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Howard Zinn's Spirit Lives On

Howard Zinn's Spirit Lives On

We were all saddened to hear of the death of writer, historian, and activist Howard Zinn, whose determined opposition to militarism and his focus on of the history of popular struggles served as an inspiration to so many. Writing about the development of his awareness of the violation of Palestinian human rights at the hands of U.S.-backed Israeli expansionism, Zinn--who served on the advisory board of US Campaign member group Jewish Voice for Peace--recalls his dawning realization that "the advance of "civilization" involved what we would today call "ethnic cleansing."

Zinn will be missed, but we are inspired to see that the spirit he embodied so powerfully, of the power of people and workers and students to resist the hypocrisy of militarism and corporate abuse, lives on in the growing movement to end U.S. and corporate support for the Israeli occupation.

We saw that spirit yesterday, when University of South Florida student Laila Abdelaziz challenged President Barack Obama on U.S. aid to Israel and violations of Palestinian human rights. We see it in the movement spreading across North American campuses to highlight the role that university investments play in supporting the Israeli occupation. We see it in this video from Carleton University's Students Against Israeli Apartheid and in the work of the University of Arizona Community for Human Rights, among many other student groups. Click here for campus resources that will help you join the ranks of students carrying Dr. Zinn's legacy forward.

We see that spirit in the growing list of victories for the international movement for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) directed against Israeli apartheid. Most recently, the largest Danish bank and the largest Danish pension fund divested from Africa Israel, a long-time target of US Campaign member group Adalah-NY, and from Elbit Systems, the notorious Apartheid Wall and U.S./Mexico border fence contractor that Palestinian activist Mohammad Othman was jailed for targeting. Click here for resources that will help you build the BDS movement in your community.

And we continue to see that spirit in the amazing work being done by all of the member groups and supporters of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. It's exactly that spirit that we try to highlight in Occupation End Notes. Whether its organizing events for Israeli Apartheid Week, contacting Members of Congress in response to a letter calling for the end of the blockade of Gaza, or opposing the Israeli crackdown on grassroots nonviolent resistance to apartheid and the arrest of leaders such as Mohammad Khatib of Bil'in, we continue to be inspired by all the work that you are doing to challenge U.S. support of Israeli occupation and apartheid.

Occupation End Notes provides the tools to continue building the movement that is motivated by this spirit that Dr. Zinn embodied. Check out the rest of this week's edition of Occupation End Notes for resources, news, member group updates, organizing tools, and more. If you have a resource or an update you'd like to see included in Occupation End Notes, click here to email us. To support the important work of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, the largest and most diverse coalition of organizations and organizers working to challenge U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine, click here. Your support makes this important work possible!

In solidarity,

US Campaign National Office Staff

In This Edition

Grassroots Advocacy Training and Lobby Day

Israeli Apartheid Week

Congressional Letter Calls for End to Gaza Siege

Ahava Boycott Resources Available

Israeli Army Arrests Mohammad Khatib

US Campaign Blog

Member Group Update

Events Near You

US Campaign Member Groups Oppose Israeli Crackdown on Nonviolent Resistance

Aware! Launches New Website

FOSNA Announces 2010 Conferences

Israeli Apartheid Video Contest

Delegations to Israel/Palestine

Sustain the Work of the US Campaign

Follow the latest media coverage of the US Campaign, BDS, and Israeli apartheid by clicking here

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* Join Us in Washington, D.C. for Grassroots Advocacy Training and Lobby Days

For the second year in a row, the US Campaign is teaming up with member group Interfaith Peace-Builders to organize Grassroots Advocacy Training and Lobby Days in Washington, D.C. Join us on March 7-8, 2010, to network, gain important skills, and make an impact in the halls of Congress. Workshops will provide essential skills on current topics of interest for U.S.-based activists. Experienced leaders and experts will facilitate sessions addressing topics such as United States Policy and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict; Engaging Elected Officials for an End to Military Aid and a Just Foreign Policy; Broadening the Discourse: Making Change in Your Local Media; Coalition Building; and other subjects essential to seasoned activists and beginners alike. Learn more and find out how to register by clicking here.

* 6th Annual Israeli Apartheid Week and March Month of Action

The 6th International Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) will take place across the globe from March 1-7, 2010! Last year, more than 40 cities around the world participated in the week's activities, which took place in the wake of Israel's brutal assault against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. IAW continues to grow with new cities joining this year.

As Part of our March Month of Action, the US Campaign and many of its member groups are joining others around the world in organizing educational events and protest actions as part of Israeli Apartheid Week. We're also encouraging our supporters to plan an event marking the 7th anniversary of Rachel Corrie's death by bulldozer as she tried to protect a Palestinian home in Rafah, Gaza. Click here to find out more and get involved!

* 54 Representatives Call for End of "Collective Punishment" of Palestinians in Gaza

On January 21, 2010, 54 Representatives sent President Obama a letter that termed Israel's blockade of the occupied Gaza Strip as "de facto collective punishment" and called on the United States to press Israel "for immediate relief for the citizens of Gaza."

To read the entire text of this "Dear Colleague" letter, organized by Rep. Jim McDermott and Rep. Keith Ellison, and to see the full list of signatories, please click here.

Please take a moment to "cheer" your Representative for signing this important "Dear Colleague" letter calling attention to the devastating humanitarian impact of Israel's illegal blockade of the occupied Gaza Strip, or "jeer" your Representative for not signing the letter by clicking here.

Find out more about the letter and what you can do to change U.S. policy by clicking here.

