Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"We Are Unarmed and We Are Sailing."

The U.S. Boat to Gaza is a US Campaign member organization and a US Campaign-endorsed initiative.

On Anniversary of Mavi Marmara Killings, U.S. Boat to Gaza Announces Passenger List
New York, NY-May 31, 2011. Organizers of the U.S. Boat to Gaza announced today that they expect some 50 people will be aboard The Audacity of Hope when it joins the second "freedom flotilla" in late June to break the siege of Gaza.

The announcement came on the year's anniversary of the 2010 Israeli attack on unarmed passengers aboard the Mavi Marmara, killing nine, including an 18-year old U.S. citizen of Turkish descent.

Leslie Cagan, coordinator of the U.S. Boat to Gaza, said, "We are sailing-despite threats by the Israeli armed forces to use attack dogs and snipers against us-and despite frantic diplomatic pressure by the Israeli government to prevent other countries from allowing the flotilla to sail." She commented that while Egypt has just opened the Rafah border to Gaza, the maritime blockade and the Israeli siege of Gaza still exist.

So far, 34 passengers and four crewmembers have confirmed that they will be sailing on The Audacity of Hope. They range in age from 22 to 87 years old and live in 14 states in every region of the U.S. All are committed to non-violence. Members of the press will also be on the boat.

Varied occupations are represented by the passengers, including retired film producer, construction worker, retired teacher and engineer, student, author, nurse, EMT, firefighter, activist, jazz musician, retired military personnel, professor social worker and lawyer. More than half the participants are women.

Passengers and crew will gather in Athens on June 21, 2011 in advance of the anticipated sailing date, which will depend on weather conditions and logistics.

The Audacity of Hope will carry as its cargo thousands of letters of friendship and solidarity with the people of Gaza from people throughout our country. Cagan said that inspections of the boat and its passengers prior to departure will prove the non-violent nature of the mission.

Richard Levy, attorney and passenger on The Audacity of Hope, explained that "Because Israel occupies Gaza, and accordingly has obligations under the Geneva Conventions, it cannot legally blockade Gaza." Therefore, he continued, "attempts by the Israeli government to prevent ships from going to Gaza are equally illegal."

A list of confirmed passengers and crew is attached. Short biographical statements from each of them can be found at http://ustogaza.org/passengers-on-the-audacity-of-hope/


Nic Abramson - Woodstock, NY
Johnny Barber - Gallatin Gateway, MT
Medea Benjamin - Washington, DC
Greta Berlin - Los Angeles, CA
Hagit Borer - Los Angeles, CA
Regina Carey - San Rafael, CA
Gale Courey Toensing -Canaan, CT
Erin DeRamus - Portland, OR
Linda Durham - Sante Fe, NM
Debra Ellis - Santa Cruz, CA
Hedy Epstein - St. Louis, MO
Steve Fake - New Orleans, LA
Ridgely Fuller - Waltham, MA
Megan Horan - West Seattle, WA
Kathy Kelly - Chicago, IL
Kit Kittredge - Quilcene, WA
Libor Koznar - New Britain, CT
G. Kaleo Larson - Northern CA
Richard Levy - New York, NY
Richard Lopez - Tumwater, WA
Ken Mayers - Sante Fe, NM
Ray McGovern - Arlington, VA
Gail Miller - New York, NY
Robert Naiman - Urbana, IL
Henry Norr - Berkeley, CA
Ann Petter - New York, NY
Gabe Schivone- Tucson, AZ
Kathy Sheetz - Richmond, CA
Max Suchan - Chicago, IL
Brad Taylor - New York, NY
Len Tsou - New City, NY
Alice Walker - Northern CA
Paki Wieland - Northampton, MA
Ann Wright - Honolulu, HI


John Klusmire, captain
David Smith, engineer
Yonatan Shapira, mate
David Schermerhorn, mate

I'm Setting Sail for Gaza Again & You Can Help

Dear Friends,

One year ago today, as Israeli naval commandoes attacked the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in international waters, I was on board The Challenger, a U.S.-flagged ship that was part of this international effort to break Israel's illegal blockade of the Palestinian Gaza Strip. 

Israeli commandoes grabbed me by my hair and rammed my head into the deck. They then stepped on my head in order to cuff my hands behind my back and then put a sack over my head. Worse yet, the commandoes killed nine of my fellow passengers, including 19-year old U.S. citizen Furkan Dogan, on the Mavi Marmara.

An international fact-finding mission of the UN Human Rights Council concluded that Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip is "collective punishment"--a war crime--and that its May 31, 2010, attack on the flotilla in order to enforce its blockade was "illegal." The mission found that six passengers, including Furkan, were killed "in a manner consistent with an extra-legal, arbitrary and summary execution," and that survivors were subjected to "torture."

Rather than put pressure on Israel to end its illegal blockade of Gaza, investigate Israel's killing of a U.S. citizen and attack against a U.S. ship, and sanction Israel for misusing U.S. weapons to attack the flotilla, the Obama Administration shamefully has tried to shield Israel from accountability for its actions. 

On Saturday, Egypt permanently reopened its border crossing with Rafah. This is an important step toward ending Gaza's isolation. But because Israel is still illegally blockading Gaza by land, sea and air, and because my country--the United States--is still enabling Israel to get away with it (in April, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice even publicly pressured governments to block future flotillas), in June I plan to sail for Gaza again with "Freedom Flotilla II -- Stay Human."

I need you to help us break Israel's illegal blockade of Gaza, bring messages of solidarity to the 1.5 million Palestinians who are suffering Israel's collective punishment, and make sure that Israel does not repeat its illegal attack on us.

Here's how you can help today!

1. Tell President Obama to ensure safe passage of the Freedom Flotilla II to Gaza.

2. Visit the website of US Campaign member group U.S. Boat to Gaza, which is organizing The Audacity of Hope, the U.S. component of this flotilla. There you can take action by writing a letter of solidarity to Palestinians in Gaza, sign up for email updates, and much more.

I am proud to be an Advisory Board Member of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation because of all the amazing work we do together to change U.S. policy to support freedom, justice and equality for Palestinians.  I'm so glad that the US Campaign has endorsed the U.S. Boat to Gaza.

Thank you for taking action with me to ensure the success of the Freedom Flotilla II!

In solidarity,

Huwaida Arraf
Member, US Campaign Advisory Board
Chair, Free Gaza Movement

Have TIAA-CREF? Join a Call-in Day, Tomorrow, June 1!

