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Activists commemorate massacre, push back against injustices

January 10, 2011

We're headlining this Occupation End Notes in solidarity with the besieged people of the Gaza Strip. The turn of the new year marked 24 months since Israel's horrific air, sea and ground assault on 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza, already barely surviving 18 months of Israel's crushing economic blockade.

Below: In less than a week our ads have displayed one million times on Google and Facebook.
On December 27, the US Campaign launched an ambitious petition drive, intended to gather 22,000 signatures in 22 days (the span of the Israeli military's Operation "Cast Lead"), calling on the Obama Administration to (1) demand that Israel end its illegal siege and (2) stop blocking the UN and the international community from holding Israel accountable.

Please click here if you have not signed.

In addition, the past two weeks have seen many U.S. groups hold creative public demonstrations echoing this demand, and educating their communities about the U.S. role in Gaza's suffering (see "Bostonians" below).

Other activists have lended their technical and storytelling skills to give besieged Gazans a voice (see "One Family" below) and put out enormous amounts of labor to prepare humanitarian delegations into Gaza by land and sea.

The US Campaign, with the indispensable backing of groups in its nationwide coalition, is daily hitting the streets to educate citizens and policy-makers on the urgency of a just peace for Palestinians and Israelis. For details, please read on.


Bostonians creatively demonstrate to end Gaza siege

Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights, a US Campaign member group

On New Year's Eve 2010, marking the two-year commemoration of Israel's Operation "Cast Lead," activists protested the siege of Gaza by acting it in the midst of Boston's popular First Night celebration. Most striking: the bystanders' unanimous, level-headed reactions, as captured in this five-minute video.

Watch Video...

The story of "One Family in Gaza"


Above: Click to view Jen Marlowe's "One Family in Gaza" (23 minutes)

Our friend, acclaimed independent filmmaker Jen Marlowe, who visited Gaza families and created a 23-minute documentary of their courage and resilience, writes:

"I heard many painful stories, but one ... stood out to me. I spent three days with Kamal, Wafaa and their children ... What compelled me to tell this family's story? Not only what they endured, but their strength and courage. I was moved by their tragedy, but moved equally by the love for their children that came through Wafaa and Kamal's every word and action."

Marlowe's film is viewable online, or on DVD ($10) by clicking here.


The Legacy of the Goldstone Report

The US Campaign is co-sponsoring a book launch event for The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict, which is edited by Adam Horowitz, Lizzy Ratner and Philip Weiss, and will be released tomorrow, January 11. From the editors' announcement at Mondoweiss.net:

"You've heard the controversy - Now read the report for yourself. We are excited to announce the publication of our new book - The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict (Nation Books). We were very lucky to work with New York-based independent journalist Lizzy Ratner on the project, which explores the political, legal and social legacy of the Goldstone Report and the Israeli attack on Gaza in the winter of 2008-2009.

"The book includes an edited version of the report along with 13 essays from some of the leading commentators today on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict including: Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Naomi Klein, Raji Sourani, Jules Lobel, Moshe Halbertal, Jerome Slater, Brian Baird, Rashid Khalidi, Henry Siegman, Ali Abunimah, Noam Sheizaf, Letty Cottin Pogrebin and Laila El-Haddad."

All are welcome to the book launch event at Busboys & Poets at 14th and V Streets in Washington, DC, from 9:30 to 11:30 am on Sunday, January 23.

Learn More...


Take Action: Tell CSI, "Stop Sending Tear Gas to Israel."

Adalah-NY, a US Campaign member group

On January 1, 2011, 36-year-old Palestinian Jawaher Abu Rahmah from the West Bank village of Bil'in died at a hospital from the effects of tear gas inhalation suffered at a protest the previous day against Israel's construction of a wall and settlements on Bil'in's land.

Jawaher is only the most recent protester killed or seriously injured by tear gas fired by the Israeli military. For example, Jawaher's brother Bassem was killed almost two years ago, and two US citizens, Tristan Anderson and Emily Henochowicz, were injured respectively in 2009 and 2010.

Much of Israel's tear gas is provided by a US company, Combined Systems, Inc. (CSI), located in Jamestown, Pennsylvania. The letters "CSI," or "CTS," a CSI brand name, are marked on many of the tear gas canisters that litter Palestinian villages...

Article continues, with letter you can send CSI...


The U.S. needs to get tough with Israel

Yousef Munayyer, The LA Times, December 22, 2010
The Palestine Center, a US Campaign member group

When diplomatic sources revealed that the United States was abandoning efforts for an Israeli settlement freeze, many surely did not know whether to laugh or cry. The first two years of U.S.-Israeli relations under the Obama administration has been a debacle. For the next two, what is learned from that failure, and how it's applied, will be of utmost importance.

