Letter to Biden (and Trump) Campaigns Regarding Israel and Palestinian Rights

This letter, signed by more than 100 progressive, anti-war, and faith-based U.S. organizations, urges presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden (and Donald Trump) to adopt a principled foreign policy towards Israel and the Palestinian people based on justice, freedom, equality, and human dignity. 

Endorsers of the letter include American Friends Service Committee, American Muslims for Palestine, CODEPINK, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Demand Progress, If Not Now, Jewish Voice for Peace, Just Foreign Policy, Kairos USA, PAX Christi USA, Peace Action, and Win Without War.

The letter comes in the context of the 2020 Democratic primaries having experienced a monumental shift in leadership positions towards the state of Israel and the Palestinian struggle for freedom. Despite this, on May 19, the Biden campaign released a revolting statement of support for Israel and Jewish Americans. The letter began by conflating American Jewry with support for Israel. It promised to continue attacking the nonviolent boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement, bragged about having increased military assistance to Israel at the end Obama’s term, and referred to Palestinian “choices” to commit violence. 

Within days of the May 19 Biden campaign statement being released, so much backlash had accumulated that the degrading language of Palestinian “choices” had been removed. This signals an opportunity for us as progressives to influence and shift policy positions regarding Palestinians and Israel. We hope that this letter representing millions of Americans helps do that. See the letter to Trump here

Add your organization here! 


Update: June 27 – 30, 2020
Upcoming Online Events


Saturday, June 27
Local Letter Campaign to End Violence Against Black People
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM CDT

Damita Brown, Restorative Justice Director for the Dane County Time Bank’s Restorative Justice Program, will lead this action opportunity via Zoom.

Sponsored by Building Unity, Dane County Time Bank, Freedom Inc. and Wisconsin Network for Peace, Justice, Sustainability (WNPJS). For more information see the Facebook page or register here.

NOTE: The sponsors are looking for people or groups to host similar sessions. You can get a Co-conspirator Toolkit that shows you step by step how to host your own letter writing party for friends, neighbors, colleagues, family, co-workers and others. For more information, write to Damita Brown: damita at danecountytimebank.org



Sunday, June 28
Counter CUFI with FOSNA
6 PM CDT

Christian Israeli lobbies like Christians United For Israel (CUFI) leverage their political power to ensure the US gives moral and political cover to Israeli colonization, war crimes, and ethnic cleansing.

This Sunday, June 28th, Friends of Sabeel-North America (FOSNA) is launching a nationwide effort to counter this deadly lobby and challenge its undue influence on American politics. Join us for a powerful day of action as we raise our voices in opposition to CUFI’s annual summit!

Registration and event details



Sunday, June 28
Livestream: Singing Out for Refugees with Peter Mulvey
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM CDT

Peter Mulvey returns to the Threshold stage, this time virtually, to share his music, his insights, and his generosity with Open Doors for Refugees, an all volunteer not-for-profit organization that welcomes and supports refugees coming to the greater Madison area.

For details see the Facebook page.




American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)

Monday, June 29, 2020
1:00 PM CDT
The webinar will be held via Zoom. Register for the webinar here.



Tuesday, June 30
Christian Peacemaker Team Webinar on Annexation
12 noon CDT

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he is planning to annex parts of the occupied West Bank. What does this proposed annexation plan mean for Palestinians living in the West Bank? And how are Palestinians expressing their steadfastness or “sumud” in the face of these new policies and the Israeli occupation? Hear from CPT’s Palestinian partner and a member of the CPT Palestine team, as they discuss these latest developments, as well as an update on the effect of COVID-19 in al-Khalil (Hebron).

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Gantz-Netanyahu deal legitimizes annexation

The possibility of further Israeli annexation of occupied territories has received legitimacy from the Israeli government, pushing even further into the abyss the slight possibility of a two-state solution.

The Palestinian village of Nazlat Isa in the Israeli-occupied West Bank is seen behind the Israeli barrier from the Arab-Israeli village of Baqa al-Gharbiyye, Israel, Feb. 1, 2020. (REUTERS-Ammar Awad)

Daoud Kuttab, Al-Monitor, Apr 21, 2020

After over 53 years of occupation, an Israeli government is on a path to further annex occupied Palestinian territory. On June 28, 1967, the Israeli Knesset approved a decision to annex East Jerusalem to Israel and on April 20, 2020, the government partnership agreement laid the groundwork for what officials call “extension of Israeli sovereignty.”

The agreement signed April 20 between former Israeli army chief Benny Gantz and caretaker Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu places some conditions before this is to take place. Under the deal, the Israeli government or the Knesset can begin annexation proceedings July 1 based on the peace plan of the Donald Trump administration.

PLO Executive Committee Secretary-General Saeb Erekat reacted angrily to the deal, saying it rules out any negotiated peace agreement. “A government coalition based on a commitment to annex more occupied Palestinian territory is a threat to a rules-based world order in general, but to peace, security, and stability in the Middle East in particular,” Erekat said in a statement following the announcement of the new Israeli government.

Hanan Ashrawi, a PLO Executive Committee member, said the Israeli political establishment has united on the agenda of permanent colonization and annexation. “It is now very clear that Israeli political parties are unequivocally committed to the entrenchment and permanence of the conflict as well as the perpetual oppression of the Palestinian people with the full support and backing of the Trump administration, which is clearly intent on implementing its dangerous and objectionable plan.” 

