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Announcing our new National Organizer: Anna Baltzer!

End the Occupation
  Volume 8; Number 20                                                                   Occupation End Notes                                                     December 6, 2010

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Award-winning activist and author Anna Baltzer joins US Campaign team!

Dear Friend,

As we finish and send this newsletter today, we're also welcoming the one-and-only Anna Baltzer to our staff as National Organizer. We feel very excited to have her on-board!

Anna is an award-winning lecturer, author and activist for Palestinian human rights. As a volunteer with the International Women's Peace Service in the West Bank, she documented human rights abuses and supported Palestinian-led popular resistance to the Occupation.

Anna has appeared on television more than 100 times (including The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) and lectured at more than 500 universities, schools, churches, mosques, synagogues, and policy institutes on five continents. Baltzer is author of the book, Witness in Palestine: A Jewish American Woman in the Occupied Territories (see our bookstore), and has contributed to various other books on the subject. She is co-founder of the St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee.

As National Organizer, Anna will be dedicated to supporting our coalitiion's many ongoing initiatives.

Below we highlight a few of those most newsworthy in the past two weeks, so keep reading!...

WikiLeaks Exposes U.S. Militarization of Middle East

The cables released so far by WikiLeaks shed light on behind-the-scenes struggles between Israel's quest for complete military dominance in the Middle East versus the U.S. desire to saturate the entire region with a flood of high-tech weapons. Read more about these revelations here:

  • WikiLeaks: Israel's Security Concerns Often Clash With U.S. Interests, by Josh Ruebner, our National Advocacy Director
  • WikiLeaks: War, Diplomacy & Ban ki-Moon's Toothbrush, by Phyllis Bennis, a member of our steering committee
  • Top 10 Wikileaks Palestine Nuggets, by Yousef Munayyer of the Jerusalem Fund, one of our member organizations

WikiLeaks has done a great service, exposing in detail how U.S. diplomacy is geared toward flooding the Middle East with weapons, fueling a never-ending arms race, abetting Israel's crimes against innocent Palestinian and Lebanese civilians, maintaining U.S. wars that have cost hundreds of billions of dollars.

Boycott: Put more pressure on Israel to change

Steven Goldberg, Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights
Oregon Live
, November 23, 2010

As Israel increasingly ignores our government's objections to the expansion of settlements, its primary concern is with placating its own right-wing parliamentary coalition. And why should Israel be concerned with the protests of the Obama administration when U.S. military aid to Israel -- now billions of dollars per year, paid by U.S. taxpayers at a time when they have no jobs and are losing their homes -- continues unabated?

Israel is increasingly a rogue nation under international legal standards. Decisions from the International Court of Justice declaring the separation wall illegal, United Nations reports detailing Israel's illegal actions during its invasion of Gaza (the Goldstone Report), and the recent U.N. Human Rights Council report criticizing Israel's attacks on the Gaza flotilla are bolstered by ongoing reports by groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch detailing Israel's illegal actions.

Article continues...

Princetonians call for Sabra hummus boycott

Huffington Post, November 19, 2010

A student campaign at Princeton University is calling for a boycott of Sabra Hummus because the company that manufactures it provides Israel soldiers with care packages, the Daily Princetonian reports (a story also appeared in the New York Times).

The Princeton Committee on Palestine has created a referendum that asks the school's dining services to sell an alternative hummus on campus.

Article continues...

Minnesotans support state divestment

Click here to view the MNBBC video

Minnesota Break the Bonds Campaign (MNBBC) released a  its first official video and petition, urging the state of Minnesota to divest from Israel.

Minnesota's investment in two Israel bonds supports Israel's apartheid system in both Israel and the Palestinian Territories and enables widespread abuse of human rights. Israel Bonds finance infrastructure projects including settlement building on the Palestinian West Bank and in East Jerusalem; these settlements displace Palestinians from their own lands. 

Sign the petition...

