Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Black Monday - In Solidarity with Palestine

An announcement we emailed yesterday...

Today (Monday) is Black Monday, when everyone's office internet fails as people shop online at their desk. It is also the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

Today is a great day to show your solidarity by engaging in both buy-cott and boycott actions to support Palestinian human rights.

Buy-cott:

  • Start by buying products that support the Palestinian economy, such as those we offer in cooperation with Canaan Fair Trade at our online store. A portion of the sale price supports our work.
  • Or make a gift to the US Campaign through our Amazon.com Wish List, which has everything we need to get our office running smoothly in the New Year.
  • Then buy "End the Occupation" gifts for your family and friends. One cannot have too much Palestine paraphenalia, such as a warm winter hoodie or "End the Occupation" coffee mug.

Boycott:

  • You can also join our "Save (the) Amazon" team. So far there are nearly 200 of us. Myself included.
  • Take part in protests, demonstrations and other creative actions against products and companies that support Israeli occupation and apartheid.

Today, our own steering committe member, Judith LeBlanc, will speak on behalf of civil society in support of Palestinian rights at the UN's annual commemoration in New York.

Tonight my team and I will be at George Washington University with our local Students for Justice in Palestine, listening to our great friend and former steering committee member, Huwaida Arraf, as well as our own National Advocacy Director, Josh Ruebner, talk about the international achievements in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, and other direct actions to support Palestinian human rights.

Our eyes will be glued to the computer today, reading the latest WikiLeaks revelations – more than a quarter of a million pages on the U.S. Government's role in exacerbating conflicts in the Middle East and around the world.

The WikiLeaks documents are a reminder of the need for civil society stand up and take action. Remember that our government was the LAST in the world to stop supporting South African apartheid.

The responsibility to demand change is on us.

Rob Mosrie Executive Director

Friday, November 26, 2010

After the Elections: U.S. policy, Israel and Gaza - A conversation with Congressman Brian Baird

November 18, 2010 -- Listen to this extraordinary conversation with Congressman Brian Baird on "After the Elections: U.S. Policy, Israel and Gaza." Congressman Baird is the congressman of Rachel Corrie and has traveled to Gaza on four separate occasions.
In this remarkable interview he discusses why he became so involved in the issue of Gaza and his experience in Congress. He reflects on U.S. policy in the Middle East and discusses what he thinks the U.S. should do to protect our security, the security of Israel and justice for the Palestinians. Listen here.

Monday, November 22, 2010

IRS Asked to Revoke AIPAC's Tax Exemption

WASHINGTON, Nov. 22, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today the Internal Revenue Service received a 1,389 page filing demanding that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's (AIPAC's) tax exempt status be retroactively revoked. The filing, submitted by the IRmep Center for Policy and Law Enforcement, spans nearly 60 years, from the moment AIPAC's founder left the employment of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the present.
Two core charges are:
  • False Charitable Purpose. AIPAC has been investigated several times by the FBI and is currently in a civil suit over the ongoing acquisition and movement of U.S. government classified information. The filing argues that such activities reveal AIPAC does not function as a bona fide "social welfare" organization.
  • Fraudulent Application for Tax Exempt Status. AIPAC's original application for tax exempt status contains fraudulent representations and omissions. It fails to mention that AIPAC's parent organization, the American Zionist Council (AZC) was shut down by a U.S. Department of Justice Foreign Agents Registration Act order in 1962. AIPAC incorporated six weeks later and applied for tax exempt status, but failed to reveal that the majority of its startup funding came from Israel, funneled through the AZC.
Members of the public, state charity watchdogs and the law enforcement community may download and review the complaint summary at: http://www.IRmep.org/IRSAIPAC.pdf. For a DVD of the full IRS complaint and appendix, send an email and official surface mail address to info@irmep.org.
IRmep director Grant F. Smith and callers grilled IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman on National Public Radio January 1, 2010 over lax IRS enforcement toward some Israel-related nonprofits committing illegal acts overseas and violating U.S. tax laws. Shulman assured America that, "If a charity is breaking the tax law, is engaged in activities that they are not supposed to be engaged in, we certainly will go after them. Every year we pull 501(c)(3) charity status from a number of charities. We've got thousands of audits going on regarding charities, and so we don't hesitate to administer the tax laws and make sure that people are following the rules."
According to Smith, "By publicly filing this 13909 complaint with the IRS, we encourage concerned Americans and misled donors to monitor whether the IRS takes appropriate action. The clock is ticking."
The Center for Policy and Law Enforcement is a unit of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy in Washington.

Minnesotans Call for Divestment from Israel

MINNESOTA BREAK THE BONDS CAMPAIGN, NOV 20, 2010
The video is produced by the Minnesota Break the Bonds Campaign (MNBBC), a statewide organization calling for Minnesota to divest from Israel Bonds until Israel complies with international human-rights law. We are Palestinians, Jews, Christians, Muslims, students, professionals, parents, community members and allies working together to support justice and human rights and to examine our relationship as Minnesotans to Israel's occupation of Palestine.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Britons demonstrate at British Telecom: "Cut ties with Bezeq Israel."

