Showing posts with label sustain the US Campaign. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sustain the US Campaign. Show all posts

Thursday, January 5, 2012

What a Year Stretches Before Us!

Dear Supporters,

Above: Co-chairs Felicia Eaves & Peter Miller.

New shifts in U.S. public discourse mean more pressure on candidates challenging conventional military and political support for Israel, growing B.D.S. campaigns on campuses and in communities across the country, mainstream churches challenging corporations that profit from occupation... and the US Campaign with our nearly 400 member organizations will be at the center of all the work that comes with it.

Thanks to all of you, the Campaign is beginning 2012 stronger and better resourced than ever before. More than 600 donors last year helped to replant 2,050 olive trees in Palestine, supporting fair-trade farmers. Just in the holiday period of last December alone, together we raised $43,500 in online contributions, helping the US Campaign begin the new year ready for action.

Thanks for everything you're doing. For your work in your campuses, communities, faith congregations, as well as in Congress and in the media, to end US military aid to Israel. For your creativity in building BDS campaigns. For bringing the cost of Israeli occupation to the Occupy Movement that has so empowered all of us. For linking economic injustice and the unmet needs in our communities these ten years to the $30 billion in military aid to Israel.

The US Campaign is made up of--and supported by--people like you, and member groups like yours. Together we are moving into a new year of action, mobilization, and education.  Huge challenges lie ahead. But because of all you’ve done, we start the year with the excitement, the energy, and the resources to challenge U.S. support for Israel's occupation and apartheid policy, and to demand a new U.S. policy based on human rights, international law and equality for all.

Thanks again.  And we look forward to working together in 2012!

Felicia Eaves & Peter Miller

Co-chairs, US Campaign Steering Committee

Click to watch our new 8-minute documentary!

P.S.: Witness how this nationwide grassroots coalition has struggled against U.S. support for Israel's occupation over the past decade! Our new mini-documentary combines an audiovisual sampling of major events with a narrative of our coalition's growth, voiced by members of our staff and Steering Committee. Take eight minutes to watch the quest progressing, and join us to help complete it!

Monday, December 26, 2011

10 Things We Did to Make this a Memorable Year

Ready for Our New Year's Countdown?

As 2011 draws to a close, we want to wish you and your loved ones a new year filled with peace and justice.

We also want to thank you for the generous support that enables us to wake up every morning and work on an issue we feel deeply passionate about, advancing a mission we believe in: to change U.S. policy toward Palestine/Israel to support freedom, justice, and equality.

In this economy, we're all glad just to have jobs.  That's why we're extra grateful to have jobs that contribute to a better world. 

Because we feel so privileged to work for the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, we work extra hard, day-in and day-out, to provide you with actions, resources, information and inspiration to advance our collective work to end U.S. support for Israeli occupation and apartheid and to change our country's policies toward Israel/Palestine to support human rights, international law, and equality.

Below is our New Year's Countdown -- 10 things we did in 2011 to move us ever closer to our goal, in random order. Please make your year-end tax-deductible donation now so that we can do even greater things in 2012.

We grew our coalition to more than 380 organizations in 46 states.

We published articles in the Los Angeles Times, The Hill, Huffington Post, Palm Beach Post, Richmond Times-Dispatch, and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, to name a few.

We produced a flash mob how-to guide to help strengthen boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) protests.

We partnered with member groups to advance BDS campaigns like Stolen Beauty, Stop Caterpillar, and We Divest, and called upon performers and other celebrities to cancel appearances in Israel. Some of them agreed!

We joined the Palestinian BDS National Committee's call for a global arms embargo of Israel and launched a campaign to get city councils to pass resolutions against military aid to Israel.

We expanded our organizing campaign to end military aid to Israel to more than 900 cities and joined with the Occupy movement to protest corporate greed and war profiteering.

We gave our website an extreme makeover--reorganizing and redesigning it--to make it more user-friendly and interactive.

3.We held our 10th Annual National Organizers' Conference, with more than 160 delegates representing 63 member groups, at the historic Thurgood Marshall Center in Washington, DC.

2.We kicked off our 10th anniversary with a fabulous benefit concert featuring world-renowned musician Simon Shaheen.

1.We launched an interactive Report Card for the 112th Congress.

Thank you for making this work possible. We look forward to returning in 2012 to unleash even more creativity, with your generous support.

Our best wishes for a new year of peace and justice,

Anna, Josh, Josh, Mike & Rana

P.S.: Consider making a personal divestment from Israeli occupation and apartheid, and "offset" your taxes today. This year the average U.S. taxpayer had $21.59 of their hard-earned income spent on more weapons for Israel. This is your last chance to "offset" your 2011 taxes to support a U.S. policy that upholds human rights and equality for all.