AIPAC's tax exemption challenged

PR Newswire, November 22, 2010

Today the Internal Revenue Service received a 1,389 page filing demanding that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's (AIPAC) tax exempt status be retroactively revoked.  The filing, submitted by the IRmep Center for Policy and Law Enforcement, spans nearly 60 years -- from the moment AIPAC's founder left the employment of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs -- to the present.

Two core charges are "False Charitable Purpose," as AIPAC does not function as a bona fide "social welfare" organization, and "Fraudulent Application for Tax Exempt Status," in that the majority of its startup funding came from Israel.

Article continues...

Pocket Cards campaign: Fast facts to shoot down military aid

The "Be On Our Side" Campaign is proud to offer "pocket cards" to help you spread the word about U.S. military aid to Israel and its damaging effects on the lives of Palestinians and Israelis.

The striking 4x6 full-color cards show on one side the campaign's advertisement that filled Chicago's public transit system through October, and on the reverse, six "Fast Facts." The cards are perfect for passing along to friends and acquaintances, and also ideal "leave-behinds" for high-traffic areas, such as airports, libraries, cafes, university buildings, doctor offices, etc. Carry them everywhere!

Learn more...

NO to "pinkwashing" Israeli apartheid

International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN), December 01, 2010

As lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and straight activists and scholars, we condemn the Jewish National Fund's launch of a new LGBT committee in New York City on December 9, 2010, for what it is: an attempt to "pinkwash" the JNF's central role in acquiring Palestinian land on which to build the Israeli apartheid state.

Most immediately, this campaign is designed to cover up the ugly fact that Palestinians, with few exceptions, are effectively barred from living on 93% of land in 1948 Palestine ("Israel") ... The JNF's LGBT committee is also part of a well-orchestrated campaign to deflect growing international outrage...

Article continues...

Steering committee member speaks at U.N.

Judith LeBlanc is a member of the US Campaign's steering committee, and an organizer with Peace Action. She gave this speech last Monday at the U.N., on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, at a commemoration held by the U.N. Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Click here to view her full 10-minute presentation about the U.N.'s role in establishing a just peace, and click here for the press release.

Arava Institute claims to promote peace while silent on justice

Adalah-NY, November 24, 2010

The Arava Institute's online event "With Earth and Each Other," held Sunday, November 14, exemplified why the Palestinian call for a boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions is vital. The event was billed as a celebration of Palestinians, Israelis and Jordanians working together for the environment.

But it failed to educate viewers about the most basic facts of Israeli policies, and thus simply reinforced the status quo. The event, billed as not "political," suggested that the Middle East conflict can be resolved if people of different religions and ethnicities are nicer to each other. It presented no information on the fundamental and systematic inequalities that are at the root of the conflict.

Adalah-NY and numerous other groups had urged participants, including religious and environmental organizations and performing artists like Pete Seeger, Dan Bern, and Mandy Patinkin, to respect the Palestinian boycott call and bow out...

Article continues...

Open the Al-Bweira Roads

Upper Hudson Peace Action (a US Campaign member group) is asking everyone to pick up their pens and phones to help open the road to the West Bank town of Al-Bweira. This is one small step in our larger effort to end the Israeli occupation.

Help the town to gain adequate access for emergency vehicles. Help the families of Al-Bweira to once again drive directly to the nearby city of Hebron.

Take action...

'Tis the season... for solidarity!

Are you looking for unique gift ideas that also warm the spirit? When you shop End the Occupation, you'll find many beautifully crafted items. Some are made in Palestine, enabling you to "buy-cott" the occupation by keeping Palestinian farmers in business.

Here's a superb selection of 10 gifts covering a broad price range. We think you'll enjoy giving any one of them (to a friend, or yourself!).

Thank you for shopping End the Occupation during the holidays. Every purchase you make supports our important work.

Shop Now...

Member Groups, Member Groups Everywhere!

To better aid our members' networking efforts, and to better gauge the coalition's regional diversity, we've mapped our 325-plus members, state-by-state! Don't see your group listed? Click here to join the US Campaign.

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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 43-year occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, and that deny equal rights for all.