Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Join One Book, Many Communities: Mornings in Jenin Campaign

Organize a Discussion in Your Community!     


US Campaign member group 
Librarians and Archivists with Palestine is excited to announce their newest campaign: "One Book, Many Communities: Mornings in Jenin." 

"One Book" is an international reading and discussion initiative drawing inspiration from the "one book, one town" idea that brings people together to talk about a common book. 

LAP has selected the historical saga Mornings in Jenin by Palestinian-American author and activist Susan Abulhawa as their first "One Book" title, and discussions will be held in January 2015 around the world.

Mornings in Jenin is a sweeping, heart-wrenching historical saga about four generations of the Abulheja family. From Jenin to Jerusalem to Beirut to Philadelphia, the novel follows the family from its displacement from Ein Hod village in 1948 through love and loss over decades of life in Palestine and the diaspora.


Can you organize or host a Mornings in Jenin discussion at your library, local bookstore, Students for Justice in Palestine chapter, school, place of worship, or home this January?

LAP has put together a toolkit to help you plan your event with ideas about how to hold great discussions that will spark interest in further exploration of Palestinian history and culture. They will also help with promotion by listing your event on their "One Book" site

You can purchase the book directly from Susan Abulhawa here and use the promo code "lap1book" for a discount. 

This is a great opportunity to create a broader awareness and understanding of Palestinian history and the struggle for self-determination. If you have ideas or questions, please email librarians2palestine@gmail.com.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Continuing Struggle for Palestinian Rights

The US Campaign held its 13th Annual National Organizers' Conference, The Mainstreaming of BDS & Continuing Struggle for Palestinian Rights, September 19-21 in San Diego.

Below is the recording of our closing panel The Continuing Struggle for Palestinian RightsPanelists shared their thoughts about moving forward following this year that has brought both so many important BDS wins but also yet another Israeli war on Gaza.

Speakers:

  • Christian Ramirez, Human Rights Director at Alliance San Diego
  • Reem Assil, Arab Resource & Organizing Center
  • Robin D.G. Kelley, serves on the Advisory Board of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel 
  • Hind Awwad, former coordinator with the Palestinian BDS National Committee
  • Moderator: Dina Omar, founding member of National Students for Justice in Palestine 

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

The Battle for Justice in Palestine

The US Campaign held its 13th Annual National Organizers' Conference, The Mainstreaming of BDS & Continuing Struggle for Palestinian Rights, September 19-21 in San Diego.

Below is the recording for our Saturday evening session featuring Ali Abunimah, co-founder of The Electronic Intifada, and Tariq and Suha Abu Khdeir. Tariq’s beating by Israeli police while visiting family in Jerusalem made headlines back in July.






Exposing the 1% & State of Israel’s Agenda to Silence Criticism of Israel & Promote Anti-Muslim and Anti-Arab Racism

The US Campaign held its 13th Annual National Organizers' Conference, The Mainstreaming of BDS & Continuing Struggle for Palestinian Rights, September 19-21 in San Diego.

Below is the recording for the workshop Exposing the 1% & State of Israel’s Agenda to Silence Criticism of Israel & Promote Anti-Muslim and Anti-Arab Racism: Organizing Against Backlash in ways that Strengthen Our Movement, Broaden Joint Struggle and Weaken Our Opposition.








Carrying Out Effective BDS Actions

The US Campaign held its 13th Annual National Organizers' Conference, The Mainstreaming of BDS & Continuing Struggle for Palestinian Rights, September 19-21 in San Diego.

Below is the recording for the Carrying Out Effective BDS Actions workshop. Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaigns are not just about winning or losing- but also about the process that shifts the conversation to complicity in specific rights abuses and Israel’s system of occupation and apartheid on the ground. What are the elements of an effective campaign (research, successful partnerships, publicity/media)? How can you carry out effective BDS actions in your community? How do you mobilize your supporters and break out to those beyond the choir? These and other questions were addressed.


Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

Mainstreaming BDS & Connecting Struggles

The US Campaign held its 13th Annual National Organizers' Conference, The Mainstreaming of BDS & Continuing Struggle for Palestinian Rights, September 19-21 in San Diego.

