Showing posts with label media release. Show all posts
Showing posts with label media release. Show all posts

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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Monday, January 30, 2012

Call for World Social Forum Free Palestine, Nov. 2012 in Brazil

Last week, the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) issued an international call for the World Social Forum Free Palestine, scheduled to take place in November 2012 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. In an email message to solidarity groups publicizing the call, the BNC wrote:


This is a unique opportunity, challenge and responsibility for all of us. This potentially game changing forum will bring together the entirety of the international solidarity movement and allow us to show our strength, celebrate our successes and plan for more. We're very excited about the opportunities it presents for the solidarity movement in general and for the BDS movement in particular.

The BNC's call can be read in full below. Please share widely!!!



Call for the World Social Forum Free Palestine, Nov. 2012 in Brazil

Posted on January 19, 2012 by StopTheWall Campaign

Occupied Palestine is part of every free heartbeat in this world and her cause continues to inspire solidarity across the globe.  The World Social Forum Free Palestine is an expression of the human instinct to unite for justice and freedom and an echo of the World Social Forum’s opposition to neo-liberal hegemony, colonialism, and racism through struggles for social, political and economic alternatives to promote justice, equality, and the sovereignty of peoples.
The WSF Free Palestine will be a global encounter of broad-based popular and civil society mobilizations from around the world. It aims to:
1. Show the strength of solidarity with the calls of the Palestinian people and the diversity of initiatives and actions aimed at promoting justice and peace in the region.
2. Create effective actions to ensure Palestinian self-determination, the creation of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, and the fulfillment of human rights and international law, by:
a)      Ending Israeli occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;
b)     Ensuring the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
c)      Implementing, protecting, and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.
3. Be a space for discussion, exchange of ideas, strategizing, and planning in order to improve the structure of solidarity.
Exactly sixty-five years after Brazil presided over the UN General Assembly session that agreed upon the partition of Palestine, Brazil will host a different type of global forum: an historic opportunity for people from all over the world to stand up where governments have failed. The world’s people will come together to discuss new visions and effective actions to contribute to justice and peace in the region.
We call on all organizations, movements, networks, and unions across the globe to join the WSF Free Palestine in November 2012 in Porto Alegre. We ask you to join the International Committee for the WSF Free Palestine, we will establish as soon as possible. Participation in this forum will structurally strengthen solidarity with Palestine, promote action to implement Palestinian’s legitimate rights, and hold Israel and its allies accountable to international law.
Together we can raise global solidarity with Palestine to a new level.
Palestinian Preparatory Committee for the WSF Free Palestine 2012
Secretariat members:
· PNGO - Palestinian NGO Network
· Stop the Wall - Palestinian grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign,
· OPGAI - Occupied Palestinian Golan Heights Advocacy Initiative
· Alternatives represented by:
     Alternative Information Center,
     Teacher Creativity Center
· Ittijah
· General Union of Palestinian women
Coordination office:
PNGO - Palestinian NGO Network
Tel: +970 2 2975320/1
Fax: +970 2 2950704
E mail: samahd@pngo.net

SEE ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE... 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Flash Mob Tells Bed Bath & Beyond: "Stop Selling Illegal Israeli Settlement Products!"

The three groups involved in this action -- CODEPINK, 14 Friends of Palestine, and Keep Hope Alive -- are all coalition members of the US Campaign, which offers its exclusive flash mob resources here.


Brides, Professional Choir and Minister Flash Mob at Bed Bath & Beyond with Message:
"Stop Selling Illegal Israeli Settlement Products!"


Action in Solidarity with Global Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement



[LARKSPUR]: On Saturday, December 10, International Human Rights Day, a flash mob took over the wedding registry section of the Bed Bath & Beyond in Larkspur.  The flash mob consisted of a mock wedding in which four brides committed to boycott illegal Israeli settlement products, namely Ahava cosmetics and SodaStream home carbonation systems, and local Reverend Dr. Walt Davis pronounced the brides "married to a life of peace and justice."  The Justice Voices choir sung a parody of "Ode to Joy" that asked Bed Bath & Beyond to deshelve these products.  Store employees asked the flash mobbers to leave the store and called the police.  No arrests were made.  Caroling continued outside the store where the group received positive feedback from holiday shoppers.

“We hope Bed Bath & Beyond CEO Steven Temares hears our plea and stops selling products that are in clear violation of international law,” said Rae Abileah, flash mob "bride" and co-director of CODEPINK.  “Consumers have a right to know the ugly truth behind Ahava beauty products: they’re stealing Palestinian land! SodaStream is marketed as an environmentally responsible product, but the destruction of life, land and peace brought about by this settlement industrial zone is anything but environmentally responsible. Save a few plastic bottles at the expense of trashing Palestinian land and people?  We don’t think so.”

