While AIPAC Was in Town
Occupation End Notes; Vol. 8 No. 6; March 25 , 2010
the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was in Washington,
DC earlier this week for its 2010 Policy Conference, pushing its agenda
of endless Israeli colonization of Palestinian land, endless U.S.
military aid to Israel for more human rights abuses against
Palestinians, and endless U.S./Israeli warfare in the broader region,
the US Campaign took to the airwaves to counter that AIPAC's agenda is
at odds with the Obama Administration's policy goals.
We were interviewed by Al Jazeera English and Russia Today, and National Advocacy Director Josh Ruebner participated in a live internet broadcast of ABC Nightline,
debating whether the United States should get tougher on Israel (we'll
be sure to send along the link to the video when we get it).
also took part in a press conference and protest, organized by US
Campaign member group Code Pink, outside of AIPAC's gala dinner, which
featured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Check out Code
Pink's exciting actions at the AIPAC conference by clicking here.
As he was leaving the AIPAC protest, Josh buttonholed none other than
Sen. Joseph Lieberman, a leading Congressional supporter of AIPAC's
policies. Josh told Sen. Lieberman that "we can't afford an additional
$30 billion in weapons for Israel." The Senator sarcastically replied,
"Really?" Josh then said, "Yes, really. It will only lead to more
Israeli colonization of Palestinian land and human rights abuses
against Palestinians, and won't lead to peace." Lieberman responded
bemusedly, "Is that so?" Before Josh was pushed away from the Senator
by an AIPAC goon, he asked Lieberman to investigate Israel's violations
of the Arms Export Control Act. No response to that one.
that the AIPAC conference is over, we'll round out our our March Month
of Action by marking Land Day on March 30th. For the second year in a
row, the Palestinian BDS National Committee has called for Land Day to
be an international day of action for boycott, divestment, and
sanctions (BDS). Click here to find out more and get involved!
course, our work doesn't end in March, so check out the rest of this
week's edition of Occupation End Notes for information on the US
Campaign's Annual National Organizers' Conference, action on military
aid to Israel, member group activities, new blog posts, news, and more!
If you have a resource or an update you'd like to see included in Occupation End Notes, click here
to email us. To support the important work of the US Campaign to End
the Israeli Occupation, the largest and most diverse coalition of
organizations and organizers working to challenge U.S. policy toward
Israel/Palestine, click here. Your support makes this important work possible!
Want more news and updates about the work of the US Campaign and its member groups? Read unique content on our blog, keep up with the latest media coverage and press releases, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and check out our YouTube and Podcast channels to get your occupation-ending fix between editions of Occupation End Notes.
US Campaign National Office Staff
In This Edition
Save the Date: 9th Annual National Organizers' Conference, July 23-25
Organize to Challenge Military Aid on Tax Day
March 30 is Land Day: International Day of BDS Action
Major Campus Divestment Victories
US Campaign Blog
Member Group Update
Events Near You
Remembering Rachel Corrie
No "Business as Usual" with Apartheid Israel
New MECA Clean Water Petition
New Profile Speaking Tour
Mamilla Cemetary Petition
New Website Focuses on Palestinian Right to Protest
MPAC Calls on Congress to End Israeli Encroachment on Al Aqsa Mosque
Delegations to Israel/Palestine
Sustain the Work of the US Campaign
Support Our Work:
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* Save the Date: 9th Annual National Organizers' Conference in Kansas City, July 23-25
US Campaign is excited to announce that our 9th Annual National
Organizers' Conference will take place in Kansas City on July 23-25,
2010. US Campaign conferences give representatives of member groups
that have paid their dues to the US Campaign the opportunity to set
overall political direction and priorities for the coming year, review
and evaluate the work of the US Campaign, and elect representatives to
the Steering Committee. They also provide a forum for local and
national groups and individuals to network and exchange resources with
one another. To learn more about US Campaign conferences and read
reports from past conferences, click here.
* Organize to Challenge Military Aid to Israel on Tax Day
this month, Vice President Biden promised that the Obama Administration
would hold Israel "accountable for any statements or actions that
inflame tensions or prejudice the outcome of talks." We couldn't agree
more. That's why we've been busy hitting the media with
this one consistent message: the Obama Administration needs to
translate its promise into action by ending military aid to Israel as a
consequence for its ongoing violations of U.S. and international law
and its defiance of U.S. policy goals.
it's your turn. Take action on or around Tax Day--April 15--to educate
fellow taxpayers how their taxes are being used by Israel to commit
human rights abuses against Palestinians. Set up a spring recess
meeting with your Members of Congress to talk to them about
conditioning military aid to Israel, organize an event at your local
post office, or host a Tax Day house party and invite your friends and
neighbors over for a movie. Sign up to get a Tax Day organizing kit
and get more resources and ideas for action by clicking here.
