Tuesday, June 5, 2012

US Campaign Holds Strategy Call to Discuss Anti-Israel Initiatives

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation held a conference call on May 31, 2012, to discuss strategies and tactics that could be used to end US military aid to Israel.

The call featured presentations by several grassroots anti-Israel activists who discussed their efforts to pass local divestment resolutions in their regions, as well as two speakers who spoke about the efficacy of anti-Israel bus and billboard ads calling for an end to aid for Israel. The call was led and moderated by Josh Ruebner, the National Advocacy Director for the US Campaign.

A rundown of the call:

  • Mark Davidson, a pastor at the Presbyterian Church of Reconciliation in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, spoke about his efforts locally to unveil a bus ad campaign focusing on ending aid to Israel. He claimed that the ad campaign is almost ready and is being sponsored by several groups such as the Coalition of Peace and Justice and the Muslim Affairs Political Action Council in Raleigh.
  • Joyce Guinn, an activist from a local Milwaukee group called Friends of Palestine, talked about her group’s recent efforts to divest from Israel on a city level. According to Guinn, Friends of Palestine is currently seeking to get a divestment resolution passed through the Milwaukee County Common Council.
  • Cindy Corrie, the mother of Rachel Corrie, an International Solidarity Movement activist who was killed while protesting Israeli military operations in Gaza, spoke about local efforts in Washington State to divest from Israel. Corrie claimed that a resolution has been passed in Okanogan County, but it was impossible to verify that information.
  • Elaine Kinch, an activist with the Racine Coalition for Peace and Justice in Wisconsin, spoke about her divestment efforts, including protesting outside a GE Shareholders Conference in late April. Kinch distributed anti-Israel pamphlets from If Americans Knew and collected signatures at the conference calling for an end to aid to Israel.
  • Natalia Cuadra, a coordinator for the United Methodist Kairos Response, talked about UMKR’s recent efforts to pressure the Methodist Church to divest from Israel at the United Methodist Church Conference in April. The divestment resolution failed to pass. 

While none of these efforts seem to have much legs, it is notable that local activists have the opportunity to brainstorm and collaborate with one another in the hopes of making their movement that much more successful.

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