Ahava and SodaStream products are fraudulently labeled as “Made in Israel”, but are in fact produced in illegal settlements under the conditions of the military occupation in the West Bank, outside the internationally-recognized borders of Israel.  Ahava cosmetics are manufactured in the illegal settlement of Mitzpe Shalem in the occupied Palestinian West Bank. Ahava’s fraudulent labeling is under investigation in the UK and in The Netherlands. The Stolen Beauty Boycott and international boycott pressure have successfully pressured many stores to drop Ahava.  Stores that have pulled Ahava from their shelves include Canada’s major department store The Bay, UK retailer John Lewis, the National Cathedral in DC, the U.N. commissary in Vienna, and many more.

A recent report by the Israeli research project Who Profits from the Occupation describes SodaStream’s illegal settlement activities, exposes its fraudulent labeling practices and investigates its exploitative labor practices.  SodaStream is another occupation profiteer located the illegal industrial zone called Mishor Adumim, one of the largest land expropriations of Palestinian land in the West Bank, which prevents a future contiguous Palestinian state.

"This month, we mark three years since the Israel's deadly assault on Gaza that killed about 1,400 Palestinian men, women, and children. Let us all recommit ourselves to ending US financial and diplomatic support to Israel, and to supporting the inspiring, growing, global, Palestinian-led  movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions until Palestinians enjoy the freedom, equality, and justice that they deserve,” said Anna Baltzer, flash mob "bride" and national organizer with the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.  

“I invited the CODEPINK women to Marin so that we could do a boycott action at our local Bed, Bath, and Beyond,” said Jane Jewell, founder of 14 Friends of Palestine and Justice Voices. “BDS is one of the most important non-violent activities we can do to oppose the cruel Israeli Occupation of Palestine that causes such terrible suffering to the Palestinian people. I consider it the duty of those of us who enjoy a life of freedom and privilege to help those who do not. If I lived under horrendous oppression like the Palestinians do, I would like to think that somewhere in the world there were people looking out for me. "

The action was coordinated by 14 Friends of Palestine, CODEPINK Women for Peace, and Keep Hope Alive.

More information on both campaigns is available at www.stolenbeauty.org and www.codepink.org/boycottsodastream.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Israel Bonds Lawsuit to Continue Despite Governor's Refusal to Divest

US Campaign coalition member group Minnesota Break the Bonds (MN BBC) today distributed the media release below about its lawsuit to get the state to divest from Israel Bonds.


First, here's a TV news clip from November 29, when WCCO Channel 4 News in Minneapolis interviewed activists with MN BBC on the day their lawsuit was announced. The original article can be viewed here.


Israel Bonds Lawsuit to Continue Despite Governor's Refusal to Divest

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 16, 2011

Email: mn@breakthebonds.org
Website: http://mn.breakthebonds.org/

[St. Paul] Minnesota Break the Bonds Campaign (MN BBC), a statewide campaign aimed at stopping Minnesota investment in Israel’s human rights and international law violations, has officially filed its lawsuit against the Minnesota State Board of Investment. This filing comes after Governor Dayton rejected the Campaign’s demand that the SBI divest from in Israel Bonds.

The complaint was formally filed yesterday in the Ramsey County District Court in St. Paul, and today was assigned to Judge Margaret M. Marrinan, with case number 62-CV-11-10079.

On November 29, 2011, MN BBC, along with 26 other co-plaintiffs, including Palestinian residents of the besieged village of Bil’in in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Jewish-Israeli members of the Israeli human rights advocacy group Boycott From Within, served a lawsuit against the SBI demanding that it cancel its Israel Bonds investments. The suit was not formally filed in court at that time in order to permit the SBI an opportunity to resolve MN BBC’s divestment demand without the necessity of court action.

The lawsuit claims that the Board’s investments in Israel Bonds are unlawful according to Minnesota and international law because they help fund Israel’s universally condemned illegal settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Following Governor Dayton’s rejection of the divestment demand, the Executive Committee of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), headquartered in New York, advised all four members of the SBI Board, including Governor Dayton, that the Board was aiding and abetting Israel’s violation of international law, which also violates Minnesota law. The NLG correspondence to each of the four Board members, which was delivered to them on December 13, 2011, is posted at the MN BBC website at http://mn.breakthebonds.org/?p=1597.

In deciding to proceed with the lawsuit, the plaintiffs also considered the murder by Israeli soldiers last Friday of Mustafa Tamimi, a Palestinian resident of Nebi Saleh, one of a growing number of West Bank villages besieged by Israeli settlers. Tamimi was shot point-blank in the face with a high velocity tear gas grenade. Israel buys a portion of its military equipment with the aid of Israel Bonds. MN Break the Bonds Campaign believes that Minnesota should not be investing our state's money in such atrocities.

To read the complete version of the lawsuit, go to:
http://mn.breakthebonds.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/MNBBCvSBI.pdf.

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Coalition member discredits Gingrich claim of "invented" Palestinians


The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee is a coalition member of the US Campaign. It distributed the following news release today.

"Invented People" or Invented History?

