Meet Us in St. Louis as Boycott & Divestment Campaigns Forge Ahead!

by Anna Baltzer & Ramah Kudaimi
July 31st, 2012

As we prepare for our National Organizers' Conference in September, we are excited to announce a new boycott campaign recently launched by our member group American Muslims for Palestine!

This Ramadan, AMP is asking Muslims to "Make a Date with Justice" and make sure that the tradition of breaking one's fast every night with dates does not support Israel's illegal occupation. Israel exports over 50 percent of the worlds’ Medjool dates, 51 percent of which are grown in the occupied Jordan Valley in illegal settlements. AMP's campaign, endorsed by the US Campaign, urges consumers to boycott dates marketed by the Israeli company Hadiklaim under the brand names Jordan River, Jordan River Bio-Top, and King Solomon, and instead buy dates grown in California.

We hope you will support AMP's campaign and the BDS efforts of our member groups across the country by registering today to join us in St. Louis for our 11th Annual National Organizers' Conference Friday-Sunday, September 21-23!

Our opening panel will feature AMP's chairman Dr. Hatem Bazian speaking on the Arab uprisings with Phyllis Bennis, fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and US Campaign Steering Committee member. Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian-American community organizer who was honored last year by the White House as a "Champion of Change," will be joining us to speak about coalition building. Dalit Baum, co-founder of Who Profits from the Occupation, a vital resource for campaigns around the world, will be leading a BDS training for activists to learn how they can take their work to the next level.  

We will discuss how best to engage faith communities in our efforts to change U.S. policy and how to link Palestine and other movements for social justice in the United States. Our member groups will share their work by presenting their own workshops, and there will be an opportunity for attendees to provide feedback on the US Campaign's long range strategic planning

Our conference is also an opportunity to celebrate what we and our member groups have accomplished. In June the We Divest Campaign scored a victory when TIAA-CREF dropped Caterpillar from its Social Choice Funds portfolio, divesting $73 million in shares. CODEPINK's Stolen Beauty Campaign announced earlier this month that Abigail Disney was disclaiming her share of Disney's investment in Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories, which is about 18.5 percent. And the campaigns on divestment within the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church USA highlighted a great shift in discourse with discussion focused on what should be done to end Israel's brutal military occupation and policies toward Palestinians, and both churches resolving to boycott settlement products- including Hadiklaim dates- in addition to challenging U.S. military aid to Israel. 

We hope you will join us and our hosting member group St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee to help continue our work to support peace, justice, equality, and international law at this important moment in our movement.