Showing posts with label josh ruebner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label josh ruebner. Show all posts

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Josh Ruebner's "Shattered Hopes" Book Tour Comes to Pennsylvania, Mar. 27- Apr. 1

Last fall, Josh Ruebner, our National Advocacy Director, shared the exciting news of the publication of his first book, Shattered Hopes: Obama's Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace.



We are excited to announce that he will be visiting Pennsylvania Thursday, March 27 to Tuesday, April 1. We hope that you can join him at one or more of the events he'll be doing-- at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, Friends of Sabeel Conference in Philadelphia, PA, Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, PA, University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, and Pennsylvania State University in State College, PA.

Below is the flyer for the events. Click here for the PDF version.




If you plan on attending the Friends of Sabeel Conference, please register here. RSVP and invite your friends on Facebook to Temple University here, Lutheran Theological Seminary here and for more information, call 717-334-3871, University of Pittsburgh here, and Pennsylvania State University here

For additional information on Josh's spring book tour, see his website here. We look forward to seeing you there!

--Ntebo Mokuena, U.S. Campaign Intern

Josh Ruebner's "Shattered Hopes" Book Tour Comes to the Triangle Area, Mar. 25-26

Last fall, Josh Ruebner, our National Advocacy Director, shared the exciting news of the publication of his first book, Shattered Hopes: Obama's Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace.



We are excited to announce that he will be visiting the Triangle Area Tuesday, March 25 and Wednesday, March 26. We hope that you can join him at one or more of the events he'll be doing-- at Church of Reconciliation (USA) in Chapel Hill, NC, Meredith College in Raleigh, NC, and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill, NC. 

Below is the flyer for the events. Click here for the PDF version.




RSVP and invite your friends on Facebook to Church of Reconciliation (USA) here, Meredith College here, and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill here.
For additional information on Josh's spring book tour, see his website here. We look forward to seeing you there!

--Ntebo Mokuena, U.S. Campaign Intern


Josh Ruebner's "Shattered Hopes" Book Tour Comes to Atlanta, Mar. 23-24

Last fall, Josh Ruebner, our National Advocacy Director, shared the exciting news of the publication of his first book, Shattered Hopes: Obama's Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace.




We are excited to announce that he will be visiting Atlanta, GA Sunday, March 23 and Monday, March 24. We hope that you can join him at one or more of the events he'll be doing-- at Central Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, GA, North Decatur Presbyterian Church in Decatur, GA, Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GAand Oakhurst Baptist Church in Decatur, GA.

Below is a flyer for the events. Click here for the PDF version.



RSVP and invite your friends on Facebook to the events at Central Presbyterian Church here, North Decatur Presbyterian Church here, Agnes Scott College here, and Oakhurst Baptist Church here.
For additional information on Josh's spring book tour, see his website here. We look forward to seeing you there!

--Ntebo Mokuena, U.S. Campaign Intern

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Josh Ruebner's "Shattered Hopes" Book Tour Comes to Iowa and Nebraska, Mar. 3-6

Last fall, Josh Ruebner, our National Advocacy Director, shared the exciting news of the publication of his first book, Shattered Hopes: Obama's Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace.




We are excited to announce that he will be visiting Iowa and Nebraska from Monday, March 3 to Thursday, March 6. We hope that you can join him at one or more of the events he'll be doing-- at Coralville Public Library in Coralville, IA, Central College in Pella, IA, Drake University in Des Moines, IA, University of Nebraska at Omaha in Omaha, NE, Countryside Community Church in Omaha, NE, and University of Nebraska at Lincoln in Lincoln, NE.

Below is a flyer for the events. Click here for the PDF version.



RSVP and invite your friends on Facebook to the events at Coralville Public Library here, Central College (details TBA), Drake University here, University of Nebraska at Omaha here, Countryside Community Church here, and University of Nebraska at Lincoln here.

For additional information on Josh's spring book tour, see his website here. We look forward to seeing you there!