Ashrawi noted in a press statement that Palestinians will fight tooth and nail “the lawless and dangerous agenda” regarding Israeli attempts to further encroach on Palestinian lands. “The Palestinian leadership is very clear on where we stand. Annexation is a declaration of permanent aggression on inalienable Palestinian rights and the standing of international law. The Palestinian people will confront this lawless and dangerous agenda resolutely and with unwavering determination.”

The new “emergency government” appears to have given life to the Trump administration’s almost forgotten peace plan for the Middle East, which includes the annexation of Palestinian occupied lands in exchange for a weak Palestinian entity with some land swaps in the Negev desert.

The newly signed agreement refers specifically to the Trump plan, saying, “In reference to the declaration of President Trump, the prime minister and alternate prime minister will act with the full consent of the United States, including in the matter of maps vis a vis the Americans and in international dialogue on the matter, all while pursuing to preserve the security and strategic interests of the state of Israel, including the need to keep regional stability, keep existing peace agreements and pursue future peace agreements,” according to an unofficial translation of items 28 and 29 in the plan obtained by Al-Monitor.

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Oppose the Israeli Annexation of Palestinian Land

This is a new group in the LaCrosse area that is becoming more active on Palestinian issues. Please consider signing and circulating this petition.

COULEE REGION COALITION FOR PALESTINIAN RIGHTS, 3/6/20

To: Our elected officials
From: [Your Name]

We urgently oppose the threatened annexation by Israel of Palestinian land in the West Bank.

Israel has militarily occupied the West Bank since 1967, and has since built an extensive network of illegal Jewish settlements and connecting roads. There are now over 600,000 Jewish settlers in the West Bank.

Netanyahu and Gantz, leaders of the two largest Israeli political parties, have been emboldened to ​break international law through annexation ​of this territory by the release of the Trump administration’s ‘Deal of the Century’ on January 20, 2020.

The annexation envisioned in that plan includes the fertile Jordan Valley in addition to those settlements and roads. Palestinian land is already fragmented into enclaves of villages, farms and a handful of densely populated cities – comparable to the Bantustans of Apartheid South Africa.

Annexation would extend, legalize and attempt to make permanent this theft of Palestinian land by making it part of Israel.

The US provides $3.8 billion of military aid to Israel each year. These are our tax dollars being used to prop up an Israeli state that violently suppresses Palestinian human rights and now plans to steal their land.

We call on you, as our elected official, to announce publicly that you will support legislation withdrawing all military funding to Israel if it proceeds with this illegal annexation of Palestinian land.

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BDS impact in 2019

Mahmoud Nawajaa, BDSMovement.net

The anti-Palestinian Trump Administration and Boris Johnson government are more than ever directly engaged in Israel’s desperate war of repression on advocacy for Palestinian rights and the BDS movement in particular. Thanks to your support, our BDS movement for freedom, justice and equality continued to grow in scale and impact in 2019.

Here are just a few highlights of BDS impact in 2019:

    South Africa, whose citizens brought apartheid to an end through protests and boycotts, officially downgraded its relations with Israel.

    Leading European trade unions – the European Federation of Public Services Unions, representing eight million people, and the UK’s Trades Union Congress, representing six million people – called for suspending the EU-Israel free trade agreement or ending arms sales to Israel.

    Major international companies – Australia’s Macquarie, Canada’s Bombardier, France’s Alstom, and Germany’s Siemens – withdrew from bidding to build Israel’s illegal settlement railway on stolen Palestinian land in occupied East Jerusalem.

    Support grew among US progressives and liberals for BDS and the right to boycott. Polls show 44% of Democratic voters supporting BDS. 80% of Democrats oppose laws penalizing people boycotting Israel, and 72% of all Americans oppose such laws. Democratic lawmakers introduced a historic House resolution affirming the right to boycott, and the Democratic Socialists of America committed to national BDS organizing.

    More artists – authors, actors, musicians and visual artists– cancelled performances and/or stated their support for the cultural boycott of apartheid Israel. More than 150,000 people, hundreds of artists and over 100 LGBT+ organizations joined our calls to boycott Eurovision 2019 in Tel Aviv. Only 10% of the expected tourists showed up.

    Campaigns for a military embargo against Israel grew and won victories. The French insurance giant AXA partially divested from Israeli arms company Elbit Systems. 200 organizations and individuals representing the Global South united in a call for a military embargo against Israel.

    2019’s annual Israeli Apartheid Week featured more than 200 events, across 30 countries, on five continents.

    In Europe, more progress was made towards banning goods and services produced in Israel’s illegal settlements. Oslo’s City Council banned procurement of settlement products. The European Court of Justice ruled that settlement goods must be accurately labeled. Ireland’s Parliament passed a bill to ban settlement goods, moving the ban closer to becoming law.

    Support grew for the academic boycott of Israel and for campus divestment. An NYU department and the Pitzer College Council in the US, New Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University and The British Society for Middle Eastern Studies all adopted boycott measures. A Brown University corporate responsibility advisory committee recommended the university divest from companies complicit in Israel’s oppression.

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