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.

Olive Tree donation certificate
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.  olive tree illustrationEach 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.