--Ntebo Mokuena, U.S. Campaign Intern

Josh Ruebner's "Shattered Hopes" Book Tour Comes to Kansas and Missouri, Feb. 27- Mar. 2

Last fall, Josh Ruebner, our National Advocacy Director, shared the exciting news of the publication of his first book, Shattered Hopes: Obama's Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace.

We are excited to announce that he will be visiting Kansas and Missouri from February 27-March 2. We hope that you can join him at one or more of the four events he'll be doing in Kansas and Missouri -- at University of Kansas, Watermark Books in Wichita, Keystone United Methodist Church in Kansas City, and an event in private home in Fairway, Kansas.

Below is a flyer for the events. Click here for the PDF version.


RSVP and invite your friends on Facebook to the events at University of Kansas here, Watermark Books here, and Keystone United Methodist Church here. To RSVP for the private home event, email whitmoreandy@hotmail.comAnd for additional information on Josh's spring book tour, see his website here. We look forward to seeing you there!

--Ntebo Mokuena, U.S. Campaign Intern


Monday, October 7, 2013

Josh Ruebner's "Shattered Hopes" Book Tour in Northern California, Oct. 15 - 19

Last month, Josh Ruebner, our National Advocacy Director, shared the exciting news of the publication of his first book, Shattered Hopes: Obama's Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace.

We hope that you can join him at one or more of the five events he'll be doing in the Bay Area -- at Davis, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Berkeley, and San Jose -- from Tuesday, October 15 to Saturday, October 19.

Three of these events--San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Berkeley--will be joint events with Brad Parker, International Advocacy Officer with Defence for Children International--Palestine. Brad will be speaking on the impact of 20 years of the Oslo "peace process" on Palestinian children under Israeli military occupation. 

Check out this five-minute video preview of Josh's Shattered Hopes book tour.
 

Below is a flyer for the events, all of which are open to the public (the event at Santa Clara University has a $5-$10 suggested donation, free for students; the Middle East Children's Alliance event at UC-Berkeley has a $10 suggested donation, free for students.) Click here
 for a larger version of the image below, or click here for a PDF version.


RSVP and invite your friends on Facebook to the events at the San Jose Peace and Justice Center and at Santa Clara University here and here, respectively, and find additional information about the San Jose event here. Also, click here for more information on the Berkeley event with DCI-Palestine.

We hope to see you there!

- Will (U.S. Campaign Intern)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

U.S. Complicity in Israel's Deadly Actions in Gaza

Our National Advocacy Director Josh Ruebner published this piece in The Huffington Post. 

On November 18, an Israeli air force pilot flying a
U.S.-made F-16 fighter jet fired a missile at the four-story home of the al-Dalu family in Gaza City, killing ten members of the family and two from the al-Muzannar family next door. 

An on-site investigation conducted by
Human Rights Watch concluded that the attack was a "clear violation of the laws of war" and demanded that those "responsible for deliberately or recklessly committing a serious violation of the laws of war should be prosecuted for war crimes."


Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Israel's bombing of the al-Dalu home was the single deadliest attack in an eight-day offensive last month against the blockaded and occupied Palestinian Gaza Strip that killed at least 160 Palestinians, of whom 105 were civilians and 34 children, according to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights.

Two weeks ago, on International Human Rights Day, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that the United States works to advance "the universal freedoms enshrined" in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which includes the "right to life, liberty and security of person." "When governments seek to deny these liberties through repressive laws and blunt force," she intoned, "we stand against this oppression and with people around the world as they defend their rights."

Yet, when it comes to U.S. policy toward Palestinians, this rhetoric rings hollow. The United States arms Israel to the teeth, fails to uphold U.S. human rights laws when Israel uses U.S. weapons to commit abuses of Palestinians and, up to this point, has thrown around its diplomatic heft in international forums to shield Israel from the war crimes prosecutions advocated for by Human Rights Watch and others. 

