NGO ACTION NEWS

July-August 2006

No. 11


North America

Ad Hoc Coalition for Justice in the Middle East organized a demonstration on 26 August 2006 against the aggression in Lebanon and in the Gaza Strip. The Coalition comprises several organizations, including: National Committee of Arab-Americans, the Network of Arab-American Professionals of New York’s Political Committee, International Action Center, Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, International Solidarity Movement – New York City, International Socialist Organization, Jews Against the Occupations, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee - New York, and the New York Campaign for Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions. For further information, contact E-Mail: justiceME@gmail.com or dasitg@gmail.com

American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and Interfaith Peace-Builders issued a press release in August 2004 informing that the “Olive Harvest Delegation to Israel/Palestine” will take place from 4 to 18 November 2006. For further information, contact E-Mail: middleeast@forusa.org or israelpalestine@afsc.org or visit the web sites: http://www.forusa.org/programs/ipb/default.html or http://www.afsc.org/Israel-Palestine/default.htm

An article in the August issue of AFSC’s newsletter “Faces of Hope”, entitled “Take Action to End the Violence in Gaza”, noted that the attack on civilian infrastructure in Gaza left 860,000 Palestinians without power and water.

Care Canada, Canadian Centre for International Studies and Cooperation, Development and Peace, Foster Parents Plan, Mennonite Central Committee, Oxfam Canada and Quebec, Save the Children, World Vision, as representatives of Canada’s leading aid agencies, sent a letter in August 2006 to Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, expressing concern about the suffering of civilians in Lebanon, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in Israel, especially children. The letter stressed that people are being denied their fundamental right to humanitarian aid. For further information, contact E-Mail: GBrunelli@devp.org

The Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) will hold a conference from 6 to 8 October 2006 in Toronto entitled “Boycotting Israeli Apartheid: The Struggle Continues”. Speakers include: Jamal Jum’a, Coordinator of the Stop the Wall Campaign; Willie Madisha, President of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU); and Salim Vally of the Palestine Solidarity Committee in South Africa. For further information, visit the web site: http://www.caiaweb.org

The Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP) issued on 23 August 2006 a special Jerusalem issue of the “Report on Israeli Settlement in the Occupied Territories”, with a map of “Metropolitan Jerusalem 2006” and another map on “Israeli Settlement In and Around the Old City of Jerusalem”; and articles on the division of Jerusalem, such as “Barrier Facts”; and “US Policy on Jerusalem”, describing the evolution in half a century of the US policy from adherence to the concept of an internationalized Jerusalem to the acceptance, if not recognition, of Jerusalem division. In addition, the report shows charts on “Jerusalem Statistics 2006” and a table on “East Jerusalem Demographic and Geographic Indicators, 2000-2004”. For further information, contact E-Mail: info@fmep.org or visit FMEP’s web site: http://www.fmep.org

If Americans Knew released in August 2006 a three-minute video on the growing crisis in Gaza. For further information, visit the organization’s web site: http://www.ifamericansknew.org/videos

The Palestine Center will hold a conference on 27 October 2006 entitled “The Palestinian Question since Oslo – Current Options and Future Strategies”, in Washington, D. C. Beshara Doumani from University of California at Berkeley will be the keynote speaker. Panel I includes: “Internal Dynamics: Palestinian Politics since Oslo” by Lisa Taraki, Professor of Sociology at Birzeit University, and “The Regional Dynamics: Oslo and Arab Politics” by Khaled Hroub, Director of Cambridge Arab Media Project. Panel II is entitled “The International Arena” and includes: “The US Role: Transforming the International Arena against Palestinians” by Naseer Aruri, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Dartmouth University in Massachusetts; “The New Politics of the European Union” by Nur Malsaha, Lecturer at the School of Theology, Philosophy and History of Saint Mary’s College, UK; “The United Nations: A Changing Role?” by Karma Nabulsi, Lecturer on International Relations at Oxford University, UK; and “The Role of the Media” by Robert Jensen, Professor of Journalism at the University of Texas, Austin, Texas. Panel III “Future Strategies” is chaired by William Fletcher, Former President of TransAfrica, and includes all panellists. For further information, contact E-Mail: info@palestinecenter.org or visit the Center’s web site: http://www.thejerusalemfund.org

The Palestine Center will hold a briefing on 29 August 2006 entitled “The Clean Break Plan: A Conspiracy of Theories” by Grant Smith, Director of Research at the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy.

The Palestine Center issued in August 2006 the transcript of the presentation entitled “Israeli Uniteralism: The Illusion of Peace” by Maen Areikat, Director-General of the PLO Negotiations Affairs Department; Khaled El-Gindy, Policy Advisor with the Negotiations Support Unit (NSU); and Leila Hilla, legal advisor of NSU.