We Divest is a US Campaign-endorsed initiative.

Tell TIAA-CREF: "You can’t censor me!
You can’t continue investing in Occupation!"

TIAA-CREF thinks it can ignore Israeli violations of human rights and international law by censoring discussion among their clients. Activists with retirement funds in TIAA- CREF recently introduced a shareholder resolution about companies in the TIAA-CREF portfolio that profit from illegal Israeli Occupation. TIAA-CREF responded by quashing the resolution and refusing to place it on the shareholder ballot.

Join us in telling TIAA-CREF: You can’t censor us, and you can’t continue investing in Occupation!

On June 1st, 2011, the We Divest Campaign will host a call-in day nationwide. Join activists from across the country in telling TIAA-CREF it’s time to stop censoring discussion and time to start divesting from Occupation!

Take it to the Streets!

Four Easy Action Ideas for the We Divest Call-in Day:

1. Pick up your phone and call TIAA-CREF CEO, Roger Ferguson.
2. Distribute the email call far and wide.
3. Set up a “take five table” in a high traffic area of town.
4. Host a calling party or a phone bank.


Gaza Reels, by gisha.org

A new animated film released today by Gisha challenges the commonly held belief that Israel no longer exercises control over Gaza and does not bear responsibility for what goes on there. The opening of the Rafah Crossing is a welcome improvement in Gaza residents' access to the outside world. However, it does not detract from Israel's obligation to allow regular travel between Gaza and the West Bank. The Palestinian territory shares a single economy, a single education system, a single healthcare system and countless familial, cultural and social ties.

The film was created as part of Gisha's effort to initiate an informed public discussion of Israel's policy toward Gaza. To accompany the film, Gisha is also releasing a "cheat sheet" providing concise answers to commonly asked questions about Gaza, such as: what is the economic situation in Gaza today? Is there a food shortage in the Strip? Exactly what travel restrictions does Israel currently impose on residents of Gaza? The cheat sheet is available on Gisha's website and will be regularly updated.

Media Advocacy Opportunity: 1967 Borders

Below, in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution op-ed today, Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi answers the question of whether the 1967 borders should guide an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.  In conclusion, he warns that if Palestinians do not achieve statehood, then eventually their cause will "be transformed from pursuit of two states to a struggle within one state for one person, one vote."  Harold Kirtz, president of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Atlanta, takes an opposing view.
Please write your letter of support for Dr. Barghouthi's position to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution today, in fewer than 150 words.  Letters can be sent to letters@ajc.com.  Be sure to include your first and last name (no initials) and, for verification purposes only, your home address and phone numbers.

Pro & Con: Should the 1967 borders guide Israeli-Palestinian peace plan?

But the details matter: no conditions, no ‘swaps,’ no settlements.

By Mustafa Barghouthi
May 31, 2011

President Barack Obama was right to call for a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders. But he should have stopped there. Instead, he added a damaging proviso about “mutually agreed swaps” of land.

Conditions and stipulations trouble Palestinians greatly. Israel used the Oslo Accords not to finalize a peace deal with the Palestinians but to expand settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank — talking peace while seizing our land. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was notorious for accepting what American Presidents asked of him. Yet in the next breath he would note his caveats.

Prime Minister Netanyahu imitated Sharon’s approach two years ago — and again last Tuesday in the U.S. Congress — while reluctantly voicing support for a two-state solution. He said yes to a Palestinian state while simultaneously stripping it of meaningful sovereignty. Israel would maintain major settlement blocs, retain East Jerusalem and a military presence in the Jordan Valley, refuse the return of any Palestinian refugees to stolen homes and land, and ensure that a Palestinian “state” is a nonentity without real sovereignty.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

What Opening Rafah Means & Doesn't Mean

By Yousef Munayyer, Executive Director of the Palestine Center (a US Campaign member organization)
May 28, 2011

The news was welcomed by many around the world this week when reports about a decision taken by Egypt's current military government to open the Rafah crossing with Gaza surfaced. But what does the opening of Rafah mean? There will undoubtedly be those trying to proclaim that life is on the up and up in Gaza now and that the siege is over. But Gaza and the siege that entraps it is immensely complicated. Ignoring the nuances of this policy and thinking that Gaza is equivalent to a solid black box that just had its lid opened is entirely misleading. It is important, especially as the anniversary of the attack on the Mavi Marmara approaches, to understand what the opening of Rafah means and does not mean, and to redouble our efforts to raise awareness about, and challenge, the continued Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip.

What the Opening of Rafah Does Not Mean: The siege is over.

The siege of the Gaza Strip is a multi-layered closure with many dimensions. Several closure policies contribute to the siege effect, and the opening of Rafah is unlikely to have a major impact on the overall effect simply because the remaining closure policies, enforced by Israel, are not changing.

First, what exactly is the Rafah Crossing? Rafah is a Palestinian town in the Gaza Strip which straddles the border with Egypt. A terminal at the border exists to facilitate the travel of people across the border, but Rafah is not designed as a crossing for supplies. The opening of Rafah, while it may allow for people in Gaza to exit (with the permission of Egypt still required of course), has little effect on the actual quantity of goods coming in and out of Gaza.


Obama's Foreign Policy, Israel's Indefensible Stand

Jamala Rogers is a member of the BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board, and is the leader of the Organization for Black Struggle in St. Louis and the Black Radical Congress National Organizer. St. Louis is also the home of the US Campaign's National Organizer, Anna Baltzer, who is mentioned in this article.

By Jamala Rogers in Black Commentator
May 26, 2011

As President Obama was presenting the comprehensive vision of his Middle East policy, a contingent of St. Louis activists were landing in Tel-Aviv. The St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC) is composed of Jewish-Americans, Palestinian-Americans and other concerned Americans focused on bringing peace to the peoples of both countries.
One PSC member on the current trip to Gaza is Anna Baltzer. The young activist was detained for hours when the group first arrived in Israel, and some of her personal belongings were temporarily confiscated. Anna is one of many concerned Jewish people who have made peace their life’s work. Her documentary, Life in Occupied Palestine: Eyewitness Stories and Photos, gave me new insights into the occupation situation when I viewed it a few years ago. Anna is part of a long and growing support base for advocating a fair and humane approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Support the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza

We are writing to ask for your support for the Gaza Freedom Flotilla scheduled to set sail in the second half of June to the besieged Gaza strip. You can help prevent an assault on the nonviolent activists aboard the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza by signing on to our petition.