Israel's recent killing of members of the al-Dalu and al-Muzannar families is a tragic reminder of why 15 leading church figures sent Congress a
letter in October arguing that "unconditional U.S. military assistance to Israel" plays a role in "sustaining the conflict and undermining the long-term security interests of both Israelis and Palestinians." These church leaders urged Congress to hold hearings into Israel's violations of the Arms Export Control Act, which limits the use of U.S. weapons to "internal security" and "legitimate self-defense," and to examine Israel's eligibility for any form of U.S. assistance, given that the Foreign Assistance Act prohibits U.S. aid to countries that engage in a consistent pattern of human rights violations. 

Such a reevaluation of U.S. military aid to Israel, which is
scheduled to amount to $30 billion from 2009 to 2018, is desperately needed. Israel is by far and away the largest recipient of U.S. taxpayer-funded military aid and it is patently obvious that these U.S. weapons are being used by Israel to commit systematic human rights abuses against Palestinians. For example, the fighter jet whose missile devastated the al-Dalu and al-Muzannar families very well may have been one of the 93 F-16D fighter jets, valued at $2.5 billion, which U.S. taxpayers financed and transferred to Israel in the previous decade. 

However, far from examining Israel's misuse of U.S. weapons in its most recent attack on Gaza, much less holding it accountable, the Obama administration is moving forward with a proposed weapons deal that would replenish Israel's arsenal. While Clinton offered platitudes about standing against aggression on International Human Rights Day, the
Pentagon was busy that same day notifying Congress that it hopes to ship to Israel 6,900 Joint Direct Attack Munitions tail kits, which "convert free-fall bombs into satellite-guided ordnance," and more than 10,000 bombs to accompany them. 

On previous occasions when the international community attempted to hold Israel accountable for its war crimes -- most notably with the "Goldstone Report" issued after Israel's "Operation Cast Lead" killed more than 1,400 Palestinians in 2008 and 2009, and after Israel killed nine humanitarian activists in international waters who were attempting to deliver goods to Gaza in 2010 -- heavy-handed U.S. diplomatic pressure and its threatened Security Council veto prevented effective action being taken. 

But now that the United Nations General Assembly has voted to make Palestine a "non-member observer state," potentially clearing the way for it to join the International Criminal Court (ICC), Israel may no longer be able to rely on U.S. protection. And as long as the United States refuses to hold Israel accountable for committing human rights abuses of Palestinians with U.S. weapons and keeps the spigot of weapons open, Palestinians should seek redress at the ICC for Israel's war crimes. Due to ongoing U.S. funding for Israel's oppression of Palestinians, it is the only route for families such as the al-Dalu and al-Muzanner to take to receive a modicum of justice.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Congress, Obama Administration Standing on Wrong Side of History

Josh Ruebner is National Advocacy Director at the US Campaign. This piece was published in The Hill





Penalizing Palestinians will not help peace process

By Josh Ruebner, author, Obama and the Quest for Israeli-Palestinian Peace12/03/12 11:00 AM ET


When it comes to shielding Israeli human rights violations and squelching Palestinian freedom and self-determination, Congress never misses an opportunity to reward Israeli intransigence and punish peaceful Palestinian initiatives. 

The Senate defines a “non-germane amendment” as one “that would add new and different subject matter to, or may be irrelevant to, the bill or other measure it seeks to amend.” Senators are now piling on these “non-germane amendments” to the National Defense Authorization Act in a vindictive move designed to penalize Palestinians, the United Nations and even any country that supports Palestinian statehood following last Thursday's 138-9 vote in the General Assembly to upgrade Palestine’s status to that of a “non-member observer state.”

These amendments, described as “ham-fisted” by Americans for Peace Now, could cut off U.S. funding of the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) if Palestinians join the International Criminal Court, close the Palestine Liberation Organization’s office in Washington, slash U.S. funding of the General Assembly, and even reduce U.S. foreign assistance to any country which voted for Palestine’s upgraded U.N. status.

 These initiatives are likely to be just the tip of the iceberg of Congressional efforts to demonize and reprimand the Palestinians for daring to buck the demands of the United States and Israel that they remain perpetually constrained within a sham “peace process” that has failed miserably to deliver even a modicum of individual and national rights to the Palestinians, who continue to languish under Israel’s oppressive apartheid policies.

