Occupation End Notes | June 2, 2005
Volume 2 Number 16


In this issue...

1. US Campaign Day of Action: June 5, 2005 – 38th Anniversary of the Occupation of the Gaza Strip, West Bank and East Jerusalem

2. US Campaign Update: Upper Midwest Regional Conference – Madison, WI; SAVE THE DATE!; 4th Annual National Organizers’ Conference – Atlanta, GA; New Fact Sheet on the Wall


3. Member of the Month: Northwest Middle East Peace Forum

4. New Members

5. Resources & Education: Demolitions in Silwan; AUT overturns boycott decision; CNIF ad on AIPAC in NYT; CPB investigates NPR’s Middle East coverage; VA-8 Democratic Party resolution; “Palestine and Palestinians” available at PalestineOnlineStore.org; “Rachel Corrie: An American Conscience” available through NOLAPS; New If Americans Knew flyers available online


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

7. Opportunities to Visit Israel and Palestine: F.O.R. Interfaith Peacebuilders; Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace; 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; Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions Fall Study Tour

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1.  UPCOMING DAYS OF ACTION

* Mark your calendars now! June 5, 2005, the 38th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip, is the next national day of action for which the US Campaign will be mobilizing. On this anniversary of the occupation we are calling for:

1. A national letter-writing campaign. In the days leading up to June 5th, monitor your local paper, radio, and TV stations, and work with members of your group to monitor the national media. By Friday June 3rd, write a letter to the editor to your chosen media outlet that refers to some news item they've just carried on the Middle East. Things you can mention:

- the 38th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip, West Bank, and East Jerusalem,
- the responsibility of US policy in  sustaining the occupation through military aid and vetoes at the UN,
- the role of corporations like CAT and arms manufacturers in providing the equipment that demolishes Palestinian homes and destroys Palestinian lives.
- call for a US policy that supports justice and peace in Palestine and Israel based on international law and UN resolutions.

Draw on US Campaign factsheets on the Wall http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=1107, US policy http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=1076, and the law http://www.endtheoccupation.org/downloads/fact_sheet_2.pdf, but use your own words and keep it short! Let's get the message out there!

Palestine Media Watch provides tips on letter writing at http://www.pmwatch.org/pmw/tools/T_WritingLetters.asp and print media contacts at http://www.pmwatch.org/pmw/contact/media.asp to assist you in your letter writing campaign.

Please email us at outreach@endtheoccupation.org with your letters, and be sure to let us know who you are and to which newspapers you submitted it.Thank you to everyone who has already submitted letters to us!We appreciate all of your hard work.

2. Nation-wide teach-ins, and placing a special educational emphasis on the Wall. If you would like a US Campaign steering committee member or staff person to conduct a teach-in for your community on June 5th, email outreach@endtheoccupation.org. More information on action for this day will be forthcoming. It's not too early for your group to begin planning an event!

*Here is how some groups in Palestine are commemorating the anniversary of the occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip

Salfit - Thursday, June 2nd: A march to the construction site of theannexation barrier organized by the Salfit Popular Committee Againstthe Wall.Recently, the Israeli High Court revoked itsdecision to suspend work on the Wall in this area.

Bil'in – Friday, June 3rd:  The people of Bil'in, together withstudents from Beir Zeit, Alquds and Telaviv will mark the Naksa day -the expulsion of Palestinians from the West bank, eastern Jerusalemand Gaza during the 1967 war.

Salfit – Saturday, June 4th: Palestinians from all over the West Bankwill join the villagers from the Salfit region in a march from Mardato Kifl Hares along the settler road. The villagers will protest thebuilding of the annexation wall around the "Ariel loop" thus de factoannexing the settlements along with Palestinian farmland to Israel.

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2. US CAMPAIGN UPDATE

* The US Campaign, in cooperation with the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project, will be conducting an Upper Midwest Regional Organizers’ Conference in Madison, WIhttp://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?list=type&type=155 for a draft agenda and to register online.

