Showing posts with label member groups. Show all posts
Showing posts with label member groups. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Join One Book, Many Communities: Mornings in Jenin Campaign

Organize a Discussion in Your Community!     

US Campaign member group 
Librarians and Archivists with Palestine is excited to announce their newest campaign: "One Book, Many Communities: Mornings in Jenin." 

"One Book" is an international reading and discussion initiative drawing inspiration from the "one book, one town" idea that brings people together to talk about a common book. 

LAP has selected the historical saga Mornings in Jenin by Palestinian-American author and activist Susan Abulhawa as their first "One Book" title, and discussions will be held in January 2015 around the world.

Mornings in Jenin is a sweeping, heart-wrenching historical saga about four generations of the Abulheja family. From Jenin to Jerusalem to Beirut to Philadelphia, the novel follows the family from its displacement from Ein Hod village in 1948 through love and loss over decades of life in Palestine and the diaspora.

Can you organize or host a Mornings in Jenin discussion at your library, local bookstore, Students for Justice in Palestine chapter, school, place of worship, or home this January?

LAP has put together a toolkit to help you plan your event with ideas about how to hold great discussions that will spark interest in further exploration of Palestinian history and culture. They will also help with promotion by listing your event on their "One Book" site. 

You can purchase the book directly from Susan Abulhawa here and use the promo code "lap1book" for a discount. 

This is a great opportunity to create a broader awareness and understanding of Palestinian history and the struggle for self-determination. If you have ideas or questions, please email

Thursday, April 24, 2014

12 States Participate in Free Cone Day!

The following report back is by Mark Hage of member group Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel.

The second annual Free Cone Day leafleting action at Ben & Jerry’s scoop shops on Tuesday, April 8, organized by Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel (, was a great success.
Solidarity activists in at least 12 states (CA, CO, CT, NY, MA, MN, NC, NH, OR, NH, VT, and WA) distributed thousands of leaflets prepared by VTJP on Ben & Jerry’s commercial ties to illegal, Jewish-only settlements.

Additionally, 335 e-mails were sent to the company’s CEO, Jostein Solheim, on April 8, and in the two weeks leading up to FCD, more than 500 messages were e-mailed to him.

Your ice cream is free today - Palestine is not!

VTJP is still compiling reports on this year’s FCD action, and, in due course, we’ll post on our website a comprehensive summary of what transpired on April 8.

Here’s a sampling of what we’ve learned so far:

In San Jose, California, nearly 1,100 leaflets were handed out, and one of the activists shared an observation common to those who leafleted everywhere: “Most of the customers were pleasant, and many were interested to hear the information and take a leaflet.”

At least 1,000 more leaflets found their way into the hands of people at four scoop shops in Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco. There, as in San Jose, most encounters with the public were friendly and, according to one of the activists, “Many were ignorant of the situation in [Israel-Palestine], so it was a wonderful opportunity for education.”

Our compatriots with the New England Palestine Education Network and Veterans for Peace in Manchester, New Hampshire, told us many people are surprised to learn that Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is being sold in Israeli settlements.  VTJP activists have had the same experience frequently.

In Denver, a student activist was grateful for the opportunity to talk with people in his community about the Ben & Jerry’s campaign and the Israeli occupation generally.  He also appreciated the exposure this action generated for the Students for Justice in Palestine chapter at the University of Colorado.

Members of Upper Hudson Peace Action's Palestinian Rights Committee leafleted outside a cone shop in Albany, New York, and held a sign that read: “Ben & Jerry’s: Yes in Albany. No in Illegal Israeli Settlements.”  They spoke with the shop manager, who was polite, said he knew why they were there, and invited them in for a free cone.

In Portland, Oregon, twelve volunteers from the local chapters of Jewish Voice for Peace, Portland Palestine Coalition, Lutherans for Justice in the Holy Land, and Americans United for Equal Palestinian Rights passed out hundreds of leaflets and only two were dropped on the ground.

Jewish Voice for Peace activists in Tacoma, Washington, noted that not only were folks “willing to take the info, but the overwhelming majority left with leaflet still in hand!” The action also provided a great opportunity to reach a lot of young people.

In Vermont, there was leafleting at the two scoop shops in Burlington, including the one at the University of Vermont, and at the company’s factory in Waterbury. Members of VTJP’s BDS committee spoke with CEO Jostein Solheim and Rob Michalak, the head of the company’s Global Mission Office, when they dropped in at the scoop shop in downtown Burlington.

Ben & Jerry’s Campaign is Growing!

