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Save the Earth, End the Occupation

Save the Earth, End the Occupation!

Dear Friends,

Today is Earth Day, and in this week's eco-friendly edition of Occupation End Notes, we shed light one of the underreported aspects the Israeli occupation: its impact on the environment. Whether it's Caterpillar bulldozers ripping up Palestinian olive trees, U.S.-provided white phosphorous shells affecting water supplies in Gaza, or Motorola greenwashing the occupation by winning "energy saving" grants while producing technology for land-grabbing settlements, Israel's military occupation has devastating environmental impacts.

A recent article in the The Palestine Telegraph highlights the environmental impact of Israeli military activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. In addition to uprooted olive trees and agricultural land, the Israeli occupation means stolen or polluted Palestinian water resources, settlement waste water and landfills diverted into Palestinian villages, and pollution from Israeli industrial zones illegally built in occupied territory affecting Palestinian populations.

So ending the Israeli occupation isn't just about restoring human rights and international law--it's also about saving the earth.

Luckily there's plenty of ways for you to get involved in this important work. From Tax Day protests to divestment debates, from upcoming conferences to speaking tours, this week's edition of Occupation End Notes is packed full of exciting information, resources, articles, and actions that you can take!

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 andPodcast channels to get your occupation-ending fix between editions of Occupation End Notes.

In solidarity,

US Campaign National Office Staff

In This Edition

9th National Organizers Conference At UMKC

Tax Day Round-Up

Staff Transitions

UC Berkeley Divestment Debate

New Military Order Threatens West Bank Residents

US Campaign Blog

Member Group Update

Events Near You

Chicago Hearing

Ask Lonely Planet to Take Ahava Off Their Agenda

New Profile Speaking Tour

Delegations to Israel/Palestine

Sustain the Work of the US Campaign

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9th Annual National Organizers' Conference at University of Missouri Kansas City, July 23-25

The US Campaign is excited to announce that our 9th Annual National Organizers' Conference will take place in the University Center of the University of Missouri, Kansas City, on July 23-25, 2010. Many thanks to US Campaign member group Citizens for Justice in the Middle East and to the Muslim Student Association at UMKC for securing this venue! US Campaign conferences give representatives of member groups that have paid their dues to the US Campaign the opportunity to set overall political direction and priorities for the coming year, review and evaluate the work of the US Campaign, and elect representatives to the Steering Committee. They also provide a forum for local and national groups and individuals to network and exchange resources with one another. To learn more about US Campaign conferences and read reports from past conferences, click here.

Has your organization paid membership dues to the US Campaign this year? Find out by clicking here.

Tax Day Round-Up

Last week, on Tax Day, the US Campaign and its member organizations held Tax Day actions to educate people about Israel's misuse of U.S. weapons to commit human rights abuses against Palestinian civilians, and to organize people to demand that our elected officials end tax-payer subsidies for Israeli occupation and apartheid.  

More than one dozen public actions took place across the country, from Baltimore to Milwaukee, New York to Oakland, and McAllen, Texas to Sebastopol, California to name a few.

In Washington, DC the US Campaign organized a lunch-time protest at IRS headquarters.  During the event, which was cosponsored by Washington, DC Area War Tax Resistance and Code Pink, protestors handed out info to tourists and government employees alike.

In New York City, US Campaign member groups Women In Black-Union Square and Code Pink NYC organized protests outside of Manhattan post offices.  Check out the review of these actions in an article in The National.

In New Haven, Connecticut, US Campaign member group Middle East Crisis Committee put up a billboard calling on Israel to lift the siege of Gaza. Learn more about this billboard campaignby clicking here.

And last weekend, US Campaign member group American Friends Service Committee-Chicago held a ground-breaking mock Congressional hearing at the University of Chicago, entitled "Does U.S. Policy on Israel and Palestine Uphold Our Values?" The amazing 4-hour hearing included a panel on U.S. military aid to Israel, introduced by US Campaign National Advocacy Director Josh Ruebner, with testimony from Amer Shurrab and Cindy Corrie.  To watch videos from the hearing, please click here.