However, this genie cannot be put back inside its bottle no matter how significant Congressional sanctions are. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice criticized Thursday’s actions as “grand pronouncements” that “will soon fade.” While the speeches may be forgotten, Palestine’s admittance to the U.N. as a “non-member state” signals the international community’s resounding vote of no confidence in U.S. domination of the “peace process.” It is U.S. diplomacy and leadership, not the international community’s growing solidarity with the Palestinian quest for freedom and self-determination, which is waning.

Sixty five years ago last Thursday the UN voted to partition Palestine into two states, assigning its Jewish minority a majority of the land against the wishes of Palestine’s indigenous inhabitants. This undemocratic move recalled British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour’s infamous, yet honest, confession that “in Palestine we do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country.”

Ironically enough in light of the strenuous efforts by the Obama Administration and Congress to deny Palestine its rightful place among the community of nations, the United States implicitly backed UN membership and recognition of an independent Palestinian state when it supported and arm-twisted other nations into voting for Palestine’s partition in 1947.


Yet 65 years later, thanks in large measure to unconditional U.S. military and diplomatic support for Israel, its discriminatory policies toward Palestinians remain as firmly entrenched as ever. The partition of Palestine led not only to the establishment of Israel in 1948, but also to Israel’s campaign of dispossession and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians (referred to as the Nakba, or “catastrophe” by Palestinians) and the resultant Palestinian refugee crisis. To this day, Israel denies five million Palestinian refugees their international-recognized right of return. Those Palestinians not forced out by Israel at its creation remain second-class citizens, subjected to discriminatory laws and widespread societal racism. And, for the past 45 years, Israel’s brutal military occupation and illegal colonization of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip have rendered a two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a remote pipe dream.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas cast his initiative to gain “non-member observer state” status for Palestine at the U.N. as a way to salvage the diminishing prospects of a two-state resolution. However, Israel’s response to the vote may have put the final nail in the coffin of attempts to establish an independent Palestinian state. Only hours afterward, a senior Israeli official told The New York Times that Israel had approved preliminary plans to build in the E1 region, “which would connect the large settlement of Maale Adumim to Jerusalem and therefore make it impossible to connect the Palestinian cities of Ramallah and Bethlehem to Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem.”

Regardless of whether Palestine’s upgraded status at the U.N. somehow miraculously reverses Israel’s colonization of Palestinian land to enable the establishment of an independent Palestinian state or whether history is coming full circle to a one-state resolution and the “un-partitioning” of Palestine, by backing Israeli apartheid and denying Palestinian freedom and self-determination, Congress and the Obama administration are standing on the wrong side of history.    

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pro-Israel Groups React to Church Letter Challenging US Military Aid

Our National Advocacy Director Josh Ruebner was interviewed about the recent letter sent by 15 prominent church leaders to Members of Congress regarding U.S. military aid to Israel. The letter decried “widespread Israeli human rights violations committed against Palestinians" and called for “an immediate investigation into possible violations by Israel of the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act and the U.S. Arms Export Control Act” and for the “withholding of military aid for non-compliance” with these laws. Thank the church leaders for their important letter.

Jewish, Christian Groups Clash Over U.S. Aid to Israel
by Mitchell Plitnick
October 23, 2012

Jewish groups have reacted furiously to a letter to Congress by 15 leaders of Christian denominations asking for a review of whether some of the three billion dollars in annual United States aid to Israel is being used in violation of U.S. law and policies.

After pulling out of an interfaith dialogue conference, several Jewish groups stepped up their attacks on the Christian leaders, accusing them of bias against Israel and even of anti-Semitism.

The Christians’ letter stated that they believed that the unconditional U.S. aid given to Israel contributes to the “deteriorating conditions in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories which threaten to lead the region further away from the realization of a just peace… sustaining the conflict and undermining the long-term security interests of both Israelis and Palestinians.”

The letter was sent to Congress by leaders of such prominent Protestant denominations as the Presbyterians, Methodists, United Church of Christ and the National Council of Churches (USA), among others. 