This FCD action saw many more activists, groups and scoop shops involved than last year.  Moreover, since last September, 220 organizations around the world have signed VTJP’s letter urging the company to stop doing business with Israeli settlements. We respectfully ask of organizations that have not done so to consider adding their names to the letter.

What began as a conversation in 2011 between a small band of activists in Vermont on how to contribute locally to the international BDS movement has grown into something much bigger than we could have imagined, and inspires us to keep organizing and engaging Ben & Jerry’s.

VTJP is deeply grateful for the support and counsel of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and its member groups, and to the Palestine solidarity community everywhere.

We are one year into this campaign, and there is still much work to be done.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Infographic: St. Louis Veolia Timeline

Check out this infographic from St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee. Since late 2012, the PSC has joined other local organizations in opposing a city contract with Veolia

Owly Images

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

University of Washington Community to Graduation Speaker: Stop Bulldozer Sales to Israel

Press release from our member groups Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights- University of Washington and The Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice. You can read the open letter to Jon Huntsman signed by more than 100 groups here

Republican presidential hopeful, governor of Utah, and board member of the company that manufactured the bulldozer used to kill Washington state college student and nonviolent protester Rachel Corrie, Jon Huntsman will address 45,000 attendants of University of Washington’s 138th graduation ceremonies. 

An open letter signed by over 100 student groups, alumni, faculty, and community organizations including the parents of Rachel Corrie explains CAT’s role in Palestine. Amin Odeh of Seattle group Voices for Palestine adds, “Caterpillar bulldozers in the Westbank and Gaza destroy homes, crops, and crush any hope for Peace.” The letter asks Huntsman to use his position on the board to “address the continuing harm caused by Caterpillar’s machines in Palestine” by “suspending sales to the Israeli military…until guarantees are received that their equipment will not be used to violate international law or commit human rights abuses.” The letter also asks Huntsman to meet with representatives of the Rachel Corrie Foundation and other signatories.

Member of Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights at University of Washington Caitlin Palo says, “Our letter is not a protest of Huntsman, on the contrary we address him in good faith about what he can do to make a difference in Palestine.” Professor of Global Health Aaron Katz explains why he signed the letter, “Recognizing that human rights in Palestine are as important as human rights anywhere is the social justice issue of our time…Jon Huntsman has an opportunity to influence CAT’s role.” Graduating seniors will be congratulated outside of Century Link Field with fliers including more information about CAT’s role in Palestine and a message to hold up during Huntsman’s speech. Graduating Senior Aaron Lerner, who co-authored a letter in last week’s UW Daily News titled “Not all Jewish Huskies are ‘For Israel,’” was excited about the event at Graduation. “As a graduating senior I just want my university to invest symbolically and literally in companies that fall in line with the ethical values of the UW, companies that respect international human rights norms.”

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Call Ben and Jerry's Action!

From member group Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel.

VTJP launched an international campaign ( on March 14 calling on Ben & Jerry’s to stop selling and catering its products in illegal Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
On April 9 solidarity activists, in response to a call from VTJP, leafleted at Ben & Jerry’s scoop shops in several U.S. cities on “Free Cone Day” to educate the public about the company’s commercial complicity in Israel’s military occupation and settlements.

To follow up, we are asking folks to call Ben & Jerry’s headquarters in Vermont. Please take a few minutes to call the company and deliver this brief message: "I am calling today to urge Ben & Jerry's to stop selling ice cream in illegal settlements in Occupied Palestine, on stolen Palestinian land. Please honor your Social Mission with respect to Israel/Palestine.  Don't do business with Israel's occupation and settlements."

Please tell the company who you are and where you are calling from. The number to call is 802-846-1500. Office hours are 8:30am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Summer 2013: The Rebuild Is On!

From our member group International Committee Against House Demolitions-USA.

ICAHD invites you to participate in its 2013 summer rebuilding camp--a unique opportunity to rebuild a Palestinian home demolished by Israel as an act of political resistance and see the tangible results of your advocacy efforts. You will be working side-by-side with Palestinians, Israelis, local activists, residents, and often the family whose home was destroyed and you are helping to rebuild from the rubble--a truly moving and meaningful experience of resistance and solidarity. For the past decade hundreds of activists have participated in the camp, showing that by working together we can rebuild what has been destroyed, forge new relationships and through individual acts of solidarity make a meaningful difference to a family--a difference you will see realized when you hand them the keys to their new home.   

Rebuilding Beit Arabiya, 2012 
This year the camp will be held August 11 - 26, 2013. Over this two-week period you will not only reconstruct an entire home, but also take field trips throughout the Occupied Territory and Israel to deepen your understanding of the Occupation and the sources of the conflict. In the evening you will engage with local activists, attend film screenings and participate in wide-ranging discussions analyzing the politics. 

