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Nonviolence vs. Violence


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  Volume 8; Number 19                                                                   Occupation End Notes                                                     November 22, 2010

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In this Issue:


Events:

NATIONWIDE

  • December 10
    Meetings and protests asking TIAA-CREF to divest

DC

  • Washington
    October 22- December 3
    The Eye Behind the Camera- Photographs by Elia Kahvedijian

MARYLAND

NEW JERSEY

NEW YORK

  • Brooklyn Heights
    November 30
    Boycott Ahava Holiday Caroling

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A year in colors

Order our 2011 "Colors from Palestine" calendar, featuring Palestinian visual artists. Proceeds support our work.

Stories of everyday life in the Second Intifada

Order this book from our store. Proceeds support our work.


Upcoming Delegations to Palestine-Israel:

Interfaith Peace-Builders:
May 21 - June 3, 2011:
Voices of the Peace-Builders
July 16 - 29, 2011:
Today's Realities & Tomorrow's Leaders
July 16 - 29, 2011:
African Heritage Delegation
Oct. 29 - Nov. 11, 2011:
Olive Harvest

Global Exchange:
Prospects for Peace with Justice:
Dec. 4-14, 2010
July 1-11, 2011
Fair Olive Harvest:
October 14-23, 2011
Prospects for Peace with Justice:
December 2-12, 2011

Christian Peacemaker Teams:
January 4-17, 2011
March 8-21, 2011
May 24 - June 6, 2011
July 19 - August 1, 2011
September 6-19 (German lang.)
November 15-28, 2011

Friends of Sabeel North America:
8th International Conference:
February 23-28, 2011
Two-Week Fact-Finding Trip:
June 4-18, 2011

Nonviolence vs. Violence

Dear Friend,

First, thanks for being a faithful reader of Occupation End Notes.  As the holidays near, I know everyone is super-busy, and the email influx is getting out of control.

Second, you may have noticed that I've taken to creating a theme for each edition of Occupation End Notes.  Doing so is interesting as it requires us to survey what's going on in the movement and summarize that in a few lines.

The past two weeks' overarching message to me is that our nonviolent movement is up against some violent opposition.

In an obvious case, our friends at Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) last week suffered a pepper-spray attack days after their inspiring protest against War Criminal Netanyahu's speech in New Orleans.

In a more serious case, we've been appalled this week as the Obama Administration has offered 20 F-35 stealth fighters to Israel in exchange for extending a meaningless three-month settlement moratorium.  These fighter jets are far more sophisticated than what the Israeli military needs to continue killing Palestinians, as they've repeatedly done recently in Gaza.  Palestinians have no air defenses, nor air force, so I worry that these fighters are intended to kill regionally.

Nonviolent protestors who have fallen victim to the occupation's violence: Rachel Corrie, Tristan Anderson, Abdallah Abu Rahmah, and so many others suffer doubly due to the complete lack of justice in Israeli and U.S. courts.

Yet there is some cause for hope. Yesterday in London, Josh Ruebner, our National Advocacy Director, testified at the Russel Tribunal (see below) on Israel's wanton destruction of Palestinian communities and killing of Rachel Corrie, using weaponized Caterpillar D9 bulldozers.  Cautiously we celebrate the decision of the U.S. State Department and Caterpillar to suspend bulldozer deliveries, and we hope that Ruebner's testimony will expose the issue to an even larger audience.

As you'll see below, others of our members, large and small, are making strides.

Some of our opponents, unopposed to violence as a problem-solving tool, grow uneasy. While AIPAC celebrates victory in recent congressional elections, and people like Congressman Eric Cantor volunteer to "get their back," it is clear that violence-prone supporters of Israel are worried about a growing nonviolent international movement standing in their way.

We recognize that our opponents have more money than we do.  We know they are politically stronger than we are, and intent on continuous expansion of Israeli settlements and greater and greater oppression of the Palestinian population.

Our strength comes from you.  This holiday season, please consider supporting the work of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and our member organizations in your community. Support in the form of donations is of course much-appreciated, but considering our opposition's violent tactics, giving your time to join nonviolent demonstrations for justice is also incredibly important.

