Sabbah reports on St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee's gathering at Best Buy and AT&T for a flash mob urging holiday shoppers to boycott Israeli apartheid and "hang up on Motorola," and quotes the US Campaign's Anna Baltzer. Includes video.
Huwaida Arraf, of the US Campaign's Advisory Board, and Noura Erekat, our former National Organizer, both appear in this three-minute report by RT Arabic, from George Washington University on the annual International Day of Solidarity With the Palestinian People.
This U.N. publication mentions our steering committee member, Judith LeBlanc, who presented a statement on behalf of civil society organizations focused on the Palestine Question, this week at the U.N. in New York, at a special meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, which met to observe the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
On Monday, November 22, The Russell Tribunal on Palestine announced its verdict after weekend deliberations on corporate complicity in Israeli violations of international law. Juror Michael Mansfield QC, who chaired the concluding press conference, announced the jury's call for the mobilization of civil society to end the involvement of companies in Israeli human rights violations. US activists and lawyers who testified at the tribunal included Josh Ruebner, national advocacy director for the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.
Representatives from four US human rights groups met with State Department officials on Friday, October 22nd, and delivered a letter addressed to Secretary of State Clinton signed by more than 5,000 individuals calling for the US government to demand that Israel free Abdallah Abu Rahmah...
"In 2005 Palestinian Civil Society issued a call for boycott, divestment and sanctions until Israel complies with International Law, and universal principles of human rights. Since then that call has been endorsed by hundreds of organizations ... Organizations like US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (USCEIO) and US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) compile and circulate lists of brand names and corporations that aid Israel."
"Organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), established in 1913, were designed to fight against the scourge of anti-Semitism in particular, and racism in general. However, sadly, the ADL has long since strayed from its original core mission 'to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all'."
In the second half of this hourlong radio program in Portland, Oregon, Rob Mosrie discusses the new "Top Ten Anti-Israel" groups list announced a week ago by the Anti-Defamation League. The US Campaign and its member groups are on the list. After clicking the link above, click to start the audio player, and skip to 32 minutes and 45 seconds.
Broadcast in Northern Ohio on WKTX and WELW, AFW, "The radio voice of the working people," included a nine-minute segment on the "peace process," the absence of a settlement freeze, the continuation of US military aid to Israel, and more, from the perspective of our National Advocacy Director.
[National Advocacy Director] Josh Ruebner was presented with a Community Service Award at the 22nd annual Virginia Candidates’ Night, sponsored by the Arab-American Republicans of the Washington D.C. Area and the Arab-American Democratic Caucus Virginia and held Oct. 10 in Tysons Corner.
On his weekly TV program, former British Member of Parliament George Galloway interviewed the US Campaign's National Advocacy Director, Josh Ruebner, about the expired Israeli settlement "freeze" and prospects for future Israeli-Palestian negotiations.
Ruebner was the guest on KPFT Houston's weekly hourlong radio program "Arab Voices." Topics include: the refusal by Israel to stop building and expanding colonies on Palestinian land and its effect on the newly revived "direct negotiations" between Palestinians and Israelis; the ongoing U.S. financial and military aid to Israel; the efforts made in the United States at changing the current U.S. policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian problem; and more.
"As the clock ticks closer toward an ignominious end to the Obama Administration's ill-conceived gambit to reconvene direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, President Obama appears desperate to keep the talks alive, as revealed on Wednesday in accounts of a letter he purportedly sent to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu." Continues...
"The theme in coverage of the current Mideast peace negotiations ... appears to be skepticism. But does being critical of this process mean you don’t want peace?" Click to play the 10-minute interview with our National Advocacy Director, Josh Ruebner.
"Ruebner discusses burning his Israeli military deferment papers in protest, reasons to be skeptical of the newest attempt at Israel-Palestinian peace talks, the unfair foundation for negotiations that requires equal concessions from drastically unequal partners, why the U.S. never uses its substantial leverage to influence Israel’s policy and how the 500,000 West Bank settlers may have established enough “facts on the ground” to make a 2-state solution impossible." (Includes audio.)
RT quotes our Executive Director, Rob Mosrie (although they misprint his name as "Mansour")... "One of the major fault lines is between Hamas and the PLO. As you know there was an election in 2006 and Hamas won an overwhelming majority. Even though the US and Israel supported the election, after Hamas won, the U.S. the PLO and Israel wanted the election to be null and void and tried not to recognize it. Eventually Hamas politicians were arrested."
On September 2, the day of direct Mideast peace talks, WBAI's morning show "Wake Up Call" included a segment with the US Campaign's Executive Director, Rob Mosrie, discussing the prospects of these negotiations.