To view some of the experiences from last year's project, check out these two videos created by camp participants themselves:

ICAHD 2012 Rebuilding Camp

Beit Arabiya Timelapse 

Accommodations at the camp are basic but a wonderful group spirit makes it all comfortable and functional. Participants will sleep in tents on the site of Beit Arabiya, served by portable toilets and shower blocks. Arabiya Shawamreh will provide traditional home-cooked Palestinian food as she and her husband Salim host the camp's guests along with ICAHD staff.

The fee for the 2013 camp is $1750 per person ($1250 for university students or young people whose applications demonstrate a willingness to represent ICAHD on campus). The fee, which is used to cover the purchase of construction materials and the expenses of the camp, includes: 
  • Accommodations
  • Three full meals a day and beverages between meals (except during three free evenings)
  • All field trips and the educational program
  • ICAHD materials/resources 
Not included in the fee are: 
  • Airfare and transfer to and from Jerusalem before the start of the camp and return to the airport at the end of the camp
  • Meals during free time
  • Personal spending money 
If you would like to participate but are unable to donate your time, you are welcome to provide a "scholarship" that will enable someone with limited means to join.

If you're interested in joining us this summer, or want additional information, please contact us at 646-308-1322 or

Monday, March 11, 2013

Apply for Summer Delegation! Today's Realities and Tomorrow's Leaders

Our member groups Interfaith Peace-Builders and American Friends Service Committee are co-sponsoring a delegation to Palestine/Israel August 10-August 23. Details below. Application deadline is April 1. 

This delegation will explore current realities of life for Israelis and Palestinians, including settlements, the occupation, and the peace process—by learning directly from those living there. We will also explore issues relevant to young people in the region, including efforts to educate and empower future generations working towards a just resolution to the conflict. Our itinerary will feature meetings with leaders of civil society groups, grassroots organizers, Palestinian and Israeli youth, religious leaders and more. 
As with all IFPB themed delegations, meetings pertaining to the specific theme amount to an average of about 20 percent of all meetings and the overall emphasis remains with exploring the social and political realities in the region in general. Thus, any addition of a theme will not change the overall delegation itinerary greatly.
Join email list for this delegation

Deadline to apply

Please apply by April 1, 2013 to ensure we’ll have space and be able to arrange your flight. IFPB's last several delegations have filled up several months before departure, so please apply as soon as possible to reserve your space. If you’ve missed the deadline, we might still be able to add you, but please contact us ASAP to see if this is a possibility.


Sydney Levy is the son of Egyptian Jews, born in Venezuela. He studied Jewish history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and was a settler without even realizing he was one. In the United States, he has worked for LGBT rights, for media justice, and against the death penalty. Since 2000 he has been active at Jewish Voice for Peace, and has been supporting church divestment efforts since 2008, as well as other BDS initiatives. Sydney is also a member of the Steering Committee of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. This will be his first delegation with IFPB.
Gretchen Merryman-Lotze spent six years living in Palestine. During her time in the West Bank she worked for Birzeit University’s Palestine & Arabic Studies Program coordinating the weekly lecture series and educational tours for international students throughout the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Lebanon and Syria. During theSecond Intifida she co-founded International Checkpoint Watch, a group of over 50 international volunteers who monitored and documented human rights abuses at Israeli checkpoints throughout the West Bank. Gretchen holds a master’s degree from Wheaton Graduate School in educational ministries. From 2002-2004, she worked for Fellowship of Reconciliation’s Interfaith Peace Builders, organizing delegations to Israel, Palestine, Jordan, and Lebanon. This will be Gretchen’s fifth delegation co-leading for IFPB.


The cost of the delegation will be around $2200. This includes 13 days of the delegation, hotel and home stay accommodations, breakfasts and dinners, local transportation, guides, speaker/event fees, and basic tips and gratuities. Partial scholarships may be available for those with demonstrable need.
The cost does not include domestic and international airfare. Interfaith Peace-Builders works with a local travel agent in Jerusalem to secure the best group rates for the delegation to travel together on the same flight from Washington, D.C. to Israel/Palestine. Therefore, delegates do not need to book their own international airfare.
Delegates will be expected make arrangements to be in Washington, D.C. by 2 pm on Aug. 10.
Contact Information: 
For more information contact Mike Merryman-Lotze at

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

10 Years Later- Remember Rachel Corrie and Act!

From our member group Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice

Saturday, March 16th, the Rachel Corrie Foundation will mark the 10th anniversary of Rachel's stand in Gaza. It has been an extraordinary, challenging ten-year journey for our organization, for the Corrie family, and for those in our community and beyond who have worked tirelessly for justice and peace in Palestine and Israel, in the world, and at home.

