This week marks the 50th Anniversary of the Israeli conquest and occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. But just last year, America’s largest umbrella organization defending human rights for Palestinians changed its name from “US Campaign to End the Occupation” to the “US Campaign for Palestinian Rights”. Was the change just cosmetic, or was there something behind it? Read more…
Many organizations have noted that this June marks the Israeli conquest and occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. The worldwide appeal to “End the occupation” was reinforced last December when the United Nations Security Council unanimously voted to condemn all of Israel’s settlements in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) as illegal. (Only the USA abstained.)
But an increasing number of organizations and observers have come to the conclusion that merely “ending the occupation” (i.e. the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967) is not enough to ensure justice and peace in Israel/Palestine.
One of them is the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), a national coalition of hundreds of groups working to advocate for Palestinian rights and a shift in US policy.
Founded in 2001 as the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, USCPR has been a leading player in the movement for Palestinian rights in the United States. The coalition is bound by commonly shared principles on Palestine solidarity as well as anti-racism principles. To better reflect this change in thinking, in 2016 the “US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation” changed its name to the “US Campaign for Palestinian Human Rights” (USCPR).
Ending the occupation is not enough
In a statement “What’s in a name?” released to the public after the organization’s conference in October 2016, the USCPR explained the logic of the change:
“We continue to demand an end to Israeli occupation (…) but we also support the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel and the Palestinian refugees.”
– USCPR STATEMENT
Canada Talks Israel Palestine spoke with Anna Baltzer, Director of Organization and Advocacy for USCPR about the logic of the name change.
Canadians can follow the work of the USCPR by signing up for its newsletter.
In addition, Anna also has her own webpage at Annainthemiddleeast.com
Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) aims to promote a serious discussion in Canada about the complicated and emotional Israel/Palestine issue. If you support our educational mission, why not join? Or make a donation? Or learn more about what we do? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.