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Rain, Snow, Sleet, or Shine-- Free Free Palestine!

Rain, Snow, Sleet, or Shine--Free Free Palestine!

This week Washington, DC has been shut down by the largest snowstorm in the history of our nation's capital, but that weather can't slow down the movement for real change in U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine.

This week the US Campaign launched a new website, How Much Military Aid to Israel?, which lets you look up how much tax money your state and county contribute to the $30 billion in U.S. military aid to Israel promised over the decade between 2009-2018. The site also shows the budgetary trade-offs of this expenditure--how many people could be served with green job training, affordable housing grants, access to primary health care, or early education if this money were used for domestic needs instead of to sustain Israel's illegal and immoral occupation of Palestinian land. Of course, here at the National Office in Washington, DC, we wouldn't mind having some of that money go to improve snow removal efforts!

The new website also features the US Campaign's response to President Obama's State of the Union address, information on U.S. arms transfers to Israel, and resources for taking action against U.S. military aid to Israel. Check out the new site by clicking here.

Despite the snow, we've been preparing for our Grassroots Advocacy Training, March Month of Action, and upcoming campus divestment trainings. And our member groups and supporters--whether snowbound or not--have been planning events, organizing boycotts and Valentine's Day actions, launching new blogs, and more.  

Occupation End Notes keeps you updated on what's going on in the movement across the country and around the world for a just peace in Israel/Palestine, and provides you with the tools to build that movement in your community. Check out 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!

Want more news and updates about the work of the US Campaign and its member groups? Read unique content on our blog, keep up with the latest media coverage and press releases, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and check out our YouTube and Podcast channels to get your occupation-ending fix between editions of Occupation End Notes.

In solidarity,

US Campaign National Office Staff

In This Edition

Grassroots Advocacy Training and Lobby Day

Israeli Apartheid Week

BDS Successes and Training Opportunities

US Campaign in the National Catholic Reporter

US Campaign Blog

Member Group Update

Events Near You

US Campaign Member Groups Call for Valentine's Day Actions

Boycott the Israel Ballet

Jewish Voice for Peace Launches New Blog

Call for Human Rights Artists and Performers

Students Arrested for Protesting Israeli Ambassador

New BDS Resource Available

Petition Filed to Stop Destruction of Cemetary in Jerusalem

Delegations to Israel/Palestine

Sustain the Work of the US Campaign

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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 Caterpillar bulldozer as she tried to nonviolently protect a Palestinian home in Rafah, Gaza from demolition at the hands of the Israeli military. 

Finally, we'll round out our March Month of Action by marking Land Day on March 30th.  For the second year in a row, the Palestinian BDS National Committee has called for Land Day to be an international day of action for BDS. Click here to find out more and get involved!

* BDS Successes and Training Opportunities

News of recent divestment victories in Denmark and spreading boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns on North American college campuses has lent new energy to the BDS movement. Learn how you can run effective BDS campaigns by attending one of the US Campaign's upcoming trainings! Click here to learn more about upcoming trainings, and here to support these trainings with a tax-deductible contribution. See the latest media coverage of BDS by clicking here.

* US Campaign in the National Catholic Reporter

In an article entitled "Palestinian Christians urge nonviolent resistance," Claire Schaeffer-Duffy of the National Catholic Reporter covers the release of the Palestinian Kairos Document. The document, modeled after the one released by South African churches during the struggle against apartheid, calls on the international community--churches in particular--to engage in nonviolent resistance to Israeli occupation with campaigns of boycott and divestment. The article quotes David Hosey, National Media Coordinator of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, on the role of U.S. churches in the BDS movement. To read the article, click here. Keep up with the latest media coverage of the US Campaign by clicking here.

* State of the Union, Hampshire College, Israeli Impunity, and More on the US Campaign Blog

Have you been keeping up with the latest news and commentary on the US Campaign blog? Check out our response to President Obama's State of the Union Address, a message from Hampshire College on the first anniversary of their divestment victory, BDS getting mainstream attention in churches and on campus, updates on the Goldstone Report deadline and injured U.S. activist Tristan Anderson, a British MP taking on Ahava, video of a boycott flash mob in the Netherlands, and much more.

Have a look at unique content on our blog 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 well into 2010, 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:

Dorchester People for Peace - Massachusetts

* Omar Barghouti, Ali Abunimah, Palestinian Culture Night, and More Events near You!

Find out about events featuring Omar Barghouti and Ali Abunimah, Palestinian culture nights and Gaza Freedom March report backs, and more exciting events coming to a community near you on the US Campaign's online event calendar. Use the 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.

* Have a Heart for Justice? US Campaign Member Groups Call for Valentine's Day Actions

US Campaign member groups are calling for a variety of actions this Valentine's Day--will you join them?

US Campaign member group CODEPINK is asking supporters to send a Valentine's Day email to the president of Ricky's NYC, a family-owned chain store in New York City, to tell them to stop carrying Ahava cosmetics. In CODEPINK's words, "Ahava means love in Hebrew, but there is nothing loving about the company's practices. Help put the pressure on Ricky's to stop carrying the products and we can add it to the other successes from this campaign!" Send an email by clicking here, and get Ahava boycott resources by clicking here.

US Campaign member group Adalah-NY is holding a Valentine's protest in front of settlement builder Lev Leviev's NYC diamond store to declare that "A Diamond is Forever but Apartheid Has to End!" Learn more about the Leviev campaign and the protest by clicking here.