Here in Olympia, we have plans for a Stand for Justice Rally, speakers, music, dance, food, reflection, remembrance, and community! See event listing here.

Now, we call on you - individuals, organizations, and communities - to join us in these actions and with your own creative, solidarity events or observances!

  • Mark this 10-year anniversary! Call out Caterpillar, Inc. now on its faulty actions and explanations! Challenge the appearance of CAT's Washington Director of Government Affairs at AIPAC! Tell CAT to own up to its business with Israel and to end its complicity in violations of human rights and international law in Israel/Palestine. See how to help here!
  • Mark this 10-year anniversary! Tell President Obama to use his March Mideast trip to see for himself, to demand compliance with U.S. laws and policies, and accountability for how U.S. tax dollars are used by Israel. See how to help here!
  • Mark this 10-year anniversary! Demonstrate your support for the rights of Palestinians that Rachel, many other internationals, Israeli activists, and Palestinians have stood to defend! Reflect, connect the dots, and strengthen your community's commitment to justice for Palestinians and peace in the Mideast. Let us know what you plan so we can share and inspire others! Send your photos for our TUMBLR. See how to help here!

Rachel Corrie wrote,

"The international media and our government are not going to tell us that we are effective, important, justified in our work, courageous, intelligent, valuable. We have to do that for each other, and one way we can do that is by continuing our work, visibly."

Let's use this March anniversary as an opportunity to make some noise and be visible in our support for equal rights for Palestinians, accountability and justice, and an end to Israeli occupation!

Let's remember, act, and celebrate together - how we (like Rachel) have stood this past decade for justice, freedom, equality, and peace in the Middle East and beyond - and let' think together about how we move ahead to make freedom for Palestine a reality.

Find a list of events taking place here

Monday, February 11, 2013

Do You Want to Continue This AIPAC Friendship?

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) will be holding its 2013 policy conference in Washington, DC next month under the banner of "Celebrating 65 Years of Friendship."  

Join the
 US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and our member groups CODEPINK, Fellowship of Reconciliation, and Interfaith Peace-Builders March 2-5 to Expose AIPAC and what this "friendship" truly means

The Expose AIPAC mobilization will kick off with a
 Grassroots Advocacy Training by IFPB and FOR on Saturday, March 2. The day-long conference will feature panels on AIPAC and its role in determining U.S. policy toward the Middle East; workshops on boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns; and trainings about lobbying Congress. Speakers include Laila Al Haddad, Rebecca Vilkomerson, Josh Ruebner, Phyllis Bennis and many more

CODEPINK will be coordinating direct actions outside of the AIPAC convention on Sunday, March 3 and Monday, March 4. And plan on joining the US Campaign Tuesday, March 5 for a constituent lobby day to bring our message to Congress

Check out the entire schedule
 and register today

The "friendship" between the United States and Israel that AIPAC pursues is one that
 endangers millions of lives across the Middle East. 

AIPAC has pushed for a U.S. military attack on Iran and has successfully lobbied the U.S. government to adopt
 crippling economic sanctions, which have hurt the Iranian people in many ways including fueling a medical crisis due to increasing prices of medical supplies. 

As seen in the U.S. elections just a few months ago, political action committees and individuals aligned with AIPAC's agenda provide millions of dollars in contributions to politicians
 cheerleading Israel's violations of international law and abuses of Palestinian human rights. This means that instead of sanctioning Israel for expanding illegal settlements and launching yet another military assault against Gaza, U.S. politicians compete in proving how much they stand with Israel

And AIPAC continues to demand 
unconditional U.S. support for Israeli occupation and apartheid policies toward Palestinians, support that comes in many forms including diplomatic protection at the United Nations and $30 billion in military aid from 2009-2018. 

This year will mark
 46 years of Israel's brutal military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem. This year will mark 65 years of Palestinian dispossession. 

AIPAC lobbies for U.S. taxpayer money to help continue Israel's oppression of Palestinians instead of to fund unmet community needs here at home. 

Register today to help Expose AIPAC and change U.S. policy to support human rights, international law, and equality.  

Thursday, February 7, 2013

DC Film Screening: Where Should the Birds Fly?

