The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project

Dane County Board approves call for ceasefire in Gaza

Joining local governments across the U.S.

Madison365 staff, Feb 19, 2024

A pro-Palestinian sign at a recent protest of the current crisis in Gaza at UW-Madison (Photo by Omar Waheed)

The Dane County Board of Supervisors has approved a resolution, introduced by County Board Supervisor Kierstin Huelsemann (District 27), calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and “urgent political action both to de-escalate the crisis and to prioritize truth, reconciliation, restitution, and the building of a future for the Israeli and Palestinian people.” 2023 Resolution 333 was approved at Thursday night’s board meeting.

Dane County joins local governments across the nation, including Cudahy, San Francisco, Oakland and Richmond, California; Wilmington, Delaware; Carrboro, North Carolina; Providence, Rhode Island; Detroit, Michigan; Atlanta, Georgia; and Madison in passing a resolution calling for a ceasefire. At least 68 members of Congress also have publicly called for a ceasefire in Gaza.

“The targeting of civilians, no matter their religion or ethnicity, is a violation of international humanitarian law,” said Huelsemann in a statement. “We cannot be silent in the face of the tremendous loss of life and the deepening humanitarian crisis, starvation, and displacement of fellow human beings that grows with each day this war continues.”

In addition to urging an immediate release of all hostages and cessation of hostilities toward civilians by all parties in the war, the resolution also urges the Biden Administration and elected Senate and Congress members to oppose additional funding for military action against Israelis and Palestinians in this war, and to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

According to the United Nations, since the start of the war on October 7, 2023, more than 100,000 people in Gaza have been killed, injured, or are missing, and over 2 million people have been displaced.

December 23, 2023
Update: Christmas is Cancelled – Sing for Palestine!

Madison and Milwaukee

Madison Sings Out for Palestine, December 23, 2023 / Photo: Wisconsin Bail Out The People Movement

2023-12-23 Madison Sing for Palestine!

Madison: Plaza Corner at Monroe Street and West Lawn Avenue, 12:30 P.M.
Free hot cocoa, coloring sheets for children, and caroling for Gaza.

Milwaukee: Bayshore Mall by Trader Joe’s Entrance, 1 P.M. (N Port Washington Rd. and E Silver Spring Drive)

Free hot coca, Coloring sheets for children and Caroling.

Art Builds for these Events will be on 12/22/23 from 6-8 P.M. (Milwaukee at Zao MKE Church) (Madison at Piney Branch Library)
Wisconsin Coalition for Justice in Palestine

Wisconsin All Out for Palestine December 9, 2023 in Madison. / Photo: Wisconsin Bail Out The People Movement

December 20, 2023
Potluck for Gaza and Phonebank for Humanity

Wednesday, December 20, 6-8 p.m. at Pasture & Plenty, 2433 University Ave.

It’s a phonebank potluck! Let food bring us together in collective action. Bring a Palestinian dish or dessert to pass, and join us in contacting our reps to bring an end to the humanitarian atrocities happening daily in Gaza for the last 2+ months. We will not let Palestine be erased.

We’re calling for CEASEFIRE NOW as the first step on the road to ending the occupation of Palestine. Bring stamps & a writing utensil, a cell phone or computer. Paper, envelopes, contact info for reps, & scripts will be provided.

PLEASE SHARE. NO RSVP NECESSARY (if you have questions or you’d like to let us know you’re coming so we can get a headcount, send a message to @emmawaldinger 🍉🍉

December 19, 2023
🕯️Candlelight Vigil at Senator Tammy Baldwin’s Office

We will host this vigil between 4:30 pm and 5:30 pm on Tuesday, December 19th in front of Senator Tammy Baldwin’s Madison office (State St. corner of the Capitol Square.) The vigil will provide community leaders of faith and/or conscience the opportunity to speak out for the need for an immediate ceasefire.

60 lawmakers have called for a ceasefire, but Senator Baldwin has not yet joined them. We are hopeful that with the extra pressure from thousands of her constituents, she will soon join the growing global outcry calling for a ceasefire.