It called for “an immediate investigation into possible violations by Israel of the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act and the U.S. Arms Export Control Act which respectively prohibit assistance to any country which engages in a consistent pattern of human rights violations and limit the use of U.S. weapons to ‘internal security’ or ‘legitimate self-defense.’” 


The church leaders state that their concerns are based on witnessing the questionable use of U.S. weapons firsthand as well as the annual report of the U.S. State Department, which, they say, “details widespread Israeli human rights violations committed against Palestinian civilians, many of which involve the misuse of U.S.-supplied weapons.” 


Jewish groups, led by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), responded angrily. The JCPA stated, “(The churches’) stony silence to the use of anti-Judaism and relentless attacks on the Jewish state, often from within their own ranks, speaks loudly to their failure to stand up and speak the whole truth about what is occurring in the Middle East.” 


The criticism spanned a wide spectrum of U.S.-Jewish politics. Prominent neoconservative Elliott Abrams, a former U.S. official who also headed the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he frequently clashed with church peace groups, called it “the latest chapter in the unending hostility to Israel that has marked several of the mainline Protestant denominations.” 


Abrams, like the more mainstream Jewish groups, sees the letter as motivated by hostility toward Israel. Like them, he does not engage directly with the substance of the letter, nor does he answer the charges of systematic human rights abuses by Israel, but instead raises questions not directly related to the letter’s content to support his contention that the letter is motivated by anti-Israel malice. 


And, while Abrams is surely correct in asserting that “It is unlikely that the churches’ letter will affect the level of aid to Israel,” he does not explain why, if that is the case, such a wide spectrum of the Jewish community has reacted so strongly to it. 


The centrist J Street was just as critical as Abrams, though with a far more conciliatory tone. In an op-ed on Newsweek’s Daily Beast web site, the vice president of their education fund, Rachel Lerner wrote: “J Street opposes proposals to condition or cut security assistance to Israel…As with so many efforts to address this complex situation, the letter fails to weigh criticism of Israel’s behavior with appropriate criticism of, for instance, rocket fire from Gaza into Israeli civilian areas. 


“We also question the timing of the letter - coming as it does a few short weeks before Election Day, when this sensitive issue has already become too much of a political football.” 


These specifics were cited by Abrams, the JCPA and the ADL as well. But the letter asks not for a cut or conditioning of aid, but a review of whether that aid is being given in compliance with U.S. law, something that has been done frequently with U.S. foreign aid. 


The letter also makes several mentions of Israeli hardships, specifically rockets fired from Gaza, and consistently equates Israeli and Palestinian suffering. 


“Over the years, a number of members of Congress have asked the State Department to report on whether specific incidents constituted violations of the Arms Export Control Act, Foreign Assistance Act or other U.S. laws by Israel,” Joshua Ruebner, the National Advocacy Director of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, told IPS. 


“Even though the State Department’s annual report on human rights in the Occupied Territories regularly documents abuses, the reports come back clean every time. Even though the Christian leaders’ letter asks for a comprehensive review, which has never been done before, the Jewish groups’ response seems like an overreaction.” 


Continue Reading at IPS



Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Josh Ruebner on Negotiating Peace and Redefining Refugees

Last Wednesday, US Campaign National Advocacy Director Josh Ruebner spoke on the Palestine Center's panel of "Negotiating Peace" regarding President Obama's strategy toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. According to Mr. Ruebner, despite changed rhetoric, Obama's actual efforts at promoting peace have been no different than those under previous presidents.  Ruebner argues that Obama has continued to try to “sell” Israeli ideas to Palestinians, promoted negotiations for the sake of negotiations, and held that the U.S.-led "peace process" is the sole means to conflict resolution with alternatives shoved aside.  Ruebner also suggests that the continued inability to the United States to provide Palestinians with fair negotiations under Obama has led to a Palestinian effort to bring the conflict back to an international stage for mediation.  