At least ten ships with dignitaries, doctors, professors, artists, journalists, and activists, as well as construction supplies and humanitarian aid, will sail from ports in Europe to Gaza in an act of non-violent civil disobedience to persuade the international community to fulfill its obligations towards the Palestinian people and end Israel's four-year illegal blockade of Gaza.

This is the second, large-scale citizen-to-citizen flotilla to be launched by international grassroots groups. Organized by 14 national groups and international coalitions, the flotilla will carry approximately 1,000 passengers. It will include a US boat named The Audacity of Hope, which will have aboard dozens of dedicated social justice activists. Learn more about the US Boat to Gaza.

The last Freedom Flotilla in May 2010 included seven vessels carrying nearly 700 passengers from 36 different countries. Israeli commandos attacked the boats, shooting and killing nine passengers, injuring over 50 and imprisoning all aboard.This tragedy opened the subject of Gaza on the world stage and put considerable pressure on Israel to ease the draconian siege on Gaza - something the international community had failed to do for 3 years. Learn more about the Free Gaza Movement and support their efforts.

We ask you to sign this petition to show the overwhelming public support for an end to siege of Gaza and the rights for Palestinians. We also demand that the American administration apply pressure on Israel to ensure that passengers are not violently attacked and to allow the flotilla to sail to Gaza.


No More Applause

By Cecilie Surasky, Deputy Director of Jewish Voice for Peace, a US Campaign member organization
May 26, 2011

I was stunned to see that our entire U.S. Congress gave Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu 29 standing ovations on Tuesday. Twenty-nine. Unbelievable, given what his speech contained.

The speech that Netanyahu gave that day will go down in history as an extraordinary embarrassment to Americans and Israelis alike. Read on to find out what he said and why we cannot let it go unanswered.

To put it simply, Netanyahu proved yet again that he prefers settlement expansion and Jewish domination of Palestinians to any kind of true peace agreement that would benefit both peoples. He claimed that Israel isn’t occupying anyone—ignoring nearly 44 years of increasingly brutal Israeli control over the lives of millions of Palestinians.

He stated that Israel had no need for American military assistance—ignoring the $3 billion in military equipment and aid the U.S. provides Israel each year. He said Israel supports the desire of Arab peoples to live free—saying nothing about the ongoing Israeli shootings and arrests of Palestinians who nonviolently protest for their right to be free. (1)

What makes this so outrageous is that Netanyahu’s speech found a shockingly sympathetic audience in the U.S. Congress while people like you and me could only watch in disbelief.

I’ve had it. I cannot stand by and watch my member of Congress applaud this man and his litany of distortions, myths and outright fabrications. Please, I urge you to join me in writing your US Representative to say, “How could you? Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has shown repeatedly that he is not interested in a viable future for either Palestinians or Israelis and you rewarded him with 29 standing ovations as the world watched."

Here’s a taste of what Netanyahu said, and Jewish Voice for Peace’s debunking of it:

“You don’t need to send American troops to Israel, we defend ourselves.“

Not true. Israel does not defend itself. Israel is historically the number one recipient of US foreign aid. The US gives Israel a whopping $3 billion a year in aid and military equipment, most of which is used to defend Israel’s illegal occupation.

“In Judea and Samaria, the Jewish people are not occupiers.” (Raucous standing ovation.)

Not True. Israel’s nearly 44-year long occupation of Palestinian territories is illegal according to international law. The more than 500,000 Jewish Israelis who have been moved into the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 1967 are settlers who occupy Palestinian land - much of it privately owned by Palestinians and stolen by Jews the rest of it expropriated by the Israeli state - all taken for exclusive Jewish use. (2) This is occupation.

Moreover, “Judea and Samaria” are the biblical terms for that piece of land. Is Bibi suggesting a state based not on secular law but on the Bible? A Jewish theocracy? Is this the Israel that our Congress promotes?

“You don’t need to export democracy to Israel. We’ve already got it.”

Not true. Within Israel, the 20% of Israeli citizens who are Palestinian do have the right to vote and run for office. But they are victims of systematic housing, workplace and resource discrimination. For example, 93% of Israeli land is reserved for Jews.(3) In the West Bank, more than 2 million Palestinians live under Israeli occupation—that is, their lives are ruled by Israeli military law, while their Jewish settler neighbors are subject to Israeli civil law. Another 1.5 million Gazans live under siege by the Israeli military. Is this democracy?

“Jerusalem must never again be divided. Jerusalem must remain the united capital of Israel.”

Not true. The original UN charter that created Israel, as still recognized by the international community, identified Jerusalem as an internationalized zone that must be shared by all parties.

I should say that I’m not really shocked by Netanyahu’s speech. But, I am shocked - shocked, stunned, discouraged, outraged - by the reaction of our elected officials. Clearly, they are not hearing from the growing number of people like you and me who are ready for a change. They won’t stop applauding until we speak up - and speak up loudly.

Rae Abileah is with the advocacy group Code Pink and a member of Young, Jewish, and Proud, the young adult arm of Jewish Voice for Peace. She was physically attacked by some members of the Israel lobby group AIPAC, hospitalized with neck injuries and then arrested after she bravely shouted out the truth during Netanyahu's speech to Congress.(4) The night before, 5 protesters interrupted Netanyahu's AIPAC speech and were similarly assaulted.

Not all of us can put our bodies on the line the way Rae and so many others have. But we can all take action today, by telling our elected officials they must represent us, not the interests of one of the most right-wing and intransigent governments in Israeli history.

If you live outside of the United States, please write to President Obama to tell him how you feel this has further damaged the United States' standing in the eyes of the world.

Thank you,

Cecilie Surasky, Deputy Director
Jewish Voice for Peace

P.S. Two of the many Jewish Voice for Peace members in Washington this week were interviewed about AIPAC counter-protests this week. Seventeen year-old Hanna King was on Al Jazeera and Jesse Bacon was on National Public Radio.

(1) Jewish Voice for Peace, "Clouds over freedom in the West Bank."
(2) Btselem, "Taking Control of the Land in the West Bank."
(3) Adalah, "Historical Background."
(4) CNN, In The Arena, "Why Rae Abileah says she disrupted Benjamin Netanyahu Tuesday."