From our member group The Palestine Center

Where Should the Birds Fly? by Fida Qishta 

(with director and producer present)
Thursday, February 14, 2013
2425 Virginia Ave NW, Washington, DC  20037 

Where Should The Birds Fly documents the lives of two courageous young Palestinian women, survivors of Israel's massive 23 day attack on Gaza that began on December 28, 2008.  It is the compelling and moving story of these remarkable young women, the future of Palestine, who personify the struggle to maintain humanity, humor and hope, to find some degree of normality in the brutal abnormality that has been imposed on them. Mona Samouni is an 11 year old girl of remarkable wisdom. Her family died under Israeli rockets. Fida Qishta, the filmmaker, is a 27 year old journalist.  

With her Palestinian crew, Fida has documented the lives of the people of Gaza. This is the first film about Gaza made by Palestinians themselves and it gives voice to the people of Gaza. 

Please join us for this privileged screening with the filmmaker and producers from Deep Dish TV present to answer questions

Lunch will be served. RSVP here

Monday, February 4, 2013

Event: New Year -- Old Wars in the Middle East

From our member group Upper Hudson Peace Action

New Year -- Old Wars in the Middle East

Afghanistan, Israel/Palestine, Iran...where's it all going?

Discussion with Phyllis Bennis, Director of New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies. 

Wednesday, February

12:00pm Albany Public Library (161 Washington Avenue) 

7:00 PM in Room 354 of the Humanities Building on the main campus of the State University of New York at Albany

Contact Paul Rehm at 518-966-5366 or for more information. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Event: Palestinian Statehood: What Happens Next?

From our member group Committee for Palestinian Rights. 

Palestinian Statehood: What Happens Next?
A talk by Mark Croatti
Wednesday, January 30 at 7:00 p.m.
Howard County Central Library
10375 Little Patuxent Pkwy.
Columbia, MD  21044

Now that the United Nations has recognized Palestine as a non-member observer state, what happens next? A two-state solution? A one-state solution? And how would either scenario affect the state of Israel?

Mark Croatti teaches Comparative Politics at George Washington University and has taught Middle East Politics at University of Maryland Baltimore County, St. Mary's College of Maryland, Notre Dame of Maryland University, Johns Hopkins University and University of Oregon.

Free and open to the public.

Sponsor: Committee for Palestinian Rights
For more info:

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Activists Gather on MLK Day to Protest Cornell-Technion Partnership

Press release from our member group New Yorkers Against the Cornell-Technion Partnership. See pictures of the protest here. Their next planned action is on Tuesday, January 29 from 5:00pm-7:00pm. Find details here

Protesters outnumbered students on a blustery Martin Luther King Day as the New York Cornell-Technion Partnership held its first day of classes at Google’s Chelsea offices in Manhattan.

Cornell University always holds classes on this holiday, and the annual insult to Dr. King’s memory is sadly fitting with the support for racism the school is showing by pairing with The Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Israel’s foremost research and develop institution for weapons (including drones), surveillance systems, and other instruments of death and destruction used to maintain an apartheid system against Palestinians and for use in wars against Israel’s Arab neighbors.

The 25 New Yorkers leafleting against the Cornell-Technion Partnership (contrasting the eight students inside, according to the New York Times), denounced Google’s gift of free office space to the Partnership, as well as the $100 million in funds and $300 million in real estate given by the City of New York to the questionably fast-tracked venture.

Protesters also gathered signatures on a petition demanding an end to private and public support for the Partnership (online at:

The campaign against the Cornell-Technion Partnership is part of a global effort in support of the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against institutions doing business with apartheid Israel.

Regular classes will be held at the Google offices until the main campus opens on Roosevelt Island in 2017. Among those handing out flyers and talking to workers and students from the Google building as well as Chelsea residents were several Cornell University students outraged at the Partnership’s violation of Cornell’s own rules for consulting staff and faculty over such business deals.

What’s more, Cornell, its partners, and the media have failed to report that Technion is complicit in Israel’s violations of international law and the rights of Palestinians, specifically by designing military weapons and developing technologies that are used to drive Palestinians off their land, suppress demonstrations for their rights, and carry out attacks against people in Lebanon, Gaza, and elsewhere. For these reasons, Technion is directly implicated in war crimes.  Furthermore, Technion practices institutional discrimination against Palestinian students by severely restricting their freedom of speech and assembly, and rewarding Jewish students who, unlike most Palestinians, perform compulsory military service in Israel. This is in direct contrast to Cornell University’s founding values of universalism and inclusion embodied in the university’s motto “any person any study.”