P.P.S.: Speaking of our 10th anniversary, stay tuned for our final email of 2011, which will bring you a music video of what we have accomplished together over the past decade.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Anna Baltzer: "Will You Help Me Cultivate Justice This Season?"

By Anna Baltzer
National Organizer, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

Just over one year ago, I began working as National Organizer with the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. Having spent five years on my own educating everyday people about the occupation, Israeli apartheid, and the steadfastness of the Palestinian people, I realized I needed to do more than advise others to move from education into campaigning -- I needed to follow my own advice!

During my first 12 months at the US Campaign, my respect for the work and dedication of the organization has only grown. Whether it's providing trainings; creating new resources; setting up mass action alerts; coordinating and mobilizing for nationwide boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) campaigns and days of action; or promoting the work that you do in Campaign member groups, we spend every day working to support organizations and individuals around the country in challenging Israel's violations of Palestinian rights and the U.S. military, diplomatic and financial support that allows these violations to continue.

Believe me, we are a very small staff with an even smaller budget. The only way we can continue our work is through support from people like you. 

That is why I ask you to consider donating to the US Campaign this holiday season.

Above: We'll send you this personalized certificate when you donate to plant a tree.
Your gift not only supports the US Campaign, but also Palestinian farming families. For every $25 you donate, the US Campaign will plant one olive tree for a Palestinian farming family in the name or in memory of someone special to you. For every $100 you donate, we will plant five trees.

Hannukah has just begun. Christmas is this Sunday. Rather than rushing out for more shopping, why not give a deeply meaningful gift in the name of a loved one to help us cultivate justice here at home and in Palestine?

Of course, we know that planting olive trees will not end U.S. support for Israel's occupation and apartheid policies. We know that new trees cannot replace adult, fruiting olive trees that Israeli soldiers and settlers have uprooted from Palestinian groves.

But, in some ways, olive trees represent the past, present and future of Palestinian traditions and steadfastness.  Each tree planted sends a message to Israel that Palestinians will never give up their way of life and right to stay on their own land, and that people in the U.S. will not allow our government's support for Israel to go unchallenged.

Many of you purchase Christmas trees as a holiday tradition. Why not start another tradition with the olive tree? This year, with your help, we raised funds to plant 1,603 trees so far. Help us to reach our goal of 2,000 new olive trees by the year's end!

May 2012 be the year that brings desperately needed change in U.S. policy and an end to Israel's occupation and apartheid. Until that happens, help us continue to join and elevate voices and actions nationwide in support of Palestinian human rights.

Click here to donate to the US Campaign today.

Friday, November 25, 2011

What We're Thankful For

By Josh Ruebner, National Advocacy Director
Wednesday, 23 November, 2011

Tomorrow morning, my wife and I will board a plane in Washington, DC, fly to Chicago, drive to Indiana to visit her parents, and drive back to Illinois to visit my family before returning home.

We're thankful that we have the means and opportunity to spend time with our loved ones during this holiday weekend.  Barring any flight delays or road construction, they'll know when to expect us.

Above: US Campaign staff and Steering Committee at our recent national conference.

It's easy to take our rights for granted even as they come under assault here at home.  But we know that something like our Thanksgiving travel plan--our right to freedom of movement--is a near impossibility for Palestinians whose human rights are violated daily by Israel's military occupation and apartheid policies.

Unlike Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation, on our way to the airport, we won't have to evade dozens of roadblocks, checkpoints, walls, and other barriers to our movement.  After picking up our rental car, no soldier will tell us where we can or can't drive.  No occupying army will intrude into our families' towns and cut short our visit by announcing a curfew. 

My wife and I are of different ethnic and religious backgrounds: she's Arab-American and I'm Jewish-American. And we would never allow our government to treat us any differently based on those differences. Yet, our government's military and diplomatic support for Israel enables it to discriminate against Palestinians based on their nationality and religious affiliations.

Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip are typically banned from Israel's airport (Israel destroyed the Palestinian airport in Gaza).  Palestinians can't ride on Israeli settler buses or roads constructed on their land in the West Bank, as dramatized last week by the courageous Palestinian Freedom Riders.  A Palestinian man from Gaza who is married to a Palestinian woman who is a citizen of Israel can't live with her. And Palestinian refugees, who were forced from their homes more than 63 years ago, still are denied their right of return by Israel. 