The failure to get a freeze is not only about the settlements -- a colonial enterprise expanding on occupied Palestinian territory that a new Human Rights Watch report called a "two-tier system" that is both "separate and unequal" -- but also a test of America's commitment to evenhanded mediation.

Aricle continues...


'Israel right or wrong' crowd advocates censorship in Seattle

Edward Mast, The Seattle Times Opinion Page, December 31, 2010

I was part of a group that raised money for a series of Metro Transit bus ads that read, "ISRAELI WAR CRIMES: Your Tax Dollars At Work." We abided by King County guidelines and our ads were approved by King County Metro Transit.

With a signed contract, ads were printed and ready for Dec. 27, which marked two years to the day Israel dropped a bomb on a schoolyard in Gaza just as children were leaving class. Many were killed. For the next three weeks, Israel killed 1,400 people in Gaza, mostly non-combatants. More than 300 of the killed were children. Investigations by the United Nations and Amnesty International concluded that Israel committed war crimes.

We didn't announce the ad campaign, but news leaked out and some local groups that defend Israel from all criticism took action to convince King County that any discussion of Israeli war crimes is inappropriate for public speech.

Letter Continues...


Loss of Land Map Cards Re-Issued, Available in Four Varieties

Palestine-Israel Action Group, a US Campaign member organization in Ann Arbor, MI, has expanded the varieties of its well known "Palestinian Loss of Land" map cards, to include information for US taxpayers about how their taxes support Israeli settlements and effectively block a viable Palestinian state, as well as a postcard version for contacting your legislators. The cards are available for as little as $3 (for a 50-pack, plus postage), and can be customized with your organization's logo.

CPT releases annual report of settler violence against Palestinian children

Christian Peacemaker Teams, a US Campaign member group

CPT announces the publication of its 2009-2010 report on the Israeli military escort of Palestinian schoolchildren around the hazards of Israeli settler outposts in the South Hebron Hills.

18 Palestinian youngsters from the villages of Tuba and Maghaer al-Abeed attend school in the neighboring village of At-Tuwani. Since 2001, Israeli settlers from Havat Ma'on have routinely attacked the children on their journey to and from school. Despite the Israeli military escort, the children have been victims of violence 104 times between November, 2004, and June, 2010.

During the 2009-2010 school year, children missed almost 27 hours of school and waited 53 hours for the escort after school. In addition, soldiers regularly left the children to walk unescorted beside settlement buildings, in an area where settlers have attacked them. Despite the children's right to access education, the military fails to provide a consistent escort for them.

Learn more, download the report...

Debating boycott at Princenton

Max Blumenthal, December 22, 2010

On December 15, I participated in a debate at Princeton University on the "ethics and efficacy" of BDS. The debate was held as a bookend to the battle over a resolution calling for adding an alternative in the campus cafeteria to Sabra Hummus, an Israeli brand produced by a company which has sponsored the IDF's Givati and Golani brigades (the resolution was defeated). In my opinion, though the students from the Princeton Committee for Palestine who initiated the effort to sideline Sabra were not successful, they won anyway by forcing an open and honest discussion about Israeli war crimes, occupation and discrimination.

Article Continues...

Phyllis Bennis discusses U.S.-Mideast relationships on C-Span's "Book TV"

Our steering commitee member Phyllis Bennis took the spotlight on this month's edition of "Book TV," a three-hour literary magazine that airs monthly on C-Span2. Our 10-minute excerpt shows Bennis' compelling dialogue with viewers who wrote or called in to the show, asking about Israel-Palestine and the US role in the conflict. Click here to view our excerpt.

Al-Haq launches "multimedia portal"

Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq has launched an exciting new "Multimedia Portal," allowing you to deeply explore the geographic context, location and extent of human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The portal is a mapping and presentation tool that incorporates Al-Haq's own visual documentation with Google's satellite imagery, and utilizes Google Earth's 3-D interface to present a clear and accurate picture of the situation on the ground.

Al-Haq is an independent Palestinian human rights NGO established in 1979 to protect and promote human rights and the rule of law. It has special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

Learn More...


L A S T   W O R D S

What better way to start off the New Year...

...than to wear your support for ending the occupation in 2011?

Our store features numerous apparel and office items, such as T-shirts and mugs. Click here to browse our products.

We also feature several books from Palestinian peace activists, and Palestinian-made olive oil and soap.

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.