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Opposition in the United States to the Israeli Occupation

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Title: Opposition in the United States to the Israeli Occupation  
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Subject: Palestine–United States relations, Anti-Israel lobby in the United States, Israel–United States relations, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
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Opposition in the United States to the Israeli Occupation

"The World Says No to Israeli Occupation" rally, June 10, 2007, at U.S. Capitol, sponsored by US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and United for Peace and Justice.

Opposition in the United States to the Israeli occupation is organized by hundreds of organizations, many of them members of the [1] Their tactics include education, protest, civil disobedience and lobbying.[2][3][4][5]


Political activism against occupation first emerged in the wake of the Six-Day War when Israel conquered the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights from Jordan, Egypt, and Syria.[6]


Arab-American organizations

  • The American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) seeks an end to the occupation through negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, anchored in international law. It believes this to be in the national interest of Americans, Palestinians and Israelis. Its work is focused on "the effort to create this critical mass for ending the occupation."[8]
  • The Arab American Institute (AAI), founded in 1985 by James Zogby, lobbies for an end to Israeli settlements, protests what it sees as human rights violations in the West Bank and Gaza, and supports the two-state solution.[9]
  • The Palestine Center's purpose is to bring together the American and Palestinian communities to learn about the Palestinian people's quest for sovereignty, civil and political rights and an end to Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the surrounding refugee camps.[10]
  • The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) notes that despite U.N. resolutions, Israel continues to expand its settlements. It calls for dialogue and diplomacy to end the conflict.
  • The Palestinian American Congress (PAC), founded in 1995, "adheres to the principles that the Palestinian people constitute an indivisible National Unit and that Palestine is its national homeland."[11] It asserts that according to international law Palestinian land cannot be annexed as long as "the occupied people are still resisting the occupation."[12]

Other organizations

  • The Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) looks for economic means to end the occupation of what it calls "Palestine/Israel." It suggests an economic boycott by all Christians of Israel, including divestment of stocks of companies that do business with Israel.[16] MCC activist Alain Weaver has advocated a One-state solution, writing "Might not a bi-national future in one state be one in which Palestinians and Israelis alike both sit securely under vine and fig tree?"[17]
  • In 2004 the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), which had long opposed the occupation of Palestine, called for a "phased selective divestment in accordance with General Assembly policy on social investing."[21]


Michael Lewis, director of Policy Analysis for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee criticizes a number of anti-occupation groups, contending that their goals are "to drive a wedge between the U.S. government and Israel; to undermine public and government support for Israel in the United States, and (especially since the 1973 war) to bring about a halt in American governmental aid to Israel."[22]

In his book In the Trenches: Selected Speeches and Writings of an American Jewish Activist, David A. Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee says Israel must explain "how the occupation came about" and dismisses as "buzzwords" Palestinians attempts to gain sympathy as an occupied people.[23]

See also


  1. ^ Member Organizations US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.
  2. ^ 40 National Orgs. Tell Congress, "Freeze Military Aid to Israel Until Israel Freezes Settlements", by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation in Monthly Review, June 16, 2009.
  3. ^ Ida Wahlstrom, Rights Groups Condemn US Role in Gaza Conflict, Common Dreams, January 10, 2009.
  4. ^ H. L. Krieger, US rally against Israeli 'occupation' attracts smaller numbers than expected, Jerusalem Post, June 11, 2007.
  5. ^ Melissa Apter, 'Coming Out' for the Palestine Solidarity Movement, The Nation, June 4, 2007.
  6. ^ George Friedman The Israel Lobby in U.S. Strategy, September 4, 2007.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "About AAI" from the AAI website
  10. ^ About the Palestine Center, Palestine Center web site.
  11. ^ About us from the PAC website/
  12. ^ Palestinian American Congress 2004 Action Alert at Palestinian American Congress website.
  13. ^ For example # - - -
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Peacebuilding in Palestine/Israel: A Discussion Paper" at the MCC website
  17. ^ Alain Epp Weaver, "Memory against Forgetting," Cornerstone, 44 (Spring 2007): 2-5
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Open Letter to President Bush and President-Elect Obama" by Mary Ellen McNish, AFSC General Secretary, December 31, 2008, at the AFSC website]
  20. ^ "Profiles of Peace: Celebrating 40 Israeli and Palestinian peace builders" from the AFSC website
  21. ^
  22. ^ Israel's American Detractors - Back Again, by Michael Lewis, Middle East Quarterly, November 1997
  23. ^ David A. Harris, In the Trenches: Selected Speeches and Writings of an American Jewish Activist, KTAV Publishing House, Inc., 2008, pp. 58, 282, 311.
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