The only reason people have rights in this country is because for hundreds of years we have built movements to struggle to achieve them--and it is an ongoing struggle. We cannot allow our government to back Israel in denying Palestinians human rights--the right to travel, the right to go to school or work, the right to live where we choose--which we have in this country and to which all human beings are entitled. 

That's why we're also thankful for the thousands of people like you who make it possible for the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation to empower tens of thousands of people and nearly 400 organizations in our coalition to change our government's policies toward Palestine/Israel to support human rights, international law, and equality.

As you gather with your loved ones for this Thanksgiving holiday, please give thanks by donating whatever you can to the US Campaign to help us advance our goal.

We thank you for believing in the necessity and ultimate success of our mission.

By the way, we''d also like to show our thanks to supporters like you.  As a token of our appreciation, the first twenty people (U.S. residents only) who donate $100 or more will receive from us a bottle of fair trade, organic Palestinian olive oil.  Your generosity will help not only us, but Palestinian farmers struggling to remain steadfast on their land.

Friday, August 5, 2011

You’re invited to a special benefit concert with Simon Shaheen, world-renowned oud player!

Our 10th Annual National Organizers' Conference in Washington, DC, this September 16-19 is swiftly approaching.  Register and pay by August 19 to receive the "Early Bird" discount registration price of $100. Registration will increase to $125 after August 19.

We will be marking our coalition's 10th annual conference with a special benefit concert with world-renowned violinist and oud player, Simon Shaheen, Saturday, September 17, at 8:30pm at All Souls Church in Washington, DC!

A Palestinian born in the village of Tarshiha in the Galilee, Shaheen began playing the oud at the age of five, and a year later began studying violin at the Conservatory for Western Classical Music in Haifa. Shaheen has become one of the most significant Arab musicians of his generation. His soaring technique and melodic ingenuity fuse together traditional Arabic music, jazz, and Western classical styles.

All proceeds from this benefit concert directly support the work of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

Purchase your seat today for a unique opportunity to listen to the musical works of world renowned violinist and oudist, Simon Shaheen in Washington, DC on Saturday, September 17! 

Full conference registrants receive free admission to this very special benefit concert. Register for the full conference today!

Member groups in good standing are encouraged to host a workshop at the US Campaign conference. And if your member group is working on an initiative and would like the endorsement of the US Campaign coalition, please submit a proposal.  Workshops and proposals must be submitted by August 19.

Please check the 10th Annual National Organizers' Conference website regularly as we update our list of featured speakers, to learn more about local logistics in Washington, and to get information for our hotel room block at the Grand Hyatt Washington Hotel.

We look forward to seeing you in September!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Work With Us to Seek Justice

Above from left:
Shakeel Syed, Grace Said, Rabbi Brian Walt

We, leaders in the Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities, write to you at the start of the month of Ramadan, a time when practicing Muslims deepen their spiritual experience. Among other virtues, empathy toward the oppressed and the indigent is especially exercised.

At the end of August, Jews begin a 40-day period of repentance, when we examine our wrongdoing, concluding on the holiest day of the Jewish year, the fast of Yom Kippur. On that day Jews read the words of the prophet Isaiah: "This is the fast that God desires: to unlock the fetters of wickedness, to share your bread with the hungry, to take the wretched poor into your home."

Christians often turn to fasting and repentance as a spiritual discipline in the face of injustice that draws one closer to God and to one's neighbor suffering from injustice. Think of Cesar Chavez's fast for justice for farm workers and Witness Against Torture's fasts to protest detention and torture at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib.  

This Ramadan we express our empathy with the Palestinians' decades-long quest for freedom, and work together to help end U.S. support for Israel's denial of Palestinian human rights.

As faith leaders active in interfaith alliances, we urge you to please include the US Campaign in your special giving this Ramadan and in the coming seasons of Jewish and Christian celebrations.

The US Campaign is the only national coalition that brings together a diverse membership of nearly 360 groups and 50,000 individuals to work for change in U.S. policy.

Breaking the fast with family and friends is a centuries-old tradition that Muslims around the world are able to celebrate. But many Palestinian Muslims cannot. Their families and friends are dispersed across the globe, prevented by Israel from returning to their homes and lands.

Many cannot even break their fast (Iftar) at sunset with loved ones from neighboring villages and towns bisected by Israel's Apartheid Wall and roads, and by hundreds of checkpoints. And the Palestinians of Gaza have had year-round "fasting" imposed on them by Israel's draconian siege, now in its sixth year.

