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Occupation End Notes | December 4, 2009 Volume 7 Number 20

Last week Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a "settlement freeze." Sort of.

Netanyahu's announcement of a moratorium on new permits for settlement construction (not including construction already underway or any settlements in occupied East Jerusalem) was hailed by the Obama Administration as a major step forward. We aren't as convinced, especially consideing how completely...well...precedented this sort of announcement is, which we documented on our blog.

Not surprisingly, since his announcement, Netanyahu has been busy making sure that the settler movement knows he doesn't really mean it, allowing the construction of 25 housing units in the settlement colony of Keidar and assuring settler leaders that the moratorium "is one-time only and...limits the duration of the suspension."

On a postive note, US Campaign Steering Committee member Peter Miller succeeded in getting Columbia Sportswear to discontinue a marketing campaign directed at Israeli settlers. The company responded to his request the next day and announced that they would discontinue the ad. In fact, our Steering Committee has really been making waves recently--Bill Fletcher, Jr. addressed the UN General Assembly on the subject of Israeli Apartheid; Adam Horowitz attended the National BDS Conference at Hampshire College as well as helping to shed light on the Columbia ad campaign; and Phyllis Bennis (as well as US Campaign Advisory Board member Nadia Hijab) addressed the annual conference of US Campaign member group, The Palestine Center.

Want to learn how you can get involved in this exciting movement? Interested in learning more about how US Campaign member groups are working to end U.S. complicity in and support of Israeli occupation and apartheid? Check out this week's edition of Occupation End Notes for opportunities and resources for action, updates on the activities of our member groups, new blog posts, news 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

Be a Local Organizer

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Table of Contents:

1) Goucher College Shuts Down US Campaign Talk (or Why Students Are Taking the Lead)

2) Motorola Wins Most Ironic (and $900,000 from the DOE)

3) Confronting Israeli Apartheid at the United Nations

4) Tired of Fake Settlement Freezes and No Accountability? Organize in Your District!

5) US Campaign and Interfaith Peace-Builders Announce Grassroots Advocacy Training Day

6) What's New on the US Campaign Blog

7) US Campaign Member Groups In Action

9) ICAHD-USA Launches New Campaign against House Demolitions

10) Coalition to Stop $30 Billion Gets Its Billboard Back

11) Bring Palestinian Hip Hop Crew DAM to a City or Campus Near You

11) Delegations to Israel/Palestine for Education and Solidarity

12) How You Can Sustain the US Campaign

* Goucher Tries to Shut Down US Campaign Talk (or Why Students Are Taking the Lead)

Last month, Goucher College President Sanford Ungar blocked invitations that Goucher students had extended to US Campaign National Advocacy Director Josh Ruebner and Rabbi Brian Walt of Jewish Fast for Gaza. In response, students registered official complaints and held the talk anyway, in a tiny classroom with a standing-room-only audience. Click here to read more.

Goucher isn't the only place where students are taking the lead. US Campaign National Organizer Katherine Fuchs and Steering Committee member Adam Horowitz recently attended the National Campus BDS Conference held by Hampshire College Students for Justice in Palestine, where activists from more than 40 campuses nationwide gathered to strategize and plan. Read Katherine Fuchs' reflections from the conference here, and click here to read more about the growing movement for boycott, divestment, and sanctions.

Are you a student? Find out about exciting internship opportunities with the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation by clicking here, and click here for campus BDS campaign resources.

Motorola Wins Most Ironic (and $900,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy)

You may have already seen the surreal commercial for Motorola's new 'Droid' phone, which depicts a squadron of bombers pummeling unsuspecting farmers, fishermen, and motorists with rocket-propelled cell phones, in scenes eerily reminiscent of the actual bombing of the Gaza Strip that Motorola military technology helped facilitate. Apparently tragic irony is worth $900,000--the amount that the U.S. Department of Energy recently announced it would award Motorola Israel for a project to develop an energy grid management system--after all, nothing says energy efficiency like aerial assaults on civilians. Click here to take action and let the Department of Energy know about Motorola's human rights abuses. Check out the (surprisingly honest) Droid commercial here, and watch our response here. Many thanks to documentary filmmaker and human rights activist Adam Shapiro for volunteering his time and skills to put this awesome new video together.

* UN Should "Move Beyond Conferences and Fine Words" When Confronting Israeli Apartheid

On November 30, 2009, in commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People addressed the UN General Assembly. Among the speakers who were invited to present was US Campaign Steering Committee member Bill Fletcher, Jr. Fletcher's speech to the General Assembly, which represented the voice of civil society in working for a just peace in Israel/Palestine, addressed the connections between racism and apartheid in the United States, South Africa, and Israel/Palestine, noting that the UN has been slow to oppose apartheid in the past. To read more and view the speech, click here. To learn more about Israeli apartheid and find out how you can work to end it, click here

* Tired of Fake Settlement Freezes and No Accountability? Organize in Your Congressional District!

