Occupation End Notes | April 2, 2009 Volume 7 Number 5


Occupation End Notes


April 2, 2009


Volume 7 Number 5





1. US Campaign Update: Save the Date: 8th Annual National Organizers' Conference in Chicago, September 12-13, 2009; Website Updates; and more

2. Gaza Action: Take Action to End the Siege; Go to Gaza; Nadia Hijab column

3. Challenging U.S. Policy Update:
March on Wall Street Saturday; Offset Your Tax Aid to Israel; Phyllis Bennis on The Real News; Human Rights Watch on White Phosphorous

4. Standing Against Apartheid Update: Durban Review Conference on Racism; John Dugard on Apartheid and Occupation in International Law

5. Boycott & Divestment Update: BDS Action Month a Success!; Spoof Moto and Win Cash!; Fall Campus Organizing Tour; Israeli Companies Feel Effects of Boycott; Campus BDS Activism "Explodes"; and more!

6. Expressions of Nakba Update:
Expressions of Nakba Coming to a City near You

7. Membership Update: Help Us Reach 300!; New Member Organizations; 6th Annual New Orleans Human Rights Film Festival; Member Group Events

8. Resources & Events: Hip Hop and Poetry Events; Houston Palestine Film Festival; World Council of Churches Week for Peace in Palestine Israel; Educational Resources Available

9. Opportunities to Visit Israel and Palestine: Birthright Unplugged, Global Exchange, Middle East Children's Alliance, Interfaith Peace-Builders and Sabeel


Top of Page


1. US CAMPAIGN UPDATE:

* Save The Date! 8th Annual National Organizers' Conference in Chicago, IL, September 12-13, 2009

Our 8th Annual National Organizers' Conference will be held during the weekend of September 12th - 13th, 2009. We will be sending out all necessary information for you to plan and book your flights in the upcoming months.

Click here for more information.


* How You Can Sustain the US Campaign

Support our ongoing work by donating online, donating office supplies and services, or joining the Olive Branch Club.

Click here for more information.


* Website Updates

The US Campaign has updated the following sections of its website:

In the News

Apartheid in the News

BDS in the News

We've also added a Share This link to our main page, so that you can share articles from the US Campaign website on Facebook, Twitter, email, your blog, and more. Just click on the Share This icon on the sidebar of any section of the website, and start sharing!                                       


* Book Available for Purchase

The book "Occupied Voices: Stories of Everyday Life from the Second Intifada," by Wendy Pearlman is now available from the US Campaign.

The stories in this book, ranging from the humorous to the tragic, paint a profile of the Palestinians that is as honest as it is uncommon in the Western media: that of ordinary people who simply want to live ordinary lives.

To view this book and other merchandise available form the US Campaign, click here. 


* Follow US Campaign on Twitter & Facebook

Follow the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation on Facebook and Twitter by clicking here:




Main US Campaign Facebook page
Hang Up On Motorola Facebook page
US Campaign's Twitter page


2. GAZA ACTION:

* Take Action

For action ideas on what you can do end the siege on Gaza and hold Israel accountable, visit our web section "Take Action to End Israel's War and Siege on Gaza".


* Delegations to Gaza

Delegations to Gaza are being organized by US Campaign member group CODEPINK and by the Free Gaza coalition. For more information on the CODEPINK delegation click here.

You can click here to learn more about the Free Gaza "Hope Fleets."


* A Hypocritical Fear of Gaza

March 20-"I feel so much safer now. I really do." US Campaign Advisory Board member Nadia Hijab writes on the hypocrisy of an arms embargo against Hamas while the siege of Gaza continues. Click here to read the article.


3. CHALLENGING U.S. POLICY:

* Join Us Saturday to March on Wall Street!

As we approach the 42nd anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's famous Riverside Church speech "Beyond Vietnam," the US Campaign calls on all of its member groups and individual supporters to join us and United for Peace and Justice this Saturday, April 4 to protest U.S. spending on wars and occupations and call for a new economy based on our country's unmet domestic needs. This march is a great opportunity for us to reach out to like-minded people and get them to join us in our campaign to challenge U.S. military aid to Israel. Help us organize or find out more by clicking here.