Khalila Sabra serves on the steering committee of the US Campaign, and gave this interview to Uprising Radio on the 2010 day of direct negotiations between Mideast leaders in Washington, DC. Includes audio.
US Campaign's National Advocacy Director talks with Talk Nation Radio during the day of direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in Washington, explaining what they are and what they're not. (Includes audio.)
Xinhua News Agency visited and reported on the peace vigil we organized at the White House on the eve of Israeli-Palestinian direct negotiations sponsored by the Obama Administration, and quoted the US Campaign's Joshua Hough on the fruitlessness of the peace process so far.
"Given the history of failed Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations breeding cynicism, despair, and paroxysms of violence, the Obama administration has embarked on an extremely risky gamble to reconvene Israeli-Palestinian talks under such unpropitious circumstances."
Phyllis Bennis, a member of our steering committee and a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, gives a compelling overview of the grassroots movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS), its origin and present form, and prospects for redirecting US policy away from a foreign military buildup that is wasteful, harmful and illegal. Followed by critical reader comments.
Our National Advocacy Director stresses the importance of "civic activism"—the need for constituents to commit to a long-term, sustained grassroots advocacy effort in order to reconcile congressional response to constituent opinion.
The US Campaign held its ninth annual National Organizers' Conference in Kansas City, Missouri last week. Keynote speaker US Representative Brian Baird (D–WA) spoke about his own experiences visiting the Palestinian territories and how the ongoing occupation hurts not only Palestinians, but Israelis and Americans as well.
BDS supporters say the movement has the potential to transform international opinion in much the way that the divestment movement in the 1980s isolated the South African apartheid regime. Or as Tutu wrote to the Berkeley students: The same issue of equality is what motivates the divestment movement of today, which tries to end Israel's 43 year long occupation and the unequal treatment of the Palestinian people by the Israeli government ruling over them. The abuses they face are real, and no person should be offended by principled, morally consistent, nonviolent acts to oppose them. It is no more wrong to call out Israel in particular for its abuses than it was to call out the Apartheid regime in particular for its abuses. "What we've seen in the past two years is a rapidly growing, diverse movement dedicated to universal human rights and international law," says David Hosey, a spokesman for the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a national coalition of grassroots organizations that supports BDS. "On campuses and in communities across the United States, people are sending a clear message that if the US government won't hold Israel accountable for violations of Palestinian human rights, then civil society will step up and do the job.
Crowds gathered in front the Northern Trust Bank building at the corner of LaSalle and Monroe streets Wednesday where Caterpillar -- the world’s largest maker of construction and mining equipment, headquartered in Illinois -- held its annual shareholders meeting. On one side of the street stood a large group of the company’s supporters, on the other was a smaller group protesting the company’s sales of equipment to Israel. Over the years, Caterpillar has received controversy from Palestinian Solidarity groups. One such organization, The U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, has condemned the company for selling D-9 bulldozers to Israel.
Phyllis Bennis, a member of our steering committee and a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies happened to be in Istanbul at the time of the flotilla attack and writes about the response in Turkey and the possible international responses.
In 2005, the US Campaign endorsed the BDS call and mounted a campaign against Caterpillar, manufacturer of the heavy bulldozers used by the Israeli army to raze Palestinian homes. Phyllis Bennis, a Campaign co-founder and steering committee member, explains that Caterpillar emerged as a target for its role in the destruction of Palestinian olive trees and the murder of Rachel Corrie, the Evergreen State College student run over by a bulldozer in 2003 while trying to prevent a home demolition. Soon, Bennis says, “the discussion moved from the tactical targeting of Caterpillar to the strategic effort to build a campaign against corporations profiting from occupation.
The Israeli government’s planned construction of 1,600 new housing units in a settlement in Occupied East Jerusalem, which was announced during U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s March visit to Israel, could not have come at a more opportune time for the more than 150 grassroots activists who participated in the March 8th Capitol Hill lobbying day, sponsored by Interfaith Peace-Builders and the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. Israel’s plans for the housing construction, in clear breach of an occupying power’s obligations under international law to refrain from engaging in settlement activity, underlined the importance of the activists’ lobbying, namely to encourage Congressional members to bring U.S. policy towards Israel/Palestine in line with human rights, international law, and equality.
