The greatest struggle facing the anti-war movement in the United States is the struggle to get people who come to anti-war demonstrations after a war starts to engage politically to prevent the same wars in the future. In the case of U.S. policy towards Iran, we created a political movement to support diplomacy with Iran to prevent war in the future. But in the case of Gaza, there is no political movement in the United States to support diplomacy to prevent war in the future.
Yesterday afternoon, the Middle East Issues Committee of the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted decisively 45-20 to endorse divestment from three companies—Caterpillar, Motorola, and Hewlett-Packard—that play a role in the Israeli occupation of Palestine. The resolution now moves on to the General Assembly where it is expected to be taken up either Thursday or Friday.
From what we’ve seen in the last few days, one of the biggest worries of some Presbyterians is how it will look to the outside world if they should divest. That’s why it’s important that as many of us as possible raise our voices in support of their efforts to take their money out of companies participating in violence and injustice.
Let’s continue to show Presbyterians we’ve got their backs! Here are some suggestions for action:
1. Join the Thunderclap. By signing up with either your Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr account, Thunderclap will send out one (and only one!) message on your behalf at noon eastern time Thursday, June 19.
2. Tweet our petition on #ChurchDivest and #GA221 hashtags. Let General Assembly participants know that over 15,000 people have made their support for divestment known. Just copy and paste this message into twitter:
Over 15,000 sign statement supporting #ChurchDivest bit.ly/presby-divest #GA221 via @justfp
If you don't use social media…
1. Watch some of the testimonials we've gathered. We are continuing to collect video testimonials from the diverse group of people here in Detroit supporting divestment. Watch a few and share them with your friends. http://whywesupportdivestment.tumblr.com
2. Tell five friends to sign our petition. Here's some sample text to use to email them:
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 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 - - that are significantly tied to the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
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.
It was, without doubt, a world-historical moment last Thursday when AIPAC concededthat its push to sabotage U.S. diplomacy with Iran had been decisively rebuked. As theNew York Times noted, it had been decades since AIPAC lost such a high-profile showdown so decisively.
Oxfam has cut ties with celebrity Scarlett Johansson over her refusal to give up her role as a "brand ambassador" for the Israeli company SodaStream, which operates a factory in an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank. As Oxfam stated: 
Johansson's role promoting the company SodaStream is incompatible with her role as an Oxfam global ambassador. Oxfam believes that businesses, such as SodaStream, that operate in settlements further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support. Oxfam is opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law.
The campaign against Johansson's partnership with SodaStream has helped raise the profile of the company's association with the occupation. But we have yet another opportunity coming up: SodaStream is airing an ad featuring Johansson during the Super Bowl. People will be talking about the ad on Twitter. So let's show them what SodaStream's really about by publicly thanking Oxfam for parting ways with Johansson during the Super Bowl!
Here are two ways you can participate:
- Sign our petition thanking Oxfam: http://justforeignpolicy.org/act/oxfam-sodastream
- Join our Thunderclap, which will automatically send a message through your Twitter account during the Super Bowl. You can also sign up using your Facebook account: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/8554-thank-oxfam-for-scarjo-split
Thanks for all you do to promote a just peace in Israel-Palestine,
Megan Iorio, Chelsea Mozen, and Robert Naiman
Just Foreign Policy
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Time to make yet another entry to the list of US hypocrisies!
Over the weekend, Israeli army and police units forcibly evicted a group of Palestinian activists from Bab al-Shams, a tent village that had been erected on what is reportedly a Palestinian-owned parcel of land in the area of the West Bank known as E1. The village—which included a library, kitchen, media room, and a medical center staffed by two doctors, two nurses, and six other health professionals—was established by the activists as a nonviolent protest against Israeli intentions to build thousands of new settlements in E1, an action which would effectively cut-off Palestinians from Jerusalem, threaten the viability of any future Palestinian state in a two-state solution, and, of course, trounce upon the Palestinians' rights to their own land.
In a statement, UN chief Ban Ki-Moon called Israel out on their impending settlement plans and on disrespecting the Palestinians' right to peaceful protest. But, of course, we can't expect so much from the US.
Hamas and Israel have reportedly agreed to terms for a ceasefire, which should be taking effect right about now. This is a welcome development.
But just because a ceasefire has been agreed upon doesn't mean that we can or should forget the United States's hypocritical response to the violence, which was on display as late as this morning when President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued statements on a bus bombing in Tel Aviv said by some to be perpetrated by Hamas.
Didn't they learn anything last time?
In 2008, the Israeli military invaded Gaza, claiming they were going to destroy Hamas. They didn't destroy Hamas - politically, they made it stronger - but they did kill a thousand Palestinian civilians and destroy a lot of Palestinian civilian infrastructure, some of which was never fully rebuilt due to the Israel-Egypt-US blockade of Gaza.
Now Israel is attacking Gaza again. The stated reason is rocket fire from Gaza into Israel. Of course, that's not the complete story.  But more violence from Israel into Gaza isn't going to end rocket fire from Gaza. It hasn't in the past and won't in the future. The violence can only end with a political agreement to stop all violence across the Israel-Gaza border. The first step is an immediate cease-fire. This should lead to a political agreement that guarantees a permanent end to armed attacks across the border from both sides and permanently ends the siege of Gaza's economy and people.
Urge President Obama and Members of Congress to work towards an immediate ceasefire and a political agreement that permanently ends the violence and ends the blockade. You can use the following link:
Thank you for all you do to help bring about a more just foreign policy,
Robert Naiman, Chelsea Mozen, Sarah Burns and Megan Iorio
Just Foreign Policy
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1. See, e.g.,
“Who Started the Israel-Gaza Conflict?” Robert Wright, The Atlantic, November 16, 2012, http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/11/who-started-the-israel-gaza-conflict/265374/