* Tax Day is Coming-Offset Your Tax Contributions to Israeli Military Occupation

In April, President Obama will send a detailed budget request to Congress which is expected to include $2.775 billion in military aid to Israel for FY2010. That's $17.75 for each of the approximately 156 million individuals who filed a tax return with the IRS in 2008! Is this how you want your tax dollars spent?

Click here to take action.


* Help Influence the Obama Administration: Yes We Can…End Military Aid to Israel! 

Find out how you can take steps to influence the Obama Administration to end weapons transfers to Israel by clicking here.


* Phyllis Bennis on the Changing Discourse on Israel in the United States

March 21-US Campaign Steering Committee member Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies was interviewed by Paul Jay of The Real News on the topic of the changing discourse on Israel in the United States. Bennis argues that this change in discourse is spurred by the work of civil society organizations, churches, and coalitions like the US Campaign. Click here to see the interview.


* Human Rights Watch finds evidence of white phosphorous use in Gaza, calls for U.S. investigation

March 25-Israel's repeated firing of white phosphorus shells over densely populated areas of Gaza during its recent military campaign was indiscriminate and is evidence of war crimes, according to a report released by Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch calls on the United States government, which supplied Israel with its white phosphorus munitions, to conduct an investigation to determine whether Israel used it in violation of the laws of war. Click here to read more.


4. STANDING AGAINST APARTHEID UPDATE:

* Israel Review Conference to Focus on Apartheid, Colonialism, and Occupation

The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions National Committee is sponsoring a review conference in Geneva on April 18-19, two days before the UN Durban Review conference. The Israel Review Conference will bring together internationally renowned experts and actors for social and political justice who will examine how the UN anti-racism instruments apply to Israel's policies and practices regarding the Palestinian people and develop practical recommendations on how to make Israel accountable to international law and protect the rights of the Palestinian people. Click here for more information.


* Petition for U.S. Support of Durban Review Conference

Sign an online appeal to the Obama Administration urging them to fully support and participate in the U.N. Durban Review Conference Against Racism by clicking here.


* John Dugard on Apartheid and Occupation under International Law

March 26-Professor John Dugard, the former U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, delivered a talk at the Palestine Center entitled "Apartheid and Occupation under International Law." The talk can be viewed by clicking here.


5. BOYCOTT & DIVESTMENT UPDATE:

* Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Action Month a Success: Keep up the Pressure!

During the month of March, US Campaign member groups and allies held educational events, rallies, and protests, launched boycott and divestment campaigns, and brought BDS tactics to the forefront of public debate. Israeli Apartheid Week events raised awareness about U.S. government and corporate support of the Israeli occupation. Rachel Corrie Remembrance Day vigils highlighted the role that Caterpillar plays in the occupation. And groups across the United States and around the world organized the Global Day of BDS Action on March 30. Protests at a Caterpillar dealership in Michigan and a launch of a citywide boycott of Motorola in New York City are just a few of the many actions that took place on the Global Day of BDS Action.

Click here to read about BDS days of action throughout the month of March or here to see actions that took place across the United States.

To find out more about BDS campaigns or to download BDS resources, click here.


* Spoof Moto - Win Cash!

We celebrated Global BDS Action Day by launching our Spoof Motorola video contest! Read more about how you can win $500 by twisting Motorola's commercials to tell the truth about their business in Israel and the Occupied Territories by clicking here.


* Bring the US Campaign to Your Area - Host our Fall 2009 Campus Tour

The US Campaign is now accepting applications for our fall 2009 national campus organizing tour. The goal of this tour is to build sustainable boycott and divestment campaigns on campuses in five cities across the country. Student groups, faculty members, and community groups working on campuses are all invited to apply to host this tour. Click here to find out more.


* Hang Up On Motorola Resources

Sign up to be a local organizer for our Motorola boycott. Get organizing tools such as postcards for the Hang Up On Motorola pledge, fact sheets about Motorola's support for Israeli apartheid policies, and tips on how to involve retailers in the campaign. Or click here to donate to support the ongoing Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions work of the US Campaign.