ADC rejects Gingrich's offensive comments. Download our letter

Washington, DC | www.adc.org | December 12, 2011 - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is stunned and appalled at Newt Gingrich’s simplistic and strange assertion that the Palestinian people are an "invented people", which offends hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Americans and millions of Arab Americans. At the same time, ADC dismisses Mr. Gingrich's assertion, and urges him to acquaint himself with the basic concept of nationhood to spare his campaign further embarrassment and ridicule. Nations are not defined by the existence of states, as Mr. Gingrich, who is not a specialist in Middle Eastern history and has not held an academic post since 1978,  incorrectly suggests. The modern states of Israel, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Libya and dozens of others around the world did not exist at the turn of the twentieth century. These historical circumstances do not negate their inhabitants' national identities or fundamental human rights; the same is true of Palestinians.

Gingrich
In a second attack against Palestinians, during the Republican debate, Mr. Gingrich stated that “[Palestinians] are terrorists. They teach terrorism in their schools.” ADC condemns Mr. Gingrich’s rant against Palestinians as baseless, reckless, offensive and utterly unbefitting a candidate for President of the United States. Such indiscriminate language from prominent public figures leads to hate crimes and discrimination against Arab Americans, and ADC strongly urges Republicans to repudiate it.

ADC President Warren David stated, "I am appalled that a former Speaker of the House of Representatives and a candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States could make such insulting statements about the Palestinian people. Our members are outraged by Mr. Gingrich's remarks. Rather than attempt to negate the Palestinian people's national identity with irrelevant and antiquated pseudo-arguments and collectively defame Palestinians as "terrorists", Mr. Gingrich should insist that the United States of America defend their legitimate rights to (a) freedom from 44 years of oppressive Israeli military rule and (b) equality in the face of institutionalized Israeli discrimination.”

Finally, on Saturday night, Mr. Gingrich stated, “It's fundamentally time for somebody to have the guts to stand up and say, enough lying about the Middle East.” We couldn’t agree more. So, please, Mr. Gingrich, enough lying about the Middle East.

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NOTE TO EDITORS: The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), which is non-profit, non-sectarian and non-partisan, is the largest grassroots Arab-American civil rights and civil liberties organization in the United States. It was founded in 1980 by former Senator James Abourezk. ADC has a national network of chapters and members in all 50 states.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Activists Mic Check the "Ethical Standards" of the IDF

Sergeant Nadav Weinberg of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) is once again touring college and university campuses in the US absurdly promoting “the ethical standards of the IDF.” Weinberg conducted a similar tour last year, and you may recall the response his propaganda received from US Campaign coalition group ASU-SJP. Last week solidarity activists in Boulder, Colorado picketed and interrupted Weinberg’s presentation at the University of Colorado’s (CU) Chabad Jewish Student Center. US Campaign coalition member CU Divest! released the following the statement regarding their protest of Weinberg’s talk.

For Immediate Release

December 1, 2011

CONTACT: Michael Rabb, CU-Divest, 2002 18th Street, Boulder CO 80302 720-837-9674, michael.rabb1@gmail.com, https://sites.google.com/site/cudivest/

Activists at University of Colorado Disrupt Israeli Military Presentation: White Phosphorous Is Not Ethical

On Wednesday evening, 6:30pm, November 30, about 15 activists gathered at CU Chabad Jewish Student Center, 909 14th Street, in Boulder, to picket and demonstrate against Israel’s pernicious and immoral crimes against humanity. CU Chabad was hosting a talk by Sgt. Nadav Weinberg, a representative of the Israeli Defense Forces. Sgt Weinberg’s presentation is part of a USA tour of several college campuses designed to inform students about the high ethical standards of the IDF.

Michael Rabb, local activist and one of the founders of a campaign to get the University of Colorado to divest from Israeli apartheid, says Weinberg’s presentation was perfectly timed: On the 3rd anniversary of “Cast Lead”, Israel’s slaughter of 1400 people in the Gaza Strip, including hundreds of children, it’s entirely appropriate that we, students, faculty and members of the CU community confront Israel’s crimes against humanity.

During the presentation, several of the protesters in attendance stood up and “mic checked” Sgt. Weinberg. Using call-and-response, occupy wall street human microphone technique the activists accused Israel’s military of murder, massacre and war crimes. Rabb was forcibly removed from the meeting hall. Other activists stayed for the presentation and a few were even allowed to ask questions, like, “Sgt. Weinberg, how does dropping 2000 lb. bunker buster bombs on schools and hospitals demonstrate IDF ethics?”

It’s sort of amazing, perhaps “chutzpa” is the right word, for the Israeli military to send someone to Boulder Colorado to try and explain or whitewash their war crimes. Cast Lead is where Israel bombed this little piece of land (about 20 miles long 5 miles wide): the most densely populated piece of land on earth (1.5 million people) - with white phosphorous, cluster bomb units, (these would be anti-personnel weapons), not to mention the bunker busters, 2000-pound bombs that crushed homes, schools and hospitals.