Muslims traditionally give charity (zakat) to the poor in the blessed month of Ramadan. Palestinian Muslims give too, but most have been forced into dependency on foreign aid, either by Israel's blockade of Gaza or by the tight border controls around all occupied Palestinian territories. Still others are deprived by Israel's rejection of the refugees' right of return -- in violation of international law.

Working together through our nationwide coalition, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, we can help change U.S. policy and break the long fast for Palestinian freedom.

Our three traditions -- Islam, Judaism and Christianity -- all uphold justice. No religion's faithful want to see injustice done in any part of the world, and especially not for so long in a land so dear to our three faiths. We salute the commitment by people of faith from all over the world to support freedom, justice and equality for the Palestinian people.  

Please donate now, and help us to work for U.S. policy that ends our country's support for Israel's denial of Palestinian freedom and human rights.

Shakeel Syed
Steering Committee
US Campaign
Grace Said
Board Member
Friends of Sabeel
North America
Rabbi Brian Walt
Jewish Fast for Gaza

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Diana Buttu says: "Join me in the Olive Branch Club."

Click image above to play video.

Dear Friends,

I've lived in the Occupied Palestinian Territories long enough to know what apartheid feels like for Palestinians.

That's why I said yes when the US Campaign asked me to go on the "Separate Is Never Equal" tour, together with Rev. Eddie Makue from South Africa. We crisscrossed the United States and spoke to thousands of people about apartheid, then and now. We held public events and meetings on campuses, with faith communities, and in congressional offices.

During the tour, I learned firsthand how well the US Campaign works for change in U.S. policy to uphold human rights, including freedom from Israel's brutal occupation, the right of return, and equality for all.

That's why I joined the Olive Branch Club to help sustain the work of the US Campaign. And that's why I'm asking you to join the Olive Branch Club too.

I have watched the US Campaign grow from a handful of member groups 10 years ago to more than 350 today, and I know how valuable this coalition is to the future of justice and peace in the Middle East.

Give whatever you can afford every month, whether it's $20, $40, $60 or more. Plus, the US Campaign will plant an olive tree for a Palestinian farmer for every $120 we give each year. That way, we help sustain this great grassroots movement for change in the United States while we plant the seeds of hope on Palestinian land.

Join me and join the Olive Branch Club. It's not too much to ask to help build a better world.


Diana Buttu, Fellow,
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs,
Kennedy School of Government,
Harvard University

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Holiday Message from US Campaign Steering Committee Member Phyllis Bennis

Dear Supporter, Let me take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a great holiday - and hope for a better and more peaceful year all around. I know that you're being bombarded right now by important organizations asking for your support. So let me tell you why you should join me in supporting one particular important organization--the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation-especially in this holiday season, and at this particular political moment. The moment is urgent not only because of the holidays and the end of the year - but because as you know, conditions in the Middle East are deteriorating every day, and US policy still hasn't caught up with the changes in discourse and thinking about the region that you have helped make possible. The work of the US Campaign is crucial. No organization I know of does so much important, quality work on such a small budget. From leading national campaigns to challenge U.S. military aid to Israel, to organizing the national boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns against U.S. corporations profiting from Israeli occupation and apartheid policy, to helping build support for the Gaza Freedom March later this month, and working with the UN and our human rights counterparts around the world, the US Campaign plays a vital role. The US Campaign brings together more than 300 organizations in a broad national coalition, dedicated to changing US policy toward Israel/Palestine to support human rights, international law, and equality. That's why I have worked with the US Campaign since its founding almost a decade ago. And I'm happy to say that because of its great public education work, its savvy policy work, and its dynamic campaigns challenging multi-national corporations, the US Campaign is playing a leading role in shifting the discourse in and policy of this country on Palestine/Israel for the better. That's been hard. But it takes a lot more hard work to reach the kind of policy transformation that we need. That's why I'm proud to continue to serve on the US Campaign's Steering Committee and to be a financial supporter. Please join me in supporting the important work of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation by making a tax-deductible donation today. Donate $50 or more and I'll send you or a friend a copy of the new, updated edition of my book "Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer". Just click here, make a secure on-line donation of $50 or more, and tell us where and to whom you'd like the book sent. The US Campaign will also gratefully accept any donation of any amount, so please give whatever you can today by clicking here. And if you can help us with a regular contribution, even just $5 or $10 or $15 every month, join our Olive Branch Club. For a year-end newsletter outlining the US Campaign's many accomplishments this year, please click here. Thank you for your generous support of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation! Happy holidays, and thanks for all your work for peace and justice. Phyllis Bennis for the US Campaign Steering Committee