* SAVE THE DATE!  The US Campaign’s 4th National Organizers’ Conference will take place on the weekend of July 29-31, 2005 in Atlanta, GA.  The National Organizers’ Conference is an opportunity for activists from around the United States
from June 24-26.  Visit 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.  Further details will be forthcoming.

*The US Campaign is pleased to announce the release of its new resource titled “Cementing the Occupation: Israel’s Illegal Wall Puts Palestine Behind Bars.”  This fact sheet outlines the physical facts about the Wall, the impact it has on the Palestinian population in the West Bank, and its status under international law.  Visit http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=1107 to view and download.  
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3.  MEMBER ORGANIZATION OF THE MONTH
Northwest Middle East Peace Forum
Takoma, WA
 
The Northwest Middle East Peace Forum is a Takoma-based group working to educate their community about the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and the US role in supporting the occupation.  Throughout the month of June, Northwest Middle East Peace Forum will be conducting a seven part educational series entitled “Beyond Opposites: The US-Israel/Palestinian Conflict.”  The series includes presentations by various speakers, including Mansour Mansour, a leader of the Palestinian nonviolence movement, Assaf Oron, an Israeli refusnik, and Mary Pneuman, Chair of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Washington’s Bishop’s Committee for Justice and Peace in Israel/Palestine.  
 
In addition to putting together an amazing educational series, the Northwest Middle East Peace Forum was also able to get local press coverage of the event and the issues.  Visit http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/story/4912609p-4501196c.html to view the New Tribune’s coverage.                      
 
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4.  NEW MEMBERS
* The US Campaign is growing! We now have almost 200 member organizations in our coalition. The following organizations recently became members of the US Campaign’s national coalition of organizations working to end US support for Israel’s occupation:
 
-Friends of Sabeel, HawaiiHonolulu, HI
 
Friends of Sabeel in Hawaii is a chapter of Friends of Sabeel, an international organization in support of the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem.  Sabeel promotes peace and justice through non-violence for Israel/Palestine.
 
-Resource Center For Nonviolence, Middle East Program – Santa Cruz, CA  http://www.rcnv.org
 
The Resource Center for Nonviolence (RCNV) in Santa Cruz, California, promotes nonviolence as a force for social change and personal transformation. Founded in 1976, RCNV provides a wide array of opportunities for involvement, including study groups, workshops, leadership and nonviolence training, study and action groups, a library, bookstore, and meeting place.

To become a member of the US Campaign please visit
http://www.endtheoccupation.org/modinput2.php?modin=2 to sign our Call to Action and pay membership dues.  Join today!
* To view a complete list of organizational members of the US Campaign visit http://www.endtheoccupation.org/groups.php
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5. EDUCATION & RESOURCES
*The Jerusalem Municipality recently released its plans to demolish 88 homes in the neighborhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem to "restore the area to its landscape of yore," according to the city engineer.  This demolition would effectively create a Palestinian-free path between Jerusalem’s Old City and the West Bank settlement Maale Adumim.  Such a demolition would be the largest to take place in Jerusalem since 1967.  For more information you can read Haaretz’s report “City to raze homes of 1,000 residents in East Jerusalem neighborhood” at http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/582337.html  

*On May 26 Britain’s Association of University Teachers voted to overturn its decision to boycott Haifa and Bar-IlanUniversities.You can read Haaretz’s report of this event athttp://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/580496.html

*The Council for the National Interest Foundation (CNIF), a member group of the US Campaign, placed a full-page advertisement, titled “AIPAC's Agenda is Not America's,” in the May 27, 2005 edition of the New York Times.The ad calls for AIPAC to be registered under a proposed Foreign Lobby Registration Act (FLORA), which CNIF will be drafting and promoting this year. Such an act would require all lobbies that work on behalf of a foreign power to register and make their operations more transparent and reveal their source of funds and activities.To view the ad visit http://www.cnionline.org/pubs/ads/AIPACs-Agenda.pdf