On Monday, Mr. Ruebner was interviewed by the Institute for Palestine Studies regarding a recent U.S. Senate motion seeking to redefine Palestinian refugees. The Senate unanimously passed an amendment to an appropriations bill asking that the State Department determine how many Palestinian refugees were born before the Nakba in 1948 and how many were born after. The State Department argued, in Ruebner's words, that such a definitive status could “prejudice who is considered a Palestinian refugee," which in turn "Would affect final status negotiations,” and refused to make this distinction.  In itself, Mr. Ruebner says, this amendment is insignificant.   But he believes that it is part of a larger “deliberate campaign to undermine the status and rights of Palestinian refugees,” which includes an eventual right of return to their homeland.  According to Mr. Ruebner, the Israel lobby and Members of Congress seek to undermine the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), the international body tasked with caring for displaced Palestinians, despite its apolitical mandate. 


Monday, July 9, 2012

Check Out DC Events on Palestine

The following events are taking place this week in DC and are hosted by our member group The Palestine Center. 

From Grievance to Action: Mapping Grassroots Movements in Palestine 
12:30-2:00pm, Tuesday, July 10 at 2425 Virginia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20037

This panel will examine the role of grassroots movements as a practical approach to fulfilling the shortcomings of political representation, with special attention to protests, hunger strikes, and other forms of resistance seen today.
 Adam Gallagher will discuss the International Solidarity Movement and our Steering Committee member Phyllis Bennis will concentrate on nonviolent action. 

Find more information and register here



Voices of Palestine 2012 Film Series: Hip Hop is Bigger than the Occupation

6:30pm, Wednesday, July 11 at Lohrfink Auditorium, Georgetown University

Hip Hop is Bigger than the Occupation is a documentary about a ten day journey of artists traveling through Palestine, teaching and performing nonviolent resistance through the arts. The tour included M1 of Dead Prez, Shadia Mansour, Marcel Cartier, Mazzi of Soul Purpose, DJ Vega Benetton, Lowkey, Jody McIntyre and Trinidad, Brandon and Lavie from the South West Youth Collaborative/University of Hip Hop Chicago. After the screening, there will be a panel discussion and Q&A with some of the artists and activists featured in the film including M1 of Dead Prez, Mazzi Behi of Soul Purpose, Marcel Cartier, Ayman El-Sayed and Harrabic Tubman.

Find more information here



Negotiating Peace: Motivations, Mechanisms, and Methods
12:30-2:00pm, Thursday, July 12 at 2425 Virginia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20037

This panel examines the effectiveness of the Palestinian strategy for negotiating a peace that complements the national interest, with special attention to a future Palestinian negotiating strategy after its bid for state recognition at the United Nations. Panelists are Khaled Elgindy, a visiting fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institute; Leila Hilal, director of the New America Foundation Middle East Task Force; and our National Advocacy Director Josh Ruebner. 

Find more information and register here.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

45 Years of Israeli Military Occupation and No End in Sight

Josh Ruebner is National Advocacy Director at the US Campaign. 

In the aftermath of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, President Lyndon Johnson, in a clear nod toward countering Israeli territorial aggrandizement,
stated that "no nation would be true to the United Nations Charter, or to its own true interests, if it should permit military success to blind it to the fact that its neighbors have rights and its neighbors have interests of their own."

Johnson was right to be concerned that Israel's military conquests would threaten the prospects for Arab-Israeli peace and degrade the human and national rights of Arab populations falling under its rule. The war had resulted in Israel establishing a military occupation of the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula (which was not returned to Egyptian sovereignty until after the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty), the Syrian Golan Heights, and the Palestinian West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip (occupations which persist to this day). Although Israel dismantled its illegal settlements and removed military bases from the Gaza Strip in 2005, its land, air, and sea blockade of the coastal enclave, along with its border closures of the territory, is proof positive of Israel's ongoing effective control over, and thus military occupation of, the Gaza Strip.


It was in this spirit of preventing Israeli territorial expansion that the Johnson administration played a leading role in drafting and passing
United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 in November 1967. The resolution, which has formed the cornerstone of Israeli-Arab peacemaking efforts ever since its adoption, emphasizes the "inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war" and calls for the "withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict."

