in this issue...
1. US Campaign Update: Report Back – November 29th; US Campaign in Wisconsin – January, 2005; NEW! Buy US Campaign Merchandise Online; Organizing in the South and Southeast U.S.
2. New Members of the US Campaign
3. Member Organization of the Month: ICJ Support Committee of the Coalition for Peace with Justice, North Carolina
4. Resources & Education: Talking Points for “Razing Rafah” by Human Rights Watch; “The Dividing Wall”—film by the Mennonite Central Committee; Audio and Video recordings from “Dual Occupations: From the Rule of Force to the Rule of Law in U.S. Middle East Policy”
5. Upcoming delegations to Israel and Palestine: Global Exchange; Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace; F.O.R. Interfaith Peacebuilders
1. US CAMPAIGN UPDATE
* Thank you and congratulations to all who participated in the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on November 29th. We recorded over two- dozen events around the country that took place on that day including vigils, street theater, the distribution of educational information, and the solicitation of signatures for the US Campaign’s letter to President Bush. So that we may all learn from each other’s experiences and to make future national mobilizations even bigger and better, we hope that you will provide feedback about your events. We will compile this feedback and make it available on our website. To fill out our online “report back” form for November 29th please visit www.endtheoccupation.org/modinput.php?modin=75
Thank you for your help!
* Kymberlie Quong Charles, the US Campaign’s membership outreach coordinator, will be traveling in Wisconsin and is available to visit your community from January 17-22. During this trip Kymberlie hopes to provide resources and education for grassroots activism, to work with grassroots Wisconsin groups on strategies for activism in local communities, to reach out to new individuals and organizations to support your work, and to tell people about the work and the vision of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. If you would like Kymberlie to visit your community please call us at 202-543-1778 or e-mail us at email@example.com to make arrangements.
*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 www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?list=type&type=142
*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 firstname.lastname@example.org
2. NEW MEMBERS
* The US Campaign is growing! We now have more than 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:
- Conference of Major Superiors of Men – Silver Spring, MD
- Justice First Foundation – West Kingston, RI
- Nonviolence International – Washington, DC
- We Refuse to be Enemies – Bristol, CT
* 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
3. MEMBER ORGANIZATION OF THE MONTH:
ICJ Support Committee of the Coalition for Peace with Justice – North Carolina www.peace-with-justice.org
In August 2004 several members of a North Carolina-based group, the Coalition for Peace with Justice, came together to form an ICJ Support Committee in order to publicize the International Court of Justice’s July advisory opinion regarding Israel’s illegal wall in the West Bank. The six committee members, who hail from Chapel Hill and Durham, decided to print an ad in The News and Observer, the state capitol newspaper of North Carolina.
The ad was designed as a letter to be endorsed by as many signatories as possible. The letter calls on citizens to put pressure on elected representatives to abide by international law in accordance with the ICJ’s advisory opinion, which states that Israel’s wall violates international and human rights laws. The letter also acknowledges and thanks Representatives David Price and Melvin Watt for voting “no” on House Resolution 713 which deplores the ICJ advisory opinion (see the text of this letter at the bottom).
The ad was printed in the News and Observer on December 5, 2004 with the endorsement of eleven organizations and 100 individual signatures. According to the organizers, a variety of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim organizations and individuals signed on to the ad. Organizational signatures came from The Catholic Community of St. Francis of Assisi Church, Chapel Hill Friends Meeting, Elders for Peace, Franciscan Friars of Durham, Friendship with Palestinian Christians, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church Social Concerns Committee, Jews for a Just Peace, Mothers for Peace International, Triangle Tikkun, and Twin Streams Educational Center-Peace 1st Project.
The US Campaign would like to congratulate the ICJ Support Committee for their successful efforts to raise awareness in their community about the wall, U.S. policy, international law and human rights, and we encourage others to consider organizing similar activities in their local communities.
(the text of the ad printed in the News and Observer on Dec. 5, 2004)
UPHOLD INTERNATIONAL LAW IN ISRAEL/PALESTINE
The government of Israel continues to violate human rights by building its "security wall" mostly through occupied Palestinian territory. The wall would devastate 400,000 Palestinians by cutting them off from schools, livelihoods, health care, family and community.
By a 14-1 vote, judges of the International Court of Justice recently confirmed that the wall violates international law (www.icj-cij.org, Decisions). The United Nations General Assembly voted 150-6 to uphold the ICJ ruling. Only the United States, Israel, Australia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau voted against.
We, the undersigned, support the ICJ's call to dismantle all portions of the wall beyond Israel's internationally recognized 1967 borders. While acknowledging Israel's security concerns, we strongly object to Israel's using the wall to expand its territory by annexing illegal Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian land.
The 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits an occupying power from settling its civilians on territory it occupies. Israel and the U.S. have been signatories to the treaty for half a century. The ICJ calls on nations not to assist in constructing an illegal barrier that compels Palestinians to leave their homes to escape intolerable living conditions.
We applaud Representatives David Price and Melvin Watt for voting against House Resolution 713 "deploring" the ICJ ruling. We urge all citizens to contact your elected representatives (Congress, 202-224-3121) and demand that our government uphold international law. Unilateralism that violates international law can only inflame the conflict.
4. RESOURCES & EDUCATION
* In October 2004 Human Rights Watch (HRW) released "Razing Rafah: Mass Home Demolitions in the Gaza Strip" which documents the systematic destruction of homes and property in the Gaza Strip by the Israeli government with special attention paid to the usage of US-made Caterpillar bulldozers. In order to use "Razing Rafah" as an activist resource, Human Rights Watch has created talking points to accompany their report. For the talking points and links to “Razing Rafah” and other resources visit www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?list=type&type=148
* As part of its Bridges Not Walls campaign, the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) has produced a film titled “The Dividing Wall.” By introducing the audience to those who are negatively impacted by the wall, as well as Israelis and Palestinians who are working for peace, the film “explores the humanitarian, social and political impact of the Israeli-built ‘security fence.’” To purchase the film visit www.thenovgroup.com/MCC/catalog/result.php and type “The Dividing Wall” into the product search.
* On November 6, 2004 the MIT Arab Students Association and the Trans-Arab Research Institute hosted a conference entitled “Dual Occupations: From the Rule of Force to the Rule of Law in U.S. Policy in the Middle East.” Presenters at the conference included Noam Chomsky, Naseer Aruri, Nadia Hijab, Will Youmans, and Donald Wagner. Radio Free Maine documented this event in audio and video formats and these recordings are available for purchase. Visit www.radiofreemaine.com for more information and pricing.
5. UPCOMING DELEGATIONS TO ISRAEL AND PALESTINE
*December 27-January 10, 2005: Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace. For more information visit www.ffipp.org
*February 14-27: Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA). Over the 14-day trip participants will meet with Palestinian and Israeli activists, academics, politicians, civil society leaders and healthcare workers. MECA’s trips to Ramallah, Haifa, Hebron, Nablus and Gaza among others areas help North Americans get familiar with the social and geo-political landscape as well as learn more about the history of the current situation. Cost: $1600-includes hotel, three meals daily and transportation while there (excludes airfare). For more information contact MECA Delegation Coordinator Uda Walker, 510-548-0542, email@example.com, www.mecaforpeace.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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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