day-long chance to learn about Palestinian and Middle Eastern labor rights and unionizing efforts, as well as American unionists' efforts to support them. Among Labor for Palestine's goals is to change AFL-CIO policy toward Israel. The conference is co-sponsored by the Palestine Solidarity Group, Not In My Name, and Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition. There will be a $20 registration fee. Attendees are asked to come at 8:30 am to the conference site in the UIC Student Center, 750 S. Halsted. For more information click here





5. OPPORTUNITIES TO VISIT ISRAEL AND PALESTINE

*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 1-14: Middle East Children’s Alliance Delegation
For 17 years, MECA has taken small groups of North Americans to the West Bank, Gaza and Israel to witness life under occupation and meet people who are working for justice.  Long time friends and project partners of MECA are our local guides and our hosts are a cross section of the people living through the occupation and within the specter of Israel's policies.  For more information and to register call 510-548-0542.

*July 2-30: Palestine Summer Camp
The National Committee for Summer Camps in the USA  and The National Committee for Summer Camps in Palestine invite Palestinian Americans, of ages between 6-22 years old, to participate in the first annual Palestine Summer Camp in Al-Bireh-Ramallah for four weeks in July.  The program will include classes in: Arabic, religion, history & geography of the holy land, arts, folklore dancing, sports, field trips and community volunteer work.  For more information contact Amal Wahdan at 216-351-5377 or email youthsummercamp2005@yahoo.com

*July 4-15: Bethlehem University, Bethlehem
This summer at Bethlehem University, international educators and community activists will join their Palestinian counterparts to explore how all forms of education affect socialization processes within a society and between societies: before, during, and after conflict.  The organizers of this conference encourage a diversity of perspectives, disciplines, and experiences. The terms education, educator, and community activists are by no means distinct categories. The list of participants already includes Middle East specialists, a geographer, adult educators, a legal educator, an environmentalist, and teachers. We will discuss the multiple meanings of peace, conflict, imperialism, multiculturalism, globalism, dissent, and democratic governance.  For more information contact Howard S. Davidson at hdavid@ms.umanitoba.ca

*July 14-24, 2005: Holy Land Trust Summer Activists’ Camp
Holy Land Trust and Quaker International Affairs Representatives are very pleased to invite you to the first activists' summer camp that will take place during  July.  Objectives of the camp include: delivery of nonviolence training and training for community organizers, community building among the youth, and sparking new nonviolence groups.  For more information and to register click here

*July 17-30, 2005: Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions Summer Work Camp
For the third year in a row, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) is offering a summer work camp intended to foster learning, discussion, and friendship between Palestinians, Israelis and internationals. Our cooperation will send a clear message to the world: We refuse to be enemies; together we resist the Occupation.  For more information and to register contact lucia@icahd.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

*October
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