In his
speech to the U.N. Security Council explaining his vote in favor of the resolution, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Arthur Goldberg noted that it is "entirely consistent with the policy of the United States." He pledged "that the diplomatic and political influence of the United States Government will be exerted in support of the efforts of the United Nations special representative" to implement the resolution's goals.

The Johnson administration's relatively evenhanded policy, including the president's call for "justice for the refugees," hearkens back to a bygone era in which the United States could still plausibly claim to be an "honest broker" in attempting to resolve the Israeli-Arab conflict. Sadly, that period is now but a distant memory, jettisoned in favor of unconditional U.S. diplomatic and military support for Israel that plays such a key role in cementing Israel's military occupation of Arab territories and preventing the implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 242.


Continue Reading on Huffington Post


Donate $45 today to help end U.S. support for Israeli occupation and apartheid. 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

By supporting Israel, Hillary Clinton and Congress flout US human rights law

Josh Ruebner is National Advocacy Director at the US Campaign. 

Guess which institution had the following to say about Israel’s human rights record in 2011:



  • “Arab citizens of the country faced institutional and societal discrimination.”
  • “Resources devoted to Arabic education were inferior to those devoted to Hebrew education in the public education system.”
  • “Human rights organizations reported that ‘physical interrogation methods’ permitted by Israeli law and used by Israeli security personnel could amount in practice to torture.”
  • “In the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the Israeli Civil Administration, part of Israel’s Ministry of Defense, continued to demolish homes, cisterns, and other buildings and property constructed by Palestinians in areas under Israeli civil control on the basis that these buildings lacked Israeli planning licenses. Compensation was generally not offered in these cases.”
  • “In East Jerusalem, under Israeli authority, displays of Palestinian political symbols were punishable by fines or imprisonment.”
  • “The [Israeli military] IDF continued its use of a 1967 military order that effectively prohibited Palestinian demonstrations and limited freedom of speech in the West Bank. The order stipulates that a ‘political’ gathering of 10 or more persons requires a permit from the regional commander of military forces. The penalty for a breach of the order is 10 years’ imprisonment or a heavy fine.”
  • “The Israeli government obstructed refugee access to [United Nations agency for Palestine refugees] UNRWA-provided humanitarian assistance in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.”
  • “Some Israeli settlers reportedly used violence against Palestinians as a means of harassment and to keep them away from land that settlers sought to expropriate … Settlers also exploited religious tensions to harass Palestinian villages by vandalizing, breaking into, or burning 10 mosques.

If you were the typical member of Congress who believes that Israel is a shining beacon of light to humanity and the greatest thing since sliced bread, then you would probably answer one of the following: some anti-Semitic agency of the United Nations, an obviously biased Palestinian organization, or one of those self-hating Israeli organizations.

But you would be wrong.


These quotations come from the US State Department’s
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011, released on 24 May. Despite the muted language, the report paints a damning picture of Israel’s human rights abuses of the Palestinian people. From governmental and societal discrimination based on ethnicity (the international definition of apartheid), to flagrant violations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Fourth Geneva Convention, the State Department scratches the surface of Israel’s atrocious policies toward Palestinians in this report.

Continue reading on The Electronic Intifada 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Rae Abileah and Josh Ruebner on Arab Voices



Arab Voices, broadcast on 90.1 FM Houston, featured Rae Ablieah, of Occupy AIPAC and Code Pink and National Advocacy Director Josh Ruebner, on its March 7 show.  Click the link below to listen to the broadcast, which covered AIPAC, Occupy AIPAC, the campaign to end military aid to Israel, and more.

 
 
Date:

 
Guests:
Rae Abileah
Jewish-American activist of Israeli descent. She is organizer with Occupy AIPAC - a counter-conference that took place across the street from the AIPAC conference held in Washington, D.C. few days ago. Rae is also co-director of the peace group CODEPINK. Last year, an alleged member of AIPAC physically assaulted and injured Rae when she disrupted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech in the U.S. Congress.
 
