It's undeniable: Palestinian rights are becoming further ingrained in progressive politics.
Members of Congress, from Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) to the newly-elected Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN), are unapologetically speaking up for Palestinian rights.
The 2018 midterm elections saw an unprecedented rise in the number of candidates who openly supported Palestinian rights, and who did not back down even when they were challenged on these positions. Being vocally supportive of Palestinian rights used to be a political liability—now, in many spaces, the liability lies in being silent.
The shift in public discourse is made possible by the amazing grassroots organizing happening around the US.
Building across social justice movements has allowed us to stand in solidarity with other marginalized communities as they, too, face heightened repression under this administration.
As we build momentum for freedom, justice, and equality, the news out of Palestine keeps us grounded and impels our work, underscoring how critical it is.
We continue to be inspired by the Palestinian people’s steadfast resistance, and strive to center those lived experiences and voices in our advocacy and organizing.
Your support in 2018 is critical to making sure we keep building towards the future we want to see. Read on for some highlights of USCPR’s work for freedom, justice, and equality over the past year.
Palestine is a progressive issue
Palestine is a progressive issue. Progressives believe in freedom, justice, and equality for all. 2018 saw unprecedented strides towards mainstreaming Palestinian rights, but it also presented challenges. As we continue to demand accountability for Israeli crimes and center Palestinian voices, we will need your continued support.
a historic bill
On November 14, 2017, Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) and nine original cosponsors introduced H.R. 4391, the Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act.
This groundbreaking bill would prevent US aid to Israel from being used to detain, interrogate, ill-treat, and imprison Palestinian children in its separate-and-unequal military courts.
USCPR has been working in tandem with Rep. McCollum’s office and the No Way to Treat a Child campaign, spearheaded by Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP) and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).
We’re helping provide vital grassroots and Hill advocacy support for the bill, like:
Meetings with 40+ congressional offices and…
6,000 constituent letters encouraged these representatives to stand up for Palestinian rights and…
Dozens of Hill advocacy meetings with groups centering Palestinian voices helped make the case!
31 Members of Congress now cosponsoring the bill, thanks to the efforts of USCPR and our partners
Bringing Palestinian Voices to Capitol Hill
USCPR continues to build a platform for Palestinian organizations on Capitol Hill, coordinating a half-dozen advocacy tours for organizations including Addameer: Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Defense for Children International-Palestine, Adalah, Al-Shabaka, Adalah Justice Project, and Youth Against Settlements. In doing so, USCPR helps Palestinian advocates break into a policy arena that simultaneously has enormous impact on the Palestinian people and often purposefully marginalizes them.
Demanding Israeli Accountability
As Palestinians in the Gaza Strip marched to demand their freedom and right of return and the Israeli military unleashed brute force upon them, USCPR mobilized supporters to demand Israeli accountability.
1 action guide helped supporters leverage their people power
18,000+ constituent letters were sent to members of Congress
63 media appearances were made by USCPR staff, adding critical Palestinian voices to the conversation and providing context to 70 years of Israeli oppression
We advocated on Capitol Hill to push the congressional conversation towards support for Palestinians’ right to protest and right of return
Empowering our base
USCPR is providing more tailored and effective support for activists in key congressional districts than ever before. We're facilitating training webinars, lobby visit reports, skills sharing, in-person strategy sessions, meetings in district offices, and activist mobilizations at town halls!
Activists are pushing their representatives to make statements favorable to Palestinian rights, to support the right to boycott and oppose anti-BDS legislation, and to add their names to the growing list of cosponsors of the first-ever Palestinian rights legislation.
Cities for Palestine
In June 2018, we launched the Cities for Palestine platform, which offers resources to people running municipal campaigns across the country. Municipal campaigns shape policy work at a local level, create opportunities to discuss Palestine and impact public opinion, and build power with policy makers.
From the South African anti-apartheid movement to environmental justice campaigns that focus on divestment from fossil fuels to prison abolition, municipal campaigns are a tried-and-true strategy that prove the efficacy of organizing locally to impact national and global causes. Our strategic planning pinpoints municipal campaigns as a priority because they allow people to do and shape policy work at a local level; create opportunities to discuss Palestine and impact public opinion; and build our power both horizontally, with progressives and communities of color, and vertically with policy makers.
