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Corrie Trial Begins as March Month of Action Continues

Corrie Trial Begins as March Month of Action Continues

Occupation End Notes; Vol. 8 No. 5; March 12 , 2010

Dear Friends,

As our March Month of Action continues, the family of Rachel Corrie is in Israel for their civil lawsuit against the Israeli government. Their suit charges the Israeli Defense Ministry with the wrongful death of Rachel, a 23 year-old U.S. activist who was crushed to death while nonviolently protecting a Palestinian home from demolition by a Caterpillar D-9 bulldozer driven by the Israeli military.

The trial is already generating significant media attention, and the Rachel Corrie Foundation--a member group of the US Campaign--is posting trial updates on their website. Rachel's parents, Cindy and Craig Corrie, have issued a call for an International Day of Conscience on March 16, which marks 7 years since Rachel's death. To get action resources and register your March 16 actions and events, click here. One action that the Corrie's request you take is to call the White House and tell them to break Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip.  Special Envoy George Mitchell should be sent to the Gaza Strip the determine the need for humanitarian aid and then the U.S. should directly deliver that aid in contravention of the Israeli blockade.  Call the White House at (202) 456-1111.

March 16 will continue our month of action that began with an action-packed Israeli Apartheid Week. Check out how the Washington Post responded to Israeli Apartheid Week with a libelous op-ed and how the US Campaign and our supporters responded by clicking here. You can also see the latest in media coverage of Israeli apartheid by clicking here

We culminated Israeli Apartheid Week with a successful Grassroots Advocacy Training and Lobby Day, co-organized with US Campaign member group Interfaith Peace-Builders. Approximately 150 people from 30 states came to Washington, DC for skills-building workshops, networking, and lobbying on Capitol Hill. If you weren't able to make it to DC, you can see video of many of the presentations here and download workshop materials and presentations here. Photos will be posted soon!

After March 16, 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 boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS). Click here to find out more and get involved!

Of course, our work doesn't end in March, so check out the rest of this week's edition of Occupation End Notes for information on the US Campaign's Annual National Organizers' Conference, action on military aid to Israel, member group activities, new blog posts, news, 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

Save the Date: 9th Annual National Organizers' Conference, July 23-25

Threats and Taxes: Mazin Qumsiyeh and U.S. Military Aid

US Campaign in Ha'aretz

Josh Ruebner in Huffington Post

US Campaign Blog

Member Group Update

Events Near You

Protests of Israel Ballet in MD

Protests of IDF Fundraiser in NYC

ICAHD releases new Israeli apartheid resource

Israeli Apartheid Video Contest

Delegations to Israel/Palestine

Sustain the Work of the US Campaign

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

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* Save the Date: 9th Annual National Organizers' Conference in Kansas City, July 23-25

The US Campaign is excited to announce that our 9th Annual National Organizers' Conference will take place in Kansas City on July 23-25, 2010. 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.

* Threats and Taxes: Mazin Qumsiyeh Threatened with Arrest

"Given that the Israeli government receives billions in U.S. military aid, my taxes and yours at work, our government should defend those of us who engage in nonviolent protests." These are the words of Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh, a former Steering Committee member of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, who faces arrest by the Israeli army when he returns to his home in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian West Bank village of Beit Sahour this week after completing a speaking tour in the United States. Like many other Palestinian leaders of grassroots nonviolent resistance to Israel's illegal military occupation and apartheid policies, Mazin--a U.S. citizen--faces repression by Israel for heeding President Obama's call for Palestinians to win "full and equal rights" through "peaceful and determined insistence". Learn how you can take action to support Mazin and other Palestinian nonviolent resisters by clicking here. Read more about Mazin's situation and his op-ed in the New Haven Register, and watch a video that shows how Israel responds to Palestinian nonviolent protest, by clicking here. And find out how to offset your tax dollars to Israeli military occupation by clicking here.

* Organize to Challenge Military Aid to Israel on Tax Day

Take action on or around Tax Day--April 15--to educate fellow taxpayers how their taxes are being used by Israel to commit human rights abuses against Palestinians.  Set up a spring recess meeting with your Members of Congress to talk to them about conditioning military aid to Israel, organize an event at your local post office, or host a Tax Day house party and invite your friends and neighbors over for a movie.  Join us next Thursday, March 18, at 9PM for a conference call to strategize our Tax Day planning to end military aid to Israel.  Sign up to get a Tax Day organizing kit, get more action ideas, and register for the conference call by clicking here.