Even if you choose to join in silence, you can be a valuable witness to truths that can never be silenced.

Yours,

Rob Mosrie
Executive Director

Josh Ruebner testifies at Russell Tribunal

Yesterday in London, our National Advocacy Director, Josh Ruebner, contributed expert testimony on Caterpillar bulldozers to the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, an international people's tribunal created by a large group of citizens involved in the promotion of peace and justice in the Middle East. Here is an excerpt from Ruebner's full remarks:

"Israel's use of Caterpillar bulldozers to violate human rights and international law ... cannot be considered to be for "internal security" or "legitimate self defense." According to U.S. laws ... Israel should be sanctioned and ineligible to receive U.S. military aid ... Unfortunately, the U.S. government does not apply its own laws on an impartial basis; their implementation is subject to political calculations.

READ FULL TESTIMONY...

In memory of Rachel Corrie

Recently we called on our supporters to plant an olive tree in memory of Rachel Corrie.  With your contributions so far, nearly 400 olive trees will be planted in Rachel's memory.

It's not too late to plant a tree in Rachel's name.  Your donations will not only preserve Rachel's memory, but also support the work of the Rachel Corrie Foundation and the US Campaign. 

Replant an olive tree now...

Save (the) Amazon

Take the boycott movement to the online retail industry and "save (the) amazon." Help us tell occupation-supporting companies exactly what we think of their products through Amazon product reviews.

Learn more...

US Campaign endorses Minnesota "Break the Bonds" Campaign

The US Campaign is proud to endorse the Minnestoa Break the Bonds Campaign.  Composed of citizens throughout Minnesota working for human rights, the MNBBC is advocating for the state of Minnesota to divest from Israel Bonds, in solidarity with the 2005 Palestinian call for BDS.

MNBBC is seeking organizational endorsements throughout the U.S.

Learn more...

This December 10, ask TIAA-CREF to divest

Jewish Voice for Peace

December 10 is International Human Rights Day. We cannot think of a better day for you to visit the local offices of one of the largest financial services worldwide and tell them to divest from companies that profit from the Israeli military occupation and violate Palestinian human rights. We want you to collect signatures--asking TIAA-CREF to divest from the Israeli occupation--and deliver them to one of TIAA-CREF's 60 U.S. offices.  Register now to receive detailed info.

Register now...

New Yorkers Protest Fundraising Cruise for Illegal Hebron Settlements

Adalah-NY, November 17, 2010

Photo: Adalah-NY & Vanissa W. Chan

New Yorkers silently picketed at the entrance to Manhattan's Chelsea Piers last week to protest the Brooklyn-based 

Hebron Fund's fundraiser to expand Jewish settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank city of Hebron. The protesters held signs saying "End the Siege of Hebron," "Remove the Settlers," "Return the Land," "Hebron is in Palestine," "US Dollars Feed Israeli War Crimes," and others bearing large photos of Israeli settler and military violence against Hebron's Palestinian residents. The protest was endorsed by 16 U.S. groups, including three Jewish groups.

Riham Barghouti, of the organization Adalah-NY, commented, "On top of the US government's $3 billion in annual aid to the Israeli government, the Hebron Fund is in New York City raising tax-free money to support some of the most violent and racist Israeli settlers. All Israeli settlements violate international law. We need to end the use of U.S. tax dollars to support Israeli human rights abuses, and stop groups like the Hebron Fund."

Videos of the event are available on Adalah-NY's home page.

Article continues...

Oregon Groups Criticize Governor Kulongoski for Ignoring Israel's Violations

Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights, November 16, 2010

Americans United For Palestinian Human Rights (AUPHR) and other Oregon groups expressed dismay over Governor Kulongoski's signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation for business development between the State of Oregon and the State of Israel.

"Israel is committing serious human rights violations and racial discrimination on a daily basis against the Palestinian civilian population, both inside Israel and inside the occupied territories," said Peter Miller, President of AUPHR. "This agreement makes all Oregonians complicit in helping to sustain and normalize Israel's occupation and discriminatory practices."

