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Occupation End Notes | November 24, 2004
Volume 2 Number 5


In this issue...

1. US Campaign Update: International Day of Solidarity – November 29th; NEW! Buy US Campaign Merchandise Online; Report Back – Kansas City Regional Conference; Recruiting for Resources and Direct Action Taskforces; US Campaign in the News; Organizing in the South and Southeast U.S. 
2. New Members of the US Campaign 
3. Member Organization of the Month: WESPAC Foundation
4. Resources & Education:  Support Somerville Divestment Project; Human Rights Watch Statement on Caterpillar; National Lawyers Guild Divestment Resolution; Senate Resolution 477; Palestine Solidarity Review; Palestinian-American Women’s Association Calendars
5. Events: November 29th International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
6. Upcoming delegations to Israel and Palestine: Global Exchange; Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace; F.O.R. Interfaith Peacebuilders

1. US CAMPAIGN UPDATE

*It’s not too late to organize for the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on November 29, 2004!  We encourage people around the country to organize educational events, distribute educational resources and collect signatures for the US Campaign’s petition to President Bush. 
-         For more information about the International Day of Solidarity with the
          Palestinian People visit: 
http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=400
-         To download flyers for distribution in your communities on November   
           29th visit:
-         Join more than 100 organizations that have endorsed the US  
          Campaign’s letter to      President Bush.  To read and endorse the letter  
          visit:
http://www.endtheoccupation.org/petition.php?pid=6
*US Campaign merchandise is now available online.  Using our Pay Pal service you can purchase US Campaign t-shirts, Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: a Primer by Phyllis Bennis, and the US Campaign’s exclusive video commemorating the life, work, and contributions of the late Professor Edward Said.  Visit http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?list=type&type=142
*The US Campaign’s regional organizing conference in Kansas City, MO was a huge success.  Thank you to everyone in Kansas City who made our stay and the conference a wonderful experience.  You can read the conference report online at www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=595

* Per the decision of our members at the US Campaign’s 3rd annual national conference in June 2004, the US Campaign is developing volunteer-driven taskforces (see the conference report at http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=370).  Presently we are recruiting for four of these taskforces: Resources, Direct Action, Media, and Legislative.  If you are interested in contributing to any of these taskforces please send a message with your interest and skills to the respective e-mail addresses:
     - Resources Taskforce          outreach@endtheoccupation.org
     - Direct Action Taskforce     lancem@georgetown.edu
     - Media Taskforce                 raniaawwad@yahoo.com
     -Legislative Taskforce          congress@endtheoccupation.org
*On November 20 the US Campaign was featured in Arab News, an English language Middle East daily.  You can read the article “US Churches Take Stand Against Israeli Occupation” at http://www.arabnews.com/?page=4§ion=0&article=54745&d=20&m=11&y=2004
*In the coming months the US Campaign hopes to be organizing throughout the South and Southeast United States.  If you live in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia or Florida and you would be interested in organizing a speaking event for the US Campaign, please contact us at outreach@endtheoccupation.org

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2. NEW MEMBERS

* The US Campaign is growing! We now have almost 180 member organizations in our coalition. The following organizations recently became members of the US Campaign’s national network of organizations working to end US support for Israel’s occupation:
-         Manhattan Alliance for Peace and Justice, Manhattan, KS  
          http://www.mapj.org/index.php
-         People for Justice in Palestine – Iowa City, IA
http://
www.avalon.net/~jdsign/PJP/home.html
-         Red Wing Alliance for Peace – Red Wing, MN

* To become a member of the US Campaign please visit
www.endtheoccupation.org/modinput4.php?modin=2 to sign our Call to Action and pay membership dues.  Join today!

