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Occupation End Notes | May 21, 2009 Volume 7 Number 8

Occupation End Notes

May 21, 2009

Volume 7 Number 8



1. US Campaign Update:
  New US Campaign Blog; Apply Now for Summer Delegation; Countdown to National Conference; New Merchandise; and more!

2. Gaza Action:
Caterpillar Bulldozers Devastate Gaza; Take Action; Delegations to Gaza

3. Challenging U.S. Policy Update:
Obama and Netanyahu; Tell Congress No Arms for Israel; Influence the Obama Adminsitration; US Campaign Questions at Senate Budget Hearings; Military Aid to Israel Still a 'Sacred Cow'

4. Standing Against Apartheid Update: New Study on Apartheid and Occupation in International Law; Apartheid Update on US Campaign blog; Mustafa Barghouti on Two-States vs. Apartheid

5. Boycott & Divestment Update: AIPAC is Afraid of Us, Caterpillar Day of Action, Israeli Groups Call for Divestment; Leonard Cohen; and more!

6. Membership Update: Help Us Reach 300!; Member Group Events; IFPB launches new website

7. Resources & Events: World Council of Churches Week for Peace in Palestine Israel; Huwaida Arraf on Palestinian Nonviolence; Educational Resources Available; and more!

8. Opportunities to Visit Israel and Palestine: ICAHD, Olive Harvest Delegation, Indigenous Youth Delegation, Global Exchange, Interfaith Peace-Builders and Friends of Sabeel - North America

Top of Page



1. US CAMPAIGN UPDATE:


* New US Campaign Blog! News, Video, Analysis, and More!

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation now has a blog! View exclusive content, news, updates, analysis, video, and more by clicking here.

Read analysis by US Campaign Steering Committee members Phyllis Bennis and Adam Horowitz and US Campaign Advisory Board Member Nadia Hijab; see US Campaign National Advocacy Director Josh Ruebner on NBC News; view updates on the growth of the anti-apartheid framework, and more. Click here to view exclusive content on the US Campaign blog.


* Apply Now for US Campaign and Interfaith Peace-Builders' Summer Delegation!

This summer, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and Interfaith Peace-Builders are cosponsoring a delegation to Israel/Palestine focusing on the role of the United States in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The delegation will examine the role of the US government and civil society actors in bringing peace and fomenting conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. The delegation will travel from July 25th - August 7th.  To read more about this delegation, click here or send an email to Interfaith Peace-Builders. Click here to apply. To read about last year's co-sponsored delegation, click here. View video testimonials from past participants here.



* Countdown to 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 send out all necessary information for you to plan and book your flights in the coming months.

Keep an eye on this page for more information.

Read reports from previous conferences by clicking here.


* New Member Group Section on Website

We've updated the Membership section of our website to increase networking and resource sharing between our member groups. Check it out here. Check out resources from our member groups here, and check here to make sure that your member group is in good standing with the US Campaign!

If your group has more resources or videos that you would like to share via our member group webpages, please email it to our National Membership and Outreach Coordinator by clicking here.


* New Media Section on Website

We've added a "Media" section to facilitate media contact with the US Campaign as well as to provide tools for member groups that want to take action with their local media outlets. Use this web section to read press releases, media coverage of the US Campaign and our programmatic work, and access media action tools.

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.


* 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.



* Huge Blowout Sale!

It's time for spring cleaning here at the US Campaign, and that's good news for you. We're having a huge blowout sale on books and pins! Everything must go!

Check out the great prices of our merchandise by clicking here.



* New Merchandise Available!

Exciting new merchandise is available from Canaan Fair Trade: a Fair Trade Gift Basket! The basket is a Qirtalla, a traditional hand woven basket made of olive twigs, filled with Canaan's certified organic and fair trade products: olive oil, green olives, black olives, tahini, almonds, couscous, and Za'atar.

Click here to view this and other exciting merchandise from the US Campaign!


