USC Students for Justice in Palestine

history, analysis, news, and event updates on the struggle for justice in palestine

Archive for July, 2011

Israeli ship attacks international solidarity boat crew off Gaza coast

Posted by uscsjp on July 18, 2011

“I am writing this exactly twelve hours after I was attacked by an Israeli warship, off the Gaza coast.

As a member of the Civil Peace Service, I board the Oliva boat around twice a week to monitor Gazan fishermen’s human rights. But today, it wasn’t just the fishermen who were targeted.

We approached a cluster of hasaka fishing boats that were being attacked with water cannons at midday on July 13. As we got closer all I could focus on was the officer manning the machine gun, covered from head to toe with black, which struck me as very medieval, if you know what I mean.

Our boat, along with the fishing vessels, was around two miles out to sea, well within the three-mile fishing limit imposed by Israel. We saw marines congregate on deck to watch as the water cannon was angled slowly but deliberately towards us. To my delight they struggled against the wind initially, but eventually managed to angle round us as we fumbled with the water-logged engine. I took one look at the jet being generated vertically and knew what was coming. Sure enough, pellets of water began to rain down on us with stinging force. Then I, camera in one hand, felt the jet stream slap my face directly, staying there for several seconds, before the boat was yanked away by the fishermen around us. I was flung backwards and words I never utter escaped my lips. Struggling to stay up, I forced myself to take it on the chin. Literally. As the assault continued, they repeatedly aimed at my face and each time my nose, eyes and mouth filled with seawater. At one point I even saw a naval officer indicate to the marine controlling the cannon to aim for me. He gleefully obliged…”


–Hama Waqum, Civil Peace Service Gaza, 14 July, 2011


Posted in Activism/Divestment, News | Leave a Comment »

Divest from the Occupation: A Call to Action from Jewish Voice for Peace

Posted by uscsjp on July 13, 2011

As you probably know, activists across the nation are demanding that TIAA-CREF,  one of the largest financial services in the US, stop investing in companies that profit off of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands and peoples. Despite their  slogan of “financial services for the greater good,” they have recently censored a shareholder resolution calling for an investigation of these companies, and have moved their annual shareholder’s meeting from New York City to Charlotte, NC, in an attempt to avoid protests.

Please join us in a national action day telling TIAA-CREF, “You can run, but you can’t hide!”

When: Tuesday July 19, 12:00 PM
Where: TIAA-CREF Office, 2 N. Lake Avenue, Pasadena CA 91101

Let’s show powerful institutions in this country that they can neither hide from the injustice of occupation, nor from the growing movement for boycott, divestment, and sanctions. Despite their efforts to dodge protests, we will turn out in force on July 19th, the day of their National Shareholder Meeting—to prove them wrong, shame them for their act of censorship, and draw attention to the realities of occupation. We’ll be joining activists in dozens of other cities who will  take the streets at the same time.

Please distribute this information widely to your lists. If you are interested in learning more, or  in helping to organize, please reply to this email or contact Estee Chandler at

We have a great, creative, and fun action planned!

This day of action is a point of escalation on the We Divest campaign, a nationwide campaign to demand retirement giant TIAA-CREF divest from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation (companies such as Caterpillar, Motorola, Veolia, Elbit, and  Northrop Grumman.) The campaign was initiated by Jewish Voice for Peace and is led by a coalition of groups including Adalah-NY, the US Campaign to End Israeli Occupation, Grassroots International, and the American Friends Service Committee.

We Divest activists who are also TIAA-CREF clients submitted a shareholder resolution  for the CREF annual meeting. TIAA-CREF responded by censoring our shareholder  resolution and then fleeing from their NYC shareholder meeting for North Carolina.

We need to show TIAA-CREF that they can run but they cannot hide! With your help, we’ll turn out in force on the day of the shareholder meeting. There will be an anchor event in Charlotte, North Carolina, outside of the CREF shareholder meeting.  Concurrently, if you help us, we’ll be one of 30 creative demonstrations at TIAA-CREF offices  all over the country.

If you haven’t been involved in a “creative action” before, this is  a fabulous time to jump in!

Peace and Hope,
Estee Chandler, Jewish Voice for Peace-LA Organizer

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Posted in Activism/Divestment | 1 Comment »