Please invite others to join you, promote this candlelight vigil on Facebook (, and don’t hesitate to call us if you have any questions. 

If a member of your community is interested in being one of the people speaking at this vigil, please call 608-630-3633 to discuss that possibility.

Tim Cordon, Building Unity Coalition – (608) 630-3633
Jane Kavaloski, Chair of Interfaith Peace Working Group 

C’mon Madison, take a stand against the slaughter


Cease-fire protest
Members of international humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders hold placards during a protest for an end to the war in Gaza and for an immediate cease-fire, at Martyrs’ Square in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, on Dec. 4. 

I write this on Dec. 6, the day after the Madison Common Council passed a resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire in Gaza. While it would have been nice to see 21 names on the resolution as sponsors, it was nonetheless gratifying to see it pass unanimously.

And so our city government has said something. It has taken a stand and is demanding action from higher branches of government.

But what about the rest of us, Madison? What about our other institutions? What about our corporations? What about our community-based organizations? What about our houses of worship?

Supposedly people have been waking up over the past few years to racial injustice. Supposedly we learned things during the pandemic about gross inequities and how we need to think differently and to do differently and to be different. Supposedly we learned that Black lives actually do matter and what that means. Supposedly, we recognized the stolen Ho-Chunk lands we live upon and the historical genocide here at home. Supposedly, we learned that silence in the face of injustice is injustice itself — that silence is violence.

So many corporations today have departments of diversity, equity and inclusion. Supposedly, we learned this matters. Does it matter now, Madison? Many of those corporations issued statements immediately or in the days following Oct. 7 condemning the Hamas attack on Israel. How many of those same corporations and entities have uttered any words since as thousands of Palestinian civilians — so many of whom were children — have been slaughtered? There are many words that could be used to describe the slaughter, but however you name it, however you justify it or defend it or dress it up, the slaughter remains.

We are living in the days and in the moments that will define each of us as individuals. I invite you to jump forward in time, Madison. As you look to your future self decades from now, and then you look back upon this time and what you could have said or what you could have done, forget about how other people will judge you and ask instead, how will you judge yourself? Did you condone the slaughter of thousands? Just how complicit were you? Did you have social or political capital? Did you use it? Did you have the opportunity to say something or to do something to demand the end to the slaughter? Did you say it? Did you do it?

Just because the city of Madison passed its resolution demanding a cease-fire in Gaza doesn’t mean you don’t still have to do whatever it is that you can do, Madison. What we are seeing is racial injustice on the most severe and extreme levels. We are seeing racially and ethnically and religiously motivated genocide. Where do you stand, Madison? What have you learned? Where is our corporate responsibility?

Corporations, you can get on the right side. Work on diversity, equity and inclusion isn’t just about philanthropy and affinity groups. You can save lives. You can at least speak out to save lives. You can apply political pressure.

You know how to do it. It’s really just a question of whether you want to or not. Or maybe you think the slaughter is OK?

Tariq Saqqaf is former chair of The Capital Times Kids Fund’s Child and Family Development Committee.

Share your opinion on this topic by sending a letter to the editor to Include your full name, hometown and phone number. Your name and town will be published. The phone number is for verification purposes only. Please keep your letter to 250 words or less.

December 16, 2023
Dar al-Kalima University Cookie and Crafts Sale

9:00 – noon
Memorial United Church of Christ
5705 Lacy Rd, Fitchburg

This will be the 19th year of selling crafts and cookies to support a full-year scholarship to a student at Dar Al Kalima University of Arts and Culture in Bethlehem.

We sell hand-made crafts made by the congregation, and Christmas cookies by the pound.

December 14+ 2023
Daily Occupation for a Ceasefire

Isthmus | Madison, Wisconsin

9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Building Unity is joining with “Madison for a World Beyond War” and others who are holding down a daily occupation at: Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s Office, 30 W. Mifflin St.