* Take Action: On Land Day, Support Nonviolent Global Resistance to Occupation & Apartheid
30th has been known as Palestinian Land Day since 1976, when the
Israeli military shot and killed six young Palestinian citizens of
Israel as they were protesting the confiscation of their land. In the
wake of last year's devastating assault on the Gaza Strip, the World
Social Forum declared March 30th to be an international day of action
for the BDS movement. Today, Land Day symbolizes Palestinian resistance
to Israel's ongoing land expropriation, colonization, occupation, and
apartheid. This year, the Palestinian BDS National Committee called for
Land Day once again to be an international day of action for BDS. Learn
more, find a Land Day event near you, and order an organizing kit by clicking here.
Looking for a Land Day event idea? US Campaign member group Palestine Online Store
encourages solidarity groups to screen the documentary film "The Land
Speaks Arabic," which documents the events of 1948 and how the ethnic
cleansing of Palestine was pre-meditated. The screening fee for this
film is $200, but for the occasion of Land Day, Palestine Online Store is offering a 40% discount to US Campaign member organizations that purchase it by March 30 for screening on or around Land Day. For film details click here, and take advantage of this exclusive offer by emailing Haithem.
Nationally, the US Campaign will be launching a new cultural boycott campaign using social media tools. Following us on Twitter or becoming a fan of the US Campaign on Facebook is an easy way to do something for Land Day and resist the normalization of occupation and apartheid in Israel/Palestine.
* Major Campus BDS Victories
made some great strides in the campus BDS movement over the past two
weeks. Student governments at both the University of Michigan -
Dearborn and the University of California Berkeley have voted to
support divestment. Both bills encouraged the states boards of regents
to divest from corporations profiting from Israel's human rights abuses
and violations of international law. Unfortunately, the president of
the the Berkeley Association Students of the University of California
President vetoed the divestment resolution, even though student
senators voted to pass it in a 16-4 landslide.
campus BDS movement has been blossoming since Hampshire College
announced divestment one year ago. Show your support for these
steadfast student activists: click here to send an email in support of the UC Berkeley Students for Justice in Palestine and here to send a similar email to the UM Dearborn Arab Student Union. Click here to access our campus BDS resources, which will help you start your own campaign.
* Changing Discourse, the Corrie Trial, and U.S. Military Aid Hard at Work on US Campaign Blog
Have you seen the latest voices, videos, and viewpoints on the US Campaign blog? Evidence of changing discourse abounds with US Campaign National Advocacy Director Josh Ruebner featured on radio shows across the United States, UC Berkeley's divestment announcement, and recent online opinion articles from the New York Times and CNN. The Corrie family's lawsuit against the Israeli government continues, Norman Finkelstein gets 'disinvited' from yet another venue, and divestment at UC Berkeley has been vetoed. And U.S. tax dollars continue to be used to kill civilians in the occupied Palestinian territories while a new short video exposes the reality of structural racism faced by Palestinian citizens of Israel. All this and more at the US Campaign blog.
* Member Groups, Member Groups, Everywhere!
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 325 coalition members represented by state.
Don't see your group listed? Click here to join the US Campaign. Member groups, now that we're well into 2010, it's time to renew membership dues! Click here to check if your group is in good standing with the US Campaign and find out how to pay dues.
Please welcome the following group to the coalition:
Buena Vista United Methodist Church - California
* Gaza Report Backs, Land Day Actions, Film Screenings, Poetry Readings, Tax Day Protests, and More Events near You!
out about Land Day events, Gaza Freedom March report-backs, film
screenings, poetry readings, Tax Day protests, and more exciting events
coming to a community near you on the US Campaign's online event calendar.
Use the calendar to find out what's happening in your community to
promote human rights and international law in U.S. policy toward
Israel/Palestine. 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 Commemorate Rachel Corrie's Life and Work
years ago, on March 16th, an Israeli soldier driving a Caterpillar D-9R
bulldozer ran over and crushed to death Rachel Corrie. Rachel was a 23
year old student and human right's defender from Olympia, WA. Rachel
was nonviolently trying to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home
in the Gaza Strip with the International Solidarity Movement. This
year, over 15 US Campaign member groups organized events to commemorate
Rachel Corrie's life and legacy. These events ranged from teach-ins to
poetry performances to vigils. Nationally, Rachel's parents called for
a call-in day to the White House and seven of our member groups
coordinated to support that call.
While we were working to share Rachel's story with our communities and
media outlets here in the U.S., Rachel's family was in Haifa, Israel
prosecuting a civil suit against the state of Israel for Rachel's
unlawful killing. Read trial updates and media coverage of the Corrie
family's struggle for justice by clicking here.