* Support the Academic Boycott of Israel

The international academic boycott of institutions supporting Israel's occupation has spread from Europe to Canada and now to the United States. Click here to get involved in the U.S. academic.


* Great BDS website

The Israeli Coalition of Women for Peace exposes corporations profiting from the occupation of Palestinian territory and people.

Click here to check out WhoProfits.org.


* Morally Responsible Investment Resources for Churches

Friends of Sabeel North America now has a website devoted to resources on morally responsible investment activism. View their resources by clicking here. The New England Conference of the United Methodist Church has a list of companies recommended for divestment. You can view the list by click here, and find out more about the United Methodist Church and divestment by clicking here. Presbyterian Church divestment information is available by clicking here. Statements of support for divestment organized by Jewish Voice for Peace can be found here.


* After Hampshire College Divestment Victory, Campus Activism "Explodes"

After the February divestment victory at Hampshire College, campus activism has "exploded," according to an article written by the staff of The Advocate, the publication of the CUNY Graduate Center. Click here to read the article from The Advocate; here for an article in the student paper of the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and here for an article in the Eastern Mennonite University student paper that highlights the role of the US Campaign in supporting campus BDS efforts.


* Campus BDS Activism Threatens Israeli Apartheid

March 19-New York Times columnist Samuel Freedman, an outspoken critic of divestment, writes in The Jerusalem Post about campus boycott and divestment activity. Although the article contains some inaccurate characterizations of the BDS movement, it is further proof that BDS is a powerful tool that has the defenders of Israeli apartheid worried: "So consider the current divestment activity at such colleges as Hampshire, Haverford, NYU, Macalaster, and Columbia as just the start of a new phase of struggle....And don't assume, this time, that our side is destined to win." Click here to read the article.


* Jerusalem Post: BDS is Working!

March 30-According to an article published in The Jerusalem Post, Israeli exporters are feeling the effects of boycott movements after Operation Cast Lead. The article cites a report by the Israeli Manufacturers Association, which states that 21% of Israeli exporters have had trouble selling products abroad due to boycott movements. Click here to read the Jerusalem Post article, or here for an article from Ma'an News on the same report.


* Naomi Klein and Rabbi Arthur Waskow Debate Boycott and Divestment

March 30-In an interview in In These Times, author Naomi Klein and Rabbi Arthur Waskow debate whether or not boycotts and divestment campaigns are an effective tactic for ending the occupation.

Click here to read more.


* Democracy Now! covers NYC Boycott of Motorola

March 30-Amy Goodman included the launch of the New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel's Motorola campaign in the national headlines of Democracy Now! To view the episode, click here. The coverage of the Motorola boycott can be found at 11:10. For more on the NYCBI, click here.


* Dump Connex Campaign Launched in Melbourne

March 30-Australians for Palestine and Women for Palestine of Melbourne, Australia have launched a campaign against Connex, which runs public transportation systems in Melbourne and is linked to the illegal railroad being build between settlements in occupied East Jerusalem. Click here for more information.


6. EXPRESSIONS OF NAKBA UPDATE:

* See Expressions of Nakba in Your City this Spring:



March 26-April 5, 2009: New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival (New Orleans, LA),
April 8-15, 2009: William & Mary Students for Justice in Palestine (Williamsburg, VA),
May 1-15, 2009: United States Palestine Community Network-Chicago (Chicago, IL).

You can also check out Expressions of Nakba on Facebook.


7. MEMBERSHIP UPDATE:

In an effort to better help our coalition members network and for us to better gauge the coalition's regional diversity, we have put together a map with all of our more than 270 coalition members represented by state:



* Help Us Reach 300!

Help us reach our goal of 300 member organizations by May 1! We currently have 278 member groups in our national coalition. Click here to see if your organization is a member group of the US Campaign, and if not, click here to join. If you feel that there are organizations that are not part of the coalition, but should be, please put us in touch with them by clicking here.