CU-Divest is a grassroots movement: We are students, faculty and staff of the University of Colorado, and members of the University community at large, who are deeply concerned that the University of Colorado invests in companies that profit from Israel's illegal and immoral occupation and apartheid of the Palestinian people. CU-Divest is part of part of a global movement of boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israel for its crimes of apartheid.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Media Release: Citizens' Campaign Sues Minnesota State Board of Investment for Illegal Investments in Israel Bonds


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 28, 2011


Contact: 
mn@breakthebonds.org

[Minneapolis] MN Break the Bonds Campaign (MN BBC), a statewide campaign aimed at stopping Minnesota investment in Israel's human rights and international law violations, along with several individuals and organizations, is serving a lawsuit on the Minnesota State Board of Investment (SBI) with a demand that it divest from sovereign Israel Bonds.

The lawsuit contends that the SBI's investment in Israel Bonds is unlawful and imprudent.  The investment violates Minnesota statutes that control the types of foreign investments the SBI is permitted to make. Foreign government bonds, including Israel Bonds, are not included in the SBI's statutory list of authorized investments. Canadian Bonds are the only exception.

The lawsuit further claims that the SBI's investment in Israel Bonds is unlawful because the SBI is knowingly aiding and abetting Israel's internationally recognized violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention by financing Israel's illegal settlement activities, which involve the prohibited transfer of Israel's civilian population into the occupied Palestinian territories. International law affirms the culpability of those who financially aid and abet this type of international law violation.

Finally, the lawsuit argues that the SBI is in breach of its fiduciary obligations by exposing Minnesota taxpayers to liability to any victims of Israel's human rights abuses and international law violations due to its material support of Israel's unlawful activities.

MN BBC is a group of Palestinians, Jews, Christians, Muslims, students, professionals, parents, community members and allies working together to educate Minnesota communities about injustices suffered by Palestinians in order to promote justice and human rights.  MN BBC believes that the people of Minnesota have the moral obligation to make sound investments that will not aid the oppression of any one race, creed or people.

The lawsuit will be served on November 29, 2011 at the Attorney General's office, 1400 Bremer Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul.  Members of MN BBC will begin gathering at the base of the escalators at 9:30 am, and then proceed to the AG's office to serve the complaint at 10:00. Reporters and media are welcome to interview members of MN BBC and some of the co-plaintiffs following service of the complaint. Copies of the lawsuit will be available to the press. For more information, see the article at Mondoweiss.net, http://bit.ly/veexzS.


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DePaul University Students Declare Victory in Sabra Hummus Campaign

Just prior to Thanksgiving, US Campaign coalition member group DePaul University Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) announced an important victory in its campaign against the sale of Sabra hummus in university dining halls. Earlier this year, DePaul SJP launched a campaign to have Sabra hummus removed from campus dining halls because it is partially owned by the Strauss Group, which provides material and financial support to Israeli military units. After an inquiry into the activities of the Strauss Group, the university elected to continue selling Sabra hummus. However, the university has quietly introduced the sale of an alternative brand of hummus in the university's dining halls providing students with the opportunity to make ethical consumer purchases.

The battle over Sabra hummus at DePaul reminds us that grassroots efforts often lead to progressive change even when our primary goals have not been immediately achieved. DePaul SJP's Sabra hummus campaign raised awareness of how our consumer choices can render us complicit in supporting Israeli occupation and apartheid. The availability of an alternative brand of hummus is an important victory that takes on added significance as pro-Israel groups begin to counter BDS actions in the US with events like this week's "Buy Israel Week."

DePaul University students declare victory in Sabra hummus campaign

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 23, 2011

DePaul University students declare victory in Sabra hummus campaign

Following SJP’s campaign to remove Sabra hummus from campus due to students’ concerns about the product’s connection to human rights abuses, DePaul provides alternative hummus brand in its dining halls.

CHICAGO, IL (November 23, 2011)—DePaul University Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) declare a major victory in their campaign against the sale of Sabra hummus products after University dining services introduced an alternative brand of hummus to campus this fall quarter. The decision was made after SJP’s yearlong campaign to draw attention to the complicity of Sabra’s parent company, the Strauss Group, in Israel’s military occupation of Palestine.

Student activists identify the University’s decision to introduce an alternative brand of hummus as a revision of the University’s decision to continue selling Sabra hummus. SJP member Maryam Salem said, “We’re happy that student concerns over Sabra hummus have finally been heard. A lot of students were disappointed by the University’s decision to keep Sabra back in the spring. But now, by offering an alternative brand of hummus, students have an ethical product they can choose.”

CONTINUE READING HERE...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Urgent: Stop Home Demolitions in Al Hadidiye

Stop the Wall has issued an urgent call to action to stop nine fresh demolition orders issued by the Israeli authorities in the Palestinian Bedouin community of Al Hadidiye. The destruction of Palestinian homes and the ongoing colonization of Palestinian land is being carried out under the cover of US acquiescence and with the assistance of US companies like Caterpillar and Motorola. Stand in solidarity with the Palestinian families facing demolition and heed Stop the Wall's call to action!

