A well received program
on the U.S. role in the Israel-Palestine conflict in July led our San
Jose CA Branch's Middle East Campaign committee to invite two guests to
the August meeting.
We were eager to follow up on Betsy Wolf-Graves research showing
U.S. military aid to Israel at $3 billion annually and the failure of
Congress to support the United Nations condemnation of the 450-mile
system of walls and barriers in the Occupied Territories.
Samir Lahoun at the August meeting suggested ways to exercise our rights
to promote peace in the Middle East:
- Get educated on
the topic. There are many excellent sources of information, among them
the Washington Report on the Middle East Affairs, KPFA (94.1 FM), Haaretz
(Israeli daily) and the Independent (United Kingdom) as well as wrmea.com,
intifada.net and imeu.net.
- Meet with and
educate your Congressional representative (locate
your rep) and
Senators Dianne Feinsten and Barbara Boxer.
- Write letters
to the editor and to reporters (correct misinformation, praise well-done
- Make use of PSAs
(public service announcements) on radio stations. Request that local
cable channels run informative documentaries: Wall of Hate, Palestine
Is Still the Issue, Peace Propaganda and the Promised Land are available.
Samia Shoman, a social
studies teacher of Palestinian descent, described conditions for people
living in the Occupied Territories. The number of checkpoints one must
pass to get from one part of the territories to another or from the territories
into Israel have multiplied. Farmers are cut off from their fields, noted
Betsy Wolf-Graves. To contact speakers, send a note to the WILPF San Jose Middle
national campaign asks:
What economic interests underlie the power struggles in the region? What
U.S. policy changes will end violence and promote justice?
Samia Shoman took
this photo of a section of the separation wall in the Occupied Territories
this summer. She is available to give presentations in the Bay Area.