* To view a complete list of organizational members of the US Campaign visit
www.endtheoccupation.org/groups.php

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3. MEMBER ORGANIZATION OF THE MONTH: WESPAC Foundation: A Justice Action Network www.wespac.org
The WESPAC Foundation, located in Westchester County, New York, is a center for a wide range of local activism issues with the goal of working toward a sustainable, peaceful, and just future. 
WESPAC, a member organization of the US Campaign, recently organized an exhibit entitled “Made in Palestine” at the Westchester County Center where dozens of art pieces by Palestinians artists were on display for the public, as well as dabke dancing, children’s craft tables, and refreshments.  In the run-up to the November 20th event, several local politicians, including Rockland County assemblyman Ryan Karben, made various attempts to shut down the exhibit, appealing to Westchester County Center with claims that the exhibit was “anti-Israel propaganda.” 
Westchester County officials and the Westchester County Center found themselves under a lot of grassroots pressure from both sides of the debate.  To the relief of WESPAC and other organizers of the event, County Executive Andrew Spano would not shut down the event, framing the debate as an issue of First Amendment rights.  Not only did the show go on, but “Made in Palestine” attracted nearly 700 visitors from all over New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, many of whom traveled long distances to show their support for the exhibit and their solidarity with the Palestinian people. 
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4. RESOURCES & EDUCATION
*Recently the town of Somerville, outside of Boston, MA has been gaining a lot of publicity surrounding the Somerville Divestment Project’s (www.divestmentproject.org) resolution calling on the city to withdraw its money from companies that help Israel commit extensive and ongoing human rights violations.  As the project has gained momentum and the support of 8 out of 11 members of the Somerville Board of Aldermen, a strong counter-divestment campaign has been launched against them.  The US Campaign urges our member groups and individuals to submit endorsements of the Somerville Divestment Project resolution to Elisha Harig Blaine, harigblaine@yahoo.com by November 28.  You can view the text of the resolution at http://www.divestmentproject.org/resolution.shtml
* On November 23, 2004 Human Rights Watch (www.hrw.org) released a powerful statement calling on Caterpillar to end its bulldozer sales to the Israeli army.  The statement draws on an October letter sent by HRW to Caterpillar’s CEO James Owens, as well as HRW’s recent report “Razing Rafah” which was released last month.  As HRW will likely be under heavy fire by the opposition, the US Campaign urges you to thank HRW for taking this position. 
-         to read HRW’s statement visit
http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2004/11/22/isrlpa9711.htm
-         to read HRW’s letter to Caterpillar CEO James Owens visit
http://hrw.org/english/docs/2004/11/22/isrlpa9706.htm
-         to read HRW’s report “Razing Rafah” visit 
           http://hrw.org/reports/2004/rafah1004/
-         to thank HRW for releasing this statement visit http://hrw.org/contact.html
          for contact information
* At its national convention on October 24, 2005 in Birmingham, AL the National Lawyers Guild (www.nlg.org) passed a resolution calling for divestment from Israel.  To read the text of the resolution visit http://www.mengos.net/articles/specialdocuments/nlg-resolution.htm
* On November 19, 2004 the Senate unanimously passed S.Res. 477 “Expressing the sense of the Senate in support of a reinvigorated vision of peace, freedom, and democracy in the Middle East.”  You can view the pages of the Congressional record where this resolution appears at :
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getpage.cgi?dbname=2004_record&page=S11660&position=all

http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getpage.cgi?position=all&page=S11661&dbname=2004_record
The US Campaign found out about this resolution only after it had passed and therefore was not able to issue an action alert.  While there are some positive aspects to the resolution—such as its recognition that there cannot be peace without a free and democratic Palestinian state—it places the onus to end the conflict on the Palestinians rather than on Israel.  The resolution fails to mention Israel’s military occupation as the impediment to the establishment of a Palestinian state.
*The Fall issue of the Palestine Solidarity Review is now available online.  Visit http://psreview.org/content/blogsection/2/72/
*As a tribute to Palestinian children living in refugee camps, the Palestinian-American Women’s Association (PAWA) presents its 2005 wall calendar featuring photographs taken during a PAWA delegation to 10 refugee camps in Lebanon and Syria.  Calendars are $10 plus shipping, and proceeds will be donated to the Ghassan Kanafani Cultural Foundation (http://www.palcoordinationforum.org/gkcf.htm).  To order in your area, email the following contacts:
-         Northern California: ekishawi@yahoo.com
-         Washington, DC: ssaleh65@yahoo.com
-         New York: Kased11218@aol.com
-         Boston: Randadom@aol.com