NYACT has also denounced the callous disregard for the health, safety and housing needs of Roosevelt Island residents. As construction begins for the eventual permanent Partnership site on the Island, homes are being torn down, and patients are being kicked out of the City hospital system’s Coler-Goldwater long-term care facilities. New Yorkers with serious disabilities and life-threatening medical conditions are being displaced by the City in deference to the Partnership. NYACT has attended several Roosevelt Island community meetings to forge an alliance with residents, patients and healthcare workers whose lives are being disrupted or even jeopardized by Cornell and Technion.
NYACT and supporters will host a regular leafleting vigil every other Tuesday starting January 29th, from 5-7pm, at the Google offices,
111 Eighth Ave (at 15th St), New York City
For more information:
New Yorkers Against the Cornell-Technion Partnership (NYACT)

Friday, January 18, 2013

No to Technion in NYC Action!

From our member group New Yorkers Against the Cornell-Technion Partnership.

Join us on the first day of Cornell NYC Tech classes to leaflet and gather signatures.

When: Monday, January 21, 4-6pm
Where: 111 Eighth Ave (at 15th St), NYC

Classes are to be held in donated temporary space at the Google offices until the main campus opens on Roosevelt Island in 2017.  NYACT will be distributing information outside the Google offices about The Technion’s involvement in developing remote controlled bulldozers, stealth drones, and protection systems for battle tanks used by Israel to destroy Palestinian houses and olive groves, assassinate Palestinian civilians, and rain terror from above in Gaza, as well as The Technion’s ongoing collaborations with major surveillance and weapons manufacturers.

Say No to Technion in NYC!

Support the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS)

Sign the petition here:

For more information go to or email

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Veolia Action in St. Louis

Press release from our member group St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee


January 16, 2013


Anna Baltzer, St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee,
Kat Logan Smith, Missouri Coalition of the Environment,

Residents to Pack City Board Meeting in Protest of Water Contract with Veolia, Renowned for Shoddy Environmental, Human Rights, Labor Practices

St. Louis, Missouri -- St. Louis Dump Veolia, a diverse coalition of environmental, labor, and human rights activists, is calling on the city’s Board of Estimate & Apportionment (E&A) to vote down a proposed contract with Veolia Water to guide cost-cutting for the St. Louis Water Division. The coalition is deeply troubled by the company’s record of irresponsible environmental practices, human rights violations, mismanagement, anti-labor practices, corruption, bribery, embezzlement, fraud, and failure to make good on promised improvements.
The Board, comprised of Mayor Francis Slay, Comptroller Darlene Green, and Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed, will meet Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 2pm in the Room 200 of City Hall to consider contracts. At its December meeting, following public outcry, the Board voted to shelve the contract, calling for an investigation into Veolia by a selection committee chaired by the Mayor’s office. The contract was put back on last Friday, later than is usual. The coalition mobilized heavily to stop it and at the time of this press release, the contract had been removed from the agenda.

The contract can be reintroduced at any time. Concerned residents plan to pack the meeting, which is open to the press and the public.

According to one member of the City’s committee tasked with researching Veolia, the group has not been convened. Several local organizations including the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee, and St. Louis Jewish Voice for Peace, as well as individual city residents, have filed requests under the Sunshine Act for records and results of any such investigation.

“If Veolia performs consistently with its own record, our pocketbooks will not be safe, our drinking water will not be healthy, and our environment will not be protected,” said Kathleen Logan Smith, Executive Director of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment. “St. Louis should dump Veolia now.”

“Veolia offers its services under the guise of “cutting costs” and providing “efficiency”.  However, we see in town after town, cutting costs means cutting jobs or eliminating pensions.  Almost all studies show that one of the biggest sources of job creation is to invest in public infrastructure.  St. Louis City needs to keep our public works in the hands of the public, NOT a private overseas corporation” said Arielle Klagsbrun of Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment

Sandra Tamari of the St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee explained: “My family lives in the occupied West Bank, where Israel has implemented a system of segregated roads and buses, some of which Veolia operates. If we tried to board these buses, we would be forced off simply because of our ethnicity and religion. If St. Louis stands against segregation in the U.S., it should not support corporations profiting from segregation elsewhere.”

“The city has serious water infrastructure needs but we question the value of this costly consulting contract with a company that has such a questionable record, “said Caroline Pufalt, Sierra Club Conservation Chair.

Veolia’s illegal activities in Israel/Palestine and other notorious practices have made it the target of corporate accountability campaigns worldwide. The company has lost an estimated $16 billion to date in cancelled or withdrawn contracts following advocacy. Parent company Veolia’s hometown Paris, France chose not to renew its contract with the company.

