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Occupation End Notes | October 23, 2009 Volume 7 Number 17

We have some good news for you:

On October 6, the US Campaign sent out a call for supporters to help replant olive trees in Palestine that have been destroyed or uprooted by the Israeli military and settlers. For every $25 tax-deductible contribution made to support the work of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, we pledge to replant one olive tree through our partner Zatoun and its Trees for Life program. At the time, we set what we thought was an ambitious goal: raise enough money to replant 500 trees in Palestine.

Since then, we have not only met but surpassed this goal. As of the writing of this email, supporters like you have replanted more than 550 olive trees in Palestine!

Meanwhile, in Palestine, the olive harvest continues, with all of the attendant challenges that represents. The Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem recently issued this video of Israeli settlers stealing olives from Palestinian trees. Ma'an News reported on the recent torching of olive trees near Nablus. And an article by Howard Schneider in the Washington Post highlighted the great work being done by the Palestine Fair Trade Association (PFTA) and Canaan Fair Trade, but left out the destructive effects of 42-years of Israeli occupation on the sustainability of the Palestinian economy in the West Bank.

So we've decided to continue our olive tree replanting campaign until the end of the Palestinian olive harvest in November. By donating $25 to the US Campaign, you can replant an olive tree and support our work of ending U.S. support for the Israeli occupation so that Palestinian farmers can finally enjoy peace, justice, and economic security. Click here to donate, and click here to support Palestinian farmers by buying fair trade olive oil from Canaan Fair Trade.

Check out the rest of Occupation End Notes for opportunities and resources for action against the siege of Gaza and the Apartheid Wall, updates on the activities of our member groups, new blog posts, Goldstone Report developments, and much more!

Peace and solidarity,

US Campaign National Staff

US Campaign in the News

Member Group Activities

Share an Event

Challenging U.S. Policy

Standing Against Apartheid

Boycott & Divestment

Apartheid in the News

BDS in the News

Delegations to Israel/Palestine

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Table of Contents:

1) Replant Olive Trees in Palestine

2) Take Action! November Weeks of Action Against the Siege and the Wall

2) End U.S. Military Aid: Organize in Your Congressional District

3) New Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Resources

4) It's Hard Out Here for a War Criminal

5) What's New on the US Campaign Blog

6) Welcome New Member Groups to the US Campaign

7) US Campaign Member Groups in Action

8) US Campaign Member Groups Join Global BDS Marathon to Support Mohammad Othman

9) ADC Releases Information Detailing Campaign Against Illegal Settlements

10) Itisapartheid.org and Stop the Wall Present Israeli Apartheid Video Contest

11) Israeli Occupation Archive Launched

12) Palestine Solidarity Project Speaking Tour

13) Stephen Sizer and Mark Braverman on Christian Zionism and Movement Building

14) Delegations to Israel/Palestine for Education and Solidarity

15) How You Can Sustain the US Campaign

* Take Action! November Weeks of Action to End the Gaza Siege and Stop the Apartheid Wall

Join us for two weeks of action to end the siege of Gaza and to bring down the apartheid wall in the West Bank. Find ideas for action, advocacy tools, and facts about the siege and the apartheid wall by clicking here. During the week of November 2-8, take action to end the siege of Gaza. This week is the one year mark of Israel's breaking the cease-fire in Gaza prior to its all-out assault in Dec. 2008/Jan. 2009. These actions will set the stage for December's Gaza Freedom March. Find resources, ideas for action, and more by clicking here. From November 9-15, join human rights advocates around the world as we mark the 7th annual week of action against Israel's Apartheid Wall on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Find ideas for action and tools to stop the Wall by clicking here. And check out our media action days on November 5 and November 9

Planning an event or action? Publicize it to other supporters on the US Campaign's website calendar by clicking here.

* End U.S. Military Aid: Organize in Your Congressional District

Back by popular demand, we've re-launched a new and improved Congressional District Coordinator (CDC) network. Check out our CDC map with contact info for Members of Congress, links to their voting records, and contact info for people organizing in their districts by clicking here. You can also learn more about our CDC network and sign up to be a volunteer organizer by clicking here

* New Student Divestment Handbook, Legal Memo on Boycott, and More BDS News

The US Campaign is excited to announce several long-awaited resources for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) activists! For campus activists, click here to check out our Campus Divestment guide, which is being put into practice by student and community groups hosting the US Campaign's Campus BDS Conferences. Additionally, at the request of many of our member groups working on BDS, we've asked US Campaign member group National Lawyers Guild International Committee to prepare a legal memo on U.S. federal law as it relates to boycotting Israel, Israeli corporations, and corporations doing business in Israel. You can read the memo here, but keep checking the NLG website for revised versions of the memo. This memo is not meant as a substitute for advice from a lawyer--but then again, what is?

