Home   »  Our Coalition  »  Member Groups  »  Occupation End Notes

Occupation End Notes | January 6, 2005 Volume 2 Number 7

in this issue...


1. US Campaign Update: Happy New Year; US Campaign in Wisconsin - January, 2005; US Campaign in the South - February, 2005; Congressional District Coordinator Update

2. New Members of the US Campaign

3. Member Organization of the Month: East Iowa Presbytery Peacemaking Group

4. Resources & Education: Jayyous Action Alerts; Christian Science Monitor Poll on Divestment; HDIP 2005 Wall Calendar

5. Events: Progressive Democrats of America National Summit - Washington, DC; National Conference on Organized Resistance - Washington, DC; In Word and Deed: A Conference for Peacemakers - Atlanta, GA; Conference: American Churches and the Palestinians - Austin, TX

6. Upcoming delegations to Israel and Palestine: Middle East Children's Alliance; F.O.R. Interfaith Peacebuilders


1. US CAMPAIGN UPDATE


* Happy New Year from the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. We hope the first Occupation End Notes of 2005 finds you well and rejuvenated for an exciting year of organizing. In addition to our annual national organizers conference we are planning several regional conferences around the country, as well as speaking tours, national days of action, a grassroots organizing training institute and more! We will provide you with a calendar of major US campaign events shortly, so stay tuned.

* Kymberlie Quong Charles, the US Campaign's membership outreach coordinator, will be traveling in Wisconsin and is available to visit your community from January 17-24. 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 local organizing work, and to tell people about the work and the vision of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. Her current itinerary is as follows:

Sunday, January 16: Madison

Monday, January 17:

Tuesday, January 18: Madison (Fitchburg)

Wednesday, January 19: Milwaukee

Thursday, January 20: River Falls

Friday, January 21: Oshkosh (pending)

Saturday, January 22:

Sunday, January 23: Milwaukee

If you would like Kymberlie to visit your community please call us at 202-543-1778 or e-mail us at outreach@endtheoccupation.org to make arrangements.

*Josh Ruebner, the US Campaign's Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator, will be organizing in the South from February 6-10, 2005. Josh is available to visit your community to give presentations, to participate in house parties and to conduct skills-building workshops on how your community can organize to end US support for Israel's illegal occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem. If you would like Josh to visit your community, e-mail congress@endtheoccupation.org or call 202-543-1778 to make arrangements.

*We now have 156 Congressional District Coordinators in 37 states, covering 156 Congressional districts. This accounts for just over one-third of all the Congressional districts in the country! We're still looking for CDC's to organize in the rest of the country, and especially in Texas, Tennessee, and Kentucky. If you would like to learn more about being a Congressional District Coordinator for the US Campaign, please e-mail congress@endtheoccupation.org for more information. Also, we will be releasing the new and improved report card for the 109th Congress as soon as possible. Be on the lookout!


**********


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:

- Home for Peace and Justice - Saginaw, MI

- Maine Peace and Justice in Israel and Palestine - Buxton, ME

- Merrimack Valley People for Peace - North Andover, MA

http://www.merrimackvalleypeopleforpeace.org


* 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: East Iowa Presbytery Peacemaking

In 2005, the East Iowa Presbytery Peacemaking group, a member organization of the US Campaign, will initiate a Congressional Accompaniment Project to get Members of Congress to participate in fact-finding tours to Israel and Palestine during the Congressional Spring Break. The goal of these delegations is to offer Members of Congress and their staff experiences that will illuminate the facts on the ground in Israel and Palestine. The delegations will be led by the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem.

The Congressional Accompaniment Project is an excellent compliment to the efforts that the US Campaign is making to organize grassroots pressure on Members of Congress to support policies that are in the interest of justice, peace, and equality for Palestinians and Israelis. We encourage everyone to get involved with the Congressional Accompaniment Project and bring your elected representatives to Israel and Palestine!

An introductory letter from the East Iowa Presbytery follows, including contact information for further details.

====================

Congressional Accompaniment Project


A hands-on educational experience for Members of Congress and their local

constituents.


The Congressional Accompaniment Project is an effort by Americans concerned

for a just peace in Israel/Palestine to assist their Congressional representatives and/or their foreign policy aides to be more informed regarding the "facts on the ground" in Israel/Palestine.