In court, IDF's latest "expert" witness vilifies nonviolent accompaniers

By Cindy & Craig Corrie, of the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace & Justice, a US Campaign member organization
May 25, 2011

The lengthy civil trial in Israel in the case of Rachel Corrie continued Sunday, May 22, with former IDF spokeswoman Ruth Yaron attacking the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). Cindy Corrie commented:
"In this so-called 'expert' testimony that drew largely on highly questionable hearsay and secondary sources, it was again deeply troubling to see the length to which the state of Israel is willing to go in its attempts to justify killing a nonviolent, unarmed civilian acting to defend Palestinian human rights."
Based on information that has surfaced during the trial, the Corrie family has asked the Obama Administration to address the Israeli government's failure to comply with its 2003 promise to the Bush Administration to conduct a "thorough, credible, and transparent" investigation.


Why did I disrupt?

By Rae Abileah of CODEPINK, a US Campaign member organization
From Mondoweiss.net, May 26, 2011
Do you know that our Congress gave 29 standing ovations to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he spoke in the Capital on Tuesday, May 24? I couldn't watch this hero's welcome for a man who supports the continued building of illegal settlements, won't lift the siege of Gaza, and refuses to negotiate with the new Palestinian unity government. During the talk, when Netanyahu was praising young people rising up for democracy in the Middle East, and I took my cue to stand up from my seat in the Capitol Gallery, unfurl a banner, and shout, "No More Occupation! Stop Israeli War Crimes! Equal Rights for Palestinians!"

Immediately, I was tackled, gagged and violently shoved to the floor by other members of the audience, many of whom were still wearing their badges from the AIPAC conference this past weekend. Police dragged me out of the Capitol gallery, and an ambulance whisked me to the hospital, where I was treated for neck and shoulder injuries and put under arrest for disrupting Congress. After I disrupted, Netanyahu said to his Congressional audience, "You can't have these protests in Tehran; this is real democracy."

Is it? What kind of a democracy do we live in when free speech is met with brutality and arrest? In a real democracy, our representatives would be looking out for our best interests, not the interests of a foreign government, ie, Israel. I want my government to take an even-handed approach that respects the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians. But in our so-called democracy, special interest lobby groups like AIPAC have enormous power because of their ability to direct campaign contributions.


U.S. Announces Sanctions Against Israeli Company

Although clearly this news has nothing to do with our movement to end U.S. support for Israeli occupation and apartheid -- which we pursue partly through boycott-divestment-and-sanctions campaigns -- still it might serve as a useful answer to anyone who claims that we cannot boycott or sanction Israel.

By Isabel Kershner
May 26, 2011

JERUSALEM -- Even as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was praising the United States in a speech on Tuesday for imposing tougher sanctions on Iran for its nuclear activities, the State Department announced that it was imposing sanctions on a leading Israeli company, Ofer Brothers Group, for activities supporting Iran’s energy sector.

While the State Department’s decision caused Israel considerable embarrassment, it was the timing that created the greatest stir. It came soon after Mr. Netanyahu’s friction with Mr. Obama over using the 1967 borders as a basis for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Nobody wants to over-interpret the choice of timing,” said an Israeli official who was speaking on the condition of anonymity for diplomatic reasons, “but there was no objective reason for the State Department to come out with the announcement on that precise day.”

“Does this carry meaning? I am unable to tell you. But you cannot blame anybody for being suspicious,” he said.

The Obama administration dismissed any connection between the sanctions and Mr. Netanyahu’s visit. “These sanctions take months” to work through the Department of Treasury’s vetting process, a senior administration official said. “There is a process.”

Still, the awkward fact remains that a corporation owned by one of Israel’s most prominent business families has been blacklisted for dealings, however indirect, with Iran.


London commemorates 2010 attack on Freedom Flotilla

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Video by DePaul SJP to Boycott Sabra

Students for Justice in Palestine at DePaul University, a new coalition member of the US Campaign, released this awesome video as part of their campaign to compel the university to end its sale of Sabra food products.

Writes the group:
Sabra products are manufactured by the Strauss Group, an Israeli corporation that supports the Givati and Golani brigades of the Israeli army. These "elite" brigades have been cited for numerous human rights violations since 1948, including during Israel’s three-week assault on Gaza that killed over 1,400 mostly unarmed civilians.

For more information about Sabra hummus's support for human rights abuses, click here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Arab Spring, Gaza and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A conversation with Nadia Hijab

Listen to the recording of the May 2011 monthly phone conference of Ta'anit Tzedek - Jewish Fast for Gaza - featuring Nadia Hijab, Palestinian-American author and member of the US Campaign's Advisory Board, speaking about "The Arab Spring, Gaza and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict."

Nakba Denials Must Be Condemned

The Palestine Center is a US Campaign member organization. The 63rd anniversary of the Nakba was globally commemorated two weeks ago, on May 15.

By Yousef Munayyer
Palestine Center Brief No. 214
May 25, 2011

When Palestinian refugees were gunned down by Israeli soldiers upon marching towards their homeland during unarmed Nakba Day demonstrations, the floodgates of historic revisionism opened.

What is this ‘Nakba’? Where did these refugees come from? Who should be responsible for them? Readers undoubtedly raised these questions when the spilled blood of demonstrators brought the discussion of the most pivotal year in Palestinian history, 1948, back into the headlines.

Often, the events of this period are recited like this in mainstream media:
After Israel declared independence on May 14, 1948, armies from neighboring Arab states attacked the new nation; during the war that followed, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were driven from their homes by Israeli forces. 
That sequence of events, from a recent New York Times article, was repeated by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after his meeting with President Obama last week.

Both describe the refugees as a result of the “Arab attack” in 1948. But even a cursory look at history reveals how flawed this is. Before a single Arab soldier crossed into Palestine on May 15, 1948 more than half the total refugees were created. Arab mobilization then became a reaction to massive refugee flows and not the cause of it. When Israel declared independence, its military had already succeeded in depopulating Palestine’s largest cities of Jaffa and Haifa as well as Tiberias, Safad and Beisan. Perhaps those writing today’s New York Times should read their own reporting from this period because they’d quickly learn they are peddling distortions that are simply unfit to print.


ADCRI Report on the "Golan Heights: Occupation and Resistance"

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee is a coalition member of the US Campaign. With chapters and members in all 50 states, ADC is the largest grassroots Arab-American civil rights and civil liberties organization in the United States.

May 16, 2011

In light of recent developments this past weekend, The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Research Institute (ADCRI) is issuing this notice about the background paper entitled "Golan Heights: Occupation and Resistance." The report, initially published in October 2010, is available for download and viewing here.