If you organized a Tax Day action, please let us know about it by clicking here

In preparation for Tax Day, the US Campaign distributed about 200 organizing packets across the country to volunteer organizers to educate people about Israel's misuse of U.S. weapons and organize them to demand an end to military aid to Israel on Tax Day and beyond. You can order your organizing packet as we continue our campaign to challenge military aid to Israel by clicking here.   

Did you remember to file your taxes on time last week?  If so, the US Campaign estimates that you-the average individual tax-payer-gave $19.19 of your money to Israel for the purchase of U.S. weapons to be misused to commit human rights abuses against Palestinians.   

There's still time for you to "offset" the taxes that you give to Israeli occupation and apartheid by making a tax-deductible contribution to the US Campaign in increments of $19.19. 

The more you donate to us, the less taxes you'll owe Uncle Sam on future tax returns, so please make your generous contribution today to support our ongoing efforts to challenge military aid to Israel. 

For every "offset" contribution of $19.19 you make, we'll send you one of these stickers to the right.  Get yours today by 
clicking here.

Staff Transitions

The US Campaign is very excited to announce the hiring of Rana Libdeh as its new Membership and Outreach Coordinator.  Rana joins the staff of the US Campaign after having served as an intern since last fall.  After earning her degree in sociology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Rana worked for AmeriCorps before moving to Washington, DC.  Over the next several months, Rana will be hard at work organizing our 9th Annual Organizers' Conference in Kansas City, July 23-25.  As of this edition, Rana is also the new editor of Occupation End Notes-you can send newsletter items to her by clicking here.  She'll also be following up with all of the member groups of the US Campaign to renew their memberships for 2010.  Welcome, Rana! 

On another note, earlier this month, the US Campaign's former National Organizer, Katherine Fuchs, transitioned off our staff after having served in the position for nearly two years.  During her tenure at the US Campaign, Katherine played an instrumental role in organizing our first national speaking tour, Separate Is Never Equal: Stories of Apartheid from South Africa to Palestine; organizing the Expressions of Nakba traveling art exhibition; strengthening our boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns against Caterpillar and Motorola; and launching BDS campaigns against Ahava and cultural and academic targets.  The US Campaign would like to take this opportunity to thank Katherine for the many important contributions she made to the organization and to wish her well in all her future endeavors.  

UC Berkeley Divestment Debate Shows the Importance of Campus Divestment Movement

What happened at the UC Berkeley divestment debate was amazing. A diverse human rights coalition, made up of Israelis and Palestinians; Jews, Christians, and Muslims; students and members of the community; people of color and representatives of the LGBT-Q community; organized to challenge a status quo of silence and support for Israel's violations of international law.

When divestment was first introduced at UC Berkeley 8 years ago, student activists couldn't even get ASUC to consider a bill. Now, a majority of ASUC Senators support the bill, and only 1 abstention blocked divestment.  Even that 1 vote wasn't enough to kill divestment--the motion has now been tabled, and will be taken up again by ASUC.

Cecilie Surasky, of US Campaign member group Jewish Voice for PeaceTweeted live from the debate. At one point she wrote: "This experience will change the lives of every student here. This discussion has to happen on every campus."  We couldn't agree more.

To read more about the UC Berkeley divestment debate, click here.

New Military Order Defines All Residents of the West Bank as "Infiltrators"

In the most recent round of Kafka-esque absurdity from the U.S.-funded Israeli military, new military orders would allow the occupying army to deport anyone in the West Bank without an army-granted permit, which could include just about anyone. 

According to an editorial in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, "The order's vague language will allow army officers to exploit it arbitrarily to carry out mass expulsions, in accordance with military orders which were issued under unclear circumstances....This would be a grave and dangerous move, unprecedented during the Israeli occupation."

For more information about the effects of this new military order, check out HaMoked's press release

The Chicago Hearing, Israeli Defense minister Ehud Barak, UC Berkeley Divestment Debate, Nadia Hijab, Desmond Tutu, and your tax dollars hard at work deporting the entire West Bank....

