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Presbyterians Poised for Historic Vote Against Israel's Occupation of Palestine

Sometimes a situation that appears hopeless is actually poised for a new beginning - when the apparent hopelessness reflects acceptance that conventional wisdom has utterly failed to bring about solutions and that solutions require actions that conventional wisdom has blocked.

Next week, Presbyterians meeting in Detroit will have a historic opportunity to help change the fundamental dynamics of the Israel-Palestine conflict in a way that will bring a just resolution of the conflict closer. They'll be considering divestment from three companies - Caterpillar, Motorola and Hewlett Packard - that are significantly tied to the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Amb. Ford: Give Syrian Insurgents Manpads to Shoot Down Iranian Planes

 Last September, Congress said no to plans to bomb Syria, by failing to approve an authorization for the use of military force.

Now there is a new push -- exemplified by this New York Times op-ed by former Ambassador Robert Ford -- for deeper U.S. military intervention in Syria. Advocates for U.S. military intervention are assuring us that there will be no direct U.S. bombing of Syria. Instead, so-called "moderate rebels" in Syria (whoever they are) will do the bombing on behalf of the U.S., with U.S.-supplied weapons.

Support Presbyterian Divestment from Israeli Occupation!

Next week, the Presbyterian Church (USA) is holding its biennial general assembly in Detroit where they’ll consider a resolution to divest $17 million from three companies—Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions, and Hewlett-Packard—that participate in the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Just Foreign Policy will be in Detroit for this potentially historic vote—and we want to bring your messages of support with us!

Here are two things you can do right now:

  1. Sign our statement supporting Presbyterian divestment. We’ll share your signatures with Presbyterian delegates in Detroit!
  2. Use our “Presby Divest!” profile image. If you use Twitter, Facebook, or other social media, make our “Presby Divest!” image your profile picture.

When the Presbyterians last considered divestment two years ago, the resolution failed by only two votes. The view that prevailed was that Presbyterians should support Palestinian rights via investment instead of divestment.

But Palestinian business leaders and international economic institutions like the World Bank have made clear that the Israeli occupation itself, which is strangling the Palestinian economy, is largely to blame for the dire situation of Palestinians, and investment alone can’t reverse the consequences of occupation. There must be increased pressure on the Israeli government to change its policies.

Support Presbyterian Divestment—Make Our "Presby Divest!" Image Your Profile Pic!

The Presbyterian Church (USA) is holding its biennial general assembly in Detroit where they’ll consider a resolution to divest $17 million from three companies—Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions, and Hewlett-Packard—that participate in the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Many groups that oppose pressure on the Israeli government to change its policies are demanding that the Presbyterians vote against the divestment resolution. That’s why they need to hear from supporters like you.

Making our "Presby Divest!" image your profile picture is an easy way to show your support for Presbyterian divestment. Here's what you do:

Twitter

  1. Right-click the image and select "Save Image As" to save file to your computer
  2. Go to Twitter
  3. Go to your profile
  4. Click the button "Edit Profile" on the right-hand side of the page
  5. Click on your current profile pic where it says "Change your profile picture"
  6. Click "Upload Photo"
  7. Select the image and press "Open"
  8. Click the "Save Changes" button on the right-hand side of the page

Facebook

  1. Right-click the image and select "Save Image As" to save file to your computer
  2. Go to your Facebook profile
  3. Hover over your current profile picture and click "Update Profile Picture"
  4. Select "Upload Photo"
  5. Select the image and press "Open"

You can also sign our statement in support of Presbyterian divestment.

Warmonger Media Storm Against Saving Sgt. Bergdahl Shows Why We Have So Much War

 If you want to understand why it's the case that on the one hand the U.S. public and the majority of Congress turned against the war in Afghanistan a long time ago, and yet on the other hand, it's been so hard to end the war, this week's warmonger media storm against the diplomatic rescue of U.S. prisoner of war Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been very instructive.

It's been known for years that a key step towards ending the war would be exchanging five Taliban prisoners of war at Guantanamo for the release of Sgt. Bergdahl.

There has never been any serious dispute of the case that this would be a key step towards ending the war. I challenge anyone to find a counter-example to my claim.

Report your call telling your Senator to #StandWithReid on Bergdahl diplomacy

Tell us how your call to your Senator went using the form below.

19 Reps. led by Peter Welch urge Obama to reject transferring manpads to Syrian insurgents

On June 5, 19 Representatives led by Peter Welch of Vermont sent a bipartisan letter to President Obama, urging him to resist pressure to transfer manpads - shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles, that can be used to shoot down civilian aircraft - to Syrian insurgents.

This letter was supported by the Friends Committee on National Legislation, United for Peace and Justice, and Just Foreign Policy.

The signers were:

Peter Welch (D)
Walter Jones (R)
Mick Mulvaney (R)
Rick Nolan (D)
Jim McGovern (D)
John Campbell (R)
Alan Grayson (D)
Mark Pocan (D)
Paul Broun (R)
Peter DeFazio (D)
John Garamendi (D)
Hank Johnson (D)
Eni Faleomavaega (D)
Steve Cohen (D)
Ted Yoho (R)
John Conyers (D)
Michael Capuano (D)
Danny Davis (D)
John Lewis (D)

Let us know what you thought of the Int'l Gaza Day Twitter Campaign

No matter whether you participated in our Twitter campaign or not, we want your input! Fill out this quick survey to let us know what we can improve in our next social media campaign.

Report your call on the Welch Manpads letter

Let us know how your call to your Rep went by filling out the form below.

Support the International Freedom for Gaza Day

Hashtag is #UnblockGazaMay31 but DO NOT START UNTIL 10AM ET! Sample tweets below. Countdown: http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/gazaday-countdown

On April 29, 2014, Gaza's Ark—a refurbished boat that was set to sail in June from the port of Gaza out to sea carrying Palestinian export goods—was sabotaged when explosive devices caused substantial damage to its hull. Repairing the boat will cost about $30,000. The attack is still under investigation.

Gaza's Ark can be ready to sail this fall—but we need your support to make it happen.

Human rights activists have called for an International Freedom for Gaza Day on May 31 to mark the fourth anniversary of the attack on the Mavi Marmara, which killed nine Turkish and a Turkish-American human rights activist—the tenth died this week after four years in a coma [2]—as they attempted to challenge the blockade of Gaza. Actions drawing attention to the siege will take place in Gaza, Turkey, and around the world.

If you participate in social media, you have a unique opportunity to help raise the profile of the International Freedom Day for Gaza and Gaza's Ark.

Find sample tweets in Pastebin below but DO NOT START UNTIL 10AM ET. Here's a countdown: http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/gazaday-countdown