Click to view the report online.
Printed copies of the report
are also available for
$10 each from ADCRI.
On May 15, 2011, thousands of people were peacefully commemorating al-Nakba, or the catastrophe, near the Occupied Golan Heights. Israeli forces used deadly force against the commemorators, leaving dozens killed or injured. Read more

The report is intended to awaken the conscience of people to the relative neglect and lack of information in the West about the experience of the people of the Golan Heights. Like the Palestinians, they continue to affirm their national identity and defend their rights, despite nearly 45 years of Israeli military occupation.

The report gives an overview of the Israeli occupation of the Golan and the displacement of most of the indigenous Syrian population.  Its primary focus is on the experience of a people who have lived through war and occupation.  The report also examines the experience of those who were forced out of the Golan in the 1967 war, becoming internally displaced persons within Syria.

In addition, the report examines Israeli expansionism that led up to war and occupation, the Israeli settlement process, and the imposition of a system of control and exclusion over the Syrian community.   Through a nonviolent struggle in 1981, the Golanis successfully resisted attempts to force Israeli citizenship upon them.  Since then, their struggle has continued in opposition to Israeli policies designed to undermine their rights, independence, and identity. They are still Syrian citizens, living in the occupied territory of southwestern Syria.

ADC hopes that this background paper will enhance Americans’ understanding of the people of the Golan.  It is an acknowledgement of the enduring strength of the struggle of the Golanis.


Re-interpretation of Civil Rights Act threatens free speech at UC Santa Cruz

By Kristin Szremski
San Jose Mercury News
May 18, 2011

Free speech and the unimpeded exchange of ideas are under attack on America's college campuses. Federal funding for institutions of higher education, including moneys for research and academic conferences, may be hanging in the balance.

In March, federal authorities from the Office of Civil Rights within the U.S. Department of Education announced they are investigating charges of anti-Semitism against UC Santa Cruz. This is the first investigation since Title VI of the Civil Rights Act was reinterpreted in October 2010, allowing Jewish students -- as members of a religious group -- to claim discrimination under a provision that previously applied only to racial and ethnic bigotry.

Possible Title VI violations also are being threatened at Rutgers University in New Jersey. On April 6, Zionist Organization of America President Morton Klein wrote a 15-page letter to Rutgers President Richard L. McCormick complaining the university violated Title VI by allowing multiple pro-Palestinian student activities on campus, one of which was sponsored by American Muslims for Palestine. The same allegations are being lobbed at UC Hastings College of Law for its conference, "Litigating Palestine: Can Courts Secure Palestinian Rights?"

The claims are absurd. Legitimate concerns about Israel's discriminatory policies against Palestinians should not be conflated with anti-Semitism.

A "Dear Colleague" letter issued by the civil rights office on Oct. 26, 2010, said discrimination against a student who is a member of a religious group violates Title VI when the discrimination is based on the group's "actual or perceived shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics "... or when it is based upon the student's actual or perceived citizenship or residency in a country whose residents share a dominant religion or a distinct religious identity," said David Thomas, U.S. Department of Education spokesman.

This reinterpretation now can be applied to Jewish students who claim universities create hostile environments if they allow pro-Palestinian events or even class lectures critical of Israeli policies.

To be sure, Jewish -- as well as Muslim -- students should be protected from discrimination. But the reinterpretation is being used to silence debate. That's a descent down a slippery slope many academics are unwilling to make.

"While some of the recent allegations "... might well raise a claim under Title VI, many others simply seek to silence anti-Israel discourse and speakers. This approach is not only unwarranted under Title VI, it is dangerous," Cary Nelson, president of the American Association of University Professors, and attorney Kenneth Stern, anti-Semitism expert with the American Jewish Committee, wrote recently in an open letter on AAUP's website.

If federal investigators find a university in violation of Title VI, it could lose federal funding. This is sensible so long as the bigotry is real and not a false claim based on students calling for Palestinian rights. The very real possibility of false charges threatens the open exchange of ideas on college campuses.

A university should address real anti-Semitism. But criticism of Israeli racism is anti-Semitism only in the mind of fanatics unwilling to accept even the possibility of Israeli wrongdoing.

Berkeley professor Hatem Bazian, a Palestinian-American who is also American Muslims for Palestine's chairman, asserts that instead of shutting down dialogue, those who distribute federal funding should be encouraging universities to examine the ramifications of the United States' support of Israel, because -- at $3 billion annually -- it is the largest recipient of our foreign aid.

With the current climate in the Middle East, America's campuses should be the springboard for creating new possibilities, not a wasteland absent of ideas due to a perhaps well-meaning but misused provision in the Civil Rights Act.

KRISTIN SZREMSKI is director of media and communications with American Muslims for Palestine. She wrote this article for this newspaper.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Emperor’s clothes are still on, for now (while his heckler is roughed up, hospitalized)

Josh Ruebner is the US Campaign's National Advocacy Director. Here he cites the address by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before a joint meeting of Congress, which for the past several weeks we have petitioned members of Congress to boycott, and not attend.

May 24, 2011

Gliding down the aisle of the House of Representatives like a popular president about to deliver the State of the Union address, escorted by a phalanx of dozens of ebullient Members of Congress, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu entered a joint meeting of Congress today to a round of hearty handshakes and a thunderous standing ovation.

In a post-speech press conference, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid gushed that Netanyahu delivered an “all-star” address, and Netanyahu proclaimed it a “great day” for Israel. And, in the self-contained world that is Capitol Hill, who could blame them for believing it to be so?

For in a world in which Israel finds itself as isolated as ever by a growing and successful Palestinian civil society-led international movement of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against its apartheid policies; in which Palestinians are taking matters into their own hands diplomatically and pushing to have the United Nations admit the State of Palestine as a full member of the organization this fall; and in which even the President of the United States appears disgruntled by Israel’s intransigent ongoing colonization of Palestinian land, at least on Capitol Hill, Netanyahu can still play the ace up his sleeve to aplomb and then chum around like the king of the castle.

There on Capitol Hill, Netanyahu still has friends like Senator Chuck Schumer, who told a Jewish radio program that “One of my roles, very important in the United States Senate, is to be a shomer [guard]—to be a or the shomer Yisrael [guard of Israel]. And I will continue to be that with every bone in my body." With friends like these wrapped around his little finger, no wonder Netanyahu’s forcible denunciations of international law were met with such rapturous approbation by Members of Congress who applauded his rejectionism dozens of times.