2. GAZA ACTION:

* Caterpillar Bulldozers Used to Devastate Gaza


According to an article in the Jerusalem Post, the Israeli military, in addition to armor fitting and weaponizing D-9 Caterpillar bulldozers, has been utilizing a new unmanned, remote controlled version of the killing machine. Dubbed "Black Thunder," the drone demolisher first came into use during the 2006 invasion of Lebanon and was most recently put to use during Operation Cast Lead, contributing to the more than 4,000 houses destroyed by the Israeli military during its most recent Gaza invasion.

Take action to hold Caterpillar accountable for the continuing use of its equipment to destroy Palestinian homes, kill civilians, uproot olive and fruit trees, and build the Apartheid Wall by clicking here.


* 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."
The destruction of the Gaza Strip at the hands of the Israeli military would have been impossible without weapons provided by U.S. military aid, Motorola communications and weapons equipment, and weaponized Caterpillar bulldozers. Make sure to keep up with the ongoing work of the US Campaign to hold Israel accountable for violations of international law and human rights in the occupied West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem.



* Delegations to Gaza

Delegations to Gaza are being organized by US Campaign member CODEPINK and our allies in 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." Click here to learn about the International Movement to Open Rafah Border (IMORB), and find out about IMORB's delegations by emailing here.



3. CHALLENGING U.S. POLICY:


* Obama and Netanyahu Meet in Washington, DC

Amid growing signs of an impending policy clash between the United States and Israel over the issues of Israeli settlements, Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, and Palestinian statehood, President Obama met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. To read our analysis and to keep up the pressure for accountability, not arms for Israel, click here. To read analysis of the meeting from US Campaign staff and steering committee members, check out the US Campaign blog by clicking here.


* Obama's FY2010 Budget Request - Tell Congress No Arms for Israel!

Two weeks ago, President Obama sent his FY2010 budget request to Congress and, as expected, included in it $2.775 billion in military aid for Israel, an increase of $225 million from this year's budget. The budget request now goes to the Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittees on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs for hearings and "mark-ups". This request for an increase in military aid to Israel comes despite the fact that Israel consistently misuses U.S. weapons in violation of the Arms Export Control and Foreign Assistance Acts. Click here to read our open letter to Congress and get your organization to endorese it. Then send your own letter to the Congressional appropriators telling them to hold Israel accountable, not reward Israel with more weapons!



* 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.


* US Campaign at Senate Budget Hearings

At the US Campaign, we often do behind-the-scenes work to influence U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine. As an example of the behind-the-scenes political work we do, yesterday we sent the letter below to each Senator on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs suggesting questions for the Senators to ask of Secretary of State Clinton during today's hearings. Did it work? Check out our blog to find out.


* Netanyahu at the White House: Not Yet Change We Can Believe In

Read US Campaign Steering Committee member Phyllis Bennis' before-and-after analysis of the first face to face meeting between Obama and Netanyahu by clicking here and here.


* Rethinking the Costs of Peace

May 21 - US Campaign National Advocacy Director Josh Ruebner writes on U.S. military aid in the Detroit Free Press: "By asking earlier this month for $2.775 billion in military aid to Israel in his FY2010 budget request, it would seem that on this important policy issue President Obama's commitment is more rhetorical than substantive." Click here to read the full article.



4. STANDING AGAINST APARTHEID UPDATE:


* New Study Focuses on Apartheid, Colonialism, International Law in Occupied Palestinian Territories

Mondoweiss carries this exclusive report about a landmark study which carefully applies international law concerning occupation, colonialism, and apartheid to the occupied West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem. The report concludes that "Israel, since 1967, has been the belligerent Occupying Power in the [Occupied Palestinian Territories], and that its occupation of these territories has become a colonial enterprise which implements a system of apartheid." Click here to read highlights of the report's executive summary.


* Anti-Apartheid Framework Grows in Mainstream Discourse

Learn about recent developments in the anti-apartheid framework by clicking here to read the US Campaign blog. And make use of the US Campaign's anti-apartheid resources by clicking here.