AUPHR has released a new report titled "

Moral Implications of Doing Business With Israel."

Article continues...

Rachel Corrie Foundation Joins First-Ever U.S. Universal Periodic Review

Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice, November 10, 2010

On November 4, Gina Patnaik represented the Rachel Corrie Foundation in panel for the U.N. Human Rights Council, calling upon the U.S. government to enforce two existing mechanisms for monitoring human rights abuses: the "Leahy Amendment" and the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.

Patnaik identified systemic flaws in U.S. implementation of both mechanisms, and evidence of a persistent pattern of human rights violations committed by the Israeli military, including the killing and injury of international human rights monitors and Palestinian civilians, and demolition of civilian homes. To date, the U.S. has not conducted an investigation under the Leahy Amendment into any Israeli military violations of human rights law.

Article continues...

Local boycott group's "flashdance" video prompts hummus company to retract support for IDF

The Jerusalem Post, November 18, 2010

An Israeli company that co-owns Sabra, the number-one selling hummus brand in the United States, has removed support for the IDF from its English-language website after a video circulating the internet criticized the company's support of Israel's "human rights abuses," according to a press release issued Thursday by the Philadelphia branch of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Kate Zaidan, a spokesperson for BDS group said, "Philly BDS is asking that Strauss Group clarify whether the removal of the references means that Strauss no longer supports the Golani brigade, or whether it is simply an acknowledgment that support for the Israeli military is no longer seen as beneficial to Strauss's international image. We hope Strauss will confirm that the company now supports the 2005 Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel."

Last month, Philadephia activists staged a dance around a local supermarket as part of a campaign to pressure grocery chains to stop carrying Sabra Hummus products. The activists urged the supermarket and its customers not to "buy into Israeli apartheid," and shouted "No Justice, No Chickpeas!"

Read full article...

EMU Students protest investment practices

TheMennonite.org, November 15, 2010

As a crowd of students gathered to sit in solidarity outside a Financial and Audit Committee meeting on Nov. 12, the group "Students for Morally Responsible Investment" (SMRI) presented their stance against Eastern Mennonite University's investment in companies that fund oppression in Israel-Palestine.

After an initial meeting in September between representatives from SMRI, Everence, Mennonite Educational Agency (MEA) and EMU administration, SMRI was given a 30-minute time slot to present to the committee on the topic of selective divestment.

The club's goal is for the committee to make a statement of support, and then in turn persuade the Board of Trustees to stand behind SMRI's vision of investment stewardship.

Article continues...

Israeli soldiers receive indignant receptions on multiple university campuses

Students for Justice in Palestine, Arizona State University
Students Allied for Freedom and Equality, University of Michigan

Silent protests speak volumes. As representatives of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) visited U.S. university campuses in recent weeks, student groups organized large, peaceful demonstrations against Israel's war crimes, including symbolic "walk-outs" in which masses of student attendees suddenly exited the room together. Below are videos of such events at Arizona State and Michigan State.



CodePink releases Holiday Organizing Toolkit

CodePink, a US Campaign member organization, has added to its "Stolen Beauty" campaign against cosmetics company Ahava, by offering a toolkit to help you organize local Ahava actions during the holiday season.

The kit includes a sample press release for a local media campaign, plus a selection of satirical new carols, taking fun jabs at Ahava through the melodies of popular Christmas and Hanukkah songs, such as "Jingle Bells" and "Hava Nagila."

Learn more...

Intern with the US Campaign!

The US Campaign is seeking interns for spring semester! Come to Washington, DC, and help us implement our main priorities, including:

  • Challenging U.S. policy

  • Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns

  • Membership, outreach, and coalition building

  • Media and social networking

  • Tech support

Interns work 10-30 hours per week, supervised by our Washington staff. Applicants will be accepted on an ongoing basis until the positions are filled.

Learn More...

'Tis the Season...

...to show some solidarity using End the Occupation greeting cards! Visit our store to buy some, and check out our bumper stickers, buttons, coffee mugs and more -- all customizable with our logo, campaign slogans, and art by Carlos Latuff.  We also offer books and Palestinian-made olive oil, soap and more!

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.

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