Below is the recording for the Mainstreaming BDS & Connecting Struggles panel. Earlier this year, the Israeli company Elbit Systems won a $145 million U.S. Department of Homeland Security contract to provide surveillance technology along the U.S.-Mexico border, just the latest example of the militarization of immigration “reform” that has included the deportation of more than 2 million people under President Obama. Elbit produces the drones used by Israel and provides “intrusion detection systems” for the Apartheid Wall. G4S, the private British security company that helps Israel run prisons where Palestinian political prisoners are held and many times tortured, is notorious for operating private prisons where people are abused and providing deportation services worldwide. The killing of Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO has highlighted the epidemic of police brutality and militarization against African-American communities in the United States and the similar tactics used to justify such violence, including the dehumanization of victims and corporate media distortions of reality. It has also been noted that a member of the St. Louis County Police Department that killed Brown had trained in Israel in the past. This panel highlighted opportunities for joint struggle and the importance of connecting our work for Palestinian rights with other movements for justice.

Speakers:
  • Amal Ali, former president of UC-Riverside Students for Justice in Palestine 
  • Kristian Davis Bailey, journalist and former president of Stanford Students for Justice in Palestine 
  • Suhad Khatib, Saint Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee
  • Gabriel Schivone, youth organizer with UNIDOS indigenous-based ethnic studies group in Tucson, AZ
  • Moderator: Shirien Damra, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation 







Confronting Challenges to Palestine Activism

The US Campaign held its 13th Annual National Organizers' Conference, The Mainstreaming of BDS & Continuing Struggle for Palestinian Rights, September 19-21 in San Diego.

Below is the recording for our opening panel, Confronting Challenges to Palestine Activism, which highlighted the challenges facing advocates for Palestinian rights, including legal challenges to boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns and attempts at silencing critique of Israel. Over the past few months, there have been attempts to pass anti-BDS legislation both at the state level and in Congress, an increased number of attacks against BDS advocates by pro-Israel groups, and a number of cases of Palestinian scholars and activists facing repression, such as the U.S. government’s persecution of Rasmea Odeh and University of Illinois’ firing of Steven Salaita. The panelists reflected on these challenges to Palestine activism and how those working for Palestinian rights can fight back.

Speakers:
  • Rabab Abdulhadi, Senior Scholar of the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative, San Francisco State University
  • Marjorie Cohn, former president of the National Lawyers Guild
  • Curtis Marez, president of American Studies Association
  • Moderator: Rahim Kurwa, Students for Justice in Palestine- UCLA














Saturday, July 26, 2014

Jewish Voice for Peace Congressional Briefing

Below are videos from Jewish Voice for Peace's first-ever congressional briefing.  The briefing took place on Capitol Hill on June 24th, 2014.  If you'd like to support the critical work of Jewish Voice for Peace, please click here.  

Post Peace Talks: What's Next for Israel and the Palestinians?

Speakers:
Rebecca Vilkomerson - Executive Director, Jewish Voice for Peace
Yousef Munayyer - Executive Director, The Jerusalem Fund
Phyllis Bennis - Director, New Internationalism Project
Rabbi Joseph Berman - Member, Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council







Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Congressional Briefing: Examining Israel's discrimination against U.S. Citizens



On May 21, 2014, the US Campaign and a diverse group of organizations held a congressional briefing to raise awareness about Israel's discrimination against U.S. citizens.

Below are the testimonies from the briefing.

Yousef Munayyer - Part 1


Sandra Tamari - Part 2


Donna Nevel - Part 3


Nour Joudah - Part 4





Briefing Sponsors:


Israel's entry into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program
:
Examining discrimination against U.S. citizens 


Congressional Briefing
May 21st, 2014
12:00 - 1:30 pm
Russell Senate Office Building Room 485 (SR-485)

This briefing closely examined Israel's treatment of U.S. travelers as it relates to the Visa Waiver Program, U.S. - Israel treaty obligations, and American civil rights.  Two pieces of legislation currently before congress, the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act and the Visa Waiver for Israel Act, call for Israel's entry into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, which would allow Israelis to visit the U.S. for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa.

Over the last few decades, Israel has maintained a policy of discriminating against many U.S. travelers, particularly Americans of Arab or Muslim heritage.  The State Department recently expressed concern about Israel's unequal treatment of U.S. citizens and there are some indications that language seeking to codify Israel's discriminatory policies will be removed from the legislation.  Nonetheless, Members of Congress should be challenging Israel's discrimination against U.S. citizens rather than rewarding it with entry into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program.

