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- Project founded with 10 initial members.
April — May 2003
- Two public showings of the film Gaza Strip.
September 2003 — November 2003
- Working Meeting: agenda for the Delegation Committee, City Council Committee, Material Aid Committee, Literature Table Committee, website coordinator, and treasurer.
- Palestinian Labor Tour: representatives of the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions and The Farmers Union touring the United States. Two of the delegates also represented the “Stop the Wall” campaign.
- Toward a Peaceful World conference at Edgewood College with speakers Adam Shapiro of the International Solidarity Movement and Jennifer Loewenstein of the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project.
- Five Presentations on Palestine series at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church by Pastor Bruce Burnside on his three-month sabbatical in Palestine, including the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and Israel.
- Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land: U.S. Media & The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
- Reporting the Middle East Lecture Series in Madison with Amira Hass, Ali Abunimah, As’ad Abukhalil and Robert Fisk. Rainbow Bookstore and the Isthmus strike a blow for freedom of speech during Ali Abunimah’s appearance at MATC.
- Delegation to Rafah: of three members traveling (George Arida, Cisco Bradley, and Jennifer Loewenstein), only Jennifer was allowed by Israel to enter Gaza. Jennifer met with the Women’s Empowerment Project of the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, Human Appeal-Rafah, the Al Amal Rehabilitation Society, the Popular Refugee Committee, representatives of the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education, and Mayor Said Zoroub, Deputy Mayor Emad Shaath, and City Manager Ali Barhom of Rafah. Jennifer was hosted by the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights.
March — July 2004
- Rachel Corrie commemoration with the Madison premiere of The Killing Zone and talks by Laura Gordon and Cheryl Broderson, Rachel’s aunt.
- Visit by representatives of Neve Shalom — Wahat al-Salaam, a village jointly established by Jewish and Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel, to East High School.
- Talk by Muli Linder of Courage to Refuse, an Israeli refusenik group.
- “Balata Installation Tour”, a traveling exhibit about the Balata refugee camp in the West Bank.
- Program by representatives of MOSAIC Communities multinational housing cooperatives, a non-governmental, non-profit initiative to establish and strengthen mixed communities throughout Israel on the basis of equal rights for all.
- Approximately $2,000 raised to help rebuild water wells in Rafah. First material aid project.
Sister City Campaign
From spring to summer of 2004 the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project attempted to win official sister city status from the City of Madison. We met with a majority of the 20-member Common Council to explain the issues and purposes involved. Many indicated their support, the Common Council’s Committee on Sister City Projects approved our application, and chances of success looked very good.
Then a very strong attack was launched by the Madison Jewish Community Council (MJCC), who characterized our project as anti-Semitic and accused a Rafah partner, Mayor Said Zoroub, of association with terrorist activity. An organized campaign by MJCC put heavy political pressure on the Alders. In a climactic vote, the majority of Alders present voted in favor of the project, but by Council rule the proposal lost by one vote. Mayor Dave Cieslewicz had announced in advance that he would veto the Council resolution if it approved our project, a rare occurrence in Madison government.
Although we lost this close vote, we felt that much was gained through discussion and public education. Our campaign was heavily covered by local media and appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, Ha’aretz, Maariv, Jerusalem Post, Associated Press, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Voice of America and other outlets.
The Project gathered a broad range of community support reflected in the testimony on our behalf during six hours of council debate. We secured the endorsement of the Capital Times. The campaign solidified our ties with other Madison sister city groups and positioned us firmly within the local anti-war and progressive movements. It also decisively exploded the myth of a monolithic Jewish community in Madison.
- Madison appearance of the “Stop the Wall Tour” with John Reese and Erica Kay, showing John Pilger’s film Palestine is Still the Issue.
- Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb, Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bethlehem, spoke on the work of the International Center of Bethlehem, promoting a civil society in Palestine by training future leaders and developing human resources.
September – November 2004
- WHEELS OF JUSTICE TOUR. The Madison Area Peace Coalition and Madison-Rafah Sister City Project hosted the Tour, bringing eyewitness accounts from Iraq and Palestine to challenge and educate Americans about the repercussions of war and occupation, both on people abroad and at home.
- Film: The Fourth World War, Madison premiere hosted by producers/directors Rick Rowley and Jacqueline Soohen. MRSCP is one of the co-sponsors of this showing. Shot on the front lines of struggles spanning five continents, The Fourth World War is the untold story of people who resist being annihilated in the current global conflict.