* US Campaign Member Groups Say: "No 'Business as Usual' with Israeli Apartheid"
US Campaign member groups New Orleans Palestine Solidarity and Pax Christi
along with allies from local chapters of Amnesty International and the
General Union of Palestinian Students organized a March 16 protest at
the Louisiana Department of Commerce and the New Orleans World Trade
Center in response to a seminar called "Doing Business in Israel and
the Middle East." The seminar was hosted by an Israeli consulting
company called EDI. On a cold, early morning, about twenty protesters
marched from the World Trade Center to the Westin Hotel in Canal Place,
the site of the seminar. With chants like "Just Like Jim Crow/Israeli
Apartheid Has Got to Go" and "Don't Invest in Occupation/Invest in
Haiti Reparations" the protesters linked issues of international
investment with global and local social justice causes. Similar
protests, organized by US Campaign member group Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights greeted a "Doing Business in Israel" seminar in Portland, Oregon. Read more by clicking here.
* MECA Launches New Website and Clean Water for Palestine Petition
Campaign member group Middle East Children's Alliance (MECA) has
launched a new and improved website with slideshows, project photo
galleries, and more information on how you can get involved. The new
site also includes MECA's "Clean Water for Children in Palestine"
Check out the site by clicking here, and sign the petition by clicking here.
* New Profile Speaking Tour
US Campaign member group Resource Center for Nonviolence,
in cooperation with New Profile and the Refuser Solidarity Network, is
sponsoring a California speaking tour entitled "On the Impact of
Continued War on Israeli Society." The tour features Ofra Lyth, an
Israeli Jew, and Ismail Kharoub, a Palestinian citizen of Israel,
speaking about the ongoing impact on Israel and its citizens of the
continuing Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Learn more and see scheduled
events by clicking here.
* Petition to End Desecration of Jerusalem's Mamilla Cemetary
Israeli government and the Simon Wiesenthal Center (a US tax-exempt
organization) are building a cynically named Museum of Tolerance on the
ancient Jerusalem Mamilla Cemetery site. Despite being offered
alternative locations, the sponsors insist on desecrating the Cemetery
to pursue their assault on common sense and decency. A global
petition vampaign has been launched in conjunction with the filing of a
legal petition to stop this egregious action to the United Nations
Human Rights Council in Geneva. Learn more and sign the petition by clicking here.
* New Website Dedicated to Palestinian Right of Protest
Campaign allies Stop the Wall and Addameer have launched a new website
dedicated to the rights of Palestinians human rights defenders (HRD).
The website corresponds to a new campaign aimed at securing the
immediate release of all Palestinian HRD; an end to the Israeli
practice of arbitrary detention; full adherence to the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) as applied to the
Palestinian population in the Occupied Palestinian Territories; and
full respect for the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. Find out
more and check out the new site by clicking here.
* MPAC Calls on Congress to Stop Israeli Encroachment on Al-Aqsa Mosque
Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) is asking supporters to call on
Congress to demand an end to Israeli restrictions on Palestinian access
to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, one of Islam's holiest sites. The
restrictions on Palestinian movement have been "extended indefinitely"
and apparently have been enacted in response to increased international
pressure against Israeli settlement expansion in East Jerusalem. Find
out more and take action by clicking here.
* ICAHD Summer Rebuilding Experience and Other Opportunities to Visit Israel/Palestine for Education and Solidarity
Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) has announced its
2010 Summer Rebuilding Experience, which will take place from July
19-August 1, 2010. Annually since 2003, ICAHD has made it possible for
internationals and Israelis to join together with Palestinians in
Anata, East Jerusalem, to resist the occupation and rebuild the
demolished home of a Palestinian family. In the summer of 2010, ICAHD
will once again rebuild Palestinian homes during our two-week camp. We
invite you to participate in the incredible opportunity to learn
first-hand about life under occupation. "Creating Alternative Facts on
the Ground," ICAHD's 2010 Summer Rebuilding Experience, takes place
from July 19-August 1, 2010. In addition to construction, there is a
full program including field trips and tours, cultural events, such as
films and dance, meetings with activists, artists, intellectuals, and
leaders, and so much more. For more information and an application form, click here or contact Richard Wark.
Check out this and many more opportunities to visit Israel/Palestine,
such as the Sabeel Young Adult Conference, Global Exchange Reality
Tours, Interfaith Peace-Builders delegations, and more by clicking here.
* How You Can Sustain the US Campaign--Donate Today!
this edition of Occupation End Notes been useful to you? Would you like
to continue to benefit from action alerts, online event posting,
national organizing tours, resources for local organizers, national
days of action, and grassroots advocacy trainings? Providing all of
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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. Click here for more information, and join our Facebook Cause by clicking here.
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