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Keep Mazin Qumsiyeh Free & Organize to Challenge Aid to Israel on Tax Day

March 9th, 2010

Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh

Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh, a former Steering Committee member of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, faces arrest by the Israeli army when he returns to his home in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian West Bank village of Beit Sahour later this week after completing a speaking tour in the United States. 

Like many other Palestinian leaders of grassroots nonviolent resistance to Israel's illegal military occupation and apartheid policies, Mazin--a U.S. citizen--faces repression by Israel for heeding President Obama's call for Palestinians to win "full and equal rights" through "peaceful and determined insistence".

Contact the State Department at 202-647-6575 or email them by clicking here (and then select the Email a Question/Comment tab) and ask them to intervene with Israel to prevent the unjust arrest of U.S. citizen Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh and all other Palestinian nonviolent activists who are being arrested, injured, and even killed for standing up for their human and national rights.

Read more about Mazin's situation and his op-ed in the New Haven Register, watch a video that shows how Israel responds to Palestinian nonviolent protest, and take action by checking out our blog by clicking here.

As Mazin states, "Given that the Israeli government receives billions in U.S. military aid, my taxes and yours at work, our government should defend those of us who engage in nonviolent protests."

We agree, which is why we are encouraging everyone to take action around Tax Day, April 15, to challenge U.S. military aid to Israel.

Here are some ideas of what you can do to educate people in your community about the effects of U.S. military aid to Israel around Tax Day.

1. Join us for a conference call on Thursday, March 18, 9PM Eastern, to build your skills for taking action around Tax Day. 
Listen to a podcast recording of the call by clicking here.

2. Get a free organizing packet--complete with postcards to President Obama, petitions to Congress, fliers, and factsheets--so that you can organize people in your community to challenge military aid to Israel.  Sign up to get an organizing packet today by clicking here.

3. Organize a meeting with your Members of Congress who are scheduled to be in their home districts for spring recess from March 29-April 9. Assemble a delegation of concerned constituents to meet with your Members of Congress to express your opposition to military aid to Israel. View a model constituent meeting request form by clicking here.

For tips on how to conduct a meeting with your Members of Congress, click here

For a memo to give to your Members of Congress with suggested amendment language to ensure that future U.S. military aid to Israel does not contribute to Israel's human rights abuses of Palestinians, click here.

For a draft letter to give to your Members of Congress requesting Secretary of State Clinton to investigate Israel's violations of the Arms Export Control Act, click here.

4. Organize a Tax Day action outside your local post office. On April 15, last-minute tax filers line up at local post offices to get their tax returns in before the deadline, and local newspapers and TV stations often show up to interview people. This is a great opportunity to organize an action outside of your local post office and educate the people waiting in line how their tax dollars are being used.

You can also consider organizing a one-day fast and getting participants to donate the approximate cost of food for one day ($19.19) to the US Campaign to "offset" their tax contributions to Israeli occupation.

If you are arranging a Tax Day action or educational event, please post it to our website by clicking here and selecting "Tax Day Event." You can also send us a press release or other details and photos and video from your events afterward so that we can post them to the website.

5. Organize a Tax Day house party. Invite your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors over to your house on Tax Day to educate them about U.S. military aid to Israel. If you sign up to organize a Tax Day house party, we'll send you a free copy of the award-winning documentary "Occupation 101" to screen.  Sign up to get an organizing packet and DVD by clicking here.

6. Also, on Sunday, April 18, US Campaign member group American Friends Service Committee-Chicago will be holding a hearing entitled "Does U.S. Policy on Israel and Palestine Uphold Our Values?" The event will be broadcast live on the internet. Learn more and sign up to hold a viewing party in your community by clicking here. 

7. Finally, last but not least, make a tax-deductible contribution to the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation in increments of $19.19 to "offset" the average individual taxpayer contribution towards Israeli occupation in 2010.  For a limited time, for each person's tax contribution you offset, we'll send you one of the special edition stickers below.  To make your donation, click on the sticker below or click here.

Click here to offset your taxes to Israeli occupation and get this sticker.