The New Mexico Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Committee will launch its BDS campaign on Valentine's Day, at Trader Joe's in Albuquerque. The group plans to join hands with fellow activists throughout the nation by asking the company to stop carrying Israeli goods. For more information, email Lori Rudolph by clicking here

Planning an upcoming action? Get free publicity by adding your event to the US Campaign website calendar by clicking here.

* US Campaign and Member Groups Call for Boycott of Israel Ballet Due to Complicity in Whitewashing Apartheid

The US Campaign and member groups Adalah-NY, the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, and American Jews for a Just Peace as well as allies the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel and Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within call for a boycott of and protests against the performances of the Israel Ballet during its February, 2010 U.S. tour, due to the Israel Ballet's complicity in whitewashing Israeli apartheid.

The Israel Ballet will perform from February 8 - 27, 2010 in Panama City (FL), Ft. Myers (FL), Sarasota (FL), Bunnel (FL), West Palm Beach (FL), Gainesville (FL), Newport News (VA), Burlington (VT), Worcester (MA), Brooklyn (NY), Morgantown (WV), Buffalo (NY), Elmira (NY) and Rockville (MD). We call on individuals and groups to mobilize to boycott and protest against these performances.

The Israel Ballet comes to the United States as part of the ongoing effort to "re-brand" Israel's image in the West as an enlightened center of arts and technology, to conceal the facts about its occupation, racial discrimination and grave violations of international law and fundamental Palestinian rights. The Israeli government-sponsored campaign to promote cultural performances is a result of the steady decline of Israel's standing in international public opinion. Consistent reports by the UN and leading human rights organizations have revealed the extent of Israel's colonial oppression, gradual ethnic cleansing and even war crimes against the Palestinian people, as pointedly revealed in the UN's recently published Goldstone Report on Israel's war of aggression on Gaza. The Israel Ballet, which receives around $1 million annually from the Israeli government, is being advertised as a cultural ambassador of the state by the Israeli Consulate in New York. The dance group also boasts of holding "special performances" for Israeli soldiers. For more information, click here.

* Jewish Vocie for Peace Announces New Blog: The Only Democracy?

US Campaign member group Jewish Voice for Peace has created a new blog that will report on the crackdown on resistance to Israeli occupation--a crackdown that stands in marked contrast to the rhetoric of Israel as the "only democracy in the Middle East." Click here to visit  The Only Democracy? and to read about recent incidents including attacks on the New Israel Fund, the raiding of the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign's offices, and the barring of a Palestinian expert on Israeli settlements from international travel.

* Artists Against Apartheid Calls for Performers for Amnesty International Human Rights Arts Festival

The first ever Amnesty International Human Rights Art Festival will be held in Silver Spring, MD, just outside of Washington D.C., from April 23-25, 2010. This multi-venue, multi-media event will bring together artists, local businesses and politicians to use socially transformative art to raise awareness of human rights and justice issues, as well as the important work of Amnesty International

US Campaign member group Artists Against Apartheid is looking for artists, poets, singer-songwriters, and performers interested in showing or performing at the festival.  The group will be presenting a formal proposal to Amnesty International to be framed around potential participants. Contact Artists Against Apartheid by clicking here.

* MPAC Calls for Investigation into Arrests of Students for Protesting Israeli Ambassador

The Muslim Public Affairs Council has sent a letter to UC Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake and UCI School of Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky calling for an investigation into the arrests of 11 students who protested during a speech given by Israel's Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, on Monday. UC Irvine police arrested the students after they stood up during Oren's speech and individually condemned Israel's practice of collective punishment towards Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Read more and take action by clicking here, and see a copy of the letter by clicking here.You can also see coverage of the UC Irvine protest on Democracy Now! by clicking here.

* New BDS Resources Available from BADIL Center

The BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights has released a new working paper under the title "Principles and Mechanisms to Hold Business Accountable for Human Rights Abuses: Potential Avenues to Challenge Corporate Involvement in Israel's Oppression of the Palestinian People." This paper was prepared by Badil as a resource for the Palestinian civil society-led Campaign for Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it abides by its obligations under international law. The paper is authored by U.S. attorney Yasmine Gado, and examines mechanisms available within the existing legal and economic framework--including domestic U.S. law, state domestic legal systems, international law, and market forces such as boycotts--to advance corporate accountability for human rights abuses. Learn more and download a free copy or purchase a print copy of the working paper by clicking here. You can also download BADIL's Survey of Palestinian Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons 2008 - 2009 by clicking here. 

* Center for Constitutional Rights Files Brief to Halt Destruction of Muslim Cemetery in Jerusalem

US Campaign ally Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) has filed a petition on behalf of the Palestinian families of those buried at the Mamilla Cemetery in Jerusalem, a holy site believed to date back to the 7th century when companions of the Prophet Mohammed were reputedly buried there. The Israeli government and the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) are in the process of building a so-called "Center for Human Dignity-Museum of Tolerance" on the site of Mamilla Cemetery. The museum's construction has already resulted in the disinterment of hundreds of graves and the whereabouts of countless human remains are unknown. The desecration of the Mamilla Cemetery violates the human rights of the descendants of those buried there.

Learn more by clicking here, or click here to read the full petition. You can also see US Campaign Advisory Board member Rashid Khalidi--who has family members buried in the Mamilla Cemetery--and CCR President Michael Ratner interviewed by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! 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.

Click here for more information, and join our Facebook Cause by clicking here.

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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.