*According to a May 16 New York Times report, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) is considering "a study on whether NPR's  Middle East coverage was more favorable to Arabs than to Israelis"—further evidence that the agency intends to police public media for  content it deems too "liberal."FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) has released an action alert requesting that people write to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and  urge it to abandon the idea of a politically motivated investigation  of NPR's Middle East coverage.For more information visit http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=2516

*On May 21, the Democratic Party Convention for Virginia’s 8th Congressional District passed a resolution entitled “Roadmap for Peace: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”.  The resolution, which passed by a comfortable 56-38 margin, acknowledged the “perceived bias” of the United States in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and recognized that a solution to the conflict will not arise “unless all the parties negotiate a multilateral resolution of all issues, including boundaries and a right of return.”

Voters in Virginia’s 8th Congressional District can contact its Democratic Party chairperson to thank the party for adopting this resolution.  A map of this Congressional district can be found on the US Campaign’s website at: http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=635

Margo E. Horner, Chair
P.O. Box 1651
Falls Church, VA22041

703-528-8588
margohorner@yahoo.com

* PalestineOnlineStore.com is pleased to announce the availability of a new and unique guidebook to Palestine.  "Palestine & Palestinians" is published by the Alternative Tourism Group (ATG) of Beit Sahour, Palestine.  This book provides an in-depth, updated journey through the entire range of Palestinian culture: ancient and modern history, archaeology, religion, architecture and politics, including the daily realities of Israeli Occupation. This 407-page gem includes color photos and is available at http://www.PalestineOnlineStore.com.

*New Orleans Palestine Solidarity (NOLAPS) is pleased to make the film “Rachel Corrie: An American Conscience” available to you.Directed by Palestinian professor Yahya Barakat, the documentary chronicles Rachel Corrie’s humanitarian work with the International Solidarity Movement in Rafah, Gaza Strip, just prior to her murder in March 2003.Visit http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=107&ItemID=7952 to read a review.Films are $20.00 plus $5.00 shipping and handling.To purchase email admin@nolapalestinesolidarity.org or visit http://www.nolaps.org

* “Arab Voices Speak to American Hearts” is a new book by author Samar Jarrah.This unique, a compilation of interviews from dozens of people in the Arab world, shattersdecades of East-West silence, gives voice to Arab dreamsand aspirations, and transcends governments toconnect with the American people.For more information about the book and about Samar Jarrah visit http://www.arabvoicesspeak.com/

*If Americans Knew now has flyers available on their recent New York Times study examining the Times’ coverage of Israeli and Palestinian children’s death during the intifada.To view and download visit http://www.ifamericansknew.org


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6.  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 visit http://www.justicewheels.org

*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

*Visit our online calendar at http://www.endtheoccupation.org/calendar.php for June 5th events taking place around the country


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7. OPPORTUNITIES TO VISIT ISRAEL AND PALESTINE

*June 6, 2005: Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace Delegation
Faculty For Israeli-Palestinian Peace, FFIPP, is a network of faculty endeavoring to achieve just peace and end the occupation in Israel/Palestine and the region.  FFIPP conducts trips every 6 months which are organized by Israeli leftists who teach in the US and have close ties to many people in the Palestinian communities of the West Bank as well as Gaza and the Israeli left, middle and right.  For more information about the June 2005 trip visit http://www.ffipp.org/wiki/ffipp%20usa/delegations.htm

*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 duringJuly.  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 visit http://www.holylandtrust.org/pnr_sc1.htm

*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 visit http://forusa.org/programs/ipb/default.html

*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 JudeanDesert and the Mediterranean Sea.For information email tours@icahduk.org

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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

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The US Campaign aims to change US policies that sustain Israel’s 37-year occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, and that deny equal rights for all.

Donate to the US Campaign. Visit http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=84