* Mustafa Barghouti: Obama Must Act Now or the Two-State Solution is Doomed

May 18 - Palestinian parliament member Mustafa Barghouti argues in the Los Angeles Times that this is the last chance for President Obama to push for a two-state solution before Israeli apartheid becomes too entrenched for two states to be possible: "We Palestinians seek freedom, not apartheid, and not the sort of Potemkin villages on the West Bank that Netanyahu is trying to package to the West as visionary economic boomtowns for desperate Palestinians." Click here to read the full article.



5. BOYCOTT & DIVESTMENT UPDATE:


* AIPAC is Afraid of Us

The last two months have seen a lot of activity around our two corporate boycott and divestment campaigns, from over two-dozen events during our March month of action, to protests at the Motorola shareholders' meeting on May 4.  Just one day before Motorola's shareholders' meeting, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee's (AIPAC) Executive Director made an impassioned speech about the efficacy of boycott and divestment campaigns.  Now, join us as we gear up for Caterpillar's shareholders' meeting on June 10th. Click here to learn more.


* Caterpillar Should Build America, Not Destroy Palestine - June 10 Cat Shareholder Day of Action

Caterpillar bulldozers are a poignant symbol for the destruction that military occupation and apartheid have brought to Palestinians. CAT sells the Israeli military armor-ready bulldozers, which are then used to destroy Palestinian homes, agricultural land and build the apartheid wall. The Israeli military has crushed several dozen people to death, including Washington state native Rachel Corrie, using Caterpillar bulldozers.

Join human rights advocates across the country in using Caterpillar's annual shareholder meeting to draw attention to CAT's crimes in Palestine/Israel and call for corporate accountability! Click here to learn more.

Planning to be in Chicago on June 10? Join us to protest and educate shareholders about Caterpillar's complicity in the destruction of Palestine. If you can't make it to Chicago, you can still participate in the day of action by sending an email to CAT's management, writing an op-ed or letter to the editor, or planning a local action. And if you want to organize your community to hold CAT accountable, click here to sign up for a local organizing kit.



* 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 make a tax-deductible donation to support the ongoing Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions work of the US Campaign.  Just $10 will pay for a campaign kit to be sent to a new Hang Up On Motorola organizer, $500 will sponsor a stop on our fall organizing tour. All donations are appreciated.  Supporters who give $30 will receive a print of the winning poster entry from our Expressions of Nakba art competition.  Supporters giving $50 will receive a DVD of Occupation 101.  Supporters giving $100 or more will receive both gifts.



* Support the Academic & Cultural 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 & cultural boycott movement.


* Great BDS website

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

Check out their online database, WhoProfits.org, which you can search by company, country of company origin, or country of company operation, by clicking here.


* Keep Up with the Global BDS Movement

Here at the US Campaign we are proud to be part of a global movement for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israeli occupation and apartheid policies directed at the Palestinians.

Keep up with this global movement of solidarity with Palestinian civil society by clicking here.



* 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 clicking here, and find out more about the United Methodist Church and divestment by clicking here. Presbyterian Church divestment information is available by clicking here.


* Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Needed to Stop Ethnic Cleansing in East Jerusalem

May 10 - US Campaign Steering Committee member Bill Fletcher, Jr. writes that ethnic cleansing in East Jerusalem, far from being a paranoid worry, is happening now: "The proposed removal of 60,000 Palestinians increases the relevance and timeliness of discussions regarding the need to develop a movement of boycott, divestment and sanctions aimed at undermining the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories." Click here to read the full article at the Black Commentator.


* Israeli Groups Call on Norwegian Government to Divest from Occupation

May 14 - A group of 20 Israeli organizations has written to the Norwegian government pension fund's board of ethics urging it to divest from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation. The letter, organized by the Coalition of Women for Peace, lists a number of companies in which the Norwegian pension fund is invested that profit from the occupation. The companies named include Caterpillar, Lev Leviev's Africa Israel, and Veolia. Click here to read the letter.