This bonhomie was punctuated only once during Netanyahu’s hour-long speech, when a lone and courageous activist—Rae Abileah—from CODEPINK, disrupted it. CODEPINK organized a series of events and protests—“Move Over AIPAC”—to coincide with the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee last weekend. From the gallery, Abileah shouted “No more occupation, stop Israel[i] war crimes, equal rights for Palestinians, occupation is indefensible.”

Her protest was quickly shut down in a “hey rube” moment by AIPAC attendees in the gallery who assaulted and tackled her before she was hauled away by police, causing injuries to her neck and shoulders requiring hospitalization. At the same time, Members of Congress joined the AIPAC carnie thuggery by shouting down Abileah with boos before quickly resuming to feed out of Netanyahu’s hand.

Given both the intellectual mediocrity of the average Member of Congress and the Israel lobby’s deliberate strategy of electing and placing in key positions Members of Congress like Schumer, it is difficult to determine how much applause Netanyahu received due to ignorance of history and international law, and how much was due to their cheerleading for Israeli apartheid. Whatever the exact formulation, it amounts to a deadly combination that ensures Israel can continue to thumb its nose at the international community and oppress the Palestinian people while Congress keeps open the spigot of U.S. weapons to underwrite the job.

Only in an institution as self-delusional as Congress could Netanyahu pontificate with a straight face that the path of liberty “is not paved by elections alone. It is paved when governments permit protests in town squares, when limits are placed on the powers of rulers, when judges are beholden to laws and not men, and when human rights cannot be crushed by tribal loyalties or mob rule.”

Only before Congress would Netanyahu dare crow that there are now more than 650,000 Israeli settlers living in illegal colonies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, a full 30% more than the upper limits of previous estimates, making his offer to be “very generous on the size of a future Palestinian state,” and willing to make a “far reaching compromise” unadulterated hokum.

In the wake of 10,000 AIPAC lobbyists deluging Capitol Hill today, there is no doubt that Congress will overwhelmingly vote to pass AIPAC-written resolutions condemning the Fatah-Hamas unity agreement and Palestinian moves for UN membership, once again asserting that Israel is truly the best thing since sliced bread.

Netanyahu may well feel smug from his reception in the last bastion of such uncritical support for Israel’s apartheid policies toward Palestinians. While the rest of the world has long since discovered that the emperor has no clothes, his sycophants and enablers in Congress pretend that it is business as usual. They will then be surprised to wake up one day in the near future to see their beloved apartheid state sanctioned.

Josh Ruebner is the National Advocacy Director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a national coalition of more than 350 organizations working to change U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine to support human rights, international law, and equality. He is a former Analyst in Middle East Affairs at Congressional Research Service.


IFPB "Voices of the Peace-Builders" delegation arrives in Israel/Palestine

Our National Organizer, Anna Baltzer, this week traveled to Palestine-Israel, where she is leading a delegation for Interfaith Peace-Builders (IFPB), which is a member of our coalition.

May 23, 2011

Interfaith Peace-Builders (IFPB) is pleased to announce that our 31-member delegation to Israel/Palestine arrived at Ben-Gurion airport Monday morning and is now safely in Jerusalem.

The purpose of this delegation, the 36th to make the trip since 2001, is to educate North Americans about the region and deepen their understanding of its conflicts.

The delegation will explore Palestinian and Israeli efforts to achieve peace and a resolution to their conflict based on justice and feature meetings with Palestinian and Israeli peace-builders — leaders of civil society groups, grassroots organizers, religious leaders and more.  Given the current situation in the West Bank, the delegation will focus on learning about the challenges facing nonviolent activists resisting occupation.

Delegates meet in Washington, DC, for preparations.
The political situation in the region opened up recently when Palestinian factions signed a unity deal that could end years of political stalemate. President Obama also issued a strong statement last week entreating Israel to make concessions necessary for the creation of a Palestinian State in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. These developments have set the onus on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who is currently in Washington to address a joint session of the US Congress.

May also marks the annual commemoration of Israel’s independence and the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe) and the birth of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  In commemoration of these events, on May 15 Palestinian refugees led massive nonviolent demonstrations on Israel's borders. Israeli soldiers responded with deadly force killing scores of demonstrators and wounding hundreds more.

Participants on this delegation have the unique opportunity to hear directly from Palestinians and Israelis regarding these developments and sharing their hopes for peace and the role of the US government in promoting a resolution to the conflict.

The delegation includes:
Haneen Abuqalbeen - Tampa, Florida
Michael Argaman - Rochester, New York
Anna Baltzer - St. Louis, Missouri
Lisa Barksdale - Allston, Massachusetts
Steve Bell - Mt. Berry, Georgia
Ben Bell - Mt. Berry, Georgia
Harvie Branscomb - Basalt, Colorado
Amanda Cruz-Mujica - Tampa, Florida
Amy Damashek - Kalamazoo, Michigan
Peter Dziedzic - Addison, Illinois
Ronna Grimes - Rochester, New York
Arlene Halfon - Washington DC
Alex Hartmann - Bellevue, Nebraska
Adam Horowitz - New York, New York
Elaine Johnson - Pittsford, New York
Sara Traub - Toronto, Ontario
Colleen Kelly - St. Louis, Missouri
Lucas Koerner - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Robert Kuhlmann - Flushing, New York
Tammy McLane - New Port Richey, Florida
Tiffany McLane - New Port Richey, Florida
Kim Nesta - Ithaca, New York
Rusty Olson - Rochester, New York
Jeanette Olson - Rochester, New York
Lydia  Ray - Annandale, Virginia
Dick Rudloff - Alameda, California
Linc Spaulding - Rochester, New York
Sue Spaulding - Rochester, New York
Vince Stravino - Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Will Thomas - Auburn, New Hampshire
Beth Woolever - Rochester, New York


Diana Buttu on President's Speech on Middle East & North Africa

Diana Buttu is a Research Fellow at Harvard University and former adviser to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) who recently lent her support to the US Campaign through a video message that we produced and blogged here. In this installment of Palestine Studies TV, she spoke with Will Youmans about President Obama's May 19, 2011, speech on the Middle East and North Africa. She focused on his remarks pertinent to Israel and the Palestinians.

Palestine Studies TV is a project of the Institute for Palestine Studies.


US Campaign's Nadia Hijab on CNN: "Palestinians must be equal."