Yeah. We're tired of it, too. While Netanyahu gets away with a fake settlement freeze and the one-year commemoration of Israel's "Operation Cast Lead" assault on the Gaza Strip approaches, we are working to make sure that Israel is held accountable for its actions. Click here to see our cool new Congressional District Coordinator (CDC) map and to sign up as a CDC. Keep an eye on our website calendar for vigil and protest opportunities in solidarity with the Gaza Freedom March. If you are interested in planning a solidarity action, email the march organizers by clicking here.

* Register Now: Grassroots Advocacy Training and Lobby Day in March!

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and member group Interfaith Peace-Builders are working together to organize a grassroots advocacy training and lobby day in Washington, DC for the second year in a row. The event will be held March 7-8, 2010, and registration is now open. Participants will attend workshops and trainings, meet with Members of Congress, and have valuable opportunities for networking and movement building. Learn more and register today by clicking here.

*Dangerous Situations, Boycotts, Settlements, and More on the US Campaign Blog

What else is new on the US Campaign blog? US Campaign supporters challenge Israeli actions in the media. Switzerland might not get away with banning minarets, but Israel is getting away with bombing them. Omar Barghouti and Nancy Kricorian talk BDS on WBAI Radio. Video of Nadia Hijab and Phyllis Bennis at the Palestine Center conference. Update and action on Mohammad Othman. Media coverage of settler attacks on US Campaign member group Christian Peacemaker Teams. Check out all this and much more--unique content, resources, pictures, and video--on the US Campaign blog by clicking here.

* US Campaign Member Groups in Action

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 320 coalition members represented by state. Don't see your 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.

In December, US Campaign member groups are planning a variety of actions, educational events, and holiday bazaars. Want to know what our more than 320 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! See below for highlights of member group activities.

* ICAHD-USA Launches New Campaign against House Demolitions

US Campaign member group ICAHD-USA, the U.S. wing of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, has launched a new campaign to draw attention to the Israeli policy of denying building permits and demolishing Palestinian houses. Check out their new website, EndDemolitionsNow.org, which features background information on Israel's house demolition policy, stories of individual families who have lost their homes and seen their lives upended, and a petition calling on President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Special Envoy George Mitchell to make ending this policy a central part of their efforts to broker a peace agreement. Add your name to the petition by clicking here, and if you have a website or a blog, check out banner links that you can add to your site here.

* Albuquerque Group Gets Its Billboard Back Up

US Campaign member group Coalition to Stop $30 Billion to Israel has erected a billboard on Central Avenue in Albuquerque, New Mexico, calling on Congress to end U.S. military aid to Israel. Earlier this year, a different billboard company ducked out on its contract with the coalition and took down similar billboards far earlier than originally agreed. The group protested and managed to get its money back, but a slightly modified billboard is now up, representing a victory in the effort to change the discourse about U.S. support for Israeli violations of human rights. Check out a short clip of the billboard by clicking here.

* Palestinian Hip-Hop Crew DAM Coming to a City Near You

Bring the Palestinian hip-hop crew DAM to your town or university! Palestinian hip-hop is an incredible tool in the movement for justice in Palestine/Israel and in North America. Support this work and share it with your community, campus, or city by hosting a show. DAM will be touring the United States in April 2010, and would love to come to you! If interested in hosting them, please email the tour manager by clicking here as soon as possible - preferably by December 10, 2009. And check out DAM's website by clicking here.

* Free Gaza Movement Nominated for Bremen Peace Award

Every two years, the Bremen Peace Award is given to two or three peacemakers around the world. This year, US Campaign allies at the Free Gaza Movement were nominated for the award. Although the Free Gaza Movement didn't win the top award, they were included in the Peace Award brochure as one of the 30 outstanding peace movements. You can see the PDF file of the awards by clicking hereThe Free Gaza Movement is on page 60 in the Asia and Middle East awards. Everyone who has been connected to Free Gaza should be proud of this award. Hundreds are nominated, and Free Gaza was one of the few groups highlighted this year.

* Opportunities to Visit Israel/Palestine for Education and Solidarity

Want to visit Israel/Palestine for education and solidarity? Check out the many opportunities to visit Israel/Palestine with US Campaign member groups and allies by clicking here.

* 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 commit to monthly giving by joining the Olive Branch Club.

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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.