Panelists:

Yousef Munayyer is Executive Director of The Jerusalem Fund and its educational program, The Palestine Center. Prior to joining the Palestine Center Munayyer served as a Policy Analyst for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the nation’s largest Arab American membership organization.

Sandra Tamari is a Palestinian American community organizer with the St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee.  She serves on the Steering Committee of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and is active with Quaker peace and justice efforts.  Sandra was imprisoned and banned from entry by Israel in May 2012 when she landed in Tel Aviv to participate in an interfaith study delegation.  

Donna Nevel is a community psychologist, educator, and writer whose work is rooted in Participatory Action Research (PAR) and popular education. She serves on the board of Jewish Voice for Peace, has been a long-time organizer for Palestinian-Israeli peace and justice, and works with groups to challenge Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism.

Nour Joudah has a Masters of Arts in Arab Studies from Georgetown University. Nour was living and teaching in Ramallah prior to a re-entry denial, and subsequent ban from traveling to Palestine-Israel. Nour is currently living and working in Washington, DC as the Assistant Editor at the Journal of Palestine Studies. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

10 Years Later: BDS Breaks Through! July 9 We Divest Day of Action

Mark your calendars! The We Divest Campaign has called for a national day of action on July 9, which marks the 10 year anniversary of the International Court of Justice’s historic ruling declaring Israel's wall on occupied Palestinian land to be illegal.

Below are materials to help with planning your day of action.

  • Not sure how you will participate? If you already have a local BDS campaign running, head to your target on July 9th. Don’t yet have a campaign? Here are some ideas: 
    • Go to your local TIAA-CREF office.
    • Head or to a place where one of our target companies has corporate offices or sells products. 
    • Focus on the company Elbit, in solidarity with Stop the Wall's month of action
    • Do a BDS tour: march around town to various stores that sell products from target companies. 
    • Go to a public place where there’s lots of foot traffic!
    • Don’t have a local group? No problem. Take action online by joining our social media team to be on call on July 9th.
  • Want to dance in a Pink Floyd-parody flash mob?  Below are lyrics, here is a recording of the song, and email info@wedivest.org for a video of the dance!
  • Want to connect with activists planning actions in other cities? Save the date for a national planning call on Monday, June 23, at 8:00pm EDT/5:00pm PDT. 
Will your group participate? Email info@wedivest.org to let us know!

Thanks,
We Divest Day of Action 2014 Coordinating Committee

Another Brick in the Wall

We don't need no occupation (Divest! Divest!)
We don't need no swat patrol  (Divest! Divest!)
Cat's bulldozing West Bank classrooms (Divest! Divest!)
That's not for the greater good 
Elbit Systems, Caterpillar, G4S, Hewlett Packard, SodaStream
Hey, T-Cref, leave them kids alone!
All in all we're gonna tear those bricks from the wall
All in all we're gonna tear those bricks from the wall 

We don't need no Northrop Grumman (Divest! Divest!)
Death and mayhem from above (Divest! Divest!)
Motorola's no Solution (Divest! Divest!)
For Palestine let's show some love
Northrop Grumman, Veolia, Sodastream, Elbit Systems, Caterpillar
Hey, T-Cref, your dollars flatten homes!
All in all we're gonna tear those bricks from the wall
All in all we're gonna tear those bricks from the wall

We don't need Veolia Light Rail (Divest! Divest!)
Seizing East Jerusalem (Divest! Divest!)
Divest from Elbit's ammunition (Divest! Divest!)
And yes they helped to built the wall
Hewlett Packard, Northrop Grumman, Elbit Systems, Caterpillar, G4S
Hey, T-Cref, look how apartheid's grown!
All in all we're gonna tear those bricks from the wall
All in all we're gonna tear those bricks from the wall

Thursday, April 24, 2014

12 States Participate in Free Cone Day!

The following report back is by Mark Hage of member group Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel.

The second annual Free Cone Day leafleting action at Ben & Jerry’s scoop shops on Tuesday, April 8, organized by Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel (www.vtjp.org), was a great success.
Solidarity activists in at least 12 states (CA, CO, CT, NY, MA, MN, NC, NH, OR, NH, VT, and WA) distributed thousands of leaflets prepared by VTJP on Ben & Jerry’s commercial ties to illegal, Jewish-only settlements.

