Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
|Israel bombs Gaza during Operation "Cast Lead"|
Two years ago today Israel launched a horrific attack, codenamed "Operation Cast Lead," against the 1.5 million besieged people of the Palestinian Gaza Strip. In an all-out, 22-day assault that shocked the conscience of millions around the globe, Israel killed approximately 1,400 Palestinians, most of whom were civilians . Although a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas has largely held since then, Israel continues to collectively punish Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip through an illegal siege. Its leaders have not been held to account for what the Goldstone Report  documented to be violations of human rights and international law, war crimes, and possible crimes against humanity. Join the US Campaign's call upon the Obama Administration to: 1. Demand that Israel end its illegal siege of the Gaza Strip, and 2. Stop blocking the international community from holding Israel accountable for its actions. Help us reach our goal of 22,000 signatures in the next 22 days. Three weeks ago, on Human Rights Day, the State Department told us that there is a "single universal standard that applies to every country, including our own. We apply it to Israelis," and that it views "Palestinians as being human beings under the Universal Declaration [of Human Rights] and entitled to these rights" (our camera recorded these remarks). You can help us hold the Obama Administration to its words today by signing our petition and spreading the word. We need to hold the Obama Administration accountable because its policies don't match its rhetoric. State Department spokesperson Robert Wood infamously refused to answer whether the United States considered pasta--an item denied to Palestinians under Israel's illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip--a "dual-use item." The United States, as revealed in a State Department cable  posted by Wikileaks, has also been colluding with Israel to deflect further damage to Israel's image from the Goldstone Report, rather than hold it to the "single universal standard that applies to every country." Help us end the Obama Administration's hypocrisy on human rights and on its policies toward Israel and the besieged Palestinian Gaza Strip by signing our petition right now.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Use one or more of the talking points below when calling your Representative, but be sure to call now before the vote!
TALKING POINTS* I urge Representative X to vote “no” or “present” on the resolution condemning Palestinian statehood, and ask him/her to speak against the resolution on the House floor. * It is wrong for Congress to condemn Palestinian attempts to achieve freedom and self-determination. Congress has no business putting a timeline on Palestinian human rights. * Israel has shown repeatedly that it prefers to colonize Palestinian land, rather than end its illegal 43-year military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip and negotiate in good faith to establish an independent Palestinian state. Under these circumstances, Palestinians cannot be blamed for seeking alternatives ways to establish an independent state. * This resolution paternalistically demands Palestinians “resume direct negotiations with Israel immediately” even while Israel continues to illegally colonize Palestinian land supposedly designated for a future Palestinian state. * This resolution calls on the Administration to meddle in the internal affairs of other countries by opposing the recognition of a Palestinian state by other nations. * The text of this resolution was kept secret prior to the vote, the Obama Administration probably had no time to offer its opinion on it, there were no hearings about it, and the public had little chance to offer its opinion on it. The process by which this resolution is being brought to a vote is fundamentally anti-democratic.
TEXT OF RESOLUTION Supporting a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and condemning unilateral measures to declare or recognize a Palestinian state, and for other purposes. Whereas a true and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians can only be achieved through direct negotiations between the parties; Whereas Palestinian leaders have repeatedly threatened to declare unilaterally a Palestinian state and to seek recognition of a Palestinian state by the United Nations and other international forums; Whereas Palestinian leaders are reportedly pursuing a coordinated strategy of seeking recognition of a Palestinian state within the United Nations, in other international forums, and from a number of foreign governments; Whereas on November 24, 2010, Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization, wrote to the President of Brazil, requesting that the Government of Brazil recognize a Palestinian state, with the hope that such an action would encourage other countries likewise to recognize a Palestinian state; Whereas on December 1, 2010, in response to Abbas’s letter, the Government of Brazil unilaterally recognized a Palestinian state; Whereas on December 6, 2010, the Government of Argentina announced its decision to recognize unilaterally a Palestinian state, and the Government of Uruguay announced that it would unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state in 2011; Whereas, on March 11, 1999, the Senate adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution 5, and on March 16, 1999, the House of Representatives adopted House Concurrent Resolution 24, both of which resolved that ‘‘any attempt to establish Palestinian statehood outside the negotiating process will invoke the strongest congressional opposition’’; Whereas Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton stated on October 20, 2010, that ‘‘There is no substitute for face-to-face discussion and, ultimately, for an agreement that leads to a just and lasting peace.’’; Whereas, on November 5, 2010, United States Department of State Spokesman Mark Toner, responding to a questions about the Palestinians possibly taking action to seek recognition of a Palestinian state at the United Nations, said, ‘‘[T]he only way that we’re going to get a comprehensive peace is through direct negotiations, and anything that might affect those direct negotiations we feel is not helpful and not constructive’’; Whereas Secretary Clinton stated on November 10, 2010, that ‘‘we have always said and I continue to say that negotiations between the parties is the only means by which all of the outstanding claims arising out of the conflict can be resolved. . .There can be no progress until they actually come together and explore where areas of agreement are and how to narrow areas of disagreement. So we do not support unilateral steps by either party that could prejudge