Al Hadidiye to be demolished once again: Halt this new wave of ethnic cleansing!

Week against the Apartheid Wall (Nov. 9 - 16) - “Take Apartheid off the Menu” Action Day (Nov. 26)

Immediately contact your consulate and embassy through our email action!

While the international community discusses Palestinian statehood, on the ground Israel is continuing the ethnic cleansing and colonization of Palestine with a further displacement push in the Jordan Valley.

Al Hadidiye is a Bedouin community of some 112 permanent inhabitants and some 130 further inhabitants that during the two cold winter months return back to villages near Tobas as Israeli forces have destroyed their homes already and they have not found the necessary means to build shelters that can protect them from the winter cold. On Thursday November 10, the Israeli authorities served the community nine new demolition orders that target 17 structures and will affect 72 people , including women and children.

Since 1998, the Israeli occupation authorities have implemented a systematic and continuous drive to permanently expel the Palestinians residents of the Jordan Valley from their lands. Most of the people in al Hadidiye have had already their homes destroyed more than five times. Animal shelters and other property is regularly destroyed.

As the Palestinian residents are not allowed access the water from the pipes the Israeli water company Mekorot manages for the use of the settlements, and the digging of wells is prohibited, water has to be brought from a natural spring in the area. Especially in the summer months, Israeli authorities confiscate the water tanks in which the water is transported and stored.

The people in al Hadidiye are entirely dependent on rearing animals as they do not have sufficient water for agriculture. In the nearby Jewish-only settlements of Ro'i and Beqa'ot, agricultural produce is farmed using hi-tech methods and with an abundance of water. Much of this agricultural produce is exported to European supermarkets by Israeli agricultural export companies including Bickel, Mehadrin and Arava.

The Occupation authorities justify their demolition and expulsion order with the fact that the area has been designated a military zone since the 1970s. The 600 people of the communities of Mak’oul, Samra, Hadidiye and Humsa that have been living and grazing their cattle in the 300 000 dunums of the northern Jordan Valley for generations state that the area is not even used as a military zone.

In light of this renewed announcement of home demolitions and forced displacement we ask you to:

Immediately contact your consulate and embassy and urge them to pay the community a solidarity visit BEFORE November 18, the day the demolition order becomes executive, and to send a complaint to the Israeli authorities through the appropriate diplomatic channels.

Raise the issue in your actions during the Week against the Apartheid Wall and during November 26 “Take Apartheid off the Menu” European day of action against Israeli agricultural produce exporters

Monday, November 14, 2011

Simultaneous Demonstrations Fact Check Israeli Apartheid and Walk Out on Israeli Propaganda

Students at DePaul and Northwestern stage walkouts of events promoting Israel's narrative of its history and politics - a narrative that omits Israel's repeated violations of international law and human rights abuses against the Palestinian people.

From the press release sent out by protest organizers:

On the evening of November 10th, students and community members staged two simultaneous walkouts at events promoting Israel’s narrative of its history and politics. At Northwestern University’s Evanston campus, demonstrators held a silent walkout during a presentation by Gil Hoffman, an Israeli military reservist and journalist. Meanwhile, on DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus, students and community members used the “People’s Mic” technique - popularized by Occupy Wall Street - to disrupt a presentation sponsored by the organization Stand With Us. Organizers say that they protested because the presentations omitted the disturbing reality of Israel’s repeated violations of international law and countless human rights abuses against the Palestinian people.

At DePaul, a group of about thirty concerned individuals “fact checked” an event called “Israel 101,” sponsored by Stand With Us, an organization that seeks to brand Israel in a friendly and positive light. Demonstrators interrupted the presentation, stood up, and announced a statement about Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights. According to one of the participants, University of Chicago student Ishan Chakrabarti: “We used a version of the ‘People’s Mic’ technique, recently utilized by the Occupy Wall Street movement. We challenged Israel 101’s propaganda and selective history and spoke truth to power by amplifying our voices.” The “fact check” was followed by a walkout and teach-in.

CONTINUE READING HERE...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Media Release: Two Boats With Passengers from Five Countries (Including U.S.) Are En Route to Gaza Strip


U.S. To Gaza, which participated in the thwarted July 2011 flotilla and helped organize the current mission of the Canadian and Irish ships to Gaza, is a coalition member of the US Campaign.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 2, 2011

Contact:

In New York: Felice Gelman, 917-912-2597 and 917-679-8343

At sea: phone numbers will be released when you call the above press contact.


Organizers say: "It is time to lift the siege of Gaza which deprives 1.6 million civilians of their rights to travel, work, study, develop their economy and be free."

The Canadian ship Tahrir and the Irish ship Saoirse have successfully reached international waters, initiating the "Freedom Wave to Gaza." The boats have embarked from Turkey and are on the Mediterranean Sea.  In all, the 2 boats carry 27 passengers from Canada, Ireland, United States, Palestine, and Australia.
                               