Additionally, 335 e-mails were sent to the company’s CEO, Jostein Solheim, on April 8, and in the two weeks leading up to FCD, more than 500 messages were e-mailed to him.

Your ice cream is free today – Palestine is not!

VTJP is still compiling reports on this year’s FCD action, and, in due course, we’ll post on our website a comprehensive summary of what transpired on April 8.

Here’s a sampling of what we’ve learned so far:

In San Jose, California, nearly 1,100 leaflets were handed out, and one of the activists shared an observation common to those who leafleted everywhere: “Most of the customers were pleasant, and many were interested to hear the information and take a leaflet.”

At least 1,000 more leaflets found their way into the hands of people at four scoop shops in Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco. There, as in San Jose, most encounters with the public were friendly and, according to one of the activists, “Many were ignorant of the situation in [Israel-Palestine], so it was a wonderful opportunity for education.”

Our compatriots with the New England Palestine Education Network and Veterans for Peace in Manchester, New Hampshire, told us many people are surprised to learn that Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is being sold in Israeli settlements.  VTJP activists have had the same experience frequently.

In Denver, a student activist was grateful for the opportunity to talk with people in his community about the Ben & Jerry’s campaign and the Israeli occupation generally.  He also appreciated the exposure this action generated for the Students for Justice in Palestine chapter at the University of Colorado.

Members of Upper Hudson Peace Action's Palestinian Rights Committee leafleted outside a cone shop in Albany, New York, and held a sign that read: “Ben & Jerry’s: Yes in Albany. No in Illegal Israeli Settlements.”  They spoke with the shop manager, who was polite, said he knew why they were there, and invited them in for a free cone.

In Portland, Oregon, twelve volunteers from the local chapters of Jewish Voice for Peace, Portland Palestine Coalition, Lutherans for Justice in the Holy Land, and Americans United for Equal Palestinian Rights passed out hundreds of leaflets and only two were dropped on the ground.

Jewish Voice for Peace activists in Tacoma, Washington, noted that not only were folks “willing to take the info, but the overwhelming majority left with leaflet still in hand!” The action also provided a great opportunity to reach a lot of young people.

In Vermont, there was leafleting at the two scoop shops in Burlington, including the one at the University of Vermont, and at the company’s factory in Waterbury. Members of VTJP’s BDS committee spoke with CEO Jostein Solheim and Rob Michalak, the head of the company’s Global Mission Office, when they dropped in at the scoop shop in downtown Burlington.

Ben & Jerry’s Campaign is Growing!

This FCD action saw many more activists, groups and scoop shops involved than last year.  Moreover, since last September, 220 organizations around the world have signed VTJP’s letter urging the company to stop doing business with Israeli settlements. We respectfully ask of organizations that have not done so to consider adding their names to the letter.

What began as a conversation in 2011 between a small band of activists in Vermont on how to contribute locally to the international BDS movement has grown into something much bigger than we could have imagined, and inspires us to keep organizing and engaging Ben & Jerry’s.

VTJP is deeply grateful for the support and counsel of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and its member groups, and to the Palestine solidarity community everywhere.

We are one year into this campaign, and there is still much work to be done.



Monday, March 31, 2014

Neil Young: Please Don't Play Israel

Canadian musician Neil Young is scheduled to perform in Tel Aviv this upcoming July. As noted by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), Neil has been an "eager speaker in favor of the rights of the indigenous First Nations in Canada and has "vividly defended their right to resist oppression and exploitation."
PACBI and the broader BDS movement, representing the absolute majority of Palestinian civil society, appeal to you to respect our strategy of resistance and uphold the highest standard of respect for the human rights of the indigenous oppressed Palestinians people.  Brave decisions need to be taken in support of Palestinians exactly like you have supported the First Nations rights in Canada. Thus, the Palestinians call upon you to cancel your July 2014 performance in Tel Aviv
Take action below to send the message: Neil Young, Please Don't Play Israel!
  • Sign and share this petition from Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East.
  • Click here to post this picture on your Facebook profile. Like "Neil Young, Tell Me Why You Would Play for Apartheid Israel."