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation issued a press release on 24 August 2006 informing that over 120 organizations and coalitions in the US representing thousands of people, signed a solidarity letter with people in the Middle East. The letter called Israeli attacks on Lebanon and Gaza “vastly disproportionate” and condemned the humanitarian catastrophe. For further information, contact E-Mail: office@endtheoccupation.org or visit the Campaign’s web site: http://www.endtheoccupation.org

Wespac Foundation issued a press release in August 2006 announcing the release of the documentary “The Camps: Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon” by Andrew Courtney and Emily Perry. The documentary shows the living conditions of the Palestine refugees, with focus on health, unemployment, education and cultural memory. For further information, contact E-Mail: courtney6@optonline.net


Europe

International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) and the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) issued a press release on 31 August 2006 announcing a “Mission of Solidarity with Palestinian and Israeli Members” from 29 August to 2 September 2006. The mission will observe the ongoing Israeli military operations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, with special attention to the situation in the Gaza Strip, and meet civil society representatives. The mission is composed by: Birgit Lindnaes, EMHRN Executive Committee Member; David Bondia Garcia, Federación de Asociaciones de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos; Marita Roos, EMHRN Project Coordinator; and Sophie Bessis, Deputy Secretary-General of FIDH. For further information, visit the web site: http://www.fidh.org

The Refugee Studies Center at the Department of International Development at Oxford University released in August 2006 the new issue of its magazine “Forced Migration Review (FMR)” entitled “Palestinian Displacement – a case apart?”, including 28 articles by UN, Palestinian and international human rights organizations, Palestinian scholars in the diaspora, and Palestinian and Israeli peace groups. Articles examine the root causes of the displacement of Palestinians, the consequences of the failure to apply international humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and Palestinian entitlement to protection and compensation. FMR will be online on 4 September, followed by Arabic, French and Spanish editions. Hard copies will be available late September. For further information, contact E-Mail: fmr@qeh.ox.ac.uk or visit the web site: http://www.fmreview.org or http://www.hijra.org.uk (Arabic), http://www.migracionesforzadas.org (Spanish) and http://www.migrationforcee.org (French)


Latin America

Federación de Entidades Argentino-Palestina launched on 23 August 2006 a campaign to donate medicine and food to the Gaza Strip. For further information, contact e-mail: fed_arg_palestina@yahoo.com.ar


Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem

Ir Amin issued a report on 29 August 2006 entitled “Sheikh Sa’ad and the Separation Barrier: Trends in Jerusalem”. For further information, contact E-Mail: amos@ir-amin.org.il or visit Ir Amin’s web site: http://www.ir-amin.org.il

Ir Amin issued a press release on 31 August 2006 informing about the petition presented to the Israeli High Court of Justice by the organization and the Bet Hanina Community Development Association, The Kfar Aqab Residents’s Committee and Jerusalem Councilman Yosef Alalu Pepe Alutz from the Meretz Party, regarding the construction of classrooms for Palestinian students residing in East Jerusalem. The process started in 2001 and the promised classrooms have not materialized. The result, according to the organization’s estimates, is a lack of some 1,100 classrooms in East Jerusalem.

The Israeli Committee Against House Demolition (ICAHD) will hold a ceremony on 29 August 2006 for the rebuilding of a demolished Palestinian house in Anata, near Jerusalem, of a family with 17 children. Thirty internationals helped with the rebuilding of the home. For further information, contact E-Mail: angela@icahd.org or visit ICAHD’s web site: http://www.icahd.org

The Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI) issued a press release in August announcing the showing in August 2006 in Jerusalem of the documentary “Can You Hear Me? Israeli and Palestinian Women Fight for Peace”, by filmmaker Lilly Rivlin and narrated by the actress Debra Winger. The documentary will be shown at the Jerusalem Film Festival. For further information, contact E-Mail: lilith@att.net or visit the web site: http://www.LillyRivlin.com


United Nations

The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People will hold the United Nations International Conference of Civil Society in Support of on 7 and 8 September 2006, at the United Nations Office at Geneva, Switzerland. The conference will focus on the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and related civil society action. Its aim is to provide civil society organizations from all regions of the world with an opportunity to discuss the situation on the ground promote Palestinians people and coordinate their activities. For further information, visit the web site maintained by the Division for Palestinian Rights: http://www.un.org/depts/dpa/ngo/index.html

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The NGO Action News is a bi-weekly newsletter issued by the Division for Palestinian Rights of the United Nations Secretariat and intended to provide information on worldwide NGO activities relevant to the question of Palestine. Organizations interested in sharing information about their activities through this newsletter may contact the Division for Palestinian Rights at:

United Nations Headquarters Phone: (212) 963-1550
Room S-3350 Fax: (212) 963-4199
New York, NY 10017 E-mail:
dprngo@un.org

Please be advised that the final decision with regard to selecting material for inclusion in the newsletter rests with the Division for Palestinian Rights. The Division cannot take responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided to it by contributing organizations.

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