VOICES OF CONSCIENCE: DELEGATION to THE GAZA STRIP

Interfaith Peace-Builders, November 5, 2012

November 5, 2012 – Interfaith Peace-Builders (IFPB) is pleased to announce that our 21 member delegation to the Gaza Strip passed safely through the Rafah Crossing Monday morning and is now safely in the Gaza Strip.

Interfaith Peace-Builders has sent more than 44 delegations to Palestine/Israel since 2001. This is the first IFPB delegation to enter the Gaza Strip since 2003. Like other IFPB delegations, its purpose is to educate North Americans about the region and deepen their understanding of its conflicts.

On the eve of the Presidential Election in the United States, the US-brokered peace process continues to show few results and US military aid to the region continues to flow unabated.

This delegation focuses on the realities of Palestinian life in the Gaza Strip. Participants have the unique opportunity to hear directly from Palestinians throughout the territory regarding their hopes for peace and the role of the United States, the US government, and other international actors, in promoting a resolution to the conflict.

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Jennifer Loewenstein on KPFT 90.1 FM

Arab Voices, KPFT 90.1 FM, September 26, 2012

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Jennifer Loewenstein

Political activist and Faculty Associate in Middle East Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She is an expert on contemporary Middle East: history, politics, culture, religion, and U.S. foreign policy in the region. She is a freelance journalist, a human rights activist, volunteer for the Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza, and founder of the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project. In 2010 Jennifer received ADC’s Rachel Corrie Award.

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Barb Olson: Rachel Corrie ruling a setback for justice and human rights

BARB OLSON, Cap Times, Aug 31, 2012

The verdict in the civil lawsuit against the state of Israel for the killing of peace activist Rachel Corrie more than nine years ago was announced Aug. 28 at the District Court in Haifa, Israel. While many human rights advocates had high hopes that the court would provide a much needed venue for justice, this verdict marks yet another setback for the cause of human rights in Palestine.

Rachel Corrie was a 23-year-old American human rights activist from Olympia, Wash. She was crushed to death on March 16, 2003, by Israeli soldiers driving a huge militarized Caterpillar bulldozer as she nonviolently protested the demolition of Palestinian civilian homes in Rafah, where the Israeli military was razing entire neighborhoods along the Egypt-Gaza border.

At the time, four eyewitnesses testified that Rachel, wearing a fluorescent orange vest and shouting through a bullhorn, was clearly visible to soldiers in the bulldozer as they approached. They stated that after trapping Rachel under a mound of dirt, the operator lowered the bulldozer’s blade and backed it over Rachel, crushing her skull and breaking her back.

Yet an Israeli government investigation found no fault on the part of the soldiers. Instead, they publicly blamed Rachel for her own death.

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March 18, 2012
Third Annual Rachel Corrie Commemorative Benefit Dinner

The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project invites you to the

Third Annual Rachel Corrie
Commemorative Benefit Dinner


Sunday, March 18, 5:00 pm
The Nile Restaurant [Map]
6119 Odana Road, Madison, WI

Featured guests: Craig and Cindy Corrie, parents of Rachel
(Program information to follow)

Cost: $20 per person/$35 per couple for a Middle Eastern dinner of hummus, falafel, salad, lentil spinach soup, fool moudamas, spinach pie and warbat dessert

All proceeds go to the Maia Project water filtration system for the Al-Shuka Girls Preparatory School in Rafah, Palestine

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March 20, 2011
Annual Rachel Corrie Dinner

Cash bar/socializing 5:30 pm
Dinner 6:00 pm
Program 7 – 9 pm
Bunky’s Cafe
2425 Atwood Avenue
Madison [Map]

Film: One Family in Gaza
Speaker: Ziad Abbas of the Middle East Children’s Alliance

This year’s dinner will be a benefit for the MAIA clean water project of the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA). The program will feature a talk by MECA’s Associate Director Ziad Abbas and the Madison premier of the new short film One Family in Gaza.

Ziad Abbas is from Dheisheh Refugee Camp in the West Bank. He offers listeners his own experience growing up under Israeli Occupation, along with sharp political analysis and inspiration to take action. He will discuss Palestine’s water crisis in the broader context of ongoing displacement, military occupation, and the current political events in the Arab world.

He will tell you about the Middle East Children’s Alliance’s Maia Project, which provides clean, safe drinking water for children in Palestine by installing water purification and desalination units in schools and kindergartens. To date, more than twenty-seven units have been installed serving nearly 30,000 children thanks to the fund raising efforts of groups and individuals throughout the United States, including one provided last year to the Tuyor Al Jena (Birds of Paradise) Kindergarten in Rafah by the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project. MRSCP has now raised over 80 percent of the funding for a second, larger system at the UN Rafah Girls Elementary School.

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Break the Silence Mural Project

mural, olympia, palestine

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, July 2010

THE RACHEL Corrie Foundation and Break the Silence Mural Project unveiled the Olympia-Rafah Solidarity Mural on May 8 at Labor Temple building, in downtown Olympia, WA. The mural tells a tale of two cities linked through tragedy: Olympia, WA, where Rachel Corrie grew up and attended Evergreen State College, and Rafah, Gaza Strip, Palestine, where she was killed in 2003—crushed by an Israeli army Caterpillar. It is also the tale of people working together for a better world. The mural features an enormous olive tree with more than 150 leaves representing issues of environmental justice, racism, colonialism, rights of indigenous peoples, and anti-war movements.

The mural uses technology to include artists from Palestine who are forbidden to travel. Viewers can use a cell phone to call and listen to the creator of each leaf talk about its meaning and theme. For more information visit <www.olympiarafahmural.org>.

—Delinda C. Hanley