It started on December 1, 2023. While we all hope that this occupation will soon become unnecessary with the onset of a permanent ceasefire in Palestine, we are prepared to keep our presence going at Senator Baldwin’s Madison office through at least December 15, 2023.

Of course if Senator Baldwin meets our demand and calls for a ceasefire before our “possible last day” on Dec. 15, our focus at her office will shift dramatically.

Join us anytime and for as little or as much as you can.
DAILY | Monday – Friday | 9:00AM until 5:00PM

Come when the time is right for you, come to one of the special occupation events, come by yourself, or bring friends, family, and neighbors … Just come! Every person has a gift to offer at this ongoing occupation/sit-in.

For more information about this sit-in/occupation, please go to:

We want to express our respect and gratitude to Senator Baldwin and her Madison Office Staff. They have been friendly, professional, and committed to treating their Madison office as an “office for the people.” They have been honoring and respectful of our right to assemble and for that we are grateful. The kind and respectful exchanges that we are sharing with them, bring some hope that together, we can move in the direction of peace for Palestine.

Please come in and thank the Senator’s staff for their kindness.

30 W. Mifflin St. (State St. Corner of the Capitol Square)

Please also call their office to share your views about the need for a ceasefire now! (608) 264-5338 – Senator Baldwin’s Madison Office

Please also call her in Washington D.C. – (202) 224-5653

For questions, comments, ideas, or concerns, please call Building Unity at 608-630-3633.


Politics & Activism



December 14, 2023
IfNotNow Hanukah Candle Lighting for Ceasefire

🕯️ Everyone is warmly invited to Hanukah Candle Lighting for Ceasefire this Thursday at 6pm-6:30pm on the Capitol Square (at East Washington and Pinckney).

📆 Please RSVP at the following link: 🔗

🔊 We will briefly share song, art, conversation, silence, and light.
🫂 We will connect, as we show that Jews, Jewish community members, and Jewish traditions demand justice, a ceasefire, and Palestinian self-determination.
🫶🏻This event is part of a network of Hanukah events organized by our movement partner IfNotNow.
☎️ Please reach out to me ( or 8435320410) with any questions or anything I can do to welcome you on Thursday.
Blessings and thank you!
Amanda and Samantha
(JVP members, working with IfNotNow)


December 13, 2023
Live Online with Gaza Poet Mosab Abu Toha

Join Middle East Children’s Alliance for this special online event with poet Mosab Abu Toha. The event will honor two dear friends and colleagues Refaat Al-Areer & Doaa Al-Masri who were killed by Israeli attacks several days ago and feature poetry by Refaat as well as Mosab’s own work.

Mosab is the founder of MECA partner the Edward Said Public Library in Gaza. Mosab will be joining us from Cairo to speak about his personal experiences living through seven weeks of Israel’s genocidal attacks.



Cherrie Hanson, Wisconsin Muslim Journal, Dec 12, 2023

Photos by Kamal Moon

The Wisconsin All Out For Palestine March drew thousands of people to the State Capitol in Madison on Dec. 9. Organized by the Wisconsin Coalition for Justice in Palestine, (WCJP) it was the largest, most diverse protest for Palestine in the state’s history. (video)

A caravan of cars, trucks and buses departed from Milwaukee’s park and ride on College Ave. displaying a sea of Palestinian flags showing support and solidarity. Caravans came in from other parts of the state as well.

Janan Najeeb, executive director and founder of Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition who emceed the march, spoke passionately to the crowd,

“Thank you for coming to this historic event, and to those who traveled for hours to show the children of Palestine, they are not forgotten. This event was organized by the Wisconsin Coalition for Justice in Palestine, an organization that convened on October 8, and now two months later,  consists of nearly 60 organizations from around the state.

“These are people like you who want to be on the right side of history.  Organizations and individuals that refuse to be silent as a genocide takes place with our tax dollars, who spend sleepless nights trying to end this holocaust perpetuated by the depraved government of Israel. Never in history have so many children been subjected to such a brutal death within such a short period of time. Israel can list this as an accomplishment that will go down in history and define it forever.” 