* Leonard Cohen: Don't Play Israel

May 17 - New York activists from US Campaign member group Adalah - NY gathered in front of Radio City Music Hall Sunday night during a Leonard Cohen concert to call upon the singer/songwriter to cancel his scheduled September concert in Israel. The protesters sang songs, chanted, handed out leaflets to concert attendees and produced sidewalk art. The call comes in support of earlier calls by Jews, Palestinians, Israeli citizens and residents of the UK, and coincides with the publication of an open letter by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) calling for protests in the cities where Cohen is touring. Click here for video, photos, and more information.


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 our more than 280 coalition members represented by state:




* Help Us Reach 300!

Help us reach our goal of 300 member organizations! We currently have 284 member groups in our national coalition-just 16 groups short of our summer goal. 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 emailing us here. If your organization is already part of our coalition, click here to make sure that you are in good standing!



* Stand Up: An Evening of Comedy for Palestine
May 21 - Washington, DC

The Jerusalem Fund presents an evening of stand up comedy and live music to support Palestinian charities. The event will take place Thursday, May 21, at 7 pm, at the Shawarma King at 1654 Columbia Rd, NW, Washington, DC. Suggested donation is $20. Please RSVP by calling 202-338-1958. Click here for more information.


* Eyewitness Gaza with Darlene and Donna Wallach, Activists Recently Returned from Gaza
May 27 - Eugene, OR

Darlene and Donna Wallach, Jewish anti-Zionist social justice activists, recently returned to the Bay Area after living in Gaza Strip, Palestine from August - December 2008. Along with 41 other human rights workers they broke the Israeli blockade of Gaza on board the two FreeGaza movement boats, SS Liberty & SS Free Gaza, which arrived in Gaza in August 2008. Come here their eyewitness reports. Sponsored by Al-Nakba Awareness Project, this event will take place at 7 PM at Harris Hall, 125 E 8th, Eugene, OR. RSVP here.



* Peace Luncheon to Benefit Gaza Children
May 30 - Rockville, Maryland

PeaceAction Montgomery, Pax Christi, and the Social Justice Council of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockville are cosponsoring a peace luncheon featuring a presentation on the U.S. military budget by Frida Berrigan and a slideshow of Code Pink's recent Gaza delegation presented by Pam Rasmussen, the coordinator of the Code Pink Palestine/Israel campaign. The luncheon will be held Saturday, May 30 at 11:30 am in the Fellowship Hall of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockville, 100 Welsh Park Dr., Rockville, MD. Suggested donation of $20 with proceeds to support a playground in Gaza. RSVP here, and click here for an event flyer.


* Charlotte Day of Action to Stop Caterpillar
June 10 - Charlotte, NC

Join in a day of action to hold Caterpillar accountable for its complicity in human rights violations committed against the Palestinians. The Charlotte day of action will occur at 12 PM at the CAT dealer at 9000 Statesville Rd. Click here or email for more information. Click here to learn how to organize or participate in a Caterpillar day of action event in your community.


* Exhibit Opening - Gaza Conversations
June 5 - Washington, DC

The tragedy of Gaza has left the headlines but forever remains in the hearts of these three artists. Their work for this exhibition enables the Gaza conversation to continue. Join the Jerusalem Fund and the Palestine Center for the opening of this exhibition. A percentage of the artists' proceeds will be donated to a Gaza charity of their choice. This event, which will take place from 6:30-8:30 PM at the Jerusalem Fund, is free and open to the public. Registration is not required to attend.

Gallery hours: M - F, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., or by appointment.


* Register Now - ADC National Convention June 12-14, 2009

June 12-14 - Washington, DC

"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.

Come by and check out the US Campaign's table and a workshop on grassroots organizing by the US Campaign's National Advocacy Director, Josh Ruebner.


* Christian Peacemaker Teams Tenth Christian Peacemaker Congress
September 17-20 - Denver, CO


Christian Peacemaker Teams announces that its tenth Christian Peacemaker Congress will take place in Denver, Colorado on 17-29 September 2009, on the theme of "Restoring Balance: Peace Through Right Relationships."  Speakers include George "Tink" Tinker, Harvey Eagle, Elizabeth Garcia, as well as updates from CPT's work around the world. For more information, click here.