  • On Twitter? Click on Tweet Now to automatically send a tweet that includes a link to more information about the campaign. You can also post messages on his Facebook page.
    • There's no Rockin' in the Free World for Palestinians @Neilyoung. Please cancel your concert in Israel (Tweet Now)
    • The Palestinian struggle is an indigenous struggle. Join them by cancelling your concert @Neilyoung (Tweet Now)
    • Have a heart of gold @Neilyoung. Stand with Palestinians by cancelling your concert #BDS (Tweet Now)
    • Students in Gaza to @Neilyoung: Stand on the right side of history. Stand with us. Don’t entertain apartheid Israel (Tweet Now)
    • More than 6,000 people are asking @Neilyoung to cancel Israel. Add your voice #BDS (Tweet Now)
    • #HonorTheBoycott @Neilyoung and cancel your concert entertaining occupation and apartheid #BDS (Tweet Now)
  • Watch and share Neil Young: Ohio-Palestine Mixtape from Independent Jewish Voices Canada. 

    Thursday, March 13, 2014

    Josh Ruebner's "Shattered Hopes" Book Tour Comes to Pennsylvania, Mar. 27- Apr. 1

    Last fall, Josh Ruebner, our National Advocacy Director, shared the exciting news of the publication of his first book, Shattered Hopes: Obama's Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace.



    We are excited to announce that he will be visiting Pennsylvania Thursday, March 27 to Tuesday, April 1. We hope that you can join him at one or more of the events he'll be doing-- at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, Friends of Sabeel Conference in Philadelphia, PA, Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, PA, University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, and Pennsylvania State University in State College, PA.

    Below is the flyer for the events. Click here for the PDF version.




    If you plan on attending the Friends of Sabeel Conference, please register here. RSVP and invite your friends on Facebook to Temple University here, Lutheran Theological Seminary here and for more information, call 717-334-3871, University of Pittsburgh here, and Pennsylvania State University here

    For additional information on Josh's spring book tour, see his website here. We look forward to seeing you there!

    --Ntebo Mokuena, U.S. Campaign Intern

    Josh Ruebner's "Shattered Hopes" Book Tour Comes to the Triangle Area, Mar. 25-26

    Last fall, Josh Ruebner, our National Advocacy Director, shared the exciting news of the publication of his first book, Shattered Hopes: Obama's Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace.



    We are excited to announce that he will be visiting the Triangle Area Tuesday, March 25 and Wednesday, March 26. We hope that you can join him at one or more of the events he'll be doing-- at Church of Reconciliation (USA) in Chapel Hill, NC, Meredith College in Raleigh, NC, and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill, NC. 

    Below is the flyer for the events. Click here for the PDF version.




    RSVP and invite your friends on Facebook to Church of Reconciliation (USA) here, Meredith College here, and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill here.
    For additional information on Josh's spring book tour, see his website here. We look forward to seeing you there!

    --Ntebo Mokuena, U.S. Campaign Intern


    Josh Ruebner's "Shattered Hopes" Book Tour Comes to Atlanta, Mar. 23-24

    Last fall, Josh Ruebner, our National Advocacy Director, shared the exciting news of the publication of his first book, Shattered Hopes: Obama's Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace.




    We are excited to announce that he will be visiting Atlanta, GA Sunday, March 23 and Monday, March 24. We hope that you can join him at one or more of the events he'll be doing-- at Central Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, GA, North Decatur Presbyterian Church in Decatur, GA, Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GAand Oakhurst Baptist Church in Decatur, GA.

    Below is a flyer for the events. Click here for the PDF version.



    RSVP and invite your friends on Facebook to the events at Central Presbyterian Church here, North Decatur Presbyterian Church here, Agnes Scott College here, and Oakhurst Baptist Church here.
    For additional information on Josh's spring book tour, see his website here. We look forward to seeing you there!

    --Ntebo Mokuena, U.S. Campaign Intern

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

    I am AIPAC Culture Jamming!

    The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is set to hold its annual policy conference in DC starting on March 2. CODEPINK: Women for Peace is organizing Boycott AIPAC protests all day and you should come out to send the message that the U.S. should no longer support and fund Israel's occupation and apartheid policies towards Palestinians. RSVP here! 

    You can also participate in some culture jamming in the lead up to the conference by taking the following two actions:
    • Watch and share this offensive video promoting the AIPAC policy conference. Click here to post on Facebook and here to tweet to your followers. 


