Action Guide for Israel’s Assault on Human Rights Defenders

US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, 22 Oct 2021

Earlier today, the Israeli Ministry of Defense designated six leading Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations, such as Defense for Children International – Palestine and Addameer, as “terrorist organizations.”
This is another front in the expansion of lawfare and a dangerous expansion of Israel’s attacks on Palestinian dignity, livelihood, and activism.

These six vital organizations are dedicated to defending human rights, children’s rights, political prisoner’s rights, farmer’s lands and livelihoods, gender justice, and more.
Repressive governments have long used baseless claims of ‘terrorism’ to imprison and criminalize advocates for justice, a tactic U.S. organizations in the Black Lives Matter, environmental justice, and Palestine solidarity movements are all too familiar with.
This strategy is textbook repression, which apartheid Israel is employing to intimidate and silence Palestinian human rights defenders who dare to hold it accountable for its crimes.

We declare our solidarity with these six partners in Palestine, and we’re sounding the alarm. Please join us in taking action today and in the coming days:

  1. Share this USCPR statement on social media to raise awareness and declare your solidarity: Twitter thread, Instagram post, and Facebook post.
  2. Check out our online Action Guide for more background and other actions to take. (This is evolving and will continue to get updated going forward.)
  3. If you’re in the U.S., use our partner Jewish Voice for Peace Action’s click-to-call tool to raise your voice with Congress now.

Thank you so much for your support and solidarity.

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Israel labels 6 Palestinian human rights organizations ‘terrorist’

If Mark Pocan is your representative, please contact his office and thank him, BUT request that he speak out more forcefully and publicly on this.

Pocan’s direct contact info:

  • Madison phone: 608-258-9800
  • DC phone: 202-225-2906
  • Email form

Also, please sign and circulate this petition from If Not Now:

Sec. Blinken: Condemn Israel’s “Terrorist” Designation of Palestinian Human Rights Groups. This is a nationally coordinated campaign by many groups, so be sure to do this! And spread the word.

Dane County Board letter campaign

This campaign by Madison for Palestine is endorsed by MRSCP.

Use the following links to find your Dane County Board supervisor and compose a letter asking them to support proposed resolution 2021 RES-131, urging the Biden Administration to end military aid to Israel in the wake of the recent assault on Gaza.

New Prime Minister, Same Human Rights Violations

Dear Friend,

I am heavy, but hopeful. The last two weeks have been heartbreaking and enraging in so many ways: we see U.S. government fingerprints, our tax dollars at work, on carnage around the world, from Afghanistan to Palestine. Our government has left the Afghan people to a chaotic power vacuum in the aftermath of 20 years of U.S. invasion, and denied refuge to so many. And the U.S. welcomed the new Prime Minister of Apartheid Israel, Naftali Bennett, to the White House just days after Israeli forces shot Palestinian protesters in Gaza, injuring a 13-year-old child.

But as a communication professional in advocacy, I know the power of shifting the narrative to transform what’s possible for future policy. This week we’ve seen people-powered actions disrupting the narratives of the powerful. On Afghanistan, that looks like an outpouring of people’s support for Afghan refugees—follow Afghans for a Better Tomorrow on Instagram and Twitter for one view into the outpouring of community support for providing refuge to Afghans made vulnerable by our disastrous foreign policy. And on Palestine, we’ve been part of a powerful conclusion to August’s month of action this week, with people like you speaking up in the media, in joint letters, and in the streets to condemn this red carpet rollout for war criminal Bennett and push toward an end to U.S. support for Israel’s colonialism once and for all.

Join us by raising your voice: Today the mainstream media is reporting on Israeli PM Bennett and President Biden’s meeting on “peace” and “security,” while an end to billions of dollars of U.S. weapons to bomb, cage, and displace Palestinians remains off the agenda.



Sign this petition
to demand President Biden support real justice for Palestinians.

Ben & Jerry’s: Stop supporting apartheid in Palestine

SumOfUs, June 28, 2021

Last month, during the eleven-day assault by Israeli military on the Gaza Strip, 256 Palestinians, including 66 children, died. And last week, thousands of right-wing nationalists paraded around Jerusalem shouting ‘death to Arabs’.

The only way to stop the never-ending cycle of settlement expansion and violence is to make the economic cost of this illegal occupation too high to bear. 

Ben & Jerry’s has been one of the world’s most progressive companies since its inception, but they continue to sell and operate on stolen Palestinian land. 

And if we can get them to stop supporting the apartheid regime, other global companies like Puma and Motorola will be forced to follow suit.