* New Member Groups

Please welcome the following organizations to our coalition:

Artists Against Apartheid - New York

CODEPINK Arizona - Arizona

Keep Hope Alive - California

Olive Tree Campaign USA - California


* ADC Files Complaints against Tax Exempt Donations to West Bank Settlements

March 27-The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) filed multiple administrative complaints requesting investigations into the activities of organizations claiming tax-exempt status yet allegedly raising funds for the development of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. The ADC complaints allege that these organizations are using assets and income in direct violation of their addressed purpose, and to support illegal and terrorist activities abroad. The construction of settlements in occupied territory is illegal under international humanitarian law. The use of tax-exempt status to raise funds for these types of activities is also illegal under U.S. law. Further, it is a central part of stated U.S. policy toward the Arab-Israeli conflict that settlement expansion and construction must stop. To read more, click here. To read the ADC Research Institute's issue paper on the illegal Israeli settlement enterprise, click here.


* PATOIS: The 6th Annual New Orleans International Human Rights Festival
March 26th - April 5th, 2009

This April, US Campaign member organization New Orleans Palestine Solidarity will present the fifth annual New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival. This festival, started and guided by their group, has been an incredible project for bridging Palestine solidarity and other movements.

The US Campaign is a proud sponsor of this film festival and we encourage all our supporters to attend.

Click here for information.


* Palestine Cultural Night at American University
April 2, 2009

Students for Justice in Palestine at American University is hosting a Palestine Cultural night, with traditional music, dance, and poetry as well as hip-hop performances by Abeer and Son of Nun. The event will be held in the Woods-Brown Amphitheatre, 6 pm-10 pm. Please direct questions or concerns to this email or call 304-268-3614.


* Film screening at American University
April 3, 2009

Students for Justice in Palestine at American University will hold a film screening and a wrap-up discussion to conclude their Palestine Awareness Week. The film and discussion will be held in the Mary Graydon Center, room 200, at 7 pm.


* Jewish Voice for Peace Lecture Series
April 13-June 10, 2009


Jewish Voice for Peace is sponsoring a series of five lectures on the theme "After Gaza: What Next for Palestinians and Israelis?" The first of these lectures will be held on April 13, 2009, from 7-9 pm at the American Conservatory Theater at 405 Geary Street in San Francisco. The lecture, entitled "The Peace Process: Past, Present, and Future," will be given by Beshara Doumani, Associate Professor of Middle East History at UC Berkeley. Subsequent lectures will take place on April 27 and May 18 at the same time and location, and May 28 and June 10 at the World Affairs Center in San Francisco. For more information, email JVP by clicking here.


* Protest Christians United for Israel (CUFI)
April 21, 2009

The Al-Nakba Awareness Project is sponsoring a protest of a Christians United for Israel (CUFI) event. CUFI, headed by Pastor John Hagee, is one of the driving forces behind right wing Christian support for the Israeli occupation and settlement enterprise. The protest will be held at 4646 Fox Hollow Road in Eugene, Oregon. Participants should arrive at 6:15 pm; the CUFI event begins at 7 pm. For more information contact Mariah Leung by email here or phone at 541-513-3833.


* "Stubborn Quaker" Silent Vigils Weekly in Carlisle, PA
First Saturday of each month

Carlisle Peace College holds a monthly vigil at the front gate of the U.S. Army War College on Rt. 11. The group gathers at 11 am on the first Saturday of each month to vigil and call for education for peace, not war. For more information, contact "The Stubborn Quaker," K.E. McClanen, at 301-260-7447.


* Save the Date: ADC National Convention June 12-14, 2009
June 12-14, 2009

"ADC: From the Grassroots to Our Nation's Capita: Change for Our Future" is the theme of the 2009 American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) National Convention, to take place in Washington DC from June 12-14. More information is available here.


8. RESOURCES AND EVENTS: 

* Hip Hop Benefit Show for Gaza
April 12, 2009

A hip hop benefit show for Gaza will be held at Logan Square Auditorium at 2539 N Kedzie Blvd, Chicago, IL, at 6:30 pm. The show, in solidarity with the people of Gaza, is a celebration of art, hip hop, and social justice. The show features Dead Prez, Rebel Diaz, Dam, and Shadia Mansour. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. All proceeds benefit Gaza via the Middle East Children's Alliance. For more information email or call 773-678-5522. Click here for more information.