* US Campaign Cited by Ha'aretz in Article on U.S. Reactions to Biden's Condemnation of Israel

The Israeli daily newspaper Ha'aretz quoted US Campaign National Advocacy Director Josh Ruebner in an article entitled "How did U.S. groups react to Biden's condemnation of Israel?" Ruebner stated that "It's about time that the Obama administration is threatening to hold Israel accountable for obstructing U.S. policy goals to end illegal settlement expansion in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem and lift the illegal blockade of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian Gaza Strip." Read the full article by clicking here.

* Josh Ruebner in Huffington Post: U.S. Can't Afford Aid to Israel

Writing in the Huffington Post, US Campaign National Advocacy Director Josh Ruebner argues that military aid to Israel is one of the programs that President Obama should cut under his own promise to "go through the budget line by line to eliminate programs that we can't afford and don't work." Ruebner makes the case that aid to Israel drains money away from domestic priorities and prevents a just peace in Israel/Palestine. Read the full article here, and click here to find out how much your city, state, and Congressional district contributes in military aid to Israel and what domestic programs could be funded with this money instead.

* Omar Barghouti, Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Amer Shurrab, and Critical Thinker on the US Campaign Blog

Have you seen the latest voices, videos, and viewpoints on the US Campaign blog? Omar Barghouti debates BDS with Rabbi Arthur Waskow on Democracy Now, Amer Shurrab and Dorothy Zellner discuss the Friends of the IDF protest with Laura Flanders of GRITtv, and we introduce our new guest blogger Critical Thinker. All of this and more, including Corrie trial updates, major victories in Europe, and media coverage of Israeli apartheid week, on 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? 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 group is in good standing with the US Campaign and find out how to pay dues.

* Rachel Corrie Events, Protests, Film Screenings, and More Events near You!

Find out about Rachel Corrie Remembrance Day events, upcoming protests, opportunities to hear from US Campaign National Coalition Coordinator David Hosey, 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.

* US Campaign Member Groups and Supporters Protest Israel Ballet in Maryland

On February 26 member groups and supporters of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation protested a performance by the Israel Ballet at Montgomery College Performing Arts Center in Takoma Park, MD. Protesters, clad in tutus and tiaras danced, sang and chanted against Israel's apartheid policies, criticizing the ballet for its complicity in covering up Israeli human rights abuses. The Maryland protest followed similar protests of the Israel Ballet in Vermont, New York, and Massachusetts. See video of the action by clicking here, and learn more about the Israel Ballet's complicity in the whitewashing of Israeli human rights abuses by clicking here.

* "Friends of the IDF" Banquet Met with Protests Organized by US Campaign Member Groups

Over 20 activist groups, including member groups of the US Campaign, protested a New York City gala dinner aimed at raising support for the Israeli military and featuring IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi. Groups organizing the protest included US Campaign member groups American Jews for a Just Peace, Adalah-NY, Women in Black Union Square, Jewish Voice for Peace, ICAHD-USA, Progressive Democrats of America, CODEPINK, and Brooklyn for Peace. Laura Flanders of GRITtv interviewed Dororthy Zellner, a founding member of Jews Say No!, and Amer Shurrab, a Middlebury College graduate whose brothers were killed during "Operation Cast Lead" and who previously contributed to a Capitol Hill policy briefing organized by the US Campaign. View the interview by clicking here, and click here to see pictures of the protest.

* New Israeli Apartheid Resource from ICAHD-USA

US Campaign member group ICAHD-USA has released a new resource on Israeli apartheid. The document is a summary of a legal study by the Human Sciences Research Center of South Africa focusing on Israeli apartheid. The study examines whether Israel's practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, namely the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, amount to the crimes of colonialism and apartheid under international law. To learn more and download the summary, click here.

* Israeli Apartheid Video Contest Still Seeking Submissions

Want to speak out against Israeli apartheid? US Campaign member group Itisapartheid.org, in cooperation with Stop the Wall, is seeking submssions for the Israeli Apartheid Video Contest. Films should be less than 5 minutes and should depict the reality, nature, and consequences of Israel's apartheid treatment of Palestinians. Submissions are due by June 20, 2010.

Learn more and find out how you can submit a short film 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.