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ICAHD Launches Bottom-up E-mail Campaign
19 feb 2005
A new campaign from the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions to apply more international pressure to the Israeli government.
There is a point of critical mass for the policies of expansion and settlement in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It could very well be that the settlement and development in the West Bank is beyond the point of no return. There are various solutions available to address settlements in the West Bank ranging from the dismantling of settlements in a two-state solution to broader ideas of federated bi-nationalism, a regional Middle-Eastern Union, or even a one-state solution. In order for any just solution to become feasible, Palestinians must be able to remain on their land with a viable economy and infrastructure. If Israeli policies are not checked in the immediate future, many Palestinian communities will be irreparably destroyed. For example, if the current annexation of agricultural lands from the village of Jayyous succeeds, the economy of the village will be destroyed. Even if the parties reach a solution that includes the dismantling of the settlements, it will not help the people of Jayyous who will be forced to move if the Barrier stays in its current location detaching them from their main source of income, their agricultaral lands.

ICAHD believes that international pressure on Israel is the key to ending the Occupation. In that vein, it can be used as an effective tool on specific smaller issues as well. With this in mind, we are embarking on a campaign to wield the power of our six thousands person international network by having you contact Israeli officials as well as your own representatives asking them to apply pressure to Israel. ICAHD will post a description of a fairly specific problem, background information, and a sample letter to be sent to the Israeli government and to one's own government. We will include the contact information for the proper Israeli officials but, given the diversity of our email list, we will depend on you to find the contact information for your own representatives.

If pressured to address specific issues we believe that it will make it more difficult for the Israeli government to hide behind the popular excuse of "security." Israel can assert that the "Security Barrier" is to avert terror attacks but, when broken down to specific examples of the location of the barrier, the excuse crumbles. Additionally, having up-to-date, specific information can help empower other activists in their own campaigns.

We anticipate sending out between one and four emails each week. Recognizing that not everyone has the time and inbox space, we are setting up a new listserve specifically for this campaign. To subscribe, send an email to icahdaction-subscribe ARROBA

All of these emails will have background information, details about the situation and contact information for groups working on the broader issue. The Palestinian Environmental NGO Network's (PENGON) ongoing campaign against The Wall and our own campaign against home demolitions would be examples. We might send an Action Notice about something happening in Qalkilya but people interested in doing further work would be encouraged to contact groups like the Rhode Island-Qalkilya Alliance. We believe that if we frame this campaign of specifics in a broader context we can make a contribution to the efforts of groups already doing work on some of the issues we will address. This campaign is meant to compliment the grassroots solidarity, information and media campaigns that are already changing the way people see the conflict here.

Groups and individuals engaged in this issue are encouraged to submit ideas for action notices.

We at ICAHD thank everyone in advance for signing up and look forward to working with all of you in the struggle for peace and justice in the Middle East.
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