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5. EVENTS

Groups around the country are organizing events for the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.  It’s not too late.  Plan an event today!  Here is a sample of what some of our member groups are planning.  To add your event to our on-line calendar, visit
http://www.endtheoccupation.org/calendar_input.php
* Minneapolis, MN: Stories from Palestinian and Jewish Peace Åctivists, Walker Community United Methodist Church, 3104 - 16th Ave. S., 7:00 p.m.  Coordinated by Women Against Military Madness, Middle East Peace Now, Pax Christi Twin Cities, Anti-War Committee.  For more information contact msarfehjoo@hotmail.com
* Cambridge, MA: Rally, Vigil, and Film/Discussion, The First Church, in Harvard Square, 3 Church Street, 6:00-9:00 pm.  Coordinated by the Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights.  For more information contact numurray@comcast.net
*Atlanta, GA: Screening “Palestine is Still the Issue,” Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, 7:30 pm.  Coordinated by Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East and the American Friends Service Committee – Southeast Middle East Peace Education Program.  For more information contact smoukaddam@afsc.org
*Berkeley, CA: Build a Bypass Road on Sproul Plaza, UC Berkeley-Sproul Plaza, 12:00-2:00pm.
*Washington, DC: All-day exhibit in Dupont Circle, including displays to represent disproportion of Israeli and Palestinian deaths during the 2nd Intifada, balloons representing US aid to Israel, information tent and documentary screenings.
*Portsmouth, NH: Peace Vigil in Solidarity with the Palestinian People, 12:30-1:30pm, Market Square.  Coordinated by Seacoast Peace Response.  For more information contact viviancool2@webtv.net
*Ottowa, Canada: Justice, Dignity and Self-Determination march in solidarity with the Palestinian people.  Lawn of the Supreme Court, 301 Wellington Street, 2pm.  Coordinated by the Coalition Against the Deportation of Palestinian Refugees and Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights.  For more information contact refugees@riseup.net

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6. UPCOMING DELEGATIONS TO ISRAEL AND PALESTINE
*December 6-December 17: The Global Exchange Reality Tours to Palestine & Israel strive to further the US public's understanding of the region's realities by giving people first-hand exposure to the human rights abuses occurring in the Occupied Territories. Participants have the opportunity to hear a diverse spectrum of Palestinian and Israeli opinions to better shape their understanding of the conflict and hopes for a solution.  For more information visit http://www.globalexchange.org/tours/583.html
*December 27-January 10, 2005: Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace.  For more information visit www.ffipp.org
*March 15-19, 2004 & May 21-June 4, 2004: Fellowship of Reconciliation Interfaith Peace Builders.  Interfaith Peace-Builder sends delegations to Israel and Palestine so that U.S. citizens can see the conflict with their own eyes. Participants have the opportunity to learn directly from Israeli and Palestinian nonviolent peace/human-rights activists, to spend time in Palestinian and Israeli homes, and to experience the situation of Palestinians living under military occupation.  For more information visit http://www.forusa.org/programs/ipb/default.html

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Occupation End Notes is the US Campaign bi-monthly 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 are planning an event aimed at ending the occupation, or you have information for the Newsletter, please contact the US Campaign at
outreach@endtheoccupation.org

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The US Campaign aims to change US policies that sustain Israel’s 37-year occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, and deny equal rights for all.

Donate to the US Campaign. Visit
http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=84