* 2nd Annual Houston Palestine Film Festival
April 16th-25th , 2009

The second annual Houston Palestine Film Festival brings an honest and independent view of Palestine and its Diasporas society, culture, and political travails through the art of film. This group of groundbreaking cinematic texts rises above the degrading stereotypes or reductively politicized depictions that are so familiar to Houstonians. A major goal of the Festival is to directly expose our local community to the perspective of artists as a first step toward circumventing the many government and media filters that pollute our understanding of Palestine and the wider region. More information can be found here.


* Concert for Gaza
April 16, 2009

The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, CT will host a benefit concert for Gaza, with David Rovics and Shawnee Kilgore. All ticket proceeds will benefit the Middle East Children's Alliance and Islamic Relief. The concert will take place on Thursday, April 16, 2009 at 7 PM, at the First Congregation Church of Old Lyme, 2 Ferry Rd, Old Lyme, CT 06371. Tickets are $15 at the door. For more information, email here or call 860-303-3013.



* Call for Proposals: Split This Rock Poetry Festival 2010

Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness invites poets, writers, activists, and all concerned citizens to Washington, DC, March 10-13, 2010 for four days of poetry, community building, and creative transformation as our country continues to grapple with two wars, a crippling economic crisis, and other social and environmental ills. We invite you to send proposals for panel discussions, group readings, roundtable discussions, workshops, and small-scale performances on a range of topics at the intersection of poetry and social change. Possibilities are endless. Challenge us. The deadline is May 30, 2009.

Details and guidelines are online here. More information on Split This Rock 2010 can be found here.


* World Council of Churches Announces World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel


The World Council of Churches is inviting member churches and related organizations to join a week of advocacy and action for a just peace in Palestine and Israel from June 4-10, 2009. Click here to learn more about the World Week for Peace and how you can get involved through prayer, education, and advocacy. 


* Order Palestinian Loss of Land Map Cards

Educate in your community using these postcard-sized maps, which show Palestinian loss of land from 1946 through the current day.

Click here to order from Friends of Sabeel North America and here for Quakers with a Concern for Palestine Israel.


* Petition to Support Academic Freedom for Critic of Israel

The Committee for Open Discussion of Zionism (CODZ) is sponsoring a petition to support Joel Kovel, author of Overcoming Zionism. Kovel, a leading critic of Israeli policy and of Zionism, was recently fired from Bard College in what appears to be a politically motivated action. More information on Kovel can be found by clicking here. Click here to view and sign the petition calling on Bard College to reinstate Kovel.


9. DELEGATIONS TO ISRAEL/PALESTINE:

* Birthright Unplugged Summer Trip and BDS Institute

This year Birthright Unplugged will host a summer tour of Palestine along with a Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Institute. The Institute seeks to support and promote community and institutional campaigns of BDS against the Israeli occupation and to encourage positive investment campaigns in Palestine. The travel component will last from August 1-August 7, 2009, with the Institute to follow from August 9-August 11, 2009. Click here for more information on Birthright Unplugged and here to fill out an application for the trip and institute. The deadline for applications is April 15.


* Global Exchange's Delegations to Palestine & Israel 


July 25th-August 4th, 2009
October 30-November 9, 2009
December 5th-15th, 2009


* Middle East Children's Alliance Upcoming Delegations to Palestine/Israel in 2009


*  Interfaith Peace-Builders Delegations to Israel/Palestine

May 23rd-June 5th, 2009
July 25th-August 7th, 2009
October 24th - November 6th, 2009


* Sabeel/Friends of Sabeel North America Delegations to Israel/Palestine


Friends of Sabeel North America maintains a list of alternative travel opportunities to Israel/Palestine. To view the list, click here. Click here for information about Sabeel's summer young adult conference and fall Witness Trip.


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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 here.

The US Campaign aims to change U.S. policies that sustain Israel's 41-year occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, and that deny equal rights for all.