    • Create and post an "I am AIPAC" sticker. AIPAC is asking its supporters to demonstrate how broad and diverse its membership is and to show their commitment to the pro-Israel movement. This is a great opportunity to expose what AIPAC actually supports: occupation, apartheid, colonization, and overall Israeli oppression of Palestinians.
      • Go to http://www.iamaipac.org/stickers/
      • Click "Choose a Photo" and upload an image that highlights Israel's brutal treatment of Palestinians. 
      • Choose your "I am..." from the list provided.
      • Submit the photo then save it and send it to membership@endtheoccupation.org so we can collect them and share on our Tumblr!
      • If you are on Twitter, tweet your sticker using #AIPACPride and #AIPAC14. 
      • Here is an example:  

    Friday, February 21, 2014

    Will You Boycott AIPAC?

    Disgusted by AIPAC's (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) moves to bring us to war with Iran? Sick of seeing U.S. tax dollars fund Israel's occupation and apartheid policies towards Palestinians? Inspired by all the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) victories happening left and right? Then join us and CODEPINK: Women for Peace for a day of protests!  


    Next month AIPAC will be holding its annual conference at the Washington DC Convention Center on Sunday, March 2. We will gather outside to protest the U.S. policies pushed by AIPAC including unconditional support for Israeli oppression of Palestinians. There will be actions happening all day from 8:30am-8:30pm. RSVP here!

    There will also be a special event from 2:00-4:00pm. If you can make this action at 2:00pm, please email Sara sara.codepink@gmail.com to sign up!

    We hope you will join us to Boycott AIPAC! 

    Wednesday, February 19, 2014

    Josh Ruebner's "Shattered Hopes" Book Tour Comes to Iowa and Nebraska, Mar. 3-6

    Last fall, Josh Ruebner, our National Advocacy Director, shared the exciting news of the publication of his first book, Shattered Hopes: Obama's Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace.




    We are excited to announce that he will be visiting Iowa and Nebraska from Monday, March 3 to Thursday, March 6. We hope that you can join him at one or more of the events he'll be doing-- at Coralville Public Library in Coralville, IA, Central College in Pella, IA, Drake University in Des Moines, IA, University of Nebraska at Omaha in Omaha, NE, Countryside Community Church in Omaha, NE, and University of Nebraska at Lincoln in Lincoln, NE.

    Below is a flyer for the events. Click here for the PDF version.



    RSVP and invite your friends on Facebook to the events at Coralville Public Library here, Central College (details TBA), Drake University here, University of Nebraska at Omaha here, Countryside Community Church here, and University of Nebraska at Lincoln here.

    For additional information on Josh's spring book tour, see his website here. We look forward to seeing you there!

    --Ntebo Mokuena, U.S. Campaign Intern

    Josh Ruebner's "Shattered Hopes" Book Tour Comes to Kansas and Missouri, Feb. 27- Mar. 2

    Last fall, Josh Ruebner, our National Advocacy Director, shared the exciting news of the publication of his first book, Shattered Hopes: Obama's Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace.

    We are excited to announce that he will be visiting Kansas and Missouri from February 27-March 2. We hope that you can join him at one or more of the four events he'll be doing in Kansas and Missouri -- at University of Kansas, Watermark Books in Wichita, Keystone United Methodist Church in Kansas City, and an event in private home in Fairway, Kansas.

    Below is a flyer for the events. Click here for the PDF version.


    RSVP and invite your friends on Facebook to the events at University of Kansas here, Watermark Books here, and Keystone United Methodist Church here. To RSVP for the private home event, email whitmoreandy@hotmail.comAnd for additional information on Josh's spring book tour, see his website here. We look forward to seeing you there!

    --Ntebo Mokuena, U.S. Campaign Intern


    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

    NSA helps Israel discriminate against U.S. citizens

    When I called the US Embassy in Tel Aviv during my detention by Israeli intelligence at Ben Gurion airport in May 2012, I told the Embassy official that the Israelis were demanding access to my Gmail account.  The Embassy staffer replied nonchalantly, “If the Israelis have your address, they can get in without your password.”  Stunned, I replied,  “How?” He simply answered, “They’re good.”

    Recent revelations that the National Security Agency regularly shares intelligence data with Israel put my experience in a new light.  Reports in The Guardian last month show that the NSA hands over metadata to Israel that includes emails and phone conversations of U.S. citizens, information that allows Israel to spy on U.S. citizens and discriminate American travelers of Palestinian origin.