Josh Ruebner
National advocacy director of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (a national coalition of nearly 400 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 theCongressional Research Service 
(a federal government agency providing Members of Congress with policy analysis). Josh is author of the newly-released policy paper entitled "U.S. Military Aid to Israel: Policy Implications & Options".
Topics:
A live discussion with Rae Abileah and Josh Ruebner about AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) and its annual conference held March 4-6, 2012 in Washington, D.C.; the influence AIPAC has on the U.S. foreign policy towards Israel, occupied Palestine and Iran; the amount, impact and legality of the financial and military aid the U.S. provides to Israel every year; and much more.
   

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Armed and Dangerous: U.S. Weapons Transfers to Israel

National Advocacy Director Josh Ruebner launches the US Campaign's first-ever policy paper, entitled "U.S. Military Aid to Israel: Policy Implication & Options" in this briefing at the Palestine Center.

Check out the video:

Monday, March 5, 2012

Report Denounces Weapons to Israel as AIPAC Assembles

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 5, 2012

Contact:
Josh Ruebner, National Advocacy Director
congress@endtheooccuption.org

Washington, DC (Monday, March 5) -- As members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) prepare to lobby tomorrow on Capitol Hill for more U.S. weapons for Israel, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation will launch its first policy paper, which calls for the United States to end military aid to Israel. The report release comes after President Barack Obama stated yesterday at AIPAC's policy conference that "Despite a tough budget environment, our security assistance [to Israel] has increased every single year."

"U.S. Military Aid to Israel: Policy Implications & Options," establishes the legal, political, economic, strategic and human rights rationale for ending $30 billion of U.S. taxpayer-financed weapons transfers to Israel from 2009 to 2018. The 40-page paper can be downloaded at:

http://aidtoisrael.org/policypaper

The US Campaign will present the policy paper at a briefing on Tuesday, March 6, 12:30-2:00pm, at the Palestine Center, 2425 Virginia Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20037. For additional details and to RSVP, please click here. Printed copies of the policy paper will be distributed at the briefing.

The briefing culminates the five-day series of events, "Occupy AIPAC."

National Advocacy Director Josh Ruebner, who authored the paper, stated:
"U.S. military aid to Israel is a policy that is running on autopilot and must be reconsidered. U.S. weapons provided to Israel at taxpayer expense make us complicit in Israel’s human rights abuses of Palestinians living under Israel’s 44-year military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip and defeat U.S. foreign policy objectives of halting Israeli settlement expansion, ending Israeli military occupation, and establishing a just and lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace."
The policy paper highlights the following facts, among others:
From 2000 to 2009, the United States appropriated $24.1 billion of military aid to Israel, transferring more than 670 million weapons, rounds of ammunition, and related equipment.

From 2000 to 2009, Israel killed at least 2,969 unarmed Palestinians, including 1,128 children, often with U.S. weapons in violation of the Foreign Assistance Act and Arms Export Control Act.

From 2009 to 2018, the United States is scheduled to give Israel $30 billion in military aid, a 25 percent annual average increase over previous levels of military aid, despite its negative political and strategic ramifications.

From the Eisenhower to Bush, Sr. Administrations, at least 10 times the United States conditioned aid to Israel, threatened to cut off aid to Israel, or sanctioned Israel for violating U.S. laws and/or working against foreign policy objectives.

Since 2000, Members of Congress and/or the State Department have investigated or requested investigations into Israel’s potential misuse of U.S. weapons at least five times; however, no public action has been taken to hold Israel accountable for its violations of U.S. laws.

With the same amount of money that the United States gives each year to fund weapons for Israel, the federal government could instead fund affordable housing vouchers for 350,000 low-income families, or green jobs training for 500,000 unemployed workers, or early reading programs for 900,000 at-risk students, or primary health care to 24 million people without insurance.
The policy paper concludes with specific policy recommendations for the President and Congress to ensure that any money appropriated in the future for additional weapons to Israel are not misused to commit human rights abuses against Palestinians, but to further U.S. foreign policy objectives.

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