Have you seen the latest voices, videos, and viewpoints on the US Campaign blog? Catch up on this past Sunday's Chicago Hearing; find out what Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak had to stay about how U.S. aid can change the Israeli occupation; read eye-witness accounts of UC Berkley's nail-biting divestment debate; find out what US Campaign Advisory Board member Nadia Hijab thinks the Obama Administration should do to stop settlements building and end the occupation; check out Desmond Tutu's letter supporting UC Berkeley's divestment campaign; and find out how your tax dollars are being used to deport innocent civilians from the West Bank. All this and more at the US Campaign blog.


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 group listed? Clickhere 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 group is in good standing with the US Campaign and find out how to pay dues.

Actions, Protests, Art Exhibits, Films, and More Events near You!

Find out about upcoming actions, protests, art presentations, film screenings, 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

Watch Webcast of Chicago Hearing on U.S. Policy Toward Israel/Palestine

US Campaign member group American Friends Service Committee Chicago organized a remarkable event this past Sunday: a mock Congressional hearing on U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine.

From the Chicago Hearing website:  "The Hearing highlights voices of those on the other end of the pipeline of U.S. aid to Israel. Israeli, Palestinian and American witnesses will testify to lives lost, freedoms denied and property destroyed by Israeli policies buttressed by U.S. aid and support. "

The event was introduced by US Campaign Steering Committee member Jennifer Bing-Canar, moderated by Helena Cobban of Just World News, and included US Campaign National Advocacy Director Josh Ruebner, US Campaign Advisory Board member Barbara Ransby, and US Campaign allies such as Cindy Corrie, Amer Shurrab (who also participated in the US Campaign's Capitol Hill briefing on civilian casualties caused by U.S. weapons in Israel/Palestine), and Jeff Halper.

Visit the Chicago Hearing website for more video of this remarkable event.

Ask Lonely Planet to take Ahava off their Agenda!

Ahava's guide to Israel and the Palestinian Territories has a recommendation for shopping at the Ahava Factory Outlet and Store. Please take five minutes this weekend to explain to Lonely Planet that there is an international boycott campaign against Ahava. Ahava is engaged in illegal practices, making products in a factory in an illegal Israeli settlement-Mitzpe Shalem- that it then falsely labels as 'Products of Israel'. Please make sure you choose the option 'Warning: Health or safety risk; theft or scam' when making your complaint.  

Take action:  Fill out a feedback form on the Lonely Planet Site; select Israel and the Palestinian Territories, Edition 6; follow options: Business or Service: Dead Sea, Palestinian Territories (Israel is offered--but type in Pal. Territories): AHAVA: Dead Sea, p. 335; Choose an option: Warning: Health or safety risk; theft or scam

Or send Lonely Planet a letter

New Profile Speaking Tour

Behind the regular headlines of tense relations between Israel and the United States over settlements The Daily Nuisance is exposing the on the ground reality and impact on those living in Palestine/Israel through photography, video, print, news, analysis and opinion.

In a series of lectures and discussions in May and June, TDN editors and contributors Carmelle Wolfson and Jesse Rosenfeldwill tackle the reality of popular struggle carried out by Palestinians and supportive Israelis. The talks will highlight the ways in which Israel is attempting to increase segregation and state repression against Palestinians and their supporters, its consequences and how people are responding. They will examine the news coming from the region, directly addressing the Israeli international campaign of misinformation and contrasting it with what people from the region are saying.  

While international mainstream news filters out and misinterprets local voices, TDN uses English to present local perspectives to an international audience. The editorial collective is comprised of Palestinian, leftwing Israeli and international journalists and media makers.

If interested in hosting/organizing/sponsoring a speaking engagement please contact editor@thedailynuisance.com.

Global Exchange Reality Tours and Other Opportunities to Visit Israel/Palestine for Education and Solidarity

Global Exchange is an international human rights organization dedicated to social, economic, and environmental justice throughout the world.  Global Exchange Reality Tours to Israel/Palestine strive to further an individual's understanding of the region's history and realities through first-hand experience of the daily lives of Palestinians living under occupation.  Global Exchange is offering its next tour to Palestine July 3, 2010- July 13, 2010.  To learn more and to sign up for the next Reality Tour, click here.

Check out this and many more opportunities to visit Israel/Palestine, such as Green Olive Tours, Interfaith Peace-Builders delegations, Global Exchange Reality Tours, 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.