In 2007, Mayor Slay received a trophy and award check for $15,000 from the President of Veolia Water.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Apply for $1000 Scholarship to Palestine/Israel

Our member group Interfaith Peace-Builders is offering two $1,000 Scholarships for students and young adults who travel on a Summer 2013 Delegation. Deadline to apply is January 18!


Be an Eye Witness: Move beyond research and gain first-hand experience on the ground.

Network: Meet and build relationships with key players working towards peace and justice.

Build Personal Connections: Hear from people directly affected by the conflict, from various viewpoints.

Test your Knowledge: See how the realities on the ground compare to what you have already learned.

Interfaith Peace-Builders has led 45 delegations and taken more than 750 people to Israel/Palestine. 


May 25-June 7: An Honest Broker? The US Role in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

August 10-23  


IFPB welcomes any current student or young adult (age 18-30) to apply for consideration for these two scholarships.

To apply, fill out and submit the application form by January 18, 2013.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

St. Louis City Board Votes to Investigate Veolia Following Public Outcry

From our member group St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee

St. Louis, Missouri — At 2:30pm on Wednesday, December 19, 2012, at a standing-room only meeting in the mayor’s office for the St. Louis City Board of Estimate & Apportionment (E & A), the Board declined to approve a city contract with Veolia Water, putting off the vote until there can be a full investigation into the company’s history. The decision came in light of new information on the company’s involvement with ethnic discrimination in Palestine, as well as a flurry of phone calls, emails, and meetings voicing “concerns about the company’s human rights practices and financial condition,” as reported by St. Louis National Public Radio.

In the six hours prior to the vote, board members had received more than 200 emails apiece asking them not to rush the contract through. Their phones rang off the hook as local activists also addressed the officials on Twitter. Members of the St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee and St. Louis Jewish Voice for Peace attended the meeting to show their opposition to Veolia.

The board, which is comprised of the St. Louis City Mayor Francis Slay, Comptroller Darlene Green, and President of the Board of Aldermen Lewis Reed, agreed that they could not in good conscience vote to approve a contract with so many outstanding questions. Earlier, the St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee had delivered a statement and facts sheet documenting Veolia’s history of profiting from Israel’s illegal occupation and apartheid policies in Palestine, and the company’s notorious environmentally disastrous activities, anti-labor practices, mismanagement, corruption, bribery, embezzlement, fraud, and failure to make good on promised improvements.

When Mayor Slay presented the contract with a motion to approve, President Reed put forward a motion to postpone the vote in order to allow time for investigation into the company’s practices. While the city’s Water Commissioner and the mayor continued to argue that Veolia was the right company for the job, Green spoke eloquently in agreement with Reed:

“We have several complaints from our citizenry. And I want to honor their complaints [and] their time and desire to ‘Investigate Veolia.’… It’s not our money; it’s their money. Period… You [the citizens] do matter. So let’s get more information.”

Reed expressed concerns that the contract had been added to the agenda at the last-minute, following outcry from environmentalists, workers, the Palestine solidarity community, and other constituencies outraged by the corporation’s abysmal track record.

In spite of the late notice, local organizers mobilized hundreds to spring into action. This victory has shown the power of everyday people standing up to multinational corporations and demanding transparency in public contracts.

Having won the first victory, St. Louisans will now redouble efforts to stop the contract once and for all. It’s time for St. Louis to dump Veolia.

Press contact: Colleen Kelly,

To keep appraised of developments, join the PSC FB page and/or follow @stlpsc.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

SodaStream Holiday Songs!

Check out these holiday songs put together by our member group American Friends Service Committee that you can use for your SodaStream actions! 

SodaStream the Settlement Product
(to the tune of “Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer”)

SodaStream’s a settlement product,
Made in Mishor Adumim
It’s built on stolen land,
And this really makes us scream

All of the other nations,
Boycott occupation.
So we’re outside of Macy’s
To say no to exploitation!

Sodastream hides their crimes,
So we’re here to say,
Macy’s with your store so bright,
Don’t you care about human rights?

If you deshelve SodaStream,
Then we will all shout with glee,
“Macy’s, thank you for helping,
make occupation history!”

SodaStream is Spoiling our Town
(to the tune of “Santa Claus is coming to Town”)

Oh, you’d better not shop
You’d better not buy
Each dollar spent here helps
Fund apartheid
SodaStream is spoiling, our town

We’re making them shvitz
We’ll make them think twice
We’re gonna boycott until they
Act nice
SodaStream is spoiling, our town

They’re stealing land and water
From towns in the West Bank
Although they make your drink taste good
Rots your soul for goodness sake!