Kit Kittredge on board the Tahrir was previously a passenger on the U.S. boat, The Audacity of Hope, which attempted passage to Gaza last July, organized by U.S. to Gaza, a coalition member of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

Kittredge said:
"The only obstacles in our way are Israel's military and the complicity of the Obama administration but in our sails is the wind of worldwide public opinion which has turned against the illegal blockade."

Ann Wright, retired U.S. army colonel and former U.S. diplomat said:
"We carry inspiration from the Arab Spring and the worldwide 'Occupy' movements that are demanding freedom and justice. Where governments fail, civil society must act. As Americans we are fed up with our government's unquestioning support of Israel no matter how violent, illegal and  oppressive its actions.  We will not stand by and watch $30 billion of our tax money committed to buying Israel weaponry used to carry out this illegal occupation of Palestine including the blockade of Gaza."

Jane Hirschmann, U.S. Boat organizer, added:
"Our sailing coincides with UN agency UNESCO's recognition of Palestine as a member state, defying US threats to cut off $80 million of US funding in retaliation. This shows the growing strength of opposition by the international community to U.S. and Israeli policies in Palestine. We call on the international community to go further and take effective action to lift the siege of Gaza."

The U.S. Boat to Gaza, The Audacity of Hope, has been held in a Greek port since last July.

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

AIPAC Congressional Lobbying Junkets to Israel Illegal, Charges IRS & DOJ Filing

The US Campaign has been mobilizing grassroots support to end these congressional junkets for the past several weeks, through email alerts we distributed on August 9 and August 18, and analysis contributed by our National Advocacy Director, Josh Ruebner, in Foreign Policy in Focus (click here).

WASHINGTON, Sept. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- A complaint filed today with the IRS and Justice Department charges the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF) is a "sham" charitable organization of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The AIEF, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation which reported $26.3 million in 2009 revenue, is housed in the same facilities as AIPAC. AIPAC was incorporated as a domestic lobby in 1963 by a former Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs employee, six weeks after the Justice Department ordered its parent organization, the American Zionist Council, to begin registering as an Israeli foreign agent.

AIEF recently paid expenses for more than 80 members of Congress to travel to Israel during recess, but does not disclose planned activities or educational curriculum. Rabbi Bruce Warshal called AIEF "an amazing organization of which no one has ever heard...It's amazing that someone hasn't filed suit to stop this charade."

According to the 29 page IRmep Center for Policy and Law Enforcement filing, AIEF meets the IRS definition of an AIPAC "sham corporation" because:

AIEF is completely controlled by AIPAC, 66% of AIEF board members are AIPAC directors. 47% of AIPAC's board are also AIEF directors;

AIEF lacks sufficient staff. According to IRS and Congressional Research Service benchmarks, a bona fide educational organization would have at least 271 employees. AIEF has none;

AIEF's "educational" content and audiences are determined by AIPAC lobbying objectives. AIEF has no website. No AIEF funded material is made directly available to the public;

AIEF files deceptive IRS Form 990 reports. Although AIEF has multiple foundation donors such as the Saban Family Foundation ($1 million), The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc. ($150,000) and The Marcus Foundation, Inc. ($500,000), it does not properly and individually report such large donors and amounts on its publicly auditable Schedule B. This deceptive practice was pioneered by AIPAC to hide the narrowing funding base of both organizations.

AIEF makes improper transfers of tax-deductible funds to AIPAC. In 2009, AIEF transferred $13.5 million in tax deductible funding to AIPAC;

AIEF Near East Research merger. Founded in 1957, the Near East Report laundered overseas funding to AIPAC's founder to publish disinformation about Israeli nuclear weapons and US peace initiatives.

This IRmep Center for Policy and Law Enforcement filing, which urges revocation retroactive to 1990, is available at: http://irmep.org/09092011AIEF.pdf .

SOURCE Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Peaceful CODEPINK Demonstrator Files Suit Against Netanyahu's Supporters


Getty Photo / AP: CODEPINK activist Rae Abileah
protesting PM Netanyahu's speech at House Gallery


A peaceful demonstrator from CODEPINK - a member group of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation coalition -- files suit against Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's supporters who physically attached her in the House Gallery. 

Rae Abileah, a peaceful demonstrator who was physically attacked and injured on May 24, 2011, while protesting the occupation and oppression of Palestinians during the speech of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, filed a civil action in District of Columbia Superior Court today [ed. August 18, 2011] against the unknown individuals who attacked her in the House Gallery, and caused her serious physical injury.

Ms. Abileah is a 28-year-old American Jew of Israeli descent, who works as the Middle East Campaigns Coordinator for CODEPINK, a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice organization that seeks to end U.S. wars and the U.S. funded occupation of Palestine.  After a security check by the Capitol Police, she was given a seat in the House Gallery, as were other individuals who were given passes by members of Congress for the May 24, 2011 session.  About 10 minutes after Mr. Netanyahu began speaking, Ms. Abileah stood up from her seat in the Gallery and opened a banner that read "Occupying Land is Indefensible," and shouted, "No more occupation.  Stop Israeli war crimes!  Equal rights for Palestinians!  Occupying land is indefensible!"