the outcome of such negotiations.’’; Whereas on December 7, 2010, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Philip J. Crowley stated, ‘‘We don’t think that we should be distracted from the fact that the only way to resolve the core issues within the process is through direct negotiations.’’; Whereas Secretary Clinton state on December 10, 2010, that “it is only a negotiated agreement between the parties that will be sustainable”; Whereas the Government of Israel has made clear that it would reject a Palestinian unilateral declaration of independence, has repeatedly affirmed that the conflict should be resolved through direct negotiations with the Palestinians, and has repeatedly called on the Palestinian leadership to return to direct negotiations; and Whereas efforts to bypass negotiations and to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state, or to appeal to the United Nations or other international forums or to foreign governments for recognition of a Palestinian state, would violate the underlying principles of the Oslo Accords, the Road Map, and other relevant Middle East peace process efforts; Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives— (1) Reaffirms its strong support for a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resulting in two states, a democratic, Jewish state of Israel and a viable, democratic Palestinian state, living side-by-side in peace, security, and mutual recognition; (2) reaffirms its strong opposition to any attempt to establish or seek recognition of a Palestinian state outside of an agreement negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians; (3) urges Palestinian leaders to— (A) cease all efforts at circumventing the negotiation process, including efforts to gain recognition of a Palestinian state from other nations, within the United Nations, and in other international forums prior to achievement of a final agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, and calls upon foreign governments not to extend such recognition; and (B) resume direct negotiations with Israel immediately; (4) supports the Obama Administration’s opposition to a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state; (5) Calls upon the Administration to: (a) lead a diplomatic effort to persuade other nations to oppose a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state and to oppose recognition of a Palestinian state by other nations, within the United Nations, and in other international forums prior to achievement of a final agreement between Israel and the Palestinians; and (b) affirm that the United States would (i) deny recognition to any unilaterally declared Palestinian state and (ii) veto any resolution by the United Nations Security Council to establish or recognize a Palestinian state outside of an agreement negotiated by the two parties.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
A year ago tonight, on International Human Rights Day, our apartment in Ramallah was broken into by the Israeli military in the middle of the night and I was torn away from my wife Majida, my daughters Luma and Layan, and my son Laith, who at the time was only nine months old.As the coordinator of the Bil'in Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements I was convicted of "organizing illegal demonstrations" and "incitement." The "illegal demonstrations" refer to the nonviolent resistance campaign that my village has been waging for the last six years against Israel's Apartheid Wall that is being built on our land.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Friday, December 3, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
- A PLEDGE you can sign to support the nonviolent BDS campaign
- A GUIDE to products you can boycott to resist apartheid
- LINKS TO B.D.S. news, resources and organizations
- Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands
- Dismantling the Separation Wall
- Recognizing the fundamental rights of all Palestinian-Arab citizens of Israel to full equality
- Respecting, promoting and protecting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands as stipulated by the Geneva Conventions and U.N. Resolution 194.
There it is--in black and white--in one of the WikiLeaks State Department cables. A senior Israeli military official, discussing U.S. military aid to Israel totaling $30 billion from 2009 to 2018, who acknowledged:
"the sometimes difficult position the U.S. finds itself in given its global interests, and conceded that Israel's security focus is so narrow that its...concerns often clash with broader American security interests in the region."
|TAKE ACTION NOW: Put U.S. Interests-- Not Israel's--First! Photo: AP / Mary Altaffer|
The cables released so far shed light on behind-the-scenes struggles between Israel's quest for complete military dominance in the Middle East versus the U.S. desire to saturate the entire region with a flood of high-tech weapons.
Read more about the WikiLeaks revelations in this article published yesterday in the Huffington Post by our National Advocacy Director, Josh Ruebner.
WikiLeaks has done a great service in exposing in detail how U.S. diplomacy is geared toward flooding the Middle East with weapons, fueling a never-ending arms race, abetting Israel's crimes against innocent Palestinian and Lebanese civilians, maintaining U.S. wars that have cost hundreds of billions of dollars.
This war spending deprives our own communities of resources for unmet human needs such as health care, affordable housing, education and job training.
It's up to us as civil society, to rein in our government's flooding of both Israel and the entire region with weapons. As President Jimmy Carter wisely stated:
"We cannot be both the world's leading champion of peace and the world's leading supplier of the weapons of war."
Here's what you can do:
- President Obama is preparing his budget request for FY2012. It's expected to include a record-breaking $3.075 billion in military aid to Israel. Congress needs to make some tough spending choices to cut the deficit and debt. Tell your Members of Congress that your hard-earned tax dollars should go toward human needs in your community rather than more weapons for Israel, which it misuses to oppress Palestinians.
- "Offset" your estimated average bill this year--$19.19--for U.S. military aid to Israel by making a tax-deductible contribution to support our work to end U.S. military aid to Israel. "Offset" the bills for military aid for each member of your family and on behalf of friends. Visit www.aidtoisrael.org to look up how much money your city provides in military aid to Israel and "offset" that amount.
- Commit to a new year of educating and organizing people in your community to end U.S. military aid to Israel and redirect that money to unmet needs here at home. Sign up to receive an organizing packet to get you started.