War on Want tells BT: "Hang up on the Occupation!"
War on Want campaigners descended on BT HQ in central London on 11 November, 2010, to protest against BT's complicity in Israel's crimes against the Palestinian people.
Activists held up a seven foot high replica of the Apartheid Wall, unveiled a banner outside of BT's offices and flyered BT staff on their way to work. War on Want's Executive Director, John Hilary, handed in a letter for BT's Chief Executive, Ian Livingston, demanding BT cuts ties with Israeli telecommunications company Bezeq International.
A new report from War on Want shows that BT gives Bezeq International, an Israeli telecommunications company, preferential access to its products, even though Bezeq International provides services to illegal Israeli settlements, checkpoints and army bases in the Occupied West Bank.
Email BT now and tell them to hang up on the Occupation!
War on Want was joined at the protest by representatives from the Amos Trust and Jews for Justice for Palestinians, which are marking the launch of a new joint campaign targeting BT — disconnectnow.org
This action took place as part of the international Week Against the Apartheid Wall called by War on Want partner organisation Stop the Wall.

ASU SJP Students Protest IDF Soldier

On November 2, 2010, Sun Devils for Israel invited Sergeant Nadav Weinberg, of the Israel Defense Force (IDF), to speak about the "Ethics of the IDF." ASU SJP students responded as shown in this 7-minute video by Saiaf Abdallah.

50% Off US Campaign Cards (today only)

For Monday, 15 November, 2010...
The US Campaign's Zazzle Store is offering 50% OFF these two products:
...With FREE shipping! Today only. Use coupon code ZAZZLECARD50

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Rachel Corrie Foundation Joins First-Ever U.S. Universal Periodic Review

November 10, 2010
UN Human Rights Council Calls On U.S. to Enforce “Leahy Amendment”
(Olympia, Washington) – The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva yesterday released its draft report on the first Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the U.S. human rights record. The report called for greater transparency and accountability in U.S. foreign military aid and programs. On Thursday, November 4, Gina Patnaik spoke at UN headquarters in Geneva, representing the Rachel Corrie Foundation in a side panel to the U.S. review, and called upon the U.S. Government to enforce two existing mechanisms for monitoring human rights abuses – the “Leahy Amendment,” and the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

For Family of Slain Activist, No End in Sight for Case

(Nov. 7) HAIFA, Israel — Seven years after an American student, Rachel Corrie, was killed in Gaza by an Israeli military bulldozer she tried to block, becoming a global symbol of the Palestinian struggle, her parents and her older sister sit in an Israeli court in this northern city with two hopes: to confront the men who ran over her and to prove that the army investigation into her death was flawed.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Audio: Highlights from Montreal BDS conference

Gretchen King, The Electronic Intifada, 8 November:
More than 600 activists from Quebec, Canada, and the United States gathered in Montreal from 22-24 October for a weekend-long conference on growing the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. The opening public panel at the conference offered reflections on the five years since the unified Palestinian call for BDS was first made, including views from Palestine and South Africa. Much of the weekend drew participants together in sector-oriented working groups and on Sunday the final session offered a report back to a crowd of hundreds.

The 8th Annual "Week against the Apartheid Wall" - November 9–16

Stop the Wall: Make Apartheid History!
The Stop the Wall Campaign calls on you to:
  • Raise awareness and mobilize in the streets, communities and institutions in your country about the Wall, the single largest monument of Israeli apartheid, and Palestinian resistance against it.
  • Stop Israeli impunity
  • Stop the profits Israel makes of the repression
  • Stop Israeli repression of the anti-Wall movement

Major boycott success: Africa Israel says no plans to build more settlements

November 3, New York, NY -– Africa Israel, the flagship company of Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev, announced this week that it is no longer involved in Israeli settlement projects and that it has no plans for future settlement activities. Africa Israel subsequently denied that this was a political decision. However, in the last few years numerous organizations, firms, governments and celebrities have exerted pressure and severed their relationships with Leviev and his companies over their involvement in settlement construction and other human rights abuses, in response to a boycott campaign initiated by Adalah-NY.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Help judge the International Israeli Apartheid Short Film Contest!

All are invited, by "Stop the Wall" and "ItIsApartheid.org" to participate in online judging of short films about Israeli apartheid. Voting is open from October 28 through December 15, 2010. See the contest's long list of sponsors and endorsers, including the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.
Contest organizers have selected 10 films (from many outstanding entries) for viewing and voting on the
web site. Please take an hour of your time to watch and score each one. This will determine the winner of the Global Jury Prize. Three other winners will be selected by an expert international panel. In December, winning films will be screened in Ramallah, Palestine, to determine the winner of the Palestinian Popular Jury Prize. The most outstanding film will be announced before the end of 2010, and will receive the Overall Prize for $500.

Campus group fights ADL's silencing tactics and AIPAC's recruiting

November 1, 2010--The Anti-Defamation League listed the Students for Justice in Palestine, including FIU's chapter, as one of the largest anti-Israel organizations in America. SJP members are outraged about being part of this list and leaders of SJP across the nation are looking to raise awareness about their view on the Israeli government's violation of human rights.
Editor's Note: The group gained support from 200 additional students, and succeeded in persuading four out of six student leaders not to attend an AIPAC summit in South Florida.