The U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (a.k.a. End the Occupation) is a coalition of groups working together “to change those U.S. policies that both sustain Israel’s … occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem, and deny equal rights for all.” The Campaign holds annual conferences to bring its coalition members together. As of June 2000, some 214 local and national organizations had signed on to the Campaign. Among these were: the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee; the American Friends Service Committee; American Muslims for Jerusalem; Americans for Justice in Palestine; BostonToPalestine; Christian Peacemaker Teams; the 8th Day Center for Justice; Global Exchange; Grassroots International; If Americans Knew; the Institute for Policy Studies; the International Socialist Organization; the International Solidarity Movement; Jews Against the Occupation; MADRE; Middle East Children’s Alliance; the National Lawyers Guild; Palestine Media Watch; Palestine Right to Return Coalition (Al-Awda); Pax Christi USA; Peace Action; Friends of Sabeel; Students for Justice in Palestine; SUSTAIN; Michael Lerner‘s Tikkun Community; United for Peace and Justice; Women Against Military Madness; and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
In November 2002 the Campaign published an article titled “Seeing Clearly Through a Veil of Blood,” in which the author wrote that Israel owed Yasser Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) a debt of gratitude for their supposedly invaluable “support for a two-state solution.” The article further stated that much anti-Jewish hatred “is fueled by the injustice of Israel’s occupation of Palestine.”
In July 2003, at its Second U.S. Campaign Organizers Conference, End the Occupation hosted Nihad Awad, the Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), who has publicly declared his support for the Hamas terrorist organization.
The Campaign opposes Israel’s construction of a security fence; it supports all divestment efforts intended to impose financial hardship on Israel; and it has endorsed the “Declaration Regarding Caterpillar Violations of Human Rights,” a document that impugns the U.S.-based Caterpillar Corporation for selling its machinery to the Israeli army, which in turn uses that equipment to demolish Palestinian terrorists’ homes and bases of operation.
The Campaign is currently working on a “Palestine Human Rights Litigation Project,” whose focus is on a pair of class-action lawsuits against former Israeli military officials in U.S. federal district courts. Filed on behalf of Palestinian and Lebanese civilians, these suits allege that the officials are guilty of war crimes; crimes against humanity; cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment; and extrajudicial killings.
The Campaign’s “Legislative Project” urges Members of the U.S. Congress to adopt a pro-Palestinian position regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The Campaign also works closely with Palestine Media Watch to minimize media references to Palestinian terrorism and corruption, while promoting images of Palestinians as victims of Israeli oppression.
The Campaign is a member organization of the United for Peace and Justice anti-war coalition, which is led by Leslie Cagan, a longtime committed socialist who aligns her politics with those of Fidel Castro‘s Communist Cuba.
On its website in 2006, the Campaign displayed a statement complaining that Hezbollah (a.k.a. Hizballah) had been “cast misleadingly in much media coverage” of the latter’s then-recent war against Israel. “Much more than a militia,” said the Campaign, “the Hizballah movement is also a political party that is a powerful actor in Lebanese politics and a provider of important social services. Not a creature of Iranian and Syrian sponsorship, Hizballah arose to battle Israel’s occupation of south Lebanon from 1982-2000 and, more broadly, to advocate for Lebanon’s historically disenfranchised Shi‘i Muslim community. While it has many political opponents in Lebanon, Hizballah is very much of Lebanon.”
In May 2007, twenty-two black American professors, writers, religious figures, and other leaders issued “a call to Black America” to join the Campaign’s June 10th rally “to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the beginning of the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.” Among the signatories to this letter were Manning Marable, Cornel West, and a number of individuals affiliated with the Green Party USA, the Institute for Policy Studies, the NAACP, and United for Peace and Justice. The letter noted the need “to bring attention to this 40 year travesty of justice”; it condemned the Israeli government for having “appropriated Palestinian land in open defiance of international law”; it urged black leaders to defend the “Palestinian people’s right to full self-determination”; and it expressed “outrage at the Israeli government that collaborated with the apartheid South African government … and emulated South Africa’s treatment of its Black majority in its own treatment of the Palestinian people.”