In other BDS news, the US Campaign's Pittsburgh BDS conference has defenders of Israeli apartheid worried, and US Campaign member groups and allies are making national and local news with their BDS efforts. Click here to read more, and keep up the pressure!

* It's Hard Out Here for a War Criminal

Poor Ehud Olmert. Being a world-renowned war criminal just isn't what it used to be.

After facing protests and disruptions at speaking stops at the University of Kentucky and the University of Chicago, Olmert was the target of an attempted citizen's arrest during a speech to the World Affairs Council in San Francisco.
The organizers of the San Francisco protests include US Campaign member organizations and supporters. To read more and watch a video of the action, click here. 

*Mohammad Othman, Richard Goldstone, Rashid Khalidi, Phyllis Bennis, Nadia Hijab, and more on the US Campaign Blog

Check out the US Campaign blog for Goldstone Report developments, updates on the case of jailed Palestinian activist Mohammad Othman, commentary on media coverage, exciting BDS news, and articles and interviews by US Campaign Steering Committee members Adam Horowitz and Phyllis Bennis and US Campaign Advisory Board members Rashid Khalidi and Nadia Hijab. You can see all this and more on the US Campaign blog by clicking here. 

* Welcome New Member Groups to the US Campaign

In an effort to better help our coalition members network and for us to better gauge the coalition's regional diversity, we have put together a map with our more than 300 coalition members represented by state. Don't see you member group listed? Click here to join the US Campaign. Click here to check if your member group is in good standing with the US Campaign.

Please welcome the following organizations to our coalition:

Texas Christian University Divestment and Boycott of Israel Campaign (TCUDBIC) - Texas

U.S. Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) - National

U.S. Citizens Against the War - Italy

* US Campaign Member Groups in Action

Want to know what our more than 300 member organizations are up to? Check out the US Campaign's online calendar for information about events, speakers, rallies, and actions near you by clicking here. Want to advertise an event? Click here to post an event to our website. Let other activists know what you are doing, and find out how to get involved!

* US Campaign Member Groups Join Global BDS Marathon to Support Mohammad Othman

On October 16-17, in response to Israel arresting Palestinian human rights activists including BDS and anti-Apartheid Wall activist Mohammad Othman, people across the globe rallied under the call, "If you want to arrest the BDS movement, you have to catch us all!" Actions were organized in Canada, the USA, South Africa, Norway, Italy, France, the UK, Japan, Spain, Greece and Palestine. Click here to view a photo essay of the worldwide actions.

US Campaign member group Adalah-NY joined the action by rallying at a Madison Avenue diamond store owned by Israeli settlement developer Lev Leviev. In addition, Adalah produced this cartoon flier, "Jailed for an Idea," to educate the public about Othman's illegal detention. Click here for the full story, and here for pictures. US Campaign member group CODEPINK joined the Global BDS Marathon with an action at a Natural Beauty retailer carrying Ahava beauty products, which are made in Israeli settlements with expropriated Palestinian resources. For more on the campaign against Ahava, click here.

For more on Mohammad Othman and the Global BDS Marathon, check out the website of US Campaign ally Stop the Wall by clicking here.

* ADC Releases Information Detailing Campaign against Illegal Settlements

Earlier this week US Campaign member group the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) released information detailing the on-going campaign against the funding of illegal settlement development in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.  Recently, ADC was represented by Legal Advisor Abed Ayoub and Legal Fellow Uri Strauss at the Annual National Lawyers Guild Conference in Seattle, Washington, where the campaign was, for the first time, publicly discussed. ADC has filed multiple administrative complaints with the US Department of the Treasury, including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), requesting investigations into the activities of organizations claiming tax-exempt status under section 501(c)3 of the US Tax Code yet allegedly raising funds for the development of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. Among other allegations, the ADC complaints allege that these organizations are using assets and income in direct violation of their addressed purpose, and to support illegal and terrorist activities abroad. For more information, click here.

