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President Obama, Commute Manning's Sentence to Time Served

On August 21, U.S. citizen Bradley Manning - now known as Chelsea Manning -was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking classified information to the public about the killing of civilians in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; drone strikes in Yemen; torture in Guantanamo, Iraq, and Egypt; the coup in Honduras; corruption in Tunisia, the U.S. use of cluster bombs, and the blockade of Gaza, among many other issues of public concern about U.S. foreign policy.

As Amnesty International noted, Manning has already served more than three years in pre-trial detention, including 11 months in conditions described by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture as cruel and inhumane. Amnesty is calling on President Obama to commute Manning's sentence to time served.

A Story Your Reps Should Hear: House Evictions in Sheikh Jarrah

As I mentioned in our last alert, I'm in Israel-Palestine right now on an Interfaith Peace Builders delegation, meeting with Israelis and Palestinians to better understand the situation on the ground.

Just days before our delegation departed, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans to build over 800 new housing units in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. [1] But settlement construction isn't the only way Israelis are extending their control of areas the Palestinians intend to comprise any negotiated state.

Families in Sheikh Jarrah, a Palestinian village in East Jerusalem, are being evicted from their homes and replaced by Jewish settlers. Earlier this week, our delegation met with the al Kurd family, whose 94 year-old matriarch was displaced from her Haifa home in the 1948 war and has resided in Sheikh Jarrah for nearly 60 years. The family lost half of its home to an Israeli settler family in 2008—and is currently under threat of being evicted from the rest.

When we asked Maysa al Kurd, the daughter of the matriarch whose family lives in the section of the home remaining in its possession, what she hoped we, as Americans, would do to help her family and other Palestinians facing eviction, she said she wanted us to tell their story to President Obama and Congress.

We just happen to have an easy way to do just that. There is a powerful, twenty-five minute documentary online detailing the al Kurd family's struggle to reclaim its home and prevent a complete eviction. Watch the documentary and tell your representatives to do so as well.

Here's the documentary:

http://www.justvision.org/myneighbourhood/watch

And here's the action link:

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/sheikh-jarrah

JFP 8/16: "Time to cut Egypt loose"; take action on East Jerusalem evictions

Just Foreign Policy News, August 16, 2013
"Time to cut Egypt loose"; take action on East Jerusalem evictions

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I) Actions and Featured Articles
**Action: A Story Your Reps Should Hear: House Evictions in Sheikh Jarrah
Families in Sheikh Jarrah, a Palestinian village in East Jerusalem, are being evicted from their homes and replaced by Jewish settlers. The al Kurd family lost half of its home to an Israeli settler family in 2008—and is currently under threat of being evicted from the rest.
There is a powerful, twenty-five minute documentary online detailing the al Kurd family's struggle to prevent a complete eviction and reclaim the other half of its home.
Urge your reps in Washington to watch this documentary and take action.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/sheikh-jarrah

RT Video: Saudi prince defects: 'Brutality, oppression as govt scared of Arab revolts'

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Amend or Repeal the Espionage Act to Protect Journalists and Whistle-blowers

Isn't it high time to amend or repeal the Espionage Act of 1917 so that it can't be used to charge whistle-blowers or journalists with "aiding the enemy"?

JFP 8/14: Argentina's Iran accusation based on MEK; Congress can declassify on its own

Just Foreign Policy News, August 14, 2013
Argentina's Iran accusation based on MEK; Congress can declassify on its own

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I) Actions and Featured Articles
Petition: Fix the Espionage Act to Protect Whistleblowers & Journalists
Amend or repeal the Espionage Act of 1917 so that journalists and government whistle-blowers who share information of public interest with journalists can't be charged with "aiding the enemy."
http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/fix-espionage-act-to?source=c.url&r_by=1135580

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U.S./Top News

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Tell Obama to Oppose Israeli Plan to Evict 40K Bedouin, Protect Right to Protest

Next week, I'm traveling to Israel/Palestine with a delegation of US peace activists. One thing that we will be doing while there is meeting with Israelis and Palestinians resisting the Israeli government's seizure of Palestinian lands. Such land grabs have become a regular facet of life in the West Bank, but it's not only Palestinians in the West Bank who are subject to them.

The Israeli government has plans to remove upwards of 40,000 Bedouin in the Negev desert in southern Israel from their homes and their lands. As in the West Bank, attempts to protest these seizures have been met by force from the Israeli military and police.

The US has yet to publicly oppose either the Prawer Plan or Israeli suppression of peaceful protest. Join me in calling on President Obama and other US officials to publicly oppose the Prawer Plan and to press the Israeli government to respect the right to peaceful protest in Israel and the occupied territories.

