I hope you have enjoyed some rest and time with loved ones as the year comes to a close. During Christmas shopping peak, I joined with friends for a…
Wedding Flash Mob at Bed Bath & Beyond!
http://youtu.be/LEMygqMI-fg -- Check out the video and please pass it on!
(You will see I prioritized projecting the message over staying on tune :-).)
Looking into 2012, I am excited about the growing global BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) campaigns and an upcoming trip to Palestine to reconnect with the heart of the struggle. Being in Palestine always grounds me in why we all do this work -- why it must succeed and why it absolutely will succeed.
Want to join me? I am co-leading another delegation with the Interfaith Peace-Builders in May 2012 -- my third year in a row! (Last year, many of you donated to the St Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee to help us send my colleague and friend Colleen Kelly to Palestine. Your generosity meant so much to both of us. You can read Colleen, my, and another of our colleague's dispatches from Palestine at http://www.pscinpalestine.blogspot.com/ .)
If you're interested, below is some information on the trip, as well as information about youth scholarships.
(Preface: I send this out with consciousness that travel to Palestine is not an option for everyone, especially for Palestinian-Americans who are routinely banned by Israel's practices of denying them entry. May these delegations no longer be necessary someday when Palestinians have the access to visit or live in their homeland that is their right.)
May 2012 Delegation to Palestine/Israel
An Environment Under Siege: Occupation's Effect on People and Nature
May 19 - June 1, 2012
Delegation Leaders: Anna Baltzer & Philip Farah
This delegation will explore current realities of life for Israelis and Palestinians, including settlements, the occupation, and the peace process—by learning directly from those living there. We will also explore issues pertaining to the intersection of environmental justice and human rights, delving into the ways in which the occupation has affected the environment and therefore the livelihood of Palestinians and Israelis. Topics may include freedom of access to land and water, sanitation and pollution, and deforestation. The itinerary will feature meetings with leaders of civil society groups, grassroots organizers, religious leaders, organizations with projects focused on the environment and more.
Join the Email List for This Delegation: http://tinyurl.com/7e5qjej
DEADLINE TO APPLY: Please apply by February 10, 2012 to ensure we'll have space and be able to arrange your flight. Our last several delegations have filled up several months before departure, so please apply as soon as possible to reserve your space. If you've missed the deadline, we might still be able to add you, but please contact us ASAP to see if this is a possibility.
Download Application for the Delegation here: http://www.ifpb.org/documents/delegations/IFPB%20application.doc
Philip Farah is a Palestinian born in Jerusalem, four years after his family lost their home in the 1948 War—the Nakba. Upon graduating from the American University of Beirut in 1968, he returned to occupied East Jerusalem and taught at several schools as well as Birzeit University in the West Bank. Before emigrating to the US in 1978, he was active in the first Palestinian-Israeli dialogue group opposed to the occupation. He is currently Vice President of the Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace. He lives with his wife and three children in the Washington Metro area where he works as an economist.
Anna Baltzer is an award-winning speaker, writer, and organizer for Palestinian rights. Since she began volunteering with the International Women's Peace Service, documenting human rights abuses and supporting Palestinian-led nonviolent resistance. Anna has appeared on television more than 100 times and lectured at more than 400 universities, schools, churches, mosques, and synagogues around the world. She is the author of Witness in Palestine: A Jewish American Woman in the Occupied Territories. Currently, she is also the National Organizer with US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. Anna previously co-led two IFPB delegations in 2010 & 2011.
The cost of the delegation will be around $2100. This includes 13 days of the delegation, hotel and home stay accommodations, breakfasts and dinners, local transportation, guides, speaker/event fees, basic tips and gratuities. Partial scholarships may be available for those with demonstrable need.
The cost does not include domestic and international airfare. Interfaith Peace-Builders works with a local travel agent in Jerusalem to secure the best group rates for the delegation to travel together on the same flight from Washington, DC to Israel/Palestine. Therefore, delegates do not need to book their own international airfare.
Delegates will be expected make arrangements to be in Washington DC by 2pm on May 19, 2012.
Click on the link to learn much more about delegation specifics, including who we meet, cost, and application information: http://www.ifpb.org/delegations/default.html
SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE! (for the above or later delegations)
IFPB is offering two $1,000 scholarships for students and recent graduates. In addition, applicants will also be considered for smaller financial aid packages from IFPB, ranging from $250 - $500.
Apply at www.ifpb.org/1000scholarship
SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION DEADLINE: January 20, 2012
Scholarships will be applied towards delegation cost of $2,100 (Includes accommodations, breakfasts and dinners, guides, sustained support upon your return, and more). Cost does not include international or domestic airfare.
Thanks for reading this far! Best wishes for a new year full of fun, light, justice, and freedom for all. As I continue my work with the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, you can receive more frequent emails from me by signing up for our email list on our homepage here: http://www.endtheoccupation.org/.
PS. Here's a quick petition for Professor Marc Ellis -- one of the most prominent Jewish theological voices against Israel's treatment of the Palestinian people -- whose job at Baylor University seems to be in jeopardy as a result of his political outspokenness. Sign here.
PPS. Social media: And as always, you can catch me on Facebook here and on Twitter here.
Also, the International Women's Peace Service, with which I volunteered in Palestine for many years (my time with them is the subject of my book), is now on Facebook and posting updates daily. Join their page here!
Tuesday, January 03, 2012