Nadia Hijab is a member of our Advisory Board, and is director of Al-Shabaka, The Palestinian Policy Network. The same questions below were also answered by Yousef Munayyer, Executive Director of The Palestine Center in Washington, D.C., which is a coalition member in the US Campaign. Munayyer's answers can be read here.

Nadia Hijab: 'Israel needs to be a state in which all citizens are equal'

By Jay Kernis, Senior Producer

After his meeting with President Obama on Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, "While Israel is prepared to make generous compromises for peace, it cannot go back to the 1967 lines - because these lines are indefensible; because they don’t take into account certain changes that have taken place on the ground, demographic changes that have taken place over the last 44 years." 
In your point of view, does that line in the sand slow down the possibility of new peace negotiations, or offer some possibilities?
"Good question, because this is really a key issue. Under the law, Israel has  to withdraw from all the territory it occupied in 1967, just like it did when it withdrew from Egypt’s Sinai desert.
"The core principle of international law - that territory cannot be acquired by force - is the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 242, which Israel actually accepted in 1967.  The 1967 borders have been the basis of peace negotiations for 44 years.
"Yet Israel has grabbed about 60% of the Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem for its illegal settlements. If Israel really wants peace, it got to stop taking Palestinian land."
Netanyahu also said, "Israel cannot negotiate with a Palestinian government that is backed by Hamas.  Hamas, as the President said, is a terrorist organization committed to Israel’s destruction."
On Tuesday, he added, "Why has peace not been achieved?  Because so far, the Palestinians have been unwilling to accept a Palestinian state, if it meant accepting a Jewish state alongside it."
Why does Hamas take that extreme position against the existence of Israel as a Jewish homeland-and do you believe Hamas always will?
"Countries, like people, make enemies - and peace is negotiated between enemies. If you’re friends, then there’s no problem!
"Although Hamas and Israel are enemies, Hamas has clearly stated its acceptance of a two state solution based on the 1967 borders. Netanyahu has specifically rejected such a solution.
?Hamas has also accepted that Mahmoud Abbas will, as chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, be responsible for negotiations, and the PLO has recognizedIsrael. The truth is that most Palestinians don’t believe that Israel wants peace because it keeps taking Palestinian land and water and prevents them from traveling to or within Palestine whenever it wants to. Israel announced it wants to build yet another 1,500 illegal homes in occupied East Jerusalem just before Netanyahu came to the United States.
"Since 1967,Israelhas illegally settled 650,000 Israelis on Palestinian land - by Netanyahu's own count. Netanyahu need look no further than his own government's actions for an answer to his question of 'why has peace not been achieved.'"

Obama Enables Israeli-Palestinian Status Quo He Claims Is Unsustainable

By Josh Ruebner, US Campaign National Advocacy Director
Huffington Post, May 23, 2011

For all of President Obama's repeated insistence that the status quo in Israeli-Palestinian relations is unsustainable, recent developments make clear that his administration has no new ideas or strategies to achieve a breakthrough toward peace.

His statements during three recent high-profile events -- last Thursday's address at the State Department on the Arab Spring, last Friday's bilateral meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sunday's speech at the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) -- reveal the president committed to reinforcing, rather than altering, the current state of affairs.

The president made waves on Thursday when he stated, "The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps." Many analysts interpreted his remarks as a bold, new policy statement that the United States would pressure Israel to revert to its 1949 armistice lines.

Even had Obama put this forward as his initiative, it would have broken no new ground. In fact, ending Israel's illegal 44-year military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip and returning to its pre-1967 lines has been the underlying assumption of all negotiations for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. After all, the United Nations adopted, with full U.S. backing, Security Council Resolution 242, which reiterates the "inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war."


Obama, Israel, and the 1967 Borders

Phyllis Bennis is a member of the US Campaign Steering Committee, and director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies. She comments here on last week's speech by President Obama urging for a peace process in the Middle East.

"There is nothing new," says New Internationalism Director Phyllis Bennis about Obama's plan for the Middle East. In fact, this speech kept in line with the Israel position that the Palestinean state will have to give up the land of the settlements, according to Bennis. President Obama went further and accepted the Jewish state, thereby accepting the legal apartheid that exists there, Bennis added.

Hundreds Have Just Faced Up To AIPAC, But Together We Can Do More.

By Felicia Eaves and Phyllis Bennis

Above: Steering Committee Members Felicia Eaves (L) and Phyllis Bennis (R).

On Saturday we both spoke at the fantastic events of Move Over AIPAC, the spectacular outpouring of creativity and commitment organized by CODEPINK and 100 endorsing organizations, including the US Campaign and many members of our coalition.

Hundreds of activists from across the United States challenged the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) by protesting outside its annual conference in Washington.

AIPAC's influence, along with that of U.S. arms manufacturers and the Pentagon, creates a stranglehold of pro-Israel policies that undermine democracy here at home and across the Middle East. 

Throughout the weekend activsts spoke about the kind of new U.S. policy needed toward Palestine/Israel -- a policy that upholds freedom, justice and equality -- not AIPAC's policy of securing U.S. support for Israel's  occupation of Palestinian land and violations of Palestinian rights.

With just 0.4% of AIPAC's budget, the US Campaign works tirelessly to challenge U.S. military aid to Israel, providing an umbrella and a channel for more than 350 member organizations.

Think how much we could do with just a few dollars more. Won't you click here to donate?

Here's just a taste of the work of the US Campaign:
We provide a strategic framework for local groups to run effective campaigns, and move their work from the local to the national level. Member groups throughout the country use the US Campaign as a platform to communicate and cooperate.

We create valuable resources for our member groups and 50,000+ supporters -- check out the Aid to Israel map that lets you organize with others to tell your elected representatives exactly how many of your community's tax dollars are going to military aid to Israel, and how you would rather spend them at home.

We organize grassroots training and advocacy days so that members and supporters can lobby their elected representatives for a different policy -- the US Campaign's National Advocacy Director Josh Ruebner led yesterday's "Move Over AIPAC" workshop on ending military aid to Israel (see photo at right). And watch this space for the launch of our new city council campaign -- Fund Community Needs -- in June!

We challenge the discourse through well-placed op-eds, including by our staff, Steering Committee and Advisory Board members. Check out these three pieces in The Hill last week: by Josh Ruebner, Phyllis Bennis and Nadia Hijab.
Israel's intransigent prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, will again be standing against history and in the face of peace and justice when he addresses Congress today. We know what he's going to say. As Israel expands its racist laws against its Palestinian citizens, escalates its apartheid treatment of Palestinians under occupation, ramps up its colonization of East Jerusalem and the West Bank, prevents Palestinian refugees from going home, and keeps Gaza under siege, we can -- and must -- do so much more.