Tell Ben & Jerry’s: stop supporting the brutal occupation of Palestine.

The recent violence in the region is just the latest in the chapter of oppression of Palestinians — a conflict that is marked by decades of apartheid, colonization, land theft, forced evictions, demolitions, and displacement of Palestinians by settlers waving Israel’s flag.

While Israeli settlers on stolen Palestinian land use freezers to store Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, people in Gaza have no choice but to use them to store the bodies of dead Palestinians babies as was the case after the deadly assault when close to 2,000 were killed in 2014.

The company’s normally active social media has been silent since the eleven-day assault. We know from inside sources that Ben & Jerry’s is deciding right now whether to pull out of Israel for good.

Call on Ben & Jerry’s and other companies to end its complicity in the apartheid of Palestinian people.

After decades of silence, the world is speaking out against the apartheid of Palestinian people in a real way — in London alone, 100,000 people marched the streets in solidarity with Palestinians last month.

And we know when SumOfUs pushes corporations on the issue of Palestine, they listen. When close to 200,000 SumOfUs supporters called on Airbnb to pull its listings from illegally occupied Palestine we got it to temporarily agree to delist.

More than 150 organizations around the world have called on Ben & Jerry’s to leave Israel. Let’s join them and make this happen.

Call on Ben & Jerry’s to end its association with the apartheid regime in Israel now.


More information

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End U.S. Tax Dollars for Israel’s Genocide of Palestinians

Leah Muskin-Pierret, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), June 15, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC — 🔥 Statement & Call to Action:

The US Campaign for Palestinian Rights condemns the state-sanctioned, racist, anti-Palestinian flag march on June 15, 2021 in Jerusalem and continuing bombing of Palestinians in Gaza and calls for the U.S. to immediately stop funding Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. USCPR also asks people’s movements and organizations to express their support for Palestinian liberation, in order to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people who, united, defy these Israeli settlers’ attempts to intimidate them.

The flag march is a blatant display of anti-Palestinian racism, in which Israeli settlers chant “Death to Arabs,” a clear call for genocidal violence against the Palestinian people. The United Nations Genocide Convention recognizes that genocide includes the act of killing members of a group “with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.”

The Israeli government backs this violence: the reality of state-sanctioned violence was made extremely clear again today when Israeli soldiers beat a Palestinian young man and a Palestinian woman for raising a Palestinian flag in a sea of Israeli flags, while protecting Israeli Jewish demonstrators calling for burning Palestinian homes. According to latest reports, Israeli forces have assaulted and arrested Palestinian people in Jerusalem today, injuring 33 people, while clearing out shops and closing Damascus Gate for the flag march. This brutal violence cannot be separated from the continuous assaults on the Gaza Strip that have massacred generations of Palestinian families, horrific assaults that Israel is resuming as of 6pm ET today.

Especially at this moment, USCPR calls on members of Congress, leaders, and organizations to condemn this anti-Palestinian racism and violence and to hold Israel accountable for the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. The Palestinian people have been loudly and clearly demanding nothing short of an end to all to all U.S. complicity, but many members of Congress have not even taken the most basic action to support Palestinian rights.

At a bare minimum, members of Congress must cosponsor H.R. 2590, The Palestinian Children and Families Act, which insists on the rights to safety, dignity, and freedom for the Palestinian people: the freedom to thrive, free from child detention, home demolitions, continual Israeli annexation and land theft.

The new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has himself bragged about killing Arabs. The root of violence in Israeli policy is Zionism, Israel’s settler colonial project of displacing Palestinians to create an exclusive Jewish homeland in Palestine. Every Israeli government has advanced Israel’s colonialism and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.

People power makes political change possible, so USCPR echoes Palestinian calls for solidarity. The Palestinian people, who are rising up for liberation from Israel’s colonialism, are asking for support through boycott, divestment, and sanctions tactics that pressure Israel to stop violating Palestinian rights. Palestinian people in the U.S. have also outlined five vision and policy demands for justice in “Freedom Is The Future”. Read the demands at: www.freedomfuture.org/demands and take immediate action to advance justice and stop U.S. funding for Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people at: bit.ly/NoFundsForGenocide.

📢 Take action & amplify Palestinian demands for justice right now:

  1. USCPR Statement — End the Flow of U.S. Tax Dollars to Israel’s Genocide of the Palestinian People: https://uscpr.org/nofundsforgenocide
  2. Take action right now with this Twitter action tool: http://bit.ly/NoFundsForGenocide
  3. Linktree with solidarity resources & actions: linktr.ee/uscpr
  4. Twitter lists on
    Jerusalem: https://twitter.com/i/lists/1404904413370667015 (USCPR new list)
    Gaza: https://twitter.com/i/lists/41289860 (thank you IMEU)
  5. Continue reading

Update: May 18, 2021
EMERGENCY VIGIL FOR GAZA AND PALESTINE


Names of Palestinian Casualties as of May 16, 2021
Names of Palestinian Casualties as of May 16

Plaza at Trader Joes
Monroe and Spooner Streets
Madison, Wisconsin
8 — 9 pm

The devastation and loss of life caused by Israel’s unrelenting bombardment of Gaza is drastically escalating, with no end in sight. Today, a General Strike was held by Palestinians in the West Bank and inside Israel in protest of Israel’s assault and in support of Sheikh Jarrah and against Israel’s Apartheid rule. Meanwhile, the reported death toll has risen to at least 217 including 63 children and 36 women. Tens of thousands are displaced and there is widespread destruction of housing, government buildings businesses and infrastructure. For updates, see Middle East Eye.

Here in Madison, MRSCP has decided to hold a lighted sign vigil from 8-9 pm at the circular plaza in front of Trader Joes, at Monroe and West Lawn/Spooner Street.

We have decided to go ahead due to the urgency of the situation and the need to support the Palestinian call for a day of action despite the weather. If there is too much rain, wind, or lightning to do this safely we will shift the vigil to tomorrow night.

Please join us. Dress for the weather and bring umbrellas, a flashlight, and any signs you might have. We apologize for the late notice.

Thanks for your support,
Barb O.

Emergency Aid Appeal


First of all, thanks to those who turned out for yesterday’s banner drop and today’s demonstration at the Capitol covered by Channel 27 News. Demonstrations were held all over the world yesterday and today, even in France where they were prohibited by the Macron government at the last minute.

As I write this, live media coverage out of Gaza by Arabic channels is showing the constant bombardment of Gaza that takes place every night. As you may have heard, Israel destroyed yet another high rise building in Gaza, this time the one that also houses many press agencies including AP. Here is a video of the building owner pleading for just 10 extra minutes.

This was preceded by the destruction of 17 media offices and the wounding of 3 journalists in Gaza. Clearly Israel does not want anyone to know what is really going on.

Israel also destroyed a house in Shati (Beach) Camp and killed 10 members of one family.

And there were many injuries as Palestinians protested across the West Bank. Yesterday, 11 were killed by Israel.

The U.S. media is barely reporting and certainly not showing the extent of the damage and casualties. If you want know the reality including pictures please go to Al Jazeera English and Middle East Eye.

Also, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) in Gaza issues daily reports documenting in excruciating detail the damage, deaths and injuries, including what is happening in the West Bank and to Israel’s Palestinian population.

And for direct, personal experiences and perspectives on life in Gaza be sure to regularly check out We Are Not Numbers.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Emergency Relief: At this time the Middle East Children’s Alliance recommends donations to the Paliroots Food Project.

Action: Four Things Recommended by MRSCP: (from our Op-Ed of today in The Capital Times)

  1. Demand that the Biden administration denounce Israel’s illegal expulsions of Palestinians and the demolition of their homes & property. Ask Senator Tammy Baldwin to follow the lead of Rep. Mark Pocan and others in Congress and do the same.
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Update: Fresh Food for Families in Rafah

Josie Shields-Stromsness, Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA)

Update for Madison Rafah Sister City Project

BACKGROUND
The economic situation in the Gaza Strip is deteriorating dramatically as a result of the continuation of the Israeli occupation and the Israeli blockade. The precautions taken to limit the spread of coronavirus including imposing of lockdowns and curfews have worsened the dire situation. As a result, more than 70% of the population are reported below the poverty line and food insecurity and malnutrition pose serious risks to the health of hundreds of thousands of people, particularly children.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
With donations from MRSCP, MECA and our local partner in Gaza, the Never Stop Dreaming Association, were able to provide nutritious food parcels to families in need in Rafah while also supporting local farmers and businesses.

We received additional funding from several individuals and organizations in the United States for this project and in total were able to provide 1413 families in Rafah, Khan Younis and the middle region of the Gaza Strip with food parcels. Families were nominated by community organizations in each location and then checked against official lists to ensure we are reaching people most in need. MRSCPs donations of $4655 provide food parcels to 116 families in Rafah governate in the southern Gaza Strip, the transportation, warehouse rental, and meals for volunteers were covered by other funding sources.