* Itisapartheid.org and Stop the Wall Present the Israeli Apartheid Video Contest

US Campaign member group Itisapartheid.org and ally Stop the Wall are looking for submissions for the First International Israeli Apartheid Video Contest. Participants are invited to submit short [less than 5 minute] videos on the theme of Israeli apartheid. Videos should reflect the nature, realities and/or consequences of the apartheid policy in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. For more information on the contest, click here. To find out how you can endorse and/or sponsor the Israeli Apartheid video context, click here. To find out more about standing against Israeli apartheid, click here

* Israeli Occupation Archive Launched

A new website, the Israeli Occupation Archive, is now available for advocates and activists working for justice and peace and against occupation and apartheid in Palestine and Israel. The Israeli Occupation Archive was founded on the belief that any occupation is morally wrong and must be opposed. The takeover of a land, the denial of equal rights to its inhabitants, and their forcible eviction, are all fundamentally unacceptable and must be rejected. The Israeli Occupation Archive website was set up to document public discussion on the subject. After Israel's attack on Gaza in December 2008 - January 2009, the most violent in the history of the Occupation, the importance of monitoring, documenting, and publicizing events that are common today but would have been considered unthinkable in earlier times is greater than ever. Check out the Israeli Occupation Archive by clicking here. 

* Palestine Solidarity Project Speaking Tour

From the Palestine Solidarity Project (PSP): "While the White House is paying increasing attention to a 'Middle East Peace Process', and Israeli politicians are using every delay tactic in their arsenal, the reality of the on-going Israeli Occupation has been all but lost in sound bites and empty propaganda.   Bekah Wolf, who has lived the last 3 years in the Occupied West Bank and is the International Coordinator for the Palestine Solidarity Project, is going on her third nationwide speaking tour, bringing an eyewitness' account, along with a critical analysis of the realities of Israeli occupation in 2009 and what they mean in an international context, especially with regards to the recent UN fact-finding mission headed by international jurist Richard Goldstone, the prospects for renewed three-party negotiations, and the upsurge in the international Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaigns. Bekah is available in the Northeast from Oct. 17-Nov. 4; in the Midwest from Nov. 6-18; again in the Northeast from Nov. 18-23; in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest from Nov. 29-Dec.5 and in the Southwest from Dec. 6-Dec. 15. "

If you are interested in hosting PSP's speaking tour, email PSP by clicking here. For more information about PSP, click here.

* Drs. Stephen Sizer and Mark Bravemerman Discuss Christian Zionism, Movement Building
November 13 - Washington, DC

Well-known British scholar and author on "Christian Zionism and the Bible" Dr. Stephen Sizer, will be joined by Jewish author Dr. Mark Braverman, to discuss the impact of this ideology on the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians. The intended goal is to mobilize a Capitol Hill working group from the religious institutions of the neighborhood for further educational and movement expanding activities. The event will be held November 13, at 7 PM at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation, 222 East Capitol Street NE, Washington, DC. For more information, click here, or email Tom Getman by clicking here.

* New Opportunities to Visit Israel/Palestine for Education and Solidarity

Check out the many opportunities to visit Israel/Palestine with US Campaign member groups Interfaith Peace-Builders, CODEPINK, Global Exchange, Christian Peacemaker Teams, and more! Register now for the Council for the National Interest's Fall 2009 Political Pilgrimage and the Health and Human Rights Delegation organized by American Jews for a Just Peace.

Click here to view delegation opportunities and learn how to register.

* How You Can Sustain the US Campaign--Donate Today!

Occupation End Notes. Action alerts. An interactive event calendar. Unique content on our blog. Resources for local organizers. National organizing tours. Regional meetings. These are just a few of the tools that the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation provides to our supporters. Unfortunately, these resources aren't free. They take staff time, website fees, postage, printing expenses, and more.

If you, like thousands of other committed activists, find these resources vital for your organizing, make a tax-deductible donation to our ongoing work by donating online, donating office supplies and services, or joining the Olive Branch Club.

Click here for more information.

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Occupation End Notes is the US Campaign bi-weekly newsletter, designed as a tool for activists. For this newsletter to be successful, we need your participation. Use us to promote events, give feedback on recent actions, recommend resources, or just learn from other activists in the movement. If you or your organization are planning an event or you have information for the Newsletter, please contact the US Campaign by emailing us here.

The US Campaign aims to change U.S. policies that sustain Israel's 42-year occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, and that deny equal rights for all.