In the midst of the highly charged and crucial area of global peacemaking, the Congressional Accompaniment Project offers an opportunity for local church, ecumenical or community groups to accompany their own Congressional representatives or their principal aides on a guided fact-finding tour in Israel and Palestine led by the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem.


The Congressional Accompaniment Project can be a powerful tool toward assisting Members of Congress to achieve more balanced, fair and even handed attitudes and policy-making in the Middle East. This, in turn, will help to bring an end to the violence, enable just peacemaking in the region, and contribute toward making the American people as well as the people of Israel and Palestine more secure, and the United States more respected among the world of nations.


The Accompaniment Project will include meetings with both Israeli and Palestinian governmental officials, American Embassy and Consulate staff, as well as non-governmental professionals, educators and people in all walks of life. It will include travel in Israel and within the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza to visit areas of conflict and dispute - the Wall, housing demolitions, "settlements," 'security checkpoints," etc.


This effort is endorsed by a number of religious groups including the Presbytery of East Iowa of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Eastern Iowa Coalition for Peace and Justice in Israel/Palestine, and the Sabeel Ecumenical Christian Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem. It is conducted in cooperation with the Middle East office of the Presbyterian

Church(USA) among others.


Contact East Iowa Presbytery Peacemaking at (319) 354-9220 or email

sue-dy@avalon.net for further information. The initial Project tour is scheduled for the Congressional spring break, 2005.

============================


**********


4. RESOURCES & EDUCATION

* For the second time in the course of one year the residents of the West Bank village of Jayyous are fighting to hold on to their land. Last winter the path of Israel's Wall made its way through the village, and now a neighboring settlement, Zufin, is expanding into Jayyous's farmland. In response to these actions the Rhode Island Qalqilya Alliance and Jewish Voice for Peace have issued action alerts in opposition to the appropriation of Jayyous's land. Visit RIQA's alert at http://www.skjpag.org/riqaactions.htm or JVP's alert at http://ga3.org/campaign/help_jayyous to take action today!

*The Christian Science Monitor is currently running a poll on whether US-based churches should divest from Israel. The poll was released on December 6, 2004 and is accompanied by an excellent article looking at the Presbyterian Church's divestment resolution and the various discussions that this action has spawned. To read the article and vote in the poll visit http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/1206/p11s02-lire.html

*Health, Development, Information and Policy Institute (HDIP) 2005 Wall Calendars are available now. Containing maps, facts, full-color photographs, and relevant quotations, these beautiful calendars remind us of the reasons we are fighting for a more just world. With an emphasis on the effects of the Apartheid Wall, the calendar is a powerful visual manifestation of the brutality and absurdity of the politics of division as well as a heartening reminder of the resilience and hope present in all of the Palestinian people and their supporters. To order contact muzna@hdip.org for pricing and shipping information.


**********


5. EVENTS

*January 21-23: Washington, DC

Join the US Campaign at the Progressive Democrats of America National Summit. Three days of inspiration, planning and problem-solving. Helping to shape the future of the Democratic Party, and the direction of our country, with progressive speakers, discussions and workshops. For more information and to register visit http://www.pdamerica.org/

*February 3-6: Washington, DC

Join the US Campaign at the National Conference on Organized Resistance. (NCOR) has been happening every winter on the campus of American University in Washington, DC since 1998. It aims to provide a space for activists to meet each other, have in-depth discussions, analyze our strategies, tactics, beliefs and learn a few new skills. For more informationa and to register visit http://www.organizedresistance.org/index.shtml

*February 4-5: Atlanta, GA

In Word and Deed: A Conference for Peacemakers. Organized by Friends of Sabeel - North America, American Friends Service Committee Southeast Region, Columbia Theological Seminary, Presbyterian Answer to Hunger. For more information and to register visit http://userwww.service.emory.edu/~jrayres/sabeel/

*February 11-2: Austin, TX

American Churches and the Palestinians. Presented by the Interfaith Community for Palestinian Rights, Friends of Sabeel - North America, and Pax Christi USA. For more information and to register visit http://www.fosna.org/pdf/Austin%20TX%20Conference%20Brochure.pdf

**********

5. UPCOMING DELEGATIONS TO ISRAEL AND PALESTINE

*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, uda@mecaforpeace.org, 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 outreach@endtheoccupation.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