* New Ahava Boycott Resources Available

Israeli cosmetics company Ahava promises "beauty secrets from the Dead Sea," but its biggest secret is that it operates in two of Israel's illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.  That is why US Campaign member group CODEPINK started the Stolen Beauty boycott campaign against Ahava. At our National Organizers' Conference last September, our member groups voted to endorse Stolen Beauty, and now we're pleased to launch our Ahava action kit! Learn more about the Ahava boycott and get campaign resources by clicking here.

* Israeli Army Arrests Mohammad Khatib, Leader of Nonviolent Resistance in Bil'in

Yet another high-profile Palestinian leader of nonviolent resistance to the Apartheid Wall has been arrested by the Israeli military. Mohammad Khatib, a leader of the struggle against the Wall in the West Bank village of Bil'in and a coordinator of the Popular Struggle Coordinating Committee, was taken from his house in a pre-dawn raid. Demand his release, as well as that of Abdallah Abu Rahmah and other anti-apartheid prisoners, by clicking here.

To read more about Mohammad Khatib's arrest, click here.

* Howard Zinn, Mohammad Khatib, Phyllis Bennis, Jared Malsin, Henry Siegman, and More on the US Campaign Blog

Check out tons of new content on the US Campaign blog, including news of the arrest of Mohammad Khatib, a tribute to Howard Zinn, Phyllis Bennis on Haiti and Gaza, information on the deportation of American journalist Jared Malsin by the Israeli authorities, Henry Siegman on Israeli apartheid, Palestinians in Gaza responding to Haiti relief efforts, and much more.  Check it out by clicking here

* Member Groups, Member Groups, Everywhere!

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 325 coalition members represented by state. Don't see your member group listed? Click here to join the US Campaign. Member groups, now that we're in the New Year it's time to renew membership dues! Click here to check if your member group is in good standing with the US Campaign and find out how to pay dues.

Please welcome the following group to the US Campaign:

American Friends Service Committee - Iowa

* Gaza Freedom March Reports, Mark Braverman, Huwaida Arraf, and other events

Interested in hearing report-backs from the Gaza Freedom March? Want to see a performance of My Name is Rachel Corrie? Excited to hear from Huwaida Arraf, Mark Braverman, and other advocates for Palestinian human rights? Check out the US Campaign's online event calendar to find out what's happening in your community to promote human rights and international law in U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine. If you are planning an event--a vigil, a march, a teach-in, a film screening, an action, or anything else--you can publicize your event on our website by clicking here.

* US Campaign Member Groups Protest Israeli Crackdown on Anti-Apartheid Activity

The US Campaign and member groups Adalah-NY, CODEPINK Women for Peace, and Jewish Voice for Peace issued a press release and call to action in response to the wave of arrests of Palestinian civil society members who are organizing protests and boycotts opposing Israel's human rights violations. The press release reads in part: "While prominent protest and boycott organizers from the Palestinian organization Stop the Wall Jamal Juma' and Mohammad Othman were released last week after nearly one and four months of detention respectively, nightly arrests continue in the West Bank, with eight more arrests on January 18th in the village of Ni'lin. 'International campaigns forced Israel to release Jamal Juma' and Mohammad Othman,' said Rebecca Vilkomerson, National Director of Jewish Voice for Peace, 'and civil society and governments need to continue to pressure Israel to end its effort to crush civilian protests and boycotts targeting Israeli human rights abuses.'" Click here to read more and find ideas for action.

* Aware! Launches New Website

US Campaign member group Aware! has launched a new website as a platform for community-based discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The site includes "Witness Stories" written by U.S. citizens who want to share their experiences in Israel/Palestine and a growing list of resources for learning more.

Check out the new website by clicking here.

* Friends of Sabeel North America Conferences

US Campaign member group Friends of Sabeel-North America has announced several upcoming regional conferences for 2010, including a February 19-20 conference in Seattle, a February 26-27 conference in Honolulu, and a March 5-6 conference in Marin County/Bay Area. These ecumenical conferences serve as a tool for broadening awareness among U.S.American Christians and other community members on the issues relevant to the peoples of the Holy Land. Click here to learn more. 

* Submissions Needed for Israeli Apartheid Video Contest

US Campaign member group Itisapartheid.org, in partnership with Stop the Wall, announces the first international Israeli Apartheid Video Contest. Film submissions need to be less than 5 minutes and must depict the nature, realities, and/or consequences of Israel's apartheid policies. Films, which may be in any format, must be submitted by June 20, 2010.

For more information, visit the Israeli Apartheid Video Contest website by clicking here.

* Opportunities to Visit Israel/Palestine for Education and Solidarity

Want to visit Israel/Palestine for education and solidarity? Check out the many opportunities to visit Israel/Palestine, such as the Sabeel Young Adult Conference, Global Exchange Reality Tours, Interfaith Peace-Builder delegations, and more by clicking here.

* How You Can Sustain the US Campaign--Donate Today!

Has this edition of Occupation End Notes been useful to you? Would you like to continue to benefit from action alerts, online event posting, national organizing tours, resources for local organizers, national days of action, and grassroots advocacy trainings? Providing all of these resources for organizers isn't free. It takes staff time, printing costs, phone bills, and more.

If you, like thousands of other committed activists, find these resources vital for your organizing, make a tax-deductible donation to our ongoing work by donating online, donating office supplies and services, or commit to monthly giving by joining the Olive Branch Club.

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Occupation End Notes is the US Campaign bi-weekly 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 is planning an event 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 42-year occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, and that deny equal rights for all.