US's support for Israel started very early with campaign involvement and donations to Harry Truman's campaign that caused a shift in US policy from support of self determination for the natives (a common US objective before) to support for establishing of a Jewish state in Palestine despite the demographics. In the subsequent 54 years, the influence of those who support Israeli lobby in the US government grew so strong that legislation drafted in congress on issues regarding the Middle East is now drafted by Israeli lobbyists or "think tanks" which are fronts to Israeli lobbies. Two good books to get are Naseer Aruri�s �Dishonest Broker� and Noam Chomsky�s �The Fateful Triangle�
It should be pointed out that while Congress took on strong pro-Israel stances (including ignorance of Human Rights), polls among the American public showed strong division and a majority support for human rights. The poll, comissioned by the Arab American Institute (AAI), was conducted by Zogby International (ZI) of New York. The AAI/ZI poll was conducted from July 14-17, 2000 and had a margin of sampling error of +/- 3.4 percent. This poll showed that 66% of Americans favor establishment of a Palestinian State and 74% agree that Palestinian refugees should be allowed to return to their homes and lands (only 9% disagree).
THINGS THAT CAN BE DONE
Voter Registration and Get Out The Vote Drives
Voter Registration is essential when the majority of eligible voters in teh US do not actually register to vote and even those registered many times do not bother to vote. Thus a campaign to get people registered AND to vote is important. This can be a general campaign accompanied by targeted campaign to minorities, the disenfranchised etc.
In the US, there are also some 7 million Artabs and Muslims and they can carry a significant vote. Same for other groups like Hispanics and African American. Beyond ethnic and religious groups, specific groups like labor and those wh are uninsured can be motivated to get involved. To begin such a process begins with education. The myth of inability to effect outcome needs to be counteracted. People can and do make a difference. In fact all changes in world history taht are of significance occured by people getting involved (civil rights, right of women to vote, ending apartheid in South Africa, ending the war on Vietnam etc).
Join a particular campaign or group working on human rights issues that is also interested in dealing with governments. Examples are numerous:
Suspend US Aid to Israel Now http://www.sustaincampaign.org
Stop US Aid to Israel http://www.stop-us-military-aid-to-israel.net/
End the Occupation http://www.endtheoccupation.org
American Civil liberties Union http://www.aclu.org/
Public Integrity http://www.publicintegrity.org
Council for the National Interest http://www.cnionline.org/
Contact elected representatives through this weblink
Government addresses: http://www.trytel.com/~aberdeen/#a2
US Congress, see http://congress.org/congdir.html
US Senators: http://www.senate.gov/contacting/index.cfm
US Representatives: http://www.house.gov/writerep/
Good source: http://www.e-thepeople.com
Parliaments on the Web: http://www.ipu.org/english/parlweb.htm
Foreign Affairs Ministries: http://www.trytel.com/~aberdeen/foreign.html
Heads of State: http://www.trytel.com/~aberdeen/#a2
European Union: http://www.politicalresources.net/eu.htm
Political Parties: http://www.artsci.lsu.edu/poli/polpart.html
Political Parties (Australia, US, UK): http://www.aph.gov.au/library/intguide/pol/polparti.htm
Embassies around the world: http://www.embassy-worldwide.com
The Republican Arab American Congress http://www.raaonline.org/
Arab American Republicans Against Bush http://www.AARAB.org
Here is an example letter sent July 28, 2000 to President Clinton
firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Dear President Clinton:
I am very dismayed by the message coming out of Camp David that international law, justice, and human rights can be ignored for political expediency.� Your statements that Barak was flexible and that you will review the issue of moving the US embassy to Jerusalem in light of the rejection of the Palestinians to abandon their human rights and rights of self determination were especially distressing.
The land to which the embassy is to be moved like much of the lands of West Jerusalem is legally owned by Palestinian refugees.� Those same refugees that you expect them to compromise on their right of return in deference to Israeli colonial desires.� Our country squanders billions of our tax dollars to support Israel and congress, under AIPAC influence, is threatening to withhold US aid if the Palestinians "unilaterally declare a state."� I find this so hypocritical.� US forefathers certainly did not get the British approval to declare independence (it was unilateral).� Is this mean this is also null and void?� I sometimes find the logic of this government to be most distressing and in disconnect with the vast majority of Americn public opinion.� A recent poll showed that 66% of the American public supports the establishment of a Palestinian state and 74% agree to the right of refugees to return home; see http://www.aaiusa.org/newsandviews/newsreleases/071800.htm.
Even if you get Arafat to sign an agreement, unless this agreement provides for justice to the Palestinian masses, it will be rejected by most people in the world as unsustainable and will not be worth the ink and paper used in it.� It will not bring peace nor security for anyone in the Middle East.
Palestinians in the diaspora and thousands of supporters are organizing for a mass rally in DC September 16 (see www.al-awda.org) and in London Sept 17.� This message will not be silenced.� We will also make sure that our votes are counted in the upcoming elections.� Please watch this new era of peaceful resistance to the "new world order."� I am sure you will be surprized.
Another tactic is to set-up candidate forums for candidates to meet the community and address concerns. Below is an example letter to invite a candidate (this one was sent from the American Muslim Alliance to Congressman Campbell).
Hon. Congressman Tom Campbell
599 North Mathilda Ave.
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
Dear Congressman Campbell
I am writing to you on behalf of the American Muslim Alliance, San Jose Chapter, to extend a warm invitation to you to participate in
AMA 2000 candidates' forum. The forum will be held on October 10, 2000 from 6:00 PM � 7:30 PM in the MCA community center at 3001 Scott
The American Muslim Alliance is a national civic and political education organization based in Fremont California. Since its conception in 1993, AMA has formed 93 chapters at the Congressional District level in 31 states. Currently, AMA has one of the largest chapters in the 12th congressional district and is actively working
to increase Muslim voter registration and participation in the political process.
The Candidates form is an event the is designed to provide yourself and other candidates for the 12th Congressional District the
opportunity to share your campaign ideas with the local Muslim community. Congressman Campbell we are very impressed with the
relationship that you have established with our community in the District and we do appreciate the positive stands that you have taken
on issues that are of concern to Muslims. We hope that you will be able to attend this event and further this positive and warm relationship.
The Muslim community in San Jose and Santa Clara will eagerly await your participation and look forward to sharing with you their
concerns, hopes and aspiration. I will be in contact with your office to go ver all the arrangements and details relating to this
event. Please feel free to contact me regarding any aspect of the plan or for any specific needs associated with your participation.
AMA San Jose Chapter