Friday, June 19, 2009

Weekly Roundup

A totally non-comprehensive list of media coverage and developments related to the work of the US Campaign from this past week (for a more comprehensive collection of cool stuff, we recommend checking out our bi-monthly e-newsletter, Occupation End Notes): 1) This year's Caterpillar shareholder meeting action really made a media splash. You can check out some of the media coverage on our website. Matan Cohen of Hampshire College Students for Justice in Palestine spoke on behalf of this year's shareholder resolution on CAT's military sales to Caterpillar. Matan was featured on Democracy Now!, and the folks over at Palestine Video were nice enough to provide the video: 2) We're also big fans of the Institute for Middle East Understanding's article about the CAT shareholder meeting, which you can read in full here. 3) It's been a huge month for the global boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement. We've written quite a bit about recent victories on our website and on this blog, but we've got a few more to add. Independent Jewish Voices of Canada has voted to join the Palestinian BDS call. Also in Canada, hearings regarding appropriate jurisdiction for the lawsuit that residents of the village of Bil'in are bringing against companies involved in settlement building are scheduled to begin early next week. And amidst signs that Motorola might be planning to sell of yet another aspect of its Israeli operations (after selling off its bomb fuse department earlier this year), Defence for Children International-Palestine Division has asked UNICEF to reject Motorola sponsorship until the company totally cuts its involvement with the occupation. Check out more BDS news here. 4) The LA Times today is carrying a great piece by Saree Makdisi on the "special language" that effects the U.S. discourse on Israel/Palestine. Check it out:
"Reality can be so easily stood on its head when it comes to Israel because the misreading of Israeli declarations is a long-established practice among commentators and journalists in the United States....In fact, a special vocabulary has been developed for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the United States. It filters and structures the way in which developing stories are misread here, making it difficult for readers to fully grasp the nature of those stories -- and maybe even for journalists to think critically about what they write."
5) Slate carried an interesting piece on the challenges that Obama faces in the necessary task of pressuring Israel on settlements. Of course, there's a lot that you can do to create political space for this happen! 6) Speaking of challenges, Bridget Johnson writes on The Hill about the response of the various lobbying groups to Obama's Middle East efforts. 7) Despite the challenges, though, the Obama administration seems determined to keep up the pressure on Israel, as this recent article in Haaretz shows. 8) Want to see how your elected representatives are voting on this issue? We've made it easy by creating a report card for the 111th Congress. Check it out on our website! 9) Mondoweiss picked up US Campaign National Advocacy Director Josh Ruebner's post on the kafka-esque task of trying to get into a budget mark-up session. 10) The Israeli human rights organization B'tselem has issued a report about the use of live fire to "disperse" unarmed demonstrations. As we've written before on this blog, when live fire is used, there is a pretty good chance that it's the result of U.S. tax dollars going to military aid to Israel. And there you have it--a totally incomplete weekly roundup!