* Interfaith Peace-Builders Launches New Website

Interfaith Peace-Builders is proud to announce the launch of our new website: www.ifpb.org! IFPB.org brings more content and more information to your fingertips, including a fresh, new interactive mainframe, original photos and videos from IFPB delegates, and updated resources for education and advocacy.

Go to www.ifpb.org to browse the site now!

IFPB has also compiled a new resource for use by activists and others. 
IFPB's new House Party Packet makes it simple to host a small scale fundraiser for your favorite nonprofit.  You can magnify your impact and support by pooling funds from your friends, colleagues and neighbors!  Click here to download IFPB's House Party Packet.




8. RESOURCES AND EVENTS: 


* Panel: Why Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions?

May 21 - Los Angeles, CA

A panel discussion featuring Mohammed Abed (CSLA) and Reem Salahi (ACLU) on the moral and strategic questions surrounding boycotting, divesting from, and sanctioning Israel. This event is part of UCLA's 4th Annual Palestine Awareness Week. For more information contact Randa at Students for Justice in Palesine, UCLA.


* World Council of Churches World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel June 4-10


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. For ideas on promoting justice and human rights during the WCC Week of Action, email us here


* 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.



* 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.



9. DELEGATIONS TO ISRAEL/PALESTINE:

* ICAHD Summer Rebuilding Experience

July 14-27

Annually since 2003,
ICAHD has made it possible for internationals and Israelis to join together with Palestinians in Anata, East Jerusalem, to resist the occupation and rebuild the demolished home of a Palestinian family. In the summer of 2009, ICAHD will once again rebuild a Palestinian home during our two-week summer rebuilding experience. We invite you to participate in the incredible opportunity to learn first-hand about life under occupation. "Creating Alternative Facts on the Ground," ICAHD's 2009 Summer Rebuilding Experience, takes place from July 14-27, 2009. In addition to construction, there is a full program including field trips, cultural events, films and much more. For more information and an application form, please click here or email Richard Wark here.


* Global Exchange's Delegations to Palestine & Israel 


May 28-June 5, 2009 (Gaza CODEPINK Children's Delegation from Egypt)
June 4-June 15, 2009
(Gaza CODEPINK Children's Delegation from Israel)
July 25th-August 4th, 2009 (Prospects for Peace with Justice)
October 30-November 9, 2009 (Olive Harvest)
December 5th-15th, 2009 (Prospects for Peace with Justice



Interfaith Peace-Builders Delegations to Israel/Palestine


July 25th-August 7th, 2009 (Delegation cosponsored by US Campaign)
October 24th - November 6th, 2009


Click here for video testimonies from past participants in Interfaith Peace-Builders delegations.


* Indigenous Youth Delegation to Palestine

August 2-17, 2009

The Indigenous Youth Delegation to Palestine is a project of a collective of grassroots youth groups in the U.S. and Palestine. We have been committed to connecting Native and immigrant youth in the U.S with youth in Palestine by creating remote forums for us to reflect together and bridge our struggles. This first-ever cross-continental exchange is an opportunity for youth to learn first hand from each other by sharing tools of empowerment and education. Our journey to Palestine is part of an on-going process of connecting the shared experiences of Indigenous peoples across the world for the ultimate goal of land rights, justice and peace. Our trip is planned for August 2-17, 2009. Click here for more information.


* Joint Advocacy Initiative Olive Harvest Delegation
October 17-26, 2009

The Joint Advocacy Initiative of the East Jerusalem YMCA and YWCA of Palestine (JAI) and the Alternative Tourism Group (ATG) are organizing the sixth Olive Picking Program 2009 in Palestine from October 17-26. This agricultural event is of special significance to the Palestinian economy when all energies and efforts are mobilized. Click here for more information.



* Sabeel/Friends of Sabeel North America Delegations



Friends of Sabeel North America maintains a list of alternative travel opportunities to Israel/Palestine. To view the list, click here. Click here for more information on 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 by emailing us 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.