- Talk by Noam Bahat and Shimri Zamaret of the Shimistim high school draft refusal group, including visits to several area high schools.
- Delegation to Rafah: member Kathy Walsh and her daughter entered Gaza with American Near East Refugee Aid and Playgrounds for Palestine. The delegation was hosted mainly by Fatma Khatib of the General Union of Palestinian Women, and visited schools, hospitals and public officials.
- Two showings of Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land at UW and Edgewood, with panelists from the local media.
- Voices, Images and Hearts, a benefit featuring Saul & Greg Landau, Haskel Wexler and The Iron Sheik.
- Silent Art Auction for Augusta Victoria Hospital in Jerusalem.
- Yonatan Shapira, Israeli Refusenik
- An Israeli Refuser’s Message for Peace
- $10,000 raised by the Playground for Rafah Campaign to install a playground from “Playgrounds for Palestine” in the Tal al-Sultan area of Rafah. Madison-Rafah material aid to-date totals over $12,000.
- “Three Women, Three Faiths, One Shared Vision” speaking tour at both First Unitarian Church and Memorial UCC, Fitchburg.
- A Gift to Rafah: the Madison-Rafah Playground.
- Madison Community Seder which benefited the Milk for Rafah Campaign and the Oscar Romero Memorial Tree Project in El Salvador.
- June 13 – July 4, 2005 Palestine-Israel Discussion Series
- Hosted Upper Midwest Regional Conference of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, including public talks by Norman Finkelstein and by the Corrie/Nasrallah “Rebuilding Hope, Rebuilding Homes in Rafah” tour.
- “Beyond Chutzpah: The Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History” by Dr. Norman Finkelstein
- Gaza Fiasco by Jennifer Loewenstein
September — December 2005
- “Grand Gallery Opening” benefit featuring the Art of al-Tatreez (Palestinian embroidery) at the Casbah Restaurant, raising money for a revolving fair-trade crafts fund to help support the makers and their families. Approximately $2500 was raised, and the fund is now self-sustaining. Madison-Rafah material aid to-date totals over $14,500.
- Film Series: “Finding Hope in Unexpected Places” at Edgewood College, and the films Rana’s Wedding and Until When… at UW-Madison.
- October 9, 2005 Dr. Tawfiq Nasser in Madison
- Tawfiq Nasser: Palestinian Doctor Tells Of Life Under Occupation
- Ibdaa Dance Troupe in Madison, including visits to two elementary schools.
- University of Wisconsin Regents Urged To Divest From Israel
- Casbah “Seasonal Dinner Dance” fundraiser with the Madison-Arcatao sister city and WORT radio.
- Over $6,000 raised by the Milk for Rafah Campaign was diverted, with permission from the major donors, to the Middle East Children’s Alliance for emergency food parcels in Rafah. The original plan to supply Wisconsin powdered milk to Rafah was dropped due to the uncertainty of Israeli border crossing delays. Madison-Rafah material aid to-date totals over $20,500.
- Joint benefit with Madison-Arcatao Sister City (El Salvador) at the Casbah featuring April Fool’s Day with Comic Dave Lippman, AKA George Shrub.
- April 6, 2006 DISCORDIA: When Netanyahu Came to Town
- Ibdaa Health Committee from the West Bank, featuring Wisam Hasanat, Areej Ja’fari and Talal Shihade.
- Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, leading Palestinian human rights activist and independent member of Palestinian parliament.
- Sister city workshop at the “New Directions for Peace” conference at Edgewood College, organized by the Wisconsin Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies.
- Operations “Summer Rains” and “Autumn Clouds”, June 28 – November 26, 2006. The first major ground operation in the Gaza Strip since Israel’s disengagement in 2005, after the capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
- Co-sponsored journalist and photographer Mohamed Omer from Rafah
- Campus talk by Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada
April — May 2007
- The “Bitter Harvest” speaker and film series commemorating 40 years of the occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. Speakers included Fawwaz Trabulsi, Laila El-Haddad, Sara Roy and Jonathan Cook. The series included a “Three Women of Jerusalem” tour which appeared at three local high schools and two public talks.
- “Palestinian Crafts Extravaganza” at Escape Java Joint with Palestinian food, dance and crafts sales.
- Milwaukee Arab Fest Booth, tabling and selling crafts and olive oil.