Last weekend shows how far our movement has come and how much stronger we are. We already do so much with so little. Won't you help us to do more? Donate now!

Make our voice even stronger and our actions more powerful. Donate now!

With thanks and solidarity,

Felicia Eaves & Phyllis Bennis

Footage from Move Over AIPAC events in Washington, DC

Monday, May 23, 2011

May 24, 6pm, Busboys and Poets in Washington, DC: The Attack on the Gaza Flotilla, One Year On

Please join the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, Center for Constitutional Rights, US Boat to Gaza, BADIL, and the New Internationalism Project of IPS this Tuesday, 6pm, at Busboys and Poets (14th St. NW, DC) for:

This event will focus on the attack on the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla in May 2010 and the ongoing, illegal blockade of Gaza. We will hear from Professor Ahmet Dogan, the father of Furkan Dogan, an 18-year-old American citizen killed during the brutal attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, and from advocates who will discuss the current situation in Gaza and their efforts to get answers about U.S. knowledge of, and response to, the attack. We will also hear about the flotilla travelling to Gaza in June 2011, as an act of protest against the ongoing blockade and solidarity with the besieged citizens of Gaza.

About the speakers:
Professor Ahmet Dogan, father of Furkan Dogan who was killed on the Mavi Marmara
Katherine Gallagher, Staff Attorney, Center for Constitutional Rights
Phyllis Bennis, Director of the New Internationalism Project, Institute for Policy Studies
Ann Wright, former US Army colonel and retired U.S. State Department official who was a passenger on the May 2010 flotilla.

More information: http://ccrjustice.org/get-involved/calendar/attack-gaza-flotilla%3A-one-year

Move Over AIPAC Flashmob (D.C. Union Station)

This was added to YouTube two days ago...

Tell Obama to get out of bed with AIPAC!

President Obama will address AIPAC at their annual policy conference Sunday, May 22, after meeting with Israeli PM Netanyahu. Outraged that Obama is pandering to AIPAC? Tell him what you think of the Israel Lobby and what's really needed for a lasting just peace in the region!

Help us get to our goal of 5,000 petitions to deliver to the White House.

Plus, take action in person by joining us in DC on Sunday morning for a rally outside the AIPAC conference while Obama speaks. See Move Over AIPAC full schedule and sign up to join us! http://moveoveraipac.org

Hava nagila,
Hava nagila
Hava nagila
Va nisma cha

Hava nagila,
Hava nagila
Hava nagila
Va nisma cha

"Hey! AIPAC is meeting"

AIPAC is meeting
We have a greeting
Cuz they're not speaking
For any of us

Justice is dying
AIPAC is lying
Lies we're not buying
No No No!

AIPAC doesn't speak for me
Apartheid's not my cup of tea
Palestine to Tripoli
We want democracy

Buying Congress with their cash
All opposing views they bash
Can't have them talking trash
No No No!

Move! Move!
Move over AIPAC!

Move over your weapon hawking
Move over your racist talking
Move over we're freedom seeking
Move over cuz we are speaking
Move over move over
For a free Palestine

Move Over AIPAC from Home!

CODEPINK is a coalition member of the US Campaign.
May 21, 2011
This weekend has been an epic coming together of the movement for justice in Palestine to
say: Move Over AIPAC!  We held an exciting and thought-provoking counter-conference, took action in the street to protest AIPAC, and had a ton of fun doing it! Just see this great video of our Move Over AIPAC flashmob action in Union Station. You can join Move Over AIPAC from afar by joining the culture-jamming of the official AIPAC hashtag, #AIPAC2011.  Will you tweet the truth about AIPAC? We are asking activists who oppose AIPAC's divisive tactics to use the hashtags #AIPAC2011 today and tomorrow to help get out the word about AIPAC's illegal practices. Click below to tweet now!


Suggested sample tweets are below. You can CUT & PASTE, or write your own. Make sure you include the #hasthags. If you click on the j.mp links below the sample tweets, you can tweet automatically from your Twitter account.

 New video of awesome @MoveOverAIPAC flashmob in DC's Union Station http://j.mp/lWxLfl #bds #AIPAC2011 Click to tweet: http://j.mp/kaxrEh
 #AIPAC2011 Mobilizing fear, escalating hate, and assuring the destruction of what they claim to love. @MoveOverAIPAC Click to tweet: http://j.mp/mgkYBu
 Rabbis, Palestinians, Activists Staged Die-In Outside #AIPAC2011 Conference, 1 Arrest as @BarackObama drove byhttp://t.co/c3s3sHu Click to tweet: http://j.mp/maRIVB
 Signs @moveoveraipac demo: Be on our side. We are on the side of peace and justice. End US Military Aid to Israel! #AIPAC2011 Click to tweet: http://j.mp/jcROrX
 AIPAC chief Rosenberg said "This Congress is the most Pro-Israel in history." WE SAY: Move Over AIPAChttp://moveoveraipac.org #AIPAC2011 Click to tweet: http://j.mp/jUET2Z
 RT @codepinkalert Tell @BarackObama to get out of bed with #AIPAC2011 and stop funding Israeli war crimes!http://bit.ly/mhH9PO Click to tweet: http://j.mp/ldUMvD
 @CODEPINKalert activist with banner at #AIPAC2011 protest: Obama, Stop Enabling Israeli Occupationhttp://twitpic.com/5123rs #RightOn Click to tweet: http://j.mp/moQrBF
 RT @MoveOverAIPAC #AIPAC2011 goers watch the AIPAC protest from their windows http://twitpic.com/512vx6#ChallengeAIPAC Click to tweet: http://j.mp/ifqTxM

Culture Jamming WORKS!!
This month's online action flooded the #AHAVAreborn contest with messages based in reality instead of a beauty myth.  Maureen Murphy reported on the Electronic Intifada: “So many people have responded to this call that I can’t see any tweets that AREN’T about BDS and Israel’s rights abuses when searching #AHAVAreborn on Twitter. AHAVA is having an increasingly hard time covering up its human rights blemishes.” Thanks for helping to highlight the injustices that AIPAC participates in.

Onward for #Justice,
Sasha, Jean, Nancy, Medea, Shaden, Alli, Rae, Brian, and CODEPINK's Move Over AIPAC Team