    My saga began when I landed in Tel Aviv as part of an interfaith delegation along with 30 other U.S. citizens.  I alone was pulled aside at the airport.  Questions included, “What is your father’s name?” and “What is your grandfather’s name?” My passport was taken from me and I was told to take a seat in a waiting room occupied by hard chairs filled with other Palestinians like me.

    I was questioned by several Israelis over the course of the next eight hours.  One of my interrogators turned her computer screen to me and handed me her keyboard. “Log in,” she demanded.  Facing me was the Gmail home screen.   When I refused, I was threatened that failure to comply would compromise my reentry into the United States and harm my relationship with my employer.   I thought it wise to contact the U.S. Embassy for help. That was of no assistance.

    In addition to making light of the Israeli request to view my email, the Embassy official told me that because I wasn't Jewish, there was nothing he could do to help me and that if he interceded on my behalf, it would hurt my case with the Israelis.

    In time, Israel denied me entry due to “security concerns” and imprisoned me.  The next day, I was escorted onto a flight back to the United States.  My story is not unique.  Countless numbers of Palestinian-Americans have been denied the right to visit their families in Palestine.  Many are now too scared to fly.  Israel controls all entry points into Israel and the West Bank.  The U.S. Congress has done nothing to tell Israel that this is an outrage.

    Instead, Congress is proposing legislation that would extend visa waivers to Israel in the “United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013.”  This bill, led by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), would allow Israel to continue its discriminatory practices against Americans – especially those of Arab descent, and American Muslims.  In addition, the legislation proposes that Congress explore the creation of a U.S.-Israel joint cyber-security center which would likely increase sharing of U.S. citizens’ private data with Israel.  Given Israel’s treatment of U.S. travelers, their demands for access to email accounts, and the NSA’s sharing of private data, a law that would potentially provide even more private information about Americans to Israel is deeply concerning. 

    The proposed legislation threatens the civil rights of U.S. citizens and would codify Israel’s discrimination against Palestinians and Arabs into U.S. law.  It is shameful that our lawmakers find it politically expedient to support Israel at all costs, even when that cost is the Constitutional rights of U.S. citizens.


    Sandra Tamari is a Palestinian-American who lives in Glen Carbon, Illinois.

    Wednesday, January 8, 2014

    SodaStream Culture Jamming on Amazon

    BDS activists have been posting reviews on Amazon in an effort to educate consumers about occupation-profiteer SodaStream and its exploitation of Palestinian labor, land, and resources.

    There are two ways you can join in this campaign:
    • Vote up 1-star reviews so that they are more prominently featured. 
      • Go to http://amzn.to/1gEIhFV.
      • Locate the reviews about SodaStream manufacturing its products in illegal Israeli settlements and the company's abuse of Palestinian rights.
      • Under each review there is question: Was this review helpful to you? Click the "Yes" button.
      • You must be logged into your Amazon account to take action.
    • Write your own review on Amazon. Find tips and sample reviews from the US Palestinian Community Network here

    Take Action: Send A Letter to NYT About Palestinian "Incitement"

    On Monday, January 6 The New York Times published an article by its Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren entitled "Israeli Official Points to ‘Incitement’ by Palestinians." The article and accompanying presentation portrays official Palestinian Authority media and textbooks as inciting hatred towards Israel and Jews by referencing an Israeli government report that is based on the work of a right-wing settler organization.

    Please send a letter to the editor (letters@nytimes.com) and to the public editor (public@nytimes.com) about the gross mischaracterizations in this article.

    Some talking points to include:
    • The Israeli government report produced in the article based largely, if not entirely, on the work of right-wing settler propaganda outfit Palestinian Media Watch, whose head Itamar Marcus has been deemed not a reliable expert on this subject by an Israeli judge. See here for more.
    • Many of the examples cited in the report are years old, including the video embedded in  the report which is from 2010.
    • The word "occupation" doesn't appear once in Rudoren's story.
    • The supposedly impartial expert cited in Rudoren's story, who minimizes Israeli incitement as the work of a small fringe group while emphasizing Palestinian incitement, is a flack from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a think tank created by AIPAC.
    • The video embedded in Rudoren's story is from a TV show broadcast out of Bahrain and has no discernible connection to the Palestinian Authority or Hamas.
    • While highlighting allegegations of Palestinian incitement, it completely ignores the contact stream of racist incitement from Israeli political and religious leaders against Pals and other non-Jews.
    If you'd like to tweet at Rudoren directly, her handle is @rudoren.