The US House of Representatives is expected to vote Tuesday afternoon on a measure that would pave the way for an additional $200 million in military aid in support of Israel's plans for the "Iron Dome" missile defense system. The proposed expenditure is in addition to a record-breaking three billion dollars in military aid already requested by the White House. Opponents of the resolution argue that the measure amounts to an unnecessary increase in military aid to Israel and would have disruptive strategic implications in the Middle East. Josh Reubner, advocacy director for the Washington-based US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation said, "The Obama administration has put its full weight behind the proposal," and that lawmakers were "fast-tracking the first stage" of the appropriations process.
RT Correspondent Jihan Hafiz talks with David Hosey from the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation about a new resolution to hold Israel accountable for the shooting of U.S. peace activist Tristan Anderson and the importance of civil society movements for accountability.
More than 50 organizations and artists from eight countries have written to legendary political singer and poet Gil Scott-Heron to thank him for his decision to drop Israel from his current tour. The letter, facilitated by Adalah-NY, highlighted the parallels between the South African apartheid that Scott-Heron crusaded against decades ago and the Israeli system that currently subjugates Palestinians. The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is one of the signatories of the letter.
US Campaign National Advocacy Director Josh Ruebner writes on H.Con.Res.270 calling for justice in the case of wounded U.S. peace activist Tristan Anderson. He argues that "Impunity for criminal acts spurs criminal behavior" and that accountability is key to end impunity.
The Chicago Hearing, a “mock Congressional Hearing” sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee, attracted a standing room only crowd to the campus of the University of Chicago this past weekend. In the third segment of the Hearing, Josh Ruebner, National Director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, offered a succinct statement on the military aid the US provides to the state of Israel, past, present and into the next decade. His statement, “A budget is always a moral document”, was testimony to just how far American values are alienated from US policy. That statement also provides a strong slogan for use by American churches who have adopted the Palestinian-inspired program of BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions), to help educate their members.
Although dreaded by most Americans, tax day is a time when many consider how their tax dollars are being spent by the federal government. It is also a time when political groups take to the streets to get their message out to the public. While the Tea Party may grab most of the headlines for their libertarian message and with big-name supporters such as Sarah Palin, they are not the only group out to be heard. Activists from the Campaign to End the Occupation had gathered on Thursday outside a large post office opposite Manhattan’s Penn Station, where a long queue had formed of people waiting to file their tax returns before the midnight deadline.
The US Congress has shamefully abdicated its oversight role in US foreign policy and has become an apologist for the worst policies of the Israeli Government, all the while sending Israel billions of dollars in aid. Fortunately activists are not waiting for the US Congress to act....For years now, groups such as the US Campaign to End the Occupation have been trying to show how US aid reduces US social spending, New Profile works in Israel to make a somewhat analogous argument.
Early morning Israeli air raids in the Gaza Strip on Friday struck multiple sites and wounded three Palestinian children. Four of the thirteen total strikes took place in Khan Younis where two Israeli soldiers were killed in clashes last week after tanks intruded onto Gazan land. A Palestinian teenager was then shot and killed four days after by Israeli troops who fired on protestors gathered near the border of the besieged territory. The following day, a single rocket fired from Gaza that landed in the Israeli city of Ashkelon caused damages but no casualties. Israel has claimed that the air raid was in retaliation to repeated rocket and mortar attacks over the past month including one that killed a farm worker. The week of violence renewed tensions and sparked fears that another assault on Gaza may be taking shape like the 22-day war waged in late December 2008 into January 2009. Meanwhile, as air raids have struck in Gaza, the Israeli blockade continues. During a visit to the territory late last month, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon deplored Israel’s actions saying they have caused “unacceptable sufferings.” During the recent Arab League Summit held in Libya last week, the regional organization faced criticisms that it has, so far, taken ineffective positions against the siege of Gaza. Meanwhile, US Congressman Keith Ellison is on a tour of the Middle East and visited Gaza on Saturday. After touring the area he promised to educate his fellow congressmen on the dire situation in the area. David Hosey, National Media Coordinator of the US Campaign, weighs in.
The Obama administration sees Israel's recent decision to build more housing in Jerusalem as an impediment to Middle East peace talks. Come April 15, tax day, Josh Ruebner, National Advocacy Director of the US Campaign, plans to send his group's members to post offices, dozens of them across the country, to "educate" people mailing in their tax forms that the United States should end military aid to Israel
US Campaign Steering Committee member Phyllis Bennis and poet-activist Remi Kanazi talk to Laura Flanders of GRITtv about the ways that art, nonviolent protest, and pushes for creative boycotts are changing the way Americans look at Israel and Palestine.
Outside the Washington Convention Center, together with activists from CodePink, Veterans for Peace, Military Families Speak Out, Avaaz, Jewish Voice for Peace and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, we tried to bring a little reality to the AIPAC bubble. We carried signs and banners calling for respect for international law and human rights, an end to the siege of Gaza, Israeli apartheid and US taxpayer funding of war crimes.
