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June 5, 2012 Off

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 Knewand 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.