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/prawer

You can also help support my trip to Israel/Palestine by making a tax-deductible donation:

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/donate/megan

If you've seen last year's Oscar-nominated documentary 5 Broken Cameras, you know something about the Palestinian struggle to resist Israel's seizure of Arab land and the Israeli military's response to such resistance. [1] The demonstrations in Bil'in, where 5 Broken Cameras was filmed, as well as Ni'lin, Nabi Saleh and other villages, have become regular features of Palestinian life. [2] Every Friday, Palestinian villagers, often accompanied by Israeli and international activists, march against the confiscation of their land for settlement expansion, barrier walls and military zones. Each week, they are met by tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and stun grenades. They are arrested, detained, harassed. Under Israeli occupation, the right to peaceful protest has been effectively nullified.

Feinstein Letter Call-in Report

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JFP 7/30: Diplomacy letter; House fight on sanctions timing; Durbin, HRW denounce police violence in Egypt

Just Foreign Policy News, July 30, 2013
Diplomacy letter; House fight on sanctions timing; Durbin, HRW denounce police violence in Egypt

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I) Actions and Featured Articles

***Action: Urge your Senators to support the Feinstein letter backing diplomacy with Iran
This is a rare opportunity. Let's not screw it up. Write your Senators and urge them to sign the Feinstein letter backing diplomatic engagement with Iran following the election of a pro-diplomacy President in Iran.
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/senate-iran-letter

Amnesty International: Don't blockade students in Gaza
Azza, Suhair, and Loujain are three Palestinian women who are blocked from attending the university of their choice, because the Israeli blockade prevents thousands of Palestinian students in Gaza from pursuing higher education in the West Bank. Urge the Israeli government to allow students in Gaza the freedom to access education where they choose.
http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/site/c.6oJCLQPAJiJUG/b.8624591/k.D2C/Help_Palestinian_Students_Access_Education/

The Oklahoman: Rally at Oklahoma Capitol opposes U.S. intervention in Syria

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Dianne Feinstein Initiates Pro-Iran Diplomacy Letter in Senate

Following on the wildly successful pro-diplomacy letter led by Reps. Charlie Dent and David Price, California Senator Dianne Feinstein is circulating a letter, below, urging President Obama to reinvigorate US efforts to engage Iran in the wake of Iran's recent presidential election. Write to your Senators today!

***

Dear President Obama:

We urge you to seize the opportunity presented by the upcoming inauguration of Iran’s new president, Dr. Hassan Rouhani, by reinvigorating diplomatic efforts to secure a verifiable agreement that ensures that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons.

Since 2010 Congress has worked with your Administration to increase U.S. and international sanctions against Iran. The impact on Iran’s economy has been significant: the value of the Iranian rial has plummeted against the U.S. dollar since 2011, unofficial estimates of inflation range as high as 70 percent, exports of oil have been halved, Iranian oil production has declined 35 percent to 2.6 million barrels per day, the Iranian economy declined by as much as 8 percent between March 2012 and March 2013 and is set to decline further in the next year, and unemployment estimates range as high as 20 percent.

JFP 7/26: Summers to Fed? NSA roll call; F16s to Egypt held; war backing hits new low

Just Foreign Policy News, July 26, 2013
Summers to Fed? NSA roll call; F16s to Egypt held; war backing hits new low

I) Actions and Featured Articles

Action: Don't let Larry Summers head the Fed!
Economist (and JFP board member) Dean Baker says: "Picking Larry Summers for Fed chair would be exactly the wrong message to send at the moment. Summers is one of the main architects of the policies that have given us the worst downturn since the Great Depression. It would be an especially bad signal to send when there is an outstanding pick already at the Fed serving as Vice-Chair, Janet Yellen." Sign our petition to President Obama: 18,000 have signed so far. List of good anti-Summers references at the link.
http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/dont-let-larry-summers?source=c.url&r_by=1135580

Roll Call of the NSA surveillance vote
Check to see if your Rep. voted yes. Thank them if they did, spank them if they didn't. Congress will revisit this issue on the intelligence authorization.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/24/amash-amendment-roll-call-vote_n_3648737.html

FCNL et al: No U.S. Military Intervention In Syria!
Joint petition initiated by FCNL, IPS, JFP, Peace Action, Peace & Justice Resource Center, UFPJ, USLAW, and WAND.
http://org.credoaction.com/petitions/no-u-s-military-intervention-in-syria

Video: Israeli forces shoot B'Tselem spokesperson during West Bank protest

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