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Occupation End Notes | December 18, 2009 Volume 7 Number 21

As you know, we are approaching one year since the beginning of Israel's 22-day assault on the Gaza Strip, which killed about 1,400 Palestinians, injured thousands more, and caused billions of dollars in damage to Palestinian civilian infrastructure. The situation remains dire as Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip remains in place--a recent report from Gisha, the Israeli Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, shows the drastic contrast between the amount of aid that is allowed in monthly versus the amount that is needed; rebuilding supplies are still not allowed in; and the international community has not yet taken concrete action to end Israel's blockade.

However, the hard work that civil society--including member groups and individual supporters of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation--is doing to hold Israel and the United States accountable for violations of Palestinian human rights is starting topay off. More than 1,000 participants from around the world will join the Gaza Freedom March insymbolically breaking the siege of Gaza, and will march with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to the Erez Crossing with Israel while Israeli activists march from the other side. Solidarity actions are planned around the world. The US Campaign has produced resources, ideas for actions, sample press releases, and more that you can use to organize a solidarity action in your community.

In a sign of the massive shift in discourse that is occuring even in the halls of Congress, two Dear Colleague letters critical of the humanitarian effects of the blockade of Gaza have been introduced by Representatives Jim McDermott and Keith Ellison and Representatives Jim Moran and Bob Inglis. You can still call your Representative this afternoon and ask them to sign on to these important letters. 

The siege of Gaza is one prominent aspect of Israeli occupation and apartheid, but it's not the only violation of human rights and international law that we have to confront. That's why we are encouraging supporters to meet with their Members of Congress during the winter recess to discuss accountability for the way in which Israel misuses the billions of dollars in U.S. military aid provided by U.S. taxpayers.

Just a quick glance for this week's edition of Occupation End Notes will give you a sense of how much exciting work for human rights and justice in Israel/Palestine is going on right now. The important work of networking and resourcing the largest coalition of organizations working to change U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine is not possible without your help. Consider making a donation to support our work today, or sign up to be a monthly donor by joining the Olive Branch Club. Check out the rest of Occupation End Notes to see the victories, resources, actions, and opportunities that your support makes possible!

In solidarity,

US Campaign National Office Staff

In This Edition

US Campaign Podcast Channel

Victory! Credo Hangs Up on Moto

Gaza Freedom March Solidarity Actions

Accountability in Congress

What Does Accountability Look Like?

New Posts on the US Campaign Blog

New Member Groups

Events Near You

US Campaign Member Groups Get Creative

Demand Freedom for Palestinian Nonviolence Leaders

Making a Media Impact

Order Gaza Greeting Cards

Delegations to Israel/Palestine

Sustain the Work of the US Campaign

Support Our Work:

Join the Olive
Branch Club:

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* New: US Campaign Podcast Channel

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation now has a podcast channel! Check out our first podcast, which covers setting up Congressional visits during the winter recess, by clicking here. And find unique content, updates, videos, and more on our YouTube channel, Twitter feed, Facebook page, and blog.

As you might expect, keeping all of these new media outlets up and running takes a lot of work! The US Campaign is still looking for interns for the Spring Semester of 2010--especially interns with video editing, website design, or graphic design skills. Click here to download an intern application.

* Victory! Credo Mobile Hangs Up on Motorola

Last week we found out that Credo Mobile, a telephone service provider that claims to be guided by progressive values, stopped offering Motorola phones to their customers after complaints from our supporters. This is a major victory in our campaign to boycott Motorola for profiting from Israeli occupation and apartheid against Palestinians! Hang Up On Motorola organizers have been contacting Credo about joining our boycott for over a year. Last week US Campaign member group CODEPINK met with Credo and was assured that Motorola phones would no longer be offered. We're thrilled that people looking for a progressive phone service now have a Motorola-free option! Click here to read more and to thank Credo for this decision. Click here to watch our spoof of the Motorola 'Droid' commercial, which shows the truth about Motorola's complicity in human rights violations committed against Palestinians.

* Commemorating Operation Cast Lead: What Are You Doing in Solidarity with the Gaza Freedom March?

At our national conference in September, US Campaign member groups voted overwhelmingly to endorse the Gaza Freedom March. Now it's time to step up and show our support with action. Gaza Freedom Marchers have put out a call for solidarity actions between December 27th and January 1st. You can organize a march in your community or another event, such as a vigil, film screening, art exhibition, or teach-in, during these days of action, and you can multiply your impact by linking your event with one of the ongoing national campaigns of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. Click here for resources, action ideas, and more information.

Are you going on the Gaza Freedom March? If so, we have an exciting opportunity for you. Let us know byclicking here.