Four to five other persons sitting in the House Gallery began to attack her, including one man who used his hand to attempt to gag and suffocate Ms. Abileah, and then violently yanked her head back, injuring her neck.  As a result of the attack, Ms. Abileah suffered severe emotional trauma and sustained a neck strain, swollen neck and muscle strain, and has since suffered from frequent headaches.

The Capitol Police, who witnessed the attack, have begun an investigation into her assault.  One of the police officers present during the attack told Ms. Abileah that it was clear that some of the people present had "roughed [her] up."

"I am hopeful that my filing suit will be a clear signal to those who attempt to silence us from protesting the Israeli occupation of Palestine, that they will be held accountable for their illegal actions," said Ms. Abileah.

"Ms. Abileah's actions were in a long line of peaceful actions intended to bring public attention to grave injustice.  The violence against Ms. Abileah mirrors the ongoing violence in Israel and Palestine against peaceful demonstrators," said Lynne Bernabei, one of Ms. Abileah's attorneys. 

Click here to view the full press release.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Seattle's New Print Ad Campaign

The Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign, a US Campaign coalition member, recently launched an exciting print ad campaign about Israel’s segregated roads, schools and towns...

“I’M NOT ALLOWED ON ISRAEL’S SEGREGATED ROADS” says a West Bank Palestinian in one of a series of newspaper ads launched this week by Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC).  The ads are part of SeaMAC’s continuing effort to expose the misuse of U.S. taxpayer money to support Israel’s system of segregation and discrimination against the Palestinian people.  Palestinians are prohibited from driving on segregated Israeli-only settlement roads; Palestinian students inside Israel are channeled into a segregated school system with separate and unequal resources; and Palestinians are not allowed to live in illegal Jewish-only Israeli settlements.

The three ads will run over the next three weeks in The Seattle Weekly and The Stranger...


The print ads continue the campaign begun by SeaMAC’s bus ad and billboard campaigns.  Last December, SeaMAC’s Metro bus ads, “ISRAELI WAR CRIMES: Your Tax Dollars At Work,” were first approved, accepted and printed, then suddenly cancelled by King County. A subsequent billboard campaign with the slogan “EQUAL RIGHTS FOR PALESTINIANS - Stop Funding the Israeli Military” was approved and accepted by Clear Channel Outdoor, and three of the four contracted billboards were put up for the first week, but then were taken down by Clear Channel.

The ACLU is representing SeaMAC in a lawsuit against King County for violating SeaMAC’s constitutional rights by refusing to honor the contract to run the bus ads.  The lawsuit will come to trial starting on October 31 of this year.

“Segregation was the system of apartheid we rejected in this country, and people of conscience here should refuse to support similar segregation and apartheid in Israel”, says SeaMAC volunteer Carla Curio. “Israel’s refusal to treat Palestinians as equals is an ongoing obstacle to justice and peace.”

For the full-sized ads and press release, click here.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Media Release: 125+ Groups & 25,000+ Individuals: "Don't Veto Palestinian UN Membership"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 5, 2011

Washington, DC -- The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation delivered today to the State Department an open letter signed by more than 125 groups, including 30 national organizations, and petitions signed by more than 25,000 people urging the Obama Administration not to veto Palestinian UN membership if the issue arises in the Security Council.

National organizations Code Pink, Grassroots International, Jewish Voice for Peace, and Just Foreign Policy contributed petition signatures to the overall count. 

The open letter reads in part:

"Palestinians have been prevented from exercising their rights to freedom and self-determination on even a portion of their historic homeland due to Israel's historic and ongoing policies of ethnic cleansing, apartheid, military occupation, and colonization... Palestinians have waited more than 63 years for their human rights. We urge you—do not set a timetable for Palestinian freedom by vetoing Palestinian membership in the United Nations."

Josh Ruebner, National Advocacy Director of the US Campaign, stated that:

"The American people are ahead of the administration in recognizing that our policy towards the region has failed. Even though the State Department has been unwilling to meet with us yet, we have made clear to the Obama Administration that thousands of people across this country, and a diverse and growing coalition of organizations representing hundreds of thousands more will continue to organize until we end unconditional U.S. support for Israel's illegal military occupation and apartheid policies toward Palestinians. Through our efforts, the U.S. government will realize what so many people already know: that the way to achieve a just and lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace is to base our country's policies on human rights, international law, and equality, and not to deny Palestinians freedom and self-determination."

Other national organizations endorsing the open letter include: the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, American Educational Trust, American Federation of Ramallah, Palestine, American Jews for a Just Peace, American Muslims for Palestine, Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, Episcopal Peace Fellowship Palestine-Israel Network, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Friends of Sabeel—North America ,Global Exchange, Interfaith Peace-Builders, Intersect Worldwide, Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church, (U.S.A.), Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD)—USA, Middle East Children's Alliance, Paulist Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Peace Action, Presbyterian Peace Fellowship,  Progressive Democrats of America, Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice , Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East, United for Peace and Justice,  United Methodist General Board of Church and Society, U.S. Peace Council, and War Resisters League.

