Sample script: “Hello. My name is ______, and I am calling on Human Rights Day to ask that your store stop selling SodaStream. The company has a factory in an illegal Israeli settlement built on stolen Palestinian land and exploits Palestinian labor and resources. I urge your store to follow the example of Macy’s and deshelve all SodaStream products for the sake of Palestinian human rights.” Sur La Table: Call 206-613-6000.If no one picks up, dial extension 6070 and leave a message for CEO Jack Schwefel. Open 8am-5pm PST. Target: Call 612-304-6073 and then dial 6. Open 8am-5pm CST. While SodaStream has announced that it will be shutting down its settlement factory, until it actually does, the company continues to profit from Israel’s military occupation. Once you make the calls, please click here to let us know how it went. If you are on Twitter, click here to tweet a message to Sur La Table and here to tweet one to Target.
Last year activists delivered an interfaith petition to Target headquarters in Minneapolis with almost 10,000 signatures asking them to boycott SodaStream. You can learn more about the campaign in Seattle targeting Sur La Table on this great Burst the Bubble website. Make your phone calls today to strengthen all the local campaigns happening nationwide demanding an end to SodaStream’s complicity in Israel’s denial of Palestinian human rights! PS- The Ferguson Action Team is calling on people to unite against state violence and racism today. Post up a picture or graphic to show the world what is happening in your country or city with the hashtag #WorldisWatching and #Ferguson2[your country/city].
–Rameh Kudaimi, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, December 10th, 2014
Heavy rain battered Gaza last week and we were forced to declared an emergency in Gaza City. As you may expect, the whole of Gaza is still reeling from the widespread destruction of the summer’s hostilities. The blockade persists and is making life incredibly difficult for the almost 90,000 who remain homeless.
Among the 90,000 is 26-year-old Felesteen Isdudi, whose home was severely damaged. She’s still living in an UNRWA school serving as a shelter with her seven children, aged 2 months to 9 years old, and her husband Bassan.
Felesteen and her seven children at the UNRWA’s Collective Centre at Zaitoun Elementary Boys School B.
While Felesteen and Bassan are grateful for adequate shelter, life is difficult, particularly for the children. “Each day, the children have to walk for over 80 minutes on the way to and from school, as we are unable to pay for transportation for them… and in winter this becomes harder – for them and also for me as I am unable to help them,” Bassan said.
UNRWA will provide the Isdudis with a temporary shelter cash allowance so they can rent an apartment until their home is rebuilt. But we need your help. For now, along with nearly 3,000 other displaced persons in the shelter, the family is making the best of a very hard situation. Felesteen explains the winter hardships, “When the children go to sleep, I put them all beside each other to feel some warmth.”
This winter, our goal is to ensure the nearly 90,000 people in Gaza made homeless by the recent conflict can secure alternative shelter. Second, that they, and other Palestine refugees in need in the West Bank and Syria, receive the help they need to weather the winter storms.
Donate today to give Felesteen’s family warmth and an alternative home. Give:
US$ 24 to reinforce a makeshift home with tarpaulin to protect a family like the Isdudi’s from the wind, rain and snow
US$ 350 to equip five families, just like Felesteen’s, with blankets
US$ 1350 to provide the a family with alternative shelter for the next six months
Last year’s winter storm Alexa brought torrential rains and widespread flooding that displaced thousands, exacerbating an already precarious humanitarian situation.
Last week’s rains are a hint of what can we expect this winter. Following the destruction in Gaza this summer, and predictions for a harsh winter, we expect this winter to be much harder than the last.
Help Palestine refugees in Gaza #weatherthestorm. Celebrate the spirit of charity this#givingtuesday and give today.
Wishing you a safe and warm winter,
Chief, Partnerships Division
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA)
UN World Food Program (WFP) Forced To Suspend Syrian Refugee Food Assistance, Warns Of Terrible Impact As Winter Nears
Click here to help with donations:
The Guardian: 1.7m Syrian refugees face food crisis as UN funds dry up
“More than 1.7 million Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt are facing a disastrous and hungry winter after a funding crisis forced the UN’s World Food Programme to suspend food vouchers to hundreds of thousands forced into exile by the conflict.
Since the war began in March 2011, the WFP has brought food to millions of Syrians inside the country, and has used the voucher programme – which allows refugees to buy food in local shops – to inject about $800m (£500m) into the economies of those countries hosting them.
But after finding itself unable to secure the $64m it needs to support Syrian refugees in December, the WFP announced on Monday that it was halting the scheme. Severe funding shortfalls have already led the UN body to reduce rations within Syria, where it is trying to help 4.25 million people.
Its executive director, Ertharin Cousin, issued a blunt and urgent appeal to donors, asking them to honour their commitments and warning that the suspension would have a devastating effect on the lives of more than 1.7 million people.
She said: “[It] will endanger the health and safety of these refugees and will potentially cause further tensions, instability and insecurity in the neighbouring host countries. The suspension of WFP food assistance will be disastrous for many already suffering families.”
She added that Syrian refugees in camps and informal settlements throughout the region were ill-prepared for another difficult winter, especially in Lebanon and Jordan where tents are drenched in mud, hygiene conditions are poor and many children lack shoes and warm clothes…”