* Accountability in the Halls of Congress

As we approach the one-year commemoration of "Operation Cast Lead," Israel's three-week assault on the occupied Gaza Strip, which killed about 1,400 Palestinians, injured thousands more, and caused billions of dollars of damage to Palestinian civilian infrastructure, Members of Congress are responding to our advocacy work and to the massive change in discourse already underway in the United States, and are beginning to protest against the humanitarian effects of Israel's ongoing blockade of Gaza. There's still much work to be done, though--and the upcoming winter recess is a good time to do it! Click here to learn how to support two Dear Colleague letters that have been introduced in criticism of the effects of Israel's siege, and click here to learn how you can meet with your Members of Congress during their winter break to call for accountability for Israeli actions--and the U.S. weapons that allow them to happen.

This week we held a conference call to prep people on how to set up these meetings and what policy issues they can raise with their Members of Congress.  Don't worry if you missed the call and still want to participate.  Listen to the conference call anytime by checking out the new US Campaign podcast channel by clicking here.

Two months ago, the US Campaign re-launched its Congressional District Coordinator (CDC) network with a new, interactive map that helps connect organizers and displays information about Members of Congress and their voting records on Palestine/Israel issues.  Don't just complain about U.S. policy-do something to help us change it by joining other activists in more than 70 Congressional districts in our CDC network today by clicking here.

* This is What Accountability Looks Like

What does accountability for violations of human rights and international law look like? Growing participation in the Palestinian civil society call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) means a growing worldwide movement for justice and accountability. Learn about exciting new developments in the BDS movement by clicking here. And view news coverage of BDS here.

* Don't Miss New Posts on the US Campaign Blog

Check out new posts at the US Campaign blog, including great video of US Campaign member group New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel protesting at Best Buy, op-eds from members of US Campaign member groups Adalah-NY and Christian Peacemaker Teams, a chance to set the record straight on the boycott of Ahava,Mustafa Barghouti in the New York Times, and much more! And keep an eye on the blog for new developments including guest columns, posts by member groups, action alerts, and more.

* Member Groups, Member Groups, Everywhere!

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.

Please welcome the following member groups to the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation:

Alaskans for Palestine

Coloradans for Peace

* Vigils, Film Screenings, and Other Events in a Community Near You

Want to know what's happening in your community to promote human rights and international law in U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine? Check out the US Campaign's online event calendar by clicking here. If you are planning an event--a vigil, a march, a teach-in, a film screening, an action, or anything else--you can publicize your event on our website by clicking here.

* US Campaign Member Groups Get Creative

Motorola skits in a New York Best Buy, protests outside of a high-powered business lunch sponsored by Israeli settlement builder Lev Leviev, and billboards calling for an end to U.S. military aid to Israel are just a few of the creative ideas for action that US Campaign member groups are putting into practice around the country.

Check out pictures and videos of some of these actions at the US Campaign blog by clicking here.

* Demand Freedom for Leaders of Palestinian Nonviolent Struggle

On December 10, 2009 at 2 AM, the Israeli military surrounded the Ramallah home of Abdallah Abu Rahmah, a high school teacher and the Coordinator of Bil'in's Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, and arrested him. Abu Rahmah is among the leaders of the West Bank village of Bil'in's nearly five-year nonviolent struggle of protests, lawsuits and boycotts aiming to save the village's land from Israel's wall and expanding settlements. Abdallah Abu Rahmah joins Mohammed Othman from the village of Jayyous, Adeeb Abu Rahmah from Bil'in and many other Palestinians who are currently jailed by Israel for working for justice. Click here for more information, including a press release from US Campaign member group Adalah-NY and an action opportunity from US Campaign member group Jewish Voice for Peace.

* US Campaign Members Make a Media Impact

US Campaign members have really been making an impact in the media recently. Sarah McDonald of US Campaign member group Christian Peacemaker Teams had an op-ed in the Cedar Rapids Gazette on settler violence and the U.S. support that makes it possible--a topic that she is well acquainted with after beingattacked by settlers in the South Hebron Hills. Aaron Levitt and Andrew Kadi of Adalah-NY had an op-ed inThe Guardian focusing on U.S. "charitable" organizations that raise money for exactly the kind of violent Israeli settlers who attacked Sarah and her teammates. Andrew also talked BDS on Pacifica Radio's weekly "Flashpoints" program. And US Campaign supporters wrote letters to the editor in response to the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, which you can read here. Keep up with coverage of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation by clicking here, and find out how you can have an effect on the discourse by using our media action tools.

* Order Greeting Cards for Gaza

US Campaign member group Palestine-Israel Action Group of Ann Arbor Friends (Quakers) have created a powerful Gaza greeting card/notecard, which you can see by clicking here. The cards carry a Mother and Child image on the front, are blank inside, and have a statement on the back to remind friends and family that the people of Gaza continue to suffer a year after the Israeli onslaught of last winter. Proceeds from the cards will help Palestinians in Gaza with food, medicine, and other basic needs via UNRWA. For ordering information click here.

* 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, creating these resources isn't free. It takes 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 is 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.