For the complete text of the open letter and the complete list of organizational endorsements, click here.

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is a national coalition of more than 350 organizations working to change U.S. policy toward Palestine/Israel to support human rights, international law, and equality. For more information see www.endtheoccupation.org.

###

Monday, July 11, 2011

Col. Pinhas Zuaretz Will Testify on July 10 in Final Hearing in Corrie Trial


The Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice is a coalition member of the US Campaign.

Corrie Family and Legal Team to Hold Press Conference Monday, July 11, at American Colony Hotel, Jerusalem

(Haifa, Israel - July 7, 2011) - Former Gaza Division's Southern Brigade Commander, Colonel Pinhas (Pinky) Zuaretz - the final witness in the case - is scheduled to testify Sunday, July 10, in the Corrie civil trial against the State of Israel.

Colonel Zuaretz was the commanding officer of the Israeli military's Gaza Division's Southern Brigade in 2003, when American peace activist Rachel Corrie was killed. Troops under his command were responsible for the actions resulting in her killing. Zuaretz is the highest ranking officer called as a government witness in the civil trial who had command responsibility in Gaza. He is possibly the highest such officer ever to face cross examination in a civil suit regarding the actions of the Israeli military against civilians in Gaza during the second intifada. His testimony is expected to shed light on the Israeli military's failures as an occupying power to protect civilian life and property in the region.

The lawsuit, filed in 2005 by Attorney Hussein abu Hussein, charges the State of Israel with responsibility for killing Rachel in Rafah, Gaza in 2003. Since the trial opened in March 2010, 14 hearings have been held, with over 2000 pages of court transcripts recorded from 22 testimonies - including that of 14 Israeli Military personnel, and four peace activist eye-witnesses with the International Solidarity Movement. Most government witnesses for the State of Israel were identified only by their initials, and many testified while hidden behind a screen. Each hearing was attended by officials from the American Embassy, numerous observers from legal and human rights organizations, and members of the Corrie family.

Craig and Cindy Corrie, Rachel's parents, will hold a press conference on Monday, July 11, at 11:00 AM at the American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem to discuss the conclusion of this phase of the case, as well as next steps in their efforts to seek accountability for their daughter's killing. They will be joined by their other daughter, Sarah Corrie Simpson and Attorney Hussein Abu Hussein. The press conference will be held in English, with attorneys available at the conclusion for brief interviews in both Arabic and Hebrew.

Court proceedings on Sunday, July 10, will begin at 12:00 noon in the courtroom of Judge Oded Gershon, 6th floor, Haifa District Court, 12 Palyam St., Haifa, Israel.

SEE ORIGINAL AND GET FUTURE UPDATES HERE...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

AFSC Joins Jewish Voice for Peace on Divestment Campaign

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) are two of our coalition members, along with six of AFSC's U.S. regional chapters. Spearheaded by JVP, the "We Divest" Campaign targeting TIAA-CREF is a US Campaign-sponsored initiative. AFSC has distributed the following press release.

In its meeting on June 12, 2011, the Board of Directors of the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker peace organization, united in support of joining the divestment campaign led by Jewish Voice for Peace.  The campaign calls on the financial services organization TIAA-CREF to divest from companies that:


  • Directly profit from or contribute to the Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem;
  • Provide products or services that contribute to the construction and maintenance of Israeli settlements and/or the Separation Wall, both of which are illegal under international law; or
  • Provide products or services that contribute to or enable violent acts that target civilians.
The campaign also calls on TIAA-CREF to establish investment criteria to exclude any such companies in the future.  The TIAA-CREF campaign does not target the government of Israel or Israeli companies for divestment; it is directed at divesting from all corporations that profit from the Israeli occupation.

The AFSC Board affirmed that the decision to join this campaign is “rooted in our Quaker beliefs that we speak with love to ‘that of God’ in every person, that we ‘utterly deny all outward wars and strife and fighting with outward weapons for any end or under any pretense whatsoever’, and that we testify to this by removing the ‘seeds of conflict’ - including economic seeds - from our own lives.”

This decision is a response to ongoing Israeli violations of human rights and international law and is a rejection of any actions that might support these violations. Consistent with AFSC’s investment screen, this campaign seeks to change Israeli government actions and to end its continued occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza.

AFSC’s work is shaped by its recognition of Israelis’ and Palestinians’ shared humanity and the importance of working with both peoples to end the conflict based on the principles of equality, rights and justice. As the Board said, “In joining this campaign, Friends reaffirmed our commitment to approach it with a loving spirit and openness to hearing all sides in a conflict. In communicating with Jewish Voice for Peace and others we will hold up our broader concerns for the resolution of all conflict and violation of human rights in the region.”

For more information about AFSC’s joining the Jewish Voice for Peace campaign, see our frequently asked questions.

SEE ORIGINAL...