Oh, you’d better not shop
You’d better not buy
Each dollar spent here helps
Fund apartheid
SodaStream is spoiling, our town!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Chicago Palestine Events

Iyad Burnat Presentation and Discussion
When: Wednesday, December 12, 7:00pm
Where: School of the Art Institute, 280 S. Columbus, 2nd floor
Suggested Donation $5
Iyad Burnat is head of the Bil’in Popular Committee and a leader in the village’s non-violent popular resistance movement.  Since 2005, citizens of Bil’in have held weekly demonstrations against the building of the Israeli separation wall through the community’s agricultural lands and the encroachment of illegal settlements.  The demonstrators are joined by Israeli and international peace activists, and have maintained a commitment to non-violent methods of resistance in spite of armed, military opposition that has resulted in many injuries and some deaths.
Iyad was born in Bil’in in September of 1973.  He is married and has four children.  He became involved in popular resistance as a teenager, and was arrested by the Israeli military for the first time at age 17.  He was accused of throwing stones, and imprisoned for two years.  Since then he has been arrested and imprisoned by the Israeli military several more times.

During his 2012-2013 American tour, Iyad will tell the stories of Bil’in and life in the occupied West Bank, and talk about strategies for non-violent popular resistance with a goal of peace and prosperity for all people.  His presentation will be accompanied by photos and videos.
Facebook event:
Reception Honoring Iyad Burnat
When: Thursday, December 13, 5:00pm
Where: Grace Place, 637 S. Dearborn
$10 admission. Please RSVP to
Iyad Burnat is a leader of a Palestinian village's popular non-violent protest movement (the Bil'in Popular Committee) against Israeli occupation and illegal land claims and settlement.

He is in the midst of a 2-month speaking tour around the U.S., his first trip here.  Many of us have met Iyad while visiting the West Bank and experienced his family's gracious hospitality.  Iyad is traveling with hand-embroidered goods from his village, and we will have an opportunity to purchase items (just in time for the holidays!) to support Bil'in.
Premiere Chicago Screening of the Award-Winning Film5 Broken Cameras by Emad Burnat
When: Thursday, December 13, 7:00pm
Where: School of the Art Institute, 280 S. Columbus, 2nd floor
A Film on Non-Violent Resistance Against the Israeli Occupation. Winner of the Sundance 2012 World Documentary Directing Award and a NY Times Critics Pick.
Followed by a discussion with Iyad Burnat, one of the leaders of the struggle against Israeli Occupation & the building of the apartheid wall in Bil'in, Palestine.
Suggested Donation: $5
Since 2005, residents of Bil’in have held weekly demonstrations against the building of the Israeli separation wall through the community’s agricultural lands, and the steady encroachment of illegal settlements.
These demonstrations are the subject of the recent award-winning documentary film 5 Broken Cameras, which was made by Iyad’s brother, Emad Burnat. When his fourth son, Gibreel, is born, Emad gets his first camera. For more than five years, Emad films the struggle, which is lead by two of his best friends, alongside filming how Gibreel grows. Very soon it affects his family and his own life. Daily arrests and night raids scare his family; his friends, brothers and him as well are either shot or arrested. One camera after another is shot at or smashed, each camera tells a part of his story.
Facebook event:
All events are Open to the Public.  Limited Seating.
For more info on the Iyad Burnat:
For more info on the film:
Co-Sponsored by: Arab-Jewish Partnership for Peace and Justice in the Middle East, American Friends Service Committee, Chicago Faith Coalition for Middle East Policy and Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

DC SodaStream Boycott Campaign Action

From our member group Jewish Voice for Peace-DC Metro.

When: Sunday, December 9th, 2:00-4:00pm

Where: In front of Columbia Heights Mall -- at the Columbia Heights Metro Station on 14th St.-- just north of the intersection with Irving St.

What:  Join DC’s SodaStream Boycott action during the holiday season to educate DC holiday shoppers about the injustice of the Israeli occupation, ask them to refuse to buy SodaStream products, and call on local store managers to tell their corporate headquarters to stop stocking the products. SodaSteam manufactures its beverage carbonating devices in an illegal West Bank settlement. This DC protest action will feature live music, with special SodaStream lyrics, signs and slogans, as well as an informational flyer in English and Spanish, and a card for shoppers to hand in to store owners of the four stores in the mall that carry SodaStream: Bed, Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Staples, and Target.

For more information, contact: or call 301-380-9224.

For more information about SodaStream see: