The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project

“When there are no [other] IDF forces [in the area] … the shooting is very unrestricted, like crazy. And not just small arms: machine guns, tanks, and mortars.” ‘I’m bored, so I shoot’: The Israeli army’s free-for-all violence in Gaza

  • Ask UBS to divest from Elbit Systems

    UBS’s shares in Israel’s biggest weapons manufacturer, Elbit Systems, just increased by 875%. This comes as the world’s biggest bank, JPMorgan Chase, just divested huge amounts from Elbit. 
    Let’s build on this momentum and tell UBS to divest too.


    While UBS lines its pockets, the Israeli military has surrounded and is attacking Rafah, where hundreds of thousands of terrified Palestinians are sheltering. The Israeli military just killed 274 people in Nuseirat in less than 2 hours. This comes after the Rafah safe zone massacre and the attacks on Kamal Adwan Hospital and Jabalia refugee camp.

    The bloodshed must stop.

    Public pressure works: the biggest bank in the world, JPMorgan Chase, just divested 70% of its holdings in Elbit. Now it’s time for UBS to stop profiting from bloodshed.

    Tell UBS: divest from Elbit Systems now.

    UBS was founded in Switzerland but it needs to stop hiding behind this neutral facade. UBS’ money is funding weapons for the Israeli Government’s genocide.

    At least 35,000 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli military since October 7 last year. Children in Gaza are already dying from malnutrition and the United Nations just suspended food distribution in Rafah because the Israeli military and settlers are preventing humanitarian aid from entering Gaza.

    Let’s do it again.

    Call on UBS to cut off the money for Israel’s weapons.

    The Ekō community has helped cut off funding for weapons before. When we published a report exposing global insurance company AXA’s financial connections it dropped its shares in Elbit. And after we revealed Scotiabank was pouring hundreds of millions into Elbit, the Canadian bank drastically reduced its stake in the weapons company too.


    Thanks for all that you do, 
    Nish and the team at Ekō

  • July 23, 2024: Film “Where Olive Trees Weep”

    worldbeyondwar.uw Antiwar Film Series
    Central Library, 201 W Mifflin St, Room 302
    Meet at 6:00 pm, film at 6:30 pm, then discussion
    RSVP if you can to

    “Where Olive Trees Weep” (2024) offers a searing window into the struggles and resilience of the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation. It explores themes of loss, trauma, and the quest for justice. 

    We follow, among others, Palestinian journalist and therapist Ashira Darwish, grassroots activist Ahed Tamimi, and Israeli journalist Amira Hass

    We witness Dr. Gabor Maté offering trauma-healing work for a group of women who have been tortured in Israeli prisons. Ancient landscapes bear deep scars, having witnessed the brutal reality of ancestral land confiscation, expulsions, imprisonment, home demolitions, water deprivation, and denial of basic human rights. 

    Yet, through the veil of oppression, we catch a glimpse of resilience—deep roots that have carried the Palestinian people through decades of darkness and shattered lives. This emotional journey bares the humanity of the oppressed while grappling with the question: what makes the oppressor so ruthlessly blind to its own cruelty? 

  • Protesters disrupt Wisconsin Democrats’ convention

    Call for defunding Gaza war

    Protesters gather at the Wisconsin State Capitol on Saturday, June 8, 2024 for Code Pink’s “We Are The Red Line” silent vigil in support of Palestinians. (Ilana Bar-av)

    Protests calling for a cease-fire in Gaza erupted in multiple demonstrations Saturday as the Wisconsin Democratic Party held the first of its two-day convention in Milwaukee.

    About 10 audience members inside the convention hall interrupted U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s address, calling for the defunding of Israel’s military and accusing the senator of being complicit in genocide. 

    Earlier that day, organizers gathered at the state Capitol building in Madison and in front of the Potawatomi Casino and Hotel in Milwaukee — where the Wisconsin Democrats held their convention.

    Party officials are facing criticism for recommending that delegates reject two proposed resolutions that call for a cease-fire as part of the Democrats’ updated platform.

    Three resolutions were brought forward for consideration by the party at its convention.


  • White House Encircled with Red Line

    (Since Biden’s Wasn’t Real) to Demand End to War on Gaza

    David Swanson, World BEYOND War, June 8, 2024

    Photos by David Swanson, John Reuwer, Ted Majdosz, and random passersby


  • More than 200 Palestinians killed in Israeli hostage raid

    The brazen daytime raid freed four Israeli hostages but unleashed relentless bombardment of the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza.

    By Claire ParkerMohamad El Chamaa and Lior Soroka, The Washington Post, June 8, 2024

    Palestinians inspect the debris of buildings targeted during an operation by Israel’s military to rescue four hostages from the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza on Saturday. (Bashar Taleb/AFP/Getty Images)

    Israel’s military launched one of the bloodiest raids of the war Saturday, killing more than 200 Palestinians in a brazen operation to rescue four hostages from the central Gaza Strip.

    Israeli forces recovered the hostages alive from two buildings in Nuseirat, an impoverished refugee camp. But the fiery assault, in the middle of the day, left unimaginable devastation in its wake.

    Residential blocks were destroyed, tanks menaced the streets and grievously wounded Palestinians, some without limbs, writhed in pain on the dusty roads of the camp’s central market, according to videos and images of the raid. Many of them never reached local hospitals, health officials said. But even then, medical facilities decimated by the war often have little ability to treat injured patients.

    “Israel committed a massacre in Nuseirat,” Khalil al-Degran, spokesman for al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in nearby Deir al-Balah, said at a news conference Saturday. “In this terrible state … the hospital cannot absorb the number of dead and injured. The hospital has been at full capacity for weeks.”

    Degran and other health officials said 210 people had been killed and 400 others wounded in the blitz. The number of dead included 94 at al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital and 116 at the nearby al-Awda Hospital, according to Degran and Marwan Abu Nasser, administrative director at al-Awda.

    “During the operation, helicopters targeted anyone who moved in the courtyard of al-Awda,” said Rami al-Sharafi, a doctor at the hospital. The military, he said, had “prevented ambulances from leaving or returning to the hospital” while the raid was underway.


  • Update: Watch Israelism Online


    Dear Israelism Supporters, 

    We are delighted to let you know that Israelism can now be rented or bought on all major video on demand platforms. Click the buttons below to watch Israelism on each respective platform.

    Also, because of all of your support, Israelism is now #1 on Apple TV’s Documentary Chart


  • June 8, 2024: We Are the Red Line – Wisconsin State Capitol

    24-06-08 CODEPINK Capitol Red Line

    Join us for our very own Madison red line this Saturday! We will join hands in the capitol rotunda wearing red as our own mini-version of the DC red line protest. All are welcome! Event takes place from 12:00PM to 2:00PM on Saturday, June 8th.

    June 8, 2024 at 12:00pm – 2:00pm (CDT)

    Wisconsin State Capitol
    2 E Main St, Madison, WI 53703, United States, 

    Google map and directions

    Danaka ·

  • Update from MECA on aid to Gaza

    $20,007 of $20,000 on 6/28/24

    MECA volunteer fills containers from a water tank in Gaza. DONATE FOR WATER NOW.

    “Death is coming, not just from bombs, death is coming from starvation, from dehydration, and from diseases. Using starvation and thirst as a weapon is hitting hard especially in these hot summer months.” 

    This is what Amal, MECA’s Water Coordinator in Gaza told me on the phone today. 

    With your solidarity and support, MECA is distributing
    35,000 gallons a day in many areas of Gaza.
    Please make a secure online donation now

    Despite the terribly dangerous and difficult circumstances in Gaza, your emergency contribution will make it possible for MECA’s staff and partners to continue to:
    •    Build new solar-powered Maia Project water purification and desalinization systems. We have already installed them in five communities just north of Rafah.
    •    Hire trucks with water tanks to distribute to many areas where people have been displaced throughout Gaza.  
    •    Provide water from MECA’s Maia Project systems for clean drinking water we installed in schools and communities over the last fourteen years. 

    Wafaa, MECA’s Aid Coordinator in Gaza adds, Tens of thousands of people in crowded shelters are facing a slow death because of the spread of diseases, which can easily be prevented with access to clean water.

    “Sewage and sanitation systems have been destroyed. The destruction of roads makes it difficult for water trucks to access many of the areas where displaced people are living.

    In most cases, there is no clean water for people to drink and no water for people to wash themselves or keep shared spaces like bathrooms clean. Hundreds of thousands of people are suffering from hepatitis and other diseases that would normally be avoided.

    I will share more of my recent conversations with Amal and Wafaa on the MECA website soon, but right now Gaza is desperate for water and with your support again now, MECA can provide it to tens of thousands of people who have been displaced multiple times and have lost everything—except their determination to survive.

    Please remember your action can save lives.

    In Solidarity,

    Zeiad Abbas Shamrouch
    MECA Executive Director

    P.S. Children in Gaza are already dying of dehydration.  A very painful death that could be prevented by something most of us have easy access to.  Please make the most generous contribution you can to provide water for Gaza now. Many thanks. 

    Stop the Massacres! MECA’S eight actions you can take now

    7. Attend your local city council or schoolboard meetings that are discussing or voting on ceasefire resolutions, teaching about Palestine, raising false accusations of antisemitism, or other matters about the genocide in Gaza.

    8. DON’T GIVE UP! Every action we take brings a permanent ceasefire closer and builds the movement for justice in Palestine!

    Madison-Rafah Marketplace

  • Visiting Palestinian textile artist has a message for Madisonians

    Laid on top of a table mat featuring purple Moons of Bethlehem motifs and several historical patterns like the saw and Old Man’s Teeth, the Gaza-lettered coin pouch befittingly dons a long-time symbol of Palestine: the olive tree. ASHLEY RODRIGUEZ

    When Laila Hasan thinks back to the first time she engaged in the traditional Palestinian embroidery technique of tatreez, she recalls being 7 years old and learning the skill from her mother, who told her, simply, “Laila, if you want to be strong, you have to be more independent.”

    “If you feel like you have a bad life or no one can help you, you can help yourself by your hand,” her mother told her.

    Hasan, a textile artist visiting Madison on Sunday from the West Bank, went on to make money embroidering dresses, or thoubs, stylized by the tatreez technique. Born in 1961, she kept dress-making until she became one of the first women shopkeepers in the “Old City” of Jerusalem in 1995 and founded an embroidery and jewelry-making collective 10 years later.

    Passed down from mother to daughter for centuries, tatreez uses threads to weave stories by cross-stitch, representing distinct landscapes of Palestinian regions, earning it a spot on a UN list intended to protect things intangible to cultural heritage.

    Now, with more than 150 stitchers, Hasan’s organization, Women In Hebron, aims to give women in the Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town of the West Bank a means to earn income with their craft.


  • Gaza Summer School!

    This summer, we’re turning up the heat to demand an end to the genocide in Gaza and to Free Palestine! It’s time to educate, agitate, and mobilize our communities like never before. Inspired by the courageous campus encampments that have swept across colleges nationwide, CODEPINK is thrilled to announce the Gaza Summer School!

    Join us for a transformative, summer-long online education series that will empower you to become a powerful advocate for Palestine. Through bi-weekly classes, you’ll gain in-depth knowledge and vital skills to make a real impact. Led by dynamic leaders, each session kicks off with a 30-minute deep dive into the history and current realities of Palestine, followed by a dynamic 30-minute skills training to arm you with the tools to drive change in your community.

    After every class, you’ll receive a set of materials and resources to amplify your demands for a Free Palestine this summer. Educate your community, agitate those in power, and organize bold actions alongside fellow passionate advocates from coast to coast as part of CODEPINK’s Summer of Love for Gaza.

    Don’t miss out on this opportunity to be part of something bigger. Together, we can make waves and create lasting change. Sign up now and let’s make this summer unforgettable!


    Monday June 3 @8PM ET – OUT OF SESSION: Disrupting Congress at Home 

    Monday June 17 @8PM ET – Building Resistance By Cultivating Community

    Monday July 1 @8PM ET Decolonizing Environmentalism 

    Monday July 22 @8PM ET Gaza, Freedom Flotillas, & Peacemaking 

    Monday August 5 @8PM ET Art and Resistance in Palestine 

    Monday August 26 @8PM ET Palestine, Repression, & Looking Ahead 

  • June 9, 2024: Laila Hasan’s Embroidery & Jewelry

    Listen to Laila Hasan and Esty Dinur

    on WORT 89.9 FM’s A Public Affair, 5/31/24

    Textile artist Laila Hasan joins us by phone. For many years she has brought women textile artists together to develop shared sales opportunities for their hand made items. Many of the artist now the sole economic support for their families. She talks with Esty about her art making as well as the current situation in the West Bank.

    Laila will be presenting and selling art in Madison on June 9th from 1:30-3:30 at Madison friends meeting house at 1704 Roberts Court.  There will be snacks. Learn more here. 

  • June 13, 2024: Palestine Partners at the Madison Night Market



    Alumni of Columbia Law School mount pro-Palestinian protests during graduation in New York, on May 13, 2024. Photo: Fatih Akta/Anadolu via Getty Images

    The students who edit the journal sought out the article by a Palestinian scholar who was censored by Harvard Law Review last year.

    Natasha Lennard and Prem Thakker, The Intercept, June 3 2024

    LAST NOVEMBER, THE Harvard Law Review made the unprecedented decision to kill a fully edited essay prior to publication. The author, human rights lawyer Rabea Eghbariah, was to be the first Palestinian legal scholar published in the prestigious journal. 

    As The Intercept reported at the time, Eghbariah’s essay — an argument for establishing “Nakba,” the expulsion, dispossession, and oppression of Palestinians, as a formal legal concept that widens its scope — faced extraordinary editorial scrutiny and eventual censorship. 

    When the Harvard publication spiked his article, editors from another Ivy League law school reached out to Eghbariah. Students from the Columbia Law Review solicited a new article from the scholar and, upon receiving it, decided to edit it and prepare it for publication.


    Harvard Law Review Editors Vote to Kill Article About Genocide in Gaza

    Now, eight months into Israel’s onslaught against Gaza, Eghbariah’s work has once again been stifled — this time by the Columbia Law Review’s board of directors, a group of law school professors and prominent alumni that oversee the students running the review. 


  • Dozens killed in strike on U.N. school

    WaPo Washington Post logo

    At least 30 were killed, an al-Aqsa Hospital spokesman said, as the IDF struck what it called a Hamas compound inside the UNRWA-run school in central Gaza.

    Niha Masih, Hajar Harb and Kyle Melnick, The Washington Post, June 6, 2024 at 3:23 a.m. EDT

    Palestinians at the al-Aqsa Hospital in central Gaza search Thursday for relatives killed in the Israeli strike on a UNRWA school in Nuseirat. (Abdel Kareem Hana/AP)

    Israeli fighter jets on Thursday struck a U.N. school in central Gaza that the Israel Defense Forces said housed a “Hamas compound,” killing at least 30 people, according to an official from a nearby hospital.

    Children were among the many casualties of the attack, Khalil al-Degran, a spokesman at the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah where the casualties were brought, told The Washington Post. He estimated that there were dozens of wounded.

    IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said at a news conference Thursday that 20 to 30 Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters were operating from a compound inside a school belonging to UNRWA, the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, in the Nuseirat area. The strike had previously been called off twice to limit civilians casualties, Lerner said, and he wasn’t aware of civilian deaths resulting from Thursday’s attack.

    “We are confident that our activities were effective in limiting and reducing the harm to civilians in the area,” Lerner said.

    Lerner said this was the fifth time the IDF had identified Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters using UNRWA facilities to plan attacks. A Hamas spokesman denied that the school contained a hidden Hamas command post, Reuters reported.

    Juliette Touma, UNRWA’s communications director, said its schools or premises must never be used for “military or fighting purposes.” Israel has alleged that some of the agency’s staff took part in the October attack and that some of its facilities have been used for militant activity.

    An independent review concluded in April that Israel did not provide evidence that significant numbers of UNRWA workers are tied to militant groups, but added that the agency must implement more robust vetting of staff members to ensure neutrality.

    Touma said in a statement that more than 170 UNRWA buildings — mostly schools that were transformed into shelters — have been attacked since the war began in October, killing more than 450 people.

    “We call for investigations into all violations against the United Nations including attacks on our buildings,” Touma said.

    Israel has drawn widespread international condemnation over the mounting civilian casualties in Gaza. At least 45 people were killed in a strike on a tent camp in Rafah last month, which the IDF said targeted two Hamas officials.


  • June 8, 2024: War Abolition Bike Ride

    Bring the kids! Bring the adults! Share this post to invite others. Join us for all or part of this short, family-friendly ride at a moderate pace. Questions or if you can help out – For updates on the day of this Move for Peace event, look here or here.

    9 am – Meet at Winnebago St & Atwood Ave (Schenk’s Corner), pedal off up Winnebago Street

    9:30 – Meet up at the farmers market on the Square – State St corner, 30 W Mifflin St: Greet Madison-Rafah Sister City Project demonstrators there & loop the Square

    9:45 – Pedal off from corner of Mifflin & State Street —Ride up State Street then loop Monona Bay

    11:00 – End at 640 W Washington Ave (Bandit Tacos and Coffee)

  • June 1 – 6, 2024: Genocide Petition & Madison Free Palestine! Events

    Building Unity Wisconsin,  June 2, 2024

    Petition to End the Genocide Project

    We can’t sit back and allow our country to support a genocide any longer.
    It is time for all of us, elected leaders and we, the people, to take a stand.

    • Print, sign, and ask your friends, neighbors, family, workmates, and elected representatives to sign our petition. You can use this sample letter and contact info.
    • Like, share, and comment on this Facebook Event/Post.
    • Show up at all or any of the upcoming events in and around Wisconsin’s State Capitol:
      • Sat. 6/1 – WI State Capitol Rotunda –10:00 am – 2:00pm – Vigil & Fast to End the Genocide.
      • Mon. 6/3 – Corner of Doty St. and MLK, Jr. Blvd – Noon – 1:00pm – Vigil & Fast to End the Genocide.
      • Mon. 6/3 – Meet at Doty and MLK, Jr. Proceed to City County Building 210 MLK, Jr. Blvd.
        1:00 – 2:00 pm.
         We will take our petition around to city and county leaders and staff.
      • Tue. 6/4 – WI State Capitol Rotunda – Noon – 6:00pm – Vigil & Fast to End the Genocide. We will take our petition around to state leaders and staff.
      • Wed. 6/5 – WI State Capitol Rotunda – Noon – 6:00pm – Vigil & Fast to End the Genocide. We will take our petition around to state leaders and staff.
      • Thur. 6/6 – WI State Capitol Rotunda – Noon – 5:00pm – Vigil & Fast to End the Genocide. We will take our petition around to state leaders and staff.
        5:00 pm – “Break the Fast Potluck” – Bring food, beverages, &/or funds for humanitarian relief in Gaza to a potluck in the State Capitol.

    If anyone wants to help expand the actions to locations beyond Madison, let us know – 608-630-3633. We will be updating this event page as more events become known to us.

    Activities that will unfold in the days that follow are still being planned. Please check back to the Facebook page for updates about the days following June 6th.

    For more information or to help with improving this campaign or our promotional materials, please call Building Unity at 608-630-3633.

  • We need to talk about Zionism


    We need to talk about Zionism

    Al Jazeera, 1 Jun 2024

    The Listening Post cuts through the confusion about Zionism and anti-Zionism in Western media and politics.

    In the coverage of Israel-Palestine in the Western media, an ideology that is central to the story – Zionism – rarely gets discussed. Instead, we hear a debate about whether opposition to it – anti-Zionism – is anti-Semitic.

    The Listening Post’s Daniel Turi reports on Zionism, the confusion that surrounds it, and what it tells us about the world’s longest-running occupation.

    Bernard Avishai – Professor, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
    Sherene Seikaly – Associate Professor of History, University of California at Santa Barbara
    Avi Shlaim – Emeritus Fellow, University of Oxford

  • All Eyes on Rafah

    Israel’s International Isolation and Drift Towards Authoritarianism

    Joel Beinin, Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History and Professor of Middle East History, Emeritus, Stanford University

    June 1, 2024

    Israel’s continuing war on the Gaza Strip and the shocking accounts of the human carnage it is inflicting on Rafah are deepening its international isolation. Global opinion is outraged by the unrelenting live-stream display of gruesome Palestinian civilian casualties, the targeting of humanitarian aid workers and journalists, and images of wanton cruelty by Israeli soldiers circulating on social media. Diplomatic and legal measures long discussed as alternatives to the failed U.S.-managed “peace-process” are materializing more rapidly since Israeli leaders publicly announced their genocidal intentions in invading Gaza.

    On May 28, Spain, Ireland, and Norway officially recognized Palestinian statehood. Two days later the government of Slovenia announced it will follow suit. Belgium, Luxembourg, and Malta are considering joining them. Altogether,145 of the 193 UN member states recognize Palestinian statehood, including 9 of the G20 and 10 of the 27 EU countries.


  • Israeli International Criminal Court Arrest Warrants

  • Israel’s covert war on the ICC exposed

    Top Israeli government and security officials have overseen a nine-year surveillance operation targeting the ICC and Palestinian rights groups to try to thwart a war crimes probe, a joint investigation reveals.

    ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan sworn in at the seat of the International Criminal Court, 16 June 2021. (ICC-CPI)

    By Yuval Abraham and Meron Rapoport, +972 Magazine, May 28, 2024

    In partnership with

    For nearly a decade, Israel has been surveilling senior International Criminal Court officials and Palestinian human rights workers as part of a secret operation to thwart the ICC’s probe into alleged war crimes, a joint investigation by +972 Magazine, Local Call, and the Guardian can reveal.

    The multi-agency operation, which dates back to 2015, has seen Israel’s intelligence community routinely surveil the court’s current chief prosecutor Karim Khan, his predecessor Fatou Bensouda, and dozens of other ICC and UN officials. Israeli intelligence also monitored materials that the Palestinian Authority submitted to the prosecutor’s office, and surveilled employees at four Palestinian human rights organizations whose submissions are central to the probe.

    According to sources, the covert operation mobilized the highest branches of Israel’s government, the intelligence community, and both the civilian and military legal systems in order to derail the probe.

    The intelligence information obtained via surveillance was passed on to a secret team of top Israeli government lawyers and diplomats, who traveled to The Hague for confidential meetings with ICC officials in an attempt to “feed [the chief prosecutor] information that would make her doubt the basis of her right to be dealing with this question.” The intelligence was also used by the Israeli military to retroactively open investigations into incidents that were of interest to the ICC, to try to prove that Israel’s legal system is capable of holding its own to account.

    Additionally, as the Guardian reported earlier today, the Mossad, Israel’s foreign intelligence agency, ran its own parallel operation which sought out compromising information on Bensouda and her close family members in an apparent attempt to sabotage the ICC’s investigation. The agency’s former head, Yossi Cohen, personally attempted to “enlist” Bensouda and manipulate her into complying with Israel’s wishes, according to sources familiar with his activities, causing the then-prosecutor to fear for her personal safety.