Inside the Washington Convention Center, AIPAC was simultaneously calling for the US public to be kept in the dark regarding any disputes with Israel while asking taxpayers to fund 20% of Israel's defense budget. Outside it was a different story. Activists from CodePink, Veterans for Peace, Military Families Speak Out, Avaaz, Jewish Voice for Peace and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation kept up a presence during the conference with signs and banners calling for respect for international law and human rights, an end to the siege of Gaza, Israeli apartheid and US taxpayer funding of war crimes. During a press conference held outside the Convention Center, we were constantly interrupted, with people shouting and walking in front of the cameras. Josh Ruebner of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation rightly judged this as a classic example of the AIPAC crowd trying to completely control the debate so that no other voices can be heard.
Vice President Joe Biden said: "I condemn the decision by the government of Israel to advance planning for new housing units in East Jerusalem." He also stated that the U.S. will hold Israel "accountable for any statements or actions that inflame tensions or prejudice the outcome of talks." Josh Ruebner, National advocacy director of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation: "Official written U.S. policy, which is based on the Fourth Geneva Convention, deems Israel's colonization of Palestinian land as 'inconsistent with international law.'"
Where does Israel’s announcement of 1,600 new Israeli homes in East Jerusalem leave the United States? Where does it leave American Jews? America put immense pressure on both sides to agree to “proximity talks”—which center around its envoy, George Mitchell—even though neither side’s preconditions had been met; and soon after the U.S. vice president arrives in the area, Israel flaunts the fact that the Palestinians’ most coveted precondition—a temporary freeze on construction in East Jerusalem—remained unfulfilled. The US Campaign applaud's Biden's condemnation of the new housing development.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's condemnation of Israel's plan to construct 1,600 new housing units in East Jerusalem was welcomed on Wednesday by advocacy groups and analysts who called for Israel to be held accountable for actions that undermine peace talks with the Palestinians. Josh Ruebner, National Advocacy Director of the U.S. Campaign, says "It's about time that the Obama administration is threatening to hold Israel accountable for obstructing U.S. policy goals to end illegal settlement expansion in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem and lift the illegal blockade of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian Gaza Strip."
the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation kicks off the 6th annual Israeli Apartheid Week taking place in cities across the globe. Human rights advocates around the world will host educational events, creative protests, and media actions to raise awareness about Israel's apartheid policies toward Palestinians living within Israel an in the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem.
President Obama recently sent his FY2011 budget request to Congress, which included a record-breaking $3 billion in military aid to Israel. Josh Ruebner, US Campaign's National Advocacy Director, writes about how Israel illegally uses U.S. military aid against innocent Palestinian civilians, and how aid to Israel comes at a cost for the American tax-payer.
National Advocacy Director Josh Ruebner joins CNI board member and host Dr. E. Faye Williams to discuss the cost and benefit of U.S. military aid to Israel, and how ignoring the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories hampers U.S. efforts at engagement in the Middle East.
Last week, American and Israeli human rights activists interrupted a performance by the Israel Ballet at the Flynn Theater in Burlington, Vermont, holding banners which read "Sponsored by Apartheid Israel" and "No tutu is big enough to cover War Crimes". The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation endorses the boycott against the Israel Ballet.
Forty-five human rights activists called upon fellow New Yorkers to boycott the Israel Ballet at its performance Sunday at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts. The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation actively endorses the boycott against the Israel Ballet.
The New Statesman reports on a budding protest movement in one of the historic centers of Palestinian protest, Beit Sahour. Like many of the campaigns followed, it is resistance to an attempted takeover by settlers. The protests are being organized by Mazin Qumsiyeh, a past member of the US Campaign Steering Committee.
Bill Fletcher Jr., executive director of BlackCommentator.com and a US Campaign steering committee member, speaks about the mistaken belief that nonviolent activists and protests do not already exist in Palestine.
The leaders of the thirteen Christian communities serving in the Palestinian territories -- including Latin and Orthodox patriarchs -- have declared the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories a “sin against God and humanity” and urged Christians everywhere to nonviolently intervene to end its injustices. David Hosey, the national media coordinator of the US Campaign to End the Israel Occupation, speaks about the growing divestment from religious groups around the country.
People from various parts of Maryland and DC came together on the cold first day of the year to show their support for the Gaza Freedom March and the Palestinian struggle against apartheid. David Hosey, national media coordinator for the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, speaks briefly on video about why he is working to end Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine.