Registration packet including congressional asks and information
A PROGRAM OF INTERFAITH PEACE-BUILDERS AND THE U.S. CAMPAIGN TO END THE ISRAELI OCCUPATION
MORE INFORMATION AT WWW.IFPB.ORG/GRASSROOTS
email@example.com ·202.244.0821· www.ifpb.org
The following events are official Grassroots Advocacy Training and Lobby Day events. There are also affiliated events
scheduled for Saturday, March 5; and Tuesday, March 8, and organized by the American Friends Service Committee, the
US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and Interfaith Peace‐Builders.
Official Event Locations:
Sunday, March 6
Cesar Chavez School for Public Policy Mi Vecindad Restaurant
709 12th St. SE Cuban and Pan‐Latin Cuisine
Washington, DC 20003 1129 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Washington DC
Monday, March 7
Capitol Hill (The Methodist Building Meeting Room)
100 Maryland Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002
SUNDAY, MARCH 6
Location: Cesar Chavez School for Public Policy
9:30 – 11:00 am: Keynote Address
ISRAEL/PALESTINE IN THE AGE OF OBAMA AND THE TEA PARTY: What Does the Future Hold?
Nadia Hijab ‐ Co‐Director of Al‐Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network
11:00 – 11:15 am: Morning Break (light refreshments)
11:15 am – 12:15 pm: Introducing our Policy Asks
A chance to focus on Monday's Lobby Day, this session will introduce our shared policy asks and
discuss strategies to use on Capitol Hill
• Josh Ruebner ‐ National Advocacy Director at the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
• Abed Ayoub ‐ Legal Director at the American Arab Anti‐Discrimination Committee
Page | 3
12:15 ‐ 2:00 pm: Lunch Break (lunch provided for pre‐paid registrants)
Break‐Out Sessions: Meet with Your state lobbying groups to discuss congressional asks and plan your
1:15 ‐ 2:00 PM: Optional Informational Workshops
• The Interfaith Peace‐Builders Delegation Experience: What Makes an IFPB Delegation Unique?
Presented by Emily Siegel, Delegations Coordinator for Interfaith Peace‐Builders
• Using 'Reality Snippets' to Reshape American Public Opinion: New Media and Your Activism.
Presented by Ed Thompson of the Chicago Faith Coalition for Middle East Policy
• Understanding the Israel Lobby: How You Can Challenge AIPAC in DC this May. Presented by Medea
Benjamin, Rae Abileah and Shaden Dowiatt of CODEPINK
• US‐registered 501(c)3's and the Israeli Settlement Industry: Who Funds the Settlements and How Can
We Stop Them? Presented by Abed Ayoub of the American Arab Anti‐Discrimination Committee and
members of Northern Virginia Citizens for Middle East Peace
2:00 – 3:30 pm: Workshops
Workshop 1: Mobilizing the Grassroots: Generating Leverage through Constructive Campaigns
• Anna Baltzer ‐ award‐winning lecturer, author, and National Organizer at the US Campaign to End
the Israeli Occupation
• Loubna Qutami ‐ an International Executive Board Member for the Palestinian Youth Network and
Special Events Coordinator at the Arab Cultural Center in San Francisco
• Dalit Baum ‐ Coordinator of whoprofits.org, a project of the Coalition of Women for Peace (Israel),
and director of Global Exchange's Palestine Economic Activism Project
Workshop 2: Bringing Solidarity Home: Supporting Palestinian and Israeli Partners While Working for
• Andrew Kadi ‐ human rights activist, member of Adalah‐NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott
of Israel, and occasional contributor to the Guardian's Comment is Free, The Electronic Intifada,
Mondoweiss, Left Turn, and other publications
• Jennifer Bing ‐ Regional Program Coordinator of the Great Lakes Region of the American Friends
Workshop 3: Faith Based Organizing: Engaging Religious Communities and Creating Interfaith Space
• Naeem Baig ‐ Vice President for Public Affairs at the Islamic Circle of North America
• Mark Braverman ‐ Executive Director of Friends of Tent of Nations North America and Board
member of the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions USA
Workshop 4: Ending Military Aid to Israel: Mobilizing for Policy Change in Your Community
• Josh Ruebner ‐ National Advocacy Director at the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
3:30 ‐ 3:45 pm: Afternoon Break
Page | 4
3:45 ‐ 5:00 PM: Facilitated Panel Discussion
Policy Levers and Grassroots Fulcrums: Where Can We Push and Be Most Effective?
Facilitated by Mike Daly, Program Coordinator for Interfaith Peace‐Builders.
• Adam Horowitz ‐ Co‐editor of Mondoweiss, founding member of Jews Against the Occupation in
New York city and board member of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice
• Loubna Qutami ‐ International Executive Board Member for the Palestinian Youth Network and
Special Events Coordinator at the Arab Cultural Center in San Francisco
• Other presenters to be announced
5:00 – 5:15 pm: Final Plenary Meeting and Details for Monday
5:30 – 8:00 pm: Social Event and Fundraiser
Mi Vecindad Restaurant
Cuban and Pan‐Latin Cuisine
1129 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Washington DC
(1 block from training site)
Food available for purchase
Free entrance for Grassroots Advocacy Training Registrants
Non‐registrants suggested donation: $10 ‐ $50
Special Guest: Daoud Nassar – Palestinian farmer from Bethlehem and Director of the Tent of Nations
MONDAY, MARCH 7
Location: The Methodist Building Meeting Room
Between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM the Meeting Room at the Methodist Building will be available for registrants
to use for meeting, resting, and storing bags. The Methodist Building is accessible by Metrorail from Union
Station (Red Line)
10:00 am – 5:00 pm: Meetings on Capitol Hill
3:30 pm– 5:30 pm: Evaluation Session
The Methodist Building Meeting Room
A review and evaluation of the lobby day focused on tangible achievements and avenues for growth and success.
Moderated by Joe Groves ‐ Senior Fellow at Interfaith Peace‐Builders.
Page | 5
The following affiliated events are organized by the American Friends Service Committee or the American Arab Anti‐Discrimination
Committee, in cooperation with Interfaith Peace‐Builders and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. Your registration for
the Grassroots Advocacy Training covers only the official events of March 6 ‐ 7 detailed above.
SATURDAY, MARCH 5
12:00 ‐ 6:00 PM: Campus Organizing Conference
For students and youth. Featuring Panels and Interactive Workshops for Students and Youth Activists! Learn the
skills to catalyze your activism on your campus and in your community, featuring a special opportunity to “stump
the chump” and hear from experienced organizers on how to respond creatively to difficult organizing scenarios.
7:00 ‐ 9:00 PM: Evening Event ‐ "Telling the Story of Gaza"
Location: Busboys and Poets Restaurant, 2021 14th Street, NW, Washington DC (14th and V Streets)
Join bloggers Adam Horowitz (Mondoweiss) and Laila el‐Haddad (Gaza Mom) as they discuss their contributions to
the new book "The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict" (Nation
MONDAY, MARCH 7
(Pending Confirmation) 6:00 ‐ 8:30 PM: Reception and Panel Discussion
Location: American Arab Anti‐Discrimination Committee Heritage Center, 1732 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC
The American Arab Anti‐Discrimination Committee and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation welcome you to a
reception and panel discussion on current events and policy prescriptions for the Middle East. More information and
speakers to be announced.
The ADC Heritage Center is accessible by the DC Circulator Bus from Union Station (the Union Station ‐ Georgetown Line).
The DC Circulator departs from Union Station ‐ Parking Deck Mezzanine Level and drops off passengers at Wisconsin Ave
NW & 34th St NW (one block from the Heritage Center).
TUESDAY, MARCH 8
Location: Rayburn House Office Building, Room B‐339 (Capitol Hill)
9:00 ‐ 10:30 AM: Congressional Briefing
How U.S. Policy Impacts Us: Testimonies from Israelis and Palestinians
Israeli and Palestinian witnesses will tell seldom heard stories that raise critical questions about the effects of U.S.
policies on three key issues: property rights, freedom of movement, and U.S. military aid in the region. Voices of
those who are directly affected by the conflict will be highlighted.
Featuring expert testimony from:
• Daoud Nassar ‐ Palestinian farmer from Bethlehem and Director of the Tent of Nations. He will address
challenges posed by nearby Israeli settlements to his property.
• Leila el‐Haddad ‐ Palestinian blogger and journalist from Gaza. She will address freedom of movement for
Palestinians in Gaza.
• Elik Elhanan ‐ Former Israeli soldier and current peace advocate. He will address military aid and
militarism within Israel.
• Moderator: Helena Cobban ‐ Veteran writer and researcher on global affairs.
Page | 6
DIRECTIONS AND MAPS:
The following information provides directions and maps to each location at which official Grassroots Advocacy Training and Lobby
Day events will take place.
PARKING: Both event locations have limited street parking available. Participants are encouraged to take the
Washington DC Metro to the events, and/or park and metro to the locations.
The closest DC Metro parking lots to Cesar Chavez School are at Minnesota Avenue Station (Orange Line) or Capitol
Heights Station (Blue Line). DC Metro Station parking lots are free on weekends.
SUNDAY, MARCH 6
Official Event Locations:
Cesar Chavez School for Public Policy Mi Vecindad Restaurant
709 12th St. SE Cuban and Pan‐Latin Cuisine
Washington, DC 20003 1129 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Washington DC
DIRECTIONS TO CESAR CHAVEZ SCHOOL FOR PUBLIC POLICY (all March 6 daytime events):
METRO: Cesar Chavez School for Public Policy and Mi Vecindad Restaurant are accessible by Metrorail from
Eastern Market Station (Orange/Blue Lines).
Click here for a map of location and directions to/from Eastern Market Station.
NOTE: Parking is limited at the school and nearby streets. Participants are encouraged to travel via metro. For
metro directions and times, check www.wmata.com.
MONDAY, MARCH 8
Events will take place at Capitol Hill (Methodist Building)
The Methodist Building ‐ Meeting Room
100 Maryland Avenue NE (Capitol Hill)
Washington, DC 20002
Event: Lobby Day Evaluation Session, 3:30 ‐ 5:00 PM
Between 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM the meeting room at the Methodist Building will be available for registrants
to use for meeting, resting, and storing bags.
The Methodist Building is accessible by Metrorail from Union Station (Red Line). Click here for a google map of
location and here for directions to/from Union Station. Check schedules and your specific itinerary at
Page | 7
Capitol Hill Map (Methodist Building between Dirksen SOB and Supreme Court):
Page | 8
PRESENTERS AND WORKSHOP LEADERS:
Abed Ayoub, Esq., is Legal Director at the American Arab Anti‐Discrimination Committee. Abed is admitted to the Michigan State
Bar, and a member of the American Bar Association. He is a graduate of the University of Detroit‐Mercy School of Law, where he
received recognition for his public interest work and dedication to the legal community. He previously served as the Membership
and Development Coordinator for the ADC‐Michigan Office, as Chapter President of ADC‐Detroit, and sat on the ADC‐Michigan
Advisory Board. Before joining the ADC National Office in 2007, he was in private practice in Michigan, specializing in immigration
and criminal law. Outside of ADC, Abed worked with a number of organizations on interfaith projects and has participated in
numerous diversity training programs throughout the State of Michigan. Abed will co‐lead the session on Introducing our Policy Asks.
Naeem Baig is the Vice President for Public Affairs of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA). He is also Executive Director for
ICNA Council For Social Justice. Mr. Baig served as the Secretary General of the Islamic Circle of North America from 2000 to 2004,
and later from 2006 to 2008. He was recently elected to serve on the National Board of ICNA for the session 2010 ‐ 2012. Mr. Baig
played a major role in strengthening ICNA's Interfaith Relations Department. During his time as the Secretary General, ICNA became
member of many Interfaith Initiatives including Religions for Peace USA. Recently, Mr. Baig served as the consultant on the 'Study on
Christian‐Muslim Relations', sponsored by the Department of Interfaith Relations of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Currently, he co‐
chairs the 'National Muslim Christian Initiative'. Naeem will co‐lead a workshop on Faith Based Organizing: Engaging Religious
Communities and Creating Interfaith Space.
Anna Baltzer is National Organizer for the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. She is a renowned 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, Baltzer has appeared on television more than 100 times and
lectured at more than 400 universities, schools, churches, mosques, and synagogues around the world with her acclaimed
presentation, "Life in Occupied Palestine: Eyewitness Stories & Photos," and her full‐color book: Witness in Palestine: A Jewish
American Woman in the Occupied Territories. Anna has contributed to various other books on the subject, including Shifting Sands:
Jewish Women Confront the Israeli Occupation and Letters from Palestine. She is the recipient of the Arab‐American Anti‐
Discrimination Committee's prestigious Annual Rachel Corrie Peace & Justice Award and a Certificate of Commendation from the
Governor of Wisconsin for her commitment to justice in the Holy Land. She is a contributor to three upcoming books on the subject,
serves on the Board of Directors of The Research Journalism Institute, Grassroots Jerusalem, NewPolicy.org, and is co‐founder of the
St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee. Anna will co‐lead the workshop on Mobilizing the Grassroots: Generating Leverage
through Constructive Campaigns.
Dalit Baum, Ph.D., is the founder of "Who Profits from the Occupation?", an activist research initiative of the Coalition of Women for
Peace in Israel (www.whoprofits.org). During the last four years, "Who Profits" has become a vital resource for dozens of campaigns
around the world, providing information about corporate complicity in the occupation of Palestine. Dalit is a feminist scholar and
teacher in Israel, teaching about militarism and about the global economy from a feminist perspective in the Haifa University and the
Beit Berl College. This year she is visiting the US as an activist in residence with Global Exchange, directing a new program titled
Economic Activism for Palestine, which aims to support existing divestment campaigns in the U.S. as well as help new ones through
education, training, networking and the development of dedicated tools. Dalit will co‐lead the workshop on Mobilizing the
Grassroots: Generating Leverage through Constructive Campaigns.
Phyllis Bennis is a fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington ‐ where she directs the New Internationalism Project ‐ and
of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam. Phyllis has been a writer, analyst, and activist on Middle East and UN issues for many
years. In 2001 she helped found, and remains on the steering committee, of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. She
works closely with the United for Peace and Justice anti‐war coalition, co‐chairs the UN‐based International Coordinating Network
on Palestine, and since 2002 has played an active role in the growing global peace movement. Phyllis continues to serve as an
adviser to several top UN officials on Middle East and UN democratization issues. Her books include Understanding the Palestinian‐
Israeli Conflict: A Primer. She is also author of primers on the US‐Iran conflict and the Iraq war in the same series. Earlier books
include Challenging Empire: How People, Governments and the UN Defy US Power. Phyllis will present on the facilitated panel
discussion Policy Levers and Grassroots Fulcrums: Where Can We Push and Be Most Effective?
Jennifer Bing is the Regional Program Coordinator of the Great Lakes Region of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a
Quaker organization founded in 1917. Jennifer has worked for 22 years at AFSC, serving as its national coordinator of its Middle East
Peacebuilding Program and earlier as the Program Director of the Chicago AFSC’s Middle East program. Jennifer's involvement in
Middle East issues began in 1982 when she lived and traveled in Israel and Palestine, later returning to work at the Ramallah Friends
Page | 9
Schools. She also worked as a senior researcher for the U.S. and Swedish Save the Children organizations on a three‐volume status
report on Palestinian children and the first intifada (uprising in 1987). Jennifer has organized hundreds of speaking tours,
conferences, workshops, advocacy campaigns, and educational programs about the Middle East in her tenure with AFSC. She has
worked with coalitions around Israel/Palestine and Iraq issues and organized delegations to help Americans witness realities of life in
Palestine and Israel. She serves as a resource to organizations and individuals beginning their Middle East and/or anti‐war activism in
the Chicago area, and is a steering committee member of the Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine. She currently
coordinates an apprenticeship program for college graduates interested in social justice issues in the Chicago AFSC office. In 2010
Jennifer received an award from Chicago Mayor Richard Daley for her service to the Arab‐American community in Chicago. Jennifer
will co‐lead the workshop on Bringing Solidarity Home: Supporting Palestinian and Israeli Partners While Working for Change Locally.
Mark Braverman is a Jewish American with deep family roots in Israel/Palestine ‐ his grandfather, a fifth generation Palestinian Jew,
was born in Jerusalem. Trained in clinical psychology and crisis management, Mark worked with groups and individuals undergoing
traumatic stress. He now devotes himself full‐time to the Israel/Palestine conflict. He has written and spoken on the role of religious
beliefs in the current discourse in the United States and has worked closely with several Christian denominations and ecumenical
bodies on education and activism for justice for the Palestinian people. Mark serves on the advisory board of Friends of Sabeel North
American and on the Board of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions‐USA. He is a cofounder of Friends of Tent of Nations
North America, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting Palestinian land rights and peaceful coexistence in Palestine. He is a charter
member of American Jews for a Just Peace and has recently been appointed Consultant for Evangelicals for Middle East
Understanding. He is the author of Fatal Embrace: Christians, Jews and the Search for Peace in the Holy Land (Synergy Books, 2010).
Mark will co‐lead a workshop on Faith Based Organizing: Engaging Religious Communities and Creating Interfaith Space.
Mike Daly is Program Coordinator at Interfaith Peace‐Builders. He has worked with the organization since 2004. Before coming to
IFPB, he studied in Damascus as a Fulbright Scholar, worked as a public relations consultant with the United Nations Development
Programme in Ramallah, and completed a year of intensive Arabic at the American University in Cairo. Mike has co‐led four IPFB
delegations, has presented at numerous conferences and workshops and taken on leadership roles in national, regional and local
organizing initiatives and coalitions. Mike will facilitate the panel discussion Policy Levers and Grassroots Fulcrums: Where Can We
Push and Be Most Effective?
Joe Groves is Senior Fellow at Interfaith Peace‐Builders. He has been working with IFPB since 2001, first as Coordinator for the
program under the Fellowship of Reconciliation, then as Co‐Director of IFPB in 2006‐08. He has worked on Middle East issues for
over 40 years, in the US, Israel and Palestine, and Iraq. He was Professor of Religious Studies and Director of Peace and Conflict
Studies at Guilford College and is currently an Adjunct Professor in the International Peace and Conflict Resolution Program at
American University. He draws on popular education methods and critical studies to actively involve students in the subjects he
teaches. He is a frequent presenter and workshop leader on a variety of issues, including Middle East politics, US movements for
justice, and the theory and practice of nonviolence. Joe will moderate the Evaluation Session during the Lobby Day.
Nadia Hijab is Co‐Director of Al‐Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network, and a writer, public speaker and media commentator.
Nadia's first book, Womanpower: The Arab debate on women at work was published by Cambridge University Press and she co‐
authored Citizens Apart: A Portrait of Palestinians in Israel (I. B. Tauris). She was previously Editor‐in‐Chief of the London‐based
Middle East magazine before serving as a senior development officer at the United Nations in New York. She now runs her own
consulting business on human rights, human development, and gender. Nadia has served as co‐chair of the US Campaign to End the
Israeli Occupation, and currently sits on its advisory board, and is a past president of the Association of Arab American University
Graduates. Nadia will present the keynote address on Israel/Palestine in the Age of Obama and the Tea Party: What Does the
Adam Horowitz is a writer and co‐editor of Mondoweiss, a news website devoted to covering American foreign policy in the Middle
East, chiefly from a progressive Jewish perspective. His primary interests are exploring alternative solutions to the Israeli‐Palestinian
conflict as the two‐state consensus falters, examining the contradiction between American liberalism and support for Zionism and
promoting progressive Palestinian and Israeli voices from the region. Prior to Mondoweiss, Adam was Director of the Israel/Palestine
Program for the American Friends Service Committee, where he gained extensive on‐the‐ground experience in Israel/Palestine.
Before that he was primarily engaged in activism in the Jewish community as a founding member of the New York‐based
organization Jews Against the Occupation, and board member of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice. His work has appeared in The
Nation, Middle East Report, Z Magazine, The Huffington Post, Talking Points Memo and The Hill.com. He has a master's degree in
Near Eastern Studies from New York University. Adam will present on the facilitated panel discussion Policy Levers and Grassroots
Fulcrums: Where Can We Push and Be Most Effective?
Page | 10
Andrew Kadi is a human rights activist, member of Adalah‐NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel, and occasional
contributor to the Guardian's Comment is Free, The Electronic Intifada, MondoWeiss, Left Turn, and other publications. Andrew will
co‐lead the workshop on Bringing Solidarity Home: Supporting Palestinian and Israeli Partners While Working for Change Locally.
Daoud Nassar is a Palestinian farmer living and working in the fertile hill country south of Bethlehem. The Nassar farm, in the family
for four generations, is ringed by Jewish settlements and the encroaching Separation Wall. The family has been offered millions for
the land, but they remain steadfast. "This land is our mother," says Daoud. "Our mother is not for sale." Under his leadership, the
family has taken the case to establish the family's land rights to the Israeli Supreme Court. To demonstrate their commitment to
peace and coexistence, the Nassar family has established The Tent of Nations providing arts, drama, and education to the children of
the villages and refugee camps of the region. In addition, Daoud and his family have also established a Women's Educational Center
offering classes in computer literacy, English, and leadership training. Daoud will be a special guest at the IFPB Fundraiser and Social
Event on Sunday evening.
Jacob Pace is Communications and Grants Coordinator at Interfaith Peace‐Builders and staffs its San Francisco office. Jake joined the
organization in 2007 after first traveling to the region with an IFPB delegation in 2003. He previously worked with Partners for Peace,
the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and the Resource Center for Nonviolence in Santa Cruz, California. He spent more
than a year in Israel/Palestine between 2003 and 2005 working with the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem in Bethlehem and
the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in the Gaza Strip. His work experience has focused particularly on media advocacy and
grassroots organizing. He led IFPB delegations in August 2008 and August 2010.
Loubna Qutami is a student, activist, performer, and scholar. She is an MA Candidate in Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State
University and the first student with an emphasis in Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas. Her MA thesis focuses on the
involvement of Palestinian youth from the United States in transnational youth movement building and challenges conventional
discourses about Palestinian, Arab and Muslim communities within the purview of Ethnic Studies and other disciplines. As an
undergraduate at SF State, Loubna worked with the General Union of Palestine Students, and inaugurated the Palestinian Cultural
Mural honoring Dr. Edward Said, the first mural of its kind on any public institution in the US. Loubna is also a founder, member, and
elected officer of the first ever International Executive Board of the Palestinian Youth Network (PYN). She currently works as the
Special Project Coordinator for the San Francisco‐based Arab Cultural and Community Center (ACCC) where she has spent the past
four years spearheading various projects ranging from Social Services Coordination, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault case
management, Cultural Competency Workshops for Bay Area educational and medical facilities, Civic Engagement Mobilization and
Youth Empowerment Programming. She is solely responsible for creating, organizing and producing the ACCC’s first and subsequent
Annual Arab Women’s Conferences, and is currently coordinating the fourth conference scheduled to take place in March 2011.
Loubna will co‐lead the workshop on Mobilizing the Grassroots: Generating Leverage through Constructive Campaigns and present
on the facilitated panel discussion Policy Levers and Grassroots Fulcrums: Where Can We Push and Be Most Effective?
Josh Ruebner is the National Advocacy Director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a national coalition of more than
325 organizations working to end U.S. support for Israel’s illegal 43‐year military occupation and to change U.S. policy toward Israel/
Palestine to support human rights, international law, and equality. Josh is a former Analyst in Middle East Affairs at Congressional
Research Service and holds a graduate degree in International Affairs from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced
International Studies in Washington, DC. His analysis and commentary on U.S. policy toward the Middle East appear frequently in
media such as NBC, ABC Nightline, CSPAN, Al Jazeera, USA Today, The Hill, Detroit Free Press, Huffington Post, Middle East Report,
and more. Josh will lead the session on Introducing our Policy Asks and the workshop on Ending Military Aid to Israel: Mobilizing for
Policy Change in Your Community.
Emily Siegel is Delegations Coordinator at Interfaith Peace‐Builders. Emily holds a Master's Degree in International Peace and
Conflict Resolution from the School of International Service at American University and a BA in International Relations, with minors
in Sociology and Jewish Studies, from the University of Delaware. Her undergraduate studies included time abroad at Israel’s Ben‐
Gurion University, exploring Israeli society, politics, and Bedouin rights. The focus of Emily’s Masters’ Degree was on the intersection
of justice and peace‐building through education, including extensive research on identity formation in the Israeli school system and
how peace education methods create social change. Emily has previously worked for Seeds of Peace, Partners for Peace, AMIDEAST,
the US Institute of Peace, and as Assistant Director of Unity Programs at Abraham’s Vision. She is a trained facilitator and has co‐
facilitated dialogues focusing on US‐Islam relations and the Israeli‐Palestinian conflict. She co‐led an IFPB delegation in 2009 and will
co‐lead IFPB's July‐August 2010 delegation. Emily will co‐present at the optional lunch time session on The Interfaith Peace‐Builders
Delegation Experience: What Makes an IFPB Delegation Unique?
Page | 11
Interfaith Peace-Builders/US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
Constituent Lobby Day | March 7, 2011
Talking Points and Asks
1. Amendments to the FY2012 Budget Request for Military Aid to Israel
We ask Members of Congress to offer amendments to the budget/appropriations bill to condition military
aid to Israel to prevent U.S. weapons from being misused, as detailed in enclosed memo.
• In February President Obama sent his FY2012 budget request to Congress, which included a record‐
breaking $3.075 billion in military aid to Israel. The FY2011 budget, which has not yet been passed by
Congress or signed by the President, includes $3 billion in military aid to Israel.
• The United States cannot afford military aid to Israel. The website www.aidtoisrael.org documents how
much military aid your state and Congressional district will be providing under the terms of the 2007
agreement between the United States and Israel, and what that money could fund instead to promote
affordable housing, green jobs training, education programs, and health care access. Please take a look
at the numbers. The research shows that military aid to Israel comes at a price that we cannot afford.
• Military aid to Israel does not work to promote a just and lasting peace between Palestinians and
Israelis. In fact, it does the opposite, by literally “fueling” the conflict (as documented in a 2009 Amnesty
International report). Israel routinely misuses U.S. weapons in violation of the Arms Export Control Act
to commit human rights abuses against Palestinians and to maintain its illegal military occupation of
the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip. These U.S. weapons were misused by Israel
to commit violations of human rights and international law, war crimes, and possible crimes against
humanity before, during, and after “Operation Cast Lead,” according to the UN‐backed Goldstone
Report. Since September 2000, Israel has killed more than 3,000 unarmed Palestinian civilians, according
to the Israeli human rights organization B'tselem, often with U.S. weapons.
• Since the United States cannot afford military aid to Israel, and since Israel routinely misuses U.S.
weapons in violation of U.S. law, U.S. military aid to Israel should be conditioned. Our proposed
amendments to the budget/appropriations bill include: conditioning aid to Israel on its freezing
settlements; ending the siege on Gaza; restricting the use of US weapons to within Israel’s sovereign
territory; and investigating prior misuses of weapons (please see enclosed memo for details).
2. Letter to Secretary of State Clinton requesting AECA Investigation of U.S.‐supplied Tear Gas
We ask Members of Congress to send Secretary of State Clinton a letter asking for the State Department
to investigate Israel's possible violations of the AECA through its misuse of high‐velocity tear gas canisters
and other “riot control equipment.”
• Members of Congress have a responsibility to ensure that the laws they pass are followed. When a
country misuses U.S. weapons in violation of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), the State Department
is obligated by law to open an investigation and report its finding of violations of this law to Congress.
• The AECA restricts the use of U.S. weapons to “internal security” or “legitimate self‐defense.” Israel
misuses U.S.‐supplied tear gas canisters and other “riot control equipment” to crack down on peaceful
protests led by Palestinians, and often supported by Israelis and international citizens in solidarity with
them. Several U.S. citizens have been gravely injured by high‐velocity tear gas canisters, and a
number of Palestinians have been killed after being hit with the canisters or inhaling the gas. Each
individual case is detailed in the template letter enclosed.
3. Letter to the Internal Revenue Service Requesting Investigation of 501c3 Organizations
We ask Members of Congress to send a letter to the Inspector General of the IRS asking it to investigate
organizations that support illegal Israeli settlements.
• Israel has established 150 settlements, populated by a half‐million Jewish Israelis, in the occupied
Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem in contravention of the 4th Geneva Convention, which
prohibits the transfer of civilians to occupied territories. The State Department concluded in a 1978
legal memorandum that these settlements are “inconsistent with international law” and the Obama
Administration has repeatedly called them “illegitimate.” The continued expansion of Israel’s illegal
settlements cast doubts on the viability of a two‐state resolution to the Israeli‐Palestinian conflict.
• Non‐profit organizations registered with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as 501c3 organizations are
supposed to be charitable and educational in nature. However, many 501c3 organizations exist to
support Israel’s illegal settlements and operate in ways counter to IRS regulations to finance their
distinctly non‐charitable purposes. Individuals donating to 501c3 organizations are allowed by law to
take a tax‐deduction. Therefore, money going to these organizations deprives the U.S. Treasury of
badly needed tax receipts.
• Members of Congress have a responsibility to ensure that charitable organizations are not
fraudulently taking advantage of the tax code to funnel money to non‐charitable purposes that conflict
with IRS regulations, U.S. law and policy, and international law.
4. Attend the Congressional Briefing (Tuesday, March 8)
We ask Members of Congress and their staff to attend the briefing:
Tuesday, March 8
Rayburn House Office Building, Room B‐339
light breakfast available
see enclosed flyer for further details
• Members of Congress rarely have an opportunity to hear about the impact that U.S. policies have on the
lives of Palestinians and Israelis. Tomorrow’s briefing offers Members of Congress and their staffs an
excellent opportunity to do so. It includes high‐profile Palestinian and Israeli activists and analysts
discussing how U.S. policies affect property rights and freedom of movement, and how U.S. weapons
affect human rights.
ASK: CONDITION MILITARY AID TO ISRAEL
LEVERAGING FY2012 BUDGET REQUEST FOR MILITARY AID TO ISRAEL
TO ACHIEVE U.S. POLICY GOALS
In August 2007, the United States and Israel signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to increase U.S. military
aid to Israel by an annual average of 25% over previous levels of assistance, totaling $30 billion between FY2009‐2018.
In February 2011, President Obama requested $3.075 billion in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for Israel in his FY2012
budget, the fourth budgetary allocation under the terms of the MOU.
In previous years, Congress has approved annual military aid appropriations to Israel without any strings attached,
leading to little or no discernible progress toward stated U.S. policy goals of halting the expansion of Israeli settlements
and promoting Israeli‐Palestinian peace. This year, Members of Congress should reverse this trend and act to ensure
that the FY2012 budget request for military aid to Israel is leveraged in order to achieve stated U.S. policy goals.
2. Possible Amendments for FY2012 Budget
A. Accountability to U.S. Laws Protecting Human Rights
i. Restricting Use of U.S. Weapons to Israel’s Sovereign Territory
Data compiled by B’tselem: The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories shows
that since September 2000, Israel has killed more than 3,000 unarmed Palestinian civilians who took no part in
hostilities. Oftentimes, these Palestinian civilians were killed with weapons paid for by and produced in the
United States in violation of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA).
To ensure that U.S. weapons are not being used to commit human rights abuses against Palestinian civilians,
while at the same time affirming Israel’s right to use these weapons for “legitimate self‐defense” against an
attack by a foreign country or for “internal security” consistent with the terms of the AECA, Congress should
state that U.S. weapons should not be used by Israel in its military occupation of the Palestinian Gaza Strip, West
Bank, and East Jerusalem.
Precedent for restricting Israel’s use of U.S. assistance within its own sovereign borders already exists through
the loan guarantee program. In the April 2003 supplemental war appropriation bill authorizing $9 billion in loan
guarantees to Israel, Congress stipulated that these funds can be used “only to support activities in the
geographic areas which were subject to the administration of the Government of Israel before June 5, 1967.”
Congress should insert the same or similar language as found in the loan guarantee program and extend this
principle to Israel’s FMF program to ensure that such funds are not being used in violation of the AECA to
maintain a foreign military occupation and to commit human rights abuses against an occupied people.
Page | 25
ii. AECA Violations Must Be Investigated before Money Is Appropriated
In January 2009, Rep. Dennis Kucinich requested the State Department to investigate Israel’s possible violations
of the AECA during “Operation Cast Lead,” its December 2008‐January 2009 assault on the Gaza Strip. To date,
it remains unclear whether the State Department has complied with this request for an investigation. Despite
Israel killing more than 3,000 unarmed Palestinian civilians since September 2000, the State Department has not
once publicly informed Congress of any violation of the AECA.
Members of Congress can take no action against violations of the AECA until the Executive Branch notifies them
of a violation. Therefore, to ensure that Congress adheres to the letter and spirit of the AECA, Members of
Congress should insert the following language into the FY2012 budget line‐item for FMF to Israel:
“No amounts appropriated under this bill shall be disbursed prior to the State Department transmitting to
Members of Congress and making public the results of a complete, accurate, and transparent investigation into
Israel’s possible violations of the Arms Export Control Act during “Operation Cast Lead,” as previously requested
by Congress in January 2009.”
B. Promoting a Freeze on the Expansion of Israeli Settlements
Since 1967, every U.S. Administration has upheld the illegality of Israel’s settlements in the Occupied Palestinian
Territories, decried them as obstacles to peace, and urged Israel not to expand settlements. Despite this stance,
Israel has continued to build settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. During the Oslo “peace process,”
the number of Israeli settlers doubled. Currently, 500,000 Israeli settlers live in 150 illegal settlements in the
West Bank and East Jerusalem, making a contiguous and viable Palestinian state impossible.
On numerous occasions, Israel has pledged to halt the expansion of settlement building, most recently in the
“road map,” at the Annapolis peace conference, and during a self‐defined “moratorium.” Yet these promises
have gone unfulfilled as Israel continues to expand its illegal settlements.
Members of Congress should hold Israel to its pledge to halt settlement activities and back the Obama
Administration’s positions on settlements by inserting the following language into the FY2012 budget line‐item
for FMF to Israel:
“Amounts appropriated under this bill shall be disbursed only in quarterly installments after the Administration
delivers to Congress a report verifying that during the previous quarter Israel has fulfilled its commitments
under the ‘road map’ and Annapolis peace conference to halt the building of new settlements in the Palestinian
West Bank and East Jerusalem and to freeze the expansion of existing settlements in these areas, including so‐
called ‘natural growth’ of these settlements. Israel shall be ineligible to receive a quarterly installment of this
appropriation if the President reports that Israel has undertaken any form of settlement expansion during the
C. Ending the Blockade of the Gaza Strip
Since 2006, Israel has maintained a full‐scale land, sea, and air blockade of the occupied Gaza Strip in an illegal
act of collective punishment against the 1.5 million Palestinian civilians who reside there. This blockade has led
to a dire humanitarian crisis and decimated the economic life of the region.
In January 2009, President Obama declared that “Gaza's border crossings should be open to allow the flow of aid
and commerce.” Members of Congress should support this important policy goal by insisting that no military aid
to Israel be disbursed until the blockade is ended and that the borders of the Gaza Strip remain open to
Page | 26
humanitarian aid and normal economic activities by inserting the following language into the FY2012 budget
line‐item for FMF to Israel:
“No amounts appropriated under this bill shall be disbursed prior to the President certifying in a public, written
report to Congress that Israel has ended its blockade of the Gaza Strip and that its borders are open to the free
flow of humanitarian aid and for all normal economic transactions, including imports and exports of materials,
and that all provisions of the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access are being implemented. Amounts
appropriated under this bill shall be disbursed thereafter only in quarterly installments after the Administration
delivers to Congress a report verifying that during the previous quarter Israel has not reestablished its blockade
of the Gaza Strip nor violated the terms of the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access.”
In order to achieve President Obama’s goal of establishing a just and lasting Israeli‐Palestinian peace, Members of
Congress should incentivize Israel’s behavior toward freezing settlement growth, ending the blockade of the Gaza Strip,
and ending the human rights abuses associated with its military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, East
Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip.
This incentivization should be accomplished by leveraging U.S. influence over Israel through its FMF appropriation. For
decades, blank checks to Israel have not succeeded in modifying its behavior toward accomplishing U.S. policy goals of
promoting human rights and establishing peace. The continuation of the same policy will bring only the same results.
Now is the time for change.
Page | 27
ASK: PLEASE DO NOT SIGN LETTER IN SUPPORT OF MORE MILITARY AID TO ISRAEL
The following congressional sign‐on letter is currently circulating on Capitol Hill. While we agree that U.S. leadership
is essential in pursuit of a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians, sending more U.S. military aid to
Israel at this time does not suit that purpose.
The $3.075 billion in military aid in the FY2012 budget request does not work to promote a just and lasting peace
between Palestinians and Israelis. In fact, it does the opposite, by literally “fueling” the conflict (as documented in a
2009 Amnesty International report of that title).
Our research shows that military aid to Israel comes at a price that we cannot afford (see www.aidtoisrael.org).
Moreover, Israel routinely misuses U.S. weapons in violation of the Arms Export Control Act to commit human rights
abuses against Palestinians and to maintain its illegal military occupation of the Palestinian territories.
Rather than signaling to Israel that the U.S. will continue to overlook its own laws and ethics, we should ensure that
taxpayer aid is used in ways that are legal and ethical. This letter encourages the opposite. Please do not sign it.
Dear Mr. President:
We write in the wake of historic events in the Middle East over the past month, recognizing that these are critical times for the
people of the Arab world, for us as Americans, and for our ally Israel.
We support your effort to shape American policy in the region in ways that promote democracy, more open societies, strong
economies and lasting security – all of which are essential to the long-term interests of the United States, Israel, and the people of
the Middle East. The United States, as the global champion of democracy and freedom, must stand with people across the region
who are advocating peacefully for their rights and freedoms and to improve their lives.
In this context, we support your administration’s efforts to prevent reductions in foreign aid that advance U.S. interests in the Middle
East and to forestall efforts to separate aid to Israel from other assistance. We are committed to working in Congress toward
continuing this important aid and appreciate your support for these efforts. We also write to express our support for your
administration’s active promotion of a stable and secure future for the region, in part by continuing to work with the parties and other
regional actors toward a two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
We also strongly support your budget request providing $3.075 billion in assistance to Israel as agreed upon in the 2007
Memorandum of Understanding between Israel and the United States.
Israel faces very real challenges to its security, and reducing or otherwise endangering aid to Israel by removing it from the broader
foreign aid package would be unproductive. At the exact moment Israel is being asked to take significant steps for peace, Israelis
should know that the United States remains fully committed to their security.
We also encourage consistent aid to the Palestinian Authority. Your request for continued strong funding to strengthen institution
and state-building efforts in the West Bank, to grow the economy, meet basic needs, and reduce the risk of terror aimed at Israel
will greatly benefit the peace process. Moreover, a viable and stable PA is essential to achieving a negotiated, peaceful solution
This moment in the Middle East represents an important opportunity to reaffirm the United States’ leadership, vital to achieving a
resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that establishes two states for two people living side by side in peace and security. We
offer our support for your efforts to make a better future in the Middle East a reality.
Representative Jan Schakowsky (IL-09)
Representative Anna Eshoo (CA-14)
ASK: INVESTIGATE USE OF U.S. SUPPLIED TEAR GAS
DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTER ASKS SECRETARY CLINTON TO INITIATE AN INVESTIGATION INTO WHETHER ISRAEL’S USE OF
U.S. SUPPLIED TEAR GAS VIOLATES THE TERMS OF THE ARMS EXPORT CONTROL ACT
Secretary of State
Hillary Rodham Clinton
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
Dear Secretary Clinton,
We are writing to express our concern about Israel’s injuring and killing of unarmed civilians with U.S.‐supplied tear gas,
and we request the Department of State to investigate whether Israel’s use of tear gas to injure and kill unarmed
civilians violates the Arms Export Control Act.
On January 1, 2011, Jawaher Abu Rahmah, a 36 year‐old resident of the West Bank village of Bil’in, died from tear gas
inhalation one day after the Israeli military fired tear gas canisters at a demonstration in her village. 
On May 31, 2010, Emily Henochowicz, a U.S. citizen from Potomac, MD, lost her left eye and fractured her jaw and
cheekbone after she was struck in the face with a tear gas canister fired by Israeli security forces during a demonstration
at the West Bank checkpoint of Qalandia. 
On April 17, 2009, Jawaher Abu Rahmah’s 29 year‐old brother Bassem Abu Rahmah died after being hit directly in the
chest with a high‐velocity tear gas canister during a demonstration in Bil’in. 
On March 13, 2009, Tristan Anderson, a U.S. citizen from Oakland, CA, was critically injured after being struck in the
head by a tear gas canister fired by Israeli Border Police while engaging in peaceful protest activities in the West Bank
village of Ni'lin. 
On June 29, 2002, Muhammad Ahmad Mabareq Ishteiwi, a 14 year‐old resident of al‐Far'a refugee camp in Tubas, was
killed after he collapsed after being hit in the chest by a rubber bullet. When he fell, a tear gas canister exploded near his
face and killed him. 
On June 13, 2002, Khader 'Abd al‐Fatah al‐Gharbi died after inhaling tear gas from more than 20 grenades which were
thrown into his Silwan, East Jerusalem home. 
Evidence exists that the deaths of Jawaher and Bassem Abu Rahmeh, and the injuries of Tristan Anderson and Emily
Henochowicz, were caused by tear gas produced by Combined Systems, Inc. of Jamestown, Pennsylvania. 
From FY2000‐2008, the Department of State authorized the transfer to Israel through Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) of
at least 408,266 units of “anti‐personnel riot control chemicals,” “riot control equipment,” and “tear gases and riot
control agents” valued at $19,510,622. 
We respectfully ask you to initiate an investigation into whether Israel’s use of U.S. supplied tear gas in the incidents
detailed above violate the terms of the Arms Export Control Act.
We look forward to your response.
Members of Congress
Page | 30
Page | 31
U.S. Military Aid to Israel
Its Impact on Palestinians and U.S. Taxpayers WWW.AIDTOISRAEL.ORG
Imagine that a foreign army invaded other civilian infrastructure, delib-
the United States, imposed military erately impoverishing Palestinians.
occupation throughout the country, Israel has erected more than 500 1. Sign a postcard to the President
deprived us of our rights to freedom checkpoints, barriers, gates, fences and a petition to your Members of
and self-determination, established and walls, preventing Palestinians Congress telling them to end U.S.
settlements on lands taken from us, from moving freely in their own military aid to Israel and redirect
the money to unmet needs here
and maintained this cruel system land. Israel has built 150 illegal
of oppression through daily human settlements, in which half a million
rights abuses and degrading apart- Israelis live on stolen Palestinian land, 2. Find out how much your city,
heid laws that discriminated against making a two-state resolution to the county, Congressional district,
us based on our nationality. Israeli-Palestinian conflict difficult, if and state provide in military
not impossible, to achieve. aid to Israel, and what that
With the words of American revo- money could purchase instead at
lutionary Patrick Henry—“Give These policies are part of Israel’s www.aidtoisrael.org
me liberty, or give me death!”— apartheid system of control, which
3. “Offset” the taxes you pay in
ringing in our conscience, we would gives Palestinians less water, elec- weapons for Israel by making a
struggle to overthrow the tyrant and tricity and access to roads. Human tax-deductible donation to the
appeal to other nations that supported Rights Watch called Israel’s discrimi- US Campaign to End the Israeli
this military occupation to end their nation against Palestinians “sepa- Occupation. In 2011, the average
diplomatic and military aid. rate and unequal.” Israel main- individual taxpayer will contrib-
tains this military occupation only ute an estimated $21.59 in taxes
Israeli Occupation by brutally repressing Palestinians for weapons to Israel.
For more than four million forced to live under it, killing more
Palestinians in the West Bank, East than 3,000 unarmed Palestinian By giving Israel the guns, ammuni-
Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, this is civilians since 2000. tion, missiles, tanks, ships, helicop-
no hypothetical scenario. It is all too Our Role ters and airplanes it uses to enforce
real. Since 1967 Israel has imposed its illegal military occupation, we
Israel’s violence against Palestinians
an illegal military occupation on U.S. taxpayers are, in the conclusion
is made possible only by the
these Palestinian territories—one of of Amnesty International, literally
unconditional diplomatic and
the longest military occupations “fueling conflict.” We are directly
military support provided by the
in modern history. complicit in Israel’s human rights
United States. The United States has
abuses against Palestinians, and
Not only is this occupation long—it vetoed dozens of UN Security Council
even against Americans who have
is also brutal. Israel has demolished resolutions condemning Israel’s
stood in solidarity with Palestinians
roughly 25,000 Pales- policies, thereby shielding
who protest nonviolently against this
tinian homes, making it from accountability for
hundreds of thou- its actions. Since 1949
sands homeless. Israel the United States has Take, for example, Israel’s misuse of
has uprooted more than provided more than $100 U.S.-supplied tear gas. Israel has shot
a million Palestinian billion in military and high-velocity gas canisters directly at
olive trees, decimating economic aid to Israel. In Palestinian and U.S. civilians partici-
the backbone of Pales- 2007 the United States pating in nonviolent demonstra-
tinian agriculture. Israel signed an agreement with tions, severely injuring and killing
has destroyed billions Israel to provide it with them. Jawaher Abu Rahmah
of dollars of Palestinian another $30 billion of died January 1, 2011, after inhaling
roads, schools, busi- weapons in the decade tear gas fired in her village of Bil’in.
nesses, hospitals, and 2009-2018. Residents of this West Bank village
US CAMPAIGN TO END THE ISRAELI OCCUPATION • PO BOX 21539 • WASHINGTON, DC 20009
( 202-332-0994 8 www.endtheoccupation.org * firstname.lastname@example.org
How would you rather spend $30 billion over a decade?
Rachel Corrie by repeatedly other country in the world and hold
running over her with a bulldozer it accountable when it misuses U.S.
as she nonviolently protected weapons in violation of the law.
a Palestinian home in the Gaza
Moreover, with the same $30 billion
Strip from being demolished.
that the United States proposes to
Since 2000, the Defense Depart-
give Israel in weapons from 2009 to
ment has financed the purchase
2018, we could provide more wisely
of more than $30 million of
these bulldozers for Israel, at
‚ More than 350,000 low-income
families with affordable
Jawaher Abu Rahmah, 36, died Jan. 1, housing vouchers; or
2011, from inhaling tear gas provided by Can We Afford It?
the U.S. and fired indiscriminately by Israeli ‚ Nearly 500,000 unemployed
occupation troops. Photo: ActiveStills.org. Morally, politically, legally and finan- workers with re-training for green
cially, we cannot afford to continue jobs; or
hold weekly demonstrations against arming Israel and to enable its human ‚ Almost 900,000 at-risk children
the wall that Israel has built through rights abuses. We have good laws with early reading programs; or
the village to prevent its farmers from on the books to prevent U.S. mili- ‚ 24 million people lacking health
reaching their lands. In April 2009, tary aid from being misused in this insurance with basic care.
Israeli soldiers killed Jawaher’s way. The Arms Export Control
younger brother Bassem, hitting The choice is clear. Fund Israel’s
Act limits the use of U.S. weapons
him in the chest with a high-velocity destruction of Palestinian homes,
to “internal security” and “legitimate
tear gas canister. In 2009 and 2010, or invest that money in affordable
self-defense.” Israel’s illegal occupa-
Israeli soldiers fired canisters directly housing for Americans. Fund Israel’s
tion and apartheid policies toward
at U.S. citizens Tristan Anderson uprooting of Palestinian agriculture,
Palestinians are neither.
and Emily Henochowicz, causing or develop our economic base for
The Foreign Assistance Act states green jobs. Fund Israel’s restrictions
brain damage and the loss of an eye,
that no U.S. aid may be provided on Palestinian education, or build
respectively. In most if not all of
to any country “which engages in a our children’s skills. Fund Israel’s
these cases, the tear gas came from
consistent pattern of gross violations injuring and killing of Palestinians,
Combined Systems, Inc., of James-
of internationally recognized human or provide healthcare to our own citi-
town, PA. Since 2000, the State
rights.” Let’s treat Israel like every zens. It’s our money, our choice.
Department authorized the transfer
to Israel of tear gas and related
equipment valued at nearly $20 How much military aid do you provide?
million, at taxpayer expense.
At www.aidtoisrael.org, our interactive
Another example is Israel’s map answers this question in amazing
lethal misuse of Caterpillar D9 detail! Learn how much money your
bulldozers while demolishing city, county, Congressional district
Palestinian homes. Since 2000, and state are now providing in
Israel has killed 21 Palestin- military aid to Israel, and what
ians, including seven children, that money could purchase
while demolishing their homes, instead. Use our site to write
including eight members of the to your Members of Congress
al-Sho’bi family in Nablus, who and suggest wiser ways to
were crushed to death when the spend your tax dollars. Download and print additional fact sheets,
Israeli military destroyed their see creative ad campaigns opposing this military aid, and stay informed of
our future successes by joining our Facebook page and email list. On our site
home in April 2002 after failing
you can electronically “offset” your individual taxes going toward military
to give them enough time to flee
aid by making a tax-deductible contribution to sustain our work.
the premises. In March 2003 the
Visit www.aidtoisrael.org today!
Israeli military killed U.S. citizen
“ We can n ot b e b ot h th e wo r ld’s leadin g cham pio n of p eace
an d t h e wo r ld’s leadin g su p p lier of th e weap o n s of w ar.” - Pre sid e nt Jim my C ar ter
ASK: INVESTIGATE ILLEGAL ISRAELI SETTLEMENT FUNDING
DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTER ASKS TREASURY DEPARTMENT TO INVESTIGATE THE ACTIVITIES OF 501(c)(3) ORGANIZATIONS
Mr. Eric Thorson, Inspector General
U.S. Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20220
Dear Inspector‐General Thorson,
We are writing to request an investigation into the activities and finances of 501(c)(3) organizations that promote
Israel's military occupation of Palestinian territories.
Reports by news media and independent researchers have made it clear that such organizations transfer tens of millions
of dollars every year to Israeli organizations that promote the expansion of settlements, which are considered illegal by
the United States government, the United Nations Security Council, and the International Court of Justice.
Although these organizations operate with little accountability, it has become known in at least some cases that their
principal activities are not charitable. For example, several news articles report that one of these organizations,
American Friends of Ateret Cohanim, is primarily involved in the acquisition of real estate for the purpose of replacing
Arab residents of the Old City of Jerusalem with Jewish residents, and that it does not devote any resources to its stated
purpose of supporting a religious educational institution in Jerusalem.
In other cases, reports indicate that charitable activity is supplemented by substantial non‐charitable activity. For
example, the Hebron Fund helped to finance the 17‐month occupation by settlers of a Palestinian building in Hebron, in
defiance of even the Israeli police and courts. The Hebron Fund spent tens of thousands of dollars just to pay for heating
the building in the winter months.
As the above paragraphs indicate, many of the settlement support organizations are involved exclusively or substantially
in activities that are not only uncharitable, but which promote results that are the very opposite of charitable. The IRS
lists, in its definition of "charitable," the purposes of lessening neighborhood tensions, eliminating prejudice and
discrimination, and defending civil and human rights secured by law. Activities such as purchasing houses in Palestine for
settlement by Israeli Jews only, financing illegal takeovers of Palestinian‐owned buildings, and arming and training
paramilitary organizations accomplish the opposites of these purposes.
In addition, it has long been the position of the IRS that racially discriminatory organizations are not charitable. All of the
settlements supported by the organizations in question are exclusively populated by Jewish Israelis, and some have
explicitly racially discriminatory policies.
No organization that substantially supports Israeli settlements is eligible for tax exemptions under the standards set out
in the Internal Revenue Code and the IRS's rules. In many cases, favorable rulings appear to have been obtained through
fraudulent reporting by the organizations, as when these organizations tell the IRS that they operate in Israel when they
in fact operate principally or exclusively in the occupied Palestinian territories; or tell the IRS that they are involved in
charitable activity, when they are in fact exclusively or substantially involved in non‐charitable activity.
The tens of millions of dollars that settlement support organizations receive, tax‐free, on a yearly basis represents a loss of
millions of dollars to U.S. taxpayers. We request an investigation that would reveal the true amount of this loss to taxpayers;
that would enable the U.S. government to recover the funds from these organizations; and that would reveal the nature and
extent of the activities supported by these organizations, so that U.S. nonprofit policy can be aligned with U.S. foreign policy.
Members of Congress
Page | 32
Tax-Exempt Funds Aid Settlements in West Bank
By Jim Rutenberg, Mike Mcintire and Ethan Bronner
July 5, 2010
HAR BRACHA, West Bank — Twice a year, American evangelicals show up at a winery in this Jewish settlement in the hills of ancient Samaria to
play a direct role in biblical prophecy, picking grapes and pruning vines.
Believing that Christian help for Jewish winemakers here in the occupied West Bank foretells Christ’s second coming, they are recruited by a
Tennessee-based charity called HaYovel that invites volunteers “to labor side by side with the people of Israel” and “to share with them a passion for
the soon coming jubilee in Yeshua, messiah.”
But during their visit in February the volunteers found themselves in the middle of the fight for land that defines daily life here. When the evangelicals
headed into the vineyards, they were pelted with rocks by Palestinians who say the settlers have planted creeping grape vines on their land to claim
it as their own. Two volunteers were hurt. In the ensuing scuffle, a settler guard shot a 17-year-old Palestinian shepherd in the leg.
“These people are filled with ideas that this is the Promised Land and their duty is to help the Jews,” said Izdat Said Qadoos of the neighboring
Palestinian village. “It is not the Promised Land. It is our land.”
HaYovel is one of many groups in the United States using tax-exempt donations to help Jews establish permanence in the Israeli-occupied territories
— effectively obstructing the creation of a Palestinian state, widely seen as a necessary condition for Middle East peace. The result is a surprising
juxtaposition: As the American government seeks to end the four-decade Jewish settlement enterprise and foster a Palestinian state in the West
Bank, the American Treasury helps sustain the settlements through tax breaks on donations to support them.
A New York Times examination of public records in the United States and Israel identified at least 40 American groups that have collected more than
$200 million in tax-deductible gifts for Jewish settlement in the West Bank and East Jerusalem over the last decade. The money goes mostly to
schools, synagogues, recreation centers and the like, legitimate expenditures under the tax law. But it has also paid for more legally questionable
commodities: housing as well as guard dogs, bulletproof vests, rifle scopes and vehicles to secure outposts deep in occupied areas.
In some ways, American tax law is more lenient than Israel’s. The outposts receiving tax-deductible donations — distinct from established
settlements financed by Israel’s government — are illegal under Israeli law. And a decade ago, Israel ended tax breaks for contributions to groups
devoted exclusively to settlement-building in the West Bank. Now controversy over the settlements is sharpening, and the issue is sure to be high on
the agenda when President Obama and the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, meet in Washington on Tuesday.
While a succession of American administrations have opposed the settlements here, Mr. Obama has particularly focused on them as obstacles to
peace. A two-state solution in the Middle East, he says, is vital to defusing Muslim anger at the West. Under American pressure, Mr. Netanyahu has
temporarily frozen new construction to get peace talks going. The freeze and negotiations, in turn, have injected new urgency into the settlers’ cause
— and into fund-raising for it.
The use of charities to promote a foreign policy goal is neither new nor unique — Americans also take tax breaks in giving to pro-Palestinian groups.
But the donations to the settler movement stand out because of the centrality of the settlement issue in the current talks and the fact that Washington
has consistently refused to allow Israel to spend American government aid in the settlements. Tax breaks for the donations remain largely
unchallenged, and unexamined by the American government. The Internal Revenue Service declined to discuss donations for West Bank
settlements. State Department officials would comment only generally, and on condition of anonymity.
“It’s a problem,” a senior State Department official said, adding, “It’s unhelpful to the efforts that we’re trying to make.”
Daniel C. Kurtzer, the United States ambassador to Israel from 2001 to 2005, called the issue politically delicate. “It drove us crazy,” he said. But “it
was a thing you didn’t talk about in polite company.”
He added that while the private donations could not sustain the settler enterprise on their own, “a couple of hundred million dollars makes a huge
difference,” and if carefully focused, “creates a new reality on the ground.”
Most contributions go to large, established settlements close to the boundary with Israel that would very likely be annexed in any peace deal, in
exchange for land elsewhere. So those donations produce less concern than money for struggling outposts and isolated settlements inhabited by
militant settlers. Even small donations add to their permanence.
For example, when Israeli authorities suspended plans for permanent homes in Maskiot, a tiny settlement near Jordan, in 2007, two American
nonprofits — the One Israel Fund and Christian Friends of Israeli Communities —raised tens of thousands of dollars to help erect temporary
structures, keeping the community going until officials lifted the building ban.
Israeli security officials express frustration over donations to the illegal or more defiant communities.
“I am not happy about it,” a senior military commander in the West Bank responded when asked about contributions to a radical religious academy
whose director has urged soldiers to defy orders to evict settlers. He spoke under normal Israeli military rules of anonymity.
Palestinian officials expressed outrage at the tax breaks.
“Settlements violate international law, and the United States is supposed to be sponsoring a two-state solution, yet it gives deductions for donation to
the settlements?” said Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator. The settlements are a sensitive issue among American Jews themselves. Some
major Jewish philanthropies, like the Jewish Federations of North America, generally do not support building activities in the West Bank.
The donors to settlement charities represent a broad mix of Americans — from wealthy people like the hospital magnate Dr. Irving I. Moskowitz and
the family behind Haagen-Dazs ice cream to bidders at kosher pizza auctions in Brooklyn and evangelicals at a recent Bible meeting in a Long
Island basement. But they are unified in their belief that returning the West Bank — site of the ancient Jewish kingdoms — to full Jewish control is
critical to Israeli security and fulfillment of biblical prophecies.
As Kimberly Troup, director of the Christian Friends of Israeli Communities’ American office, said, while her charity’s work is humanitarian, “the more
that we build, the more that we support and encourage their right to live in the land, the harder it’s going to be for disengagement, for withdrawal.”
Sorting Out the Facts
Today half a million Israeli Jews live in lands captured during the June 1967 Middle East war. Yet there is a strong international consensus that a
Palestinian state should arise in the West Bank and Gaza, where all told some four million Palestinians live. Ultimately, any agreement will be a
compromise, a sorting out of the facts on the ground.
Most Jewish residents of the West Bank live in what amount to suburbs, with neat homes, high rises and highways to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
Politically and ideologically, they are indistinguishable from Israel proper. Most will doubtless stay in any peace deal, while those who must move will
most likely do so peacefully.
But in the geographically isolated settlements and dozens of illegal outposts, there are settlers who may well violently resist being moved. The
prospect of an internal and deeply painful Israeli confrontation looms. And the resisters will very likely be aided by tax-deductible donations from
Americans who believe that far from quelling Muslim anger, as Mr. Obama argues, handing over the West Bank will only encourage militant Islamists
bent on destroying Israel.
“We need to influence our congressmen to stop Obama from putting pressure on Israel to self-destruct,” Helen Freedman, a New Yorker who runs a
charity called Americans for a Safe Israel, told supporters touring the West Bank this spring.
Israel, too, used to offer its residents tax breaks for donations to settlement building, starting in 1984 under a Likud government. But those donations
were ended by the Labor Party, first in 1995 and then, after reversal, again in 2000. The finance minister in both cases, Avraham Shohat, said that
while he only vaguely recalled the decision-making process, as a matter of principle he believed in deductions for gifts to education and welfare for
the poor, not to settlement building per se.
In theory, the same is true for the United States, where the tax code encourages citizens to support nonprofit groups that may diverge from official
policy, as long as their missions are educational, religious or charitable. The challenge is defining those terms and enforcing them.
There are more than a million registered charities, and many submit sparse or misleading mission summaries in tax filings. Religious groups have no
obligation to divulge their finances, meaning settlements may be receiving sums that cannot be traced.
The Times’s review of pro-settler groups suggests that most generally live within the rules of the American tax code. Some, though, risk violating
them by using the money for political campaigning and residential property purchases, by failing to file tax returns, by setting up boards of trustees in
name only and by improperly funneling donations directly to foreign organizations.
One group that at least skates close to the line is Friends of Zo Artzeinu/Manhigut Yehudit, based in Cedarhurst, N.Y., and co-founded by Shmuel
Sackett, a former executive director of the banned Israeli political party Kahane Chai. Records from the group say a portion of the $5.2 million it has
collected over the last few years has gone to the Israeli “community facilities” of Manhigut Yehudit, a hard-right faction of Mr. Netanyahu’s governing
Likud Party, which Mr. Sackett helps run with the politician Moshe Feiglin.
American tax rules prohibit the use of charitable funds for political purposes at home or abroad. Neither man would answer questions about the
nature of the “community facilities.” In an e-mail message, Mr. Sackett said the American charity was not devoted to political activity, but to
humanitarian projects and “educating the public about the need for authentic Jewish leadership in Israel.”
Of course, groups in the pro-settler camp are not the only ones benefiting from tax breaks. For example, the Free Gaza Movement, which organized
the flotilla seeking to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza, says on its Web site that supporters can make tax-deductible donations to it through the
American Educational Trust, publisher of an Arab-oriented journal. Israeli civil and human rights groups like Peace Now, which are often accused of
having a blatant political agenda, also benefit from tax-deductible donations.
Some pro-settler charities have obscured their true intentions. Take the Capital Athletic Foundation, run by the disgraced Washington lobbyist Jack
Abramoff. In its I.R.S. filings, the foundation noted donations totaling more than $140,000 to Kollel Ohel Tiferet, a religious study group in Israel, for
“educational and athletic” purposes. In reality, a study group member was using the money to finance a paramilitary operation in the Beitar Illit settlement,
according to documents in a Senate investigation of Mr. Abramoff, who pleaded guilty in 2006 to defrauding clients and bribing public officials.
Mr. Abramoff, documents show, had directed the settler, Shmuel Ben Zvi, an old high school friend, to use the study group as cover after his
accountant complained that money for sniper equipment and a jeep “don’t look good” in terms of complying with the foundation’s tax-exempt status.
While the donations by Mr. Abramoff’s charity were elaborately disguised — the group shipped a camouflage sniper suit in a box labeled
“Grandmother Tree Costume for the play Pocahontas” — other groups are more open. Amitz Rescue & Security, which has raised money through
two Brooklyn nonprofits, trains and equips guard units for settlements. Its Web site encourages donors to “send a tax-deductible check” for night-
vision binoculars, bulletproof vehicles and guard dogs.
Other groups urge donors to give to one of several nonprofits that serve as clearinghouses for donations to a wide array of groups in Israel and the
West Bank, which, if not done properly, can skirt the intent of American tax rules. Americans cannot claim deductions for direct donations to foreign
charities; tax laws allow deductions for domestic giving on the theory that charities ultimately ease pressure on government spending for social programs.
But the I.R.S. does allow deductions for donations to American nonprofits that support charitable projects abroad, provided the nonprofit is not simply
a funnel to another group overseas, according to Bruce R. Hopkins, a lawyer and the author of several books on nonprofit law. Donors can indicate
how they would like their money to be used, but the nonprofit must exercise “some measure of independence to deliberate on grant-making,” he said.
A prominent clearinghouse is the Central Fund of Israel, operated from the Marcus Brothers Textiles offices in the Manhattan garment district.
Dozens of West Bank groups seem to view the fund as little more than a vehicle for channeling donations back to themselves, instructing their
supporters that if they want a tax break, they must direct their contributions there first. The fund’s president, Hadassah Marcus, acknowledged that it
received many checks from donors “who want them to go to different programs in Israel,” but, she said, the fund retains ultimate discretion over the
money. It also makes its own grants to needy Jewish families and monitors them, she said, adding that the fund, which collected $13 million in 2008,
was audited and complies with I.R.S. rules.
“We’re not a funnel. We’re trying to build a land,” she said, adding, “All we’re doing is going back to our home.”
Support From a Preacher
Late one afternoon in March, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. landed in Israel and headed to his Jerusalem hotel to prepare for a weeklong effort
to rekindle Middle East peace talks. Across town, many of the leading Israeli officials on Mr. Biden’s schedule, among them Prime Minister Netanyahu,
were in a convention hall listening to the Rev. John Hagee, an influential American preacher whose charities have donated millions to projects in Israel
and the territories. Support for the settlements has become a cause of some leading conservative Republicans, like Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin.
“Israel exists because of a covenant God made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob 3,500 years ago — and that covenant still stands,” Mr. Hagee
thundered. “World leaders do not have the authority to tell Israel and the Jewish people what they can and cannot do in the city of Jerusalem.”
The next day, Israeli-American relations plunged after Israel announced plans for 1,600 new apartments for Jews in East Jerusalem, which the
Palestinians want as their future capital. Israeli officials said Mr. Hagee’s words of encouragement had no effect on government decision making.
And the preacher’s aides said he was not trying to influence the peace talks, just defending Israel’s right to make decisions without foreign pressure.
Still, his presence underscored the role of settlement supporters abroad.
Nowhere is that effort more visible, and contentious, than in East Jerusalem, which the Netanyahu government says must remain under Israeli
sovereignty in any peace deal. The government supports privately financed archaeological projects that focus on Jewish roots in Arab areas of
Jerusalem. The Obama administration and the United Nations have recently criticized a plan to raze 22 Palestinian homes to make room for a
history park in a neighborhood where a nonprofit group called El’Ad finances digs and buys up Arab-owned properties.
To raise money, groups like El’Ad seek to bring alive a narrative of Jewish nationalism in living rooms and banquet halls across America. In May, a
crowd of mostly Jewish professionals — who paid $300 a plate to benefit the American Friends of Ateret Cohanim — gathered in a catering hall high
above Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens to dine and hear John R. Bolton, United Nations ambassador under President George W. Bush,
warn of the danger of a nuclear-armed Iran.
A few days earlier, the group’s executive vice president, Susan Hikind, had gone on a Jewish radio program in New York to proclaim her group’s
resistance to American policy in the Middle East. The Obama administration, she said, did not want donors to attend the banquet because it believed
Jerusalem should “be part of some future capital of a Palestinian state.”
“And who’s standing in the way of that?” Ms. Hikind said. “People who support Ateret Cohanim’s work in Jerusalem to ensure that Jerusalem
The Jerusalem Reclamation Project of Ateret Cohanim works to transfer ownership of Arab homes to Jewish families in East Jerusalem. Such efforts
have generated much controversy; Islamic judicial panels have threatened death to Palestinians who sell property in the occupied territories to Jews,
and sales are often conducted using shell companies and intermediaries.
“Land reclamation is actually sort of a bad name — redeeming is probably a better word,” said D. Bernard Hoenig, a New York lawyer on the board
of American Friends of Ateret Cohanim. “The fact of the matter is, there are Arabs who want to sell their homes, and they have offered our
organization the opportunity to buy them.”
Mr. Hoenig said that Ateret Cohanim bought a couple of buildings years ago, but that mostly it helps arrange purchases by other Jewish investors.
That is not mentioned, however, on its American affiliate’s tax returns. Rather, they describe its primary charitable purpose as financing “higher
educational institutions in Israel,” as well as children’s camps, help for needy families and security for Jews living in East Jerusalem.
Indeed, it does all those things. It houses yeshiva students and teachers in properties it helps acquire and places kindergartens and study institutes
into other buildings, all of which helps its activities qualify as educational or religious for tax purposes.
The American affiliate provides roughly 60 percent of Ateret Cohanim’s funding, according to representatives of the group. But Mr. Hoenig said none
of the American money went toward the land deals, since they would not qualify for tax-deductible donations.
Still, acquiring property has been an integral part of Ateret Cohanim’s fund-raising appeals. Archived pages from a Web site registered to the
American affiliate — taken down in the last year or so — described in detail how Ateret Cohanim “quietly and discreetly” arranged the acquisition of
buildings in Palestinian areas. And it sought donations for “the expected left-wing Arab legal battle,” building costs and “other expenses
(organizational, planning, Arab middlemen, etc.)”
An Unyielding Stance
Deep inside the West Bank, in the northern region called Samaria, or Shomron, lie 30 or so settlements and unauthorized outposts, most considered
sure candidates for evacuation in any deal for a Palestinian state. In terms of donations, they do not raise anywhere near the sums produced for
Jerusalem or close-in settlements. But in many ways they worry security officials and the Palestinians the most, because they are so unyielding.
Out here, the communities have a rougher feel. Some have only a few paved roads, and mobile homes for houses. Residents — men with skullcaps
and sidelocks, women with head coverings, and families with many children — often speak in apocalyptic terms about the need for Jews to stay on
the land. It may take generations, they say, but God’s promise will be fulfilled. In November, after the Netanyahu government announced the
settlement freeze, Shomron leaders invited reporters to watch them shred the orders.
David Ha’Ivri, the public liaison for the local government, the Shomron Regional Council, has positioned himself as a fierce yet amiable advocate. As
a leader of an American-based nonprofit, he also brings a militant legacy to the charitable enterprise. Mr. Ha’Ivri, formerly David Axelrod, was born in
Far Rockaway, Queens, and was a student of the virulently anti-Arab Rabbi Meir David Kahane and a top lieutenant and brother-in-law to the rabbi’s
son, Binyamin Kahane. Both Kahanes, who were assassinated 10 years apart, ran organizations banned in Israel for instigating, if not participating
in, attacks against Arabs. The United States Treasury Department later added both groups, Kach and Kahane Chai, to its terrorism watch list.
As recently as four years ago, Mr. Ha’Ivri was involved in running The Way of the Torah, a Kahanist newsletter designated as a terrorist organization
in the United States. He has had several run-ins with the authorities in Israel over the last two decades, including an arrest for celebrating the
assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in a television interview and a six-month jail term in connection with the desecration of a mosque.
Treasury officials said a group’s presence on the terror list does not necessarily extend to its former leaders, and indeed Mr. Ha’Ivri is not on it.
Mr. Ha’Ivri said he no longer engaged in such activism, adding that, at 43, he had mellowed, even if his core convictions had not. “I’m a little older
now, a little more mature,” he said.
A Sunday in late May found him in New York, on a stage in Central Park, speaking at the annual Israel Day Concert. “We will not ever, ever give up
our land,” Mr. Ha’Ivri said.
He posed for pictures with the Republican National Committee chairman, Michael Steele, and distributed fliers about the “501 c3 I.R.S. tax
deductible status” of his charity, Shuva Israel, which has raised more than $2.6 million since 2004 for the Shomron communities.
Although I.R.S. rules require that American charities exhibit “full control of the donated funds and discretion as to their use,” Shuva Israel appears to
be dominated by Israeli settlers. Mr. Ha’Ivri, who lives in the settlement of Kfar Tapuach, was listed as the group’s executive director in its most recent tax
filing; Gershon Mesika, the Shomron council’s leader, is the board’s chairman; and Shuva Israel’s accountant is based in the settlement of Tekoa. Its
American presence is through a post office box in Austin, Tex., where, according to its tax filings, it has two volunteers who double as board members.
“I’ve never been to the board,” said one of them, Jeff Luftig.
When asked about his dual status as leader of the charity and an official with the council it supports, Mr. Ha’Ivri said he was no longer executive
director, though he could not recall who was. He said he was confident the charity was following the law, adding that the money it raises goes strictly
toward improving the lives of settlers.
Exacting a Price
If Mr. Ha’Ivri has changed tactics, a new generation has picked up his aggressive approach. These activists also receive American support. Their
campaign has been named “Price Tag”: For every move by Israeli authorities to curtail settlement construction, the price will be an attack on an Arab
mosque, vineyard or olive grove.
The results were on display during a recent tour through the Arab village of Hawara, where the wall of a mosque had been desecrated with graffiti of
a Jewish star and the first letters of the Prophet Muhammad’s name in Hebrew. In the nearby Palestinian village of Mikhmas, the deputy mayor,
Mohamed Damim, said settlers had come in the dark of night and uprooted or cut down hundreds of olive and fig trees.
“The army has done nothing to protect us,” he said. Though the attacks are small by nature, Israeli commanders fear they threaten to scuttle the
uneasy peace they and their Palestinian Authority partners have forged in the West Bank.
“It can bring the entire West Bank to light up again in terror and violence,” a senior commander said in an interview.
Israeli law enforcement officials say that in investigating settler violence in the north, they often turn to people connected to the Od Yosef Chai
yeshiva in the Yitzhar settlement. After the arson of a mosque in Yasuf in December, authorities arrested the yeshiva’s head rabbi, Yitzhak Shapira,
and several students but released them for lack of evidence. Rabbi Shapira denied involvement. He is known in Israel for his strong views. He was
co-author of a book released last year that offered religious justification for killing non-Jews who pose a threat to Jews or, in the case of young
children, could in the future.
A plaque inside the recently built yeshiva thanks Dr. Moskowitz, the hospitals entrepreneur, and his wife, Cherna, for their “continuous and generous
support.” Another recognizes Benjamin Landa of Brooklyn, a nursing home operator who gave through his foundation, Ohel Harav Yehoshua
Boruch. Mr. Landa said he donated to the yeshiva after its old building was destroyed in an Arab ransacking. None of the American donations have
been linked to the campaign of attacks. The Israeli military has activated outstanding permit violations that have set the stage for the yeshiva’s
threatened demolition. And officials have barred some of the yeshiva’s students from the West Bank for months on end.