- Appeal for Three projects in Palestine
- October 6 – 9, 2007 New Madison Events with Jeff Halper of ICAHD
- “Israeli army orders confiscation of Palestinian land in West Bank” with Jeff Halper
- Cancelled Event Hoax
- Apartheid Reigns In Israel, Activist-author Says
- Madison appearances by Jeff Halper of the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions (ICAHD), which raised $6,000 for a home rebuilding campaign. Madison-Rafah material aid to-date totals over $26,500.
- Approximately $6,000 has been raised to help Rafah build a Mental Health Library of professional books requested by healthcare providers. Madison-Rafah material aid to-date totals over $32,500.
- Wisconsin Book Festival appearance by Susan Abulhawa of Playgrounds for Palestine, author of The Scar of David (now Mornings in Jenin).
- Approximately $13,000 has been donated over the life of the Project for emergency relief and infrastructure repair in Rafah. Madison-Rafah material aid to-date totals over $45,500.
- Palestinian author under cyber attack before Wisconsin Book Festival
- Madison-Rafah Sister City Project General Meeting
- Divest From the Israeli Occupation group meeting, with George Arida reporting on the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation proposal for a Motorola boycott.
- Rami Khouri Talk in Madison
- Fair Trade Holiday Festival
- Film: Reel Bad Arabs
- Year-end and holiday giving: Two opportunities to help Gaza
- OPPORTUNITIES TO VISIT ISRAEL AND PALESTINE
- Film Series: The Sorrows of Palestine
- Mohammed Omer, Rafah photographer and journalist, on WORT
- Overture Center’s International Festival, with Palestinian embroidery, soap and olive from MRSCP
- Celebration of Trees by Jewish Voice for Peace – Madison
- Film Series: The Sorrows of Palestine continues
- Play about slain activist Rachel Corrie coming to Madison
- Operation “Hot Winter”, February 28 – March 3, 2008. Israeli invasion of Gaza.
- People I know and love are dying, Kathy Walsh, Gaza attack
- Jewish Voice for Peace on The MIC 92.1 FM
- My Name is Rachel Corrie, The Orpheum Theater, The Overture Center
- Corries deliver daughter’s message of hope, THE BADGER HERALD
- My Name Is Rachel Corrie brings activist’s words to life in Madison, Isthmus
- Slain activist’s legacy and dreams live on through parents, foundation, world-famous play: “My Name is Rachel Corrie”, The Madison Times
- Palestine in Focus Photo Exhibit
- Scott Ritter Events in Madison I
- March 22, 2008
Ilan Pappe Reading-Discussion Series
- Interfaith Peace-Builders
- A Playground for Jenin!
- Palestinians Fear Two-Tier Road System
- Women’s Lives in the Middle East
- Amira Hass in Madison
- O-LIVE! O-LIVE! Events to benefit Augusta Victoria Hospital, Jerusalem
- UW-Madison Islam Awareness Week
- Dr. Ghada Karmi in Madison
- Scott Ritter Events in Madison II
- United Methodist Divestment Efforts
- Sami Rasouli, Iraqi-American peacemaker, in Madison
- My Name is Rachel Corrie, St. Stephens Lutheran Church, Monona
- Ingrid Mattson of the Islamic Society of North America
- Archbishop Elias Chacour in Madison
- Benefit for Jenin Playground
- Endless War — 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War By Benny Morris
- May 8, 2008 “No Time to Celebrate” demonstration at UW-Madison
- Remembering The Nakba On Israel’s 60th Anniversary
- Petition to protest Israeli assault on Mohammed Omer
- TOWN HALL MEETING: US POLICY TOWARDS IRAN
- My Name is Rachel Corrie in Door County
- Rafah Soccer Tournament: Benefit Garage Sale
- Israeli Assault of Mohammed Omer
- Film: Occupation 101, Escape Java Joint, Williamson St
- Palestinian Crafts Party
- Rachel Corrie Soccer Tournament: the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme(GCMHP), one of our partner groups in Rafah, plans to host the first ever all-Rafah youth soccer tournament.
- My Name is Rachel Corrie at Edgewood College
- Palestine in Focus Photo Exhibit and Sale in conjunction with the play My Name is Rachel Corrie at Edgewood College.
- Thank You! from the Rachel Corrie Ramadan Soccer Tournament for Youth
- Playgrounds for Palestine House Party
- Annual Fair Trade Holiday Festival
- Operation Cast Lead — Israel attacks Gaza
- December 28, 2008 Take Action to End Israeli Attacks on Gaza – Radio Show Sunday