The contents of the food parcels were purchased from 4 farms employing 24 individuals and 3 small grocery stores. This project therefore provided critical income to 27 families in Gaza.

Each food parcel contained fresh vegetables, chickens, and other household staples designed to provide each family with the necessary items to make healthy, balanced meals for two weeks. MECA staff member Wafaa El-Derawi is a trained nutritionist and oversaw the contents of the parcels.

CHALLENGES
We faced some challenges with the COVID-19 restrictions in Gaza. We overcame this by having several distribution points, providing all staff and volunteers with masks and gloves, and by organizing pick up times well so there was not overcrowding at the warehouses.

Some families from remote areas could not reach the distribution points. With help from the local community organizations in each location, we were able to arrange transportation for these families.

The number of nominated cases was more than the food parcels. This was overcome through rapid research to identify the most difficult cases and families living in severe poverty to prioritize their coverage.

SUCCESSES
Beneficiaries had positive evaluation of the contents of the food parcels. We received many comments appreciating the fresh vegetables and chicken which are unusual in food parcels.

One family in Rafah that received the food parcel was particularly appreciated. She lives with her family – her sick husband and her 11 children – in a marginalized area. Their house doesn’t have a roof, instead corrugated iron board covers part of it, leaving them to drown in rains every winter. The family has no source of livelihood, and they live on food aid. They were very happy with the food and chicken package. She thanked and prayed for all those in charge of the project.


The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project is joining with MECA, ZamZam Water, PaliRoots, and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees to provide food parcels to families in Rafah. As always, MECA strives to support the local economy while providing much needed aid for families. With these food parcels many Palestinian farmers and cooperatives benefit, and the end result is a healthy and local package of eggs, vegetables, beans, lentils, rice, cheese, za’atar and more.

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Biden should end support for bombing and starvation of Yemen


People run following an explosion at the airport in Aden, Yemen, shortly after a plane carrying the newly formed Cabinet landed on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020. No one on board the government plane was hurt but initial reports said several people at the airport were killed. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

Madison-Rafah Sister City Project, The Cap Times, January 25, 2021

For over five years, Yemenis have endured a civil war which has already killed nearly a quarter-million people. Roughly half of those who perished died from war-induced malnutrition, disease and lack of basic services.

Intervening on one side, a Saudi-led and U.S.-supported coalition has used overwhelming military force — including laser-guided bombs and other high-tech weapons supported by our tax dollars — to systematically devastate huge areas of Yemen that their rivals control.

The U.S. has supplied combat ships that are vital to the naval and air blockade presently denying millions of people in Yemen essential food and medicine (90% of Yemen’s food supply is imported).

The U.S. has also directly carried out bombing raids against those it labels “terrorists.” Recently, Congress failed to stop the Trump administration from selling F-35s like those the Air Force wants to station at Truax to the United Arab Emirates, one of the countries bombing Yemen.

As was predicted, famine is now widespread. Two-thirds of Yemenis are hungry and many tens of thousands, especially children, are truly bloated-belly-and-stick-limbs starving. Moderate to severe malnutrition afflicts a quarter of the population, including more than 2 million children.

And now COVID-19 has joined cholera and diphtheria in exponentially compounding their misery.

Bad Yemen policy predates the outgoing administration, but things got worse under Trump. Along with Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the U.S. slashed contributions to international relief agencies trying to mitigate the carnage in Yemen.

Just as they applied “maximum pressure” to the recalcitrant Palestinians by eliminating U.S. funds to UNRWA, the UN agency critical to their survival, the Trump administration did not hesitate to further destroy the lives of the poor, weak, sick and elderly people of Yemen in pursuit of its foreign policy agenda.

Now the Trump administration has made good on its long-standing threat to label Ansar Allah, an Iran-supported Houthi militia in the coalition opposing our dear friends the Saudis, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. This is designed to tighten the already suffocating blockade of Yemen.

In November, major international humanitarian organizations begged U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to make this designation, warning that humanitarian relief could be crippled by charges of aiding terrorism for cooperating with rebels in delivery of relief to civilian populations.

Neither Ansar Allah nor the Houthis pose any threat to the U.S. or its citizens, but that didn’t keep the FTO designation from speeding ahead as Trump, egged on by his allies in Israel and Saudi Arabia, maneuvered to keep the Biden administration from altering our reckless, aggressive campaign against Iran.

No FTO designation has yet been reversed in less than two years.

Millions of Yemen’s children don’t have another two years.

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