Od Yosef Chai’s director, Itamar Posen, said in an interview that the military was unfairly singling out the yeshiva because “the things that we publish
are things that are against their ideas, and they are frightened.” Mr. Ha’Ivri and Mr. Mesika have charged the military with jeopardizing the men’s
livelihoods without due process.
A settler legal defense fund, Honenu, with its own American charitable arm, has sought to provide a safety net. An online appeal for tax-deductible
donations to be sent to Honenu’s Queens-based post office read, “If the 3 men can have their families supported it will cause others at the Hilltops to
brave military and government threats against them.”
Reached last month, one of the men, Akiva HaCohen, declined to say how much support he had received from American donors; Honenu officials in
Israel declined to comment as well. There is no way to tell from Honenu’s American tax returns; none was available through Guidestar, a service that
tracks tax filings by nonprofits. Groups that raise less than $25,000 a year are not required to file. But a review of tax returns filed by other charities
showed that one American family foundation gave it $33,000 in a single year, enough to have required filing.
Asked whether it had ever filed a tax return, Aaron Heimowitz, a financial planner in Queens who collects Honenu’s donations there, responded, “I’m
not in a position to answer that.”
Religious charities are still more opaque; the tax code does not require them to disclose their finances publicly. Mr. Hagee is one of the few Christian
Zionists who advertises his philanthropy in Israel and its territories, at least $58 million as of last year, distributed through a multimedia empire that
spins out a stream of books, DVDs and CDs about Israel’s role in biblical prophecy.
Mr. Hagee’s aides say he makes a large majority of his donations within Israel’s 1967 boundaries and seeks to avoid disputed areas. Yet a sports
complex in the large settlement of Ariel — whose future is in dispute — bears his name. And a few years ago, according to officials at the yeshiva at
Har Bracha, Mr. Hagee donated $250,000 to expand a dormitory.
The yeshiva is the main growth engine of the settlement, attracting students who put down roots. (Some are soldiers, and the head rabbi there has
called upon them to refuse orders to evict settlers.) After the yeshiva was started in 1992, “the place just took off,” growing to more than 200 families
from 3, said the yeshiva’s spokesman, Yonaton Behar. “The goal,” he added, “is to grow to the point where there is no question of uprooting Har Bracha.”
Various strains of American pro-settlement activity come together in Har Bracha. The Moskowitz family helped pay for the yeshiva’s main building.
Nearby, a winery was built with volunteer help from HaYovel ministries, which brings large groups of volunteers to prune and harvest. Mr. Ha’Ivri’s
charity promotes the program. The winery’s owner, Nir Lavi, says his land is state-sanctioned. But officials in the neighboring Palestinian village of
Iraq Burin say part of the vineyard was planted on ground taken from their residents in a parcel-by-parcel land grab.
Such disputes are typical for the area, as are the opposing accounts of what happened that February day when HaYovel’s leader, Tommy Waller,
and his volunteers say they came under attack and the shepherd was shot.
“They came up screaming, slinging their rock-slings like David going after a giant,” Mr. Waller said. A Har Bracha security guard came to the rescue
by shooting in the air, not aiming for the attackers, he added.
But, in an interview, the shepherd, Amid Qadoos, said settlers started the scuffle by throwing rocks at him as he was grazing his sheep on village
land a few yards from the vineyard, telling him, “You are not allowed here.” He and his friends then threw rocks in retaliation, he said, prompting the
security guard to shoot him in the back of his leg. His father, Aref Qadoos, added, “They want us to go so they can confiscate the land, through planting.”
Though two volunteers were hurt, Mr. Waller said neither he nor his group would be deterred. “People are drawn to our work who believe the Bible is true
and desire to participate in the promises of God,” he said. “We believe the restoration of Israel, including Samaria and Judea, is part of that promise.”
In the last year, he said, he brought 130 volunteers here. This coming year, he said, he expects as many as 400.
Isabel Kershner and Myra Noveck contributed reporting from Jerusalem.
PO Box 21539 | Washington, DC 20009 | 202-332-0994 | www.endtheoccupation.org
JOIN OUR CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
COORDINATOR (CDC) NETWORK
What Is a Congressional District Coordinator
A Congressional District Coordinator (CDC) is the
primary link between community activists in local
Congressional districts and the US Campaign's
nationwide advocacy initiatives. CDC's are
responsible for disseminating to the grassroots of
their Congressional district national advocacy
initiatives, scheduling regular constituent meetings
with their Members of Congress, and reporting on
progress to the US Campaign about their efforts.
Why Is the US Campaign Looking for CDC's?
The US Campaign relies on CDC's to form the grassroots backbone of a national advocacy effort to change U.S.
policy toward Israel/Palestine to support human rights, international law, and equality. Linked together and
pushing on the same issues at the same time, we can dramatically increase the power of our collective voice.
Yes, Sign Me Up as a Congressional District Coordinator (CDC)
Organization (if any):
City, State, Zip:
Congressional District or Representative in Congress:
Can we post your name & email to our on-line CDC map (Y/N)?:
You can also fill out this form on-line at: http://endtheoccupation.org/modinput4.php?modin=82
CONGRESSIONAL MEETING FEEDBACK FORM
(Please fill out one form for each meeting—do not combine meetings in one form.)
1. With whom did you meet? In which Congressional office? Please write contact info below of staffer.
2. How did the office respond to your proposed budget amendments to condition military aid to Israel?
3. How did the office respond to your request to send a letter to Secretary of State Clinton on Israel's
misuse of tear gas?
4. How did the office respond to your request to send a letter to the IRS to investigate charities
supporting Israel's illegal settlement?
5. How did the office respond to your request that they attend tomorrow's Congressional briefing?
6. Do you want to add any additional comments or feedback about this meeting?
7. Please add your name and contact information below in case we need to follow up with you about this
Thank you for participating in this lobbying day. We hope that it was a positive experience for you.
-Interfaith Peace-Builders, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
Travel to Israel/Palestine
and work for change at home with
Join Interfaith Peace-Builders for a unique opportunity to learn about the current situation in Israel/Palestine
and the effects of the Israeli occupation. Your on-the-ground experience will enrich your understanding of the
conflict as you meet courageous Israelis and Palestinians working for peace and justice, and witness the current
realities of life in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. Participants on Interfaith Peace-Builders
delegations return to North America energized and transformed.
Attend one of our upcoming delegations to learn directly from Israelis and Palestinians, be an eyewitness to the
reality of the occupation, support those working for peace, and enrich your education and advocacy efforts in your
FEATURES OF A DELEGATION
Interfaith Peace-Builders has led 33 delegations and taken more than 500 people to Israel/Palestine. Many of our delegations
have a specific focus. We also offer the following standard programming on all delegations. You will:
• Travel in the West Bank and Israel with experienced delegation leaders and
professional local guides
• Learn from Palestinians about their nonviolent resistance
• Meet Israeli peace activists working for an end to the occupation
• Examine the US role in the conflict
• Stay in Palestinian and/or Israeli homes for 1 – 3 nights
• Visit selected religious and cultural sites
• Receive expert support for your work in your local community
EXPERT LEADERS AND LOCAL GUIDES
IFPB combines experienced leaders from the US with professional multilingual guides from Israel/Palestine who bring a range of
knowledge, perspectives, and expertise. Learn more about our leaders at www.ifpbdel.org/upcoming.html
COST: $2,100* includes 13 days, hotel and home stay SCHOLARSHIPS: Limited financial aid is available
accommodations, breakfasts and dinners, guides, local for those who need help. DON’T WAIT, ASK US!
transportation, speaker and event fees, basic tips and
Interfaith Peace‐Builders support upon your return.
gratuities, and sustained IFPB strives to organize delegations diverse in age,
gender, sexual orientation, class, ethnic identity and
*Cost does not include domestic & international airfares. racial background. In granting scholarship money, we
Prices may increase slightly. prioritize those who would not otherwise be able to join.
Apply today at www.ifpb.org/delegations/upcoming.html Help today by donating at www.ifpb.org/donation
Building PEACE through Personal Experience
email@example.com · 202.244.0821 · www.ifpb.org
2011 DELEGATIONS TO ISRAEL / PALESTINE
MAY 21 – JUNE 3, 2011: Voices of the Peacemakers Delegation
This delegation will explore Palestinian and Israeli efforts to achieve peace and a
resolution to their conflict based on justice. The delegation will feature meetings
with Palestinian and Israeli peacemakers – leaders of civil society groups, grassroots
organizers, religious leaders and more. IFPB’s May-June delegation also
traditionally focuses on the annual commemoration of the Palestinian Nakba
(Catastrophe) and the founding of the State of Israel.
Delegation leaders: Huwaida Arraf and Adam Horowitz
July 16 – July 29, 2011: Today’s Realities, Tomorrow’s Leaders
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 relevant to young people in the
region, including efforts to educate and empower future generations working towards
a just resolution to the conflict. Our itinerary will feature meetings with leaders of
civil society groups, grassroots organizers, Palestinian and Israeli youth, religious
leaders and more.
Delegation leaders: Mohammed Abu-Nimer and Emily Siegel
July 16 – July 29, 2011: African Heritage Delegation
Will raise awareness, heighten activism, and further link struggles between African Heritage
communities in the US and those working for justice in Israel/Palestine. This program is built
upon existing efforts within African Heritage communities and will strengthen work focusing on
Apartheid in Israel, justice in Palestine, and the growth of boycott, divestment and sanctions
campaigns nationally. Individuals of African descent are encouraged to apply.
Delegation leaders: Gerald Lenoir and Zoharah Simmons
Oct. 29 – Nov. 11, 2011: Trees of Peace- Olive Harvest Delegation
This delegation is an opportunity to participate in the Palestinian olive harvest — a
time of great community activism, where people of all ages from Palestine, Israeli
peace activists, and international groups, join farmers as they reap their harvest. You
will hear from Palestinian farmers and learn of the importance of agriculture to the
Palestinian economy and culture. As with other IFPB trips, you will also meet Israelis
and Palestinians working for peace and justice.
Delegation leaders: To be announced
FUTURE DELEGATIONS GRASSROOTS ADVOCACY TRAINING & LOBBY DAY
March 6 – 7, 2011
Join Interfaith Peace-Builders, the US Campaign to End the Israeli
Occupation, and Palestinian and Israeli peace-builders in
October/November 2012 Washington, DC! Learn essential skills for your activism, hear from
Check website for exact dates and themes. Prices may experts and leaders in the movement, and meet your congressional
increase slightly. Apply early to ensure availability! representatives. For more information see www.ifpb.org/grassroots
Get the latest on upcoming delegations at www.ifpb.org/delegations/upcoming.html
Building PEACE through Personal Experience
firstname.lastname@example.org · 202.244.0821 · www.ifpb.org