WCJP activists, civic leaders and students declarations:

  • We are here in unity to demand a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and a permanent lifting of the siege
  • An end to all US aid to Israel and an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine, we will not be complicit in genocide
  • We demand an end to the criminalization of speech in support of Palestine; We will not be silenced!
  • We demand the freeing of all political prisoners in Israeli prisons including the thousands of innocent children and civilians kidnapped in the last two months in the West Bank
  • We demand reparations and reconstruction for Gaza 

Dodie Whitaker sang “We Rise” and poets Tasneem Jassar, the 2023-24 Milwaukee Emerging Poet fellow and Angie Trudell Vasquez, Madison Poet Laureate shared their powerful messages.

Along the stops of the march, Etsy Dinur, Jewish Voice for Peace- Madison; Rory Donovan, Wisconsin Labor for Palestine; Lex Nutile, Party for Socialism and Liberation – Milwaukee; Sarah Wunderlich (Kalu’hya ko ha), Oneida Nation; Lo Cross, Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression; Sabine Wolter, Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression and Sileen Alomari, Students for Justice in Palestine-Madison took turns addressing the crowd of thousands.

Israel’s military campaign has now killed more than 17,400 people in Gaza — 70% of them women and children — and wounded more than 46,000, according to the Palestinian territory’s Health Ministry, which says thousands more are trapped under rubble and there is minimal equipment to remove them. Clearly, the government of Israel is actively targeting women and children.

Then, last Friday the vote in the 15-member United Nations Security Council was 13-1 with Secretary of State Antony Blinken again defending the U.S. government’s decision to veto the resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire in Gaza. Despite the global support for a cease-fire to end what human rights groups are calling the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, the U.S stood alone in its choice to veto the resolution and allow the genocide to continue.

Dmitry Polyansky, Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador, called the vote “one of the darkest days in the history of the Middle East. History will judge Washington’s actions” in the face of what he called a “merciless Israeli bloodbath.” 

More Photos ➤

Thousands March in Madison, Wisconsin for Palestine

Demand: ‘Stop the U.S. – Israel Genocidal Apartheid!

Wisconsin Bail Out the People Movement, December 9, 2023

23-12-09 WI Bail Out the People Movement

More photos on Facebook (You can cancel the login pop-up.)

Hundreds take to Wis. Capitol in support of Palestine

The Wisconsin Coalition for Justice in Palestine (WCJP) put on the event, but the entity was representing more than 50 organizations throughout the state.

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – Hundreds of Wisconsinites took to the Capitol Square Saturday afternoon in what organizers are calling the largest pro-Palestine march in the history of the state.

Attendees from across Wisconsin attended the gathering to advocate for a ceasefire and let Palestinians know they have support all the way across the world.

The Wisconsin Coalition for Justice in Palestine (WCJP) put on the event, but the entity was representing more than 50 organizations throughout the state.

“I think we want to see an end to the bloodshed, that’s our first demand,” organizer Sabine Wolter said. “Ultimately though I think we’d like to see an end to U.S. aid to Israel, and just see U.S. intervention out. We don’t want to see our tax dollars going to bombing people in Gaza, that doesn’t do us any good.”

The gathering, deemed ‘family-friendly,’ featured speakers, informational booths, and a march around the Capitol.

Barbara Olson is a member of Madison Rafah Sister City Project, an organization that seeks to increase awareness of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“And I think what’s happening now is that because social media and to some extent regular media is finally exposing the depths of the horror that’s going on there, that anybody with a conscience and a heart is appalled by this,” she said.

Organizers with the WCJP listed the following objectives prior to today’s event:

  • Permanent ceasefire in Gaza
  • Lift the siege of Gaza
  • End all USA aid to Israel
  • End Israeli occupation of Palestine
  • End criminalization of speech in support of Palestine
  • Free all political prisoners in Israeli prisons
  • Reparations and reconstruction for Gaza