Tracking Military Aid to Israel
On Tax Day 2018, USCPR launched a major new interactive tool, militaryaidtoisrael.org, which shows annual taxpayer contributions to weapons to Israel at the state, congressional district, county, and city levels. The tool is based on the Obama administration’s 2016 deal to give Israel an unprecedented $38 billion in military aid from 2019 to 2028. The tool also includes budgetary trade-offs for social goods such as health care, green jobs, and teachers that could be funded instead with this money.
TOGETHER WE RISE
550 supporters of freedom, justice, and equality convened in St. Paul, Minnesota for USCPR’s 16th national conference, Together We Rise. The conference was an opportunity for coalition members, partners, and supporters to connect with and learn from others working in support of Palestinian rights across the country.
Together We Rise offered a robust program that included workshops, breakouts, and plenaries featuring activists and movement heroes like Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, Noura Erakat, Marc Lamont Hill, Mariam Barghouti, Camille Odeh, and Huwaida Arraf, tackling topics like Intersectional Feminism and Gender Justice and Palestine in US Politics.
Rep. McCollum made history at Together We Rise when she became the first sitting Member of Congress to name Israel for what it is: an apartheid state. She was giving a speech in acceptance of the Congressional Leadership Award, awarded for her spearheading of the first-ever bill in Congress that advances Palestinian rights: HR 4391, the Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act.
Connections Across Struggles
World Without Walls Delegation
As Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu celebrate one another’s walls, separating families and destroying lives, we forge resistance. Along with our partners, in October 2017 we sent a delegation of indigenous, Mexican, immigrant, and clergy activists resisting the US/Mexico border wall to Palestine to build relationships and joint struggle with Palestinians resisting Israel’s apartheid wall.
The delegation released a statement on Palestinian Land Day that lifted up the common experiences of militarized borders, separation of families, cultural erasure, exploitation, incarceration, and genocide. The delegation also pledged to implement BDS campaigns challenging corporations profiting from colonization from the US to Palestine. Building on the delegation, USCPR supported the first World Without Walls Global Day of Action and presented at the School of Americas Watch Border Encuentro.
End Family Separation: FROM THE US TO PALESTINE
On June 30, 2018, USCPR organized a Palestine contingent to the Keep Families Together march, made up of Palestinians and folks in solidarity with the struggle for freedom, justice, and equality. We joined tens of thousands of marchers in Washington, DC to demand an end to inhumane and cruel policies that separate children from their parents—from the US-Mexico border to Palestine.
Asserting our right to boycott
Israel and its supporters are pushing for local and federal legislation to punish and even criminalize our right to boycott for Palestinian rights. Fortunately, the Supreme Court has specifically held that political boycotts are unquestionably protected under the First Amendment. Regardless, organizations that oppose Palestinian rights are working with local, state, and federal lawmakers in heavy-handed, McCarthyite attempts to shut down supporters of freedom, justice, and equality.
Stalling the Israel Anti-Boycott Act
For more than 18 months, USCPR has challenged the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, one of AIPAC’s top legislative priorities. This bill would impose criminal penalties, including 20 years in jail and $1 million in fines, against individuals who furnish information to an international organization to support its call for a boycott of Israel or even of products from its illegal West Bank colonies. USCPR was the first organization to raise the alarm about this draconian bill and has played a leading role in coalescing groups, including the ACLU, to oppose this bill.
Shifting Media Narratives
In the last year, we made more than 390 media appearances, including placing dozens of opinion pieces, that projected our message of intersectional organizing on Palestine, offered critical perspectives and Palestinian representation, and pushed the conversation on Palestine as a progressive issue.
79 cents of every dollar goes toward USCPR’s programs.
We spend just three cents on fundraising costs and 18 cents on operations. See our annual reports and financial statements.
We hold a Platinum rating from Guidestar! The Seal of Transparency means that USCPR has demonstrated its commitment to transparency and to giving donors and funders meaningful data to evaluate the organization.
Budget Growth, 2012-2017
The tax ID number (EIN) of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights is 42-1636592. We are a registered 501(c)3 organization.
Just as we organize grassroots supporters to take action for Palestinian rights, the funding and resources that allow us to implement our campaigns, organizing, and media work also come overwhelmingly from individuals like you who make it all possible.